A Joyful Noise | March 2021

Signs of Spring

Senior Warden Maggie Collinge

Spring is coming!  Can you feel it?  Even though the air is cold there is a promise of warmer weather when the sun comes through and warms my face. 

 Can you see it?  As I roam around my yard looking at all there is to do, I see some daffodils and Dutch iris pushing up through the soil.

Can you smell it?  As the dirt warms in the raised beds, waiting for seeds, it gives off that earthy smell that lets me know that soon, soon I will be able to push seeds into the ground.  The peas will be first!

Can you touch it? There are always weeds and grass to pull.  There is no stopping them!  I try to use my gloves, but sometimes pulling weeds is more satisfying with the bare hand; as the weed pulls out of the ground, I feel the stubborn tug of the root, not wanting to let go of the soil. Though a tedious task, weeding can be so satisfying!

Can you hear it?  The air is filled with the sound of birds!  Their voices raised in a chorus of twitters and tweets.  Pretty soon we will see the babies out!

The Spring is all around us as we move through Lent, anticipating Easter in all its glory.  Cast winter aside and take in God’s promise,  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (Corinthians 5:17)

Gracious Creator God, thank you for filling my senses with the coming Spring. 

Adult Faith Formation: The St. John’s Bible

Sundays, through March 21
11:45 – 12:45 pm, via Zoom

In 1998, Saint John’s Abbey and University commissioned renowned calligrapher Donald Jackson to produce a hand-written, hand-illuminated Bible. This work of art unites an ancient Benedictine tradition with the technology and vision of today, illuminating the Word of God for a new millennium.

This Faith Formation series will briefly explore the making of the St. John’s Bible, and, using the illuminations in the SJB, we will ignite our imagination and nourish our souls. The workshop will provide us with methods to enhance our study of Scripture reflection, including a brief introduction to a prayer method called “Visio Divina.”  

The illuminations are not illustrations. They are spiritual meditations on a text. It is a very Benedictine approach to the Scriptures.”


Please join in. All are welcome.

Church Growth

Reverend Diane Ramerman

On February 24, twenty-six congregants gathered on Zoom to talk about growth at Christ Church.  A lively discussion revealed at least twenty-seven different ideas about what ‘growth’ or ‘growing the church’ means.   Some key take-aways from our conversation:

  • “Back to normal” will not happen.   Let’s reset our goals and vision, and look for new opportunities, rather than reaching  backward to an old ‘starting’ point or metric of who we were before the pandemic.  Our average Sunday attendance (ASA) on zoom has been hovering around 40 persons, whereas pre-pandemic our ASA was 60-65.    As we have for the past year, we will need to be adaptive to survive, and focus on the people in the place where we are.
  • In our post-pandemic  context, growth may be a short term imperative, and/or a long term plan.    Church growth is more than the number of people worshiping together on Sunday mornings. Growth includes the ministries we do as community, the outreach we do in community, and the adaptation of our facilities for new or expanded uses.
  • Our worshiping community includes a large number of retired people, reflecting  the demographic of our Anacortes community.   We may decide to focus church growth on a segment of the demographic, e.g., young families with children or BIPOC; or we may focus on ‘replacement’, of the natural attrition of membership.  As one congregant said, retirees are a renewable resource.
  • Adding to our Sunday worship community is only a first step, and cannot be taken in isolation.  We invite people, and then we need to include and integrate them in the community: with programming that encompasses opportunities for social interaction, faith development, and small ministry groups such as Men’s Group, Prayer Shawl ministry,  Altar Guild. These are ways and means of transformation. Increasing our numbers requires something of each of us. 
  • We will be changed by adding to our community.  Perhaps there will be changes to our liturgies that refresh and modernize our worship.  We can expect changes to our facilities: on a small scale, bathroom and kitchen renovation; or large scale, rebuilding the Parish Hall. Necessarily, there will be increased pastoral and administrative demands on our leadership, and need for additional ministry dollars.
  • Rather than growing our numbers, we might talk more about building on the strengths we already have.  Our beautiful, one hundred thirty year old sanctuary.  A liturgy that traces back to the worship practices of the first century. A congregation that knows each other by name and prays for each other.

As we think about growth and what that might mean, our priority is to continue to nurture the people who are here.  Please add your thoughts and prayers as we move closer to being able to return to worship in our beloved sanctuary.

Blessings, Rev. Diane

Red Door Thrift Shop Raises Funds for Anacortes Family Center

Red Door Manager Erin Kohlhaas

On February 11th, the Red Door Thrift Shop participated in the 7th Annual Dine & Shop to End Homelessness. 100% of the proceeds from the day were donated to support the Anacortes Family Center’s transformative mission of supporting homeless women, children, and families in our community. This year the Red Door raised $875 for this amazing organization. A special thanks to everyone from the community who shopped online or donated. Your patronage allowed the Red Door to reach beyond our goal for this event, raising more for the Anacortes Family Center than in any previous year.

Lenten Reading

June Cook

Each year Bishop Rickel offers a suggestion for reading during the inward-looking season of Lent.  This year he has selected two that resonate deeply with the current focus on the struggles of Indigenous Peoples.  The following book summaries are from wikipedia.

An Indigenous People’s History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
This book challenges what Dunbar-Ortiz articulates as the founding mythology of our rapidly growing country, bolstered in the 19th century by the concept of Manifest Destiny and the Doctrine of Discovery. She seeks to show “how policy against the Indigenous peoples was colonialist and designed to seize the territories of the original inhabitants, displacing or eliminating them.” Her book explains how this developed out of the imperatives of settler colonialism and graphically depicts this as the seizure of the original inhabitants’ territories and subsequent displacement and elimination through genocidal practices.  Beyond popular culture, An Indigenous People’s History of the United States details how such policies, practices, and values were manifest through the ranks of the U.S. military to the highest offices of government.

MEDIOCRE: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America by Ijeoma Oluo
In Mediocre, Ijeoma Oluo punches up rather than down, reckoning culturally, politically and historically with white men. These are the people, she writes, who do most of the dirty work and decision-making that goes into maintaining America’s systems of power. They include corporate titans, professional sports team owners and Democratic politicians, and they mostly manage to escape cultural outrage and accountability. Beginning with William “Buffalo Bill” Cody, the 19th-century showman whose slaughter of American buffaloes was a mere prelude for hunting and killing Indigenous people, Oluo recounts the creation of a violent and profane American white masculinity, rooted in “muscular Christianity.” 

Better Together Faith Formation Conference

Saturday, March 13
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, via Zoom
Hosted by The Diocese of Olympia

Please join us for “Better Together” a one-day virtual event for staff, clergy, musicians, lay leaders and volunteers who care deeply about spiritual formation both personally and church-wide. Better Together offers insightful keynote speakers and a diverse array of workshops covering faith formation for children, families, youth and adults. Lively plenary sessions feature music, art and poetry.
Cost is $0 – $25; scholarships are readily available. All are welcome.

Women in Scripture: Laying Down the Stones

Reverend Diane Ramerman

For two thousand years, women have felt diminished, secondary, or down right ignored by the Christian Church. There are now women priests and bishops in the Episcopal church – yet a mere forty years ago, women were not even readers in the church!  Our Gospels, and indeed the entirety of the Old and New Testaments, were written by men, and reflect a predominantly patriarchal world view. 

During Holy Week we will again take the opportunity to consider the women in scripture, and to imagine how they might tell their own story, as women of their time and place.  What did they experience, what did they think, where did they see God in their story?   What would it be like to walk in their footsteps? 

Women of the congregation are invited to choose a woman in scripture, and tell her story at our Holy Week Service, Laying Down the Stones.  The title comes from the recognition that each of us has personally experienced or knows of someone who has experienced abuse, or been  pushed aside because of her gender.  As a step towards peace and reconciliation, we tell the stories of women in scripture and lay down a stone to honor each of them. 

Men of the congregation are welcome to join in this service.  We ask you to listen and consider how the domination system of patriarchy has historically impacted how we worship and the stories we tell. Be joyful for the women, and stand in solidarity as we lay down the stones of patriarchy and abuse.

Please contact Rev. Diane if you want to participate by story telling.  Names and scripture references will be provided from which you may choose. You are encouraged to use an Examen pathway to study the story you choose.   

All are welcome to attend the service.

Mindful Poetry

Becky Lennstrom

For the month of February, our mindful poetry session explored the verses of Pablo Neruda, a Chilean poet whose revolutionary mind and romantic soul generated a profound influence on modern poetry.  Neruda also had a whimsical, humorous side to his writing, and in the spirit of appreciation, our group imitated his style in composing odes to commonplace items, such as he did in his poem “Ode to Socks.”  Enjoy the odes we wrote, and we hope they conjure up some striking images for you and some accompanying joy!

Here’s a sampling from our creative poets:

An Ode to Floss
by Jill Lipton
Ribbons, rivulets, toothsome travelers; 
Each length a committed picker of my canine corn kernels;
Each strand a loving lassoer of my poppy seeds;
waxing, waning, wandering into each incisive and wise crevice;
A dentist’s dream is written in seemingly endless white streamers;
Then, in a flash only an inch remains.

Ode to the Icon of a Grecian Maiden 
by Brian Lennstrom
You grace our simple PowerPoint
Your face will never disappoint
A friend of apples, windows, lyre,
Attending saddest funeral pyre.
You weep beside us as a mourner–
Resized by pulling on your corner.
Your presence flows throughout the house:
But men control you with a mouse!
Oh beauteous JPEG–or is it bitmap?
Cease playing and come to share a KitKat!
Come share our modern kicks.  O,
Lift us with your ancient pixels!
Is it to a handsome lover that you sing?
Or sleep to Googling infant that you bring?
Come to life!  To us make haste,
Ere we your image cut and paste.
I shout it from Olympian heights:
“Truth may be beauty, but loving bytes.”

Ode to a Semi-Solid Emulsion 
by Sylvia Sepulveda
The pale-yellow pad 
gently into the wide crevices
of toasted muffin –
surfing the browned ridges,
speckles of salt flavor
the otherwise dull doughy-ness;
my tongue now a small, delighted ocean.
Dolly, Bessie, Hildegard?
You anonymous, lovely woman –
you gift my morning
such joy.
You four-stomached wonder
of a mother, 
your warm offering
(kindly handled, I hope,)
churned into liquidy gold.
I remember
your big, watchful gaze
as the creamy swirl 
the pan with promise;
elevating both greens
and gravy.
As Ina Gartner says,
“Everything’s better with butter.”

Mindful Poetry meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month, 6-7 pm, via Zoom.
Our next gathering is March 23. Please join in. All are welcome.

If joining by phone:
Meeting ID 503 653 606   One tap mobile  +12532158782,,503653606# US (Tacoma)

Re-opening the Church

Reverend Diane Ramerman

“The church around the corner has re-opened.  Why are we still closed?”

A major concern for indoor gatherings is the quality and quantity of the air circulation in the building, i.e., the “HVAC” system.  Our Christ Church sanctuary has a minimal system,  an aging furnace underneath the sacristy, and doors that open at each end; no windows open.  Our Presbyterian neighbors face a somewhat-similar problem in their aging sanctuary,  (built about twenty years after ours), and have renovated to accommodate a new HVAC system; even so, their pastor says the earliest they will reopen will be September.  

You have all received a new re-opening survey from our People’s Warden, Judith Render.  Please be sure to complete it.  There are more issues to consider besides our desire to gather,  maintaining social distance,  and the Bishop’s and Governor’s guidelines regarding capacity, masks, and protocols. Please be patient.  With warmer weather in spring and summer, outdoor services will become a more realistic possibility.  Well, without the rain, of course.  Tents, anyone?

Palm Sunday, Holy Week, Easter Vigil, & Easter Day

The Sunday of the Passion
March 28
10:30 am Morning Prayer

Monday, March 29
5:00 pm
Women in Scripture: Laying Down the Stones        
Presider: Rev. Diane Ramerman

Tuesday, March 30
5:00 pm
Stations of the Cross   
Presider: Rev. Deacon Eric Johnson      

Maundy Thursday, April 1
5:00 pm
Meditations & Stripping of the Altar
Presider: Rev. Brian Lennstrom      

Good Friday, April 2
Liturgy of the Solemn Collects     
Presider & Homilist: Rev. Deacon Eric Johnson   
The Good Friday offering is designated for the Diocese of Jerusalem. Checks may be mailed or placed in the parish hall mail drop. Please make your check out to Christ Church, memo to “Diocese of Jerusalem”. Please be generous. The needs are very great.

Easter Vigil
Saturday, April 3
7:00 pm
The First Service of Easter & Holy Eucharist   
Presider & Homilist: Rev. Diane Ramerman   

Easter Day
Sunday, April 4
11:00 am, St. Mark’s Cathedral
Please join the online celebration at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle or view Christ Church’s Easter Vigil service, which will be posted on our website. Livestream from St. Mark’s Cathedral is available at https://saintmarks.org/worship/live-stream/


Happy Birthday to…

…Zoanne Hyland on March 3
……Lorne Render on March 5
………Sylvia Sepulveda on March 8
…………Maja Simonsen on March 12
……………Erick Simonsen on March 14

Happy Anniversary to…

……Don & Marie Ibsen on March 28 (Happy 40th!)

Please send the month & date of your birthday, baptismal date, anniversary, and/or other special occasions so we can help you celebrate your blessings in the Joyful Noise. Please send to People’s Warden Judith Render at lorneandjudith@hotmail.com, 360-982-2770.

Sunday Services

 7 March 2021
 Lent 3
 10:30 am Morning Prayer
  Presider: Rev. Deacon Eric Johnson
  Homilist: Mr. John Okerman
  Readers: Carleton Manning, Valerie Long
  Exodus 20:1-17
  Psalm 19
  1 Corinthians 1:18-25
  John 2:13-22

  14 March 2021
  Lent 4
 10:30 am Morning Prayer
  Presider: Rev. Brian Lennstrom
  Homilist: Rev. Brian Lennstrom
  Deacon: Rev. Deacon Eric Johnson
  Readers: Shirley Barrett, Siriana Simonsen
  Numbers 21:4-9
  Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22
  Ephesians 2:1-10
  John 3:14-21

 21 March 2021
 Lent 5
 10:30 am Morning Prayer
  Presider: Ms. June Cook
  Homilist: Rev. Deacon Eric Johnson
  Readers: Jerlyn Caba, Becky Lennstrom
  Jeremiah 31:31-34
  Psalm 51:1-12
  Hebrews 5:5-10
  John 12:20-33

 28 March 2021
 Palm Sunday
 10:30 am Morning Prayer
  Presider: Rev. Diane Ramerman
  Homilist: Ms. Shirley Barrett
  Deacon: Rev. Deacon Eric Johnson
  Readers: Erin Kohlhaas, Valerie Long
  Isaiah 50:4-9a
  Psalm 31:9-16
  Philippians 2:5-11
  Mark 15:1-47

A Joyful Noise | March 2021