A Joyful Noise | September 2021

The Strength of Total Common Ministry

Senior Warden Maggie Collinge

On September 5, Melissa Simonsen, John Okerman and I will be commissioned to join the Ministry Support Circle.  On the same day,  Erin Kohlhaas will be received into the congregation.  We have been working hard to be ready for this change in our lives.  I pray that we will be worthy of the commission.  The Ministry Support Circle is the centerpiece for Total Common Ministry.  When I started attending church in Anacortes, Carol Rodin met with me and described TCM as a church where ALL of the congregation are called to serve in the church in some way. 

During this time, I would like to invite you to give some thought to what you are called to do in the life of the church.  We are a small congregation so it is important that we all find a place to serve.  There is something to be said about “many hands make light work”.  If we all participate in some way, we truly become the Body of Christ, right here at Christ Church.  What a glorious thought, Christ’s hands and feet in the world.  All the various jobs and positions are important; serving on the Bishop’s Committee, reading in worship, providing flowers on Sunday, knitting prayer shawls, serving on a committee (invitation: we are in need of people on the Stewardship Committee), Even in this time of Covid, the life of the church goes on. 

To be honest, I am nervous about some of the training required of those in the Ministry Circle.  Being a worship leader causes me some nervousness.  But I am going to work through it with the help of those who have gone before me. 

In October we will all be thinking about Stewardship; how can we live out our baptism?  During the Commissioning Service on September 5, all of us will be recommitting ourselves to our baptismal promises.  One of those promises is to Love our Neighbors as ourselves.  Another promise is to continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship.  The success of Total Common Ministry rests on our response to these baptismal promises.

The Living God’s Prayer

Living God, draw us deeper into your love;
Jesus our Lord, send us to care and serve;
Holy Spirit, make us heralds of good news.
Stir us, strengthen us, teach and inspires us
to live your love with generosity and joy,
imagination and courage;
for the sake of your world
and in the name of Jesus.

the diocese of st. albans, church of england

Notes of Encouragement & Inspiration

In celebration of Maggie Collinge, John Okerman, and Melissa Simonsen being commissioned as new members of the Ministry Support Circle, please consider writing notes and cards of encouragement and inspiration to each of them, which we will gather together and present to them on September 5th during the service.  You can mail the cards/notes to the Christ Church address (1216 Seventh Street), drop them off at the upcoming Sunday services, or email your sentiments to Marcy at office@christchurchanacortes.org

Sacred Ground at Christ Church

The Reverend Diane Ramerman

Sacred Ground: a film-based dialogue series on race and faith, sponsored by the Episcopal Church.” You’ve heard about this before in the Joyful Noise, and possibly even taken a peek by going to the Diocese of Olympia website. The program is part of Becoming Beloved Community, and the Church’s long-term commitment to racial healing, reconciliation and justice. Presenting this program at Christ Episcopal Church is a focus point of our Mutual Ministry Agreement together.

We are ready to begin!

Various PBS series and selected documentaries provide historical context for group discussion. Gathering as a Sacred Dialogue Circle, participants will dig deeper into our personal histories to discover in what ways our experiences have influenced how we think about race and class. We will learn more about the history of racism and classism in our country, our region, our community, and be encouraged to think critically about how each of us can commit to racial healing.  

The curriculum uses two core books, Jesus and the Disinherited, and Waking Up White, and a broad selection of audio stories and articles. Browse the Syllabus on the Sacred Ground website and discover the tantalizing breadth and depth. The core books will be purchased for participant use by Christ Church. There is no fee for this program.

The first two sessions of this ten-session series will be offered at Christ Church this fall:

  • Session 1: Wednesday, October 13, 6:30 pm: Stepping onto Sacred Ground
  • Session 2: Wednesday, November 10, 6:30 pm: The Roots of Whiteness and Deeper Roots

We will meet in person in the Parish Hall (wine & snacks provided), and simultaneously via Zoom for our group discussion in a Sacred Dialogue Circle. There is advance reading (and video) for each session; access to materials will be provided with ample time for individual preparation.   Estimated preparation time for each session (reading and video materials) is 1-2 hours.

The remaining eight sessions will begin in January 2022, with dates/times to be determined by the participant group. The topics for these sessions are:

  • Session 3: Whose Land? Exploring Indigenous History
  • Session 4: Transatlantic Slave Trade and Slavery: Exploring Black History
  • Session 5: Whose Land? More Layers: Exploring Latino History
  • Session 6: Americans, Not Foreigners: Exploring Asian/Pacific American History
  • Session 7: Selective Access to the Melting Pot and the American Dream: 1830s-1960s
  • Session 8: Divisions in Present-Day White America
  • Session 9: Legacies: Racism’s Long Life
  • Session 10: Becoming Beloved Community

Participants must sign up in advance and are asked to commit to attend all ten sessions. We do understand that there may be unavoidable absences – hopefully the combination of in person/zoom sessions will help, especially as we continue to navigate the COVID world. This is a small group program fostering open and vulnerable, in-depth discussion in a Sacred Dialogue Circle. For that reason, the participants should be a constant – that is, once the Circle is formed, people should not step in and out.

To sign up, contact Pastoral Leader June Cook, or Office Administrator Marcy Perschbacher.  You must register to receive the password access to session materials. 

For more information, contact one of our facilitators and planners for Sacred Ground:
Diane Canington, June Cook, John Guinn, Diane Guinn, Rev. Deacon Eric Johnson, Erin Kohlhaas, Sol Kohlhaas, John Okerman, Rev. Diane Ramerman, Dale Ramerman, Melissa Simonsen

The Afghanis are Coming to America

John Okerman

Do you recall the phrase “history repeats itself”?  This past week history once again repeated itself, at least for the United States.  In 1975, the U. S. was tired of the Vietnam War and responded to that by leaving Vietnam.  Remember the images of Vietnamese citizens climbing the roof of the American Embassy and trying to get on the last helicopters leaving the country?  Remember the “boat people”? 

(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Last week we watched an U.S. Air Force airplane leaving Kandahar Airport with Afghan citizens clinging to the side of the airplane.  At least one fell from the sky and another’s body was found in the wheel well.  Thousands of Afghanis who either worked or supported the Americans are now attempting to leave the country with their families.  The emigration of Afghanis from their country is very similar to what happened to the Vietnamese in 1975.  While much is unknown, many of these Afghan families will come to the United States.  They were employed by the U.S., serving alongside troops, diplomats or other government employees, filling such roles as interpreter, translator, driver and cultural adviser. KIRO 7 news reported as many as 22,000 Afghanistan refugees could end up in the U.S., and some will be resettled in Seattle and Tacoma.  Like the Vietnamese families in 1975, they will face similar challenges as they assimilate into our society.

Many churches sponsored a Vietnamese family when they arrived in 1975.  These families were from a culture much different that our culture, spoke little or no English, and were impoverished.  Today, 45 years later, these Vietnamese families and their children are leaders throughout our society to include business, military, political, education, and entertainment.  They have distinguished themselves as great Americans. This next week reflect on how often you see a person of Vietnamese descent in a role of importance or influence.

God is calling us once again with new opportunities and challenges for the people of Afghanistan.  The Men’s group has been discussing how Christ Church Anacortes can help.  Initially, we can provide financial resources.  The Diocese of Olympia Refugee Resettlement Office serves refugees in the Seattle area.  Their office will be receiving Afghani families seeking guidance and assistance in building a new life in America and achieving economic self-sufficiency. They help with resettlement, job placement activities, and business development programs that promote self-employment.  You are invited to visit their website.  Please look at the different ways that you and the community of Christ Church Anacortes can help.

You have an opportunity to keep the Gospel of Jesus alive by giving to the Bishop’s Relief Fund and help Afghan refugees and their families begin their lives in the United States.  The plate offering on September 5 is for the Refugee Resettlement Fund, and checks can be made out to Christ Church with Refugee Resettlement Fund in the memo line of your check.

2021 FAE Summer Academy Update

The Reverend Carol Rodin

Dear FAE Supporters and Friends,

Thank you all for your continued support of the Foundation for Academic Endeavors and our programs. Together we’re breaking down barriers to educational equity for students, teachers and families in the Skagit Valley. It’s important and exciting work and we’re grateful for your partnership!

We spent much of the fall and winter fundraising and researching all of the ways we could keep kids and staff safe while learning in person for our 2021 Summer Academy. Our staff was 100% vaccinated, all kids and staff wore masks, were socially distanced and used good hygiene practices to mitigate risk of infection. We created elaborate plans for getting students off busses, out of cars and into cafeterias and classrooms while maintaining social distance. We were well supported by the Mount Vernon School District and Skagit County Public Health Department.

In late March we learned that the Skagit Valley College Campus would remain closed. In anticipation of that closure we started talks with the Mount Vernon School District in early winter to formulate a back up plan. We were quickly approved to use Little Mountain Elementary School for our 250 students and almost 50 staff members. We increased staffing to reduce class sizes, added a nurse and nursing assistant, two counselors and two art teachers to meet the needs of students who experienced a stressful, isolated 18 months of at home learning.

Kids and teachers were so happy to be together again to learn, create and play!

We served almost 80 preschool through kindergarten students, many of whom had never experienced in-person learning. The majority of our preschool and kindergarten staff are teachers in local HeadStart programs who had only been teaching online since March of 2019. They were happy and relieved to have a chance to try out in person learning and practice mitigation strategies before returning to in person learning this fall.

Due to the increase in staff needed to lower classroom sizes and the need to purchase individual supplies for each student, this was our most expensive Summer Academy to date. Many of our traditional revenue sources, including family fees were significantly reduced. We were grateful to receive additional funding from many of our supporters and through the CARES Act.

As we move forward into the coming school year we will continue to offer virtual tutoring services for students who need additional academic support. Many of our students were behind in their reading and other skills, some significantly so.

As the Delta variant surges, we are hoping and praying for vaccine approval for children as soon as possible and that all those who are able, but not yet vaccinated, will keep in mind that the unvaccinated population includes children who have no choice but to wait for the protection of vaccines and depend on those who can be vaccinated to protect them.

A special thanks to Christ Church for discretionary funding for the end of the year pizza parties enjoyed by our students! The school lunches provided by the Mount Vernon School District were often not quite enough food, especially for our older students. It’s challenging to feed 250 active, hungry kids for six hours a day! Additional thanks for the generous use of the Christ Church office printer. We were able to print literacy materials at Christ Church at a much faster rate than is possible at our FAE office.

Thank you all for your support and prayers.

Rev. Carol Rodin
Co-Executive Director
Foundation for Academic Endeavors

The Red Door Thrift Shop

The Red Door Thrift Shop is open for shopping on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am-3pm. The donation shed is open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10am-1pm. Stop by and see us!
Erin Kohlhaas, Red Door Manager, reddoorthriftanacortes@gmail.com


Happy Birthday Wishes to…

…Frank McCoy on September 4
……Melissa Simonsen on September 8
………Marcy Perschbacher on September 27

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

5 September 2021
Pentecost 15
Proper 18
9:30 am Chandler’s Square Morning Prayer
Presider: Ms. June Cook
10:30 am Holy Eucharist
Reception & Commissioning of Ministry Support Circle
Christ Church Sanctuary
Presider: Bishop Greg Rickel
Homilist: Mr. John Okerman
Deacon: Rev. Deacon Eric Johnson
Readers: Erin Kohlhaas, Melissa Simonsen, Maggie Collinge
Ushers: Shirley Barrett, Lorne Render
Isaiah 35:4-7a
Psalm 146
James 2:1-17
Mark 7:24-37

12 September 2021
Pentecost 16
Proper 19
9:30 am Chandler’s Square Morning Prayer
Presider: Mr. John Okerman
10:30 am Holy Eucharist
Christ Church Sanctuary
Presider: Rev. Diane Ramerman
Homilist: Rev. Deacon Eric Johnson
Deacon: Rev. Deacon Eric Johnson
Eucharistic Minister: Shirley Barrett
Readers: Melissa Simonsen, Siriana Simonsen
Ushers: Carleton Manning, Creamy Wilkins-Manning
Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 116:1-9
James 3:1-12
Mark 8:27-38

19 September 2021
Pentecost 17
Proper 20
9:30 am Chandler’s Square Morning Prayer
Presider: Ms. June Cook 
10:30 am Holy Eucharist
Presider & Homilist: Rev. Brian Lennstrom
Deacon: Rev. Deacon Eric Johnson
Eucharistic Minister: John Okerman
Readers: Becky Lennstrom, Jerlyn Caba
Ushers: Don & Marie Ibsen
Jeremiah 11:18-20
Psalm 54
James 3:13–4:3, 7-8a
Mark 9:30-37

26 September 2021
Pentecost 18
Proper 21
9:30 am Chandler’s Square Morning Prayer
Presider: Mr. John Okerman
10:30 am Holy Eucharist
Christ Church Sanctuary
Presider: Rev. Diane Ramerman
Homilist: Ms. Maggie Collinge
Deacon: Rev. Deacon Eric Johnson
Eucharistic Minister: Melissa Simonsen
Readers: Betty Anne McCoy, Grace Minton
Ushers: Shirley Barrett, Elaine Oliphant
Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29
Psalm 19:7-14
James 5:13-20
Mark 9:38-50

A Joyful Noise | September 2021