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Blog Archives: January 2013 — December 2013

The Feast of St. Thomas

December 20, 2013
Throughout the Christian Year, we celebrate the court of heaven, especially Jesus’s first followers - apostles, evangelists, martyrs - holy in life and worthy of emulation and honor. Without them we would have no memory of Jesus, no witness of the resurrection, and no New Testament. So what better way to observe Advent and prepare for Christmas than to celebrate the Feast of St. Thomas on December 21?  Thomas’ name derives from a root word meaning “twin”; he is nicknamed Dydimus, which is Greek for twin. He was totally ready to stand by ...

Carols and Candles

December 11, 2013
Advent Greetings Christ Church, Last month, as I was facilitating a men’s group (comprised of non church goers) in our neighborhood, the Christmas Season came up, and one guy said, “I really miss the carols and candles.” The other 10 men nodded in unison as if to say, “Yeah, me too!” Three of these men have already told me that they plan to bring their families and worship with us on Christmas Eve. Over the years I have noticed that Christmas is often THE season in the calendar where many of our non-church-going friends, neighbors, ...

12/1/2013 Sermon Discussion Questions

December 01, 2013
Please feel free to use any questions which you or your group find most interesting and pertinent to your situations. Sermon Title: The Story of the Mountain 
Date: Sunday, December 1, 2013 (First Sunday in Advent)
 Speaker: Jason Yum Scripture Reading: Isaiah 2:1-5 Advent invites us into a season of longing and imagination. The vision given to Isaiah fosters both of these in us and points us toward the fulfillment of this vision when Christ comes again. Feel free to use any of these questions to ponder how you might long for and actively ...

Centennial Celebration at Christ Church Christmas Eve

November 20, 2013
Join us for a champagne and cheese reception in the community hall at 5pm. You are also warmly invited to come early or stay after for our 4pm or 6pm Christmas Eve candlelight service when we will celebrate Christ’s birth through a retelling of the Christmas story. Built in 1913, “Berkeley’s Bungalow Church” has been a gathering point for the spiritual and communal life of our neighborhood for 100 years.Designed by James Plachek (also designed Berkeley Public Library, Alameda County Courthouse) Aiming for LEED green building standards while ...

11/17/2013 Sermon Discussion Questions

November 19, 2013
Please feel free to use any questions which you or your group find most interesting and pertinent to your situations. Sermon Title: God's Messenger - Jonah (Part 3)
 Date: Sunday, November 17, 2013 

Speaker: Jason Yum 
Scripture Reading: Jonah 3 Spectacular yet Insufficient For those of the Jewish faith, the short book of Jonah is read aloud every year during the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), when you are expected to fast and pray in repentance for the atoning of sins. In Jonah 3, the Ninevites' response to Jonah’s proclamation serves as ...

11/10/2013 Sermon Discussion Questions

November 11, 2013
Please feel free to use any questions which you or your group find most interesting and pertinent to your situations. Sermon Title:God’s Messenger – Jonah (Part 2)
 Date: Sunday, November 10, 2013 
 Speaker: Bart Garrett Scripture Reading: Jonah 1:17-2:10 What are we being saved from? Read Jonah 1:17 – 2:10, particularly focusing on verses 3 and 5. Jonah describes the effects of the raging sea of circumstances that have led him to the end of his life (swirling waters, smashing currents), but he tethers those circumstances to Sheol (v2,4, ...

Letter to Young Parents

October 27, 2013
We have a lot of young parents at Christ Church. Most of us are asking questions like: How do we do this? What is important? What really matters? How do I know if I'm doing a good job? How do we not crush our kids? How do we not lose our faith? Energy? Sense of self? Friendships? Etc. etc. etc. A year or so ago I passed along to several of you a letter on parenting written by Dr. Jamie Smith. Two days ago I finished a collection of his essays entitled, "Discipleship in the Present Tense." First, I'd recommend this wonderful collection to ...

Hospitality: Jamie Hawthorne's Story

September 18, 2013
Hello, I am Jamie Hawthorn.  I am currently serving as a parish leader in Alameda and as the Hospitality Coordinator for our Oakland service. As many of you know, my husband, Daniel, and I moved here one year ago, in August 2012.  Daniel is a software engineer and after praying about a move to the West Coast, he found a perfect career opportunity in San Francisco.  We knew no one out here, but we were excited about the adventure.  At the time our oldest son was 2 and I was 3 months pregnant with our daughter, now 6 months old.     Though I ...

Michelle's Story (Our CCK Oakland Site Coordinator)

September 05, 2013
My name is Michelle DeVito and I am the Oakland site coordinator for Christ Church Kids.   My childhood heroes growing up were Indiana Jones and Anne of Green Gables. In fact, if you had asked me, "Michelle, what do you want to be when you grow up?", I would have said "a globetrotting archeologist, who lives on Prince Edward Island and picks apples." Obviously.   But what also drew me to those stories was the mysterious presence of God and the supernatural realm. The God of Indiana Jones was invisible, powerful, and able to take out a ...

Video: Journey of Christ Church

July 24, 2013
Check out this new video, created to inspire more churches toward church planting, and featuring Christ Church's journey from the early days of 2006 to now.

Reading the bible with your children

June 29, 2013
One of the things that delights me most about this series, "The Story: One Book, One Church, One Year," is envisioning parents reading the story of Scripture around the dinner table with their growing children. But we are currently in the Primeval history of Genesis 1-11, a section full of stories complete with enchanting trees, talking snakes, killing brothers, drowning floods, cursing fathers, and toppling towers. Why did God create fruit that you weren't allowed to eat? Why did God let the snake into the Garden anyway? Why would someone ...

6/9/2013 Sermon Discussion Questions

June 18, 2013
Discussion Questions from Last Sunday’s Sermon Please feel free to use any questions, which you or your group find most interesting and pertinent to your situations. Sermon Title: The Beginning - A Perfect Home Date: Sunday, June 9, 2013 Speaker: Bart Garrett  Scripture Reading Read Genesis 1:1-2:3; John 1:1-5, 17:1-5 Introduction 1) In what ways do we approach Genesis 1 as a “buzzer beater,” trying to get in all of our questions and steering the conversation in the direction we want to take it without recognizing the questions it asks of ...

6/16/2013 Sermon Discussion Questions

June 18, 2013
Discussion Questions from Last Sunday’s Sermon Please feel free to use any questions, which you or your group find most interesting and pertinent to your situations. Sermon Title: The Terrible Lie Date: Sunday, June 16, 2013 Speaker: Jonathan St. Clair Scripture Reading Read Genesis 2:25; 3:1-24, 4:1-2 1) Living with evil (Gen 3:1-6): In what ways does your vision of "God as generous Provider" become distorted to "God as grudging Prohibitor?” How do you struggle to trust God with money, sex, power, relationships, work, family, and ...

6/2/2013 Sermon Discussion Questions

June 11, 2013
Discussion Questions from Sunday, June 2, 2013’s Sermon Please feel free to use any questions, which you or your group find most interesting and pertinent to your situations. Sermon Title: The Story and The Song Date: Sunday, June 2, 2013 Speaker: Bart Garrett  Scripture Reading Read Psalm 19 and Hebrews 1:1-3   What is the Story of Nature? Nature is beautiful yet broken. 1) Talk about your own experiences with nature. Tell a story about a moving moment when nature seemed to undo you or pull you out of yourself. 2) How is nature like ...

How many doors does our church have?

May 28, 2013
“The life of the parish is the heart of the church.” I am hoping that this statement will become the mission emphasis of our next ministry year at Christ Church (September 1, 2013 - August 31, 2014). We will be talking about it as a Session of Elders the next time we meet. At Christ Church, you will hear us talk a lot about how vital the Parish is for your Monday to Saturday life, but if our church begins to fully realize this mission emphasis, then the Parish will also shape the way we think about Sundays. Most of our past experiences ...

Giving the Gift of Time to our Children

May 06, 2013
"And you're invited to my birthday party, too."  It was after class, in the middle of putting on her tiny colorful shoes, that this sweet child of three years had matter-of-factly invited me to her birthday (which wasn't for another five months).  This same happy child had once wrestled with tears and anxiety when it came time for her parents to drop her off at CCKids.  She would not utter a word during class, all the while clinging tightly to her stuff toy.  And now this same child was laughing and playing with the other children, not to ...

Vocare for Women

April 30, 2013
Posted on behalf of Celeste Stinson Many of us women are struggling with how to plan and prepare for building a career and a family. This round-table discussion is to help gather women that are currently in their professional fields and those that are preparing.   We are not expecting to come up with one answer, rather we want to listen to each others’ stories and find space to chart our own path.  If you have any questions regarding the event please contact Celeste Stinson at Please include Vocare for Women in the ...

Easter Song

April 01, 2013
This is demo recording (that means "not professional, done in my home project studio"), so lower your expectations slightly from what you are used to hearing on whatever your choice is these days (radio/CD/streaming/vinyl/etc :) We will be singing this congregationally in weeks to come during Easter Season.  It was a joy to worship the Risen Lord with everyone at Christ Church yesterday.  Christ is risen...He is risen indeed...Alleluia!  

Exsultet Easter Proclamation

March 30, 2013
Exsultet means "Rejoice!"  Elements of this Easter Vigil song are traced back to St. Ambrose (St. Augustine's pastor), it became quite widely used in the post-Constantinian era (when it became safe to gather for worship and singing), it was officially included in the liturgy of the Western church in the 9th century, and it is considered the high point of the whole year as far as liturgical music goes. You can listen to one of many versions here and reflect on some of the words here. Enjoy!     Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing, choirs of ...

Four Gospels, One Jesus

March 26, 2013
Holy Week reflection: Mark/Matthew's Jesus plumbs the depths of abandonment only to be vindicated; Luke's Jesus worries about others and gently dispenses forgiveness; John's Jesus reigns victoriously from the cross in control of all that happens. Each portrait of the crucifixion reaches out to us in our various points of need.

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