Public Services Canceled Until Further Notice

Step Taken by Bishop Stokes to Curb Spread of Corona Virus

At the direction of Bishop William ‘Chip’ Stokes, Christ Church Shrewsbury and its fellow Episcopalian churches in the Diocese of New Jersey will cancel all public religious services “until further notice.” The timing of the return of public services will depend on the scope of the novel corona virus, or Covid-19, pandemic.

Mother Lisa Mitchell sent out an email to parishioners in the afternoon of March 13 relating the decision and confirming that Christ Church will not hold services until further notice, starting with this Sunday, March 15, the Third Sunday of Lent.

In an earlier email to parishioners, she wrote that while she has been “advised to limit visits to the elderly and those with medical conditions (for their benefit!) but I DO want to know if you are sick or have a need. So please email or call me: christchurchshrewsbury@verizon.net or (732) 741-2220.

We will continue to keep you updated as we enter new territory of the coronavirus front.” Mother Lisa also pointed out that there is an online version of the Book of Common Prayer that parishioners can use as a personal prayer aid while public services are canceled.

The readings for the Third Sunday of Lent, including the Collect for the day, can be found on this Episcopalian website.

The Bishop’s Decision

Bishop Stokes released a letter on March 13 explaining the reasons for his decision, writing that after prayer and consultation, and effective immediately, “I am directing all churches in the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey to suspend public worship services and all other non-essential public gatherings until further notice.”

The decision, he said, will be reevaluated as Holy Week approaches in order to determine “whether it is safe and appropriate to re-open our buildings to our congregants and the wider public at that time.”

The Diocese has set up a special website–coronavirus.dioceseofnj.org—with practical resources on how to combat the virus and the schedules of online worship services. The site (still under construction but usable as of March 14) includes a helpful video discussion on the pandemic that Bishop Stokes had with epidemiologist Dr. Philip Lewis, a member of Trinity Cathedral in Trenton (though that video was shot before the Diocese made its decision to suspend services).

Keeping History Alive Jamie Green

JamieGreen

A New Way to Keep Christ Church Alive 

Christ Church is a vibrant congregation living our faith together in the present while planning and working hard to stay vibrant into the future. But we also cherish our heritage, as seen in the historic events we hold for parishioners and our neighbors in Shrewsbury, Monmouth County, and the entire state. We’re also careful to preserve the written history of the parish as seen, for example, by safeguarding our vestry minutes from the 18th century to the present day. We guard our historic objects, such as our 1717 Vinegar Bible, our 1738 charter from King George II, and the orb that once stood atop our steeple that was used as target practice by Revolutionary War soldiers.

Now we’ll be preserving our past in a different way by capturing the memories and insights of some of our parishioners in their own voices. In November, Monmouth University students—guided by Professor Melissa Ziobro—will begin conducting seven audio interviews with eight parishioners as part of a new oral history project. Oral history is a process in which researchers gather and preserve electronically the voices and memories of individuals who participated or observed first-hand events in the past.

For the first group of interview subjects, we wanted to gather the memories of long-time parishioners such as Bob Zeller, with his mellifluous voice, and Ann and Jim Miller, who were instrumental in so many church events such as the 300th anniversary of the parish.  We decided to include second-generation parishioners like Peggy James who not only has contributed so much to our parish herself but whose parents played key roles in the parish before her.  We wanted to include younger people like Robert Maber who grew up in the parish and would provide a different perspective on the church’s present and future.  Bob Kelly was an obvious choice due to his vestry leadership over the years and his status as Parish Historian.  We asked long-time choir member— and a member of the search committee for Mother Lisa–Barbara Carroll to share her memories.  Finally, we knew we had to include Mother Lisa herself to preserve her insights into Christ Church over her 22 years (and counting!) as our beloved rector.

Youth Group

YOUTH GROUP PRIME!!

Calling all Middle and High School Students!  And their parents!!!

A new program this September, focusing on Friendship, Fun, and Faith Formation.  Our youth will learn about the Scriptures, about the beliefs of the Christian Faith, and will begin preparation for Confirmation.

Our Kick-Off meeting will be Sunday, September 24th from 5pm to 7pm. We will lay out the program, share a meal together, and start getting to know one another. Beginning in October we will meet twice a month, the second and fourth Sundays. For this initial meeting, we invite our parents/guardians to join their teens in attending and having supper with us. Please RSVP by email (christchurchshrewsbury@verizon.net)or call the Church Office (732-741-2220) so we can plan accordingly.