Parish Life

Parish Life celebrates the relationships we have with each other. The most regular and visible sign of our life together may be the Coffee Hour. Each week individuals or families bring delectable goodies to share with the congregation, providing an atmosphere that encourages fellowship, good conversation, and keeps us connected (though during the pandemic we’ve suspended Coffee Hour for safety’s sake).

Other activities, such as the annual parish picnic and Knitting Pearls, provide avenues for other fellowship. In addition, many of our fundraisers such as our Christmas Bazaar bring us closer together. The same can be said for our Parish Work Days, in which we gather one day monthly to take care of our church and property and to spend time with one another.

Our parish’s great love and appreciation of our history has been a particularly meaningful way of developing our Parish Life as we create many opportunities to share our traditions with one another and with the greater community. Communications, such as the Crown, the website, and Weekly Email help to keep our parish family connected and “in the know”.

Coffee Hour

We Episcopalians love our Coffee Hour! Following the 10:00 am service each Sunday, it has become known by some as “the Eighth Sacrament.” Church members sign up to host each week. Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are provided by the Church; the hosts bring additional baked goods to be served. It is a wonderful time of fellowship and occasional forums. Coffee Hour is held in the Parish House most of the year; during the summer months iced tea and lemonade are served on the lawn in front of the Church.

During the 2020-2021 pandemic, we’ve retained the outdoor summer iced tea but suspended the indoor Coffee Hour.

Knitting Pearls

Knitting Pearls is a group of parishioners who meet in the home of Perky Cameron most Thursday evenings from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The group loves the fellowship, but everyone benefits from labor of their hands. Beautiful baby blankets, presented to our infants at baptism, prayer shawls given to those who are elderly or sick, the cutest dolls ever – given to an orphanage in Cameroon, or the hats, gloves, and scarves knitted for the Seaman’s Institute and the people of Afghanistan, are some of the projects Knitting Pearls has done.

Everyone is welcome and we have some great new patterns. We always have fun. What? You don’t know how to knit? We’ll teach you. It’s easy and fun. Contact Perky Cameron for more information.

Pastoral Care

In a community that almost seems like an extended family, caring for one another in times of difficulty and need is essential in the parish. Whether a couple is attending pre-marital sessions, a family is in need of counseling through difficult personal times, or whether one needs support and assistance surrounding the death of a loved one, the church seeks to respond in personal and meaningful ways. Although the Rector is often seen as the “first response” person, she is by no means the only one to care for the flock. Each week altar flowers are brought to those who cannot attend worship or are taken to a local nursing home or facility. Parishioners visit those who are sick, and some are licensed to take communion to them, as well. Upon the death of a church member, the ECW (Women’s Group) is ready to not only prepare and present a wonderful meal, but to be a spiritual and emotional support in that great time of need. Our Newcomers Committee is another kind of “first response team”, immediately reaching out to those who may be new to the church or community and offering a variety of ways of helping them find their way at Christ Church.

Christmas Bazaar

The annual Christmas Bazaar is normally held on a weekend Saturday in November or early December.

In 2021’s pandemic time, a more focused Bazaar will be held December 4 from 9:00 to 3:00 in the Parish House, featuring home-made baked goods and fabulous gift baskets on which you can bid.

Four Corners Lantern Tour

IMG_2731Christ Church has been hosting the Four Corners Lantern Tour for many years, though in 2020 and 2021 we’ve suspended the Tour, which is normally held on the 1st Friday in December at 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm. The Presbyterian Church, Quaker Meeting House, and Allen House are all included in the costumed guided tour. This is a fun and educational event.

Blessing of the Animals

Every year, on the Sunday closest to the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi (October 4th), we hold our Annual Blessing of the Animals for the community.

Traditionally held at 4:30 pm in the Churchyard just south of the Church building, all animals (and their friends and guardians) are invited to join us for an open-air worship service (during the pandemic years 2020-2021, animals and their humans remained in their cars for a drive-by blessing).

IMG_7443Participants are encouraged to bring a donation of pet supplies for the Monmouth County ASPCA. The year 2021 marked the 35th year of this tradition. Call the Church Office for additional information.

Second Saturday Parish Work Days

From 10:00 am until 4:00 pm on the second Saturday of each month, volunteers gather at the Church to work on small projects around the buildings and grounds. You are invited to spend the entire time with us, but you are also welcome to come for an hour or two. There is plenty to be done – both inside and out – and there are tasks for every age and ability. Many of our youth use this time for “Community Service Hours” required by their schools. Contact Walt Dein or the Church Office for more information.