Christ Episcopal Church
Serving the Jersey Shore since 1865
June 4, 2021
Good afternoon all!
The day we have been waiting for has arrived - we are finally able to come together and celebrate the Lord's Day in-person!
This June 6th, will be the first time in a long time that you all have had the opportunity to come together for Eucharist and my first opportunity to meet so many of you and to share the bounty of the Lord's table with you. It is a day I have been looking forward to since I first received the call from Bishop Stokes at the end of December giving me the news of your desire to call me as your next Rector.
Like so many of you, I have been longing for the sacrament of the Eucharist. Next to personal interaction with family and friends and my fellow church-goers, this has been the one thing I have missed the most. I am so excited to be able to receive and share the sacrament with so many new friends.
As your Rector, it is also my responsibility to make sure that we come together safely. The Diocese has followed the mandate throughout the pandemic of: "This is how love one another." And as a Diocese we will continue to follow that charge. With so many protocols having been lifted this past week, there are still some things that we must keep in mind in order to love one another by keeping each other safe.
- If you have been vaccinated, you are no longer required to wear a mask while on the church campus or in worship. However, if you have not received the vaccine or completed the vaccine protocols, you will need to wear a mask while on the property or at church activities. This is in no way meant to be judgment on anyone's personal feelings or hesitancy about vaccinations. We honor the choices that people have made for whatever reason. We ask that those who are unvaccinated continue to follow masking guidelines in order to keep all unvaccinated and immunocompromised people safe.
- The same applies to social distancing guidelines. If you and your household are vaccinated, you no longer need to social distance. If you are not vaccinated, we ask that you please remain socially distant from other households who may have unvaccinated people within them. Once again, our reasoning behind this measure is the same - to keep all unvaccinated people and immunocompromised people safe.
- Masking and social distancing guidelines remain in place for all children under the age of 16. This is still recommended by the CDC, the State of New Jersey and required by the Diocese because the majority of children have yet to be vaccinated or in the case of older children have not completed the full protocol of the vaccine. The Diocesan policy states that children need to remain 6 feet from other non-vaccinated adults but only 3 feet from children. It is my prayer that with the increasing availability and approvals for children's vaccines that this guideline will be lifted in the near future as well.
- Other than worship leaders in the altar party - no one will be asked to provide information as to whether or not they have been vaccinated. We are operating on the honor system and trust that we all have one another's best intentions at heart.
- We ask that those attending worship refrain from physical contact such as hugging, handshaking, etc...for the time being. Gathering together without social distancing and masks is new for us as a state and it will still be a few weeks before we see what impact, if any, the lifting of mandates will have on Covid-19 cases in our area. Believe me, I am a hugger and have missed be able to hug people! But I am also considered in the high risk category for Covid-19 and have a mother who is undergoing chemotherapy at the moment. Even though I am fully vaccinated and have had Covid-19, I have been sacrificing my desire to hug and be hugged in order to keep myself and my mom safe. So please keep in mind that other may be in my position and wish to refrain from physical contact.
- Here are some things that we are now able to do!
- We can gather and really see one another again for worship!
- We can sing as a congregation once again!
- We can come to the altar rail to receive communion and share in the Body of Christ!
- We can start planning and participating in other activities that have been put on hold for so long and try out some new ones that we have thought of during our time away!
- We can once more take our ministry out into the community and share the Good News of God in Christ!!
Any one is welcome to wear a mask or ask for seating in a socially distanced way if that is their desire and comfort level. We want everyone to feel comfortable and welcome at all of our services and activities and to be respected for their decisions.
This weekend marks an exciting new chapter in the lift of Christ Church!! While it may not be exactly the way it was more than 15 months ago, it is close and getting closer. I am asking for your patience and for your respecting of other peoples' choices in regards to their comfort level with masking and social distancing. This is a new experience for all of us as we re-learn how to do church in this new world. We are almost there - we need to hold on for just a little while longer!!
God bless each of you. Stay safe. And I look forward to meeting all of you whether it is in church, on Zoom or on the phone!
The Reverend Lisa A. Hoffman, Rector
Christ Episcopal Church
To view the current Weekly Schedule of both virtual and in-person Services please click HERE.
Recordings of Sunday LIVE Tele-Services are posted as available to be accessed at your convenience HERE.
The Food Pantry remains OPEN each Tuesday from 9:30am-12:00pm and is well stocked and available to any person or family in need of food.
The Church Office remains Closed to the public at this time. If you are in need of an appointment with a Clergy or Staff member, please contact the Church Office via phone 732-349-5506 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule.
We will keep you informed as modifications continue.
Please also keep us posted on how you are doing. Voicemails left on the office phone 732-349-5506 and emails to ChristChurch@ChristChurchTomsRiver.org are being received daily.
How We Experience Christ
From our Rectors and Deacons who live, teach, and love the Word of God. We are so blessed to have wonderful clergy sharing their knowledge of how we can live better in Christ
We have a variety of ministries to help and enrich the lives of those in our community and throughout the world. Loving our neighbors is our call and our ministries are how we show our light to the world.
"For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them."
Welcoming and Celebrating all
Spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ
Teaching, baptizing and nurturing new believers
Responding to human need by loving service
Seeking to transform unjust structures of society
Striving to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth
Looking for More?
- God is infinitely more interested in the promise of our future than the mistakes of our past.
- The Church embraces and encourages those who are suffering or looking for answers to life.
- The Church is broad enough to encompass those firmly holding traditional beliefs as well as those questioning the essence of belief.
- Worshiping together is what it means to be a church: we gather to engage in ritual that invites the mystery of belief into our hearts and to be reminded of the stories of those who have gone before.
- It is at the end of our worship service that our service begins.
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Use this form to send a message to our office with a general inquiry, or to request an appointment with the Rector