Lenten Study Series
Our Annual Lenten Study Series begins this year on Wednesday, March 8th at 6:00 p.m. and continues on March 15th, 22nd, and 29th. The program begins with a simple soup supper. This year our new Rector, the Rev. Claire Dietrich Ranna, will lead us through an adapted version of the Ignation Spiritual Exercises, created by St. Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Jesuits in 1540. The exercises are an essential component of Ignatian Spirituality, which seeks "God in all things." The series will be both informative and experiential, offering tools and practices to support you in your journey through Lent. There's no need to RSVP and all are welcome.
Children and Youth Ministries
We recognize that children have an innate sense of spirituality as well as boundless curiosity about their world. Our Sunday School program incorporates questioning and exploring with the children, along with an introduction to traditions and stories that are the foundations of our church.
The Sunday School lessons come from Weaving God’s Promises, a curriculum for children developed especially for the Episcopal church. The goal of Weaving God’s Promises is to teach children the way of Christ, not only in the church but also in the world, and to give them a solid grounding for future youth formation programs that in turn will prepare them for Christian adulthood. Weaving God’s Promises helps build a foundation of faith with three essential elements:
Children ages 4 to 11 (prekindergarten through 5th grade) are welcomed into the Sunday School classroom, Room C2, beginning at 10:00 a.m. Each Sunday, the session follows the pattern of Gathering, Story, Prayer, Sharing, Activity, and Dismissal. The activity types vary and may include arts, crafts, drama, or games. At the end of the lesson, the children return to the sanctuary to join their families for Holy Communion.
Episcopal Youth Council (EYC) is designed for youth of middle school and high school ages. EYC focuses on charitable or community services, church-related activities, and social gatherings. At Christ Church, EYC meets Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m. for breakfast and conversation. After a check-in time, we either attend church for the sermon and communion or discuss the readings for the day and then join the congregation for communion.
On three Sundays each month we participate in social outings, church help, or community service activities. In the past, EYC members have provided child care at the parish annual meeting, served as waiters at special parish events, helped with the Ventana School Bike-a-Thon, managed costumes, set-up, and clean-up for the Christmas Pageant, and put on the talent show and Halloween haunted stage and fashion show. At Christmas, we have collected coats and blankets and delivered them to homeless persons in San Francisco and sponsored a gift tree under which Christ Church parishioners can place items requested by the residents of the Elm Hotel Shelter in San Francisco (managed by Episcopal Community Services). For fun, we’ve played miniature golf, ice skated, visited the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, and watched the Super Bowl together.
Christ Church offers confirmation classes for teenagers and adults. The next class for our youth will run from Fall, 2017 through Spring, 2018, in preparation for the Confirmation at Grace Cathedral in June that year. All are welcome!
The Forum is the adult Sunday School for Christ Episcopal Church that offers stimulating content along with an opportunity for members from our two congregations to meet together regularly. Every Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m., a group of parishioners gathers in the Fireside Room for coffee, informal conversation, and discussion of the Bible, religious history, or similar topic. The Forum begins with a half-hour video lecture by a world-class professor from The Teaching Company, followed by general discussion of the content of the lecture and its interpretation. Every Second Sunday of the month, either our Rector or another speaker leads the Forum. On April 9th, our conversation was led by the Rev. Claire Ranna for the first time and focused on Inter-Religious Dialogue and, particularly, understanding Islam. The handout from this conversation is available here. So many people participated and there was such enthusiasm that we are planning another forum soon related to these themes.
Opinions and perspectives vary widely within the group and are expressed openly and honestly; our discussions are lively but respectful. Everyone is invited.