Christ Church, Presbyterian

Welcome to the CCP website!

Christ Church, Presbyterian, worships each Sunday at 4:00pm on the lower level of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Burlington, VT. All are welcome. Click here for Sunday’s worship preview.

Note: On Sunday, November 30, CCP will be worshiping in the sanctuary at St. Paul’s rather than the lower level.

If you have questions, we can be reached in the following ways…
Phone: (802) 862-1898
General Email: secretary@christchurchburlington.org
Rev. Michael Brown: pastor@christchurchburlington.org

Mailing Address:
Christ Church, Presbyterian
PO Box 574
Burlington, VT 05402-0574

Somewhere beyond belief, our hearts know…

We’re a warm family of Christians who welcome you to our community of faith, no matter what your background. Some of us grew up in a church; some of us had never explored our spiritual life; most of us are somewhere in between. Together we seek to discern who Christ is and what He offers and asks of us. We’re people in mission, trying to make a difference through our inclusive, healing life together and our variety of work within the wider community and the world. We welcome everyone to our work and worship, celebrating the diversity of human beings God has created.

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November 25, 2014

Mike Brown
by Mike Brown
0 comments

Ruling from a Park Bench

As Gandhi is claimed to have said, “The measure of a civilization is how it treats its weakest members.” In our faith traditions, we see that even as societies devalue human dignity, God calls us to lift up the dignity of all of our brothers and sisters. Because it is so easy for economic structures to devalue human life into production and consumption, we as people of faith hear a special call to care for those who are the most vulnerable.

In our context of Vermont, this includes a number of people. It means that children get special consideration, especially those at economic disadvantage. We believe that all children should be given a good education, healthcare (including preventative care), time with their family, and safety (including safety from want). We believe that single mothers warrant special consideration, as do our aged brothers and sisters. We believe that those who are physically or mentally disabled deserve special protections, and we believe that we are called to care for our veterans, especially those who have suffered injury.

Our faith reminds us that human beings are of inestimable worth, even when this or that particular economic system may say otherwise. Continue Reading →

Memorial Service – Ed Granai

A memorial service for Ed Granai will be held on Saturday, Nov 22 at 2 pm at St Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Burlington, with a reception following.

Date/Time
Date(s) - 11/22/2014
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Location
Cathedral Church of St. Paul

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November 16, 2014

Mike Brown
by Mike Brown
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For All the Souls

Micah 3: 5-12
Matthew 23: 1-12

Earlier we sang the familiar hymn for All Saints’, Ralph Vaughn Williams’ For All the Saints. In our hymnal we are offered the choice of singing or not singing two additional verses, the one about “thy soldiers faithful true and bold” who seem to fight nobly, if there is such a thing, and the one about the fierce strife and the long warfare, and the triumph song, and bravery and all that. In our planning of worship we chose not to include those verses; no surprise there. Continue Reading →

November 11, 2014

Mike Brown
by Mike Brown
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Will the Real Church Please Step Up?

Matthew 25: 1-13
Amos 5: 18-24

Stay alert! No, no, I’m not scolding anyone in advance for falling asleep just now—I’ve always had it that being able to sleep in public is a sign of comfort in the company one is keeping, so it’s a kind of good thing, really. Please try to avoid snoring too loud.

Stay alert! There is, of course, the thought that in the mid term elections just over, too many of us have not been very alert, and in some way that seems a lot like logical consequences we are continuing to get the governments we deserve. Perhaps the prophet Amos was saying it’s too late now; that the time for alertness is past and that all we can do is hunker down and absorb the consequences. Or perhaps he was pointing to a remaining hope, one that cuts across politics as usual, business as usual, religion as usual. Stay alert, and you might be able to glimpse where the divine winds are blowing, Continue Reading →

October 27, 2014

Mike Brown
by Mike Brown
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Standing on One Foot

Matthew 22: 34-46

You have heard me cite this story a few times over the years, and I’m sure it has a number of variants, so I probably repeat it differently each time. None of my variations may be completely accurate, but you’ll get the drift. It seems that the student of the great rabbi was in a puckish mood and decided to play a game with his mentor, since he sometimes got weary of the rabbi’s great wisdom, which made him often feel foolish and naïve. If he knows so much, thought the student, I will ask him something he can’t possibly do! So he went to the rabbi and said, “Rabbi, you can do so many marvelous things. I wonder if you can recite the entire Torah while standing on one foot.” Continue Reading →

October 19, 2014

Mike Brown
by Mike Brown
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Show Me the Money

Matthew 22: 15-22

[first read Gospel of Thomas 100 and the Egerton Gospel 3: 1-6]
Okay, so do that thing that Jesus asks of his questioners. If you have access to a coin, take it out of your pocket or purse and take a good look at it. Or imagine looking at a coin. Beth Harrison of the Educational Center suggests we do this and ask questions about what we see:
What’s the shape and material?
What images are imprinted on it?
What words, what symbols are there? Are there any you hadn’t noticed before? Continue Reading →

October 14, 2014

Mike Brown
by Mike Brown
0 comments

Mazel Tov

Philippians 4: 1-9
Matthew 22: 1-14

[Read Luke 14: 16-24 first, then the Matthew]

How many in this room have been to a wedding this year? How many have been to a wedding of a son or daughter? Yes, it’s that time in the lives of so many of us, isn’t it?

Most of you know of course that I did take part in the wedding of my daughter Amy in San Francisco, back in May. And I’ve probably told of the remarkable convergence of events: Amy’s and Joe’s efforts to open their restaurant and put on a wedding, all on the same day; about how it was getting down to the wire, with putting the last coat of finish on the tabletops two days before, putting my son Gabe’s sculpture up on the wall the day before, and getting everything in working order the day of the wedding.

So much going on about opening the place that there wasn’t a lot of leftover anxiety for the wedding itself—which actually was pretty nice, Continue Reading →

October 5, 2014

Mike Brown
by Mike Brown
0 comments

Back to the Vineyard

Isaiah 5: 1-7
Matthew 21: 33-46

[read Gospel of Thomas 65: 1-7 and 66 before Matthew]
What differences did you hear in the two versions?
Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys?
Who is right and who is wrong?
Does anything inform the “character of God”?
Who is Jesus speaking to? Who is Matthew speaking to?

Here we are again in the vineyard, that place of fractured serenity and symbol-laden strife. And if you’re weary of laboring in the vineyard as we make our way through Matthew, you might consider that the vineyard is one of the most frequently found images in the Bible—it is the setting of idealized peace and wholeness, brought to ruin so often by the vagaries of human sinfulness in the face of the perpetual divine hope that the vineyard of humankind will again flourish and become the habitation of a world made well and good. Continue Reading →

September 21, 2014

Mike Brown
by Mike Brown
0 comments

Laboring in the Vineyard

Exodus 16: 2-30
Matthew 20: 1-16

What you heard in John’s reading was an amazing story about the wanderings of the people of Israel in the wilderness and the miraculous giving of manna—Hebrew for “what is this stuff?” And you heard that it is the setting for the institution of the Sabbath. But it also is a potent reminder to the people of Israel—and anyone else with ears to hear—that human beings are only stewards of the land, and are not ultimately the agents of production. The story also serves to ask a powerful question that echoes down the millennia: how much is enough, anyway? Continue Reading →