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 the details of Sunday’s worship.

If you have questions, we can be reached in the following ways…

Phone: (802) 862-1898
Email: secretary@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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May 23, 2015

Carole Carlson
by Carole Carlson
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A Poem for Pentecost

Unless the eye catch fire,
The God will not be seen.
Unless the ear catch fire
The God will not be heard.
Unless the tongue catch fire
The God will not be named.
Unless the heart catch fire,
The God will not be loved.
Unless the mind catch fire,
The God will not be known.

William Blake (1757-1827) from Pentecost

Ezekiel 37: 1-14
Acts 2 (Selections)

By Rev. Carole Carlson

It was the strangest aircraft I had ever observed; it looked a bit like a gigantic model plane that had not been glued together properly. The odd contraption was flying very low, heading across the highway toward the airfield off to my right. I was traveling in my car after retrieving an old friend from the Tucson airport; Marjorie and I were vacationing in SE Arizona, and my California friend, Sue, had flown in to visit with us for a couple of days. And while we were busily talking, this “thing,” flew in front of us. Sue said, “What in the world?”  I said, “It doesn’t have windows.”  Then, simultaneously, we both said, “It’s a drone.” And we watched it continue its descent to one of the many landing areas at Fort Huachuca, an enormous US Army intelligence center in Sierra Vista.

Compared to aircraft carriers and high tech fighter jets, the cost of this piece of equipment is small change for the Pentagon and CIA Continue Reading →

April 19, 2015

Christ Church
by Christ Church
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Laughter and Creativity

By Nancy Kilgore

Did you ever say to yourself, ‘I’m too old.  I can’t do that.”?  Or “It’s too late . I can’t learn to play an instrument or a learn a new language.”  I have a young friend who wanted to go to film school, but was convinced she needed to have several films already produced before she could apply. And she hadn’t done that in college. So she was giving up, because, at the age of 21 she felt it was too late to start building a portfolio.

Isn’t it a sad commentary on our culture when we are permeated with a  mindset that pushes us into such narrow belief about our human potential? If you haven’t done it by age – (fill in the blank) you can’t do it.  I remember at the age of forty thinking about going back to school to get my doctorate.  “But I’m too old,” I thought.  “I can’t do that.” But then, through some intelligence beyond my cynical laughing self, I did do that.  Of course, now looking back, forty doesn’t seem old at all.  In fact, it seems quite young.

And here we have the preposterous story of Abraham and Sarah being told they would become father and mother of a child at ages 100 and 90.  Of course they laughed.  Who wouldn’t? Continue Reading →

April 5, 2015

Mike Brown
by Mike Brown
0 comments

Not Done By Noon

Readings:
Mark 16: 1-8
“Debriefing” by J. Barrie Shepherd
from Robin Meyers, Saving Jesus from the Church
Luke 24: 13-35
“Logos” by Mary Oliver

Frederick Buechner was right. When I look back and remember, it’s easy to produce fond memories of Christmas—there was so much pageantry and festivity: everything from being the prophet Isaiah in my green bathrobe for the Christmas play, to all those delights waiting under the tree, usually involving things that ran on batteries, or chocolate, or both. Of course, I now know that Christmas lays its own peculiar stresses on families, and mine was no exception. It’s a holiday ready-made for pretending everything’s wonderful, even when everything in many if not most families is decidedly not always wonderful.

Easter wasn’t like any of that. Even back then in ancient history there was very little in my world that lent itself to Easter (ooh. “Lent” itself, get it?). Apart from what happened in church, of course. Even with that, it was most certainly over by noon. Oh, you might have some kind of special family dinner, or you might make yourself sick gorging on all the chocolate bunnies you could lay your hands on, but that’s about it. I mean, did you ever get an Easter card? I do remember one year going to a sunrise service in an air-conditioned shopping mall, but I can’t remember a takeaway from that other than the disgruntlement of having to go to church again. But still, over by noon. Continue Reading →

March 29, 2015

Mike Brown
by Mike Brown
0 comments

The Two Parades

Mark 11: 1-11

On the outskirts of Jerusalem
the donkey waited.
Not especially brave, or filled with understanding,
he stood and waited.
How horses, turned out into the meadow,
leap with delight!
How doves, released from their cages,
clatter away, splashed with sunlight!
But the donkey, tied to a tree as usual, waited….

These few lines from Mary Oliver’s poem, “The Poet Thinks about the Donkey,” suggest that the animal knew at some level that something was going to happen, just not exactly what. Actually, my limited research has found that most poetry that has anything to do with Palm Sunday seems to feature the “donkey” more than anything else. Or the colt, as Mark has it, but poets seem to like donkeys better for some reason. We do get “donkey” from the gospels of both Matthew and John, and in fact Matthew has a donkey and a colt. Dominic Crossan believes this is actually the most heavily laden symbolic variation of all, since there could be nothing more scandalously un-royal or un-military, nothing more opposite from a great war horse than a donkey still nursing a foal, or a colt. No, it’s not about Jesus acrobatically riding two of them in tandem; but can’t you just picture him on a donkey, closely accompanied by the nursing baby donkey? You really couldn’t get less “militant” than that. Continue Reading →

March 22, 2015

Mike Brown
by Mike Brown
0 comments

Yes, There Is That Needle, Isn’t There?

Mark 10: 23-26
“A Gloss on the Gospels, Concerning the Rich,” by Henry George Fischer, 2006
From Joint Resolution on Wealth and Income Inequality, Vermont Legislature, 2015

It may be more than apparent that most of the super-rich, including the very wealthy who have finally become a concern of the Vermont legislature, may not be all that interested in getting into heaven, whatever that might mean. If they were, of course, they would probably employ legions of researchers who could help them find a way not to worry about the camel, but to simply find a larger and larger needle. That’s the gist of the “blurb” photo at the top of the program today, and it calls to mind the New Yorker cartoon, I believe it is, of exactly that: lawyers working on finding big needles. Interesting that eyes of needles and loopholes seem awfully similar. Ah well. Continue Reading →

Easter Feast

Like last year, our Easter evening celebration, will begin at 4:00pm with an Easter Feast incorporated into the service. Reminder: One important difference about this year’s Easter service is that it will be Mike’s last Sunday with us as our pastor!

Date/Time
Date(s) - 04/05/2015
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Location
CCP at Cathedral Church of St. Paul

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Easter “Sunrise” Service

Easter (April 5) begins with a “Sunrise” service at 7:00am in Battery Park, offered jointly with members of First United Methodist Church.

Date/Time
Date(s) - 04/05/2015
7:00 am - 8:00 am

Location
Battery Park

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Good Friday

Good Friday (April 3). Services begin at 6:00pm in our space at St. Paul’s. Mike Brown will lead us as we walk with Jesus through his final hours.

Date/Time
Date(s) - 04/03/2015
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Location
CCP at Cathedral Church of St. Paul

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Maundy Thursday

On Maundy Thursday (April 2) John Steele and Moira Mulligan have generously offered to host us in their home. The new venue should be particularly meaningful since, according to tradition, on the night off his arrest Jesus gathered with his disciples to share a meal in the upper room of a house. As in the past, the event will include a worship service, Agape Meal, foot washing ritual and time for fellowship. Mike Brown and Janet Patterson are heading up the planning, so please stay tuned for details on how you can help.
Mark your calendars, and make plans now to join your CCP community at John and Moira’s on April 2 at. at 6:00pm.
Call for directions – (802) 862-1898.

Date/Time
Date(s) - 04/02/2015
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Location
CCP at Cathedral Church of St. Paul

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March 8, 2015

Mike Brown
by Mike Brown
0 comments

Weeds of the Kingdom

Mark 4: 30-32
Pliny the Elder, from Natural History
Thich Nhat Hanh, “Waking Up”

Yesterday I traveled with Elinore, our new Clerk of Session, to Windham, New Hampshire to attend the better part of the meeting of the Presbytery of Northern New England. It was Elinore’s first such appearance, and possibly last, for all I know, since there was nothing controversial or contentious at all on the docket. And what’s the fun in that? During the little piece of the meeting where some kind folks said some nice things on the occasion of the approval of my retirement, I tried ever so stealthily to refer obliquely to years past when the floor of presbytery could be practically a battle royal, but no one really rose to the bait. Ah well. Continue Reading →