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 a preview of Sunday’s worship.

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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February 21, 2015

Mike Brown
by Mike Brown
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Risking Touch

February 15, 2015

Mark 1: 40-45

Other Reading

What is it that, for love nor money, you wouldn’t touch? Couldn’t bring yourself to come into physical contact with? I won’t ask you to share this, but you know. We all have something like that, I’m sure, whatever it is, and although we might have a different “it,” or several “its” more likely, we share the human response of revulsion to some things. Icky, disgusting, gross, nasty, hideous, repulsive, and so on.

And we come up with ways to keep at arms’ length those things we don’t want to touch. If we lived in first-century Palestine, one of those things might be an illness and a disease known in English translation as leprosy. Actually—and you may very well Continue Reading →

February 7, 2015

Mike Brown
by Mike Brown
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Casting Out

Deuteronomy 18: 15-22
Other readings
Mark 1: 21-28

There’s a lot of difference between listening and hearing. (GK Chesterton)
You’re short on ears and long on mouth. (John Wayne)

But this prophet will come from among “your own people.” This prophet will not be a stranger with a new perspective or one with expertise that does not already reside within the community. “Your own people” suggests a more difficult prophet to hear—one who is familiar, who is known, who sees us in our daily lives and who is perhaps easy to ignore because we see her or him every day, too. Or at least we think we do. Continue Reading →

February 7, 2015

Christ Church
by Christ Church
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Hearing Voices

John 1: 43-51
Other Reading
I Samuel 3: 1-10

It’s just a dog. That’s true, no less true than that I am just a man, and you are just who you are. Yet as Amity and I have just last night witnessed our good boy Max’s time of leaving our companionship in this life, there’s more to it than that, as anyone knows who has ever had a dog. Think unconditional love and unbounded optimism. Think undiminished gratitude and unflagging loyalty. Think uncomplicated needs and unqualified contentment. What’s that clever aphorism? Continue Reading →

CCP Annual Meeting

Among topics for discussion: Ending the Pastoral relationship and the search for a new Pastor.

A light supper will be provided.

Date/Time
Date(s) - 01/18/2015
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Location
CCP at Cathedral Church of St. Paul

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December 29, 2014

Mike Brown
by Mike Brown
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On the Cusp

December 28, 2014                                     Isaiah 62: 1-3
Other reading(s)
Luke 2: 22-40

Professor Thomas Long tells a poignant story about a man named Morris Weiser, a Jew who had lost seven brothers and four sisters during World War II, and was one of only 200 to survive the Janowska concentration camp in Poland. He had come to New York right after the war and almost immediately began worshipping at an old synagogue on the Lower East Side named Chasam Sopher. In the late 1980s Weiser, then in his 70s, was interviewed by the New York Times as he jabbed his cane into the ceiling of the synagogue to bring down a shower of plaster, Continue Reading →

December 22, 2014

Mike Brown
by Mike Brown
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The Song of Mary, Sung Again

We have just sung what I think is a beautiful Advent carol, and I trust you found the efforts of our own little Hallelujah Chorus helpful in your singing. If so, let them know, right now….

But there are many settings to Mary’s song, the Magnificat. In 1968, Fred Kaan wrote such a setting, suggesting that it be sung to the tune of “Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates,” and here it is, including my editing of the gender-specific language of the late sixties: Continue Reading →

December 17, 2014

Mike Brown
by Mike Brown
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Keeping the Candle Lit

I was driving back from taking Amity to work one morning this week when one of those pickup trucks on steroids cut in front of me. Along with doing what I needed to do to avoid hitting the guy, and muttering something in French, I was compelled to notice a bumper sticker, which wasn’t on the bumper but on the rear window. It was the silhouette of a rifle—not just any rifle, but actually a military sniper weapon, complete with mounted scope—and under it the caption read: “Give me liberty…or I’ll get up and get it myself.” I guess somewhere in there is supposed to be something funny. But I’m not laughing, and I wondered if the driver of that truck—also ornamented with Iraq and Afghanistan veteran advertisements—really could have articulated the message that was being sent. Not even a defensive weapon, but a sniper weapon. Meaning, I guess: liberty, as presumably defined and celebrated by this erstwhile warrior, would be license to “take out” human beings with impunity. Larger meaning: doing away with anybody that the current wave of American exceptionalism decides is expendable. Continue Reading →

December 10, 2014

Christ Church
by Christ Church
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Worship Preview – Sunday, December 14, 2014

GREETINGS FROM WORSHIP PLANNERS

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2014

Third Sunday in Advent

“Hope rides on the decision either to believe that God stands on this dark road waiting to walk with us toward new light again or to despair of the fact that God, who is faithful, is eternally faithful and will sustain us in our darkness one more time.”  -Sister Joan Chittister

God sends the prophet Isaiah (61:1-4, 8-11) to bring hope to a post-exilic people who face re-building their lives in Zion after the devastation there. They are told they will become “mighty oaks.” There is gorgeous language here about a Lord who “loves justice,” “hates wrongdoing,” and so on. Most reassuring. But behind the scenes we have a people who are divided among insiders and outsiders. The insiders, the exceptional ones, urge purification and scorn those left behind who had assimilated among the occupiers.

The echo of Isaiah in John 1:6-8, 19-28 reflects more conflict within a community and with the powers that be.  John the Baptizer has been sent by God to point the way to Jesus. The Pharisees are suspicious (“Who are you, again?”) of this person who is baptizing without official sanction. Trouble ahead: a messenger who goes around saying everyone should be included in God’s grace will not fare well.

Mike Brown is preaching.

Christmas Eve Service

You won’t want to miss our first Christmas Eve in our new home. Plans are in the works to make this a very special evening. We will gather in the Parish Hall at 6:15 pm for a candlelight service of lessons and carols, featuring special offerings from our own Hallelujah Chorus and other musical friends. As a special treat, our old (young!) friend Sammy Angstman will be our guest pianist. At 7:00 we’ll switch gears and enjoy a time of fellowship and refreshment. A potluck Christmas supper, ​(provided by all of us) and orchestrated by the incomparable Audrey Arnold and her team, will consist of “heavy” hors d’oeuvres, finger foods, punch and holiday sweet treats. The festivities will end by 8:00 to give our St. Paul’s friends time to prepare for their 9:30 service.

Date/Time
Date(s) - 12/24/2014
6:15 pm - 8:00 pm

Location
CCP at Cathedral Church of St. Paul

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December 9, 2014

Mike Brown
by Mike Brown
0 comments

Something’s Melting?

Isaiah 40: 1-11
Mark 1: 1-8
W.B.Yeats, “The Second Coming”
Chapter 11, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Last Sunday our Call to Worship began with the surprising strains of the song from West Side Story, “Something’s Coming.” And of course, that is one of the themes of the season of Advent. To be sure, that song tells us that what’s coming is gonna be good, gotta be good. But you never know—someone asked me a few days ago if, with my retirement approaching, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. And I said, “Well, yes. But of course it might be an oncoming train.”

That’s a little of the sense of the William Butler Yeats poem, “The Second Coming.” Probably borrowing the image from the Book of Revelation—whose echoes of the appalling horrors of the first century in Palestine ended with the coming reign of the risen and returned Christ—Yeats imagined something very different. Continue Reading →