A Christian community, compelled by the love of God, it is our mission to worship, grow, serve, and give. Our members are young and old, rich and poor, gay and straight, black and white, Democrat and Republican (and independent). Many of us go out of our way to attend Christ Church. We come from more than 25 cities and towns across North Jersey. We come from a range of religious backgrounds; more than 2/3rds became Episcopalians as adults and many were raised as Roman Catholics.
All who wish to can participate in our community in any way you find of interest. You are welcome to come to one, some or all church events. If you are interested in learning about our services, beliefs and what we do, you are invited to come to any event that is of interest. If you have an interest in one of our groups but choose not to attend worship services you are welcome to attend. We have members of groups that are not parishioners.
We believe our activities and the opportunity to share our interests and practices with you can be enriching and beneficial to our members and to you.
Your marital status is considered a personal matter and is not a barrier to your relationship with our community or God. Responsible social and moral behavior is the basis for acceptable human relationships. All varieties of relationships are accepted.
Sexual preference or orientation is not an issue at Christ Church. We have a place in our church community for participation by believers in all aspects and at all levels of the church's worship and organization.
Questions and uncertainty are an important part of life and understanding. Participation in our community includes exploring and dealing with those aspects of human experience. Sharing our views and concerns can be helpful to each of us as we gain insight to our individual and common aspects of our spiritual search, development and journey. Your questions are as important as the answers that may be found. You do not have to leave your brain at the door before entering Christ Church.
Women are full participants at all levels in our church and community. This includes laity, deacons, priests, and bishops. Our parish leadership is divided about equally between women and men.
They are recognizably similar to those of other Christian denominations.
The Eucharist is the primary weekly worship service.Mass/Eucharist–Celebrated at several times on Sunday and on Wednesdays as well as other occasions. This is the sharing of a sacred meal of bread and wine in remembrance that Christ died for us. The order of service can be found in the Book of Common Prayer ( Red Book) or in service leaflets distributed to everyone.
The Eucharist/Mass includes recognizable elements for those who have belonged to other Christian denominations. It starts with a reading from the Old Testament [The Jewish Bible] and a psalm from the same source; then a reading from the New Testament [the Christian Bible] and then a reading from the Gospel, or quotes attributed to Jesus. We say The Lord's Prayer, we greet one another with a wish for Peace, we ask God for forgiveness for our sins, we eat the bread and wine and then we thank God for all his blessings.
Much of our Mass will be familiar to those who have attended Catholic services. If you are or were a Roman Catholic you will find similarities with many Episcopal beliefs and practices have common roots with the Roman Catholic Church. A major difference with Roman Catholicism is that the Episcopal Church is more democratic, governed by its Bishops and church members participating in Diocesan Conventions. They establish general guidelines among divergent opinions while maintaining common core beliefs. Episcopalians allow variances and understand human doubts without limiting us to one central authority to define and restrict permitted opinions. See Book of Common Prayer.
|7:30 AM||Morning Prayer and Angelus|
|8:00 AM||Holy Eucharist Worship Program (pdf)|
|9:00 AM||Adult Forum in the Guild's Room|
|9:15 AM||JOY! Service: 25 min. Eucharist for younger children|
|10:00 AM||Holy Eucharist with music Worship Program (pdf)|
|11:15 AM||Fellowship Hour|
Nursery Care: 9:30am-11:30am
Holy Eucharist (Mass)
In addition to Baptism and the Eucharist (Holy Communion), the church recognizes other spiritual markers in our journey of faith. These include:
The Book of Common Prayer (red book) and a white service leaflet are normally the sources for Sunday services.
Rite Two containing the main prayers starting at page 355 of the Book of Common Prayer is usually followed. Particular, changing readings found on a separate white sheet handed out by ushers are inserted into the sequence of main prayers for that day's services and contain– the Collect, First Reading, Psalm, Second Reading and the Gospel.
If you loose your place you can often pickup your place in the Book of Common Prayer by going to the Nicene Creed at page 358, the Confession at page 359, the Eucharistic Thanksgiving at page 361 and the concluding Post Communion Prayer at page 365. Hymnal – Blue Book in the back of the Pew.
Family Promise - Christ Church participates in Family Promise of Bergen County's program to shelter homeless working families in a series of houses of worship, and help them become self-sufficient. We host up to four such families at our church for a week twice a year.
Our families, including young and old members, join in to make and serve dinner, provide breakfast and lunch and spend time with the visiting parents and kids evenings. Each night two parish volunteers spend the night at the church. In all, dozens of parishioners and friends pitch in to make our guests welcome and comfortable. We usually have more than enough volunteers, and we've received valuable help from others, including members of Catholic and Lutheran congregations and a group of Turkish Muslims.
One Saturday afternoon month we also staff the Family Promise Family Center in Ridgewood. This "ministry of presence" makes it possible for homeless families to have a space to spend the afternoon if and when they need it.
Food Pantry - St. Paul's Food Pantry located in Paterson is supported with items placed in our food collection barrels to fill its shelves staples, including pastas, rice, and cereals. Monetary donations are also accepted. Once a month, on SHARE Sunday, we stuff bills into canisters for the pantry.
At Thanksgiving, we provide the makings for many St. Paul's family's dinners.
Back Pack Drive - St Peter's Backpack Drive July- backpacks and school supplies for needy children.
Animal Shelter - The RBARI, is a non-profit, no-kill shelter located in Oakland. RBARI is dedicated to the welfare of companion animals in our community. They protect the abandoned, abused, and unwanted animals in their care by finding kind and loving homes for them. Cats and dogs are given food, shelter, medical treatment, and love, as well as behavioral therapy, and rehabilitation. RBARI survives on donations, so anything that is given to this organization is greatly appreciated. Christ Church is committed to helping RBARI ensure humane treatment, proper care, and shelter for these abandoned, abused, and unwanted animals.
Sunday - infant to age 4-5 (although some older children do attend) JOY! Mass 9:15 AM Eucharist for children designed for families with young children. The service incorporates music, movement, and Bible stories with a children's sermon. The children learn how to pray, share, and receive Communion.
Summer Sunday School - 4 years old to 5th grade. Separate lessons during 10 AM service.
Musical theater Vacation Bible School
See also Young Adult.
Bible - It is our foundation, understood through tradition and reason, containing all things necessary for salvation. Our worship is filled with Scripture from beginning to end. http://www.episcopalchurch.org/page/bible
The Book of Common Prayer (Red Book in the back of the Pew) - is the main source of prayers used during services. It is a treasure chest full of devotional and teaching resources for individuals and congregations, but it is also the primary symbol of our unity. We, who are many and diverse, come together in Christ through our worship, our common prayer.
Hymnal – Blue Book in the back of the Pew.
Schoola Cantorum Choir is open to boys and girls, 5th grade through high school. The choir performs on Youth Sundays and at special services. Schola Cantorum also encourages inclusion of instruments, such as hand chimes.
Christ Church Youth Choir is open to children from kindergarten through 4th grade.
The new Youth African Drum Ensemble meets once a month.
Two Christmas Eve services, one in the late afternoon with a children's Christmas pageant, and a late evening candlelight service of lessons and carols, followed by a midnight Eucharist.
Ash Wednesday: Several services with the imposition of ashes.
Maundy Thursday: An evening Seder and Eucharist in the Great Hall, followed by the stripping and washing of the altar in the church Maundy Thursday Vigil from the end of Thursday evening's service until the first Good Friday liturgy at 7 a.m.
Easter: An Easter Vigil has been revived in the past few years. The day is with filled with joy and celebration, including an Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt for children.
Our church's stately stone exterior evokes rural England. The interior dark oak rafters, off white walls, and exquisite stained glass feels warm in winter and cool in summer. A series of memorial stained glass windows depicting the life of Jesus line the walls of the nave; one in the vestibule shows a New Jersey evening landscape, with the sun setting and the Big Dipper rising. A dove made of Venetian crystal hangs in an intimate side chapel. The burial garth is located in a small open courtyard directly behind the altar.
Christ Church has a magnificent 3 manual, 23 rank Austin pipe organ which has an antiphonal division over the south door, including a brilliant French style Trompetteen chamade.
The Great Hall is the setting for many church and community events, from receptions to musicals to a Sunday afternoon Hindu service. The air conditioned space has a curtained, lit stage and can seat 350 as an auditorium or 200 as a dining room. The hallway on the floor below the hall has rooms for Sunday school classes, a Sunday morning nursery, meetings and storage.
The Guilds Room is a bright, comfortable carpeted meeting place for adult education, coffee hour, vestry meetings and other sessions.
The Education Wing on the east side of the church complex is rented by a Montessori pre-school and is used for Sunday School and Young Adult activities.
The Cottage, once the rectory, is a white frame three-story house built over a century ago. Its first floor apartment houses the Sexton and has meeting rooms. A tenant occupies the upstairs apartment.
The Labyrinth spirals out in paving stones outside our main side doors. It's been used, formally and informally, for contemplation and mediation.