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Good News Brief
Christ Episcopal Church
4548 Brooklyn Ave NE | Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 633-1611 |
All in-person operations are suspended at Christ Church until further notice during the outbreak of Covid-19 in order to keep the community healthy, including Sunday services.
This Week at Christ Church
Sunday, February 7 - Fifth Sunday After Epiphany
10am - Sunday Livestream (The Rev. Chris McPeak, presiding and preaching)

11:30am - Street Chaplaincy

Thursday, February 11
5:30pm - Revisioning American History: Thursday Book Group - details and how to sign up below!
Christ Church acknowledges that we gather on the land of the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish people, who are a people still living.

Christ Church discretionary money has gone and will continue to go to pay rent to the Duwamish, to acknowledge that our institution participated in the removal of ancestral owners of this land, and to begin to make material repair to those who have been harmed.

Christ Church encourages individual worshippers to likewise offer this form of confession and sacred amends at All funds go directly to Duwamish Tribal Services (DTS) to support the revival of Duwamish culture and the vitality of the Duwamish Tribe.
Letter from the Rector
Hello friends,

It was a good, long, full annual meeting!  I am grateful for each person who risked technical difficulties to come join us and for all the lovely faces and voices present.  Huge thanks to Wes Ono for being the person on logistics and legalities - we never would have made it through this without him.  There wasn't time to thank everyone who needed thanking, but I'd like to highlight a couple.  Kathy Chamberlain and Melissa Morrell do such an excellent job putting together and explaining our budget every year.  Our finances continue to amaze me: we expected a $136,000 deficit last year and only needed to fill a $46,000 deficit, which is very reasonable given assets we have.  We decided to do it again.  God seems to keep believing in us?  We build budgets based on hope and our people and we seem to keep getting money to live our dreams.  I also want to recognize Mary Herdell, senior warden, friend and ally this stressful year of COVID and adjustment.  Her calm temperament kept us right on track.  Danielle Hope (junior warden) was also a source of, as expected, hope, all year, continuing to re-orient our compass to the center of God's attention: the vulnerable, the harmed, those crying out.  Her friendship has meant so much to me.  Please see forthcoming communications about the People's Harm Reduction Alliance, our relationship with them, and what the future might hold. 

Monday was a day of rest and trying to let my brain catch up to what we did Sunday.  Tuesday and Wednesday have both been 12 hr+ days, trying to prepare for a week away.  Staff meeting was occupied with readjusting around Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday and making plans for those, plus 1 Lent and our bishop visitation on February 28.  Campus Ministry was an interesting panel with local justice leaders.  Wednesday was Zoom meetings, calls, building the Lent preaching and presiding schedule, sorting out some Vestry issues, blessing and sorting ashes to go out in the mail, making notes for our Disability History class on Thursday evenings, lots of odds and ends.  Today I leave for a week storm-watching at the coast, minimal phone and laptop use, and a lot of catch-up sleep. There are 21 books in my current beach pile.  

Just to notice: we will have some changes in the livestream starting now.  Due to the much more contagious variants of COVID (combined with the COVID exhaustion that is tempting us to let down our guard), I have reduced the number of people permitted in the sanctuary at any time down to two (the presider/preacher and the person running tech).  Both will be distanced and wearing kn95 masks for the whole service.  Henry will prerecord all music, including preludes and postludes.  Singers will wear singers masks.  We have staff with significant co-morbidities and volunteers with high exposure, and I am going to reduce their risk at Christ Church.  This is difficult, all around, but my first job as a leader is to make sure no one catches COVID as a result of a decision I made. 

Please see the notices about Fat Tuesday, Lenten Evening Prayer, and Ash Wednesday services! 

I will see you next preaching on Valentine's Day.  Be safe, be well, love each other. 

Annual Meeting Report
The annual meeting was held virtually on January 31, 2021 and opened with prayer. New vestry members were elected and are Pat Hyland, Jun  Xu and Joslin Harris-Gane. Pat Hyland will act as senior warden for the coming year.  Farewell and thanks for the commitment and service of Gene Leonardson and Ellen Perleberg. Our convention delegate will be Kathleen Ward and alternate Eric Vegors. Todd Voelker  facilitated a presentation by Shantel Davis, Executive Director of PHRA or Peoples  Harm Reduction Alliance, commonly known as Needle exchange.  Christ Church has developed a relationship with the group through Street Chaplaincy. PHRA has been operating out of United Methodist Temple in the past but the church is currently under demolition. The vestry has recently approved use of some storage space in Christ Church and PHRA is now operating out of a van on Brooklyn.  The organization is requesting continued storage and use of office space for expanding services, such as Mental Health and Social Services while continuing the needle exchange The vestry will further discuss the proposal and logistics of this project at the next vestry meeting meeting. The financial year 2020 as well as expectations for  2021 was discussed by Kathy Chamberlain and Melissa Morrell and the meeting closed in prayer.
2021 Budget Q & A
At the end of the annual meeting budget presentation, we promised we would answer any questions that you had in the Good News Brief. We received a question:
“While I understand importance of outreach, why was the decision made to increase that budget line by 25% rather than a lesser percentage to keep CEC from taking such a huge amount from the bequeathed fund? Wondering how we will realistically keep outreach funded at this level in future without continuing to rely on fund draw? Even if we increase congregants, it is unlikely they will bring in more than $100,000.”
Thank you for the excellent question! The church outreach budget includes a number of items, the largest of which is Street Chaplaincy – it is this part of the outreach budget that has increased by 25% to $18,750 (an increase of $3750) in 2021. Street Chaplaincy has become the primary outreach activity of Christ Church, and the need is greater than ever. By increasing the budget, the vestry agreed to fund Street Chaplaincy at a level that matches the need – the number of people served by Street Chaplaincy has increased from an average of 40 in 2019 to 60 in 2020. In 2020, we also received fewer donations of goods because no one is at the church to receive them and so it was determined that for 2020 cash donations made to Street Chaplaincy would be in addition to the operating budget. For 2021, any donations to Street Chaplaincy will be used to support the budgeted amount rather than in addition.
Ultimately whatever part of the budget is not met by current donations and other income needs to come from some source and we have relied on bequests for this. While some parts of the 2021 budget were decreased to lower the budget “hole”, Street Chaplaincy was an area the vestry felt needed to increase as part of our mission to support our community. Overall, the budget this year was reduced by $15,914 from 2020.
If you have questions, comments, or concerns about the budget or the church’s finances, we are happy to answer them! Send all inquires to and we’ll do our best to answer them. Let us know if you would like a copy of the annual report and we will mail it to you.
-Kathy Chamberlain (Treasurer) and Melissa Morrell (Assistant Treasurer)
Looking Toward Lent
Feast of Fat Things
It is one of the great joys at Christ Church to celebrate Shrove Tuesday with a Feast of Fat Things. While we can’t be together physically this year, we are still going to celebrate! Bring your favorite indulgent food with you (maybe the thing you eat in secret when no one is watching) to Zoom on February 16th at 6pm. We’ll have a time to socialize, show off our favorite dishes, and have a Mini Dance Party! There will be three dance songs up for grabs that we will choose by raffle drawing at the Feast of Fat Things. Children each get 1 free entry. And, each time you sign up for one of the daily Lenten Evening Prayer spots, you will get 1 entry. So, sign up! You can earn additional entries each time you: 1) Write a thank you card or note of kindness to someone in the congregation—take a picture and email or text it to Revs. Shelly or Christ; 2) Call or email someone in the congregation to check in on them that you haven’t talked to in at least a month—let us know in an email (this one is the honor system); or 3) Make a financial donation to the U District Food Bank in any amount and email or text a picture. And then, come prepared with your song—otherwise Rev. Shelly gets total control of the music (and you know she really only listens to rap, which she is unrepentant about believing to be God's music).  If you've ever wanted to see your clergy rocking out to CCR or attempting a plie to Swan Lake, this is your chance!  Zoom details to come. If you have any questions contact Rev. Shelly
at or Rev. Chris at

Lenten Daily Prayer
Like we did during Advent, we are going to be offering a daily Evening Prayer on Facebook Live at 6pm on the weekdays during Lent, starting on Thursday, February 18th. We will be using Psalms and Scripture that do not appear in the Revised Common Lectionary and so do not get read on Sundays ever. It will be a time to hear the full gamut of human emotions as scripture writers try to relate to their God. And, on Wednesdays we will have an added practice portion that will help us to ground ourselves as we sift through the stress and grief of the past year as a path to healing. Please join us from your desks, your living rooms, your cars, your sofas, anywhere, in jammies, in suits, in sweats!

And please join in leadingWe will provide you with the liturgy and readings. You don't have to generate any content or reflection on your own. You just have to be willing to read and lead for about fifteen minutes at the assigned time. And don’t worry, you’ll be sent all the instructions about how to use Facebook Live! If you would like to do this, please sign up here

As an added incentive each time you sign up to lead your name will be entered in the Feast of Fat Things raffle where you might win the chance to pick a song for our Mini Dance Party!  So sign up soon!  

Ash Wednesday Services
On Ash Wednesday, we will have several ways to celebrate.  

From 12pm-1pm, Revs. Shelly and Chris will be outside, on the church steps, with a table with individual packets of ash, ready to bless you from six feet apart.  

At 4:30pm, we will livestream an Ash Wednesday service from the church, including Communion.  We will then take both Communion (in individually sealed packets) and ashes (in individual packets) outdoors after the service and you may come and receive ashes (self-imposed) and Communion.  We wanted to give Communion as a way of offering sustenance on this long journey of Lent, as we near the tail end of this pandemic, and the long loneliness we've been in together.  Please sign up here!

Finally, if you would like to have ashes mailed to your house in order to self-impose ashes on Ash Wednesday, either alone or with your family, on the livestream, or simply during the day, please contact Cara at by February 10th with your name, mailing address, and number of individual ash packets you need.  
Forward Day by Day - February-April

New Forward Day by Day booklets are available to be mailed to anyone in the parish who wishes to receive one.
Please email with your request.

Forward Day by Day is a booklet of daily inspirational meditations reflecting on a specific Bible passage, chosen from the daily lectionary readings as listed in the Revised Common Lectionary or the Daily Office from the Episcopal Church's Book of Common Prayer.  As an alternative to the paper booklet (or while you wait to receive yours), each day’s reading is available online.
Street Chaplaincy needs you!  The Street Chaplaincy wagon has been faithfully making the rounds through the U District on Sunday afternoons, even through the days of COVID lockdowns.  We've simplified the process down to handing out a pre-packed bag, plus a choice of underwear size and candy preference, to minimize the amount of close contact needed, and volunteers are supplied with masks, gloves and hand sanitizer to keep themselves safe.  So far, the process has been going smoothly.
We've kept it going with 4 volunteers, alternating weeks in two groups of 2, but we could use some reinforcements, particularly after some recent schedule changes squeezing Sunday hours for 2 of our volunteers.
There are a few ways to help: 1) we could use folks to walk with the wagon on Sundays, or, 2) to pre-pack the bags sometime during the week.  We're happy to train first-time volunteers as well. If you would feel comfortable participating in this vital ministry, please contact Wes Ono ( to be added to the mailing list. 

Little Free Pantry - Help Us Provide for our Neighbors

Even though Christ Church remains closed, our Little Free Pantry outside the church offers a way for the parish to continue our outreach to the neighborhood. Christ Church has been stocking it daily and people in the neighborhood also add to the pantry fairly regularly.  The pantry gets emptied on most days so we know it is reaching people who need these items.  The Little Free Pantry is a project of the UW Campus Ministry based here at Christ Church.  

If you are in the area, you can drive by after a grocery trip and add something to the pantry. Food donations must be non-perishable and can be items that can be eaten as is or that can be taken home to prepare. Hygiene and paper items can also be shared through the pantry.

Donations to help us purchase items to add to the pantry are also welcome.  Click here for ways to donate. Be sure to indicate that your donation is for the Little Free Pantry.

Joys of the Week
Joys of the Week is meant as a medium to keep connected with each other during the Covid-19 outbreak, when we cannot share fellowship with each other in person. No joy is too small! If you have a joy you would like to share, please email a photo or a story to Cara at
Hi everyone,

Welcome to a (delightfully cat-heavy!) Joys of the Week! I don't have much substantive to say, other than to take a look through the Lenten programming, but I did want to show you this photo Dom took of Mr. Bubbles and one of the other cats who likes to visit. (It wears a collar, don't worry!) I first saw this cat a few weeks ago when it was investigating those bushes looking for rabbits. I think they get along? There's been no big hissing incident, anyway.

Don't forget to sign up to do Evening Prayer during Lent! 

In love and service,
Top: Kiki and Edgar, being observed napping together for the first time
Bottom: Edgar, almost ready to jump up to the fireplace mantle. He's my third cat in this apartment and the only who's felt the need to do this!
(Pat Hyland)
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Christ Episcopal Church
4548 Brooklyn Ave. NE
Seattle, Wa 98105

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