A Note from Our Rector
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Philippians 4.8 (NRSV)
That word translated as whatever isn’t a dismissive utterance. It is an expansive, imperfection embracing, creative striving word. Elsewhere in the New Testament, the same word can be translated as all [Mark 6.56] and everything [Matthew 13.44] And here in this phrase from the letter to the Philippians, it is that kind of wholehearted honesty with God and each other that we are to be striving for as an imperfect community of disciples (the church).
It is my hope that you will find just that same spirit of ‘whatever’ in the life together here at Christ Church, Ridley Park. So, friends and strangers and wonder-ers, whatever brings you to this page and this community - in the love of Jesus, I welcome you. I hope that what you find through our online presence will encourage you to experience all of it in person.
If you ask around you might hear that CCRP is the pretty pumpkin church. We are not nor ever will we be, a giant hefty award-winning pumpkin, nor are we a precious snowball pumpkin. We are not a perfectly symmetrical and unblemished pumpkin, we are an arm full and slightly gnarly everyday gourd. We have some amazing variety in our yard of pumpkins, but also, if we are honest, a lot of similarities. We know that we are all on a lifelong journey, and we are both continuing some older ways of using our hearts and hands and voices in Jesus’ way of love, and we are discovering new people and ways as well. We live into this by focusing on five action words of the Baptismal promises: Continue, Return, Proclaim, Serve, and Strive. How do you begin? By putting your heart and hands into each of those actions through the activities of Christ Church.
When the pumpkins arrive some of us love to put them in elegant lines and designs, and others just want to keep them chaotic and fresh: and we do both together in love. That is to say we are an ordered and disciplined church, but we are also cooperative and never cruel. We are contemporary without trying to reinvent the pumpkin. We are anciently rooted but we also know that cultivating new varieties adds to the health of the whole ecosystem. We have bright bold orange confidence, without pretending we have all the pumpkins or that everybody likes pumpkins. (And we love them just the same.) CCRP worship is solidly broad church - candles and vestments and processions with pews in a classic sanctuary, but we practice these traditions with love and pragmatism before precision. We are blessed with a tremendous classical small choir and lovely organ, that raises our awe and wonder in worship.
Whatever I say here will never be enough to fully convey the love and witness and depth that Christ Church, Ridley Park offers the faithful, the doubters, and the curious who seek to follow Jesus with us, nor the fruitfulness we seek to be for the neighborhood. Come and see - you are welcome here - whatever kind of pumpkin you might be (or become).
The Rev. Jane Gober, Rector