7/1/2020
Dear Church Family,
I am not sure about you, but I’m ready for a break. My patience seems waning for things to return to a somewhat more predictable normal. As we entered Phase Two, there was a glimmer of hope that COVID was going to be less in the forefront of our lives, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I find myself anxious for loved ones as virus positives increase. In such times as this it is critical that we don’t move forward without being centered in the Holy Spirit. That doesn’t mean we disengage from the troubles of this world, but it does mean that we seek the Father in prayer as we consider these troubles. We need eternal perspective in the midst of temporal concerns. The very Jesus who promised to give life and give it abundantly (John 10:10), still offers us this gift, even in the midst of Pandemic and Political unrest! The challenge is to be so centered in His Holy Spirit so that we love Him and one another even more fully.
As we explore new ways of living out our faith in trying times, it is critical that we seek also the places where Jesus has been found in the past. We seek the Lord in His Word, prayer, worship, kindness to our neighbor and in socially distanced fellowship. Brothers and Sisters, let’s not give in to the cynicism and hopelessness of the age!
At Christ Church we will continue to offer in person worship, live stream services and drive up communion. We are hoping to have our first summer Feast Day of Peter, Paul, poetry and pasties in the Park (Clark) on July 6th at 6:30 pm. I look forward to growing in the LORD with you in this season.
By His Grace,
Fr. Brian
 
6/12/2020
Dear Family,
We have entered into a church season that is often referred to as “Ordinary Time”. It is the season that follows Holy Trinity Sunday and extends all the way until we begin the season of Advent- the end of November (whoa that seems far away!). I prefer to call this time, the Season after Pentecost because: 1) It reminds me of the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and communities and 2) It represents more factually the color of the season which is green and symbolizes growth. We have cycled through the season of Jesus’ birth until He sent the Holy Spirit and it is in the following season we continue to apply what we’ve learned.
Along those lines I’d like to remind you that we will continue to have In-person worship and Live Stream at 10 am and Drive up Communion at 11:30. I have also included a reflection by Fr. Ron Rohlheiser that beautifully challenges us to integration of faith into our lives.
Love in Christ,
Fr. Brian
PRIVATE INTEGRITY
What we do in secret ultimately shapes the person whom we present in public. Dishonesty changes the very way we look because it changes who we are. That’s the reason why so often those around us will intuit the truth about us, smell the lie, even when they don’t have any hard evidence on which to suspect us.
Doing something in secret that we can’t admit in public is the very definition of hypocrisy and hypocrisy forces us to lie. And lying, among all sins, is perhaps the most dangerous. Why? Because we hate ourselves for it and we stop respecting ourselves. When we stop respecting ourselves, we will, all too soon, notice that other people stop respecting us too.
The biblical image of the honest sinner humbly turning towards God is predicated precisely on honesty, on the sinner not hiding or lying about his or her sin. When we don’t honestly admit our sin we move in the opposite direction, namely, towards rationalization, hardness of attitude, and cynicism. When we hide a sin, we are forced to lie, and with that lie we immediately begin to harden and reshape our souls. You can do anything, as long as you don’t have to lie about it. That’s very different than saying that you can do anything as long as nobody finds out about it.
We should never delude ourselves into thinking that the things we do in private, including very small actions of infidelity, of self-indulgence, of bigotry, of jealousy, or of slander, are of no consequence since no one knows about them. Inside the mystery of our interconnectedness as a human family and as a family of faith and trust, even our most private actions, good or bad, like invisible bacteria inside the blood stream, affect the whole. Everything is known, felt, in one way or another.
Others know us, even when they don’t exactly know everything about us. They smell our vices just as they smell our virtues.
 
 
6/5/2020
Dear People of God,
We have one final Feast Day before we enter the season after Pentecost or Common Season in our worship life together, which is Trinity Sunday. We celebrate the One God: Three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In this time of uncertainty our God welcomes our prayers and questions. Join us as we come before Him. We will continue to offer both Live Stream and In-Person services as well as drive up communion. I find it deeply encouraging to see you!
In the Saviour,
Fr. Brian
 
5/28/2020
Dear Family,
I wanted to take a moment and remind you of upcoming Pentecost Sunday, May 31st. It is the ‘birthday’ of the church as we recognize beginning of the Holy Spirit’s work as well as His continual work among us. Please join us! You are welcome to wear red in recognition of the fire of the Holy Spirit. We will continue to offer limited seating in our sanctuary, a live stream service as well as drive up communion at 11:30. Feel free to look up them on our website cupofblessing.org for more information.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Brian
Quite frequently, I find this prayer in my Morning/Evening prayer and I find it such a beautiful point of view as I seek to be centered in the Kingdom during the Pandemic. I pray it blesses you too.
O Lord our heavenly Father, whose blessed Son came not to be served, but to serve: We ask you to bless all who, following in his steps, give themselves to the service of others especially those who are laboring in this time of plague; endue them with wisdom, patience, and courage, that they may strengthen the weak and raise up those who fall, and, being inspired by your love, may worthily minister to the suffering, the friendless, and the needy; for the sake of him who laid down his life for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
#45, BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER (2019)
 
5/20/2020
Acts 1:9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
Almighty God, whose only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ
ascended into heaven: May our hearts and minds also there
ascend, and with him continually dwell; who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
 
Dear CCA,
While the weather has continued to emulate the unpredictability of the COVID crisis (Rain, Shine or Snow- who knows!) I have peace in knowing the Church Calendar remains unmoved. Our lives have a deeper steadiness because we are grounded in Jesus and His Word. As we acknowledge the Ascension tomorrow I hope the previous prayer centers you and brings you peace.
We will continue offering both Live Stream, In-Person worship and Drive-up Communion services for the coming Sunday: The Sunday after the Ascension May 24. Phase Two from the Governor does not impact us any differently, although I’m sure that many businesses are welcoming increased capacity.
In the Risen King,
Father Brian
 
5/14/2020
Dear CCA Family,
One of the highlights of Sunday Morning worship services for me is the drive up communion time. You don’t realize how much you’ve missed a person until they drive up and smile! Likewise, I was blessed with my interaction with those who were able to attend service in the sanctuary. I’m sure in the days following the resurrection Jesus’ appearances were even more of a welcome surprise. I wanted to inform you of two things.
We will continue to have public services with a limited capacity of 40. The Health Department came by on Monday and gave us two thumbs up! Note the attached picture.
We will be offering Coffee Hour this coming Sunday in the parking lot following drive through communion. The hospitality committee has dubbed in “Coffee Hour in your Car”. The fine ladies of this committee will serve you donuts and coffee as we visit one another through our open car windows!
We will continue to offer live stream services for those who are unable to make the trip. Look for the link on our website: cupofblessing.org
I am thankful for the creativity and heart of those who make enduring these times of isolation so blessed and safe.
Peace in Jesus,
Fr. Brian
 
5/6/2020
Dear Christ Church,
We have some great news, due to the efforts of your CCA staff we have submitted a plan to the local health department and have been tentatively approved for public worship this Sunday May 10th! We have some limitations but I’m eager to see some of you in person. Here are the directions we have compiled in conjunction with the health department to keep you happy and blessed:
1) Please stay home if you have any indicator that you may be sick.
2) Consider staying home if you are in an at risk populace (over 65, compromised immune system, lung/heart issues)
3) We have arranged the sanctuary to keep 6′ social distancing recommendations, allow yourself enough space to honor those precautions. Also would you please leave the chairs as you find them? It was a lot of work setting them up.
4) Please practice the latest hygienic recommendations to keep yourself and others safe (Wash hands, cover sneezes…). Wearing masks is optional.
Meanwhile, we will continue Live Streaming https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT3crP4h3R-9ImIovd48oQQ our services (or look for the link on our website), posting our Order of Worships on the website cupofblessing.org and offering Drive up Communion at 11:30.  
We have 32 seats available, we will not require reservations at this time. 
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)
Father Brian
 
4/29/2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Did you like the view from our new camera from via the live streamed service? Personally it was nice to watch the technology catch up with all the work Charlie has been investing behind the scenes. I’m grateful to have a creative staff that continues to strive for the best worship experience given our current restrictions. I appreciate your patience and I pray that the Lord would prosper your spirit in this time of isolation.
We continue to abide by local and state recommendations in order to keep the church healthy and blessed. I have reviewed Butte Silver Bow County’s social distancing plan given the directives of the governor and it will take us some preparation of the facility as well as various plans in order to open our facility for worship for groups of greater than 10. I am hoping that perhaps by May 10 we will be able to invite a few of you to worship in person. Meanwhile, we will continue to offer live streaming services at 10 am on our YouTube channel and drive through communion at 11:30 am. Both the Order of Worship and Online Giving are available on our website: cupofblessing.org
Here are some parting verses from Psalm 27 that I would ask you to consider and meditate upon:
Psalm 27:13-14 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!
What does the goodness of the LORD mean to you?
How can waiting be a good thing?
Peace through our Resurrected Saviour,
Fr. Brian
 
4/22/2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The governor of Montana has just released new guidelines for the church in regards to our ability to gather. I have included the pertinent instructions below. There are some limiting factors that we must acknowledge: A) A number of our parishioners fall into the at risk category and B) Our Sanctuary is limited in its ability to accommodate social distancing. My priority is to keep people Blessed and Healthy and so we will continue to offer Live Stream services through YouTube as well as drive up communion.

All of that said, here are our guidelines: 1) Please remain sheltered in place if you fall in the category of a vulnerable individual (see below) 2) We can accommodate roughly 20 people in our sanctuary on Sunday, if you would like to attend please email back your numbers by Thursday the 23rd so we can arrange people in a safe manner. Look at the picture I’ve attached if you want to see how half of the sanctuary is arranged to be six feet apart! (Yellow sheets represent people). We’ll even assign seats so that we can maximize the usage of our space.

I wish that we were back to normal operations and could open our doors fully, but I’m also grateful for this small step as we return to normal. I am certain our Gracious Father will provide for us in these days to come.

Be at Peace,

Fr. Brian

Phase 1

ALL VULNERABLE INDIVIDUALS should continue to follow the stay home guidance. Members of households with vulnerable residents should be aware that by returning to work or other environments where distancing is not practical, they could carry the virus back home. Precautions should be taken to isolate from vulnerable residents.

  • Vulnerable Individuals: people over 65 years of age and/or those with serious underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, and those whose immune system is compromised such as by chemotherapy for cancer and other conditions requiring such therapy.

PLACES OF WORSHIP can become operational on or after April 26, 2020 with reduced capacity and where strict physical distancing protocols can be maintained between non-household members. Avoid GATHERING in groups of more than 10 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing.

 
 
 
4/21/2020
Dear Flock,
I love to hear again the stories of how Jesus startled the disciples after the Resurrection with His presence. While their initial reaction was often fear or confusion it is soon followed with the blessings of His goodness: peace, fellowship, instruction, even fish! In this time of sheltering in place my hope is that Jesus would surprise you with His company. Keep a look out while seeking places He has found you before: Scripture study, prayer, worship, time communicating with fellow believers, even church services.
Speaking of which, I wanted to let you know that we will continue live streaming the services as we await to hear what recommendations the government will ask of us next. Also, if you would like to add some specific prayers to the Prayers of the People would you please email them no later than noon on the Thursday before the coming Sunday. Please keep them brief so that in your mind they would take less than 30 seconds to express. I want a chance to cover as many prayers as possible in the time frame given.
Your servant in Christ,
Brian+
 
 
4/16/2020 Easter Thursday
Dear Family,
I pray that you had a blessed and inspiring Easter Day. The Light of Resurrection shines through the Living Word of God as well as His people who embrace the likeness of the Risen King! It may feel like we are still stuck in the tomb, but the tomb is empty! Nonetheless we are caught in unprecedented times and must acknowledge its challenges. One of Jen’s coworkers shared yesterday, “I’m tired of making history!”. We are all grieving loss on some level and it isn’t unlike losing a loved one (even though some have experienced that compounded grief too). A crucial part of allowing the Lord to offer His healing is to acknowledge the areas we have been hurt. Below is a picture of the Kubler-Ross stages of grief.
 
 
At any one time I find myself somewhere or another on the cycle. Please don’t just take this information as yet another piece of information but surrender it to the Lord and ask how the Holy Spirit may be directing you to His gracious provision. We are in this together so please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or others for prayer and counsel.
Your Servant in Christ,
Brian+
By the Way: All Orders of Service are available on our website cupofblessing.org so that you may follow along with our YouTube Live Stream service.
 
 
4/10/2020 Good Friday
Dear Beloved Family,
It is my joy to journey with you through this solemn week in Spirit even if not in person. I know that our Gracious and Good God has a unique blessing for us even in the midst of trying times. It has been encouraging to hear from our Archbishop Foley Beach as well as  Bishop Keith Andrews. Below you will find a link to +Keith’s message as well as the text from ++Foley.
The weather prediction for Sunday is uncooperative for an outdoor Eucharist but we will still pass out the Sacrament at 11:30. Again, the outdoor service is canceled but we will still offer drive up communion. Meanwhile we will still offer Live Stream services of Good Friday at noon, Holy Saturday Vigil at 8:30 pm Saturday and a Resurrection service at 10 am on Sunday the 12th.
Here is the Prayer for Spiritual communion in case you can’t drive through.
Dear Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Holy Sacrament. I love you above all things, and I desire to possess you within my soul. And since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, I beseech you to come spiritually into my heart. I unite myself to you, together with all your faithful people gathered around every altar of your Church, and I embrace you with all the affections of my soul. Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.
 
You are in my heart and prayers,
Fr. Brian
Here is Bishop Keith’s link
https://youtu.be/NpBqiSJ5hDY
 
Here is Archbishop Foley’s link
http://www.anglicanchurch.net/?/main/page/2019
 
 
 
4/2/2020
Dear People of God,
Psalm 62 verse 8 exhorts; “O put your trust in him always, you people; * pour out your hearts before him, for God is our hope.” As we move into a Holy Week like we’ve never lived through before may we indeed find the LORD to be our hope. In order to do so it will take extraordinary focus as we find strength not in ourselves but in the Holy Spirit that dwells within us. Hold on to Hope!
I have sent out a letter describing the various ways we can tighten our grip on the reality of the Good News but I wanted to take a moment to encourage you as well as review how we will approach Palm Sunday. We will Live Stream our service at 10 am via the Christ Church YouTube channel ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT3crP4h3R-9ImIovd48oQQ/videos ) and we will distribute Communion at 11:30 am like we did last weekend. However, in addition to the communion bread we will also pass out palm branches and the liturgy for the blessing of the palms. Once we have finished the liturgy we will process with our vehicles and our Palms through Butte. Hosanna Lord Hosanna, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Which means Lord Please Save Us. A timely response indeed.
With our flashers on we will start at Texas, head toward Shields/Continental Ave, follow it until it turns to Park then turn South on Montana, East on Front, take a Left (East) on Civic Center Road and back to the church.
In Christ,
Fr. Brian
 
03/29/2020
Dear friends,
Given the directive from the governor of shelter in place I am cancelling the drive up service option for tomorrow. We will however continue with the live stream and communion distribution via your vehicle at 11:30. I believe that we fall under paragraph 11 Essential Businesses and Operations section C. The provision states: “Businesses and religious and secular nonprofit organizations, including food banks, when providing food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals, individuals who need assistance as a result of this emergency, and people with disabilities;”
May this season of seclusion be a time of enriched family life and growth in the Holy Spirit.

Fr. Brian 

 
 
 
 
03/26/2020
Dear Christ Church Family,
Let me begin by saying I miss you! All of us are feeling the toll of isolation and yet we know it is for the greater health of our population. Therefore we are creatively making adjustments that will still connect our hearts to one another and to the LORD. I want to thank all of you that connected to our live stream service last Sunday. It is critical that we continue to integrate Holy moments into our lives. Speaking of which, here are the options for this coming Sunday March 29th.
 
Live stream via YouTube, look for the Christ Church Anglican Butte page. Videos from last Sunday will be posted as well as the live stream for this coming Sunday starting at 9:55 am.
Drive In at our parking lot. As you park your vehicles you can tie into our CCA guest WiFi with your phone, IPad, or laptop. The password is Advent2015. 
Drive Through. We will set up cones in order for people to drive through and receive the sacrament by our rear entrance (next to the shed). Starting at 11:30, I will distribute consecrated bread in special containers for those who would like to receive. We are taking all precautions to keep them sanitary.
 
As always please extend grace to us as we figure out how to do new things well. Speaking of which– I would encourage you in this time of isolation to pick up some new habits that can bless your walk with the Lord. I will be giving a brief live stream via our Facebook page later on today, but essentially I would ask that you would consider praying the Offices (Morning, Noon, Evening, Compline). Even if you experiment with one or a few of them I think you would be blessed. The new Prayer Book gives an option for Family (shortened) or Regular prayer and it would be a nice break from Netflix or a news network!
 
Here is a link that will even pick the Scriptures for you:
Regular: www.dailyoffice2019.com
Family: www.dailyoffice2019.com/family/
We are also considering a Compline via Zoom videoconferencing but more on that later.
 
I know its a tremendous amount of adjustment but I also know our Lord Jesus meets us at such times. Be encouraged in Him!
Your Servant in Christ,
Fr. Brian