1/26/2021
Dear Christ Church Family,
As many of you are aware, but perhaps not all, our faithful sister Shelly Clark has resigned from the Worship Director position. Her last Sunday is this coming Sunday, January 31. Worship in song is critical to our life together and the loss of someone who has consistently offered her gifting unto the Lord and as a blessing unto us should be acknowledged. While Shelly’s request is that we would not make a ‘big deal’ of her departure, we nonetheless should offer prayers of thanksgiving and blessing upon her and KC. The rest of the verse from the title of this email is:
Psalm 68:4 O sing unto God, and sing praises unto his Name; magnify him who rides upon the heavens. * The Lord is his Name; rejoice before him.
Our focus will always be on the Lord Jesus as he is worthy of our praise and is also the provision of all we need. I count it a blessing to have acknowledged and magnified this sacred name with Shelly. We continue to offer up songs of praise and rejoice before our Lord.
In Him,
Father Brian
 
The later half of this email are her words of goodbye.
Dear friends,
After four months of prayer and discernment, I regret to inform you that I will be leaving the post of music director/media technologist at Christ Church Anglican, effective January 31, 2021. Due to recently developing personal and family issues, I feel unable to effectively continue carrying out the responsibilities of my role here and I feel it is in the church’s best interest that I vacate the position to be available to my family.
This was NOT an easy decision and I do hope that my departure will not cause you or the church any undue hardship. I have offered the Council the opportunity to contact me to play/sing periodically at Christ Church, or to do any technology work that I can do effectively from home. The most difficult part of this decision is leaving you. Thank you for your faithfulness to the music ministry in this body and pray for what God has in store for you next! When God’s plan is followed, transitions turn into blessings…for you and for me.
Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of the CCA family and for your understanding in this situation. I have enjoyed working for Christ Church and I have cherished my time here. Thank you so much for the support that you have given me during my time with Christ Church. I place incredible value on the guidance and prayer you’ve provided for me and my family. May God continue to reign supreme in your personal lives and in the life of the church community.
Be blessed with the Scripture verse Holy Spirit selected for me in 2021…
Romans 8:28 ESV
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
Your Sister in Christ, Shelly
 
 
 
1/21/2021
Dear Christ Church Family,
I am eager to join with you as we gather to celebrate our life together through our annual meeting. We will elect two new Parish Council Members (Bob Chatriand and Chris Hoagland), pass the annual reports, and review the budget which the Parish Council has passed. While it may seem like business items on an agenda, let me assure you it is far more. It is recognizing the work of the Holy Spirit in our midst, just read through the annual reports!

Here are the particulars of how we will carry out our meeting:
Review the attached annual reports. We have hard copies available at the church which I strongly encourage you to pick up. Our office hours are 10 am-4pm Mon.-Thurs. We will be using them as part of our devotional practice during Lent. We will offer them through the Drive up communion this Sunday. In addition, we have the full budget write up printed for those interested.

Prepare to meet via Zoom. We will offer a tutorial this Sunday night (Jan. 24) at 7:30pm. The link is found below. (Contact Church Office for Zoom codes if you are reading this.) Just click on the address underneath “Join Zoom Meeting” and the program will download even if you haven’t used it before. It will work with your smartphone as well. We are offering in person seating at the church for those who don’t have the ability to connect via Zoom or just can’t get their minds around it. 

Join us for the Annual Meeting on January 31st at 12:15pm. I will send you another Zoom link next week that will gain you entry. Please mute yourself upon entry and raise your hand if you have questions and we will call on you.
I long to be with you, but am thankful for the provision of technology. I am hopeful that we can be together in person sooner rather than later. Please continue to lift up our congregation and the fight against COVID in your prayers.

Your fellow servant in Christ,
Fr. Brian
(p.s. If you need the Zoom meeting codes, please contact the church office.)
 
 
1/7/2021
Dear family in Christ,
I was startled yesterday by the news of the riots at the Capitol in Washington D.C. Although it has been a particularly unstable year in regards to politics and rioting I was still surprised by the pictures of mayhem at the helm of our Federal Government. The animosity and polarization of politics has reached a new depth of darkness that I’ve never experienced in my lifetime.
 
While the news is unsettling we must remember that while this upheaval may be new to our experience, historically it is quite common. The citizens of the United States are not immune to darkness! Yesterday also happened to be the Feast of the Epiphany (Matthew 2:1-20). As you recall Wise Men from the East came to Jerusalem in search of the King of the Jews. What they encountered was the power hungry King Herod. While the Wise Men ascertained that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, King Herod also became aware of his birthplace. The Magi then followed the star in darkness to Bethlehem and worshipped the Christ Child, but did not report their findings to Herod. Imagine journeying through the darkness both physically (there was no electricity) and politically (Herod could not be trusted). Yet the Light of God showed them the way. In all of the news reports we must proceed with prayer. Our allegiance is ultimately to the Kingdom of God. However, we are called to love our neighbor in the here and now no matter what civic government we are under.
 
Would you join me in prayer (#37 in the Book of Common Prayer)?

O Lord our Governor, whose glory fills all the world: We commend this Nation to your merciful care, that we may be guided by your providence, and dwell secure in your peace. Grant to the President of this Nation, the Governor of this
State, and to all in authority, wisdom and strength to know and to do your will. Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness, and make them continually mindful of their calling to serve this people in reverent obedience to you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
Your Servant in Jesus,
B+
 
 
12/18/2020

Dear Family in the Lord,

I miss the light during these shortened days! As Christmas approaches our sunlight dwindles in this Northern Hemisphere and while I sleep better in the dark, activity is certainly hampered during the most productive hours. It feels like this has been a particularly long season of darkness and to be honest I don’t feel very productive either.

Perhaps, like the rest of the earth, we are called to a time of rest as well. Just as the ground recovers from harvest and awaits the sunlight of spring, life necessitates a season of preparation as we rest in the Father and wait for the Son-light. The beautiful thing about the darkness is that it not only helps us anticipate the light but appreciate it as well.

As Jesus was born on that Midnight Clear there were high hopes for the Messiah, but the full magnitude of His Glory was yet to appear. Yes, the skies were illuminated with the Heavenly Host for a moment but it would be 30 years until Jesus began to reveal His fullness. This year’s Christmas celebration will be somewhat dimmed in comparison to years past. It is the very nature of Jesus to meet us regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in. It only takes one candle to illumine a dark room and our God will faithfully shine wherever we invite Him in.

I would be honored if you invited Christ Church into your home this Christmas Eve through YouTube. I am deeply aware that it is not equivalent to in-person worship. I also believe that Jesus enters into less than perfect circumstances as well. My prayer is that His tender light would envelope our resting souls as the Holy Spirit prepares us for a new year of growth in His marvelous light.

Your Servant in His Grace, B+

 
12/3/2020
Dear Church Family,
This morning I was privileged to be able to join in a Zoom call with Archbishop Ben Kwashi of Jos, Nigeria through the ministry of SOMA (Sharing of Ministries Abroad). Archbishop Ben has been a long standing figure in support of the ACNA and the Gospel. He teaches with conviction borne from a life of persecution. Today he led us through the first chapter of Revelation. The Archbishop emphasized the Sovereignty of Jesus in the midst of a church in crisis. While I would not necessarily identify our body as one who is in crisis or going through the barbaric persecution faced in Nigeria, I would admit that all of us are enduring a season of uncertainty. We all need a reminder of the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Jesus seeks to meet us in worship, in His Word and through Mission. In all three areas we are reminded that Jesus is Living and Reigning in this world and nothing can displace Him as King! Amen?
While we’ve made adjustments to our worship and I pray you are steadfast in the Word, I am challenged how to remain in Mission. How do we reach out to our neighbor if we can’t gather with them? In times of trial such as this, it is critical that people have an opportunity to turn to the Lord! There are so many spiritually unhealthy alternatives that are seeking our devotion in these times of isolation (alcoholism, pornograghy, anger, overeating), we need to offer a hope that will endure. People need a start, a beginning for a relationship with Jesus. In other words– the Holy Spirit seeks for us to experience Him as Alpha.
Fr. Alex Leighton from Bozeman is seeking to offer partnership with us in just such an opportunity. Beginning January 11th they are seeking to host an Alpha class through Zoom and have invited us to join them in seeking to reach out to our communities. Alpha has been updated and modified for online presentation and Bozeman Anglican has already had success in blessing people during these COVID times. The staff and I have discussed it and thought our best approach would be to have individual Christ Church families/individuals sponsor another family while they go through the course together. These two families/individuals would gather together and participate online while sharing the same physical space. This way, numbers would be limited and they could both benefit from a larger gathering online while still having the personal connection of being under one roof. Think of the sponsorship idea in terms of Cursillo/Pathway sponsorship of long ago when you would seek and support a candidate for a weekend. Hopefully we could reach people who are on the fringe of our Body or perhaps reach out to someone who doesn’t belong to a church.
We are designed to know Jesus as Lord and Saviour, Alpha and Omega. It has to start somewhere (Alpha!) and that usually begins with a friendship in which one person shares with another the love of the Lord. Please pray about that “someone” who you could share this most precious gift. Would you please respond to this email if this strikes a chord with your heart?
In His tender care and majesty,
B+
 
11/24/2020 
Dear People of God,
Last night I read Psalm 65 during Evening Prayer and I was blessed in the ways it spoke to the themes of Thanksgiving. Verse 9 proclaims, “You visit the earth and bless it; you make it very plenteous.” During the season of Harvest it is clearly evident as the abundance of the earth is gathered and its produce is stored for the coming winter. In many ways scarcity seems to be the theme of the year but when we look at the physical earth it continues to supply our needs. The Psalm points out that this is due to the visitation of our God. He brings life and brings it in abundance! Amen?! The Psalm continues in verse 10 “The river of God is full of water; you prepare the grain, for so you provide for the earth.” The Lord’s mercy, goodness and provision flow abundantly to the inhabitants of this planet. You and I are recipients of this prosperity and the Lord Jesus deserves our acknowledgment with gratitude.
 
Part of the Lord’s provision as I mentioned last week is the Church Calendar. Our new year begins this Sunday with the celebration of Advent I. We anticipate the coming of the King both as Infant and Judge as we begin our year together. Again thankfulness is a key theme as we recognize that Jesus is our provision for life and hope. I have attached a video link that beautifully summarizes the church calendar as Jesus meets us in its various seasons.
https://vimeo.com/79923336
 
May the God of our Salvation enfold you in His arms in this season,
B+
 
11/18/2020
Family,
The last Sunday in the season after Pentecost is Christ the King Sunday. It celebrates that Jesus Christ is on His Heavenly Throne and His reign extends to the entire earth. It is a fitting way to end one church season (Year A) in preparation for another (Year B). Regardless of the status or condition of this world the Church Calendar begins with Advent and ends with Christ the King; it is never postponed, derailed or interfered with by the motions and manics of man.
Friends:  this is very good news. Sometimes it feels like the rule of God barely gets traction in my own soul nonetheless in this broken and cruel world and yet while the Kingdom coming seeks our cooperation it does not depend on it. In other words the King calls the shots, not us. While my feelings may be telling me otherwise, Jesus who rules at the right hand of the Father has a far different perspective. We are not in control- this much is evident! Rather faith is our connection to the Holy Spirit as He seeks to guide us into alignment with the reign of Jesus.
Listen to the confidence of Paul’s proclamation of such reign:
But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 1 Corinthians 15:23-25
Just as we inherited a calendar that keeps us in mind of the rule of the Lord so we also have also inherited a faith that allows us to celebrate the victory of God over all evil. Paul’s faith becomes our own as Christ’s Kingship is extended to us.
Take heart Sisters and Brothers,
B+
 
 
11/11/2020
Dear Christ Church Family,
On Monday, my wife and I had the unique experience of driving from Eastern Montana to Western Montana. We were fortunate to be able to drive after the large storm system had blown through on Sunday. In many ways it was absolutely stunning as we drove through a frosted landscape of snow laden trees and blue skies. On the other hand, the ice packed roads and unpredictable drivers held our immediate attention. You never knew what would be around the next corner. It was tempting a number of times to hit the brakes in an attempt to Hold On! After a while you just had to make peace with the uncertainty because thinking of the terrible things that could happen only made you more tense and more prone to overcorrection.
In a similar way there are slick patches in our walk with the Lord that seek to upend us. They often surprise us and batter our confidence but they don’t determine the end point of our destination. I was reminded of the Lord Jesus’ provision for the road from Titus this morning:
Titus 3:4-7 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
‘When the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared’, think on that for a moment. Jesus came to us. In the midst of our striving, uncertainties and confusion; Jesus flows over us with mercy. No matter the circumstances of our lives; Jesus can not be stopped as He offers Grace upon Grace. Let the Holy Spirit assure you of His intentions for your lives this day as we are renewed in hope. Hold on to him and not the panic that seeks to overwhelm us!
The season of Advent will be upon us by the end of the month. It is a season of waiting (as if we haven’t done enough of that already) for the coming of Jesus. It also occurs during the least amount of light seasonally. The church has put together Advent Care Packages that we will begin to deliver on Sunday. We have included candles (to remind us of the Father dispelling the darkness) along with other goodies, but my question is whether your family would like an Advent wreath too? Would you please respond to this email to let us know?
Holding on to the Saviour with you,
B+
 
11/4/2020
Dear People of God,
In a year of continued uncertainty, the election process has very much been a nail biter! While I consider it a blessing to live in this nation I think we all have concerns about its future as we continue to work through our differences. We have high expectations for our elected officials as they represent us and we invest for/against a candidate through our right to vote. I didn’t sleep well last night as I waited for morning election results! In fact one of the first readings from Morning Prayer helped me put it into perspective:
Psalm 8:1 O Lord our Governor, how excellent is your Name in all the world; * you have set your glory above the heavens!
Jesus Christ is our ultimate Sovereign. No matter the decisions of those in authority, absolute reign comes from above. Although He allows us freedom to make our own decisions, it is God who ultimately receives glory. Here again in this unpredictable year of 2020, we have the opportunity to place our trust in the Lord Jesus. His Name is excellent and the Holy Spirit is where hope ultimately resides. We as a people continue to pray for our world but we do so in the confidence of the Lord our Governor.
Be at Peace,
Fr. Brian
 
10/27/2020
Dear People of God,
Let me begin with the Collect for All Saints Day which falls on this Sunday, November 1st. Which is also the end of Daylight Savings Time (We lose an hour–turn your clocks back one hour!).
Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical Body of your Son: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
I love the picture of all of the faithful gathered, even knit together in the presence of our reigning Jesus Christ, not just in the temporal sense but spanning past, present and future generations. I yearn to see the Lamb on the throne with my brothers sisters from all of time (Revelation 7:9). The Father created us with the capacity to love and to remember. All Saints is a celebration of both of those things in the context of the provision of Heaven. As we gather in our homes we will have a moment to remember those who have gone before by lighting a candle during the prayers of the people. It will be a time of reminding ourselves of the unfathomable love of God as well as the gift of those who come to mind. In preparation, please grab a candle and matches/lighter as we set aside such time as Holy.
We need not be physically present with one another in order to know them in our heart. It is in this reality that we are making the difficult decision to suspend In-Person services during the COVID crisis that is currently upon us. We will continue to Live-Stream our services with a minimal crew hoping to prevent the spread of this terrible virus. This is not a mandate from the health department but in consideration of the influx of cases in Butte, the Parish Council and I believe it is in our best interest to refrain from public services for the time being. We will continue to watch the infection rate and reopen as quickly as possible. Please understand it is our love for you that is driving this decision.
This season has challenged us like no other that we’ve known, I also know that the Lamb is still upon the throne and he will gather us all into his loving arms both in the present and in the future. We will meet each other in front of screens, in the parking lot for the bread of Heaven and in small meetings. The Holy Spirit will provide and will bless.
I love you,
Fr. Brian
 
10/08/2020
Dear faithful ones,
As I glanced over at my Bible program I was hoping for a verse that would capture your heart in the moment. It was open to Isaiah 25, which is part of the lectionary reading for this Sunday and I will be preaching on, but I read a little further down.
This caught my eye: Isaiah 26:3 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Almost like Susie Calkin’s Bible Bingo, there it was! I memorized this verse in college and to this day it encourages me. Consider Jesus, the author and perfecter of our Faith, this day as He seeks to grant you His perfect peace. Take a moment even now and open your hands as you repeat the verse again to yourself. The Holy Spirit seeks to bring life to you through His word today, Amen!
This Sunday we continue with in person and online services after watching COVID numbers and consulting with the health department. We ask that you stay home if you have any cold like symptoms. We have also purchased a thermal scan thermometer that ushers will use to take your temp as you enter the sanctuary. I’m so grateful for your consistent walk with the Savior during this whole pandemic.
In His Love and Peace,
Fr. Brian
 
10/01/2020
Dear Church Family,
One of the things we often take for granted while driving is the road signs we pass. Unless we are on a new route we have already learned the expectations of speed limits, curves, deer crossings, even road construction! In a similar fashion, for those of us who have spent much of our life walking with the Lord, it is easy to know the guidance the Lord Jesus gives us in His Word. “Oh right, this is where I love my neighbor by sharing a kind word.” The challenge can be that when we go over a familiar sign in scripture we can easily pass over it because we’ve heard it on a path we’ve been on before.
This morning I heard guidance from the Holy Spirit that affirms a passage that I’ve heard before- it comes from Psalm 85. But as the chorus was sung, “Oh God would you restore us, and grant us your salvation?” I realized that I was on a new route that we’ve never traveled before and the Words of the Psalm hold a deep connection for us as we travel a new path. In the tumult of the COVID crisis, the onerous political season, the social unrest we find ourselves on a new path. The Lord’s guidance is still valid and must be heeded! I found myself begging alongside the sung chorus, “Oh God would you restore us, and grant us your salvation?”
While everything seems to be in a state of flux the salvation of Jesus Christ remains. I write this as the staff down the hall pray the Lord’s Prayer as Shelly reminds them at noon. In the midst of so much upheaval look for the signs of the Lord. He is present and Jesus will restore us!
Love in Him,
Brian+
 
9/17/2020
Dear Flock,
This Sunday September 20th at 10:30 am at Clark Park near the Volleyball Pavillion, we have the privilege of joining with three other churches (Aldersgate Methodist, Gloria Dei Lutheran and Gold Hill Lutheran) for the gift of unified praise, united fellowship and undeterred joy as we journey through these trying times. As we have prayed about this event we want to keep you healthy and blessed and so we ask that you would abide by these simple directives. Would you please:
Bring your own chairs
Wear warm enough clothing (the high is supposed to be in the 60’s, it will be cooler in the morning!)
Wear a mask
Meet ushers at the orange cones at the sidewalk near Texas to have your temperature taken and receive an order of service
We will also have an FM transmitter broadcasting the service to radios at the park, more info to follow.
If you are feeling unwell stay home, and join us live stream at https://www.facebook.com/gloriadeibutte
We will not be doing a picnic this year, but the Lord will bless us nonetheless!
In our Saviour,
Fr. Brian
 
9/2/2020
Dear CCA Family,
About this time every year I consider all the things I wanted to accomplish in the summer and somehow did not finish. Whether it is home projects, traveling, recreation or family time it always seems like there’s not enough days in the summer. I know we have particularly short summers in Butte but my guess is that it is lack of planning and hoping to do too much that prevents me from getting most things done! I wonder if summer is parallel to our short time on earth?
I’m reminded of the well known verse from Isaiah 40 v. 7 “The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the LORD blows on it; surely the people are grass.” How do we invest well in the short time we’ve been given? With so many things vying for our attention, how do we bloom before the Lord and be a loving fragrance to the people around us?
Isaiah v. 8 continues, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” There lies the key to a productive life: the unfading Word of God. The Holy Spirit seeks to breathe His life into ours as we seek to live beyond ourselves. We must ask ourselves what kinds of things will have eternal impact. Authenticity, Love, Truth, Hope, Peace, Jesus- the list goes on!
Friends, winter is coming! Let us plant and harvest well!
In Jesus’ Love,
Fr. Brian
 
8/20/2020
Dear CCA Family,
As we speak, I am frantically running to get all of my preparations finished for Adam and my annual backpacking trip. We leave after lunch today and get back Saturday afternoon. I am thrilled to spend time with Adam and the Lord’s creation, but I am also surprised at how much preparation is required! It’s not as if I can run down to Safeway and pick out 6 meals and expect them to fit in my backpack and have the ability to prepare them at our campsite! Wilderness traveling is not for the timid. Meals especially must be easy to prepare, full of nutrition, calories and protein.
Have you experienced some wilderness these days? Not just the kind found in the mountains but in your souls? The steep switchbacks of grief, the lack of comforts of relationship, the grinding miles of pandemic are all part of our environment. Take Heart! Jesus is the best Wilderness Sherpa I know and the Bread of Life nourishes us to the bottom of our soul. Continue to plan and prepare well as we journey together for the days ahead. Yes, circumstances have changed but the Goodness of the Father has not. We will need to continue to lean into one another as we see this adventure worked out- please be at peace and make sure to eat what is nourishing for our souls.
Love,
Brian+
P.S. We continue with our Live streaming YouTube service as well as in person Sunday morning services along with drive up communion.
 
7/30/2020
Friends,
I’ve been watching a reality show recently called “Alone”. The contestants compete against the elements, loneliness, and their physical bodies as they seek to be the last person to call it quits! It gives a new perspective to ‘isolation’ as they remain alone through whatever adversity they face. One of the very first things the participants seek to establish in their new environment is shelter. So often the Bible refers to not just physical shelter but a shelter in the LORD. Psalm 61:4 reminds us, “Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings!” In our isolation it seems to me that the Holy Spirit has provided a number of opportunities for our protection and sustenance. Here are some ideas to build a shelter:
Establish a prayer and biblical foundation in the Lord.
Build structure that strengthens relationships with others.
Cover your shelter with Praise as we bless the name of Jesus.
Your Parish Council leadership was considering ways that we can share life even in the midst of isolation, and we’re thinking about sharing a dessert while having a quick check in while using the Zoom software platform. Would you be interested in joining one of these groups? Just send an email response and we’ll try and figure it out!
Peace,
Fr. Brian
P.S. I will be vacationing next week with my family from Monday August 3 to Sunday August 9. Please lift us up as we seek refreshment with one another and in the Lord Jesus.
 
 
7/16/2020
1 Corinthians 16:23-24 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.
 
Dear Family In Christ,
Paul concludes his first letter to the Corinthians with these familiar yet profound words. Jesus, Grace, Love. I know you have experienced these words consistently in the past and I know that we will need them in the future. In an ever changing environment, isn’t it beautiful to know some really good things won’t change? We at Christ Church continue to adapt while applying these principles and I wanted to take a moment and update you.
Please stay home if you are demonstrating any cold like symptoms. The challenge of COVID is that it has affected people differently and spreads quickly regardless of one’s health. (Demonstrate Grace)
We will be following state and local health recommendations which means I will ask you out of love for your neighbor to mask up for Sunday worship. We have temporary masks available in the sanctuary. (Demonstrate Love)
We will offer Live stream and in person safe distancing services along with drive up communion in order to enhance discipleship. (Demonstrate Jesus)
I often forget that this is a season because of the inconvenience of immediate change. I remain certain that the life of the Holy Spirit will not be thwarted because of the Pandemic and I am grateful that we can journey through this season together.
My love be with you all in Christ Jesus,
Father Brian
 
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