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Rev. Bruce Gowe
From Meditations Of The Heart By Howard Thurman
Lord, Lord, Open Unto Me

Open unto me, light for my darkness
Open unto me, courage for my fear
Open unto me, hope for my despair
Open unto me, peace for my turmoil
Open unto me, joy for my sorrow
Open unto me, strength for my weakness
Open unto me, wisdom for my confusion
Open unto me, forgiveness for my sins
Open unto me, tenderness for my toughness
Open unto me, love for my hates
Open unto me, Thy Self for myself
Lord, Lord, open unto me!

Reflections on Ash Wednesday

Stuart Malloy
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent. It is a somber day of reflection on what needs to change in our lives if we are to be fully Christians. It was not always the way we know it today.

Ashes marked on the forehead of worshippers were not given to everyone, but only to the public penitents who were brought before the church. Much like Hester Prynne bearing her scarlet letter, these open and notorious sinners were marked publicly with the sign of their disgrace.

As time went on, others began to show their humility and their affection for the penitents by asking that they, too, be marked as sinners. Finally, the number of penitents grew so large that the imposition of ashes was extended to the whole congregation in services similar to those that are observed in many Christian churches on Ash Wednesday.

We who will bear the ashes upon our foreheads stand with those whose sins may be more public, but not, according to the Scriptures, more grievous to the heart of God. And so we make our confessions. . . . If you only knew the secrets of my heart, if you only knew the sins that I am capable of contemplating, if you only knew some of the schemes I have considered – and of course God does know – then you would know that I, too, am a sinner.

Ashes are signs that we are all in this sin business together, and that the difference between the good in us and the bad in us is sometimes frightfully thin. We so often fall short of the Faith we claim. We have treated people as things and we have treated things as if they were valuable people. And so we look into our hearts and make the ancient prayer of one notorious sinner our own: "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me" (Psalm 51:10; see Psalm 51 and the Language of Transformation).

Lent is a season that reminds us to repent and get our lives centered, our priorities straight, and our hearts clean. This holy season offers us a new chance to say, "yes" to the Lover of our Souls who created us, who made us in his own image. Lent is the time for a restoration project that will reveal the beauty of God’s design for us, showing once again the scale, proportion, and priorities intended by our Maker.
Further, Lent is a season of hope and with ashes on our foreheads and hope in our hearts, we go forth to love and serve. For by God’s grace in Christ, we do not have to stay the way we are.

Dear siblings in Christ we invite you this coming week to enter into a Holy Lent.

Ash Wednesday we have 4 services (see schedule below)
Service of Reconciliation
Lent is a good time to consider experiencing the grace of the service of reconciliation. If you would like to schedule a time with Fr. Bruce or Fr. Nick for a service of confession and reconciliation, please reach out to them directly or through the office.
Fr. Bruce+


Morning Feb.10th

Food Pantry Work Day

Volunteer Hours : 8am-12pm

The day will be spent put the pantry rooms back and cleaning the fellowship hall.

***if time permits a brief informal meeting on updates and information on the pantry.

Parking for volunteers is in our lot at 624 Sarah St.

All other parking is on street parking. Please obey traffic laws and no parking in front of the fire house or double parking on 7th St.

Saturday Feb.10th Evening

5pm Spoken Vigil Mass

Tonight's service is a contemplative and peaceful time as we prepare for another sacred Sunday.

1st Saturday- Celtic
2nd Saturday- Rite I Spoken
3rd Saturday- Healing Mass
4th- Rite II Sung Mass
If there is every a Sunday you can't make come Saturday. Or if you like a small and quieter service come.

Sunday Feb.11th


Transfiguration Sunday

8am Contemplative Spoken Mass

9am Adult Forum with James on the prayer book

10:15am Sung Rite II Mass
All are welcome!!!!
  • Nursery is now available in the old front office.
**Sunday School during the Mass during the time of the Lessons and until the peace.

Join us for coffee hour after the 10:15 Mass.

Today's Presiders & Celebrants: The Rev. Bruce G., The Rev. Nick L.

Thank you for considering to host. Thank you to the ministries that stepped up. Individuals that would like to sign-up check out the sign-up sheet on the furnace door downstairs.

Youth Group is meeting at 4pm Tuesday Feb. 13th to help with the pancake dinner.

Altar Guild

Working in pairs, the Altar Guild maintains and prepares the Eucharistic vessels, vestments, linens and other church furnishings used at each service. These items are kept cleaned, repaired, polished, laundered, ironed and properly placed for each Sunday worship service,
every mass during the week, special occasions and holidays.
The altar guild also assists with decorating the church for holidays. The Altar Guild inventories and orders new items needed for services as necessary.
They also regularly meet with the Priest to discuss how best to serve the congregation during services. One member of the Guild sits on the Ministry Committee.

If you would like to help please contact Chris Nelson or Fr. Bruce+


Working in pairs, the ushers/greeters help welcome folks to our sacred space. Greeters help hand out the weekly bulletin and any other material needed for worship.

Ushers make sure that the pews look presentable before and after the service. Help to organize the gift bearers for that service. Assist anyone who is in need to navigate our sacred time together.

Ushers help to collect that services collection, count worshippers, and during the reception of communion help folks to smoothly and orderly receive.

We are looking for more folks and someone to help organize this group.

If you would like to help please contact Fr. Bruce+

Other Volunteer Opp.

Parish Engagement Coordinator

A person(s) who is articulate and broadly supportive and open to the mission of the Gospel and the need to change to further grow that mission.

Ideally this person(s) has wide influence in the community, and the time and energy to
assist the Parish Priest and office admin in communicating the Mission /vision and to coordinate parish social and ministry events. (not running the events)

Social media development
Microsoft office

For more information contact Fr. Bruce+ or email the office.

Did you know you can now give to several ministries, including your weekly pledge, simply by scanning the QR code above or clicking the Give button on our website?

or Direct Link
As we progress in our parish engagement and abilities to provide liturgy, accessible material, education and much more. Please consider giving electronically, weekly, monthly and to a specific ministry. God is continuing to bless us with faithful givers like you. Thank you!

Narthex Doors

Thank you to some generous donors who help to get to get closer to our goal. As you’ve noticed, our narthex doors remain closed for the time being. Repairs are needed before we can again use them. These repairs may run as high as $34,000. Please consider a donation to the building/narthex door fund if you are so moved. Thank you for considering giving to this project.
Last year after several years with no finance team, Fr. Bruce put together a small team to help in a growing congregation its financial stability and growth. Topics of finance team: (Endowment, Stewardship, Budget Request, Fundraising,) From this team another side group came into being called the development team. The Development team goal is to help CEC develop a plan for financial growth and sustainability throughout the years to come.

Want to join our team! Help be the solution!

Who to contact?
Eugene Campbell -Chair of development team
Fr. Bruce or Tom Vonwort- Finance Team

Check out!!!!

CEC Blog

News And More!

Easter Collection begins soon!!! We will be collecting $25 gift cards, easter candy, baskets, easter bunnies, bears, etc, and grass for the baskets. Easter basket handout and book give away is March 23rd.

Christ Church Ministries Continued

Brotherhood of St. Andrew

Christ Church is seeking to re-establish a new chapter of the Brotherhood. Ages: 18 and up seeking mentorship and discipleship within a man’s order in a safe, welcoming, and compassionate space. Focus: Prayer, Study, and Service to Christ our Lord

Next gathering coming this month.

Please get in touch with Robert Ceci at
Women of Christ Church!

+Daughters have 2 new potential daughters. This is a 12 week discernment. This work will begin in the next few weeks. If anyone else is interested, please contact Maggie.

+ DOK and Brothers of St. Andrew will be teaming up in this month for a homeless service project in Stroudsburg/East Stroudsburg. Please bring in your new or gently used comforters and blankets into the front office now through the first weekend in March.

More information to come. Meantime, contact Maggie at or any Daughter with questions.
The Order meets monthly on the fourth Monday of the month. Next Meeting is Feb. 26 at 6:30pm

CEC Music

Choir rehearsal is every Thursday evening at 6:30 pm.

Bell Choir Practices Tuesday nights at 7pm

Bethann is currently looking for folks to add instruments to some of our Holy Week Services. If your interested or seeking a solo. Please reach out.

Please see Bethann Kratzer for more information or interested in join the choir, bell choir or special music.

You can reach our director at

Christ Church Supper Club 2024

Are you interested in getting together socially with your fellow church members for supper at
your or another’s home?

If so, please sign the sheet in the church hallway and we’ll organize groups of 8-12 for supper a couple of times a year.

Call Joan Duckloe at 570-421-4325(h) or 570-350-0737(cell) if you have questions or suggestions.

Sign up will be available in the church.

We are a Veteran's Friendly Church !


We are looking for people who want to join us on the Sustainability Team. We would like your ideas about renewing repairing and restoring. If interested, please email

Coming Late Spring 24'

Holy Hikes (Nature walks and Eucharist)

Coming This Fall 24'

Season of Creation

Four Week Class

Dialogue Circle: Environment

Mosaic: CEC Inclusion Team
The team meet for the first time this past Tuesday. If your interested in helping CEC discern and bring about opportunities of inclusion reach out to Fr. Bruce, Rose Hudson, Cheryl McPherson, Mary Ellen.

Future Ideas
Black History Month
Spanish History Month
Sacred Ground Course

Worship & The Arts

Coming this early summer. Fr. Bruce is working with local artists to share our space for art exhibits and a chance during our sacred time to gaze into the art and seek the divine. Especially based on themes of Justice and other work. Still in the planning stages but looking to be a fun, community involved endeavor and more.
Interested in the arts and want to get involved reach out to Fr. Bruce+

Lenten Soup, Study, and Supplication

Sign up here:

  • we will be exploring holy communion and the eucharistic meals in the Gospel of Luke.
  • ***can't make it in-person sign up for a zoom link by emailing the office or marking on the church sign up. Plan to join us around 7pm via zoom. In-person stations of the cross begin at 6:30pm then soup and study at 7pm.

Feb. 13th Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner Fundraiser 5-7:30pm

Feb. 14th -Ash Wednesday and Lent begins- see below
Feb. 17th- Winter Fest 2024- See below
Feb. 22nd- Vestry Meeting 5pm
Feb. 24th- Absalom Jones Celebration -See below
Feb.25th CEC Celebrates Black History Month more info to come
March 9th- Youth Fundraiser : Spaghetti Dinner 5-7pm

Parking Lot for Wednesday Feb. 14th is open for the church.

Pay here or at the door

Vestry Bulletin

"During February Kevin. Casey will be performing an Energy Star self audit of Christ Episcopal Church's energy use. The results of the audit will be used to develop a plan to reduce church energy use to assist in meeting deficit reduction goals. See Get Started with the Benchmarking Starter Kit for more information. If you are interested in helping, please see Kevin at the 8:00 service or contact him at"

Upcoming Dates

    • Feb. 22nd CEC Vestry Reorganizational Meeting

    • Next Vestry Meeting is Thursday, Feb. 22nd at 5pm
      • Focus: Reorganization and 2024 review
Zoom Link for Vestry

****Standing Committee Reports/Agenda Items are asked to be sent to Fr. Bruce by Feb. 12th to prepare to be sent out at least 1 week before the next meeting. Reminder in your reports, please highlight any material your team feels it needs Vestry action or vote so, we might better prepare and honor all our time. Thank you!

Healing Ministries & Community Resources

Weekly Meetings

AA Monday 6:30-8:30pm

N/A Thursday 6:30-8pm (Currently on a Pause)

N/A Friday 7:30-9pm

Yoga Instructor: Mary Ellen Whiteley

200hr RYT, Chair yoga, BA in Studio Art
For over twenty-five years my family and I have been members of Christ Church. I’ve been involved in
mission trips, Relay for Life, Youth Group, and most recently a member of the new priest search
committee. I love spending Saturday mornings with my yoga community, and Sunday mornings with my
church family. Now I’m happy to share my love of yoga with Christ Church in a new Chair Yoga series.

Gentle Chair Yoga

Chair Yoga for Beginners with Mary Ellen
Find the joy of movement with the support of a chair. Open to all members of Christ Church. This free
four-week Chair Yoga series will gently stretch our stiff muscles, find length in our spines, and improve
our blood flow with breath. This series will introduce students to asanas (poses), prana (breath) and
quiet meditation while using the chair for stability. No yoga experience is necessary. Wear comfortable
clothes and socks or bare feet. Open to all Christ Church members, classes will be held

Beginners Class every Wednesday. Please arrive at 1:00pm. Classes will begin at and run for 45 minutes.

Cost: $10/per class (Cash or Venmo)
Over 80 is free
***If cost is a hindrance please speak to Mary Ellen.

Queer Spirituality

***** our next dinner Church******
Tuesday, Feb. 20th

Bring a dish to share.
Future plans with ESU are back on and rolling out soon as Fr. Bruce+ meets with the new director of ESU Gender and Sexuality Center.
The Racial Justice & Reconciliation Task Force will host a celebration of Absalom Jones and Black History Month Celebration on February 24, 2024, at St. Stephen's Pro-cathedral (Wilkes-Barre).

Join us for a day of reflection, formation, and fellowship with keynote speaker the Rev. Ryan Hawthorne, Associate Rector at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church, Houston, TX.

This event consists of check-in at 9:30 a.m., keynote address, discussion, lunch, and a concluding worship service.

Registration is needed for your participation: click here.
Province III is hosting its youth event (PYE24) open to grades 6 - 12, on April 5 - 7, 2024, at the Caroline Furnace Camp and Retreat Center in Fort Valley, VA. Please "Save the Date" and look for registration details later this month.

Additionally, high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors are invited to join the PYE24 Leadership Team and help plan and lead PYE24. There will be a Leadership Team planning retreat on February 24 - 25, 2024, at the Caroline Furnace Camp and Retreat Center in Fort Valley, VA. More information and an application for the PYE24 Leadership Team can be found online: click here.

Angel G. and Fr. Bruce+ are part of the planning team.
Cost for each youth is $50. Thanks to the Diocese giving each youth who participates a $150 scholarship to off set the cost. Registration coming out next week.

Community Announcements

Weekender Submission (weekly)

Please submit material to the office by the Monday prior for review

Keep in touch with us!

Rt. Rev. Kevin D. Nichols, Bishop of the Diocese of Bethlehem
The Rev. Bruce Gowe, Priest-in-Charge
The Rev. Dr. Sidnie Crawford, Assisting Priest
The Rev. Nick Lorenzetti, Pastoral Care Minister
Christ Episcopal Church
205 North Seventh Street Stroudsburg, PA 18360
(570) 421-7481
Office Email:
Office Hours: 10:00am-2:00pm | Tuesday through Friday
Joyce Onsted, Administrative Assistant
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