A Rich Past and a Vibrant Future
Welcome to Christ Episcopal Church in La Crosse, WI. We're glad you're here.
welcome back to christ church
We wish you a blessed fall season!!
reopening information is below, thank you!
from the rev. anne seddon
Deuteronomy 5:1, 6-14:
"Moses summoned all Israel, and said to them, "Hear, O Israel, the statutes and ordinances which I speak in your hearing this day, and you shall learn them and be careful to do them. He (God) said, 'I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. Observe the sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God."
In Deuteronomy 5:1-22, we find a copy of the ten commandments that is almost identical to that which was revealed in Exodus 20:2-17 where Moses presented the Jewish people with two tablets upon which God himself had written the law. Here though, Moses is using this as an introduction to his final series of exhortations and sermons to the Israelites. Summarizing for them, if you will, the most significant aspects of their faith and covenant relationship with God. He wants to impress upon them the importance of these commands for their daily living and motivate them to act upon them out of love and reverence for all that God has done.
Traditionally we have referred to numbers one through four as defining our right relationship with God and numbers six through ten as defining our right relationship with our neighbors. It has been my experience that how well we fulfill numbers 6-10 is directly dependent upon how faithfully we fulfill numbers 1-4: to acknowledge that he is the one true God worthy of our love and obedience; to not create idols for ourselves (e.g., money, power, celebrity, social status, etc.) that we value more than (or even as much as) we value him; to not take his name in vain; to set aside a day a week of prayer and worship of him once a week.
One of my favorite 'jobs' as a rector was working with the youth group. They are an exciting age to spend time with. They have remarkable insights into the scripture and Christian living that seem to often allude older people. It is always exhilerating and refreshing to be with them especially when they share their insights freely. Being with them and really listening to them is, quite simply, a wonderful, fruitful way to spend some time!
One snowy Sunday afternoon, I was doing just that in the undercroft with my youth group (ages 14-16). We were discussing the ten commandments; I asked if they could name them. They immediately went to do not commit adultery, do not murder or steal or lie. Then they got stuck. With a lot of prompting they thought of the relationship with God. (I suspect they are not alone in this). So we opened our bibles to Exodus 20:2-17 and started to explore the first four. When we got to number three,i.e., do not take the Lord's Name in vain, the conversation got lively. Most of them thought that this was so disregarded as to be almost non-existent in our culture (including amongst themselves). And so we explored why they thought it was so easy for people to take the Lord's Name in vain; after all we don't use anyone else's name that way. One 15 year old girl came out with a remarkable answer: "Because they don't believe he's a real person! If they thought he was a real person, they'd treat him with more respect".
Our conversation took off! They started to share how they felt about God in their lives. Was he real to them or not? As a group they concluded that every time we took his name in vain we were announcing to everyone within earshot that he was, at best, irrelevant, and, at worst, not even real. It made them uncomfortable.To this day, I ponder that young girl's statement. And I ask: how real is God to us? how personal is God to us? how reverent is our response to the use of His Name?
The author of Deuteronomy wanted to impress upon the Jewish people how important the covenant, and each individual statute within it, made with the one God on Mt. Sinai was. How it defined them as his people and showed them the way of love. A way of life based on love of God and neighbor; a way of life rooted in reverence for the one, true God. Not as something old, given to our ancestors long ago but a covenant made "with us, who are all of us here alive today" (Deut. 5:3). And so it continues with each of us living today.
How real is God to me? How does that reflect itself in reverence toward Him?
Almighty and everlasting God, we praise and thank you for entering into covenant with us, your people. And we thank you especially today, Lord, for the gift of you among us. Teach us to listen to them as they voice your word afresh to us and call us to ever deepening reverence for you. In Jesus' name we pray. AMEN.
important reopening information:
please read our august mask update:
Due to the rise of Covid-19 cases in La Crosse County and new recommendations to wear face masks indoors (even by vaccinated) people. Christ Episcopal church's Vestry voted to re-implement the requirement to wear face masks during services. Our goal is to protect every member and guest as best as possible. Thank you.
Sunday Services have resumed at both 8 AM and 10:30 AM.
Please continue to wear your masks, use hand sanitizer, practice social distancing in the pew, and follow the direction of Ushers, Vestry, or Clergy for receiving communion, other worship activities, and fellowship. We want to keep everyone safe, and ensure that our worship together is a blessing!!
We look forward to seeing your masked face soon!!
Also, please share your prayer requests with email@example.com
Just because we can't be together doesn't mean we can't pray together!
Prayer for Sundays:
"In union, O Lord, with the faithful at every altar of your Church where the Holy Eucharist is celebrated, I desire to offer you praise and thanksgiving. I present to you my soul and body with the earnest wish that I may always be united to you. And since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, I ask you to come spiritually into my heart. I unite myself to you and embrace you with all the affections of my soul. Let nothing ever separate you from me. May I live and die in your love. AMEN"
Online Devotional Resources Available
Welcome to Christ Episcopal Church
At Christ Episcopal Church, we are a congregation whose mission is to know Christ and to make Him known to others. We are a welcoming congregation. You may be a cradle Episcopalian, a non-believer or somewhere in between. We are an inclusive community which supports all lifestyle choices. We want to be your loving home where you are nourished and grow in God’s love. We want to accompany you on a journey which deepens your faith, grounds you spiritually and surrounds you with loving acceptance. When we share the peace of our Lord - we mean it! Children eagerly scamper to share the peace with parents in the choir, while acolytes light from the altar to greet family in the pews. Our peace may take a while longer than you’re used to as we warmly greet each other in Christ’s name.
We are located in the heart of downtown and actively partner with the Salvation Army, New Horizons Shelter (from abuse), United Campus Ministries and Coulee Council on Recovery to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors and the greater La Crosse Community. We minister daily to those living on the margins of society seeking acceptance, spiritual guidance, financial assistance and hope in a world where they seek to find their place in God’s plan.
Hospitality, outreach, and education are all part of our mission within and beyond our congregation. We minister to our members and visitors alike. We bring Communion, blessings, anointing, guidance and counseling to members within our parish as well as those who cannot come to church due to age, illness, or disability. We honor those with special worship needs, certified service animals are welcome. We are committed to our children, seniors and all those in between.
Our church members include a broad cross section of society. La Crosse hosts two world class hospitals highly rated by the U.S. World News and Reports. We also host three colleges; vast recreational, hunting and fishing opportunities; plus a thriving art and music scene. All these are situated within two miles of our front door. Click here to learn more about our amazing city and community.
We are one of 19 parishes of the Diocese of Eau Claire. We’re members of the worldwide Anglican Communion, part of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America who reside and worship in North and Western counties of Wisconsin.