ABOUT ST. CHRISTOPHER BY THE SEA
As we walk around the Island, we can see great changes happening. But amid the changes our Island Church, St. Christopher by the Sea stands as it has since 1927. Imagine what it was like to cross the Causeway in 1927, then not much more than a sandbar to be navigated at low tide and rounding the corner to see the little brown chapel with a thatched roof. From the day it was built it has been considered our community chapel and has remained an important part of the Gibson Island community. People of all Christian traditions have had occasion to participate not only in the 10:00 AM Sunday Service and Holiday events but in weddings, baptisms, memorials, and other special services. Children come back to be married and later bring their babies to be baptized.
We are fortunate to have The Reverend Charles Rowins as our minister. Every Sunday we are inspired by his timely and interesting sermons. Our organist, John Newell Esq., has provided beautiful musical accompaniment to our services for more than thirty years. We hope you join us. Sermons and associated documents can be found on the "Sermons" tab or by clicking here.
In addition to conducting worship on Sundays and special occasions, clergy and members of the congregation offer Bible study and other forms of adult education. Often these offerings are in response to requests from the congregation. Pastoral care, including hospital visits and home communions, is available.
Children’s activities, both educational and recreational, are offered as numbers and circumstances suggest. We encourage family participation. Special services include the Blessing of Animals, a Christmas Concert and Caroling, Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday Services. Church community social events include a Maundy Thursday potluck supper during Holy Week. The St. Christopher Tea for women and girls of all ages is a popular event, held in the summer at St. Christopher’s Parish Hall. This annual event is sponsored by the women of St. Christopher by the Sea for the Island Community and off-Island members and guests.
The operation of St. Christopher is supported by Sunday offerings and an annual appeal. Weekly envelopes are available. Memorial and other special donations are always appreciated.
We extend a warm welcome to all to visit our lovely chapel for our 10:00 AM Sunday service or a quiet retreat for meditation. Everyone is welcome!
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St. Christopher is for many the site of choice for baptisms, marriages, renewal of vows, funerals and memorial services, and internments in the Memorial Garden. Clergy and our special services coordinator will work closely with individuals and families to meet expectations.
The Memorial Garden for the burial of cremated remains is located adjacent to the parish hall. The Garden is an option for members of the Gibson Island community, past and present, their families, and others at the Board’s discretion. Names of the deceased and dates are entered on a plaque in the church.
Christian education for adults and children is an integral part of Sunday morning at St. Christopher. Adults meet at 9:00 a.m., and there is Sunday school for children during a portion of the main service. A lively social time takes place in the parish hall after church on the second and fourth Sundays of the month.
The Board of Trustees is responsible for the operation of St. Christopher. The board consists of a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, warden, and four others. Church finances, including management of the Endowment and Memorial Fund, fundraising, and capital projects are under the auspices of the board. The warden schedules acolytes, greeters, and readers for Sundays and special services. The Rector is responsible for the spiritual aspects of the chapel to include all worship and Christian education.
In response to the Gospel imperative to love our neighbor and care for the poor and disadvantaged, St. Christopher’s Outreach Programs support a variety of charitable organizations nominated by members of the congregation. Recipients are selected by the board. Programs are overseen by the board. In addition to supporting local and international charitable organizations, the congregation provides food baskets at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. St. Christopher also participates in the local food bank drives and has had great success supporting the Maryland Food Bank.
MEMORIAL AND ENDOWMENT FUND
The St. Christopher by the Sea Memorial and Endowment Fund was established in order to have assets on hand for the following purposes: first, to provide annual “foundational funding” of church operations, including but not limited to supporting staff salaries, regular buildings and grounds maintenance, including the Memorial Garden, and events for the congregation and Island Residents. That funding is provided in an amount up to five percent of the principal of the Fund annually. Second, to have the capability to respond if an emergency arose at St. Christopher, requiring a substantial amount of money to support the church’s continued operation on Gibson Island. Third, to help the church have the financial capacity to provide outreach support to those in need in Anne Arundel County, with a focus on family and physical health. Click here for brochure and more information.