About our Church

We are an inclusive, welcoming community of members from different spiritual backgrounds brought together through the Episcopal Church.

The Reverend Ernest "Ernie" M. Galaz serves as our Rector and we have several staff members that support our daily activities.

The vestry members are the lay leaders of the Church who work with the Rector to manage the Church and plan for its future.

Our Community

Christ Church is a robust, vibrant parish that spans generations. Founded in 1854 by a group of civic leaders, our parish has a legacy of community engagement that continues to this day.

We have a long-standing tradition of diversity and inclusion:

 

  • Our first African American member was baptized in October 1891. Maud Ridley Ortiga was the granddaughter of slaves who escaped from Virginia and settled in Media.
     

  • In 1949, Christ Church declared it ministered “to all classes of people,” making “no restriction concerning race or color, asking only faithful adherence to the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Episcopal Church of any who would become members.”
     

  • On June 7, 2016, the Vestry unanimously voted to approve the celebration of same sex marriages at Christ Church.

 

Our parishioners bring a variety of faith and cultural backgrounds to our community. Our members include cradle Episcopalians, former Catholics, interfaith families, immigrants, lifelong Media residents, young, old, singles, and families. Christ Episcopal Church is the spiritual home that brings us all together.

For more information about the Episcopal Church, please visit these sites:

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Clergy

Reverend Ernest M. Galaz, Rector

Christ Church welcomed Fr. Ernie to be our full time rector in September 2018.

Prior to Christ Church, Ernie was the Rector of St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Nogales, Arizona for five years. St. Andrews is a growing and active pastoral-sized church on the Arizona-Mexico border.  While serving St. Andrews, Ernie was active in the Arizona Diocese, including serving on the Arizona Diocese’s Bishop Search Committee.  He also served for a time on the Board of Episcopal Community Services of Arizona, and the Board of Southern Arizona Interfaith.

 

Before arriving at St. Andrews Nogales, Ernie was a Ministry Intern and Curate at St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Tucson, Arizona from 2011-2013.  There, he prepared for seminary equivalency exams and Holy Orders under the supervision of St. Andrew’s Vicar, Reverend Kate Bradsen.

 

Ernie took up his path of priesthood after a long career as an educator. He has a B.A. in Elementary Education from The University of Arizona, and an M.A. in Educational Leadership from Prescott College.  From 1985 through 2012, he held successive positions as an elementary and middle school teacher, a middle school assistant principal, and then an elementary school principal.  As a school principal, Ernie oversaw a learning community with hundreds of students, teachers and other staff, and a sizeable budget. 


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Ernie has a deep love for the study of theology, and is also steeped in contemplative prayer and practices.  He presently is nearing completion of a course of study with Father Richard Rohr, through which Ernie finds he can “deepen contemplative practice and ways of seeing to ground my action in the world from a place of love and acceptance.”

 

Ernie describes his vision of spirituality and leadership as “living into the belovedness for which God created me in Christ. “ He calls others to do the same, and “strive[s] to be a servant leader—engaging, equipping and empowering others to live into their belovedness and become servant leaders themselves.”

 

Ernie has two grown children, one of whom lives in Philadelphia. He and his wife Elizabeth enjoy exploring Media, especially nearby hiking spots like Ridley Creek State Park. ​

 

Other Clergy:

Reverend Randy Williamson, Priest Associate

Parish Staff

Rita Caserta, Parish Administrator

Since 1990, Christ Church has been blessed with the services of a full-time parish administrator.  Along with maintaining the Rector’s schedule, the parish administrator maintains the parish calendar, meeting schedules, writes and produces the bi-monthly newsletter as well as weekly liturgical bulletins and special service bulletins.  Although not a member of Christ Church, the parish administrator has ministered to almost every member of the congregation.

Joel Lenderman, Choir Director/Organist

Our music program is one of the threads that bring us together during worship at the 10:00 a.m. Sunday Holy Eucharist.  The choir director/organist is a lifetime member of Christ Church and has been a member of the staff since 1994.  In addition, he teaches music at an elementary school.  He has been able to create the perfect blend of traditional, contemporary, praise and spirituals into our music.  We enjoy the children and youth choirs, youth chime ensemble and seasonal celebrations with full choir and brass accompaniment.  A spirit flows through our worship freely and occasionally spontaneous clapping will ensue.  We feel it is the Spirit of the Lord.

Lori Crussard, Preschool Director

Our director took the helm at our Preschool in August 2020, and brings many years of experience in early childhood education.  She leads a dedicated teaching staff that makes our Preschool one of the best in the area.

Sue Welfley, Church School

Frank Matthews, Youth Group

Brad Weber, Weekday Sexton/Sean Seeney, Sunday Sexton

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Vestry

Members of the vestry serve in specific roles and are elected by the parish for three year terms. Questions or comments can be addressed to vestry members through the "Contact Us" page.

Rector's Warden Mary Ellen Maatman

Finance Chair – Kurt Brunner

Stewardship – Leslie Bullitt

Preschool Liaison Heather Comerford

Accounting Warden – John Donaphon

Secretary of the Vestry – Maggie Dunn

Property Steve Falcone

Parish Life – Karen Mason

Spiritual Life Susan Mayer

Christian Education – Robert Miller

Hospitality - Jim Ross

Outreach Marianne Spiotta