About our Church
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.
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.
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.
Rita Caserta, Parish Administrator - Since 1990, Christ Church has been blessed with Rita as full-time parish administrator. She maintains the parish calendar, meeting schedules, and Rector's schedule; handles bookkeeping; produces all service bulletins; and supports preschool operations. Although not a member of Christ Church, Rita has ministered to almost every member of the congregation.
Joel Lenderman, Director of Music & Media - The music program is one of the threads that bring us together during Sunday 10am Holy Eucharist Services. Joel is a life-long member of Christ Church and has been a staff member since 1994. He also teaches music at a local elementary school. Joel creates uses all styles of music - traditional, contemporary, praise and spirituals - to create the perfect blend for each service. A spirit flows through our worship freely and occasionally spontaneous clapping with ensue. We feel it is the Spirit of the Lord.
Lori Crussard, Preschool Director - Lori brings many years of experience in early childhood education including teaching at Christ Church Preschool. She has done an excellent job guiding the school through the many phases of COVID. Lori leads a dedicated teaching staff that makes our preschool one of the best in the area.
Sue Welfley, Church School - Sue is a retired elementary school teacher with amazing talent with and love for children. Whether Church School is in person or via Zoom, children are engaged in learning about God and how to be God's love in the world.
Frank Mathews, Youth Group - Through service projects, community engagement, and many other avenues, youth learn important lessons about God working in their lives and how they can spread God's love to others. Youth also receive instruction for Confirmation when age and interest level are reached.
Brad Weber, Weekday Sexton and Sean Seeney, Sunday Sexton - Brad and Sean have various responsibilities including grounds keeping and Sunday service set up and tear down.
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 – Kurt Brunner
Stewardship – Leslie Bullitt
Preschool Liaison – Heather Comerford
Secretary of the Vestry – Maggie Dunn
Property – Steve Falcone
Parish Life – Karen Mason
Spiritual Life – Susan Mayer
Liturgical – Bob Miller
Outreach – Rob Miller
Hospitality - Jim Ross
Communications - Kate Zurick