OUR PARISH MISSION:
ST. CHRISTOPHER’S IS A COMMUNITY CALLED BY GOD TO WORK, PRAY, AND GIVE FOR THE SPREAD OF GOD’S KINGDOM IN TANGIBLE WAYS.
We work to accomplish our mission by:
- Providing year-round worship for the Episcopal community in Leelanau County and the influx of seasonal visitors and residents
- Ministering to those in our community, diocese, and greater world who are in need
- Providing an opportunity for those in the parish and the surrounding community to engage in Christian dialogue and education
- Reaching out ecumenically to the larger community and working for the greater common good.
WHO WE ARE:
St. Christopher’s is a small, ecumenically-oriented parish located in Michigan’s beautiful Leelanau Peninsula. We have no building of our own; instead, we lease space from St. Gertrude’s Catholic Church in Northport and use our resources to help promote the Good Works of the Gospel. The members of St. Christopher’s congregation are a diverse group that range in age from infancy to the elderly. We are an engaged, educated, hardworking group who visit the sick, work with Leelanau Christian Neighbors, and participate in various community charity events.
St. Christopher’s provides an opportunity and venue for Scriptural engagement, enlightenment, and theological education in the Leelanau Peninsula. During the summer months, our congregation numbers swell with vacationers and part-time summer residents, many of whom have worshiped with us for years. Since 2008, E.L.C.A. Bethany Lutheran Church of Northport and St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church have joined in a Covenant of Shared Ministry, whereby both churches share a minister and a ministry.
1955- St. Christopher’s gets its start when George and Helen Smith offer their orchard home in Omena as a gathering place for Episcopal Sunday Services.
1971- A Certificate of Commitment to become a year-round mission, under the sponsorship of Grace Episcopal in Traverse City, is signed.
1972- The name St. Christopher’s is adopted and the first service is held in the Leelanau Memorial Hospital Chapel.
1973- St. Gertrude’s Roman Catholic Church invites the people of St. Christopher’s to hold services at their church building (the building immediately south of the current St. Gertrude’s).
1976- St. Christopher’s follows St. Gertrude’s into their new building where we currently worship.
1996- Following approval by the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan, St. Christopher’s becomes a parish.
2000- St. Christopher’s calls its first Episcopal rector.
2008- St. Christopher’s enters into a Covenant of Shared Ministry with Bethany Lutheran Church in Northport and the two parishes hire a minister to serve both churches.
2015- St. Christopher’s and Bethany Lutheran begin to actively seek their next minister.
St. Christopher’s Book Group Recap for Summer
By Kate Mason
The St. Christopher’s Book Group is starting to wind down for the season. The few hardy remaining folks may gather in November to read a to-be-determined book, but otherwise, we’ll largely be reading on our own during the winter. Here’s what we learned in this first summer, and where we hope to take the book group in 2020.
Books Read in 2019
We read three books together this summer, given our somewhat late start. They were:
Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again, by Rachel Held Evans. An educated and enthusiastic tour of Hebrew and Christian scriptures, organized by theme, and deeply illumined by the Jewish tradition of midrash. Brimming with hope, honestly, and an open-ended window into scripture.
The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World’s Largest Religion Is Seeking a Better Way to Be Christian, by Brian McLaren. A thoughtful look at where Christianity has come from, and how it has at times strayed badly from the words of Jesus. McLaren offers his passionate hope that we will be less didactic believers in Jesus, and more his followers as practitioners of love. Challenging but exciting.
The Shack, by William P. Young. A middle-aged man, still reeling badly from the brutal murder of his young daughter, is invited back to the scene of the crime by God. There, he meets with personifications of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and begins to finally face the worst experience of his life and find a way forward.
Where We Go in 2020
For summer of 2020, we hope to leverage a lot of the great things we learned this year:
We’ll probably continue to meet monthly to discuss an agreed-upon book – probably still on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 2 pm, at someone’s home for the discussion.
We’ll continue to have another person lead the conversation – someone who has read the book.
Since we hope to start meeting in late spring, we’ll discuss recommendations via email over the winter. To join the discussion, contact Kate Mason. Everyone at St. Christopher’s is welcome. Friends are also welcome.
If you’re interested in one book but not in another, that’s fine. Join us as you have time and feel moved.
The book group this summer has been a marvelous experience, where all points of view are welcome and encouraged. It’s been an exciting way to explore what it means to be a Christian and an Episcopalian, and how we live our faith beyond 9 to 10 am on Sunday.