WHO WE ARE
At Christ Church, we are a community of diverse people who seek to find and follow the way of Christ in our lives and in our world. We are people from different social, political, racial, economic, and faith backgrounds who have one thing in common: a desire to find meaning in our fractured and fearful world.
People often ask, “What does your church believe?” They want to know where we stand on specific “hot button” issues in order to decide if we are the right parish for them. However, that’s not how we approach faith and belief. We are not bound together by doctrine and rules. We are bound together by the love of God in Christ and by our shared mission to impact our world with that love. What holds us together is not conformity of opinion but a strong sense of community rooted in Christ. We express this through worship, which is what holds us together.
We are firmly anchored in scripture and are not bound by literalism. We take thinking together about faith and tradition seriously. And it’s why you’ll find that we don’t just tolerate differences of opinion, we celebrate them. We accept and value all people because everyone matters to God.
Our worship is the foundation of all that we do. We are a liturgical church, meaning that our service contains many elements of historic Christian practice that developed very shortly after the time of Jesus Christ. Our liturgy is found in the Book of Common Prayer You can take a look at it here.
The service we use on most Sundays begins on page 355.
Music is an essential aspect of how we offer prayer and praise to God, and the exceptional gifts of our choir and organist make this a glorious part of our service. We often have an opportunity to sit and listen to music, as well as to sing, both of which draw us deeper into the mystery of the Sacred.
AS AN EPISCOPAL PARISH
We belong regionally to THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN CONNECTICUT, a Diocese of about 150+ parishes. The word “episcopal” refers to the role of the bishop as the pastoral leader of our diocese. The Rt. Rev. Ian Douglas is our Diocesan Bishop and The Rt. Rev. Laura Ahrens is our Bishop Suffragan (assisting bishop).
Christ Church is also part of THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH (TEC), the national branch of the Episcopal church. The bishop who is the head of The Episcopal Church is called the Presiding Bishop, The Most Rev. Michael Curry. The Episcopal Church is a spiritual home free of judgment and inclusive for all.
Internationally, we are part of THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION, which is a gathering of Episcopal and Anglican churches from all over the world. Today, the Anglican Communion includes more than 80 million members in 44 regional and national member churches in more than 160 countries.
You Are Welcome Here
At Christ Episcopal Church, we have been connecting people to the heart of God for over 200 years. Our goal is to inspire you through the holiness of our dwelling and prayer services. Become a part of our growing congregation in East Hampton.
OVER 200 YEARS OF HISTORY
Christ Church was officially organized on April 25, 1785, while Bishop Seabury was on his return voyage from Scotland. A society was organized to build a new church in Middle Haddam, and in 1786 church wardens Stephen Hurlbut and Nathan Cornwall acquired the land the new church was to be built upon. It was purchased from Samuel Taylor for six pounds, ten shillings - less than ten dollars today. Construction was begun later that year.
With a new church building available, it was time to appoint the first rector. He was the Reverend Dr. Abraham Jarvis, responsible not only for the Middle Haddam congregation but also Trinity Church, Portland, and Christ Church (now known as Church of the Holy Trinity), Middletown.
The church building along with the adjacent Parish Hall are on the National Register of Historic Buildings.