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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Christ Church celebrates centennial

  • Christ Church in Indian Orchard is celebrating 100 years of “faith, fellowship, and community” this month.


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  • Christ Church in Indian Orchard is celebrating 100 years of “faith, fellowship, and community” this month.
    A special service is being held on Sunday, September 14 at 9;30 a.m., led by The Right Reverend John P. Croneberger, retired Bishop. A picnic on the grounds, next to the church, will follow the service, with everyone invited, says Executive Committee member, Amy Dunn.
    At 88-years-old, Amy’s mom Edna is the church’s oldest member. She was confirmed in Christ Church at age 12.  Edna’s been the church organist for 60 years, along with the help of: Stella Ropke, Diane Whittich, and Stella Nemire. Guest musicians have included: Sharon Schwartz and grandsons Jason and Steven Schwartz of Honesdale, along with guest harper Barbara Kaighn of Lake Ariel.
    Amy says it’s the fellowship of the families attending that makes the church special. “The warmth and the Spirit-filled atmosphere is what makes you want to come back,” she says.
    She says they’re also blessed with a “wonderful supply of retired clergy, “ including Reverend Robert Keel, Rev. Steve Matylewicz, Rev. Donald Schearer, and Rev. Reuel Kaighn.
    Mission statement
    The church’s mission statement is “Faith and unity in Christ’s Name.” Amy says, “That’s what it’s all about.”
    Jane T. Cable, a member of Grace Episcopal Church, Honesdale, authored a history on the 100th anniversary, titled, The Beginnings of Christ Church Parish.
    “In June, 1908, the Rev. Albert A.L.Whittaker of Grace Church, Honesdale,  Wayne County, Pa.,who is remembered for his missionary spirit, established a Mission Church at Indian Orchard in the little Indian Orchard schoolhouse, about five miles from Honesdale ...The schoolhouse was then located where routes 6 and 652 divide.  It stood on the right where the second house from the end now stands directly across from what is now the Palmer motorcycle business.
    “Services were held three Sunday afternoons a month with an evening prayer service once a month. The first service was held on June 21, 1908,” Cable explained in the history. ”In 1911, two years before the Articles of Association were formed, it was decided that a larger building was needed for the worship of God. A plot of ground was located between the Indian Orchard Road, now Route 6, and the cemetery ... The cost of the church was recorded in one parish report in the amount of $3,200.00, and in another report, $3523.24. The rector collected $810.00 from two Church Building Associations. The Indian Orchard Cemetery Association contributed $400.00, and the remainder was given by the good people of Indian Orchard, Bethany, and the mission churches in Hawley, Waymart, White Mills and Seelyville. These generous gifts made it possible for the entire cost of the church to be paid at the time of the dedication in 1912.”
    The anniversary celebration was planned by the Church Executive Committee members: Elaine Farrell, Amy Dunn, Maureen Tietje, Louise Sherwood, Linda Shearn, and Edna Dunn.
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