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Local church celebrates 50th anniversary

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012 | Posted by

Christ Church United Methodist’s current location on the corner of Yulupa and Hoen avenues. (Courtesy of Christ Church United Methodist)

By MELODY KARPINSKI / Santa Rosa Correspondent

Christ Church United Methodist of Santa Rosa celebrates its 50th anniversary this month.

The celebration will take place over this weekend, beginning with Saturday evening featuring speakers and former pastors sharing about the history of the church. The celebrations will continue for the Sunday service with a special celebration and a post-service potluck lunch.

“I’ve been a member of Christ Church for 10 years and have been inspired by its rich history,” said Anne Colby. ” I can’t wait to hear from our former pastors and Rabbi George Gittleman, all prophetic people.”

The church began in 1962 and first met at the Odd Fellows Temple, before moving briefly to the Luther Burbank Art and Garden Center. In 1966, property was attained on the corner of Yulupa and Hoen avenues, and congregants met to worship in their own building for the first time.

In 1975, the church began sharing their space with Congregation Shomrei Torah. The building was destroyed by a devastating fire in 1984. Only a stained glass altar cross and Shomrei Torah’s Torah survived.

“The two congregations cried together, supported each other and began rebuilding together,” said Rev. Gayle Pickrell, a former Christ Church pastor.

The church rebuilt on the same property and reopened in 1986. Over the years, the church has been involved in the Harvest for the Hungry Garden and Elisha’s Pantry, a division of the Redwood Empire Food Bank. In 1997, the church was also a declared “reconciling” church for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

In 2007, Congregation Shomrei Torah dedicated its own building, and Christ Church now shares space with the World Harvest Assemblies of God, a Fijian congregation.

The celebrations will begin on Saturday, November 10, from 4-7:30 p.m. and will include refreshments, music and presentations from three former Christ Church pastors and Congregation Shomrei Torah’s Rabbi George Gittleman. The Sunday, Nov. 11 service will begin at 10 a.m. and will conclude with a potluck lunch. To RSVP, call 542-2569 or e-mail office@srchristchurch.org. Visit srchristchurch.org for more information.

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Ann Hutchinson is our Santa Rosa correspondent.
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