Christ Episcopal Church celebrates 130 years of congregation

This photo shows the set up inside the church on Easter Sunday, 1898.

In the back of the Post Office of the settlement Anacortes, a congregation gathered for the first time 130 years ago in December. That congregation became to be known as Christ Episcopal Church.

While the pandemic has prohibited in-person celebrations, the church celebrated the anniversary of its beginning during a service Dec. 6 over Zoom, attended by the church bishop. An art exhibit and other plans had to be canceled.

At the start of this year, the Rev. Diane Ramerman performed a service much like the early congregates 130 years ago would have experienced, wearing black cassocks, moving the altar back to the wall, facing away from the congregation and delivering a traditional homily.

“Our congregation really loved it, they said it was such an eye-opener in the change of the church from seeing the priest as the connection to God, and realizing the connection to God is ourselves,” said Ramerman, who was ordained as a priest in 2013 along with Carol Rodin.

The church building was erected in 1891, the same year of the town’s official incorporation.

In 1918, pews from the Presbyterian Church were donated as replacements for spindle back chairs. Kneelers were added to the pews. This year, Christ Church decided to remove half of its pews to make way for more comfortable chairs.

“I offered the Presbyterian minister one of the pews back,” Ramerman said. “She said, ‘no, I’ve sat in one of them.’”

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