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Students at commencement


Christ Church Episcopal

Location: Glen Allen, Virginia
Denomination: The Episcopal Church
Size: Average Weekly Attendance of 850

Download Christ Episcopal's VCP report or see report contents below:

Ministry context
Christ Church is a relatively new congregation, born September 12, 1993. The community began its life at a local elementary school. In June of 1995, Christ Church received a generous gift from an anonymous benefactor—fourteen acres and a house, serving as the community’s home. Through the grace of God, a capital campaign, and outside gifts, Christ Church was able to embark on the creation of its first permanent worship home. A multi-purpose worship facility and education building were created on this land. Christ Church moved into this new home in June 1999. In 2010, we completed an expansion of the worship space and added a room for our music ministry. Another 18 acres of property adjoining our current location was also gifted to us that year. In 2011, a 6500 square foot multi-purpose building was completed to be used primarily by our youth. God blessed Christ Church that we might be a blessing to others. From a beginning of 150 persons, Christ Church has grown to an average weekly attendance of 850. It has been an exciting journey as we experience God working in this community.
Pre-existing practices

1. Hybrid Worship between Traditional and Modern Practices

Worship at Christ Church is a combination of a highly liturgical form (from the Book of Common Prayer) with a fusion of traditional and contemporary styles. Eucharist is celebrated every week, while old hymns are commonly arranged and remixed with contemporary sound.

2. Open and Inviting Atmosphere

There is a tremendous feeling of warmth and intimacy for both a visitor and a long-standing member in this church. We use our music to help people connect with God. Our core values are: to know and experience God’s grace, mercy, and love; to give thanks to God through engaging worship; to be an inviting, welcoming, and nurturing people and place; to teach and encourage one another to grow as disciples of Jesus Christ; and to love and serve God, one another, and the community beyond Christ Church.

3. Children and Youth

Christ Church’s Children’s Ministry is entirely led by lay volunteers from the church, ministering to over 300 children every weekend. This exemplifies the tremendous support from the members of the church of the numerous ministries of the church, drawing one to be a participant in the life of the community.

Two staff persons, along with significant help from lay volunteers lead our Youth Ministry. The Youth Ministry is all about building relationships—with God, with each other and with people in our community, both near and far. Participants enjoy everything from discussions, lock-ins, and fellowship to volunteering and mission opportunities.

Our preschool is an active ministry of Christ Church Episcopal. It opened in the fall of 2006 with 24 students and has grown to 76 students this fall. The preschool’s mission is to provide a developmentally appropriate Christian environment for the children in our community. It offers a safe, loving and nurturing environment with low student to teacher ratios.

4. Ministries

Christ Church believes everyone should have the ability to share one’s gifts in our community and the world, and be fully part of the common life God has given us. We have 10 official ministries ranging from the Mission and Outreach Ministry to the Music and Arts Ministry with over 140 opportunities to get involved with. Many unofficial ministries also exist.

Discoveries from listening process

1. Family Influences Our Congregation’s Giving more than Anything else

2. People Want to Talk about Money, but Find it a Challenge to Do so

3. We are a Young, Affluent Congregation that is Quick to Give to a Specific Need (Rally around a Special Cause)  

Opportunities for growth

1. How do we Improve the Transparency of the Church’s Financial Situation?

2. How do we Continue to Grow in our Understanding of the Relationship between Faith and Wealth? How can we Ensure a Healthy and Free Relationship with Money?

3. How do we Define Stewardship?  

Experiments undertaken

1. Church Financial Information 

  • There is a want for more regular sharing of the church’s financial situation.
  • The financial information will be published in the weekly bulletin, in the weekly email blasts, and on the church’s website. By being more open about our current financial situation, we hope to improve communications about money and to demonstrate transparency concerning the church’s finances.

2. Demystify Money

  • There is a connection between faith and what we’ve been given. People want to talk about money but it is a problem and burden for many.
  • All ministry groups within the church will be encouraged to complete and share a money autobiography with their respective groups. We plan to offer various teaching sessions to the congregation to encourage how to live with our wealth in a healthy manner, how to talk about money and wealth, and to discover God’s message about generosity, gratitude, abundance, and freedom.

3. Define Stewardship

  • Stewardship is a powerful topic that is hard to talk about because it does not have a clear definition. Stewardship is more than just giving money, it includes time and talent too.
  • For our annual giving campaign, we will be celebrating stories. We will ask for members of the congregation to share stories of gratitude, generosity, and abundance. We will also distribute a pledge card asking for a family decision. All members of the family will be asked to contribute time, talent, and/or monetary gifts and sign the card.