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Congregation Close-up: St. Christopher’s, Port Orford

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Icon of St. Christopher carrying the Christ Child

St. Christopher Episcopal Church is a small congregation of worshipers located in a small town, Port Orford, of about 1,100 people on the southern coast of Oregon.  The physical setting of the town, located at the western most point in Oregon, offers one of the most stunning and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the coastal Siskiyou Mountains, and has a small port and is adjacent to two fishing rivers, the Elk River and the Sixes River.  The climate is moderate year-round with most of the rainfall falling between October and May; snow is rare in Port Orford.

It is the oldest church on the Oregon coast.  It was built in the 1880s and was known as Christ Church.  In about 1962 the original church was blown off its foundation and was subsequently replaced in 1964 with the current church building. It is the same today as then except for minor changes and upgrades.  The church is capable of holding about 50+ worshippers and has an attached parish hall with a kitchen and meeting area which is capable of also serving over 30 people at a sit down dinner.

The congregation has been relatively stable with the exception of deaths, movers and births.  The median age of the congregation is 48, with parishioners ranging from 3 years to a 94 years.  The congregation is made up of mostly retired persons with moderate incomes. Average Sunday attendance is about 14 people. We have been served by Supply Priests for the past several years, and are currently served by a retired Lutheran minister. The congregation, which is in various stages of health, is quite involved in various aspects of the community: Rotary, the Senior Center, Open Hearth (which provides a sit down dinner for community members wishing to attend), the Garden Club, Shoes for Kids and we support the local food bank.

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