Children’s Ministry

Children's Ministry
Sunday School

Christ Church has a small but growing body of children for whom Sunday School is something they wake their parents up early Sunday mornings to be sure to get them to church on time!  Children up to age 12 attend Sunday School from 10:30 AM and enter the service around the time of the exchange of the Peace. On the first Sunday of the month Sunday School does not meet and children are encouraged to sit with their parents during the full service.  They are usually invited to join the celebrant at the altar for the communion rite where some of them will get to hold and raise the consecrated bread and chalice.

Whether you are visiting or a regular member, you and your young children are always welcome to come to participate in Sunday School, which is held upstairs in our Education wing. Parents are always welcome and encouraged to speak with our adult Sunday School teachers to learn more about our program and to share any needs or concerns for their children.

Clergy

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The Rev’d Joseph A. Harmon
Rector

The Rev’d Joseph A. Harmon began his ministry as the eleventh rector of Christ Church on December 1, 2011.  Father Harmon earned his bachelor of arts degree at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY and his master of divinity degree at The General Theological Seminary in New York City.  More recently he earned the juris doctor degree from Widener University School of Law.  Since 1978 he has led parishes in Elizabeth, NJ, Albany, NY, Detroit, MI, and Chicago, IL.  He has also taught in several parochial and private schools in Connecticut, Michigan and New Jersey and served as Dean of School in Chicago where he also taught religion and science..  After completing law school Joseph worked as an attorney in a major international law firm’s Harrisburg office.  He remains an actively licensed attorney in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,

Father Harmon left the full-time practice of law in 2005 to return to full-time parish work as Priest-in-Charge of Church of the Incarnation in Jersey City, NJ.  There he worked with parish leaders to revitalize the mission and ministry of the parish and led several innovations to spur parish development.  He was also actively engaged in the community where he served on the Canterbury Board of Christ Hospital and as vice-president of Garden State Episcopal Community Development Corporation.

Father Joseph is involved in numerous diocesan activities where he currently serves on the Disciplinary Board, the Committee on Constitution and Canons, the Resolutions Committee, the Task Force on Clergy Bullying, the Convention Task Force, the Diocesan Missional Leadership Team, and the Commission on Ministry.  He is also a deputy for the Diocese of Newark to the 2015 General Convention.

An avid reader, he also enjoys playing the piano, bike riding, computer graphics and website design, and listening to a wide variety of music with classical vocal and organ music among his favorites.  He resides in the West Orange rectory.

The Rev’d George Kaswarra
Priest Associate

The Rev’d George A. Kaswarra was born in Fort Portal, Uganda, and completed his undergraduate and seminary education in the Anglican Province of Uganda. He is a licensed priest in the Diocese of Newark and serves as a non-stipendiary Priest Associate at Christ Church. He previously served in this diocese as Priest-in-Charge of Trinity Church, Montclair, and in the Diocese of New York as rector of St. Francis and St. Martha’s Church in White Plains. He is married to Maude Katumwebaze and they have four children.

Staff

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Robert Simmons
Parish Administrator

Robert Simmons has been an active member at Christ church since 1980 and served in many capacities including Treasurer, Senior Warden, Choir, Finance committee, Buildings & Grounds committee, Preservation and Restoration Committee, Brotherhood of St. Andrew and Chair Person of Outreach Committee. He is currently the Parish Administrator.

John Bingham
Administrtaive Assistant

John Bingham has been the Administrative Assistant at Christ Church since February 2004. He is currently the Secretary of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew and has served on the Preservation and Restoration Committee and in the Clothing Bank.

Clarence Archer
Sexton

Clarence Archer is an active member and Sexton at Christ Church, where he has worn many hats. A cradle Anglican from his homeland of Guyana, Clarence has served on the parish Outreach Committee, Buildings and Grounds, Vestry, Brotherhood of St. Andrew, Stewardship Committee, and as an Usher; he is an Honorary member of the Altar Guild. As Sexton, Clarence continues to be of service to the many people and groups that attend and visit Christ Church, always willing to lend a hand to offer hospitality and to attend to every need. Responsible, concerned, willing, dependable and helpful are all words that characterize Clarence Archer: A husband, father and brother, Clarence wholeheartedly offers his service above and beyond the call of duty as part of his stewardship of the gifts with which God has blessed him.

 Dr. DeCosta Dawson
Organist and Choirmaster Emeritus

For almost thirty-four years Dr. DeCosta Dawson served as Christ Church’s Organist and Choirmaster.  During his distinguished ministry with us he built our choir into a chorus comfortable singing ordinary hymnody to some of the most complex of classical pieces.  During that same time Dr. Dawson founded and led the Essex Chorale, a group of semi-professional singers from around northern New Jersey, and directed the North Jersey Philharmonic Glee Club.  Dr. Dawson’s expertise as an organist goes beyond his abilities as a performer.  He designed and oversaw the installation and, later the restoration, of the Moller organ at Union Baptist Church in Orange and the restoration of our own Austin organ at Christ Church.  Dr. Dawson officially retired in 2013 but continues to be associated with Christ Church as Organist and Choirmaster Emeritus.