ELLSWORTH — After nearly two decades at the helm of St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church, the Rev. Christopher Chornyak is stepping down.
“It was a hard decision to make,” Chornyak said. “I really came to the conclusion that we have traveled as far on the path as we were going to travel together.”
Chornyak’s path in Ellsworth began 18 years ago, after a 12-year stint in Washington County, where he served churches in Calais, Woodland and Eastport.
He arrived in Maine after a couple of years in both western Massachusetts and Wisconsin, where he grew up and went to graduate school, respectively.
Though he has occasionally looked at other posts — he was a candidate to be the next Episcopal bishop of North Dakota in 2004 — he said Ellsworth has “been a very good community to live in and work in.”
“I’ve never lived anywhere longer than I’ve lived here in Ellsworth,” Chornyak said. “Maine really does feel like home to us.”
Chornyak’s wife, Joyce, works as a registered nurse at Birch Bay Village in Bar Harbor. The couple’s three daughters, now grown and living on their own, all graduated from Ellsworth High School.
Though he said he and Joyce intend to stay in the Ellsworth area for the foreseeable future, Chornyak admits he doesn’t yet know what he’ll be doing for work.
“I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was scared a little bit,” he said. “I am.”
Farewell and Celebration
On Sunday, Dec. 16, St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church will hold a reception following the 9:30 a.m. service to say goodbye to the Rev. Christopher Chornyak and his wife, Joyce. The event will also serve as an opportunity to celebrate Chornyak’s nearly two-decade ministry at the church. Anyone is welcome to attend the event.