Every Friday at 10 am, we gather in the church for a time of singing, praying, and learning more about what it means to worship God. All children – from infants to preschoolers, are welcome to join us, along with their parents and caregivers. We meet for about 25 minutes on a rug in front of the altar. We hope you can join us.
The Feast of the Epiphany is Friday, January 6. As the culmination of our Christmas celebrations, we remember the coming of the Wise Men to Bethlehem to worship Jesus. The word Epiphany comes from a Greek word meaning “manifestation,” or “appearance.” The wise ones who travelled to Bethlehem are often seen as the first Gentiles to whom the light of Christ was revealed.
We will celebrate with a a simple potluck supper and service at in the Parish House, starting at 6 pm. It will be a child-friendly service, and Tom will present chalk for “chalking the doors” of the church and our homes – it is a tradition we have observed at St. John’s for the last few years, in which we bless our homes for the coming year with chalk inscriptions over the thresholds.
Do you have figures of the three kings or wise men at home? Consider bringing them on Friday and we will place all of them – whatever size – before the manger.
It is a much beloved tradition at St. John’s and one of the ways in which we offer God’s beauty to the larger community. Our Lessons and Carols service this year will be held on Saturday, December 17th at 5 pm. Both our choirs will lead us with anthems, and carols for us to join in, as we list to the story of God’s redeeming work told in scripture. As always, a delightful reception follows, and childcare will be available.
The season of Advent is rich with opportunities for deepening our relationship to Christ. Some of those opportunities are in places beyond our parish, and meet a variety of needs. Look through what is happening at St. John’s and beyond, and discover ways to pray, worship, learn, and give this Advent. You’ll also find the schedule for Christmas services included here.
Faithfully in Christ,
ADVENT AT THE MONASTERY: Tuesday evenings in Advent at 5:30 pm
The brothers of the Society of St. John the Evangelist in Cambridge offer a preaching series at their Tuesday evening Community Eucharist, focusing on “radical practices.” All are welcome to join the brothers for these services, and to stay for a simple supper afterward. The first service is tonight. For more information, see: http://ssje.org
ADVENT SERIVE OF REMEMBRANCE AND HOPE: Wednesday, December 7 at 7 pm at Parish of the Epiphany, Winchester
For those who have suffered losses, either recent or long in the past, the holiday season can be a difficult time, when we are surrounded by images of happy families gathered about the tree or enjoying a festive celebration. This service of prayer, scripture, poetry, and music offers an opportunity to express our feelings around our losses while also hearing words of hope. For more information, see: http://www.3crowns.org
ADVENT QUIET DAY: Saturday, December 10th at Parish of the Epiphany, Winchester
The Rev. Martin Smith will lead a Quiet Day from 9 am to noon on Saturday the 10th at the Parish Of the Epiphany in Winchester. To be told one is “a godsend” by someone is a beautiful affirmation, yet this intriguing word is rarely explored for its depth of meaning. In this quiet day led by the Rev. Smith, noted writer and retreat leader, participants will ponder and pray about how each of us uniquely shares in the mission of Christ, as members of his Body, embodying God’s outreaching love in an incarnation that is ongoing. The suggested donation is $20, and childcare is available if requested. You can find out more by going to http://www.3crowns.org ; registration is requested by emailing the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org
ADVENT EVENSONG: Friday, December 16 at 6:30 pm at St. John’s
Our monthly Evensong service this month takes place on the third Friday of the month. Cherish the quiet contemplative nature of this service in the candlelight of the church.
SERVICE OF LESSONS AND CAROLS: Saturday, December 17th, 5 pm
Our choirs are preparing to lead us in scripture and in song as we celebrate with carols and anthems of Advent and Christmas. As always, a reception will follow the service in the Parish House. Please contact the church office if you are interested in childcare for the service.
CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS PAGEANT: Sunday, December 18th, 10 am
Our children will tell the Christmas story as part of our 10 am worship service on the Fourth Sunday of Advent. Come look for a star and listen for an angel! All children are welcome to participate, and the schedule for rehearsals is here:
Sunday, December 4, after the 10 am service
Sunday, December 11, after the 10 am service
Saturday, December 17, at 11 am, with pizza to follow
Saturday, December 24:
4 pm: Family Service with Choir and Holy Eucharist
10 pm: Holy Eucharist with Candlelight
Sunday, December 25, one service at 10 am
ADVENT GIVING – THE JESSE TREE: Opportunities to give in Advent
When you come to church this Sunday, you will see a bare branched tree with symbols of the Advent season. Known as a “Jesse Tree” it takes its name from one of the scriptures of the season: ” A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.”( Isaiah 11: 1). Jesse was the father of King David, and the gospel writers trace the lineage of Jesus back to this family.
You can place gifts under this tree for families here in Charlestown and far beyond our community in Syria. Here is what you can bring:
Here in Charlestown: Through an arrangement with the Harvard-Kent School, gift cards of $10 or $20 from CVS, Whole Foods, Market Basket, or other local stores will benefit families in particular need here in Charlestown. Just place your cards in an envelope marked “Harvard-Kent.”
Two Options for Syrian Refugee Relief:
St. John’s Church in Beverly Farms has an ongoing ministry with women and children in the Freedom Refugee Camp in Syria. Cash donations are welcome (make checks payable to St. John’s, Beverly Farms). Warm clothing for women and children, blankets, scarves, hats and mittens, and stuffed animals are also on their wish list. Items do not need to be wrapped. Just place them under the tree – the sooner in the season the better. Checks should be in an envelope marked “St. John’s Beverly Farms.” You can find out more about the organization they work with, Nudaysyria, at: http://www.nudaysyria.net
Marianne Lindahl Allen, a parishioner, works with Refugee Protection International, (RPI), an organization that focuses on refugees in urban settings near conflict zones. You can find out more about their work at their website, and make donations there: https://refugeeprotection.org
Advent Evensong Service: Friday, December 16th at 6:30 pm
Our regular monthly Evensong service will be held on the third Friday of the month in December.
Lessons and Carols Service: Saturday, December 17th at 5 pm
At this beloved service, we welcome the entire community for a service of anthems, carols, and readings from scripture. Celebrate the coming of Christ with our choirs and candlelight. A reception follows in the Parish Hall.
Children’s Christmas Pageant: Sunday, December 18th, at 10 am
Our children enact the Christmas story at our 10 am worship service on the 18th. All children are welcome to join. Rehearsals are:
Sunday, December 4th, after the 10 am service
Sunday, December 11th, after the 10 am service
Saturday, December 17th at 11 am
CHRISTMAS EVE: Saturday, December 24th
4 pm: Family Service with Choir and Holy Eucharist
10 pm: Holy Eucharist with Candlelight
CHRISTMAS DAY: Sunday, December 25th
10 am: One service, with carols and Holy Eucharist
Believe it or not, Advent begins in two weeks, on Sunday November 27th! We want to help you get ready. Plan to stay after the 10 am service on Sunday, November 20, for an Advent workshop – we will have greens and candles to make your home Advent wreath (please bring your metal Advent wring if you have it from past years. Tom will have his Advent calendar, with some enlarged copies for the youngest among us to color. We’ll also have other suggestions for how to observe this season on a daily basis at home.
We gather to greet our bishop, the Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates, on Sunday November 6 at 4 pm. He will be leading us in a service of thanksgiving and rededication as we mark the 175th anniversary of the consecration of St. John’s. On Sunday November 10 in 1841, Bishop Griswold of the Diocese of Massachusetts consecrated the building, which had been constructed in less than six months.
Both our choirs will be singing, rectors and other clergy who have served us in the past will be joining us for this celebration, and a reception will follow in the Parish House. Join us for this once in a generation event!
And remember: There is no 10 am service or Children’s Formation programs this Sunday!
We will be joining Episcopal churches throughout the Commonwealth in a forty eight hour prayer vigil as we enter into the national election on November 8th. The vigil begins at noon on Sunday, November 6, and will conclude at noon on Tuesday, November 8th.
On Monday the 7th, there will be a one hour vigil service at St. John’s from 6-7 pm, and the church will remain open for individual prayer until 9 pm that evening. The church will also be open on Election Day, November 8th, from 8 am to 5 pm for prayer.