The first cycle of seasons covers about one quarter of our calendar year and is focused on the incarnation—that is, the birth of Jesus—and how God’s presence with us in this world focuses our attention on mercy and justice.
Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas, at which time we adorn the church for the season. Advent is a season of waiting; we anticipate the presence of Jesus in the following ways:
Family Advent Wreath Making (Sunday December 3 at 6 PM) | On the first Sunday in Advent, join us for our annual intergenerational Advent Wreath Making event so you and your family can light the candles at home throughout Advent. Kits include candles, styrofoam base, and boxwood leaves.
Advent Evening Prayer: For the season of Advent, we will hold Evening Prayer on Thursdays in December (7, 14, and 21). Each service is led by St. John’s parishioners serving as presider and preacher.
Caroling, Chili & A Charlie Brown Christmas (Sunday, December 10 at 5 PM) | We gather outside in front of the church and go caroling together. Afterwards, warm up with a chili supper at the church and watch A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Advent Lessons and Carols (Sunday, December 17 at 6 PM) | On the Second or Third Sunday of Advent, we have a choral service in which Advent carols and scripture readings tell the story of anticipation. The service is followed by a reception.
We hold multiple services to celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. The first includes our Christmas pageant. The later services include Holy Communion, a sermon, and music by the St. John’s Choir.
The Christmas season begins on December 25 and celebrates the incarnate presence of Jesus. We celebrate Christmas Day with Holy Eucharist in the morning and, for the duration of the twelve days of Christmas, the church is adorned in white.
Christmas Eve Schedule 2023
8 AM | Advent IV with Communion
Sunday Advent IV is also Christmas Eve this year. The 8 AM service will be the final service of the Advent season before we get ready for Christmas. It will be a quiet, meditative service and an opportunity to calm your soul and still your spirit before the Christmas rush.
4 PM | Christmas Pageant with Communion & Special Music
See and hear the story of Christmas acted out and sung by all ages. This service will include Holy Eucharist and all are invited to participate in the pageant.
6 PM | Christmas Service with Communion & Special Music
This service is a festival Eucharist celebrating the birth of Christ. The service concludes with the singing of Silent Night by candlelight. A small choir will lead this music at this service.
10 PM | Christmas Service with Communion & Special Music led by the Parish Choir
This service is a festival Eucharist celebrating the birth of Christ. This service includes Christmas carols led by the St. John’s Choir. The service concludes with the singing of Silent Night by candlelight.
Christmas Morning Schedule 2023
10 AM | Christmas Service with Communion & Carols All are welcome for a beautiful, simple service of Holy Eucharist to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Epiphany is on January 6 and marks the day the Wise Men visited Jesus in Bethlehem. Tradition holds that this is the time for blessing our homes and worship space. We celebrate with a lively worship service on the Sunday closest to January 6th, followed by a party. The color is white.
THE SEASON AFTER EPIPHANY
Following the feast of Epiphany is Ordinary Time, in which we focus our lives on a world transformed by the incarnational presence of Jesus. The seasonal color of the church is green to celebrate the light of Christ’s presence that shines upon a darkened world. The following are particular dates of celebration during the Season of Epiphany:
Baptism of Jesus | On the Sunday after Epiphany we have baptisms and a renewal of baptismal vows during the service.
Shrove Tuesday | On the evening before Ash Wednesday (also called Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday), we have a Mardi Gras pancake supper and a Jazz concert in the Church. The concert is free, however we ask for a goodwill offering in memory of parishioner, Peter Bierrie for the Essex Oil Fund.