, Newburyport, MA

December 21, 2013

Church notes

Newburyport Daily News

---- — Union Church holds CD and DVD drive

The Willing Workers of Union Congregational Church in Amesbury are collecting gently used CDs and DVDs for the children and young adults residing at New England Pediatric Care of Billerica.

Eighty medically fragile children from birth to 22 years benefit from the highly skilled care provided at this facility. CDs and DVDs should be suitable for children. Donations will be accepted at Union Congregational Church today from 8 to 10 a.m. The church is located at 350 Main St., Amesbury, across from Alliance Park on Point Shore.

Donations can also be dropped off anytime at the home of Carol Finn, 412 Main Street, Amesbury. For more information, call 978-388-6591 or 978-388-5265.

First Parish Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

A Candlelight Christmas Eve Service will be held at First Parish Church, 20 High Road, Newbury, at 6 p.m. on Dec. 24. The service will be Lessons and Carols conducted by the Rev. Jeffrey MacDonald. The church choir will sing. For more information, call 978-465-5597 or visit

Christian Science church testimony meeting

Come to a gratitude service the evening of Dec. 25. The Christian Science church at 22 Inn St. will beholding its regular weekly testimony meeting from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. All are invited. Hear Bible readings about the birth of Christ Jesus, with inspiring correlative passages from “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” by Mary Baker Eddy.

Candlelight Christmas Eve Family Service

A traditional Candlelight Christmas Eve Family service will be held in the meetinghouse of Belleville Congregational Church, 300 High Street at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec, 24. Come join us for the celebration of Christ’s birth with joyous music, carols and the Gospel lessons of this wonderful story.

The service will have an invitation to encircle the Sanctuary and sharing of the Light (Candlelight) singing the special Hymn of Silent Night, Holy Night(Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht). All are welcome and we are handicap accessible.

Blue Christmas service at Main Street Congregational

Today at 7 p.m., Main Street Congregational Church of Amesbury, United Church of Christ, will offer a special Blue Christmas service. This service, held on the longest night of the year, is a Remembrance Service designed for those who are grieving or struggling. The biblical story of Christmas is told in the context of gentle music and candlelight, with time designated for silent reflection.

For more information, contact the Rev. Joan MacPherson at 978-388-0982 or visit the church website at

Christmas Mass schedule at IC

Christmas Mass schedule at Immaculate Conception Parish is as follows:

Dec. 24, 4 p.m., church; 4 p.m., school auditorium; 6 p.m., church; midnight, church.

Christmas Day: 8 and 10 a.m., church.

Christmas Candlelight Service tomorrow

The First Religious Society of Newburyport will present their 88th annual Christmas Candlelight Service tomorrow at 7:15 p.m. The service will include three choirs, organ and brass quintet led by the First Religious Society’s music director, Jay Lane. The program will include new works and old favorites, featuring composers such as John Rutter, Eric Whitacre and David Willcocks, and the congregation will join in the singing of familiar carols. The church is located at 26 Pleasant St. For more information, contact the church at 978-465-0602 or visit

Also, tomorrow at 10:30 a.m., a family worship and holiday service will be held at First Religious Society. The service will include Christmas carol singing, a Christmas story, gifts from Young Church, and the annual community singing of our very special rendition of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

The church will also hold a Family Christmas Eve Service on Tuesday, Dec. 24 at 5 p.m. First Religious Society is located at 26 Pleasant St., Newburyport.

Christmas services at St. James

The following Christmas worship services will be held at St. James Episcopal Church, 120 Main St., Amesbury, are as follows:

Christmas Eve at 4 p.m. — The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ with Godly Play Pageant and Holy Eucharist, Rite II.

Christmas Eve at 8 p.m. — The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ with Choir and Candles. Holy Eucharist Rite 1.

Christmas Day at 10 a.m. — Holy Eucharist Rite 1.

Services at St. Paul’s

Tomorrow: Holy Eucharist, 8 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.; Adult and Youth Forums, 9:15 a.m.; Nursery Care for infants and toddlers, 9 a.m.; Church School (CGS), 10 a.m.

Christmas at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 166 High St., Newburyport: Tuesday, Dec. 24, 4 p.m., Family Service with Paper Bag Pageant; special music begins at 3:35 p.m; 9 p.m., Special music and carol singing; 9:30 p.m., Festival Holy Eucharist

*Wednesday, Dec. 25: 9 a.m. Holy Eucharist with Carols for Christmas Day

Advent events at Union Congregational

Blue Christmas Service, marking the longest, darkest night of the year, will be held today at 6 p.m. This special service is for those who are having difficulty celebrating the Christmas season. All are welcome. The church is handicapped accessible.

An Old Fashioned Christmas Concert will be held tomorrow at 4 p.m. Tenor Eric Radcliffe and the Union Church Choir under the direction of Rosemary Mijal will perform. Cheri Christensen will accompany on the piano.

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service will be held at 7 p.m.

Christmas Eve Pageant at Market Street Baptist

The Market Street Baptist Church invites the public to the Christmas Eve Pageant & Family Candlelight Service on Christmas Eve from 5 to 6 p.m. in the church, 37 Market St., Amesbury. The Nativity Story is presented in pageant form along with hymns of celebration of Christ’s birth and is suitable for all ages. The sanctuary is accessible by elevator.

Visit for more information on upcoming services and events.

Union Church Spaghetti Supper

Union Congregational Church, 350 Main St., Amesbury, will hold a Spaghetti Supper on Saturday, Dec. 28 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Spaghetti with homemade sauce, meatballs, bread, salad and dessert. All you can eat for $8. A family fee of $29. Take-out available for $9. Ample parking. Handicapped accessible. Everyone is welcome. 978-388-0631.

Advent events in Merrimacport

Merrimacport Christmas Pageant tomorrow at 10 a.m. This year’s pageant is “The King’s Birthday.”

Christmas Eve on the River: 6 p.m., Candlelight Service. This will be a family-friendly service in which children and adults will celebrate the birthday of Jesus, sing carols and close with lighting candles together. Everyone is invited to bring a bell to ring at the end of worship. 11 p.m. Readings and Carols Service, a traditional midnight service ending with candlelighting at midnight.

The Merrimacport United Methodist Church is located at 39 High St. (corner of High Street and River Road) in Merrimac. For more information, 978-346-8818 or

Christmas at Hope

Christmas Eve at 5 and 7 p.m.: a traditional candlelight service. A special offering will be taken to help those in need in our world.

Beth Qowl services in Seabrook

Beth Qowl (The House of Yahweh’s Voice) will hold services every Sunday at 11 a.m. in the Conference Room of The Hampshire Inn Hotel & Conference Center, 20 Spur Road (Route 107), Seabrook, with Apostle Tim Mayer. For more information, email “Be Challenged, Be Moved, Be Changed.”

Prayer is topic at Salvation Army

“Praying through the Bible” will be offered weekly at The Salvation Army.

Every Wednesday, participants will explore various forms of prayer as found in the scriptures. What is prayer? Is there a right or wrong way to pray? Share your own experiences with prayer in this open learning environment. All are welcome. Group will meet from noon to 12:45 p.m. in the chapel at The Salvation Army, 40 Water St., Newburyport. For more details, contact Mary Schmidt at 978-465-0883.

Men’s Bible Group at St. James

The Men’s Group at St. James Episcopal Church, 120 Main St., Amesbury, meets each Saturday to read aloud and discuss appointed selections in the Holy Bible and related resources. They learn about the circumstances of biblical events, their significance and the people involved.

Currently the focus is upon appointed readings from the Revised Common Lectionary, which is the Protestant Christian Worship Schedule of Bible readings that takes into account daily services and the liturgical year’s observances of festivals and seasons.

The customary meeting place is the St. James Parish’s Chandler Hall. Call Arthur Yarranton at 978-346-4749 ( or Mort Gilbert at 978-388-3831 ( for further information.

Women of Faith at St. James

St. James Episcopal Church, 120 Main St., Amesbury, welcomes women of all ages to join this monthly meeting of women interested in growing deeper in faith through Bible study and reflection.

This study of Bible will take place the second and fourth Thursday in the months of September through May from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall of the church. Parking is available in the back of the church, as well as street parking. Please bring your NRSV Bible.

For more information, contact the office at 978-388-0038 or via e-mail at

Weekly sharing of healing experiences

Hear and share experiences of Christian healing. The Christian Science Church, 22 Inn St., holds a one-hour meeting every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. specifically for sharing gratitude to God. The meeting opens with hymn singing and readings from the Bible and the Christian Science textbook on a topic of current interest. The meeting is then opened for informal sharing of healing experiences showing how lives have been uplifted, guided and protected by God. The public is invited.

Women’s, men’s Bible study groups meet

St. James Episcopal Church, 120 Main St., Amesbury has a Bible study group, “The Women of Faith,” that meets every other Thursday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Check the website for meeting dates. On Saturday Morning, join the Men’s Group for enlightening conversation and readings of the Bible. The Men’s Group meets on Saturdays at 9 a.m. Both Bible Study groups are open to the public. For more information, check the website at

Helping those in need

Hugh Doyle Resource Center Collaborative Meeting is a monthly gathering of leaders and representatives of social service agencies and religious organizations in the area. It meets the first Wednesday of each month to share ideas on how to help those in need in Greater Newburyport. Interested? Contact Ingrid Cyros at 978-465-1688 or go to

Thrift shop in Rowley

Fellowship Thrift Shop located in lower hall of First Congregational Church of Rowley, 175 Main St., Rowley, is open Tuesdays and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Thursdays, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., weather permitting. Clothing in all sizes, household goods and some special items are available at reasonable prices. The thrift shop also has occasional sales.

Donations of gently used clothing and household items are gladly accepted, but only when the shop is open. No electronics, books or household items, please.

Reflections on the Life of the Spirit

The Baha’is of Amesbury will host the study group Reflections on the Life of the Spirit every Friday evening at 7 at the Powow Community Building. For more information, call Cara Smoley at 978-388-4987.

Belleville Church thrift shop

The Belleville Church thrift shop at 300 High St., Newburyport, is open. Hours are Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon.

Volunteer opportunity

Looking for a way for your business, church group, club, organization or yourself to give back to the community? The Salvation Army, 40 Water St., offers the following:

Community meal served every Thursday. Each week a different group of six to 12 people prepares and serves the meal to about 80 people. Time required is two to four hours, including preparation, serving and cleanup. Call 978-465-0883, ext. 10, for more information.

Centering prayer at St. James

St. James Episcopal Church in Amesbury offers centering prayer as one of its Saturday alternative services. Centering, or contemplative prayer, is a meditation practice based on the work of the Rev. Thomas Keating, who believes that silence is “God’s first language.” St. James will continue to offer a twice-weekly opportunity for centering prayer in the meditation chapel. Those interested in participating or learning more should call St. James at 978-388-0030 or check the website,

Compassionate Friends

The Compassionate Friends of Greater Newburyport Chapter meet every fourth Monday from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Immaculate Conception Parish Center, St. James Chapel Room, corner of Green and High streets, Newburyport. The meetings are for parents who have lost children and grandparents who have lost grandchildren. For more information, call 978-388-1514.

Tuesday meal at Immaculate Conception

The Immaculate Conception Church offers a free hot dinner every Tuesday at 5 p.m. in the Parish Center, 42 Green St., Newburyport. Call 978-462-2724 for more information.

The Friendship Table

For all who enjoy good food and fellowship, the Friendship Table serves meals Thursdays beginning at 5 p.m. at the Salvation Army, 40 Water St., Newburyport. Volunteers are also needed. For more information, call 978-465-0883.

Our Neighbors’ Table

Free meals are served every Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m. at Our Neighbors’ Table, Main Street Congregational Church, 145 Main St., Amesbury. All are welcome. Our Neighbors’ Table also offers the following food pantries: Friday, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. and Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-noon every Saturday, open to residents of Amesbury and South Hampton; last Saturday of the month: open to residents of Amesbury, South Hampton, Merrimac, Salisbury, Newburyport, Newbury, West Newbury, Groveland, Byfield, Boxford, Rowley and Georgetown.

St. Basil’s Kitchen

The Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, Harris and Park streets, Newburyport, offers free luncheons Mondays from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the church hall. All those hungry for food and companionship are welcome. For more information or to volunteer services, call 978-465-5757.

Among Friends

Among Friends is the mission of St. Paul’s Church to provide nutritious, hot, home-cooked meals. Lunch is served every Tuesday and Friday at 11:30 a.m. in St. Paul’s Hall, 166 High St., Newburyport. Evening Among Friends serves home-cooked meals every Monday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. All are welcome. Donations of food items, supplies and services are needed; call 465-5351.

Seabrook Community Table

Every Monday Seabrook Community Table serves free meals at the Church of Christ at 867 Lafayette Road (beside the dance studio) from 5 to 6 p.m. Every Tuesday and Wednesday, meals are served at the Trinity Parish House (beside the Seabrook Post Office) from 5 to 6 p.m. Meals are offered to residents of surrounding communities as well as Seabrook residents. For more information or to volunteer, contact Joyce Addison, 603-474-9608.

Seabrook food pantry

The Seabrook Church of Christ Food Pantry is open every Wednesday from 9 to 11 a.m. to all who live on the Seacoast. The church is on Lafayette Road, Seabrook, 603-474-2660.

Community Food Pantry in Byfield

The Community Food Pantry located at Community United Methodist Church, 11 Central St., Byfield, is open to residents of Byfield and Newbury every Thursday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. In addition, a free community meal will be offered every second and fourth Thursday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. All are welcome.

For more details, contact the Community Food Pantry at or by phone at 978-255-0135.

If you have an item for Church Notes, contact Merrily Buchs at, 978-462-6666, ext. 3248.