, Newburyport, MA

March 23, 2013

Church notes

Newburyport Daily News

---- — Holy Week Services

Immaculate Conception Church, Newburyport

Wednesday, March 27 Confession - 6:30 to 8 p.m.; Holy Thursday, March 28, Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper - 7:30 p.m.; No Eucharistic Adoration Good Friday, Good Friday - March 29 Stations of the Cross - 3 p.m., Solemn Celebration of the Lord’s Passion - 7:30 p.m.; Holy Saturday - March 30; Easter Vigil - gather at 7:30 p.m.; Easter Sunday 7:15 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and noon. There is no 5:30 p.m. Liturgy on Easter Sunday.

Holy Week at St. Paul’s Church, Newburyport

Palm Sunday: Sunday, March 24, for the Procession of the Palms and the beginning of the most sacred and meaningful week of the church year. The services are at 8 and 10:15 a.m., with the 10:15 service beginning in the Parish Hall. Maundy Thursday March 28, the celebration of the Last Supper and foot washing highlight Jesus’ ministry of service to which they are called. This night they celebrate the importance of community, and invite everyone to come to the Parish Hall to share a meal together as they remember Jesus’ final hours with his disciples. The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall followed by the service at 7:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary.

Night Watch: March 28, following the 7:30 p.m. service and through the night there is a “night watch” in which they invite parishioners and friends to come to the church and pray for an hour in the side chapel where the sacrament is reserved. To come and pray on this night is to be reminded of the words of an ancient hymn, “Within our darkest night, you kindle the fire that never dies away, never dies away.” Come, and let the fire be kindled in you! Good Friday: Friday, March 29. At 9 a.m., the service of Holy Communion in which the last vestiges of bread and wine are consumed from the reserve sacrament. At 7:30 p.m., gather for prayer and special music. The service is highlighted by the reading of the Passion of Christ according to St. John.

The Great Vigil of Easter: Saturday, March 30, at 7:30 p.m. This service is celebrated by the Lower Merrimack Deanery Collaborative of Churches and held at St. Paul’s. They gather for the most sacred service of the church year. The Easter Vigil takes us from the darkness of Christ’s crucifixion to the light of his resurrection. Easter: Sunday, March 31 Alleluia, Christ is Risen! This is the joyful refrain on this Sunday of the Resurrection. Services are held at 8 and 10:15 a.m.

Belleville Congregational Church, Newburyport

Palm Sunday: 10 a.m. Intergenerational service.

Maundy Thursday: A Meditation Room with Stations will connect the gospel story of Jesus’ last week with suffering in the world. The “Meditative Walk-Thru” will be at 5 p.m., potluck at 6 and closing worship and communion from 6:30 to 7.

Ecumenical Easter Sunrise Service: 5:30 a.m., at the first Pavilion on the left, Salisbury Reservation, with Central Congregational Church and East Parish Methodist Church of Salisbury. Breakfast afterward at the Methodist Church.

Easter morning worship: 10 a.m. in the Meeting House.

First Religious Society, Newburyport

On Sunday, March 24, at 10:30 a.m. the Rev. Harold Babcock will deliver a sermon titled “All We Know About Jesus.”

On Thursday, March 28, at 4 p.m., the Rev. Harold Babcock will present a traditional communion service in the spirit of Unitarian Churches of Transylvania. Hope Community Church, 11 Hale St., Newburyport

Palm Sunday: Two identical worship services at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Maundy Thursday: 7 p.m. service of reflection and communion.

Easter Sunday: Worship at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Congregation Ahavas Achim, Newburyport

Shabbat services every Saturday morning at 9.

All are welcome to join Rabbi Avi Poupko every Wednesday night at 7:30 for his Adult Education series, “The Social and Spiritual Vision of the Biblical Prophets: A Jewish 21st Century Ethical Pathway for Life’s Challenges.”

March 25, 6:45 a.m., Erev Pesach Morning Minyan.

March 26, 6 p.m., Community Passover Seder.

April 6, 7:45 p.m., Anna Smulowitz presents her award-winning performance, “Terezin: Children of the Holocaust.”

Palm Sunday Procession, Amesbury

Palm Sunday Procession sponsored by Amesbury Council of Churches will be held on Sunday, March 24, 9 a.m. at the Amesbury Millyard Amphitheater. Call Kliggie Thomas at 978-388-0459 for further information.

Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday Services will be held at First Parish Church of Newbury, 20 High Rd., Newbury at 10 a.m. The Reverend Jeff MacDonald, well-known author, Thieves in the Temple will be conducting services. For further information, visit our website:

Main Street Congregational UCC at 145 Main Street, Amesbury, 978-388-0982. Worship services are held every Sunday at 10 a.m. with music beginning 15 minutes before the start of the service. Religious Education is available for pre-K to 8th grade. Nursery Care for children 3 and under. Coffee hour is held following the service. Their worship service is broadcasted weekly each Wednesday at 4 p.m. on Amesbury’s Community Access Station.

They welcome all to join them for the following during Holy Week: Palm Sunday Worship March 24 at 9 a.m. in the Mill Yard, Maundy Thursday Supper March 28 at 5:45 p.m., Maundy Thursday Worship March 28 at 7 p.m., Easter Sunday sunrise Service March 31 at 6 a.m. in Alliance Park; Easter Sunday Worship March 31 at 10 a.m.

Market Street Baptist Church, Amesbury

Passover Encounter: Saturday, March 23, from 6-8 p.m. Nathan Joiner, assistant to the Rabbi at Ruach Israel in Needham, will be leading the Seder Supper. Call 978-388-0930 to reserve a seat.

Palm Sunday Worship: 10 a.m. on Sunday, March 24.

Maundy Thursday: Communion Service, 7-8 p.m., a service of worship and communion to commemorate the Last Supper.

Good Friday: Prayer & Meditation, noon to 3 p.m. on Friday, March 29.

Easter Sunday: Worship, 10 a.m.

Main Street Congregational, Amesbury

All are welcomed to join for the following during Holy Week:

Palm Sunday Worship , March 24, 9 a.m. in the Millyard

Maundy Thursday Supper, March 28, 5:45 pm

Maundy Thursday Worship, March 28, 7 pm

Easter Sunday sunrise Service, 6 am at Alliance Park

Easter Sunday Worship, 10 am

Union Congregational Church, Amesbury

Spaghetti Supper Saturday March 23, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Spaghetti with homemade sauce, meatballs, bread, salad and dessert. “All you can eat!” for $7. Family $24. Take-out available for $8.

Lenten schedule:

March 24. Palm Sunday 9 am Blessing of the Palms, The Millyard, Amesbury. 10 a.m. Palm Sunday Worship Service

March 28 Maundy Thursday 6 p.m. Rustica Supper bread and soup. 7 p.m. Worship Service

Easter Sunday: 6 a.m. Sunrise Service at Alliance Park; 7 a.m. Ecumenical Breakfast at Union Church; 10 a.m. Easter Worship Service in the Sanctuary.

West Newbury Congregational Church

The schedule is: Sunday, March 24: Palm Sunday at 10 a.m. service, Thursday, March 28 the Maundy Thursday Loaf and Ladle at 6 p.m.; Friday, March 29 Good Friday Service of the Cross at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 30 is the 24 Hour Easter Prayer Vigil at 6 a.m. Easter Sunday the Sunrise Service is 6 a.m. at the Artichoke Reservoir, Moulton Street, West Newbury. Breakfast following back at WNCC. Prelude to Praise: 9:15 a.m. Family Service: 10 a.m.

Merrimac Easter Sunrise Service

On the River at Carey Park, at 111 River Road, 6:30 a.m., hosted by the churches of Merrimac: Pilgrim Congregational, Merrimacport United Methodist and Holy Redeemer Catholic churches.

Easter morning worship at 11 a.m. Nursery provided.

Pilgrim Congregational Church, Merrimac

Maundy Thursday Soup and Salad Supper, 6 p.m., followed by a worship service and communion at 7 p.m.

Prayer Vigil will be held Friday from midnight through Sunday, 6 a.m.

Ecumenical Easter Sunrise Service, 6:30 a.m. at Carey Park on River Road

Easter Worship Service at 10 a.m.

Pilgrim Congregational Church, Merrimac

Holy Week worship services at Pilgrim Congregational Church will begin with Palm Sunday worship service Sunday March 24, 10 a.m. A Maundy Thursday Soup and Salad Supper will be held on Thursday March 28, 6 p.m. followed by a worship service and Communion at 7 p.m. A Prayer Vigil will be held Friday, March 29 from midnight through Sunday March 31, 6 a.m. An Ecumenical Easter Sunrise Service will be held Sunday March 31, 6:30 a.m. at Carey Park on River Road followed by Easter Worship Service at 10 a.m. The Pilgrim Congregational Church is located at 27 Church Street and is fully accessible. All are welcome to join in worship.

Rev. Gwyneth Arrison invites the public to Palm Sunday Worship Service at 11 a.m. on March 24 at the Merrimacport United Methodist Church with palm branches to wave and nursery provided.

Easter Egg Hunt on Palm Sunday, March 24 at 2 p.m. Holy Thursday Service 7 p.m. on March 28; Good Friday Prayer Centers on March 29, open at noon. 8 p.m*. *(revised time)* The church is open for all to come in and take a spiritual journey through centers set up around the church such as a prayer wall and other creative ideas.

Holy Saturday Prayer Vigil on March 30, open 6 a.m. 6 p.m. (revised time)* for all to come in for quiet reflection and prayer. Easter Morning Worship on March 31, 11 a.m. Nursery provided.

The Way Faith and Family Study on Wednesdays through April 3 at 6 p.m. to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. Includes dinner, DVD by Adam Hamilton The Way, interactive discussion and activities for parents and grandparents with their children. Contact the church at 978-346-8818. The Way message series 11 a.m. on Sundays through March 24 at the Merrimacport United Methodist Church with kids Sunday School during worship and nursery provided. The Way DVD Christian study by Adam Hamilton. Mondays through April 1 at 6:30 p.m.

Merrimacport United Methodist Church

Palm Sunday: worship service 11 a.m. with palm branches to wave and nursery provided. Easter Egg Hunt at 2 p.m. All children are welcome.

Maundy Thursday: Service at 7 p.m.

Good Friday: Prayer Centers open 11a.m.-6 p.m. The church is open for all to come in and take a spiritual journey through centers set up around the church such as a prayer wall.

Holy Saturday: Prayer Vigil open 7a.m.-7 p.m. for quiet reflection and prayer.

Seabrook Community of the Churches

Palm & Passion Sunday: Trinity United Church, 11 a.m. with distribution of palms.

Maundy Thursday: Service of worship at 7 p.m. at Trinity United Church.

Good Friday: Four Corners Advent Church will host the worship service

Easter Sunrise Service: Pastor Bill Beddie of Trinity United Church will lead the 6 a.m. service at State Line Street on Seabrook Beach on March 31.

Easter: 11 a.m. service at Trinity United Church.

Sanctuaries and Sacred Spaces tour

The Rev. Martha Hubbard, rector of St. Paul’s Church in Newburyport, is leading a tour of Southern England, July 22-31, which will wend its way from Canterbury to London through some of England’s most beautiful cathedrals, visit the ancient stone circles of Stonehenge and Avebury and enjoy the beautiful gardens at Sissinghurst and Highclere Castle (made famous by PBS’s “Downton Abbey”). Reservation deadline is May 1. Go to the website for more information,, or call the office at 978-465-5351.

Bible study at Old South

A weekly Bible study is held at Old South Church in Fellowship Hall every Wednesday at 7 p.m. The group is studying the “Seven Deadly Sins.” Anyone can join in at any time. The church is located on Federal Street in Newburyport.

Events at Insight Meditation Center

The Insight Meditation Center of Newburyport will offer two events for beginning meditators: a drop-in class on Tuesday, April 9, 7 p.m.; and an Introduction to Insight Meditation retreat on Saturday, April 20, from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The events are designed for anyone interested in Insight Meditation (Vipassana). Vipassana is a simple practice that steadies the mind by grounding attention in the present moment; it originated in the Buddhist tradition more than 2,500 years ago. For registration and details, visit

The Kirkin of the Tartan Service in Amesbury

Clan MacKenzie of the Northeast invites one and all to attend The Kirkin of the Tartan Service and Celebration. The service will be held at St. James Episcopal Church, 120 Main St., Amesbury, on Sunday, April 7, at 10 a.m. There will be several Scottish clans in attendance to have their clan tartan flags blessed. You do not need to be Scottish to attend. There will also be a meet and greet with the clans after the service in the Parish Hall. For more information,, 978-388-0030 or e-mail

‘Quick Read’ Book Group forming

For those who love to read and discuss great literature but just can’t find the time for those big reads, a “Quick Read” Book Club is forming.

The first selection is “Words By Heart” by Ouida Sebestyen, a moving story of a black family in the early 1900s trying to build a life in an all-white town. Lena, the main character, gives readers a lesson in courage, loyalty and strength of convictions.

Meetings will be held at 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month, beginning March 27, in the Community Room at All Saints, 895 Main St., West Newbury. The group is limited to 12. Call Becky DeSmith at 413-782-7113 or email to join. Free copies of the book to the first 10 people. Refreshments will be served. All are welcome.

Weekly sharing of healing experiences

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. After readings from the Scriptures and the Christian Science textbook on a topic of current interest, the meeting is then opened for the informal sharing of healing experiences. The service includes the lively singing of hymns. Everyone in the community 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

‘Wednesdays at the Well’ at Pilgrim Church

Pilgrim Congregational Church, 27 Church St., Merrimac, holds a weekly “Wednesdays at the Well” adult gathering on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. The series includes education, discussion and fellowship. The group is currently watching and discussing “The Jesus Lifestyle” to more deeply understand how Jesus’ teachings apply to ones’ lives. All are welcome. For more information, call the church office at 978-346-8400.

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.