, Newburyport, MA

December 7, 2013

Church notes

Newburyport Daily News

---- — “Christmas Spectacular” at Annunciation Green Orthodox Church

A “Christmas Spectacular” will be held at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 7 Harris St., Newburyport, on Sunday.

Beginning at 4 p.m., the church will have its traditional Service of Lessons and Carols, a service of psalms, hymns, readings and carols to help parishioners prepare for the great feast of Christmas. After the service, a pot luck dinner and parish talent show will begin. The evening will conclude with a Christmas carol sing-along.

The public is welcome to attend. Admission is free. For more information, contact the church office at 978-465-5757.

Advent events at Old South Church

Old South Church Sunday school for all ages at 9:15 will focus on “A Different Kind of Christmas,” exploring ways to celebrate and honor Christ’s anti-materialism, compassion, and generosity. Worship is at 10:30. Nursery care available.

Blue Christmas Service at Old South, Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m. with a time of music, candlelight and comfort and remember the difference between holiday cheer and lasting joy.

Old South Church is located at 29 Federal St., Newburyport.

Central Congregational Church Christmas Fair

The annual Christmas Fair at Central Congregational Church, 14 Titcomb St., Newburyport, will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. today. The fair features photos with Santa, a cookie walk, fresh holiday wreaths, a bake sale and candy sale as well as hand-crafted gifts such as scarves, hats, blankets, teddy bear clothing and jewelry. The “Souper Luncheon” includes homemade soups and the renowned Central Church Fish Chowder. A highlight of the fair is the silent auction, which includes fine gifts, paintings, gift baskets, vacation rentals and gift certificates from downtown merchants. Admission is free.

Pet memorial and Christmas Advent Service

A Pet memorial and Christmas Advent Service is set for Sunday Dec. 15 at 10 a.m. at Union Congregational Church, 350 Main St, Point Shore, Amesbury

As part of this regular Sunday service, there will be a remembrance section for all pets that have passed over the Rainbow Bridge. Bring pictures of those pets, a reading, or poem. Those who wish to read a passage aloud should contact Bob Labadini at 978-388-5901 in advance of the service.

Events at Congregation Ahavas Achim

Upcoming events at Congregation Ahavas Achim, corner of Washington and Olive streets, Newburyport:

Shabbat Services every Saturday morning at 9 a.m.

Dec. 15, 10 a.m., Torah Scribe Visits Newburyport; 3 p.m., Food Pantry and Social Hour.

Tune in Sundays at 7 a.m. to Radio Rabbi, featuring Avi Poupko, on local WNBP (1450 AM and 106.1 FM) or visit

Visit for more information on upcoming services and events.

Union Congregational Church, Amesbury

Upcoming events at Union Congregational Church, 350 Main St, Point Shore, Amesbury

Pet Memorial & Christmas Advent Service

Sunday December 15, 10 a.m.

As part of our regular Sunday service we will include a remembrance section for our pets that have passed over the Rainbow Bridge. Bring pictures of those pets, a reading, or poem. If you wish to read a passage aloud please let Bob Labadini know in advance so we can plan the service. 978-388-5901. Everyone is welcome! Ample parking. Handicapped accessible.

Blue Christmas Service. The Longest, Darkest Night of the Year

Saturday, Dec. 21, 6 pm

A special service for those who are having difficulty celebrating the Christmas season.

If you find it hard to feel joy, if you feel alienated by all the apparent “happiness” associated with the season, please come. Or if you know others who are dealing with sorrow this Christmas please tell them about our service. Our Services are open to all no matter what Denomination or Religion. Everyone is welcome! Ample parking. Handicapped accessible.

An Old Fashioned Christmas Concert

Sunday, Dec. 22 at 4 p.m.

Eric Radcliffe Tenor and the Union Church Choir under the direction of Rosemary Mijal. Cheri Christensen, piano. Everyone is welcome! Ample parking. Handicapped accessible.

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

Dec. 24, 7 p.m.

Advent events in Merrimacport

Christmas Cookie Sale on Saturday, Dec. 14, noon-4 p.m., sponsored by the Merrimacport United Methodist Church and held at the Merrimac Senior Center, 100 East Main St. Buy decorative, homemade cookies in a festive atmosphere.

Merrimacport Christmas Pageant on Sunday, Dec. 22 at 10 a.m. This year’s pageant is “The King’s Birthday.” Rehearsals will take place Dec. 15 at 10 a.m. and Dec. 22 at 9 a.m. If a child is interested in being in the pageant, contact the church — wise men, angels and sheep and young musicians are welcome.

Merrimac Blue Christmas Service on Monday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m. This is an ecumenical service hosted by the Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, Pilgrim Congregational Church and taking place this year at the Merrimacport United Methodist Church. In the long, dark winter nights, memories of past experiences and the pain of present experiences and situations can become overwhelming. In this service, all will be invited to listen, pray, sing, and meditate upon any pain and anguish — and offer the pain to the Christ child.

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

Here is a list of activities at Hope this Christmas:

Advent Conspiracy has started: The Sunday message series during December will focus on turning the Christmas season upside down through a focus on key practices: worshipping fully, spending less, giving more time and loving all. A special devotional guide will be available as well as Life Group studies and DVD’s. Sunday services are at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Christmas Pageant on Dec. 15: Open to preschoolers through fifth grade, with just one practice on Saturday, Dec. 14, from 10 a.m. to noon. The pageant is performed at both worship services on Sunday, Dec. 15. Preregistration is necessary at or at Hope on Sunday.

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.”

Introduction to meditation events

The Insight Meditation Center of Newburyport will offer an Introduction to Insight Meditation retreat tomorrow 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

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.