, Newburyport, MA

December 24, 2010

Church notes

Christmas services

Anglican Church

The All Saints' Anglican Church at 67 Friend St., Amesbury will be holding the following Christmas services: Family Holy Eucharist at 4 p.m. Christmas Eve, Festival Holy Eucharist at 8 p.m. Christmas Eve, Holy Eucharist at 10 p.m. Christmas Day, His Provision Too, Food Ministry to the Community from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Christmas Day.

The first Sunday after Christmas the Holy Eucharist will be held at 10 a.m. Nursery provided.

Belleville Congregational Church

The traditional Candlelight Christmas Eve family service will be held at 7 p.m. in the Meetinghouse of the church at 300 High St., Newburyport. It features lessons, stories and carols, special choral music and a meditation by the Rev. Ross Varney. The service will have an invitation to Encircle the Sanctuary and sharing of the Light (candlelight).

St. Paul's Episcopal Church

The Christmas service schedule at St. Paul's Church, 166 High St., Newburyport, includes:

Christmas Eve: Service of Holy Eucharist with Christmas pageant, 4 p.m.; anthems and carols, 9 p.m.; Holy Eucharist, 9:30 p.m.

Christmas Day: Holy Eucharist, 9 a.m.

Sunday: Service of lessons and carols with Holy Eucharist, 9 a.m.; single service only.

Community United Methodist Church

Community United Methodist Church, 11 Central St., Byfield, will host the Candlelight and Starlight Outdoor Christmas Worship on Christmas Eve at 5:30 p.m. Please remember to dress warmly.

Beginning at 6:15 p.m., all are welcome to warm up with cookies and hot cocoa at the Nativity Open House and enjoy the church family's collection of nativity sets. The Christmas Eve Service of Lessons and Carols begins at 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary with music, story, prayer and communion open for all people. For more information, go to, 978-465-5946.

East Parish United Methodist Church

East Parish United Methodist Church, 8 Lafayette Road, Salisbury, will hold a Candlelight Christmas Service on Christmas Eve from 5 to 6 p.m.

First Congregational Church of Georgetown

The First Congregational Church of Georgetown, 7 Andover St., has planned the following services:

Christmas Eve: 7 p.m. Family Service: Lessons, Carols and Candles; 11:30 p.m. service: Carols, Candles and Communion

Sunday, Dec. 26: Sunday Worship Service 10:30 a.m.

Hope Community Church

Hope Community Church, 11 Hale St., Newburyport, will hold its traditional Candlelight Christmas Eve service at 6 p.m. The service includes carols, special music, candles and hot mulled cider afterward. All ages welcome to this service.

Immaculate Conception Parish, Newburyport

Mass schedule for Christmas Eve: 4 p.m., Church; 4 p.m., auditorium; 6 p.m., Church. There is no midnight Mass.

Mass schedule for Christmas Day: 8 a.m., Church; 10 a.m., Church.

Mass schedule for Sunday: 7:15, 9 and 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Main Street Congregational Church

The Main Street Congregation Church in Amesbury will host the following:

Christmas Eve: Service of Lessons, Carols and Candlelight, 7 p.m.; Service of Lessons, Carols, Communion and Candlelight, 11 p.m.

Sunday: Worship, 10 a.m.; children may come in their pajamas.

Market St. Baptist Church

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service and Pageant at the Market Street Baptist Church, 37 Market St,, Amesbury, will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. Everyone is welcome, especially children of all ages. The sanctuary is handicapped-accessible by elevator. For information: 978-388-0930,

Union Congregational Church

Union Congregational Church, Point Shore, Amesbury, invites everyone to the Christmas Eve candlelight service at 7 p.m.

Unity on the River

The Rev. Shipley Allinson will lead Christmas Eve services at Unity on the River, 58 Macy St. (Route 110), Amesbury. Family Candle Lighting Service will be at 5:30 p.m. and Christmas Eve Candlelighting Service at 7 p.m. Meg Rayne is special guest soloist at both services.

West Newbury Congregational Church

The following services are planned at West Newbury Congregational Church, 308 Main St., West Newbury:

Christmas Eve services: Family Service, 4:30 p.m.; Candlelight Service, 7 p.m.

WNCC Youth Christmas Program will be tomorrow at 2 p.m. in the sanctuary.

Faith Matters begins Jan. 6

How does one age gracefully while grounded in faith? What does "successful" aging look like for people of faith? Those over 60 are invited to join the Faith Matters class starting on Jan. 6 from 3 to 4 p.m. at Nichols Village, 54 Main St., Groveland, for an organizational meeting. The class will meet each Thursday for seven sessions.

Topics include: "Seeing Yourself as a Sage," "Listening Your Life," "Learning from Life's Challenges," "Making Room for Your Gifts and Strengths" and "Valuing, Living, and Supporting Your Legacy." Includes a workbook. Offered by St. James Episcopal Church, Groveland. $15 includes workbook.

Size is limited, so contact the church office for more information: 978-373-1270.

Praying in Color workshop Jan. 8

Based on the best-selling book, "Praying in Color" by Sybil Macbeth, the workshop will be offered on Jan. 8 from 9 a.m. to noon. Begin the New Year with a morning of quiet reflection, fellowship and experiencing prayer through drawing simple shapes and lines.

No artistic abilities required, only the desire to experience an active, visual and meditative way to pray. Cost is $10, which includes supplies to take home. St. James Episcopal Church, 119 Washington St., Groveland.

For more information or to register, call the church office at 978 373-1270.

Brunch for Ahavas Achim Jan. 9

Join Ahavas Achim for brunch at the home of Ilise Wolpert at 160 Low St., Newburyport, on Sunday, Jan. 9. Come meet current members and learn about more about Ahavas Achim and the vibrant and growing community. Open house from 10:30 a.m. to noon. RSVP to or call 978-462-2461

Friday night services at Ahavas Achim

Ahavas Achim welcomes all to attend Kabbalat Shabbat in the Round Friday Night Services. Join Interim Rabbi Melissa Wenig for a family friendly service on Friday, Jan. 7, at 7 p.m. at Ahavas Achim at the Corner of Olive and Washington streets, Newburyport. Everyone is welcome. Come and enjoy music and fun for the entire family. RSVP to or call 978-462-2461.

Bean Supper at Holy Family Jan. 15

A Bean Supper will be held Jan. 15 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at Holy Family Parish Hall, Amesbury. Admission: adults, $8; under 12, $5; under 5, free.

Sunday Soups in Merrimac

Sunday Soups are held at Pilgrim Church, 27 Church St., Merrimac, from 4-5:30 p.m. A joint venture of Pilgrim Church and Our Neighbors' Table, Sunday Soups provides a free Sunday Night Supper to all who wish to attend. The menu includes soup and chowder, bread/rolls, dessert and a beverage.

'Questions Seeking Answers' in Rowley

"Questions Seeking Answers: Where Faith and Life Intersect" will be offered Wednesday evenings, 7 to 9 p.m., at American Barbecue, 5 Railroad Ave., Rowley, sponsored by Immanuel Baptist Church in Ipswich. Skip Pimentel will be group leader. All are welcome to grapple with questions of life that seek answers and as we seek to find where life and faith intersect.

Fellowship Thrift Shop in Rowley

The Fellowship Thrift Shop at First Congregational Church of Rowley, UCC, 175 Main St. (Route 1A) is open Tuesdays, 8 a.m. to noon; Thursdays, 3 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. We do accept gently used clothing and household item, but drop off is only when the shop is open. Please no electronics, toys or books.

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.

Insight Meditation Center of Newburyport

The Insight Meditation Center of Newburyport offers a variety of meditation opportunities including: daily sittings, practice groups, retreats and workshops. Located in a rural setting close to Interstate 95 and downtown Newburyport, the center provides an ideal environment for the practice of Insight Meditation (Vipassana). Originated in the Buddhist tradition more than 2,500 years ago, Vipassana is a simple practice that steadies the mind by grounding attention in the present moment. For the most current schedule information, visit or call 978-499-0325.

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.

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 (six to 12 people) prepares and serves the meal to about 80 people. Time: Three to four hours, including preparation, serving and cleanup. Call Maj. Kathryn Purvis at 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 Web site,

Compassionate Friends meet

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 on 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: Saturday Food Pantry: 9:30 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. Merrimac Mobile Pantry: first and third Saturday of each month, 9:30 to10:30 a.m., Pilgrim Congregational Church, 27 Church St., Merrimac. Open to Merrimac residents only.

St. Basil's Kitchen

The Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, Harris and Park streets, Newburyport, offers free luncheons on 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 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.