, Newburyport, MA

December 8, 2012

Church Notes

Newburyport Daily News

---- — ‘Together at Christmas’ in Amesbury

The music ministry of Main Street Congregational Church, UCC, 145 Main St., Amesbury, will present “Together at Christmas,” with special guests Voices of Distinction, tomorrow at 4 p.m. Danny Smith, the church’s minister of music since 2004, will direct.

Tickets are $10. For advance tickets or more information, call 978-388-0982.

Menorah in Market Square marks Hanukkah

The City of Newburyport will have its first menorah displayed in Market Square this Hanukkah, the Jewish holiday often called the Festival of Lights.

Starting today at 5:30 p.m., Rabbi Avi Poupko of Congregation Ahavas Achim in Newburyport and his family will light the 6-foot-tall, electric menorah for eight nights, through Dec. 15. All are welcome to join them in the nightly lightings.

Additionally, a special Hanukkah program will begin at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11, when members of the local Jewish community, local dignitaries and the children of the Hebrew School will gather in Market Square for the second annual “Chanukah Charoling” program, followed by the menorah lighting at 5:30 p.m. The public is encouraged to join the festivities.

Tomorrow, a Hanukkah breakfast will be held at 10 a.m. at Congregation Ahavas Achim, 531/2 Washington St., Newburyport. For info and tickets, visit

Shabbat services are held every Saturday morning at 9 at Congregation Ahavas Achim.

Spaghetti supper, pizza benefit at

Union Church

Union Congregational Church, 350 Main St. on Amesbury’s Point Shore, is holding a fundraiser at The Flatbread Co. at 5 Market Square in downtown Amesbury on Tuesday, Dec. 11, from 5 to 9 p.m. Flatbread will donate to the church $3.50 for each large pizza and $1.75 for each small pizza sold during the evening, both dine-in and take-out orders. Call Flatbread at 978-834-9800 for more.

On Saturday, Dec. 22, Union Congregational is holding an all-you-can-eat Spaghetti Supper from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The menu will include spaghetti with homemade sauce, meatballs, bread, salad and dessert. Tickets are $7 per person, $24 for families. Take-out meals are available for $8.

The church’s annual Candlelight Christmas Concert will follow the Spaghetti Supper at 7 p.m. Sponsored by Friends of Union Church, the concert will feature performers Cat Mathews, Cheri Christenson, Eric Radcliffe, Nancy Tutunjian-Berger, Rosemary Mijal and Tom Whateley. Admission to the concert is free.

The church has ample parking and is handicapped accessible. Call the church at 978-388-0631 for more on any of the events, or visit

Christmas Cookie Sale in Merrimac

A Christmas Cookie Sale hosted by Merrimacport United Methodist Church will be held Saturday, Dec. 15, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Merrimac Senior Center, 100 East Main St., Merrimac. The public is invited to buy decorative cookies in a festive atmosphere. There will also be free cookie decorating for kids. For more information, call 978-346-8989 or visit

1871 organ in spotlight for Holy Family concert

An 1871 Simmons-built pipe organ will be the centerpiece of Holy Family Parish in Amesbury’s Christmas Concert, titled “Sweet Sounds of the Christmas Season,” on Sunday, Dec. 16, at 3 p.m. in the parish’s upper church.

Built by William Benjamin Dearborn Simmons of Cambridge, an innovator in the use of tempered tuning and of steam-powered machinery in construction, the organ features Germanic qualities.

Showcasing the historic organ will be parish organists David Morrow and Jack Rogers, along with Holy Family’s Traditional Choir under the direction of Margaret Doyle. Also performing will be the Contemporary Ensemble, Men’s Prayer Group, Children’s Festival Choir and the Holy Family Sing-A-Long Singers.

The concert is open to all; a free will offering will be taken. Refreshments will be served immediately following the concert in the lower church.

St. James Church Christmas celebration

St. James Episcopal Church, 120 Main St., Amesbury, will celebrate Christmas beginning with Christmas Eve Services on Monday, Dec. 24, at 4 p.m. featuring Holy Eucharist, Rite II, a family-friendly service with our Godly Play Pageant and Christmas Songs and at 8 p.m. with Holy Eucharist, Rite I, with choir and music.

On Tuesday, Dec. 25, Christmas Day, there will be one service at 10 a.m., Holy Eucharist, Rite II.

All are welcome to join in the church’s Christmas celebration.

Beginning on Jan. 10, the women of faith will meet every other Thursday from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

For more information on events and programs at St. James, visit

Immaculate Conception Christmas Masses

Immaculate Conception Parish in Newburyport has announced its Christmas Mass schedule.

On Christmas Eve, Monday, Dec. 24, Masses will be held at 4 p.m. in the school auditorium and 6 p.m. in the church and at midnight in the church.

On Christmas Day, Mass will be held at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. in the church.

Call the parish at 978-462-2724 for more.

Unity on the River holiday schedule

Unity on the River, 58 Macy St. (Route 110), Amesbury, will hold Christmas Eve services Monday, Dec. 24, starting at 4 p.m. with a children’s service followed by candlelight services at both 5:30 and 7 p.m.

On Sunday, Dec. 30, a Bowl Service to energetically release what is no longer needed will be held at 10 a.m.

On Monday, Dec. 31, at 7 p.m., a New Year’s Eve Service involving a White Stone Ceremony allowing participants to claim their expression of themselves for the new year will be held.

Unity on the River regularly holds Sunday services at 10:00 a.m. and a quieter meditative prayer service each Wednesday at 7 p.m.

For more, call 978-834-7830 or visit

Christmas Eve service, pageant at Market St. Baptist

Market Street Baptist Church will hold its Christmas Eve Family Candlelight Service & Pageant on Monday, Dec. 24, at the church on 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. All are welcome from 5 to 6 p.m. in the sanctuary, which is accessible by elevator.

Meditation retreat offered Dec. 9

The Insight Meditation Center of Newburyport will offer a meditation retreat for beginners titled “The Mindful Moment.” The retreat is 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. Sunday, Dec. 9 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Cost: $37. For registration and details, visit


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.

Women of Faith

and Centering Prayer at St. James

St. James Episcopal church in Amesbury offers a Women of Faith Bible Study Group every other Wednesday through May 22. The Women of Faith has a round-table discussion of the various stories in the Bible that are read. All are welcome to participate. Meeting dates are noted on the church calendar, which can be found on the website

Also offered is Centering Prayer, a meditative practice based on the work of the Rev. Thomas Keating, who believes that silence is “God’s first language.” Centering Prayer is made available upon request. For further information on Women of Faith or Centering Prayer, call the office at 978-388-0030 or check the website at

Mass schedule changes for Holy Redeemer Parish

Holy Redeemer Parish in both Merrimac and West Newbury has changed its church service schedule.

This weekend, Mass will be said at St. Ann Parish at 300 Main St. in West Newbury on Sundays at 10:15 a.m. At the Church of the Nativity, 4 Green St. in Merrimac, Mass will be said on Saturdays at 4 p.m. and Sundays at 8 a.m.

The 4 p.m. Mass on Saturdays switches every six weeks between the two churches.

The daily Mass schedule is Wednesdays at 9 a.m. at Church of the Nativity in Merrimac and Thursday and Friday at 9 a.m. at St. Ann in West Newbury.

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, has new hours.

The shop is open Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., weather permitting.

Check out daily half-price sales and the special tag sale the first Saturday of each month. When the shop is open, it accepts donations of gently used clothing and household items, but no electronics, books or toys.

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 a 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.

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.