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Sunday, December 19, Fourth Sunday of Advent

Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Sunday, December 19 is the Fourth Sunday of Advent. Find the readings here. Worship booklet here: Late Autumn & Advent Sundays And check out St. John's Sunday News.

Please join us at St. John's Church for one of two in-person services at 8:00 am and 10:30 am. We will try to stream the service live on our Facebook page. If you follow us on Facebook and are logged in around 9am, you should be able to see it. Also, the service will be posted on our Youtube channel by the early afternoon. You can also see last week's service.

If you want to join the Zoom coffee hour at 12:30, please email the Parish Administrator for the information.

Covid Update: As most of you know, a worshipper at the 10:30 service on Dec. 5 tested positive for Covid on Dec. 6th. The person had mild symptoms and is recovering. No other cases have been reported in the congregation, so this means that our Covid precautions are working! Meanwhile, infection rates are rising all over the state and are quite high on Cape Ann as we head into winter and the holidays. So, 1) We need to keep masked and distanced while inside the building at all times, 2) The vestry voted to suspend coffee hour until warmer weather and/or case counts go down. Feel free to converse with others in the sanctuary or outside before or following worship, 3) If you test positive for Covid and attended church in the days before you developed symptoms or tested positive, please report to Pastor Lise or Margein the church office. Let us continue to be good neighbors and a supportive community.

Advent and Christmas Offerings:

Friday, December 24: Christmas Eve services at 5 and 8:30 pm.

Sunday, December 26: Sunday after Christmas, 9 am.

Thursday, January 6: Epiphany 6 pm Eucharist with Chalking the Door and Sung Gospel

Vestry Notes for December 14, 2021 via Zoom · The Vestry has decided to suspend the in-person Coffee Hour for the Winter (until Easter 2022) in the interest of keeping all parishioners safe from COVID and its variants. Masks must be worn at all times on the church property and social distancing must be practiced. Parishioners should feel free to socialize within these constraints. Reducing the threat of transmission of the virus while eating and drinking, a known hazard, will allow the continuation of in-person worship services which are important to all of us. · The 160th Annual Meeting of St. John’s Episcopal Church will be held in person on January 30th, 2022 after a 9AM single service that morning. A schedule for the submission of parish activity reports for compilation into the Annual Report will be circulated soon. · Congratulations and thanks to Mark and to the Choir for the fantastic and moving program of Anthems and Carols on Sunday evening (December 12th). The program incorporated familiar motifs while featuring new and diverse material including the premier of a commissioned piece for the 20th anniversary of Mark Nelson’s tenure as Music Director at St. John’s. The talent and skill as well as the hard work of all of our musicians were appreciated by all as were the chocolates and cookies as part of the “reception-to–go” at the finale. · The Vestry is looking for a few volunteers to serve on the Nominating Committee over the next several weeks in order to identify and recruit prospective members for the Vestry for the next three years. Parishioners interested in serving on the Nominating Committee (very short term) or the Vestry (three year term) should speak to the Wardens. · The Stewardship Committee and the Treasurer have reminded us that we are falling short of our goals in pledging and contributing to the ongoing financial support of our parish. Please send in your pledge if you have not done so and complete your 2021 pledge before the end of the year. The ushers will recommence passing the plate at the offertory during each service.

The Plate is Back! By popular demand (?), we will resume passing the plate during the offering time. Some of us need visual cues to remember to do what we wanted to do anyway . . .

Stewardship Update: The Stewardship Committee is extremely grateful to the over 50 individuals and families who have already returned their pledge cards for 2022! If you are planning to pledge for 2022, please return your card soon. Current pledging is shy at least $7,000 for the proposed 2022 budget. Please support St. John’s!

Upcoming Events:

* Vestry and Search Committee Retreat: Saturday, January 8th! Start time 9:00 am; details to follow.

* Annual Meeting: Sunday, January 30th after one service at 9 am. Please email reports to Elizabeth, the Parish Administrator by Friday, January 14. (Late reports make Elizabeth crabby! And you don't want to make Elizabeth crabby ...)

The Flower Guild would love to welcome a few new members. This is one of the ministries that keep the church looking beautiful. You would be on the schedule to arrange flowers on Saturday for the Sunday service for two weekends at a time every few weeks. This is fun and a great opportunity to be creative. You choose the flowers (you will be reimbursed) and arrange them any way you like. Please consider joining this ministry. If you have questions please call Rosemary Sullivan at 978-559-9679 or email her at

Music Notes: Sunday begins the 7-day meditations on the Great O Antiphons of Advent. Watch St. John's Gloucester O Antiphon videos from last year: Dec 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 You can also view our Evening service from last week and download the leaflet.

A few related services: St. Mark's, Seattle O Antiphon service & leaflet

St. John's College, Cambridge UK service & leaflet story of this year's brush with Covid.

Sunday's opening voluntary will have 3 components: the O-Antiphon chant for the day—O Radix Jesse/O Root of Jesse, an organ prelude based on the chant, and a chance for everyone to sing Stanzas 4 & 8 of O come, O come, Emmanuel. The organ prelude is composed by Nico Muhly (, a young American composer who has made a major mark on the music world.

Three Cheers for Norm Barr! Norm has been taking the live feed off Facebook Live and creating videos for YouTube. In the last several weeks he's added additional cameras and is using his editing skills to great advantage, and you should look at some of these services, especially if you missed some of them. This past week he's outdone himself by making a video of both the 10:30 and the Lessons and Carols services! And he's working with Mark to provide overflow seating for Christmas Eve in the Parish Hall with video for those who cannot be accommodated in the church due to Covid restrictions.



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