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Sunday, November 28, First Sunday of Advent

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Sunday, November 28 is the First Sunday of Advent. Find the readings here. Worship booklet here: Late Autumn & Advent Sundays

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 here.

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

ST. JOHNS VILLAGE FAIR—many thanks to all who helped and shopped! Special thanks to Gwen Kopka for her dedication, energy and time, and to all her helpers!

ADVENT LESSONS AND CAROLS, Sunday, December 12, 5 pm. We will be using a shortened form of our L&C based on the Great O-Antiphons of Advent. We may be able to include the choral piece commissioned from Dr. Michael Sitton … he has finished it and is sending it in the next several days!

Pastor Lise on Retreat: Pastor Lise will be on a 6-day retreat, starting Sunday afternoon 11/28 and finishing next Saturday morning, 12/4. In case of a pastoral emergency, please contact a warden, Karen Kasper (978-302- 7814) or Ellen Sibley (978-290-2115). While Lise won’t be “working,” she will be praying for St. John’s!

Grace Center Coming to St. John’s: Grace Center, a day program for homeless and low-income persons, will be using St. John’s parish hall on Sundays from 12-4, beginning Dec. 5th. Clients may join us for coffee hour or may hang out in the Thompson Room until coffee hour is over. We welcome this ministry that St. John’s continues to support!

Action Lunches—from Carolyn Stewart: Thanks to the generosity of our parish, Grace Center will be able to operate a Sunday warming place for our homeless and vulnerable neighbors during the winter months, starting December 5 and continuing through March. Guests will be welcome from noon to 4:00 p.m. with lunch provided by the Open Door. We hope that some arriving guests may want to join us at coffee hour, or they can hang out in the Thompson Room until coffee hour is over. Grace Center staff will be on site throughout the afternoon. On behalf of the Grace Center Advisory Committee, of which I am co-chair, we are beyond grateful to the Vestry for making this happen. An added bonus is that St John’s Action Lunch Program is once again able to take a hiatus during these months. To all who have participated this year, thank you for your faithfulness. See you in April.

Advent and Christmas Offerings:

Sunday, December 12: Order for Worship in the Evening. 5 pm.

Choral and organ music for the season.

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

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

Tips for a Christ-Friendly Christmas (from Rockport’s 2020 Earth Day Committee). We can celebrate the birth of Christ without adding to Earth-burdening consumption practices. To reduce waste and increase joy this Christmas season, check out two resources from Rockport’s 2020 Earth Day Committee can help: “Greening Your Holidays” gives ways to reduce your environmental impact and “Earth Friendlier Gifts” gives suggestions of how to find and give more sustainable (and more appreciated) gifts. Here are two ideas to get you started:

  1. Hand-made gifts are the best (Buy hand-made or make it yourself, even food!)

  2. Give treasure. Pass on a favorite book, plant start, or antique. Check estate sales, flea markets, and resale shops (Saint John’s own Thrift Shop) for unique finds.

TOYS FOR KIDS: Requests are now on the tree in the parish hall. Take a bell or bells and add some wrapping paper and tape (optional). Please return gifts by December 13. Thank you.

Christmas Flower Memorials: Now is the time to sign up for Christmas flowers. There are envelopes in the pews and in the office. Please return your names by December 13. Thank you.

Pledge Cards: Please bring in or mail in your pledge card, if you have not already done so. Thanks for your generous support of St. John’s!

Open Door Donations: Claudette Chmura reminds us to reconnect with the Open Door food pantry by bringing in food donations: By bringing items to Saint John’s, we can continue to support this important ministry. Don’t worry about what to bring, as long as it has not expired. Diapers, baby wipes, and other miscellaneous items are also welcome. Thank you for helping to continue our community outreach.

Mary McCarl Retrospective: Be sure to catch the McCarl art exhibit at Cove Gallery, 6 Wonson Street, Gloucester, through the end of November!

Forum Time: Let’s Chat! Today (Sunday) between services (9:15 to 10:15), come to have a conversation with Pastor Lise. Who are you? What is your spiritual hunger? How has Covid changed you/the church? All are welcome!

Contacting Pastor Lise: Pastor Lise (aka Lise) can be reached at She has a church cell phone of 351-217-9209. Please use these to contact her.

Updated Covid Instructions: Masks are required for all indoor activities, and we are to keep distanced (>=6 ft) from other households. Please wear your mask over both mouth and nose.

Music Notes: We hear music from the great Italian composer Girolamo Frescobaldi, one of the most important composers of the late Renaissance and early Baroque. A child prodigy, he worked with many of the famous composers of the day including John Dowland, Monteverdi, Lassus, and Gesualdo. His works were known to Bach and Purcell and influenced music composition into the 19th century. Check out the extensive article on Wikipedia for more details, even including scandal! The opening Voluntary consists of versets intended to be played in alternation with the ancient chants. At Communion we will hear the “Toccata cromatica” written for the time when the Priest said the Canon of the Mass quietly “secretly” and involves lots of “black” notes and descending step wise voices. These pieces were played on the “voce umano” stop which is tuned to ungulate with another stop. We will use the Gambe & Celeste to nearly perfectly recreate this effect.


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