Throughout the year St. John’s celebrates some special worship services with a different format from our weekly 8:00 am & 10:15 am Sunday services. These services include:
Lenten Season: Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday & Good Friday
Some photos from Palm Sunday 2017 – Palms are distributed following the service.
Ash Wednesday (the start of the Lenten season) 6:30 pm Covered Dish dinner in the Assembly Hall – bring a dish to share. 7:30 pm Worship in the Sanctuary with Communion and ashes. The tradition of the pastor placing ashes on the forehead is an old one, but relatively new in the UCC & at St. John’s. This is an ‘optional’ part of the service for those who choose to participate while others can choose to remain seated.
Maundy Thursday (the Thursday between Palm Sunday and Easter, sometimes called Holy Thursday): 7:30 pm Tenebrae with Communion, a service of darkness 7:30 pm during which time eight candles and the sanctuary lights are gradually extinguished.
Holy Week Prayer Vigil held Noon on Maundy Thursday to Noon on Good Friday. 30 minute time slots are available to pray at church, home, work or wherever you may be. The sign up poster is located near the elevator court for several weeks before the event.
Good Friday – a service of reflection on the events of that day is held at St. John’s from 12 noon to 1 pm.
Above: Easter Sunrise Service at Whites Road Park 2017
Below: St. John’s sanctuary – Easter 2016, 2017 10:15 am service
Celebration Sunday – the first Sunday after Labor Day. On this day we celebrate the new Sunday School year and choir season as we return to ‘regular’ activities following the summer break. Sunday School students move up to their new classes then we all gather in the courtyard to celebrate our new year and new church year theme in song. The “Blessing of the Backpacks” is celebrated during worship as the new school year starts.
Advent Season: White Gift Service (second Sunday of Advent) See more about this service on this website under the tab “Advent & Christmas at St. John’s”.
We also have special services during the year where members of our congregation and others participate in leading worship, including Boy Scout Sunday (February), Girl Scout Sunday (March), Youth Sunday (March) and Laity Sunday (October).
Laity Sunday is held each October. On this Sunday, members of the congregation take part in leading worship – scripture readings, joys & concerns, prayers, etc. & the sermon is usually presented by several members telling of their own faith journeys. If you would like to participate, speak with a pastor!
On the Sundays closest to Memorial Day & Veteran’s Day, our tradition is to have members of our congregation who served our country in the military serve as our door greeters, giving us a chance to also greet them and thank them for their service!
Below: World War II-Korean War Veteran’s Day Door Greeters, November 9, 2008
Below: Also in November, for many years, St. John’s celebrated God’s Autumn bounty with Harvest Home Sunday. In our years before the founding of Manna On Main Street (now with an ongoing all year food collection at St. John’s), this was a once a year food collection drive for the community.
For more information about these special services see the Herald & Enlightener!