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
Ash Wednesday (the start of the Lenten season) Communion with ashes at 12:00 noon. 6:30 pm Pizza Dinner in the Assembly Hall – bring a salad or dessert 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.)
Palm Sunday The start of Holy Week, celebrating the day of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the Sunday before Easter. Palms are distributed after both services.
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.
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.
Good Friday – a service of reflection on the events of that day is held at St. John’s from 12 noon to 1 pm with scripture, taize’ music and meditations by our pastors.
Easter Sunday – Our traditional 7:00 am Easter Sunrise Service is held at Whites Road Park in Lansdale in the parking circle near the pool. (In case of bad weather, the service is in our sanctuary.) The service is followed by a light breakfast and egg hunt. Our 10:15 am Easter service is held in the sanctuary with special celebration music.
Celebration Sunday – the first Sunday after Labor Day. On this day, once known as ‘Rally Day’ at St. John’s, we celebrate the new Sunday School year and choir season as we return to ‘regular’ activities following the summer break. At 9 am Sunday School students move up to their new classes then we all gather in the courtyard at 9:45 am to celebrate our new year and new church year theme in song and greeting.
Note: In 2021 our Celebration Sunday will be on the third Sunday of the month, September 19th, in conjunction with our church picnic. A modified (but no less important) indoor event will happen during the 10:15 am worship service, due to COVID gathering restrictions.
Advent Season: White Gift Service (second Sunday of Advent in December). 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 one Sunday each year. 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!
The first Sunday of November is All Saint’s Sunday when we read the names of all the church members and friends who have passed away in the past year.
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 to thank them for their service!
For more information about these special services see the Herald, Bulletin & Enlightener! You can find them on the ‘Read Our Publications’ page of this website.