What make our Services Special?
St. John’s strives to make worship on each Sunday of the year a source of inspiration and encouragement for the work of being a disciple of Jesus all week long out in the world and the larger community. Sunday worship is practice and the fuel for our lives as servants of God and tellers of the good news day to day in all that we do. Through our faithful sense of community, our warm connection, our music, and our celebration of the Eucharist as the Body of Christ, we seek to walk the way of Jesus together. You may be more familiar with the name “Holy Communion”, but we as Episcopalians more often refer to the service as the “Eucharist”.
In addition to our Sunday morning worship, there are several special services that happen annually in our following of the liturgical calendar.
Every October we have a service on the Sunday closest to St. Francis’ day to bless the animals. If the weather is fine, we worship in our consecrated Memorial Garden space outside. If it rains, we remain in the sanctuary. Miraculously, this service always works. The dogs and cats get along, and the barking quiets as people take their places. Every animal is blessed and prayed for as we celebrate the beauty and wonder of God’s creation and creatures.
On the fourth Sunday of Advent, we always have a unique and new Christmas Pageant. No year is ever the same and we look forward to remembering the nativity story in a fresh way together each year, through the leadership of our children and youth.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day worship is always a highlight of the liturgical calendar. The Altar Guild makes the sanctuary absolutely beautiful with light and flowers, and our musicians shine in their singing and playing of the sacred story. We have an early Christmas Eve service that is particularly child-friendly and child-led and joyful. We also have a later Christmas Eve service that starts off with a period of singing traditional Christmas carols and then celebrating the savior’s birth with a joyful Eucharist.
During Holy Week, there are well attended special services on Maundy Thursday, with the ceremony of foot washing and the re-membering of the Last Supper, and on Good Friday, with a reading of the Passion narrative and a solemn time of silence, prayer, and candle lighting. The Sanctuary is beautifully decorated for Easter and the joy of the resurrection is proclaimed, sung and celebrated.
On most Wednesday evenings, there is a service of Holy Eucharist and Healing Prayers, followed by a faith study group, starting at 7.