On Christmas Eve, your congregation will offer four different opportunities for spiritual enrichment and worship.

At 6:30 PM we will gather for our traditional Family Worship, with your favorite Christmas Carols, the Adult Choir, a story (“One Maine Christmas” by Rev. Dr. Steve Burt) and communion – ending with the creation of a live nativity scene, with all the children who would like to participate taking part. This service will be led by Pastor Mark.

Many years ago a man named Charles Brown began the tradition of presenting a concert on the carillon (the bell tower) on Christmas Eve. In the beginning, the carillon was in the steeple of the “old” St. John’s, and it was a “chilling” experience. Today the keyboard from which the carillon is played is indoors, so our two carillioneurs, Guy Eaton and Andy Galt, won’t get frostbite. You can listen to the concert as you sit in your car, or from the comfort of our sanctuary. The concert will begin at 8 PM.

The first of two Candlelight Communion Services will begin at 9 PM, and will be led by one our Clergy Emeritus, Rev. Earle Custer. Special music, Christmas message, your favorite carols and communion.

And the evening will come to a close with our 11 PM Candlelight Communion Service, which will include the communion liturgy sung to Christmas carol tunes, special music and candlelighting (outdoors at the conclusion of the service).

If you’re in town for Christmas, worship with your church family is vitally important. Have friends coming to spend Christmas Eve with you? Bring them to worship, and enrich their holiday as well.

Christmas Eve Collection

Church Council recently voted to donate the 2013 Christmas Eve collection to people in need in our community. This includes the offering that is placed in special Christmas envelopes and all loose plate offerings. Christmas envelope offerings received prior to Christmas Eve will go towards current expenses, unless otherwise noted on the envelope.

St John’s has made this commitment for several years. The Outreach Committee designated the Dover Friendly Kitchen, the Counseling Center of the Dover/Rochester Area, Dover Share and the Community Food Pantry (formerly the Somersworth Food Cupboard) as recipients of this annual collection. Thank you for your generosity in so many areas during this Christmas season.