specialworship

Special Worship Services

Special Worship Services

harvest-_home

Special Worship Services

In addition to our traditional 8 and 10:30 a.m. worship services, St. John’s offers other ways for the congregation to worship and praise God. Special worship services are scheduled throughout the year.

Blessing of the Backpacks: As our children and youth prepare to return to school, it is appropriate that we include them in our prayers. At a special worship service each August, children and youth (preschoolers through high school) are invited to bring their backpacks to church. Students are asked to come forward during worship, and we offer a blessing for them to assure them that they will be in our prayers throughout the school year.

Harvest Homes: Harvest Home Sunday is a unique experience each year. Our sanctuary is transformed to a setting of the harvest that includes fruits, vegetables, pumpkins, pitchforks, shovels, wheelbarrow, bales of hay, corn shucks, etc. People attending Harvest Home service are asked to bring in canned goods, garden vegetables, fruits, cereals, etc., to be presented at the altar during both services. Donations of food will be used to stock the shelves at area food banks. Offerings received through the Harvest Home offering envelope are also given to area food banks.

Blessing of the Animals: St. John’s annual Blessing of the Animals is held on our lawn each October. All pets are welcome! There is a brief service for the pets’ owners, and then each animal receives a hands-on blessing. If you are unable to bring your pet, you are welcome to bring a photo of your pet. We collect donations for Animals in Distress in Coopersburg. For a complete list of needed donations, please go to their website: http://www.animalsindistress-pa.or/donations.php.

Services of Healing: In October, we celebrate the annual Service of Healing as part of Sunday morning worship. This service is held on the Sunday closest to St. Luke’s Day, which is a traditional time to emphasize the church’s ministry of healing. Worshipers have the opportunity to receive individual prayer for healing from the pastor or a lay assisting minister. Receiving individual prayer for healing is completely optional for each worshiper. The church’s ministry of healing helps us remember God’s presence with strength and comfort in time of suffering, God’s promise of wholeness and peace, and God’s love embodied in the community of faith. It does not replace the gifts of God which come through medical science nor does it promise a cure. It is one of the ways that we encounter the reality of God’s grace.

Pray Partners for Healing are also available during the services on the third Sunday in February, April, June, August and December.

Blue Christmas: Everyone experiences losses. Some are more difficult to accept and work through than others. The Blue Christmas service can help with all types of losses.

Ash Wednesday Services and Mid-week Lenten Services: On Ash Wednesday, St. John’s offers a worship opportunity at noon in addition to the traditional service which is held at 7:30 p.m. The noon service does not include music and is a slightly simplified version of the service at 7:30 p.m. The Imposition of Ashes and Holy Communion is offered at both services.

Each Wednesday night in Lent, members of St. John’s gather at 6:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall for fellowship around a “Soup and Bread Supper.” At 7:30 p.m. we gather in the Sanctuary for a Lenten service of Evening Prayer. We use the very beautiful and melodic musical setting of Evening Prayer written by Marty Haugen.

Daily devotions for the season of Lent are available both electronically and in printed form.

Volunteer Recognition Sunday: St. John’s depends on volunteers in the areas of worship, learning, witness, service, and support to maintain its level of ministry to members and others. In addition, many organizations, that improve the quality of life in our area such as the Boy and Girl Scouts, the Historical Society, the Garden Club, the Arts Commission, the Youth Association, the Library, the Fire Department, etc. depend on volunteers to do much of their work. St. John’s is blessed to have more than 300 members who volunteer in the church and/or in the community! We recognize our wonderful volunteers annually at a special service.