Cape Ann religion news, services | Local News | – Gloucester Daily Times

Church installs solar panels

Solar panels have been installed on the roof of the Annisquam Village Church at the corner of Washington and Leonard streets.

Peter and Sandy Lawrence stepped forward and made a gift that enabled the church to install the solar panels in mid April.

“We hope that this gift will serve to inspire other local organizations and homeowners to do the same,” Peter Lawrence said in a prepared statement announcing the instalation. “Roof-top solar systems can reduce (carbon dioxide) emissions by about 4 tons of (carbon dioxide) per year and offer considerable reduction in your annual electric bill with a pay-back in fewer than 5-6 years.”

For nearly a year, members of the church have been gathering online to explore how they and the church could make a commitment to address the climate crisis. After the first meeting, the Rev. Sue Koehler-Arsenault, the church’s pastor, said she recognized that this group did not merely want to talk but was ready to take action. A Creation Care Team was formed to help the congregation take meaningful steps towards sustainable living and reducing its carbon footprint.

A variety of educational and action-oriented steps followed, Koehler-Arsenault said in the announcement. Church members visited Cedar Rock Farm, 299 Concord St., to learn about organic farming and then signed up for shares of the farm’s community supported agriculture program. In February, the church also held a residential solar panel workshop attended by more than 40 local residents.

“As a church community we see that we have a special responsibility to address the climate crisis and its impacts, said Koehler-Arsenault in the prepared statement. “Living on Cape Ann, we enjoy the beauty of nature every day. We also recognize that climate change is affecting the health of the ocean, its inhabitants, and threatens our coastlines. The livelihoods of the next generation depend on all of us taking meaningful actions now, no matter how small they may appear. As a faith community, we want to be a force for good; inspiring others to also be active stewards of the only planet we will ever share.”

Free prom dresses

Cape Ann Bible Church, 8 Thompson St. in Gloucester, is holding a Bling Fling, offering 200 prom dresses, free for the taking, on Friday, May 14, from7 to 9 p.m. Dresses of all sizes and styles are yours for the choosing. Questions? Email

Church receives $30,000

The West Gloucester Trinitarian Congregational Church, 488 Essex Ave., has been awarded a $30,000 to address the twin pandemics of racism and the COVID-19 virus.

It is one of nine Southern New England United Church of Christ churches to receive a Faith in Our Future Together grant.

The church, according to its leaders, plans to use its grant to overhaul the outdoor area known as “The Sacred Grove” so it can be better used for and by the community, where all are welcome and there is ample space for everyone who wants to learn about and advocate for racial justice.

Before the pandemic, the church had only used the space for Easter Sunrise Services. Last year, it was used for a pumpkin patch fund raiser, a month-long food drive, a diaper drive, and a live nativity.

Church leaders want to create an accessible and useful outdoor gathering space to use for worship and education, sharing space with health and recovery programs, and providing a visible location for local social justice groups to meet to offer educational programming and hold gatherings.

The improvements will include leveling the ground, creating a pulpit and communion table from existing tree stumps, building a fire pit, adding weather resistant seating, and planting hedges to reduce the sound from the nearby roadway.

A “recoverable grant” means the congregation enters into a covenant to return money to the Southern New England Conference if and when it is able, so that the gift can then be paid forward to support other missions and ministries of the conference.

In other news at the West Gloucester Congregational, the church, which continues to worship online, will mark Pentecost, May 23, with an outdoor service at 10 a.m.

The service will be outside in the Labyrinth next to the church, weather permitting. Musician Joe Wilkins will accompany the service.

Those attending must follow the church’s COVID-19 guidelines, including social distancing and wearing a mask.

Seating is limited and reservations for this service may be made by calling the church at 978-283-2817 before May 23.

Worshippers may also join the service at (click on “Worship Church Online”), like West Gloucester Trinitarian Congregational Church on Facebook or on YouTube; search West Gloucester Trinitarian Congregational Church.


Annisquam Village Church holds online worship services each Sunday at 10 a.m. The chat rooms opens at 9:30 a.m. A time of prayer and reflection is offered Thursdays at 7 p.m. via Zoom. All are welcome. For more information and web links, please go to

Cape Ann Bible Church, 8 Thompson St., Gloucester, offers Sunday Service, 10:30 a.m., at for live streaming. Past services and messages may be found there. For more information go to or call 978-281-3941.

The Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport is taking reservations online and by phone for Sunday Mass at 8:15 a.m. in Saint Ann Church, 10 a.m. in Saint Joachim Church, and 7 and 11:45 a.m. in Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. Seating is limited and reservations must be made by 5 p.m. Saturday and will be confirmed. The Rev. James Achadinha is conducting Masses privately, then uploading them to the church’s YouTube channel, CCGRonline, and providing resources on the community’s website,, to conduct private services at homes. Each update includes prayers and scripture passages to read and reflect on at certain hours of the day. The Sacrament of Penance & Reconciliation (Confession) is by available by appointment only.

Churches of Sacred Heart & St. John the Baptist: The Rev. Paul Flammia will celebrate Mass at 8:30 and 10 a.m. at Sacred Heart Church in Manchester. Sunday Mass Schedule available on Sign Up Genius on the parish website at Reservations for all Masses may be made and attendance requirements may be found at

First Baptist Church of Gloucester, 38 Gloucester Ave., hosts Sunday Services at 10 a.m. The sanctuary is open for worship, and been marked with arrows for entrance and exit, and some pews have been blocked to help observe proper COVID-19 protocols. Masks are required at all times, as well as practicing social distancing. The service is also available on Facebook Live for viewing as it is being conducted, or for viewing at a future time if desired. All are welcome.

First Church in Wenham, 1 Arbor St., Wenham is hosting candlelight prayer services on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. outside the front of the church building. Masks must be worn at all times. Outdoor health safety guidelines will be followed throughout the events.     

First Congregational Church of Essex (FCCOE), 39 Main St., Essex, is worshiping in person (seating limited) and online at its website. To join in visit and click “At Home Sunday Worship.” You may also stay connected by clicking “like” on its Facebook page, First Congregational Church of Essex.

First Congregational Church, UCC, of Rockport is live streaming Sunday services on its Facebook page and Zoom at 10 a.m. Questions? 978- 546-6638.

First Parish Manchester, 10 Central St. in Manchester, is hosting in-person and online Sunday morning worship at 10 a.m.

For those interested in attending in person, the church will follow state COVID-19 protocols; details can be found at Virtual worship for those not yet ready to return can be found at and YouTube (search First Parish Church Manchester by the Sea).

Mondays: On first and third of month, “Still Speaking” group meets at 7:30 p.m. to discuss modern intellectuals’ thinking on issues of faith, morals and justice as they relate to our spiritual tradition. Last Monday of the month, the Book Group meets at 7 p.m. to discuss of a book of interest to people of various backgrounds.

Tuesdays: Study group looks at “Widows to Warriors,” May 11; June 1, and June 8 if needed or desired from 7 to 8:15, via Zoom. The group is examining the complex, multidimensional, inspiring, humorous and tragic lives of several of the women presented in the Hebrew Scriptures.

Wednesdays: Prayer & Meditation, 7 p.m.. An opportunity to come together for quiet reflection, sharing of scripture and the offering of prayer intentions.

Thursdays: Bible Study, 4 p.m., discusses upcoming weekly scripture. No preparation is needed.

To join these programs on your computer, tablet, smart phone or phone, contact or 978-526-7661 for details.

Gloucester United Methodist Church, 436 Washington St., hosts in-person Sunday worship services at 9:15 a.m. and follows state COVID-19 guidelines for group participation. Virtual, on-line Sunday worship services are also available with music, Scripture readings and sermon beginning at 9:15 a.m. on the Gloucester’s church’s Facebook. page,

Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church, 10 Church St., Gloucester, is hosting Zoom worship services are online,, Sundays at 10 a.m. For an invitation to join the service, email before 10 on Sunday morning. Everyone is welcome.

North Shore Bible Church of Cape Ann, 65 Eastern Ave. in Essex, plans this Sunday to have one service at 9 a.m., another at 11 a.m., and stream them online. Seats may be reserved at

The Orthodox Congregational Church of Lanesville’s Sunday 10 a.m. worship services remains online but some weekly prayer meeting, Bible study classes are meeting in person. Visit for information or for the link to connect via Zoom or Facebook to participate.

Pigeon Cove Chapel in Rockport’s services are in a distance format for 10:30 a.m. Sunday worship. See its YouTube channel, Pigeon Cove Chapel. 978-546-2523

Rockport Baptist Church, 4 High St. in Rockport, has resumed in-person worship on Sundays at 10 a.m.. Sunday and weekly outdoor programming is available for children and youth. All activities follow COVID-19 protocols. For more information visit

Rockport United Methodist Church, 36 Broadway, Rockport, has resumed in-person Sunday worship services at 11 a.m. and follows state COVID-19 guidelines for group participation. Virtual, on-line Sunday worship services are also available with music, Scripture readings and sermon beginning at 9:15 a.m. on the Gloucester United Methodist Church’s Facebook page,

St. John’s Episcopal Church, 48 Middle St., is closed, except for AA meetings. Online services are posted on Youtube at stjohnsgloucester. Updates, links to services, and more information are available at

St. Paul Lutheran Church in Gloucester is holding Sunday School at 9:15 a.m. and Sunday worship services at 10 a.m. on Facebook Live at All welcome. Questions? Call 978-283-6550

Temple Ahavat Achim remains closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The temple’s Religious School, weekly Torah Study class, morning Shabbat service and Sunday minyan service have moved to the Zoom platform. Instructions on how to join the temple’s Zervices may be found at on its homepage,, where details on High Holidays programming can also be found.

Trinity Congregational Church UUC, 70 Middle St., Gloucester, invites all to its Drive-In Church, held every Sunday in the church parking lot, beginning promptly at 10:30 a.m. Arrive beforehand, and listen to the service from your car radio, or sit outside on socially distanced chairs. Communion will be celebrated in a COVID-19-safe format the first Sunday of every month. The service is also available online at; and on the Facebook page: Trinity Congregational Church Gloucester.

The church also offers:

Ice Cream Social, on Wednesdays from 7 to 7:30 p.m. vis over Zoom (bring your own ice cream).

UCC Lent Book Club on Tuesdays, through March 30, from 4 to 5 p.m., also over Zoom.

For links to these events, please contact Trinity Congregational Church at 978-283-1442 or

Unitarian Universalist Society of Rockport, 4 Cleaves St., Rockport, hosts Zoom worship services online Sundays at 10:30 a.m. For an invitation to join the service, email Everyone is welcome.

West Gloucester Congregational Church, UCC, 488 Essex Ave., Gloucester, continues to worship online at its website, (click on “Worship Church Online”) for the safety of parishioners. Worshippers also may like West Gloucester Trinitarian Congregational Church on Facebook to view services. Church services are available on YouTube; search West Gloucester Trinitarian Congregational Church.

May 16 – Musician Alexandra Grace.

May 23 – Pentecost with musician Joe Wilkins.

May 30 – Service of Remembrance. Musicians Jeannine Lynch and Arnie Rosen.

The church also offers a Zoom Prayer Time on Wednesday at 10 a.m. and a Zoom Coffee Hour on Friday at 10 a.m. All are welcome.

Zoom Book Discussion group meets 5 p.m. Thursdays. Please call or email the church for details about the next book.

To receive the link for any of the Zoom groups, please call the church at 978-283-2817 and leave your email and let us know which link(s) you would like to receive.

For pastoral needs, questions, or to reach the Rev. Rona Tyndall, please call the church at 978-283-2817.

Listings may be sent to: Religion Calendar, Gloucester Daily Times, 36 Whittemore St., Gloucester, MA 01930; or emailed to Andrea Holbrook at, at least two weeks prior to the event.

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May 14, 2021 susan ward