Our Latest News and Activities

Sunday, February 26, 2023

First Sunday in Lent

Please join us for worship at 8 or 10 am in our Sanctuary.

The 10am service will be livestreamed on our website, www.onchurch.org

Scripture Lesson: Genesis 28:10-18

Rabbi David Meyer's sermon:

“A Song About Shoes"

Please click here to view the 10am bulletin.

Wherever You Are On Life's Journey, You Are Welcome Here.

Rabbi David Meyer Will Preach this Sunday


Rabbi David will join us in worship this week.

The history and relationship between our church and Temple Emmanu-El is a treasured blessing in our church and community. This coming weekend we will once again have the opportunity to enjoy a pulpit exchange. Rev. Don will be speaking at the Friday evening Shabbat service with help from Rev. Lindsay.

This coming Sunday, Rabbi David Meyer will speak at both our 8am and 10pm worship services. He will draw on the insight of Genesis 28:10-18.  He will also be sharing the story and some background around the title track of his soon-to-be-released album: "A Song About Shoes"  He has provided the link below in case you want to hear the song before (or after) Sunday's worship: 


With his retirement from the Temple this spring, this may be last chance for us to experience his wit and wisdom. I am sure you will all join me in welcoming Rabbi David as we celebrate his gift to us over the years. 

Children's Faith Formation


The children will go to the classroom during the second Hymn. James Horgan will lead the class this week.

Childcare for Infants to 3 1/2 years old are welcome to join Rey and Donna Weiner, upstairs in the First Church Meeting House room, beginning at 9:50 and anytime during the service.

Experiencing Church, Ways We Learn and Grow


Each of us has our own ways of approaching and experiencing worship, time in fellowship, Children’s Church as we seek to deepen our roots of faith formation. As we welcome families and children, we are always looking for new ways to meet and greet them where they are at, helping them learn and grow in faith with new approaches to experience time together on Sunday mornings and beyond.


In the upcoming weeks, along with the Sunday morning activity clipboards with coloring pages and stickers, you may also see us offering electronic tablets* and head phones with a video recording that coincides with the Children’s Church lesson of the day.


Be it an autistic child looking for engagement in the lesson, or a child who finds social interactions a bit overwhelming, computing devices, like tablets can be quite beneficial as welcome our children, as well as their families, offering them connection in an accessible and meaningful way.

Would you like to lend your voice to this new Children’s Ministry? By way of recording a brief video of “Hello”, “Welcome,” My Name is” or to record a scripture lesson are simple ways for our children to get to know you, and find their special place in their church family.

Please contact me Karen Kilty, at kwkilty@gmail.com

*The tablets are ones that we used at the beginning of the pandemic to bring the recordings of Sunday worship and special music to those at home unable to manage online services.

UCC Earthquake Relief Efforts


As you surely know, Turkey and Syria have just suffered from a horrific 7.8 magnitude earthquake and aftershocks in a region which includes the UN’s largest concentration of refugees. The death toll alone is already over 47,000 at the writing of this note. The Outreach Ministry Board is contributing $1,000 in emergency funding through the national UCC organization on Old North’s behalf.

For those of you who would like to make an individual donation to the relief effort, click here to help fund the UCC’s relief efforts directly.

Thank you for being such a caring and giving congregation.



Old North Church relies on donations to fund its annual operating budget. If you wish to help support Old North’s mission, programs and community service, please fill out one of the pledge cards in the pew racks and put it in the offertory plate. You may also pledge online at:


Welcome Table


The Community Life Ministry Board is planning on creating a Welcome Table in the Narthex, which will serve as an information and greeting location on Sunday mornings. We are looking for volunteers who would be willing to help with this project. For further information, please contact Chris Arren at c_arren@yahoo.com or 617-823-2471.

Lenten Dinners


For one evening in this contemplative period of Lent, let’s gather together to enjoy “table fellowship” in the homes of members of our ONC community. A few hosts have volunteered to open their homes and cook dinner for 5-8 guests per house. Guests are asked to bring an offering of a salad, or desert, or bread, or wine. Saturday, March 4 is the planned date. Gathering will begin around 6-6:30 PM, dinner will be served at 7. You will be contacted by your host with details for the evening. Additional hosts may be needed depending on reservation numbers.  At Brooksby Village, the Lenten Dinner will be on Sunday, March 5 for ONC members and friends living there. Bob Hendricks is the host. To make a Lenten dinner reservation, please contact Dave Hostetter by email (daveh.racer@gmail.com) or phone/text (781-631-3216). Reservations are requested before Wednesday, February 22. Please let Dave know if you can host if needed.

The Lenten dinners are a Community Life event inspired by the idea of a Dinner Club, which more than 20 people expressed interest by signing one of the many interest polling clipboards at recent coffee hours. The Lenten dinner is a stand-alone event. It’s not connected to the “See No Stranger” book study and conversation also linked to Lent.  

All Interested Singers Are Welcome to Join!

The program for our annual Palm Sunday Lenten Concert will be the beloved choral masterpiece, Requiem  KV 626 by W.A. Mozart, accompanied by the Festival Chorus chamber orchestra. Rehearsals began on Wednesday, February 22, and all sunsequent and will continue on Wednesdays from 7:30 -9:00 through the week of the concert. The required edition of the vocal scores that we’ll be using is published by Baerenreiter Verlag - (BA.4538-90). Vocal scores can be borrowed from the Old North Church and there is a small number available for sale at registration. The performance will take place on the evening of Palm Sunday, April 2, at 7:30pm. A mandatory Dress Rehearsal with orchestra is scheduled for Saturday, April 1, 10am-1pm.  Singers will be required to take a home test prior to rehearsals and performances, but the wearing of masks - at this time- will be optional. (Tests will be provided by Old North.) All singers are welcome and interested teens are encouraged to join us for this wonderful project! Please contact Maria vanKalken with questions at vankalken@gmail.com.

Let's Go Bowling!

The Community Life Board invites you to come bowling on Saturday, March 11, 2023, at Sunnyside Bowling, 176 Water Street, Danvers. (Go straight on Rt. 114 past Bishop Fenwick High School. Sunnyside is just a little further on the right.) We have reserved lanes from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. The cost per person is $3.00 for shoe rental and $5.50 per game. CASH ONLY - ATM available. Bowling is candlepin (small balls). Come on your own or bring your family and join us for a fun time. Please respond to Chris Arren at 617-823-2471 or email ctarren1@gmail.com so we can have a count of participants. Please respond by Wednesday, March 8, 2023.

Clothing Drive for South Africa

Our church group going to South Africa next August will be taking gifts of clothing for the Pholela Congregation to share among their 25 villages. We are looking for donations of good used items that include:

  • Shirts (T’s and button down for boys and men, pants for boys and men ONLY)
  • Sweaters, sweatshirts, blouses and dresses for girls and women (NO pants for women)
  • Warm baby clothing, especially knitted caps and sweaters, shoes for small children only.
  • Anything fleece like vests, jackets, warm hats, gloves, lightweight jackets and coats
  •  NO heavy items please
  • I will be purchasing fleece blankets for the elderly so donations of those will be appreciated. 

Bags of donated clothing may be left at the church upstairs in the small unused classroom at the end of the corridor. Contact Ginny von Rueden, rvonrueden@comcast.net or 781-631-7898 for more information. Siyabonga!! (Thank you in Zulu)

Men's Group Breakfast

Friday, February 24 at 7:30am

The Men’s Group will meet this Friday at 7:30am for breakfast in the Great Room. They also plan various hikes and activities throughout the year. 

Please contact Dave Hostetter at:

daveh.racer@gmail.com for more information and to get on the group's email list. Newcomers are always welcome.

Old North Members and Friends Serve Meals

at the Lifebridge Shelter in Salem every Tuesday

We are looking for volunteers.


Every Tuesday, one of the eight teams of people made up of Old North members and friends serves a meal to residents and drop-ins at the Lifebridge Shelter in Salem on Margin Street. Teams made up of 6-8 people shop, prepare and serve meals for about 75 people. Depending on the complexity of the preparation, team members arrive around 4 pm, prepare and then serve the meal to the clients starting at 5:15. We are finished about 6 pm and can leave without doing the dishes!

We are currently looking for 6-8 people to fill out a team which needs to be rebuilt after many of the long serving members, some 20-30 years, have decided their time has come to an end. Thank you Claudia, Skip, Lee, Bill and Gail. Thank you Norm and Gail for continuing. No special skills are needed! The commitment is one Tuesday every two months, so six times a year. Please contact Judy Conner if you have questions or are interested in joining a Lifebridge team. jbc2274@yahoo.com or 978-594-5205.

See No Stranger

First Session: February 28

“The future is dark. What if this is not the darkness of the tomb – but the darkness of the womb? What if this is our greatest transition?” ~ Valarie Kaur, See No Stanger

I first encountered Valarie Kaur through a TED talk, one of the most powerful and popular ones. On their website they write: “Valarie Kaur is a social justice activist, lawyer, filmmaker, innovator, mother and Sikh American thought leader who founded the Revolutionary Love Project — a movement that envisions a world where love is a public ethic.” You can see the TED talk here: https://www.ted.com/speakers/valarie_kaur

I next encountered her as a keynote speaker for our Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ and her words and insights were riveting and moving. She would keynote again a couple years later at our United Church of Christ denomination’s national gathering. Her concept of ‘revolutionary love’ is captured in her book See No Stranger. It is compelling, engaging, practical, and spiritual. 

We’ll gather via ZOOM on three evenings in Lent to explore each of these dimensions of revolutionary love. Join us:

  • Tuesday, February 28 @ 7pm  book Part 1: ‘see no stranger: loving others’
  • Thursday, March 16 @ 7pm book Part 2: ‘tend the wound: loving opponents’
  • Thursday, March 23 @ 7pm book Part 3: ‘breathe and push: loving ourselves’

Lectio Divina


A monastic practice of scripture, reflection and prayer dating back to the 4th century, at Old North lectio divina has been adapted and practiced for more than ten years on every Tuesday morning from 9 to about 10:30 am. When Dennis was here, he led the practice. Since his leaving, we all take turns being the leader to select the readings. We have welcomed newcomers, some not from Old North, who seem to find soul food in the practice and the shared reflections that are part of it. We meet at 9 am both in person in the “Great Room” on Stacey St. and on zoom.

We begin each meeting with a context-setting call to worship. Then we pair a scripture reading with a poem, chosen by the leader for the day and read aloud. We then move into 21 minutes of silent meditation, marked by chimes, and finally we share in “safe space” our responses – personal and intellectual. We end each session with prayers for healing and the Lord’s Prayer.

It is a rich time of being together in community and quite like no other. We invite you to give it a try.

Help Us Help Our Environment

We have heard this quote for decades: “The Earth does not belong to us: we belong to the Earth.” Chief Seattle.  And what happens to the earth happens to us as well as by us.  We are hoping to be part of the change.  


We are forming a Green Team of volunteers looking for ways to make our church operate more sustainably. Specifically, we will be taking the steps towards becoming a Green Congregation (for more info go to our Conference’s website: 


You can sign up to be part of the Green Team at Coffee Hour or send an email to Mark and Marge Adams at marge.adams@yahoo.com.  


Given the steep rise in fuel and electric costs this year we will also be suggesting ways for our congregation and community to reduce their use within their own homes.  


Additionally, we are interested in exploring collaboration and partnership with other green team groups among our interfaith siblings and within our town. 

Developing Our Church's "Profile" For The Search Process

As we move forward through this transitional year, the next phase is upon us. It is time to develop our Local Church Profile. This document will be used to let potential candidates for the Senior Pastor position know about our aspirations and dreams. 

Much of our work this past fall was living into and stabilizing the reality of life in this phase of the pandemic without Dennis as the senior pastor. We've been watching church connections, youth and CE and participation. We've looked at worship trends in our church and across the country. We've also looked at stewardship challenges and possibilities. 

And we began the foundational work for the profile:

Thus far we have done 2 church wide activities to build the foundation for our vision. 

First, we held an Appreciative Inquiry Session last fall. That after church gathering gave folks a chance to name the life giving strengths and moments of our church's impact. 

Second, on January 22, we invited people in church and online to share their sense of the Prime Directive of our church. These are the fundamental purpose and identity that move and guide our church forward into God’s future. 

Then, on Sunday January 29, we talked in worship about research-based Markers of Vitality that we see in thriving churches. In this emailing you will see another article with a link to an assessment tool to help us identify our place within those markers. 

All of this will help inform the Profile Writing Team. The profile itself is a vision document that tells the story of who we are and where we believe God is leading us. It looks at our local community and context for future ministry (and the global post pandemic changing landscape of ministry) It also tells the story of the reality of our current moment and condition. By its nature this will lead us into conversations around staffing, programing, governance and finances and the qualities of a pastor that we need to partner with our church as we live into the vision God is unfolding within us. 

It is crucial to form a good team for the development of our Profile and your insight is needed. Some of this team will continue on to help form the Search Team that will review candidates, conduct interviews and discern, with God’s guidance, who to recommend to our congregation for the next pastor. 

These are the characteristics we need for each person on the team:

  • They are known, trusted and respected by the congregation.
  • Whether they have been here 5 days or 50 years, we know they understand the heartbeat of the congregation. 
  • They are guided by an abiding relationship with God, particularly in this ministry.
  • They are not coming into the process with an agenda, a bias or a preconceived outcome.
  • They have the capacity to work well together with others in collaboration and cooperation. 

Our Leadership Board will ultimately be responsible for the development of both of these teams based on these characteristics and honoring the diversity of our congregation. However, we would welcome your suggestions and insights into who might be good individuals to serve on either or both of these teams. 


If you have suggestions of folks with these characteristics, please pass them along to Lisa in the church office  office@onchurch.org

Markers of Vitality: How is Our Church Thriving


There are a lot of signs of life in our church as we move through this moment in the pandemic. We are seeing new families visiting, returning and engaging in our church’s life.

New groups are forming to reconnect us and deepen our relationships. Sunday morning worship is touching more and more lives both in person and through our livestreaming. You can hear joyous laughter and poignant stillness in our gatherings along with the energy of children and infants.


These are among the Markers. 

Over the last several decades as we have watched a steady decline in participation in churches and church schools of every denomination and theological perspective.

We have also seen churches coming alive. Research has been done that helped us identify key and common markers in these thriving churches. 

That was the focus of our worship on Sunday the 29th of January.

To help us learn more about the markers and assess our church’s place within them, we have developed an online form. It will only take you about 5 minutes to fill this out. 

The results will be invaluable to our church as it journeys through this unique time of change and transition, not only in our church, but throughout faith communities and volunteer organizations across the globe.

  • The form gives you a statement that describes a Marker of Vitality for Churches. 
  • Then it offers you an opportunity to indicate how much you agree or disagree with the statement as it pertains to our church.
  • You don’t need to ponder each statement deeply, your initial reaction is most likely to be the best one. 

Would you take 5 minutes in the next day or 2 to offer your insight? 

You can find the link to form here: ONC Markers of Vitality

Office Hours

The church office is open Tues-Thurs mornings from 9:30-1:30. If you have an emergency outside of office hours, please send an email to office@onchurch.org.

Contact Us: 781-631-1244
Email: office@onchurch.org

Church Address: 35 Washington St., Marblehead, MA 01945
Mailing Address: 8 Stacey St. Marblehead, MA 01945