Our Latest News and Activities
Sunday, October 3, 2021

Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost
World Communion Sunday

The 8am Service will be held at
The Marblehead Lighthouse at Chandler Hovey Park

The 10am Service will be held at
The Old North Church Sanctuary

Scripture Lessons:
Lamentation 1:1-6
Luke 17:5-10

The Rev. Dr. Dennis Calhoun 's Sermon:
"Mustard Seeds and Mulberry Trees "

Recordings of the day's worship service will be posted on Sunday afternoons on YouTube and Facebook

Please click here to view.

Worship Service Information

We are delighted to be able to worship once again in the sanctuary at Old North Church. We are mindful that the recent surge in COVID cases in and around Marblehead requires our sustained vigilance and willingness to follow the recommendations and protocols from public health officials.
We are now meeting in-person for worship at 10am in the Sanctuary. Since the health and safety of all our members and friends is of paramount importance, we are requiring face masks and social distancing for those attending. We ask that those who are unvaccinated continue to worship with us online rather than in person.

The 10am service includes music provided by our soloists. The sanctuary windows will be open and fans will be assisting with ventilation. Children of all ages are welcome to attend our worship services with their families, but must be masked if 2 years old or above. There will be outdoor Sunday school once a month.

Please note that no nursery care is being provided during our services.
In-person worship services will continue at the Lighthouse at 8am on Sunday mornings through the end of October. We will continue to post videos of our weekly worship services on our YouTube channel (Old North Church Marblehead) and on Facebook (Friends of Old North Church, Marblehead). The videos will be posted on Sunday afternoons. 
We look forward to seeing you in church, however you feel most comfortable joining us!  

Children’s Faith Formation - Walking in Wonder

On Sunday morning a group of us gathered at the entrance of the Hawthorn Pond Trail to connect and reconnect after so much time apart; and it was good. Don Morgan shared the work of the Marblehead Conservancy and the work that they have done, and continue to do, to make the trails such special places to walk in wonder.

With our Passports in hand, we set out to see what we might find. We paused at a sweet spot on the ponds edge for a reading from Genesis 1, to hear of God’s Great creation and to pray a prayer of the Four Directions under the shade of the trees, sensing frogs that were nearby, to hear the gentle wind blow, and to be firmly grounded amid the roots that wove their way through the trail; a sanctuary for us to gather.

Prayer of the Four Directions

Loving God, come to me out of the East with the warmth of the rising sun. Let there be light in my words, and light on the path that I walk. Let me remember always that you give the gift of each new day. Loving God, come to me with the power of the North. Give me courage, and make me strong when things feel hard, and let me move through life, ready to take on what comes my way. Loving God, Life-Giving Spirit, as I face the West and the setting sun, remind me to look back on my day with Thanks, find rest in the night and awake to a new day and know that you are with me. Creator God, send me the warm and soothing winds from the South. Comfort me when I am tired and cold. Unfold me like the gentle breezes that unfold the leaves on the trees and lift my eyes to you, opening me to grow in your Love. Amen 

Bible Study on Paul Continues This Sunday at 11:15

We're excited to do some learning together this fall about Paul--and would love to have you join! We'll continue a Bible study on Paul this Sunday at 11:15. 

Paul wrote most of the New Testament, but many of us have little familiarity with his life and teachings. Join together for a Bible study on Paul where we will read a book about Paul: “Paul: A Very Short Introduction” by E. P. Sanders, alongside biblical passages he wrote.

Let Lindsay know if you’re interested so we can order books for you (lindsaypopper@gmail.com or 423-863-8251).

We will meet outside, weather-permitting, or in a well-ventilated Room with masks on.

Festival Chorus and Friends: Gathering Again

Dear Friends,

As we welcome a new – and hopeful – fall season, I should like to propose a plan for gathering both returning, and new, members of the Old North Festival Chorus or anyone who might like to attend our Wedneday evening "sessions."  Please understand that our proposal – as outlined below – is still a work in progress. Importantly, I’d like to state up front that your safety and comfort is my top priority. 

  • We will convene in the sanctuary at Old North Church on Wednesday evenings, from 7:30 to 8:30pm, beginning October 6 through December 1, 2021
  • All participants must be fully vaccinated and be prepared to show proof of vaccination
  • All participants must wear a well-fitted, ideally 3-ply, face mask at all times, even when singing; masks will be provided at check-in
  • All participants will be required to register personal contact information – including proof of vaccination – either before arriving at the first session, or at the first attended session
  • New members would be welcomed at any session during this 9-session season, again, assuming personal contact information – including proof of vaccination, is submitted
  • Once your contact information – and proof of vaccination is submitted – I’d ask that you simply “sign in” at each session, so that we can easily trace participants at each session
  • All participants will be seated in sections – according to voice parts – separated from one another by a minimum of six (6) feet
  • The maximum number of allowable participants – at any given session – will be one hundred (100). The sanctuary at Old North accommodates nearly 500, so this 20% maximum capacity allows for plenty of distance between participants.
If you are enthusiastic about gathering in person, and if you are willing to adhere to these guidelines, I will continue to plan a season of joyful and inspiring sessions – to include a combination of listening, learning, and singing well known choral anthems. Sessions will include participation by guest artists such as pianist Jacqueline Schwab, a poetry reading with Clem Schoenebeck and Claire Keyes, an evening of sea shanties taught by a native and renowned artist, performances by our talented soloists, as well as revisting a selection of Festival Chorus favorites.
I sincerely hope we will be able to present a live concert – as has been our tradition – during the Christmas Walk, however, this undertaking is still under consideration by the Festival Chorus and Music Committees. Certainly, such a project would include a much smaller audience, a shorter program, and a complicated set of circumstances to overcome. Clearly, we cannot safely accommodate our traditional 100+ enthusiastic voices in the risers, 350+ audience members, and an Orchestra, but the Committees and I are considering how to safely engage some members of our Festival Orchestra, soloists, and the audience, in a safe, responsible, and festive holiday program.
Again, this is a constantly evolving journey – coping with safe and responsible re-entry from Covid – but rest assured that for any such public gathering, all participants and audience members would be required to show proof of vaccination, proper identification, and wear face coverings at all times.

If you wish to participate at any time throughout the fall, please contact me at vankalken@gmail.com


Maria vanKalken
Minister of Music, Old North Church,Director, Old North Festival Chorus

Music Program News

Sarah Del Dotto, Director of the Old North Youth Choirs, is thrilled to announce a new music program at Old North, aimed at children between the ages of pre-Kindergarten to 5th grade. Children will be divided into two separate groups based on age. After considering feedback from parents, it is clear that gathering in person is now preferred to online programming. To this end, Sarah will focus on teaching drumming and rhythm, and generally making a joyful noise – following all appropriate Covid safety protocols.

Children should plan to meet for these festive and enriching music-making gatherings on Wednesday afternoons, at a time yet to be determined. As in the past, we are so pleased that Dara VanRemoortel will serve as accompanist. Select Saturday mornings might be considered, in addition to Wednesday afternoon gatherings; these joyful and educational music-filled offerings will be designed in 8-week increments, with a nominal registration fee.

The Music Ministry Board at Old North is dedicated to the enhancement of the spiritual life of our youth – and strives to provide a space and a time for children to develop a sense of community – through music making. Please contact Sarah Del Dotto at deldottosarah@gmail.com with questions and/or to reserve a space for your child/children!

All Youth Choir activity has been suspended – until further notice – as the Music Committee continues to collect information and assess the safety of singing together again. However, if older children (junior high and high school students) are interested in sharing their talents during Sunday services – by singing solos or participating in small ensembles – please contact Sarah also at deldottosarah@gmail.com

A walk through ONC's Three Neighborhoods
to the Church's Birthplace on Old Burial Hill

Please join us on Sunday afternoon, October 17 or 24 (pick either date) at 1:30 pm for a walking tour donated to ONC and led by Judy Anderson of Marblehead Architecture Heritage & Tours. Judy will be talking about Marblehead's development and the historic environment in ONC's three neighborhoods as they relate to the town's early social history, local government, architecture, the First Church and the community's other early churches.

Please meet outside in front of ONC. Contributions to benefit the church are welcome.

No RSVP is necessary, but helpful if cancellation for rain is necessary. 

For RSVP or questions, call or email Judy Anderson AFTER October 10 at 781-631-1762 or MarbleheadTours@aol.com.

First Come, First Served!

HAWC (Healing Abuse, Working for Change), which Old North supports, has sent us four complimentary tickets to a concert at Misselwood, on the Endicott campus in Beverly on Tuesday, October 12 from 6-8pm.

Country music singer Kate Redgate will perform in this beautiful open-air venue. Hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will complement the occasion.

If you’re interested, please call Becky Burckmyer at 781-632-6505.

Old North Reading and Discussion Group

The next meeting of the Old North Reading and Discussion Group on Preserving Our Democracy and Environment will be on Wednesday,
October 13th, from 8:30 to 10:00 AM. This is the latest of a series of meetings on this subject that have been hosted for all by the ONC Men’s Group. The discussions are supported by background reading assignments. You are invited to participate regardless of the amount of your preparation or whether you have attended a previous meeting. At this meeting we will be discussing the NY Times article, “How to Reach People Who Are Wrong”, by Nicholas Kristof, 3 March 2021. We will furthermore be discussing the results of our individual efforts to convince some (unnamed) person that some of his/her beliefs or actions might pose a danger to our democracy or environment. 

The meeting will be privately hosted on Zoom. Those who have completed their maximal COVID-19 vaccinations and are willing to wear a mask will be able to attend in person in the “Great Room” of the ONC Annex at 8 Stacey Street. To join the Zoom meeting, just click on

(Meeting ID: 881 5896 5315; Passcode: 658123) .

Anti-Racism Accountability Group

A small group of Old Northers are continuing to meet to hold ourselves accountable to doing anti-racism work in our own lives. Throughout the summer, we will be meeting in person on the 3rd Monday evening of the month at a group member's house; we'd love to have you join us. 

Contact Lindsay (lindsaypopper@gmail.com) for more information
Ways to Connect With Us During the Week

So that we might stay connected, we've set up several times throughout the week to gather on Zoom. You can join from a computer, iphone, or ipad using the links below, or you can call +1 929 205 6099 and enter the meeting ID (listed with each event). 

Lectio Divina (Tuesdays 9am)
https://zoom.us/j/532654567 (Meeting ID: 532-654-567)
A time of contemplative prayer, with scripture and poetry, led by Dennis. 

Breakfast Group (Fridays 8am)
https://zoom.us/j/568995512 (Meeting ID: 568-995-512)
A time to gather with one another, with your breakfast and coffee. 
Church Building Access and Office Hours

The church office will now be open Tuesday-Friday from 9:30am-1:30pm. We ask that you wear a mask in the office building, no matter your vaccination status. We look forward to your visits.
Contact Us: 781-631-1244

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