For the Beauty of the Earth

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, I have spent far more time than I’d like indoors at an unsafe distance from my computer. But now that Nature has ceded the adumbration of April for the pullulation of May (see what I mean?), we are in the thick of that great renewal of life that is the rite of Spring. If you are like me, this is a time of spiritual renewal as well. Even in the midst of these trying times, the world is teeming with so much beauty and new growth, I have a peaceful sense that God is in his heaven and all of Creation moves within God’s hands. It is small wonder that prayers such as this spring from the heart:

How wonderful, O Lord, are the works of your hands!
The heavens declare Your glory,
the arch of sky displays Your handiwork.
In Your love You have given us the power
to behold the beauty of Your world
robed in all its splendor.
The sun and the stars, the valleys and hills,
the rivers and lakes all disclose Your presence.
The roaring breakers of the sea
tell of Your awesome might;
the beasts of the field and the birds of the air
bespeak Your wondrous will.
In your goodness You have made us able to hear
the music of the world. The voices of loved ones
reveal to us that You are in our midst.
A divine voice sings through all creation.
from Earth Prayers from Around the Word
ed. by E. Roberts and E. Amidon, Harper Collins

I hope you can get outdoors and feel your spirits lifted by the beauty all around us.
Thanks be to God!

In faith, hope and love,

Rev. Dr. Dennis B. Calhoun

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Jazz Sunday

Our fourth annual Jazz Sunday will take place this Sunday, May 17 th -and will be a service devoted to worship through music. Old North soloists, Holly Cameron and Stephanie Scarcella, and guest soloists Luke Scott and Matthew Arnold will be joined by critically acclaimed jazz instrumentalists, Trent Austin, trumpet, Mark Shilansky, piano, and Dave Clark, bass, on a moving anthem based on "Lean On Me", by Bill Withers. There will also be special music provided by our instrumental ensemble as well as some rousing hymn accompaniments. This awe-inspiring collaboration was prepared especially for this service while these extraordinary musicians are sheltering at home.
This special service of music (Jazz Sunday),  is one of many sponsored by the Music Patrons Fund at Old North. Please note that our annual appeal for the fund is expected to arrive in your mailboxes early next week, although donations are gratefully accepted throughout the year. Thank you!

This week's worship video will be posted by 10am this Sunday.
Please click here on Sunday morning to view the service.

Please click on "Show More," found below the youtube video, if you would like to access the "Suggested Listening" portion of our online services.

Scripture Lessons:  and  
Rev. Dr. Dennis Calhoun will be offering the Meditation

Please click here for a copy of Sunday's bulletin.

Our Latest News and Activities
Worship Service and Coffee Hour Links

The early church met in houses, instead of in sanctuaries; in this pandemic time, we'll be bringing you worship from our houses, for you to participate in from yours. This Sunday's worship will be on YouTube, and can be found by clicking  here or by entering this link in your browser:
It will be posted by 10am. 

After worship, at 11am we'll gather for coffee hour via Zoom, an online meeting platform. You can call in with your phone, or join with video and audio from a smartphone or computer. It'll be a little weird, and a little clunky, but it will be so nice to see your faces. (You'll have to make your own coffee). Here's the Zoom information: 

Either click here or enter this link:
Or call this number: 
    +1 312 626 6799 (Meeting ID: 566 308 766)

Children’s Faith Formation

On May 18, 1817 Rev. Samuel Dana gathered the children of Old North church, offering the first Christian Education. Imagine 203 years of Sunday School, Children’s Church, Children’ Faith Formation at Old North Church, and yes we will celebrate!

This will be time for reflection of our ancestors and their vision for your/our children and their faith formation. Our Third Graders, Teddy Simcoe, Ryan Rhodes, and Ted Geyer will receive their Bibles in this recording that you will be able watch on the Old North Church YouTube channel. The recording will be available on Monday afternoon.
Celebrating Our Graduates!

Among the many rites of Spring interrupted by the coronavirus, this year’s high school and college graduates are missing the commencement ceremonies that would ordinarily mark their achievement. But we want to recognize them next month.

If you are a high school or college senior (of the parent of one), we would like to hear from you. We will be honoring our graduates during our worship service and our e-newsletter in June.  Please email us ( ) your name, your school and your photo, along with a word on your future plans. Your church family is proud of you! 
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) (Meeting ID: 532-654-567)
A time of contemplative prayer, with scripture and poetry, led by Dennis. 

Breakfast Group (Fridays 8am) (Meeting ID: 568-995-512)
A time to gather with one another, with your breakfast and coffee. 
Coping with Stress and Grief during a Pandemic
Wednesdays at 8pm

Join us on Zoom every Wednesday at 8pm for a brief gathering to reflect on the grief and difficulty of these days, share how we're coping, and get support. All of the TV commercials are telling us that we'll get through these uncertain times together (thanks, banks and car dealerships and Coca Cola for the encouragement!), and--all joking aside--it's good for us to see each other's faces and connect. Lindsay will lead these sessions. Join at or by calling 929-205-6099 and entering Meeting ID: 883 6253 7082

If you're interested in this group but the time doesn't work for you, email Lindsay ( ) with a couple suggestions of times that would work. We want to support you and cheer you on in these hard times! 
Thank You From the Outreach Ministry Board
and the Marblehead Food Pantry!

As you are aware, the Outreach Ministry Board normally collects bags of groceries during the months of April and November and delivers them to the Marblehead Food Pantry to stock the shelves. Lynda Hare, who coordinates the grocery collection had a really nice call from Janet Parker who heads up the Food Pantry. Lynda had asked Janet to let her know how our monetary, rather than the usual bag, donations had gone for the month of April.  Sixty five households contributed a total of $9025.00. This was in addition to the $500 that Outreach Ministry Board authorized. Thank you so much to so many of you for your generous donations!
Nominating Committee: Volunteer Opportunities at ONC

Recall that ONC’s formal organization structure consists of Officers, a Leadership Board, and four active Ministry Boards (one ministry board is inactive), all endorsed by congregational vote. Nearly 50 volunteers are required to fill the officer and board positions. The officer and board positions are more than 80% filled for the coming church year, thanks to the people who have already volunteered when asked. We still need a few more volunteers for open board positions, plus a new Financial Secretary.

If you wish to volunteer or have questions about service opportunities, please contact Martha Potvin ( ) or me ( ). Thanks, Dave Hostetter, Nominating
Would You Share Your Experience
of Living Through These Times of Covid-19?
Our Historian, Lesli Mead would like to record your thoughts, stories and photos to our Old North Archives of these times when we cannot worship together in the Sanctuary. Please email Lesli at or send mail to Lesli's attention at the Church Office, 8 Stacey St. Marblehead, MA 01945.
Call For Selfies and Videos

So that we might see each other's faces, we're looking for either selfies, or videos of you praying the Lord's Prayer. We'll use these in our worship services! You can send selfies to  

If you record a video of yourself or your family saying the Lord's Prayer, email it to Lindsay at and we'll create a video collage. 

Here's the text of the prayer we're using:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Tips: Record using your cellphone, laptop or tablet, shooting in landscape mode (sideways). Shoot from straight-on (not looking up or down at the camera), with your torso and head in the shot, with light in front of you, not behind. 

The Bell of Old North Church is Ringing!

At the suggestion of one of the Deacons, the bell at Old North Church is ringing at 6 pm each evening as a way to reminder that we are here to serve the needs and lift the spirits of the community during these trying times. We have invited other area congregations to join us in this effort. If you would like to be a “ringer” please be in touch our Senior Deacon, Frank Arren at 617-448-6083 or email him at f . What a great way to get involved in telling our story!

Church Building Access and Office Hours

We are limiting access to the church and office buildings to critical business needs only. Our office is closed for normal business but some of our staff are in periodically to ensure that critical operations are maintained. Please reach out to us via email at if you have any questions. Thank you for staying home and staying safe!
Do You Need Assistance? Here are some Resources.
We are sharing a list of resources which Gordon Lothrop thoughtfully shared with us from the Marblehead Masonic Lodge.

List of Resources
  • Swampscott Council on Aging: click here
  • Marblehead Council on Aging: click here
  • Marblehead Community Support Forum:  click here
  • Nahant Council on Aging: click here
  • Anchor Food Pantry Swampscott: click here
  • The Nahant Veteran’s Food Bank operates the first Wednesday of the month for veterans living in Nahant.
  • Marblehead Food Pantry, 80 Atlantic Ave. (781)631-5335: click here
  • Town of Marblehead:  click here
  • Town of Swampscott: click here 
  • Churches
  • Synagogues
  • Schools
Lifebridge Needs Our Help!

During this challenging and chaotic time , others are suffering and need our support . If you would like to help the Lifebridge community, here are a few ideas.

  • Food items especially looking for sliced bread, individual bottled juices, whole fruit (oranges, apples, bananas). They are doing to-go meals now that their day center is open 5 days a week in Salem, in addition to the shelter meals
  • Personal care items – socks, underwear, deodorant, razors, shaving cream, shampoo & conditioner, tissues, toothbrushes & toothpaste
Donations may be dropped off anytime at Lifebridge, 56 Margin Street in Salem. It is open 24/7 and there is someone at the front desk. Philanthropic donations can be made online or mailed to Lifebridge North Shore, Development Office, 56 Margin Street, Salem, MA 01970.
Contact Us: 781-631-1244

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