Sunday, March 22, 2020

Old North Church in the Time of Coronavirus

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Psalm 46:1

These are challenging times. We are in unprecedented circumstances that are changing by the day, if not the hour. It is unclear when things will return to normal, or what that even means these days. In the midst of the uncertainty and anxiety, we need to lean into the faith, hope and love our God reveals through the work and witness of the Body of Christ, the Church.

Old North Church is still open, although we’re not gathered as usual. Your church staff and lay leadership have been working on ways to sustain and extend our ministry to the congregation and the wider community. We are meeting daily (via teleconferencing) to plan virtual worship services and find ways to keep us all connected. We are blessed to have heard from so many members and friends of Old North Church asking what you can do to help our beloved church be the church we need to be in these challenging times.

On Sunday at 10 am we will post an online worship service, our first, but no doubt not our last attempt at gathering in cyberspace. You will be able to access it on YouTube by searching for “Old North Church, Marblehead.” Although we will miss being physically present with one another, we WILL be together in spirit. Watch your email inbox for details on this and future worship services. Additionally, we are working to provide boards and committees with instructions on how to convene meetings and other gatherings while we are physically absent one from another. Also be sure to watch our Facebook page, Friends of Old North Church Marblehead, for information and updates. We will be doing everything we can to keep you informed and connected. Be sure to read the remainder of this newsletter to find out what’s going on with your church.

Meanwhile, on behalf of Lindsay, Maria, Karen, Lisa, Donna and the lay leaders of Old North Church, I encourage you to stay healthy and grounded in God, our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

I am Dennis Calhoun, and it is my privilege to serve alongside you in these challenging days.

Our Latest News and Activities
Worship and Coffee Hour This Week

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

We will be hearing Psalm 23 this Sunday, let us find comfort in the images in these words bring up, green pastures, still waters, a Shepherd tending his sheep protecting them, caring for them, loving them. The Lord is our Shepherd, and in this time of uncertainty, I invite you to keep these images close, leaning into them, finding comfort.

Ways to keep in touch:
  • Join us under your tent with weekly Storytelling via Zoom. I will share a story and we will listen to each others stories too. Build a tent in your living room with your family, and settle in for some time to reconnect with your Old North friends. I will be sending out an invitation for weekly meeting times. If you are not on my ONC Children’s email group, please send me an email and I will add you.

  • I will be available for Individual visits with you and your family by Zoom. I have made a few visits and it has been good to see faces, and to have children share ways that they have been spending time at home. Beautiful and creative art work, favorite toys, windsocks blowing on in the wind and stories of school at home and walks on the beach.

I would also like to share this devotional by the Rev. Traci Smith. Please click here .

Contact me at or 978-335-6244, and we will organize a
time. This invitation goes out to all Children of all ages!

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 . What a great way to get involved in telling our story!

Staying Connected and Uplifted
During This Time of Social Distancing

What are you and your family doing to remain positive and uplifted these days? We would love it if you would share a photo with a one sentence description with us. We think it might be fun for all of us to see what others are doing or are drawing some inspiration from. We would create a slide show to include in upcoming weekly newsletters. If you're interested in participating, please send your submissions to .

Here is an example from our Office Manager, Lisa Nahatis. Lisa visited the Mass Audubon's Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary earlier this week and had fun feeding the birds from her hand.
Nominating Committee: Volunteer Opportunities at ONC

My favorite hymn is “Won’t You Let Me Be Your Servant”, written in 1977 by Richard Gillard. You can find it on the web and in our hymnal on page 374.  This beautiful hymn, sometimes called “The Service Song” embodies reasons and rewards for volunteering at ONC. Martha Potvin and I serve to link volunteers to service opportunities at our church. 

If you wish to volunteer or have questions about service opportunities, please contact Martha Potvin ( ) or me ( ). 

Thanks, Dave Hostetter, Nominating

Contact Us: 781-631-1244

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