A Thriving Spiritual Community

Annisquam Village Church Logo

Annisquam
Village Church

820 Washington St.
Gloucester, MA

Annisquam Village Church Logo

Annisquam
Village Church

820 Washington St.
Gloucester, MA

A Thriving Spiritual Community

For Families

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God’s Love Washes Over Us Like Water

God’s Love Washes Over Us Like Water

This Sunday we will hear the story of Jesus’ baptism and we will honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King was a minister and a man of strong beliefs.  He worked for justice and equal treatment for all people.  He opposed violence and believed that “Love is the greatest force in the universe.”  Dr. King once said that “love is ultimately the only answer to mankind’s problems.”

At the very beginning of service this Sunday, we will watch a video with a wonderful song sung by Alsion Krauss;  “Down to the River to Pray” The video is filled with beautiful old photos of people gathering at a river to be baptized.

Later in the service Cindy Benson will read the story of Jesus’ baptism. Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. You probably remember that John the Baptist was the son of Elizabeth, Mary’s relative, and was only a little bit older than Jesus.  When John was an adult, he decided to become a preacher.  He lived very simply, and lots of people came out from the city to the wilderness to hear him speak. John baptized many people in the River Jordan.  When a person asked to be baptized, John led them into the river and helped them dip their whole body under water.  Dipping or “immersion” in the water is and was a sign that they had cleansed their hearts and washed away all that they had done wrong.

The people who listened to John were waiting for a Messiah, to be sent from God and save their people.  They asked John if he was the Messiah.  But John said: “I baptize you with water, but there is one coming later who can do more than I can.”

After many people had been baptized by John, Jesus also was baptized. While Jesus was praying, heaven opened and the Holy Spirit came down on him. The Spirit was in the form of a dove. Then a voice came from heaven and said, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

What would it be like to be baptized in a river?  Here is a picture of Jesus’ baptism that you can color while you are watching and listening to the worship service, or when you have a quiet moment.

Today some people are baptized as adults, as Jesus was, and others are baptized as babies or young children.  Many Christians still practice baptism by being dipped or immersed in the water.  Sometimes they walk into the river, as the people in the video did, or they walk into a pool.  Sometimes they are immersed in a large tub that is in the church, or their head is gently dipped into the water.  Some people are baptized in the river or in church as infants and blessed by the minister, who pours a bit of water on their heads.

Talk to your parents or grandparents about baptism.  If you were baptized, are there any pictures of that day, or are there pictures of you as a tiny baby? After a child is baptized the members of the church stand and promise to support the parents and the child as they learn about God’s love. This very important ceremony reminds the child and his or her family that they are all loved by God and that they are part of a church family that cares about them. Not all church services are the same, but all churches share God’s message of love.

Dr. King said “Love is the greatest force in the universe.”  No matter how old we are, or what we do, we are never alone. God’s love is always with us. God’s love washes over us like water, and God’s light shines on us and shines inside us.  When we share God’s love with others we make the world a better place.

I pray that in the week ahead you share your smiles and your love with others.

You are blessed to be a blessing to those around you.

-Peg Koller

Previous Posts

The Christmas Story

The Christmas Story

Christmas Eve is the time when we celebrate Jesus being born, by telling the story of his birth.  Mary and Joseph had to leave their home in Nazareth and travel a very long way to Bethlehem to pay taxes. Lots of other people did too.  Mary was pregnant with the baby Jesus, and when Mary and Joseph got to Bethlehem, every inn was full.  One kind...

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Angels Around Us

Angels Around Us

Christmas is only one week away and many families, including yours and mine, are preparing for that special day. Reverend Sue, Kathleen and many others in the church have also been preparing and finding words, music, stories and images to help us prepare.  This Sunday at 10:00 we will be able to listen to the wonderful readings and music of...

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The Story of Mary, Elizabeth and Gabriel

The Story of Mary, Elizabeth and Gabriel

There are many brave girls and young women in the world; girls and women who are strong, and who do what they think is right, even when others are afraid to. Many women and girls have stood up for other people, and taken on challenges, because it is the right thing to do. This Sunday Lindsay Crouse will read the story of Mary and her relative...

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Preparing the Way for Christmas

Preparing the Way for Christmas

This Sunday will be the first Sunday in Advent. The season of Advent begins 4 Sundays before Christmas; it is a time to prepare for the celebration of Jesus' birth, on Christmas Day.   During church on Sunday, we will hear about, and sing hymns about, "preparing the way."  Jim O'Neill and his sister Kathy O'Neil will light the first candle on the...

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Seasons of Life/Seasons of Love

Seasons of Life/Seasons of Love

Each year has seasons; winter, spring, summer, and fall. And everyone’s life has seasons.  Each of us was born, and grew into a child.  We become teenagers, and then adults.  As we grow, we explore what we like to do, and how we want to spend our lives. Sometimes we find a partner to share our lives, and sometimes we have children of our own.  We...

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Seeing with New Eyes

Seeing with New Eyes

This Sunday Terry Sands will read the story of a blind man named Bartimaeus.  Bartimaeus could not work because he could not see; each day he would sit on the ground by the side of the road and beg for money or food.  One day Bartimaeus heard people calling out to Jesus as he passed by, and he too called out to Jesus over and over, until Jesus...

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“Welcoming the Stranger, Becoming Friends”

“Welcoming the Stranger, Becoming Friends”

This Sunday at worship, our church will welcome our friends Swami Yogatmananda and members of The Vedanta Society of Providence .  We will worship God together and celebrate the 1893 visit from Swami Vivekananda (pronounced SWAH – Me  Viv-Ee Ka-NAN- Da.)  After worship we will gather together for some refreshments: savory Indian treats,...

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“Being the Best”

“Being the Best”

It is always wonderful to work hard at something and see the results: to get good marks in school or make the scoring goal that wins the soccer game. It gives you joy to be a good artist or the best at long-jumps - and it makes you feel proud. But some people want to be the very best all the time. They like the power of being the best, or the...

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Children’s Lessons return in September

Children’s Lessons return in September

We hope you can join us for church in person or on Zoom each Sunday at 10 o'clock a.m. Check out the new Kid's Corner in the sanctuary! It's filled with books, coloring pages, and other activities for kids. We welcome children to serve as bell ringers, greeters, and lectors. We hope to see you at SeaFair - Aug. 31st beginning at 11 a.m. at the...

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Everything is Made New!

Everything is Made New!

There are 27 (twenty-seven!) books  in the New Testament.  They tell stories and share letters that tell us about Jesus and his followers. More than half of the books in the New Testament are written by the Apostle Paul.  Paul was a well-educated man who spoke at least three languages.  He did not always follow Jesus.  As a matter of fact as a...

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A Day of Celebration – A Message and An Invitation for Children and Families

A Day of Celebration – A Message and An Invitation for Children and Families

This Sunday, the church bells will ring in Annisquam as we gather together in the church for the first time in a very LONG time!  Fifteen months!  We have all changed so much since March of 2020. How tall were you fifteen months ago?   What have you learned since then?  How much have you changed since ?  And how much your life changed?!  WOW!  ...

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Memories and Stories

Memories and Stories

This Monday, May 31st, is Memorial Day.  In 1868, our country set aside a day at the end of May to decorate the graves of those who died in war, with small flags and with flowers. Many people take time on Memorial Day to remember loved ones who have died, to share their stories and memories, and to put flowers on their graves.  It is a day when...

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