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Annual Traditions

On the fourth Wednesday in January a potluck supper precedes the annual congregational meeting and election of officers. The following Sunday in worship we ordain and install newly elected elders and deacons.  

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service brings the opportunity for the whole congregation, youth and adult, to work together on a local outreach project.
Our newly constituted session, board of deacons, and committees meet for the first time.  

The high school youth group often leads us in Youth Sunday worship this month. 
March - April
Lent is a particularly rich season at SPC, beginning with Ash Wednesday services of the Lord's Supper and imposition of ashes. An annual brochure outlines the various opportunities of the season for spiritual renewal and growth. These special opportunities always include educational offerings, often a renowned theologian-in-residence for a weekend. The chancel choir offers an appropriate musical offering during a worship service in Lent.

Daily Holy Week services of the Lord's Supper and a Maundy Thursday potluck and service of Tenebrae are also beloved highlights of the season. SPC participates in and occasionally hosts a community Good Friday service.
Easter Sunday is a wonderfully festive day at SPC. A "sunrise" service at 7:00 am in the memorial garden is followed by two services with a brass quartet in the sanctuary at 9:00 and 11:00 am. The Advent Chrismon tree, having been fashioned into a Lenten cross, stands front and center as people cover it with flowers, beautifying the sanctuary with signs of new life to celebrate the Ressurection.

An annual mission fair sponsored by the outreach committee in Fellowship Hall the Sunday after Easter highlights our mission partners in the local area and throughout the world.

On a Friday evening in April every other year the Spring Fling is a time for the church family to gather for a party in Fellowship Hall.

Christian Family Sunday is celebrated on Mother's Day, featuring a cantata by the children's and youth choirs in sanctuary worship. Our church school teachers are offered a word of appreciation on this day as well.
June - July - August
In these months we move to our summer schedule of one service of worship in the sanctuary at 10:15 am. A special "music in worship" series featuring vocal and instrumental offerings from members and guests highlights the summer worship season. Formal Christian education takes a break, but child care for younger members is provided during worship.

The summer months are busy ones for mission and conference trips, particularly those involving our middle school and high school youth.
The Sunday after Labor Day we begin our fall season with a "welcome back" picnic following worship in the sanctuary. Early worship and a full Christian education program resume.
The first Sunday in October is celebrated as World Communion/Peacemaking Sunday, featuring a guest preacher and a special service with languages from many different lands.

The annual Fall Fair draws hundreds of friends from the church and broader community as the grounds are transformed into a gala bazaar and day of fun for all ages.
During October we support our annual financial stewardship campaign with members speaking during worship about their life in the church.

Often in October the parish life committee sponsors a "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" event in which members gather in small groups for dinner in other members' homes.
All Saints' Sunday, the first Sunday in November, remembers members of our family who have passed from this life during the preceding year.

Anniversary Sunday later in the month celebrates our life together by featuring a lay member of our congregation as preacher in sanctuary worship.

"Turkey Day," the Sunday before Thanksgiving, has become a wonderfully festive and productive day to gather food for the Chester Eastside Ministries food pantry. Hundreds of turkeys and "all the trimmings" fill vans that deliver the food to Chester. After worship service on Turkey Day, the congregation celebrates with "Pie Share Day" in Fellowship Hall.
The season of Advent begins a new liturgical year. The afternoon of the first Sunday in Advent features the annual Advent craft workshop, carol sing, and family supper. A Chrismon tree fills the narthex for the season as decorations in the sanctuary lead us to the celebration of Christmas. In the days of preparation the chancel choir sings a major work during worship. Three services of worship are offered on Christmas Eve: a children’s pageant at 4:00 pm; a service of lessons, carols, and candlelight led by our youth at 8:00 pm; and a traditional candlelight service at 11:00 pm.

The Alternative Christmas Shop takes over Fellowship Hall for the four Sundays in Advent, enabling us to send thousands of dollars to mission organizations serving needy people locally and around the world while filling the Christmas stockings of family, friends, and colleagues with gift cards.  

Each year members and friends of the congregation place age-appropriate gifts for children in need under the Advent Giving Tree in the sanctuary.  
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