Upcoming events

Dec 012016

The Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross, St. Paul’s Church, Newburyport and the Lower Merrimack Valley Episcopal Ministry Collaborative Invite you to an Advent Quiet Day led by the Rev. Martha Hubbard Saturday, December 10, 2016 10:00 a.m –  2:00 p.m.

“Advent Terrain: Strangers in a Strange Land” Martha will lead us in reflections that invite us to consider how Advent can be a time of holy disorientation, which can open our hearts to the experience of the growing number of people in the world who find themselves living as refugees, far from home, in need of welcome and companionship.

Hosted by St. Paul’s Church 166 High Street Newburyport, Massachusetts (Street parking available) There is no charge for this program. Lunch will be provided. Please register by Wednesday, December 7, 2016. Cal the church: (978) 465 5351 or use the sign-up sheet in the church. For more information email Louise Valleau at or call Clare Keller (978) 465 4483  

 Advent Quiet Day – December 10 at St. Paul’s  Posted by on Thu, 1-Dec-16 Events, News Comments Off on Advent Quiet Day – December 10 at St. Paul’s
Oct 192014

It’s bigger than a yard sale, smaller than a department store and it’s been in business 20 years longer than Todd Farm’s seasonal flea market. And it all happens every November at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Fall Fair – this year, Saturday, Nov. 15, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

People from the North Shore of Boston have been flocking to this historic event since 1960 when St. Paul’s initiated the fair as a way to raise additional support for the church. Some people have made it a perennial pilgrimage ever since. The trip down memory lane is a long journey for some of St. Paul’s longest attending parishioners who remember the earliest days of the fair. “It started with Rector Leo Barrett, Jr. (1957 – 1969) in the back yard of the church during the summer, once the corn came. We had a barbeque of chicken and corn, done by Nason’s caterers of Boxford. They set up booths and sold their goods. In the late 60′s the fair moved indoors and was held in November. It started out small and grew to what it is today,” says Patsy Brown, St. Paul’s Church historian.

When the doors open at 9 a.m., the scene is reminiscent of Filene’s Basement Running of the Brides, except that wholesale dealers take on the faces of excited brides – making a dash to be first in line for jewelry and books. Others like to start the day more leisurely with breakfast served in the church hall from 7:30 – 9 a.m., then head to one of several areas of sales – clothing, linens, holiday items, trash-to-treasure and crafts. Take another break for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., then continue shopping. There are thousands of selections. It’s a virtual treasure trove of great finds at low prices!

“St. Paul’s is blessed to have the energy and efforts of dozens of volunteers every year – including community members as well as parishioners – who make our fair one of the most historic and successful church fairs in the North Shore year after year,” says Rector Martha Hubbard. “The fair helps support the many ministries of St. Paul’s, including our Among Friends meal program for anyone in need of a meal and fellowship, our numerous 12-step programs that meet weekly at St. Paul’s, as well as our global outreach programs such as our El Salvador partnership, among several other initiatives.”

 Fall Fair, Saturday Nov 15, 2014  Posted by on Sun, 19-Oct-14 Events, News Comments Off on Fall Fair, Saturday Nov 15, 2014
Jul 162014

On Wednesday, the Boston Globe ran a piece about Chelsea, MA, and their welcome of young immigrants. Boston Globe op-ed by Marcela García

On Monday I had the privilege of participating in a conference call with Cristosal people, especially Noah, José, and Hannah.

Here are some notes from that call published by Hannah.

2 Emblematic Cases of the Human Rights Office:

 Program Director José López presented two cases the Office is currently working on:

A Dangerous Precedent: Salvadoran Family Sued for Negligence

An 11-year old Salvadoran boy was found at the Mexico-US border, and with encouragement from the US State Department, deported back to El Salvador. The Salvadoran government has now charged his grandparents with negligence. As international governments, especially the US, pressure the Northern Triangle countries (Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala) to take action, the Salvadoran state has chosen to place responsibility entirely with threatened families, rather than accept responsibility for its own failures to ensure citizens their most basic right, the right to life. The Human Rights Office is pushing for legislative reform stating that the government cannot cite the Child Protection Act in emergency situations, including the current crisis. This reform would protect families threatened by violence from further government prosecution, and force the Salvadoran government to take productive actions addressing the structural causes of violence that force families to send their children in the first place.

Ensuring Safe Passage: Protecting Those Who Come Forward

The Human Rights Office is partnering with the University of Central America (IDHUCA) in the case of a single mother looking to leave the country after her 16-year-old daughter was kidnapped, raped, and killed by a gang in 2012. The same gang also kidnapped, tortured and then returned her 11-year-old son who now refuses to share what had happened to him. The same gang is responsible for 4 similar murders of young women in the same community. The mother now receives daily threats from the gang, who believe she is the one pushing a current police investigation.

If a conviction is made, the family will likely be killed. (They currently live under curfew, traveling only to work or school and returning straight home). Cristosal and IDHUCA have arranged for the family to receive asylum in the care of a Jesuit community in Europe, and are now seeking the financial resources to send them. The airfare and seed money needed for each family member is about $2,000, or $10,000 total for the family of five. Currently, the entire family lives on about $6 a day in El Salvador. Finding the resources to leave El Salvador becomes even more urgent as a conviction can happen any day.


  1. Who are the bad guys here? Is it the gangs?

Yes, for the most part Salvadorans are fleeing the region due to gang violence. Specifically young men flee as gangs recruit new members, killing those who refuse. Rival gangs also extort and threaten marginalized or poor Salvadorans in a larger fight for territory and power.

This presents a huge immigration issue, since refugee status can only be given to those fleeing war or political violence, not civil conflict (as the current situation is defined). Yet we cannot forget these individuals are refugees, in that the state has failed to ensure the safety and security of its citizens, forcing them to seek it outside the nation’s borders.

  1. Is the current crisis linked to drug trafficking?
  2. What else might be causing the current crisis?
  3. What are international agencies doing in El Salvador to help?
  4. Honduras has declared a humanitarian crisis. How is this different from El Salvador?

Current gang violence is due both to drug trafficking and a general fight for territory. We also have to remember this is a structural problem, stemming from El Salvador’s long history of violence including the Civil War in the 80s. Even after the Peace Accords were signed in 1992, a lack of social spending, especially in economic development and resources for youth, has played a major role in the increase of violence. First it is important to acknowledge this is an incredibly complex issue, and not a temporary blip in immigration rates. Along with widespread regional violence, there are several factors that encourage families to send their children abroad unaccompanied:

  • Following the 2000 earthquakes, Pres. George W. Bush created a Temporary Protection Status (TPS) for Salvadorans already in the US. After 9/11, however, immigration laws became much stricter, making it more difficult for relatives, namely parents, to travel back to El Salvador and see their children. As regional violence increases, these children are now being sent north to be with their parents.
  • Families have very little access to information about the immigration process. Coyotes in the Northern Triangle capitalize on this lack, and often encourage parents to send their children alone, highlighting that they are treated differently as minors and granted a temporary stay rather than instantly deported back to the country of origin. 

Though there are political and legal factors contributing to the current crisis, it is still critical to recognize that the majority of minors are being sent because families believe a child stands a better chance of surviving the journey northward than if they were to stay in their own country. These are calculated decisions made by individuals with no other options. Cristosal is working with the US Embassy and Salvadoran foreign ministry to develop a formal policy position that would reduce the current crisis and reduce incentives for individuals to travel northward. This position includes:

  • A new Temporary Protection Status (TPS) for unaccompanied minors in Central America. Similar actions have been taken in Haiti and Cuba, and would reduce current backlog and overcrowding in the detention centers.
  • Create a system where individuals can solicit for asylum from their country of origin. Currently individuals must travel to the US and can only ask for asylum once they arrive.

By declaring a humanitarian crisis, Honduras qualifies for specialized international assistance, and Honduran citizens qualify as refugees. El Salvador has not acknowledged the crisis, as this would admit the state’s failure to protect its citizens. This omission not only affects Salvadorans who would otherwise qualify for refugee status, but also fails to recognize the crisis as anything more than an immigration issue rather than a regional emergency. Yet, to put the current crisis in perspective, death tolls in the Nothern Triangle (Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador) exceed those at the height of the Iraq insurgency.

 Cristosal Conference Call about minor immigrant crisis  Posted by on Wed, 16-Jul-14 Events, Ollie's Blog Comments Off on Cristosal Conference Call about minor immigrant crisis
Apr 072014

Holy Week is the week before Easter. It’s the most solemn time in the Christian calendar.  With the whole Church around the world and through the ages we remember the days leading up to the death by crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ, and his glorious resurrection in which he overcame death once for all.  Please join us for any or all the services of this week.

Sunday, April 13 – Palm Sunday

On Palm Sunday at 8:00 and 10:15 we remember Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when the people shouted out “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!” We begin worship in the great hall with the liturgy of the palms.

  • 8:00 am & 10:15 am – Holy Eucharist
  • 9:45 am – Blessing of the Palms for Children

Thursday, April 17 – Maundy Thursday

On Maundy Thursday we gather, just like Jesus and his friends gathered in the upper room, to celebrate the supper they shared, where Jesus said, “this is the cup of the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.”   You’re invited to join us at 6:30pm for a meal, and at 7:30pm for worship.

The Night Watch follows the 7:30 service and goes through the night. You are invited to “watch and pray” in the Chancel Chapel, with the reserved sacrament, for a portion of the night as Jesus’s disciples tried to do in Gethsemane on the night of his betrayal.

  • 6:30 pm – Simple Soup and Bread Supper (Parish Hall)
  • 7:30 pm – Holy Eucharist with Foot Washing followed by Night Watch

Friday, April 18 – Good Friday

On Good Friday we remember the trial, suffering and death of Jesus. We gather at 9am and again at 7:30pm to worship the One who laid down his life to conquer death, and was buried.

  • 9:00 am – Holy Eucharist
  • 7:30 pm – Good Friday Service

Saturday, April 19 – Easter Eve at Trinity Church in Haverhill

On Saturday, the eve of Easter we celebrate starting at 7:00pm the ancient festival of the Great Vigil of Easter. The Great vigil celebrates most fully God’s saving acts on our behalf as the people of God. We begin the vigil in the back yard where a new fire will be kindled and the Pascal candle lit. The service moves through the church ending in the sanctuary.  Our service culminates with the discovery that Jesus has risen up and and left the tomb behind him. The lights come up and we will celebrate the first Eucharist of Easter.

6:00 pm – Easter Egg Hunt followed by refreshments

7:00 pm – Easter Vigil, celebrated by the LMV Collaborative

Host:  Trinity Church, Haverhill,

26 White St, Haverhill, MA 01830

(978) 372-4244


Seven Episcopal churches from will come together to celebrate Easter Vigil, including St. Andrew’s Methuen, St. Paul’s North Andover, St. James Groveland, Trinity Haverhill, St. James Amesbury, All Saints West Newbury and St. Paul’sNewburyport.

Together, we will share a dramatic presentation of the story of God’s people in relationship with God and one another followed by the first Eucharist of Easter.

Highlights include:  fire pit, musicians from several parishes, many voices from each parish telling the stories.  Prior to the worship, there will be an egg hunt and light refreshments for children starting at 6 p.m.

Carpool or Bus: 

From the North Bus leaves 6:20pm from All Saints in West Newbury, returns 9:15pm.

Sunday, April 20 – Easter Day

On Easter Sunday (March 31) we gather to rejoice in the presence of the risen Christ at 8:00 and 10:15.   Be sure to come ten minutes before the service and enjoy some festive Easter music. In the words of the old song, “We love to tell the story!” Whether you’ve heard it told a thousand times, or not so many times, we hope you will join us.

8:00 am & 10:15 am – Festival Holy Eucharist

 Holy Week at St. Paul’s Church: April 13 – April 20  Posted by on Mon, 7-Apr-14 Events, News Comments Off on Holy Week at St. Paul’s Church: April 13 – April 20
Dec 262012

A Diocesan Regional Learning Day will be held at Christ Church in Andover on Saturday, January 12.  These events are really worthwhile.  If you’d like to participate, please contact Deb in the church office.

Here’s the electronic flyer.

This year, instead of one Spring Learning Event in March, there are 5 Regional Learning Days around the diocese beginning in January. Following our successful comprehensive campaign for the diocese, there are now many more resources available to churches for mission, ministry and partnerships. These Learning Days will help your congregation prepare for accessing and using these new resources, but also for building capacity in lay leaders in every parish, regardless of participation in any of these new and ongoing initiatives.

Bishop Shaw invites every congregation’s participation in this mission strategy work. NOTE: Churches that attend one of these Regional Learning Days will be prioritized for the first round of mission grants, green grants, and mission hub funding.


 Sat Jan 12: Diocesan regional learning event in Andover  Posted by on Wed, 26-Dec-12 Events, News Comments Off on Sat Jan 12: Diocesan regional learning event in Andover
Dec 242012

Monday, December 24th, Christmas Eve services at 4 and 9.  Come a little early: the church fills up!  Among Friends supper at 5:30

Tuesday, December 25th, Christmas service at 9am.  Among Friends lunch at 11:30.

We are located at 166 High Street in Newburyport.  Ample parking is available on Market Street, Summer Street, and the Mall.

All are welcome!

 Christmas at St. Paul’s  Posted by on Mon, 24-Dec-12 Events Comments Off on Christmas at St. Paul’s
Nov 222012

Edie Ellen Knitters

This group of women meets on the second and fourth Monday of each month from 2-4 pm in the library at St. Paul’s. We welcome new members at any time.

If you don’t knit we can teach you and give you directions for a prayer shawl. If you are a knitter but cannot join us we would welcome those who would be able to knit a shawl on their own. Donations to purchase yarn are always appreciated. Since our inception we have given out approximately 400 shawls!

November 26 – Joanne Alukonis; December 10 – 6pm – Shirley Walton – Cookie Swap and Soup.

 Edie Ellen Knitters — Prayer Shawls!  Posted by on Thu, 22-Nov-12 Events, Ministries Comments Off on Edie Ellen Knitters — Prayer Shawls!
Oct 242010

Sign saying "Among Friends" with hands over the water holding a loaf and fishAre you hungry? Come and eat!  Supper at 5:30 each Monday, and lunch at 11:30 each Tuesday and Friday. Contributions and volunteers are appreciated but not required.

St. Paul’s is particularly proud of our parish community mission called Among Friends. Now celebrating its 24th year in service to those who hunger for food and fellowship.

The community of St. Paul’s is joined in its support of this mission by volunteers from the greater Newburyport area. In 2005, Among Friends served a total of 6820 meals!

 Among Friends  Posted by on Sun, 24-Oct-10 Events, Ministries 2 Responses »