The Episcopal Church of St John the Baptist in Aptos, CA serving Santa Cruz County



Welcome to St. John’s

We invite you to get to know us and discover your place here among us. We are a  community that looks to the life and ministry of Jesus to better understand and enter into the heart of God. Jesus spoke out against injustice and poverty, Jesus healed friend and foe, Jesus broke bread with the rich and poor, Jesus points to the wideness of God’s compassion. We celebrate the wonderful diversity of human kind and we seek to do that in faithfulness to the baptismal command to respect the dignity of every human being. We strive to include a place for everyone around God’s table and believe there should be no outcasts in the Episcopal Church. Our campus is completely accessible and barrier free.


Advent Season

Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year and commences on Advent Sunday, 27 November 2016. Advent season is the four Sunday’s before Christmas. Advent is a season of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The term is an anglicized version of the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming”.

The keeping of an advent wreath is also a common practice in homes or churches. The readings for the first Sunday in Advent relate to the old testament patriarchs who were Christ’s ancestors, so some call the first advent candle that of hope. The readings for the second Sunday (4 Dec) concern Christ’s birth in a manger and other prophesies, so the candle may be called of Bethlehem, the way or of the prophets. The third Sunday (11 Dec), Gaudete Sunday after the first word of the introit (Philippians 4:4), is celebrated with rose-colored vestments.

The readings relate to St. John the Baptist, and the rose candle may be called of joy or of the shepherds. In the Episcopal Church USA, the collect stir up may be read during this week.

The readings for the fourth Sunday (18 December) relate to the annunciation of Christ’s birth, so the candle may be known as the Angel’s candle. The Magnificat or Song of Mary may be featured.

The liturgical color for Advent at St. John’s is blue.

Christmas Season

Please join St. John’s as we celebrate the Christmas season with the true meaning of this joyous holiday. You are always welcome at any of our services.

Sunday, 18 December – Fourth Sunday in Advent

At 8:00 & 10:00 am Holy Eucharist services. The 10:00 am celebration will incorporate the Christmas pageant, where the children of the parish will have an opportunity to tell the Christmas story to the entire parish community.

Following the 10:00 am service we will all pitch in and transform the church from Advent to Christmas. We will be putting up wreaths, garlands, candle decoration, attaching the aisle tapers to the pews and some table work to help with the decorations. A great way to get into the true spirit of Christmas.

Wednesday, 21 December – A Service for the Longest Night/Blue Christmas

At 7:00 pm St. John’s will offer a simple service of reflection and worship for all of us who find this a difficult time of year.  We will have a service for the Longest Night and a Blue Christmas.  This will be a service of readings, reflection and Eucharist.  Everyone in the community is invited to join in this service for a time of quiet in the midst of all the noise of the season.

This service was introduced to the St. John’s community last year as a means of providing an opportunity for members of the community to gather for a quiet service to reflect on the themes of the season.  The intent of the worship is provide an opportunity for those who find the festivities of the season challenging.

Saturday, 24 December – Christmas Eve

At 4:00 pm St. John’s will offer a family and community celebration of Christmas. Music and traditional carols will be part of the service.

At 10:00 pm St. John’s will have a traditional candle light service with Holy Eucharist. This service has lots of carols and special instruments, pulling out all the stops to celebrate the Incarnation of our Lord. Incense is part of this celebration.

Sunday, 25 December – Christmas Day

10:00 am service with Holy Eucharist and lots of Christmas Carols. This is the “quieter service”, celebrating the birth of Christ.

Sunday, 01 January –  The Feast of The Holy Name (The First Sunday after Christmas)

At 8:00 am we will have our usual Sunday Eucharist, and at 10:00 am we will have a Service of Nine Lessons and Carols to help us contemplate the meaning and background of the Christmas story and to give us an opportunity to sing even more of the church’s great wealth of Christmas songs.

The Feast@5,  is a celebration of the Eucharist for families and seekers. A Pot Luck dinner will follow the service. This is a way to mark the beginning of the new year.

  • The Interim Time in a Parish August 2015

    Dear Friends,

    The interim time in a parish offers an opportunity for the community to discover its passion for the mission Christ gives to us. It is a time full of promise and possibility. Traveling with you in this interim journey is my joy and privilege. As we make the interim journey the community will have ample opportunity to remember the amazing gifts of grace that have been part of the congregation’s life and to envision the future mission of the St. John’s community.

    In this interim journey all of us will have ministries to carry out. I will serve . . . → Read More: The Interim Time in a Parish August 2015