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.


Lenten and Easter Season

Ash Wednesday marks the first day, or the start of the Lenten Season, which begins 40 days prior to Easter (Sundays are not included in the count). Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline.

Shrove Tuesday, 09 February, at 5:30 pm. Pancakes & sausages will be served around 6pm. Cost: $5,– for a single person, $10,– for a family. Shrove Tuesday is also called Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday, a celebration before Lent. Come join us!

On Ash Wednesday (10 February) St. John’s will have two services, 7:30 am and 12:10 pm. At these services, the minister will lightly rub the sign of the cross with ashes onto the foreheads of worshipers. We make the ashes for Ash Wednesday from the palm crosses from the prior year’s Palm Sunday. 7:00 pm is at Resurrection Church, with Lutheran, Roman Catholic, La Selva Community Church, Episcopal, Presbyterian & Methodist congregations.

Beginning Wednesday, 17 February St. John’s will have its annual Lenten Soup Supper and Study Series. These will run every Wednesday through 16 March. Supper is at 6:00 pm. Discussion starts at 6:45 pm. This year’s discussion will be the community reading of Changing the Conversation: A Third Way for Congregations, by Anthony B. Robinson. The book may be purchased in the office or online (Kindle).

On Palm Sunday (20 March) Christians celebrate the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, the week before his death and resurrection. . The Bible reveals that when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the crowds greeted him by waving palm branches and covering his path with them, which we commemorate by waving palm branches of our own. On that day St John’s will have two services; 8:00 and 10:00 am. Each service will have the Palm Sunday Procession & Reading of the Passion Gospel with Eucharist. Palm Sunday, often referred to as “Passion Sunday,” marks the beginning of Holy Week, which concludes on Easter Sunday. Our diocesan bishop, the Rt. Rev. Mary Grey-Reeves, will join us for the 10:00 am service.

Maundy Thursday (24 March) commemorates Jesus Christ’s institution of the Eucharist during the Last Supper, which is described in the Christian Bible. St. John’s will have a Maundy Thursday service at 7:00 pm. Eucharist and the washing of feet are part of the service.

The day is also known as Holy Thursday, Passion Thursday, Paschal Thursday or Sheer (or Shere) Thursday. It is the Christian feast or holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter that commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles as described in the Canonical gospels. It is the fifth day of Holy Week.

The Watch. Following the Maundy Thursday service members of the congregation will take turns praying, reading, journaling, and watching with Jesus in a space set aside as “the garden” throughout the night.

Good Friday (25 March) commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. The holiday is observed on the sixth day of Holy Week. From 12:00 to 3:00 pm, we have lay members witnessing to the Seven Last Words of Christ as they have experienced in their lives. The day is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday or Black Friday.

Easter Sunday (27 March):

The Great Vigil of Easter is at 5:30 am. A new fire is kindled outside and from it the great Paschal Candle and then individual candles are lit. We await our Master’s return with our lamps full and burning (Luke 12:35ff). We go into the church with our candles. The great and ancient hymn The Exsultet is sung, the sweeping story of salvation history is recounted. Then the Resurrection of Jesus is proclaimed (loudly!) with the ringing of bells. The service then follows with the year’s principal rites of Baptism and Eucharist. A light Easter breakfast will be served following the Vigil.

Easter Choral Service is at 10:00 am. The festive Easter Service celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ in liturgy and music.

Our annual Easter coffee hour and children’s Easter Egg Hunt will follow the 10:00 am service.

  • 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