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.  Our membership and leadership is comprised of the young and the old, the old-timer and the newcomer, married, partnered and single, gay and straight, rich and poor.   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


Christmas 2014

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. All of the services listed below include Holy Communion.

21 December – Fourth Sunday in Advent

St. John’s will have its usual 8:00 am service, but the two later services will be combined into one at 10:00 am, so that following that service we can 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.

24 December – Christmas Eve

At 4:00 pm St. John’s will be putting on its annual Christmas pageant. This year we will be presenting the classic story of the First Christmas, otherwise known as The Christmas Pageant. After a young child curiously asks an adult why do we celebrate Christmas he goes on to tell (narrate) the story while children act out parts from Scripture. An enjoyable service for children of all ages.

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.

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.


Advent Season

Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year and commences on Advent Sunday, 30 November 2014. 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 (8 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 (15 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 (21 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. Where an advent wreath includes a fifth candle, it is known as the Christ candle and lit during the Christmas Eve service.

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



  • Rector’s Reflections October 2014

    I was a stranger and you welcomed me. ~ Matthew 25

    Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. ~ Hebrews 13:2

    In this season of stewardship, always a season of challenge to each of us, and often of growth, I want you to think with me that we are stewards of the Gospel of Christ, and that requires much of us, and invites us to show our faithfulness in a variety of ways. Consider what it means to be welcoming . . .

    It is quite an experience . . . → Read More: Rector’s Reflections October 2014