The public is invited to celebrate the Christmas season with a special concert as well as traditional events at St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church located at 2901 Nojoqui Avenue at the corner of Alamo Pintado Avenue in downtown Los Olivos. According to The Rev. Dr. Randall Day, Priest and Rector, “Here at St. Mark’s, we practice a spacious Christianity year-round where there is room for all—and invite every member of the community to enjoy this special Christmas season as we celebrate the message of God’s inclusive and unconditional love for absolutely everyone.” Here is the schedule of St. Mark’s public services and events this 2016 Christmas season.
Saturday, December 3, 2016—4th Annual Gingerbread Wonderland
Saturday, December 10, 2016—Women’s Guild Christmas Luncheon (see separate info attached)
Wednesday, December 14, 2016—Celebrate the Season Concert featuring Owen Plant & Friends
Share the joy of the season with contemporary musical performances by Owen Plant, Bear Erickson, Grammy Award-winner Jim Pugh and Aireene Espiritu of the Little Village Foundation. The concert will begin at 7:00 p.m. with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. for first-come, first-seated admission. Tickets are available online at http://www.smitv.org/concerts.html and at the door for $20 general and $10 for student and seniors. All proceeds benefit St. Mark’s Preschool and Little Village Foundation. After the concert, there is a complimentary reception to meet the performers, enjoy refreshments and savor the spirit of the Christmas season in Los Olivos.
Monday, December 19, 2015 — “Blue Christmas” Service
At 4:30 pm, anyone experiencing grief or loss—also known as “the blues” is invited to a “Blue Christmas” service to help acknowledge the pain and loneliness that can prevail especially around the holidays. Complimentary light refreshments will follow.
Saturday, December 24, 2016 – Christmas Eve
At 4:00 pm, the community is welcome to join in the Posada, a re-enactment of the journey of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem as they seek shelter for the birth of Jesus. Meet in downtown Los Olivos at 3:45 pm at Fess Parker’s Wine Country Inn, 2860 Grand Avenue, to journey through town and conclude at the church with a simple carol service and a brief reception (for those who wish). This is a favorite of families and children of all ages.
At 9:30 pm, the Music of Christmas will be provided by St. Mark’s choir and musicians with a special program prior to the 10:00 pm Traditional Christmas Eve Service including candlelight, favorite carols and the Holy Eucharist (Communion) that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ more than two thousand years ago. A complimentary reception follows in Stacy Hall for all to enjoy.
Sunday, December 25, 2016—Christmas Day
At 10:00 am, a festive Christmas service with favorite carols, sermon, and Holy Eucharist (Communion) will be offered; followed by a reception with complimentary refreshments and good cheer in Stacy Hall.
Sunday, January 1, 2017—The First Sunday of Christmas
At 10:00 am, a service of Carols and Communion continues St. Mark’s Christmas celebration followed by complimentary refreshments in Stacy Hall. (There will not be a service at 8:00 am or 5:00 pm this Sunday only.)
Friday, January 6, 2017—Feast of the Epiphany and Boar’s Head Festival
At 6:00 pm, the Feast of the Epiphany (the commemoration of the arrival of the three kings at the manger in Bethlehem) will be celebrated when all ages are welcome to join in a Boar’s Head Festival that marks the end of the Christmas season. A traditional Epiphany carol pageant with Central Coast Pipe Band and costumed characters in the church leads into a grand supper feast with music and games for all in Stacy Hall. The public is invited and donations of any amount are welcome. According to Rev. Dr. Day, the Boar’s Head Festival is rooted in ancient times in England when the presentation of a boar’s head at Christmas came to symbolize the triumph of Jesus Christ over evil and death.
Formed in 1926 and serving the Santa Ynez Valley at its present location in downtown Los Olivos since 1979, St. Mark’s practices a spacious Christianity and welcomes people of all faiths or none. St. Mark’s is a no-fee community center for non-profit groups and community meetings, an arts venue for musical and cultural events, a welcome center for residents and area visitors, and a home to an Episcopal parish. St. Mark’s is also grateful to be home to the area’s Jewish community. St. Mark’s top-flight, non-sectarian professional preschool serves Santa Ynez Valley families with quality early-childhood education. Open doors, restrooms, free Wi-Fi, a shady courtyard, gardens, a labyrinth and water for dogs are available for visitors and area residents all day, every day. For more information, visit www.SMITV.org