Friday, July 19, 2013

Dixieland Jazz Worship Service

Sunday, July 21 at 10:00 a.m. 

Annisquam Village Church

820 Washington St. Gloucester MA 01930

for this spirit-filled, annual service featuring the "Clam Bake Five +1".


1893 Swami Vivekananda Brings Modern-Day Pilgrims to Annisquam

Saffron robes and languages ranging from French to Bengali make annual appearances at the Annisquam Village Church in Gloucester. Modern-day Hindu pilgrims visit the historic Village Church to pay homage and walk in the steps of Swami Vivekananda, the first Hindu monk in America. Vivekananda spoke from the Church's pulpit in 1893, just before he made history at the first meeting of the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago (an adjunct event to the Columbian Exposition) as representative of Hinduism.  It is said that on this sojourn, the 30-year-old monk brought Yoga to the West.

Eloquent and, at the time, exotic, Vivekananda mesmerized his audiences both here and in Chicago, winning new respect for and interest in the religions of the East. He established the Vedanta Societies in America to spread his message of harmony of religions and the inherent divinity of the soul. Vivekananda remained in Gloucester for several weeks, first as a guest of John Henry Wright, a Greek professor at Harvard who helped make the arrangements for his Parliament of Religions appearance. On a later visit, he stayed at the Annisquam residence of Alpheus Hyatt, whose marine biology station on Lobster Cove was the first iteration of the present-day Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Hyatt was the father of Gloucester's renowned sculptor, Anna Hyatt (later Huntington), who would have been 17 at the time of the Swami's visit.  More than 100 years later, devotees of this visionary Hindu man make annual pilgrimages to the Village Church, to touch the stone doorstep and to meditate in the serene space where their leader spoke.

For the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Vivekananda's birth, the Vedanta Societies of Boston and Providence will join with the Annisquam Village Church in an Interfaith Service July 28 at 4:30 pm.  The service will include brief addresses by Swami Yogatmananda of Providence (Hindu Chaplain at Brown University and UMass Dartmouth), and Swami Tyagananda of Boston (Hindu Chaplain at Harvard University and MIT), and the Rev. Deirdre Greenwood White, Pastor of the Annisquam Village Church. Music from both traditions will include preludes of sitar and tabla.  The children of the Village Church will perform a skit portraying the arrival of Swami Vivekananda in Annisquam. A simple Indian meal will follow the service and will include a partial screening of a new documentary about Vivekananda's sojourn in America.

The public is cordially invited to attend the service. Reservations are required for the supper.  To learn more about this historic event, please visit

WHAT:  Historic Interfaith Celebration: Vedanta Societies and the Annisquam Village Church
WHERE: Annisquam Village Church, 820 Washington Street, Gloucester 
WHEN:  July 28, 2013 4:30 PM
978.281-0376 or email

Swami Vivekananda’s first public speech in the USA

The talk given by Swami Vivekananda at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago in September 1893 is now part of history. Most Indians relate Swamiji to this talk and historians agree that it was possibly a key milestone in introducing Swami Vivekananda to the world stage. Many also know of Prof Wright’s contribution in getting Swamiji an opportunity to attend and present his thoughts at this Parliament. But very few people know of Swami Vivekananda’s first public discourse in the United States of America. It was August 25th, 1893 and many professors, artists, clergymen and writers from Boston and other cities including Chicago had come to a quite village called Annisquam on the Massachusetts coast. They were assembling in one of the village’s largest boarding houses called Miss Lane’s Boarding House which had many spacious rooms and a large dining room. People here were coming at the invitation of Professor John Henry Wright of Harvard University. Prof Wright had mentioned that he would be coming with a young Hindu monk whom he had recently met. He knew that he was in the presence of a force, the dimensions of which he could barely fathom but which had captivated him. The melodious voice, the leonine bearing, the spiritual glow in the great dark eyes of this young man of twenty-nine attracted all who approached him and when he spoke, there was a strange and compelling reverberation felt within all who heard him. Mrs Wright recording this visit to Annisquam wrote, “He walked with a strange, shambling gait, and yet there was a commanding dignity and impressiveness in the carriage of his neck and bare head that caused everyone in sight to stop and look at him; he moved slowly with the swinging tread of one who has never hastened, and in his great dark eyes was the beauty of an alien civilization…”
On that chilly Sunday, the Hindu monk was asked to speak at the Annisquam Universalist Church at the invitation of its pastor, Rev G W Penniman. Elva Nelson who researched this visit of Swami Vivekananda had this to say of his first public discourse in America. “It marked the beginning of his unprecedented work in the West. It was in this quiet village, Annisquam, from where ships had sailed to China and India before revolutionary times that another revolution was so quietly begun.” This first talk given on that Sunday in a little church was to mark the beginning of Swami Vivekananda’s work in the West. This heralded the approach of a spiritual storm which spread across the entire country. It lasted less than five years in all, but history will one day record how this quiet revolution was to lay the foundation for the beginning of the regeneration of people who were called upon to find their true inner selves.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Parcel of Rogues comes to the Annisquam Village Church

An afternoon of Scottish music fills the air at the Annisquam Village Church when Parcel of Rogues comes to play their irrepressible jigs, reels, and strathspeys. It is rumored that the concert will include a bit of dancing and piping, as well, with plenty of kilts and tartans about! Shortbread and tea follow the concert. The historic Annisquam Village Church is known for its superb acoustics.

820 Washington Street (cor. Rt 127 & Leonard St)
Gloucester, MA

Tickets at the door only:  $15/$5 student.

"Growing Season" Concert

Sacred songs of nature's new beginnings

Presented by the combined Youth Choirs

Schola Cantorum
of the Annisquam Village Church
Youth Choir
of the Rockport Congregational Church

Directed by
Kathleen Adams & Kristina Martin

Sunday, April 28 at 3:00 pm
Annisquam Village Church
820 Washington Street (cor. Rt 127 & Leonard St)
Gloucester, MA
The season's first Ice Cream Social following the concert!


On Eagle's Wings

O Day of Peace That Dimly Shines

Friday, April 12, 2013

Upcoming Concerts at Annisquam Village Church

Saturday, April 20 - 8 p.m.
A Concert for Mother Earth

in celebration of Earth Day...Greta Bro Group with Ricardo Frota, Maurice Cahen and Steve Travis.

Tickets at the door only: $20/$10 students.

Sunday, April 28 - 3 p.m.

Growing Season Concert
Combined Youth Choirs, Annisquam Village Church Schola Cantorum and First Congregational Church, Rockport Youth Choir.
Sunday, May 5 - 4 p.m.

Parcel of Rogues

An afternoon of Scottish music fills the air at the Annisquam Village Church when Parcel of Rogues comes to play their irrepressible jigs, reels, and strathspeys. It is rumored that the concert will include a bit of dancing and piping, as well, with plenty of kilts and tartans about! Shortbread and tea follow the concert.

Tickets at the door only:  $15/$5 student.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Save the Date! An Evening of Jazz & World Music

tree and universe
Join us for

an Evening of Jazz & World Music

celebrating our extraordinary


Saturday, April 20th
 Annisquam Village Church
Greta Bro on vocals
Ricardo Frota percussion and vocals
Maurice Cahen guitar 
Steve Travis piano  

Annisquam Village Church
820 Washington Street 
Gloucester, MA  01930 
(3 miles from rotary on left)

$20 at door
$10 for students
Don't miss this inspiring evening of improvisation,
song, poetry and spirit!!!

"...the unforced sincerity and soulfulness of Greta Bro's voice will touch you deep inside. Absolutely lovely!"  Larry Katz, Boston Herald



For more information call 978.283.6416 or go to

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Parcel of Rogues Concert Postponed

Because of the snow storm there is no parking available around the Annisquam Village Church.

Stay tuned for a new performance date!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

AVC Talent Show Postponed!

Talent Show - Saturday, March 23 
The Annisquam Village Hall on Leonard Street in Gloucester.

All proceeds will benefit Family Promise North Shore to help homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence.
$10 for adults - $5 children under 16 - $30 family maximum

Reservations recommended: or 978-281-0376.
Participate and share your talent!
Contact Terry Sands at  or 978-283-7065

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Parcel of Rogues Comes to the Annisquam Village Church

An afternoon of Scottish music fills the air at the Annisquam Village Church on Sunday afternoon, February 10 at 4 PM when Parcel of Rogues comes to play their irrepressible jigs, reels, and strathspeys. The Parcel of Rogues are three old friends who come together to share their love of the music of Scotland. 
Fiddler Calum Pasqua is a two-time winner of the prestigious Glenfiddich Fiddle Competition held annually at Blair Castle in Scotland. He was the first American ever to compete when he came away with first place! Calum grew up doing Scottish dancing with his Dundonian mother and playing bagpipes in the NYC Police Band.

Susie Petrov, the group’s piano and accordion player, discovered Scottish music through the dancing when she was a teenager. It has been her life’s most pleasurable work travelling to Scotland, Canada, and across the USA and Europe, playing for concerts, dancing, and teaching others to play the music. Along the way on her Scottish teaching travels, Petrov met fiddler Neil Ewart, a high school student at the National Centre for Excellence in Traditional Music, who hails from the remote Ardnamurrichan Peninsula.
Neil has continued this work and study in Applied Music at Strathclyde University. His fiddle playing spans the spectrum of techno-Gaelic songs to straight up jigs, reels and strathspeys. The trio’s music spans the range from emotional slow airs to high-energy, toe-tapping reels and jigs. Selections will be announced from the stage, inviting the audience to know more about the music of the day. It is rumored that the concert will include a bit of dancing and piping, as well, with plenty of kilts and tartans about! Shortbread and tea follow the concert. 
The historic Annisquam Village Church, known for its superb acoustics, is at 820 Washington Street in Gloucester at the head of Lobster Cove. 

Tickets at the door only: $15. / $5. child accompanied by adult.

Annisquam Village Talent Show

Join the fun!
A great family event in the heart of Annisquam
February 9, 2013

Our annual talent show will be at the Village Hall on February 9. Anyone can enter. You could sing a song, perform a skit, a poem, a dance… you name it. Contact Terry Sands at  if you want to perform.  There will be a Pot luck dinner before the show. Potluck dinner starts at 6:00 and the show starts at 7:00.