Frenchboro Christmas Service – Carols, Pageant, Chaos, and Joy

NORTHEAST HARBOR, ME — On Friday, December 20th, The Moonbeam, crew (Storey, Jillian, & Douglas), and two special guests – Mission President John Zavodny and Communications Associate Hunter Billings – traveled to Frenchboro through some rough seas and cold to offer a Christmas service, including a Nativity pageant.

All of the Frenchboro children and almost all Frenchboro’s adults joined us at the Frenchboro Congregation Church. Natalie Hyde-Peterson, Frenchboro’s Island Institute Fellow, turned on the church heat prior to our arrival so we could worship and celebrate together in the church.

John graciously agreed to bring along his guitar to accompany the hymns and carols. He is quite skilled on the guitar. His carol singing accompaniment may become an annual Christmas tradition.

Hunter, Storey, Douglas and Natalie lit candles around the church to help set the holiday mood.

Douglas asked the kids (and a few parents) to portray characters from the Nativity. There was Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus (played by the island’s youngest resident), along with angels, shepherds, and the three Magi.

Douglas shared with the congregation, just prior to starting the service, that the Nativity pageant could either “go like clockwork” or “be a little chaotic.” The pageant was some of each, but absolutely perfect and adorable. Douglas narrated the pageant, while Jillian directed from the back of the church. Jillian also had a guest appearance as the Brightest Star.

The evening ended with Douglas handing out the Mission’s gifts, wrapped in white paper with red string, to all the youngsters. The kids were overwhelmed with joy, especially one young lad who had received a toy Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Douglas had delivered the gifts to the island’s elders on a previous trip to the island.

After the service, Jillian offered apple cider and a tray of homemade cookies for folks to enjoy.

Photos by Mission Communications Associate Hunter Billings