Parishioners exit a service in a photo from the archives of St. John the Divine in downtown Southwest Harbor. At a special celebration service on Sept. 16, there will be a photo display at the church with photos from the last 100 years. PHOTO COURTESY OF ST. JOHN

St. John the Divine celebrating 100 years in Southwest Harbor

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — The Episcopal church of St. John the Divine has been celebrating its 100th year throughout 2018 and two events scheduled this month are open for members of the community to join the fun.

On Sunday, Sept. 16 at 10 a.m. there will be guest musicians, a photo display and a big birthday cake to celebrate the centennial of St. John the Divine. Guest musicians include Cate and Jane Pope, who will play with the church’s year round musician, Stephen Samson.

On Saturday, Sept. 22 a birthday blessing with the Episcopal Bishop of Maine, the Rt. Rev. Stephen Lane, is planed for 9:30 a.m.

“One thing I love about St. John is it’s very central,” said the Rev. Kathleen Killian, who serves as rector. “We are a small community church and we always have been.”

Part of the same parish since 1983, St. John the Divine is a couple of years younger than St. Andrew in Seal Cove. All four Episcopal parishes on the island, including Church of Our Father in Hull’s Cove and St. Saviour’s in Bar Harbor, have formed partnerships to strengthen their presence.

“We’re always figuring out ways we can join forces,” said Killian. “We want to preserve the tradition here and make our life vital to the island.”

Killian has been with St. John the Divine since 2015.

In that time, she said, she has seen the community changing.

“The place of the church in the culture is very different,” she said. “We have a lot of summer folks here. People really worship at the churches when they come here.”

Attendance at Sunday services can vary from 30 to 60 people, Killian said. There are several other events during the week for folks to gather at St. John, including a meditation hour on Tuesdays and a healing service on Thursdays.

For the last 28 years, St. John has also provided aid to the community through the Westside Food Pantry. Doors to the church are always open as a sanctuary for the public. A box of food sits in a pew for those who may need help outside of the hours of the food pantry. For Killian and the church, it is important to respond to the needs of the community.

“We worship God, walk in love,” she said. “We’ve been doing it for 100 years and we want to do it for another 100 years.”

Contact 244-3229 or visit

Sarah Hinckley

Sarah Hinckley

Former Islander reporter Sarah Hinckley covered the towns of Southwest Harbor, Tremont and neighboring islands.

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