The charm and simplicity of an earlier time period still holds a place in the hearts of many, especially at Christmas. For those desiring to escape the “hustle and bustle” of the modern world, if only for a few hours, Fairview Chapel is the place to experience a Victorian Christmas.
The small stone chapel on Boyers Mill Road offers individuals and families the opportunity to worship in a simple style, a setting similar to the earliest days of the original chapel. Here in this restored 1847 chapel, the holiday season is celebrated much as it was in the “days of olde.” For many individuals and families in recent years, the holiday season would not be complete without a visit to this quaint little country church.
In its rural setting, one can almost see horses and buggies still tied to the split rail fence and people dressed in clothing from an earlier time period coming here on a Sunday evening. The aged stones of the walls seem to whisper with the worship services of both past and present days. With a little imagination you can still hear people from years ago singing the same carols of the season that worshippers gather to sing today. People still gather here to worship the same Christ child and to lift their voices in praise and thanksgiving.
The holiday spirit begins as you arrive in the parking lot and are greeted by the luminaries lining the stone pathway leading to the aged wooden front doors. The warm glow of the oil lamps lights each window and the faces who greet you.
As you enter and close the doors, you discover that you have left the 21st century behind. It is as if you have stepped back in time. Within the chapel you will not find the conveniences and distractions of the outside world. The smallness of the room, the stone walls, glowing oil lamps and candles that provide light, the simplicity of decoration, and even the chill that cannot be completely dispelled by the old fashioned stove all serve to take you back to a simpler time.
The sweet smell of the fresh greenery permeates the air. Wreaths and greenery adorning the windows and a Christmas tree decorated with handmade ornaments and twinkling candles create a scene from Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” The mellow sound of the antique pump organ which fills the chapel with music adds to the holiday atmosphere.
Whether you are a first-time visitor, an occasional visitor or a regular worshipper, the variety of seasonal programs every Sunday evening at 7 p.m. from Nov. 27, through Epiphany Sunday on Jan. 8, offers those in attendance the opportunity to celebrate Christmas as families did during an earlier time period.
Today, surrounded by the homes of the Linganore communities, the church is still a part of the Baltimore/Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church. Though it is still a Methodist Church, Fairview is maintained by nine trustees. Through the efforts of these nine trustees, a worship team and two guiding pastors, Fairview Chapel throughout the year provides unique weekly services each Sunday at 7 p.m. Worship opportunities in word, song, story, drama and scripture make services special and the holiday season is no exception.
This year’s theme “The Symbols of The Season” will take you on a biblical journey to Bethlehem in search of the Christ child and the meaning of the season. Along the way, you will view verbal and musical portraits of many individuals and their role in the Nativity Story.
Fairview’s unique and creative holiday worship services, as well as four services on Christmas Eve, endeavor to recreate the story of the nativity.
Holiday Open House
On Saturday, Nov. 26, 5:30-7 p.m. Light refreshments and a preview of Fairview’s upcoming holiday programs, with holiday violin music by Taylor Goodrich. The chapel will be festooned in traditional decorations. Visitors will receive a special gift specially crafted for Fairview Chapel. A new Christmas story, Jonah, “The Christmas Donkey,” written for children, will be presented at 6:15 p.m.
First Sunday of Advent — King’s String Concert
The Advent season which begins on Nov. 27, features the return of the King’s Strings. The service focuses on the star which announced Christ’s birth and the candle of hope is lit. The joy, hope, peace and love of the Christmas season will be highlighted by the musical talents of the King family. The Rev. John and Cindy King and their family are from the Brethren in Christ Church in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
Stringed instruments and the vocal presentations are a traditional start to the season at Fairview. Two services will be offered to the public, at 5 and 7 p.m.
Second Sunday of Advent — “For Unto Us a Child Is Born”
On Dec. 4, a service of worship and praise will focus on the gift of the Christ child and the dove of peace. Worship leader Rev. Brian Messler with Southern gospel style guitarist/vocalist Bernie Tregoe and the Singing Stones Praise Team from the Frederick Church of the Brethren will present an evening of music and word.
Third Sunday of Advent — “Emmanuel — God-With-Us”
This worship service, written just for Fairview Chapel, will be presented on Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. The service begins with the lighting of the candle of joy and focuses on this candle as the symbol of Christ. The story traces the birth of Christ in scripture and is enhanced with scenes and stories of literary fiction by the angel Gabriel, God’s messenger. The emotions, events and characters of the biblical story are revealed through dramatic monologue and music by guest vocalists Mark Beall and Teresa Martin and violinist Taylor Goodrich.
Fourth Sunday of Advent — “Behold the Light”
Vocal artist Shana O’Shiro will share her emotion-filled musical style on Dec 18. She will present musical portrayals of the Messiah. Rev. Ken Dunnington, a retired Methodist minister who currently serves at Lisbon United Methodist Church and former head pastor at Calvary United Methodist Church in Frederick, will guide the candlelit service. He will embellish the musical portraits with words of poetry and scripture.
Christmas Eve Services
At Fairview, Christ’s coming is always marked by four special services on Christmas Eve. A traditional family style service is at 5 p.m. Pastor Paul Leatherman from the Edgewood and Sam’s Creek Church of the Brethren will present “When Love Came Down,” with a special message and a Christmas musical portrait designed for adults and children.
“A Colonial Christmas” will be the theme of the 7 and 9 p.m. services which will be presented by historical reenactors and pastors Rene and Rommi Kinard. This husband and wife team from the Freedom In Christ Ministry re-create religious services from various time periods in history. On Christmas Eve they will present their message in costume as they sing the beloved noels of Christmas and retell the story of Christ’s birth in drama, scripture and word.
An 11 p.m. service will offer communion with all in attendance. The Rev. Scott Clawson from the New Market United Methodist Church will officiate at this service that concludes the Christmas Eve services. Teresa Martin will present a musical tribute to the Christ child.
New Year’s Day Celebration — Carol Sing and Commitment Communion
The community is invited to attend a special 7 p.m. New Year’s Day celebration at the chapel. Musician Teresa Martin will lead a carol “Singalong” featuring the songs and stories of Christmas. Rev. Scott Clawson from the New Market United Methodist Church will guide a special New Year’s Day communion and service of self-commitment.
Epiphany Sunday — “The Visit of the Magi”
Fairview’s holiday season concludes on Epiphany Sunday, Jan. 8, with a special program, “Gifts of Love.” Christian story teller and ordained pastor Jackie Johnson from the Evangelical Lutheran Church will bring the story of the visit of the Magi to life.
With the exception of the Christmas Eve services please be advised that these programs may run a bit longer than a traditional worship service. The proceeds from the free-will offerings at all services will go to support the twenty two charities and mission programs of the chapel. Fairview Chapel is located at 6802 Boyers Mill Road, New Market. For more information about these programs, or any of the services offered every Sunday evening at 7 p.m., call 301-606-3094.