MEREDITH — St. John’s-on-the-Lake on Bear Island will welcome guest minister the Rev. Neil Wilson on Sunday, July 14. The service will contain a Blessing of the Animals, a tradition enjoyed at St. John’s.

The Rev. Wilson and his wife, Donna, grew up in Maine. Although they left New England, they have never wavered from their faith as members of the Congregational Church. (Their allegiance to New England professional sports teams has also remained intact.) They have a son with a family in Indiana and a daughter whose family lives outside of Portland, Maine. They said that moving to the Lakes Region of New Hampshire feels like a return home.

Before entering ministry, Neil Wilson spent some time with the Maine Forest Service. He was also the owner of a successful logging business.

Early in his ministry, he served part-time as a licensed pastor while completing his undergraduate degree at Granite State College and his master’s degree in Divinity from the Earlham School of Religion (Religious Society of Friends) in Indiana.

Wilson has served as senior pastor of a United Church of Christ congregation in Indiana and a Congregational church in Charlevoix, Michigan. In between, he spent two years with the Maine Sea Coast Mission.

Founded in 1927, the mission of St. John's-on-the-Lake is to provide interdenominational services on Sundays to meet the needs of the growing island population of Lake Winnipesaukee. Services begin at 10 a.m. on Sundays during the summer season.

Well-behaved dogs are welcome at St. John's. Sneakers or sturdy shoes are suggested.

The chapel is located on the highest elevation of Bear Island on Lake Winnipesaukee in Meredith. It is a short walk from the church docks located in Deep Cove on the west side of the island, as well as by other marked paths. In addition, there is a “taxi” service from Meredith Neck; email for more information, or visit

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