We Welcome Everyone: An
“Open & Affirming” Church
(781) 334-3050;Fax: (781) 334-6463; Email:
The Rev. Dr. A. Rand Peabody,
Interim Pastor - Pastor@centre-church.org
September 6, 2006
Just because our pick-up team of Jeff Langill, Phil Triffletti, Phil Johnson and I shot four under par at Reedy Meadow on August 31st to tie the all-time Golf Group scoring record, I’m not writing this column to brag (very much).
Certainly none of us would have come close to shooting four under par in our own right. The whole point of the Scramble format in golf is that, after each player attempts every shot, you get to use what you deem to be the one best shot of the group. Ineffective strokes that end up in difficult spots like bunkers or thick rough seldom need to be played. Indeed, a golf scramble is a classic example of the principle of synergism—namely, that four people pulling together are far more effective than four individuals playing separately.
At my first Interim Pastorate in Fryeburg, Maine, our church had a booth at the famed Fryeburg Fair. The Fryeburg Fair still has horse and oxen pulls. One of the stock owners explained it to me back then—that two horses individually will pull a total, say, of five thousand pounds, but put those two horses in yoke and they’ll pull six or even seven thousand pounds.
This principle works in church life, as well. Selfless synergism wins the day. And now that Labor Day is past, not only do you stand on the verge of a new programmatic season here at Centre Church, but you will shortly be welcoming your Pastor-elect. So it will be crucially important that you all work together-- in the spirit of synergism.
Put in Christian terms, each person, individually, is graced by the Spirit of God with an array of gifts. But God knows that the work of ministry and mission will proceed far more effectively when faithful people synergize.
That’s why a congregation—an “ecclesia”—exists in the first place. The flavor of that Greek word describes a constituted community of those who have been “called out” of their respective isolation, so as to form something that functions literally like an organic entity.
And this is precisely what the Apostle Paul is describing when he writes in Ephesians 4: 15-16: “Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and upbuilds itself in love.”
So let “God’s Scramble” here at Centre Church begin anew! I am utterly confident, knowing you as well as I do now, that all sorts of excellent things will prove to be “par for the course”, or even better than that!
(Incidentally, you’ll have a somewhat unique opportunity to “hear from” the Apostle Paul in his own words on Sunday, September 17th, when I will be presenting during the sermon time a narrative of Paul’s life and teachings, written in first-person style, that I will have compiled from his various epistles. Scratch a minister, they say, and you’ll find an actor. That said, I trust that you will see more of Paul than of me that day.)
IN THE SANCTUARY - 10:00 a.m.
September 10, 2006
“Welcome Back” Sunday
The service on Sunday, September 10th will feature the Sacrament of Holy Communion. The Choir will return, and Rand Peabody will present a Children’s Message geared to the upcoming Rotation Cycle focus on Moses and the Ten Commandments, one of the key parts of the Book of Exodus. The adult sermon, “Cultivating Our Orchard”, will draw insights from Colossians 3: 12-17 and John 15: 1-11 about having a safe, happy, and healthy church.
After the Children’s Message, all Church School children will be dismissed to a special activity led by Barbara Langill and Jill Couillard, and will return for the Communion portion of the Service.
“The 10th at 10” will be a great time for us to assemble in good numbers and high spirit to greet one another and prepare for the opportunities of a new season.
Youth Group News
Both the Middle School and High School Youth Groups will be meeting on Sunday, September 17 at 6:00 p.m.
From the Search Committee
It’s official! Our newly called Settled Pastor, Rev. Dr. Dennis Bailey, will begin his pastorate with us on Sunday, October 1. Following the service, we are planning a luncheon to welcome Dennis and to give members of the congregation a chance to chat with him informally.
In addition, plans are being made for Dennis’ Installation Service which is scheduled for Sunday afternoon, November 12. More details will follow.
So, mark your calendars and plan to be present on these two important dates to welcome our new Senior Pastor. This fall promises to be an exciting time for Centre Church!
Rotation News for September 10
Registrations for Church School have been mailed home. Please return these to the church office or bring them to church on Sunday, Sept 10. We will be collecting registrations in the Narthex after church. The Photograph/Video Tape Form needs to be returned only if you do NOT want your child photographed. If you did not receive a registration form and would like to register your child, please call the church office and speak to Barbara Langill or Jill Couillard.
Celebrating God’s Gifts Leader Meeting
Please plan to attend the Leader/Shepherd dinner meeting on Tuesday, Sept 12 at 6:00 p.m. Be sure to bring your calendars to coordinate your schedule for the upcoming church school year.
Safe Church Training for those who need it will be provided in the Fireside Room at 5:30 p.m.
Save the Date!
On Saturday evening, October 21st, please plan to join us for an All-Church Progressive Dinner. In the past, this kind of evening of fellowship has proven to be a very enjoyable time. Please mark your calendars now. More details will follow!
Rand continues to lead the Thursday Morning Scripture Seminars, running from 10:30 to approximately 11:45 a.m. each week. Our current series on “The Wisdom Literature of the Bible” ends this Thursday, September 7th, with the second of two studies on the Book of Proverbs.
Other topics for September will probably include a look at the “two Mary’s”-- Magdalene and the Mother of Jesus- as well as an overview of the writings of Paul, and a survey of the great “I-AM” statements of Jesus in the Gospel of John.
The Seminar convenes in the outer Pastor’s Office every Thursday. “We want YOU!” says Rand. “No fore-knowledge of the Bible is necessary. All you need to bring to these Seminars is an interest in learning more about the scriptures.”
Calling all Students!
Those who are in 2nd Grade through 8th Grade are invited to join us for the start of a new Youth Choir year. We will meet after church on Sundays from 11:30-12:00 starting on Sept. 17. The Youth Choir will sing in church approximately once a month. We’re looking forward to a great year! Bring your friends!
Doug Hodgkins and Pat Summerer
The 4th Annual Centre Church Golf Tournament will be held once again at the Thomson Country Club in North Reading. The date will be Friday September 22nd at 1 PM. We will follow a scramble/best ball format with a shotgun start. This tournament is not only a lot of fun, but the net proceeds are designated to our Missions program. The cost of $100 covers the greens and carts fees. There will be gifts and prizes and after the tournament there is a cookout at the Johnson’s.
To register please send a check payable to Centre Congregational Church to Phil Johnson, Chris Parker or Rick Carey. If you have any questions please contact Phil Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 781-598-5678.
News From Around the Parish
We extend our love and sympathy to Irene Allyn upon the recent death of her brother, Steadman Howard of Pelham, NH.
We extend our love and sympathy to Warren “Bud” Green upon the death of his wife, Dorothy on September 2. We fondly remember Dorothy from her time as Alto Soloist in our Senior Choir. Cards may be sent to her family c/o Warren at 16 Newcomb Rd., Stoneham, MA 02180. A Memorial Service will be held at Melrose-Highlands Church on Sept. 9 at 11 a.m.
Mission Trip Highlights
Those who went on the New York Mission Trip are asked to meet Sunday, Sept. 10 at 6:00 p.m. to work on the details of the Shareholder’s Dinner which will be held on Sunday, Sept. 24 at 6:00 p.m. This dinner will be for all those who supported our fundraising efforts. The youth will be giving a presentation on the highlights of the trip.
Missions Notes for September
This month we are asking for donations of *school supplies for Haven from Hunger*. Please drop off notebooks, pens and pencils, small dictionaries, markers, etc. in the marked bin. These will be greatly appreciated by students in the area who cannot afford to buy the supplies they need.
The *Knitting Group* will reconvene starting Tuesday, Sept. 12 from 7-8:30 p.m. Knitters, experienced and new, are welcome. Beginners will learn to make squares to be donated to the Red Cross, and those who wish to move on to a new project will learn to make a sweater or afghan. Yarn is supplied.
The *Missions Commission* will meet Sunday September 17th following the Worship Service in order to plan for the up-coming year. New members are welcome, and ideas for projects are always considered. Please consider joining and make a difference.
Chris Gehret for the Missions Comm.
Holy Communion - Sanctuary
Rotation Sensation Registration - Narthex
Exodus Workshop Leaders – Library
Mission Trip Youth - Kitchen
Caregivers – Fireside Room
Safe Church Training – Fireside Room
Rotation Leaders – Richards Hall
Knitting Group - Fireside Room
Worship Team – Pastor’s Office
Golf Group – Reedy Meadow
Scripture Seminar – Pastor’s Office
Senior Choir – Choir Room