Tower Notes

Centre Congregational Church
United Church of Christ

We Welcome Everyone: An “Open & Affirming” Church
Handicap Accessible

Phone: (781) 334-3050;Fax: (781) 334-6463; Email:
5 Summer Street, Lynnfield, Massachusetts 01940

The Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey, Pastor -
Jill Couillard & Barbara Langill - Directors of Christian Education & Youth Ministry -
Douglas W. Hodgkins: Organist/Choir Director
Sally MacDonald, Director of Tower Day School
Susan Spear, Secretary

September 27, 2006

Dear Flamingo Flockers and Followers: Our Journey Begins

I'm so excited! I'm excited to start our new relationship on the day of World Communion Sunday. What better way to embrace our oneness in Christ, Centre Congregational Church's welcoming Open and Affirming nature, and our enjoyment of the diversity of God's people than to break bread with all of God's people.

In order to celebrate our diversity and unity in Christ, I invite you to bring a variety of breads to our celebration of World Communion Sunday, this coming Sunday, October 1st. Call the church office, 781-334-3050 to leave a message about what kind of bread you plan to bring and what part of God's world it represents, its special significance. You can also email me to tell me: Or, just bring a special bread without calling or emailing me. Ideas might include:

I will invite you to bring it forward for our Service of Holy Communion and together we will pray a prayer of blessing on our many breads for God's many peoples. We will share these breads during our luncheon following the service.

World Communion Sunday was first celebrated in 1936, the first Sunday in October, thanks to our sisters and brothers in the Presbyterian Churches in the United States and overseas. After a few years the idea spread beyond the Presbyterian Church.

The day has taken on new relevancy and depth of meaning in a world where globalization often has undermined peace and justice -- and in a time when fear divides the peoples of God's earth.  On this day we celebrate our oneness in Christ, the Prince of Peace, in the midst of the world we are called to serve -- a world ever more in need of peacemaking.”

I like that World Communion comes in October, the Autumn season, arrayed in brilliant colors, the peak of loveliness. And then, when the sun shines bright in October mornings, my heart races to see how nature shines without any effort on humanity's part. It is simply God's gift to us! And then I think of how God's people in my life also shine, with brilliance.

I am so looking forward to experiencing the brilliance of God's colors in you, my new friends. I enjoyed the Shareholders’ Dinner this past Sunday in which the youth and their leaders talked about how they experienced Christ in the breaking of bread with the many people they met in New York this past summer. Like the bread, we, too, need to be kneaded, by interacting with God's many peoples, by serving and being served. I pray that our first World Communion together will not only bind us together with each other but with all of God's people, greeting them with a heart of compassion no matter where we meet them.

Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35

See you soon!

Yours in Christ,


October 1, 2006 - World Communion Sunday

Isaiah 55:1-6 John 3:1-8

10:00 A.M. Holy Communion

Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey

“Kite Flying & World Communion”

Children may worship with their families before going to Rotation Workshops.
 They will participate in Communion with their families.
Service broadcast on Lynnfield Cable Channel 10 (Comcast) & Channel 28 (Verizon)
and Peabody Cable Channel 10 at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday.


Stay for Lunch

After the service on October 1, plan to have lunch in Richards Hall and welcome our new settled Pastor, Rev. Dr. Dennis Bailey. Dennis is excited about beginning his ministry with us and is looking forward to greeting everyone after the service. Let’s wear our name tags to lunch to help Dennis learn our names.



Introducing Rev. Dr. Calvin B. Kool, “Assistant Minister”

As you will see, I do not work alone. I have an Assistant, Rev. Dr. Calvin B. Kool, who works with me. It's been that way for years. Rev. Dr. Kool was introduced to me by a friend and colleague, Rev. John Benbow. Rev. Benbow had worked with Rev. Kool but felt that I would find working with Rev. Kool more enjoyable than he did.

Rev. Dr. Calvin B. Kool is a ventriloquist puppet (please, please, never mention this to him, ever!). In order to preserve Rev. Kool's delicate ego and the mystery and enjoyment of what we do together, I assume that Rev. Kool is as real as you and me. I wish for you to do the same.

Jesus taught us many interesting and valuable lessons through his use of parables. So, my work and relationship with Rev. Kool has a similar capacity. All we ask is that you sit back, if you can, and enjoy the conversations that I (and sometimes with you) have with Rev. Kool. Don't take this too seriously, but do take what we learn together seriously. Non-puppet people sometimes take themselves too seriously. Humor, fantasy, stories, and even a “make-believe human” can help us say things that non-puppet people could never say (and keep their jobs).

I hope you enjoy the work that Rev. Kool and I do together. He will attend and speak at Worship on occasion, not every Sunday. On other occasions, for Children's Messages, I will use other objects, ideas, methods, characters, and, yes, sometimes, a live or make believe animal. The way I figure it, if we have fun in worship and in our life together, we will all want to keep on coming back for more. And, we can never get enough of the Good News and unconditional love of Jesus.

That is, in part, my version of how Rev. Dr. Calvin B. Kool came to be. Rev. Dr. Kool, on the other hand, has his own version of this story, which, I'm sure, he'll share with you sometime. I can assure you that his memory of how we came together and mine are very different.

Rev. Dr. Kool's motto is, “Get Real and Keep the Faith.” May it be so. If you have any questions about Rev. Dr. Kool, send them my way via phone, email, letters, and personal conversations.

If you have an idea about how Rev. Dr. Kool and/or I can be helpful to you, feel free to speak with us.

Now, I have to repair Rev. Dr. Kool's vocal chord. He strained it last night screaming at the N.E. Patriots.

Let us together, Get Real and Keep the Faith!

Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

Rev. Kool occasionally writes his own column for Tower Notes. His first installment can be read by clicking here.

A Farewell From Rand Peabody, Interim Pastor

Thank-you, thank-you, for “everything”, including a beautiful new blue golf bag (complete with umbrella) that Phil Johnson presented to me on your behalf at the service on Sunday, the 24th.

My heart is warm with the sense that things are well at Centre Church. What I have consistently experienced in my brief time among you is that you bring an energy and a love to whatever you have committed yourselves to doing — be it teaching Sunday School, or singing in the Choir, or serving on the Worship Team, or “Golfing With God”, or working as a Church Officer, or reaching out as a Caregiver, or preparing meals for Bread-and-Roses, or being involved in one of the many, many other ways in which people are contributing to the vibrancy of this Body of Christ.

I have experienced an openness of attitude and a constructive spirit in the various meetings in which I have been present, which bodes well, indeed, for the transitions in structure and leadership through which you are now about to pass.

I must say that I have been very pleased with the steady attendance at the new Thursday Morning Scripture Seminars. We have built a group that, all in all, has involved some fifteen people. And there are numbers of others of you who have told me that you would welcome a regular adult educational opportunity were it held on an evening or weekend.

You are blessed with superb staff. Susan Spear is the heart and soul of the Church Office, overseeing your day-to-day administrative life in a way that absolutely stands out in my entire experience of seventeen congregations. Susan sees what she does as her vocation, and not just an occupation, and it shows!

Jill Couillard and Barbara Langill are a double-blessing to Centre Church as Directors of Christian Education and Youth Ministry. It was a pleasure for me to work with them to help get ready for this autumn’s Rotation workshops on the Book of Exodus. And just last night, the Youth-Mission Shareholders’ Dinner was a jubilant event at which the normal “dove” of God’s Spirit disguised itself as a pink flamingo.

Doug Hodgkins brings both fine musicianship and an enthusiastic spirit to the music program, and whenever the Choir sings, you can tell that that enthusiasm is contagious.

Tony Ramirez, our Sexton, is a dedicated worker and a heartfelt Christian who wants to be sure that your building is running like a good ship should.

And while I haven’t had personal contact with Tower Day School, the seas of happy faces in the halls attest to the fine job that Sally MacDonald and her staff do on behalf of the community’s younger citizens.

I am grateful for the privilege of having been your Interim Pastor. And while this is, and must be, a definite and complete farewell (no more six-in-the-morning golf games, alas), my heart will always be warm with the memories of my three months at Centre Church.

I’d like to leave you with the words of a modern Wisdom song. The song is Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young”, and it says what I wish for you now and ever:




Yours in Christ—
Rand Peabody

 Rotation Sensation

On Sunday, October 1, workshops will be held for all children and youth ages PreK - 7th Grade. Plan to worship in the sanctuary with your families for the first part of the service after which you will be dismissed to meet in the narthex and go to your workshops. Children and youth will participate in Communion with their families. The 8th Grade Class will be staying in the sanctuary for the full service this Sunday.

Youth Notes

The High School Youth Group will be participating in a Boston Mission Overnight on Oct 13-14. The cost is $40.00. Please let us know by Wednesday, October 4 if you plan to attend. Flyers with detailed information have been mailed out. If you have not received one, please call the church office.

Regular meetings for both Youth Groups will be held this Sunday evening. 5th-8th Grade will meet in Todd Hall and 9th-12th Grade will meet in Richards Hall. Groups will meet from 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Thank You!

Thanks to all who attended the NYC Mission Trip Dinner last Sunday. The Flamingo Fantasy Silent Auction was a great success. We were able to cover the costs of the dinner and then some. Your generous support of the youth here at Centre Church is very much appreciated.

4th Annual Golf Tournament

We held our 4th Annual Centre Congregational Church Golf Tournament last Friday at Thomson Country Club.  It was a great day and we had a great time.  The winning team of Dwight Decker, Jeff Langill and Tony Lucia posted a score of 3 under par.  Great going guys!  This year we had 17 players which is a high for the tournament.  Next year we look to keep the size of the group growing.  Although not all costs have been tabulated it appears as if the net proceeds of approximately $850 will be available to our Missions Committee to put to good use helping others.  See you all next year!

 Phil Johnson

All-Church Flea Market

Save The Date!
An All-Church Flea Market is scheduled for Friday evening, November 3 and Saturday, November 4.
Start putting things aside that you no longer use.

From The Mailbox

Dear Friends,

It is a comfort and support to be part of such a concerned church family as you have been these past weeks.  We are still enjoying the cheerful flowers Earl Richard brought when he visited.  The Prayer Group's concerns have sustained us during this time and this brings peace of mind especially when the days seem dark.  Rand's calls were very uplifting.  His mentioning us in the pastoral prayers give great hope and comfort.  We could not ask for more and we are very grateful.

Jack and Charlotte Orrall

Dear Friends,

Our family truly appreciated the lovely flowers delivered by Margaret Markham on Sunday. It has been a very long good-bye for all. And, the Prayer Chain has been a highlight on this journey. With God’s love and blessings,

Dorsey Holappa and family


Since we are a Congregational Church we try to respond to requests in a democratic manner. After subtle hints and some not so subtle hints over the years, we have happily caved in and are now offering both regular and decaf coffee after church in addition to juice and munchies. Please be patient as the Coffee Hour hosts get used to the new routine.

If you are enjoying Coffee Hour, think about saying yes when you are given this opportunity to serve. We are pleased to use Equal Exchange Coffee, a fair trade product which enables the farmers to earn decent wages, support their families and build a brighter future.

Heifer International - Update on New Barn

Many of you contributed to the rebuilding fund for the new barn at Heifer’s Overlook Farm in Rutland, MA, to replace the one that burned down in March. I'm happy to pass along this report from Dale Perkins, the Manager of Overlook, on plans for building the new barn:

"We have contracted with Hardwick Post and Beam to help design the main barn and put up the frame. The architectural drawings are still being worked on for this. We’ll probably have a 3 day public barn-raising in late October to put up the barn. I’ll send out another update as soon as those dates are set up. There is still a lot of design planning going into this: water, electricity, rest-room facilities, milk room equipment set up, heating, etc. Although the frame raising will be in late October, we will likely be doing some of this construction prior to that date as well as a lot of finish construction afterward, so there will be a number of opportunities and need for help."

I'll give you another update as soon as I have more news. Big thanks to all of you who support Heifer's work!

Sandi Watson, Coordinator for Heifer

Missions Collections

School supplies are still very much needed by the children of families who are clients at Haven from Hunger in Peabody. If each Centre Church family brings just one item on Sunday, we could fill the cart in the narthex! We will accept donations through Sunday, October 1.

Non-perishable foods are also always welcome.

Updated People Book

Our Directory of Members and Friends will be available on October 7. Please call the Church Office with any last-minute changes of information.




October 1

10:00 am

10:00 am

10:00 am

11:30 am

11:30 am

6:00 pm

Holy Communion- Sanctuary

Child Care – Room 14

Rotation Workshops

Welcome Luncheon -Richards

Youth Choir – Choir Room

Youth Groups – Lower Level


October 3

7:00 pm

Knitting Group – Fireside



October 4


Bread & Roses Meal Prep.-



October 5

7:00 pm

7:30 pm

Membership – Pastor’s Ofc.

Senior Choir – Choir Room


Our thoughts and prayers are with Hal Holappa at the Veterans’ Hospital, 200 Springs Rd., Bedford, 01730; Mildred Lisi at SunBridge, 134 North St., N. Reading, 01864; Catherine Newman at Oosterman’s, 93 Laurel St., Melrose, 02176; Jack Turner, at Arnold House, 490 William St., Stoneham, 02180.

We also remember in our prayers, Dana Robinson in Kuwait and Dana’s cousin Michael Propeck in Iraq.


Office Hours

Interim Pastor Rand Peabody will be on call for pastoral emergencies through Saturday, September 30, although his last day in the Church Office will be Thursday, the 28th.

Church Office Hours are 9:00 am – 3:00 p.m. Monday – Friday.

Deadline for Tower Notes is Monday before noon.

Sunday, October 1:
Ushers: George Hayden, Marian Orfeo, Michelle Hagerty, Chris Lambe.
Lay Reader: Linda Ladd.