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: Office@Centre-Church.org
5 Summer Street, Lynnfield, Massachusetts 01940

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

November 29, 2006



The Blessing of Hope in Advent

We are all looking for signs of hope in times of crisis that things will get better. We are all looking for signs of hope that the war in Iraq will end. We are all looking for signs of hope that our children will make it through school, the challenges of peer pressure, the challenges of academics, and the snares of temptation of things that they are not allowed to purchase over the counter. We are all looking for hope that we will be able to afford good medical care as we grow older. Some of us are currently looking for personal hope, that the surgery will go well, that recovery will occur without complications, that strength and health will return.

Hope gives us excitement, the rush of anticipation, and the eagerness of new opportunities. Hope can help us believe in ourselves, again. Hope can give us a positive attitude. Nothing gives us hope more than friends who reach out to us in times of crisis. I have been greatly blessed to have had so many friends who have reached out to me and my family throughout the years when times have been tough. I have often felt like giving up, been on the verge of giving up, when friends came to me, called me, wrote to me with special words of love and compassion. Many of these same friends have provided for me resources like opportunities to talk, to share, to cry, to laugh. Many have provided me meals, special gifts, and even places to stay in the comfort of their home, a shelter from the storm. Others have helped me by looking to me to share some of my own ideas, resources, professional skills and such with them, giving me hope by asking me to help them! In so doing they have re-affirmed my worth, the contributions that I can make toward others, and thereby giving me hope that I still have a purpose to fulfill.

Watch for signs of hope, for the presence of Christ in our midst. Watch and welcome acts of kindness and generosity given toward you and/or toward others. Be a sign of hope by extending caring and compassion toward others. Know that whatever act of hope that we extend will be blessed by God to give hope and faith to others.

Scriptures of Advent Hope

Isaiah 65:17-25: New heavens and a new earth
Micah 5:2-5: A new ruler is promised
Jeremiah 33:14-16: A righteous branch is promised

Yours in the Hope of Advent,
Dennis

 



IN THE SANCTUARY

December 3, 2006 – First Sunday in Advent

10:00 A.M. Holy Communion

Jeremiah 33:14-16 and Luke 21:25-36

Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
"
Ready or Not Jesus Comes"

Children may worship with their families before going to Chapel.

Service broadcast on Lynnfield Cable Channel 10 (Comcast) or Channel 28 (Verizon) and Peabody Cable Channel 10 at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday.

 


 

Christmas Pageant Preparation

The Christmas Pageant will be presented during our Sunday morning worship service on December 24 (10:00 a.m.) Rehearsals will be held during rotation workshop time on December 3, 10 and 17 as well as one rehearsal in the sanctuary the morning before the pageant (Dec. 23). Every child, infant through 8th grade is welcome to participate. There are speaking and non-speaking roles. Preparing for the pageant will be fun for all, even those unavailable to participate on December 24 as we will spend rehearsal time discussing the Christmas story and making props, in addition to practicing for the pageant.

 

 

Centre Church Budget 2006 to 2007

At a Special Congregational Meeting held on November 19, 2006 the local expense budget for Centre Church was presented and approved.  You may note that this is the first full year budget that corresponds with our new fiscal year which runs from July though June of the following year.  This budget is available at the church office or can be mailed to you on request. We did not produce an Annual Report for this six month transition period ending June 2006, so we are distributing the budget in this way as an exception.  Next year we will include it in the Annual Report once again which will be produced after the close of our new fiscal year which ends in June 2007.

You may also note that for the 6 month budget ending June 2006 and this full year budget ending June 2007 are both balanced budgets.  That is very good news and refreshing results knowing that we have had a series of deficit budgets over the past decade or so. Thanks to all who prepared this budget, and most notably Dwight Decker, our Treasurer, who pulled it together.  If you have any questions about this budget please ask Dwight, a member of Parish Council or me.

Phil Johnson, Moderator


 

Claxton Fruitcake

will be available after worship on Sundays

from members of the Get-Together Wheel.

The cost is $4.00 per bar.

 


Youth Group News

Please note that there will be NO Youth Group meetings this Sunday, December 3. We encourage all of our youth to come enjoy the Advent Workshop or volunteer to help. Our next meeting will be the Christmas Party on December 10. Please bring a small grab gift ($10 limit) which would be good for boys and girls. We will have fun swapping gifts, playing games and sharing a meal.

 

 

Church Membership

We are hosting a Church Information Seminar on Sunday, December 10, 11:30 a.m. in the meeting room adjacent to the Pastor's Office.  Anyone who is considering joining Centre Church is invited to attend this seminar.  If you have decided that you wish to become a member of Centre Congregational Church you are invited to attend this seminar.  If you are not currently a member of the Church, we extend an invitation to you to join now.  Please come and learn about our church.  "We welcome all candidates for membership who confess their faith in Jesus Christ and endeavor to live according to His Law of Love" (Centre Church Bylaws, Article V, Section 1).  For more information please call Rev. Dr. Bailey, 781-334-3050 or email him at pastor@centre-church.org

 

 

Parenting Your Teenager – Bible Study

A six-week parenting seminar will be offered this coming January on Monday nights. The study is comprised of videos including the topics of identity; turmoil; rebellion; and legacy. Parents will examine scripture to find helpful tools for good parenting. The study will be led by Mary Ann Parker and Barbara Nickerson. Look for more information soon.

 

 

Cookbooks on Sale after Church

Centre Church Cookbooks will be available for sale after church for the next few weeks. These books are packed with great recipes from your friends at Centre Church. We are selling them at a reduced price of $5.99 each. They will make a great gift for anyone on your list.

 

 

Advent Workshop and Alternative Gift Fair - December 3

This year’s Advent Workshop will be held after Worship on Sunday, Dec. 3 in Richards Hall. We will have crafts, caroling and refreshments. At the same time, "Give-A-Palooza:  An Alternative Giving Fair" will be hosted by the Missions Commission in Todd Hall. Honor your family and friends with a donation to one or more of the following organizations. Honor cards for holiday giving will be available.

 If you cannot be present on December 3, you may make a donation to the charity of your choice in the church office and receive an honor card.

Heifer International provides the opportunity for individuals, families and communities to become independent in acquiring both food and income.  These animals, along with training in their care, will go to struggling families working to improve their lives.  For example, purchasing a flock of chicks for $20 will provide both eggs to eat and sell to the community, along with food for the table.  Many animals, from llamas to bees are available for purchase.

Church World Service is a humanitarian multi-denominational ministry that provides disaster relief and refugee assistance in over 80 countries.  You can purchase 2 blankets used for disaster relief for $10, a Health Kit (toothbrush, soap, towel, etc) for $20, or any amount will be forwarded to assist in on-going relief, particularly in the area of the Pakistani earthquake victims who are still struggling to recover.

"Hope Shall Bloom" is the United Church of Christ Recovery Fund in place to assist those in need as a result of the Gulf hurricanes of last year.  Staff members will work with devastated communities to plan for identifying and meeting the "unmet" needs of their communities-those that might fall through the cracks.  It is predicted that recovery time will take 7 to 10 years.

Lynn Shelter Association seeks, through the provision of supportive services, advocacy, and affordable housing, to end homelessness.  The Association includes the Lynn Emergency Shelter, a 40 bed shelter where men and women can find safe and warm shelter, along with support services as needed.  Bridge House is an 11-unit family shelter which attempts to bridge the gap between homelessness and independent living.  Support services, along with skill building are also available.

 

 

The Giving Tree

During the month of December New Items for the Salem Mission may be placed under the Giving Tree in the narthex.

  • Socks (all sizes)
  • Sweatshirts and Sweatpants (all sizes)
  • Underwear (all sizes)
  • Hats, Mittens and Gloves
  • Blankets and Sheets for the shelter (single)
  •  

     

    Thank You! Thank You!

    Dear Friends,

    Who is my brother’s keeper? You Are. For your generous donation of turkeys you made it possible to help the least of these and to show the true meaning of love. Blessings to you from the Haven from Hunger.

    The Knitting Group has produced over 300 squares (enough for at least 6 afghans) for the Peabody Red Cross. In addition, 37 hats have been made for homeless veterans and several baby hats for area hospitals. The work and fun continue each Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. in the Fireside Room. All are welcome.

     

     

    Poinsettias

    If you would like to donate poinsettias to help grace the sanctuary this Christmas, please fill out the form available by clicking here and returning it to the office by Monday, December 4.

     



    OUR OPPORTUNITIES

     

    Sunday

    December 3

    10:00 am

    10:00 am

    10:00 am

    11:30 am

    Holy Communion - Sanctuary

    Rotation Workshops- Chapel

    Child Care – Room 14

    Advent Workshop & Alternative Giving Fair – Lower Level

    Tuesday

    December 5

    12:30 pm

    7:00 pm

    Get-Together Wheel – Fireside

    Knitting Group – Fireside Room

    Wednesday

    December 6

    9:00 am

    Bread & Roses Meal Preparation

    Thursday

    December 7

    7:30 pm

    Senior Choir – Choir Room

    Friday

    December 8

    10:30 am

    Scripture Study – Pastor’s Office

     

    Our thoughts and prayers are with Marion Edkins at Salem Hospital; Carol Carter at Lahey Clinic; Marge Cole at Renaissance Gardens, 400 Brooksby Village Dr., Peabody, 01960; 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; and Barbara Wright Watson recuperating at home. We also remember in our prayers Michael Blute in Iraq.