Centre Congregational Church
We Welcome Everyone:
An "Open & Affirming" Church
(781) 334-3050;Fax: (781) 334-6463; Email: Office@Centre-Church.org
The Rev. Dr. Dennis
C. Bailey, Pastor - Pastor@Centre-Church.org
January 17, 2007
Some would say that it's a bit unusual to be able to take walks this time of year in New England without snow, ice, and piles of snow to impede our progress. Some would say, and I would agree, that it's been unusually warm. Today, as I write this, we were supposed to have an early morning ice storm, but with the temperature rising it was just another rainy day. So, I used this, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, to take a walk in the rain. It was nice, actually, because it was not raining very hard and it was not windy. The temperature was about 32 degrees.
I love walking on such a day because I can be alone, more secluded than walking on a normal day. There are less people out walking. With my rain gear on, including a hooded raincoat, I feel even more secluded, cloistered, even. While I am a self-proclaimed people person, I also enjoy my silent and alone time. Walking in the rain, listening to the rain drops hitting my hood, and, as my route would have it, stopping to listen to the streams, gives me the opportunity to be in touch with nature. Well, I was not exactly alone because there were lots of geese on the particular property where I like to walk. But this too gives me another connection with nature.
Am I walking with God? I don't know, but I hope so. I know that God has promised to walk with me, with you, and with everyone else. My faith tells me that I am not alone, even in the silence. Sometimes I turn around thinking I hear God's footsteps behind me, beside me.
The walks alone help me to clear my head, to reflect upon my life, my work, and yes, even the ministerial tasks I have to prioritize and give my attention to in the near and distant future. Walking on a Monday is usually reserved for reflecting on the work of the most recent Sunday worship and other activities like the 11:30 am Confirmation Class. Even while I walk, though, I am aware that I have to write to you by means of this column every week. And so, I search for topics, themes, scriptures, and/or experiences of which I can write that might have meaning for you as well as for me.
Today, being the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday, I thought about the Walks for Justice and Freedom, the Marches on Washington, and the many other walks that took place so as to heighten awareness, to accomplish justice via the Civil Rights Movement.
I want the journey of my feet in their walk to make a difference for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and for the sake of justice for the lives of others. I want my walk in Christ to help make the lives of others better. I want to be able to walk with others so as to keep them company as so many others have walked with me, bringing to me the presence of Christ's love. When I walk with others I am inspired and challenged by their stories of faith and wisdom. My walk with others helps me to understand their journeys, the conditions in which they have walked and continue to walk, the reasons they walk the way they do, and all that they may have to contend with in walking.
I applaud those who keep the faith when their walks are challenging. I applaud those who walk so that others will be fed. I am honored to walk with people who model for me great faith, after more years of life than me and still, they keep a cheerful and dedicated spirit seeking to walk and bring joy to others.
Jesus Christ walked in order to teach, to heal, to pray, to lead, to give life, to die and to rise to new life. As a result, he always walks with us because his last walk on earth was one of victory over all that would prevent us from walking in freedom.
I am honored to be considered among those who walk as disciples. I am especially honored to be able to walk with you and so many other believers, in faith, in hope, and in service. I pray you are aware of the footsteps of Christ and his company of believers.
Yours in Christ,
IN THE SANCTUARY
January 21, 2007
Third Sunday after Epiphany
I Samuel 15:10-35 16:1-13
10:00 A.M. Morning Worship
Sermon by the Rev. Dennis C.
"The King and the Closet"
Children may worship with their families before going to Rotation Workshops.
Service Broadcast on Lynnfield Cable Channel 10 or 28 and Peabody Cable Channel 10 at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday.
From Outreach Ministries
The generosity of the Centre Church community continues. The "Give-a-Palooza" Alternative Giving Fair allowed us to support (generously) not only Heifer International, but also to buy blankets for those in Pakistan through Church World Service, continue to sponsor relief efforts in the South both through the UCC "Hope Shall Bloom" project and those in Diamond Head, LA, and support our neighbors at the Lynn Shelter Association. The socks, sweatshirts, and other needed items under the tree were delivered to the Salem Mission, and the Christmas Offering was split between African concerns through Church World Service and My Brother's Table. Thank you.
Please continue to bring things to the Missions Pantry which is open every day to receive Redeemable Bottles and Cans, Pull Tabs from Aluminum Cans, Used Eyeglasses, Travel Size Toiletries, Non-Perishable Food, Used Cell Phones (numbers erased with charger included) and Knitted Squares. Bless You.
Youth Group News
Time Change for Sun., January 21: Both Youth Groups will meet from 4:00-5:30 p.m. We will still be having dinner, discussion and games. Everyone should be home in time for the Patriots Game!
Tubing: We will leave promptly at 4:45 p.m. to go to Nashoba Valley on Sunday, January 28. Permission slips and reservations must be made ahead of time. Call Jill or Barbara in the church office by Jan. 21st to ensure a spot. The cost is $20.00 and this includes transportation by bus, lift ticket, cocoa and brownies.
Parenting Your Teenager
Educational Ministries is happy to present a six-week Bible Study beginning this Monday, January 22nd led by Mary Ann Parker and Barbara Nickerson. The seminars are comprised of videos, discussion and scripture. Join us each Monday evening in the movie room on the 2nd floor at 6:30 p.m. for inspiration and great discussion.
We will be starting a new rotation this Sunday. Our focus will be "Boy Jesus in the Temple" from Luke 2:41-52. Children and youth will participate in the art, cooking, movie and upper room workshops.
8th grade youth will resume meeting in the Pastors Outer Office. The new unit will be "Gods World, Our Environment".
Food for the Spiritually Hungry
This years Confirmation Class of 14 9th graders and their sponsors has begun. We need your support for this program in the form of a light lunch for the Sunday after-church class and a light snack for the Monday evening class. Please contact Mary Ann Parker if you can help out: 781-334-4335 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You Are Invited!
All women are invited to attend the Get-Together Wheel Meeting on Tuesday, January 23 at 12:30 p.m. in the Fireside Room to hear the Rev. Pat Bade, who is a storyteller of Irish and Native American ancestry. She is descended from the Penobscot people of Maine where she learned her traditions from her grandmother and other generous elders. She is also Irish and Scottish. If you are interested in joining us, please call either Jane Vancor or Donna Marino by Friday, Jan. 19. This will help in planning refreshments and seating. Please join us. This is a great way to meet new people too. Donna Marino (781) 581-2022
Jane Vancor (781) 334-4777
From the Mailbox
Dear Centre Church Friends, I sincerely thank you for your prayers, cards and get-well messages at the time of my hip surgery and rehab. Each day brings improvement. Thank you to Mary Warnock for delivering the gorgeous flowers. I especially thank our Pastor, the Rev. Dr. Dennis Bailey for his kind, caring visits.
News From Around the Parish
We extend our love and prayers to Edie Richard and her family upon the death of her brother-in-law, Donald Martin of Hershey, PA.
We extend our sympathy to the family and friends of Doris Strout-McKay on January 13. Her funeral will be held in Peabody on January 18.
Prison Book Drive
The High School Youth Group will be participating in the Prison Book Program. Prisoners send a letter to this organization requesting books and volunteers then try to fill their requests. The Prison Book Program can rarely match requests for specific titles, as the selection is limited to what has been donated, but they do try to make a wide variety of books available and do their best to find something that fits the interests of the prisoner. With 2 million people locked up in our nations federal and state prisons and with educational programming being drastically cut, the need for this service has never been greater. Please help by bringing new or very good condition paperback books to the box provided in the Narthex by Sunday, Jan. 28.
In addition to popular fiction and other general interest books, the following subjects are in constant demand:
Nursery Room 14
Youth Choir Choir Room
Confirmation Class #3 -- Pastors Office
Youth Groups Lower Level
Class #3 Pastors Office
Parenting Teens Seminar Movie Rm
Wheel - Fireside Room
Knitting Group Fireside Room
|7:30 pm||Senior Choir Choir Room|
|10:30 am||Scripture Study Pastors Office|
Our thoughts and prayers are with Myrna Shorey and Carol White at Salem Hospital; Glady Davis, Wingate at Andover Rehab, 80 Andover St., Andover, MA 01810; Hal Holappa at the Veterans Hospital, 200 Springs Rd., Bedford, 01730; Mildred Lisi at SunBridge, 134 North St., N. Reading, 01864; Catherine Newman at Oostermans 93 Laurel St., Melrose, 02176; Jack Turner at Arnold House, 490 William St., Stoneham, 02180; Martha Nelson, Ginny Daniels and Rose Guinta recuperating at home. We also remember Michael Blute in Iraq.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Head Usher: Jeff Law
Lay Reader: Kathi Martin
Coffee Hour: Donna Marino
Flower Delivery: Sue Gustavsen