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

January 24, 2007

 


When the Walking Gets Tough

Ever have surgery for a hip replacement? What about a knee replacement? I haven't, but I've witnessed the rehab and recovery of many parishioners who have and, well, it's hard and painful to walk again. I've known people who have had double knee replacements at the same time! Ugh! An athletic coach might tell an athlete to "walk it off" but it's not always that easy.

While in college I had knee surgery. It left me with no long-term problems. I remember, though, how I was on crutches for 6 weeks while the surgery healed. Actually, walking with crutches was not a big problem because I could travel faster on crutches than others on foot! The problem came after the cast was removed and the crutches gone. I had to learn to walk with that leg again. It was weak and, for a while, tired easily.

But, it's much harder to walk again after a replacement surgery. It's also harder to keep walking when the journey is long and the circumstances discouraging. We all need encouragement and sometimes, depending upon the walk, there is little or none. Those who walked for freedom during the Civil Rights movement were sorely challenged to give it up. A child with disabilities can be sorely challenged to walk when the environment and institutions are not supportive. An abused spouse who is afraid to speak out and ask for help can become very depressed, feeling as if walking, oh so alone, in fear. A talented person can be working in a job in which there is little support and encouragement for the efforts put forth. As a result, that person can have self-doubts, wondering whether it's worth the effort to keep walking.

What do God and scripture tell us about these kinds of "when the walking gets tough" situations?

Via the Prophet Isaiah, "those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Of course, the prophet is talking about walking in faith, believing that we do not walk alone, that God will give us the strength to walk. I've done a lot of walking in my lifetime, including the 2,100 miles of the Appalachian Trail, from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Mt. Katahdin, Maine. Yes, there is a lot of it that is nice, fun, wonderful on the trail. Yet, there are many challenging days. The weather, the insects, the terrain, and the overgrowth. When all of these things seem to gang up on you while you are carrying a 60 pound pack up a 5,000 foot climb it's hard to keep walking. Discouragement can set in. Add to that, blisters and other physical challenges. And this is supposed to be fun? Yet, it's the sense of accomplishing something concrete that is a large part of the reward. And yet, it is also spiritual.

Walking a long, long distance, even for recreation, challenges me to realize that God has given it to me, to us, to accomplish more than we often think. It increases my confidence so that even when I feel I need to stop, give up, throw in the towel, I find that God has given me still more. I know that God gives me, give us, something more. Do not give up. Do not give up hope.

As we journey together in ministry I know that there are and will be challenges. I ask you to keep the faith with me in this journey. I ask you to not give up. I ask you to encourage each other. I ask you to walk even when the walking is very hard. Find it in yourself to find what God has given you that you have not have yet used, something special, something deep, something that comes through the pain, the sorrow, and the grief. God will not let you down if you ask him to help you walk. Jesus Christ redeemed the walk of faith as he died to earthly walking and was born again to the spiritual walk toward eternity. Follow the light of Christ that does not go out and together we will walk with Christ. And even those who cannot walk, we will carry, push, and pull, in faith.

Yours in Christ,
Dennis

 


 

IN THE SANCTUARY

January 28, 2007

Luke 4:21-30

10:00 A.M. Morning Worship

Sacrament of Baptism

Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
"Duck for Cover" (Jesus’ first sermon)

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.

 


 

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 nation’s 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 nearly new paperback books to the box provided in the Narthex by Sunday, January 28th.

Youth planning to go to Quincy to volunteer on Feb. 3 need to let us know by Jan. 29.

 

 

Rotation Sensation

Nursery care is provided for infants-age 3. All are welcome.

The focus for this unit is "Boy Jesus in the Temple" and comes from the book of Luke. Please join in the fun of learning as children ages 4 – 7th grade participate in workshops to gain a better understanding about the Bible and life of Jesus. All are welcome.

8th Graders will continue to meet in the Pastor’s Outer office to focus on "God’s World, Our Environment."

 

 

Parenting Your Teen, A Six-Week Seminar

The Parenting your Teenager seminar is under way! Mary Ann Parker and Barbara Nickerson are leading this discussion each Monday evening. Topics such as turmoil, identity, rebellion and legacy are included. The meeting begins in the movie room for a brief presentation followed by a round table discussion. This meeting is open to all who wish to attend. You need not have a teenager to join the discussion. We look forward to seeing you Monday evening at 6:30.

 

 

Youth Group News

All those who signed up to go snow tubing should meet in the church parking lot this Sunday evening, January 28 at 4:45 p.m. We will leave at 5:00 sharp and arrive back at the church at 9:00. Kindly have a ride waiting for you!

Sunday morning, Feb. 4 members of our Middle School Youth Group will be on hand to collect for the Souper Bowl of Caring. We are asking that each member of the congregation drop a dollar in the soup pot to help raise money for those in need.

Middle School Youth should all have received information on the Lock-In/White Water Rafting trip. You must respond on or before February 4. (Please note there is no Youth Group on that night, so permission slips will need to be returned in person or by mail to be received before the 4th.)

There will be NO Youth Group Meetings on February 4.

 

 

Ash Wednesday for Renewal of Baptism

Ash Wednesday is February 21st. We will be holding a 7 pm service that evening in the Chapel for the Renewal of Baptism. While most churches who hold Ash Wednesday services practice the Imposition of the Ashes we are offering something different.

We acknowledge that Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the season of Lent, the 40 days leading up to Easter. Instead of ashes we will use the symbol of water to wash away our uncleanness and our sin. We will confess our sins, receive absolution, recall the meaning of our baptism, renew our vows, and receive the blessing of water as a sign of the renewal of our baptism.

We invite you to come and begin the season of Lent with a time of spiritual reflection, united in faith, redeemed in God's love, and blessed, again, with the water of Baptism that grants us all inclusion into God's community of faith. This is not a re-baptism, but a renewal.

Not baptized? If you have never been baptized and would like to be, I invite you to contact me to discuss baptism. This service is a nice setting in which older children and adults can be baptized if they have not been. If you would like more information, please call Rev. Dr. Bailey, 781-334-3050 or email: pastor@centre-church.org.

 

 

News From Around the Parish

We extend our love and sympathy to Cindy Trayers and her family upon the death of her mother-in-law, Marion Trayers of Lynnfield. Services will be private.

Our congratulations to Marge Cole who will celebrate her 95th Birthday on January 26.

Please note these recent address changes:

 

 

Mike Dunfee’s Installation

You are cordially invited to the Installation of our former Interim Pastor, Mike Dunfee as Pastor of First Trinitarian Congregational Church, UCC in Scituate MA on Sunday, January 28 at 3:00 p.m. First Trinitarian is located at 381 Country Way in Scituate. Directions to the church are printed out and available on the table in the narthex.

 

 

Backpacking Trip This Coming Summer

Would you like to go on a 4-day backpacking trip on the Appalachian or Long Trail with some of the good people from Centre Church? Do you like to hike and camp on the trail but would not try it alone? Would you like to go on such a trip with an experienced backpacker? If so, please give the following some thought.

Rev. Dr. Bailey has extensive backpacking experience. He has led many trips for groups of up to 8 people on 4-day, 3-night trips. We would hike about 10 miles a day, camp out, cook and share meals together, and camp in tents and/or shelters on the trail. The cost of the trip would be shared equally which would include food, gas, and, possibly shelter fees. No previous experience necessary although a test hike on Mt. Monadnock might be required on a Saturday prior to the trip. This is for persons age 14 and older.

Interested? If so, please call or email Rev. Dr. Bailey, 781-334-3050, pastor@centre-church.org. If enough people are interested a trip will be planned. First come, first served.

 

 

From the Mailbox

Dear Centre Church Friends,

My appreciation to all who wished me well with their many thoughtful cards and calls. Dennis helped to boost my spirits, as did Barbara Ericson when she delivered the lovely church flowers. They have been a daily reminder of the caring ways of Centre Church. My thanks to all.

Fondly, Ginny Daniels

 


 

OUR OPPORTUNITIES

Sunday

January 28

10:00 am

10:00 am

10:00 am

11:30 am

11:30 am

4:45-9 pm

Morning Worship – Sanctuary

Rotation Workshops

Nursery – Room 14

Youth Choir – Choir Room

Confirmatoin Class #4 - Pastor’s Office

Youth Groups go Tubing

Monday

January 29

6:00 pm

6:30 pm

Confirmatoin Class #4 – Pastor’s Office

Parenting Teens Group

Tuesday

January 30

7:00 pm

Knitting Group – Fireside Room

Wednesday

January 31

7:00 pm

Parish Council – Pastor’s Office

Thursday

February 1

7:30 pm

Senior Choir – Choir Room

Friday

February 2

10:30 am

Scripture Study – Pastor’s Office

Saturday

February 3

9am –

2:30 pm

Senior High Youth to Quincy to

Volunteer at Prison Book Prog.

Our thoughts and prayers are with 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 Oosterman’s 93 Laurel St., Melrose, 02176; Jack Turner at Arnold House, 490 William St., Stoneham, 02180; and Myrna Shorey and Carol White recuperating at home. We also remember Michael Blute in Iraq.

 

Sunday, January 28, 2007
Head Usher: Marge Robins
Lay Reader: Sue Johnson
Coffee Hour: Marcia Waugh and Barbara Horwood
Flower Delivery: Edie and Earl Richard