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 31, 2007
Animals As Our Spiritual Guides
When I was a boy growing up on our farm, we had pets. We had a dog named Ted. Ted was a "mutt" but he was a purebred to us. He was purely our close friend, member of our family, and we loved him. He worked the fields with us, running beside the farm tractors and equipment, standing on the hay wagons with us, and playing with my brother and me for hours on end.
Ted was always glad to see us. He loved to run, to play, to work. He seemed tireless. I felt that in Ted, I experienced the unconditional love of God.
Ted was even capable of protecting us. We had some neighbors who had the same bus stop as ours. They would bring their Boxer to the bus stop to intimidate us. We were scared of the Boxer. They said that their dog would tear our dog, Ted, to shreds, which scared us even more. One day, Ted came with us to the bus stop. I feared Ted was doomed. Yet, he scared off the Boxer in nothing flat. Nothing flat! Our neighbors were mad, but I was so relieved I could have hugged and kissed Ted for days. Maybe I did.
We also had cats. We had lots of cats. I loved seeing the baby kittens right after they were born in the straw of the barn. Occasionally I would see mother cat moving the kittens to a new nest by carrying them by the scruff of their neck. So cute! I spent hours and days playing with the cats and kittens, pulling string behind me for them to follow and try to catch. I picked them up to hold them close, gave them loves as they gave me purring comfort, rubbing their gentle faces against mine.
What is clear is that God has blessed our animals and blessed us through the animals. And God requests of us that we in turn bless God through blessing the animals. For "the Lord is good to all and compassionate toward all his works" (Psalm 145).
Yours in Christ,
This week's column is dedicated to "Buddy," a beautiful, loving Beagle and to "Bentley" an adorable and adored Bijon. It is also inspired by Megan, Samantha, and Digby White, who will be presenting the Children's Message on February 18th.
IN THE SANCTUARY
February 4, 2007
Fifth Sunday after Epiphany
10:00 A.M. Holy Communion
Sermon by the Rev. Dr.
Dennis C. Bailey
"Lets Go Fishing!"
Students may enjoy Communion with their families before going to Rotation Workshops.
Service broadcast on Lynnfield Cable Channel 10 or 28 and Peabody Cable Channel 10 on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.
Welcome to Visitors
This past Sunday we were honored to receive four visitors. They were friends of Rev. Dr. Bailey's from his work in Billerica. It was nice to see them and to make them feel welcome.
We also welcomed visitors for the Baptisms of Sophie Jeralyn Lanciani and Allison Meredith Morley. It's always nice to welcome visitors. Thanks for helping them to feel welcome
Backpacking Trip This Summer
Thus far there are at least three adults and one youth signed up for the Backpacking Trip, with at least two others seriously interested, pending a day hike test. If you are interested in going on a 4-day backpacking trip on the Appalachian or Long Trail with some of the good people from Centre Church please contact me.
I have extensive backpacking experience. I have 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 me, Rev. Dr. Bailey, 781-334-3050, email@example.com. If enough people are interested a trip will be planned. First come, first served.
Prison Book Program
The High School Youth Group will meet in the church parking lot at 9 am on Saturday, Feb. 3 to carpool into Quincy to volunteer at the Prison Book Program. If you have any paperback books you want to donate, be sure to bring them to the narthex by FRIDAY, Feb. 2.
Baptisms: Anyone wishing baptism for their children and/or themselves should feel free to contact Rev. Dr. Bailey, 781-334-3050, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annual Giving Statements
Annual Giving Statements were mailed to everyone this week. These reports show all contributions deductible for tax purposes made during the full year 2006. If you have any questions about your statement, please contact Sue Johnson at 781-598-5678.
Last Sunday night, 32 youth set out for a night of Tubing at Nashoba Valley. Fun was had by all! We would like to thank the chaperones who helped out and the parents who sent along brownies for snacks. We would like to also thank parents for promptly picking up their children at 9:00! We did find a few items left behind on the bus. If your child is missing a hat or glove, look for them in the Lost and Found box in the coat room by the Summer Street door.
Permission slips are due by Sunday, February 4th for any middle school youth wishing to attend the middle school lock-in/rafting trip in May. Notices were sent home to all middle school youth group members. Kindly mail your permission slip back along with your deposit in order to ensure a rafting ticket. Tickets sell out fast! All questions about the trip should be directed to Jill Couillard in the church office or at home in the evening (781)231-1670.
On February 4th Middle School Youth should meet Jill Couillard in the Narthex at 9:45 to talk about the Souper Bowl of Caring. As many of you know, the middle school youth will be holding soup pots after church to collect donations for My Brothers Table and Bread and Roses. All members of the congregation are encouraged to drop a dollar into the pot.
From the Mailbox
Dear Centre Church Friends, Thank you for your get well thoughts and prayers during my recent illness and hospitalization. I want to thank Dennis for his calls, visit, concern and prayers, all of which were a great comfort to me. Special thanks to Sue Gustavsen for delivering the lovely "church flowers" to my home. Sincerely, Myrna Shorey
Teen Parenting Seminar
Our PARENTING YOUR TEENAGER seminar continues each Monday night at 6:30 in the Movie Room. Round table discussions follow short movie clips and inspire us to talk about issues such as identity, turmoil, rebellion and legacy. Please join us this Monday night as we continue learning about this age group. It is important to note that you need not have attended previous meetings in order to join in the discussion, all are welcome. It is also important to note that a wide variety of age groups have been represented from parents with teens, to grandparents trying to understand their grandchildrens world, to the parent whose child has not yet reached adolescence. Again, all are welcome.
The Scripture Study Class meets each Friday from 10:30-11:30 a.m. in the Pastors Outer Office. All are welcome to come to enjoy the fellowship and discussion.
We have openings for opportunities to donate flowers for the altar on Sundays February 4th and February 18th. Please call the church office 781-334-3050 if you are interested.
Support for this class is needed in the form of lunch for the group which gathers after church each Sunday and a snack for the group that meets on Monday evenings. Call Mary Ann Parker if you can help in this way. (781-334-4335)
News From Around the Parish
We rejoice with Stephen and Erin Lanciani upon the baptism of their daughter, Sophie Jeralyn Lanciani on January 28. The Lanciani family lives at 135 Locksley Road in Lynnfield
We rejoice with Ryan and Diane Morley upon the baptism of their daughter, Allison Meredith Morley on January 28. The Morley family lives at 123 Albert Road, Peabody.
Musical Happenings in Lynnfield
February 8th, 7:00 p.m.
High School/Middle School Pops Concert
Lynnfield High Auditorium
February 11th, 2:00-4:00 p.m.
High School Jazz Ensembles Present
Lynnfield High Auditorium
"Lynnfield Idol" Finals
Lynnfield High Auditorium
Open every day to receive Redeemable Bottles and Cans, Aluminum Can Pull Tabs, Used Eyeglasses, Non-Perishable Food, Travel Size Toiletries, Used Cell Phones (numbers erased with charger), knitted squares. Please Note that we will not receive donations of house wares for Bridge House until further notice.
Nursery Room 14
Youth Choir Choir Room
Confirmation Class #5 - Pastors Office
No Youth Groups Today
Class #5 Pastors Office
Parenting Teens Group
Stewardship Comm- Upstairs Office
|7:00 pm||Knitting Group Fireside Room|
|9:00 am||Bread & Roses Meal Preparation|
|No Choir This Week|
|10:30 am||Scripture Study Pastors Office|
Our thoughts and prayers are with Rose Giunta at Mt. Auburn Hospital, 330 Mt. Auburn St., Cambridge 02138; 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.
We also remember Michael Blute in Iraq.
Sunday, February 4, 2007
Ushers and Lay Reader: Boy Scout Troop #48
Deacons: George Hayden, Jeff Law, Judith Doe, Mark Meehl and Karen Harrington
Coffee Hour: Camille Ernest and Debbie Cotting
Flower Delivery: Chuck Cotting and Mary Beth Weilandt