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

February 7, 2007




This past Sunday was Boy Scout Sunday at Centre Church, but it could also have been called Mentoring Sunday.

The Boy Scouts of America Troop #48 were our ushers and readers. They presented Centre Church with a plaque denoting their gratitude for our sponsorship of the troop. The plaque will soon hang on the wall in Todd Hall. We are proud to host the Scouts of Troop #48 and Cub Pack #48. Maybe we should be presenting them with honors, given all of the hard work the adult leaders and the scouts themselves do to develop their leadership skills and to serve others.

In each of the three churches I have pastored in my career there has been an active Boy Scout Troop and often a Cub Pack. In my last parish, we hosted meetings of over 20 Girl Scout Troops a week. I love seeing the activities that the troops and packs organize to help the children and youth learn and grow, have fun, and explore the out-of-doors. In Billerica I loved seeing the boys and their fathers getting ready to take off for a weekend of camping and hiking. On their return, there were always interesting stories to be heard! Rev. Dr. Calvin B. Kool twice showed up at a campout on an early Sunday morning to lead a short worship service! For some reason he doesn’t mind the cold like I do.

I got to thinking, yesterday, about the role of mentoring involved in Scouting, but also in the spiritual life of a congregation.

"A Mentor is...someone who possesses more experience, spiritual maturity, accumulated wisdom, or a combination of all three than we do. Typically, a mentor fuels our faith journey in intentional and direct ways and helps us discern a faithful life course. A mentor may be someone who helped us sort out our call and entry into ministry. A mentor may be the person we touch base with once or twice a year just to check our bearings.... Mentors do not use their spiritual maturity as a weapon or as license to create a relationship of superiority. Instead, mentors graciously see their role as fellow travelers and offer appropriate support and guidance." (Kenda Creasy Dean and Ron Foster, "The Godbearing Life.")

Mentors are often those who stand back and let us succeed and/or fail so that we learn and grow in faith and leadership. Organizations like Boy and Girl Scouting, Rainbow Girls, Church Youth Groups, the School Bands and Choirs, and Sports Teams give our youth the opportunity to learn and test out their leadership skills. How many of us, including myself would not be in leadership positions today if it were not for such opportunities experienced under the presence of outstanding mentors?

One of my first and best educational mentors was Mr. Hogan, my elementary school band teacher. He was kind, gentle, and very supportive. I was a fledgling drummer. He gave me the opportunity to play the bass drum for the Sixth District Elementary School band. I thought it was the only band in the whole world and I got to play the bass drum!! What an honor. I did my best to maintain a steady beat. That, for me, was where my own leadership skills began.

Mr. Hogan was a good, very good, mentor. He didn't beat the drum for me. He didn't yell at me. He just encouraged, helped me learn the music on the printed page, and taught us all how to work together as a team. He was always there, helping to teach us how to play and how to set up for the concerts and special events at the school. With a smile on his face, he seemed always glad to see his students and made me feel, as I'm sure he made every student feel, as if I had something very special to offer.

I used to watch Mr. Hogan interact with the other students, with the parents, with the teachers. I admired him because he gave each person, whether student or adult, the same kind and considerate attention. I wanted to grow up and be just like him, whatever I grew up to do. You see, he was my mentor in ways beyond the beat of a drum. He was the example that God set before me to follow.

In scripture we see examples of spiritual mentoring: Elijah and Elisha, Naomi and Ruth, Paul and Timothy, Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26-40) and yes, Jesus and his disciples.

Who have been and are your mentors? Openness to God, integrity, and a presence that creates space for others to grow and experience the living God, are key characteristics in mentoring.

Feel free to tell me about them either in person and/or email. Maybe we can put some of these together for further reflection somehow, sometime. Nothing impacts me more than personal reflections about how God has been at work in your lives through our "chance" encounters with God's mentors. Even now, people who are my peers of all ages, serve to mentor me. Thank you God!

Yours in Christ,

P.S. Years later I ran into Mr. Hogan. He became the High School Band Teacher where he mentored into his retirement! Good for him, but even better for the students!



February 11, 2007

Jeremiah 17:5-10 Luke 6:17-26

10:00 A.M. Morning Worship

Reception of New Members
Thank You to Bread & Roses Volunteers

Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
"Blessing or Curse? You Decide"

Students may worship with families before going to Rotation Workshops.

Service broadcast on Lynnfield Cable Channels 10 or 28 and Peabody Cable Channel 10 at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday.



Thank You to Bread and Roses Volunteers

We wish to express our appreciation to all those who have assisted in any way in the once-a-month meal preparation for the Bread and Roses program in Lawrence. Please join us on February 11th at the worship service for a prayer of thanks. If you have helped, we wish to acknowledge your participation.



Baptism Anyone?

At least one young adult has expressed interest in receiving the Sacrament of Baptism.  If there is anyone else (child, youth, or adult) interested in receiving the Sacrament of Baptism please contact me.   We are considering offering Baptism at the Ash Wednesday Service for those who have never been baptized but would like to be.  Please contact me, Rev. Dr. Bailey, 781-334-3050,  All are welcome here!  No matter who you are or where you are from.



"Parenting Your Teenager" Seminar

We continue to meet on Monday evenings at 6:30 p.m. Mary Ann Parker and Barbara Nickerson have been donating their time to lead the discussion. Since each week is run independently and does not necessarily build upon the previous week, you may join at any time. In fact, bring a friend! You do not need to have a teenager at this time to add to and benefit from the discussion. We will meet 3 more times (Feb. 12, Feb. 26 and March 5.) Hope to see you on Monday in the Movie Room on the 2nd floor.



Youth Group News

High School and Middle School youth groups will be meeting from 6-7:30 pm on Sunday, Feb 11. Parents, please plan to join us at 7 pm, when you will have the opportunity to sign up as a dinner provider and receive the Feb-June calendar.



Prison Book Program

Thanks to all who donated books for the Prison Book Program. We were able to bring in over 6 boxes of books to help fill requests from prisoners across the country. Six High School youth and two adults volunteered at the Prison Book Program this Saturday. Each volunteer was able to read a letter and then try to find the books requested. We learned that many prisons have strict regulations: some only allow 2-3 books to be sent and others require that only new books be sent. Many of the books we brought were used immediately. Prisoners have little or no access to quality reading material inside prison. At the same time most of them can’t afford to purchase books from outside sources. Family and friends of prisoners can’t send in books. It is only through programs such as the Prison Book Program that prisoners can receive quality reading material of their choice.



Thanks for Your Generosity

Thanks to all who gave to the Souper Bowl of Caring last Sunday. We raised $227! We are splitting the money and donating half to My Brother’s Table in Lynn and half to Bread and Roses in Lawrence. Thank you to the Middle Schoolers for helping with this collection.



From the Mailbox

To Centre Congregational Church,

Thank you for the lovely get well flowers from the altar. They are gorgeous and brightened my day. I feel so blessed to be part of such a special congregation and am so thankful that this church is such an important part of not only my life, but my children’s. See everyone soon. I am recovering so much better than I expected.

God Bless. Carol White



News from Boy Scout Troop #48

On February 4, Senior Patrol Leader John Welch, Ryan Batchelder, Tim Miller, Roger Furey and Kevin Mathews presented Centre Church with the 2006 Quality Unit Award as a way of recognizing our sponsorship of their troop.

This week the scouts are preparing for the district Klondike Derby to be held on February 10 in Peabody. During this event, teams of scouts will take a dogsled along a trail to a dozen stations where they will compete in scouting skills. In addition to sending one team to compete in the various challenges, the scouts will be manning the map and compass station.



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

"Sweet Jazz"

Lynnfield High Auditorium

February 13th

"Lynnfield Idol" Finals

Lynnfield High Auditorium



Backpacking Trip This Summer

Several people have now expressed serious interest in the Backpacking Trip.  So, the Trip is on!!  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 will schedule a meeting within the next month so that we can discuss the exact route and date of our trip. 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. No previous experience is 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.

Rev. Dr. Bailey



Thank You to Knitting Group

On behalf of the North Area office of the Red Cross of Mass Bay, I am writing to express our sincere gratitude for your continued participation in our Warm-up-America program.

Thanks to all of you, we are able to extend to so many people the joy of a lovely handmade afghan. I cannot begin to tell you how thrilled the recipients are to have something beautiful to hold onto, and to keep, especially in the face of adverse circumstances. Often the afghan is just the security blanket they need.

Marjorie Hartnett for the Red Cross





February 11

9:00 am

10:00 am

10:00 am

10:00 am

11:30 am

11:30 am

6:00 pm

7:00 pm

Educational Ministries - Library

Morning Worship – Sanctuary

Rotation Workshops

Nursery – Room 14

Youth Choir – Choir Room

Confirmation Class #6 - Pastor’s Office

Youth Groups – Lower Level

Youth Group Parents - Fireside


February 12

6:00 pm

6:30 pm

7:30 pm

Confirmation Class #6 – Pastor’s Office

Parenting Teens Group

Diaconate – Pastor’s Office


February 13

10:00 am

7:00 pm

Caregivers – Fireside Room

Knitting Group – Fireside Room


February 15

7:00 pm

7:30 pm

Membership Commission - Pastor’s Office

Senior Choir – Choir Room


February 16

10:30 am Scripture Study – Pastor’s Office

Our thoughts and prayers are with Marge Cole at Renaissance Gardens, Brooksby Village; 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 Oosterman’s 93 Laurel St., Melrose, 02176; Jack Turner at Arnold House, 490 William St., Stoneham, 02180.

We also remember Michael Blute in Iraq.


February 11, 2007
Head Usher: Karen Harrington
Lay Reader: Edie Richard
Coffee Hour: Judy and Tony Lucia