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
February 21, 2007
When did ministry start, for me?
It began in my late teens, when I was given the opportunity to teach a 5th and 6th grade Sunday School class. I wanted my class to be fun and interesting for the students. I wanted to teach the students something important and meaningful about religion and the Bible. I came to dislike the material I had been given to teach because the students found it boring. I asked the Sunday School Board if I could choose different material. After much discussion, I was given permission to pursue other curriculum. I turned to my minister for ideas. He shared information from our denomination, the United Church of Christ, about the resources that were available.
I found material about God and creation. We studied the creation of the world in the summer season, which allowed us to move from the tables and metal chairs in the church's basement, where cement floors and cinder block walls were the environment. We went outside to the beautiful church grounds. That change, moving from the classroom to the out-of- doors, was a learning experience because we learned that religious education could take place in any setting, even while on the move in God's world. The students loved it! I loved it!
With the summer season coming to an end, I searched for more material. I found material that had to do with "Drum Majors for Justice." It was the material that had us studying the Old Testament book of Joshua and the Civil Rights Movement and the ministry of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. King described the drum major for justice as one who speaks the truth -- no matter how unwelcome it may be or how uncomfortable it may make the listener -- as one who gives his or her life to serving others: to feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and - to visiting those who are in prison, and working to stop discrimination and segregation laws and attitudes.
This curriculum compared God's direction for Joshua with the Civil Rights Movement and the work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. While this was way outside the box of the material customarily used in the rural church of my youth, the students enjoyed learning by comparing biblical material with lessons learned from God's people involved in current day applications of our faith.
This past Sunday we learned via the teaching of Megan, Samantha, and Digby (Black Lab) White. Megan, a member of our parish, researched, wrote, and shared a valuable Children's Message, "How Dogs are Important." Megan talked about the dogs who are trained as "Guide Dogs" and others trained as "Rescue Dogs." She talked about the unique characteristics of dogs and how dogs abundantly bless our lives as spiritual guides, agents of unconditional love, reminding us of God's unconditional love, as loving companions, friends we can walk with, talk with, and friends who comfort us . Why did I invite Megan, a third grade student, to prepare and share the Children's Message? I want us to hear and honor the voice of every person in our congregation, regardless of age. I want people like Megan to know that we will stop, listen, and learn from what she has to teach us. I want us to hear the voice of God and see the image of God in each and every person who is part of our special community of faith. "You are welcome here" means, I believe, that the hospitality we extend is also an invitation to fully share the ministry of Jesus Christ that we have been given.
Yes, from time to time I will invite others to share during our worship. I have extended the same invitation to any and all of the classes in our Rotation Sensation Program. If a group or class of our young students feel that they have something to share and teach us, they are welcome to share in the Worship Service.
I will always be grateful for the church community that invited me to teach 5th and 6th grade. I will always be grateful for the minister who first invited me to participate in the Youth Sunday service and sermon. I will always be grateful for the congregation of my childhood and youth, who came to worship, to listen to the voice of God and to a very insecure Dennis Bailey.
We believe in God, Creator, Jesus Christ, our Savior, and the Holy Spirit. Our belief in the Holy Spirit means that the Spirit is apt to make expression through all and any of God's people and creatures, but especially through those who are eager and open to speak, teach, and grow in faith.
No matter your age or background, you are welcome to offer to us what you feel God has given you to share. To sing, to speak, to pray, to think, to create, to dance, to listen, to teach, to serve, allows us to honor the message and love of God in each of us and in all of us.
In particular, if your child(ren) has an idea for a Children's Message encourage her/him/them to speak with me. I will provide any and all support that I can to make it happen. Nothing catches the attention of all of the learners and disciples of Christ in our church than the words and actions of those who are eager and open to the Spirit of Christ in their hearts and in the lives of others. Let us listen to our children so that together we will grow in faith and stature before the Lord, our God.
Yours in Christ,
P.S.: Thank you, Megan, for your willingness to prepare and share such a valuable Children's Message. Thanks to Samantha and Digby, for helping Megan. And, thanks to Carol and David White, for giving love, support, and encouragement to their children as they grow in faith and leadership.
IN THE SANCTUARY
February 25, 2007 First Sunday in Lent
10:00 A.M. Morning Worship
Sermon by the Rev.
Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
"Temptations After Graduation"
Childrens Message - "Lenten Symbols"
Children 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.
A new rotation begins on February 25. The focus for Lent will be on the Trial and the Crucifixion, exploring the book of Luke 22:66-71, 23:1-56. Kids should bring their Bibles to their workshops during this rotation. Workshops for this unit will include: Upper Room, Cooking, Art and Movie.
Children in grades 2 & 3 should report directly to the kitchen at 10:00 a.m. this Sunday, February 25. You will be baking muffins to sell after church!
Many thanks to Frank Scott for speaking with the 8th grade class regarding the environment. The topic is important as we all strive and continually learn how to protect Gods world.
Both groups will meet this Sunday evening from 6:00-7:30. The High School Group will be in Todd Hall and the Middle School Group will be in the downstairs kitchen.
News from Around the Parish
We extend our love and prayers to Rose Giunta upon the recent death of her brother, Charles Calvo.
Our love and sympathy go out to the family and friends of Doris Howland who died on February 13.
Adult Education Offerings
Our teenage parenting seminar continues on Monday Feb. 26 and March 5 at 6:30 in the Movie Room on the 2nd floor. Join us for engaging discussion led by Mary Ann Parker and Barbara Nickerson. You may join the discussion regardless of whether you have attended in the past. All are welcome.
Set aside the evening of Thursday, March 8 at 7:00. Joani Geltman, LICSW, will be here to speak on the topic of Adolescent Psychology: The Parent Version. Several members of the congregation had a chance to listen to her speak at an engagement last year and thought the topic and the speaker were fantastic. This event will be open to the community so help spread the word. A free will offering will be taken at the door.
Craft Group Forming
There is a growing interest in starting a Craft Group here at Centre Church. Join us on Wednesday morning, February 28 at 10:00 a.m. in the downstairs kitchen. Bring a project of your own to work on and/or well talk about things the group can work on together. One project being considered needs someone to cut out wooden shapes. If you could help with that, please call Donna Marino 781-581-2022. Join us for the fun and fellowship!
Poet, Storyteller, Artist to Speak
On Tuesday, March 6 the Eight OClock Wheel and invited guests, The Get-Together Wheel, will meet at 12:30 p.m. in the Fireside Room to hear Evelyn Donley speak. Evelyn is a friend of Ethel Leonards who lives at Brooksby Village. She is 95 years young. Come and enjoy her presentation. She will make you laugh and lift your spirits. All are welcome.
Saturday, March 10, 2007 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Wine tasting to be held in the Fireside Room and the Narthex. Open to church members and their friends. Hors-doeuvres will be provided. Water will also be provided to cleanse your pallet. The wine will be provided by the wine experts at Our Glass Wine Co. in Saugus. Suggested donation is $15 to defray expenses.
Sponsored by the Membership Comm.
School Youth April Vacation Mission Trip
"On the Road to Understanding"
Sunday, April 15 - Friday, April 20
This mission trip is sponsored by the Massachusetts United Church of Christ. The trip will begin with a stop in Amish country in Lancaster, PA. The second stop will be in Maryland to volunteer at the SERRV warehouse. The third stop will be in Washington D.C. for a visit to the Holocaust Museum, the National Cathedral and the Vietnam Memorial. A visit with a MA politician is being planned along with a program of the UCC Justice and Witness Network. The total cost of the trip is $450.00, but we will be planning several fund raisers and hope to keep the cost under $200.00. If you are interested in participating, please let us know by Feb. 26. The trip is open to all High School youth at Centre Church. You do not need to attend youth group to participate in this trip. If you would like more information, please contact Mrs. Langill 781 334-3050 (office) or 781 334-5504 (home).
Old Ship of Zion
A History of Spirituals and Gospel Music
Saturday, March 3 7:30 p.m.
Dont miss this entrancing "revival meeting"-style lecture, demonstration and concert by Dr. Horace Clarence Boyer, author of How Sweet the Sound The Golden Age of Gospel and a widely acclaimed gospel performer, arranger and conductor. Combined choirs, including the Lynnfield High School Chorus, will join in this performance at the Rogers Center for the Arts at Merrimack College. For ticket information, call 978-474-6090 or visit www.newenglandclassical.org.
News from Boy Scout Troop #48
On February 10, the scouts participated in the district Klondike Derby at Brooksby Farm in Peabody. They won first place in the "plutonium" event, where using ropes and pulleys they had to move an open container of water without spilling any. In February the scouts are learning about backpacking cooking. At a recent meeting, Rhett Batchelder explained the process that was used in selecting and preparing meals for last summers high adventure trip on the Delaware River.
Nursery Room 14
Confirmation Class #7
Youth Choir Choir Room
Youth Groups Lower Level
Parenting Teens Movie Room
Wheel - Fireside
Knitting Group Fireside Room
Parish Council Pastors Office
|10:00 am||Craft Group Kitchen|
|7:30 pm||Senior Choir Choir Room|
|10:30 am||Scripture Study Pastors Office|
|Sr. High Youth to Habitat for Humanity in Reading|
Our thoughts and prayers are with Rose Giunta at New England Rehab, 2 Rehab Way, Woburn, MA 01801; Glady Davis, Wingate at Andover Rehab, 80 Andover St., Andover, MA 01810; Hal Holappa at the Veterans Hospital, 200 Springs Rd., Bedford, 01730; 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.
February 25, 2007
Head Ushers: Marge Robins and Linda Ladd.
Lay Reader: Rick Carey
Coffee Hour: Chris and Joe Gehret
Flower Delivery: Edie & Earl Richard and the Aslanian family.