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

March 14, 2007



Dear Friends,

Did you ever drive for a living?

I've had three jobs in which driving was the primarily activity. The first was driving a delivery truck for a small two-truck company in Baltimore, MD when I was in college. The second was driving a Checker taxi cab in Baltimore during my senior year in college at University of Maryland, Baltimore County. And the third, delivering flowers on holidays for a florist in Jamaica Plain, MA while serving my first parish.

The first of these two positions was for a company that delivered lamb and veal. I came by this job when my best friend, Harry, tried it for two weeks and didn't have the stomach for it. He became a doctor.

There were two routes, West side and East side, of Baltimore. The West side was the easier of the two because the deliveries were to large grocery store chains and such. The East side was harder because there were a lot of small, neighborhood groceries. The orders were mostly COD (Collect on Delivery). I did not like the COD deliveries because that meant I had to carry cash around with me making me a robbery risk if it was known that I collected as well as delivered. I was never robbed, but one day I came up $20.00 short at the end of the day. I must have accidentally dropped a $20 dollar-bill out of my pocket. My boss, Fred, let it slide.

I really enjoyed this delivery job, driving through the city, learning shortcuts, and getting the job done as efficiently as I could. I got to be very good at knowing my way around town, not wasting time, and coming in early afternoon, putting a smile on my boss' face when I finished before he thought I would!

One of the "characters" that stood out in this job was the Jewish Rabbi who made the lamb and veal kosher. He was funny, quick, and not your stereotypical religious person. He was short, pudgy, spoke the language of the alleys and, when given a choice, would rather be sitting on a bar stool at the pub next door than walking down the block to the coffee shop, in between koshering assignments. I liked that he always made me feel welcome. He took pride in maintaining the tools of his trade, but other than that, he seldom talked about the unpleasantries of his work. Rather, he talked about what was important in life.

My taxi-cab career lasted just two semesters of my senior year in college. I took a break from teaching Sunday School that year and drove a taxi cab on Sundays, and the week of Christmas vacation. I loved it!!! Oh, the people I met, from all walks of life. I got to know the City of Baltimore pretty well, by the end of it. The interesting thing about Baltimore in those days is that it was not a tourist town. I had very few fares (customers) who didn't know where they were going. If I didn't know how to get there I would ask them, "Can you please tell me how to get there?" If all else failed, I would call the dispatcher for directions. My favorite fares? Picking up Goucher College students (all girls) at the train station and taking them back to their dorms after weekend and holiday vacations.

One of the "characters" I met on this job was the man who was the skycap outside the train station in Baltimore - calling cabs, assisting patrons with their bags into the cab, etc. I would go to the train station every Sunday night if I wasn't busy and wait for customers. The goal was to pick up at least two fares going in the same direction, increasing your chance for a bigger fare or, at least, a bigger tip. The skycap could find multiple fares quickly and easily if there were any to be found. He would apologize to us if he didn't get us at least a double fare. He was enjoyable to talk to and gave this rookie cab driver a lot of good suggestions. He also spoke the language of the streets, but was kind toward cabbies and patrons alike, while daily performing the same job over and over again for years. What I remember about him was that he always seemed to be there, dependable, constant, helpful, and always on his feet. I never saw him sit down. He was neatly dressed, ready for work.

I so appreciate these opportunities that I have had to drive and to work in unique places that most of us take for granted. There are people there, God's people, who work hard, talk hard and fast, and who, like us, search for happiness and meaning amidst what they do. While they do not always like what they do for a living, they do like it when someone takes the time to listen, to share a moment, remember their name.

Yes, later, long after my senior year in college, I took the train, came out of the station to find the same skycap still hard at work. I paused and again introduced myself, reminding him that I used to drive a Checker cab there. He said, "Oh yea, I remember you. I wondered what happened to you. Good to see you again."

I am reminded of Psalm 139,

O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,

even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

Yours in Christ,




March 18, 2007 – 4th Sunday in Lent

2 Corinthians 5:16-21 - Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

10:00 A.M. Morning Worship

Presentation of Bibles

Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
"The Family That Wasn’t Perfect"

Children’s Message: "Lost and Found"
by the Rev. Dr. Calvin B. Kool

Children may worship with their families before going to Rotation Workshops.

Service broadcast on Lynnfield Cable Channel 10 (Comcast) or 28 (Verizon) at 7 p.m. on Thursday or Peabody Cable Channel 10 at 8 am on Sunday.




Carrot Cake Bake-Off

Don’t miss this delicious and fun way to help fund the Sr. High Youth Mission Trip! Join us on Sunday, March 18 at 3:00 p.m. to help decide who will win the title of "Best Carrot Cake EVER." Rev. Bailey has been bragging that HE bakes the best carrot cake ever. There are others in the congregation who feel they could challenge that statement. If you have a winning recipe and would like to enter, please contact Barbara Langill by Thursday, March 15th.

Our judges are lined up to make the "Judges Choice Award" but we need YOU to come and vote for the "People’s Choice Award." There will be a $5.00 admission charge which will include samples of all carrot cake entries (we have 6 so far), tea or coffee and a ticket to vote for your favorite. Don’t miss it!



Missions Opportunities

We continue to take donations to assist those in the South affected by the recent tornadoes in Florida and Enterprise, Alabama. Please write checks to Centre Congregational Church and put "Disaster Fund" in the memo. The money will go directly to the United Church of Christ Disaster Fund.

Non-perishable foods are now being collected for the benefit of Haven from Hunger in Peabody. Please keep this in mind when you do your food shopping and bring canned goods, pasta, etc. to the Missions Pantry when you next come to church.



Youth News

Those youth who have signed up to go to Laser Quest will be meeting this Friday night (3/16) at 10:30 in the church parking lot. We will car pool to Danvers to play all night laser tag. Parents, please plan to pick up your child at Laser Quest promptly at 6 a.m. (or even 5:55 a.m.) as the chaperones will be more than ready to head home to bed! Because of this event, there will not be Youth Group on Sunday (3/18), but please plan to attend the Carrot Cake Bake Off which will be raising funds for the High School Mission Trip.



M and M Mini’s ( Mission Money)

Please continue saving your quarters and return your filled tubes to the church by April 1. All funds will go toward the High School Mission Trip in April.



Muffins for Heifer

The PreK-1st Grade baked muffins to raise awareness for Heifer International this past Sunday. With everyone’s help, they were able to raise $107.00 for their efforts. Thank you to all!

The 6th and 7th Grade Class will be baking on the 18th. Please plan on meeting in the kitchen promptly at 10:00 a.m.



Adult Education

This past Thursday evening, Joani Geltman, a licensed social worker, spoke in Todd Hall on the topic of Teenage Adolescence/The Parent Version. Twenty-five of us were able to gather to listen, learn and interact with Ms. Geltman. She provided us with knowledge and tools to help understand and cope during this developmental time in a teen’s life. We have made her handouts available on the bulletin board outside of the Fireside Room. Please feel free to take a copy and peruse the material.

The Creative Soul of Children, Speaker Series will be offered on April 25, May 3 and May 31. This series will be offered in the evening from 7:00 – 9:00 at the Winchester Unitarian Church. There is a charge for this event. All of the details are outlined in the flyer on the bulletin board outside of the Library. Please feel free to take one.



Easter Plants

If you would like to order a plant to grace our sanctuary on Easter, please fill out the form available here.



Centre Church Brick Patio

 It's spring and time to start thinking about the outdoors and landscaping.  Many of you have asked me recently if we would be offering the opportunity to add bricks to our patio in the rear of the church.  You've asked and here's your chance.  This program is a great way to create a lasting memorial to someone, to recognize someone, to celebrate an event or your life in Centre Church.  The rules are simple.  There is a 4" by 8" brick that offers up to 3 lines of engraving.  Each line can contain up to 20 characters (including spaces and punctuation).  That brick costs $75.  There is also an 8" by 8" brick.  This offers up to 6 lines of engraving with the same 20 characters per line.  That brick costs $125.  Your checks should be made payable to Centre Congregational Church.

Your support of Centre Church in this way is most appreciated.  Proceeds are used to offset the costs of the mortgage we took out in 2002 to pay for the parking lot.  If you have any questions contact me at or at 781-598-5678.  The deadline for orders this spring is April 15th.    Thank You! Phil Johnson



From the Mailbox

Thank you for the beautiful bouquet of flowers from the display on the altar on March 4th. I am feeling better now and appreciate your thoughtfulness.

God Bless You,
Olive Wood




March 18 10:00 am

10:00 am

10:00 am

11:30 am

11:30 am

3:00 pm

6:00 pm

Morning Worship – Sanctuary

Rotation Workshops

Nursery – Room 14

Confirmation Class #10

Youth Choir – Choir Room

Carrot Cake Bake-Off – Richards

No Youth Groups This Week


March 19

6:00 pm Confirmation Class #10

March 20

7:00 pm Knitting Group – Fireside Room

March 21

10:00 am Craft Group – Kitchen

March 22

7:30 pm Senior Choir – Choir Room

March 23

10:30 am Scripture Study – Pastor’s Office


Our thoughts and prayers are with Ed Vancor at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital Rehab; Marge Cole, Renaissance Gardens, 400 Brooksby Village Drive, Peabody, 01960; Gladys Davis, Haven Health Care, 20 Chester Road, Derry, NH 03038; Hal Holappa at the Veterans’ Hospital, 200 Springs Rd., Bedford, 01730; 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.


March 18, 2007
Head Usher: Jeff Law
Lay Reader: Elyssa Bjorkman
Providing Altar Flowers: Grayce Kushmerek
Coffee Hour: Nancy Miller and Laurie Timmons
Heifer Muffins: 6/7th Grade Class