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 21, 2007



The Recipe

Many of us like to cook using well-tried recipes often passed down via family traditions. My carrot cake recipe started when my mother made a carrot cake many years ago. I thought she was kidding when she said she was making what? a carrot cake??? I mean, I like carrots, but the basis for a cake? Well, carrot cake does have a generous amount of carrots AND generous amounts of flour, sugar, and other ingredients. The cream cheese frosting, of course, includes a generous amount of confectioner's sugar.

Favorite recipes help us remember more than how to make a favorite dish. Recipes can bless us by helping us remember the faces, voices, and hearts of those with whom we have shared them. Often those people remain cherished parts of our lives. Some of those people may be gone and some no longer part of our lives because we and/or they have moved.

My carrot cake was part of what I made and contributed to the Annual Harvest Fair of my previous two parishes. So, every time I make it I remember those places, those people, and those grand and festive occasions when we decorated the church, brought out all of our best recipes for foods and crafts in support of the ministry. The public and old friends came and the rewards were measured in the joys of fellowship and reunions, not to mention the influx of cash.

In addition, I remember the special friends who volunteered to help me with the cakes. I remember the family that donated the carrots via their trips to Prince Edward Island. Yes, my need for carrots served as an excuse for them to travel home to their heartland! Other members of this same family donated the nuts, the vanilla, and more orders for carrot cakes than anyone else ever, more orders than common sense would allow! In fact, rumor has it that despite the fact that I’ve been gone from Billerica since last October, they still have some of my cakes frozen in their basement freezer.

Yes, even after donating many of the ingredients, they still bought the cakes at full price in support of the ministry!

I remember the special friends who volunteered to help me bake the cakes. We started at 6 am in the church kitchen on the day before the Harvest Fair. Two to three people would show up with coffee to grate the carrots, break the eggs, drain the pineapple, and help bake the cakes in the commercial sized convection oven given to the Church by the 99 Restaurant, Billerica, when they remodeled the restaurant about ten years ago. Together we laid out the ingredients, carefully mixed them together, poured the batter into the pans, and repeated this time and time again until about 12 noon when the church hall was filled with about 100 cakes of two sizes, 9 x 13 inch and 8 x 8 inch.

Do you know what I remember most about this experience? I remember those volunteers working together with me as a team in the church kitchen. On no other occasion in their lives and in the work of the church did that small team work together. Why? Because they were from different worlds in this life and, in the case of one, at least, from a different church in town. There in that kitchen, brought together by a carrot cake recipe, we all became friends, growing in mutual respect, trust, and love. Furthermore, there was the afternoon crew that came in to apply the cream cheese frosting. This crew of 6 to 12 people often included a mixture of children, teens, and adults from inside and outside the parish. I helped, supervised, laughed, and enjoyed the fellowship.

I cherish the memory of one 14-year-old named Evan, who got so into mixing the frosting with a mixer that only he could figure out how to operate, doing such a great job, laughing, enjoying. I asked him how he did it? He said, "I am one with my machine (hugging the mixer)!"

This whole experience is for me an image of the church! We are all brought together by a recipe: the ingredients include the people, the call of Christ, the place, the things we have occasion to do together; some routine and repetitive, some special, one-time events, some serious and solemn, some fun. We mix it all together. We cook, doing what it is we do. And, the key, as in any recipe, is the willingness to share.

I am grateful to all who have had the willingness to share recipes, the ingredients, the time to make, mix, bake, and frost. I am most grateful to God for calling me into this ministry where recipes of all kinds are shared, some in cookbooks and some from the Bible. Friends are made, faith is shared, grown, and realized. All because of a recipe we call "The Church." Call the church office or email me ( and I will be glad to share my carrot cake recipe with you. When you make it, think of those who have blessed your life because of what they have shared with you. Remember their faces, their voices, and their faith. You will be blessed, by God!

Yours in Christ,




March 25, 2007 – Fifth Sunday in Lent

John 13:1-8


10:00 A.M. Morning Worship

Presentation of Bibles

Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
"Saved by Extravagance?"

Rev. Dr. Calvin B. Kool
Children’s Message: "Ooh! Smells So Good!"

Children may worship with families before going to a special activity in Todd Hall.

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.




It's All About Planning

The 2007 Stewardship Campaign is about to begin.  This is our annual opportunity to declare our financial support for Centre Church.  Our generous support allows us to help those in need, maintain our church building, pay salaries and benefits, and expand programs like our exciting Christian Education Program.  As you think about the many ways that Centre Church is important in your life, please remember that the financial support of the congregation is crucial to all the ministries of Centre Church.  Please stay tuned for more information on this year's Stewardship Campaign.



Mission Trip

Carrot Cake Bake-Off: Thanks to everyone who came and supported the Carrot Cake Bake-Off. We were able to raise $375.00 for the High School Mission Trip. Six delicious carrot cakes were evaluated for appearance, taste and texture by a panel of judges. The winning cake, given the Judge’s Award, was baked by Rev. Dennis Bailey. The People’s Choice Award, decided by all those attending the event, was given to the Langill Family. Special thanks to our judges who had the difficult job of choosing the winner: Kathi Martin, Dave Bjorkman, Roger Batchelder, Denise Weaver and Bob and Kerri Morrissey.

The other notable entries were baked by:

Mission Money (M&M’s): Please remember to turn in your filled M &M Mini tubes by Sunday, April 1. We gave out over 100 tubes and have received 25 back filled with quarters (checks or cash). All proceeds are for the Mission Trip in April.



Youth Group News

Laser Quest: Because of the cancellation due to the storm, we are in the process of trying to re-schedule! We will make everyone aware of the new date once it is set. Refunds will be given to those who may not be able to participate.

Youth Groups will meet at the regular time (6:00-7:30) this coming Sunday, March 25th. Please remember to pick up your youth promptly at 7:30.



Missions Opportunities

We have become aware that the Maple Street Church in Danvers is providing meals for those who continue to be displaced by the chemical explosion in Danversport late last year, including residents of the New England Home for the Deaf.  On April 12th, a group from Centre Church will prepare and deliver a meal to that church, and if the need continues we will volunteer to help on other dates.  At this point small cash donations will be needed to defray the cost of the meal.  Other assistance may be needed as the time approaches.  Donations can be ear-marked "Danvers".  More information to follow.  See Mary Ann Parker or Chris Gehret for details.

In addition, we are collecting non-perishable food for "Haven from Hunger".  Please drop items in the food carts located in the Missions Pantry.  Thanks!



Easter Fun Day

Easter Fun Day is set for Saturday, April 7 at 10:00 a.m. in Todd Hall. There will be Easter crafts, games and a story followed by an Easter Egg Hunt. Easter Fun Day is geared toward PreK-4th Grade.



Pastoral Relations Committee

The Pastoral Relations Committee is a committee designed with the purpose of supporting Rev. Dennis Bailey in his ministry at Centre Church. The committee has been meeting for several months at this point. We on the committee are charged with the responsibility of providing support and communication on issues that affect the minister in his pastoral role. We are available to the congregation to serve as a bridge between the two units. Please feel free to speak to any of us on the committee if you have concerns or questions during this period of transition or later. Minutes of all meetings are confidential.

Thank you, Debby Triffletti (781-334-2426), Judith Johnson (781-334-5083), Betty Hayter (781-334-4360), Mike Nickerson (781-596-0104), Joe Gehret (781-334-6737)



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 and 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



Muffins for Heifer

The 6th-7th Grade Class raised $132.00 this past Sunday. Thank you to everyone for helping such a wonderful cause.

The 8th Grade Class will be baking next Sunday, March 25th. All 8th Graders should plan on meeting in the kitchen at 10:00 a.m.



Rotation Sensation Bibles

Congratulations to all of the children who received their Bibles this past Sunday. It is our hope that you use it, treasure it and learn from it. Please remember that there will be a "Bible Class" for all fourth graders and their parents this Sunday, March 25 at 9:00. This class will serve as an overview of your Bible and teach you how to use it.

Rotation Sensation will take place in Todd Hall on Sunday, March 25. All children and youth through Grade 7 should report to Todd Hall after the Children’s Message in the sanctuary. We will be working on something special for Palm Sunday.

Pew Bibles have been made available to the children of Centre Congregational Church by a generous donation. These Young Reader’s Bibles will be available each Sunday on a table near the center doors to the Sanctuary. These are great Bibles to have your child look through if he or she is having trouble settling in at the beginning of the service. They have wonderful illustrations, are easy-to-read and are filled with great stories. Take a Bible on your way in and return it on your way out! Enjoy.



Adult Education

On Sunday, March 25 at 7:00 at the First Church in Wenham there is a meeting regarding "Self-Destructive Behaviors: Eating Disorders and Cutting." A panel of experts will be available to discuss and answer questions about these behaviors. The panelists include: Dr. Cheryl Azlin, a psychotherapist who works with children and adolescents, families and individuals; Eric Bowman, Ed. M. who specializes in anger management and HIV/AIDS groups and works with adolescents with addictions and behavior issues; and Dr. Jefferson Prince who is the Chief of Child Psychiatry at the North Sore Medical Center in Salem.



Palm Sunday, April 1, 2007, 10:00 a.m.
Cantata by the Senior Choir - "Out of the Shadows"

John Purifoy's Cantata takes the stirring events of Holy Week, the agony and angst, and through the evolution of text and music, provides a moving portrayal of the most significant event in all Christendom.  We add to that our children's and our choir's interpretation of Palm Sunday and Holy Week so that we experience both the dark shadows and the exhilarating excitement created by the risen Christ.  Please come and be inspired.  Please come because in the Gospels’ Palm Sunday event it's a story in which everyone is included!



Maundy Thursday, April 5, 2007, 7:00 p.m.
The Office of Tenebrae with Holy Communion

You are invited to this very special and solemn service that is historically associated with the evenings of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of Holy Week. The readings on these evenings commemorated the events of the Last Supper, the betrayal, the arrest, Christ's passion, trial, death, burial and the destitution of the disciples. In this service these events are combined in one ceremony.

Tenebrae is the Latin term for shadows. It is a service of lessons accompanied by the gradual extinguishing of lights. The hymns will be sung softly. Rev. Bailey will share a message, followed by Holy Communion, and the Extinguishing of the Lights. The rule of silence will be observed as we depart from the sanctuary at the end of the service. This service will help us remember and experience the events of Holy Week in the life of our Lord, Jesus, allowing us to know more fully the power and meaning of the Resurrection.



Easter Sunday, April 8, 2007, 7:30 a.m.
"Almost Sunrise" Easter Service

This is an informal service which will be held outside on the front lawn of the church. If you are interested in speaking at the "Almost Sunrise" Easter Service, please contact Jill Couillard or Barbara Langill in the church office. We have 7 speaking parts available for elementary-aged children and 7 speaking parts available for youth and adults. If your child would like to participate in the service but does not feel comfortable speaking, please call us and let us know. There are some non-speaking parts. We would like to include everyone who would like to participate! This service will be held at 7:30 a.m. and there will be a quick "run-through" the day before.



Easter Sunday, April 8, 2007, 10:00 a.m.
Festival Service of Morning Worship

Easter is the best!!!  Yes, because it is the HIGHLIGHT and the HIGH NOTE of our walk with Jesus Christ.  The women announced it and the men doubted it!  Well, well, well!  We hope you will join us to be filled with the Good News that Jesus Christ has risen!  It is possible, as a result, for us to also rise above the shadows, the doubts, the fears, and all that threatens the life and light of God in all of us and in our world!



Easter Plants

If you would like to order a plant to grace our sanctuary on Easter, please fill out the form available here.
Remember that the last day to order is Monday, March 26.







March 25

9:00 am

10:00 am

10:00 am

10:00 am

11:30 am

11:30 am

6:00 pm

4th Grade Bible Class - Library

Morning Worship – Sanctuary

Children’s Activity – Todd Hall

Nursery – Room 14

Confirmation Class #11

Youth Choir – Choir Room

Youth Groups – Lower Level


March 26

6:00 pm

Confirmation Class #11

March 27

12:30 pm

7:00 pm

Get-Together Wheel - Fireside Room

Knitting Group – Fireside Room


March 28

10:00 am

7:00 pm

Craft Group – Kitchen

Council – Pastor’s Office


March 29

7:30 pm Senior Choir – Choir Room

March 30

10:30 am

Scripture Study – Pastor’s Office


Our thoughts and prayers are with 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; Ed Vancor recuperating at home. We also remember Michael Blute in Iraq.


March 25, 2007
Head Ushers: Linda Ladd and Marge Robins
Lay Reader: Diane Bjorkman
Providing Altar Flowers: Sue and Paul Gustavsen
Delivering Altar Flowers: Edie and Earl Richard
Heifer Muffins: 8th Grade