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
March 28, 2007
I remember one of my first paying jobs. It was playing the drums for a country and western group at a dance hall, "Chicken Roost." It had actually been a chicken house, a place where chickens had been raised in the hollows of the countryside of Northern Baltimore County, Maryland. Our band was composed of a singer, a banjo player, 2-3 stringed guitarists, electric bass player, keyboard player, and a fiddle player. We played for several weeks until the management decided it was time for a change. There I was, having no idea on earth what an aspiring rock and roll drummer from the country, with his white pearl Rogers drum set, was doing playing in an old chicken house turned dance hall. But, it was fun and, more importantly, it was $10.00 a night, more money than I had ever made playing the drums before. So, why not? It was an experience in making money.
I worked a lot of different jobs growing up. My early jobs included working summers, holidays, and weekends building houses with my grandfather and uncle, with my brother, my cousin, and Gary, who I taught Sunday School with in our country church. They were a great group. I learned a lot. The job provided easy money and hard work. But, I wanted to go places in the world. So, I set out working on a new home construction site in a suburb of Baltimore and, for a brief period, working for Mr. Love on a horse farm in the "My Lady's Manor" section of Baltimore County. Mr. Love did not seem to know what his name meant! It was a short-lived job when he forced me to stay late one night to help him put the horses away. He was late getting home and my mother was expecting me. I gave my resignation the following week. I was not comfortable being forced, as a teenager, to do something. (My driving jobs came later.)
I loved making money. I especially loved the job on the construction site of new homes. We made good money, had a good time working together and, best of all, after working all day in the hot sun, we were often asked to work overtime in the evenings for 1˝ time wages. Why was it that it was harder working the first 8 hours than the few we worked after that, even though we were tired? Answer, making more money per hour!
I learned a lot by working outside of the family, going into risky territory working for and with people I did not know. Most of the people were great on the construction site. There was a preacher who was a carpenter during the week and ran his little church on weekends. His daughter attended the same college as I did and you always knew which dorm room she was in because she had the window filled with stacked empty beer cans! There was the carpenter who could not read, but was good at the finish work. We didn't know he couldn't read until one day he had to have someone else sign the bill of sale for a truck load of materials.
There was Thomas Moneypenny (really) who I worked with a lot because we were carpenter's helpers. That meant we dug the ditches, carried the shingles up the ladder to the roof, leveled the ground in the basements prior to cementing, and applied the stucco to the exposed portions of exterior basement walls. Thomas was strong, known for breaking shovel handles while digging. Occasionally, Thomas and I actually got to use a hammer on a nail! Thomas and I worked hard and loved it. I got to ride in his 409 Chevy one day and couldn't get out of the seat to touch the dash given the force and power from acceleration! Together, Thomas and I watched a bolt of lightning blow apart a tall pine tree during a thunder storm while we stood across the street from it in an unfinished garage. We were making money! Working hard. Yes, I loved it, most of the time. I discovered that I had learned a lot more working for my family than I realized. In fact, I could have done most of the finish work of the carpenters given the right tools. I could hammer sixteen penny nails for half an hour without missing using a 20-ounce hammer. I could shingle a roof, dig trenches for footings, etc. Didn't matter. I was making money, standing on my own two feet.
It was important for me to work outside the family in order to find out if I could do it on my own. I wasn't sure until I did it but I knew I had to find out.
As no doubt you can tell, I learned that I enjoyed meeting and working with all kinds of people, making friends. I met some weird folk in those days, but, I managed to get along with them all by working hard, making money. They liked me because they liked my work ethic and my bosses all hated to see me go. In fact, Henry Stapf, who owned the Lamb and Veal Company in Baltimore, wanted me to work part-time during school. Oh, how I wished I could have, but it was not possible. For about 30 seconds I considered dropping out of college to go to work for Henry full-time, but he wasn't willing to leave the company to me in his will! (Just kidding) Even though Henry could be a tough taskmaster, he liked me, apparently, something I didn't fully realize while working for him.
We need to be about the task of making money, don't we? Yep, we do in order to provide for ourselves and our families. We need to do it to provide for the services in the town in which we live. We need to do it so that our children have an excellent education. We need to do it, also, in order to have a sense of purpose in our lives. Yep, making money is not just about providing, but about meaning.
I wish I could say that every job adds meaning to our lives. It does not. We have all probably worked in jobs that lacked meaning and purpose for us and it's very hard, no matter how much money we make.
Being a servant of Jesus Christ is about making money, also. Maybe you don't like to think of it in that way, but it's true. Who provided for Jesus' needs? His parents, via his father's carpenter shop. His friends and associates, followers, provided food and shelter for him out of their wages. Somebody was making money. Jesus didn't do the multiplication of loaves and fishes at every stop you know. Joseph of Arimathea bought Jesus' grave. Apparently he had made money in order to afford to do this for Jesus.
I am very happy with my job as a Pastor, Preacher, Teacher, and Minister. This has been true for most of the nearly 33 years I have been an ordained clergy. Not every day or even every year was as full of meaning as others, but 90 percent of the time it has been. That's the way I make money now. It has so much meaning. I work hard. I make friends easily and, even the tough taskmasters seem to like me (correct me if I'm wrong!).
I pray that you have enjoyed the way you have made money. I hope that you have found meaning in it. I love hearing about people for whom their work earns them a living, but also provides for them a place of meaning and purpose.
You and I are followers of Jesus. He still needs our support out of our wages. I learned at an early age to give, as a child, because I was expected to give a portion of my weekly allowance to the church's work. As I grew, attending college, I decided to give tithing a try, giving 10 percent of what I was making each week. It was small and some weeks only $5.00, but I was excited that I could do it and again, find meaning in my work, making money and sharing with Jesus through my church. My church was a great place of meaning and, to this day, has helped me tie the whole of my life together, even in trials, losses, and challenges.
I hope that you like making money. I hope that you find meaning in your work. And, I hope that you also enjoy giving to the ministry of Jesus Christ through our work at Centre Congregational Church. It has been and continues to be a place of meaning where the money we share gives us meaning, purpose, and eternal satisfaction.
Yours in Christ,
IN THE SANCTUARY
April 1, 2007
10:00 A.M. Morning Worship
Cantata by the Sr. Choir
"Out of the Shadows" by John Purifoy
accompanied by Flute and Bass
Children may participate in the
Palm Sunday Presentation and worship with their families for the entire service.
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.
Palm Sunday Presentation
All children wishing to participate in the Palm Sunday Presentation on April 1, should meet downstairs in Todd Hall at 9:30 a.m. for a quick run through. Each class is assigned a role and all children are invited to take part. Participants will join their families upon conclusion of the presentation. Children will remain in the sanctuary during worship to enjoy the Palm Sunday Cantata.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat has a building site in Reading! We are looking for volunteers to work there on Saturday, April 7. (All youth 16 and over and adults are welcome.) We will meet in the church parking lot at 8:30 a.m. and car pool to the site. Please call the church office and let us know you will be coming by Sunday, April 1. You may call Jeff Langill for more details.
Youth Groups: Youth Groups will meet at the regular time (6:00-7:30p.m.) on Sunday, March 31.
All Middle School Youth are asked to volunteer at "Easter Fun Day" from 9:30 – 11 a.m. on April 7.
Fundraisers: Please remember to return your filled M & M mini tubes by Sunday, April 1 to help fund the High School Mission Trip in April. There are still more than 50 that are in your homes waiting to be filled. If you do not have enough quarters, we will be happy to accept cash and/or checks!
The 8thGrade Class raised $102.50 this past Sunday selling muffins. The total amount raised for the 5 weeks is $599.00. Thank you to everyone for helping raise money for Heifer International.
Each year at Easter we take a special offering. Half of it goes to the operating budget of the church and the other half is designated for a mission project. This year the Mission portion of the offering will be divided between Church World Service for African concerns and HAWC (Help for Abused Women and their Children) in Salem, MA. You may use the special offering envelope in your envelope packet or an Easter offering envelope from the pew rack.
Meals are being provided at the Maple Street Church in
Danvers for those who continue to be displaced by the chemical explosion in
Danversport late last year. 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. Cash donations would be greatly
appreciated to defray the cost of the meal. Checks may be made out
to Centre Church with "Danvers" in the memo portion. 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!
News From Around the Parish
We extend our love and sympathy to Dorothy Robinson, wife of Dr. George Robinson and to their daughter Bradlee Troy. Dr. Robinson passed away on March 26 in Florida. Arrangements are incomplete at this time.
Join Hands and Share the Journey
The Stewardship Committee has chosen "Join Hands and Share the Journey" as our 2007 Stewardship theme. It reminds us that the annual Stewardship Campaign belongs to all of us. What we can accomplish together is so much more than any one of us can do alone. As a congregation, we will be talking quite a bit about stewardship during the next couple of months, as we plan our program year for 2007-2008. Please join in the conversations!
Come and Join Us!Maundy Thursday, April 5, 2007 - 7:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary
Tenebrae is the Latin term for shadows. This will be a service of lessons accompanied by the gradual extinguishing of 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 Fun Day, Saturday, April 7, 2007 – 10:00 a.m.
Easter Fun Day is set for 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 on the front lawn. The Rev. Dr. Calvin B. Kool will be on hand to join in the fun. Easter Fun Day is geared toward PreK - 4th Grade.
Easter Sunday, April 8, 2007 – 7:30 a.m. "Almost Sunrise" 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. 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. A continental breakfast will be provided following the service.
Easter Breakfast – April 8, 2007 – 8:45 a.m.
The High School Youth Group will be sponsoring an Easter Breakfast on Sunday, April 8 at 8: 45 a.m. We need volunteers to bake egg casseroles. Please call the church office if you can supply a pre-baked casserole for this event. A recipe will be provided.
Easter Sunday, April 8, 2007 – 10:00 a.m. Festival Service of Morning Worship
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!
An Easter Worship Special on ABC-TV
To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of our denomination, the United Church of Christ has produced "Joy Dawned Again," an Easter special scheduled for broadcast by many ABC affiliates on Easter Eve or Easter Sunday. The 60-minute program depicts a joyous worship service with a surprising liturgical twist - a dramatic turn of events that poses thought-provoking questions on how and why we celebrate Easter. Check your local listings for time and channel.
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 housewares for Bridge House until further notice.
Morning Worship – Sanctuary
No Rotation Workshops Today
Nursery – Room 14
Confirmation Class #12
Youth Choir – Choir Room
Youth Groups – Lower Level
|6:00 pm||Confirmation Class #12|
Pastoral Relations Committee
Knitting Group – Fireside Room
Bread & Roses Meal Preparation
Craft Group – Kitchen
Tenebrae Service - Sanctuary
Senior Choir – Choir Room
|10:30 am||Scripture Study – Pastor’s Office|
Habitat for Humanity Work Day
Easter Fun Day – Todd Hall
Rehearsal for Early Easter Service
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. We also remember Michael Blute in Iraq.
April 1, 2007 – Palm Sunday
Head Usher: George Hayden.
Lay Reader: Leslie Carey.
Providing Altar Flowers: The Warfield Family.
Delivering Altar Flowers: Chuck Cotting and Marybeth Weilandt.
Coffee Hour: Meg and Barkey Gulezian