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
April 11, 2007
My First Easter at Centre Church
My first Easter at Centre Church was a wonderful day of worship, fellowship, and good news. I hope that for those of you who attended, it was also a wonderful experience in worship and fellowship.
The "Almost Sunrise Easter Service" was well done by our Christian Education Team, Jill Couillard and Barbara Langill, and many volunteers. While the air was a bit chilly, the spirit of Christ's Resurrection was as strong as ever. It was an excellent service and all who came found it to be very meaningful.
I enjoyed the anticipation of my first Easter Service at Centre Church. After and during breakfast in Richards Hall, people were anxious to get seats, arriving earlier than usual for the 10 a.m. service. Those who arrived at the last minute got the "best seats," front seats! The choir, wearing their new robes, sang boldly of Christ's Resurrection, under the direction of our enthusiastic Music Director, Douglas Hodgkins.
I extend special thanks to Howdy Doody, Madeleine and Monique Law for their excellent assistance with the Easter Children's Message. Madeleine is in second grade. She researched and prepared her own portion of the Children's Message and, without fear, helped Howdy and Rev. Kool talk about the meaning of Easter. Madeleine's "stage" presence captivated everyone's heart and mind, making for a very special Easter Sunday at Centre Church. Madeleine's sister, Monique, in first grade, prepared special Easter eggs and handed them out to every child who attended our 10 a.m. service. She was very gentle with the eggs, very organized and an excellent assistant! God speaks to us through our children!
Children have a special place at Centre Church. They are not just the "future," but the present. They have much to share, much to teach us, and special ways of leading us. Children also engage us so that the child we were born with can be rekindled and encouraged. It's one of the important things that the Resurrection renews in us and, perhaps, returns to us. Jesus often displayed spontaneity, openness to people who were sometimes rejected. That's what I find amazing in children. Children often display no reservations to meeting all kinds of people. In fact, we have to train them to be cautious of strangers, people they do not know, for their own safety.
I grew up in a church where I was always made to feel welcome and treasured. Even while worship was sometimes, if not often, less than exciting for a child like me, I was always encouraged, expected, and welcome to be present to participate in every event in the life of the congregation. What mattered is that I had a role to play in the life of the congregation. Everyone knew my name.
My wish is that all of our children will feel welcome and treasured at Centre Church. To that end I want you to know that children are always welcome in our worship services. In fact, if you are a child, if you have a child who would like to play a special role in church, even in worship, helping me to lead, preach, and share, feel free to bring it to my attention. Speaking, reading, singing, dancing, ushering, and leading in any way can be helpful. I know that many children and youth assist in the nursery, serving at coffee hour, and work on special projects and missions in and through our church. I was pleased when the Deacons encouraged me to invite the youth in our Confirmation Class to take leading roles in the readings of the Maundy Thursday Tenebrae Service. I enjoy working with the children and youth in our church and, in cooperation with our Directors of Christian Education and Youth, will work and play so that we may learn and grow in faith together. If you have questions about how to help your children appreciate and participate in our congregational life, feel free to discuss it with me.
Occasionally throughout the years I have been asked, by parents, if their children "have" to leave worship with the rest of the children to attend Christian Education Classes. My response has always been that we encourage the children to attend classes, but they are also welcome to sit with their family in worship. We seek to be flexible and adaptive. I know that Barbara Langill and Jill Couillard seek to meet the needs of each and every child and provide what is needed, making it meaningful and interesting for all.
We provide our children with meaningful classes and a wonderful opportunity to sing in our Children's Choir. Our Youth Groups provide many an opportunity to have fun while learning and growing together in faith.
Some of our children and youth are also involved in Scouting. If your child chooses to work for a merit badge having to do with God and Religion, rest assured that I will do what I can to support his/her efforts.
Some of our families and children are involved in more than one church, more than one religious tradition. I applaud this and will do what I can to encourage and support your efforts in this regard.
It is my desire that our children and youth feel as at home in our sanctuary as they do in their own homes. Let us not hinder them, but do all we can to welcome them. As I did in our Easter service, sometimes I will provide coloring pages and/or other activities at the front and rear of the sanctuary for children during and/or after worship to enjoy, help them feel comfortable, etc. They are welcome to move about the sanctuary during worship to take advantage of these things, just as they would do in their homes. The more comfortable we make them feel the more they will feel loved and cared for. That's why, in part, we call our worship space "sanctuary," where we all feel safe, welcome, comfortable.
Thanks, my friends, for welcoming the child in me to Centre Church. Thanks for reflecting the Risen Lord, Jesus, in your life and faith.
Yours in Christ,
IN THE SANCTUARY
April 15, 2007 – 2nd Sunday of Easter
10:00 A.M. Morning Worship
Commissioning of Mission Trip Participants
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
"Where Faith is Born"
Children’s Message – Rev. Dr. Bailey
Children may worship with families and then will go to the Chapel for a group activity.
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.
Journey to Understanding Mission Trip
Eight high school youth and 2 adults will be leaving Sunday, April 15 for a 6-day Mission Trip. This trip will include visits to the Amish Country of PA, the SERRV Warehouse in Maryland and the Holocaust Museum, National Cathedral and Vietnam Memorial in DC. All those going are asked to attend worship so that we may be commissioned by the congregation before we leave. There will be a meeting on Thursday, April 12 for youth and their parents to go over the trip itinerary, rules of the road, etc. for the mission trip. We will meet at 7 p.m. in the Library.
Thanks to your generous donations, the youth raised over $1200.00 from the M&M Mini Fundraiser to help with the expenses of the trip. That’s a LOT of quarters!!
There will not be Rotation Sensation Workshops on Sunday, April 15 due to the school vacation, however, children are asked to come and participate in preparing for a special Earth Day presentation for April 22. We will be going to the Chapel after the Children’s Message in the Sanctuary.
A new Rotation Unit focusing on the book of Ruth will begin April 22.
Due to the school vacation, Youth Groups will not be meeting again until April 22. Have a wonderful vacation week!
Please be on the lookout for your invitation to a party at the home of one of your Centre Church friends sometime between May 6 and 20. These gatherings, sponsored by the Stewardship Committee, will offer us a time to enjoy each other’s company and will include light snacks, chatting and thinking about Centre Church. If your invitation doesn’t arrive in the mail, please call the church office at 781-334-3050 to be put onto a party list.
Passing On Our Gifts through Heifer
On Sunday, April 22, Heifer International volunteer Christine Elliott will join us to celebrate Earth Day and present Centre Church's sixth Heifer Ark award.
Plan to be here when your extraordinary generosity is honored.
Spring Day of Renewal - Sat., April 28
Please plan to join us as we spend some time with the Rev. Pat Bade. Pat (Keeper of the Spirit, the Owl Woman) is a teacher, wildlife rehabilitator and ordained minister of the Congregational Bible Church/Native American Church. She is a storyteller of Irish and Native American (Penobscot) ancestry. We will gather at 9:30 a.m. for coffee and conversation. Pat will begin to share her stories with us at 10:00 a.m. Lunch will be provided and we will conclude at 1:00 p.m. with the Seneca Prayer of Thanksgiving and a song. A freewill offering will be taken to defray costs. This will surely be a time of renewal for us all. Please call Donna Marino (781-581-2022) or Susan Spear (781-334-3050) to let us know you can come.
Each year, Centre Church pays dues for every church member to the Metropolitan Boston Association. Dues not collected from church members come out of our annualbudget. Please send a check for $17.75 per church member in your family to cover these dues. The offering envelope packets have a special envelope for this donation. If you do not use the weekly offering envelopes, you may send a check to the office or put it in the collection plate. Please make the check out to Centre Church and put MBA Dues in the memo portion. If you do not receive offering envelopes but would like them, please call the church office or see me.
Almost Sunrise Easter Service
Thank you to our many speakers at this special service. The children and youth who spoke included: Abbie Weaver, Maggie Weaver, Olivia Nasson, Allison Carey, Megan White, Caitlin Timmons, Hayley Timmons, Eric Carey, Emily Couillard, Brittany DeSantis, Samantha White, James Langill, Jefferey Couillard and Allie Hagerty. Over 60 of us endured the 20+ temperature outside to welcome Easter into our hearts! Again, many thanks to all.
Thanks to all who helped make the Easter Breakfast a success. We were able to raise $108.00 toward the High School Mission Trip. Many thanks to all who provided the delicious egg casseroles. Special thanks go to Perry Hayden who organized the breakfast and provided the baked goods.
Thanks to Joe Gallo of Plantscape Designs for providing the beautiful Easter plants this year and to Marcia Stevens, Nancy Loyd, Barbara Becker, Perry Hayden and Ginny Daniels who arranged them for the worship service. Thanks also to those who donated their plants and the volunteers who delivered them. A special thanks to Shirley Orr for organizing the deliveries. You will find thank you notes from many grateful recipients posted on the bulletin board outside the Library.
News from Around the Parish
Our congratulations to the Lynnfield Middle School Destination Imagination Team who won first place in Regionals and States and who will be going to Globals in Tennessee in May. The team includes Julia Ernest from Centre Church. If you would like to support the team, you may contact Camille.firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the Mailbox
Dear Friends, Thank you for your many expressions of caring and concern. They have meant a great deal to me. Your cards are most appreciated.
Sawtelle Family Hospice House
320 Haverhill St., Reading, MA 01867
|Morning Worship –
Children’s Activity – Chapel
No Confirmation or Youth Groups
Sr. High Mission Trip Begins
|Church Office Closed|
|Church Office Open
Knitting Group – Fireside Room
|Church Office Open
Craft Group – Kitchen
|9am-Noon||Church Office Open
No Senior Choir
|Church Office Open
Scripture Study – Pastor’s Office
Sr. High Mission Trip Ends
Our thoughts and prayers are with Marge Cole, 400 Brooksby Village Drive, #1118, Peabody, 01960 (new address); 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.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Head Usher: Jeff Law
Lay Reader: Sue Gustavsen
Coffee Hour: Diane English