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 25, 2007
Ever want to travel with the circus? What a life! You travel, meet all kinds of people, get lots of applause and accolades every time you are in the big top. Can't wait, right? Not so fast. Traveling with the circus is a very demanding experience and the pay is not that great, either. Away from home much, if not most, of the time. It's a tough life.
Meeting new people at every stop is fun. It prevents you from falling into a comfort zone with the same people all of the time. You never know what the audience will be like.
The animals in the circus provide their own form of suspense. While animal trainers have experience with the animals, I imagine that there are times when the animals do not feel good, do not perform as desired and/or expected. The trainers can't control everything. So, in such cases the human performers have to be ready to make the necessary changes.
There can be equipment problems that make for challenges, even for life-threatening situations. And then, like any organization, there are personality differences, staffing challenges, illness, and such, that make it hard for “the show to go on.”
Traveling with Jesus as a disciple was not glamorous either. The Confirmation Class posts the following Job Description in the form of a Classified Ad for Disciples:
Passionate, enthusiastic, men or women, pure in heart, needed to spread the good news of Jesus.
Job duties include, but are not limited to, seeking lost souls, casting out unclean spirits, disease and sickness, soliciting disciples in their homes. Must be respectful and exhibit a good nature. May be flogged and dragged before the political authorities.
Travel required: Travel on foot. No luggage allowed other than food.
Salary: this is not a salaried position and it is prohibited to accept donations.
Hours: 24 x 7.
Benefits: Full love of God, companionship with others of your belief, possible donations of food.
Must be available immediately.
While our ministry at Centre Church does not move from town to town it does change as the needs of the people who attend change. We, like the circus, must be ready to meet all kinds of people. We, like the circus performers, need to be ready to welcome and interact with all and any who enter our church every day. We never know who our audience will be. This is especially true when we gather for worship on Sunday mornings.
This is challenging. It is challenging because as a worshiper we come out of our own personal needs to worship. We come looking forward to the comfort of familiar friends, conversations, seats, and customs. And yet, we come because Jesus has called us to follow him and serve the mission of his Gospel. He challenges us when he says, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”
We each have stories about how we were made to feel welcome when we first came to Centre Church. I know that I have my own. You invited me to be your pastor despite the fact that I was and still am going through a divorce. Many a church would have told a clergy like me to get through my divorce process, first, moving on to other potential candidates. But you didn't. You voted me, welcomed me, and have made me feel right at home. THANKS! Thus I know what a special place Centre Church is.
Those who attend our church for the first time are often experiencing changes, loses, overwhelming developments, brokenness, and the need for a welcoming “audience.” Imagine walking into a new town, a new church, and a new environment in which it seems everyone knows everyone else. There is a sea of faces, people talking to each other and while they give you a cordial welcome, “hope to see you again,” “nice to have you at our church,” and “what cute children you have,” - it's not easy walking into that church door.
So, I need your help to welcome everyone who attends our church. Never assume the person you see is all set. Introduce yourself, extend a welcome and especially if that person is a “first timer” try to:
go out of your way to get to know the person,
invite the person to sit with you,
help the person(s) follow the worship service,
listen to their story,
listen to what brings them to Centre Church,
introduce the person(s) to your friends at Centre Church
introduce them to the church staff
invite them on a tour of the church (after all, they may need to find the facilities!!)
ask them where they are from,
ask them if they would like to be put on our mailing list for Tower Notes, their phone so the pastor can call them and/or so that you may give them a call to see how they are doing… you know, make them feel special.
It’s not the circus, but we are all traveling... “I was a stranger and..”, welcome to Centre Church!
Yours in Christ,
IN THE SANCTUARY
April 29, 2007 – Fourth Sunday of Easter
Ruth 2:1-13: 4:13-22 Ezra 9:10-10:5
10:00 A.M. Morning Worship
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
“Love That Was Wrong”
Children may worship with 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.
Thank you to all of the children and youth who participated in the Earth Day Birthday celebration last Sunday. Many thanks to Shiela Hodgkins for playing so beautifully on the piano and for being so accommodating with this celebration! Great job everyone!
We will continue with our unit on Ruth, chapters 1-4. Children and youth will continue to learn in their workshops which include: Art, Upper Room, Cooking and Movie.
The 8th Grade will enjoy a class in the Pastor’s outer office. All are encouraged to attend.
Middle School Youth Group
All middle school youth who will be attending the overnight Whitewater Retreat MUST return their signed liability waivers by April 29th. Please note that both youth and parent must sign the waiver.
All middle school youth are asked to set aside the date of May 12 from 3:00-6:00 p.m. to sort cans at My Brother’s Table. You may sign up for this service project at our next youth group meeting.
Despite a very rainy and cold week, the 8 youth who participated in the High School Mission Trip had a great experience and traveled far in their Journey Toward Understanding. We volunteered at food pantries, clothing banks, shelters, and at the SERRV warehouse and clothing distribution center. We headed to Washington D.C. and met with Congressman Tierney, visited the UCC Justice Office, the Holocaust Museum, Vietnam, Korean and WWII Memorials. We traveled with 8 youth from Danvers and many new friendships were formed. Our thanks to all who supported the group with their generous financial support, prayers and encouragement. Check out photos of the trip at: http://picasaweb.google.com/rcrotts1951/MP2007 .
Safe Church Training
Please call the church office if you would like to receive Safe Church Training here at Centre Church on Tuesday, May 1 at 7:00 p.m. in the Library.
A Show of Hands
Soon you will notice some new décor in the church sanctuary. No need to wash these handprints off the wall! They indicate how many pledge cards have been returned to the church office to date. When the expected number of pledging units (member or family) have all returned their cards, we should be able to:
“Join Hands and Share the Journey!”
From the front of the sanctuary to the back, at least! More importantly, these combined pledges will help to fund our church’s programs and activities as we journey through our upcoming year together.
High School Youth Group
The High School Youth Group will be participating in World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine on May 11 and 12. We will begin fasting on our own at 12 noon on Friday, meet at the church at 6 p.m. and continue the fast until 6 p.m. on Saturday. The youth will be looking for sponsors after church on April 29 and May 6. All funds will go to World Vision to help end hunger around the world.
Reminder: All youth participating in the Hershey Park Retreat should send the balance of $75.00 to the church office by May 6.
The Wednesday Morning Craft Group has been working for a number of weeks preparing our crafts. The group is usually about 9 people, some brand new to the church, some who have been members for years. Last week we had 2 people who came for the first time which was great! Honestly, this is really what I had in mind when I started the group – the fellowship.
We will be having some of our crafts for sale in the narthex on Saturday, May 19 – the same day as the Geranium Fest and Lynnfield Art Guild Show and Sale. Please come and shop. We will also have a baked goods table so if anyone would like to bake, that would be wonderful.
Our group will be stopping soon and will resume in September. We welcome all. If anyone does crafts, knitting or a special project, please consider donating an item for the Craft Fair. It would be greatly appreciated. If you have any questions, please give me a call.
Thank you to all who made the dinner in Danvers a possibility.... the cooks - Sue Johnson, MaryAnn Parker, Chris Gehret, and Dennis Bailey; the servers - Rhett Batchelder and Will Parker; the bakers - Ross Batchelder, Betty Hayter and Cindy Ouellette; and the greeters -Perry and George Hayden. Many of you made financial contributions which covered the cost of the meal and more for next time (Yes, there will be a next time, probably in early June).
A Note from Maple Street Cong’l Church in Danvers: “On behalf of Maple St Church and the Danvers Community Council we’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the Outreach Committee of Centre Church for providing the dinner on April 12. We continue to hear how important these dinners are to the residents. We will continue to host them until the need is no longer. Thank you for participating in this venture with us!”
Centre Church Brick Patio
Take the opportunity now to create a lasting memorial to someone, to recognize someone, to celebrate an event or your life in Centre Church by ordering a brick for our patio. There is a 4” by 8” brick with up to 3 lines of engraving - 20 characters per line (including spaces and punctuation.) That brick costs $75. There is also an 8” x 8” brick offering up to 6 lines of engraving with 20 characters per line. That brick costs $125.
Your support of Centre Church in this way is most appreciated. Proceeds are used to offset the costs of the mortgage we took out to pay for the parking lot. If you have any questions contact Phil Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 781-598-5678.
News From Around the Parish
We extend our love and sympathy to Linda Shove and her family upon the recent death of her mother.
400 Brooskby Village Dr. #1118
Peabody, MA 01960
978-536-5020 (same phone)
9 Alumni Dr., #109 P
Orono, ME 04469
Rambling Oaks Courtyard
110 Barnett Rd., Apt. 123
Highland Village, TX 75077
|Morning Worship – Sanctuary
Nursery – Room 14
Confirmation Class – Pastor’s Office
Youth Choir – Choir Room
Youth Groups – Lower Level
|6:00 pm||Confirmation Class – Pastor’s Office|
|Safe Church Training - Library
Knitting Group – Fireside Room
Pastoral Relations Committee
|Bread & Roses Meal Preparation
Craft Group – Kitchen
|7:30 pm||Senior Choir – Choir Room|
|Scripture Study – Pastor’s Office
Middle School Lock In Overnight
|Middle School Whitewater Rafting|
Our thoughts and prayers are with 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 29:
Head Usher: Judith Doe
Lay Reader: Sue Johnson.
Coffee Hour: Kathi Martin and Laurel Caputo.
Altar Flowers Provided by: Harriet Holt