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

May 9, 2007


My First Car

My first car was a 1959 Dodge. It was a used car bought off the lot of the local Mopar Dodge Dealer. It was in excellent condition except for the smoke ring around the cloth ceiling inside the interior as the result of the previous owner's cigar smoke. It had a lot of room, especially in the trunk. The trunk was so large that I could get my whole drum set in it and still have room left over for a few other items. It was a very strong car, taking the beating of driving the country roads in the rural community where I lived.

It was a challenge, though, getting it up and out of the dirt driveway of our farm in the winter. I had to get a running start from the back of the barn but I don't remember ever getting stuck. It had a push button transmission to the left of the steering column. The interior, like the trunk, was spacious. Three of us in the band could sit in the front seat with everyone else's gear in the back seat.

I was proud of its two-toned color, dark blue and white. I would get up early, drive it to school and take position number one in the parking lot next to the school building. Everyone could see it as they came into school. It caught Sharon's eye, my date to the "Ring Dance" in my junior year. That's all I cared about!

I was able to purchase the car because my parents helped me save for it throughout my childhood. It was a form of "Intentional Giving" to my savings account. My parents intentionally set aside a certain amount of money for me, in lieu of an allowance, so that when the time came I would be able to purchase my first car without borrowing money from them. It was their way of showing that they cared about me through their consistent and intentional efforts on my behalf.

It's also important in the life and work of the church for us to be consistent and intentional in our giving for God's work so that we are able to provide for the needs of those who look to our church for spiritual, educational, emotional, and social support. No doubt, we have all turned to the church in times of crisis. We come to the church to worship God, expecting valuable and valued worship experiences, music, and facilities that will accommodate this. We turn to the church for meaningful sacraments. Baptism welcomes us to the love of God and into the community of faith. Holy Communion reminds us of how Jesus offered his body and blood for us and that in this meal of sharing we are promised the presence of Christ.

Consistent and intentional giving promotes a healthy, constructive church organization and ministry. If my parents had not practiced "Intentional Saving" my brother and I would have had to wait on getting a car until such a time as we could borrow money from our parents, money they didn't have, or until such a time as we could work and save enough money to buy a car on our own. I would not have been able to carry my drums, spend valued time with friends, participate in after school activities, take a date to the "Ring Dance", and take on after school jobs.

Setting aside, giving in a consistent fashion to God's work in the church allows us to be free to have the kind of mobility that I had as a young man in my late teens. It is as a direct result of the freedom found in the country via that first car that I came to know I could offer something to the world, to others, to God.

You see, through that first car I made a lot of special friends, adults and young people like myself, who saw something in me worth affirming, worth encouraging, and worth contributing to. Without that car I would not have met these special people. We lived on a farm which was a 45-minute drive from school, from any sizable town or city.

My father died before he could see me get my driver's license. My mother had to drive to her job. That 1959 Dodge was not just the key to my freedom, it aided my maturation. It was made possible through the wise and careful financial practices of my parents.

I pray that we adopt wise financial practices in our lives for ourselves, for our children, and for our spiritual community, our church. There are so many who are in need of the freedom to grow and explore through what we give and provide to the ministry of our Centre Congregational Church, United Church of Christ. No, we are not buying cars, but we are buying the opportunity for this place and this community to share the faith, to be a safe place for ministry, education, and the people who attend. We give so that we will all be made to feel special, worth affirming, worth encouraging, and worth being loved by our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Jesus said, "Give to others, and God will give to you. Indeed, you will receive a full measure, a generous helping, poured into your hands – all that you can hold. The measure you use for others is the one that God will use for you." (Luke 6, TEV)

Join Hands, Share the Journey!

Yours in Christ,




May 13, 2007 – Confirmation Sunday

I Corinthians 3:5-9 Isaiah 58:11

10:00 A.M. Morning Worship

Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
"Watering, Planting"

Children may 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.




Stewardship Update
Join Hands…Share the Journey

Upcoming Stewardship Events:

1. Coffees: Over the next 2 weeks, 10 gracious families will be hosting coffees in their homes. Everyone in the congregation should receive an invitation to one of these coffees. These gatherings are designed to provide information about Stewardship and generate conversation about the many ways Centre Church is important to all of us. Another important goal of the coffees is to provide fellowship opportunities. I assure you that no one will try to "strong arm" you at these coffees…just go and enjoy some conversation with friends. The Stewardship committee used a very inclusive list of members and friends of the congregation to make the invitation list, but whenever one plans events like this, there’s always a worry that we’ve forgotten someone. If that happened, we apologize. If you don’t receive an invitation within the next few days, please call me, Chris or Sue Lambe, or the church office. When you do receive your invitation, please be sure to RSVP to your host. If you cannot attend the coffee, your host can help you find another coffee that might fit your schedule.

2. Pony Express: On Sunday, May 20, we will start the Pony Express. This is how it works: The congregation has been broken out into teams. The team leader is the first person on your team list. The leader will pass a binder containing stewardship information and Intention to Give cards to the next person on the list. When you receive the binder, we ask that you read the information and complete your Intention to Give card within 24 hours. Then, pass the binder to the next family on the list. The binder contains instructions for you to follow. If you have any problems, please call your team leader for help.

Our campaign concludes on Sunday, June 3….Celebration Sunday.

Colored hands, representing completed Intention to Give cards, decorate the sanctuary walls. I’m pleased to announce that members of Council and the Stewardship committee have made their financial commitments, and our Financial Secretary tells me that these commitments amount to a 16% increase over last year. Our campaign is off to a great start! And, over the next couple of weeks, other groups of church leaders will make their commitments, so when the Pony Express starts, the campaign will really be off and running.

Our Stewardship theme, Join Hands…Share the Journey is not only a nice extension of our Many Hands banner, but it also emphasizes the fact that we all share the responsibility of Stewardship.

Thank you in advance for your support of Centre Church. Your generosity will insure that our Church continues to grow and thrive.

Debbie Cotting,
Stewardship Committee



Rotation Sensation

All children and youth will remain in Worship on Sunday, May 13 for Confirmation Sunday. We will continue with our "Ruth" rotation and workshops on May 20.



Youth Group News

There will be no Youth Groups on Sunday, May 13 -- be kind to your mother.

WOW! What a wonderful time we had on the river! Twenty-three Middle School Youth and chaperones went whitewater rafting on the Deerfield River this past Saturday following an evening of fun and worship at the church on Friday night. Thank you to all who participated. The water was really cold this year (48 deg.) but we made it…water fight and all! Thank you for making it such a memorable experience.

30 Hour Famine: Members of the High School Youth Group will be fasting for 30 hours to raise funds to support World Vision and help end world hunger. We will meet at the church at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 11 and end our fast at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

High School Retreat June 15-17: If you have not already done so, please send in your final payment of $75.00 for the Hershey Retreat.



Spring Cleanup

Come and join us on the church lawn for the spring cleanup. Saturday morning May 12 at 9:00 a.m. Bring your hedge trimmers and an eye for well- trimmed hedges. Bob MacKendrick is providing his pickup to remove the waste to the town yard so all we need is trimmers and rakers. This activity saves the church about $700.00 - the more the merrier and the quicker it is done. The youth doing the 30 hour famine will also be there to help in the cleanup efforts. So join us for a day in the sun and a chance to spruce up the church and to cheer on the youth in their fast.



Mother’s Day Flower Sale

On Sunday, May 13 the High School Youth Group will be selling hanging plants after church. We will have a variety of flowers to choose from. Please remember your mother and help us raise money for the High School Youth Group.

Are you looking for fathoms of fun this summer? Then you’ll want to head to Vacation Bible School this year for a net full of adventure at the Great Bible Reef! This exciting Vacation Bible School is for children preschool through 4th Grade. The fun begins July 9 and continues through July 13. The hours are 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m. each day.

At the Great Bible Reef you’ll hear stories about Jesus, make cool crafts, play super fun games, and make lots of new friends! Each day offers a new Bible story to explore through loads of fun activities.

Volunteering is also a fun way to spend this week. Volunteers are needed to fill lots of different positions in areas such as Games, Science and Music. High School Youth who enjoy working with kids can earn community service hours and have fun too. Middle School Youth can also volunteer as helpers. Sign Up today!

For more information, or to register or volunteer, call (781)334-3050.



Golfing With God

Our annual golf program is starting up again on Thursday morning May 17.  We tee off at 6 AM sharp at Reedy Meadow Golf Course in Lynnfield center.  We play 9 holes under a best ball format.  All skill levels welcome.  We usually finish around 8:15 and then convene in the church basement for 30 minutes or so of bible study and discussion. 

We will continue throughout the summer every other Thursday morning and conclude in September with an 18 hole tournament and dinner.  This year we look forward to welcoming Dennis Bailey to Golfing with God.  And we hope to be joined by other new players as well. If you have questions please contact Phil Johnson (781-598-5678) or Chris Parker (781-334-4335).



News From Around the Parish

We extend our love and sympathy to the family and friends of Barbara Wright who died on May 3. A funeral was held in Wakefield on May 8.



News from Boy Scout Troop #48

The scouts have just finishing two back-to-back camping trips.  They went on a geo-caching trip to Camp Onway, and a bicycle trip to Nickerson State Park.  To complicate matters, the scouts served as pages at town meeting in place of the scout meeting scheduled between the two trips. 

Fortunately both trips had ideal weather, a rarity for Troop 48.  Kevin Mathews and Michael Welter won the geo-caching competition.  On the bicycle trip the boys had a choice of biking either 25 or 50 miles.  John Welch, Kevin Mathews, Chris and Sean Enos, David Ernst, and Rhett Batchelder completed the 50 mile course.  The rest of the troop completed 25 miles.

Fifteen of our scouts served as pages at the recent Town Meeting, along with a contingent of girl scouts.

The scouts are now preparing for a canoe trip on the Ipswich River in two weeks.

John Walsh, Scoutmaster



Lay Preachers Needed and Welcome

Would you be willing to preach a sermon or lead worship one Sunday? We will need preachers and leaders on 4 Sundays when Dennis takes his vacation weeks, dates yet to be determined. Please call Dennis or speak to one of the Deacons. Thanks for giving this your consideration.



From the Mailbox

Dear Centre Church Friends,

Thank you for the get well thoughts and prayers. Special thanks to AnnMarie Pendola for delivering the beautiful flowers from the church.

Sincerely, Jane Coonrod



Graduation News?

Graduation Time is here! Let us know the news of your special high school, college or graduate school graduate. We will share it in a future issue of Tower Notes.







May 13

10:00 am

10:00 am

11:30 am

Morning Worship – Sanctuary

No Rotation Workshops This Week

Nursery – Room 14

Youth Choir – Choir Room

No Youth Groups This Week


May 14

7:30 pm Diaconate – Pastor’s Office


7:00 pm Knitting Group – Fireside Room

May 16

10:00 am Craft Group – Todd Hall

May 17

6:00 am

7:30 pm

Golfing With God – Reedy Meadow

Senior Choir – Choir Room


May 18

10:30 am

Scripture Study – Pastor’s Office

May 19

9am - 2pm Craft Group Sale with Bake Table – Narthex

Our thoughts and prayers are with Elva Batchelder at Beverly Hospital; Helen Ogilvie at Salem Hospital; Barbara Warburg and Lew Batchelder at Rosewood Nursing and Rehab. Center, 22 Johnson St., W. 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 and Marilyn Bommer recuperating at home. We also remember Michael Blute in Iraq.

Sunday, May 13:
Head Usher
: Karen Harrington
Lay Reader
: Trent Taylor
Coffee Hour
: Michelle Hagerty
Altar Flowers Provided by:
Barbara Bean