Centre Congregational Church
We Welcome Everyone: An "Open & Affirming" Church
Phone: (781) 334-3050; Fax: (781) 334-6463; Email:
Douglas W. Hodgkins: Organist/Choir Director
June 13, 2007
It is during this time of year that we enjoy the birthing of things of the earth. The songbirds, the new plants growing, blossoms, the flowers, and, if you have one, your vegetable garden.
"God saw everything that (God) had made, and indeed, it was very good" (Genesis 1:31).
Creation and its meaning was real for me when I sat in the pen with mother pig and watched her newborns pop out into my waiting hands. I felt like a mid-wife! I cleaned the clear film off the baby pigs and put them up for their first meal. I had cleaned the pen and now I sat to new life come into the world of our family farm. With pride, I watched these new pigs grow and grow. At birth they are so cute with their pink little feet curled up a bit. I could hold them and guide them during those first few moments of life.
Once all of the newborns were born I again did some housecleaning, left the pen and gave complete control to mother pig. The only things I was welcome to do now was to provide her food, water, and more housecleaning. The young pigs grew quickly, soon to be making lots of noise and running around.
"O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures" (Psalm 104:24).
I also saw how the barn swallows built their nests out of little balls of mud into the ceiling of the barn, against the ceiling beams. With great skill they flew in and out of the barn. At first all I could see and hear of the newborn swallows were their yellow mouths and beaks reaching up for food and their chirping voices. There were so many nests, so many swallows, and so many newborns! Where did they all go after birth?
"When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?" (Psalm 8:3-4)
We planted a huge garden plus over an acre of sweet corn and grew potatoes at yet another location. Wow, so much work! My aching back! So much food came of it all, way more than a family of four could eat, even with my mother's canning operation to store up food placed in the ground cellar. We sold some to our neighbor for his “route” in the Baltimore suburbs.
I confess, I didn't exactly love the earth while growing up on the farm as a child because it equated hard work, dust, dirt. Yet now, I appreciate it more because I've matured and grown to appreciate all that it does for us. This appreciation grew in me a lot when I was backpacking and depending on the earth to give water from springs and streams. There is no greater communion for me than to be blessed by fresh running water from a spring from the earth. How is it possible for such clean water to come up from the ground, the dirt and rocks? It was so cool and refreshing. It saved my life on days of long and hot hiking. A cup of water for a thirsty soul. Clean, cool water pouring over my head to cool me down, to refresh a weary soul. Such a gift caused me to sing praises to God for the good earth, fresh water, so satisfying.
Hummingbird wings hovering, white spotted deer, a fox in the trail, wild turkeys flying from grassy forest, black bears are such a treat to see.
"God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good." (Genesis 1:25).
Cattle! Yes, cattle were an important part of my childhood farm life. The calves my father bought from the nearby dairy farmers that we raised were special to me. I taught them how to drink out of a bucket and then how to eat the dry food. At first, I could touch them, hold them, feed them. And then, they grew and could eat on their own. Less touching and holding and yet some were always willing to have their foreheads rubbed.
I love the intimacy I had as a child with creation. I love it and long for it now more than ever. In so many ways I know now that God was loving me, loving us, through the creation I touched and held, planted and harvested as a child. When you see a blossom, pick a vegetable, enjoy a flower remember, that’s a portion of God’s love at work. When you hear and see the loons on a lake in New England, God is loving you.
I often think of all the ways I had a hand in the birthing and growing of the little part of God’s creation of my childhood. I think about all of those people who are continuing to grow what we need to eat and survive. God bless them because they are God’s mid-wives on the birthing of creation.
We have this gift, the gift of creation. It is grace in motion, wonder in water, and nature walking. Honor it. Use your hands to grow it, care for it, appreciate it. Taste it, feel it against your face, and breath in all that God gives us in this season of new life.
God continues to create, to visit, wash, and renew creation with a loving presence.
"I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature" (Genesis 9:15).
In gratitude to nature’s testimony to God’s presence and generosity,
IN THE CHAPEL - 9:00 a.m.
June 17, 2007
“The Trouble with Jesus”
June 24, 2007
All ages are welcome at these brief, informal services in the air-conditioned Chapel.
Join us for punch and fellowship following the service.
“Straight from the Heart”
On Sunday June 17 at 10 A.M. (after our first 9:00 service in the Chapel) please join us in the Fireside Room for a showing of “Straight from the Heart.” This Academy-Award nominated documentary explores the difficulties of coming to terms with a gay or lesbian child. Several parents explain how they came to understand and accept their children’s gay lifestyles. The film reinforces the idea that sexuality is about love and equality, topics that should not instill hatred.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact Mark Meehl in church or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org We look forward to your attendance, support, and interest in this and in future programs we intend to offer in the fall.
More information is coming to the Centre Church web site soon.
Wow, what a wonderful celebration! Thank you to all of the children and youth for participating in last Sunday’s service. You helped to make it a special day for all.
Once again we would like to thank all of the leaders, shepherds, nursery help and subs for their dedication to the children and youth of Centre Church. You are a special group of volunteers and you are truly appreciated. Thank you.
Anyone wishing to volunteer their gifts to the children for next year may still sign up. Leaders are needed for story telling and art. Call the church office today.
Opportunities to Help During the Summer
Our 9:00 a.m. summer worship services in the Chapel are more informal than during the winter months. We have flowers from people’s gardens and a simplified time for fellowship and refreshments following the service. Punch will be provided but we need volunteers to serve it. Depending on the weather and the wish of the volunteers, it may be served on the front lawn or in the Fireside Room.
We need people to serve punch on July 22, July 29, and August 5, 12, 19 and 26. Please call the church office to volunteer.
Scripture Study Through the Summer
The Friday morning Scripture Study will continue through the summer in the Pastor’s Outer Office. You are welcome to drop in for any of the Friday sessions, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
The Middle School ended their meetings with a trip to Canobie Lake Park. This past Sunday 14 of us traveled together, laughed together and screamed together! Fun was had by all.
Both groups are asked to save the following dates: June 27, July 25 and August 28. We will be heading up to Rockport for some fun at the beach. Details will be mailed out shortly.
The High School Youth who are going on the Hershey retreat will meet on Friday, June 15 at 11:45 a.m. We will leave promptly at 12 noon, so be sure to eat lunch before you come or bring a bag lunch. Van space is limited so be sure to pack light.
The August retreat to Camp Caribou has been cancelled as we did not get the 15 youth needed to participate.
During the summer months, Tower Notes is published monthly, not weekly. The summer issues will be the weeks of June 24, July 29 and August 27. Deadline for submission of material will be the last Monday of each month at 9:00 a.m.
The Church Office will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – Noon.
From the Mailbox
Dear Friends at Centre Church,
Thank you so much for all your kindness to me while I was at Rosewood. The flowers from the church and visits from Rev. Bailey were much appreciated. Sincere thanks for the nice cards and thinking of me.Barbara Warburg
50th Anniversary of the UCC
This year the United Church of Church (UCC) is celebrating its 50th Anniversary in Hartford, CT, June 22-26. Thousands of people will gather in Hartford during the five days, to celebrate through worship, workshops, inspiring speakers, music, and exhibits. Rev. Dr. Bailey and delegate/church member, Kathi Martin, along with some other friends from Centre Church will be attending.
The UCC holds a General Synod every other year to review its work, make fiscal and organizational decisions, to worship, share, and celebrate what God has done and is doing through our churches.
Synod in the City: On June 22-25, a celebration of the UCC's past and a conversation about the future will take place. The opening worship on Friday evening will kick off the celebration. On Saturday, delegates and visitors will all have a chance to be a part of Synod in the City - a day-long festival of worship, Bible Study, workshops, lectures, concerts, etc. Saturday morning begins with worship in the Hartford Civic Center and a keynote address, then attendees will fan out in the downtown area for a host of other events celebrating the UCC. We'll end the day back together in the Civic Center for a grand celebration.
News From Around the Parish
We look forward to welcoming former Associate Pastor, Marlene Pomeroy as our guest preacher on Sunday, July 8.
We rejoice with Aaron Hodsdon and Alicia Martin who were married at Centre Church on June 9, 2007.
A Memorial Service for Dr. George Robinson will be held on Saturday, July 14 at 10:00 a.m. in the Sanctuary.
Recent Membership Transfers: Rolf & Louise Owens and Helen Ogilvie to Brooks- by Village Protestant Faith Community Church.
400 Brooksby Village Drive, #2129
Save the Date
Special Needs Yard Sale – August 25.
Call Fran Soderberg for details: 781-334-3437
|Worship Service - Chapel
Punch and Fellowship
“Straight from the Heart” Video - Fireside Room
|7:00 pm||Knitting Group – Library|
|7:00 pm||Council – Pastor’s Office|
|10:30 am||Scripture Study – Pastor’s Office|
|Worship Service - Chapel
Punch and Fellowship
|Knitting Group – Library
Stewardship Commission – Pastor’s Office
|6:00 am||Golf Group – Reedy Meadow|
|10:30 am||Scripture Study – Pastor’s Office|
Our thoughts and prayers are with Barbara Hoffman at Woodbriar of Wilmington, 90 West St., Wilmington, 01887; Edith Reed at Rosewood Nursing and Rehab. Center, 22 Johnson St., W. Peabody, 01960; Martha Nelson at Renaissance Gardens, 400 Brooksby Village Dr., Peabody, 01960; Gladys Davis at 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 Elva and Lew Batchelder and Madge Schwarz recuperating at home. We also remember Michael Blute in Iraq.
Sunday, June 17:
Head Usher: Jeff Law
Lay Reader: Seavey Bowdoin
Altar Flowers Provided by: Edie Richard
Punch: Judith Doe
Sunday, June 24:
Head Usher: Grayce Kushmerek
Lay Reader: Edie Richard
Altar Flowers Provided by: Caroline Walsh
Punch: Carrie Pericola and Donna Marino