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
September 19, 2007
Leaders must be willing to take the road that is needed in order to accomplish the task. But leaders who have pledged themselves to follow Jesus Christ must be willing to take the road that they are called to follow, whether they have everything they think they need or not.
Abraham and Sarah were called to answer God's call into an uncertain future. God promised to provide for them. It wasn't just any promise, either. It was the promise of offspring even though by any standard they were beyond the ability to have children. Abraham and Sarah pledged themselves to the road God called them to follow and God provided a way. Leaders.
The LORD asked Moses to lead the Hebrew people out of Egypt. Did Moses have an army to defeat Pharaoh's army? No. Did Moses know how God would provide for the people in the wilderness? Not that we know of. They were free from the slavery of Egypt, but not yet free for a new, settled life. First, they had to go through a very uncomfortable wilderness. The people doubted, but Moses was a leader.
It's one thing to travel when we have it all together. It's another thing to travel when we don't have all of the confidence we would like to have. Confidence or not, we are the leaders who choose to follow God's call in discipleship to Jesus Christ.
When I started theological school to work for my Master of Divinity degree I did not have confidence in myself. I had never been a strong academic student. I felt like I was in over my head. Yet, I had complete confidence in the call I felt God had given to me. I had great confidence in this call of God, even if I didn't have confidence in myself.
It helped that I grew up in a community of faith that taught me to have faith in God. It helped that I had parents who taught me to have faith in God. It helped that I had seen what could happen when people did have faith in Jesus. And, it helped that my faith was born of trials, testing, and examples, many examples, many adult role models in which confidence in the promises of God was very strong.
While I lacked confidence in some of my resources I believed that when God extends a call to lead it is to be trusted. So, I trusted. I trusted that the people and things I needed would be provided to me. It has helped me that again and again, when I have had confidence in God, even if I doubted myself and others, I would not be disappointed. My experiences have supported my confidence.
My experiences have included how I went through the wilderness of losing my father to cancer at age 16. Through faith, my mother was able to provide for my younger brother and me after our father died. She led us, with confidence, that God would provide a way. We survived and I now conclude that my brother and I have both flourished in our lives, through faith.
God calls us to lead, to go forward, in faith. Yes, we often must endure a wilderness. The road to faith is often through the wilderness. There are many, many temptations to give up, to turn back. But, I have found, if we want a new beginning, we must go forward, having confidence in the God who calls us to leadership.
Centre Church has been blessed with great leaders. I have enjoyed working with the leaders of the church in my first year as pastor. It's been great and good. Thank you, one and all. I am looking forward to working with the new and continuing leaders. I invite you to join us next Sunday, September 23rd, at our Church's Annual Meeting, following the worship service, as we celebrate leadership past, present, and future. I hope you will be able to be present.
I have every confidence that God has called us to follow Jesus Christ. There is no doubt about that in my mind. I don't know where all of the resources will come from for the future, but I do believe that God will show us where they are and how to use them. We already have most of what we need. God will provide the rest. Come, my friends, as we continue the journey God has called us to take.
If we want to live as leaders of challenge, we must accept the challenge of following Jesus.
Do not be afraid. The Lord is with us.
Yours in Christ,
IN THE SANCTURY
September 23, 2007
10:00 A.M. Morning Worship
Recognition of 50-Year Members
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
“Follow Me into a Paradox”
Children’s Message: “Two Leaders”
Rev. Dr. Calvin B. Kool
Children may worship with families before going to Rotation Workshops.
Centre Congregational Church Notice of Annual Meeting
The Annual Meeting of the church will be held on Sunday, September 23, 2007 at 11:30 a.m. to discuss the following items:
Sandi Watson, Recording Clerk
Wine Tasting Two
Saturday Sept. 22, 2007 from: 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
in the Narthex and Fireside Room
This event is open to Church members
and their friends. Suggested donation is $20.
We continue to learn about Abraham and Sarah through our workshops which include movie, computer, cooking and Upper Room. We invite all of the children and youth PreK-8th grade to join us each Sunday morning.
Nursery care is provided each Sunday for infants through 3 yrs. Caring, energetic nursery-care providers are available each Sunday morning for your convenience. Feel free to drop in and say hello and get to know our nursery staff.
Youth Group News
We invite all youth in 5th-12th Grades to get involved in our Youth Group Program at Centre Church. This year we have a 5th Grade Group meeting approximately twice a month on Sundays from 6:00-7:30 in the downstairs kitchen. We have a 6th-8th Grade Group meeting in Todd Hall and a High School Group meeting in Richards Hall each Sunday evening from 6:00-7:30. Information was passed out to everyone who attended the initial meeting. If you have not received your information, kindly contact the church office, and we will mail it to you. The next meeting for 6th-12th Grades will be Sunday, Sept. 23 from 6:00-7:30. We hope you can make it. It promises to be a great year!
The 5th Grade Group and the 6th-8th Grade Group will be participating in the Hike for Hope on Sept. 30. This is a 5-mile walk benefiting the Lazarus House in Lawrence. Youth will be in the Narthex next Sunday to solicit sponsors for their efforts. Please give generously to this wonderful cause and their valiant efforts. Any youth who wish to participate should be sure to let us know by Sept. 23.
The High School Youth will be heading into Boston for a mini-mission trip on Friday, Sept.28. We will be staying overnight at the First Church in Charlestown and participating in two separate service projects on Saturday. Please let us know by Sunday, Sept. 23 if you plan to attend.
Calendar for the Church Fair
We are interested in putting together an art calendar to be sold at the Church Fair which features works of folks at Centre Church. Anyone who has artwork that could be photographed - a quilt, painting, drawing, etc. - or a wonderful photo that they have taken, please contact Cindy Trayers at 781-334-5073 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Time is short as the Church Fair is coming on November 10, so please let us know soon!
High School Facilitators Needed
We have a problem and it is a wonderful problem to have! We have several high-school aged youth who are seeking more to do on Sunday mornings. We are looking to offer a forum for them during which round table discussions would take place. The group will meet each Sunday morning, following children’s time and conclude at the end of worship. Our starting point for each Sunday will be the scripture readings for the day, however, the discussions may take several directions. So what is the problem? We are now in need 4 facilitators (2 per week), to meet with the group and keep the discussion on track and inclusive of everyone attending. Please call Barbara or Jill in the church office to discuss this further. As soon as we have leaders in place, we will start the discussions!
A Workshop to make sewless fleece blankets will be held on Wed., Sept. 26 at 7:00 p.m. in the church library. These blankets will be donated to the Linus Project which then distributes them to sick and needy children. If you can bring a pair of scissors it would be helpful. Each blanket requires 1˝ yards of fleece which will be provided. If you wish to contribute fleece or money to purchase fleece that would be much appreciated. Call Chris Gehret (781-334-6737) for more info.
Please continue to donate non-perishable food, used cell phones, redeemable bottles and cans (separated into glass, plastic and cans), pull tabs from aluminum cans, used eyeglasses and travel size toiletries. All of these items may be left in the Missions Pantry which is located in the entryway by the Summer Street door.
ONA Video Film Festival
This film festival will begin on Sunday October 7 with the video “Making History in Massachusetts – the Governor’s Commission on Gay & Lesbian Youth.” This film series is an educational opportunity for everybody to learn about issues of fairness and equality. It provides high visibility programming to live out Centre Church’s promise of being an “Open and Affirming Church that welcomes everybody”.
CMYC: Church Model Yacht Club
If you are interested in building model boats, remote controlled model boats and/or planes, then we would like to hear from you. We would like to make you a CHARTER member of the CMYC, the Church Model Yacht Club. The club would be for the purpose of social support and interaction (making friends) and enjoying each other’s company. Ideas for model building would be shared. If you are interested, send us an email, give us a call. We currently have two people interested who have built many of their own remote controlled models. Call: 781-334-3050 or email: Pastor@centre-church.org.
Bits ‘n Pieces
Centre Church’s Worship Services are broadcast on Lynnfield Cable Channel 10 (Comcast) or Channel 28 (Verizon) on Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. and also on Peabody Cable Channel 10 on Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. Contact Bruce Gist if you could help out with editing these programs. (781-334-5197)
The Wednesday morning Craft Group is hard at work preparing items for the November 10 Church Fair. We also need jewelry, cuttings from plants, quality gift items, etc. Please contact Donna Marino if you can help in any way! 781-581-2022
Our newest directory of members and friends “The People Book” is now available on the table in the narthex or in the church office.
Printed Annual Reports are also now available in advance of the Annual Meeting to be held on September 23.
|Morning Worship - Sanctuary
Rotation Sensation Workshops
Nursery Care – Room 14
Annual Meeting of the Congregation
Youth Groups - Lower Level
|Get-Together Wheel – Todd Hall
Educational Ministries - Library
Knitting Group – Fireside Room
|Craft Group - Todd Hall
“Sewless” Blanket Project - Library
|7:30 pm||Senior Choir - Choir Room|
|Scripture Study - Pastor's Office
Sr. High Youth to Boston for Mission Overnight
Our thoughts and prayers are with:
We also remember Greg Lengyel in Iraq and Serena Reynolds aboard the USS Nimitz.
We rejoice that Michael Blute is home from Iraq.
Sunday, September 23, 2007