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
October 31, 2007
A Moving Day!
Ninety-Six and ¾ percent of my worldly belongings were moved this past Saturday. I am reminded that no one has invented an “Easy Button” to push that just instantly moves our stuff. We can move all kinds of information at the push of a button. We can move our money from one account to another, no matter the amount, with the push of a few buttons. We don't even have to get into our cars anymore, to move our money. Unfortunately, to move our furniture (10%), clothing (10%), papers (25%), keepsakes (15%), and junk (40%) requires physical labor. This time I relied on the physical labor of friends: Al MacDonald, Lynnfield Fire Department, Andy Baumgartner, Mike Nickerson, Jeff Law, Marty Hagerty, and Michelle Hagerty. My “crew” was aided with support from Earl and Edie Richard who fired up the Centre Church Coffee and Donut Delivery Service. Thanks to you all!!!
Moving always causes me great anxiety. “Will we get it all done in one day?” “I don't want anyone to get hurt.” “I just want to get it over with.” “Maybe I should have hired professional movers?”
The Spiritual element: leaving one “home” and going to another place, another house, hoping it can and will become “home.” This is my third move in the last 2 ½ years. Can this house become a home where I feel comfortable, safe, at peace, happy to welcome friends and visitors? I think it can and will but I can't be sure until I'm actually living there for a while. And then there are things that need attending to: electrical work, insulation, and, and, and, perhaps a new kitchen, if the money holds out. You know what I mean? I have the feeling that many of you do.
Some of us live in our “family home” for years, raising our families and tending to our grandchildren, etc. Some of us have even built the house where we live. It's emotionally tormenting to leave such a home and move. While we know it's never going to be the same, we hope our new residence will become home for us.
Moving for those who have lost their homes to fire in California, losing not just their homes, but also their belongings, is so overwhelming to imagine. No place to go back to except ashes, destruction.
I have survived moving my life on previous occasions. Leaving home in Maryland to move to Massachusetts to attend Graduate School was hard because I knew then I would probably not move back. I knew no one in Massachusetts. I was homesick. There were many times when I considered moving back home and giving up on my dream of being a minister, especially during the first couple of years in my first parish, in Jamaica Plain, MA, when I felt I was in over my head. But then my mother re-married, moved out of our family home, and that's when I knew I could never move back home again. I was on my own, to make a new home in the church-owned house, a parsonage. It became a home where family and friends lived, visited, celebrated, slept, ate, laughed, and cried.
In my second parish, Billerica, MA, I had to buy my own house and make it a home. Nice. I was excited and scared to own my first house. Now, though, I'm owning this house all by myself. I am living alone for the first time in my life. Can a house be a home when you live alone? I don't know, yet. I believe so, hope so. I'll let you know, sometime.
There have been times when my home has been in a tent on a hiking trail or a bicycle journey cross country. Such a home does not depend so much on location, but on the very tent where rain is kept out (hopefully), privacy is experienced, thoughts secured, and rest is enjoyed. Moving, in such cases, takes place almost every day. Security is found in knowing that the very tent is in good, dependable,working order, that the sleeping bag is dry and warm, and that the sleeping pad will be soft enough.
I am not the prodigal son, returning home. I am more like a journey person, who is not to be settled in one place in particular for most of my life. That hasn't happened and is not likely to, at this point. I do have my heartaches, wishing I was able to go back to the family farm where I spent most of my childhood. My father's death made that impossible. I built a new house for my home in Billerica, MA in 2004, lived in it less than 1 ½ years before divorce severed me from that home. I wonder, now, how long will this house be my home. “How long, O Lord, will you grant me the privilege of living in this place, among these neighbors? Forgive me if I'm not as inclined to invest my emotional self here as I have in my previous places of living.”
Maybe that's the lesson, here. It's not about the place as much as it's about the people with whom we are privileged to journey. I love visiting people in their homes, hearing about what they have done to make it their own. I love hearing about remodeling projects, seeing how they have decorated, painted, remodeled, etc. All the while we become friends, sharing food, breaking bread, watching the unfolding of another moving adventure, the 2007 World Series in which our beloved Boston Red Sox have become World Champions. MOVING!
Remember the sitcom, “Cheers?” Remember how they said of it, “Where everyone knows your name?” That's home for me, a place where everyone knows my name.
We always have a home in God, who knows our name, who calls it out to comfort us, welcome us, love us, reassure us, heal us, nurture us, challenge us, to grow us, and, someday, to call us home.
Home is also a place, for me, where I can lay my head at the end of the day and sleep, rest, knowing, or at least believing, that I'll be safe until I wake. I pray for you and for me, that we always have such a place. I also pray that when we gather for worship and fellowship that we will have people with whom we feel at home. I pray that there will always be a place at the table for each of us because Jesus wants us all to have a place at his table. And, I pray that home is a place for us where we can always count on what is on the table being shared.
A successful moving day for me followed by a moving day in which the Boston Red Sox won the 2007 World Series! Maybe home is also where friends face challenges together and celebrate the victories, giving thanks to God!
Yours in Christ,
IN THE SANCTURY
November 4, 2007
10:00 A.M. Holy Communion
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
“Up In a Tree”
Children may worship with families before going to Rotation Workshops.
Centre Church’s Worship Services are broadcast on Lynnfield Cable Channel 10 (Comcast) or Channel 28 (Verizon) on Thursday evenings at 7:00 p.m. and also on Peabody Cable Channel 10 on Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m.
Set Clocks Back One Hour
Saturday, November 3
HOLIDAY FAIR - NOVEMBER 10 - 9:00-2:00
The fair is less than two weeks away. We are still in need of many things and workers, so please look carefully at the list below to see where you might be able to help.
The High School Youth Group will have two tables set up. One will be selling a Centre Church Cat’s Meow piece and another Rada Knife sets which will support this year’s mission trip to New Orleans. Please read more in Tower Notes.
All of the things listed cannot happen without help from YOU. The signup sheet is quite empty right now so please search it out on Sunday. You may bring items this Sunday so that we have time to price everything. If you have questions, please give me a call. Thanking you in advance for all the help you are able to contribute.
MANY HANDS - ONE JOURNEY
Let’s do this together!
Donna Marino (781) 581-2022
We continue learning about Esther through art, movie, Upper Room and cooking. We invite children through 8th grade to join us for the Sunday morning workshops. The nursery is available for infants through age 3. Please join the staff in the nursery for games, stories and fun.
Sunday Morning High School Group
High School youth are invited to join in our new Sunday morning discussion group! This discussion group will revolve around the Sunday morning scripture reading and will be held in the Pastor’s outer office following children’s time in the sanctuary. The name of the group is called “Weekly Seeds”. The group will begin on November 18. Facilitators for this group include: Denise Weaver, Carrie Pericola, Diane English and Perry Hayden. See you on the 18th!
Open and Affirming Film Festival
A Conversation With Brian McNaught
On Being Gay – Nov. 4 & 11
Author, counselor and lecturer Brian McNaught speaks about being gay in a predominantly straight world. He discusses his own experiences of growing up gay in America and examines the strictures in the Bible that are frequently quoted regarding homosexuality and puts a more realistic light on what was really being said. In Brian’s own words, “Coming out of the closet is one of the most important steps a gay person can take and it is a lifelong process. It has a big price tag, but for the overwhelming majority of people, it has an even bigger payoff.” Each presentation lasts 40 minutes, and will be followed by open discussion.
Everybody is welcome.
Mark Meehl, firstname.lastname@example.org
New Centre Church Sign
A new Centre Church sign can be seen as you enter the parking lot from Main Street. Although we still have some landscaping to do, the project is largely completed. Many thanks to our installation crew of Roger, Ryan, Rhett and Ross Batchelder, Bob MacKendrick, George Hayden and Chuck Cotting. Thanks also to Jack Marino who built, carved and painted the sign and to Bob Shorey who consulted on the development and installation of the sign.
Soon to be attached to the sign and the existing sign on the corner of Main and Summer Streets will be a sign for Tower Day School.
Phil Johnson. Chair Finance Ministry Team
Please plan on bringing a frozen turkey to church on November 18. We will have High School youth on hand to help carry the turkeys to the Haven from Hunger truck which will be here to accept these donations. Mark your calendars – November 18.
Thank you to Elouise Bjorkman for collecting the toiletries for the Lynn Shelter. A certificate has been posted on the bulletin board.
Help is needed to redeem the cans and bottles!
Thank you again, The Outreach Committee
Last week, we reported that we had received $8,900 in supplemental donations. This week, we have exceeded the $10,000 mark. Sue Johnson reported at last week's Parish Council meeting that she had entered $10,300 in supplemental contributions, and checks continue to come in. We're off to a wonderful start, and with everyone's participation and donations averaging $200, we will meet the $25,000 goal. Some people may contribute more than $200, some may give exactly $200, and others may donate less than $200. Every contribution is important and appreciated. If you haven't yet sent your check, please consider doing so soon to help us meet this challenge. Remember to write "Supplemental" on the memo line of your check.
From the Mailbox
Dear Friends at Centre Church,
Many thanks to the women of the 8 O’Clock and Get-Together Wheels who did such a marvelous job with the food and drink for the reception following Dad’s Memorial Service. It was a real relief for us to know that function was taken care of so well by Dad’s friends and fellow parishioners. All in all, it was a day we will long remember.
Sincerely, Dave Turner
Thank you, Dennis, for a marvelous memorial service for Jack T. Turner on October 21. I have heard nothing but praise for it. Thanks, too, to all the ladies of the church who worked so hard, who helped to make the collation so attractive with yellow tablecloths and flowers, delicious punch and home-baked goodies. (Jack’s favorite color was yellow; he would have been very happy.) He was a special person, and you all were very special to help to make his farewell so nice.
All Youth Groups will be meeting this Sunday, November 4 from 6:00-7:30. The 5th Grade will meet in the downstairs kitchen. The 6th-8th Grade will be in Todd Hall and the High School will meet in Richards Hall.
The youth groups raised $197.00 from carving pumpkins. The number one pumpkin carved by John Potter Furey was non-other than a Red Sox Pumpkin! The other two top spots go to Allie Hagerty and Andrew Mucci. Thank you to all the youth for their efforts; everyone did a great job. The money raised will be sent to Cradles to Crayons in Quincy.
News from Around the Parish
We extend our love and sympathy to the Doe/Russell family upon the recent death of Randy’s mother, Ruth Russell of West Allis, Wisconsin.
New Address: Rev. Dennis Bailey - 12 Crooker Dr., Lynn, MA 01904
Cat’s Meow Replicas
The High School Youth Group will be selling wooden replicas of Centre Church by Cat’s Meow. These collectibles will be on sale for $20.00. They will be available at the church fair or by contacting Barbara Langill in the church office.
Rada Knife Sales
Please help support the High School Youth Group efforts to raise funds for this year’s mission trip to New Orleans. We are selling quality Rada Cutlery kitchen knives, utensils and gift sets. Knives start at the low cost of $3.75. These will be available at the church fair and by special order.
|Holy Communion - Sanctuary
Rotation Sensation Workshops
Open & Affirming Video – Fireside Rm
Youth Choir – Choir Room
Confirmation Class - Kitchen
Youth Groups (5th-12th) - Lower Level
|Confirmation Class – Pastor’s Office
Stewardship Commission – Pastor’s Office
|7:00 pm||Knitting Group – Fireside Room|
|Bread & Roses Meal Preparation
Craft Group - Todd Hall
|7:30 pm||Senior Choir - Choir Room|
|Scripture Study - Pastor's Office
6th-8th Grade Youth Overnight Lock-in
|9:00 am - 2:00 pm||Church Fair – Richards Hall|
Our thoughts and prayers are with:
We also remember Col. Greg Lengyel in Iraq.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Ushering and Serving Communion: Members of the Diaconate
Greeter: Doris Nelson
Coffee Hour: Doreen DiFillippo and Karen Jodoin
Flower Delivery: Barbara O’Connell and Barbara Ericson
Set Clocks Back One Hour
Saturday, November 3