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
January 16, 2008
When was the last time you cleaned your closets? There are all kinds of closets: clothing closets, shoe closets, linen closets, attic closets, cedar closets, guest closets, closets that people put moth balls in, walk-in closets, coat closets, narrow and tall closets, back closets, broom closets, washer and dryer closets and more.
Closets are supposed to bring order and organization to our lives. Unfortunately, many times closets become the places where we hide stuff, especially when guests come over to visit!
I have been working on my two bedroom closets in my new house. When I moved in to my new house I found a hanging pole and one shelf in the larger of the two closets. There was just one shelf in the smaller closet. Such sparse closet amenities do not make for a very efficient use of closet space.
When shopping for a new house we often look for spacious closets. Some of us would give anything to have more closet space, even some closet space! While my new house doesn't have a lot of closet space, I have two nice closets in my Master Bedroom. I decided to make better use of them. I started by tearing out the old stuff. That took about one-half-hour.
Next, I patched the nail holes and painted the walls, giving them a fresh and clean look. The re-design was hard because I don't do this every day. It took me many trips to Home Depot to decide on my plan and then the materials needed. It took me about two weeks to develop my plan. My goal was to be able to nicely hang and store my work and play clothing, install shelves for sweaters, shoes, and misc. items. Finally, I did it! I successfully installed the new, extremely more efficient closet system in my two bedroom closets.
Oh what joy, to finally sweep up the dust, clean the floors and put my clothing back. Wow, my shirts and slacks have room to “breathe” now and not get wrinkled from overcrowding. Alas, one place in my life is now nicely organized! Just don't look at my basement!
All of this closet work has challenged me to think about sorting and throwing away the clutter I have, things I no longer need, and make more room. It is also a reminder to me of how we go to great lengths to welcome Jesus and celebrate his birth at Christmas and then quickly fill our lives with the stuff that keeps us too busy to continue to focus on his presence in our lives. How can I make my life simpler so that there is more room for the work of God?
At Christmas God asks us, invites us and encourages us to make room for Jesus, for God's ways, messages, guests, and praise. We are invited to make room for Christ in our hearts and lives. When we confess our faith in Christ, declare ourselves disciples of Jesus Christ, and join a community of faith, like a church, we are pledging that making room for God is of utmost importance.
There have been many people who have challenged me and helped me make room for God in my life. I am grateful to them.
As we gather to ourselves and into our homes more stuff, we become possessed by our possessions. The more possessions the less free we are. How I furnish and take care of my living space reflects what is going on with me internally. If that space is cluttered, I usually find that my prayer life is cluttered.
The first commandment reminds us to give God the first place in our lives and everything else is subject to that commitment. When I have backpacked for days, weeks, even months at a time, I could take only what I could carry on my back. I was able to write and reflect upon how God is where I am, where God is, and where God wants me in my life. The physical exercise gave me time to shed the daily stresses of the rest of my life and think more fully of God's presence in my life, my dependence on God.
Luke 12:27-31: "Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.”
Yours in Christ,
IN THE SANCTURY
January 20, 2008
Isaiah 49:1-7 and John 1:29-42
10:00 A.M. Morning Worship
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
“God Gets Personal”
Children’s Message: Rev. Dr. Calvin B. Kool
Children may worship with their families for the entire service.
Nursery care will be provided in Room 14.
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.
Rev. Dr. Bailey will be on study leave January 14-18, although he will be preaching and leading worship on January 20 as usual. In case of pastoral emergency, please call the church office.
Nursery for infants through age 3 is open each Sunday. We welcome all youngsters to join us for games, playtime and stories.
Rotation Workshops will not be held on January 20 due to the long weekend. We invite everyone to worship as a family in the sanctuary.
Cradles to Crayons Donations
Thanks to everyone who brought in their donations on Undie Sunday. The High School Youth Group will be bringing them into Cradles to Crayons on Sunday, Jan 20.
If you weren’t able to bring in your donations this Sunday, you can still drop them off anytime during the week or next Sunday before worship.
On Sunday, January 27, the 5th through 12th Grade Youth Groups will be going tubing at Nashoba Valley. We will be meeting in the church parking lot at 4:45 to leave promptly at 5 p.m. We will be going by bus and returning around 9 p.m. Please return your permission slips by Friday, Jan.18. The cost is $20.00.
The High School Youth Group will be hosting a Pancake Supper on Shrove Tuesday, February 5 at 6 p.m. There will be delicious pancakes, games, crafts and Bingo. The youth will be raising funds for this year’s trip to the National Youth Event. Donations for Bingo prizes are needed. Please call Barbara Langill if you can help with prizes.
Super Bowl Sunday – February 3
The High School Youth will be selling salads and sandwiches after church on Sunday, February 3. Please fill out the order form and return it to the church by Wednesday, Jan. 30.
The Middle School Youth Group will be collecting $1 from each parishioner for their annual “Souper Bowl”. Each dollar raised will be sent to a local soup kitchen. Souper Bowl Sunday is actually held nationwide raising awareness and money for soup kitchens throughout the country. Thank you in advance for your donations. Look for middle school youth on Feb. 3rd in the Narthex…they will be the ones holding soup pots!
From the Mailbox
My many thanks to all at Centre Church who were so thoughtful to send me flowers from the church during my recent illness. When Dennis entered my room at the hospital, portraying Santa, carrying a lovely poinsettia, - that really did it! Thank you all, so very much – you are helping me to get better.
|Morning Worship - Sanctuary
Nursery Care – Room 14
High School Youth/Cradles-Crayons
|Office Closed – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day|
|Get-Together Wheel – Fireside Room
Knitting Group – Fireside Room
|7:00 pm||Parish Council – Pastor’s Office|
|7:30 pm||Senior Choir - Choir Room|
|10:30 am||Scripture Study - Pastor's Office|
Our thoughts and prayers are with:
We also remember Greg Lengyel, Paul Folkins and Brian Bisacre in Iraq and all military personnel and their families.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Head Usher: Jeff Law
Greeters: Barbara O’Connell & Donna Marino
Lay Reader: Lindsay Jodoin
Provide Altar Flowers: The Langill Family
Deliver Altar Flowers: Karen Harrington & Marjorie Potter