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 23, 2008
You know how some people say they have dreams? When I was a child learning to ride a bicycle behind the barn of our family farm I dreamed of the day when I could ride my bike without training wheels. I thought that day would never come. The day that my father took the training wheels off I was scared that I would fall over. But I did not. I rode and realized that I was probably ready to have the training wheels removed a lot earlier. A dream fulfilled.
I rode around the gravel and dirt driveway behind our barn for hours, days, weeks, years. When my brother also learned to ride a bike we played for more hours, days, weeks.... We would pretend that we were driving race cars and used the limbs of trees as our racing checkered flags. We had a little circle in the driveway that was our make-believe race track. I dreamed of becoming a race car driver like those we watched at the local dirt track raceways we attended on Saturday nights. My brother and I would take turns pretending to be race car drivers. While one “raced” the other would pretend to be the flag man waving the checkered flag as we “won” our pretend races. I dreamed of becoming a race car driver.
In elementary school I took lessons to play the drums. One dream fulfilled led to another dream. My bicycle allowed me to take summer band. When I was taking summer band, I would ride my bicycle 2 miles to meet the bus because the bus didn't go by our farm. I rode up the gravel driveway to a paved country road. I thought that I was something special to be allowed, by my parents, to ride my bike that far by myself. Along the way I picked up returnable soda bottles and turned them in at the country store for money to buy things for summer band. I dreamed of becoming a famous drummer. During the last 3 years of High School I hooked up with three friends who played guitar. I became the famous drummer of the “Khedives.” Our World History teacher gave us that name, meaning an Egyptian ruler. We ruled! The only such rock and roll group in our high school, we were Kings! That dream ended with graduation, but it was nice while it lasted.
I grew up dreaming of getting my driver’s license, getting a car, getting my freedom. My parents helped my brother and me save for our first car by putting money into savings every time they sold some of the beef cattle we had raised from calves to market. Getting a car for a boy was a rite of passage, a symbol of having arrived, able to explore the brave new world of dating. Of course, after getting the car, I don’t remember riding my bicycle anymore. Sadly, the instrument of so many childhood dreams never got my attention again, until much, much later in my life, in the early 1990's. I don’t know what ever happened to my childhood bicycle. The dream of getting my driver’s license and owning my first car came true.
I've been very fortunate because so many of my dreams have come true and God has given me a lot of dreams that were not my own. Many of those dreams have come true, also.
I know that God has dreams for you, personally, also. I love seeing people dream and working to make them come true. Playing the piano, getting into a college, graduating, getting a job, finding the perfect companion... a life of meaning and purpose.
God has dreams for us. One has only to turn to scripture like this one from this week's lectionary, Isaiah 9. In this text we see God's dream to take away the gloom of all who are in distress. God dreams of giving light to those who live in darkness, in the shadow of death. Some of this dream is realized in the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. He is the spiritual light, but also a physical light. God dreams of how the people of our world will no longer oppress other human beings, how we might give all children a valuable education, all families fresh, clean water, borders and boundaries that, if crossed, will not bring terror and war. God dreams that we will take the implements of war and melt them, mold them, transform them into implements of peace and reconciliation.
God also dreams that we will focus our life's purpose on how we might serve others instead of control others. God dreams for us humility toward each other.
Ponder, if you will, how you might dream to participate in a peaceful kingdom on earth. Do you have a dream of ways that you might contribute toward this end? Is there something that you dream of doing that will give you life, happiness, and meaning? Is there something that you dream of doing for someone else?
I have been fortunate. As I rode my childhood bicycle with and without training wheels, as I rode the 2 miles to meet the summer band bus, as I learned to play the drums, as I got my driver's license, and as I became a famous drummer in my high school I never dreamed then of becoming an ordained minister and I never dreamed of bicycling across the country. Those dreams came later. Through them I have met some of God's most wonderful people who have encouraged and blessed me. They still do.
Let us dream dreams of how God might use us to serve, to grow in faith, and to plant the same freedom to dream in the hearts, minds, and souls of others.
"I am the LORD your God,
who brought you out of Egypt;
I will make you live in tents again,
as in the days of your appointed feasts.
I spoke to the prophets, gave them many visions
and told parables through them."
(Hosea 12:9-10, NIV)
Yours in Christ,
IN THE SANCTURY
January 27, 2008
Amos 3:1-8 (God does nothing without intending to)
10:00 A.M. Morning Worship
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
“And Suddenly…You Are…”
Children’s Message: “So, You Are a Fisherman?”
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.
Save the Date
Church Dinner, Saturday, March 29
Details to follow….Mark your calendars now!
Nursery care is provided each Sunday for infants through age 3. We welcome you to join us for stories and fun.
Rotation Workshops continue on Sunday, January 27 for ages 4 through grade 8. Come and enjoy your workshop as we continue to learn about Jesus and Peter walking on water.
Workshops and leaders for this rotation are:
Weekly Seeds will be held on January 27 in the Pastor’s Outer Office. We invite all youth Grade 9 and up to join us for directed discussion.
OWL program continues on Friday evening, February1and Saturday morning February 2. Details outlining this overnight will be mailed home to all participants.
Youth Group News
All youth groups, grades 5-12 will enjoy a night of tubing at Nashoba Valley. All those who have previously responded should meet in the church parking lot at 4:45 p.m. The bus will be leaving promptly at 5:00 p.m. Kindly remember to bring your permission slips as well as your $20. Checks will not be accepted the evening of the event; we do ask that you bring exact change. Hot chocolate and brownies will be provided throughout the evening. Bring additional money if you wish to purchase anything from the snack bar.
11 High School Youth and 5 adults volunteered this past Sunday at Cradles to Crayons in Quincy. The youth were able to deliver 400 pairs of children’s underwear from Undy Sunday. Thank you to everyone for your generous donations which were very much appreciated.
Souper Bowl Sunday
The Middle School Youth Group is asking everyone to donate at least $1.00 on February 3. Youth will be on hand in the Narthex to accept donations. All money raised will be given to Bread & Roses. As many of you know this is an annual event raising money and awareness for soup kitchens nation wide. We thank you in advance for your generosity.
Super Bowl Subs & Salads
Need a quick lunch for Super Bowl Sunday? Youth Group members are taking orders for subs or salads which will be available for pick up after church on Sunday, February 3. Please fill out the order form and return it to the church by Wednesday, Jan. 30. The money raised will be used to sponsor youth attending the UCC National Youth Event in July.
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper
Mark your calendars for Tuesday, February 5 at 6:00 p.m. We invite everyone to come join us for fellowship and fun in Richards Hall. We will play bingo to help raise money for the summer mission trips, make Lenten crosses and have time to mingle. It promises to be a wonderful start to the Lenten Season. Feel free to call the church office if you would like a ride.
News From Around the Parish
Our congratulations to Eric and Stefanie Summerer of Hamden, CT upon the birth of a son, Noah Joseph Summerer on January 15. His proud grandparents are Mike and Pat Summerer.
We extend our love and sympathy to Melinda Johnson upon the recent death of her father Joseph Barrasso. He was the grandfather of Cory Johnson and is survived by his wife Gail in Naples, FL.
Ash Wednesday, February 6
Join us in the Chapel at 7:30 p.m. for a service of reflection and an opportunity to renew your vows of Baptism as we begin Lent.
ONA Film Festival Continues
Monday Feb 11th 7:00 pm
The premiere film for 2008 is “Fish Can’t Fly” a documentary on the effects of various programs throughout the United States collectively ascribing to the belief that homosexuals can happily lead heterosexual lives. The show follows the participants’ paths into the ex-gay program, results of the program, and their present attitudes toward Christianity and sexuality. The film will be introduced by Mark Meehl with discussion following. All are welcome.
If you are a young person interested in offering babysitting services you are welcome to email and/or call the church office giving us your name and contact information. If you are interested in finding a babysitter, you may call the church office for a list which we would email/send to you. You are then responsible for hiring the person, checking references, classes taken, etc. Due to liability issues we cannot recommend anyone but we are glad to help let people know who is interested in working as a Babysitter.
|Morning Worship - Sanctuary
Nursery Care – Room 14
Confirmation Class – Kitchen
Youth Choir – Choir Room
Youth go Snow Tubing
|6:00 pm||Confirmation Class – Pastor’s Office|
|Planned Giving – Pastor’s Office
Knitting Group – Fireside Room
|7:30 pm||Senior Choir - Choir Room|
|Scripture Study - Pastor's Office
OWL Program Overnight
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 27, 2008
Head Usher: Linda Ladd
Greeters: The Timmons Family
Lay Reader: Drew Taylor
Coffee Hour: The Decker Family
Provide Altar Flowers: The Gehret Family
Deliver Altar Flowers: Ray and Julie Aslanian and Linda Shove
Centre Church’s Worship Services are broadcast on Lynnfield Cable Channels 10 or 28 on Thursday evenings at 7:00 p.m. and also on Peabody Cable Channel 10 on Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m. In addition, DVDs of the services are available for check-out from the church office in case you missed a Sunday.