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
February 13, 2008
The Discipline Report
Two weeks ago I talked about the meaning of Lent, mentioning how I was adopting as my discipline this year joining the YMCA and trying to get back into healthier physical condition. So, how is it going, you ask? As someone asked me yesterday during Coffee Hour, “What are you giving up for Lent?”
I have been giving up staying up later at night, and giving up staying in bed longer in the mornings, so that I can get to the gym. Argh! I have been able to go to the gym at least 5 days a week. It's hard to go so early in the morning, before the sun rises, but refreshing when each day's workout is completed. I feel more fully alive and aware of myself and my surroundings. I feel more confident to face what is given to me each day.
Am I losing any weight? Too soon to tell, but my body is rebelling less and “enjoying” it more.
What I have known in the past and am experiencing again is that setting a discipline in my life helps me to order and organize the other things so that I get more done. I don't miss the hour I spend at the gym. In fact, it seems, I have more time each day than less. Weird, I know.
It's also a spiritual lesson, for me, and perhaps you. I find that when I dedicate myself to a purpose that is important, everything else fits in around it better than I ever imagined. Order the big things in my life first, and all of the other things, the smaller things, find a way of fitting in around the big things.
I believe that God wants me to be as healthy as I can be, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. I believe that God has given me my body as a sacred gift. It's up to me to take care of it as best as I am able. To achieve this I must eat a healthy diet, exercise, and get an annual physical. My doctor makes certain recommendations about my health, and, in the case of men my age, he recommends certain tests every couple of years to prevent colon and prostate cancer from sneaking in unaware. He monitors my cholesterol, blood pressure, and such. We also talk about issues of stress that contribute to my well-being. I have been fortunate to have the same primary care physician for over 20 years.
Knowing how my physical being is doing provides, for me, a lot of comfort. I know, it can be anxiety producing to go to the doctor when we suspect and/or know something is wrong, but the longer we delay it the worse the news could be. Early action is always the best form of prevention.
Certain things motivate me: I am motivated by the experience of my father's premature death at age 37 from melanoma cancer caused by a mole on his neck, one of the most preventable forms of cancer today. Yes, I have had many such moles removed. Other motivating factors include my love of life, wanting to live it to its fullest, and a desire to set a good example for others to follow in the area of self-care. Did you know that clergy are some of the most challenging individuals when it comes to taking care of themselves? They are among those who usually have very good advice for others but are very poor at taking care of themselves. I don't want to be remembered as someone who didn't take care of himself.
God wants us to set certain things as important in our lives, which include taking care of ourselves so that we can better serve God's call to each of us, and better be available to serve the people of God. Adopting disciplines such as self-care, taking care of one's family, belonging to and attending a spiritual community like a church, having good and trustworthy friends, and giving oneself to important things in which one finds satisfaction all contribute in a positive way toward our healthy well-being.
These are important ways of being good stewards of what God has so generously given to us. The season of Lent is an excellent time to reflect upon how one is adopting healthy disciplines. Some people track such disciplines on their calendar, a chart, etc. in order to help themselves remember and gain satisfaction. When it comes to my physical well-being I just check how my slacks fit around my waistline, how good I feel, and what my doctor tells me.
We all have physical limitations. Many of us have chronic illnesses. Many of us need to see a doctor frequently in order to receive the help and care needed to be as healthy as possible. Having an illness and being sick doesn't imply that we are weak, sinful, and/or lacking in faith. Yes, poor habits can contribute to poor health. We all struggle with these.
The discipline of celebrating our health, our wonderful bodies, taking good care of them, and giving thanks to our Creator who sustains us, is a good way of being a disciple of Jesus Christ.
All of this said, I still like certain things, ice cream in particular, but I don't overdo it anymore. I have it in small amounts one or twice a week, despite rumors to the contrary.
“The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary.... He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.... They who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40)
“Let us run with determination the race that lies before us. Let us keep our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end.” (I Corinthians 9)
I will keep at it, trying to maintain the discipline of exercise and good health, and enjoy my life with all of you as together we maintain our number one priority, to faithfully serve our Lord, Jesus Christ, taking up our cross and following him.
Yours in Christ,
IN THE SANCTURY
February 17, 2008 – 2nd Sunday in Lent
10:00 A.M. Morning Worship
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
“Do You Want to be Healed?”
Children may worship with families for the entire service.
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.
There are no Workshops scheduled for Sunday, February 17. Please plan to attend worship with your family. The Nursery will be open for ages infant through 4 years old.
The Pancake Supper was a great success. Special thanks to Perry Hayden for organizing this event, to George Hayden and Jeff Langill our pancake chefs, to Sue Lambe for her excellent Bingo calling, to Bob Shorey for his woodworking skills in making the Lenten Crosses, and to everyone who donated casseroles and prizes for Bingo. With the support and generosity of everyone who turned out, we were able to raise $475.00 for the High School Youth Group Mission Trip and the National Youth Event.
OWL (Our Whole Lives)
Participants of the OWL program will meet in the pastor’s outer office on Sunday, February 24 from 10:00 am to 11:30.
Laser Quest- February 24
All Youth Group members, 5th-12th Grade are invited to join in an action-packed night of laser tag on Sunday, February 24. We will meet in the church parking lot at 5:30 p.m. and car pool to Laser Quest. Pick up will be at 8:00 p.m. at Laser Quest. Please respond to the church office by Sunday, February 17 if you plan to attend.
From the Mailbox
On behalf of our father, grandfather and husband, John Wishart, we would like to thank our friends at Centre Church for all of the prayers and support over these past months. Your cards and words of concern and encouragement have meant so much. The beauty of a Christmas poinsettia and bouquets of altar flowers have brightened many a day. Special thanks to Chuck Cotting for making a personal delivery and leaving a Centre Church calendar. Dennis’ visits to the hospital and rehab. – whether it be during the busy Christmas season, stormy weather, or even a beautiful sunny Saturday will never be forgotten.
We are delighted to have our special patient at home now. He is looking forward to the day when he can again join us in worship.
With all our gratitude,
Ann, Dwight, Katherine & Andrew Decker and Barbara Wishart
We at the Haven from Hunger would like to thank you for your support and generous donation of $1,192.70 from the Outreach Committee. Due to your kindness, you are helping us reach our goal of feeding our clients and their children good, nutritional food so they will not go hungry. We are extremely grateful that you have taken the time to think of the Haven. We sincerely appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Trudy MacIntyre, Executive Director
Supplemental Pledge Update
In the past two weeks, we've received about $950. We need approximately $4800 more to reach our goal of $25,000. Please prayerfully consider what you can contribute to help us reach our goal.
Debbie Cotting on behalf of Stewardship Ministries
One Great Hour of Sharing
God’s call to share encompasses people everywhere! During Lent, our church families have the opportunity to join nine other Christian Denominations in supporting One Great Hour of Sharing, which offers hope and well-being to people in this country and all around the world.
Special coin boxes and envelopes were made available during church last Sunday. You will find additional supplies in the narthex or the church office. We will receive donations to One Great Hour of Sharing until Sunday, March 9 when we will dedicate and celebrate our offerings during worship.
Passover Seder Meal being Explored
Rev. Bailey and Denise Weaver are exploring offering a Passover Seder meal at Centre Church on the evening of Saturday, April 19, the first night of Passover. If you are interested in participating, please call the church office, email email@example.com, or speak with Denise Weaver. Typically such events work best with about 25 people. There would be a cost to cover the expense of food and such. The purpose of this gathering is to experience and learn about an important High Holy Day in the Jewish Faith that has valuable spiritual lessons and stories to offer us. Please contact us if you are interested.
News From Around the Parish
Our congratulations to John Cotton Potter Furey who was baptized on Ash Wednesday, February 6. His proud parents are Judith Potter and Steven Furey. His proud grandparents are Carolyn Furey and Edward and Marjorie Potter.
We rejoice with Stephanie Masters and Jim Shockley upon the birth of a daughter, Evelyn Noel Shockley on February 7. They will make their home at 16 Oak St., Apt. 2, Derry, NH 03038.
Mystery Dinner Theater
Save the Date: Saturday, March 29
|Morning Worship - Sanctuary
Nursery Care – Room 14
|Church Office Closed in Observance of Presidents’ Day|
|7:00 pm||Knitting Group – Fireside 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.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Head Usher: Jeff Law
Lay Reader: Nancy Brown
Coffee Hour: Ginny Daniels and Bev Pettit
Provide Altar Flowers: Ernie and Barbara Becker
Deliver Altar Flowers: Chuck Cotting and Sue Gustavsen
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.