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
March 12, 2008
As we approach Palm Sunday (March 16th) we think about how Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, an animal symbolic of humility. He could have chosen to ride in on a horse, an animal symbolic of power.
“Humility begins with a rootedness in God – our Root -- and our recognition that only God and God's will matter.” (N. Graham Standish)
Years ago I was working with someone who accused another of working behind the scenes to cause pain and aggravation to the accuser. Fingers were pointed, accusations made, and no one was backing down. There was no proof offered. Just suspicion. The accused left the room saying, “I don't have to sit here and listen to this.”
Given there was no proof offered I strongly suggested that the accuser apologize. “I have never apologized to anyone,” said the accuser. I explained that if a certain benefit was to be retained, that is a job, learning to apologize needed to happen quickly.
I have made a lot of mistakes in my life. I had learned early that if I wanted to retain friendships, certain benefits, and respect, I had to learn to apologize. It hasn't always been easy, but it's a necessary part of life. Just apologize, but sincere apologies are needed.
For example, a broken window needs an apology and a new pane of glass. Accidentally backing over my landlord's trash cans while in college needed an apology and the purchase of two new trash cans.
I once knew a lady who realized that she had hurt a lot of people through the things she had said to them and about them. She shocked me one day when she came to me to apologize if she had ever said anything to hurt my feelings. I thanked her because she had. She explained to me that she was trying to remember everyone she had ever hurt by what she had said and apologize. She then said to me, “Dennis, do you know of anyone else who I have hurt, because I want to apologize.” I said “No.” She was sincere in her quest. She had come in humility. She had realized that what we say is an action. “Sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will never hurt you” is not true. Words do hurt! Words can cause real pain.
There have been times when I've said something wrong and/or didn't intend to say and have, as soon as I realized it, apologized. No doubt, we have all done the same.
Jesus comes to us on Palm Sunday in humility. He comes not to apologize, but to teach us how to serve each other. We serve each other by giving ourselves to each other. One way of giving ourselves to another is to apologize when we have caused harm to another. Another way of giving ourselves to another is to take the time to be with another when we have many other things to do.
While in restaurants I often watch as servers take care of customers. They are called upon to be humble saying, “The customer is always right, even when they are not.” That's hard to do.
I think of Jesus coming to us on Palm Sunday saying to us, that everyone of us is loved by him, even though we are sometimes greedy, self-centered, rude, ungrateful, evil, unforgiving of others, violent, and full of pride about ourselves. He comes to love us even when we don't think we need his love. He forgives us even when we think we've done nothing wrong. And then, later, he dies for us even when we do not think we need a savior.
I have an exercise in humility for you. Try visiting with a friend and listening to your friend instead of talking about your issues, burdens, and/or joys. Let the other speak of the anxieties and fears, the accomplishments and blessings experienced instead of speaking of yours, well, unless they insist, that is. It's hard to hold back, isn't it?
I am grateful for those who have taught me how to apologize. I am grateful for those who listen to me, setting aside their own issues. And, I am grateful for a Savior who has offered himself for me.
Yours in Christ, on the way to Palm Sunday,
IN THE SANCTURY
Palm Sunday - March 16, 2008
10:00 A.M. Morning Worship
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
“No Intention of Being a King”
Children’s Message: “Who is Jesus to Us?”
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.
Holy Week Schedule
Palm Sunday, March 16, 2008, 10:00 a.m.
The children will process in during the opening hymns with their palms.
We will re-enact the Palm Sunday Event with Jesus arriving with his donkey.
Such a cute donkey!
(Note: Children – please meet in the Narthex at 9:45 a.m.)
Also during this service the High School Youth will report on their experience of the 30 Hour Famine.
Maundy Thursday, March 20, 2008, 7:30 p.m.
The Office of Tenebrae with Holy Communion
You are invited to this very special and solemn service that is historically associated with the evenings of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of Holy Week. The readings on these evenings commemorated the events of the Last Supper, the betrayal, the arrest, Christ's passion, trial, death, burial and the destitution of the disciples. In this service these events are combined in one ceremony.
Tenebrae is the Latin term for shadows. It is a service of lessons accompanied by the gradual extinguishing of lights. The hymns will be sung softly. Rev. Bailey will share a message, followed by Holy Communion, and the Extinguishing of the Lights. The rule of silence will be observed as we depart from the sanctuary at the end of the service. This service will help us remember and experience the events of Holy Week in the life of our Lord, Jesus, allowing us to know more fully the power and meaning of the Resurrection.
Easter Fun Day, March 22, 2008 – 10:00 a.m.
Children 10 and under accompanied by a parent will gather in Todd Hall for Easter crafts and games, a message from the Rev. Dr. Calvin B. Kool and an Easter Egg Hunt. All are welcome.
Easter Sunday, March 23, 2008, 7:30 a.m.
“Almost Sunrise” Easter Service
This is an informal service which will be held outside on the front lawn. Anyone who would like to participate is encouraged to contact Barbara Langill or Jill Couillard. There are parts for children and adults, both speaking and non-speaking parts. There will be a quick “run-through” on Saturday at 11:00 a.m.
Easter Breakfast, March 23, 2008 – 8-9:30 a.m.
Easter Sunday, March 23, 2008, 10:00 a.m.
Festival Service of Morning Worship
Easter is the best!!!
Yes, because it is the HIGHLIGHT and the HIGH NOTE of our walk with Jesus Christ.
The women announced it and the men doubted it! Well, well, well!
We hope you will join us to be filled with the Good News that Jesus Christ has risen!
It is possible, as a result, for us to also rise above the shadows, the doubts, the fears, and all that threatens the life and light of God in all of us and in our world!
Nursery: We invite all infants and children through age 3 to join our trained staff in the Nursery for stories, playtime and fun.
Workshops: Rotation Workshops continue on March 16 for children and youth PreK-8th grade. Our focus during Lent is Easter Through the Eyes of Peter.
OWL: 13 youth in grades 7-9 completed the Our Whole Lives program. Many thanks to Mike Timmons and Phil Triffletti for volunteering their time.
30 Hour Famine
High School Youth participating in the 30 Hour Famine will meet at the church for a hearty breakfast. on Friday, March 14 at 7:00 a.m. They will not eat for the next 30 hours. We will meet back at the church at 6:00 p.m. Friday and spend the night at the church. On Saturday we will volunteer at the Prison Book Club. During the fast, water and juice will be provided. We will end with a meal together at 12 noon on Saturday.
Easter Fun Day
Join us in Todd Hall on Saturday, March 22 at 10:00 a.m. for Easter activities and fun. The Youth Groups are sponsoring an Easter Egg Hunt for children 10 and under accompanied by a parent. Please be sure to bring a basket for collecting eggs. Easter crafts and games start out the morning, followed by an Easter message from the Rev. Dr. Calvin B. Kool. The Easter Egg Hunt on the front lawn will conclude the morning of fun. This event will take place rain or shine – special provisions will be made in case of inclement weather.
All Youth Group members are encouraged to volunteer at this event. If you have not yet signed up to help, call Jill Couillard or Barbara Langill in the church office.
“Almost Sunrise” Easter Service
There is still time to sign up for the 7:30 a.m. Easter Service. We have small speaking parts for children and we have longer (1-2 paragraphs) parts for adults. Also, if there is a child who would like to participate, but may not be ready to speak into a microphone, we welcome them to be part of the service by placing a flower on a cross. Call Jill Couillard or Barbara Langill in the church office if you would like to volunteer. This informal service will be held on the front lawn.
A rehearsal for all volunteers will take place on Saturday, March 22 at 11:00 a.m.
Youth Group News
There are no Youth Group meetings this Sunday, March 16. Youth and their families are encouraged to attend the performance of Resurrection at 7:30 at Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted Parish in Waltham, MA. For those of you who may not have seen this before, it is a truly moving performance and it is the inspirational story of Simon Peter and the forgiveness of Jesus Christ. This drama production also corresponds nicely to what the children and youth are learning in their Rotation Sensation workshops, “Easter Through the Eyes of Peter. More information regarding this musical drama is posted on the bulletin board outside of the Fireside Room. You will also be able to see our own Elyssa Bjorkman, who will be in the cast.
Tupperware – Fundraising Event
We are sponsoring a Tupperware Fundraiser from Sunday, March 9 through Sunday, March 30. The children and youth were given a special fundraiser catalog this past Sunday. Remember, 40% of sales will go directly towards the High School Youth Group mission trip to New Orleans and the National Youth Event in Tennessee. There will be extra catalogs in the church office and on the literature table in the Narthex. Please call Barbara Langill or Jill Couillard in the church office if you have any questions.
Mystery Dinner Theater
March 29, at 6:00 p.m.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. A way to fund our local operating budget, a way to support our church’s wider mission and a way to have fun! Our dinner theater production of “Reading Aunt Louise’s Will” involves: a large estate, a devoted son, a past romance, a good-time guy, some good-time girls, a biker chick, a death or two, an over-the-hill hippie, a famous local detective, the long arm of the law, mystery and mayhem. And… YOU! Yes, YOU will enjoy dinner and this theatrical performance, and then be able to help solve the crime as well! It’s a show you don’t want to miss.
The time: 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 29
The place: Chez Richards (Richards Hall)
The menu: Chicken dinner by The Red Rooster
The price: Freewill offering to defray meal and support the high school mission trip
The clues: Bring some $$ to buy clues ($1 each) to help you solve the crime.
Please RSVP by signing the poster in the narthex or calling the church office. Just mention if you need a ride, and it will be arranged for you. This event is being brought to you by the Stewardship Committee.
See Debbie Cotting or Linda Ladd for more info.
High School Retreat
The High School Youth Group will be going to Six Flags on Saturday, May 17. We will spend Saturday night at Warner Farm, a UCC Retreat Center in Cummington, MA. We will plan to be back in Lynnfield by 1 p.m. on Sunday. Please return your permission slip and payment of $75.00 by Sunday, March 16.
Planned Giving Committee
On March 2 at a Special Congregational Meeting we took up the matter of creating the Planned Giving Committee and establishing The 1720 Founders Fund. This is a significant milestone in our congregations’ history to re-build our endowment and also to provide for a means to make it easier to include Centre Congregational Church in your financial and estate planning.
In so voting to establish the Planned Giving Committee we amended our bylaws to make this a permanent committee which is under the umbrella of responsibilities of the Finance Ministries Team. If anyone would like a revised set of church bylaws please contact the church office and one will be sent to you.
Chair, Finance Ministries
High School Youth Volunteers Needed
Still looking for Community Service Hours? High School Youth are needed to volunteer on the following dates. Call or email Barbara Langill at church to say you can help!
Easter Fun Day
Saturday, March 22 - 9:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
Sunday, March 23 - 8:00 a.m.- 10:00 a.m.
Sat., March 29 - 5:30 pm.- 8:00 p.m.
(to serve as waiters/waitresses- please wear black pants/skirts and white shirt)
News From Around the Parish
Our congratulations to Ryan Batchelder and Jeffrey Robinson as they complete their Eagle Scout Court of Honor this Sunday, March 16. Ryan is a member of our Church. Jeffrey is the great-grandson of Jennie Robinson, a long-time member of this Church.
Thank you for including my Dad in the prayer list. Yesterday he was moved to the Mt. Sinai Rehab Center in Stoughton. We are so thankful. After months in the hospital, there is finally improvement. My family and I are so grateful for everyone’s concerns and Dennis’ visits and phone calls.
Thanks SO MUCH!
|Morning Worship - Sanctuary
Nursery Care – Room 14
Confirmation – Kitchen
Youth Choir – Choir Room
Mystery Dinner Rehearsal - Richards Hall
Eagle Scout Ceremony
No Youth Groups this evening
|6:00 pm||Confirmation Class – Pastor’s Office|
|7:00 pm||Knitting Group – Fireside Room|
|Craft ‘n Chat – Kitchen
Maundy Thursday Service - Sanctuary
Senior Choir – Choir Room
|10:30 am||Scripture Study - Pastor's Office|
|10:00 am||Easter Fun Day for Children|
Our thoughts and prayers are with:
We also remember Greg Lengyel, Paul Folkins and Brian Bisacre in Iraq.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Head Usher: Jeff Law
Lay Reader: Allie Parker
Provide Altar Flowers: Grayce Kushmerek
Deliver Altar Flowers: Edie and Earl Richard
Muffins: 6th-8th Grade
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.