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
May 14, 2008
Every day when I was growing up on the farm we had certain priorities. My brother and I knew that when we woke it was our job to go to the barn and do our chores. The pigs, cattle, and chickens had to be fed. The one or two cows that we had needed to be milked by hand. The eggs had to be collected from the chickens. In the spring, summer, and fall, the cattle were put out to pasture and, at the end of the day, brought back in.
These things had to be done every day, whether we liked it or not. Without doing these things we would not be able to raise the animals, make money.
We all have priorities, things that have to be done in order to make a living for ourselves, keep our homes safe, and to be loving of our families and friends, those whom God has given to us.
Spiritual priorities are important, also. Even though work on the family farm was never done, aside from the necessary chores, we never worked on Sunday. Even when it was sorely tempting, we gave the work that was pending to God. It was so hard, at times, because a field of hay was ready to be bailed but it had to wait till Monday, even if Sunday was a sunny day and rain was forecast for Monday. If the hay got wet, we waited till it was dry. As a result, the hay crop was not as good. But, we gave it to God to provide for us in such cases.
I wonder about the story from Luke 15:8-9, about the woman who loses one of her silver coins. She lights a lamp, sweeps the house, and searches carefully until she finds it. I wonder about this story because we lose things too, don't we. We lose things that were once precious to us and then, when we need them, it's hard to find them. Having moved a few times over the past couple of years I know about losing things. I know that I still have them but where can they be? Precious kitchen tools, cookbooks, clothing, tools for my car, etc.
We lose and/or misplace things when we don't use them often enough. In the same way, we can lose our spiritual roots when we don't use them and/or go to them on a regular basis. Regular attendance at our church, involvement in a certain part of our church's ministry, teaching, being an officer, serving as a Deacon or a Caregiver, singing in the choir, serving coffee on Sundays, supporting the youth programs, and significant financial support all help to maintain our spiritual roots so that when we or others really need them, we know exactly where they are.
I know that sometimes we feel and I feel, well, if I don't attend church this week it's no big deal. Well maybe not, but on so many occasions when you are there someone is glad to see you, someone is blessed by your presence, and you can be a help to another person who is looking for a friend, an old friend and/or a new friend, just like you.
Friendships are like this, too. If we don't interact with someone for a long time, the friendship fades away, weakens, and, before you know it we lose touch. In some cases, those very friends are an important part of our spiritual roots.
Priorities include our spiritual roots and our friends. Let's not forget them or lose them. Even as we approach the season of summer, I hope and pray that if you are in town, that you will still keep worship attendance as a priority in your life. If you are out of town, consider visiting another church and make some new friends in faith.
Priorities of faith can be found in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 5.
Furthermore, I'm always glad to see you because now you, too, are an important part of my spiritual roots.
Yours in Christ,
IN THE SANCTURY
May 18, 2008
10:00 A.M. Morning Worship
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
“Commissioned To Go But….”
Children may worship with families before going to Rotation Workshops.
Workshops will be held on May 18 for children and youth ages 4 – 8th Grade. The PreK – 1st Grade will attend a Lord’s Prayer Class. 2nd-3rd Grade will learn about the Beatitudes and the 4th-8th Grade will explore the Ten Commandments. The regular morning routine will be followed with the kids attending the first part of the service in the Sanctuary and then being dismissed to the Chapel. Parents should pick up their children in the Chapel at 11:15.
Nursery care is provided each Sunday for infants through age 3. Come in and enjoy stories, fun and games with our trained staff.
Weekly Seeds continues on May 18 in the Pastor’s Outer Office for our High School Youth. Join us upstairs immediately following the children’s sermon in the Sanctuary.
Invest in our Youth
This Sunday the youth will be selling shares for the New Orleans Mission Trip. Shares are $20.00 each and all those purchasing stock will be invited to a Shareholders’ Dinner in the fall where we will share our experiences from the trip. You may also send in your order to the church office and your share will be mailed to you. If you would like to help out, please fill out the form available here.
The Outreach Commission wishes to thank those who generously donated to our latest concerns.
Over $1,300.00 was sent to One Great Hour of Sharing. In addition, two local food pantries, the Christian Community Service based in North Reading and the Interfaith Council of Wakefield each received over $550.00 from the Easter Offering.
Our major goal this year was to help with food and fuel issues, and you have done it.
Chris Gehret – Outreach Ministries
Youth Group News
On May 18, 5th-8th Grade Groups should plan on meeting in Todd Hall for some year-end fun. Join us from 6:00-7:30 for dinner and games.
On May 18, 9th-12th Grade Group will meet downstairs in the kitchen. A cookout and outdoor games are planned for this night. This will be our Senior Send Off. We look forward to seeing everyone!
Thank you to the Middle School Youth Group for working at Cradles to Crayons this past Saturday. The Middle School youth packed 3 cars full of donations, unloaded these cars at the donation site and then proceeded to sort clothes, toys and games at the site. They worked very hard. Many thanks to everyone who donated to this wonderful cause.
Thank you to the High School Youth Group for working at our Recycling Drive and to everyone who contributed to the drive. We were able to raise $3,000.00 to go towards this summer’s Mission Trip to New Orleans and to the UCC National Youth Event.
The Mother’s Day Flower Sale was a great success. Thanks to everyone who bought flowers. We sold over 25 hanging plants and made $300.00 for our summer trips.
High School Youth are needed to volunteer at the International Fun Day on Saturday, May 31. You will receive community service hours for your efforts. Please call Mrs. Langill if you can help.
Now that you have saved the date, May 31st, 3:00-7:00 p.m., look at your recipes and share a special ethnic side dish or dessert. We’ll munch away in the narthex and enjoy an afternoon of fun and games for all ages on the front lawn. Festivities will also include a barbeque, prepared by Master Chef, Chuck Cotting.
Come One and All!
Call Mary Ann Parker 781-334-4335 for more info.
Opportunities to Help Those in Need
Please bring non-perishable food to the carts in the Missions Pantry. Kevin Matthews will organize the food donations and get them to Haven from Hunger in Peabody as part of his Eagle Scout Project.
Donations are being accepted for the UCC Disaster Relief Fund. Money will support not only those affected by the cyclone in Myanmar but also those affected by the recent violent tornadoes in the South and Midwest. Please make checks payable to Centre Church with the notation – UCC Disaster Relief Fund. Chris Gehret for Outreach Ministries
Painting Given to Centre Church
A painting of the Meeting House by William Thompson, Lynnfield resident and member of Centre Church, was given to Dr. George Robinson by the town of Lynnfield in 1977 in gratitude for his generous service to the community. It was given to Centre Church by the children of Dr. George and Dorothy Robinson on May 3, 2008 on the occasion of Dorothy Lambert Robinson’s Memorial Service. It is hanging in the narthex over the Book of Remembrance. We are grateful for this generous gift.
Cat’s Meow Replica of Centre Church
There are just 3 of these highly collectible wooden replicas of Centre Church remaining. ($20 each) They will be available after church on Sunday, or call Barbara Langill in the church office. Proceeds from their sale will benefit the youth summer trips.
News From Around the Parish
We extend our love and sympathy to the family and friends of Shirley Northrup Decker who died on May 6. Her Memorial Service will be held in the Sanctuary on Thursday, May 15 at 11:00 a.m. followed by a collation at the Meeting House.
We rejoice with Stephen and Erin Lanciani upon the baptism of their daughter, Alison Brooke on May 11. Her proud big sister is Sophie.
We rejoice with Bryan Lewis and Kerry Elliott upon the baptism of their daughter, Camiele Elliott Lewis on May 11. Her proud siblings are Emily and Matthew Earle and Evan and Anjelina Lewis.
Our Congratulations to the following graduate school and college grads.
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Mt. Sinai Medical School, NY, NY
Residency: University of Pennsylvania
Bates College, Lewiston, ME
Sarah Asher, Ginny Daniels’ granddaughter
Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY
BA/ Fashion Marketing & Design
It’s not too late to include your favorite grad in a future issue of Tower Notes. Call the church office 781-334-3050 or email us at email@example.com. with the details.
High School Graduates will be listed in a few weeks.
|Morning Worship – Sanctuary
Nursery – Room 14
Weekly Seeds Group- Pastor’s Office
Youth Choir – Choir Room
Youth Groups (Grades 5-12)
|Stewardship Comm – 2nd Floor Office
Diaconate – Pastor’s Office
|7:00 pm||Knitting Group – Fireside Room|
|Planned Giving – Pastor’s Office|
|Golf Group – Reedy Meadow
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.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Head Usher: Jeff Law
Lay Reader: Doreen DiFillippo
Provide Altar Flowers: Lucia family
Deliver Altar Flowers: Barbara Ericson and Barbara O’Connell
Centre Church’s Worship Services are broadcast in Lynnfield and Peabody at the following times:
In addition, DVDs of the services are available for check-out from the church office in case you missed a Sunday.