Tower Notes

Centre Congregational Church
United Church of Christ

We Welcome Everyone: An "Open & Affirming" Church
Handicap Accessible

Phone: (781) 334-3050; Fax: (781) 334-6463; Email: Office@Centre-Church.org
5 Summer Street, Lynnfield, Massachusetts 01940

The Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey, Pastor - Pastor@Centre-Church.org
Jill Couillard & Barbara Langill - Directors of Christian Education & Youth Ministry - ChristianEd@Centre-Church.org

Douglas W. Hodgkins: Organist/Choir Director
Sally MacDonald, Director of Tower Day School
Susan Spear, Secretary

July 30, 2008

 


 

Traveling Light

Well, it's time to pack for the journey to New Orleans with the youth and adults of Centre Church and First Congregational Church, UCC, Dalton, MA. Our leader will be Carl McDonald, staff of the City Mission Society, Boston, and the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ. We will be staying at St. Paul's United Church of Christ in New Orleans.

I'm very excited about this, my first Mission Trip experience! I am anxious, though, about the challenge of packing for this trip, packing light, given the new restrictions on airline travel and luggage. For me, it's not just packing for the Mission Trip, but also, the double challenge of packing first, for the Mission Trip, and second, to then go from New Orleans to Orlando, Florida, to officiate at my granddaughter's wedding on August 10th! How do I pack for these two very different events and experiences all at once?

It means careful consideration of taking only what I need and only what I will actually use!

Fortunately, Jesus gave us instructions about such experiences when he called us to follow him as disciples. Did he have some idea that we would be facing such challenging restrictions in air travel or, is it just a condition of discipleship?

Fortunately, also, for me, I've had a lot of experience in traveling light via my years of backpacking and bicycling from a few days to as long as 3 months at a time. It's amazing what can be packed when forced to reduce in order to take only what is needed.

Of course, in our consumer oriented society we are shoppers and packers capable of filling any space to the fullest, no matter how large. I go to places like the Christmas Tree Shop and other discount stores and see people like myself buying all kinds of things that we “might” need, that we buy “just in case I need it,” or “Oh, that's cute. I just have to have it. I'll think of some way of using it.” Even while we are in the checkout line at such places we are still shopping, telling the cashier, “I'll be right back. I want that cute little lamp I saw at the back of the store,” leaving 32 people standing in the checkout line while we get one more thing. Drives me crazy! I would never do a thing like that. Yeah, right!

Discipleship is learning to travel light. When Jesus sent his disciples out he instructed them to travel light: no beggars’ bag, no extra shirt, no money in their pockets, according to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. He instructed them to carry no food, either, according the Gospels of Mark and Luke. The Gospel of Mark allows a walking stick while the Gospels of Luke and Matthew put the walking stick on the “forbidden” list. (Mark 6:6-9; Luke 9:2-4; Matthew 10:9-11)

The important thing, though, is to also observe that Jesus never instructed them to go alone. They were sent out two by two. They were sent out from the spiritual community, the fellowship of Christians and disciples, and they were to then return to the same and full company of disciples and Jesus, himself.

Even when I have traveled alone on my bicycle, I was constantly aware of all of those who were supporting me and helping me. I often stayed with people who welcomed me. In fact, I had spent a lot of time planning to have places to stay, people who would welcome me, along my journey. I was also aware of the spirit's presence in my life and on my journey. I, too, traveled from and returned to my spiritual community. Even during the trip I communicated frequently with them about my travels, experiences, and blessings, as well as my challenges. I received a lot of support of all kinds. Never alone. Not a solitary journey.

Traveling to New Orleans with members of our spiritual community, forces me to push back the curtain that screens me from the rest of the world. It will challenge me to see beyond the safe and comfortable life that I live here. It will challenge me to see and to hear more than I normally do, the painful realities that others of my brothers and sisters face. It forces me to look at the stuff I carry every day in my life and how I can reduce to make my life simpler and myself more able to share with others.

Our mission as disciples here, in New Orleans or anywhere we go, is to model this observation made by Jesus via one of his teaching stories (Matthew 25:35-40): “...I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' ... 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'”

And then I think about some of God's creation, like butterflies. They fly lightly, so freely, finding what they need as they travel. They carry nothing except themselves. They are resourceful and know where to look for what they need. And yet, they are beautiful.

I pray, “Oh Lord, help us to travel light to our mission, our work, our calls to service today, tomorrow, and wherever we go. Let us not miss a person to whom you send us. Let us be able to listen, serve, speak, heal, pray, resurrect, and do anything and everything you give us to do, taking only what we need and trusting you to provide. In Jesus' name, I pray, Amen.”

Yours in Christ, traveling light,
Dennis

 


 

IN THE CHAPEL – 9:00 a.m.

August 3, 2008
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Richard Phelps

August 10, 2008
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Frances Bogle
Just Peace Coordinator for the MBA

August 17, 24 and 31
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey

Join us for these informal services followed by punch and fellowship.

 


 

 

Youth Trips

Nine High School Youth along with 3 chaperones attended the National Youth Event in Knoxville, TN along with 2,800 other UCC youth. They participated in workshops, listened to inspiring speakers, met new friends from around the country and attended energetic worship services. A great time was had by all! The youth will give a presentation on their experience at NYE in the fall.

High School Youth along with several chaperones will be heading to New Orleans this week for a mission trip. The youth will be serving and helping in a variety of ways. We wish them a safe trip and look forward to hearing about their experiences.

 

 

Youth Group News

We invite members of the Youth Group (incoming 5th grade through graduated seniors) to our summer get together on Tuesday, August 19 from 5-7 p.m. at the Bostonville Grille. The Grille is located on Rte. 1 N in Lynnfield. Pizza and soda will be provided. Please bring your own money for the games ($5.00 for 20 tokens). Parents should plan to drop off kids at the Grille at 5:00 p.m. and pick up from the Grille by 7:00 p.m.

Please call the church office by August 13 to let us know if you will be able to make it. We look forward to seeing everyone!

 

 

Leaders and Shepherds

A Leader and Shepherd meeting is scheduled for the evening of August 25. This meeting will be for all the volunteers for the 2008-2009 Rotation Sensation season. A letter will be sent out closer to the date with the details listed.

We are still looking for a few more volunteers to help out. We are in need of one more volunteer for the art rotation. We also are in need of 2 leaders for our 7th & 8th grade class and 1 more shepherd for our 7th & 8th grade class. If you are able to volunteer your time and enthusiasm to the children of the church, please call the church office.

 

 

Essex River Cruise – Final Reminder
Sunday, August 17 – 3:30-5:00 p.m.

There are now 82 people signed up for this cruise with dinner at Woodman’s afterward. Meet at 35 Dodge St., Essex, MA – the Essex Marina- for the 3:30 p.m. departure.

Deadline for signup and payments is Friday, August 1. Please send checks made out to Centre Church to the church office, c/o Susan Spear, noting River Cruise in the memo portion. Total cost is $22.00 per person. If you need a ride, please call the church office 781-334-3050 or Chuck Cotting 781-593-3120.

 

 

Annual Golf Tournament

Save the date of Friday, September 19 for this year’s annual Centre Church Golf Tournament. This will be an afternoon event with a tee time of 1:00 p.m. This is a best ball tournament and the net proceeds go right to our Outreach Ministries Team to support our missions giving program. Look for more information in future issues of Tower Notes. Call Phil Johnson if you have questions - 781-598-5678.

 

 

Lights Out Program

A dedicated, but small, list of our members serve to make sure that the church is locked up and all lights are out every night after all of the meetings and events of the day. We could use some more members and friends of the congregation to help in this vitally important task. Please contact the church office 781-334-3050 or Phil Johnson 781-598-5678 if you would like to learn more about volunteering for this or if you have any questions

 

 

News From Around the Parish

We extend our love and sympathy to Bill Hoey and Bev Pettit and their families upon the death of Bill’s mother, Hazel Hoey of Somerville on July 13.

Our congratulations to Melanie Marie Botticelli and Michael Francis Fusco who were married at Centre Church on July 19.

Congratulations to Ernie Becker for receiving his 50 Year Veteran’s Medal from the Star of Bethlehem Masonic Lodge.

 

 

From the Mailbox

Dearest Friends,

Thank you can hardly express how grateful Phil and I are for all of the prayers, love, cards and caring you showed us during Diana’s illness. Thanks to all of you and the grace of God, Diana is recovering beautifully! This past month has been the most difficult of our lives but your constant support gave us the strength we needed.

God Bless! In Jesus’ name,
Debby and Phil Triffletti

 

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your cards, visits and expressions of sympathy at the recent passing of Phil’s mother. Your support and friendship at this time has been very important to both of us. Thank you to Dennis for his genuine concern at this difficult time not only for us, but for our entire family. It is so rewarding to know just how much our congregation cares about one another.

Thanks again, Phil and Sue Johnson

 

 

Bits ‘n Pieces

August Office Hours: 9 a.m. – 12:00 Noon, Monday through Friday. The next Tower Notes will be the week of August 25.

Table Matters: Would someone like to help the church by repairing some of our ailing tables? We have a few round and rectangular tables that need their legs repaired or replaced. If you would like to take on this project, please call the church office and/or see Rev. Bailey. Thanks.

Bread and Roses: We can always use extra help preparing the meal to be taken to Bread and Roses in Lawrence on the first Wednesday of each month. If you would be interested in helping by baking brownies or by substituting in the kitchen, please call the church office. Reminder: if you are scheduled to work in the kitchen on August 6 and can’t make it, be sure to get a substitute.

Special Needs Yard Sale: Saturday, September 13 -Meeting House on the Common - 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. rain or shine. Cleaning, organizing, moving…??? Donations (and customers) are very welcome. Call Fran Soderberg at 781-334-3437.

 

 


 

OUR OPPORTUNITIES

 

Sunday
August 3
9:00 am Holy Communion - Chapel
Wednesday
August 6
8:30 am Bread & Roses Meal Prep-Kitchen
Friday
August 8
10:30 am Scripture Study – Pastor’s Office
Sunday
August 10
9:00 am Morning Worship - Chapel
Thursday
August 14
6:00 am Golf Group – Reedy Meadow
Friday
August 15
10:30 am Scripture Study – Pastor’s Office
Sunday
August 17
9:00 am
3:30 pm
Morning Worship – Chapel
Essex River Cruise & Woodman’s
Tuesday
August 19
5:00 pm Youth Pizza Party (Grades 5-12) - Bostonville Grille
Friday
August 22
10:30 am Scripture Study – Pastor’s Office
Sunday
August 24
9:00 am Morning Worship - Chapel
Monday
August 25
7:00 pm Rotation Leaders Mtg. - Fireside
Thursday
August 28
6:00 am Golf Group – Reedy Meadow
Sunday
August 31
9:00 am Morning Worship - Chapel

 

Our thoughts and prayers are with:

We also remember Col. Brian Bisacre, Jane Vancor’s cousin and Maj. Alec Leung, Ollie and Carl Wood’s grandson in Iraq.

 

Ushers in August
August 3 – Linda Ladd
August 10 – Mark Meehl and Karen Harrington
August 17 – Jeff Law
August 24 – Michelle Hagerty
August 31 – Mark Meehl and Karen Harrington