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:
5 Summer Street, Lynnfield, Massachusetts 01940

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

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

September 24, 2008



Honoring a Pastor

On this coming Sunday, September 28 at our Annual Meeting immediately following the church service, we will be receiving reports from this past year, voting on those who will be serving as our church leaders and officers for the coming year, and considering one special action: the recommendation from me, your Pastor, and the Parish Council, that we name Centre Church's previous and now retired Pastor, Rev. Mark Strickland, as Pastor Emeritus of Centre Congregational Church, United Church of Christ.

What does the term “Pastor Emeritus” mean in the United Church of Christ? It is a term used to honor a person who has served in a lengthy and distinguished ministry in a particular church. The designation also recognizes an individual’s formal retirement. It is an act of a local church to confer this honor and status.

The word “Emeritus” has to do with being retired from active service while retaining one’s title as an honor. The retaining of title is offered because of merit earned during the time of active service. The honor is never an automatic one but rather is a recognition of exceptional service. Rev. Strickland served as Centre Church's Senior Pastor for 23 years, having a significant and positive impact on the life and ministry of the church, and its many, many individuals and families, as well as upon the community of Lynnfield.

Rev. Strickland is now retired from active ministry. He lives in Hamden, Connecticut, with his wife, Rev. Nancy Strickland, who serves as the Associate Pastor of the Spring Glen Church, United Church of Christ, Hamden, CT.

In conferring the title Pastor Emeritus upon Rev. Mark Strickland, there would not be any expectations of the work of ministry in the life and work of Centre Church or with any of its members. This is our opportunity to acknowledge Mark's significant role in the history of Centre Church. It is our way of holding Mark in high regard, to honor the pastoral office and the fine work that he did when he served in that role at Centre Church. It is also our way of remembering Mark, holding his health, life, and family in high regard. We may, on special occasions, like particular church celebrations and/or anniversaries, wish to invite Rev. Strickland to play a specific role. This would be done in consultation with the Parish Council and the current Senior Pastor.

The pastor emeritus understands that all invitations for pastoral services are referred to the present Senior Pastor.

As part of our ongoing concern for Mark, we would be happy to report on his ongoing health and happiness. We would welcome Mark and his family should they wish to visit with us on occasion.

If voted, we would make note of the official designation of Rev. Mark F. Strickland, Pastor Emeritus, on our Tower Notes letterhead.

At my recommendation, the Parish Council has voted to recommend this action at our Annual Meeting. The resolution to be considered this coming Sunday, September 28th, may read something like this:

If voted, an official conferring of the status of Pastor Emeritus upon Rev. Mark F. Strickland would take place on Sunday, November 9, 2008, during the regular worship service. Mark and his wife, Nancy, would be present, along with Rev. Wendy Vander-Hart, Acting Conference Minister of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ. Present and former parishioners, friends and family, close to Mark, would also be invited. The Membership Committee would plan a special luncheon following the service. It would be a celebration of Mark's ministry and the ministry of Centre Church. Mark would also be invited to preach the sermon on that Sunday.

I hope that you will attend and participate in our Annual Meeting Sunday right after church. I also hope that, if you have any questions, you will feel free to contact me this week. I am proud to be your Senior Pastor, to follow in the footsteps of a Pastor like Rev. Mark Strickland, for whom I have had a great deal of respect from afar during my career in ministry in the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ.

Yours in Christ,



September 28, 2008
Exodus 17:1-7, Matthew 21:23-32

10:00 A.M. Morning Worship

Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
“The Day the Training Wheels Came Off”

Children’s Message: “Beautiful Feet”

Children may worship with families before going to Rotation Workshops.




Rotation Sensation

Nursery: All infants through age 3 are invited to join us in Room 14 for stories and fun during the worship services. Our trained staff is available to greet your child with a smile. In order to effectively communicate with parents of our little ones, we have a paging system in place. Stop by the Nursery on Sunday to say hello.

Rotation Workshops: “The Parable of the Lost Sheep” is our focus during this rotation. Children, PreK-Grade 6 are invited to attend our workshops this Sunday. We continue to learn the parable through drama, art, and story telling.

Grades 7 & 8: Meet in the Pastor’s outer office this Sunday morning, September 28. We will get to know one another through games. It will be a morning of fun and learning.

Registration Forms: Please be sure to complete and return your registration forms for Rotation Sensation. All children, infant through grade 8 should be registered. This will help us to efficiently plan workshops and properly address allergy concerns. If you have not yet turned in your forms, please do so today.



Bus Trip to Heifer International Farm

Join us on Sunday, October 5 from 11:30-4:30 for a church-wide outing to Overlook Farm’s Harvest Festival.You will have the opportunity to learn about Heifer International as you meet many of Heifer’s animals including a pair of water buffalo, a yak, llamas and traditional farm animals such as pigs and goats. You can go on a hayride, explore the Global Village, tackle the Hay Maze, and enjoy many other fun activities. We will be traveling to the farm by bus and plan on leaving the church promptly at 11:30 a.m. We will return around 4:30-5:00 p.m. The cost will be $5.00 per person. There are picnic areas available, so please plan to bring a bag lunch with you. Be sure to sign up in the Narthex or call the church office so we are able to plan accordingly.



College Freshman Addresses Needed

The High School Youth Group will be sending care packages out to our college freshmen this fall. Please call or e-mail the church office with their college address so that they will be sure to get a surprise package from their friends at youth group.



Centre Congregational Church
Notice of Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting of the church will be held on Sunday, September 28, 2008 at 11:30 a.m. to discuss the following items:

  1. Reports of Officers and Ministry Teams
  2. Planned Giving Committee Report
  3. Presentation and Approval of the 2008 to 2009 Budget
  4. Election of Officers, Ministry Team Chairs, and Other Positions
  5. Remembrance of Deceased Members
  6. Recognition of 50 Year Members
  7. At the request of our Senior Pastor, Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey, and Parish Council, act on a motion to vote Rev. Mark F. Strickland, Pastor Emeritus of Centre Congregational Church, honoring his 23 years of service as Senior Pastor.

Sandi Watson, Recording Clerk

The nursery will be open and child care will be provided during the meeting. Children may be picked up in the Chapel after the meeting.



Youth Groups

Youth Group kicked off on Sunday, Sept. 21 with pizza and fun. We were happy to see so many youth attend. On September 28 our 7th & 8th Grade Group as well as the High School Group will meet from 6:00-7:30 p.m. We look forward to seeing you there!

Youth Registration, Medical and Permission Forms are now due back. All youth group participants must have their forms on file to be able to participate in the social events which are planned. If you have not yet turned in your forms, please bring them with you on Sunday or mail them to the church office.



From the Mailbox

Dear Friends at Centre Church,

We are so appreciative of your care and concern following Shep’s unexpected heart surgery. Dennis’ many visits and extraordinary pastoral care, your phone calls, cards, help in the church office, altar flowers, etc. etc. were all so comforting to us during this time. We are so grateful to have such a caring church family. Special thanks to Barbara Langill and Jill Couillard for doing the church office job in addition to their own work for several weeks.

Susan and Shep Spear



Appliance/Computer Recycling Drive

Bring your unwanted, unused televisions, computer monitors and appliances for recycling on Saturday, October 4 from 9:00-12 noon. Members of the High School Youth Group will be on hand to help unload items to the CRT Recycling trucks. All proceeds will go toward this year’s Mission Trip.

Pick up is available for seniors. Please call the church office to make arrangements.



News From Around the Parish

We extend our love and sympathy to the family and friends of Anne E. Holland of Ipswich who died on September 1. She is survived by her husband, Michael, two daughters, Michelle and Stephanie, a son and daughter-in-law Christopher and Susan and five grandchildren.



Lights Out Program

If you can volunteer some time to help us make sure that the church building is secure every evening for one week, please contact Phil Johnson at 781-598-5678 or We can use more help!



Lost and Found

Found in Todd Hall on Sunday: A Ford Car Key. Please call the church office to claim.






September 28
10:00 am
10:00 am
10:20 am
11:30 am
11:30 am
6:00 pm
Morning Worship - Sanctuary
Nursery – Room 14
Rotation Workshops
Annual Meeting – Sanctuary
Nursery Open/Children’s Activities
Youth Groups (Grades 7-12)
September 30
7:00 pm Knitting Group – Fireside Room
October 1
8:30 am Bread & Roses Meal Preparation – Kitchen
October 2
7:30 pm Senior Choir - Choir Room
October 3
10:30 am Scripture Study - Pastor's Office
October 4
9am - Noon Appliance/Computer Recycling – Parking Lot


Our love 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.


Sunday, September 28, 2008
Head Usher: Linda Ladd
Reader: Frank Scott
Greeter: Barbara Ericson
Provide Altar Flowers: Priscilla Hahn
Coffee Hour: Marian Orfeo and Frank Scott



Cable Broadcasts of Worship

Our Sunday Morning Services can be seen on local access television each week. Below is the schedule:

  • Verizon – Lynnfield & most other towns
    • Thursday at 7 p.m. on Channel 28
    • Saturday & Sunday 9 am – Channel 26
    • Sunday at 3 p.m. – Channel 26
  • Comcast:
    • Lynnfield - Thursday at 7:00 p.m. on Channel 12
    • Peabody - Sunday at 9:00 a.m. on Channel 10
    • N. Reading – Saturday 9:00 am on Channel 10 and Sunday 9 am & 3 pm on Channel 10

DVD and VHS recordings of the services can be borrowed from the Church Office at any time.