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
October 29, 2008
Amazing Acts of Community
In these financially challenging times we are forced to cut back on our expenses. Christmas giving this year will be very meager for many, many people. There is less, if any, money in our entertainment budgets.
There is also the temptation to completely pull back, to be less and less generous in our attitudes and in our giving when we go through challenging times. We can be tempted to pull back from our communities of support when we are experiencing such challenges. Some people feel less comfortable participating in community if they cannot be as giving as they once were. And yet, when we are going through challenging times we need the presence of our communities of faith and support all the more.
Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” Herman Melville wrote, “We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow humans; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.”
Ministry and community in the context of church life can be very powerful when lives are connected in activities, prayer, worship, singing, leadership, serving, and sharing. Add to that our histories, our pasts, in which we have other connections that occasionally come back into play in our present. We often wonder if God is at work in these places. I wonder.
When welcoming new members into the church I often discover some of the ways that connections have been made. Sometimes connections are made within the first few moments that a person walks in the door, the way in which they are noticed and welcomed. Sometimes it’s just a feeling that “I'm home.” Some connections were made years earlier because our parents took us to church and gave us a grounding in the value of a spiritual community, and the importance of faith that takes us beyond ourselves as Christ went beyond himself for our sake. Connections can be made when altruistic people find a gathering of other such persons who find life and meaning by giving beyond themselves. Connections are made when we experience joy and excitement when we are together. And, when we are in crisis, the connection of being reached out to instills in us the awareness that we are not alone, that there are people who are willing to walk the extra miles, the extra hours, and offer extra prayers for us and for our loved ones.
Case in point: While growing up in the church of my childhood, I was given so many faith connections. Most importantly I was given my faith, a faith that taught me that God was with me always and that I was loved and loved very much by God and God's people. I was also taught the value of serving and giving to the place we know as “church” because it is the place where we gather in the name of the one who has called us into life. While we often say “it's just a building,” it is a lot more than that when the people of faith gather there to savor our connections with each other and to restore our faith and hope in the one who tells us that we can be more, a lot more, by following his lead and accepting his invitation to be disciples.
Giving ourselves to gathering for worship, meetings, projects, fellowship, and learning strengthens us all. Worship, in particular, is multi-dimensional. The fellowship bolsters our egos to help us feel valued by others who are glad to see us. We have the opportunity to give ourselves to greeting and listening to others, gaining new friends and spiritual colleagues. The shared and diverse music through congregational singing, through the sounds of the organ and piano, and through the dedicated persons and voices of the choir help us experience the mystery of God's majesty. It is very moving to see and hear members of our community sing and move to the music, making us want to join them in giving of ourselves, too, through singing and/or serving.
Over the next few weeks, in worship and community, you will have the opportunity to see first hand how God is at work among us: past, present, and future. This coming Sunday, November 2nd, we will celebrate the Sacrament of Baptism with two families. One new family, the Hixons, are joining us to make a new connection with us with the baptism of their son, Cole. A family with a past connection, the Parkers, bring their twin daughters, Grace and Emma. Their mother, Karyn Parker, grew up at Centre Church as Karyn Harris. Now, married to Christian Parker, they are prepared to move from Watertown back to the Lynnfield area, in order to be closer to family and a part of the place where Karyn experienced love and faith as a child, Centre Church. We will also share Holy Communion as part of this service, creatively blending, in worship, the message and meaning of our two sacraments at one time.
Sunday, November 9th, will be an opportunity to honor the connections of the past by recognizing the Ministry and person of Rev. Mark Freeman Strickland. Many still active at Centre Church served with Mark in ministry here, and remain grateful for his work and their shared life together. Others who have moved away will, we hope, return to be present with Mark to give thanks to God for his ministry and dedication. What he did at Centre Church still serves as strength in our work together.
Sunday, November 16th, we will welcome four new members: Nancy Lauzon, who has been active at Centre Church for many years, appreciates its value and meaning in her life; Mary McCarthy, who started attending recently, with son, Jonathan, and has felt right at home here; and Gage and Dot Whittier, who were members at Centre Church over 20 years ago and now, returning, are excited to be back, reconnecting!
I hope and pray that you will be present with us, especially now, in these challenging times, so that your life and faith, your hope, will be renewed in Christ, as we, together, walk in the light and presence of Christ.
Jesus said, “I am the Door. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture.” (John 10:9).
Yours in Christ,
IN THE SANCTUARY
November 2, 2008
10:00 A.M. Holy Communion
Sacrament of Baptism
Communion Meditation by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
“Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”
Children’s Message by Jill Couillard & Barbara Langill
Children may worship with their families for the entire service as we learn more about Baptism.
Set Clocks Back One Hour On Saturday, November 1
Pastor Emeritus Luncheon
Following Worship on November 9
Planned Bill of Fare: Lobster Rolls, Clam Chowder, Chowder Crackers, Chips, Cheese Pizza, Desserts, Coffee, Juice, Water
We really need to have people sign up so that we have enough food for all who want to come. Please contact Susan Spear at the Church Office 781-334-3050 or contact Chuck Cotting 781-593-3120.
Thank you to those who have already signed up!
The Nursery will be open on Sunday, November 2. We welcome all infants and toddlers through age 3 to join us for a special time of stories and fun. Pagers are available for all parents.
Children and youth preK-8th grade are welcome to worship in the sanctuary with their families this Sunday. We will celebrate communion together and have the opportunity to learn about baptism. We hope to see all of you then.
Pumpkins for PigsThank you to the 22 youth, one Reverend and several chaperones who carved pumpkins this past Saturday. Voting took place on Sunday and we were able to raise over $250.00. This is enough to buy two pigs and a share at the Heifer Marketplace. We are happy to announce that this year’s winner of the contest is Johnathan McCarthy. His pumpkin, “Wolves a Howling”, raised $55.25! Great job Johnathan and thanks to everyone for participating in this fun event.
All youth groups, 5th-12th grades will be meeting this Sunday, November 2 from 6 -7:30 p.m. The 5th/6th grade group will meet in the kitchen, 7th/8th in Todd Hall and the High School group in Richards Hall.
High School Retreat: The High School Youth will meet in the parking lot on Friday, Nov 7 at 4 pm to carpool to Framingham where we will be joining with 3 area churches for an overnight retreat in the 1620 House. We will return Saturday around 6:30-7 p.m.
Thank you for the plastic lids and milk cartons. We now have enough for the children’s projects.
Opportunities for Singers
The Choir would love to have past choir members join them on November 9 for a “Choir Reunion” and to celebrate the naming of Mark Strickland as Pastor Emeritus. This would not only add to the festivities of the service but it would be a nice time to see each other. It would be like old times! There are two Thursday evening rehearsals, October 30 and November 6 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 9 at 8:45 a.m. (1 hour 15 min. before the 10:00 a.m. service). We will be singing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” Arr. Ringwald and “Jubilate Deo” by Andy Beck. Come and join us for some wonderful music-making and the celebration of this exciting time for Mark and Centre Church.
In addition, there is an opportunity for all to be part of the combined choir for the annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service on November 23. Rehearsals will be on Thursday, November 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 23 at 4:30 p.m. See Doug Hodgkins or any choir member for more information.
“It’s A Wonderful Life”
395 Main Street, Stoneham, MA
Saturday December 6 @ 3 PM
$30 per person
First come, first served! We have 30 seats!
Please contact Susan Spear at the Church Office 781-334-3050 or contact Chuck Cotting 781-593-3120
You may want to have dinner with friends after the show [5:00ish] at the many local restaurants – plan ahead!
Holiday Mini-Fair - December 7
This year we will be holding a Mini-Fair. There will be a Craft Table (knitted items or other crafts that people can make at home) and a Gift Table for new or like new items. This is a great table to donate things that you pick up on sale but never use or to let others share in the "treasures" that friends or family have given to you throughout the year. This event will take place downstairs in conjunction with the Advent Workshop and the Annual Cookie Walk. A luncheon is planned also.
Please look around your house for something new or like new or keep your eyes open for a bargain as you are shopping. If you could bring in items in the next few weeks, it would help with getting things priced.
Please give me a call if you need more information.
Thank you, Donna Marino, (781) 581-2022
Save the Date!
Continental Breakfast before Church on November 23.
Found on Monday, October 27
Ladies Purse. Call the church office to identify.
Centre Church Shopping Cards
This is a quick reminder about the new Centre Church Shopping Cards. You can use the cards for yourself or give them as gifts this holiday season. Participating is easy – just visit our table in the Narthex after worship to order shopping cards from places such as the 99 Restaurant, LL Bean, Legal Seafood, and Starbucks. You pay the church face value for the cards, the church pays a discounted price, and the difference goes to the church. We’ll have your shopping cards ready for you on the following Sunday. If you have questions, please contact Debbie Cotting (781-593-3120) or Sandi Watson (781-334-7032).
Update from Boy Scout Troop 48
Over Columbus Day weekend the Scouts went to MassJam, the statewide jamboree, in Barnstable County. Roger Potter-Furey is working on an Eagle Scout project to clean up Lynn beach in conjunction with Coast Sweep, a statewide project. Jon Boone is working on an Eagle Scout project to help the Fire Department identify homes without visible numbers. Having a number on your house, which is visible from the street, is important for your safety and that of your neighbors. House numbers are still the method that first responders use to locate emergencies. At night, if you are waiting for help, please turn on your outside lights if you can. Next weekend, the Scouts plan to climb Mount Monadnock in Southern New Hampshire.
Have You Remembered Centre Church in your Will?
From the Mailbox
Dear Friends, Thank you for the donation of food items to the North Reading Food Pantry. During these challenging times many needy families are turning to the Food Pantry for assistance. Again, thank you for your generosity and support.
Sincerely, Bernice Guy, Christian Community Service
Opportunities to Give
Coat Drive: The High School Youth Group is collecting new or gently used children’s coats (sizes 6 months-16/18) on Sundays, November 2 and November 9. Having a warm winter coat is essential to every child's well-being during the cold winter months. In 2007, Cradles to Crayons saw orders for more than 5,000 winter coats. This year, due to tough economic times, they anticipate an unprecedented demand and hope to outfit 10,000 children this winter with the everyday essentials they need to stay safe and warm. You can make a difference! The High School Youth will be going to volunteer at Cradles to Crayons on Tuesday, November 11 and would love to be able to do our part to help them reach their goal of 10,000 coats.
Turkey Drive: Save the date: November 16. We will be collecting frozen turkeys for Haven from Hunger on Sunday morning, November 16th. Bring your turkey to church that morning. We will have youth on hand to help carry it to the truck.
Book Drive for Children in the Philippines: BKP, an organization which establishes libraries in the Philippines, needs books for preschool through high school age children. Reading books, Textbooks (math, English and science published after 1990),
National Geographic Magazines and Dictionaries are all welcome. You will find a collection box in the Missions Pantry. Books will be collected until Thanksgiving.
Ongoing Collections in the Missions Pantry:
|Holy Communion and Sacrament Of Baptism - Sanctuary
Nursery – Room 14
Children Worship with Families
Membership Class- Pastor’s Office
Youth Choir – Choir Room
Youth (Gr. 5-12) – Lower Level
|7:00 pm||Knitting Group – Fireside Room|
|Bread & Roses Meal Prep – Kit.
Craft Group – Kitchen
|7:30 pm||Senior Choir - Choir Room|
|Scripture Study - Pastor's Office
High School Group on Retreat
Our love and prayers are with:
We also remember those who are in Iraq: Lance Corporal Kristofer Jenkins (son of Jane Kilgore Jenkins), Lance Corporal Derek Cataldo, Col. Brian Bisacre, and Maj. Alec Leung.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Ushers: Linda Ladd, Jeff Law, Carrie Pericola, Bruce Weaver
Assist with Baptism: Linda Ladd and Leslie Carey
Lay Reader: Annabel Aldrich
Greeters: Marion Orfeo and Frank Scott
Coffee Hour: Judy and Tony Lucia
Lights Out beginning October 31: George Hayden
Set Clocks Back One Hour on Saturday, November 1.
Cable Broadcasts of Worship
Our Sunday Morning Services can be seen on local access television each week. Below is the schedule:
DVD and VHS recordings of the services can be borrowed from the Church Office at any time.