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
November 12, 2008
Centre Church had a great and grand celebration yesterday on the occasion of recognizing Rev. Mark Freeman Strickland as Pastor Emeritus. It was a celebration of Mark's ministry, but also of the ministry and people of Centre Church.
The Music Ministry of the church was alive with the Spirit! Douglas Hodgkins and his father, Wendell, raised joyous sounds together on organ (Wendell) and grand piano (Douglas). How many churches can see and hear a father and son play such glorious music together? When I think of how generous God can be with such talent, I think of those who have received what God has given to them, nurtured it, practiced it, and, now, generously share it!
The choir boasted about 30 voices! There were our regular choir members plus those who returned to celebrate this special day, people I had not yet met, people who had been part of the choir in the past. The songs they sang and the spirit in which they sang them filled us to overflowing. Add to this, a trumpet. Yes, a trumpet for anthems and hymns! Such beauty in song, anthem, voice, and instrument makes some of us want to sing even louder while for others of us we just listen in awe while others of us are brought to tears of joy. It was all there, yesterday!
Thank you, Douglas Hodgkins, for your fine leadership and talented way of bringing so many talents and blessings together to enhance our worship of the God who generously blesses us and boldly calls us to be servants. Thank you Choir for the joy and art you give in music and faith! Thanks to Douglas' father for sharing your grand talents for and with the people of God!
The Hospitality Ministry was also the nature of the day. Membership Ministries, under the leadership of Chuck Cotting, prepared a welcoming tribute to all who were present. The luncheon faire of chowder, lobster rolls, chicken salad sandwiches, pizza and a plethora of desserts, started in Todd Hall, continued through the kitchen, and was savored in Richards Hall. Thanks to Bob and Myrna Shorey, for the lobster roll factory, and to all their helpers.
The most delectable faire of the day were the blessed ties that, through faith and service in and through Jesus Christ and the Church, were established many years ago, continue today and now, into the future. I was so pleased to see how many people came to welcome Mark and Nancy Strickland, their daughter Alison, and her husband Wayne, and their first grandchild, Caitlin. It was very rewarding and moving for me, the current Pastor of Centre Church, to see how a former pastor continues to be appreciated. For this I am so grateful! I am also grateful for the joy I saw on the faces of so many who were renewed in spirit, perhaps even in faith, because of all that we experienced yesterday.
A relative newcomer to Centre Church, someone who has found a new spiritual home with us, commented about how yesterday's worship experience blessed her in ways that nourished her soul like nothing else has in a long time. There were others who were blessed to see the strength of a faith community that has been, continues to be, and promises to remain strong in service to each other and to God's people in the world. Of special note were people and families who have been part of Rev. Mark Strickland's ministry in other places, outside of Centre Church. Some of these are now active members of Centre Church. I enjoy hearing testimonies of faith that people share about how their journey has been blessed by God through the work and love of others, through the work of Christ’s love. In some cases these testimonies cover three and four generations. Such witnesses confirm, again, how God’s abiding love can sustain and fill us, heal us, comfort us, and strengthen us with the courage to give of ourselves to do things in service to Jesus in ways “that matter,” to quote Mark’s sermon.
One lesson from yesterday’s worship and fellowship: Whether a pastor, preacher, teacher, leader, choir member, worshiper, server of hospitality, a deliverer of food and/or clothing, one who prays, one who serves in any way, what we have done and what we continue to do does matter. It mattered in the past, it matters today, and it will continue to matter in the future.
Therefore, let us continue to let our light shine. Hold nothing back. Jesus Christ has opened the door. Jesus Christ is the door to new life, salvation, and a welcome that includes all of God’s people. I praise God, today, that we do and can welcome all who seek to follow Christ. I am honored be a part of this wonderful congregation, deeply founded in faith by those who have been its pastors and its parishioners for nearly 300 years. Mostly, now, I am honored to see how this congregation continues to serve up hospitality, mission, faith, service, and meaningful worship to all who seek it.
I thank you all, for the wonderful loving and caring way you helped me to welcome Reverends Mark and Nancy Strickland, Rev. Marilyn and Stan Rossier (Marilyn former Associate Pastor with Mark for 8 ½ years), Rev. Wendy Vander Hart, Acting Association Conference Minister, Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ, all of our guests, friends, and parishioners yesterday. You are all a credit to tradition, to faith, hope, and the love of Jesus Christ, ready and able to serve again, and again.
We have an abundant past, an exciting present, and, I pray to God, a most excellent future in Christ’s service.
Yours in Christ,
P.S.: Thanks to Susan Spear for so competently and thoroughly helping us all organize yesterday’s events. The special knowledge she holds helps me to be more sensitive and capable in my work, especially on occasions like yesterday’s celebration.
IN THE SANCTUARY
November 16, 2008
10:00 A.M. Morning Worship
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
“Talents and Masters”
Reception of New Members
Children may worship with their families before going to Rotation Workshops.
The Nursery is open in Room 14.
Remember the Continental Breakfast (muffins, bagels, juice and coffee) to be served in the Fireside Room on Sunday, November 23 from 8-9:45 a.m. Come and enjoy a time to chat with family and friends. Cost: $5.00 per person. (Coffee will also be served after the worship service.)
Please bring a frozen turkey to church this Sunday, November 16 to help Haven from Hunger provide Thanksgiving meals for families in need. High School youth will be on hand to help carry your turkey to the truck.
The Heifer Marketplace is Coming!
On November 23, please join the children of Centre Church to find out more about Heifer International’s work and to get a fun start on your Christmas shopping list. The children have been working very hard on their booths, researching animals and learning about families that have been helped through Heifer International.
In addition to our traditional time where you make donations to Heifer International in a loved one’s name, this year you may also choose to buy something to go with that animal. The older youth are making water buffalo doorstops to sell at their booth. The 2nd-4th Grade will sell homemade “clucking” chicken toys and the PreK-1st Grades are busy making sheep ornaments to adorn your trees. Our 7th & 8th Grade Youth will also be selling soups in a jar and cookies in a jar.
So please, join us on Sunday, November 23 in the Narthex to recognize the efforts of the children at Centre Church and to provide relief for children and families around the globe. At the same time, you may just find the perfect gift for someone you love and make your own life a bit simpler.
Interfaith Thanksgiving Service
Sunday, November 23
7:00 p.m. St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church
Nursery Care continues to be provided each week for infants through age 3. Join our trained staff for stories and playtime during the worship service. Pagers are available for all parents.
Rotation Sensation continues on Nov. 16 for children and youth Pre-K through Grade 6 with a focus on Heifer International. Join us this week as we prepare for our Heifer Marketplace which will take place on Nov. 23.
7th & 8th Grade Class: On Nov. 16, we will meet in the downstairs kitchen where we will continue our commitment to serving others. We will be making soup jars and cookie jars to raise money for Heifer International.
The 5th-8th Grade will enjoy a special movie night on November 16 from 6:00-7:30 in our own movie theater at the church. Please EAT DINNER AT HOME and we will enjoy snacks together during the movie. We ask that everyone arrives promptly at 6:00. The movie will take the entire time.
The High School Youth Group will meet in Richards Hall from 6:00-7:30 on November 16. We will enjoy dinner and an activity together. Also, High School youth are needed Sunday morning from 9:30-10 a.m. to help carry turkeys and load the Haven from Hunger truck.
Reminder: The first Confirmation Class of the year will be held following worship on November 16 in the Pastor’s Outer Office. This group of students and mentors will meet weekly (except during vacation weeks) with Confirmation Sunday on March 22.
Boy Scout Troop 48 News
Several weekends ago, 17 scouts and 7 parents climbed Mt. Monadnock in Jaffrey, NH. Mt. Monadnock, which is 3,165 feet tall, is climbed by about 125,000 hikers per year making it the second most climbed mountain in the world after Mt. Fuji. The Scouts’ next trip will be a ski trip in January.
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, Starbucks, etc. (Cards for Circuit City are no longer available.) We’ll have your shopping cards ready for you on the following Sunday. You pay the church face value for the cards, the church pays a discounted price, and the difference goes to the church. If you have questions, please contact Debbie Cotting (781-593-3120) or Sandi Watson (781-334-7032).
1720 Founders Fund
Leave behind more than just an empty pew….
Find out how you can leave a legacy of generosity and discipleship through a planned gift to the 1720 Founders Fund, Centre Church’s Endowment Fund.
Contact Phil Johnson 781-598-5678 or Rev. Dennis Bailey, 781-334-3050.
Planned Giving Committee
News From Around the Parish
Our congratulations and best wishes to Priscilla Hahn who will turn 90 on November 18!
We extend our love and sympathy to Michelle Hagerty upon the unexpected death of her Uncle Donald in England.
Phyllis Bosworth’s new address is: Dirigo Pines Room 141, 9 Alumni Dr., Orono ME 04473
“It’s A Wonderful Life” @ Stoneham Theater
395 Main Street, Stoneham, MA
Saturday December 6 @ 3 PM
Adults $30 each, Children $20
First come, first served!
We have 30 seats – 15 Have Been Sold!
Please contact 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
Looking Ahead into December
December 7 - 11:30 a.m.
Advent Workshop, Mini Fair, Cookie Swap and Stewardship Lunch
December 14 – 6:30 p.m.
Christmas Concert – Sanctuary
December 21 – 10:00 a.m.
5:00 P.M. Candlelight Service - Sanctuary
11:00 P.M. Candlelight Service - Chapel
Many people have chosen to receive their Tower Notes by email. They tell us they like it because they get the news earlier than they did previously and they feel good about saving the church money on postage and paper.
If you’d like to give it a try, please let us know by contacting the church office at 781-334-3050 or firstname.lastname@example.org. (If you don’t like it, you can always switch back to regular mail delivery.)
|Morning Worship - Sanctuary
Nursery – Room 14
Frozen Turkeys collected for Haven from Hunger
Rotation Workshops (PreK-Gr.6)
7th/8th Grade Class - Kitchen
Confirmation Class – Pastor’s Office
Youth Choir – Choir Room
Youth Grp (Gr.5-8) - Movie Room
Youth Grp. (Gr.9-12) - Richards Hall
|Caregivers – Fireside Room
Knitting Group – Fireside Room
|Craft Group – Kitchen
Membership – Pastor’s Office
|7:30 pm||Senior Choir - Choir Room|
|10:30 am||Scripture Study - Pastor's Office|
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, (Jane Vancor’s cousin), and Maj. Alec Leung (Carl and Olive Wood’s grandson).
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Head Usher: Jeff Law
Greeters: Ed and Marjorie Potter
Coffee Hour: Seelig family
Provide Altar Flowers: Betty Iacono
Deliver Altar Flowers: Carol White and Michelle Hagerty
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.