Tower Notes

Centre Congregational Church
United Church of Christ

We Welcome Everyone: An Open and 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 -
The Rev. Mark Freeman Strickland, Pastor Emertius
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

November 26, 2008



I Asked For Help…

It's not easy for some of us to ask for help. I know that I struggle with it. I've gotten better at asking for help over the years. This has happened, in part, because sometimes I had no choice. My resources of energy, time, emotion, money, and spirit were exhausted. Sometimes certain wise persons know how to see through my “I'm fine” response to the truth of the matter.

I am grateful to the faith community of Centre Church for responding to my calls for help this past week.

First, I asked for help for the Memorial Service for John H. “Jack” Orrall, held last Saturday, November 22nd. I needed help in the form of several parishioners being present before, during, and after the Memorial Service to help set up, give assistance to the many family and visitors attending the service, and just being a visible presence to give directions, help with coats, the elevator, etc. It's a huge comfort to me, as Pastor, to see parishioners who understand what it's like to go through grief and the death of a loved one present with and for another family experiencing the same. It's very nice for visitors to experience the welcome of our congregational network on such occasions. Many people told me about how welcome they felt, how nice the church is, how appreciative they were for the support we gave to Jack's family. I thank you for coming to my aid!

Second, I asked for help from Boy Scout Troop 48 to be present to give recognition and honor to Jack who was the Scoutmaster of Troop 48 many years ago, serving as one of the founding leaders of the Troop. Most of Troop 48 came in full uniforms, posting and retiring the colors, reciting the Scout Oath, and serving to show our gratitude to Eagle Scout and Past Scoutmaster, Jack Orrall. Special thanks to Senior Patrol Leader, Rhett Batchelder for assisting me lead the Memorial Service, Eagle Scout, Ryan Batchelder, for assisting with the video taping, Star Scout, John Potter Furey and his mother, for assisting by handing out programs, and to Scoutmaster, Rod Boone, for preparing the scouts to do a really nice job! It was a proud moment seeing Troop 48 filling the entire length of the center aisle of Centre Church's sanctuary for the singing of “Abide With Me” and reciting the Scout Oath.

The Orrall family was visibly and emotionally moved by the support that was given to them by their Church and Troop 48 at the Memorial Service!

Third, I asked for help for the Nardone Family (Kim, Tyler, and Heather) to pack their belongings on Sunday afternoon as they prepare to temporary move out of town. The response was outstanding, despite that the work was done during the Patriot's game! As a few people said to me regarding this, “This is what the church is all about!” As the Nardone family said to me, “We could not have done this by ourselves. Thanks.”

I know that this is a busy season for many people. I also know that in our hearts we want to find ways of giving beyond the material gifts. Asking for help from our congregation and receiving it is a powerful way for us to be the church, a viable community of faith, living the Word of God and being the Body of Christ.

We often ask for help in the form of prayers for each other. We ask for help in positions of leadership and teaching. We ask for help in practical ways in the form of rolling up our sleeves and pitching in. And, we ask for help in supporting the budget of our church, which allows us to be present when our help is needed. I so appreciate the way that Centre Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, prays, serves, leads, teaches, generously gives, listens, and acts to be present to do whatever is necessary.

Jesus often asked for help from his disciples and others. Many came to Jesus to ask for help, for themselves, family members, employees, servants, and friends. Daniel asked God for help in the Lions Den. Moses asked God for help to save his people. It is important that we ask God and each other for help. If our light is to shine outside of our hearts, then asking is one way to allow that to happen.

As Jesus said, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8, NIV)

I am proud of the way the people and staff of Centre Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, responded this past week when I asked for help! Thanks for being there! Happy Thanksgiving!

Yours in Christ,



November 30, 2008
Isaiah 64:1-9, Mark 13:24-37

10:00 A.M. Morning Worship

Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
“About Jesus’ Return”

Children’s Message: “What is Advent?”

Children may worship with their families for the entire service. Nursery is open in Room 14.




Youth Activities

There are no Rotation Workshops on Sunday, Nov. 30. Children are invited to attend worship with their families. Childcare is available in the Nursery for children ages infant - 4 years old.

There are no Youth Groups scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 30. Enjoy your Thanksgiving Holiday.



Shopping with Spirit

Don't forget to order your shopping cards on Sunday morning.  You can use the cards for your own shopping or give them as gifts.  Many cards can be used for internet and catalogue shopping so you don't have to leave the comfort of your home to make your purchases. To date, we have raised nearly $1200 for Centre Church!

Debbie Cotting 781-593-3120



Advent Celebration December 7

Advent Workshop:Advent crafts and activities for all ages will be featured in Richards Hall following the worship service. Join us for the fun!

Advent Luncheon: Lunch will be provided by the Stewardship Committee in Todd Hall. The “a la carte” menu will include the always popular lobster rolls ($10 each), soup, pizza slices, chips, beverages and dessert. Proceeds from the luncheon will benefit our church’s operating expenses. It promises to be a wonderful way to begin the Advent season.

Mini-Fair: Browse the tables at the Mini Fair where you will find crafts of all kinds and like-new gift items to purchase. Donations of like-new gift items and crafts will be gladly accepted through November 30. Please leave them on the stage in Todd Hall (far right corner.) If you might be able to work at the gift table that day, please call Donna Marino. 781-581-2022.

Cookie Swap: The High School Youth group will be holding their 4th annual Cookie Swap fundraiser.  The youth have been hard at work decorating the cookie containers which will sell for $5.00 and $10.00.  We are asking that everyone help by donating two dozen cookies on or before Dec 7.  Youth will be on hand to bring your cookies down to Richards Hall Sunday morning. After worship, come down, buy a decorated container and fill it up with a variety of yummy treats. All money raised will go toward this year’s Mission Trip to New Orleans.



News From Around the Parish

The following people were welcomed as New Members of Centre Church on November 16:



Animal Shelter Donations

The 7th & 8th Grade Class will be collecting donations for the Northeast Animal Shelter from Sunday, Nov. 30 through Dec 14. Please leave your donations in the box in the Narthex. Items needed include: Canned dog/cat foot, dry puppy/cat food, dog/cat treats, chew toys, squeaky toys, Dog Kongs, Kitty Kongs, felt mice and Catnip, Digital thermometers, Frontline, Heartguard Plus Chewables, Dog/Cat beds (new), paper and cloth towels, blankets, cat litter, rubbing alcohol, peroxide, Q-tips, cotton balls, and laundry detergent. For a more details, go to:



High School Youth Group

We have several service opportunities scheduled for the month of December to help youth see some of the agencies the church supports. You may choose one, two or all three. Please call the church office and let us know you are able to volunteer.

Adult chaperones/drivers are needed for Dec. 6 and 19, please let Barbara Langill know if you can help.



Refreshments for Christmas Concert

If you can provide a dozen or two cookies, brownies, or squares for the Christmas concert on Sunday, December 14, please contact Debbie Cotting at 781-593-3120 or email at  You can bring the goodies to church on the morning of 12/14 and leave them on a shelf in the library or you can bring them to the concert.




Worship During Advent

The Deacons are looking for people interested in lighting candles on the Advent Wreath. The candles represent: Hope, Peace, Joy, Love and Christ. Please contact Linda Ladd or any Deacon, if interested in taking part in a worship service in this way. We also seek scripture readers. Please make your interest in reading and/or candle lighting known to us.

Thank you,
Linda 781-334-6170



1720 Founders Fund

Consider making a donation to the 1720 Founders Fund to commemorate an anniversary, wedding, birthday, graduation, retirement, or other special occasion in your family’s life. For more information, contact: Phil Johnson 781-598-5678 or Rev. Dennis Bailey, 781-334-3050.

Planned Giving Committee



A Musical Note

I am one of the newest members of the choir, having just joined last year. I told Doug I couldn’t sing, but he said it didn’t matter. At the first rehearsal, the choir members were happy to see me and Doug asked if I was a Tenor or a Bass. I asked, “What’s the difference?” He said I could try Tenor and see how it works out. I sat down next to Phil Triffletti and away we went. I could listen well enough to follow along, and Phil was happy to provide guidance. After the first Sunday performance, the congregation clapped. It was the first time in my life that I had someone clap after I sang. Wow, what an exhilarating experience!

At about that time, work at the office was going downhill. Every day it was a struggle to get out of bed and go into work. It got to the point where the only thing I looked forward to was Thursday night choir practice. It was so great to have that group experience where everyone was working together to create something better than our individual parts. Soon it was the Christmas season and everyone in the choir busily started working extra hours to prepare for the Christmas Concert. I got caught up in the excitement and each week I felt like we were on some great adventure. On Thursday we would be given a map, and then we’d take off! My job was to just try to keep everyone else within sight. Sometimes I did get lost, but the times when I managed to find my way were amazing, and they made for the most moving Christmas Eve service I have ever experienced. I really enjoy choir and encourage everyone to give it a try. It’s very rewarding…even if you can’t sing!

John Sievers



Delicious Fundraising

Thirty people attended the first Stewardship  Fundraising Breakfast on Sunday, November 23.  Thanks to everyone who made the effort to participate.  The net profit of $140 will be used to bridge the shortfall in the local expense budget.



Missions Pantry

Ongoing collections include Aluminum Can Pull Tabs, Used Eyeglasses, Non-Perishable Food, Travel Size Toiletries, Knitted Squares, and Used Cell Phones (numbers erased with charger).




If you would like to donate poinsettias to help grace the sanctuary this Christmas, please fill out the form available by clicking here and returning it to the office by Monday, December 4.






First Sunday of Advent
November 30
10:00 am
10:00 am
10:00 am
11:30 am
Morning Worship - Sanctuary
Nursery – Room 14
Children Worship With Families
Youth Choir – Choir Room
December 2
12:30 pm
7:00 pm
7:00 pm
Get-Together Wheel – Fireside
Knitting Group – Fireside Room
Membership – Pastor’s Office
December 3
8:30 am
10:00 am
Bread & Roses Meal Preparation
Craft Group – Kitchen
December 4
7:30 pm Senior Choir - Choir Room
December 5
10:30 am Scripture Study - Pastor's Office
December 6
9:15 am
3:00 pm
Senior Highs to Bread and Roses
BKP Bookpacking – Richards Hall
Group to Stoneham Theatre


Our love and prayers are with:

We also remember those who are in Iraq: Lance Corporal Kristofer Jenkins, Lance Corporal Derek Cataldo, Col. Brian Bisacre, and Maj. Alec Leung.


Sunday, November 30, 2008
Head Usher: Michelle Hagerty
Greeter: Shirley Orr
Lay Reader: Allie Hagerty
Coffee Hour: Gage and Dotty Whittier
Provide Altar Flowers: Gage and Dotty Whittier
Lights Out beginning November 7: Steven Richard



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 - Thursday at 7:00 p.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.