Centre Congregational Church
We Welcome Everyone: An Open and Affirming Church
Phone: (781) 334-3050; Fax: (781) 334-6463; Email: Office@Centre-Church.org
The Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey, Pastor - Pastor@Centre-Church.org
Worthy of "Their" Calling
I remember the day. It was August 18, 1964. I had turned 16 years of age three days earlier. The phone rang, a call that I was expecting. The call came that my father had died, after his long suffering from cancer. What happened over the next month was truly inspiring.
The church and congregation that I was part of lived a life worthy of their calling. They supported our family through that time in a way that was second nature to them. They surrounded my mother, my brother, and myself in many loving and caring ways. There was lots of food and offers of assistance. The arrangements for my father's funeral and such are still a blur to me. I know that I was at the wake and the funeral, but aside from the day of the phone call, the next thing I remember is the post-funeral gathering back at our farm. Everyone was there on the warm and comfortable August day, sitting around outside, enjoying each other's company. My brother and I had changed into comfortable clothing and with some of our peers, decided to run through the fields on our farm, or at least I think that's what happened. What I am clear about, though, is that so many of our trusted and loving friends were there to support us and I, Dennis Bailey, could be myself, a 16 year old boy who felt he was only about 8 or 9 years of age compared to the very traumatic event that had just taken place in my life.
What I am clear about is that the people of our spiritual community, the Christian Church, were there to do anything and everything that they could to shelter us, but not over-protect us. My father had died. My brother, age 12, and I, age 16, were witnesses to the tragedy and to the loving and caring. And yet, the community could not live our lives for us. How did they do this? They did it through faith. They did it using all of the resources they had to help us, but they also walked with us in the days and years ahead.
Some of them traveled from Maryland and Pennsylvania in 1973 to Foxboro, MA when I got married. Some of them wrote me letters during my studies for ministry at Andover Newton Theological School, Newton Centre, MA in 1971 to 1974. Most of them were present when I was ordained in that church community in Pennsylvania on September 15, 1974. Even today, some 45 years after my father's death, some of those same people remain, still loving and caring for each other and my mother who still attends that worshiping congregation.
There have been many changes in that congregation that gave me my faith, but this is what remains for me as the most important three things that they gave to me:
When I was in a time of crisis in my life, every part of that congregation worked together to support my family. That, for me, is a congregation of God's people living to the high standard of "living a life worthy of their calling." This experience in my life nourishes me each and every day of my life, but most especially in times of crisis.
I think of this now as I feel that we, as a congregation, need to more fully work together. I think of this now because I feel that I need to call upon you, all who are part of this Body of Christ at Centre Church, to do as much as you can to live a life worthy of your calling. I know that some of us are suffering from challenges in our lives. Some of us are experiencing our own financial challenges. And yet, in faith, I believe that God gives us what we need to do our ministry. What I learned in my childhood religious experience is that if everyone does all that they can, functioning to fully do their part, all of the needs will be met. When some of us are weak, the stronger members must do more. Ephesians 4 teaches us that we are part of one body in Christ. Each part is needed to do its part if the body is to be healthy, working smoothly.
There are times when some parts are not as able as other parts, which means that others need to do more. Such is life. I feel a need to call upon those of us who are more able, at this time, to do more than we might normally do, given some members of our body are not as able as they normally are.
Living a life worthy of the calling of Christ is not easy. It includes sacrifice, setting aside lesser important things in order to accomplish the more important things. What I witness in our congregation is that we are about doing the more important things in worship, teaching, pastoral care, outreach to those who are in need in our world, and maintaining a safe, stable and secure place for our work and gathering. We have a great staff. A fantastic Tower Day School and its staff. We are so proud of Troop 48 Boy Scout Troop and Cub Pack 48. Most of all, we have a great congregation that is welcoming to all who visit with us. Of that I am extremely proud!
I know that everyone wants to help and contribute. This is a time when we need everyone to do their best to live our calling.
Yours in Christ,
P.S.: Please try to attend our President's Brunch, this Sunday, February 8th, 11:30 a.m. (see below for more details)
IN THE SANCTUARY
February 8, 2009
2 Corinthians 9:8-12
10:00 A.M. Morning Worship
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
“Do You Want Your Faith to Grow?
Children’s Message: “Messengers”
Children may worship with their families before going to Rotation Workshops.
The Nursery is open in Room 14.
Presidents’ Brunch - Sunday, February 8 - 11:30 a.m.
The menu will include pancakes, eggs, juices and coffee as well as other festive and hearty selections. Join us for this time of fellowship and fundraising as we zero in on our Supplemental Stewardship Campaign Drive. The cost will be $10 per adult, $5 for children, and children under 5 are free.
Show your patriotism by wearing something red, white or blue as we also celebrate the beginning of a new Presidency.
Thank you to Chris Gehret and Mike and Barbara Nickerson for being our hosts.
Sunday Morning Children’s Corner - February 8
Nursery Care: We welcome children, infants through age 3, to join us for playtime and stories each Sunday morning during the worship hour. Experienced caretakers are on hand in Room 14 to watch your children while you worship. Pagers are available to parents.
Rotation Workshops: Children and Youth, PreK-Grade 6, are invited to attend Rotation Workshops. We will continue learning about the 23rd Psalm through stories and games, puppets, and computers. Join us this Sunday.
7th & 8th Grade Class: You continue working on your Valentine service project this Sunday morning. Mrs. Potter will be on hand to welcome you to the class where you will participate in making Valentines for those who can’t get out and about at this time. All 7th & 8th grade youth are encouraged to attend. Many hands make light work!
Youth Group – Sunday February 8
All Youth Groups will meet this Sunday from 6:00-7:30 p.m. 5th & 6th Grade will be in the kitchen. 7th & 8th Grade will be in Todd Hall and the High School will meet in Richards Hall.
Clothing Drive Ends February 8
Please bring the following items for the Boy Scout Clothing Drive on February 8: New winter hats, warm socks, gloves, mittens, and scarves in both adult and children’s sizes. The items you donate will be taken to Catholic Charities of the North Shore to be distributed to the needy in our local communities.
If you have any questions you can contact Joshua Hall at: 781-334-9810 or email@example.com
Wine Tasting Three – Saturday, February 7
Our Wine Tasting Three will be held in the Narthex and the Fireside Room from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. on February 7. The event will be open to church members and their friends. Hor d’oeuvres will be provided. Water and soda will also be provided. The wine will be supplied by Brian Lamb from OurGlass Wine Co. in Saugus. A $15 donation will be accepted.
Chuck Cotting for Membership Ministries
Don’t forget to order your shopping cards after church on Sundays.
Debbie Cotting and Sandi Watson
Shrove Tuesday/Pancake Supper
The High School Youth Group will be hosting a church-wide Pancake Supper/Mardi Gras night on Tuesday, February 24 at 6 p.m. We will have delicious pancakes followed by Bingo and various Lenten activities for all ages. The cost will be $5.00 per person, with a $20.00 cap for families. All proceeds from this event are earmarked for the youth group’s mission trip to New Orleans. Everyone is invited! Anyone who does not like to drive at night and would like a ride should call the church office and a ride will be provided.
30 Hour Famine
Sixteen High School youth completed the 30 Hour Famine! It wasn’t easy…but they did it! The youth raised over $1,700.00. Thank you for your prayers and support. You will notice a colorful paper chain decorating the sanctuary. Each link represents one dollar, which will feed one child for one day.
Many thanks to Brittany DeSantis for sharing her thoughts on the 30 Hour Famine experience and the issue of world hunger this past Sunday in Worship. Her words were moving and encouraged each of us to do what we can to help those in need.
Let’s Plan an Auction!!
The Date: Saturday evening, March 21st.
The Place: right here at Centre Church!
The Event: a delicious dinner, great entertainment, and an auction.
The Stewardship Committee has been busy working on ideas to help our church family join together to raise much needed funds to keep Centre Church’s wonderful programs financially strong. As we look forward, we have decided to plan a fun-filled social event to kick off the 2009 – 2010 Stewardship Campaign.
In order to have an auction we need items to auction off. We invite everyone to consider donating an item for the Silent Auction, the Live Auction, or both. Some ideas might include: tickets to a sporting, theater or music event, use of a vacation home for a weekend, a painting, or a hand crafted item of jewelry or clothing. Some might want to provide services – yard work, babysitting, catering a meal. Many people enjoy creating “themed” baskets – gardening, fitness, children’s, etc. Gift cards or certificates to restaurants or stores are always popular (and if you purchase them through our “Shopping with Spirit” gift card program Centre Church will benefit even further!)
So, get those creative juices flowing and contact our Auction Co-Chairs Chris Gehret or Mary Ann Parker.
Cradles to Crayons
Renewal of Baptism Service
February 25, 2009 - 7:30 p.m. in the Chapel
As the season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, February 25, we enter a time of prayer and reflection on the meaning of Christ's presence in our lives and in our world. You are invited to join us for a service of reflection and an opportunity to renew your vows of baptism as we begin the 40 days of Lent leading up to Easter. This service recalls the meaning of our baptism, gives an opportunity to confess our sin and renew our relationship with Christ, and to walk, with clean hearts and with our community of faith, toward the journey of Holy Week, the crucifixion and death of Jesus. What needs examining in your life? What needs challenging in your faith journey? Let us, together, seek to be changed by the transforming love of Christ through the renewal of our baptisms. All are welcome here.
1720 Founders Fund
There are many ways to support the 1720 Founders Fund!
For more information contact: Phil Johnson, 781-598-5678 or Rev. Dennis Bailey, 781-334-3050.
February Food of the Month
Bring pasta and tomatoes when you come to church. Help us fill up our Food of the Month cart for local food pantries.
|Morning Worship - Sanctuary
Nursery – Room 14
Presidents’ Brunch–Richards Hall
Confirmation Class - Kitchen
Youth Choir – Choir Room
Youth Groups (Grades 5-12)
|Caregivers – Fireside Room
Knitting Group – Fireside Room
Diaconate – Pastor’s Office
|Outreach Ministries - Fireside Room
Senior Choir - Choir Room
|10:30 am||Scripture Study - Pastor's Office|
Our love and prayers are with:
We also remember those who are serving in Iraq: Kristofer Jenkins, Derek Cataldo, George Robinson III. We rejoice that Brian Bisacre (Jane Vancor’s cousin) is home from Iraq.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Head Usher: Michelle Hagerty
Greeters: The Lowe Family
Reader: Sue Johnson
Provide Altar Flowers: Irene Allyn
Deliver Altar Flowers: Carol White & the Hagertys
Lights Out beginning February 6: Steve Furey
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.