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

March 4, 2009



Being the Church in Challenging Times

This is important! The most important thing that we do together as a church, especially during these challenging financial times, is to be present together in worship.

I fear that some people will not attend as often because they can't give as much as they used to or would like. Yes, we ask for people to contribute to the church financially to support our work and mission. And yes, I know that many people are struggling. Some of us have lost jobs. Others have had job cutbacks. Many have had huge losses of pension and retirement funds. All of these have a direct impact upon what we are able to give to support the ministry of Centre Church. The last thing I want is for people to stay away from attending church because of their hard financial times.

During the Great Depression of the late 1920's and 1930's worship attendance declined in mainline churches like ours while during the prosperous 1950's worship attendance was at record highs (Dan Hotchkiss, "Ministry in Hard Times," January/February 2009 issue of Clergy Journal, Logos Productions).

Why would people attend less during hard times and more during times of prosperity? I would have thought it to be just the opposite!

Apparently, according to some researchers, it is believed that people feel ashamed when they can no longer meet or fit what they feel is the "economic profile of the congregation" (Hotchkiss).

I think about scriptures that teach us to work together:

" Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully" (Romans 12:5-8).

No matter what we have to give, no matter how large or small the gift may seem, no matter the talent, even if it's just being present to support and encourage, to offer prayer, to lend our voice to singing, to greet others in the congregation, to engage in conversation, we are important. God considers each of us important and so should we consider ourselves and each other valuable.

We will find our way through these hard times if we worship, pray, serve, sing, eat, and worship together. Whether you and I realize it or not, each week special and important things happen in the lives of people in our congregation. The best way to keep up with these and to be able to respond appropriately in support of each other, is to be present.

This past week, on Friday, February 27th, for example, our good friend of over 50 years, Ernie Becker, ended his journey of faith with us. He contributed significantly to the life and ministry of Centre Church, especially when the Chapel was destroyed by fire. He worked tirelessly, with others, to make certain that it was rebuilt as per the wishes of the congregation, to be restored as it had been before the fire. Ernie's dedication taught me much about the way we can get through hard times. He loved attending worship on Sundays. He grieved not being able to attend, especially during the past year. Ernie's death was fully on the minds and hearts of many of us this past Sunday. I know that he sends us all his love and wishes for us to continue in this ministry to which he was fully dedicated, but especially to be present together in worship every chance we have, especially in hard times.

In this season of Lent let us re-dedicate ourselves to the call of discipleship we have received from Jesus Christ. Let us know the cost and joy of discipleship by doing the best we can in our giving, our service, and in our worship. Let us give thanks to God for what we can do, but not feel regretful for what we cannot do.

Oh what joy we will have when we, together, get ourselves through these hard times. When one of us suffers, we all suffer. When one of us has joy, we all have joy. Let us be together so that we can share the burdens we bear and celebrate the joys.

Yours in Christ,



March 8, 2009 – Second Sunday in Lent
Mark 8:31-38

10:00 A.M. Morning Worship

Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
“Walking With Jesus”

Children’s Message: “Believing the Impossible”

Children may worship with their families before going to Rotation Workshops.
The Nursery is open in Room 14.

Set Clocks AHEAD One Hour on March 7




Sunday Morning Children’s Corner - March 8, 2009

Nursery Care: All infants and children through age 3 are invited to join us in the Nursery each week for stories and fun. You may find us on the first floor in Room 14. Pagers are available for all parents.

Rotation Workshops: We are beginning our Lenten Rotation workshops. We will be learning about the Easter story and the symbols of Lent. Children and youth, PreK-Grade 6, are invited to participate with cooking, drama and upper room/games.

This week we ask all PreK-1st Grade to meet in the downstairs kitchen promptly at 10:00 to begin your cooking rotation. It will take us the entire time to bake muffins, so please be on time.

7th & 8th Grade: Your class will meet at 10:00 in the downstairs kitchen. You will have a chance to help the youngest children bake muffins as well as prepare and host coffee hour. Please make every effort to attend this Sunday to help!



Muffins for Heifer

Beginning on Sunday, March 8, our children will be baking muffins which will be available after church. Your generous donations will benefit Heifer International. Join them in this yearly mission project.



Centre Church Auction - March 21 – 6-9:00 p.m.

The auction will be a fun evening beginning with light libations and a silent auction at 6:00 p.m. followed by dinner and a live auction. Please mark your calendars and join us.

Please call us with your donations for both live and silent auction. 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 781-334-6737 or Mary Ann Parker 781-4335.



Youth Group News

Many thanks to those who volunteered their time at Cradles to Crayons. The volunteers include: Marissa Taylor, Mia Sievers, Johnathan McCarthy, Rachelle Votano, Rebecca Sievers, Hayley Timmons and Elizabeth Miller. Adult chaperones and volunteers included Risa Votano and John Sievers. A special thank you goes out to Cory Johnson for writing our announcements for our clothing drive. His hard work shined through when we loaded up two cars full of donations! Thank you so very much to everyone involved.

The 7th-12th Grade Youth Groups will be meeting this Sunday. 7th & 8th will meet in Todd Hall and 9th-12th in Richards Hall. We look forward to seeing everyone!

All those planning to attend CoCo Key should return his/her permission slip and money on or before March 8th. Please see Mrs. Couillard or Mrs. Langill for additional paperwork if you are planning to bring a friend. Medical forms need to be on file for everyone who attends.

The Pancake Supper on Tuesday night was a success and a great way to kick off Lent. Thanks to Mary Ann Parker for coordinating the food, to Jeff Langill for cooking the pancakes, to Sue Lambe for running Bingo and to all those who donated prizes. A good time was had by all and $400.00 was raised to go toward this year’s Mission Trip.



Win a Dunkin Donuts Gift Card!

For each shopping card order you place during March, your name will automatically be entered in a drawing for a Dunkin Donuts gift card, to be given away on Sunday, April 5.  Remember, Centre Church gets a percentage of each shopping card you purchase.  If you're already buying from places like Starbucks, Home Depot, Stop & Shop, and the 99 Restaurant, then a percentage of money that you're already spending can support our church.  See for a full list of participating companies.  

Thank you!
Debbie Cotting and Sandi Watson




News From Around the Parish

We extend our love and sympathy to Barbara Becker and Robyn Biagioni upon the death of husband and father, Ernest “Ernie” Becker on February 27. A Memorial Service will be held at Centre Church on Saturday, March 7 at 11:00 a.m. followed by a reception. In lieu of flowers the family has asked that donations be made to Centre Church’s Memorial Fund in Ernie’s name.

Our congratulations to Will and Krystal Cintron upon the birth of a son, Javon Isaiah Cintron on February 25. Javon’s proud grandmother is Carmen Girard and proud great-grandfather is Dennis Bailey. The Cintron family lives in Fla.



Mardi Gras Fun

Our Get Together Wheel had a Mardi Gras party this month. We really had a great time.

The colorful masks were so pretty with the bright feathers and sequins. Thank you to Barbara Barke's friend, Tony, for providing them. Our refreshment ladies, Lillian Foulds and Anne Gist, did a great job with coordinating decorations and delicious food. It was nice having Dennis there too. A few pictures of the event will be on the bulletin board outside the Fireside Room. - Donna Marino



From the Mailbox

Thank you for the lovely flowers and the many cards and all the get well wishes from my many friends. I appreciate it so very much!

Jo Farnsworth

Looking Ahead
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Confirmation Sunday

Sunday, April 5, 2009, Palm Sunday
Cantata by the Senior Choir

Sunday, April 12, 2009 - Easter Sunday
7:30 A.M. Almost Sunrise Service on the Lawn
8:00-9:30 A.M. Easter Breakfast
10:00 A.M. Morning Worship in the Sanctuary






March 7
  Turn Clocks Ahead One Hour
March 8
10:00 am
10:00 am
10:20 am
11:30 am
6:00 pm
Morning Worship - Sanctuary
Nursery – Room 14
Rotation Workshops
Confirmation Class – Kitchen
Youth Groups (Grades 7-12)
March 10
10:00 am
7:00 pm
7:30 pm
Caregivers – Fireside Room
Knitting Group – Fireside Room
Diaconate – Pastor’s Office
March 12
7:30 pm Senior Choir - Choir Room
March 13
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, and George Robinson III.


Sunday, March 8, 2009
Head Usher: Michelle Hagerty
Greeter: 7th/8th Grade Class
Lay Reader: Dotty Whittier
Coffee Hour: 7th/8th Grade Class
Muffins Baked By: Pre K/1st Grade
Lights Out beginning March 6: Dwight Decker



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.


Food of the Month – Tuna and Vegetables