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

April 1, 2009



Can You Help Us Grow Our Garden?

You have, by now, received your invitation to help us grow the work, ministry, and mission of Centre Congregational Church in the form of your "Join Hands, the Journey Continues" packet from the Stewardship Committee. It is extremely important that you handle this packet seriously and, in prayer, complete and return your Pledge Card. As our Moderator, Chris Parker, wrote very clearly, we need everyone's help:

Please, don't delay. Take action!

I like to compare our work in the church to the work of gardening and growing, in large part, because I grew up on a farm. Farming and gardening requires a lot of hard work, just like work in the church. It requires many human and mechanical resources, just like work in the church. Farming and gardening requires a lot of planning, purchasing of supplies, and storing up what will be needed for a successful growing season, just like work in the church. And, given where I come from, farming and gardening also requires a lot of prayer and trust in God.

I remember how busy this time of year was when I was growing up on the family farm. We were planting seeds and getting the farm equipment ready for the plowing and soil preparation work. My father was getting the grain for the sowing of the wheat, oats, barley, and corn. My mother was preparing to grow her huge garden that would feed our family during the coming year. There was lots of planning. Everyone was needed to make ready the growing fields and the garden. Every family member had work to do.

In this spiritual season of Lent we are reminded of just how important each church member's role is. We are each called by Jesus to follow, to pick up our cross, to do all that we can to further the work of Christ in our homes, in our world, and in our church.

Into each of us God placed his image, his ability to love, his power to be an instrument of peace, and his ability to be a blessing in all of creation. I first learned this as I completed my daily chores on the farm. Through my hands and labor, I fed and cared for the animals on the farm. I developed a close, personal relationship with many of the animals. Some of the cattle, for example, looked forward to my arrival and my attention to detail, like rubbing their heads.

I learned the importance of my role in the farm work as I learned to drive the tractors and other farm equipment, making a difference in the successful growing and caring for the crops. The way that I helped my mother weed the garden and pick the produce made a difference. She couldn't do it alone. Phew, a lot of work!

The skills I learned there as a child and teenager were easily and quickly transferable to all of the particular part-time jobs I had while in college and graduate school. Why? Because while on the farm I learned to work hard, to hold nothing back, and to do the best that I could to treat the animals, the crops, and the people I worked with and for, with the kind of respect I felt God wants of us for creation and people. Whether helping to build houses, driving a truck in Baltimore, driving a taxi-cab in Baltimore, working on a horse farm, or working with blind, multiple-handicapped adolescents, my gifts and skills were acknowledged as helpful, appreciated, welcomed, productive. And, I was always invited to come back after the next semester.

Now, it comes to us, as disciples of Christ, to take what we have all learned about faithful service, and apply it to the particular ministry of our Centre Church. Jesus is calling us to our particular ministries of service. We are called to participate with our hands and hearts, with our skills and experience, with our attendance, and with our financial and material resources in the following way.

First, our giving is to be consistent and persistent: Just like the chores I performed twice a day to tend to the feeding and care of the animals we had – cattle, pigs, and chickens. What I did made it possible for them to live and be of good health. Their lives depended on it.

Second, our giving needs to be generous. My feeding of the farm animals needed to provide sufficiently for their needs. We wanted them to be healthy and happy. We wanted them to provide for us so, of course, we had to provide generously for them. No cutting corners!

Third, our giving needs to be the top spiritual priority in our Christian life. That is, our church needs to be the top and most important charity to which we give. As a farmer, there was nothing more important to our family than our work on the farm. It was what we did when we first woke in the morning, 7 days a week. It was our last thought at night: were the animals all cared for? No sleep until we were sure of that. I know that we have a lot of charities that we like to support. But, no one will support our Centre Church except us. We have a very small endowment (not producing this year), very few remaining reserves, and so, what each of us gives will have a direct impact on the well-being of our work.

I need you to take action and give generously, following through with your pledge this year, so as to reduce our projected $35,000 deficit, to increase your pledge for the coming fiscal 2009-2010 year, by at least 5%, and to fulfill our covenant with our United Church of Christ through our fellowship dues of $18.90 per member. I assure you, nothing goes to waste in this spiritual growth community.

How will our garden grow?

It's up to you. It's up to me.

Yours in Christ,



Holy Week at Centre Church

Palm Sunday - April 5, 2009 - 10:00 a.m.
Holy Communion
Selections from Handel’s Messiah by the Senior Choir
Children may worship with their families for the entire service. Nursery open in Room 14.

Maundy Thursday - April 9, 2009 – 7:30 p.m
The Office of Tenebrae with Holy Communion
John 13:1-17, 31b-35
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
“The Equality of Foot Washing”

Easter Fun Day for Children
Saturday, April 11, 2009 - 10:00 a.m.

Easter - April 12, 2009 - 7:30 a.m.
“Almost Sunrise” Service outside on the front lawn
with readings by both children and adults.

Easter Breakfast - April 12, 2009 - 8-9:30 a.m.

Easter - April 12, 2009 – 10:00 a.m.
Festival Service of Morning Worship
Acts 10:34-43 and John 20:1-18
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
“Are You Ready for Resurrection?”
Children’s Message: “New Life”




Opportunities for Children & Youth

Nursery Care for infants through age 3 is provided each week in Room 14. Please join our trained staff for story time and fun. Pagers are available for all parents.

Children and Youth are invited to participate in our Palm Sunday processional. We ask all children and youth to meet in the Narthex at 9:30 a.m. to prepare for the procession. Once the procession is over the children and youth may sit with their parents (Please note: special provisions will be made for the Youth Choir).

7th & 8th Grade: There are no classes on April 5. Please worship with your family for Palm Sunday.

Youth Group News: All groups will meet from 6:00-7:30 p.m. on April 5. (Grades 5-12). All Youth Group members are asked to help with Easter Fun Day. Please save the date of April 11th and plan to meet in Todd Hall at 9:30 a.m.



Tower Notes Publication Changes

In this day of rising costs and postal rates Parish Council is urging all members who have e-mail addresses to adopt to receive Tower Notes via e-mail.  I have been doing this for years and enjoy receiving it early on Wednesday morning.  This is much sooner than waiting for it to be delivered through the mail.  We know that it will not be possible for everyone to receive Tower Notes electronically.  How can you help?  Provide your e-mail address to Susan Spear in the church office so that she has a complete and current roster of e-mail contacts.   By sending Tower Notes electronically we hope to save some administrative expenses.

In addition to making this change we have decided to publish Tower Notes every other week instead of every week effective immediately. This will mean getting announcements and articles in Tower Notes well in advance so that you can make the next "edition”.  The summer schedule will remain the same (one issue at the end of the month) and when events warrant it we will publish special editions of Tower Notes to get the “word” out.

Phil Johnson, on behalf of Parish Council

(Editor’s Note: The next issue of Tower Notes will be the week of April 13. Deadline for submissions is noon on Monday, April 13.)



Easter News

We still need a few young readers for our early morning Easter Service. The service will be held at 7:30 a.m. on Easter morning on the front lawn. It is a casual service. Participants are asked to meet at 11:00 on Saturday, April 11th for a quick run through. Please call the church office if your child would like to participate. The speaking parts are small, but are such a wonderful part of the service.

Easter Fun Day is planned for Saturday, April 11th at 10:00. Festivities begin downstairs in Todd Hall with Easter crafts and games. Next, the children will hear the story “The Best Thing About Easter”. An Easter Egg Hunt will follow on the front lawn of the church. Please be sure to bring a basket or container for collecting eggs. The event will take place rain or shine -- special provisions will be made in case of inclement weather.

Easter Breakfast: Come and help support this summer's mission trip to New Orleans by eating Easter Breakfast with us. After the early morning 7:30 a.m. Easter Service - or leave home a little earlier and stop by for a delicious home cooked meal before the 10:00 a.m. service. The sumptuous repast will include but is not limited to muffins, breads, fresh fruit, eggs, hash browns, sausage and drinks. Join us between 8-9:30 a.m. for food and fellowship as we continue to raise spirits and money for this summer's return mission trip to New Orleans.

Easter Flowers: Many people have donated Easter plants to be delivered to shut-ins after church on April 12. If you would be able to help by delivering a plant, please call the church office or contact Shirley Orr (781-334-6584.)



1720 Founders Fund

“When we cast our bread upon the waters, we can presume that someone downstream whose face we will never know will benefit from our action, as we who are downstream from another will profit from that grantor’s gift” (Maya Angelou).

Your Gift Annuity, Charitable Remainder Trust or Pooled Income Fund gift to the 1720 Founders Fund can provide you with income for life, as well as resources for this congregation far into the future.  For more information, contact:  Phil Johnson, 781-598-5678 or Rev. Dennis Bailey, 781-334-3050.         

Planned Giving Committee



From the Mailbox

Dear Friends,

Thank you for all the kind words and notes following the death of Dad. Even though his passing had been expected, it was a difficult time for all of us. Your care and sympathy made the past weeks pass a little easier and more gently.

In deepest appreciation,
Joe Gehret



Mission Trip Planning Meeting

Sunday, April 5 – 11:30 a.m. in the Library



Shopping with Spirit

To date, our shopping card program has earned over $2,000 for Centre Church. We have a very faithful group of customers who frequently purchase shopping cards on Sunday morning. If you haven’t used our shopping card program yet, please think about all the places you regularly shop or dine. Then check the Great Lakes Scrip website: to see if your favorite stores and restaurants are on the list of participating businesses. Contact Sandi Watson or Debbie Cotting for more information.



You Are Invited

On Tuesday, April 7, author Amy Julia Becker will be in the Library at 7:00 p.m. to give a talk and lead a discussion about her recent book which tells the story of her mother-in-law’s life and death, Penelope Ayers: A Memoir. This book is one part memoir, one part character study, and one part spiritual autobiography. It not only tells the story of a fascinating woman’s life but also, it tells the story of her daughter-in-law, who learns to love her by escorting her through her final months. Amy Julia is the niece of local resident Jane Ellis. All are welcome to come. – Perry Hayden



News From Around the Parish

Our congratulations to Hazel Louise Pericola, daughter of Steven and Carrie Pericola who was baptized on Sunday, March 29, 2009.

Congratulations to Scott and Kim Kumph of Portsmouth, NH upon the birth of a son, Brendan Russell Kumph on March 25. Proud big sister is Emily. Proud grandmother is Cindy Trayers.

We extend our love and sympathy to the family and friends of long-time member Ruth Grosvenor who died on March 25. A memorial service will be held in Pepperell in April.

We are heartbroken to hear that Dana and Lynne Robinson, son and daughter-in-law of Ken and Phyllis Robinson, lost their almost full-term baby, Dean Michael on March 24th. Please keep them in your prayers. (Ken and Phyllis, 5090 Bay St., NE - #124, St. Petersburg, FL 33703)

We extend our love and prayers to Maura Walsh and her family upon the death of her father, Paul M. Driscoll of Watertown, MA on March 27.






Palm Sunday
April 5
10:00 am
10:00 am
10:00 am
11:30 am
11:30 am
6:00 pm
Holy Communion - Sanctuary
Children in Church
Nursery – Room 14
Youth Choir – Choir Room
Mission Trip Meeting – Library
Youth Grps (5-12) – Lower Level
April 6
7:00 pm Membership – Pastor’s Office
April 7
7:00 pm Knitting Group – Fireside Room
Maundy Thursday
April 9
7:30 pm
8:30 pm
Maundy Thursday Service – Sanctuary
Senior Choir – Choir Room
Good Friday
April 10
10:30 am Scripture Study - Pastor's Office
April 11
10:00 am
11:00 am
Easter Fun Day
Rehearsal for Sunrise Service
Easter Sunday
April 12
7:30 am
8-9:30 am
10:00 am
10:00 am
10:00 am
Almost Sunrise Service - Lawn
Easter Breakfast
Easter Worship - Sanctuary
Children in Church
Nursery – Room 14
April 14
10:00 am
7:00 pm
7:30 pm
Caregivers – Fireside Room
Knitting Group – Fireside Room
Diaconate – Fireside Room
April 16
7:30 pm Senior Choir - Choir Room
April 17
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, April 5, 2009 - Palm Sunday
Head Usher: Michelle Hagerty
Greeter: Barbara Ericson
Coffee Hour: Tony and Judy Lucia
Provide Altar Flowers: Gage and Dotty Whittier
Lights Out beginning April 3: John Walsh

Sunday, April 12, 2009 - Easter
Head Usher: Linda Ladd
Greeters: Paul and Karen Harrington
Coffee Hour: Paul and Karen Harrington
Easter Plant Delivery: Many volunteers needed
Lights Out beginning April 7: Charlie Wills



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.



Items Currently Collected in the Missions Pantry

  • Non-perishable food items (for Haven From Hunger),
  • Pull tabs from cans (for the Shriners)
  • Travel-size toiletries (for Lynn Shelter)
  • Used eyeglasses (for Lions Club)
  • Used Cell phones (for HAWC)
  • Knitted afghan squares (for Red Cross “Warm Up America”). Other knitted items
  • Quarters (for the Heifer International tube in the Narthex)