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
Happy Easter! I am extremely grateful to all who attended and participated in Maundy Thursday and Easter activities this past weekend. I am grateful to the Deacons, the Choir, our excellent staff, and the congregation for all of their support.
Most of all, though, I am grateful to God for making it possible for us to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our sorrow, despair, and death do not have the last word! Even as Jesus cried out on the cross, the first line of the ancient Psalm 22, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" it was his prayer that his death would not be the end of the story or in vain.
Whether we are a preacher, pastor, and/or a parent. Whether we are a teacher, a school administrator or a school bus driver. Whether we are a doctor, a nurse, a surgeon, or a hospital administrator. Whether we are an elected official, an aide to a President, or a state house worker. Whether we are a pilot of a plane, a mechanic, or an airline attendant. Whether we are a farmer who plants crops and harvests them or a dairy farmer who milks the cows. Whether we own a chain of grocery stores, work the deli counter, or are a cashier. No matter what we do to serve people, we do not want our efforts to be in vain. We want our efforts to be a blessing, provide healing, and help to give happiness to people.
In our modern world we often lose the value and importance of waiting. I mean, if I want to make a cake, I drive a few minutes to the grocery store, purchase the ingredients, come home, mix, stir, and bake. Just a few hours later, cake is served!
But, real new life takes time. A growing season on a farm takes time: planning, planting, nurturing, watching, protecting, praying, luck, faith, and hope. It also takes a lot of hard work. Farming helps me to appreciate the Resurrection more fully.
In the early spring the ground lay bare. In some cases there were remnants of the glory of harvests past. Then the plow would turn the soil over. More modern methods no longer require the plowing because the seed is sewn without the plowing. Once the seed is sown, the waiting begins. The miracle begins as the soil, the moisture, and the seed work together to bring new life, new creation, to our land. It takes time.
So, too, our spiritual growing. People and God plant into our souls the seeds of new life with their love, nurturing, and patience. People plant their hope in us. They watch over us and wait for good things to happen through us. They do not want their efforts on our behalf to be in vain. Once upon a time church buildings were those things into which people placed their finest architecture, largest amounts of money for building, and most elaborate undertakings. Why? Because it was their way of saying to the world that their faith in God and in the promises of God, were the most important things to them. In some cases, the churches that were built took generations and generations to complete. The work of
God included a great deal of waiting, nurturing, patience, and faith.
The work of God also takes our dedication. That dedication is to put God first in our lives. We cannot be successful at anything if we don't give it our single-minded effort. When I was preparing to run the Boston Marathon a few years ago, I had my priorities: family, my work, and running. Every day, except one, each week, I was spending time either at the gym or running. I could not have finished the race if I had not set aside everything else in order to give myself to these priorities.
There are many things in our lives that would claim to be our priorities, our gods. We are asked to make God our only god for a reason. If the God who raised Jesus Christ from death is not our only God, then we will not succeed in growing our faith to its fullest and we will not see the new creation that Christ brings in us and/or in others.
I invite you to experience new life in Christ by renewing your dedication to God's work, to your spiritual growth through prayer, scripture, church attendance, and service to others in Christ's name. Beware of distractions that prevent you from seeing what God can do. And, be patient in waiting. What we give and do in God's name, will produce a harvest. Christ's death and resurrection assures us that our sacrifice, like Jesus', will not be in vain.
Yours in Christ,
P.S.: Please remember to complete and send in your 2009-2010 pledge. We will dedicate our Stewardship pledges in the 10 a.m. worship service on Sunday, April 26th. Please do all you can to increase your pledge by at least 5% so that we can meet the work of our ministry in the coming year! Thanks! If you misplaced your pledge card call the church office and we will send you a new one. Pledge cards are also available in the Narthex and at the church office.
IN THE SANCTUARY
April 19, 2009
10:00 A.M. Morning Worship
Sermon by Christopher W. Parker
“Thomas from Missouri”
Children may worship with their families before going to an intergenerational activity.
Nursery will be open in Room 14.
April 26, 2009
10:00 A.M. Morning Worship
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
“To Know What God Can Do!”
Children may worship with their families before going to Rotation Workshops.
Nursery will be open in Room 14.
Nursery Care continues in Room 14 each week for infants through age 3. Children may drop in for stories and fun with our trained Nursery Care providers. Pagers are available for parents.
Rotation Workshops: All children and youth PreK-Grade 6 are invited to join us for an intergenerational workshop this Sunday, April 19. Children and youth will worship briefly with their families before leaving following the children’s message. On Sunday, April 26, Rotation Workshops will resume again with a new unit, “Feed My Sheep”. We look forward to seeing everyone.
7th & 8th Grade Classes: There are no classes scheduled for Sunday, April 19. Please worship with your family in the sanctuary. Classes will resume on Sunday, April 26 in the Pastor’s outer office.
Rev. Dr. Dennis Bailey will be on vacation from Wednesday, April 15 through Tuesday, April 21. Please call the Church Office if you are in need of Pastoral Assistance.
Mr. Chris Parker will be preaching Sunday, April 19.
Youth Group News
With the change in the way Tower Notes is now processed (every other week), it is most important for you to refer to your schedules. Although we will try to remind you of all information please contact Jill Couillard or Barbara Langill should you have any scheduling questions about Youth Group.
April 19: No Youth Group Meetings (School Vacation).
April 26: All Youth Groups Meet from 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Wow! What a great success! Easter Fun Day was attended by approximately 45 children. They came to do crafts, play games, run an obstacle course, listen to an Easter story and indulge in an Easter Egg Hunt. Thank you to our high school and middle school volunteers for helping to make this a success.
Despite the cold and windy morning our Almost Sunrise Easter Service was attended by almost 50 people. Thanks to our junior readers who included: Nick Contardo, Jac Contardo, Madeleine Law, Monique Law, Megan White, Abbie Weaver, Maggie Weaver and Raden Hawk. Many thanks to our high school and adults readers too!
New Members Class
If you are interested in becoming a member of Centre Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, please contact Rev. Bailey. He is planning on holding a class for potential new members in May. You may phone (781-334-3050), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or speak with him on Sunday mornings.
On behalf of the Flower Committee I would like to thank all who helped to make our sanctuary look so beautiful on Easter Sunday. Thanks to Joe Gallo of Plantscape Designs for supplying the plants which popped open at just the right time, as the service began. Thanks also to those who donated the plants and to the committee who helped in setting up the display on Good Friday. A special thank you to Shirley Orr, Marjorie Potter and their team of volunteers who delivered the plants to our shut-ins.
With much appreciation,
Laurel Caputo for the Flower Committee
News From Around the Parish
We extend our love and prayers to Lisa Mackel Wagner upon the recent death of her mother, Phyllis Mackel. A Memorial Service was held at Centre Church on April 7.
I so appreciate the lovely flowers delivered to me over the past many weeks. The visits I’ve had from church members and Pastor Bailey have been so wonderful!
Thank you, Priscilla Hahn
Dedication Sunday, April 26th
On Sunday, April 26th, we will gather together in celebration of Dedication Sunday. As the culminating event of the formal 2009 Stewardship Campaign, it is a time where we all can show our commitment to the people and programs that make Centre Church so important to each one of us.
These past few months have been a remarkable time in the lives of our church family. The joy of Easter is fresh in our hearts. We have rejoiced as young people have become members through Confirmation and as families have brought their babies to be baptized. We have mourned the loss but also celebrated the lives of those members who have been called to their eternal home. We have experienced the power of music through the special talents of our choirs and music director. Visitors have been made to feel welcomed and have returned “strangers no more”. We have enjoyed fellowship through wine tastings, “presidential breakfasts” and a church dinner and auction that raised over $9,500!
And all of this has taken place against a backdrop of unrelentingly grim financial and world news – as well as cold and snowy weather.
If you have not yet done so, please consider prayerfully your financial support of Centre Church for the upcoming year. Plan to fill out your pledge materials and bring them with you to this special service.
“Join Hands – The Journey Continues”
Bits ‘n Pieces
Auction Item Not Yet Claimed: If you are the lucky person who won the item of a hand knit adult vest or baby sweater, the donor of this item was Chris Gehret. At your convenience, you may contact her at 7871-334-6737 to coordinate a mutually convenient time to discuss the details.
Quarters for Heifer: Don’t forget to bring your wallet and empty your quarters into the Heifer tube which is in the narthex after church each week. By doing this, we will raise money to purchase a variety of animal types to help families in need. - Allie and Mary Ann Parker
Centre Church’s fiscal year ends on June 30. You will be receiving a statement soon indicating your contribution information to date. Please contact Financial Secretary, Jim Marshall if you have questions. 978-532-3185
High School Fundraisers
Easter Breakfast: Many thanks to all those who attended Easter Breakfast. With your generosity and support we were able to raise $345.00 for this summer’s mission trip to New Orleans. We are especially grateful to Perry and George Hayden who planned and prepared the delicious breakfast. Thanks to the youth who helped and the families who provided food.
Flamingo Flocking Fundraiser: They’re back! A flock of plastic lawn flamingos is headed toward Lynnfield. Please help support the High School Mission Trip and have some fun sending these flamingos to a friend or neighbor. Click here for more information and a flocking form.
Red Sox Raffle: Attention Red Sox Fans: Want to head to Fenway and catch a game, but find ticket prices too high? Here’s your chance to attend the Boston Red Sox vs. Atlanta Braves on Friday, June 19 at 7:05 p.m. We are holding a raffle for 2 tickets plus $50.00 toward parking for this game. Tickets will be on sale after worship Sunday, April 19, May 10, and May 31. The drawing will be held June 7. Tickets are 3 for $10.00 or 9 for $20.00. Please call Mary McCarthy at 508-527-3847 or Barbara Langill in the Church Office for more information. All proceeds will go toward the High School Mission Trip.
Appliance/Freon Bearing/CRT Device Recycling: Spring Cleaning? Wondering what to do with that old television, computer monitor or appliance that is broken, unwanted or unused and just taking up space? Bring it to Centre Church on Saturday, May 9 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. CRT Recycling will be in the church parking lot to collect your items. This is an excellent opportunity to recycle these items at a minimal cost compared to the high cost associated with curbside appliance recycling programs. (The town of Lynnfield charges $25.00 for monitors and bulk items.)
Miscellaneous items: Microwave ovens, garbage disposals, printers, telephones, DVD players, video games and computers will be collected at a charge of $5.00 each.
Pick-up is available for Seniors.
Please call the church office for more information.
|Morning Worship - Sanctuary
Nursery – Room 14
Children in Todd Hall
No Youth Groups This Evening
|Office Closed – Patriots’ Day|
|7:00 pm||Knitting Group – Fireside Room|
|Scripture Study - Pastor's Office
Deadline for next Tower Notes
|Morning Worship - Sanctuary
Nursery – Room 14
Youth Groups (Gr. 5-12)
|Get-Together Wheel – Fireside Room
Knitting Group – Fireside Room
|7:00 pm||Parish Council – 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 Kristofer Jenkins and George Robinson III who are serving in Iraq. We rejoice that Derek Cataldo is back in the United States.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Head Usher: Jeff Law
Greeter: Shirley Orr
Reader: Mike Timmons
Coffee Hour: Rick and Heather Lowe
Provide Altar Flowers: Rose Giunta
Deliver Altar Flowers: Carol White and Michelle Hagerty
Lights Out beginning April 17: Roger Batchelder
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Head Usher: Michelle Hagerty
Greeter: Elouise Bjorkman
Provide Altar Flowers: Harriet Holt
Lights Out beginning April 24: Jeff Langill
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.
CHURCH OFFICE HOURSMonday, April 20 - Office Closed