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

May 27, 2009



Are We Off Cycle?

Pentecost is the time in the life of the church when the Holy Spirit filled the disciples, when Jesus' followers and disciples were "powered up" to work together to serve the gospel Jesus gave to them. It was the beginning, the birth, of the Church.

The disciples, like us, were ordinary people who, called by God, were filled with the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit fills an ordinary person, they are given power, hope, faith, and a drive to serve the Lord in special and dedicated ways. People might say things about that person like, "What got into him?" "What has come over her?"

Personally, I felt this happen to me while growing up a farm boy on our 80 acre farm, adjacent to the Mason-Dixon Line in Northern Baltimore County Maryland, just south of Southern York County, Pennsylvania, off Gunpowder Road, near Hoffmanville. Are you supposed to know where this is? No, you are not. That's my point. There was nothing special about where we lived that would cause any newspaper and/or TV reporter to inquire about the special significance of that place and its people.

The people who live on the 80 acres that we once called "home" and "our farm," for the first 17 years of my life don't even know our names, except for the owner of the wholesale florist who owns a portion of what was once our farm. He kindly allows us to stop by once every 2-3 years to see what he has done with the "place" and to rekindle the memories of what we did there and how we used to till the land, raise cattle, pigs, chickens, and run the fields and meadows. Most recently while visiting, the owner's son even gave my mother a plant to take home.

You would never have cause to visit there. It was extraordinarily ordinary and so, I felt the same about myself.

And yet, something came over me, something that was rooted in what that faith community, the church, taught me. I was taught, there, to take what scripture said about Pentecost seriously, literally. I was taught that if God is calling us to service, we can count on God to support that call. Remember, Pentecost represents how

God's Holy Spirit energizes God's people with God's power, energy, creativity, enthusiasm.

Pentecost came at a good time of year for a farmer because given Pentecost comes in the spring on the church calendar, it was when the farmers were working hard to plant, sow, grow, and bloom. Farmers work long, hard hours in the spring. They bring every thing that they have to the task of planting and preparing for a harvest which will come later in the summer and early fall. All hands on deck. The farm equipment was called upon to be ready and able. We could see the buds blossom, the garden's vegetables and fruits growing, and the fields rich with growing grains and corn. The earth was alive. We were excited about what would come to be in the harvest. Things were very busy and exciting.

In New England, as is the case elsewhere, Pentecost comes at a different time in our cycle of life. Many of us are preparing for summer recreation, taking a break, stepping back, not working as hard. Not everyone, of course, but many of us. Therefore, I find it harder to celebrate Pentecost. Instead of people coming together to work together, to celebrate their gifts, and to give to a cause greater than ourselves, as did the first disciples and the farmers in the crowd, we pull away. Yes, we seek to have some valued family time, going to beaches, mountains, cookouts, our pools, etc. Our culture gets going again in the fall, when many of us are "back," to serve the Lord and the Mission of the church, again.

How do we celebrate Pentecost in our world and culture now?

First, realize that God's Pentecost comes every day, in the midst of our routines, struggles, and ordinary life, just like it did to the first disciples. Therefore, we can serve the Lord by being ready when we feel God's power and spirit moving among us. Be ready because God prepares us and calls us.

Second, we can remember that God never takes a vacation from being present to and for us, therefore, we are always on call, on line, and ready to respond to God's nudge, call, and/or the call of the church, the call of the neighbor, the needs of a stranger.

Third, Pentecost calls us to work together to be in support of one another, not alone. People of Christ's Pentecost can serve by keeping in touch with our sisters and brothers in our faith community, especially those who are hurting, suffering, and needing companionship. Our ability to communicate is so much better than it once was and yet, we often forget how important it is to use it well.

And fourth, the Church of Jesus Christ is always at work, enabled by our consistent and persistent giving, prayers, worship, and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Pentecost is not a season, but a beginning, a renewal, a constant, a moving of God's grace, energy, power, and light that is the ultimate perpetual motion machine.

In the words of Isaiah 40:29-31:

"He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint."

Yours in Christ,




May 31, 2009, Pentecost Sunday
Acts 2:1-21
10:00 A.M. Morning Worship
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
“Everybody: Oh, What a Feeling!”
Children’s Message: “Happy Birthday!”
Nursery will be open in Room 14.

June 7, 2009, Children’s Sunday
10:00 A.M. Holy Communion
Recognition of High School Seniors
“What We Have Learned About Worship”
Presented by the Children of the Church
There will be no Nursery coverage this week.
All children are welcome in worship.
Join us for an Ice Cream Social on the front lawn following the service.




Children’s Corner May 31 and June 7

Nursery Care: Please join our trained staff in Room 14 on Sunday, May 31 for stories and fun. We welcome all infants and children through age 3. Pagers are available for parents. We look forward to spending time with your child.

Rotation Workshops May 31: – All children PreK-Grade 6 are invited to join us as we prepare for Children’s Sunday. Please make every effort to attend since this will be our only day to prepare.

Rotation Workshops June 7: – Children’s Sunday! Children will be participating throughout the service. We look forward to strong attendance and welcome everyone – even if you missed a season due to scheduling conflicts. It will be a day of celebration.

Grades 7 & 8 May 31: The 7th & 8th grade youth are asked to meet in the Pastor’s Outer Office. Please make every effort to attend since you will be preparing for Children’s Sunday.

Grades 7 & 8 June 7: We look forward to your participation in the Children’s Service. Even if you have not been able to attend on a regular basis, we hope you will be able to make it on the 7th.



Youth Group News

A year-end party is scheduled for all Youth Groups. We will meet in the church parking lot on Sunday, May 31 at 6:00 p.m. and car-pool to Richardson’s for mini-golf and ice cream. Please RSVP for this event. Be sure to eat dinner before you come, as we will not be sharing a meal together. You will need to bring $10.00 cash and a signed permission slip with you. Parents should plan to pickup at Richardson’s by 8:00 p.m.



Red Sox Raffle

Attention Red Sox Fans: We are holding a raffle for 2 tickets plus $50.00 toward parking for the Boston Red Sox vs. Atlanta Braves on Friday, June 19th at 7:05 p.m. Tickets will be on sale after worship on May 31. The raffle 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 to New Orleans this summer.



Entertainment Opportunity!

Kathy St George starring in “Dear Miss Garland”, Saturday June 13 @ 4 PM
Stoneham Theatre, 395 Main Street, Stoneham, MA
Adults $30 each, Children under 12 $20
Please send your check (made out to Centre Church) when you make your reservation!
First come, first served! We have 25 seats!
Please contact Susan Spear at the Church Office 781-334-3050 or Dotty Whittier
Reservations are being made for dinner at Melissa’s.
Add your name to the list!



Flamingo Flocking

To all who contributed to our very successful Flamingo Flocking Fundraiser - those that bought anti-flocking insurance, paid to have a friend flocked, were flocked yourself and made a contribution, and the many youth and drivers flocking and deflocking - Thank you! A special Thank You goes to Judith Doe for coordinating the schedule, drivers, pick up, delivery, flyers, etc. We couldn’t have done it without you. Everyone’s efforts helped to raise more than $1,800.00 for this year’s Youth Mission Trip to New Orleans. The sight of those lovely plastic pink birds around town made people aware of Centre Church and gave many something to smile about.



Shopping Card Orders

May 31 Will Be the Last Day for Shopping Card Orders

Cards ordered on May 31 will be available on Sunday, June 7.  We will not be running the shopping card program over the summer.  Please plan ahead for the shopping cards you would like to have this summer for Father’s Day, graduation, and wedding gifts, as well as things that you might need:

Summer Clothes and Shoes – Land’s End, LL Bean, J. Jill, Talbots, Brooks Brothers, Macys, Kohl’s, Sears, Marshalls, J. Crew, American Eagle, Macy’s, Old Navy; Groceries – Shaw’s or Stop and Shop; Books and Music – iTunes,, Barnes & Noble, Borders; Eating Out Or On-the-Go – The 99, Longhorn Steakhouse, Legal Sea Foods, Cheesecake Factory, Outback Steakhouse, PF Chang’s, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Panera Bread

We will have copies of the full, updated list of participating companies at our table in the Narthex.  You can also see the full list at the Great Lakes Scrip Center web site:   We thank all of you who have participated this year and look forward to resuming the shopping card program in September.

Debbie Cotting and Sandi Watson



Vacation Bible School

We are happy to tell you that we will be holding VBS again this year. Our theme: Kingdom of the Son, A Prayer Safari will take children through the Lord’s Prayer in a creative and meaningful way. The children will learn about the prayer through games, stories and art. If you have not yet signed up your 4-10 year old, please speak with Jill Couillard or Barbara Langill. The dates of this event are June 29 – July 2 from 9:30-12:00 noon. We hope you can join us.



Looking Ahead

June 14, 2009 – 10:00 A.M. - Favorite Hymns Sunday - Sanctuary
June 21 - 9:00 A.M. - Morning Worship in the Chapel
June 28 - 9:00 A.M. - Morning Worship in the Chapel



News From Around the Parish

We extend our love and sympathy to the Seelig family upon the death of Liz’s father, Richard Buehler of White Plains, NY on May 14. He is survived by his loving wife, Carole.

We extend our love and prayers to the Penney family upon the recent death of Sue’s mother in Connecticut.

Our congratulations to Spencer and Betty Campbell who will celebrate their 60th Wedding Anniversary on May 28.

Our congratulations to Katherine Decker who graduated from UNH with a BA in Music Education.

(Please send news of your favorite graduate so that we might share it!) 781-334-3050 or



Engraved Brick Patio

I have laid the most recent installment of engraved bricks in the patio behind the church. Look for one of these the next time your stroll by:


I would like to extend the offer to anyone who would like to purchase a brick to record a special moment or remember someone.  Please contact me or the church office before 6/15/09.  The small bricks are $50 and can hold up to 3 lines of 20 characters.  The large bricks are $100 and can hold up to 6 lines of 20 characters.  Checks can be made payable to Centre Church.

Phil Johnson, 781-598-5678



Protestant Chaplaincy Council Report

The Protestant Chaplaincy Council met in April. Twelve representatives from six churches and two guests attended. Thirty churches use the Melrose-Wakefield Hospital’s Protestant Chaplain’s services. Centre Church’s mission outreach has been generous in its support of the Chaplain. At the meeting President Carl Ogren voiced a plea for new members to bolster the Council. Your current representatives of twenty years would welcome new representatives from Centre Church. Please contact us if you are interested. (There are 3 meetings a year.)

The current Chaplain, Leo Poirer depends on this Council for monetary and moral support. His duties are many: alerting churches of member admissions, visiting patients, holding bedside vigils, assisting families, covering patients without family or religious ties, performing funerals, and attending viewings. Next year he will be without his loyal volunteer assistant, Flo Hutchinson who served with him for 19 years.

Leo and new Catholic Chaplain, Bill Lucey, are amicable colleagues and help each other. However, they are both stymied by the well-intentioned law on patient privacy (HIPPA) which requires admissions to ask incoming patients: “May we inform your church and clergy person of your admission to Melrose-Wakefield Hospital?” When patients are capable of answering in the affirmative the Chaplains are notified and if not they are unable to offer assistance.

Last month Chaplain Leo encountered an unusual legal problem, a dying patient’s only available relative was a granddaughter not listed as a proxy. Leo assisted her in a last minute proxy assignment. The Council is privileged to support this dedicated and caring man.

Centre Church’s Representatives to the Protestant Chaplaincy Council, Betty and Clayton Conn 781-334-2682

(Please call us if you would like to learn more about this very important ministry.)






May 31
10:00 am
10:00 am
10:20 am
6:00 am
Morning Worship - Sanctuary
Nursery – Room 14
Practice for Church School Day
Youth Groups End of Year Party
June 3
8am - 2pm Bread & Roses Meal Preparation
June 4
6:00 am Golf Group – Reedy Meadow
June 5
10:30 am Scripture Study - Pastor's Office
June 7
10:00 am
11:00 am
Church School Day - Sanctuary
Ice Cream Social
June 12
10:30 am Scripture Study - Pastor's Office
June 13
4:00 pm Stoneham Theatre


Our love and prayers are with:

Our prayers are with George Robinson III who is serving in Iraq.



Lights Out beginning May 31: Steve Furey

Lights Out beginning June 5: Rick Cohee



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.


Summer Office Hours of 9 a.m. – Noon will begin on June 8.

The next Tower Notes will be the week of June 8.

9:00 A.M. Worship Services in the Chapel begin on June 21.