We Welcome Everyone: An
“Open & Affirming” Church
(781) 334-3050;Fax: (781) 334-6463; Email:
The Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey, Pastor - Pastor@Centre-Church.org
October 25, 2006
Last Friday I asked the members of the Scripture Class to come prepared to share one or more of their favorite scriptures and what those texts might tell us about our faith. With the class’s permission, these are some of what we confessed to believe about our Christian faith.
We have been given a powerful gift as it says in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” This is the basis of our faith. It gives us hope.
In 1 Corinthians 13 we find that the greatest gift given to us by God is love. As Christians we are to show love to all, even if we don't always feel it in our hearts. If everyone would practice this we would have a better world.
We remembered how Jesus forgave one of the two criminals crucified with him, promising eternal life. If Jesus forgives this man then there is hope for us. This, the passion of Jesus, is hard, yet it provides for us all hope.
Psalm 119:105 reminds us that the Word of God is a lamp for us and the Holy Scriptures are the light.
The Bible has many stories of love, like the story of how Ruth loved her mother-in-law, Naomi, enough to stay with her in the midst of adversity. We find a god figure in all religions. But in our religion we believe that God is and will always be with us, as per the rainbow promise (Genesis 9:13).
Turning to Psalm 23 we find comfort in the midst of our grief. God is there and I have nothing to fear. God is there among our enemies. Life is hard, but the house of the Lord is forever. It is the ultimate promise for us who believe. We worship a personal God who teaches us to be prudent, but not fearful.
We remember the great commandment (Matthew 22:37-39) which teaches us to love God and neighbor. Yes, we confess it to be a tough assignment. This assignment is so important that Jesus taught it to his disciples before he was crucified.
We believe in the Christmas story, the pageant of how Jesus was born.
In Romans 12:3ff we are taught that everyone has a part to play in the work of God. The gifts of all are welcome.
We find it comforting to know from Psalm 121 that God is on duty 24/7. Our real help comes from God. It is real help.
Matthew 5 reminds us that regardless of who we are, no matter our circumstances, God has a blessing for us.
You are invited to join us for the Scripture Class on Friday mornings, 10:30 a.m. as we explore scripture, relate it to our faith, and lend support to one another. We meet in my office meeting space. Bring a Bible or I will supply one for you. No previous experience is necessary.
Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
IN THE SANCTUARY
October 29, 2006
10:00 A.M. Morning Worship
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
“God Sees. Do We?”
Children may worship with their families before going to Rotation Workshops.
Service broadcast on Lynnfield Cable Channel 10 (Comcast) or Channel 28 (Verizon) and Peabody Cable Channel 10 at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday.
Forgiveness follow-up. Time to compare your answers!
So, where did you weigh in on the questions posed by Rev. Dr. Showalter and posed in last week's Tower Notes? (Note, if you are part of the Friday morning Scripture Class, do not read this until you write down your answers!)
Rev. Dr. Douglas K. Showalter, pastor of the First Congregational Church, UCC, Falmouth, MA, poses the following statements and responses on forgiveness. See where you stand. Do you agree or disagree with each of these statements?
1. A Christian should always try to forgive and forget.
Rev. Showalter disagrees saying, “it is important, for the sake of healing, to remember a serious injury. It is important to be clear as to the exact nature of our injury and who was responsible. Trying to pretend an injury didn't happen or that it didn't really matter to us, when it did, is only denying our true feelings. By remembering, we face the injury, and can eventually decide we want to forgive.
3. A Christian should always be willing
to be reunited with the person he/she forgives, as if the injury had never
Showalter strongly disagrees. “In my view, forgiving takes one person. In forgiving, the forgiver opens the way, in him/herself, for the possibility of reconciliation with the injurer to take place. “Reconciliation takes two people--the forgiver and the injurer. For true reconciliation to take place, the injurer must usually accept responsibility for the injury and desire reconciliation. Reconciliation is foremost a matter of the heart: two people accept and relate to each other again in a spirit of peace, without malice.”
I feel it is important that we eventually come to the point where we make a conscious decision that we truly want to forgive the one who injured us--or, negatively, that we no longer want to carry our ill will.
Having made that decision, we then seek to walk with God, as long as it takes--years, if necessary--to receive fully God's divine gift of forgiveness, which brings inner healing. Our journey with God will usually include prayer, self-reflection, sharing our journey with others, and our strong desire to be freed from reliving the nightmares of our past injury.
One day, we likely will realize that we have received God's gift. We make the following discoveries: We no longer bear ill will against the one who injured us. Our lives are no longer defined by our injury. We are set free from the strong feelings of pain originally associated with our injury. In short, we have forgiven!
You may see the rest of Dr. Showalter's responses at: http://www.vsg.cape.com/~dougshow/webdoc2.htm, or wait for next week's article.
Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
Calling all Confirmands and Parents
If you are in about the ninth grade or above you are invited to become a member of the Confirmation Class of 2007. Confirmands and Parents are invited to join us at the informational meeting this coming Sunday, October 29th, 11:30 a.m. in the pastor’s outer office.
Adults, age 21 and older, are invited to mentor a confirmand. Mentors will have the pleasure and opportunity to work with one of our confirmands, attending the classes, learning and growing while helping another person grow in faith also. If interested, please speak with Rev. Bailey (781-334-3050) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Feed the Spiritually Hungry
The Confirmation program will also need volunteers to prepare meals for the class. I hope that you might consider supporting and joining in the fun and joy of service through this class. Meals will be served either before or after each class. Church participants, parents, and/or friends can band together to prepare the meals. The class will include about 25 participants. A sign-up sheet for the meals will be posted as soon as a schedule of meeting dates is decided. Call the church office if you would like to volunteer for this effort.
Set Clocks Back One Hour
On Saturday night October 28
Are you worried about mischief-makers on Halloween? Get peace of mind by buying Goblin Insurance from the High School Youth Group. For only $10.00 you can purchase a policy covering Halloween shenanigans such as shaving cream, eggs, silly string, etc. Members of the Youth Group will arrive the day after Halloween to clean up any mess. (This policy does not cover automobiles or physical damage to property.) Proceeds will go to this year’s Mission Trip. Please call the church office or stop by the table in the narthex after church on Sunday, October 29 to buy your policy.
The children and youth of the church continue to meet weekly in their workshops. The unit currently being worked on comes from the book of Exodus with the main focus being, The Burning Bush, The 10 Plagues and Crossing the Red Sea. All children and youth are encouraged to attend the workshops following the children’s message in the Sanctuary. Children and youth will continue to be dismissed from the Chapel following the service.
Flea Market Flash
Friday, November 3 6:00-9:00
We still need your help, and your
donations! You can sign up on the chart in the narthex.
In-Gathering of Food
On Sunday, October 29 we will be handing out bags for an in-gathering of food for local food pantries. Please fill your bag (and more if you can) and return it to church the following Sunday. Collection carts will be available in the narthex. Thank You!
Fall Meeting of the Metropolitan Boston Association
You are invited to attend the Fall Meeting of the Metropolitan Boston Association of the United Church of Christ, Sunday, October 29, 2006, 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Congregational Church of Needham, UCC, 1154 Great Plain Avenue, Needham, MA. Featured speaker will be Nancy T. Ammerman, Ph.D, Professor of Sociology of Religion at Boston University School of Theology. Dinner is included. Dennis and several other church members are planning on attending. Contact Dennis if you would like to join them.
Over time we have all come to realize that the bylaws of Centre Church are cumbersome and do not clearly reflect the way in which the church operates today. The bylaws were last revised in 1993. This year Parish Council, under the leadership of Mike Dunfee, set out on the task of revising the bylaws. Since then, we have also had the revised bylaws examined and edited by Rand Peabody, Dennis Bailey and a focus group of the congregation. We are now ready to present the revised bylaws to the congregation.
In revising the bylaws we are attempting to:
streamline the Board and Commission structure into Ministry Teams to emphasize the key areas that we should be focusing on and, thereby, also taking into account the limited time availability of our members.
identify clear roles and responsibilities for Parish Council and all Commissions or redefine “who” is responsible for “what”;
institute an ongoing succession plan for all officer and board chair positions, including the establishment of a Vice Moderator position;
revise the Pastoral search process to make it and interim ministry coverage more in keeping with the contemporary practice of the UCC;
make changes associated with the revised church fiscal year such as changes to the annual meeting date, the timing of the election of commission members, stewardship planning, etc.; and
identify Centre Church as Open and Affirming
On Sunday, November 5 following the worship service we will have a question and answer period so that you can get familiar with the changes Parish Council is proposing.
On Sunday, November 19 we will hold a Special Congregational Meeting, the purpose of which will be to vote on the adoption of this new set of bylaws. You will be receiving a draft copy of the new bylaws in the mail over the coming week.
On behalf of Parish Council,
Phil Johnson, Moderator
News From Around the Parish
Our congratulations to Jennifer Anne Waugh, daughter of Harvey and Margaret Waugh and Adam Reilly Bayer of Los Angeles, CA who were married on Saturday, October 21 in Gloucester.
Youth Group News
Both Middle and High School Youth Groups will be meeting in the downstairs kitchen this SATURDAY, October 28th from 2:00p.m.-3:30p.m. You will need a hollowed-out pumpkin and carving supplies (we have some tools). We will carve our pumpkins together and then set them in the narthex for our annual contest. Everyone should be sure to bring their $1 bills for voting on Sunday.
There will be NO meeting for either youth group on Sunday, October 29th.
Many thanks to the 5th-8th grade as well as their sponsors for raising over $725.00 for My Brother’s Table. This was the group’s 2nd annual walk. We look forward to doing it again next year! Allison Watson was our #1 fundraiser.
The 5th-8th grade group will be working on their next service project on Saturday, November 4th from 9:00-12:00. Parent drivers are needed to drive to and from Cradles to Crayons in North Quincy. Please contact Jill Couillard in the church office if you are available to help out. In the meantime, everyone is encouraged to drop off their donations of clothing and toys for infants through age 12 in the Narthex. Please remember that all items must be in good – new condition.
From the Pastor’s Office
Thanks to the Painting Crew
I would like to personally thank those who generously gave of their time and talent to paint my office. It was a lot more work than I anticipated and I appreciate everyone’s persistence. It’s a job well done. I also want to thank Marcia Stevens and Pinky Warnock for helping me select the colors that would work for me. It’s been fun and I will enjoy the “new pastor’s office” every day.
Thanks to all,
Dennis (and Rev. Kool)
Alternative Giving Fair
This year Missions will be sponsoring a Holiday Alternative Giving Fair, similar to the Heifer Marketplace of past years. Donations to Heifer, Church World Service/Pakistani Relief, Katrina Relief and the Lynn Shelter will be accepted and honor cards will be provided. Please watch for further information.
Turn Clocks Back One Hour
Morning Worship - Sanctuary
Nursery – Room 14
Youth Choir – Choir Room
Confirmands & Parents – Pastor’s Office
MBA Meeting - Needham
Knitting Group – Fireside
Bread & Roses Meal Prep. – Kitchen
Senior Choir – Choir Room
Scripture Class – Pastor’s Office
Flea Market – Richards Hall
9 am-2 pm
Flea Market – Richards Hall
5th-8th Grade Youth Group to Cradles to Crayons