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
November 8, 2006
Several years ago, while I was just doing what I do as a minister, preparing newsletter articles, preparing and preaching sermons, visiting parishioners, and attending special holiday events in the month of December, I stopped in at the open house of one of the town's historic homes where I ran into a number of friends who were either volunteering at the event or attending. One of my friends, very active in another church in town, pointed out an attendee at the open house for whom she had a concern. She told me that she thought this 30-something woman was living on the street, being homeless. My friend said that she and others had tried to reach out to help her, strike up a conversation, but didn't want to be too intrusive. The 30-something woman looked well kept, in good health, attractive. She did not, on first glance, look like a homeless person to me, but on closer observation I realized that maybe my ecumenical friend was right.
I learned that the woman was spending a lot of time at the library. The next week I went to the library and saw her there. Again, she looked fine, like any another library guest. I spoke with the librarian who confirmed what I had been told. The librarian said that the woman would come in early every day, as soon as the library opened, use the restroom, hang out most of the day, go out and come back. The librarian and staff were concerned but didn't know what to do, wanting to be helpful but not intrusive. I learned that the woman would also spend time at the mall so I decided to go to the mall and offer her assistance, if she needed it, and give her my business card.
In another day or so I went to the mall and found her sitting next to one of the fast food restaurants. I introduced myself as a minister from a local church, gave her my business card, and offered to help her, asking, "Is there anything I can do to help you?" As I had been told, she seemed uncomfortable with my approach and, to tell the truth, so was I.
I was in my office during the morning of the next day and to my great surprise she walked in. I asked, "Can I help you?" She said, "I need a pair of shoes. They have them at the mall." I responded with quick agreement, knowing that I was responding on behalf of at least several people in town who desperately wanted to help her. I offered to meet her at the mall or give her a ride if she desired. She accepted a ride the short distance to the mall. I asked her where she was from. She told me she grew up in another town in Massachusetts, and had attended the Congregational Church there, which was apparently why she came to me. Having my business card with the name "Congregational" on it clicked for her. We went to the mall. I asked her to get the shoes and bring them to the register. I paid for them and asked her to sign her name to the receipt, making sure I could read her writing and the spelling of her name. She was very grateful
I went back to my office, found the name of the Congregational Church she said she attended and made a call to the pastor. The pastor knew her and her family. He said that they had lost contact with her and were worried about her. Later that day, her mother called me and we talked. Her daughter, off her medication, had walked out on her life, leaving behind friends, an apartment, job, etc. Now, her mother could bring her home, again, to safety and security.
But in the meantime, while the communications and logistics were being worked out, it was Christmas Eve. The woman (with her new shoes on) came to one of our Christmas Eve services. Again, she looked appropriate. Her hello to me was cordial and friendly. She sat in the rear pew with one of my parishioners who had once lived near the town in Massachusetts where she grew up. As it turned out, the parishioner, a retired teacher, had her in school as a student years earlier. To my knowledge, she was the only parishioner who had even the slightest chance of knowing this woman. She worshiped with us that Christmas Eve, the last time I saw her. The following week her mother came to find her daughter and take her home.
Why me? Why the ecumenical partners in our town? Why the retired teacher? Why? We were ready.
Matthew 34:43-44, "But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."
Yours in Christ,
IN THE SANCTUARY
November 12, 2006
John 11:32-44 Revelation 21:1-6a
10:00 A.M. MORNING WORSHIP
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
"Out with Moderation!"
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.
SERVICE OF INSTALLATION
for the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
Exhortations to God’s Call By
The Rev. Dr. Thomas Clough
The Rev. Elva Merry Pawle
Our workshops continue on Sunday, November 12th with the focus being on Exodus, Wandering in the Wilderness, Manna from Heaven and the Ten Commandments.
The 8th Grade Class will continue to meet in the Pastor’s outer office.
Celebrate Thanksgiving By Sharing
All members are asked to bring a Frozen Turkey to church on Sunday morning, November 12. Youth will be on hand to help carry them from your car to a waiting truck from Haven from Hunger in Peabody.
Our thanks to all who have brought bags full of non-perishable food. These items will be distributed to local food pantries. It’s not too late to fill a bag and bring it on Sunday. We are still collecting.
Thanks to ALL!
It takes many hours to put together an event such as we had in Richards Hall last Friday and Saturday. The Flea Market was a good time for a lot of people and over $2800.00 was raised and will help the budget!
Many, many thanks to the diligent workers who set up, sorted, priced, served lunch, sold and packed up. Teamwork can accomplish anything!
Ginny Daniels and Evy Round
High School Youth are asked to meet at the church at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, November 12 to assist in carrying frozen turkeys to the waiting Haven from Hunger truck.
Eight members of the Middle School Youth Group traveled to Quincy last Saturday morning to work at Cradles to Crayons sorting clothing and toys for children in need. Great job: John, Nate, Jared, Jeff, James, Brittany, Emily and Krista.
Mary Magner, a representative from My Brother’s Table in Lynn, was able to visit with our youth groups this past Sunday. Ms. Magner attended our meeting to talk in detail about who My Brother’s Table serves and what specifically they do. Ms. Magner was also presented with two checks totaling $1051. Many thanks to all of you for helping us raise this money to present to My Brother’s Table.
There will be no Youth Group evening meetings on Sunday November 12. Please plan to attend the Installation Service for our new pastor, Rev. Dennis Bailey at 3:00 p.m.
November 19 - 11:00 a.m.
Congregational Meeting to vote on bylaw changes after worship
November 19 - 7:00 p.m.
Lynnfield’s Interfaith Thanksgiving Service in the Sanctuary
Music by the Combined Choirs of Lynnfield Churches
Reception hosted by Centre Church Youth Groups
December 3 – 11:00 a.m.
Advent Workshop and Holiday Alternative Giving Fair after worship
There will be refreshments, craft projects and opportunities to make donations
to Heifer International, Church World Service, Katrina Relief and the Lynn Shelter.
Honor cards will be provided.
News From Around the Parish
We extend our love and sympathy to the family of Barbara Foster-Hubbard, mother of Dayl Hufford, who died in Arizona on November 7.
From the Mailbox
Dear Centre Church Friends,
Barbara Ericson brought me a beautiful fall bouquet from the church. I enjoyed Barbara’s visit and am continuing to enjoy the lovely bright flowers. I appreciate your thoughtfulness and also appreciated the calls and cards I received during my convalescence.
Many thanks, Bette Cushman
Key Chains for New Drivers
Please let the church office know if you have someone in your family who has just received their driver’s license. We wish to recognize these young people with a keychain from their Centre Church family!
Morning Worship - Sanctuary
Nursery – Room 14
Youth Choir – Choir Room
Service of Installation – Sanctuary
No Youth Groups Today
Caregivers – Fireside Room
Knitting Group – Fireside Room
Membership Commission – Pastor’s Office
Senior Choir – Choir Room
Scripture Study – Pastor’s Office
Our thoughts and prayers are with Helen Miller in the Meadows Unit, Edgewood, 575 Osgood St., North Andover, 01845; Hal Holappa at the Veterans’ Hospital, 200 Springs Rd., Bedford, 01730; Mildred Lisi at SunBridge, 134 North St., N. Reading, 01864; Catherine Newman at Oosterman’s 93 Laurel St., Melrose, 02176; Jack Turner at Arnold House, 490 William St., Stoneham, 02180.
We also remember in our prayers Dana Robinson who is expected home from Kuwait this week and Michael Propeck and Michael Blute in Iraq.
Head Usher: Karen Harrington.
Lay Reader: Bob MacKendrick
Coffee Hour: Bill & Sharon Vaughan
Church Office Closed on Friday, November 10
in Observance of Veterans’ Day