Centre Congregational Church
We Welcome Everyone:
An "Open & Affirming" Church
(781) 334-3050;Fax: (781) 334-6463; Email: Office@Centre-Church.org
The Rev. Dr. Dennis
C. Bailey, Pastor - Pastor@Centre-Church.org
December 13, 2006
What is the joy of which you dream? Is it joy with family and friends? Is it the joy of new life? Is it the joy of a healthy child? Is it the joy of getting all the grades you want for the honor roll? Is it the birth of a child?
If it's the birth of a child, then you are in the Christmas spirit. Children have a fascination for so many things that we take for granted. While shopping the other night there was a little boy in a carriage that persistently called attention to every thing on the shelves. "What's this? What's this? What's that?" was his constant refrain. He wanted to touch everything, see everything, have everything. Yes, it was frustrating for his parents who were trying to get their shopping done, but this little boy was having so much fun taking everything in.
And on any Christmas morning the children just love awakening to all of the presents, colors, lights, and excitement. While I am not encouraging overdoing the commercialization of Christmas, in fact, just the opposite, I am encouraging you to seize and embrace the joy.
In the midst of this holiday season, take time to experience the joy. Become more aware of your surroundings and just how special they are. Are there special trees in your yard or nearby that cause you to pause and appreciate creation? Are there squirrels in your yard that you enjoy watching? Are there even wild turkeys in your neighborhood that fly high into the 100 foot trees at night to sleep and come down during the day to walk around your house? Are birds remaining in the winter to make you stop and give thanks for their songs and beauty?
On some nights, yes, even bitter cold nights, I like to take a short walk to enjoy the clear sky, the stars, the moon, and the quiet. It calms my soul and allows me to remember the joys of the day just passed.
I love the joys of sharing with friends inside and outside of the parish. I love the joy of teasing, laughing, joking, and having fun as a community of faith. We see each other regularly week after week, we have sorrows, but we also have joys. In truth, our joys together far outnumber our sorrows. When I forget what comes next in the worship service and jump ahead, the worshipers have joy in catching me!
When we laugh together via our interactions during Parish News (announcements) at the opening of the worship service, we have joy at just being together. When we hear the choir sing such beautiful music, we have joy in the sweet sound, in the beauty, in the pleasure it gives us to worship God. When we greet over coffee and pastry during coffee hour I cherish the joy of pleasantries and conversation exchanged among friends.
Where do you find joy in your life? Remember, it is a gift from God. Rejoice and be thankful. Let the joy be savored and never let it go. For Jesus is to be born, joy to the world, a joy that will never leave us wanting.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
IN THE SANCTUARY
December 17, 2006 Third Sunday in Advent
10:00 A.M. Morning Worship
Isaiah 2:1-5 , Philippians 4:4-7 Luke 3:7-18
Sermon by the
Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
"The Five Gifts of Christmas"
Children may worship with their families before going to Chapel.
Service broadcast on Lynnfield Cable Channel 10 (Comcast) or Channel 28 (Verizon) and Peabody Cable Channel 10 at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday.
6:30 P.M. Christmas Concert
Music by Senior
Choir, Youth Choir and Lynnfield High School Music Students
accompanied by Piano and Bass.
Christmas Eve Services
10:00 a.m. Christmas Pageant
5:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. Candlelight Services
All Church Cookie Swap
The High School Youth Group will be holding a cookie swap after worship on Sunday, December 17. The youth have decorated boxes which will sell for $10.00 and you can then fill with up to 3 dozen Christmas Cookies of your choice. All proceeds will go toward this years mission trip. Members of the congregation are invited to bring a dozen or so cookies to share. Please bring downstairs to Richards Hall before 10 a.m.
All are invited to a Christmas Concert on Sunday, December 17 at 6:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. Under the direction of Douglas Hodgkins, the Senior and Youth Choirs of the church will be joined by a number of music students from Lynnfield High School. They will be accompanied by piano and bass. There will be congregational singing and refreshments will be offered following the program
Children and Youth will continue to rehearse and prepare for the upcoming Christmas Pageant.
December 17: The children and youth should report to the chapel after briefly worshipping with their families in the sanctuary.
December 23: All children and youth who will be participating in the pageant should report to the sanctuary from 10:00-12:00 for rehearsal.
December 24: Participants of the pageant should plan to meet in Todd Hall promptly at 9:00 a.m. We will gather our costumes and run through the pageant one last time.
Gifts for Crombie Street Mission
Reminder that gifts for the Crombie Street Mission in Salem are being collected under the tree in the narthex through Sunday, December 17 - socks, sweatshirts and underwear of any size, along with single sheets and blankets, hats, mittens and gloves.
Instead of sending individual Christmas cards to your church friends, why not send a single card to the church office with a contribution which will be sent to City Mission Society in Boston? A Christmas Greeting with the names of those contributing will be published in Tower Notes and your card will be displayed on the Giving Tree. Wed love to have the tree heavily decorated with your cards and send much-needed support to CMS. (Please make your check payable to Centre Church.)
will be available after worship on Sundays
from members of the Get-Together Wheel.
The cost is $4.00 per bar.
Centre Church Cookbooks
available after church - $5.99 each
Each year our special Christmas Offering is divided between local Centre Church needs and a recipient designated by the Missions Commission. The Missions portion this year will be divided between My Brothers Table in Lynn and Church World Service targeting African concerns. Please make your check out to Centre Church with the notation "Christmas Offering." You may use the special Christmas Envelope in your envelope packet or you will find Christmas Offering envelopes in the pew racks.
Youth Group News
No evening youth group on Sunday, Dec 17. Please enjoy the Christmas Concert with your families at 6:30 p.m.
Reminder: All youth group members are asked to bring 3-5 dozen cookies to church next Sunday morning (Dec. 17) before 10 a.m. for the All Church Cookie Swap.
High School Youth will be serving dinner at My Brothers Table in Lynn on Friday, December 29. We will meet in the church parking lot at 4 p.m. and return by 8 p.m. Please return your permission slip by December 20 if you plan to attend. Parents: We will need adult drivers to help get everyone there. Please call Barbara Langill if you can be a driver.
Parenting your Teenager Seminar
Beginning January 22, 2007 Mary Ann Parker and Barbara Nickerson will lead a 6-week parenting seminar. This seminar covers topics such as identity, turmoil, rebellion and legacy. The leaders will also examine scripture to find helpful tools for good parenting. Please join us each Monday night at 6:00 in the movie room on the 2nd floor.
Church "Lights Out"
Just as you lock your doors at night and make sure the lights are off and the heat is set just right - this must be done every night of the year at Centre Church. Given the potential for enormous heating bills this winter it will be more important than ever to make sure that the building is not over-heated in the off hours. The security of the building is also important. Many people use our building every day and as much as we ask all of the groups to turn the lights off and lock the doors invariably something is left unattended. Over the years many of you have volunteered to come down to church as part of this program to make sure the building is secured. And that act of stewardship is much appreciated! However, the number of volunteers willing to do this has dwindled and so we are making a new appeal.
If you are able for a one week period of time (Friday evening through the following Thursday evening) to make this nightly run please contact Rick Carey at RCAREY@VHB.com or at 781-595-9402. It only takes 10 to 15 minutes to take a tour of the building and lock the doors. You will get a great deal of satisfaction out of volunteering in this way to keep our church secure and available to the many groups that require its use. Thanks in advance for your help! Phil Johnson, Moderator
From the Mailbox
Dear Centre Church Friends,
Barbara Ericsons visit and the lovely flowers from the altar were like a breath of springtime on the threshold of winter! Im truly touched by this thoughtful gesture. Sincerely, Carol Carter
My Brothers Table Jewelry Sale
Go to www.mybrotherstable.org
Help us to feed the hungry while you complete your Christmas shopping!!
|Morning Worship -
Pageant Preparation - Chapel
Child Care Room 14
Youth Choir Choir Room
All-Church Cookie Swap-R Hall
Christmas Concert - Sanctuary
|7:00 pm||Knitting Group Fireside Room|
|7:30 pm||Senior Choir Choir Room|
|10:30 am||Scripture Study
|Pageant Rehearsal - Sanctuary|
Candlelight Service Sanctuary
Candlelight Service - Chapel
Our thoughts and prayers are with Steven Stantial, Lewiston, ME; Marion Edkins at Renaissance Gardens, 400 Brooksby Village Dr., Peabody, 01960; Hal Holappa at the Veterans Hospital, 200 Springs Rd., Bedford, 01730; Mildred Lisi at SunBridge, 134 North St., N. Reading, 01864; Catherine Newman at Oostermans 93 Laurel St., Melrose, 02176; Jack Turner at Arnold House, 490 William St., Stoneham, 02180; and Marge Cole, and Barbara Wright Watson recuperating at home.
We also remember in our prayers Michael Blute in Iraq.
Third Sunday in Advent, December 17,
Head Usher: Marian Orfeo
Lay Reader: David Triffletti
Lighting the Advent Candles: Paul and Sue Gustavsen
Coffee Hour: Mary Ann and Allie Parker