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
May 16, 2007
Joining Hands Project
Confirmation was this past Sunday. Confirmation is a "joining hands" project.
When parents bring children for baptism we join hands and surround the family and those who are baptized with the love of God. It is an unconditional love, a welcoming love, and a love that promises to teach, share, encourage, and care for and with.
When children come to participate in the Christian Education programs of the church, staff and volunteers join hands to prepare a place, to share the stories and teachings of scripture, the traditions of faith, and examples of how we imitate Christ.
We invite these same children to participate in the Confirmation Class. The students join hands with adult mentors as they together reflect on the meaning of their own faith. In this journey they are moving toward a decision. If the Confirmands choose, they affirm their own Christian faith publicly. At this time we lay hands upon the Confirmand's head denoting the coming of the Holy Spirit into their lives. We remind them that they are not Christians alone, but in the midst of a community of faith at Centre Church. We remind them how they are united with all of God's people in the world.
I enjoy Confirmation! I enjoy the creativity of trying to set up the class so that we can find a time and way to meet, learn, and grow in faith. I enjoy seeing the Confirmands select their Mentors. Mentors can be someone who is an adult (other than their parent) selected by the Confirmand who will support the Confirmand in the program, attend the classes with the Confirmand, and also learn and grow in faith. Confirmands and Mentors join hands and walk this journey of faith together.
In yesterday's Confirmation it was fun to recognize Mentors who were also grandparents, uncles, aunts, godparents, and adults in the congregation of Centre Church. Many of the relationships in the class had bonded through the life and work of the church's programs, i.e, singing in the choir, serving together in service projects, the youth group programs, scouting, school, friendships, Christian Education, etc. It was also exciting to know that through this class these relationships are now even stronger.
Every Confirmation Class has its own chemistry. This class endeared itself to me by the way the Confirmands had been previously bonded through their life together inside and outside the church, and through their own enjoyment of each other's company. They watched out for each other, teased each other, and helped each other grow spiritually. They included each other in every aspect of their work. The Mentors were also blessed in the way that they worked with each other and supported the Confirmands. In one case, in particular, three generations of one family were present every week for the class. Now that's Joining Hands, Sharing the Journey!
And then, this weekend, I had the pleasure of officiating at a wedding in which three generations of another family, with deep ties in Centre Church, gathered to celebrate. As Marylee Piper and David Riester joined hands to promise themselves to each other in faith and fidelity, parents, siblings, nieces and nephews all participated in the ceremony. It was a powerful experience because while adults remembered how they, as children, attended the church, attended classes and worship, we also remembered the groom, David's, late father Walter Riester, Sr., whose funeral was held at Centre Church two years ago. We remembered, in the wedding, how God has been with us in the birthing, baptizing, learning, sorrows, and now, new life and hope of marriage. We remembered how God promises to be with us in the future.
The journey continues! Yes, what happens within a community of faith is sacred, and accompanied by the presence of Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the unconditional love of God.
You have, no doubt, your own stories to share about how hands have been offered and joined together to bless you. I love hearing of these stories because they remind me why we are the church and why it is so important that we support and provide for this ministry.
Once, while talking with a member of one of the Alcoholic Anonymous programs that met weekly in my previous parish he reflected about how "lives are changed here." He said that because of his own personal journey, he weekly witnessed other lives being changed, and how his wife and daughter were blessed to participate in the Girl Scout groups that met there and, how in the worship life and work of the church's spiritual life, they had come to know the powerful presence of Christ in their lives.
Lives are changed here, blessed to know, through disciples of Jesus, how the love of God is known in so many ways. So many hands! So many journeys!
I personally invite you to join our "joining hands project," acknowledge and affirm our journeys, your journey, and the possibility of what God still has for us in this special place with its special people and ministry by making out your own “Intention to Give” card in support of the hands and journeys of God's people.
Yours in Christ,
IN THE SANCTUARY
May 20, 2007 - 7th Sunday of Easter
10:00 A.M. Morning Worship
Sacrament of Baptism
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
"The Meaning of It All"
Children may worship with their families before going to Rotation Workshops.
Service broadcast on Lynnfield Cable Channel 10 (Comcast) or 28 (Verizon) at 7 p.m. on Thursday or Peabody Cable Channel 10 at 8 am on Sunday.
Congratulations to the 2007 Confirmation ClassThe members of Centre Church wish to congratulate the Confirmands on their Confirmations and accomplishments this year. It was evident through your Statement of Faith and presentation on Confirmation Sunday that you were a great class, the pride of Centre Church. We also thank the Confirmation Mentors who dedicated countless hours and much loving support, wisdom and encouragement to this year’s class. We appreciate all that you did!
It's YOUR Time Now!
Yes, you've been hearing about the Stewardship Campaign for a month. In fact, some other people have already made their pledges in support of next year's budget and church programs. Their handprints are on the wall! Finally, starting on Sunday, pledge cards will be distributed to the entire congregation via the "Pony Express". You'll be receiving a packet, containing your pledge card, and passing it on to the next person on the list. As soon as you return your pledge to the church office, your handprint will grace the sanctuary wall as well.
Please remember - your pledge, to support the church as you can, is what makes it possible for us to have this church and do what we do. We support each other in good times and bad. We help those in need locally and worldwide. We provide a safe church for all children of God. We teach responsibility. We are Centre Congregational Church. Together we make a difference in this world.
Join Hands and Share the Journey
30 Hour Famine
This past weekend, 16 of our High School Youth (and 2 adults) went 30 hours without eating. They participated in the fast for a variety of reasons: “I wanted to help the hungry.” - “To make a difference.” - “To see if I could really go that long without food.” - “To be with friends.” - “For Community Service.” There was fun, work, fruit juice, and water to stave off growling stomachs. In the morning they helped with some outside spring cleaning of the church grounds and in the afternoon went to help unload and sort donations collected by Postal Workers to benefit local food pantries. The fast ended with a wonderful and delicious meal provided by parents of the participating youth. The youth were able to raise $1, 332.00 to send to World Vision to help end hunger around the world. Thank you to everyone who made a donation, the youth for participating, and the parents who donated juice and water, helped with transportation, and for providing an excellent meal to break the fast.
We invite the children and youth to come to their workshops on Sunday, May 20 as we continue learning about Ruth.
All 8th grade youth are asked to attend their class this Sunday, May 20th. Preparations for Children/Youth Sunday will take place. All 8th graders are strongly encouraged to attend!
Important Dates to note: May 27 (children and youth to plant flowers during the service), June 3 (classes prepare for Children/Youth Sunday), June 10 (Children/Youth Sunday).
Youth Group News
Both Youth Groups will meet on May 20 at the regular time (6:00-7:30.)
Important Dates to note: May 25 (Laser Quest, meet 10:30 p.m. in church parking lot, pick up at Laser Quest by 6:00 a.m.), May 27 (No Youth Group meetings), June 3 (Middle School Year End Celebration – details to follow), June 3 (Mission Trip Luncheon, all youth invited), June 15-17 (High School Retreat).
Vacation Bible School
Take the Plunge! It’s time to register for Great Bible Reef Vacation Bible School. Registrations are being sent to all those with children in 4th grade and under. Please return your completed registration form by May 31. Many volunteers are needed to ensure a successful program. We are looking for Activity Site Leaders for Storytelling, Games and Science. We also have the opportunity for youth to volunteer as Guides and small group helpers. Please sign up after Church on Sunday or call the church office to volunteer your time and talents.
Boy Scout Troop #48 News
Congratulations to Scoutmaster, John H. Walsh, for receiving the highest award presented by the Aquila District of the Yankee Clipper Council, Boy Scouts of the America. John was awarded this honor for his outstanding leadership, years of generous service to scouting, training of leaders and other troops, and for his tireless effort on behalf of Scouting. Centre Congregational Church and Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey were also presented a "Certificate of Appreciation" for their "continued support of Scouting."
Craft Fair and Bake Sale – May 19th
WANTED: Bakers, Shoppers, Volunteers
Our Craft Fair and Bake Sale is this Saturday, May 19. We need all of the above to make this event a success. Remember, all the monies raised go to help the church. If you are able to volunteer, even an hour or so, that would be great. Our greatest need at this point is baked goods for the sale. Without your help in providing baked goods, we will not be able to fill our table. Please consider this. You may bring them down on Saturday when you come to shop. Thanks for your support. If you are able to help or need information, please call Donna Marino at 781-581-2022
News from Around the Parish
Our best wishes to Hugh and Sue Penney who have recently moved. Their new address is: 64 Cold Spring Street, New Haven, CT 06511.
We extend our love and sympathy to the Nardone family upon the recent death of Michael’s mother, Theresa Giannetti-Nardone.
Our love and prayers are with the Coonrod family upon the death of Jane’s brother, Charles Caldwell of Round Rock, Texas on May 13.
Rev. Bailey wishes to thank the 2007 Confirmands and their Mentors for the donation of a brick for the church patio in his honor! A lasting memory of a wonderful class!
You Are Always Welcome!
Even while the doors are locked when Tower Day School is session, we still encourage informal visits to the church office to see any of the staff. We are an Open and Welcoming church even while the doors are locked for child safety. The staff of the Tower Day School and the Church do not mind coming to the door to give you entrance. Really! We are working on a solution that will be easier for everyone, but until then, please drop in. We want to see you if you are so inclined to stop in for visits. We love people! We love you! If you have any questions about this, please give me a call, personally. Why, if I know you are coming down to see us, I might even come down to greet you at the door, if I can!
|9am - 2 pm||Craft Sale and Bake Table-Narthex|
|Morning Worship – Sanctuary
Nursery – Room 14
Youth Choir – Choir Room
Stewardship Team Leaders - Library
Youth Groups - Lower Level
|Knitting Group – Fireside Room
UCC Christian Educators – Fireside
|Craft Group – Todd Hall
Council – Pastor’s Office
|7:30 pm||Senior Choir – Choir Room|
|Scripture Study – Pastor’s Office
Youth Groups to Laser Quest Overnight
Our thoughts and prayers are with Barbara Warburg, Lew Batchelder and Elva Batchelder at Rosewood Nursing and Rehab. Center, 22 Johnson St., W. Peabody, 01960; Martha Nelson and Helen Ogilvie at Renaissance Gardens, 400 Brooksby Village Dr., Peabody, 01960; Gladys Davis, Haven Health Care, 20 Chester Road, Derry, NH 03038; Hal Holappa at the Veterans’ Hospital, 200 Springs Rd., Bedford, 01730; Catherine Newman at Oosterman’s 93 Laurel St., Melrose, 02176; Jack Turner at Arnold House, 490 William St., Stoneham, 02180 and Marilyn Bommer recuperating at home. We also remember Michael Blute in Iraq.
Sunday, May 20:
Head Usher: Jeff Law
Lay Reader: David Clough
Coffee Hour: Steve and Carrie Pericola & Jack and Donna Marino
Altar Flowers Provided by: Tony and Judy Lucia
Altar Flowers Delivered by: Sue Gustavsen