Centre Congregational Church
We Welcome Everyone: An "Open & Affirming" Church
Phone: (781) 334-3050; Fax: (781) 334-6463; Email:
Douglas W. Hodgkins: Organist/Choir Director
May 30, 2007
Yesterday (May 28th), I was pleased to witness some very special events in which leadership was displayed. These two events were Memorial Day on the Town Common and the Boy Scout Troop #48 Eagle Scout Ceremony in Todd Hall, Centre Church.
First, the Memorial Day Ceremonies on Town Common were special because I witnessed leadership in many forms. It was shown in nurturing and caring ways in the Meeting House on the Town Common where people warmly greeted my daughter, Carmen and me with friendship, conversation, offers of coffee and goodies, and words of inquiry about how things are going since my arrival in October, 2006. I witnessed leadership in Boy and Girl Scout uniforms, military uniforms, police and fire uniforms, band uniforms, leaders holding flags, musical instruments, saluting, pledging, watching, listening, speaking, reading. I witnessed how despite disabilities, people are still leaders.
Second, I witnessed leadership in Centre Church's Todd Hall. Boy Scout Troop #48 held its 78th Eagle Court of Honor, this time for Michael M. Hall. I sat there thinking about other leaders, like brothers, Charles Nelson Todd and David Bradstreet Todd, who gave the Supreme Sacrifice after enlisting in World War II in service to our country and cause of freedom, after whom Todd Hall is named. Leaders! The Todd brothers' names were read earlier in the day on the Town Common along with all the other Lynnfield residents who have died in wars.
Leaders of all ages had labored hard to set up both Todd and Richards Halls for the Eagle Court of Honor Ceremony and for the meal afterwards. Decorations created a festive atmosphere. A large amount of food and desserts were prepared. So much leadership!
On behalf of Centre Church I welcomed everyone and offered congratulations to Michael M. Hall. A proud moment for Troop #48, for Michael's parents and family, for Centre Church, and for Lynnfield.
Where did I learn leadership? I learned it from my parents who put me in charge of serving the cattle, the pigs, and collecting the eggs from the chickens. Doing these things well directly affected my family's quality of life. I learned leadership in the way my father taught me to handle the farm equipment and to handle it safely. I learned leadership when my father trusted me to be alone doing my chores, driving the tractors, running the show, while he was off at his other full-time job, carpentry. Yes, leadership is being left alone to handle important tasks, trusted by parents, bosses, teachers, supervisors. My parents put me in charge of little things, then bigger things, then, at times, everything. Whether I succeeded or failed, they trusted me.
I learned leadership when the adults of my church gave me jobs, both small and large, like teaching Sunday School Classes, leading worship in small groups for Sunday School, helping with the Annual Church Picnic and Sunday Worship, before I thought about entering the Ministry.
I learned leadership when playing in a band, with my peers depending upon me, my band teacher giving me duties to set up and break down for school assemblies. Yes, the High School band teacher left me alone in the auditorium. Why? Well, if honest, in part so that he could take a smoke break in the teacher's lounge and leave the hard labor to me. While I not only learned responsibility, I learned how to get out of class to do these things. I also enjoyed learning how to watch school assemblies from the stage lighting portals in the ceiling! (Shh, don't tell anyone. It's a secret.)
God calls us to be leaders. God called fishermen, sewing and cooking women, people of all ages who were willing to learn, and children who had bread and fish. God calls us now, to lead.
I am reminded of this text,, “The stone which the builders rejected, Has become the chief corner stone” (Psalm 118:22 ). Yes, we take this text to refer to Jesus, but it also relates to us. I was a person of low self-esteem when a child, a youth, and young adult. I did not feel worthy of being selected as a leader and I felt, before volunteering, that I would be rejected. So, I frequently held back and didn't volunteer, blended into the woodwork, ducked behind my desk, so as not to embarrass myself. It usually worked.
Then, God called and, well, blending, ducking, hiding, doesn't work with God. “God sees,” as a good friend of mine, Mary, from my previous parish is apt to say, especially to her children in case they think they might get away with something!
I ask you now, what do you feel God is asking of you, as a leader? Is there something in the church that you would like to do and be a part of? Would you like to serve in a particular way? Please, come forward, tell me, tell someone, about it. Let your light shine. Holding back is a way of holding back what God sees in you, sees for you, and has planned for you. Besides, someone may need just what you have to offer so that their opportunity for leadership will also bring them alive.
Yours in Christ,
IN THE SANCTUARY
June 3, 2007 - Trinity Sunday
Romans 5:1-5 John 16:12-15
10:00 A.M. Holy Communion
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
"Living in the Trinity"
Children may worship with their families before going to the Chapel.
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.
Time to Celebrate
This Sunday, June 3, is Stewardship Celebration Sunday! The “Pony Express’ binders have been passed along from home to home, through the many towns in which members of our congregation live. The process should be complete now, as all pledges need to be returned by Friday, June 1st to be counted in the Celebration on Sunday! Thank you all, for taking your part in the Pony Express chain.
If you need a pledge card, they are available on the information table in the Narthex. Please leave your pledge in the Church Office mailbox, or include it in the offering. These pledges will support our church operating and mission budgets throughout the next year. Congratulations to us, for all we do as we - Join Hands and Share the Journey.
On Sunday June 3, children in Pre-K through 8th grade will be leaving after communion to practice for Children’s Sunday, June 10. If you are unable to be present on June 3, please contact Mrs. Langill or Mrs. Couillard so you will know what your class is going to be presenting.
On Sunday, June 3 we will be inviting you to share your time and talents as Leaders and Shepherds for Rotation Sensation. There will be sign up sheets in the Narthex and members of the Educational Ministry will be available to answer any questions you might have. Please consider volunteering for this wonderful opportunity to benefit the children of Centre Church.
Mission Trip Luncheon
Everyone is invited to a special “thank you” luncheon hosted by the participants of the April Mission Trip on Sunday, June 3 at 11:30 am. We would like to show our appreciation to the members of the congregation, family, friends and Mission Ministry for their support. Please join us for a delicious lunch and presentation of the highlights of our trip. All Middle School and High School youth group members are encouraged to attend.
The Middle School Youth Group will be meeting in the church parking lot at 4 p.m. on Sunday June 3 for our end of year celebration at Canobie Lake Park. Please be sure to bring $20.00 cash to cover admission to the park. We will return at 10 p.m
Hope Springs Eternal
For 100 Danversport homeowners and businesses, building and repairs are replacing the "rubble" that left their neighborhood "stunned". On Thursday, June 14, join us in providing a second dinner of fellowship to Danversport friends and neighbors at our sister UCC Maple Street Church. We will need a couple of volunteers for food preparation, about 4 servers to accompany us to Maple Street Church, several bakers that could drop some "goodies" off at our kitchen, and of course any financial support you would like to contribute. Please contact Chris Gehret at 781-334-6737 or Mary Ann Parker at 781-334-4335 for further details.
Vacation Bible School
Take the Plunge! It’s time to register for Great Bible Reef Vacation Bible School. Join us for an underwater-themed program of faith-filled fun! Please return your completed registration form by May 31. Many volunteers are needed. 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.
Beach Towel Drive
The Middle School Youth Group is collecting new or gently used beach towels to benefit Warm Blankets Orphan Care. Beach towels make nice blankets because they are just the right size for the smaller children and are easy to clean. There is a donation box in the Narthex. Please help us reach our goal of 60 beach towels.
From the Mailbox
Many thanks to our church family in Lynnfield for your support over the last month. First, for the thoughtful send-off to New Haven after the service early in May, and most recently for your condolences upon Sue’s father’s death. It has been a month filled with both the expected and unexpected in so many ways, and your thoughts and prayers have helped tremendously.
Blessings to you all.
Sue and Hugh Penney
“Straight from the Heart - a Mid-morning Movie”
On Sunday June 17 at 10 AM (after our first 9am service in the chapel) please join us in the Fireside Room for a showing of “Straight from the Heart.” This Academy-Award nominated documentary explores the difficulties of coming to terms with a gay or lesbian child. Several parents explain how they came to understand and accept their children's gay lifestyles. The film reinforces the idea that sexuality is about love and equality, topics that should not instill hatred.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact Mark Meehl in church or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org We look forward to your attendance, support, and interest in this and in future programs we intend to offer in the Fall.
More information is coming to our web site soon.
News From Around the Parish
We extend our love and sympathy to the family and friends of Lois Weyhrauch who died on May 23. A funeral service was held in Wakefield on May 26.
Our love and sympathy go out to the Beesley family upon Eleanor’s death on May 26. Her funeral was held in Kingston, NH on May 30. (Martha Beesley’s address: 2950 Grandview Rd., Jasper, GA 30143.)
Our ongoing collections include Redeemable Bottles and Cans (please separate cans, bottles and plastic). In addition we are collecting Aluminum Can Pull Tabs, Used Eyeglasses, Non-Perishable Food, Travel Size Toiletries, Used Cell Phones (numbers erased with charger), and knitted squares.
|Holy Communion – Sanctuary
Children go to the Chapel following Communion
Mission Trip Lunch – Richards Hall
Middle School Group to Canobie Lake
|Knitting Group – Library
Pastoral Relations Committee
|8:30 am||Bread & Roses Meal Prep-Kitchen|
|10:30 am||Scripture Study – Pastor’s Office|
Our thoughts and prayers are with Lew and Elva Batchelder at Rosewood Nursing and Rehab. Center, 22 Johnson St., W. Peabody, 01960; Martha Nelson and Madge Swartz 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 Helen Ogilvie recuperating at home. We also remember Michael Blute in Iraq.
Sunday, June 3:
Head Ushers: Michelle Hagerty, Mark Meehl, Jeff Law and Linda Ladd
Lay Reader: Drew Taylor
Altar Flowers Provided by: Betty and Clayton Conn
Altar Flowers Delivered by: Karen Harrington and Barbara Ericson