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
September 26, 2007
I have been touring houses during the last 2 ½ months, searching for one to buy. It has brought me back to memories of the house I grew up in and lived in the first 17 years of my life. It was a farmhouse on an 80-acre farm in Northern Baltimore Country, on Gunpowder Road, Millers, Maryland. Our farmhouse had four floors. Kitchen, basement, laundry, and freezer room, first floor. Living room bathroom, master bedroom, and crib room, second floor. Bedroom, where my brother and I slept, and attic, third floor. Additional attic space, fourth floor. It had a lot of character. It had a porch outside the first floor kitchen that wrapped around two sides of the house. There was a porch off the living room on the second floor. It was heated by oil and had the large radiators. It was quite the house. Apparently it didn't have indoor plumbing until about the time I was born. I'm glad I forced my parents into the modern age.
Lots of nice things happened in that house. Santa stopped by every Christmas. The black and white TV in the corner of the living room introduced me to friends Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Gene Autry, Captain Kangaroo, the Lone Ranger, Bonanza, Sky King and Davy Crockett. The living room was also the place where I remember my father teaching me 500 Rummy, beating me most of the time.
The kitchen was the place where I believe I spent most of my time. It was there that my mother worked her magic, with love and dedication to our family. It was there that she cooked the finest meals on earth. It was there that she taught me how to wash dishes, long before dishwashers. It was there that I fell in love with fried shrimp which my mother painstakingly peeled, de-veined, dipped in egg and milk, and then patted down with cracker crumbs, before frying. She made anywhere from 5 pounds to 25 pounds at once for special occasions when family and friends came by. It was in that kitchen that my brother and I ate a dozen ears of our own sweet corn in one sitting. The kitchen is where my mother made Devil's Food Cake with white frosting from scratch! It was there that I remember my mother spending most all of her time for us, except when she was outside helping with the farm work, tending our massive garden, or doing our laundry. When did she sleep?
The kitchen is where, in my memory, I still hear my father's laughter! My parents had other farmer friends who would stop over evenings and weekends to play cards while my brother and I enjoyed playing with their children. I can still see my father dealing the cards. I can still hear the conversations about how the wheat, oats, barley, corn, etc., was growing.
My brother, Richard, entered the house 4 years, 2 months after I was born. I am told that I had been playing with an imaginary friend named “Ricky”, making it easy for my parents to pick a name.
Remembering that house is important to me because it gives me security. In that house I experienced unconditional love. In that house I slept, celebrated birthdays, made friends, bathed, and had meals with my family every day. The years in that house were the most important years of my life, forming me, shaping me, teaching me.
Houses were important in the life and ministry of Jesus. The Magi came to the house where Jesus was as a child. When they entered the house they saw Jesus with his mother, Mary. They bowed down and worshiped him. “Then, they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts...” (Matthew 7:9-11).
Jesus went to houses to heal. Jesus made a visit to Peter's house and healed his mother-in-law. (Matthew 8:13-15) Again, he went to a house to heal and bring back to life the daughter of a ruler (Jairus). (Matthew 9:18, 23-26)
After calling Matthew, the tax collector, to “Follow Me” Jesus went to Matthew's house to have dinner. The Pharisees criticized Jesus for this because he was hanging out with a tax collector, a sinner. (Matthew 9:9-11)
Jesus did teaching in houses. In one such case, while visiting the home of a woman named Martha, he taught how important it is to listen in a home. (Luke 10:38-42)
Jesus took his disciples to the house of “a certain man” in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. It was there that he shared with his disciples the Lord's Supper, breaking bread, giving thanks, and saying, “Take and eat; this is my body." (Matthew 26:17-29)
So much of what we do occurs in our houses. It is where we find rest, companionship, privacy, intimacy, birth, life, death. It is where we keep our “stuff,” invite people to share our resources over meals and conversation. So much of what is important to us is found in our houses.
So, I ask you, is Jesus in your house? Is the healing of Jesus in your house? Have you invited Jesus into your house? When people visit you in your house do they feel welcomed, attended to, cared for? Do you keep your house safe for the sake of your children and family? When your children grow up, will they have fond memories of that place in their life? Will they remember that they were unconditionally loved there?
I was fortunate because the farmhouse I grew up in was built on a solid foundation, the foundation of the love of God, dedicated to love and care of my brother and me. All who came there respected it as our home. All who came there were cared for, in the love of God. My mother shared her cooking. My father shared his laughter. My brother and I felt safe, loved, and we worked hard; we played hard. We slept well.
Thanks be to God,
IN THE SANCTURY
September 30, 2007
10:00 A.M. Morning Worship
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
“Real Estate and Faith”
Children’s Message: “Bread Sermon”
Children may worship with families before going to Rotation Workshops.
Our last Abraham & Sarah rotation will take place this Sunday, September 30. We look forward to seeing all of the children in their workshops. We continue to enjoy cooking, computers, movie and Upper Room.
World Communion Sunday, October 7
Do you like baking bread? On World Communion Sunday we remember that we are part of the whole body of believers. As part of our communion service you are invited to bring a loaf of your favorite bread. We will prepare our usual communion bread but welcome the presentation of many loaves, symbolic of many peoples. We will share the many loaves during the Fellowship Hour. If you can't make your own, you are welcome to find and bring your favorite loaf to our celebration. If you have questions, feel free to call or email Rev. Bailey.
ONA Film Festival
The ONA Film Festival begins on Sunday, October 7 after church in the Fireside Room with the video “Making History in Massachusetts – the Governor’s Commission on Gay & Lesbian Youth” followed on October 14 by Corey Johnson’s coming out story which was nationally broadcast on ABC’s 20/20. As you may know, Massachusetts was the first state to fund a program to support LGBT students. And Corey Johnson was Masconomet Regional High School’s first ever openly gay high school football team captain who came out to his teammates with winning results for everybody. Corey Johnson’s mother Ann Richardson will be joining us October 14 to answer questions and bring us up to date on Corey’s career following a viewing of the 20/20 video. Everybody is welcome to attend these informative sessions as we live out our church’s promise to be an “Open and Affirming” Church that welcomes everyone.
Mark Meehl - firstname.lastname@example.org
We were pleased to honor the following people on Sept. 23: William & Ruth Coffill, Arthur & Lillian Foulds, Margaret Heglund, Robert MacKendrick, Doris Nelson, Robert Schmidt, William & Jane Thompson, Ray & Arliene Thorn and Edith Wendt.
Hike for Hope
All participants in the Hike for Hope should meet in the Library immediately following worship on Sept. 30. Please wear your walking clothes to church and bring a brown bag lunch with you. Anyone wishing to sponsor a walker may do so on September 30 in the Narthex. Thank you in advance.
Youth Groups News
The next regularly scheduled meeting for all groups (5th, 6th-8th, 9th-12th) will be Sunday, October 14th from 6:00-7:30.
The Middle School Youth Group has sent out 53 beach blankets to Warm Blankets Orphan Care. Thank you to all who donated to this wonderful cause.
Those youth participating in the Boston Mission Overnight should plan to meet at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept 28 in the church parking lot. Please eat before you come. We will carpool to First Church in Charlestown where we will spend the night. Air mattresses will be available at the church. Be sure to bring your sleeping bag, pillow and overnight essentials. Please plan on wearing appropriate clothing for the work sites on Saturday- shoes, not flip flops, no short shorts or tank tops. We will leave Boston around 4 pm on Saturday. Don’t forget to bring along a boxed cake mix for Birthday Wishes!
Centre Church’s “Chowdafest”
Sunday October 21, 2007 11:30-1:00
We plan to have Clam Chowder, Crackers, Corn Bread, Water or Coffee with Cranberry Crumble or Brownies for dessert. You may eat in or take away!
We are still planning for this event and are looking for volunteers to shop, prepare food, serve, and clean up! See any member of the Membership Committee to volunteer or sign up in the Narthex after church services.
Chuck Cotting, Doreen DiFillippo, Sue Lambe, Kristin Robinson, Laurie Timmons, Cindy Trayers
Our church fair will be on November 10 which will be here before we know it. We are in need of a great many things, so with fall here, it is a perfect time to help the church.
We Need the Following Items:
A group gathers each Wednesday morning from 10-12 in Todd Hall to work on various craft projects. If you are unable to join us, we do have some things that could be done at home, so give me a call.
Please consider joining us to make November 10 a successful and fun day.
If you need more information, please call Donna Marino (781) 581-2022.
High School Discussion Group
We are in need of adults to help lead a Sunday morning discussion group for High School youth. The group would plan to meet each Sunday morning, following children’s time and conclude at the end of worship. The starting point for discussion would be the lectionary scripture; however, the discussions may take several directions.
Please call Barbara or Jill in the church office to discuss this further.
We held our 5th Annual Centre Church Golf Tournament on Friday September 21. We had the largest turnout in our brief history with 20 golfers. It was a beautiful day and the winning team of Phil Triffletti, Pattie, Joe and Ralph Antonelli posted a team score of 3 under par. Great going! I’m pleased to report that I will be turning $601.40 over to the Outreach Ministries Team for the support of Bread and Roses. Thanks to all the players and our official photographer Perry Hayden. See you all on the fairways next year!
From the Mailbox
I want to thank Centre Church for the very generous gift certificate to The Mount Washington Hotel that I received at Annual Meeting yesterday. It was unexpected and took me a bit by surprise. As I step away from the role as Moderator I do so with mixed emotions. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with so many great people on Parish Council and other commissions. It has been very satisfying to serve in this capacity and accomplish what we needed to do in order to keep Centre Church vibrant and meaningful. At the same time it is time for new leadership to bring new ideas and energy to the church.
I have been honored and blessed to have been given this opportunity to serve. Your support and words of encouragement have always been important to me. I request that you provide Dennis, your new leadership team and your new Moderator, Chris Parker, with that same level of support and commitment. And do so with reckless abandon!
Once again, thank you so much for this parting gift.
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.
|Morning Worship - Sanctuary
Rotation Sensation Workshops
Nursery Care – Room 14
Confirmation Mtg – Todd Hall
Hike for Hope – 5th-8th Grade Youth
|7:00 pm||Knitting Group – Fireside Room|
|Bread & Roses Meal Prep - Kitchen
Craft Group - Todd Hall
|7:30 pm||Senior Choir - Choir Room|
|10:30 am||Scripture Study - Pastor's Office|
Our thoughts and prayers are with:
We also remember Col. Greg Lengyel in Iraq.
We rejoice that Serena Reynolds is home from her deployment aboard the USS Nimitz.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Head Usher: Mark Meehl
Greeters: Meg and Barkey Gulezian
Lay Reader: Rick Carey
Coffee Hour: Judie Potter
Altar Flowers: Priscilla Hahn
Cable Coverage of Worship Services
Centre Church’s Worship Services are broadcast on Lynnfield Cable Channel 10 (Comcast) or Channel 28 (Verizon) on Thursday evenings at 7:00 p.m. and also on Peabody Cable Channel 10 on Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m.