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
October 17, 2007
Acts of love come in many forms. When I think of the loving adults who surrounded me when I was a child I think of those who watched TV with me. It was black and white TV in those days. Even when shows started showing up in color it was still black and white for me. I loved watching cartoons: Felix the Cat, Mighty Mouse, Popeye, Tom Terrific, the Bullwinkle Show, Deputy Dawg, Mr. Magoo, etc.
My parents were busy, but when they sat with me to watch TV I felt loved when they would watch the shows that I wanted to watch instead of their “adult” shows. I remember visiting some family friends, Hiram and Florence, who, on rare occasions, we stayed with when my parents were out. I remember how shocked I was, how honored and loved I felt, when they sat with me to watch my favorite TV shows. I remember thinking, “Jeepers, they must really like me, love me, to sit and watch TV with me.”
Perhaps money is not the most valuable thing after all! Perhaps it is our time that is the most precious thing we have to offer each other. Going to Hershey Park with my daughter for a day and then, years later, with my granddaughter for a day: Priceless! Other times of great value: spending a vacation in California with my son and daughter, seeing the sights. Working with my son to install wiring into a house. Being with them during some challenging times.
I have, as a pastor, been with parishioners during special times, times which can feel sacred. Just after the birth of a child. Recovery from surgeries. Times of reflection, times of getting acquainted, times when the news is not good, times of miracles, and times of parting.
I remember holding Maudie's hand as we said the Lord's Prayer together. At the end of that prayer, that night, after over 100 years of life, she had gone home to her Lord. “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed...” (Isaiah 40:1-2)
Time and timing are sacred gifts. I have often found people being present to me in just the right moment. I have often found myself being present to people in just the right moment, or, so it seemed. How does this happen? First, it happens when we make a commitment, a decision, to do something with our time that might be helpful. It includes putting ourselves in a place where we might be helpful, where our presence might be welcomed. Second, it happens because there are people and places that benefit from our presence. Just showing up, ready for what God has for us, what people need of us, can present to us a valuable opportunity in the use of our time.
Showing up for Sunday morning worship is a very valuable use of our time, for ourselves and for others. It happened, again, yesterday morning, at the start of worship. I knew that a first-time visitor was coming to worship. I greeted her at the rear of the sanctuary just before the start of worship. In that moment, in that 1.5 seconds, there appeared someone who I felt comfortable introducing to the newcomer, someone who had just recently joined the church. I introduced them to each other, asking the church member to show the newcomer around the order of worship and such.
You see, because one person decided to be present in church yesterday, a newcomer was made to feel welcome! Time and timing! Thanks be to God.
Never assume you know why you are where you are. Always be ready to be a comfort, a disciple of the Lord, an aide to someone in need, an offering of God's hand, legs for someone who needs your assistance, a voice, an ear.
Sunday mornings at church, inside and outside of the sanctuary are very important times for a community of faith because it's when most of us gather together in one place, at one time. Our presence there helps us know what's going on in the lives of our sisters and brothers, what the Lord is doing here and elsewhere, and how we might be able to be of help.
I give thanks for those of you who gather early each Sunday to make preparations for the worship service - the bulletins, the name tags, the greeters, coffee hour. I give thanks for what you do. I give thanks for the opportunity to interact, to talk, to see a friendly face. I give thanks for the voices and persons of the choir as they rehearse in the sanctuary before the start of worship. I can hear them outside my office and often peek my head out to see them, to take in their worshiping melodies. Those who gather early are treated to an extra blessing of God's spirit.
I give thanks for those who share with me significant things that are happening in their lives, in the lives of their family, some of which are shared in prayer.
I give thanks for the relationships that are being formed, strengthened, renewed, as we share time together in and around worship. The ONA film series has been, of late, a valuable place for learning, growing, affirming our beliefs about being a welcoming community. It has also been an opportunity to strengthen the time and timing of our life together. Who knows what good may result from this? Time will tell.
Take the time to be holy, to be wholly committed to being in the places God calls us to be, with the people God has given us to be with. Watching TV with your children, with your parents, may not always seem holy, but, I assure you, it was for me, as a child. Turning the TV off is even more important so that we can talk with each other. These are the ways that I know I was and am loved by God.
Yours in Christ,
IN THE SANCTURY
October 21, 2007
Isaiah 42:1-9 and Matthew 3:13-17
10:00 A.M. Morning Worship
Sacrament of Baptism
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
“Our Example is the Thing”
Children may worship with families before going to Rotation Workshops.
Walk for My Brother’s Table
On Sunday, October 21, the 6th – 8th Grade Youth Group will be walking to raise money for My Brother’s Table. We will meet in Todd Hall promptly at 5:30 p.m. All who wish to sponsor a walker may do so after church in the narthex. All checks should be made out to Centre Congregational Church with a “My Brother’s Table” notation in the memo line.
Sunday October 21, 2007
From: 11:30 AM to 1:00 Richards Hall.
We plan to have Clam Chowder, Crackers, Corn Bread, Water or Coffee with Brownies and Ice Cream for dessert – all for $6.00.
You may eat in or take away!
We wish to thank the Golf Group for their donation of $845.94 to the Bread and Roses Hot Meal Program. This generous donation of the proceeds from the Golf Tournament is greatly appreciated. What a gift!
In addition, we would like to thank all those who helped the mother in Lynn with sick children – those who did laundry, picked up medication, made casseroles, and donated gift cards.
Finally, please continue to donate non-perishable food. Food supplies are low at all local food pantries. We’d like to keep our green carts in the Missions Pantry full of donations.
ONA Film Series
There will be no video. Enjoy the Chowdafest after church!
October 28 –“ The Rhetoric of Intolerance”
An Open-Letter Video to Pat Robertson from Dr. Mel White. Learn about bigotry and lies for political gain and financial profit.
Many thanks to all who supported the High School Car Wash last Sunday. We were able to raise $546.00 for this year’s mission trip. Special thanks to Kim Morrissey for coordinating this effort and to Bob Morrissey, Peggy & Roger Batchelder, and Diana Gerbick for their hard work and driving abilities.
Overlook Farm, the Heifer International Learning Center in Rutland, MA, invites the public to witness a barn raising on October 18. A team of approximately 5 people from Hardwick Post and Beam will erect the 5,280 sq. foot post and beam frame in a matter of days during that week. Once the frame is in place, Curtis K Abbott Company will spend about three months overseeing the completion of the building. The barn will have environmentally friendly features and will serve multiple purposes, including housing for animals, classrooms for education programs, and offices for staff. Livestock space will include a heated maternity area which will help keep the farm’s young animals warm during the harsh winter months. The ground floor will be handicap accessible and provide heated program space for cottage industry activities such as wool-spinning and cheese-making. The second floor will provide office space for seven farm employees and serve as the headquarters of farm operations. The new facility will replace the barn that was destroyed by fire in March of 2006. Most of the barn’s construction is being funded by approximately $350,000 in donations that were designated for the barn’s replacement, along with the insurance premium from the original barn. Heartfelt thanks to all at Centre Church who contributed!
News From Around the Parish
Our love and sympathy are extended to the family and friends of Jack Turner who died on October 11. A Memorial Service will be held at Centre Church on Sunday, October 21 at 2:30 p.m. followed by a collation in Richards Hall.
Our carillon is working once again thanks to Mark Meehl. Mark’s neighbor, Noah volunteered to repair our carillon system. This is the system that plays hymns through the speakers mounted on all 4 sides of the top of our steeple. The system has been out of repair for many years. We had received quotes to replace it for as much as $10,000 but, thanks to Mark’s suggestion and Noah's expertise we are now back in business. The sounds are wonderful. It plays each day at both noon and 6 p.m. and also right before the service each Sunday morning. Please listen for these great sounds as you wander through the center of Lynnfield. Thanks to Mark and Noah!
Phil Johnson, Chair, Finance Ministries
Our Financial Secretary, Sue Johnson, reported that as of October 13 we have received 26 supplemental contributions totaling $5,140.00. We’re off to a good start toward our goal of $25,000. If you have not had a chance to make your contribution, we ask that you do so at your earliest convenience. If we all do what we can, and our contributions average $200, we will meet our goal of balancing the budget without tapping into our reserves.
Too Many Things….
What a Nice Thought!
Our Holiday Fair is quickly approaching. It will be held on Saturday, November 10 from 9-2 pm.
We will also be having a lobster roll sale that day as well as other items for lunch.
I am hoping that most of you have items at home that you would like to donate, but just haven't yet. Below is a partial list of some of the things that we are looking for and hope you can help:
Finally, none of this can happen without volunteers. I will be having a sign-up sheet next week so please look for it and volunteer. Even if you can only stay an hour or two, that would be appreciated. If you are so anxious to volunteer, you may call me at home and I will sign you up immediately : > )
If you have questions, please give me a call. Thank you.
Donna Marino (781) 581-2022
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.
Your help would be invaluable on Sunday mornings to manage the audio mixing during the service. Please contact Bruce Gist for more information.
|Morning Worship - Sanctuary
Rotation Sensation Workshops
Chowdafest – Richards Hall
Youth Choir – Choir Room
No Confirmation Class This Week
6th-8th Grade Youth – Walk for MBT
9th-12th Grade Youth Regular Meeting
|No Confirmation Class This Week|
|Get-Together Wheel – Fireside Room
Knitting Group – Fireside Room
|Craft Group - Todd Hall
Parish Council – Pastor’s Office
|7:30 pm||Senior Choir - Choir Room|
|10:30 am||Scripture Study - Pastor's Office|
|2-4 pm||Youth Group Pumpkin Carving - Kitchen|
Our thoughts and prayers are with:
We also remember Col. Greg Lengyel in Iraq.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Head Usher: Jeff Law
Greeters: Marty and Michelle Hagerty
Lay Reader: Dwight Decker
Altar Flowers: Marge Cole
Flower Delivery: Karen Harrington and Marjorie Potter
Baptisms: Devyn Lowe and Jay Carpenter