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
March 26, 2008
Easter a Success!!!
I can attest to you that Easter was a Success!!! There were people among us in worship yesterday who have risen! Yes, there were many there who could testify to how they were near death, in one way or another, and got through the surgery, the challenges, the despair, the rehab..., and joined us for the Easter celebration. It's an amazing thing to witness.
It actually happens every day. It's just that we often miss it, take if for granted and/or don't know the whole story. Even when a person dies to this life there are often Easter stories that occur before and around the death. I've seen broken relationships healed and renewed around such times, as people admit past hurts and wrongs, forgiveness is shared, and new life and peace is given.
It happens when someone, a couple, and/or a family finds a safe place, a church, an official or unofficial spiritual community, a friend or two, that helps support and blesses their spiritual life. This is where many a resurrection can be experienced.
We don't have to be perfect: Jesus was most often found among those who were broken, shunned, pushed aside, outsiders, and people who did not feel safe in the traditional and official places of spiritual gathering. We need to provide places where such people, people like ourselves, feel welcome and safe, also. We are all such people in one way or another. Like John Newton said when he wrote the hymn, “Amazing Grace,” “I was lost but now am found.”
Every week, somewhere in my days and nights, I feel lost, in need of finding. I know, the Pastor is not supposed to admit such things, but it's true. I often cry out to God for the answers to questions that I cannot answer, solutions that don't seem forthcoming, and for comfort when comfort seems to be hard to find. Sometimes I'm searching for the sake of others, with others, but, sometimes, it's just for me.
Sometimes these searchings for answers, these times of being and feeling lost last a short time while at other times there seems to be no end. While it's hard, I know that I am never alone because the Risen Christ is with me. I also know that other disciples of Christ, other believers, even believers inside and outside the Christian community, accompany me and support me by walking with me.
LUKE 24:13-35 is the story about the two disciples who were walking on the road toward Emmaus when they encounter the Risen Jesus. They just didn't realize it was him, at first. Not until the use of Jesus' hands in the breaking of the bread did they realize it was Jesus. I, too, don't always realize the presence of Christ until after I've experienced him, sometimes years later. It's in the use of the hands, in the sharing of life, in the presence of a healing touch, a kind word, and/or an invite to share coffee, lunch, a meal that realization often comes.
Christ is Risen and walks among us. I have experienced his risen presence in recent weeks and days, even yesterday, during worship.
And one final note for this Easter Monday: I was especially touched while leading the worship service to see the presence of children feeling comfortable, walking forward during the worship to sit on the chancel steps coloring Easter pictures, making themselves at home in our sanctuary during prayers, scripture reading, the singing of hymns and anthems, and during the preaching. This is also evidence, that new life is present. May we nurture it, encourage it, and welcome it.
IN THE SANCTURY
March 30, 2008
Second Sunday of Easter
10:00 A.M. Morning Worship
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
“Can Easter Continue?”
Children’s Message: “Our Inheritance”
Children may worship with families before going to Rotation Workshops.
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.
A new Rotation Workshop unit begins Sunday, March 30. The children will learn the story of Paul and Silas in Prison by attending workshops in Drama, Storytelling, Art and Music. The leaders for this unit are Kathy Delaney, Leslie Carey, Katie Morrissey and Kimberly Contardo. Be sure to check the bulletin board each week for the schedule.
The nursery (Room 14) is always open to welcome infants through age 3. We have high school youth trained to take care of your little ones.
Our high school discussion group, Weekly Seeds begins again this Sunday, March 30. We encourage all high school students, grades 9-12, to meet in the Pastor’s Outer Office following Children’s Time in the Sanctuary. The more students there are, the livelier discussions we will have.
Youth Group News
Youth Groups in grades 6th-12th will be meeting from 6-7:30 p.m. this Sunday, March 30.
6th-8th grade will meet in Todd Hall and the High School Group will meet in the kitchen. If you have not yet responded regarding the Middle School Retreat, please do so by March 30. A final count must be turned in.
“An Arresting Comedy”
That’s what Police Chief Armond Bledsoe calls it. Maybe he knows something the rest of us have yet to find out! What we all know for sure, is that the success of the Centre Church Players mystery dinner theater production, “Reading Aunt Louise’s Will”, will be a group effort. Many hands have been busy rehearsing, lighting, costume designing, stage dressing, prop gathering and dinner planning. From high school youth who will be serving the meal to octogenarians who will be entertaining the audience, we are all involved.
We are all involved in the life and mission of Centre Church. As a church family, we like to have fun together, to maintain our church home and to make a positive impact on the world around us. The Stewardship Committee is proud to present this evening of dinner and theater with many of these goals in mind.
The event: Mystery Dinner Theater
The time: 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 29th
The place: Chez Richards (Richards Hall)
The menu: Chicken dinner by The Red Rooster
The price: freewill offering to defray meal and support the High School Mission Trip.
The clues: bring some $$ to buy clues ($1 each) to help you solve the crime.
RSVP by calling the church office. Rides will gladly be arranged.
All Tupperware orders are due by Sunday, March 30. Remember, 40% of sales will go directly to the High School Youth Mission Trip and National Youth Event. Extra catalogs are available in the church office.
Easter Fun Day
Easter Fun Day was a great success. Over 50 children participated in games, crafts, a special Easter message from Rev. Calvin B. Cool, and the Easter Egg Hunt on the front lawn. Many thanks to the Middle School and High School Youth who volunteered for the morning. Special thanks go to Shirley Orr, Edith Wendt and Susan Spear who knitted more than 60 sheep finger puppets which the children received in their Easter Eggs.
ONA Film - “Before Stonewall”
Tuesday, April 1st (No Joke)
"Holy Word" Theater 7:00 PM
In 1969 the patrons of the Stonewall Inn in New York City's Greenwich Village decided to fight back, transforming a routine police raid into three nights of rioting which marked the beginning of the Gay Liberation movement. The film “Before Stonewall” examines the historical background to this sudden burst of political energy - from the social experimentation of the Roaring Twenties, to the discovery of the true size of this hidden society during World War II, to the scapegoating of homosexuals during the McCarthy era, to the development of the early homophile rights movement - providing an informative and engaging portrait of the history of homosexual experience in America. Using filmed recollections and a wealth of archival material, “Before Stonewall” traces the social, political, and cultural development of the gay and lesbian community.
Deacon Mark Meehl will introduce this award- winning documentary in our movie room, The "Holy Word" Theater at 7:00 p.m. on April 1.
Discussion will follow. Everybody is welcome.
From the Mailbox
The cards and prayers I have received from church friends have brightened my days and are much appreciated. The flowers delivered by Edie Richard and the prayers and visits by Dennis were delightful.
Thanks to all! Anne Gist
Easter ThanksOur thanks to Joe Gallo of Plantscape Designs for providing the beautiful Easter plants this year and to Laurel Caputo, Marcia Stevens and Pinky Warnock who arranged them for the worship service. We so appreciate all of those who donated their plants and the volunteers who delivered them to shut-ins and those recently bereaved. A special thanks to Shirley Orr for organizing the deliveries.
Save the Date! Recycling Day!
Saturday, May 10 - 10-12:00
We will accept Appliances, Televisions, Computers, Telephones, Etc., for a reasonable fee. Pick-up service for seniors is available. More details in the weeks ahead. Start your Spring Cleaning now!
Our ongoing collections include Aluminum Can Pull Tabs, Used Eyeglasses, Non-Perishable Food, Travel Size Toiletries, Knitted Squares, and Used Cell Phones (numbers erased with charger).
Please Note: We are no longer accepting redeemable bottles and cans.
|6:00 pm||Mystery Dinner – Richards Hall|
|Morning Worship – Sanctuary
Nursery – Room 14
Weekly Seeds – Pastor’s Office
Confirmation Class – Kitchen
Youth Choir – Choir Room
Youth (Grades 6-12) – Lower Level
|6:00 pm||Confirmation Class – Pastor’s Office|
|ONA Film – Holy Word Theater
Knitting Group – Fireside Room
|Bread & Roses Meal Preparation-Kitchen
Confirmation Class to Greek Church
|Craft ‘n Chat – Kitchen
Senior Choir - Choir Room
|10:30 am||Scripture Study - Pastor's Office|
Our thoughts and prayers are with:
We also remember Greg Lengyel, Paul Folkins and Brian Bisacre in Iraq.
Centre Church’s Worship Services are broadcast on Lynnfield Cable Channels 10 or 28 on Thursday evenings at 7:00 p.m. and also on Peabody Cable Channel 10 on Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m.
In addition, DVDs of the services are available for check-out from the church office in case you missed a Sunday.