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 28, 2008
I Can See and HEAR More Clearly Now!
New windows have been installed in my house. This means my house looks better, but also, that I can open the windows! The old ones could not be opened. The mechanical cranks were broken. To close the old ones required one person on the outside pushing, even hammering, and another person on the inside to lock it. Now, it's a one-person operation to open and close the windows.
Last night I slept with my windows open for the first time since buying the house last October! The birds get up and start singing at 4 am! Would you come to my house, stand outside, and sing at 4 am in the morning? I think not. While I'm not far removed from a busy street, I'm thankful that I'm shielded from the noise of the traffic so that I can hear the birds.
The songs of the birds remind me that I'm not alone, that we are not alone. They remind me that God is at work even while I sleep, even when I'm not working. God's creative work did not end after the first few chapters of Genesis and with the words, “And it was good.”
These thoughts are important to me today because when I went to sleep last night I was so exhausted from cleaning my house after the installation of the new windows. Taking out the old windows and getting the holes in the walls ready for the new windows creates a lot of dust and dirt throughout the whole house! What a mess. I worked at the clean up process into the evening last night until I could go no further. It seems to look better today than it did last night, even though there is more to be done, like washing my new windows. I ask you, “Shouldn't the window company send someone(s) to clean the windows once right after they have been installed?” I mean, when you buy a new car, they wash it for you, have it cleaned inside and out upon delivery.
Once cleaned, my new windows seem so much brighter, so much cleaner than the old ones. It's like the fog has lifted, the house is so much brighter.
I thank God for skilled carpenters who can make for the transformation of my house. I thank God for the way they cut holes into the exterior walls of my house and then, put things back together so that it looks like new, better than before. Of course, I do a little freaking out as they are cutting and such, wondering if they can put things back together.
Transformation in us can also take place so that we, too, can see and HEAR more clearly. But likewise, it often takes some cutting away of old things and making room for new things. Jesus talked about such things when he said that new wine must be put into new wineskins (Matthew 9). Trying to put new wine into old wineskins won't work because they will break and the new wine will be lost.
If we hold onto our old ways of thinking and living so tightly, there is no room for the new ways and new thoughts to get in. The new life that God wishes to give us will be lost. To grow in Christ requires us to ponder anew our lives, willing to review what must stay and what must be changed.
Farmers know this as each season they plow the ground, transforming it, preparing it for new life. They rotate the crops from one piece of land to another so as to enhance the growth of the whole crop. Things must change if things are to grow. And in so doing, the farmer's crops grow. Each year with the planting of new seeds, transformation takes place. You can see it. Some farmers even claim that they can hear their corn growing!
What does God want you to cut away in your life? What soil needs to be plowed under to make way for new seeds? What can remain while other areas of your life change so that you will continue to grow in Christ?
Oh, I love my new windows. But, they come at a cost to my bank account, they cause dirt and dust, the project disrupts my life, not just my house. And oh, the clean up!!! Ugh!
But I can see and HEAR more clearly, the birds, but not just the birds. I can hear, off in the distance, trains, cars, planes, ... people going to work, and I know, God is working, too, to prepare for me a new day. May I be ready to receive it, embrace it, and make the necessary adjustments and changes so that I receive everything God intends for me, even opportunities to be a part of God's new creation.
Yours in Christ,
IN THE SANCTURY
June 1, 2008
Genesis 6:9-22, 7:24, 8:14-19; Matthew 7:21-29
10:00 A.M. Holy Communion
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
“Once Upon a Time There Were Two Little Pigs”
Children may worship with their families before going to the Chapel to rehearse for Children’s Sunday.
Come One! Come All!
Saturday, May 31 – 3:00-7:00 p.m.
Join us for crafts, international lawn games, checkers, chess, bridge, ballooning, juggling and more! There will be something for everyone, so come and bring an ethnic side dish or dessert. Festivities will also include a barbeque – prepared by Master Chef Chuck Cotting!
Mary Ann Parker, 781-334-4335
Nursery: The Nursery is open each Sunday morning for infants through age 3. Join our experienced staff for stories, fun and games. Pagers are now available for parents to take when dropping their child off. The paging system will allow the nursery staff to contact parents quickly in case of emergency.
Rotation Sensation: Children and youth PreK through Grade 8 should meet in the Chapel following Communion this Sunday. We encourage everyone to attend since we will be practicing for the Children’s Service which will be held on June 8.
Weekly Seeds: The High School discussion group has come to an end for the year. We would like to thank our leaders Perry Hayden, Denise Weaver and Carrie Pericola for facilitating this group.
Sunday, June 1 and Tuesday, June 3
Bob and Jack’s 52-Year Adventure will be shown on Sunday, June 1 after worship and on Tuesday, June 3 at 7:00 p.m. in the HolyWord Theater. This documentary chronicles the half-century-plus romance between gay life partners Jack Reavley and Bob Claunch. Bob and Jack are endearing, humorous and engaging, and the longevity of their partnership generates a feeling of warm reassurance about the possibility of lifelong love. Anybody in a relationship, gay or straight, will see something of themselves in these two lovely and still in-love men.
Vacation Bible School
The Rainforest Adventure VBS will be held here at Centre Church June 23-27 from 9:30 to 12 each day. Join us for fun, games, snacks, Bible stories, and more! Registrations are now being accepted. Please call the church office today and sign up! 781 334-3050
News From Around the Parish
Our congratulations to Carl and Olive Wood who will celebrate their 65th Wedding Anniversary on June 5.
Our best wishes to Marion Barnes who will celebrate her 98th Birthday on June 14.
The 5th Grade Youth Group has finished up for the year. Many thanks to Kathi Martin and Dave Bjorkman for facilitating the group and chaperoning activities throughout the year. Although small in numbers, this group is intended to grow next year! We hope all our 5th Graders enjoy a great summer.
For those Middle School Youth who have already signed up, we will meet in the Fireside Room at 7:00 p.m. this Friday, May 30 for a lock in/retreat. This is our year-end celebration. Thank you to all the kids who helped make this year a success! A special thank you to Dave Nasson for volunteering his time each week and at each special event.
8th-12th Graders will meet in the church parking lot at 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 1 to head to Richardson’s for mini-golf and ice cream. Please call the church office to let us know if you plan to attend so we will have enough drivers.
Mission Trip Meeting
There will be a mandatory meeting on June 16 at 7:30 p.m. for all those going on the New Orleans Mission Trip. Carl McDonald, the group facilitator, will be here to go over the rules and expectations of the trip. One or both parents of youth going on the trip should plan on attending.
Please call Barbara Langill at the church office if you have any questions or concerns.
The Missions Pantry inside the Summer Street Entrance is always open.
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.
From the Mailbox
There are so many things for which I am thankful, and many of them come from right here at Centre Church: Dennis’ inspiring sermons, his great warmth and his visits; the beautiful music during the Sunday services; the fun evenings filled with food and entertainment; the worshipers who greet me and show their sincere concern; the lovely flowers that were delivered to me; the drivers who so willingly drive me; etc., etc., etc. Thank you all and may God keep you safe in his loving care.
Dear Friends, My heartfelt thanks to everyone for all the wonderful cards, telephone calls and thoughtful acts of kindness to get me through this long-distance illness. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate everyone!!!
U Mass Amherst/BA Business Admin-Marketing
Lynnfield High School
Peabody High School
|Holy Communion – Sanctuary
Nursery – Room 14
Children’s Sunday Practice
ONA Film – HolyWord Theatre
8th-12th Grades go Mini-Golfing
|7:00 pm||Boy Scout Troop #48 – Todd Hall|
|ONA Film – HolyWord Theatre
Pastoral Relations Committee - Office
|8:30 am||Bread & Roses Meal Preparation|
|6:00 am||Golf Group – Reedy Meadow|
|10:30 am||Scripture Study - Pastor's Office|
Our thoughts and prayers are with:
We also remember Greg Lengyel, and Brian Bisacre in Iraq.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Greeter: Pinky Warnock
Lay Reader: Sue Lambe
Coffee Hour: Doreen DiFillippo
Provide Altar Flowers: Carl and Olive Wood
Centre Church’s Worship Services are broadcast in Lynnfield and Peabody at the following times:
In addition, DVDs of the services are available for check-out from the church office in case you missed a Sunday.