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 17, 2008
When a Nation Suffers
The storms, they just keep coming: Fay, Gustav, Hannah, and now Ike. I am overwhelmed by the nature and number of these this season! Our neighbors are overwhelmed, lost, and in the depths of having nothing left to return to. Others have something, but what? Can they rebuild? Will help be there for them?
I can't even imagine being in that situation myself. When such disasters occur we look to our heads of state, our government, the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the news reporters, the religious leaders, and each other for help. We pray to God to help us see ourselves through it all.
The Book of Psalms reminds us that we are not the first to suffer losses that bring the loss of everything. The Israelites suffered oppression and crises throughout their history. They cried out (Psalm 13):
How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Even as they cried out, they, in the same Psalm, banked their hope on God's word and the power of that word to accomplish their rebuilding, and their redemption.
But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD,
for he has been good to me.
Many of us, too, have found ourselves in the interim periods, between sorrow and hope, between hope and the fulfillment of hope. These are times when our faith is put to the test, when our only hope is on the word of God, our experiences of God. These are times when we are not in control, when
we depend upon the compassion and help of others, sent by God, to help us through the turmoil.
Having visited New Orleans on our Mission Trip in August, I am reminded of how turmoil and loss can take years of recovery. Rebuilding can take a generation, several generations, even. Yes, a levy wall can be rebuilt within a short period of time, but the surrounding structures, lives, and communities, may never be rebuilt the way they were experienced before. Some people will not return.
In such cases we must wait for the new thing that will come, that will happen, trusting God to lead us and to give us the resources for what is to come. But while we wait we are free to cry out to God for help, holding nothing back, taking as our example the Psalms in which nothing is held back, as is the case in Psalm 22, later, quoted by Jesus:
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from the words of my groaning?
But, in time, we believe that we will also be able to sing and shout with the Psalmist songs of praise (Psalm 146):
The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down.
Our work in New Orleans brought songs of gratitude and praise from homeowners, church members, and now, from us, as we remember what we have accomplished. We have had a part in God's redeeming work. All who sent us, through our church's ministry, have also had a part in the rebuilding, in the hope that some day a new life will return to the places where devastation has had its way. It is returning, it is happening, so that God's promise of hope fulfilled will again be told.
Many of us are crying out now, from despair, loss, and hurt. Those who cry out are heard by God and many stand ready to help, on God's behalf, when we cry and suffer. I pray that when we are lost, shepherds will come and not turn away. I pray that when our turn comes to be a shepherd, we will have the confidence to trust God's presence and resources to make us willing and able to be God's servants.
We have so much to gain and so much to give. God our shepherd, provides.
Yours in Christ,
IN THE SANCTUARY
September 21, 2008
Exodus 16:2-15, Matthew 20:1-16
10:00 A.M. Morning Worship
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
“Oh Dear, What Can the Matter Be?”
Children’s Message: “Broken is Still Valuable”
Children may worship with families before going to Rotation Workshops.
Annual Meeting – 9/28/2008
The Annual Meeting of the Church will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, September 28, 2008. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend.
Youth Groups Begin
Youth Group starts up this Sunday! Youth in Grades 5-12 will meet downstairs from 6:00-7:30 p.m. Pizza and games will help to kick off the year! Grades 5 & 6 will meet in the kitchen. Grades 7 & 8 will meet in Todd Hall and the High School will meet in Richards Hall.
Parents should plan to join us for an overview of the year at 7:00 in Todd Hall. Please bring your calendars so you can sign up to bring a meal.
Jill Couillard and Barbara Langill
Lights Out Program
If you can volunteer some time to help us make sure that the church building is secure every evening, please contact Phil Johnson at 781-598-5678 or email@example.com. We have about a dozen faithful souls who volunteer for a week of time to make sure the doors are locked, the heat is set, the windows are closed and lights are out. Many hands make light work! Please consider signing up.
Rotation SensationNursery: The Nursery is open for infants through age 3. Come join our trained staff as they provide the children with stories and fun time. Rotation Workshops: Children PreK through Grade 6 are invited to attend Rotation Workshops on Sunday mornings where they will learn stories from the Bible. Workshops are interactive and provide a unique way of learning. This month the unit is the Parable of the Lost Sheep. Children will experience this parable through art, drama and storytelling. We hope to see everyone on September 21. Grade 7-8: A new class has been developed for you this year! You will be meeting in the Pastor’s Outer Office. The class will be based around the book Way to Live, Christian Practices for Teens. A lively discussion will take place along with some creative activity. Join us this Sunday following Children’s Time. It’s not too late to turn in your registration forms. If you did not receive yours, please call the church office or see Barbara Langill or Jill Couillard for a form. All children and youth through grade 8 must be on file. This will help us when planning workshops and special activities.
Open Invitation to Women of the Church
The Get Together Wheel will be having our first meeting on Tuesday, Sept 23 at 12pm downstairs in Todd Hall. Please note change of time. It will be a Salad Luncheon and will feature a wide variety of choices.
All women of the church are invited. If you are new to the church, this is a great way to meet people in a smaller setting. If you would just like to get out for lunch and see friends, that is fine too. We will also be discussing our plans for the year. We normally meet at 12:30 in the Fireside Room on the fourth Tuesday of each month from September through May.
If you have any questions, please give me a call.
Donna Marino (781) 581-2022
Updated “People Books” Available
Our directory of members and friends is now available on the table in the narthex or in the church office. Please pick up your copy.
The youth did a great job of sharing their experiences from this year’s summer trips at the Shareholder’s Dinner. Our thanks to the kitchen crew who made the excellent Jambalaya, McKinstry’s Market Garden for the wonderful corn, Lynne Forgione for the delicious Chinese Cole Slaw, Sue Lambe for the Caesar salad, Bob Miller for the outstanding photo presentation, and to the parents who provided us with a wide variety of desserts. We would like to thank everyone who attended for their generous support of the youth at Centre Church.
Visit to Heifer International Farm
We invite everyone, young and old, to join in an outing to Overlook Farm’s Harvest Festival on Sunday, October 5th. You will have the opportunity to learn about Heifer International as you meet many of Heifer’s animals including a pair of water buffalo, a yak, llamas and traditional farm animals such as pigs and goats. You can go on a hayride, explore the Global Village, tackle the Hay Maze, and enjoy many other fun activities. We will be traveling to the farm by bus and plan on leaving the church promptly at 11:30 a.m. We will return around 4:30-5:00 p.m. The cost will be $5.00 per person. There are picnic areas available, so please plan to bring a bag lunch with you. There will be a sign up sheet in the Narthex, or you may call the church office to let us know you plan to attend. Call Barbara Langill or Jill Couillard with any questions you may have.
Bring your unwanted, unused televisions, computer monitors and appliances for recycling on Saturday, October 4 from 9:00-12 noon. Members of the High School Youth Group will be on hand to help unload items to the CRT Recycling trucks. All proceeds will go toward this year’s Mission Trip.
Pick up is available for seniors. Please call the church office to make arrangements.
Confirmation Orientation Meeting
Sunday, October 19 11:30 a.m. Chapel
Anyone in ninth grade is welcome to participate in this year's Confirmation Class. Rev. Dr. Bailey will be holding a meeting introducing Centre Church's Confirmation program to interested youth, ninth grade and older, parents, and potential mentors. Each Confirmand will have an adult mentor. The adult mentor can be a relative (not his/her parent), friend, a church member, godparent, family friend, etc. Mentors are expected to attend the classes and do the same work as the Confirmands.
If you or your son or daughter are interested, please call, stop by, or email me for a registration form: firstname.lastname@example.org
New Members To Be Welcomed
On Sunday, November 16, 2008 we will welcome new members during the Worship Service.
If you are interested in becoming a member of Centre Church, please let Rev. Dr. Dennis Bailey know via phone, email, email@example.com, or by speaking with him on Sunday.
Membership Introduction Classes will be held on Sundays, October 26 and November 2, 2008, at 11:30 a.m. after the Coffee Hour in the Church Library. You are invited to attend both of these meetings in order to learn more about Centre Church, meet some of its leaders and staff, and discuss expectations of church members.
Please contact Rev. Dr. Bailey as soon as possible.
|Morning Worship - Sanctuary
Nursery – Room 14
Youth Groups (Grades 5-12)
Parents of Youth in Grades 5-12
|Get-Together Lunch – Todd Hall
Knitting Group – Fireside Room
|7:00 pm||Parish Council – Pastor’s Office|
|7:30 pm||Senior Choir - Choir Room|
|10:30 am||Scripture Study - Pastor's Office|
Our love and prayers are with:
We also remember Col. Brian Bisacre, Jane Vancor’s cousin and Maj. Alec Leung, Ollie and Carl Wood’s grandson in Iraq.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Head Usher: Michelle Hagerty
Provide Altar Flowers: Bruce and Anne Gist
Deliver Altar Flowers: Sue Gustavsen and Chuck Cotting
Coffee Hour: Betty Hayter
Cable Broadcasts of Worship
Our Sunday Morning Services can be seen on local access television each week. Below is the schedule:
In addition, DVDs of the services can be borrowed from the church office.