Centre Congregational Church
We Welcome Everyone: An Open and Affirming Church
Phone: (781) 334-3050; Fax: (781) 334-6463; Email: Office@Centre-Church.org
The Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey, Pastor - Pastor@Centre-Church.org
Peace in the Midst of Uncertainty
How do we seek the Peace of Christ in the midst of uncertain times?
As for me, when I am in the midst of uncertain times I find the Peace of Christ in conversation with close friends. I also find it by taking a long walk, a bike ride, doing something physical. And sometimes I do both at the same time - a walk or a bike ride with a friend. I realize that I need to vent my soul and vent my body when stressed out or tensed up after a challenging period of time and/or event(s).
Jesus went away to a quiet place to pray and sometimes asked his disciple friends to go with him. No doubt, he also found peace in sharing meals and such with his disciples, as well as taking walks with them.
I know that sharing food and fellowship with trusted friends is comforting to a lot of us, giving us a chance to vent (perhaps a form of prayer for many of us) and renew through fellowship.
Of course, sleeping is another good way to find the Peace of Christ in uncertain times. Some of us, though, need the friends, the walking and the food, before we can find our way to sleep.
Jesus offered, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." (Matthew 22:37) as the way to Peace. No doubt, his words were based on the long established Hebrew teaching, "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." (Deuteronomy 6:5). Holding onto these teachings will surely get us through uncertain times.
In this, the Season of Lent, walking with Jesus and the Peace that he brings is not retreating from uncertainty. Jesus doesn't bring us to a place of calm and it is a place that is anything but quiet. Jesus invites us to get through uncertain times through meaningful work and service, by coming together in unity and harmony, and by making helpful contributions to the lives of our neighbors.
The St. Francis Prayer speaks of how we might find peace in uncertain times. It is an active prayer, a prayer that asks God to help us to be actively involved in the lives of others, sowing, loving, serving. We can find peace by building houses for and with others, by simply being present with a smile, a helpful act, by extending our joy. The important thing in this is to be present, ready to act, ready to serve, and consider what we have and can do to help others get through their uncertainties, hardships, and griefs.
The church community is that place in which we gather, showing our faces, inquiring of happenings in the lives of others, sitting in prayer with one another, making ourselves visible. Without that it is very hard to be an instrument of service and stability in the lives of others. And if we cannot be physically present, we can present ourselves through phone calls, notes, and offerings of financial support. We can even write to the pastor and/or others notes of encouragement, sharing how the people and community are being remembered.
Yes, I need to find sleep and rest, alone, but the greatest peace and stability comes to me in uncertain times when I'm surrounded by and in conversation with people of faith. So now I pray, with you, and think about those who have been and are the instruments of peace in my life and how I will hopefully continue to be in theirs.
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Yours in Christ,
IN THE SANCTUARY
March 15, 2009 – Third Sunday in Lent
I Corinthians 1:18-25 and John 2:13-22
10:00 A.M. Morning Worship
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Dennis C. Bailey
Children may worship with their families before going to Rotation Workshops.
The Nursery is open in Room 14.
Muffins for Heifer
All 2nd, 3rd and 4th Graders are asked to meet in the downstairs kitchen promptly at 10:00 to begin your cooking rotation on Sunday, March 15. It will take us the entire time to bake muffins, so please be on time.
Thanks to the many who have come forward to donate items to the Auction to be held on Saturday evening, March 21st. If you have not made a donation and would like to, please contact Chris Gehret (781-334-6737) or Mary Ann Parker (781 334-4335) and they would be happy to catalog your donation.
Items to consider:
Most importantly, Please sign up in the narthex or call the church office (781-334-3050) to let us know you and your family will be joining us for the evening dinner and lots of fellowship. Your presence will make for a lively evening.
Rotation Sensation – March 15
Nursery Care: All infants and children through age 3 are invited to join us in the Nursery each week for stories and fun. You will find us on the first floor in Room 14. Pagers are available for all parents.
Rotation Workshops: We will be learning about the Easter story and the symbols of Lent in our workshops this Sunday. Children and youth, PreK-Grade 6, are invited to participate with cooking, drama and upper room/games.
7th & 8th Grade: We will meet in the Pastor’s Outer Office following Children’s Time for continued service project work and learning. All 7th and 8th Grade Youth are invited to attend.
Youth Group News
CoCo Key: The 5th-12th Grade Youth Groups will be heading to CoCo Key, an indoor water park, on Sunday, March 15 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Drop off and pick up will be at the Sheraton Ferncroft in Danvers. Please plan to eat dinner before you come.
No Shopping Card Orders April 5th
Great Lakes Scrip, the organization that offers the shopping cards, will be closed April 6 through April 10 for employee vacations and system maintenance. So if you will need shopping cards in early April, please plan ahead.
Also, don't forget that for every order you place during March, your name will go in the April 5 drawing for the $10 Dunkin' Donuts card. Thanks to all who participate in the shopping card program!
Debbie Cotting and Sandi Watson
News From Around the Parish
Our love and sympathy are extended to Edith Reed and her family upon the death of Bill Reed on March 3. Arrangements were private.
We extend our love and prayers to Priscilla Brown and her family upon the death of Walter “Brownie” Brown on March 5. A Memorial Service will be held at Centre Church on Thursday, March 12 at 10:00 a.m.
1720 Founders Fund
“We have made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when we plant shade trees under which we know full well we will never sit.” (Elton Trueblood)
All gifts to the 1720 Founders Fund are a planting of seeds for the future benefit to Centre Church. Bequests and the proceeds of life insurance or IRA’s (Individual Retirement Accounts) can be expressions of your desire to be a good steward of your assets. Life Income gifts have the added attraction of increasing spendable income in your retirement years.
For more information, contact: Phil Johnson, 781-598-5678 or Rev. Dennis Bailey, 781-334-3050.
For many years, Centre Church has had an active Prayer Chain. The chain is made up of church members who are “on call” to pray for a specific need. A prayer request is given to an anchorperson whose job it is to call the next person on the list. That person will, in turn, relay the request to the next person, etc.
If you are in need of prayer or know of someone who is, (it need not be someone in our church or community), please call Edie Richard at 781-334-3874.
Also, a Prayer Request Book is located in the narthex for those who would like to write an anonymous request rather than contacting an anchorperson directly.
Items currently collected in the Missions Pantry
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009, Palm Sunday
Cantata by the Senior Choir
Sunday, April 12, 2009 - Easter Sunday
7:30 A.M. Almost Sunrise Service on the Lawn
8:00-9:30 A.M. Easter Breakfast
10:00 A.M. Morning Worship in the Sanctuary
|Morning Worship - Sanctuary
Nursery – Room 14
Confirmation Class – Kitchen
Youth Groups to CoCoKeys
|Planned Giving – Pastor’s Office
Knitting Group – Fireside Room
|7:30 pm||Senior Choir - Choir Room|
|10:30 am||Scripture Study - Pastor's Office|
|6-9:00 pm||Auction and Dinner – Richards Hall|
Our love and prayers are with:
We also remember those who are serving in Iraq: Kristofer Jenkins, Derek Cataldo, and George Robinson III.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Head Usher: Jeff Law
Greeter: Betty Hayter
Lay Reader: Gage Whittier
Coffee Hour: The Miller Family
Provide Altar Flowers: Grayce Kushmerek
Deliver Altar Flowers: Carol White and Michelle Hagerty
Bake Muffins: 2nd, 3rd & 4th Grades
Lights Out beginning March 13: Bill Seelig
Cable Broadcasts of Worship
Our Sunday Morning Services can be seen on local access television each week. Below is the schedule:
DVD and VHS recordings of the services can be borrowed from the Church Office at any time.
Food of the Month – Tuna and Vegetables