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
No doubt, almost everyone who reads this column considers being a disciple of Jesus Christ as pretty important, something to be treasured, valued, and aspired to. Will all those who consider themselves and/or who want to be considered a disciple of Jesus Christ please raise your hands? My point, exactly.
That said, can we pray, each day: "Lord God, I invite you to mold me, change me, shape me, and transform me to be fully as you wish me to be as your disciple. Teach me and make me what it means to be one of your most dedicated disciples. Amen."
I can see that we are already running into problems, aren't we? Why? Well, I'm not sure that we all want to be considered as one of Christ's most dedicated disciples. I'm sure a lot of us want to be lost in the crowd of disciples, not holding any of the really important roles, but letting others take the leadership roles. Some of us just want to tag along doing the occasional task, but not in a starring role. You know what happens to people in the starring roles, don't you?
Disciples who are really dedicated and fill really important roles, well, we assume they do some or all of the following: We assume that they have to be one of the top givers in the church, either in the percentage of their income that they give and/or in the amount they give. We assume that they have to give up their Sundays, their evenings, and, even some of their Saturdays to serve the Lord. We assume that occasionally, they have to get up in the front of the church and speak. And, we assume, they occasionally or even regularly have to change their life's priorities.
And yes, we assume that disciples are people who face other overwhelming requirements. They have...
Yes, some or all of these things can be part of being a disciple.
We might have questions, like, "Jesus, if I learn from you, will such knowledge make me uncomfortable with what I have made comfortable in my life?"
"If I seek the truth, will I discover ugliness within me, or will I find your image within me?"
“If I accept this image, what demands will this make upon me?"
"If I trust, will doubt dissolve? Will resistance turn to certainty? Will my brokenness be made whole? Will an everlasting peace come over me? Will I be safe from the criticisms of this world?"
I acknowledge that I need to find those answers for myself. I acknowledge that each of us must find the answers to these questions. No one else can say yes for you or for me.
It may seem that our work as disciples of Jesus is piece-meal. And yet, as I often observe, what may seem like piece-meal to us, can be used by God to create a beautiful and effective ministry, especially when we ask God's blessing upon our efforts. Your piece, my piece, our neighbor's offering, can, when brought together in the community of faith, make for a stronger effort, even an amazing effort.
What may seem like a weak, humble, small, and/or insignificant effort on our part can be used by God to do great things. If we see no benefit, we can pray for greater guidance. Perhaps we need to keep trying. Perhaps the Lord is asking more of us, waiting for us to give more fully. Perhaps we are to be patient. Perhaps we invite others as Jesus invites us, to join us in our effort.
In prayer, we can ask God to assure us of our calling and of the love that never lets us go. Ask God to help us to believe when others are reluctant, when we don't see immediate results. Ask God to help us stay the course of discipleship even in uncertain times, especially in uncertain times.
I pray, that God will energize us when we are resistant to his invitation to walk with him. I pray that we will see how foolish it is to make power or wealth or failure or poverty or insecurity barriers to our discipleship because God can use us all no matter where we start from. I pray that we will take our Lord's precious hand and ask him to lead us on. Yes, Lord, lead us on. Make us your disciples and help us not to look back, but to look forward to Easter.
Yours in Christ,
IN THE SANCTUARY
March 22, 2009 – Fourth Sunday of Lent
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 will be open in Room 14.
March 22 – Children and Youth
Next Sunday, March 22, children and youth are encouraged to attend worship with their families for Confirmation Sunday. Five of our 9th Graders will be confirmed on this special Sunday. There are no Rotation Workshops scheduled.
The Nursery will be open in Room 14 for children age 3 and under.
Youth in Grades 5-12 will be meeting this Sunday, March 22, from 6-7:30 p.m.
5th/6th will meet in the kitchen, 7th/8th in Todd Hall, and 9th-12th will meet in Richards Hall.
Gentle Reminder!! Our Auction is this Saturday evening, March 21, beginning at 6:00 p.m., ---silent auction with appetizers, wine and beer, followed by dinner and a live auction. We have received over 75 items for bid, small and large, so come along and bring your family and friends.
Call the church office (781-334-3050) to let us know you are coming and if you need a ride. Much work by many promises to make it a festive evening.
Donations should be brought to the church sanctuary between 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. on Friday.
Call Mary Ann Parker if you have questions 781-334-4335
Sixteen youth and three adults spent Sunday evening at Co Co Key, an indoor water park where every day is a bright, sunny 84 degrees! The youth enjoyed the water slides, pools and river raft ride. It was a great way to spend an evening with friends.
Be sure to check out the bulletin board outside of the Fireside Room to see the photographs taken by the High School Youth Group. Their assignment was to find the cross symbol outside in everyday places.
Easter Fun Day
Join us Saturday, April 11 at 10:00 a.m. for Easter activities and fun. The Youth Groups are sponsoring Easter Fun Day for children 10 and under accompanied by a parent. Easter crafts and games in Todd Hall start out the morning, followed by an Easter story and a visit by Rev. Dr. Calvin B. Kool. The Easter Egg Hunt on the front lawn will conclude the morning of fun. Please be sure to bring a basket for collecting eggs. This event will take place rain or shine – special provisions will be made in case of inclement weather.
All Youth Group members are encouraged to volunteer at this event.
Almost Sunrise Easter Service
Participants are needed for our early (7:30 a.m.) Church Service. We have small speaking parts for children and we have longer (1-2 paragraphs) parts for youth and adults. Also, if there is a child who would like to participate, but may not be ready to speak into a microphone, we welcome them to be part of the service by placing a flower on a cross. Call Jill Couillard or Barbara Langill in the church office if you would like to volunteer.
A rehearsal for all volunteers will take place on Saturday, April 11 at 11:00a.m.
If you would like to order Easter flowers to grace the sanctualry, please fill out this form and return it to the office by March 31.
There will be no shopping card order placed on April 5. Please plan ahead when ordering your shopping cards for early April. And remember, for every order you place during March, your name will go in the April 5 drawing for a $10 Dunkin’ Donuts card.
Debbie Cotting and Sandi Watson
News From Around the Parish
We rejoice with Ryan and Diane Morley upon the birth of Ty Alden Morley on March 15. His proud big sister is Allison and his proud grandmother is Merrie Graf.
We extend our love and sympathy to Joe Gehret and his family upon the death of his father, Joseph B. Gehret of Williamsport, PA.
From the Mailbox
Just a belated thank you for all my beautiful flowers, cards, etc. which I have received the past few months. I surely enjoy my visits from Perry Hayden and Dennis. Thanks again.
Fondly, Ginny Davis
|Morning Worship - Sanctuary
Nursery – Room 14
Children in Church
Youth Choir – Choir Room
Youth Groups (Gr.5-12)
|Get-Together Lunch – Fireside Room
Knitting Group – Fireside Room
|7:00 pm||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:
Earl Richard at Bear Hill Rehab. and Nursing Home, Room 256, 11 North St., Stoneham, 02180
Abbott Cofran (Annabel Aldrich’s brother)
Louise Allen at Beaumont Nursing Home, 3 Lyman St., Rm. 203, Westborough, MA 01581
Barbara Anderson at Sutton Hill Center, 1801 Turnpike St., N. Andover, 01845
Muriel Badger, Marion Barnes, Glady Davis, Rita Embleton, Carolyn Furey, Hal Holappa, Helen Miller, Evelyn Page and June Rose.
We also remember those who are serving in Iraq: Kristofer Jenkins, Derek Cataldo, and George Robinson III.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Confirmands: John Potter Furey, Stephen Lambe, Kerry Morrissey, Alexandra Parker, Samantha White
Head Usher: Linda Ladd
Greeter: Ginny Daniels
Coffee Hour: Mary McCarthy and Chuck Cotting
Provide Altar Flowers: Get-Together Wheel
Deliver Altar Flowers: Marjorie Potter & Doreen DiFillippo
Lights Out beginning March 20: Steven Richard
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.