TCC Flash - Weekly News
Gaudete| Rev. Dr. Norm Bendroth.
This Sunday we light the third Advent candle of Joy. It is also called Gaudete, which in Latin means “Rejoice!” The third candle is pink on many Advent wreaths to signify the lightness of the day.
While Advent is to be a season of reflection, wonder, and adoration, on the Gaudete Sunday the readings focus on rejoicing in the Lord. It’s as if the early Church said after two weeks of introspection, let’s cut loose for a little bit. Let the Christian joy of Mary and Elizabeth intoxicate us as it did them.
This also provides an opportunity to reflect upon the difference between joy and happiness. Both joy and happiness are wonderful, exuberant emotions, but happiness tends to be more fickle and joy is from deep within one’s soul.
Theologian Henri Nouwen described this difference. While happiness depends upon external conditions—good health, enough money, a loving family—joy is "the experience of knowing that you are unconditionally loved and that nothing -- sickness, failure, emotional distress, oppression, war, or even death -- can take that love away." Joy can be present even in the midst of sadness.
This week I came across a poem by Brad Reynolds called Gaudete. He is a photographer and artist in residence at Gonzaga University, Spokane, Wash. and is also the author of several mystery novels. I think he captures well the wonder of the season.
Because Christmas is almost here Because dancing fits so well with music Because inside baby clothes are miracles. Gaudete
Because some people love you Because of chocolate Because pain does not last forever Because Santa Claus is coming. Gaudete
Because of laughter Because there really are angels Because your fingers fit your hands Because forgiveness is yours for the asking Because of children Because of parents. Gaudete
Because the blind see. And the lame walk. Gaudete
Because lepers are clean And the deaf hear. Gaudete
Because the dead will live again And there is good news for the poor. Gaudete
Because of Christmas Because of Jesus You rejoice.
Happy Gaudete Sunday,
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A Note of Thanks| JoJo Scharmer.
Dear JoJo and the wonderful people of the Tewksbury Congregational Church:
Once again I find myself struggling to find the words to express our sincere and profound gratitude for your generosity to the young parents and their children that our programs serve. We have 103 families that we are providing services to at this time. We have had wonderful success with assisting these young parents to remain in school and quite a few have gone on to attend college after high school. We work to help them learn positive and responsible parenting and to understand child development. Sadly this year we have had quite a few referrals from the shelters and these young families have very limited support. Because of the tremendous support from your church, we will be able to help make the holidays a special experience for them.
The small "army" of 9 home visitors has already begun to distribute the gifts to the families. Please know that your efforts are making a huge difference in the lives of many young families.
May the many Blessings that you have shared with us be returned to you all with God's Grace.
Special Church Meeting on December 17th| Christopher Jenkins.
To the Members of Tewksbury Congregational Church, greetings:
You are hereby notified and called to attend a Special Meeting of the Tewksbury Congregational Church, to be held on Sunday, December 17, 2017, in the Sanctuary immediately following the close of the service. The following business will be transacted:
To see if the Church will vote to authorize the transfer of no more than $7,000 from the Board of Religious Education 2017 Operating Budget Surplus to a special fund which will be utilized to make updates to the education wing and provide for furniture and equipment for youth educational and social programming, or act in any manner relative thereto.
Submitted by the Board of Religious Education
Christopher Jenkins, Clerk
In order to access the Sunday School curriculum information, important dates to remember or about particular programs designed for youth, please visit our Crib Sheet page.
No Sunday School December 27th or the 31st
Save The Date: Empty Bowls & TCC Pool Party
Sunday School Lesson: Simeon and Anna
TCC\'s Pool Party
Enjoy a Cup of Coffee!
Youth and Cell Phones
Information Regarding Snow Cancellations or Delays
General Overview of Religious Education Program
Sunday School Teacher Directory
Grief Support Group| Mercy Delgado.
GriefShare.org is a nondenominational network of more than 12000 churches worldwide that offer grief support groups to help those in need find healing. These groups offer a caring and warm environment to help participants with their journey through grief, with a video seminar, small group discussions, and personal journaling and study exercises that correspond to the weekly session topics.
The Lowell Assembly of God Church offers this program locally, with an ongoin g weekly ministry that meets Wednesday nights from 6:30-8:00 pm, at 995 Andover St, Tewksbury, MA 01876. The ministry is taking a break in January, with meetings resuming again toward the beginning of February 2018.
If you're interested or have any questions, please contact the Lowell Assembly of God office at 978-851-9800.
Lost & Found| Mercy Delgado.
Have you lost or misplaced a cap, a pair of glasses, a scarf, or maybe some gloves recently? Come take a look at TCC's Lost & Found drawer, located inside the church office. The drawer is full (there's even a pair of shorts and a couple of hoodies!), and items not claimed by year's end will be donated to charity.
Stop by and check! If you have any questions, contact Mercy Delgado in the church office at 978-851-9411.
Called to Care
As a community of Faith, we are Called to Care for one another. Please visit our Called to Care page to learn how you can offer or request care for yourself or for a member of our church family.
Blue Christmas Service| Board of Deacons.
On Thursday, December 21st, the longest night of the year, we welcome members of our Congregation and our community to join us for a service of hope for the holidays.
Worship will begin at 7 pm and will include a performance by our TCC Bell Ringers and a candle-lighting remembrance opportunity. Please extend an invitation to this special worship event to all who need hope and healing during the holiday season and to those who are simply feeling “blue.” (Flyer is attached. Please feel free to print and share.)
Attached File: 24TCCBlueChristmas.png
Stewardship Update| Stewardship Committee.
Thank you to all who have made your pledges to support TCC in the upcoming year! Your generosity means a lot. To date, we have received 63 pledges. We also want to clarify any confusion that may exist about giving to the General Fund and the Capital Campaign. The General Fund supports the day-to-day operation of our church including salaries for all of the church staff. The Capital Campaign supports raising extra funds for our special projects such as upgraded technology and sounds system for the sanctuary.
Our hope is that people will give to both funds as they are able. Some have pledged to just to the Capital Campaign and others have split their pledge between the two. If that was your intention, great! The concern is that we may have difficulty meeting our budget if people aren't continuing a portion of their pledge to the General Fund. If you wish to change how your pledge is distributed, please contact Mike Wildeman. You can write a note to Mike and put it in the Financial Secretary Mail Box in the office. Many thanks!
2017 Pie Social & Fair Recap| Carol Sturtevant.
Congratulations—TEAM TCC! It truly takes a team effort to make this happen. A special thank you to the publicity team—Beth McFadyen & Steve Richtsmeier and decorating team Annmarie Baldwin and Jean Metcalf. Pie Social Team is developed under the direction of Trish Keddie and many “hands on deck” serving our community which coincides with the town tree lighting and a visit with Santa in our Parlor. Many, many hands were ready to welcome and serve our delicious variety of homemade pies and TCC brownies. Our chairpersons for individual tables & sections are: Pat Takach, Kristen Monahan, Steve Trudeau, Cathie Seaman, Andy Scharmer, Alice Golen, Debbie Adams & Linda Mann. They complement the Pie Social by opening the Christmas Fair Tables on Friday night and Saturday! These are TEAM Leaders but they cannot accomplish their parts alone! The TCC volunteer workers on the scene and behind the scenes share their time and talents in many different ways along with all the donations that continue to make these events successful. Thank You, Millie Mulno & Jean Olsen for creating a holiday atmosphere with your music and TEAM TCC for making it all happen in 2017!