TCC Flash - Weekly News
Why?| Rev. Baxter Chism.
Why have some given up hope and respond with violence? Why have some demonized people they disagree with? Why have some accepted hateful rhetoric as justified? Why have some lost all objectivity? Why do a lot of churches choose not to say anything about anything? Why can't we hear people when they protest in our streets? Why do some not realize that spirituality and social justice work together?
Why do some feel judged when people dislike our President's rhetoric? Why do some get mad when someone supports the President? Why do some get mad when someone doesn't support the President? Why do some feel like they are never heard? Why do some Christian denominations think they are more right than another denomination? Why do some believe in conspiracies? Why do some dislike conservatives for being conservative? Why do some dislike liberals for being liberal? Why do some dislike progressives for being progressive? Why can't some admit white privilege exists? Why do we avoid saying that many whites have never had privilege? Why are black people as a whole judged by one black person messing up?
Why do people who live in cities and rural areas have to be enemies? Why do people have to be passive aggressive when they are hurt? Why do some not listen to the real reason why people are passive aggressive? Why can't we respect we have ideas and experiences? Why do people who do not like alcohol have to explain why? Why do some not respect the separation of church and state? Why do people read the Holy Bible differently? Why can't we separate a peaceful protest from the anarchists who show up? Why do some justify Confederate symbols of hate as "heritage?"
Why do some support masks and others think the government is trying to take their freedom? Why do some discount a person because they disagree over one thing? Why do some believe poor people are all lazy and they should not be helped? Why do some judge people with mental health issues? Why do some people project their beliefs onto their pastor or other pastors? Why do pastors who say the wrong stuff think people should believe them? Why do some criticize people but do the same thing?
Why do some people not get my bad jokes? Why does my wife call Hard Rock "anger music?" Why do some buy Fords over Chevys or vice versa? Why did I lose my hair? Why can't I eat fast food every day? Why do I put food in my freezer and have to throw it away after two years? Why, when someone wears a Colgate sweatshirt, do I think of toothpaste?
Why can't we listen to each other?
Why can't we love our neighbors as ourselves?
Worship Services Going Virtual in January| Board of Deacons.
Out of an abundance of caution and after seeing what happened in our area after Thanksgiving, the Deacons have decided that we will go back to virtual services only.
This began on December 27 and will continue through the month of January. This will be continually assessed to keep everyone safe. It is not a decision we come to lightly.
Board of Deacons
CE Youth Lesson - Jesus at the Temple - Jan 17| Sue Panilaitis.
We start this next set of lessons in Luke 2:41-52 as we discover a moment from Jesus’ childhood. Jesus was fully God, but He was also fully human. And Jesus recognized something very important. He knew that if He wanted to be a part of God’s story and know the secrets of the world around Him, He needed to be in a place where He could learn what His Father said. For Jesus, studying Scripture was a priority. Video, lesson and activity can be found here.
Bottom Line: Knowing God is the most important thing. Our kids are growing up in the information age. There is no lack of information. However, not all information is as equally valuable. We want our kids to discover that when they focus on knowing God first, the rest will fall into place.
Budget Session of the 288th Annual Meeting| Church Clerk.
The Budget Session of the 288th Annual Meeting will be on January 31st by virtual means. Please have all annual reports and warrant articles to me by January 17th, the same day as the budget information session, so that I can have them available for posting and distribution by January 24th.
One of the items of business will be to elect delegates to the UCC association and conference for a one year term. The conference annual meeting will be held virtually on Saturday May 8th and the association annual meeting is also in May. Association delegates also attend Ecclesiastical Councils on an as-needed basis as well as a fall gathering. Please let me know if you are interested or would like more information. Association and conference delegates may or may not be the same people.
Budget Info Session| Board of Ministries.
The Board of Ministries will present the draft budget for FY 21 after worship services on Sunday, January 17th. This will be a virtual meeting on Google Meets. Details were sent via email. Please contact the Church Office if you need hard copies of the budget information.
Tech Team Volunteers Needed| Technology Committee.
With the completion of our AV system in the sanctuary, we have all enjoyed the ability to stream and record our services. In order to keep the system running, we need to identify volunteers that can support the technology needs of the service. Training will be provided. We will require three individuals each Sunday to make this system run smoothly. Please contact the Tech Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in helping out
A Little Bit of TCC’s Pastoral History| Sue Trepaney.
It was an article in the Lowell Sun that sparked my interest. It concerned Dr. Charles Randall, who organized in 1916 a physical education institute for teachers in Dracut, Tewksbury, Tyngsboro and North Reading. “The institute simply titled ‘Physical Education in the Schools’ was held at the Foster School in Tewksbury, and all the teachers from each town participated—not just physical-education teachers.”
Noted in the article was ‘the professional development day opened at 9 a.m., with a benediction led by the Rev. Sarah Dixon’.
Doris McPhail gave the church office a copy of a book of poetry, ‘My Cape Cod’ authored by the Rev. Sarah Dixon and published in 1938 by Bruce Humphries, Inc., Publishers, Boston, MA. The inside fold reads: The author herself was born in Barnstable, as several of her poems might testify. She has held pastorates in Tyngsboro, Lowell, Tewksbury, and Hyannis, Massachusetts.
The Rev. Sarah Dixon wrote about her love of nature with many references to God. In her simple poem titled Black Alder, she writes:
“A dash of red is needed,” The Devine Artist said, “To liven up My landscape Which seems to be lying dead.”
So, He took a brush of reed grass And a pot of sunset glow, And painted the alder berries Wherever He saw them grow.
When Doris gave the book to the office, she mentioned that Rev. Dixon was a pastor of our church. Doris didn’t mention if Rev. Dixon was a seated pastor or an interim. Sometimes we are given a gift and we don’t acknowledge its significance—years later, here we have, in our hands, writings by a former pastor and given to us by a former parishioner, who recognized the importance of our history.
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.
A Warm Thank You From Missions Committee| Missions Committee.
The Missions Committee members would like to express their gratitude for the overwhelming generosity from members of our church. Through this difficult time due to the Pandemic, this did not stop the goodness of peoples’ hearts. Missions has run drives (with beneficiaries noted) for the CWS school bag kits (Church World Services), Pajamas (The Wish Project), Potatoes (Tewksbury Food Pantry), Giving Tree (The Wish Project, MSPCC Healthy Families and DCF Adolescent Program) and most recently the Advent Offering (Home for Little Wanderers and Lowell Association for the Blind) and the UCC Christmas Fund (formerly known as Veterans of the Cross). All campaigns were successful, and beneficiaries were extremely thankful. It is wonderful to be a part of such a warm and compassionate church family. Thank you!
Update to TCC's Organ Maintenance and Repairs| Sue Henderson, Music Commmitte.
Welcome 2021 and the long anticipated repairs to our Sanctuary organ! The "guts" have been removed (so it will be very quiet for a while) and taken to Andover Organ Company for the repair work. It is expected this work will take the greater part of January, but we were fortunate that Andover Organ was on site so early in the month. We don't expect to receive any ongoing updates as work progresses, however, we'll keep you posted if anything changes. This is truly an exciting time for TCC and the Music program!!
Ladies Aid Members Seeking Historical Information| Sue Trepaney.
Christopher Jenkins responded to my article published the last week in December about the Rev. Sarah Dixon. Christopher noted that the ‘Rev. Dr. Sarah Dixon was a settled pastor at our church from 1909 to 1917’. Donna Haines (the President of Ladies Aid) and I wondered: When did Ladies Aid organize their group in our church history? Minutes of the Ladies Aid Society stored in our church office contain records beginning January 1931. We have been searching through them.
Included in the four books of the Ladies Aid Society is information about various pastors of our church, church leaders—fair activities, suppers held, numbers of people attending, and changes to the By-Laws in 1944, 1949 and 1951.
With the help of Louise Gearty we are still researching the history of Ladies Aid—anyone with helpful information is welcome to get in touch with us. That includes photographs, stories, newspaper articles, etc., as we search our past and look to our future.
CE Youth Lesson - Jesus’ Baptism - Jan 24| Sue Panilaitis.
This week, we find Jesus at the Jordan River. In John 1:19-42 and John 3:22-36. Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, is also at the Jordan River preparing the way for Jesus. When Jesus told John to baptize Him, at first, John refused, feeling far too inferior to baptize Jesus. John knew enough about the Scriptures, and he understood enough about God’s story that he responded to Jesus in a different way. Video, lesson and activity can be found here.
Bottom Line: If you want to know God, start with Jesus. The best way to know God is by taking time to find out more about Jesus. Jesus shows us what God is like. God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to make a forever relationship with Him possible. We want every kid to know how important it is to trust Jesus with their life.
Please Keep Praying!| Board of Deacons.
Please include the following members and friends in your daily prayers. If you know of anyone who needs prayers, and they would like to be included on this list, please reach out to the church office at 978-851-9411. We're also attaching the Prayer Pages with the most recent prayer requests.
Prayers get put on the monthly Prayer Pages as requested by individuals. If you wish to have your prayers, concerns, and celebrations listed on the Prayer Pages, please contact Sue Trudeau at 978-640-9716 or the church office at 978-851-9411.
Let us all remember to celebrate God's abundance in our lives! Please pray for wisdom and discernment, especially now, for our national and local leaders and for a peaceful transition of power in the coming weeks. Please pray for everyone impacted by last week's violence in our Capital. Pray for our first responders as they deal with a surge in COVID-19 cases. Pray for everyone impacted by this pandemic. Just keep praying. Our nation needs those prayers.
Please pray for Kathleen SanClemente, Paul SanClemente's mom and Sarah SanClemente's mother-in-law, who passed away on December 28th from complications from COVID. Please continue to pray for Diane O'Toole and her family, a long-time member of TCC who's brother, Dan, passed away due to complications from COVID on December 17th.
Please continue to pray for two of our recently deceased long-time members, Harold A. Bussey and Al Bland. Please pray for their families as they grieve their loss at this time. Harold passed away on November 18th. Al passed away this week, on December 15th. We will miss them. May they rest in peace.
Thank you to the Holy Ghost Crew for their flexibility and ingenuity in continuing to keep us connected during worship every Sunday!
1. Kathy D.- please pray for her as she's been diagnosed with Covid-19 and needs prayers of healing and comfort to fully recover from this virus.
2. Christophe B.-prayers for peace and comfort as he grieves with the loss of his Dad, Al, and must cope and adjust to life in a new home.
3. Marilyn S.- Prayers of healing for our Country after the horrific event this past week. Prayers for acceptance and unity in our country! Prayers for her brother-in-law Wayne. The cancer he has been battling for 20 years has metastasized. Prayers of peace and comfort at the loss of her former mother-in-law, Kathleen SanClemente.
4. Pam D.- prayers for her Uncle who has been hospitalized with Covid. Prayers of celebration for her father's recovery from Covid.
5. Lynette A.- prayers of healing and comfort for Rich’s niece Caroline, her husband Thomas, and baby Jack who all have Covid, and prayers for several more nieces and nephews in New York State who also have Covid. Prayers for her daughter in law, Lauren, who is dealing with health issues.
6. Jean M.- please pray for comfort and healing as she struggles with breathing issues due to her diagnosis of COPD.
7. Nancy M.- please pray for comfort and healing for Pat & Mark over the loss of Mark's Mom, Mary.
8. Debbie A.- Prayers of comfort and peace for her Uncle Don who has fought through Parkinson’s amongst other health issues for over 15 years and is now in hospice and will be by the Lord’s side soon. Prayers of comfort and peace for Sarah, Paul, Hannah, and Adam S on the loss of Paul’s mother Kathleen in December from complications from Covid. Prayers for David on the loss of his mother, and for Emily, John, and Marilyn as they grieve the loss of their grandmother and mother-in-law.
9. Evelyn F.- prayers of healing as she continues her rehabilitation.
10. Christopher J.- prayers of peace and unity in our country over the next couple of weeks.
11. Kait B.- Asking for prayers of comfort and healing for a friend whose 14 year old daughter is being brought to Boston Children’s after being diagnosed with Guillain-Barré Syndrome following a flu shot.
12. Kelly & Steve R.- please continue prayers and thoughts of healing and comfort for Kelly as she continues her fight against cancer.
13. Sherry F.- prayers for her brother, David who was hospitalized with serious injuries following a car accident on Veterans Day. Prayers for full healing for him and comfort and hope for his family.
14. Sven H.- Prayers for his wife's Karolyn's workmate Jackie whose cancer has returned and is undergoing chemo again. Prayers and gratitude for those having to work and travel during winter storms, including his dear wife.
15. JoJo S.- Please pray for her daughter Trish as she is going through a rough patch right now. May you all have JOY in your world this season. Prayers for her friend Dean.
16. Stephanie M.- Prayers for those who are suffering with COVID-19. Prayers for Ed as he recovers from a heart procedure. Prayers for those who are suffering from depression due to isolation from the pandemic.
17. Melissa A.- prayers for her daughter Hailey, that her doctors may find a way to stop her seizures. Please pray for her Papa Donald, that he becomes pain-free. Prayers of comfort and healing as she underwent a small standard procedure Tuesday of this week.
18. Pat & Mac T.- requesting prayers of recovery for, Betty, a Florida neighbor suffering the effects from two strokes.
19. Desma K.- payers for the fathers of three of her good friends. All are struggling with health issues right now. Prayers for a friend from work who had a miscarriage.
20. Nancy M.- Prayers for Nick, as he continues to battle cancer. Prayers of gratitude and thankfulness, that her sister Pat is home and continuing her recovery there with the support of family.
21. Kim B.- Please pray for her friend as she begins chemotherapy for breast cancer.
22. Sue H.- prayers for her sister Joanne as she heals and learns her next steps for breast cancer treatment.
23. Marlene G.- Prayers of gratitude for her sister Joanne who got a good test after breast cancer surgery and will not need radiation. Prayers for healing as she learns the next steps of treatment. Prayers of thanksgiving as her friend's daughter is found safe. Prayers for staff member Drew Page at the Southern New England Conference office, who is facing cancer surgery.
24. Roberta K.- Prayers of healing and comfort for her sister, Louise, who had knee surgery at MGH.
25. Heather and Steve R.- prayers for Heather's mom, who has tested positive for COVID-19 and is showing symptoms.
26. Joanne K.- Prayers on behalf of two friends. Her friend, Mary lost her younger sister, tragically, last month in a bicycle accident. Please offer prayers of comfort and grace to that family. Another friend, Lisa, needs prayers of hope and strength and belief in God to get her through a very hard time. Thank you.
27. Debbie T.- prayers for her sister-in-law's father who turned 79 last month. Each day is a blessing as he continues to deteriorate from Parkinson’s.
28. Alice G.-healing prayers as she recovers from heart bypass surgery, and comfort, and quick recovery during her rehabilitation period.
29. Ginny & Richie D.- prayers of healing for Richie, who is recovering from a fall and is back at the Veteran's Hospital.
30. Linda M.- prayers for her colleague, Bob, who lost his wife suddenly.
31. Sheila P and her family-prayers of gratitude and healing as she finished her radiation treatments while wearing her mask to stay safe. Renewed prayers for continued healing as she begins to deal with the effects of the radiation.
32. Kim B.- please pray for all those who are in need of prayers. Pray for God to watch over all the people in the way of fires, floods, and earthquakes, and to keep all of those warm and those who need food safe. May God bless them all.
33. Barbara B.-prayers for comfort as she is homebound and convalescing in Methuen.
34. Trish R.- Prayers for both her children as they struggle. Prayers for complete healing from her surgery; prayers for mental health, peace, and comfort during this time of quarantine.
35. Mary and Dana L.-prayers they all stay healthy as Dana continues to work as a police officer in town.
36. Loretta M.-prayers of healing and comfort as she continues convalescing at home.
37. Arlene S.- prayers of healing and comfort as she continues undergoing cancer treatments.
38. Tammy- prayers for Godson Billy to stay strong.
39. Kymberly- prayers for her mom's new cancer diagnosis.
Attached File: 31January 2021 pp.pdf
Click HERE to view all TCC Sign-ups!| Church Secretary.
Click HERE to launch our TCC Sign-up Genius page. Use the tabs to switch between the sign-ups. Thank you for lending a helping hand!
Shop Online and Help Support TCC!| Board of Ministries.
Amazon has a shopping program that benefits non-profits and the Tewksbury Congregational Church is now registered! It's called AmazonSmile and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to our church. AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know, same products, same prices, same service. You are able to support TCC with your AmazonSmile purchases at no extra cost to you! Feel free to share this info with your friends and family, too.
Simply visit smile.amazon.com and enter "Tewksbury Congregational Church" as the charity you wish to support. For TCC to get credit, all your purchases must be made through the 'smile.amazon.com' site...so be sure to bookmark it to make future purchases easier;-) Happy Shopping!
Sunday School & Nursery Information| Sue Panilaitis.
Due to the world health crisis currently going on, TCC will not be offering in person Sunday School nor nursery care at this time. Youth are invited to participate in the weekly worship either in person or on public access TV/Facebook live.
To supplement the family worship experience, the CE committee will be providing weekly lessons that you and your children can enjoy at home. These lessons will include a 15 minute video as well as follow up activities that you can do together to reflect on the lesson and open up additional dialogue.
Calling All Scripture Readers!| Board of Deacons.
If you are interested in reading the scripture for our remote Sunday worship services, please email Mercy Delgado (email@example.com) and let her know which Sundays you are available to read. You may also click here to sign up for the Sunday of your choice.
You can either join the Holy Ghost Crew in the Sanctuary and read the scripture live or record your reading at home ahead of time, whichever you are more comfortable with. We will do our best to accommodate your preferred date(s).
Additional Usher Team Members Needed!| Stephanie Muse.
If you are planning on being present at in-person worship in the fall and winter months, please prayerfully consider joining the Usher team. Duties are somewhat different than they have been in previous years. Training will be provided.
Please email Stephanie Muse with questions or offers to serve at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In The Beginning| Rev. Baxter Chism.
We often think of Martin Luther and his influences that began the Protestant Reformation. Luther also struggled with his faith. He did not like the Book of James because it made him feel inadequate in his service to God. James talks a lot about putting faith into action and Luther thought he was not doing enough. Sometimes he thought about leaving ministry. Often he would sit in his study and say over and over, "I am baptized. I am baptized. I am baptized."
Sometimes we need a reminder.
We celebrate the Baptism of Jesus this Sunday. Once again we will remember Jesus going to the River Jordan to be baptized by John. Also, we celebrate and remember our baptisms too. Last year many of you shared your memories of your baptism and the official beginning of following Jesus. Thank you for that!
Do any of you remember Coach Bobby Knight? Coach Knight led the basketball teams at Indiana University and Texas Tech before retiring. He was known for being tough on his players, using colorful metaphors, and doing things right in a team effort. He is celebrated as one of the greatest coaches of all time.
One of his players was doing a great job coming off the bench during his time at Tech. One day the young man asked his coach when he was going to be a starter. Who could blame him? He was doing well. Coach Knight responded by saying, “You don’t understand the game. It doesn’t matter who starts. It matters who finishes.”
Before being called into ministry, I had a great job in a great company working with great people. It started so well. It felt great to be in a place where you were appreciated and part of the team. This would not last long.
The President and CEO of the company unfortunately had moral failings hurting his reputation. That, added with bad financial decisions, and a lot of people lost their jobs. The company had such a great beginning. It started in a basement with one computer and one guy programming. Ten years later there were over one hundred employees. Today, what was a company is a single software package sold by another company.
It was a great beginning without the great finish.
As you know I like jokes. Especially the bad ones. Jokes, although funny, may at times tell us a truth that hurts or critiques. Like this one: Too many people come to Church three times primarily. They're Baptized, they get married, and they have their funeral service at the Church. The first time they throw water on you, the second time rice, the third time dirt!
Baptism is our official beginning in Christ. Does baptism stop at the beginning? Nope. It matters how we finish out our baptisms as we live our lives as followers of Jesus.
Commitments in our relationships last longer if we are committed to following through after the beginning. If you get a job, that's great. But if you don't follow in your job you might get fired. The very first words in the Bible are "In the beginning." We learn that God created the "heavens and the earth." Then humanity was created. Then God continued on and on and continues today.
Beginnings are defined by what happens next.
Thank you for living out your baptisms! Sunday we celebrate Christ and His baptism. We will celebrate ours as well. Let's revisit our journey and see if we are building on our beginning.
God was proud of his Son the day He was baptized. God's voice showered down from the heavens that day. The same could be said for the day we were as well. May we follow through like Jesus. May our church flow like the living water we celebrate during every baptism.