TCC Flash - Weekly News
Godly Wisdom| Rev. Baxter Chism.
Jim Kenney, one of our church leaders, is currently leading some of our men in a small group Bible Study about the Book of Daniel. The study is about living a godly and spiritual life in our world. I'm very thankful for this group of men digging deep into God's Word. We all grow spiritually when we read the words of the Bible on a consistent basis. Godly wisdom also grows in our soul when we stay in the Word.
The Book of Daniel is a wonderful book in the Old Testament that reads like a play. I could imagine us going to one of our local theaters and seeing the words of Daniel being acted right in front of us. In the book, we read about Daniel, an exiled Jew of great wisdom in Babylon, and how he dealt with King Nebuchadnezzar. If you read historical documents about Nebuchadnezzar outside of the Bible, he was one powerful king. (Just do a Google search and read about Nebuchadnezzar. He is an interesting individual and it will also add to your understanding of the Book of Daniel.)
Daniel was a very wise man and a follower of God. His wisdom was not his own. Daniel is the perfect example of a person who was able to live a godly life when most around him did not. Even in the exile of Babylon, where most did not believe in the True God, he was able to stay the course.
Daniel was facing death, along with some of his friends, at the hands of King Nebuchadnezzar. The King was having dreams and wanted them interpreted. God gave Daniel the ability and wisdom to do so. We hear Daniel praying to God in Daniel 2:23 saying, "I praise you and honor you, God of my ancestors. You have given me wisdom and strength; you have answered my prayer and shown us what to tell the king."
His wisdom came from God.
We hear about wisdom in the Book of James, too. James writes in 3:18, "But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without trace of partiality or hypocrisy." In Daniel's case, the wisdom from above helped him survive exile and stay true to who he was. James tells us that the wisdom God gives the church is not our own. It comes from "above".
Alen Brehm, a noted biblical scholar, has a wonderful interpretation of what James is talking about when it comes to wisdom in the last part of James 3:13-4:8. We all have gifts and from those gifts, God helps us grow in wisdom. The wisdom we grow in helps us in the world we live in and especially our service in the church. However, sometimes we allow the world to corrupt us and we may think our wisdom is better than others. Mr. Brehm uses the examples of those who are very successful, those with fame, and those with wealth. They may think they are wiser. It goes to their head as some would say.
The wisdom God gives us to serve in the church is a shared "gently". Seasoned leaders help others grow in wisdom. We learn from one another because we "yield" and respect that we are serving together. "Good fruits" generally happen when wisdom is applied correctly. What's an example of the wisdom I'm talking about? There are plenty of places we can read about it in the Bible. Check out the book of Proverbs. There is much wisdom in The Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-12 and in Luke 6:20-22. I could go on.
King Nebuchadnezzar would give Daniel authority in his kingdom. Did he misuse his authority? No. He also remembered that his wisdom was from God. James says the same thing. He reminds us that the wisdom that God gives us is "pure" and from "above".
Think about the wisdom God has given you. Have you used it in godly ways? What about the opposite? Celebrate the wisdom God has given to you and to all of us.
Pajama Sunday!| Missions Committee.
October 14th is Pajama Sunday – We are continuing our pajama drive tradition and this fall’s drive will run through October 14th. Donations of new pajamas (think fall and winter, please) for kids and adults can be put into the marked bin at the side entrance any time in the next few weeks. The missions committee encourages congregants to wear their favorite PJs on the 14th, Pajama Sunday, to bring awareness of the simple comforts that some must go without. On PJ Day, children can bring donated pajamas right up to the altar when they go up for Children’s Time. This year’s collection will go the The Wish Project and be distributed to kids and adults alike. Pajama sets for the kids are great and flannel pajama bottoms work well and are appreciated by the teens and adults.
I hope to see many of you in your favorite PJs on the 14th!!
Calling All Angels!| Lucinda J. Ellert.
This week both Cherub and Seraph Choirs will begin rehearsals at 10:45 am. Cherubs are the little ones, grades K-3; Seraphs are grades 4-6 or beyond. We’ll meet at 11:00 am in the Fairgrieve Room for our own special “Coffee Hour” to sign kids up, get parents’ contact info, and Marilyn SanClemente will take the Cherubs to their new room while the Seraphs will work with Lucinda in the Fairgrieve. The Youth Choirs will be tons of fun this year, so come on out and get ready to sing!
We're looking for more kids to join both groups. Please consider having your kids join this wonderful ministry!
Zero Waste Day is SATURDAY!| Beth McFadyen.
Thank you to EVERYONE who signed up to help at Zero Waste Day. The only item remaining on our WISH LIST is for someone to buy a handful of blue and green helium balloons at the Dollar Store when they open at 9am and attach them to the banner/fence at the end of Victor Drive.
If you can help, sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050a48aaaa283-10th1
Please share the attached flyer with anyone who may be interested in participating in drive thru donating and recycling on Saturday, September 22nd, from 9am-1pm.
For more information, contact Beth McFadyen.
Attached File: 71ZeroWasteDayFlyer2018.pdf
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.
Sunday School: Dirty Jobs - Don\'t Wait; Help!
Register For Sunday School
Overview of September Curriculum
Wish List for the Educational Wing
Class Reconfiguration this Fall!
New Classroom locations
Before and After Pictures of the Educational Wing
General Overview of Religious Education Program
Sunday School Teacher Directory
Notes From Our Handbell Director| Ed Henderson.
The Bells are ringing....almost. It is that time of year when we begin planning for the coming ringing season. We can always use more ringers, even if you have never rung before. How often have you listened to the bells ring and thought, "I would love to try that"? We are happy to teach! Maybe we can begin a choir of new ringers, all starting out at the same time. Or a Mothers' choir that rehearses on weekday mornings. Come and join the fun!
It would also be wonderful to restart our Young Ringers choir. We would need a minimum of 8 kids, preferably in the same grade or two.
Please contact me with any questions. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Called to Care Workshop| JoJo Scharmer.
Come join the Called to Care team and learn about being an Ambassador! We'll be getting together on Sunday, September 30th, right after worship service, from 11:00 am-12:30 pm, where we'll learn how to make prayer jars, enjoy some yummy treats, and have some fun!
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.
School Bags are Due!| Joanne Kenney.
A big THANK YOU! from your Missions Committee for all who sponsored a school bag for Church World Service back in May. I hope you were able to take advantage of the late summer sales! Many bags have been returned, but there are still a handful that need to be turned in. Please bring your completed bags in by Sunday, September 30th. They should be dropped into the marked bin at the side entrance. If you do not remember whether or not you sponsored a bag, send an email to email@example.com or give me a call at home at (978) 851-5001 and I will be glad to let you know! I think of all of the children who will start their school year more confident and ready to learn because they have the things they need and it makes my heart smile!
Coffee Hour Volunteers Needed!!!| Mercy Delgado.
We need your help! Please consider signing up for Coffee Hour. We
could sure use your help! We all enjoy the coffee, treats and fellowship after worship service. Let's help keep this wonderful tradition of hospitality alive and well! We can walk you through it if you've never done it before. It’s easy & fun, a great way to help out and get to meet other members and guests.
We have lots of openings!
Please contact Mercy Delgado in person, or go to the SignUpGenius page to sign up.
Calling All Greeters & Altar Flower Fans!| Mercy Delgado.
TCC needs your help! We're looking for some smiling faces to greet members and visitors as they arrive for service on Sunday mornings. Greeters can be 1-2 friends, a family or a small group! From 9ish to 9:30 am you'll warmly welcome people as they arrive. Please contact Jean Metcalf in person, or go to the SignUpGenius page to sign up.
Have you ever considered providing flowers to adorn the altar during worship? Each Sunday, either fresh flowers or a silk arrangement are placed there during worship. Members are invited to provide flowers in honor or memory of a special person or occasion or simply in celebration of TCC. A note is made in the service order each week, indicating the donor and the dedication.
Sign-up below for a Sunday that has meaning to you and this database will send you a reminder message 5 days prior to your scheduled date. The Office will assume that you will be taking your flowers home after worship service unless you indicate other wishes.
Tewksbury Florist and Greenery regularly creates our Altar Flower arrangements. They can be reached at 978-656-1132.
Thank you for considering two vital components of worship here at TCC!
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!
Jesus Brings Us Together| Rev. Baxter Chism.
We continue this week in the pesky Book of James. James often steps on my toes to remind me to be a better disciple. As I read through James 2:1-13, I'm reminded that I should not have any type of prejudice in my life. That is a good thing because we all need a lot less prejudice.
Jesus continues to this day to bring people together in various and unique ways. Mission trips, worship services, community events and other connecting points that are blessings to us all. The early church was a big melting pot of people from various backgrounds, of poor to rich to the in-between. There is so much power in the Cross to bring down divisions and to bring people together!
James reminds us to "Love your neighbor as you love yourself." Heard that before? James goes into what seems to me like a tirade. Respect people who are poor! Don't put the rich on a pedestal! Rich people are bad news! They'll treat you badly! Let's read deeper, however. There is a bigger message for us all.
Many scholars think James was thinking of a church made up of the middle class. Apparently, they had fallen into the cultural trap of that time of treating the wealthy better than the poor. James steps on their toes. Don't do that! Love everyone the same! The Church was new. They needed a reminder that for this new movement to work, everyone would be treated the same. Like the Apostle Paul said, there was no "Jew or Gentile" in God's view of Creation. We are all loved the same.
Halfway through my ministry as a Pastor, I realized that it is only by the grace of God that this thing we call Church works. I was preaching one Sunday looking out at the congregation. I saw all the heartaches, the success, all the divisions, all the tears, all the failures, all the joys, all the unhappiness, and all the things that life brings our way. It is always amazing how God can call and put together people that are different and do kingdom stuff.
Rejoice in what God is doing and what God is going to do! Celebrate that Jesus has brought us together.
The Power of Words| Rev. Baxter Chism.
Growing up I remembered hearing, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." It's an old children's rhyme from England attributed to a gentleman named Alexander William Kinglake. The purpose of the rhyme was to encourage children to not let bullies hurt them with names and taunting.
Words do hurt when not used appropriately. They are also very powerful and can inspire in such ways that a life or all of humankind is transformed. Case in point, I think of Jesus inviting the Disciples to journey with Him in ministry. Those must have been powerful words for them to leave their professions and to follow Him. Think of the words of past presidents, civil right leaders, a sermon you heard, or a word of encouragement from a family member or friend that resonates in your soul. Words are powerful.
Sermons that we hear in churches around the world every week and speeches are very similar. Yes, the sermon is set apart because it is attached to the transformational words of the Bible, but the commonality is that (one hopes), lives are impacted. Yes, words are powerful. They can change us.
We read in the Book of James and are reminded of the power of words. In Chapter 3, James is critical of teachers and the words they were using. I believe we can expand this to all of us. We all "teach" another person something when we use harmful words regardless of if we are a teacher in the Church or not. The opposite is true and beautiful. Healthy and encouraging words can lift up a friend, change the direction of a child's life, or even save a person's life. When we are so bold as to share words about Christ with someone who's part of the Church, there is the increasing possibility that they meet Jesus.
James 3:1-12 uses many metaphors to describe the power of words. The tongue is like a "rudder" that guides the body. Harmful words are like a "small fire" that can set a forest on fire. He also says, "No more can salt water yield fresh." Again, how we use our words is powerful.
I like what James says about the different types of water. No, salt and fresh water cannot come from the same source. So God gives us "living water" as Jesus described to the Samaritan Woman in John 4 when they met at a well. It refreshes our souls and it helps guide our words. As new people in Christ, our words grow and grow in love and harmony together. Are they always perfect? No. But remember, it is a process. The Samaritan Woman heard positive and accepting words from Jesus, shared with her village, and they all became followers of Him that day. Words are powerful.
If you find yourself today in a place of discouragement because of someone's words, be reminded of Jesus. Jesus gave us "Words of Life" that we call the Gospel (good news). At every corner, as He delivered inspiration to many, He was challenged by some. He gave us The Beatitudes, many parables, words to help in times of grief, life-guiding principles, and reminders to love our neighbor even as He faced conflict. This did not keep Him from journeying toward the Cross and giving His life for all people.
Remember His encouraging words and that you are never alone. They are powerful.