TCC Flash - Weekly News
Sing to the Lord!| Rev. Baxter Chism.
"Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world." - Isaiah 12:5
Sometimes when I'm driving down the road you may catch me singing in my car. I really don't care if I embarrass myself. If a catchy tune comes on the radio (or streaming through my Google Play account) I'm going to sing it! I love music.
There are a lot of bands I like, from Rock to Christian. The bands do their best to sing the lyrics I'm singing because they know I'm right. Yeah, I could be wrong, but at least I have the meter and beat down. You know what I'm talking about!
We often sing when we are happy and we sing when we are sad. Sometimes we sing when we need inspiration. Music has a way of reaching deep down into the soul of a person. There have been times when, listening to a song, my eyes get a little misty. There is just something about music that takes us to a place in time or in our soul and triggers a powerful emotion.
And talking about music, Christmas is just around the corner. Music is a big part of Christmas. I'm excited to see what our choirs will be offering unto the Lord this coming Advent and Christmas Seasons. I can't wait!
I totally believe that our soul has a song to sing. Our life is that song.
Many scholars believe that Isaiah 12 is the combination of two hymns (or songs) that could have been used in a worship setting. Commentary penned by scholar Elizabeth Webb suggests that there are two voices we can hear in this passage. One is the writer of the hymn, thanking God for not being angry any more and delivering the people from Babylonian Exile. The other voice is one of deliverance, echoing the days when Moses led the people to freedom and away from Pharoah's army.
The Book of Isaiah refers to a lot of things. In the context of Isaiah 12, the people of Judah (The Southern Kingdom) were being dominated by Assyria and would eventually end up in Babylonian Exile. The two songs being sung together thank God for being released from Babylonian exile and remembering when the people were released from similar bondage in Egypt. Connecting the two reminds the people that God never left their side.
When we sing in worship often times we are remembering something we need not forget. "The Lord of the Dance" is a perfect example of something we should never forget. In five verses, the hymn reminds us of the life and ministry of Jesus. Each verse beautiful sums up what we need to remember and celebrate.
Isaiah 12 reminds the people of how God freed them twice, even in the midst of failure. It was good for them to remember what had happened and celebrate.
How is your song you are singing to God?
When you are in our worship services and sing, think about the beauty of what you are doing. Your life is a "song" to God. Think about the beauty of the song you are singing from deep down in your soul. I guess you could say we should always be singing something to God.
And by the way, if you don't have the best song voice when you are singing, celebrate that you are making a "joyful noise unto the Lord." You can find that in Psalm 100. Keep singing!
Sing to the Lord,
Holiday Helpers Needed!| Sue Trepaney.
Holiday Friends are getting ready for the Christmas Fair! Our very own Jean Metcalf is putting the finishing touches on snow people for sale at TCC’s Church Fair the evening of December 6th and during the day on December 7th. We have been gathering supplies and creating colorful and festive holiday-themed items under the leadership of Pat Takach. Our crafting ideas come from books, the Internet, items that sold well in past years and our own decorating ideas. Members of Holiday Friends can always use ‘Helpers’—come by on Thursday morning, November 21st at 9:00 am and lend a hand creating items for our Fair! During the first week in December we will be working on fresh greens. Come and join us at 9:00 am in the Vestry and help snip, wind, bind and gather greens for various projects! An evening workshop creating tabletop trees will be featured soon. More information to follow.
2019 Pie Social and Christmas Fair Update| Carol Sturtevant.
December 6 & Dec. 7th
It's countdown time! Calling all bakers! Homemade pies for the Pie Social and baked goods for the Bake Table are needed & may be delivered from 3- 5pm on Friday, Dec. 6th. Items for the Snack Bar may be delivered Saturday, Dec. 7th from 8-9 am. Please use the kitchen door for Snack Bar deliveries. Our Pie Social brings in many people following the Town Tree Lighting. It is a popular town event! Having the Fair Tables open during the Pie Social has also been a huge success! Please click on SignUpGenius here or join us at Coffee Hour for needed donations and volunteer opportunities for youth and adults for both events. Attention TCC Youth: These events need you! Our guests appreciate your smiles and your assistance! YOU are the ones who greet at the door, assist at the Pie Social, lead our guests to where they are going and help where needed. Santa will be in the Parlor from 7-8:30 pm. Parents—this is a great photo opportunity so bring your cameras and alert your friends and family about this festive evening! Also, during this time, the Sunday School classrooms are open with a variety of activities for the kids while they wait to meet Santa.
Miniature Christmas Tree-Making is Back!| Mercy Delgado.
Come join the fun and learn how to make miniature Christmas Trees with Heather Burns, our resident wreath-maker and decorator! Heather is hosting a workshop on Tuesday, December 3rd, at 6:30 pm in the Vestry to all who are willing to learn.
Come get in the holiday spirit and pick up some wonderful decorating tips while you help TCC prepare for the Christmas Fair!
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.
Youth Lesson - Daniel and the Lion\'s Den
November\'s Morning Programming Lessons
Youth Lesson - David and Mephibosheth
PIe Social Help Needed - December 6th
Nursery Care Needed Christmas Eve
Youth Group Dates to Remember
General Overview of Christian Education Program
Holiday Friends Update| Holiday Friends.
Holiday Friends are meeting in earnest during the month of November and first week of December! Please plan to join us on Thursdays from 9:00 am until noon in the Vestry. Artificial arrangements, mini Christmas trees and holiday brooms all need decorating. As we get closer to our Christmas Fair, we’ll need help creating fresh arrangements and kissing balls.
If you have greens to donate from your yard, please put them in TCC’s Friendship Garden near the shed any time after Thanksgiving, November 28th. We also need baskets for arrangements, so don't be shy and bring us whatever you don't use!
We will continue to meet the following Thursdays: November 14th, November 21st and the week of December 2nd-6th. Our Christmas Fair is just around the corner, so please help if you can!
Women's Evening Circle Update| Mary Lou Adams.
The Women’s Evening Group will meet on Wednesday, November 20th, 2019, to work on the Church Fair. Pat Takach will facilitate.
There will not be a meeting in December. Watch for our program in January!
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.
Brown Bag Lunch Bible Discussion Group| Rev. Baxter Chism.
Rev. Baxter will be leading a new opportunity for Bible discussion. Beginning on Thursday, November 21st, our pastor will lead ongoing discussions offering various and interesting topics. The first round of discussions will be based on Adam Hamilton's book The Journey: Walking the Road to Bethlehem. Here is a description of the discussion:
Journey with Adam Hamilton as he travels from Nazareth to Bethlehem in this fascinating look at the birth of Jesus Christ. As he did with Jesus' crucifixion in 24 Hours That Changed the World, Hamilton once again approaches a world-changing event with thoughtfulness, using historical information, archaeological data, and a personal look at some of the stories surrounding the birth in The Journey.
The group will meet on November 21st, December 5th, December 12th, and December 19th. Each meeting will be from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. Contact our office if you plan to attend. And if you come, bring a brown bag with your favorite lunch!
2020 Offering Envelopes Are Here!| Mercy Delgado.
You may pick up your Offering Envelopes for 2020 in the Narthex.
If there is no box for you, please contact Pam Dooley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Giving Tree Is Ready!| JoJo Scharmer.
Select an ornament – You may take as many as you wish and can afford.
Sign the Master List. This is very important as it ensures that all wishes will be met.
Invite extended family members and friends to join you!
All gifts are to be new and do not need to be wrapped, except for the “moms”, but be sure to keep the ornament tag with each gift.
Wrapping paper, ribbons and scotch tape are always welcomed. You may add a Christmas card with a special message of good cheer if you wish, especially for the adolescents and seniors or even a holiday ornament or decoration.
Please note the change from last week's email: All gifts are to be brought to the Church by or on December 8th. The Case Worker in charge will pick them up that day.
If you have any questions, please call JoJo Scharmer at 978-851-5298 or email her at email@example.com. JoJo has the Master List and will be able to answer your questions.
TCC's Member Directory Update| Mercy Delgado.
Good news! TCC's Member Directory is now in an app you can add to your smartphone!
The app is called Church Office Online, and you can access an up-to-date Member Directory by installing the app on your phone and obtaining your personal password from Board of Ministries Co-Chair Bruce Panilaitis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Giving Tree Has New Ornaments!| Mercy Delgado.
Please check out the Giving Tree by the church office. You'll notice new gift request ornaments from The Wish Project. Feel free to take as many as you like!
The need is great, and the heart and generosity of this congregation even greater!
Please remember to bring in all your gifts for the Giving Tree by Sunday, December 8th. The social workers from the different agencies will be here to collect the gifts that day.
Tewksbury Food Pantry-Priority Needs| Carol Sturtevant.
As most of you know, TCC supports our local food pantry in many ways throughout the year. As we move into colder weather and holiday needs, Missions spoke to the directors for what items are most needed at this time. The list below gives suggestions, but all donations are welcome. Please be sure you check the “sell by” dates on all food items. Donations can be left in the church entrance in a labeled bin and in the Sunday School side entrance bins.
cocoa & snacks (children & adults)
cake/brownie mixes & instant potatoes
cereal & oatmeal
jelly & jam
toiletries & shampoo
other paper goods
UCC Happenings| Christopher Jenkins.
Sunday – November 17, 2019, at 3:00 PM
Joint MBA/NEA Fall Gathering
First Congregational Church of Winchester
Info and Registration: https://www.macucc.org/eventdetail/12955340
LOCAL CHURCH PUBLIC EVENTS
Saturday – November 16, 2019; 10:00 AM-4:00 PM
CCU-Lowell’s Angel Tree Holiday Fair
Tyngsboro Sportsman’s Club at 90 Westford Road
Saturday – November 23, 2019, at 9:00 AM
Christmas Craft Fair at CCU-Dracut
Saturday – November 23, 2019; 9:00 AM-2:00 PM
Olde Tyme Country Fair at FCC-Rowley
Saturday – November 23, 2019; 9:00 AM-2:00 PM
Holiday Fair at CCC-Chelmsford
Sunday – November 24, 2019, at 4:00 PM
Organ Concert with Ed Warzynowicz at FCC-Saugus
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!
Eternal Thinkers and Great Debates| Rev. Baxter Chism.
I often talk about my time in seminary because it was a very formative part of my life. Often I miss the setting of academia. There were wonderful discussions in all the classes I attended. Again, I miss those days.
Another part of seminary I miss was having theological debates with my fellow classmates after class. The house I stayed in while on campus had a deck out back. Many times at night we would all sit out there and have wonderful debates. Sometimes they could get a little testy but nonetheless, the debates helped us all grow in knowledge.
Jesus was often challenged in His interpretation of scripture. We find in Luke 20:27-38 Jesus being challenged by the Sadducees. The Sadducees were a sect of Judaism that did not believe in life after death. The Pharisees, another sect of Judaism, did believe in life after death and the resurrection.
The Sadducees only considered The Torah as the Word of God. This is the first five books of what we call the Old Testament. The Pharisees also included Psalms and The Prophets as part of God's Word. This caused differences in theology between the two groups.
Luke 20:27-38 is a challenge from the Sadducees over the possibility of resurrection. They begin their debate with the story of a man dying and leaving a widow. Customs of that day would require that if there were brothers of the deceased that they would marry the widow. The oldest of the brothers would marry the widow and so on. In their challenge to Jesus, they said that the widow would marry all of the deceased brothers, seven in total. She would leave them childless and then she would die. The question to Jesus would be, "In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be?"
Jesus says none of them. That isn't going to matter anymore. We will not live the same. Jesus even says "they are like angels" meaning those resurrected have already defeated death and cannot die anymore.
I remember discussing this in a Bible study many years ago. One lady in the class shouted, "Praise God!" We all looked at her and asked why she was shouting loud praises. She said, "I loved my husband before he passed. But God knows I couldn't be married to him a second time."
I guess she is off the hook.
Jesus would close out this passage by stating that God is the God of the living...not the dead. Life in Christ has already started for us. In many ways, we are living and thinking eternally. We are already living as people of the resurrection.
I'm glad Jesus had this debate. So let me leave you with a few questions to debate as you live eternally.
What does resurrection mean to me?
Do I ever think like the Sadducees?
Am I alive in Christ?