TCC Flash - Weekly News
Holy Humor| Rev. Dr. Norm Bendroth.
I’ll bet you didn’t know the Sunday after Easter is called “Holy Humor Sunday.” Many American churches are resurrecting an old Easter custom begun by the Greeks in the early centuries of Christianity celebrating Jesus’ resurrection.
The tradition was rooted in the musings of early church theologians (like Augustine, Gregory of Nyssa, and John Chrysostom) that God played a practical joke on the devil by raising Jesus from the dead. "Risus paschalis - the Easter laugh," the early theologians called it. For centuries in Eastern Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant countries, the week following Easter Sunday was observed by the faithful as "days of joy and laughter" with parties and picnics to rejoice over Jesus' resurrection. Apparently, pastors and parishioners played practical jokes on each other, drenched each other with water, told jokes, sang, and danced.
New England Congregational churches are known as “God’s frozen chosen.” Church can be pretty serious business. Why, what if we started clapping or began shouting hallelujahs, or, heaven forbid, danced on the pews! People would have the vapors! Nevertheless, we know how to have a good time. You even laugh at my corny jokes from the pulpit.
Speaking of which, I recently came across a piece called “The Bible According to Kids.” They are charming statements purported to be written by actual students and are genuine, authentic, and not retouched or corrected. In the spirit of Holy Humor, I thought I’d share some.
In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, God got tired of creating the world, so he took the Sabbath off.
Adam and Eve were created by an apple tree.
Noah’s wife was called Joan of Ark.
Lot’s wife was a pillar of salt by day, but a ball of fire by night.
Solomon slayed the Philistines with the axe of the Apostles.
Moses led the Hebrews to the Red Sea where they made unleavened bread, which is bread without any ingredients.
The Egyptians were all drowned in the dessert. Afterward, Moses went up to Mt. Cyanide to get the ten amendments.
The fifth commandment is to humor your father and mother.
The seventh is thou shalt not admit adultery.
Moses died before he ever reached Canada.
Then Joshua led the Hebrews in the battle of Geritol.
The greatest miracle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him.
He fought with the Finklesteins, a race of people who lived in Biblical times.
Solomon, one of David’s sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.
When Mary heard she was the mother of Jesus, she sang the Magna Carta.
Jesus enunciated the Golden Rule, which says to do one to others before they do one to you.
It was a miracle when Jesus rose the dead and managed to get the tombstone off the entrance.
The people who followed the Lord were called the 12 decibels.
The epistles were the wives of the apostles.
St. Paul cavorted to Christianity. He preached holy acrimony, which is another name for marriage.
A Christian should only have one spouse. This is called monotony.
Holy humor to you,
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Board of Ministries Elections| Board of Ministries.
Don't forget to vote for new members to the Board of Ministries!
There are three (3) open positions: 2 three-year terms and 1 one-year term. Six (6) individuals have been nominated. Please vote for 3 individuals to fill the open positions. The votes will be tallied and totaled. The 3 candidates who receive the most votes will be selected. Of the top three candidates, the person with the least number of votes will be assigned the one-year term.
Ballots have been mailed to all TCC members. Please note that the deadline to submit your election ballots is this coming Sunday, April 22nd, BEFORE 11: 00 am!
Music News| Sherry Fulton.
Just a reminder that our beloved Cherub Choir director, Cathie Seaman, will be retiring at the end of this year. We celebrate all she has done with the children, but if we want this important musical offering to continue, we need people to step forward and volunteer. This is part-time, with brief rehearsals on select Sundays after church. Lucinda is offering to help accompany any music you choose. If anyone wants to direct or be the “herder of cats” for the Cherubs going forward, come and see Cathie or Lucinda.
The children are such a strong presence in our community, and I think we can all get on board with keeping this group together and bringing in new members as they age in and others age out.
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.
Secret Sister Tea-Reminder| Friendship Circle.
The Secret Sister Tea has been moved to Sunday, April 29, 2018, in the Vestry after church. This change was necessary due to the scheduling of Candidating Weekend.
We Need Help!| Board of Ministries.
Several of our Committees have openings. If you are interested in working on one of our committees, please talk to Bruce Panilaitis or Jim Kenney on the Nominating Committees.
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.
Be a Part of a Heifer 5K!| Missions Committee.
Though we were not able to run a proper Heifer campaign in January this year due to scheduling conflicts, we now have a perfect opportunity for those of us who are passionate about Heifer International to give to this fabulous organization! On Saturday, May 12th, a group of walkers will be strolling a 5K route here in town in support of Heifer. The location is likely to be in the Livingston Street recreational area, with the exact route yet to be determined. We will gather and begin at 1:30, so as not to conflict with too many morning sports activities. The entire walk should not take more than an hour of your busy Saturday. How will this walk support Heifer, you ask? First, all walkers will be supported with a $25 sponsorship from the missions committee. Secondly, we are hoping walkers will seek other sponsorships from friends and family. Thirdly, TCC members who are not able to walk, can sponsor any one of the walkers with a donation. Lastly, on May 13th (Mother’s Day), Heifer envelopes will be in the pews for those who wish to donate and did not have a chance to prior to this date. Heifer is hoping to raise $5000 in all of the New England area, but, based on TCC’s passion for Heifer and the generosity of our congregants when it comes to this mission, I would guess that this church could put them over that goal amount. Let’s shoot for $1500 as a goal from our congregation alone! I am thrilled with this idea and wish I had thought of it! Church members out walking together in our town and, at the same time, helping to sustain and enrich families across the globe…what could be better?! Please see Joanne Kenney to be added to our list of walkers, and let’s get mooooving!!!
Attached File: 56Sponsor Sheet.pdf
You’re Invited!| Mercy Delgado.
Members & Friends of TCC,
Please join us Candidating Weekend: May 5th & 6th, 2018
Meet: The Pastoral Candidate
Listen: To the Candidate’s Sermon
Cast: A Vote to affirm the Pastoral Search Committee’s Choice
Saturday, May 5th, 2018
Meet & Greet Potluck Dinner
Appetizer at 5:30 pm
Dinner at 6:15 pm
Candidate Introduction at 7:30 pm
Entreé provided by the Pastoral Search Committee. Children are welcome. No childcare will be provided. TCC Members and friends are also invited to bring an appetizer, a side dish or a dessert to accompany the entreé.
Please RSVP with the number of attendees to the church office as soon as possible. Invitations have been mailed to the congregation and will be distributed with the Service Orders on Sunday.
Sunday, May 6th, 2018: Our Candidate will conduct worship service with communion. After the service, TCC members will vote on our Pastoral Candidate.
Style Matters: How Do You Manage Conflict?-Update| Rev. Dr. Norm Bendroth.
Saturday, April 28, 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon in the Vestry
Everyone experiences painful differences with others. Yet most of us get little help as youth or adults on how to manage differences. We figure out a few things by trial and error, but we are often confused and hurt by what happens in conflicts.
The Board of Ministries and the Deacons are offering a course on understanding and managing conflict by becoming aware of your style and those of others. We will be using the Kraybill Style Matters inventory. This tool was developed by the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center and is deeply rooted in Christian faith and practice.
This inventory gives specific, practical help for dealing with differences:
A snapshot of your patterns of dealing with conflict, that is, your conflict style.
A summary of the strengths that often go with those patterns, a review of potential weaknesses, and based on those, suggestions tailored to you for improving your patterns of conflict management.
Pointers for choosing the best style for the situation you are in.
Steps to take to bring out the best in other people in times of disagreement, based on their conflict style.
The class will be taught by Rev. Bill Main, who has preached here before. Rev. Bill is a second career minister and Rev. Norm served as his Field Ed. Supervisor. He also took Rev. Norm's five-day course on Interim Ministry and this offering is his fieldwork project to receive his certificate.
The Deacons and Board of Ministries strongly suggest that those in leadership positions on boards and committees participate in this workshop. As we experience a transition with our new pastor, learning conflict management will be a great skill to have!
Friendship Garden Needs Our Help!| Mercy Delgado.
Candidating Weekend, May 5th & 6th, is quickly approaching, and all of us at TCC will host our pastoral candidate, listen to him deliver a sermon, and vote to affirm him as our seated pastor.
We need volunteers to help us present TCC and the Friendship Garden in its best light!
A couple of us are coming Friday afternoon, at 2 pm April 20th, to clean, rake and prepare the garden to plant some lovely flowers. We could sure use one or two able-bodied folks to help spruce up the place!
Please let Mercy Delgado know if you'd like to help out. You can reach her at the office, 978-851-9411.
Heifer Empowers Women!| Missions Committee.
Five years ago Buddhi Devi,a Heifer partner, says that if you had visited her then she would be ‘Under my veil, unable to speak.’ And yet she found the courage to join a Heifer Self-Help Group, which changed her life. Today Buddhi is a community animal health worker, a proud goat breeder and a leader in her community. She even travels far from her home in Nosaria, India and works to encourage other women to join Heifer Self-Help Groups. Help us to empower women like Buddhi by donating to the Heifer New England Walk for Women, which TCC will be participating in on Saturday, May 12th at 1:30 at Livingston Park. Thank you for your support!! See Buddhi Devi's full story in the attached link. https://www.heifer.org/join-the-conversation/magazine/2017/fall/clever-is-her-name.html
We Want Your Suggestions!| Mercy Delgado.
Have you thought of ways TCC could do things more effectively, but didn’t know how to get your idea heard,? Maybe you were too shy to speak up, or didn’t think anyone would care to listen?
We want to know what you’re thinking! This is your chance to submit your ideas for consideration.
Just use a suggestion form found right by the church office, fill it out, and place it in the blue suggestion box. It’s that easy!
Thank you for your continued support of TCC!
New Lost & Found Items in Church| Mercy Delgado.
Our Lost & Found section is growing! Are you missing a green CamelBak water bottle, a burgundy overcoat, or even a set of keys on a chord? How about a black fleece hoodie, a knit navy cap, or some black New Balance gloves? Come by the office and check things out, or let the Church Secretary, Mercy Delgado know by Monday, April 30th, 2018. We need to do some Spring cleaning and would like these items to go back to their owners.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
TCC Scholarship Fund Drive| TCC Scholarship Committee.
It is that time of year when TCC supports our church family with scholarships to assist with college and other post-high school educational expenses.
Please show your support for our graduating high school seniors and active college students by placing your tax-deductible gift into the Scholarship Fund offering envelope.
The Scholarship applications are available in the Church office.
You may send it to the Financial Secretary at the church office, or place it in the offering plate on any Sunday by May 13th.
Thank you so much!!
Scarred and Hungry| Rev. Dr. Norm Bendroth.
Last Sunday in worship we looked at doubting Thomas, who always gets a bad rap for wanting to see Jesus and his scars before he would believe he had risen. A week later Jesus accommodated him and the first thing he did was show Thomas his scars. He didn’t berate or belittle him, he did as Thomas had asked.
You see, Thomas wanted to know if Jesus was real by his scars. The Resurrection doesn’t erase wounds or scars; they show us Jesus was one of us, one who knows pain, hurt and loss, but works through it and overcomes it.
In Luke 24:36-48, another one of Luke’s post-Resurrection stories (Read it. It’s really good!), Jesus shows up again, only this time in a room where the disciples were closeted away out of fear. Jesus’ first greeting is “Peace be with you”. He scared them out of their wits for they thought he was a ghost. Then he did the same thing with them as he did with Thomas. He said “look at my hands and feet, see if I’m real, ghosts don’t have flesh and bone”. We don’t usually identify someone by their hands or feet. If I’m scanning a crowd trying to find someone, I look for a familiar face. Jesus’ hands and feet bear unmistakable signs of his crucifixion, his defeat, and his vulnerability. They’re not mended and manicured; I imagine he winced when his disciples poked his fresh wounds.
Resurrection doesn’t guarantee a pain-free life, but it promises hope and power. After Dietrich Bonhoeffer died (the Lutheran pastor killed by the Nazis for opposing Hitler), a guard found a scrap of paper in his prison cell which read, “Only a suffering God can help.” Indeed, only a God who knows the human condition intimately can save us. Resurrection doesn’t simply erase death, but Christ still carries his scars as a trophy—a sign of life’s ultimate and lasting victory.
The second startling thing Jesus does in this passage is ask, “Have you got anything to eat?” The last thing you’d expect from a man who had just died and was resurrected would be this. Then they hand him a piece of broiled fish and he eats it right there in front of them. It is such a simple act, but the mood in the room shifts. As Jesus eats, he starts telling stories and explains to them the scriptures that taught that the Messiah must suffer and die and be raised. Their job was to spread the word of repentance and forgiveness and to “bear witness to these things.”
The disciples now drop their guard and drew closer and listened. Jesus was then able to “open their minds to understand,” and at the end, they are no longer frightened. Simply by expressing hunger, inviting hospitality, and accepting nourishment, Jesus turns a meal into communion. He is as human as he ever was even as he was raised from the dead.
What if practicing hospitality is practicing resurrection? What if welcoming one another as well as the stranger, “the other,” is a sign that Jesus is alive? When the disciples fed Jesus, he fed them in return. When we feed others, we feed Jesus. When the disciples chose generosity over distrust, their eyes were opened, death fled the room, and the resurrected Jesus came alive to them. And notice this. Belief didn't come first. Food did.
Scarred and hungry. This is how God comes to us. This is the resurrection. This is the Word made flesh. May we be witnesses of these things.