TCC Flash - Weekly News
Servant Leadership| Rev. Dr. Norm Bendroth.
What is Servant-Leadership, and how is it different from traditional leadership? According to Robert K. Greenleaf, who coined this term, the motivation comes from a sincere desire to serve others. It's not about power, control, ego or perks. Rather, deep satisfaction comes from making a difference, developing others and building a shared vision.
Servant leadership is the kind of leadership Jesus exercised. On the eve before his crucifixion, when the disciples were gathered for the Passover meal, Jesus washed their feet. After they returned to the table, he instructed them, “So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. (John 13: 14-16)
We are in a time of prayerfully considering leaders for our Board of Ministries. As we do so, let us be mindful of our congregational heritage by having a balanced board that represents our congregation: men and women, longtime members and newer members, varying ages, and people with diverse skills, abilities and competencies. But more especially, let us be mindful of biblical principles of leadership.
Effective leadership starts on the inside. Real change in behavior requires a transformation of the heart. That’s where the core of who you are resides. Jesus said it’s not what enters the mouth that matters but what comes from the mouth, matters of the heart. (Matthew 15: 17-20) Jesus’ message was not only for the mind. It was directed at your heart; it was about character change, which is a lifelong process. Jesus is interested in us being different people—good and caring human beings. He said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 15: 17-20) People in leadership should be prayerful people seeking God’s face in scripture, reading, and spiritual companionship.
True leadership starts on the inside with a servant's heart, then moves outward to serve others. Our foot-washing Lord is our model for Servant-Leadership. As noted above, it was not beneath him to stoop and wash his disciples’ feet. As the Son of God, Jesus could have pulled rank on them and said, “Here, eat this! It’s good for you,” but instead he served them as part of his calling. As a servant first and a leader second, we should assume leadership only if we see it as a way in which we can serve. We are “called” to leadership, rather than driven to it because we naturally want to be helpful.
Jesus did not want his disciples to be leaders first; he wanted them to become servants first. He told them: “Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant and whoever wants to be first must be a slave to all.”
Leaders with servant's hearts have certain characteristics and values in common:
We will be committed to the mission of the church and be attentive to keeping on track.
Our paramount aim will be the best interest of those we lead, not our personal agendas.
We will gain personal satisfaction from watching the growth and development of those we lead.
We will have compassion for those we lead.
We will want to be accountable in our leadership; we will ask, “Has our/my performance met the needs of those I serve?”
We are willing to listen and learn. In fact, we will appreciate feedback and advice—any information that will help us do our job and serve others better.
We will keep our egos under control. We won’t think less of ourselves, we will just think about ourselves less. We don’t Edge God Out.
As we reflect upon who we might nominate and who would serve, my hope is that we all will keep these biblical principles in mind and prayer.
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!
Easter Will Be Here Before We Know It!| Carol Sturtevant.
As part of our celebration that Christ is risen, we add flowers to the beauty of the sanctuary for Easter Sunday. Choices of spring plants are the same as last year: traditional lilies & Farolito lilies: $13 each, tulips: $10 each, pink or white azaleas: $16 each, and blue hydrangeas: $20 each. Order forms will be available in the Sunday bulletin & during the week outside the church office. Completed order form & payment may be placed in the offering plate, in the Secretary’s box outside the church office, or mailed to TCC: 10 East Street, Tewksbury 01876. Orders will also be taken during Coffee Hour on March 4th, 11th & 18th. Checks are made payable to Carol Sturtevant (978-851-4451). Sunday, March 18th is the FINAL ordering date. We ask that flowers be taken after the 11 am service on Easter Sunday. The plants are fragile and should be picked up or delivered as soon as possible following Easter Sunday. Be sure to take the plant(s) that you ordered. Check the list on the office bulletin board if you are unsure of the kind you ordered and paid for.
Order early to secure your first choice of plants as some kinds are limited in quantity. Any questions, please feel free to call Carol Sturtevant at 978-851-4451 or cell 508-254-8873 or by email: email@example.com.
Fostering Love!| Joanne Kenney.
Together We Rise is an organization that helps support children who have been removed from their homes and put into the care of the state. One of its goals is to provide duffel bags to kids 10 and under who are taken into care and need to pack up some personal items. Oftentimes, their belongings are put into a garbage bag, for lack of anything more appropriate. Together We Rise attempts to change that for as many children as they are able by providing duffel bags (aka Sweet Cases) to these children. The bags contain a stuffed animal, a blanket, a coloring book and crayons, and a toiletry kit. More importantly, the bag is theirs to keep. Most importantly, the bag provides to a child whose world is falling apart, something to hold on to…something to call their own.
The way this Sweet Case program works is that the bags are sponsored for $25 each. Groups of sponsors then gather for fun and fellowship, to decorate the bags using fabric pastels, and to fill them with the comfort items listed above. The missions committee is sponsoring a decorating event on Sunday, March 25th from 3 to 5:00 pm. I have ordered 50 bags and am currently soliciting sponsorship of each bag. It is a fun time and a wonderful mission. Do not worry if you think you have no artistic ability. Not only do we have stencils, but polka-dots and rainbows work fine as well! If you cannot make it to the event, but would like to sponsor a bag, please do!! We will find someone to decorate your bag beautifully!
Please join in on this important event. Look for me at coffee hour in these next few weeks before the event or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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
Style Matters: How Do You Manage Conflict?| Rev. Dr. Norm Bendroth.
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 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.
These classes will begin after Easter. The dates for the classes are still being ironed out.
Please let Rev. Norm know if you're interested in attending.
Board of Ministries Nominations Due March 25th!| Church Clerk.
To the Members of Tewksbury Congregational Church, greetings:
Nominations are now open for two three-year terms and a one-year vacancy on the Board of Ministries. If there is a member of the church you would like to nominate, including yourself, please do so using the attached form and submit it to the Clerk's mailbox at the church by March 25th. The form includes all relevant dates and more information regarding qualities we are looking for in our candidates. Balloting or a special meeting will be held in April.
Christopher Jenkins, TCC Clerk
Attached File: 17BoM Nomination Form 2018-2021.pdf
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.
Easter Flowers| Carol Sturtevant.
Sunday, March 18th is the final day for ordering Easter Plants! This has been an unusual season due school vacation week AND huge snowstorms. However, Easter is in 2 weeks and presently orders are very low--- less than 25 plants out of the usual order of about 60. This variety of beautiful spring flowers dresses up our sanctuary for our Easter Services. The final order deadline is here! If you wish to order a plant(s), have questions about the plants or an alternate pickup time please see Carol during coffee hour or call Carol at 978-851-4451. Plants may be picked up following the last service on Easter Sunday or an alternate time on Monday or Tuesday. Checks are made payable to Carol Sturtevant. The plants are fragile and should be picked up or delivered as soon as possible. Be sure to take the plant(s) that you ordered. Check the list on the office door if you are unsure of the plant or color you ordered before taking your plant(s).
Easter Plants designated to be delivered to a homebound member will be delivered on Monday.
TCC Upcoming Events| Rev. Dr. Norm Bendroth.
Introducing the Old Testament. Classes began Wednesday, March 14th in the Parlor from 7- 8:30 pm. Rev. Norm is leading a survey course on the Old Testament. We will be using a workbook from the Exploring the Bible Series put out by the Mass. Bible Society. It is a six-week series that looks at the best-known stories, most influential passages, and unforgettable characters. We'll explore the primary themes and narratives, the characteristics of ancient Hebrew literature and the mindset of people in the ancient Near East, exploring both the writings themselves and the historical contexts that gave them birth. It's a fun, interactive way to learn about the Bible. The dates are 3/14, 3/21, 3/28, 4/11, 4/18 and 4/25. Even if you can't make all of the sessions, you'll find it to be a learning adventure. Please let Rev. Norm know of your intention to attend.
Healing Service. James, the brother of Jesus, instructed the early church: "14 Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up..." (James 5: 14-15)
In that spirit, during this Lenten season when we acknowledge our brokenness, the Deacons are offering a time of healing prayer during worship. On March 18th during worship, there will be two small prayer stations where anyone who wishes to can come and have the Deacons lay hands on them and pray for healing, whether it's body, mind, soul or spirit. You may wish to serve as a proxy for someone else. All prayers are held in confidence.
Holy Week Services| Board of Deacons.
Our Holy Week promises to be a time of both somber reflection and joyous celebration.
Palm Sunday, 9:30am - The service will begin with children processing in triumphantly with their palms and and concluding with a dramatic reading of the passion story according to Mark.
Maundy Thursday, 7:30pm - We will share Holy Communion and observe the historic Tenebrae service of gradually extinguishing lights until the sanctuary is darkened.
Good Friday - The sanctuary will be open from 12 noon until 7 pm with a guided prayer walk to various stations around the sanctuary as we conclude our Lenten journey.
Easter Sunrise Service will be held at 6:30am at the Tewksbury United Methodist Church with TCC and the First Baptist Church sharing. Breakfast will follow.
Easter Sunday - There will be a 9am and 11am service with a string quartet and selections from the Messiah sung at each service.
You are invited to print the attached flyer and share it as you see fit.
Attached File: 94TCCEaster2018.pdf
Healing Grace: A Service of Healing and Wholeness| Rev. Dr. Norm Bendroth.
The ministry of healing has always played a vital and central part in the life of both Israel and the Church of Jesus Christ. The world was made good, we are told in the first pages of scripture, but, alas, the wholeness of the world, its basic integrity, has been broken by sin. We learn from the outset that not only is death introduced into the world because of sin, but even the thorns and thistles that prevent us from fully enjoying the riches of the world that God has made, are the result of sin, the result of the brokenness of our world.
We also learn from the very beginning that it is God's plan is to restore to wholeness the earth and all who dwell therein - and in particular to bring the people of God, God’s dear and chosen ones, to the fullness of the joy that is possible in this world - that fullness, that wholeness, that completeness, that integrity, that wells up as abundant life here and now - and indeed forever. Sin is forgiven. Death is indeed vanquished.
One of the signs that the Messiah had arrived were miracles of healing. Jesus, quoting from the prophet Isaiah, proclaimed to his community in Capernaum, and he still proclaims to us today –that the time had arrived. Good news is proclaimed to the poor, the brokenhearted are bound up, freedom is proclaimed to the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. That eternal purpose of God was being fulfilled in their hearing. That purpose is still being fulfilled - in places like this – and among people like you and me.
There are those among us who have need of physical restoration, whose bodies are in revolt, whose bodies are imprisoned by disease, chronic pain or mental illness. They need and want a healing every hour. Healing is not the same as a cure. Healing may come in spirit, soul, mind, attitude and emotions, if not body.
There are people whose bodies are physically fine, but they are captive in their minds and hearts and souls to anxiety and fear. They are bound by a sense of despair, they mourn not simply the loss of a person dear to them, but the loss of the sense of God's care and God's goodness towards them or towards those whom they love.
There are those who are bound up by sin, their own sin and/or the sins that others have committed against them; sins that they have not been able to forgive - even though they want to, people who need to be set free, who need what we call inner healing, inner peace, inner wholeness.
On Sunday, March 18th, our Sunday morning worship will include a Time for Healing and Wholeness. After the sermon people will be invited up one at a time to join a small prayer circle with some Deacons. You will share your prayer concern in as much or as little detail as is comfortable for you. The Deacons will then lay their hands upon you, anoint you with oil if you wish, and pray for your healing.
This practice comes from the early church, where James, the brother of Jesus, gave these instructions to a church under his care:
Is any one of you in trouble? They should pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? They should call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:13)
Plan to be part of this moving service of healing and wholeness as together we see God’s word fulfilled: “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”
In healing hope,