TCC Flash - Weekly News
Serving Others. Serving God.| Rev. Baxter Chism.
Please read Luke 22:7-13 in your Bible, your Bible app, or biblegateway.com. I like the New Revised Standard Version, the New International Version, and the Common English Bible.
I write this on Ash Wednesday. The beginning of the Lenten Season is today. Many of you will come to our Ash Wednesday Service and make to commit to the Lenten Discipline. We all follow Jesus to the cross again.
This coming Sunday I will begin a sermon series based on the last 24 hours of Jesus' life. I thank God for the inspiration he gave Rev. Adam Hamilton to write about the topic. We will be discussing his book, 24 Hours That Changed the World, starting March 4th at 6 pm. I hope you can attend!
Rev. Hamilton also wrote a 40-day devotional that we can read during Lent. We have a limited amount in the office if you are interested in having one. I want to share my thoughts on the very first devotional offered in the book. It is about The Last Supper and service.
I think most of us are biblically savvy enough to know that The Last Supper occurred in what we call the Upper Room. It is a special place in Christian lore because it was the place that we credit for the origination of the Sacrament of Holy Communion. It was also the place where Jesus broke bread and shared fellowship with those closest to Him one last time before His death and resurrection.
Rev. Hamilton shares an interesting perspective on Jesus sending Peter and John to get the supplies for the meal, securing the room where they would meet. He called the assignment a "mundane task."
Let me say I love preparing for meals. However, I probably wouldn't like trying to secure a room. That sounds kind of boring and mundane. At least part of it I sort of understand.
I'm guessing Rev. Hamilton is coming from the standpoint that Peter and John thought of themselves as pretty high up on the Jesus totem pole. Maybe they thought that He would have sent some of the lesser Disciples who are mentioned less in the Gospels. Guess not, right?
Rev. Hamilton shares a story about a man who started his own company and had done a lot in life. The executive's pastor suggested that he go to a homeless shelter and serve others by making sandwiches. He didn't like the idea but did follow the advice of his pastor. Begrudgingly he would go to the shelter not to disappoint his pastor.
Acts of service have been known to change the hearts and minds of people. The executive would find that serving others helped him confront his pride and that feeling of "I'm somebody" as compared to others. He became his own outreach ministry, inviting his family, friends, and company employees to participate. Pride was replaced with humility.
We often think that what we do for the people we serve changes them. That may be true, but it changes us more. We become more like Christ. When we read the words spoken by Jesus in the Gospels, He teaches and emphasizes service.
Maybe that was the message Jesus was trying to teach Peter and John that day. We all want the biggest moments to serve God. Sometimes we want the service opportunities that are the most convenient. But I got this overwhelming feeling that the "mundane" ways to serve are just as important to Jesus.
I hope and pray we all have a "mundane" and inconvenient Lenten Season.
Women's Evening Group Update| Mary Lou Adams.
The Women’s Evening Group will not meet during the month of March. Instead, we will join the Deacons during their Lenten study and supper on Wednesday evenings.
Lenten News| Board of Deacons.
Walk with Jesus on his final day.
Sit beside Him at the Last Supper.
Pray with him in Gethsemane.
Follow him to the Cross.
Desert Him. Deny Him.
Please join us for a light supper and video discussion every Wednesday during Lent.
WHO: All who want to walk with Jesus
WHAT: Lent book series “24 Hours That Changed the World” by Adam Hamilton
WHEN: Wednesday, March 4, 11, 18, 25, April 1 and 15 (note there is no gathering during Holy Week), from 6-8 pm.
WHERE: The Vestry at TCC
WHY: To join in fellowship with others who want to walk with Jesus and learn about Jesus' last 24 hours
“The aim of the book is to help you better understand the events that occurred during the last 24 hours to Jesus’ life, see more clearly the theological significance of Christ’s suffering and death, and reflect upon the meaning of these events for your life. To do this, we will look at the geographical and historical settings of the events of that fateful day; reflect theologically of Jesus’ death; and ultimately, look to see ourselves in the story, considering how we are like Pilate or Peter, Judas or John.
Please let a Deacon or the Church office (978-851-9411) know if interested, so we have enough materials for all.
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 12 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 Sweet Cases 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 Fostering Love event on Sunday, March 15th from 3 to 5:00 pm. I have ordered 50 bags and am currently seeking 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 until all bags have been sponsored.
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 Lesson - Forgiveness
Overview of March\'s Curriculum
Meet The Easter Bunny - March 29th
Youth Group Dates to Remember
Information Regarding Snow Cancellations or Delays
General Overview of Christian Education Program
Pie Social & Christmas Fair 2020 Meeting| Carol Sturtevant.
When & Where: Sunday, March 1st, 2020, in the Vestry after worship
All are welcome!!!
Greetings to all! This may seem early, but events like the Pie Social and Christmas Fair take planning and organization to continue to be successful. The team will be gathering to evaluate what worked well and the changes we may want to consider for 2020.
Chairpersons take on a great responsibility, but they cannot do it without the assistance of volunteers at all levels. Your input is very important to the team and we hope you will join us for the meeting. Bring your coffee with you and we'll provide a snack. If the weather is a problem on March 1st, we will meet the following Sunday, March 8th, same time, same place.
ACTS Retreats for Men & Women in March!| Mike Wildeman.
When: March 12-15, 2020-Men's Retreat March 26-29, 2020-Women's Retreat
You are invited to participate in a spiritually uplifting weekend. Set aside some time for God and yourself. Get away from your usual busy schedule by joining others like yourself, wise enough to seek His answers to life, family, and eternity. ACTS is an acronym for Adoration, Community, Theology, and Service. This weekend is an opportunity to strengthen your faith, renew yourself spiritually, and establish friendships with some other great believers.
All Christians age 21 and older are encouraged to attend. Applications are available right outside the church office. For more information, please contact Mike Wildeman at 508-341-3193, or email him at email@example.com.
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.
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!
Super Saturday Registration Now Open!| Mercy Delgado.
Super Saturday is a collaborative effort of the Southern New England Conference, UCC, with presenters and attendees from different states and denominations.
There will be a full day of workshops, forums, networking, worship and marketplace.
Super Saturday Registration is now open - March 14th, 2020
When: Saturday, March 14th, 2020, at 8:00 AM to 3:45 PM
Where: Minnechaug Regional High School, 621 Main Street, Wilbraham, MA 01095
Meet the Featured Speaker - Rabbi Elan Babchuck. Rabbi Babchuck is Founding Director of GLEAN Network, an incubator and network for faith leaders who seek to reimagine the role of religion in an ever-changing world yearning for meaning, belonging, and justice. He serves as the Director of Innovation at CLAL, a think-tank focused on the future of faith in America.
All Super Saturday participants are asked to bring food donations to Super Saturday. During times of need, donations of food can make a huge difference. Food Donations -no expired items - that are especially needed are: Peanut Butter, Instant Potatoes, Cereal (hot and/or cold), Pasta and Sauce, Tuna, Hearty Soups, Beef Stew, Corned Beef Hash, Chicken, and Fruit. Please bring a food donation and/or a check for a monetary donation to the Community Survival Center (payable to “Community Survival Center”).
Prayer Team Invitation| Rev. Baxter Chism.
You are invited to join me on the second Sunday of every month to pray for God's guidance and our church. We will meet in my office for about an hour or maybe the Parlor. Every team meeting will begin at 8 am. The next meeting will be on March 8th.
Finding Out More| Rev. Baxter Chism.
Transfiguration Sunday is here once more. In our UCC tradition, we also refer to this Sunday as "Dazzling Reign", referring to the dazzling white glow that surrounded Jesus. We end the season after the Epiphany and will start the Lenten Season on Ash Wednesday, February 26th. The Lenten Season is the forty days, not including Sundays, that we journey once more with Jesus to the cross in profound introspection. Once more we also explore our discipleship and take stock in our journey with God.
One of the meanings of Epiphany is to remind us who Jesus is. Also, the season may bring to us new revelations about Jesus we may not have known. I heard another pastor describe epiphanies as God throwing imaginary darts at us. So when one hits us we realize God has revealed something new to our soul about our Savior.
Building off of Epiphany, we enter Lent, which is always a time for us to grow spiritually. Now that we were reminded and maybe learned something new about Jesus, it is time to take that knowledge and really consider if we are becoming more like Him. I challenge all of you to do this. We are sanctified in God's grace when we seek to be more like Christ. He came to show us the way. Along the way, we find out more.
The commonality between the two seasons is that we are finding out more. We are finding out more about Christ and in turn, find out more about ourselves. To me the two are interchangeable. When we find out more about ourselves, maybe we learn where we are more like Christ and where not. Finding out more about Christ shows us the way.
This Sunday I will tell the story of The Transfiguration from Matthew 17:1-9. Summarizing the story, Jesus took Peter along with James and his brother and "led them up a high mountain." When they got there Jesus was transfigured into a "dazzling white" and Moses and Elijah appeared. A voice came from the heavens above and the disciples heard "This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!"
Peter wanted to build three dwellings representing Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. He wanted to stay there. Like Peter, we often want to stay in those "mountain top" experiences because they are so special. Yet they would leave the mountain somewhere in Galilee to continue to follow and be taught by Jesus.
In Matthew 17:7, we learn that Jesus touched each disciple and said, "Get up and do not be afraid." They couldn't stay. More needed to be revealed. More needed to be done. They were not in Jerusalem yet for The Passover. They would need to go. The disciples there and the others would need to be transfigured into something new so that their ministry would flourish.
It is the same for us. We keep following and learning and finding out more. God transfigures us as we grow and become more like Christ. It is like our UCC slogan..."God is still speaking,". Notice the comma. After the comma, we are finding out more. What is God saying to you?
You are all invited to our Lenten Bible discussion beginning on Wednesday, March 4th. Please read your bulletin for the details of the study. We will discuss and study God's Word based on the book, "24 Hours That Changed the World" by Rev. Adam Hamilton. There will be a sermon series to go with the book during all the Sundays in Lent.
Please come and learn more about Jesus. Maybe God will speak something new to you as we learn together. Come to find out more about our Savior. It is possible that your hearts and minds will be transfigured furthermore.
UCC Happenings for 2020| Christopher Jenkins.
This past weeks we learned that our Associate Conference Minister Rev. Wendy Vander Hart has accepted a position in Minnesota. We will gather for a time of celebration and farewell later in March. You can read her letter on https://www.sneucc.org/newsdetail/13252176.
Sunday – March 22, 2020, at 5:30 PM
Celebration of Ministry for Rev. Wendy Vander Hart
First Congregational Church of Winchester
LOCAL CHURCH PUBLIC EVENTS
Friday – February 28, 2020, at 7:30 PM
Old Sloop Coffeehouse at FCC-Rockport
RUNA - https://oldsloopcoffeehouse.org/concert/runa-2020
Saturday – March 7, 2020, at 8:00 PM
Belleville Roots Concert Series: Realta
Belleville Congregational Church (Newburyport)
Saturday – March 14, 2020, at 8:00 AM
Pancake Breakfast at FCC-Rowley
Tickets: $8 for adults, $6 for children and seniors
Saturday – March 21, 2020, at 7:30 PM
Old Sloop Coffeehouse at FCC-Rockport
Martyn Joseph with opener Antje Duvekot