TCC Flash - Weekly News
Seeing Through Easter| Rev. Baxter Chism.
The Gospel John 20:1-18 says "it was still dark" that first Easter morning of history. Just three days earlier, Jesus had died on the cross. Of course it was "still dark." Nobody knew the tomb was empty yet.
Do you enjoy a great sunrise? One of my favorite places to see a good sunrise is St. George Island in Florida. Yes, it is a struggle to get up early to see, but when you do, you see a great miracle of God. The sun comes up out of the water and begins to paint the landscape. Darkness disappears quickly.
"Dark" always sticks in my mind when I think of the John passage. Rev. Debie Thomas reminded me in her devotional, I Have Seen the Lord, that John's account of the Resurrection is that Easter started in the dark. She goes on to say that Easter began with "fear, bewilderment, pain, and a profound loss of certainty." Most of us like to jump to the happier parts of Easter.
Mary Magdalene would go to the tomb that first Easter morning in the dark. Yet when she got there, the stone was rolled back and she thought that Jesus had been taken away. She runs to tell Simon Peter and the other disciples and they run to the tomb. They found it empty too.
Then things really get interesting. Two angels visit Mary as she was crying outside the tomb. They console her as she cries and then Jesus shows up. Mary thought He was the gardener. But after Jesus says her name she finally realizes that it was Him! And just like a sunrise changes the landscape, so did Mary's reality. It would not be a reality of fear, pain, or loss. Mary would see the world in a new way.
When I think of Resurrection Sunday I think of something that can never be taken from us: Hope. People who see the world through Easter don't focus on what could have been, they focus on the endless possibilities through God. For us, we do not have to stay in a mindset of loss, death, and defeat. We know that because of Christ anything is possible. We see the world differently.
Henri Nouwen saw the world through Easter. These words of his I would like to share:
"When everything is dark, when we are surrounded by despairing voices, when we do not see any exits, then we can find salvation in a remembered love, a love which is not simply a recollection of a bygone past but a living force which sustains us in the present. Through memory, love transcends the limits of time and offers hope at any moment of our lives."
The first Easter morning story "transcends the limits of time" and offers us perpetual hope and love. It is not just a day in history but is the cornerstone of a Christian's faith. It is the unbridled hope that through the "dark" moments of life that resurrection can occur. We see the world with hope and always believe that something good could happen.
Maybe in the future, if you find yourself in a dark place, remember that Easter started in the dark. I will pray that you and I look at our life and world through Easter. Like a sunrise, may Easter continue our lives in the beautiful light of God. For the tomb was empty that day and so is ours!
He is Risen!
Come Join the Secret Sisters on April 28th!| Trish Keddie.
Calling all Secret Sisters to attend the Secret Sister reveal. On April 28th, we will once again host the Secret Sister Tea at 11:00 am in the Vestry. At that time you will find out who your Secret Sister is! Tea and light refreshments will be served. If you cannot attend please contact Trisha Keddie @ 978-677-6013. Thank you to everyone who's participated!
See you soon!
A Heartfelt Thank You!| Carol Sturtevant.
Thank you to everyone who placed an order for Easter Flowers! The Sanctuary will be beautiful on Easter Sunday, dressed up with the finery of this Holy Season.
You can check the sign that will be posted right outside the church office door to make sure you pick up the correct plant(s) after Easter worship services.
Plants should be picked up right after the last Easter worship service (which begins at 11:00 am) or during regular church office hours, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm, the week after Easter.
Update From Trustees| Trustees.
Trustees have created access codes for the side entrance doors. Communication to those who requested codes have been or will be notified by email, text or in person. Anyone who has yet to receive an access code will need to send an email to Trustees: (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org), as well as the Church Secretary (email@example.com).
Note: the existing side entrance key may continue to be used for internal door access purposes within the church. If there are any questions, please reach out to any one of the Trustees (Ken Ramsdell, Stephen Raso, Jim Keddie and/or Dana LaPointe).
Thank you for your continued patience with this important update to the safety and security of our church!
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: Doubting Thomas
Overview of April\'s Curriculum
Summer Nursery Staff Needed
Youth Artists Wanted
Sunday School Teacher Directory
General Overview of Christian Education Program
We need your Time & Talents| Time & Talents Committee.
The Time & Talents Committee is busy working to support our Boards, Committees, Staff, and Officers. While not everyone has time to serve in an official role, most of us can find an hour or two occassionally to help out with a specific event. You are invited to fill out the TCC Time & Talents Survey, where you can indicate your willingness to provide a skill or service to one of our Boards or Committees. By filling it out, you are not obligating yourself to any specific task, just indicating that you are willing to take an email or phone call when someone is looking for some quick help with something specific. Please take this opportunity to share your gifts with 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!
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.
A Parade to Remember| Rev. Baxter Chism.
I love parades. Parades bring a community or communities together. Here in our country and around the world, there are many reasons for a good parade. Maybe a holiday or festival is being celebrated. Sometimes the parade is to remember a life-changing event in a country. Regardless of the relevance, parades bring people together.
We love parades in Massachusetts. Don't you love it when Boston breaks out the duck boats to celebrate another championship of one of our pro teams? Our towns and cities have special and unique parades as well. There is something special about a good parade.
Imagine being in Jerusalem with over two million people back when Jesus entered the city the last week of his life. The Festival of Passover was in full effect and people were there from all over. If it wasn't the devout Jews practicing their religion and being freed from Egypt, it was people from all over admiring the confluence of critical mass at a gigantic festival.
Other people of prominence were entering Jerusalem. People lined up on the parade routes to greet them as they entered the city. The parade was different for Jesus. They shouted "Hosanna" because they wanted to be saved. Maybe they were thinking Jesus was the real deal and the Messiah had finally come. His popularity had grown and they had heard the words he said and the miracles that had occurred. And here he comes riding on a colt of all things, a prophecy fulfilled found in Zechariah 9:9. What a parade it must have been!
The cheers, however, will turn to jeers. They lined the parade route because they thought Jesus was going to be this kind of king but to get something different. The hosannas would turn to "Crucify him!" A parade that started one way would change.
So here we are entering Holy Week once more. We will remember the last week that Jesus lived. Here we are on the parade route once more. This parade leads us to the cross. But let me remind you that Easter is coming. To get there, we have to remember first. We have to go through the cross to get to the empty tomb.
Luke 19:28-40 tells the story of what we call Palm Sunday. Crack open your Bibles and start reading. But keep reading to the very end of Luke. You read how the parade continues on in a different way. Then turn to the Book of Acts and keep reading. The parade would continue to change.
What's my point?
The parade continues today. Palm Sunday continues to echo throughout history. We continue to live in the passion of that week that Christ had for all people. The celebrations and reason he entered Jerusalem continue through you and me. And because of the empty tomb we will celebrate on Easter Day, did the parade truly end?
No. It continues.
New UCC Events| Association Registrar.
Wednesday – April 24, 2019, at 9:30 AM
Northeast Association Women’s Fellowship Spring Meeting
Groveland Congregational Church
Keynote Speaker: Tessa Sydnor of Teach Beyond Registration: $7; Call church at 978-372-3463 by 4/18.
Thursday – April 25, 2019, at 8:30 AM
Northeast Association Clergy Day of Covenant
First Congregational Church of Georgetown
Sunday – May 5, 2019, at 3:00 PM
Service of Installation for Rev. Judy Proctor
First Church in Wenham
Clergy and delegates encouraged to attend; all are welcome.
Saturday – May 11, 2019, at 8:30 AM
5th Annual Meeting of the Northeast Association
Phoenix Rising UCC In Lawrence
Clergy and delegates encouraged to attend; all are welcome.
LOCAL CHURCH PUBLIC EVENTS
Saturday – April 20, 2019, at 10:00 AM
Easter Egg Hunt at CCU-Dracut
Sunday – April 21, 2019, at 2:00 PM
Community Easter Dinner at The Congregational Church of Topsfield
RSVP by calling the church.
Tuesday – April 23, 2019, at 7:00 PM
Earth Day Documentary at First Church in Wenham
Saturday – April 27, 2019, at 7:30 PM
An Evening of Scottish and Irish Music
Tabernacle Congregational Church (Salem)
Suggested donations: $20 for adults, $10 for students and seniors
Proceeds benefit Healing Abuse, Working for Change
Saturday – April 28, 2019, at 3:00 PM
“The Genius of Marian” screening at 2CC-Beverly
Featured Speaker: Susan Doughty
Sunday – April 28, 2019, at 4:00 PM
Hebrew Lord’s Prayer Experience
South Church in Andover
Friday – May 3, 2019, at 8:00 AM
Community Breakfast at Nahant Village Church
Saturday – May 4, 2019, at 10:00 AM
Mental Health Conversation at The Congregational Church of Topsfield
Saturday – May 4, 2019, at 7:00 PM
Coffeehouse featuring The Leeward Rail Band at FCC-Rowley
Tickets: $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $5 for ages 12 and under
Saturday – May 4, 2019, at 7:30 PM
Old Sloop Coffeehouse at FCC-Rockport
The Honey Dewdrops with openers Mark Mandeville and Raianne Richards
Info and tickets at https://oldsloopcoffeehouse.org/concert/honey-dewdrops-2019
Saturday – May 4, 2019, at 8:00 PM
Sunday – May 5, 2019, at 4:00 PM
Newburyport Choral Society Spring Concert
Belleville Congregational Church (Newburyport)
Tickets: $22 for adults, $20 for students and seniors at www.newburyportchoralsociety.org