TCC Flash - Weekly News
Wait! What Did He Say?| Rev. Baxter Chism.
"The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings." - Luke 16:8-9
Sometimes life brings us a paradox or two. If you look up the word "paradox" in the dictionary it will say, "a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well-founded or true."
Every day we humans find ways to admire people that are very talented yet very flawed in many ways. There are several people I know in life that have chapped me the wrong way yet I admire them still. Why? It is apparent that the person has great qualities which are misused from time to time.
Jesus would often use hyperbole when making a point. Luke 16:1-3 is a parable about a manager who was about to lose his job. Apparently the gentleman was not using his possessions wisely and was about to be fired by the "rich man." The manager feared that he would one day end up with a job requiring intense labor, so he devised a plan to maybe get a better job in the future. He started cutting the debts of his clients, hoping that one day they world "invite" him into their homes.
Here is where the paradox comes into play. Jesus goes on to say that the rich man admired the manager for his shrewdness. I guess you find good in any situation. And now as I go further, this is where the hyperbole comes to us from Jesus.
Shrewd people are very smart. They are known for making decisions that are practical and extremely intelligent at the same time. The problem is that they can use this gift to manipulate people and situations. It really is a gift that has to be tempered with grace.
I think we all know at least one shrewd person. There is a gentleman I know who is very shrewd and multi-talented. He is admired and disliked by many people. His "sway" has been used to influence people in his work environment and politics. That "sway" I speak of has helped many. But it has also hurt and angered many.
Jesus does two things in this parable. He applauds the manager for his shrewdness. Also, Jesus connects the use of money and wealth. At the very end of the parable in Verse 13, Jesus says, "You cannot serve both God and money." Hence, the manager makes decisions with money, not only to help himself but to actually help others in a positive way. What a paradox and a hyperbole used by Jesus!
I think the point is that we should use any talent (or gift) God gives us to help others. When we use that talent to only help ourselves we are failing. So if you are a shrewd person, use it to glorify God and not yourself. You can't serve yourself first before God.
That shrewd person I told you about above still goes about in shrewdness. I will say that for the most part, he uses his gift to glorify God. The battle still continues because I hear he uses that "sway" maybe in the wrong way. Probably many of us have that same battle when we use our talents.
John Wesley, the Protestant reformer and Wesleyan, lived by three rules. Do no harm, do good, and stay in love with God. So I guess if you use these rules and are a shrewd person it could keep you out of trouble. I think they are rules we could all live by in life.
Good luck to shrewd people everywhere! I'm thankful for your gift. Also, I keep a wary eye open toward you.
Pie Social & Christmas Fair Meeting October 6th!| Carol Sturtevant.
This is our final meeting to prepare and finalize our plans for these upcoming events. Our March meeting was very successful, with an attendance of 15. Many things were discussed and we have made a few changes and suggestions in creating a welcoming environment and possible opportunities, helping the elderly attend the Pie Social.
The table chairpersons will be gathering in the Vestry after worship on October 6th. Anyone interested in learning more about these events is welcome to join us. Please bring your coffee or tea with you and a “treat” will be provided as we finalize our plans these events.
Please join us!
Christmas Fair Needs You!!!| Christmas Fair Committee.
After many years of faithful service, Cathie Seaman has stepped down as Chair of the Gently Used Toys booth at our annual Church Fair. Children attending our Fair and their parents enjoy poking around in the Toy Room looking for treasures. The ideal person to take over the responsibilities for managing the toys should enjoy sorting! Gently used toys are donated by parents at TCC and Green Meadows, the private nursery school renting from TCC. Setting up the space to encourage small hands to seek and find a ‘new’ toy to them would be another opportunity for someone who loves order to help in managing the Gently Used Toys.
Most of the toys are sold for under $4, so there’s not much math involved in pricing! We are looking for someone who enjoys the smiles of children and happy adults, knowing they purchased a gently used toy from our wonderful Fair.
If we are going to continue with Used Toys we would need a chairperson & an assistant. Please contact Carol Sturtevant by phone (978-851-4451) or email: email@example.com if you are interested in chairing this popular room.
Shop and Smile as you support TCC| Debbie Adams.
Amazon has a shopping program that benefits non-profits and the Tewksbury Congregational Church is now registered! It's called Amazon Smile and will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to our church. AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know, same products, same prices, same service. You are able to support TCC with your AmazonSmile purchases for no extra cost to you! Feel free to share this info with your friends and family, too.
Simply visit smile.amazon.com and enter "Tewksbury Congregational Church" as the charity you wish to support. For TCC to get credit, all your purchases must be made through the 'smile.amazon.com' site...so be sure to bookmark it to make future purchases easier;-)
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 - Joseph and his Dreams
New: High School Curriculum
September\'s High School Curriculum
Youth Mission Trip Info Meeting
Fire Drill Coming
TCC\'s Mission Trip to South Dakota Video
Register For CE Morning Programming
September Overview for Pre K - Grade 6
General Overview of Christian Education Program
Thank you Sunday School Teachers!
Soul Sisters Signups Happening September 29th!| Pam Dooley.
All women of our congregation are invited to sign up for Soul Sisters (formerly known as Secret Sisters) on September 29th after service. Fill out a form about yourself and the following week you’ll pick a completed form from a sister in our church. You can then pray for them, send cards or small gifts and do what you can to add some cheer to their life. This year we’ll also have planned events throughout the time of Soul Sisters that you can choose to attend or not and in the Spring we’ll invite all Soul Sisters to a gathering to find out who your Soul Sister was and reveal who you had!
UCC Happenings| Christopher Jenkins.
After a summer hiatus, it's time to get a jump on the new program year. As you can see below, our churches have many events planned, including about a dozen on September 21st alone! Some events listed for later in the fall will have additional details in later issues. If a link is provided for an event please be sure to follow it for complete information.
Please feel free to circulate this and other editions among church members. Registrations for Super Saturday and Annual Meeting are both now open. Over the summer General Synod approved the merger of the Southern New England Conferences.
Sunday – September 29, 2019, at 3:00 PM
Service of Installation for Rev. Megan Snell
Nahant Village Church
Clergy and delegates encouraged to attend; all are welcome.
LOCAL CHURCH PUBLIC EVENTS
Friday – September 20, 2019; 4:00-9:00 PM &
Saturday – September 21, 2019; 1:00-6:00 PM
Art Show at CCU-Dracut
Saturday – September 21, 2019; 9:00 AM-2:00 PM
Fall Flea Market at Nahant Village Church
Saturday – September 21, 2019, at 9:30 AM
Active Shooter Training at 2CC-Beverly
Saturday – September 21, 2019, at 10:00 AM
Fall Historic Walk at West Parish (Andover) Garden Cemetery
Saturday – September 21, 2019; 11:00 AM-4:00 PM
Art & Antiques Appraisal at FPC-Newbury
Saturday – September 21, 2019, at 4:00 PM
“In Search of Marcel Proust II”
Mistral Music Concert at West Parish Church (Andover)
Info and Tickets at http://www.mistralmusic.org/order-tickets/
Saturday – September 21, 2019, at 4:30 PM
Reading by author Jerry Thornton at CCU-Dracut
Saturday – September 21, 2019, at 5:00 PM
Spaghetti Supper at 2CC-Beverly
Tickets: $7 for adults; $6 for seniors; $3.50 for children
Saturday – September 21, 2019, at 5:00 PM
New England Boiled Dinner at FCC-Billerica
Tickets: $10 for adults; $6 for children
Saturday – September 21, 2019, at 6:30 PM
Chocolate Fair at West Parish Church (Andover)
Info and Tickets at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/10th-annual-chocolate-fair-tickets-70561520407
Saturday – September 21, 2019, at 7:00 PM
Spanish and Flamenco Concert at CCU-Dracut
Saturday – September 21, 2019, at 7:30 PM
Sweet Maple Coffeehouse with folk artist Bill Staines
Maple Street Congregational Church (Danvers)
Sunday – September 22, 2019; 11:00 AM-2:00 PM
Neighborhood Block Party at CCU-Dracut
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!
We Still Need a New Cherub Director!| Mercy Delgado.
Marilyn San Clemente has done a fabulous job as Interim Director of the Cherub Choir (K-3rd grade) this past year, but alas, a new Sunday School year is about to begin! We need someone to volunteer to work with these talented young singers – piano skills are very helpful (at least to play the melody line), but not essential, as Lucinda will play for the performance and final rehearsals.
This iconic church post just requires a love of music and children. Lucinda and others in the Music Ministry are on hand to train, support, and help out in any way possible.
We need volunteers! If you want to get involved with the Music Ministry and love to work with kids, this is a great opportunity for you. Some music skills, as well as skill working with children, are needed. We will provide an accompanist.
Please prayerfully consider volunteering for this worthwhile ministry, one that is such an integral part of our TCC worship service!
Grateful and Humble| Rev. Baxter Chism.
"I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord..." - 1 Timothy 1:1
If you ever feel like you are not good enough for anything, you should crack open the Bible. It is full of stories about people called to serve God who were imperfect.
1 Timothy in the New Testament is known as a pastoral epistle. Many scholars believe this is a direct dialogue between the Apostle Paul and a young pastor known as Timothy. Paul very much is mentoring Timothy by giving him ministerial advice. He is also encouraging him because ministry is challenging.
In 1 Timothy 1:12-17, I think we get a good look at an important part of our lives as followers. We get a glimpse at repentance for Paul. In this passage, Paul talks about some of his shortcomings before Jesus came to him on Damascus Road (Acts 9) and he had his conversion experience. He shares that he used to blaspheme God, persecuted others who followed Christ and was a person of violence.
That is quite the resumé if you think about it. Yet God calls him.
Again, if you ever think you are not good enough, then crack that Bible open and read about Paul.
I love the beginning of this passage. Paul said he is filled with gratefulness. There is a lot of gratefulness because Paul was in a different place in life. Paul had become a person who lived out his repentance by boldly proclaiming Christ to the world.
Paul's testimony is a summarized autobiography of his life and how it had changed. He goes on to say that "Christ came into the world to save sinners" and then goes a little further. He would say that he was the "foremost" of all sinners. There is a lot of humility in that statement. He is saying that he was not better than all the people the world looked down upon for whatever reason.
So when we combine gratefulness to God with humility we definitely have a winning combination. You have a person who has put God first and never forgets it.
May we all celebrate Christ in our lives with gratefulness. And let us share our gratefulness with a heaping bowl of humility.
That would be something great on a resumé.