TCC Flash - Weekly News
But That's How It's Always Been| Rev. Baxter Chism.
MercyMe is a wonderful Christian band. Most people know their flagship song, "I Can Only Imagine", which talks about the day we are in the presence of Jesus. There is a wonderful backstory to how the song was inspired to be written. It is a story of healing and a reminder that extremely difficult situations and people in our lives can change.
Before I go into the story, let's admit it, change is something that can be difficult. Most people have a hard time with change. Even people who like a lot of change still grieve when change happens. We like change in our pocket more than change.
If we dig through the Bible, we definitely read stories about people who brought about change. So much so that they aggravated the heck out of those that really didn't see the need for anything to happen. We read stories of God intervening through imperfect people to bring change. Prophets in the Old Testament screamed for change and for people to return to God. And what about Jesus?
Churches don't like change even when they know changes are needed. And yet, within the church, there are always people who remind others that sometimes change needs to happen. It is often painful to start new ministries and processes because it's never been done that way before. It is very common for churches to debate the type of music, soft chairs in the sanctuary, use of technology, or what color of paint to use in a fellowship hall. Change is hard.
But that's how it's always been. Let's rephrase how we should look at the world and our ministry. How can God use us to bring change in the world? What are the endless possibilities?
Spiritual change can be even more difficult. In Luke 13:31-35, Jesus the change agent was really starting to get to people. Of course, the Pharisees of authority were unhappy with His challenging words. They threatened Him. "Herod wants to kill you." Jesus responded that He was going to continue doing what He was doing until it was done. No time would be wasted. Then He laments over Jerusalem. A city that has always had a hard time hearing the words of prophets and a hard time with change. Oh, how Jesus wanted to gather every one "as a hen gathers her brood under her wings"! Jesus would say they were "not willing!"
Not willing. We all have to be will to accept change.
Bart Millard is the lead singer of MercyMe. When he was younger his father physically and mentally abused him. Arthur, his father, was involved in a diesel truck accident just before Bart was born and was in a coma. When he came out of the coma, he would become easily agitated. It would cause the end of his marriage.
It wasn't until Arthur found out that he had cancer that life would get better. Bart would often find his Dad asleep with a Bible. He became involved in a church and the gospel changed him. One night Arthur shocked his son. He said to him, "Can I pray for you?" Wow! Talk about a change!
At the graveside for Arthur, his mother said to Bart, "I can only image what Bub's seeing now." Bub was Arthur's nickname. Did you hear the words "I can only imagine"? The rest is history. (If you get a chance, watch the movie about this story, "I Can Only Imagine.")
I can only imagine how you encounter change. When you encounter it, maybe imagine the endless possibilities of God. Be accepting of the pesky and annoying "prophets" that challenge you. Yes, lamenting like Jesus may happen. But many times change is for the better. Be willing to listen to God.
Board of Ministries Nominations Now Open| Christopher Jenkins.
To The Members of Tewksbury Congregational Church, greetings:
Nominations are now open for seats on the Board of Ministries for the 2019 election. Due to the recent suspension of the bylaws and a pending resignation, there are a total of five seats open for various term lengths, which will be elected on a unified ballot. Please use the form provided which is attached to the Flash article and available outside the church office to nominate yourself or another TCC member. These forms are due to the Clerk on Sunday, March 17, 2019.
Christopher Jenkins, Clerk
Attached File: 19BOM Nomination Form 2019.pdf
Pie Social & Christmas Fair 2019 Update| Carol Sturtevant.
Due to our snowy weather this past Sunday, we are using our planned alternate date and hope for a better attendance this coming Sunday. This meeting may seem early in the year, but these events take planning and organization to continue to be successful. 2018 was another success! We had quite a crowd at the Pie Social following the lighting of the town common & visits with Santa. Though our numbers were down a bit due to other activities in town, the Pie Social & Christmas Fair were again very successful, thanks to our TEAM and so many others who gave their time and talents. The team will be gathering to evaluate what worked well and changes that we may want to consider for 2019. Chairpersons take on a great responsibility, but they cannot do it without the assistance of volunteers at all levels. Your input is important to the team and we hope that others will join us for the meeting. Bring your coffee or tea with you and coffee cake will be provided.
A Wonderful Progressive Supper Experience| Sue Trepaney.
Sometimes a moment in your life should be savored forever—when you want to shelter it in your memory bank. Such a moment occurred during our Progressive Supper Saturday evening. We were gathered outside in the blackness of night prior to leaving to our second destination and given a sparkling light. Before our lights extinguished, we sang This Little Light of Mine—a wonderful tune …This Little Light of Mine, I’m gonna let it shine—and it did! Members of Friendship Circle want to thank our hosts and participants for the outpouring of support, fellowship and laughter at our annual fund-raising event. All monies earned, $420.00, were given to the mission trip organizers, providing financial assistance to the 12 students and four adults scheduled to depart this coming Summer to lend their hands to help the members of the reservation of Pine Ridge, South Dakota.
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 - A Letter to Timothy
March Sunday School Curriculum
Meet the Easter Bunny
Grade 3 Stole Making
Sunday School Teacher Directory
General Overview of Christian Education Program
Easter Flowers| Carol Sturtevant.
Easter will be here before we know it! 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, but lilies have increased $1: traditional lilies & Farolito lilies: $14 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 24th, 31st and April 7th.
Checks are made payable to Carol Sturtevant (978-851-4451). Sunday, April 7th 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.
New TCC Membership Classes in March!| Rev. Baxter Chism.
We are excited to be offering new membership classes here at our church on March 20th and March 27th. Both classes will start at 7 pm. Where we meet is dependent on how many sign up for the class. In the classes, you have the opportunity to learn about our church theology, history, and what it means to be a member of TCC. If you are not a member and would like to participate, please send an email to Mercy Delgado at (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call us during office hours (9 am to 2 pm) at 978-851-9411 to register. Registration is open until March 15th.
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.
We Need Greeters & Coffee Hour Hosts!!!| Mercy Delgado.
We need your help! Our Greeters are an integral part of welcoming members and visitors to our church each Sunday morning. Please consider volunteering to come in a little earlier on a Sunday to welcome folks to our church. It's such a gratifying feeling, with the added bonus that you get to meet and say hello to those folks worshipping with you!
How would you feel if you came down to Fellowship Hall after worship service and found there was no "coffee" during "Coffee Hour"? This has happened!
You can be part of a wonderful ministry of hospitality here at TCC with a minimal commitment. All it takes is a very little bit of time, with instructions and supplies provided by the church. If you would like to lend a hand, please contact Mercy Delgado at 978-851-9411.
Thank you for your consideration!
TCC Fosters Love!| Joanne Kenney.
I walked into church last week with sponsorship commitment for less than half of the 50 duffel bags that I had ordered for our upcoming Fostering Love event on March 24th. With only about half of the congregation in attendance, due to the wintery weather and the time change, I was still able to walk out of church that morning with all 50 bags sponsored!! What a blessing you all are! As I said when I spoke to the congregation that morning, I started to think I had been too optimisitc when I ordered so many supplies. I am glad to say you proved me wrong!
If you still need to forward a payment to me for your bag, you can find me on Sunday morning after worship, hanging out by the mission bulletin board.
Thanks, again, for your generous support of this program and for letting so many fragile children know that they matter!
TCC Scholarship| Scholarship Committee.
It's that time of year again, where our congregation has the opportunity to support our graduating high school seniors and active college students with a TCC scholarship. This is a wonderful opportunity to help support our youth as they work towards their goal of higher education knowing they have the love and support of their church home. Members of the congregation will be receiving a mailing in the next week seeking financial support for this important mission. For those interested in applying, scholarship applications can be found in the church office or on the table outside the office. Scholarships are available to active TCC youth/adults or youth of active church participants within the church family that are seeking higher education. Deadline for application submission is May 12th.
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.
Our Advent Offering in Action| Joanne Kenney.
In December, we welcomed Elizabeth Kidd, founder of Place of Promise, to introduce the congregation to their ministry, emphasizing the need for an expansion of their Kids of Promise program. The congregation heard the need and responded generously, with a donation of just under $1,500. Several congregants, with a desire to get more deeply involved, are participating in Beth's Spiritual Mentoring course, which provides critical training for on-location volunteers. Your missions committee, also moved by Beth's deeply-held faith and how beautifully it guides her life and work, voted to make Place of Promise one of our core partners, further strengthening the connection of TCC and POP.
I think you will find the attached newsletter from Beth, both interesting and informative! You may also recognize the classroom in which she is teaching at the bottom of page 2!
Attached File: 47Kids of Promise March Update.pdf
Mary/Martha Meets Friday from 7-8:30pm| Board of Deacons.
THIS Friday, March 15th, from 7-8:30pm, we will gather to discuss Chapter 11 of Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World. It is called, "Balancing Work and Worship."
As we've mentioned, this is a LOW PRESSURE devotional study. If you haven't read the chapter or even if you haven't purchased the book, you are ALWAYS WELCOME to participate in the discussion. So that we can set our space up in advance, please RSVP thru this LINK on sign-up genius, but - if you don't have a chance to RSVP - just join us!
We meet in the Parlor for fellowship and refreshments and then gather in a circle in the Sanctuary for our discussion. All are most welcome!
Thank You!!!| Annmarie Baldwin.
Words cannot express my thanks for the overwhelming support I have received from my church family for my upcoming mission trip to the Dominican Republic. All of these amazing donations are packed up, as we will leave March 23rd. I could go on forever about my experiences from these trips, but one thing I can say is that it wouldn’t have been possible without your help. I received help from so many, whether it was donations of personal items, medications, items from the Amazon wishlist or money. Please know that all of your generous donations are going to an amazing population of people that are in deep need and greatly appreciate everything we can provide.
PS: If you happened to donate supplies in the church bin and are missing a printer cartridge please email or find me as I have your package :-)
Thank you again!!!
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 is Coming!| Mercy Delgado.
Join folks for a full day of worship, workshops and networking. All are welcome! Super Saturdays are growing in popularity - REGISTER EARLY TO RESERVE YOUR SPOT!
Great Day, Great Price! Cost includes morning worship, 2 workshops, an optional lunch activity, continental breakfast, lunch, marketplace and closing worship.
Check the Massachusetts Conference UCC website for information about the different seminars and workshops being offered.
Saturday, March 16, 2019, from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm
Minnechaug Regional High School 621 Main Street Wilbraham, MA
Cost: $54 Individual $44 Groups of 5 or more who register at the same time (registrations postmarked after March 2nd will be an additional $10 per group) $64*Late Registrations (ALL registrations received after March 2nd and walk-in price) *If registration is extended beyond March 2, 2019, the price will be $64.
REGISTRATION DEADLINE: March 2, 2019
Alone in the Wilderness| Rev. Baxter Chism.
I think we have all heard the idiom "a devil of a time" during the course of life. The other day I had a devil of a time opening a window. One day I had a devil of a time getting one of my dogs to quit barking. A few months ago it seemed like everybody at our house was sick. We had a devil of a time getting well. This idiom simply means having a tough or difficult time.
Jesus had a devil of a time being tempted in the wilderness. You can read this in Luke 4:1-13. As the story goes, Jesus was in the wilderness alone for 40 days when the devil showed up to start the tempting. The Holy Spirit had led Jesus to the wilderness and He had nothing to eat. The devil tempted Him with food first, the kingdoms of the world second, and even the feat of jumping off the highest point of the temple and throwing Himself to the ground and being saved by angels.
Jesus resisted all these temptations.
I pray for people having a devil of a time alone in a "wilderness." So many things can happen when we feel alone. Bad decisions can happen. We might feel others don't love us. Maybe we are alone in our thoughts and overthink things that are not true about ourselves and others. A big cause of loneliness is when a trust is broken. There are a lot of ways we can find ourselves in the wilderness.
The good news is we do not have to be alone. There is a constant theme in the Bible about living in community with one another. God sends people to walk with us in life. Yes, we all have families biological and sometimes adoptive. Then there are our nearest and dearest friends who we can trust and are there for us during the joys and pains of life. The deepest part of any relationship is built on the beautiful gift of trust.
Above all things, Jesus trusted God in heaven. What a strong relationship it was! Jesus, in the midst of the devil of a time He was having, trusted God in the wilderness. Although alone and tempted, He was able to stay the course because of the beauty of that relationship.
I don't know if this is on your list to do this Season of Lent, but maybe trust is one of them. If you are in the wilderness, I hope you feel the Spirit building trust in your soul. For those of you who have a high level of trust, share with a disciple how you got there so that person can one day soon leave his or her wilderness.
Let us grow together in our trust of God this Lenten Season.
New UCC Events| Association Registrar.
Thursday – March 28, 2019, at 6:30 PM
“Ale With The ACM”
Oak & Iron Brewing Company at 18 Red Spring Road in Andover
Sunday – March 31, 2019, at 3:00 PM
Service of Installation for Rev. Seth Robinson First Congregational Church of Billerica
Clergy and delegates encouraged to attend; all are welcome.
Sunday – April 7, 2019, at 3:00 PM
Service of Installation for Rev. Fred Meade
Second Congregational Church of Beverly
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.
CONFERENCE AND NATIONAL EVENTS
Saturday – March 16, 2019, at 8:00 AM
Super Saturday - Minnechaug Regional High School in Wilbraham
Saturday – March 16, 2019, at 9:30 AM
Active Shooter Training at 2CC-Beverly
Registration: $20 at https://www.macucc.org/eventdetail/12287184
LOCAL CHURCH PUBLIC EVENTS
Friday – March 15, 2019, at 7:00 PM
Free Community St. Patrick’s Day Dance at FCC-Billerica
Saturday – March 16, 2019, at 1:00 PM
Irish Singalong at Trinity Congregational Church (Gloucester)
Tickets: $8, by calling 978-277-8447
Saturday – March 16, 2019, at 5:00 PM
Corned Beef & Cabbage Supper at West Parish Church (Andover)
Tickets: $15 for adults, $10 for children 12 and under (to benefit Lawrence Boys & Girls Clubs)
Saturday – March 16, 2019, at 7:00 PM
Along the Way Coffeehouse at First Church in Ipswich
Celtic Nights with Michael O’Leary and Friends
Tickets: $10, available at the door
Friday – March 22, 2019, at 5:00 PM
Ham & Bean Supper at CCU-Dracut
Free will donation to benefit the American Liver Foundation
Saturday – March 23, 2019; 8:00 AM-12:00 Noon
Rummage Sale at Forest Street Union Church (Methuen)
Saturday – March 23, 2019; 9:00 AM-2:00 PM
Flea Market and Bake Sale at Nahant Village Church
Saturday – March 23, 2019; 9:00 AM-2:00 PM
Bookworm Café at FCC-Rowley
Saturday – March 23, 2019, at 5:00 PM
Roast Pork Supper at 2CC-Beverly
Tickets: $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, $3.50 for children
Sunday – March 24, 2019, at 1:30 PM
375th Anniversary Celebration at First Church in Wenham
Guest Speaker: Rev. Dr. Traci Blackmon (who will also preach during AM worship)
Sunday – March 24, 2019, at 3:00 PM
Organ Concert at South Church in Andover
Suggested donations: $10-$15