TCC Flash - Weekly News
No More Goodbyes| Rev. Dr. Norm Bendroth.
I have a friend who is a singer/songwriter who wrote a song that has always carried deep meaning for me about goodbyes. It contains the emotions of having to say goodbye to his wife and kids whenever he had to travel for a music gig and the exquisite pain of saying goodbye to someone who has died.
Every time I leave I feel like a magician with nothing up his sleeve; a bag of tricks that no one will believe, every time I leave. I'm as clear as the rain out the window of this airplane, and I cannot disguise how I feel: oh this pain here inside's much too real. I wish there were...
Chorus: No more goodbye's, no more departures with tears in our eyes, no more broken hearts or the lonely insides, just "hello, how are ya's" and welcome back sighs, but forever no more goodbyes.
Last night I cried with a room full of friends for a friend who had died; oh we cried, we ached so inside, last night I cried. But then a love took the room and resolved all the gloom, he only has gone from this place, someday not too long we'll meet again face to face when there'll be (chorus)...
Psychologist Judith Viorst asserts that our life story is essentially one of loss. In her book Necessary Losses, she explores how our lives are shaped by the various losses we experience -- from the very first loss of our mothers' sheltering arms, to the loss of our impossible expectations, to the loss of options and muscle tone as we age, to the loss of loved ones in and out of season.
In this life we say goodbye to people and places all the time. Sometimes we say "good riddance," but more often than not they are painful goodbyes. We say goodbye to people we love because new jobs and possibilities call them away from us. We say goodbye to relationships that are sometimes ruptured because of harsh words and misunderstandings. We say goodbye to children who grow up and leave homes stone-still quiet and empty that were once filled with laughter and energy. We say goodbye to youthfulness and idealism when gravity, disease, and cynicism wear them away. We say goodbye to common sights, smells, sounds, and routines whenever we move on in life.
This Sunday we will be saying “goodbye” as pastor and people. Even though it has been an interim time and we have known that eventually, the relationship would come to an end, it will be hard because we have thrown our lot in together for these past two and a half years. I have felt your pain, shared your laughter, carried your anxiety, heard your stories, and rejoiced in your joys. I have been immersed in your life and you in mine. That separation does not happen lightly or easily.
As Christians we remember that our God is not a stranger to goodbyes. We do not have an unmoved mover standing back from the creation with a pitiless stare, barking orders, toying with us. We have to do with one who said goodbye to all rights, privileges and status as God and became a human being in Jesus Christ. As a man, Jesus was well acquainted with goodbyes. After the incident of Jesus confounding the sages of the Temple at age twelve we hear nothing about his earthly father Joseph. Apparently, Joseph died in Jesus' youth and he became responsible for his family's welfare, earning his living as a carpenter. He said goodbye to his friend Lazarus who died too young and he wept before his grave. He said goodbye to the loyalty of his friends and disciples when they all abandoned him at the Garden of Gethsemane. And finally, he said goodbye to intimate communion with his God when he died on Calvary.
God has made a world where goodbyes are possible; a world where we can say "no" to God and go our own way; a world where things break and die; a world where "moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal." But our God will not be dissuaded; our God will pursue the promise of life until all our goodbyes find their hello's in Jesus Christ. God bless you all in your journey ahead. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to be your pastor.
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Wear RED for Pentecost Sunday| Board of Deacons.
This Sunday, May 20th, is Pentecost Sunday.
What is Pentecost Sunday?
It marks the day when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles.
It occurs 50 days after Easter and 10 days after the Ascension of Christ.
It is known as the "birthday" of the church.
Why do we wear red?
Red symbolizes the fire of the Holy Spirit.
If you feel so moved, please consider wearing red THIS SUNDAY. Those who have earned a TCC red Mission/Outreach t-shirt thru a community service project are most welcome to don it on this special Sunday.
Rev. Norm's Final Worship This Sunday, 5/20| Board of Deacons.
After 39 months of Interim leadership, Reverend Norman Bendroth will celebrate his final worship with us THIS SUNDAY, May 20th. His final day in the church office will be Wednesday, May 23rd.
During our Pentecost Sunday worship service, the Board of Deacons will formally release Rev. Norm and acknowledge his dedicated service to Tewksbury Congregational Church.
Please join us for worship and then share your best wishes with Rev. Norm during brunch immediately following worship.
Thank you, Rev. Norm! You are now and forevermore part of the fabric of Tewksbury Congregational 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.
Join Us For Brunch After Worship This Sunday!| Board of Deacons.
Please plan to stay after worship THIS SUNDAY, May 20th, to enjoy a casual breakfast brunch and say our goodbyes to Reverend Norm.
Thank you to all who have kindly volunteered to prepare or provide an item for this gathering. If you wish to offer an item, please contact Beth at email@example.com or any member of the Board of Deacons.
2018 Elections Nomination Slate| Nominating & Dev. Committee .
The Nominating & Development Committee is still looking for nominations to fill some open positions. The slate for the June 3rd, 2018 Election, as it stands today, is attached for your review and consideration.
TCC needs you! Please prayerfully consider volunteering your time and talents to the open positions and committees. There will be a member of the Nominating & Development Committee in Fellowship Hall after worship on Sunday, with additional information about each position and ready to answer any questions you may have about serving.
Remember that many hands make light work!
Attached File: 402018 Nominating Slate.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.
Board of Ministries Corner| Board of Ministries.
Greetings! The BoM has been busy this week working with Marilyn San Clemente to fill the Nominating and Development Slate for the upcoming program year.
Reminder: The Elections Meeting is scheduled for Sunday, June 3rd, 2018.
New Liaisons for each committee are as follows:
Board of Deacons – Laura Holmes
Christian Education – Debbie Adams
Finance Committee – John Avery
Missions Committee – Mary Lou Adams
Music Committee – Rebecca Healey
Board of Trustees – Tim Barnes
We look forward to serving the church this upcoming program year!
Music News| Mercy Delgado.
Due to a prior musical engagement, our Music Director is rescheduling The Chancel Choir rehearsal for the 4th week of May. The rehearsal originally scheduled for Thursday, May 24th will now take place on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018.
Please note that this change is for that week only. Normal scheduling resumes the following week.
Please contact the church office at 978-851-9411 if you have any questions.
Your Missions Committee Thanks You!!| Joanne Kenney.
The generosity of the congregation never ceases to amaze this committee! It is fitting that on Mother's Day, a day when we celebrate some of the most giving people in our lives, this congregation came through loudly and clearly that we are passionate about giving to those who need it most! Not only were all 24 of our Church World Service school bags sponsored on the first day they were offered, but, on this same day that is known to many of us as Heifer Sunday, you dug in deeply in support of our friends at Heifer International. With 30 walkers on Saturday, their individual sponsors, and the donation in pew envelopes on Sunday, we are able to submit a check for $2385.00 to help lift families from poverty through the gift of animals and the training to care for them.
At a time when TCC is going through significant changes, we can take comfort in the things that will never change. The congregants at Tewksbury Congregational Church have hearts for giving! Amen to that!
Time to Shop!!| Joanne Kenney.
Sunday, June 3rd is our last Missionaries in Training shopping day of the program year. Along with some of the organizations you expect to see, we are also, for the first time, supporting Every Child's Hope, a children's home in St. Louis that gave comfort, care and love to our very own Rita Masters during her childhood. We are also supporting Tewksbury Habitat Build, and the new family who is about to move in, with some of the basic household needs that they are still without. For those who like to plan ahead, the document attached will show you all of your shopping options for this time around.
TCC Has A New Pastor!| Pastoral Search Committee.
Your Pastoral Search Committee is excited to announce the unanimous election of Rev. W. Baxter Chism as Tewksbury Congregational Church 's 24th settled pastor. We hope you had an opportunity to meet him, his wife and daughter this past weekend. Final negotiations are underway. We will soon share his arrival date.
Life Together| Rev. Dr. Norm Bendroth.
Congratulations! The die is cast and you’ve called a new pastor. I heard last weekend was one filled with energy and excitement as you voted to call William Baxter Chism to be your 24th pastor. My prayer is that you will have many years together of happy, faithful ministry living into the challenges of “being church” in the 21st century.
The goal that I shared with the leadership when I arrived here 39 months ago was, “To help TCC become a healthy, faithful and effective church during the interim time to be ready for new pastoral leadership.” We have done a lot of good work together and I just wanted to rehearse it with you.
The first thing I did was work with the staff, the leadership and the congregation to establish a Covenant of Holy Manners, which the congregation adopted unanimously at an Annual Meeting. This document is important to hold before us as a reminder of the people we want to be: people who look for the best in one another and encourage one another, people who listen to understand before responding, people who respect one another, speak only for themselves, and agree to disagree agreeably, as hard as that may be at times.
We then explored the question, “Who are we?” We explored these by administering a congregational survey, which found that in matters of theology and style TCC was pretty much down the middle—not too conservative and not too liberal. The results also reflected what I found in the new members we took in and new families who brought their children to be baptized—they wanted a church that was open, welcoming of all people, where there weren’t tests of faith, but testimonies of faith.
We spent some significant time discerning our Core Values, which are the driver of mission. These too should be always held before board, committees and the congregation to remind us of who we are and to keep us on track. In this regard, we also looked at and used in worship many of the historic creeds and confessions of the many traditions that feed the United Church of Christ. We also did a timeline of our history including your warts, wrinkles and beauty marks.
We then explored “Who Is Our Neighbor?” by conducting interviews with town officials and heads of service organizations to discover the hurts and the hopes of the people of Tewksbury. We also looked at the demographics of Tewksbury and observed trends, patterns, and with what kind of issues were people most concerned. Out of these conversations, many ideas were generated, such as providing tutoring, a place for grief groups, parenting groups or 12-step groups. In fact, the seminar on “The Truth about Vaping,” came out of those discussions and should be the first of future community offerings.
Lastly, we explored “What is God calling us to do and to be?” Ideas from synod were generated. We adopted as our mission statement the banners on the wall:
In our church, God calls us to grow spiritually,
In our church, God calls us to welcome strangers
In our church, God calls us to nurture one another
In our church, God calls us to reach out to the wider community
In our church, God calls us to show God’s love
Keeping this mission statement in front of you will help you keep on track and focused on the work of Jesus and the Church. I’d recommend that you revisit this statement after your pastor has been here for a while so that it fits with his gifts and graces and your hopes and dreams.
Other interim tasks are developing and strengthening leadership and identifying new leaders, looking at the governance of the church to see if it fits and supports ministry goals (which Jim Kenney, Christopher Jenkins and Ken Ramsdell developed with the Board of Ministries and is being implemented now).
We hired Mercy Delgado and Lucinda Ellert as new staff members and we know how much they both have enriched our lives together.
There is so much more I could share—the home visits, the laughter and tears during worship, the Bible studies and small groups, the Called-to-Care group quietly sharing love and compassion behind the scenes, the mission trip to West Virginia, the interminable meetings, lives changed and new insights gained, and, of course, the food!
I have cherished my time at TCC and will never forget you. I will watch with eager anticipation as you enter a new chapter in your lives with your new pastor.
God’s love and mine,