TCC Flash - Weekly News
Remember People This Time of Year| Rev. Baxter Chism.
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the beginning of a new year are upon us once more. Many of us will be busy cooking, buying gifts, and spending time with friends and family. Do you have travel plans? Are you going to stay at home? Whatever you do I hope you have a joyous time!
Our leaders are busy at church planning worship services and other festive activities. The Advent and Christmas Seasons are here! What a beautiful time of year as we prepare and celebrate the birth of Jesus once more. Praise God!
Many of us in the church will participate in various ministries to help our neighbors. Toys will be purchased to help families and food will be provided. Thanks to all of you that lead us in missions. We were blessed this past Sunday to collect bags of potatoes to help people at the local food pantry. All of you make a gigantic difference in the life of our church and community!
Diving into the middle of all the festive activities in which we will participate, don't forget people who feel alone and hurt as well. There are many people who will grieve tremendously because they will remember loved ones that have passed away. Some may not have plans and feel extremely lonely for various reasons.
You or somebody you know may be going through some family challenges. This time of year could add to the already existing stress and anxiety. Maybe some will remember experiences of days long ago that bring back past hurts. This too can happen this time of year.
If there are any words of hope I can give, I think of the gift of the baby Jesus this time of year. We'll return thanks to God for all things on Thanksgiving Day. Then we will travel through the Advent Season preparing our hearts once more for the joy of Christ given to the world. We will continue the celebration of this gift through the 12 Days of the Christmas Season.
Let's go ahead and apply the Christmas Story from Luke 2:1-20 to all of the festivities that are before us as we end another year. It is a miracle that Jesus would come into a world full of darkness to give us hope. We often say, "Emmanuel", God is with us! God chose to be present with us in life. God is present everywhere and through us who follow Christ.
Reach out to people you know who may be lonely and hurt this time of year. Just as Jesus came into this world to be present with us, you can be a positive presence for someone going through a hard time. Give that someone a call, invite them over to your house, or maybe send them a card to let them know they are loved.
Let me share a story from a friend of mine. One day he was praying and the name of a friend popped into his head. It was around Christmas. After looking through some old emails, he was able to find his number. He gave him a call. What was once a jovial person sounded like a defeated person. Life hadn't been too kind to his friend. His family was going through a hard time and he was dreading Christmas. They talked about it and he thanked him for calling with words of encouragement.
Several months later he checked in with his friend and he sounded a lot better. He ended up going and spending Christmas with his family. It wasn't great but he went. When he met with his family, it was the last time he would be with his grandfather before he passed away. He got to be with his grandfather one last time.
A prayer, a phone call, and compassion can make a tremendous difference in someone's life.
If you are one of the ones hurting today, may God give you comfort and grace. You are in my prayers. I hope you can remember all the blessings God has given to you. You can always pick up the phone and give me a call.
We are never alone.
TCC Christmas Fair-Sat. 12/1 9am-1pm| Carol Sturtevant.
Our TCC Family has these two opportunities to invite Tewksbury residents & people from surrounding communities to our church. There are so many ways, large or small, to get involved. These events have been successful every year through the gifts of time and talent of our TCC Family Members of all ages. Check out SignUpGenius or meet us at Coffee Hour and join the TEAM—donate or participate during the events or behind the scenes. Your participation is welcome and needed. If you have any questions, meet the Chairpersons at Coffee Hour or contact Carol Sturtevant: 978-851-4451 & email email@example.com for Fair and Trish Keddie: 978-677-6013 firstname.lastname@example.org for Pie Social information. All the Chairperson contact information & needs are located on the chart available on the Flash link, in the office or at Coffee Hour. A bin for Jewelry Table donations (jewelry, boxes & scarves) is in the entrance to the church office. Gently Used Toys and Christmas Items will be collected in the Vestry from 9-9:30 am on Sunday, Nov. 26th.
Christmas Poinsettias| Carol Sturtevant.
It is that time of year again when we look forward to the festivities of the Christmas Holiday. The wreaths, greens and poinsettia plants dress our Sanctuary in the splendor of the season and increase our anticipation for the joyous celebration of the birth of our Savior. Red, white and marble poinsettias are available at a cost of $11 each. Please place your order as early as possible so that you can have the color of your choice. Please be sure to record for yourself the color you have selected. Sunday, December 2nd will be the final ordering date.
Checks are to be made payable to Carol Sturtevant. Order forms will be in the bulletin and outside the church office. Please place orders in the Secretary’s inbox, in the offering plate or mail to the church office TCC, 10 East Street, Tewksbury, MA 01876: ATTN: Carol Sturtevant. Carol will also be available for answering questions & taking orders during Coffee Hour. Christmas plants will decorate our Sanctuary beginning on Sunday, Dec. 16th through the Christmas Eve services. We ask that plants be taken after the last Christmas Eve service. Please specify if you plan to pick up your plant(s) or leave the plant for a homebound person. It is important that you pick up the color you have ordered. If you have any questions or a problem with pick up, please call or email Carol( 978-851-4451, email@example.com) to make alternate arrangements.
2018 Pie Social & Christmas Fair Update| Carol Sturtevant.
It's countdown time! Calling all bakers! Homemade pies for the Pie Social and baked goods for the Bake Table are needed & may be delivered from 3- 5 pm on Friday, Nov. 30th. Items for the Snack Bar may be delivered Saturday, Dec. 1st from 8-9 am. Please use the kitchen door for Snack Bar deliveries. Our Pie Social brings in many people following the Tree Lighting Ceremony in the Town Common. It's a popular town event! Having the Fair Tables open during the Pie Social has also been a huge success! Please check SignUpGenius or join us at Coffee Hour for needed donations and volunteer opportunities for youth and adults for both events. Attention TCC Youth: These events need you! Our guests appreciate your smiles and your assistance. YOU are the ones who greet at the door, lead our guests to where they are going and help where needed. Santa will be in the parlor from 7-8:30 pm. Parents—this is a great photo opportunity so bring your cameras and alert your friends and family about this festive evening!
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: Work together to Help Others
Sunday School\'s November Curriculum Overview
Empty Bowls Painting Party - THIS SUNDAY!!
Older Youth Needed!
Who Likes School?
Sunday School Teacher Directory
General Overview of Christian Education Program
Calling All TCC Bakers!| Sue Trepaney.
You won’t see mock apple pies served at our Pie Social, Friday, November 30th. Popular during the Eisenhower era, mock pies according to one author who suggested that ‘mock apple pies appeared to be nothing more than a plot by cracker companies to foist processed foods on an unsuspecting public by disguising them as old favorites’. I have to admit that I made the ‘famous’ Ritz cracker mock apple pie and it tasted pretty good! For those of us who enjoy eating ‘the real thing’ why not use TCC’s vehicle Sign Up Genius and donate a homemade pie for our Social? Just click on the Pie Social & Christmas Fair SignUpGenius to donate.
Festival of Music December 2nd| Lucinda J. Ellert.
There's a wonderful opportunity for us to join the Chelmsford Community Band and the First Baptist Church in a festival of music on Dec. 2. The choir is singing two pieces with the band: Jazz Gloria by Natalie Sleeth, and What Sweeter Music by John Rutter. Our choir is invited to join in the fun, as many people as want to and on as many pieces since the choir will be singing many more pieces than the ones we’re collaborating on. Their choir director, David Sodano, is very good and fun to work with.
If you would like to join the TCC Chancel Choir for this special community outreach event or would like more information, contact TCC Director of Music Ministry Lucinda Ellert.
Rehearsal at First Baptist Church, Wednesday, Nov. 14th- time to be determined
Rehearsal with First Baptist Church and Chelmsford Community Band, Tuesday, Nov. 20th, at the Chelmsford Center for the Arts, 1A North Rd, Chelmsford, MA 01824, at 7:30 p.m.
Possible rehearsal Wednesday, November 28th (waiting for confirmation, time and place)
Music Festival: Sunday, Dec. 2nd, First United Baptist Church of Lowell, 99 Church St., Lowell, MA at 6:00 pm
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.
TCC's Pie Social Needs a Co-Chair!| Sue Trepaney.
TCC’s Pie Social is scheduled for Friday, November 30th. Many people come and enjoy a slice of homemade pie and a hot beverage following the tree lighting ceremony on Tewksbury’s Town Common. Trisha Keddie has been chairing the Pie Social and she needs a Co-Chair. Responsibilities include helping to recruit volunteers to bake pies. This is done during Coffee Hour.
On the Thursday prior to the Pie Social, the Co-Chair helps with set-up, and on Friday, the day of the Pie Social, the Co-Chair assists where needed. Trisha is an able Chairperson and one who shares her knowledge. If you can help by Co-Chairing this event, please contact Trisha at 978-677-6013 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please go to the Pie Social & Christmas Fair Donations SignUpGenius page to sign up for donations.
Community Giving Tree Update| JoJo Scharmer.
Merry Christmas everyone! The tags are quickly disappearing from the Giving Tree and that is sooo exciting. This week we have added 3 families from the Wish Project, so "come on by" and grab an ornament and make someone's Christmas happy. Thank you all so much!
Upcoming UCC Events| Christopher Jenkins.
We are coming into the busy season for our churches as there is a plethora of concerts, fairs, etc. to choose from. This is a great time of year to visit neighboring churches. We continue to pray for and support our neighbors, including a couple of churches, which were impacted by the gas explosions. See https://www.macucc.org/newsdetail/conference-and-local-churches-respond-to-gas-explosions-in-merrimack-valley-12288711 for more information.
We welcome Rick Durance as our new Administrative Assistant in the Winchester office and thank Rev. Beth Spaulding for filling that role during the search process.
Sunday – November 18, 2018, at 4:30 PM
Service of Ordination for Seth Robinson
Hope Central Church in Jamaica Plain
He is being ordained by MBA pursuant to a call to FCC-Billerica
Local Church Public Events
Friday – November 16, 2018, at 6:00 PM
Movie Night at Maple Street Congregational Church (Danvers)
“Brother Sun, Sister Moon”
Friday – November 16, 2018, at 7:30 PM
Old Sloop Coffeehouse at FCC-Rockport
An Evening with John McCutcheon
Info and Tickets at https://oldsloopcoffeehouse.org/concert/john-mccutcheon-2018
Saturday – November 17, 2018; 8:00 AM-3:00 PM
Holiday Craft Fair at 2CC-Beverly
Saturday – November 17, 2018; 8:30 AM-2:00 PM
Christmas Fair at CCU-Dracut
Saturday – November 17, 2018; 8:30 AM-2:00 PM
Dane Street Church (Beverly) Annual Holiday Fair
Saturday – November 17, 2018; 9:00 AM-2:00 PM
Holiday Fair at CCC-Chelmsford
Saturday – November 17, 2018; 9:00-2:00 PM
Olde Tyme Country Fair at FCC-Rowley
Spaghetti Supper served at 5 PM
Saturday – November 17, 2018; 9:00 AM-2:00 PM
Church Fair at Trinty Congregational Church (Gloucester)
Saturday – November 17, 2018, at 3:00 PM
3rd Annual Jazz, Justice, & Gospel Concert at CCU-Lowell
Suggested donation: $10
Saturday – November 17, 2018, at 7:30 PM
Piano Concert featuring Jacqueline Schwab
First Church of Christ (Old North) in Marblehead
Reception and Meet & Greet to follow
Suggested donation: $20
Saturday – November 17, 2018, at 8:00 PM
Belleville Roots Concert Series: Le Vent du Nord
Belleville Congregational Church (NBPT)
Tuesday – November 20, 2018, at 7:00 PM
Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service at 2CC-Boxford
Please bring a non-perishable food item.
Thursday – November 22, 2018, at 2:00 PM
Community Thanksgiving Dinner at FCC-Billerica
Saturday – November 24, 2018; 4:30-6:30 PM
Spaghetti Supper at Union Congregational Church (Amesbury)
Tickets: $8 per person, $28 per 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!
The Power of Giving| Rev. Baxter Chism.
Time Magazine published an article in 2017 called "The Secret to Happiness Is Helping Others" which provided "6 tips to living life with purpose and meaning". In the article, many quotes provided from a Chinese proverb, one from St. Francis of Assisi, another from Leo Tolstoy, and even one from actress and comedian Goldie Hawn. Let me sum up their quotes with these words: give, purpose, receive, happiness, and other people.
One thing the article confirmed that I have witnessed in ministry that our stewardship is often a challenge at times. The Bible reminds of the importance of giving and how it changes our lives for the better. Scientific research backs up the Bible and states giving leads to us growing in our personal life and increasing happiness. But sometimes we feel taken advantage of when we give and might feel that what we do is not helping. Let me assure you it is. Every day I see ministries flourishing in our church because of you being good stewards.
(As I was typing out this for Flash, I received an Email from Mercy that our church has received the 2018 Best of Tewksbury Award for Places of Worship. When churches are acknowledged like this, it means we are making a difference in our community in the name of Jesus! Part of this means we are being good stewards. Thanks, TCC!)
The first thing we often think of when we hear the words "giving" or "stewardship" is money. That is only one part. A giving person has figured out ways to also share their time with others. Also, someone that gives is present because sometimes just being there is the most important thing. And there are the gifts God gives to us. They create so much fruit when we use them. Good stewards of life have found a way to combine all of these together as one.
Here we are in the midst of another Stewardship Campaign. If you haven't noticed, we have a Vision Statement: Connecting and Serving All Through God's Love. As we head into a new year and we all make our pledges, our leadership will be focusing on connecting with people in our community. We will also be creating new ways for us to connect within our church. As for serving, we will continue to participate in the wonderful ministries that are already occurring and will look are new opportunities.
How can we do all of these things and live out our vision? We do it through our giving. Why do we do it? We do it in response to God's grace.
The Holy Word talks a lot about stewardship. The Apostle Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 9:8 that "God loves a cheerful giver." He also quoted Jesus in Acts 20:35 that "It's better to give than receive." Paul is an excellent example of stewardship. He trusted God to provide for his ministry. In turn, he poured everything out to spread the Good News. Paul used his gifts, shared his time, was present, and gave so much to support the purpose he was called.
Jesus talked a lot about money of course. He also was a good steward of life. The "Parable of the Talents" in Matthew 25:14-30 is a wonderful example and challenge from Jesus on the importance of stewardship. God has entrusted us with so much. We are supposed to be good stewards and produce good fruit. Living a generous life is eternally important to God.
Thank you for your support of our ministries at TCC. If you ever have any questions, reach out to our leadership and they will be happy to answer. We celebrate together the generosity of our church to glorify God. Let's continue to work together so God's kingdom will grow!