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The Final ordering for Easter Flowers is this week, but no later than Tuesday, March 31st! This has been an unusual year, but we're doing the best we can due to these circumstances. If you wish to order a plant(s) and have questions about the plants or the process,please call Carol at 978-851-4451. Checks are made payable to: Carol Sturtevant. Plants will be displayed in the Sanctuary during our Easter Service as usual. Pick-up time for plants after the service will be posted next week. Alternate pick-ups will be available on Monday. I will personally be in touch for available times. The plants are fragile and should be picked up or delivered as soon as possible. Be sure to take the plant(s) that you ordered. The list will be posted on the Sunday School entrance door. For safety, pickups will be one person &/or family member(s) at a time for entering the Sanctuary and leaving at the front entrance.
Easter Plants designated to be delivered to a home member will be delivered on Monday or Tuesday.
Members of our community who are experiencing financial stress are invited to meet with a Deacon on the last Tuesday of each month to receive a $50 voucher to Market Basket. They can return once every three months for support.
Typically 5-10 people benefit from this ministry on a monthly basis. The cards are funded through the monthly LOVE OFFERING and are not part of the annual budget.
Thank you for your thoughtful consideration in supporting this TCC community support ministry. We are indeed Tewksbury's outreach church.
Great news! TCC’s front door restoration will commence during Spring Vacation Week in April! When completed, this restoration will add to the beauty of our building and grounds. Please feel free to check in with a member of Trustees if you have any questions.
As part of our celebration that Christ is risen, we add flowers to the beauty of the Sanctuary for Easter. As we adjust to a new normal and take the necessary precautions to remain safe and protect our congregation, we're trying to reach out and get in touch to let everyone know that we will have Easter flowers in the Sanctuary.
Choices are Native lilies, Farolito lilies, Tulips, Azaleas (pink or white), and blue Hydrangeas. Please complete the enclosed form and send payment in an envelope. Please mail payment directly to TCC, att: Carol Sturtevant, 10 East Street, Tewksbury 01876. Checks are made payable to Carol Sturtevant. Tuesday, March 31st is the FINAL ordering date.
For added convenience, you can also pay electronically. To do this, click on the "Donate to TCC" tab on the Tewksburycc.org website. Go to One-Time Giving and enter your payment under Miscellaneous, then write "Easter Flowers" in the box next to the payment amount. Click on Continue at the bottom of the page. Please call the office if you need any help with this or have any questions.
The plants are fragile and will be available for pick up as soon as possible. Notification about time & days for pickups at church will be available by Thursday, March 26th. Be sure to take the plant(s) that you ordered. A list will be posted on the entrance door and the Sanctuary door.
Order early to secure your first choice. Any questions, please feel free to call Carol Sturtevant: home 978-851-4451 or contact by email to: email@example.com.
You can also contact the church office at 978-851-9411 if you have any questions or concerns.
Attached File: 26Easter Flowers-Revised Form-March 18 2020.pdf
"They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people." - Acts 2:46b-47a
We are living in a historic and life-changing time. Nobody could have predicted the COVID-19 virus from spreading around our planet. Adjusting to keeping a distance from others is beyond challenging. It goes against our social norms and it feels horrible. Let's call it like it is.
As followers of Christ, I pray that we remember the hope that God gives us all. It may be hard to see that hope right now but it hasn't gone away. For over 2,000 years disciples have leaned upon their faith. In faith, even in the midst of all of our fears and worries, we can see a day when it will get better.
Our local church has done its best to adapt along with churches all over the world. Churches have found ways to adapt, using online services or maybe focusing in more on missions to the public. There is much food insecurity in many communities and churches are dedicating time and resources to help. Currently, we have church leaders guiding our effort to support our local food bank.
Like you, I yearn for this day to pass. I miss that we are not gathering during our Worship Hour on Sundays. You know me. I love being around people. It doesn't feel like Sunday because we are not together in-person for the time being. Yet I invite you to think about that day when we will be back together. It is going to be wonderful!
Reading the verses above, I want to encourage you to worship in a way that may be different for you. Jesus said "For where two or three gather together in My Name, there am I with them." I would argue as well that when this happens over the phone this also happens. We can worship this way! Pray together. Read the Bible together. Sing a hymn or two you can remember.
Families can worship together at home doing the same (I'm talking about family members currently living together under the same roof). For example, many of you have shared you read The Christmas Story for Luke 2 together on Christmas morning. That is worship. There is a family I know back in Alabama who studies every Friday night God's Word. They read together, share theology, eat a great meal, and sometimes even argue about what they believe! In an odd and weird way, even meeting together and arguing sounds fun. Please forgive me for saying this.
And of course, we will continue to worship with a live stream online from our church. If you need help with this, contact us and we will help. And let me remind you that you can use your mobile phones to meet together over Facetime on your iPhones or video chat on your Droid phones. I know it is not the same as meeting together but it will suffice for the time being.
Let me close by saying let us pray for each other without ceasing. Pray for our neighbors here and around the world. We pray for healthcare workers, those of other mission-critical work who cannot stop, and those with health problems that make them more vulnerable. Just pray for everybody!
And as we march onward through the Lenten Season, may we seek the close comfort of Christ and practice the hope that we are given. We will keep you all informed of any news from the church and communicate in various ways.
In Christ our Lord,
Christmas Fair Update: After many years of service, Carol Sturtevant, who has coordinated the TCC annual Church Fair, has decided to step down. We cannot thank Carol enough for the many years she has dedicated toward running TCC’s successful December Fairs. We are hoping that in addition to someone volunteering to chair our Fair, that we will find a Co-Chair too.
Our Pie Social also needs a Co-Chair to help Trish Keddie. The Pie Social attracts many people from the community attending the annual tree-lighting ceremony held on the Town Common. We have three positions available. Unfortunately, if they are not filled, we are concerned that we will not have a Pie Social or a Fair to enjoy this next December!
Anyone interested in filling these positions, please email the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org. A job description outlining the tasks associated with both events is available to anyone who is interested in helping with these two important outreach events for our church.
As a way of staying connected and remaining in fellowship with one another, please consider submitting your prayer requests, to be shared with the congregation via the online streaming of the worship service each Sunday morning.
You can submit your prayer requests to the church office via email:
We're putting a bookmark in our Lenten Series Bible Study for the time being, and we'll pick back up where we left off when we get together again.
Please continue to take all necessary precautions to keep yourselves and your families safe throughout this period.
Walk with Jesus on his final day.
Sit beside Him at the Last Supper.
Pray with him in Gethsemane.
Follow him to the Cross.
Desert Him. Deny Him.
Please join us for a light supper and video discussion every Wednesday during Lent.
WHO: All who want to walk with Jesus
WHAT: Lent book series “24 Hours That Changed the World” by Adam Hamilton
WHEN: Wednesday, March 4, 11, 18, 25, April 1 and 15 (note there is no gathering during Holy Week), from 6-8 pm.
WHERE: The Blue Classroom & Media Room in the Education Wing upstairs
WHY: To join in fellowship with others who want to walk with Jesus and learn about Jesus' last 24 hours
“The aim of the book is to help you better understand the events that occurred during the last 24 hours to Jesus’ life, see more clearly the theological significance of Christ’s suffering and death, and reflect upon the meaning of these events for your life. To do this, we will look at the geographical and historical settings of the events of that fateful day; reflect theologically of Jesus’ death; and ultimately, look to see ourselves in the story, considering how we are like Pilate or Peter, Judas or John.
These past weeks we learned that our Associate Conference Minister Rev. Wendy Vander Hart has accepted a position in Minnesota. We will gather for a time of celebration and farewell later in March. You can read her letter on https://www.sneucc.org/newsdetail/13252176.
Sunday – March 22, 2020, at 5:30 PM
Celebration of Ministry for Rev. Wendy Vander Hart
First Congregational Church of Winchester
LOCAL CHURCH PUBLIC EVENTS
Saturday – March 21, 2020, at 7:30 PM
Old Sloop Coffeehouse at FCC-Rockport
Martyn Joseph with opener Antje Duvekot
Saturday – April 4, 2020, at 7:30 PM
Old Sloop Coffeehouse at FCC-Rockport
Amy Speace with opener Letitia VanSant
On Sunday, from 3 to 5 in the Vestry, we will be decorating and filling 50 duffel bags for children entering foster care. I am happy to report that all 50 bags have been sponsored!! What a blessing! Many people sponsored several bags! Thank you so much to all of you!
I would like to give a special shout out to Bob Foster. He and his coworkers collect scrap metal . They use the funds earned to donate to different charities. Every March, when we do this mission, Bob comes to me with money to sponsor some bags. Every week during the campaign to get them all sponsored, he comes to me with more cash. On behalf of the Missions Committee, the DCF social workers and the kids in care, we say a huge THANK YOU!! to Bob, his coworkers, and to all of our TCC friends who take part in this mission! You are blessings to these children! If you would like to take part in Sunday's event but were not able to sponsor, please contact Joanne Kenney at (978) 851-5001 or via email at email@example.com. Many of the bag sponsors cannot attend the event. We would love to have you join us for some fun and fellowship! Not artistic? It doesn't matter! That's what stencils are for! Just let me know if you are coming so I know there will be a bag for you!!
"The wise are cautious and turn away from evil, but the fool throws off restraint and is careless." - Proverbs 14:16 (NRSV)
Not many of us know Latin. English and Spanish have enough challenges. I've been doing a little research on the word caution and found out that our word comes from the Latin word "cautionem." It means not only to practice caution but to also practice foresight and care. Another meaning we can find in the word is to practice precaution. It is not uncommon for many of us to mean precaution when we say caution. It is its own separate word, of course.
In Hebrew, there are several words for varying ways to be cautious. Warn, care, prudence, carefulness, discretion, preservation, conservation are the ways caution is understood. The Greek word for caution is very similar. In Greek, it can also mean gumption. In this case, it means taking the initiative to stop something potentially harmful or not good from happening (Source: WordHippo.com)
The Novel Coronavirus is spreading around the world and causing much fear. Responses vary among us people. Some live in fear. Others are practicing precaution with care to avoid spreading the virus. And a few are perplexed with what they see as overreacting.
I feel extremely bad for Rev. Timothy Cole in Washington, DC and Christ Church. The church is located in the Georgetown area of DC. He has the virus and is currently in the hospital. The church organist also has the virus. Many in the Christ Church congregation were exposed to the virus because of Rev. Cole and the organist. They have all been asked to self-quarantine and the church has suspended all services. Let us pray for this congregation that means so much to God and many people (Source: CNN.com)
In God's Word, the variant meanings of caution are used. As the proverbial wisdom of the verse above (Proverbs 14:16), it is prudent at times to take precautions and have gumption when avoiding something. Being cautious of evil and protecting life is a blessing to others. That is why we will do whatever it takes to protect people in our congregation, similar to businesses and other places where a critical mass of people meet. Sounds "wise" to me.
If there is a philosophy we can learn by reading the Bible, it is that life is precious to God. Jesus teaches us that ALL life is precious. Shouldn't we respond to this by doing all we can when we can to protect people? I would say so.
Our leadership here at Tewksbury will take all the necessary steps to protect all of you. Do not worry!
There may be some of you with that "live life to the fullest" attitude. That is great. But it is more than fun. Jesus told us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. So just maybe part of living life to the fullest includes protecting all of God's children.
Let us all pray for the families who have lost loved ones. We will also pray for those who are ill with the virus.
As we journey through the Lenten Season, I pray that you experience the cautious love of your neighbor.
Onward Through Lent,
When: Monday, March 16th, 2020 Time has changed to 7:30 pm
Where: TCC's Vestry
The purpose of these meetings is to have conversations among committees for planning and issues facing Tewksbury Congregational Church. All committees and boards need to make sure they have representation at these gatherings.
Please plan on attending or coordinate with your committee Chairs if this pertains to you.
Hope to see you there!