First Congregational Church of Boylston
Monday, August 21, 2017

Newsletter

 

 
 
First church news
 
November 2016
 
 
 
REFLECTING THE MANY FACETS OF OUR LIVES TOGETHER AS A FAMILY OF FAITH
 
 
November Volunteer Schedule

~ Deacon ~

Patty Young

 ~ Lay Reader ~

 11/6 - Kathy Buchanan

11/13 – Cheryl Mongeon

11/20 – Scott Anderson

11/27 – TBD

~ Worship Leader ~

11/6  - Peter Haynes

11/13 – Bob Chaplis

11/20 – Kathy Buchanan

11/27 – Scott Anderson

~ Fellowship Time ~

11/6  - Board of Christian Outreach

11/13 – Music Committee

11/20 – Stewardship Committee

11/27 – Board of Deacons
 
 
 
December Volunteer Schedule
 

~ Deacon ~

 Bill Franzen

~ Lay Reader ~

12/4 – April Gustafson

12/11 – Carla Peterson

12/18 – Jan Fuller

12/24 (5:30 p.m.) – Pastor Dave

    12/24 (11:00 p.m.)  - Bob Chaplis

12/25 – Kathy Buchanan

~ Worship Leader ~

 12/4 – Mark Fuller

12/11 – Judith White

12/18 – Linda Farmer

12/24 (5:30 p.m.) – TBD

    12/24 (11:00 p.m.)  - TBD

12/25 – Mark Young

~ Fellowship Time ~

 12/4 – Parish Care Committee

12/11 – Servant Leaser Team

12/18 – Sanctuary Committee

12/24 – n/a

12/25 – Board of Trustees
 
 
 
 
 

Our Puritan forebears (particularly those we call the Pilgrims), who founded New England to be the New Jerusalem, hardly invented the concept of Thanksgiving. We credit them with the first such (Christian) celebration in North America. Our celebration is still marked with images of men wearing large collars and big buckles on their shoes and hats, with women wearing bonnets. Native Americans were at the feast, while the settlers from England thanked God and their new neighbors for having survived a Massachusetts winter and for their first good harvest.

The idea of a thanksgiving feast, and of giving connected with thanks, has a much longer history, of which our religious ancestors were certainly aware when they celebrated there at Plymouth. The idea is formally recognized in the Books of Moses, also called the Pentateuch or the Law, the first five books of the Bible. An offering of the “first fruits” of harvest, a “thank offering,” or an offering given in thanksgiving, is mentioned in at least ten places in four of the five books of Moses. They are also mentioned in the Psalms and Prophets.

There are several elements to biblical thanksgiving, some of which we are at risk of losing if we follow the culture around us. As Church, we have a call and a heritage of setting an example for our neighbors, rather than being “dumbed down” in our faith and practice for the sake of fitting in with the people arounds us. That, by the way, is also an often-repeated theme of trouble for God’s people in the Old Testament. They kept falling into “colorful practices” of the Canaanite peoples around them.

Biblical thanksgiving meant far more than gathering with close family, and “being thankful” for the (material) good things in life. As described and prescribed by God through Moses, thanksgiving was always a sacrificial act of offering. That is to say, the thanks were expressed through giving.

The thanks were not expressed in a passive, egocentric way (as we often see on TV sitcoms today). That is, one did not sit around with family and say, “I am thankful that I…” The thankful one brought gifts to the tabernacle, and later to the temple, to be used in service to God and for the needy in the community. The more for which one needed to express appreciation, the more generosity was called for to express it! From such grateful largesse lived not only the priests and Levites, but also the widows and orphans, the physically unable, and other unfortunates in the community.

Another aspect of the giving of thanks was more immediate, and perhaps more familiar to us. The thankful one invited all his family, his servants, his hired hands, his neighbors, even the “sojourners” (the visitors from other lands and peoples) in the community, to feast on the food portion of the sacrifice. In fact, all of the food portion that was to be consumed had to be consumed that very day… no leftovers! Everyone within “aroma” of the sacrifice had to be invited… in order to eat it all up, all the while praising the God who is the true “founder of the feast.”

Let us remember to thank God, and to keep the giving with the thanks. Our American Thanksgiving is just the most recent end of a long spiritual heritage of expressing our gratitude to God, through our generosity to Him and to our neighbors throughout the world.

Your loving servant in Christ,

Pastor Dave

 

I hold my standing as an Ordained Minister in the Evangelical Association of Reformed and Congregational Christian Churches (EA). Following is some information from their website, www.evangelicalassociation.org:

WHAT IS THE EA?

The Evangelical Association of Reformed and Congregational Christian Churches is a growing, national voluntary association of churches, ministers, and believers networking together to further the cause of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Recognition in this Association i

s fully compatible with the participation in other denominations and associations.

I enjoy support, fellowship, encouragement, and accountability as a member of the EA. I recently had the opportunity to share breakfast and conversation with the National Minister of the

 EA, the Rev. Jim Barnes, while he was visiting two churches from St. Louis, Missouri. Jim had just celebrated an anniversary with a large Congregational church in CT, and met with a search committee for another, to assist them in the planning process for a careful, prayerful, Spirit-led search for a new pastor. We met with one of my EA colleagues in the area, as well.

Please visit the EA website, pick up a brochure in the church corridor, or ask me! – PD

Dear First Congregational Church,

Thank you so much for the extremely thoughtful baby gifts for our new son Graham.  The whole family is doing well, minus a little sleep deprivation.  When we feel more confident bringing him amongst a crowd, we'll take him to church so everyone can meet him.  

-       Betsy, Grant & Graham Gothing

 

 Dear parish care, LBS and friends at church,

Thank you so much for the care package!  The clothes are adorable and we love the books!  Can't wait to bring Evy to church!

-       Caroline, Ken & Evy Paetzold

 

 Dear parish care and friends at church,

Don and I want to thank you for all the cards and prayers you sent us.  They were appreciated.

 

-           Love, Don & Dottie Parker

 Church Fall Clean-Up

Saturday November 5th starting at 8:30 a.m.

Please bring yard tools for cleaning lawns, gardens, walkways and parking areas.  Coffee, donuts & beverages will be provided. Tentative rain date is November 12th.

It’s Stewardship time again! This year’s theme will include a tree image and we are excited to share lots of great aspects of the campaign with you. Please mark these important dates on your calendar:

 

Sunday, November 20: Stewardship Sunday and Fellowship Pie Celebration. Apple, blueberry, lemon or pumpkin? Ala mode or whipped cream? Whatever your preference, we will enjoy all sorts of pies as we give thanksgiving together for our gifts. Whether in person, or by mail, please be sure to return your pledge card by this date.

 

 

The Outreach Committee will have baskets on the altar each Sunday during November to collect non -perishable food for the Boylston Food Pantry.

 

 

 

 

Christian Outreach and Service

 The Outreach Committee has been very busy sorting out the needs of our Church, the local community and the needs of our foreign Christian brothers and sisters.  

We continue to work with the Boylston Food Pantry with donations of food and money.  We are open on Mondays from 10:00am to 12 noon for Boylston residents.If there is anyone in need of food and cannot attend the pantry during our open hours, the Church office may be contacted between 9:00am and 12 noon and we will see what can be done to help the person.. We wish to thank everyone for the donations of food during the recent food drives..

A small Christmas Tree has been  placed in the lower hall with envelopes to collect money to be given to the families in need at the Elementary School.  We will give a gift card for each family.  The envelopes can be put in the collection plate on Sundays or brought to the Church office.

 

The Sunday School children and teachers have been busy since Sunday School started in September. Every Sunday for the first fifteen minutes, the children are focusing on a different letter of the alphabet for the ABCs of being a Christian. Check out our large “poster” on the wall of Fellowship Hall. As this is written, we are now up to “D” and are “digging into the Bible”. 
The children (and their parents) have been doing a great job of getting to Sunday School for the 9:15 start time. In September, the Gold Coin reward program for attendance was initiated. Children earn gold coins for their attendance and also for remembering their bibles. For those of the children who do have their bibles, please remember to bring them every Sunday. 
Our next Family Sunday is November 20th. The children will be presenting that day. Please plan to be there. 

****As hard as it is to believe, we are already thinking about Christmas and the Christmas Pageant. This year, the pageant will be on Sunday, December 18th. PAGEANT REHEARSALS WILL BEGIN ON NOVEMBER 13th during Mustard Seed. We are sure you will find that this will be a “Super” production. *****

 Community Thanksgiving Worship

St. Mary of the Hills is hosting the Community Ecumenical Thanksgiving Worship service this year. We will hold the service Sunday, November 20th, at 7:00 pm. Pastor Dave will deliver the message. The choirs of the two churches will combine to enhance and uplift our celebration. We will gather for dessert and fellowship after the worship service. Please plan to join us that evening, as we worship, give thanks, and celebrate with our sisters and brothers in Christ throughout the community.

 Ladies Benevolent Society

 We will be meeting on Thursday, November 10th at 10:00am in the Parish Hall.  We will be working on items for our mini-fair.  Just bring a sandwich.  Coffee, tea and desert will be served.

 Devotions will be led by Linda Farmer.

Hostesses are Lois Boylan, Sue Olsen, and Judith White.

 Also keep in mind that our Christmas Party Luncheon will be on December 8th at 11:00am.  All ladies are invited. 

The Outreach Committee will have baskets on the altar each Sunday during November to collect non -perishable food for the Boylston Food Pantry.

cd

Is your life running on empty? 

Free fill-ups here every Sunday!

 ba

 

~ LBS Mini-Fair ~

NOVEMBER 20th

 Begins at 9:00 a.m. through Fellowship Time

 in the Fellowship Hall

Handicrafts and other gifts will be available for your Christmas shopping convenience.