The Trinitarian Times
|Trinitarian Congregational Church|
|72 Elm St. North Andover, MA|
|November 2016 www.natrinitarian.org|
From the Interim Pastor
One of the tasks for a congregation during the Interim time is to take a fresh look at the community and the world around them, and ask themselves, “Who is our neighbor?” “Who is the neighbor that God is calling us to serve now and in the future?”
On October 6, I participated in an all-day continuing education session for interim ministers. We have those at least twice a year. I found this one particularly interesting and relevant, because the UCC has revamped the Local Church Profile that the congregation will be asked to prepare as it begins the search for a new settled pastor. You may select a Transition Team to do the actual writing, or have a Pastoral Search Committee do so, but the whole congregation should contribute to the content of the profile. And the new profile asks the congregation to reflect on “What is your vision for the future? Who is God calling you to become in the next phase of this congregation’s life? And what qualities do you envision in your next pastor to help you move into that future?”
Vision. Vision is where tomorrow begins, for it expresses what you and others who share the vision will be working hard to create. But a new vision for the congregation may not come easily. You will have to pray ardently and speak truthfully and listen carefully and lovingly Listen to the Spirit, listen to each other, and listen to your own heart’s yearnings.
Having a vision, pursuing a new vision, can be empowering and inspiring, but it can also be unsettling, even a little scary, because it challenges us to look beyond the status quo, or the good old glory days of the past, to look with a critical eye at what is, and what we may have become too comfortable with, in ourselves, in our church, in our community, in our world – and to decide to do something about it.
First Sunday of November – All Saints Memorial Sunday
It is a widespread tradition in Christian churches to devote the first Sunday of November (or in Roman Catholicism, the first two days of November) to commemorating loved ones in our families and in our congregations who have died. With the approval of the deacons, we will carry on that practice here at TCC this year on November 6. During the worship service, we will name all members who have died within the past year. There will also be a time of silent prayer during which everyone in the congregation will be invited to come forward and light a candle in remembrance of departed loved ones whom you hold precious in your hearts.
The Sundays of November
November 6 All Saints Memorial Sunday Service of the Lord’s Supper
November 13 26th Sunday after Pentecost Super Size Coffee Hour in Carvell Hall
November 20 Thanksgiving Sunday Last Sunday of Stewardship Campaign
Memorial Service for Mac McMurray at 1:30
Interfaith Thanksgiving Service at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 7:00 pm
November 27 First Sunday of Advent
Some Changes in the Sunday Service
With approval of the deacons, I’ve made a few changes in the Sunday service:
First, I’d like to lead worship on the lower level of the chancel, to be closer to the congregation, and spend less time and effort going up and down the chancel steps. Second, in the bulletin, I’ve suggested changing the word “announcements’ to “The Life and Mission of the Church” — which is actually what we’re talking about. Third, since I try to follow a theme in the each week’s service with the Thoughts for Reflection, prayers and hymns all based on the scripture passage and sermon, I’ve asked to move the scripture readings and sermon earlier, to the center of the service, before the Offering (which is often considered a response to our hearing of the Word.) And, finally, I’ll be asking the Lectors, if they’re willing, to take a larger role in the service, reading one of the scripture passages and the Invitation to the Offering. I welcome your feedback – positive or negative – about these changes, or, for that matter, any other aspects of the Sunday worship service or my pastoral ministry – Pastor Tony
Mission & Outreach
Thanksgiving boxes It’s that time of year again… For the past 15 years the Trinitarian Church has donated Thanksgiving food boxes, each with a gift certificate for a turkey, to the North Andover Youth Center. These boxes are delivered to needy North Andover families. With so few children in the Sunday School this year, we need the congregation’s help more than ever! If you could bring in the food items associated with the first letter of your last name, the food boxes will be overflowing! Please bring the items to church on or before November 20th. Thank-you for your generosity!
A – B Butternut or another type of squash; quick
C – E Canned vegetables and can of cranberry
F – H Pie crust mix with filling or brownie mix or
cake with frosting mix
I – N Canned fruit and bottle of fruit juice
O – R 5 lb bag of potatoes
S – T Fresh onions, canned yams
U – Z Stuffing mix and can/jar of gravy
We are collecting Coats to donate to the Veterans at Liberty House. This was a very successful mission last winter, and we would like to repeat it this winter. We are collecting winter coats and boots, warm outerwear for adults. New or gently used items welcome. Collection location outside the church office.
Food Pantry –we continue to donate non-perishable items to several local food pantries each month. November’s item is baby food.
Our partnership with Cor Unum continues; we now to send 2 volunteers to help serve dinner each month. Sign-up sheets are outside of the church office. The next dates are November 16 and December 21.
Thank you all for the clothes donated to ‘Dress for Success’…It was wildly successful, with cartloads of clothes donated last week. Thank you!!
We invite everyone to attend the Leadership coffee hour on November 13th. It will not only be informative but it may spark your interest in joining a committee or working on a project here at church. On November 6th we will be observing All Saints Memorial Sunday. Everyone will be able to light a candle in memory of a loved one or loved ones. This should be a very moving service and it would be great if both new and old faces were here. The Thanksgiving Ecumenical service will be held on November 20th @ St Paul’s church on Main Street in North Andover. It is near the library. The service begins at 7PM. Pastor Tony will be participating.
We are in the process of creating a Sunday School Program but it has been difficult to do with the very few children who attend church. If you think Sunday school is boring, please come try it out. It is intergenerational learning, the older children help the younger learn. We realize there are many obstacles to coming to church on Sunday mornings, but please think about what church means to you. On November 20th we will be filling the Thanksgiving boxes. This is a very special event in the life of our church. It would be great if we had all hands on deck.
This is one of the quieter committees in the church but some very special items in our sanctuary have been purchased with this money. This is a gentle suggestion that if a family member passes away or you want to honor someone you love, consider a donation to this fund. We recently purchased a new alter cloth for Pentecost Sunday in honor of Jeanette Green who passed away this past February. This will be a tangible memory of her love for this church. Thank You.
The Ministries of Our Committees
How does Trinitarian Congregational Church function? How does the work get done? Who coordinates worship? Who is responsible for addressing issues with the building and grounds? What does the Mission and Outreach Board do? Who’s in charge of financial planning for the church? Can others join any of these groups? How? You can learn answers to all these questions and more at an All-Church Super Size Coffee Hour after worship on Sunday, November 13 in Carvell Hall, when the current leaders of the church will describe the mission and work of each of the congregation’s committees, and how you can be involved. Everyone is encouraged to attend. So mark your calendars and stay for the Super-Size Coffee Hour in Carvell Hall on Nov. 13!
Grief Support Gathering
Wednesday, Nov. 16
Mutual Support, Strength for the Journey
“Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving…[also] heals them,” noted author Leo Tolstoy wrote. Our Grief Support Gatherings help people in various stages of their journey toward healing and wholeness. We encourage and strengthen each other. Our gatherings are held on the third Wednesday of each month at 3:00 pm in the Davis Room. Our next meeting is on November 16. We invite you to join us. We offer a listening ear, a sympathetic heart, and words of hope and encouragement from our God of all comfort. Co-facilitators are June Lemieux (978-686-9250) and Helen Mooradkanian (978-685-5202).
A memorial service for Mac McMurray will be held on November 20 at 1:30 pm at TCC.
Troop 87 Boy Scout Christmas Tree Sale – Nov. 26 and Dec. 3
If you are in need of a tree for your home this Christmas Season, please consider supporting our Troop 87 Boy Scout Christmas Tree Sale on Saturday, November 26th and Saturday, December 3rd. The Scouts will be selling fresh cut Vermont Christmas Trees and beautiful Christmas Wreaths in a variety of sizes from 9AM-2PM on both days at the Scout Hut. If you have any questions, or would like to pre-order either a 6’-7’ Balsam tree or 6’-7’ Frasier tree, please feel free to contact Brian Norris, the Committee Chair for Troop 87 at email@example.com.
Spirituality & Wellness Go Together!
Friday night classes, 530 pm – 6:30 pm Gentle yoga stresses relaxation and stretching. Call Glen Ayer for more info:
978-994-0430 or firstname.lastname@example.org
$10/class, no contract required
Service Opportunities at TCC
Worship Service Videographer – We are looking for volunteers who can video tape our Sunday worship services and work with the local cable channel to have our services broadcast. Training is provided. Perfect for middle school and high school students looking for leadership/service hours!
Sound System Operator – We are in need of individuals who have a working knowledge of our sanctuary sound system. Having more than one person would be very beneficial. Training is provided. Perfect for middle school and high school students looking for leadership/service hours!
It is wonderful that we have so many generous people in this church who volunteer to host coffee hour. They bring us delicious sweets and serve hot coffee and punch. This is a shout out to thank each of them. Please remember that Hazel and Sarah supply the coffee, cream and punch. If you would like to host coffee hour some Sunday, please speak with Mary in the church office. Thanks!
Please Wear Your Nametag
With Pastor Tony’s arrival as our interim pastor (and a new settled pastor coming eventually) this is a good time to get in the habit of wearing your nametag on Sundays at church. If you don’t have a nametag on the rack, let Mary know in the office, and she’ll see that you get one. The is also a sign-up sheet in the Davis Room.
Pastor Tony’s Sermons
Sermons can be obtained by contacting the church office. They can also be found on the church website and printed copies are located outside the church office.
Due to the many groups using our meeting spaces here at TCC, it is extremely important to schedule all meetings/events through the church office. Please contact Mary to check availability of rooms and to schedule meetings.
Our Historical Roots:
Our first “search committee”
In 1834, in a small farmhouse, thirty-one men and women were on their knees, fasting and praying. They were seeking God’s will in choosing a pastor. And the Lord answered their prayers. He led them to a young seminarian in his last year at nearby Andover Theological—but the young man, Jesse Page, was reluctant. He felt ill equipped for the challenge. In his last year at seminary, he had no pastoral experience. Yet he was being “called” to lead a fledgling church, with little money, against the rising tide of Unitarianism. However, the tiny group persevered. Although their funds were scant their faith was great and they believed in an all-powerful God! Then God moved! Jesse Page accepted the call. One week after graduation, in 1835, he was ordained and installed as our first pastor. The young man, who had publicly “stood up for Jesus” during a religious revival, became our “beloved pastor.” A man of prayer, he poured himself into the ministry—converting lost souls, educating youth in the Bible, foreign missions abroad and evangelism at home. When a very severe attack of pneumonia led him to resign seven years later, the church rejected his resignation!—but with sorrow accepted it one year later. Rev. Jesse Page laid the foundation for our church and was the first to call us the “Trinitarian Church.” He was the right man at the right time—because he was God’s choice.
Selection of a Pastoral Search Committee
According to the bylaws of Trinitarian Congregational Church, the Church Council initiates the procedure for selecting a Pastoral Search Committee. This committee shall consist of at least five (5) members, nominated by the Diaconate and approved by the Church Council. All the full members of the congregation will be invited to either volunteer their own willingness to be on the search committee, or to recommend that another member be considered as a good candidate for the committee. The Diaconate will then consider those names, and also, if they choose, consider others in the congregation. If you would like to suggest a name or names for the Pastoral Search Committee (including your own), please contact Glen Ayer (978-994-0430; email@example.com) or Sarah Dunlap (978-886-2191; firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than November 20. As you prayerfully consider this important role, please keep in mind the guidelines printed in the October newsletter.
Thank You from Pastor Tony
I was surprised and moved by the beautiful (and delicious) “Welcome Pastor Tony” cake that awaited me at Coffee Hour on October 2, the Sunday of my installation as Interim Pastor. Thank you for your thoughtfulness!
How Do I Become a Member of Trinitarian Church?
Interested in joining? We’d love to have you officially become a part of Trinitarian Church! And we’d love to have a new member night with you and others new to the church. These are great opportunities to learn more about the church and meet some wonderful people. Please speak with Pastor Tony.
For the Altar . . . Have a birthday or anniversary coming up? How about a special event for which you would like to give thanks? Why not give flowers for Sunday worship! There is a poster in the Davis Room on which you can sign up for a particular date. The cost of arrangements is now $38. Please contact Mary at the church office if you have any questions.
ORDER FORM FOR POINSETTIAS
I wish to order ______ poinsettia(s) to be placed in the Sanctuary on Sunday, December 18, 2016 (Price $12.00). If the plant is to be a memorial, please indicate for whom it is given:
In loving memory of: __________________________________________________________________
Given by: ____________________________________________________________________________
____ I will leave the plant for Christmas Eve service.
____ I will pick up the plant at the conclusion of the service on December 18th.
____ The plant may be used, following the service, for distribution to a home-bound.
____ I would be interested in delivering plants to shut-ins.
Payment should accompany the order, and checks made payable to the TRINITARIAN CHURCH. Please place your order no later than Monday, December 12th. Thank you.
_____In lieu of a Poinsettia I am making a $25 donation for a Market Basket gift card to assist local families.