The Messenger by fdh56iuoui


                     Newsletter of the First Congregational Church,
                     United Church of Christ, Lee, Massachusetts

                                                                                               SEPTEMBER 2011
                                                    Pastor’s Piece

J  ust before my summer vacation I came across a powerful story which I used in my Sunday sermon
  on August 14. It bears repeating here. I found it in Brian McLaren’s book, Naked Spirituality: A Life
with God in 12 Simple Words. In a late chapter, McLaren is describing the practice of contemplation. He
shares experiences of entering into God’s presence. He tells a story that was shared with him by Steve
Bell via email. Steve is a musician and a Christian. He was playing in a tiny community theater in rural
Manitoba. In addition to his band, there were several members of a symphony orchestra. At one
point Mike, the pianist, was playing a solo. Steve and Mike locked eyes as Steve began to play off
Mike’s rhythms. Suddenly Steve realized that Mike was playing off him as much as he was playing off
Mike. They were both ‘othering’ at the same time. As he realized this, it was as if time slowed to a
stop and God spoke: “Pay attention to this, Steve. This is Who I am.” Then the whole scene was back
in full motion. Steve’s insight is that the highest moments of our human experience occur when we
“lose ourselves (or finally find ourselves) in flourishing the other … mutually.” It is in those moments
of “mutual othering” that we come the closest to the very nature of God whose image we bear.
We don’t have to be accomplished musicians to ‘play off ’ the others in our lives. Every conversation,
every interaction, can become a moment of mutual othering. As we seek to more fully understand the
experiences, the hopes and dreams, the fears and concerns of others, they can be seeking to under-
stand us. If we can offer our unconditional acceptance and affirmation, we will set others free to be
real and honest in their sharing with us. These are the moments when we come close to God’s love for
us. These become opportunities for healing and growth toward wholeness and shalom. I suspect that
these special conversations are a glimpse of life in the heavenly realms. There we are no longer hidden
behind the facades of faces, words and gestures. We are fully known. Practicing such conversational
experiences could be the answer to a portion of The Lord’s Prayer: that God’s will be done on earth
as it is in heaven.

       “It is the aim of this church to present a religion as considerate of persons as the teachings of Jesus;
    as devoted to justice as the Old Testament prophets; as responsive to Truth as science; as beautiful as art;
      as intimate as the home and as indispensable as the air we breathe.” ~ Statement by the Founders

            Reverend Bill Neil, Pastor; Elaine Miller, Director of Christian Education; Jim Morrison, Music Director;
            Michelle Bouché, Administrative Assistant; Glenn Withers, Sexton
            First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, 25 Park Place, PO Box 395,
            Lee, MA 01238 - 413.243.1033 - -
A personal note: Thank you for the generous            Monthly Gathering for Centering Prayer –
gifts and birthday cake in honor of my 60th.           On the first Thursday of the month at 7
Please feel free to do it again in another 10          pm, we will share in a time of centering prayer.
years! Two days before our vacation we were            We’ll begin with a moment of gathering. I or
saddened by the sudden death of our 10 year            another will offer an inspirational thought or
old pet, Grace. The next day brought the death         scripture. Most of our time will be spent in a
of our next door neighbor, Deborah Decker,             shared silence as we seek the inner silence of
the daughter of Beverly Miller. I have been            God’s presence.
diagnosed with prostate cancer. I will meet
                                                       Monthly Gathering for Building a Spiritual
with my urologist early in September to plan a
                                                       Community – On the third Thursday of the
course of treatment. I have also been called to
                                                       month at 7 pm, we share an experience based
Jury Duty for Tuesday, September 6. My
                                                       on Parker Palmer’s book, A Hidden Wholeness.
mother is home from rehab and living quite
                                                       He describes “Circles of Trust” in which the
independently much to the joy of her loved
                                                       participants create a form of community
                                                       inspired by group reflection on poems, stories,
Yours in faith and love, Rev. Bill Neil                songs or other works of art. The conversation
                                                       provides an opportunity for each person to
        Spiritual Formation for Adults                 speak from his or her center. Others do not
                                                       respond to the speaker in attempts to help or
Several years ago, NIKE was selling sneakers           fix. Instead each person is invited to respond
with the motto: Just Do It. At that time I             from his or her own center. Implicit in the
offered my church folks three opportunities            process is a trust that God is present deep
for spiritual formation: a Bible study, a prayer       within that center. Our goal is to provide a safe
group, and an experience in building commu-            setting in which God’s inner wisdom can speak
nity. The prayer group went well. The Bible            forth. The result can be personal growth
study met for a while. The community experi-           toward healing and the formation of a
ence was a practice in solitude (mine). As we          spiritual community.
reorganize our schedules for the fall season, I
once again offer a trio of experiences for             For all of these gatherings, we will use either
adults. These gatherings will begin September          the church parlor or chapel depending on the
15 with the 9:15 am Bible Study and 7 pm               size of the group. No RSVP is necessary. If
Spiritual Community, September 18 for the              you do have questions, please contact Rev. Bill
Bible Study, and October 6 for the 7 pm                Neil.
Centering Prayer.                                                   From your Treasurer
Weekly Bible Study with Bill – This gathering          Summer is sadly coming to an end. Unfortu-
will focus on the scriptures for the coming            nately pledge contributions fall off in the
Sunday. We will read them, explore them in             summer which required me to draw more
their historical contexts, and look at the ways        money than usual from the Endowment Fund.
they can inform and inspire our lives today.           Please make every attempt to bring your
Two alternate times will be available: Thurs-          pledges up to date by the end of September.
days at 9:15 am OR Sundays at 9:15 am.
                                                       Al Trivers
   Berkshire & Massachusetts Association                   tion of All Shook Up, and again I saw incred-
                                                           ibly talented young people performing this
                                                           musical and it makes everyone feel happy inside.
Being in the UCC one of our annual obligations             Everyone leaves there feeling better than they
is to financially support the Berkshire and                were when they went in. The music brings these
Massachusetts Associations of the UCC. The                 kids together. They become good friends, and
support dues are assessed on a per-member                  some of those friendships may last a lifetime.
basis (adults & confirmed children). We had 111            What a great way to spend the summer for these
members at the end of December and thus our                kids.
per capita amount is $19. Please pay toward
your full dues amount; with full participation in          Another friend of mine’s granddaughter grew
covering this expense we won’t have to draw                up with the Earth Angels, helping build props
money from our operating budget. Write                     and paint from age 5 until she was 16. For 11
“Berkshire Conf Dues” in the memo of your                  years, she watched us adults and learned about
check. And, thank you!                                     community service and was happy to help. All
                                                           of these kids join us each year when the Earth
~ Al Trivers, Treasurer                                    Angels go Christmas Caroling to nursing homes
                                                           and shut ins. In their own way, they are all using
                                                           music to bring joy and happiness to others. Bill’s
           From the Music Director....
                                                           sermon today about the musician, Steve Bell,
This morning on my way in to church, a                     was sort of saying the same thing. With music,
gentleman shouted over to me and said “Hey                 sometimes it is easy to get lost in the moment.
Jim, I love to read your newsletter submissions.”
I replied, “Thanks I really appreciate that.” Then         My point in all this is that sometimes when it
I stopped and thought that the September                   seems that the country is in terrible shape, and
newsletter is due in a few days. It seems the              we worry about the mess we are leaving for our
summer went by in a blink. And I realized that I           grandchildren to clean up and the bills that they
had no idea about what I would even write                  will have to pay, we should stop for a moment
about in this issue. Then I went into church and           and trust that they are going to be just fine. We
listened to Joan Zukowski’s granddaughters sing            can learn a lot from the beautiful young people
and I knew exactly what I would talk about this            that attend this church. They are so talented and
month.                                                     their smiles bring joy to each of us. The choir
                                                           could perform the most difficult piece imagin-
This past week has seen our Congress struggling            able, and it would probably pale in comparison
with decisions and unity, a stock market that is           to 8 year old Cara singing Seek Ye First a
unpredictable and volatile to say the least,               capella. That is the “magic” of the moment.
and London is in a state of chaos. Then comes              And life is better because of the music.
these 3 children with beautiful voices and
genuine hearts, and life is better, at least for the       Jim Morrison
moment. And maybe that is what music needs                 P.S. - Please know that the congregation is
to be. I know that listening to those young                      ALWAYS invited to sing along with choir.
girls sing from their hearts made me feel won-                   If you know the words, please join in. It
derful. The night before, I watched my friend’s                  will add to the program.
granddaughter in the Barrington Stage Produc-
        Memo on some facilities items                   stairway would not need a handicapped ramp.
                                                        There are a couple of backup options if the
• The lower band around the church
                                                        cost for this is too great. It is about 11 feet of
  painting project. The painters have tentatively
                                                        concrete walk. I have traded this redesign work
  scheduled September 6th to start that project.
                                                        and changes that help us in exchange for the
  There is some wood deterioration because of
                                                        contractor’s use of our back area for
  weathering and that will be repaired. We will be
                                                        temporary storage of machinery and materials.
  following the recommendation of the regional
                                                        They will restore that area, but also see below.
  representative of Benjamin Moore Paints, who
                                                        My feeling is that if we work with them, they
  inspected the project with Joey Scapin of Lee
                                                        will work with us!
  Hardware. We will finish with two coats of
  Benjamin Moore Aura Paint. It will be a scrape,   • Back yard drainage. This has been an
  prime, repair, and finish paint job.                ongoing concern. We need to grade the lawn
                                                      away from the building in the rear. We need to
• The front entry/foyer finishing. Jody
                                                      drain off the roof water. We need to slope the
  Margraf will start the floor repair soon. Then
                                                      whole yard so that it drains someplace, as now
  the whole foyer will be sanded and finished.
                                                      it is quite flat or actually drains toward the
  That work probably will cover a couple of
                                                      building in some places. In prior discussions, I
  weeks once started. The foyer will need to be
                                                      negotiated for some fill for the back so we
  blocked off M-F while that work is ongoing.
                                                      could at least develop a slope away from the
  He will not be working Saturdays or Sundays
                                                      back of the building. In a discussion with the
  and the foyer will be available for entry for
                                                      engineer and the contractor, we came up with a
  tours or church. Please stay out of this area
                                                      solution to solve a lot of the above issues. In
  once work begins. Signs will be placed on the
                                                      reality, our back yard is the low point –and has
  inside doors and the outside will be locked.
                                                      been for some time- for drainage for the
                                                      whole area around us. The new parking lot
• Handicapped access from the alleyway. We            drainage will help this some, but we still will
  need to have access from the new alleyway to        have water issues, a problem of owning a low
  the side entry portico. It also needs to be         point! A new storm drain has been run along
  handicapped accessible. This initially was a        the alleyway under where all the bushes and
  complicated and potentially expensive access.       trees were before. They would let us tie into
  The height difference was over 12" and the run      that line and I believe the time to do it is now!
  not long enough for a single shot. With much        This will also cost money, but hopefully a lot
  discussion, there has been some redesign of the     less than tearing everything all up at some future
  alleyway sidewalk to raise it a few inches. It      time. We have come up with a plan to run a
  makes the access way for us a single shot. The      drainage line from the area near the hatch to the
  plan is not final, but I have asked for numbers     new drainage basin in the back corner of our
  to at least pour the walk in concrete when the      lawn area. All the down spouts would be tied
  rest of the work is done. We will be                into this line – no more pipes sticking out onto
  responsible for the concrete work from the          the lawn, and the rear lawn and back lawn
  alleyway sidewalk to our portico. It was            would be re-graded toward this drainage line
  assumed that this would be the handicapped          and out into the town drainage system. I have
  entrance from the new parking area when they        asked for a cost estimate for this project. I’ll
  decided that the other new back parking lot         keep you posted.         ~ Garth Story
      Community Dinners
HELP! Comm unity Dinner s Needs YOU!                                             Rally Day & 1st
                                                                                 day of Sunday

F   or more than 12 years Wednesday has
    meant Community Dinner in Lee.
(Does anyone know the date of the first
                                                                                 School is 9-25.
                                                    Everone welcome. Picnic to follow in courtyard
                                                    weather permitting. Bring something to share.
one?) People have been fed when they had
an empty pantry at home, or no home.                                   Cocoa Mulch
People have been fed when eating alone
meant maybe not bothering to eat at all.            After 14 years of running the annual cocoa mulch
                                                    sale, I have decided that April of 2012 will be my
People have been fed because it is so
                                                    last year of organizing the fund raiser. The fund
nourishing to feed others.                          raiser generally brings in $1,000 to $2,000 annually.

A    ll this has happened because teams of
      people from this church and other
churches and organizations have pitched in
                                                    I have a list of “regular” buyers and there is
                                                    potential to make this into a bigger fund raiser. I
                                                    am more than happy to work with any interested
to do the work. This year help is needed!           person. I would need to know of your interest
St. Mary’s Church cannot participate this           prior to February 2012 since that is when I would
year. CIP can only do 2 meals during the            be drafting up the mulch order forms and
                                                    informing the annual buyers as to whether this is
entire year. We are inviting new partici-
                                                    the final year of sales or not. You can call me at
pants.                                              home or talk to me at church.

V    olunteer to be on a team! Set up is at
     4pm and the kitchen is usually clean
and the hall reset by 7. You do not need to
                                                        Tari Roosa (413) 243-1201

plan, shop or cook – unless you would like                        Annual Church Picnic
to do these things. Call Judy Morehouse,            Being somewhat uncertain about the possibility of
243-2891, or Marilyn Rossier, 528-0824.             rain Hospitality made the decision to have our
Meals won’t be served without volunteers            church picnic indoors. Thanks to all of you who
to serve them.                                      pitched in and set up tables and those who helped
                                                    take down the tables and clean up. As always there
Annual Church Craft Fair: July 30th brought         was a great selection of food and plenty of it,
sunshine for our fair held in the park. This year   too.
we had 38 crafts booths. Our fair brought in       Special praise and thanks to the following people:
$1,578.96. This includes proceeds from the         ♦ David Markham for bringing the grills to the
concession stsand and bake sale and is prior to    church and then along with Troy Arnold grilling
expenses. MAJOR thanks to the participants         hamburgers and hot dogs.
without whom there would be no fair, to those
who donated of their time and talent, for the      ♦ Margaret Markham and Jane Gleason who
loan of a grill on which to cook, and to the many  purchased all the hamburgers, hot dogs, buns,
volunteers who helped before, during, and after    condiments, beverages. Margaret also was
the fair, and of course, to my wonderful com-      responsible for getting the decorated birthday
mittee – all who helped make this possible and a   cake for Pastor Bill’s 60th birthday.
delight. ~ Dottie D’Elia                          5
               Calendar - SEPTEMBER 2011
                             Church Ministry Schedule for Worship
Mo. Altar Flowers Coffee Hour            Diaconate                       Hospitality      Usher
 9 J. Morehouse Mission/Justice           J. Gleason/A. Lockenwitz                        D. Markham
10 M. Trivers     Christian Ed           T. Martin/J. Gleason                             C. Clifford

 Monthly on the                                       Occasional activities
 1st Sun         10:30 a Communion Sunday             Mon 5-Sep holiday Office closed
                         Hospitality Mtg              Tue   6-Sep     out Rev. Neil on Jury Duty
 1 & 3 Tues 12:00 p Prayer Shawl Ministry
  st     rd
                                                      Sat 17-Sep in Park Art/Craft Fair
 3rd Wed          7:00 p Council Mtg
                                                                            (Berkshire Made)
 1st Thurs        1:30 p Pastoral Relations
                         (1:00p in September)         Fri 23-Sep setup for Tag Sale
 2nd & 4th Thurs 1:00 p Prayer Ministry               Sat 24-Sep 9:00 a Tag Sale in Fellowship
 3rd Thurs        7:00 p Bldg a Spritual Comm                               Hall; Cookie Sale &
                         (starts 9.15)                                      Cook Book Sale in Park
 Last Thurs        5:30p Clergy Community             Sun 25-Sep 10:30 a First day of Sunday
                         Practice                                           School & Rally Day
                                                      Mon 26-Sep 10:00 a Newsletter deadline
Weekly ongoing activities                             Tue 27-Sep 1:00 p Red Cross Blood Drive
Sun    9:15 a Bible Study (starts 9.18)                   thdays:
                                                      Bir thdays: 2 Michael Markham, Sheila Maroni,
     10:30 a Worship Service, nursery                 Marian Ochs; 3 Joshua Brazee, Lauren Rizzardini,
               available, Sunday School               Cathy Schane-Lydon; 5 George Sampson; 8 Laura
               resumes 9.25                           Martin; 10 Beth Moore; 12 Charles MacDonald, Dan
                                                      Spalinger; 13 Stanley Rossier; 16 Sydney Herland;
Mon    5:00 p Weight Watchers
                                                      18 David Markham; 20 Stephen Daoust, Kate
       6:30 p Boy Scouts (starts 9.12)
                                                      DelSignor, Benjamin Snow; 22 Eternity Williams;
Tue    9:00 a WIC                                     27 Gerard Miller; 29 Brian Bailey, Michelle Moore
       5:45 p ZUMBA fitness (not on 9.27)             Anniversaries:
                                                      Anniver saries: 4 Danna & Brian Snow; 8 Marilyn &
       7:00 p Choir Rehearsal                         Stan Rossier; 17 Amy & Josh Williams; 23 Catherine
                                                      Fennelly & Brian Bailey; 28 Marilyn & Bill Fennelly
Wed    5:30 p The Shape Club
Thu    9:15 a Bible Study (starts 9.15)                                                   Tending the clock
      10:00 a Parkinson’s Singing Group                     Worship Attendance               this month
       7:30 p AA Lee Park Place group                  July 3     49    Aug. 7 52          Bill Fennelly
Sat    8:00 a AA Sober on Saturday group               July 10    65    Aug. 14 62
      10:00 a Weight Watchers                          July 17    62    Aug. 21 40
      11:00 a Historic Church Tours                    July 24    66    Aug. 28 6
                                                       July 31    46
Our calendar isONLINE at
                        First Congregational Church of Lee Prayer Ministry
            The Prayer Ministry meets the 2nd & 4th Thursday of each month at 1:00 p.m. in the Perkins
            Chapel to pray for each person whose name appears below. Everyone is invited to participate in
            this Prayer Ministry. If you have names for the prayer list, please complete form on the next page
            and place in offering plate or submit to the church office. Names will be kept on the Prayer List for
            two months unless otherwise advised.              08.25.11
                                    WE PRAY FOR
Our Friends and Members:
Elaine Andersen (member of church)
David Aspenlieder (friend of Barbara Mahony)
Norma Berry (member of church)
Pam Bertram (friend of Barbara Mahony)
Bob Bark (grew up in Lee area, now a member of UCC church on Long Island, asked for prayers
for himself)
Dolores Birch (member of church)
Robert Birch (member of church)
Bill Blakeslee (son of Carol Blakeslee)
Ashley Boyd (granddaughter of Faith Neil)
Joseph Brazee (father of Kellie Monteleone)
Marion Carrington (member of church)
Ray Cimonetti (friend of Sandy Cozzaglio)
Barbara De Stefano (friend of Sandra Cozzaglio)
Secondo D’Elia (member of church)
Jacqueline Dolson (friend of Barbara Mahony)
The Dugan family (friends of Martha Congdon)
Jarolyn Etheredge (friend of our church)
Doug Guinan (friend of James and Sarah DelSignor)
Donald Hanson (friend of Al Trivers)
Jeffrey Harford (son of Lynn Lanoue)
Grace Ketchen (member of church
Irene Lichtenstein (friend of Barbara Mahony)
Margaret Lindsay (friend of church)
Ruth Lowry (member of church)
Harold MacDonald (member of church)
Elizabeth Mack and family (friends of Sandra Cozzaglio)
Joan Marino (friend of Barbara Mahony)
Blanche Matarazzo (mother of Robert Matarazzo)
Scott NeJame (friend of Barbara Mahony)
Ruth Neil (mother of Bill Neil)
David Ohman (son of Conrad and Margaret Ohman)
Hayleigh Porrini, (friend of Susan and Lindsay Clayson and Sandy Cozzaglio)
Lori Richmond and family (friend of Brian and Bonnie Tillotson)
Jay Rossier (son of Marilyn and Stan Rossier)
Jon and Gerry Setter (friends of Al and Midge Trivers)
Jean Smith (aunt of Robert Matarazzo)
Claire Tisdale (mother of Sheila Maroni)
Karen Vidoli (friend of Ray Morehouse)
Rick Wade (son of Lois Wade and brother of Pam Naventi and Cheryl Walker)
Karl Wallace (cousin of Maddy Tremblay)
Henry Zukowski (husband of Joan Zukowski)
Extended to the family of Rene DeCelles - aunt of Bob Matarazzo
Extended to the family of Deborah Decker – daughter of Beverly Miller
Extended to the family of Rosie Mahony – niece of Barbara Mahony
Extended to the family of Weston Primmer – brother of Sandra Cozzaglio
Our Shut-Ins at Care Facilities: Doris Clark (Providence Care Center), Ida Hitchcock (Centerville
on Cape Cod), George Sampson (Kimball Nursing Home), Marge Szewczak (Fairview Commons),
Lois Wade (Kimball Nursing Home)
Our Church: My prayer and yearning for this church is __________ (please fill in the blank). Bill
Neil and his family, our Staff, our congregation, Committees, Council, children around the world
supported by our church. Our young people headed off to college!
Our Local Community: For those who are in need of employment, food, shelter, financial
assistance, friendship. For our brothers and sisters hit by tornados in the Berkshires, Springfield and
Our Country: For wisdom for President Obama, his cabinet, other elected and appointed leaders in
handling the many problems we are facing, the economy and financial difficulties, global warming,
energy, health, hate-filled extremists: also state and local leaders facing many of the same problems
and specifically hold close the members of Congress that they may be guided to pass legislation for
the common good. Lord, forgive those who express their anger in a violent way and who take
refuge in extremism. In your grace and wisdom help them to bring their voices to an effective
dialogue without violence.
Our Military:
Our World: For people impacted by natural and man-made disasters around the world, the victims
of civil unrest in northern Africa and the Middle East, victims of famine in eastern Africa, people
displaced by ethnic violence, all those whose lives are affected by war.

Please pray for        ______________________________________________________
Requested by __________________________________                      Telephone ______________
Reason for request (will not be printed on Prayer concerns) _____________________

               please place prayer request in offering plate or submit to the church office
            Founders’ Day Weekend                           afternoon, the Pittsfield Area Council of
                                                            Congregations is holding a special inter-faith
Another Founders’ Day Weekend is arriving
                                                            service at 7:00 pm at the Lichtenstein Center,
soon: Sept. 23 – 25! Our church hopes to enter
                                                            28 Renne Avenue, Pittsfield (located a half-
a Float in the Saturday Parade. We will offer
                                                            block from Fenn Street, behind the First
our annual Tag Sale, Bake Sale, and Church
                                                            United Methodist Church). Part of the service
Tours. We will also be selling our church Cook
                                                            will be the reading of the essays, poems, and
Book! Helpers are welcome for any and all of
                                                            other writings by area children and youth on
the activities. Festival Latino will present its 16th
                                                            the theme: “Diversity Strengthens Our Com-
annual presentation of dances and food.
                                                            munity: Reflecting upon our Lessons from
Church volunteers are needed to provide
                                                            September 11.” Plan now to attend the
hospitality for our guests as they use our
                                                            Pittsfield service.
building for costume changes, etc.
                                                                  Area Notes and Looking Ahead
                 Market America
                                                            Hospice Care’s Annual Remembrance Ceremony and
Our church has signed a contract with Market
                                                            Walk will be held at 10 am on Saturday,
America, a web-based shopping service. We
                                                            September 10 at Farnum’s Crossing on the
have a web-portal in the church’s name. That
                                                            Ashuwillticook Trail. Walkers and donations
access is:
                                                            are welcome.
Enter the web via that portal. Register as a
                                                            Hancock Shaker Village and The Center for
Preferred Customer. Select the “No I am a new
                                                            Peace through Culture present a one day Peace
customer” option. Follow the prompts. Use the
                                                            Conference, Pathways to Peaceful Living: Tools
search box to find the specific item or type of
                                                            and Explorations on Saturday, September 17.
product you are looking for. Use Shop Partners
                                                            Dennis Kucinich will be the key note speaker.
to find a specific partner like Best Buy or Home
                                                            Several workshops will be offered. The
Depot. Use Hot Deals to find special deals or
                                                            evening will conclude with a Paul Winter
coupons to save even more money. You
                                                            Concert. Group rates are available.
become eligible to earn up to 35% on qualified
purchases. In addition, the church will receive             Save the evening of Saturday, October 15 for
cash back payments from Market America.                     our church’s first-ever Soul Fest event. We’ll
Some churches are receiving almost $200,000                 begin with a meal in the Fellowship Hall. Then
per year! After you have had a successful                   we will enter the sanctuary for an experience
shopping experience, share the web portal with              of contemporary Christian music and worship.
friends in your social network. Shoppers from               We hope to include a variety of local and
Hong Kong to Honolulu can benefit the First                 more distant musicians. This is one of those
Congregational Church of Lee if they use our                outreach events to which we can invite neigh-
web portal for their on-line purchases.                     bors and friends.
                                                            The annual Construct Walk will be held on
                  September 11                              Sunday, October 16 at 1 pm. Walkers and
On Sunday, September 11, our church will                    contributors are needed. Plan now to partici-
include a Moment of Remembrance on the                      pate and to give generously. The donations
tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Later that           support Construct’s emergency relief funds.
   Steward                     “Living is Giving.
                               Giving is Living.”
                          What a wonderful
                         world we live in! What a
wonderful gift God has given us! As the season
changes yet again and we take one last swim in
the pond, walk barefoot on a beach one more                 Revised Common Lectionary - Year A
time, harvest the last from the garden let us give
thanks for the gift and let us pledge to take better                 SEPTEMBER
care of it..
                                                       4 12th Sunday after Pentecost
             To Tom Toupounce the owner of                Exodus 12:1-14
             Meadow Farms on Meadow Street                Psalm 149 or Ezekiel 33:7-11
             in South Lee. He donated several             Psalm 119:33-40
yards of bark mulch for the bank off the new              Romans 13:8-14
parking lot behind the church. Also thanks to             Matthew 18:15-20
Joshua and Allison Topham who helped their
grandparents, Garth and Karen, spread the mulch!       11 13th Sunday after Pentecost
                                                          Exodus 14:19-31
THANK You to Marilyn Fennelly for providing               Psalm 114 or Exodus 15:1b-11,20-21 or
flowers from her garden throughout the summer             Genesis 50:15-21
for Sunday services. You may provide flowers              Psalm 103(1-7), 8-13
                                                          Romans 14:1-12
by signing up on poster in Fellowship Hall. Cost
                                                          Matthew 18:21-35
is $25 with flowers provided by Markandiser
Florist.                                               18 14th Sunday after Pentecost
                                                          Exodus 16:2-15
       ATTENTION all bakers. 9/24/11                      Psalm 105:1-6,37-45 or Psalm 145:1-8
                                                          Jonah 3:10-4:11
Cookie sale on Founder’s Day September 24 in
                                                          Philippians 1:21-30
the park. We are famous for our cookies. Gener-
                                                          Matthew 20:1-16
ous and regular sized cooked appreciated. This is
a good fundraiser and great fun. We all need to        25 15th Sunday after Pentecost
contribute and please volunteer to help. Call Judy        Exodus 17:1-7
at 243-2891.                                              Psalm 78:1-4,12-16 or Ezekiel 18:1-4,25-32
                                                          Psalm 25:1-9
 Tag Sale – 9/24 of Lee Founders Weekend                  Philippians 2:1-13
                                                          Matthew 21:23-32
Collecting items for our annual church Tag Sale –
please NO clothing, NO electronics, and NO big
furniture. Items may be left in the coat closet
                                                             DEADLINE for the October
adjacent to the men’s restroom. To help setup/
                                                              issue of The Messenger is
day of Tag Sale, please contact Dottie at 269-
                                                           Monday, September 26 at 10 AM
4854.                                             10
             From the Moderator                      ideas, a changed paradigm. Finally with that we
                                                     see the reality of the change we need to make.
I am reading a wonderful book that was
                                                     This is time for radical.
recommended to the Board of Directors of
the State Conference – Fly in the Ointment by        Jesus asked his disciples to make radical
J. Russell Crabtree. It is about responses that      changes. We know that they were a goofy
our churches and denominations need to make          group of guys… just like us… who need to
in this time of upheaval. It is a truth telling      jump in and then learn the skills they needed as
book. It is not a sugar coated approach. If you      they moved along. It was their hearts that gave
are faint of heart, do not read it. Though I am      them courage to follow. Then came on the job
not done with it and will learn more through         training. Sometime quickly, sometimes slowly…
all its pages, let me share some bullets that have   but necessary, urgent, together, in love….
settled in my mind.                                  Because they loved Jesus.
First off – congregations know what the              Our “problems” of building, finances, mem-
trouble is. They know what they need – more          bership are not the focus. Our faith, our urgent
member, more families.                               desire to meet our neighbors and share the
                                                     good news in a way that is relevant so that they
Secondly, we may need help in how we solve
                                                     can hear… that is the action. The platform is
that trouble. Our old solutions are just that…
                                                     burning. We must jump.
old. This is a new time and we must be radical
when we change. Pep rallies and fresh paint are      Extravagant welcome, boundless love of
not the total answer. Let’s learn communication      Christ, Justice for all. These truths are the
and leadership skills. Spreading the message is      burning timbers that we must grab- communi-
the necessity.                                       cate, urgently, with heart, convincingly, because
                                                     this is the way to salvation.
These are not new ideas at all for any of us
who are struggling to navigate these waters. We      Respectfully
know we need a radical change. We under-
                                                     Martha Congdon
stand that the status quo must be shook up.
One image is the burning platform… if you
are on an oil rig in the ocean and it is on fire…                   Christmas Fair 12/3/11
better to jump into cold water that has debris       This is our largest fundraiser with 10% of our
and oil slick that could also catch on fire          profits going to Habitat for Humanity. We all
because there is only certain death on the           need to participate – making items to sell and
platform. The possibility of death in the water      volunteering to setup and work at fair.
lurks, but so does opportunity – floating on
debris, a passing boat, …. Many more options         We need knit and handmade items. Christmas
than a burning platform.                             ornaments - home decorations etc. Frozen
                                                     food items – and as always, baked goods.
My lesson here is that we need the urgency. We
have the data and we have some ideas about        The community looks forward to this event –
solutions. We need to be bound by the urgency     it is a good time for all. Call Judy 234-2891 to
and commitment to act radically. That “crisis”    offer your suggestions and help.
clarity brings action, focused thought, new    11
First Congregational Church                                           NON-PROFIT ORG.
United Church of Christ                                              U.S. POSTAGE PAID
25 Park Place, PO Box 395                                                  LEE, MA
Lee, MA 01238-0395                                                     PERMIT NO. 25


          Sunday Worship 10:30 a.m. ~ Church School & Nursery Care Available
           Communion offered first Sunday of each month ~ All are welcome

                                                 Community Dinners
                                                    needs YOU!
  Sunday School starts September 25th
                                     PAGE 5


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