D o o r w a y s
N e w s l e t t e r
FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF SHARON
29 North Main Street, P O Box 423, Sharon Ma 02067

Rev. Carol Steinbrecher, Interim Pastor Susanne Mullin, Adm. Asst
Email: pastorcarol@thumbdamp.com Office: 781-784-2631
http://fccofsharon.org admin@fccofsharon.org
Office Hours: 10 am to 3 pm

VOLUME 57 September 2018 No. 1

“Be still and know that I am God.”

We don’t get many opportunities for silence these days. There is music or muzak playing in most public places, stores, restaurants, and, of course, elevators. Sitting in a restaurant, there are now multiple TV’s chattering away in the background. They are positioned so that everyone at the table can see one, no matter what direction they are facing.
If there isn’t music or TV, there is the loud clamor of voices surging around us in insistent and incessant waves. Even if someone is sitting or walking alone, they are often in loud conversation with the person they have plugged into their ear, or that they are carrying around in one of those small magic boxes that none of us leaves home without!
Silence can be a time of Sacred trust. Sitting in companionable silence with someone you love, looking out into the moonlit night; standing in the magical silence found in the room of a child who has finally fallen asleep, listening to the soft rhythm of their breathing; sitting in prayerful silence at the bedside of a person who is dying.
Think of the friends of Job who came to sit with him in the ashes when his world collapsed and he lost everything. They sat with him for seven days in silence. And then they blew it by releasing their accusing, complaining words like a flood that washed away all the good they had done with their loving silence.
Jesus was and is the Word Incarnate, the word made flesh. Our words do take on a life and form all their own. Words can wound and words can heal; they can build up and they can tear down; they can unite and they can divide; they can illuminate and they can obfuscate; they can inspire and they can degrade.
We tell children to “use their words” but we forget to tell them sometimes silence is the better way to go. Some words are better left unsaid. Some words are better deleted from email before you send them, or bleeped from our minds before we speak them.
When I was young we were told to say, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” It’s not true, is it? Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words can break our hearts, break our spirits, discourage, and defeat us in ways that may never heal. Words can also lift and inspire us, encourage and enlarge us, educate and liberate us! How have you been using your words lately?
On days when I am feeling awash in words, I notice how my soul yearns more and more, for silence. It is in the silent places in our hearts and in our days that God speaks into our hearts and our lives. The more we make room for God in our lives, the more we become God’s living words. Encouraging words of hope, words of peace, words of faith, and words of love.
Can you take a moment right now to make space for silence in your life and listen for that still, small voice whispering between heartbeats? “Be still, and know, that I am God.”

SEPTEMBER CALENDER AT A GLANCE

Sunday, September 2 – Worship with Communion at 9:30 am; Brazilian Church 7 pm;

Monday, September 3 – Church Closed – Labor Day

Tuesday September 4,– Choir Rehearsal at 6:30 pm, Sharon Community Orchestra at 7 pm

Wednesday September 5 – Administrative Committee at 7:30 pm; AA at 7 pm

Thursday, September 6 – Prayer Shawl Ministry at 1:30 pm; Food Addicts in Recovery at 7 pm
Brazilian Church at 7 pm

Sunday, September 9 – 10 am Sunday Worship, RALLY DAY; Brazilian Church at 7 pm

Monday, September 10 – Robotics at 6 pm; Toastmaster’s at 7 pm;

Sunday, September 16 –10 am Sunday Worship with Communion, ANNUAL PICNIC and PIE CONTEST

Wednesday, September 19 – Board of Deacon’s at 7 pm

Sunday, September 23 –10 am Worship, JUMP-IN CHOIR – 9:00 AM, Annual Car Show,

Wednesday, September 26 – Executive Board at 7:30 pm

Saturday, September 29 – Walpole Indian Association 5:30 – 10:30 pm

Sunday, September 30 – 10 am Worship, Memorial Service at 2 pm

REGULARLY SCHEDULED GROUPS

**Robotics meets every Monday at 6 PM

**Toastmasters meets the second and fourth Monday each month at 7 PM

**Choir rehearsal is every Tuesday at 6:30 pm, and Sundays at 9 am

**Sharon community chamber orchestra meets every Tuesday at 7 pm

**AA meets every week on Wednesdays at 7 pm

**Prayer shawl ministry meets every Thursday at 1:30 pm

**Food addicts in recovery meets every Thursday at 7 pm

**The Brazilian church meets most Thurs, Fridays, Sat., and Sundays, at 7 pm

 

UPCOMING CHURCH EVENTS

RALLY DAY – BRING YOUR BACKPACKS, BRIEFCASES, CALENDARS, AND PHONES!

Rally Day is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 9. We will resume our 10:00 worship schedule and Sunday School Registration will begin. Bring your backpacks, briefcases, calendars, phones, lunch bags, or whatever helps get you through your busy week and we will BLESS THEM TOGETHER TO KICK OFF OUR FALL SEASON!

We will also be having a SONGFEST, singing some of our favorite hymns, hearing the stories behind them, and, if we don’t sing YOUR favorite, you will have a chance to shout it out and we will all join in! Our theme for the fall will be “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus!” The Sunday School students will remain in worship with us for this fun service of singing! Sunday School class will begin Sept. 16.

CHURCH PICNIC, Sunday, Sept. 16!

Our combined Church Picnic is scheduled for Sunday, September 16 immediately following worship. Our sister churches are looking forward to joining us once again on the lawn for delicious food and fellowship! And, don’t forget the PIE CONTEST!! If you would like to be a Judge, please speak with Carolyn Weeks!

WINDING UP FOR THE NEW FALL SEASON!
* Is anyone willing to donate a Flat Screen TV to the church? The Sunday School can use it for lessons and videos. The Search Team will be able to use it to view video sermons of candidates, search local demographics, and watch short, informational UCC videos regarding the profile and search process. We need to be able to plug our laptops into it.

* We appreciate your contributions for the bazaar but please keep them at home until Nov. 25. We are running out of storage space. SO, PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANYTHING ON THE STAGE, OR IN THE HALLWAYS, OR IN THE VARIOUS ROOMS OF THE CHURCH.

If you need to bring items in, please talk to someone on Admin. and they will find and designate a storage space. It will be very helpful if all items to be stored are in plastic, stackable bins, clearly labeled, so we can maximize our storage space. We have events coming up that require use of the stage, please keep it clean!

* Everyone is welcome to borrow anything from the church but please let the office know when you are borrowing things, what you are borrowing and when you return them.

* We still do not have a Bazaar Chair. Is this something a couple would like to tackle together? How about a couple to chair the Bake Shoppe? We hope you have had fun shopping this summer for items for the craft table or making something yourself for the craft table.

ANNUAL HISTORICAL SOCIETY CAR SHOW WILL BE SEPTEMBER 23rd from 1-5 pm – In High St Public Parking Lot behind the church.

Set-up will begin at 9 am so there will be only limited parking for church. The first parking row, where our handicapped spaces are, will be reserved for those members who need to be close to the entrance. If those who are able could park on Main St, at the Police and Fire Museum, or in the parking lot behind the row of stores on Billings St, that would be helpful.

NEW IN WORSHIP THIS FALL

Some changes in worship that the Deacons, Christian Ed., and I would like to try this fall will be as follows:

1) We will be having Communion twice a month on the first and third Sundays. This is because we know not everyone can come to church every week and if you miss the first Sunday of the month, you might go months without Communion. Communion is the heart of who we are as Christians, and how we come together as one body in Christ. We want to offer more opportunities for us to gather at Christ’s table and break bread together.

2) One of our themes for the fall will be “Tell Me The Stories of Jesus.” We will be creating opportunities to use the “Time For All” to tell our scripture story. We would like the young people among us to be hearing scripture, especially as we will be focusing on stories of the early church and about Jesus. The Bible story will then be the focus for the Sunday School class that day.

BE AWARE – OUR COPIER IS NOT WORKING RELIABLY!

The large copier is on its last legs! The Admin. Committee is looking into replacing it. It prints inconsistent and blurry copies so can’t be depended on. If you are preparing meeting minutes or agendas, please print them at home, OR, send them to Susanne and she will print them from her small office printer. Please get them to her a day ahead of when you need them.

PICTURES! PICTURES! PICTURES!

Please take some photos of our church events and gatherings and send them along to Susanne and Pastor Carol. We will use them to enhance our Facebook postings each week. This is a great habit for us to get into so we can be showing the community what we are doing and so church shoppers can see us at work and in worship together. Once we post our profile, often the first thing candidates will do is to check out a church’s website and Facebook page. Let’s show them who we are and what we do!!

WE NEED DELEGATES!

Part of our covenant with the UCC is to participate in important denominational events such as Ecclesiastical Councils, Installation Services, the Fall and Spring Pilgrim Association Business meetings, and the UCC Annual Meetings. It would be good if we had a pool of people willing to attend when they can and represent FCC. No one person, not even me, can attend all the many denominational events that can occur in a year. If you are interested, or would like more information, please talk to Pastor Carol.

COMMITTEE UPDATES

MONTHLY BUDGET SNAPSHOT

I want to say THANK YOU to everyone for keeping the pledges up this summer. We are right on track which really helps us fund our missions and projects!

July Received/Spent Expected

PLEDGES $ 8,252.00 $ 5,682.05
TOTAL INCOME $ 16,698.44 $ 14,493.98
TOTAL EXPENSES $ 9,353.48 $ 16,106.65

Let me know if you have any questions, Marcia Bridgeman, Treasurer – Marcia@bridgeman.com

NOTES FROM THE CHOIR LOFT!

Happy September! The days of summer are waning and the songs of sunshine are giving way to new melodies. The music program at First Congregational Church is trying a few things differently this fall and we hope that many of you will find ways to be involved.

The Chancel choir will rehearse each Tuesday in September at 6:30. If you sing and are interested in joining the chancel choir on a regular basis, please get in touch with Jeanne at sing.with.jeanne@gmail.com. She would love to meet with you and get to know you and your voice. There will be no choir rehearsal on Tuesday, Sept. 18 due to Yom Kippur.

For those who are newer to singing and would like to build skills like matching pitch and reading printed music, you are invited to join the Jump In Choir. This is an open group of people – anybody who loves to sing or might like to try. We will sing about every six weeks in worship, meeting for a 9:00 rehearsal beforehand.

Our first date is Sunday, September 23 and we will sing again Sunday, November 11. All are welcome! It will be easy song that you will pick up that morning. Jeanne will also be teaching a group singing lesson after worship on that day. It’s a great opportunity to exercise your voice and spirit and learn some musical skills! All are welcome, even kids! Children will be doing some singing as part of church school this fall as well.

Handchime choir will begin practicing in October on Thursdays from 5:30-6:30 p.m. If you haven’t played before and are interested, we’d love to have you. Just talk to Jeanne. You don’t need prior musical or instrumental experience. Having a good sense of timing and a willingness to learn is all you need. We are all learning together!

September Schedule:
Tuesdays (except Sept. 18) at 6:30 p.m. in the sanctuary – Chancel Choir Rehearsal
Sundays (starting Sept. 9) at 9:00 a.m. in the sanctuary – Choir Warm-up/Practice
Sunday, Sept. 23 – Jump In Choir practice at 9:00 a.m. and group lesson after worship

INTERIM WORK AND SEARCH TEAM UPDATE

Included with Doorways is a brief demographic survey that we need everyone to fill in and return. Once completed, you can bring it in or mail it to the church office. We will also have the survey available for Rally Day in the Parish Hall. This information will be consolidated and included in the church profile.

You should have received a mailing by now describing a crucial assignment encouraging everyone to complete at least one Community Interview. The purpose of this exercise is to identify areas of need in our community that may be opportunities of service and mission for us. The information we gather will be consolidated and used in our deliberations when we choose our two or three areas of investment for the next 3 – 5 years. Part of finding our “Why” will be answering the question, “Who is Our Neighbor?” This information will also be used in sections of the New Church Profile.

If you have not received the mailing, please let Susanne know and she will send it out to you. We will also have Interview Guidelines and suggested questions available in the Sanctuary, in the Parish Hall, and outside the Admin. Office. Please talk to someone you know in town, and see what you will discover!

CHRISTIAN SERVICE AND MISSION TEAMS UPDATE

PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY.

Keep knitting Ladies and Gentlemen! We are returning to our regular schedule beginning Thursday September 6th at 1:30 pm. All are welcome. We have yarn, needles, instructions for crochet and knitting, and books. Everyone is welcome, even if you don’t want to knit. Come and enjoy the group and have an ICED tea!

OUR FOOD PANTRY

Thank you to everyone who has given so generously to the Food Pantry in Memory of Diane Blair.
Thank you to Camp Evergreen! They held a food drive and donated it to our food pantry!
Thank you to Nancy and Ed Welch, who shared their garden’s bounty!

Is anyone interested in having their group, club, neighborhood, or place of work hold a food drive for our Food Pantry?

If you have extra bounty from your garden, or extra eggs, please share it with our food pantry. The items that go very quickly are: Dish Soap, Laundry Detergent (small bottles or pods), instant coffee (decaf and regular), toilet paper and paper towels, Shampoo, Bar Soap, Sugar, Flour, Cinnamon, Italian Seasoning, Garlic Powder, Salt and Pepper, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Shelf Stable Milk, any fresh fruit or vegetables, Vinegar and Oil, Vanilla, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Cereal, Pasta Sauce, Pasta. Susanne has also been leaving yogurt, eggs and cheese in the little kitchen fridge for whoever needs it.

If you are willing to do a shopping run to help keep the Pantry stocked, we have money in the Food Pantry Fund and you will be reimbursed. Check with Susanne to see what might be most in need that week.

LOCAL FAMILY IN NEED OF MEALS

We have a local family in need of meals on Mondays and Wednesdays. There are two adults and 4 children ages 5, 6, 9, and 10. No allergies. They would like meals delivered between 4 and 5 pm to 50 East St. Meals can be very simple: Pizza and Salad, Mac and Cheese…If you would like to help make a meal or would like to commit to once a month, please call the office.

DO YOU LOVE COOKING?

We have folks in our very own church who could use a meal from time to time. When you are cooking supper, could you make a little extra and freeze it? Please date and label your offering, and put it in the little kitchen freezer. We can use portions for one and family sizes. Thank you for your generosity!

PINE RIDGE NEWS
If anyone is interested in going to Pine Ridge to work with Re-member in 2019, NOW is the time to start planning!

HELP WANTED!

BABYSITTERS NEEDED

Dear Friends,
Our synagogue is in need of babysitters during our Rosh Hashanah (mornings of Sept. 10 and 11) and Yom Kippur (morning to mid-afternoon, Sept. 19) services. We struggle every year to find people who are available those days and not otherwise interested in being a part of our worship services.

Might you have members of your church who would be a good fit for this (paying) job? People who tend to be available are high school students who have the days off of school and retirees or people with flexible work schedules. Ideal candidates are people who have experience working with children, in day cares, religious schools, or camps.

And on a similar note, if there are times of the year when you are facing a similar problem and need help finding teens to cover childcare, I’m happy to ask around my synagogue to see if anyone would be interested.

Many thanks, Rabbi Rachel

Submitted by: Rabbi Silverman, Temple Israel, 781-784-3986 | RSilverman@tisharon.org
www.tisharon.org | 125 Pond St. Sharon, MA 02067

FCC Wedding Liaison – This person would be the point of contact for anyone having their wedding at our church. The position requires attending the Rehearsal and the Wedding service. Responsibilities include but are not limited to: assisting the Pastor as needed, receiving flowers and decorating the sanctuary, setting up the micro phones, opening the church, closing the church, greeting and directing wedding guests to restrooms, recruiting guests to ring the bell, and collecting fees. Compensation is $100 for 4 hours. The wedding party will be billed an additional $25 an hour if it goes over 4 hours. Please call the office if you are interested.

FCC Event Liaison – This person would be the point of contact for people who are holding events at FCC. You would open the church, close the church, and make sure everything is left as it should be. You will need to know how to turn on the stove, and where the lights and tables and chairs are. You will need to remain on-site for the entire function. You would be compensated directly by the renter at the rate of $25 an hour. Please call the office if you are interested.

 

UCC AND PILGRIM ASSOCIATION NEWS!
SUPER SATURDAY https://www.macucc.org/supersaturday
Each spring and fall, the Massachusetts Conference holds a Super Saturday event – a full day of skill building, networking and discussing best practices. You choose a morning and afternoon workshop you would like to attend. Each event offers numerous workshops to choose from, a keynote address, worship, a marketplace of vendors and ideas, and an opportunity for church leaders, both clergy and lay, to network with one another.
Workshop catalogs are available in the Sanctuary, Parish Hall, and outside the Admin. Office. If you wish to attend, you can sign-up on-line or talk to Pastor Carol and she will register you. Please submit the expense to the church and you will be reimbursed.
Super Saturday – October 20, 2018
Location: Keefe Regional Technical High School, Framingham, MA
Featuring: Dave Csinos
Registration is now OPEN! Register for Super Saturday today! You may do it on line or pick up the information at Friendship Hour.

Super Saturday is now a collaborative effort of the Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island conferences, with presenters and attendees from each conference.

FRIENDS IN THE NEWS:

Rev. James G. Pirie who served this congregation from 1963 to 1973, passed away on May 8th, 2018. His wife of 64 years, Lucille (Lu) passed on November 4, 2017. A memorial service for Jim and Lu was held on Saturday August 4, at the Community Church UCC, Main St Durham NH.

Harry Beach’s mother, Isabella Beach, passed away August 11th at age 92 in her home in Ambler, PA. Prayers to Harry and his family.

Barbara Ellis, passed away August 14th. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 13 at 11 am at Riposta Funeral Home, 182 Waldo Ave, Belfast Maine. Barbara was filled with energy and kindness. She and her husband Bob, were very active members of the church until they permanently moved to Maine. They both LOVED the Bazaar and Christmas Trees and were a friend to many in the church.

Katie Johnson, is healing very well from her accident. She will be starting school on time, on crutches, and with a new shorter hairdo! A Go Fund Me page has been started to help with medical bills. https://www.gofundme.com/recovery-fund-for-katie-johnson?member=441422 Pam and Katie are overwhelmed by the generously and support they have received.

IN OUR COMMUNITY

THE KINGSTON TRIO – the Legacy version 3.0 of the group that defined popular music in America in the 50’s and 60’s will perform at 7 pm, Saturday September 22. 1018 at the OCC Coffeehouse, Original Congregational Church, 1 East St, Wrentham MA. Tickets are $50 available at the church office, 508-384-3110 and on line at www.musicatocc.org

PRAYERS OF COMFORT AND PEACE

Our World: Those who work for Peace and Justice throughout the world with Heifer International and Church World Service.

Our Community: The people of Ilse Marks Food Pantry, and Father Bills/Main Spring House who continue to do good works. Teachers, Students and Education Administration as they start a new year!

Our Home:
* The benefactors of our food pantry and those who give generously.
*Prayers for Dave and Faith Berkland.
*Prayers for Pat Walker with new health concerns.
*Prayers for the Family and friends of Barbara Ellis.
*Prayers for Harry Beach whose Mom recently passed away.
*Prayers for Ellen and Ray Bishop, friends of the McCluskeys, at the loss of their son, Ned.
*Prayers for Katie Johnson who is OK, and recuperating at home with a broken leg.
We also pray for her Mom, Pam. Katie is back to school!
*Paul Ladd, Jessica’s Dad, and prayers for her Mom, Jackie.
*Mary Peltier is home recovering from surgery.
*Kate Menees, Gail’s daughter with health concerns
*Liz Siemiatkaska, with health concerns
*Lana Hoffman, Jamie Locke’s niece.
*Christina McLean, with health concerns
*Mark Hodgkins, Wendie’s brother with health concerns. And his extra special caregiver, Wendie!
*John Colaneri, with health concerns

Perhaps you would like to send a note of sympathy, cheer, or simply ‘thinking about you’ to people who are on our prayer list. This offers a way of reaching out to those who have been unable to join us in church. Cards and addresses are available by the church office and in the Parish Hall during Freindship Hour. Susanne would be glad to mail them for you.

Doorways
N e w s l e t t e r
FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF SHARON
29 North Main Street P O Box 423, Sharon, MA 02067

DATED MATERIAL:

September 1, 2018

ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED