Central Square Congregational Church, United Church of Christ

April 2021

We are a Christian community of people who are reaching out to our neighbors, 
at home and abroad, sharing our faith and our resources.


Central Square Congregational Church, UCC, of Bridgewater, Massachusetts is an open and affirming
church. No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.

From the Desk of Rev. Beth

Rev. Elizabeth Stotts, Pastor


My Beloved Siblings in Christ,

As I write this article, I can’t help but be discouraged by the whiplash effect of the weather lately. One day it’s sunny and I grab a light jacket as I step outside, the next there’s ice needing to be scraped off my windshield before I can head into work, and I’m ransacking the house looking for my winter coat. Even though I know spring is coming (or at least I’ve witnessed its arrival every year for the past 42 years leading me to believe it will happen again soon), I’m growing impatient and perhaps a bit skeptical.

We all know that under the cold harshness of winter there awaits more life than we can imagine ready to break through: bulbs planted in the fall starting to break open, worms working their way through thawing soil, seeds dropped by birds taking root in new places. I imagine that by the time you read this the crocuses will be blooming and daffodils well on their way to joining them. Again and again spring comes. Year after year. We know it does. It’s like the sunrise in that way.

Rev. T. Denise Anderson writes: “Easter is as familiar to Christians as a sunrise. We know the story – at least one variation – and we likely expect to greet the day the same way every year... Again and again, the sun rises on a new day, often without embrace or acknowledgment. The same is true of resurrection. Whether or not we discern what’s happening, God is literally and figuratively turning the world around!

In a year when it has been easy to be skeptical of hope, we’re called to face the sunrise once again and give in to what we know: the sun always rises. The spring always comes. God is always there with something new breaking through. And love always wins.

Friends, Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed!
Always in Hope,
Rev. Beth


In-person worship closure extended until further notice*

* The building is available to the Bridgewater Food Pantry, 12-step support groups,

and small group gatherings under strict guidelines and protocols, by reservation only.


Dear Friends of CSCC,

While we all desperately want to come back to church, and coffee hour, and youth events … and so much more, it’s simply not safe to do so yet. We have to stay the course, stay home, mask up when we need to go out, and keep our distance for just a bit longer. Then when we do gather once more, we’ll be able to come together and truly celebrate.

We were hoping that by now we’d be able to begin worshipping all together again. But the number of cases is still high, and we hear news of new strains that are more contagious. You’ll find an article later in this issue from the Building Reopening Task Force, sharing the journey that they have been on toward resuming in-person worship, and how they cannot recommend that we move forward with that just yet.

And as we’ve said before, thank you to all that have been “thinking outside the box” of ways our community can continue to stay connected and support each other and the community at large. We are truly blessed to have each other.

Until then, we will continue to broadcast Sunday services on Facebook and YouTube, and rebroadcast them on BTV. We will also continue to stay connected as a community through the Steeple Sounds newsletter, the CSCC website, Facebook, and our “Care Circles,” and connect with each other one on one through phone calls, texts, emails, Zoom, and cards.  Maybe even with the occasional drive-by communion or takeout dinner fundraiser.

Be well and be safe, and keep the church and each other in your prayers.



• We will continue to worship virtually for the forseeable future.
• Use the link on the homepage of www.csccucc.org to access Sunday worship. Click on the COVID-19 update link to access the YouTube link for past services.
•  Sunday Worship will continue to be livestreamed from the Sanctuary at 10 a.m. Only the Pastor, the Minister of Music, and the Director of Video Evangelism will be allowed in the building.  




Booth Video Productions and BTV Access Corporation team up to bring you livestream productions of our services. The link to watch the service live, as well as an electronic copy of our bulletin so that you can follow along, is available each week that we are broadcasting on our website homepage, www.csccucc.org. You can watch weekly sermons live on YouTube courtesy of Paul Holmes and Booth Video (search Central Square Congregational Church).


A  quick reminder that Central Square Sunday service can be viewed on BTV Channel 9 on Sundays at 8pm, Mondays at 1pm, Tuesdays at 10am, and Fridays at 3pm. Generally the programming is updated mid-week. Also, if you miss a service or other special programming and would like to watch On Demand or download a copy, you can check out youtube.com/c/Booth-video/videos or btvaccess.viebit.com

Our Online Ministry Continues to be Strong
Paul Holmes, our Minster of Video Evangelism, reported at Cabinet last month that our online viewership continues to be strong, whether live on YouTube or Facebook, or playback on BTV. There have been Sunday worship services with over 100 views, and a lot of great interaction with inspirational Facebook posts, videos, and announcements. The singalong, too, attracted a great audience!


From the Building Reopening Task Force

Hi Friends!  

We want to give an update about what the Building Reopening Task Force has been working on  regarding reopening for in-person worship in the building. 
Jeremiah 29:7 tells us: “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” 

We are prayerfully considering guidance from the Southern New England Conference, CDC, State/local officials, and then, finally, looking at what our unique position is as a Church. Unlike many other churches in the area, our worship services are live-streamed on multiple platforms every Sunday. The Communion Sunday in March, for example, we had 103 devices streaming worship live. If each device is just 2 people watching together, that’s over 200 people watching worship together! We are blessed to have Rev. Beth, Julia, and Paul so willing and able to keep this ministry going.

But what would it look like if we opened the building for in-person worship? 
• Per current state guidelines, there can’t be a coffee hour.
• We likely wouldn’t be allowed to sing. 
• Communion would have to be taken to-go. 
• We’d be extremely limited in the people who could attend. 
• Congregants would have to be diligent about physical distancing.

These limitations are before we even consider problems unique to our building, like how would we cool the sanctuary in the Summer so it’s not 100 degrees inside? Fans blowing hot air around the Sanctuary certainly doesn’t feel safe. Even people fanning themselves compromises the benefits of distancing from each other.

Taking into account all of these factors, we have advised Cabinet against having in-person worship until at least the Fall. 

Having said that, there are many factors giving us optimism about being on the road to re-opening the building for worship:
• Vaccines are rapidly being deployed, and will be available to anyone who wants one in the state of Massachusetts beginning later this month.
• The number of new cases in Massachusetts as well as in Plymouth County has stayed relatively flat for the last six weeks or so (although levels are still higher than they were last summer).

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could gather safely for worship come the Fall? There is nothing we’d like more, and we know you feel the same way.
We appreciate your continued prayers as we journey through this difficult process, yearning for “normalcy” and face-to-face community, while being responsible in keeping each other and the community at large as safe as possible. 


In Christ and with the grace of the Holy Spirit,
Ed Buckland, Mike Bundock, Krissy Cannizzo, Lynn Pietras, Deb Sorgman, Eric Stotts



Caring for our Community

Do you need a meal, a call, spiritual care, or even just a prayer or a chat?

Contact the Pastor, a Deacon, or a member of our Care Team.


To contact Rev. Beth, call the church office at 508-697-6016 
(the church phone is being answered remotely during the shutdown)

or email her at csccpastor @ hotmail.com


CSCC Deacons
Deb Sorgman – debsorgman @ gmail.com
Lynn Pietras – lsypie @ aol.com


CSCC Care Team
Carol Chaffee
Phoebe Hogg
Bev Mitchell

John Scott

Rev. Beth Stotts

Contact the church office if you need us!


The Bridgewater Food Pantry, hosted and supported by CSCC, is open Thursdays, 10am-1pm, and the first Mondays of the month, 6-7:30pm. COVID protocols are in place and adhered to for the safety of all. All Bridgewater residents who are in need of food are welcome.

If you are a Bridgewater resident unable to come to the food pantry, but are in need of food, please contact the church office by email or phone (below) and arrangements will be made for you.


Rev. Beth’s Sabbatical “Part 3”

In parish ministry, for a three-month period every seven years, pastors step away from the persistent obligations of daily parish life to engage in a period of renewal and reflection, for drinking again from God’s life-giving waters. In talking with Rev. Beth back in 2019, the Deacons discerned that it would be best for the congregation if she took one month of sabbatical every year for three consecutive years. 

In the summer of 2019 (the end of her seventh year), she took one month of sabbatical to study yoga and meditation, and to visit her family in California. Last year she took her second month; this year, she takes her third. She will be taking two weeks of vacation as well, and will be out of the office from June 27-August 7.

While she is away, we welcome the retired Rev. Jim Conley (a friend and colleague of Rev. Beth) into our community once again (see below). He has served as our sabbatical pastor for the first two sabbatical months and will do so again this summer. His wife, Rev. Meg Clapp, will also be helping to cover Rev. Beth’s absence. 



Rev. Jim Conley

I was born in Boston, raised in Weymouth, am an Eagle Scout, and went on to graduate from U Mass, Amherst. 

After graduating, I spent five years as a commercial fisherman on Martha’s Vineyard. I then became a businessman. My last position in business was 15 years as an executive for AAA. I was raised Roman Catholic and left the church when I went away to college. Most of my adult life was spent as a spiritual wanderer. My Christian faith was inspired by a wonderful pastor/preacher named Rev. Shelly Stackhouse. 

In my time as a very active member of UCC Norwell, I received the call from God to become an ordained Christian minister and serve God by becoming a pastor. I left my career and went to Boston University School of Theology where I received a Master of Divinity degree. For six years, I was Pastor of West Congregational Church, UCC in Taunton. I then served as Pastor of Union Congregational Church, UCC in East Bridgewater. After a marriage that ended in divorce I have married the love of my life, Rev. Meg Clapp. 

I served as Chaplain of the East Bridgewater Fire Department and currently I’m Chaplain of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of MA. I have many varied interests. I am a reader. I enjoy exercise, cooking, eating, music, movies, theater, and travel. I am a rabid fan of the local professional sports teams. I love my life. 


Calling All Women of CSCC


We had a wonderful, creative and sharing Zoom meeting in March. Led by Janet Colford, we shared some of our favorite books and poems, some written by members. It was the next best thing to being together.

In April, date TBA, Bonnie Sloan will lead us in an art workshop titled “Take a Line for A Walk.” Bonnie assured us that no talent is required, just a willing spirit! We are hoping the weather will allow us to meet in Connie Chandler’s yard so we can visit in person and get the full experience of the workshop. We will provide the date and time soon.

At our April meeting, we will announce final plans for our May banquet. It will be different this year, but that has become the norm, hasn’t it? We have learned that these changes have been a challenge, but have also led us to some great times of sharing.


The Guild is holding its spring Yard Sale on Saturday, May 1, 2021 (rain date Sunday, May 2) at 46 Cedar Crest Drive, Bridgewater. Bev Mitchell and Debbie Golob are co-chairing the event. Drop-off and sorting begin at 2:00 PM on Friday, April 30. Set up will begin at 7:00 AM on Saturday and the sale will run from 9:00am to 2:00pm on Saturday. A fill-a-bag sale will begin at 1:00pm. HELP is needed for all phases of the event; please call Bev at 508-697-2949 to offer assistance.

Items needed include: clothing (all sizes and genders); jewelry, toys, linens, puzzles and board games, home and garden décor, household items, paperback books.
Please do not donate any electronics, hardcover books or periodicals, VHS tapes, or broken items.

Hope to see you there as a helper or a shopper!

All women are welcome to join us for any of our meetings. See you in April!

Sandra Alley, Bette de Koning


The church office hours are now 10am until 2pm, Monday-Friday.


The church office will be closed on Monday, April 19 in observance of Patriots' Day.

Next Cabinet meeting is Wednesday, April 21, 7pm via Zoom

Contact the office for the login info if you are interested in attending. All are welcome!

In-person worship won’t be restarting for a while. So what CAN we do? 

Well, a lot! Rev. Beth had a Lenten book study, and has been doing regular monthly drive-up communion outside of the church. We have groups that have been volunteering with End Hunger NE to package up meals for families that are experiencing food insecurity. The building re-opening task force is working with multiple people to try create some new opportunities for people to be involved in fixing up things inside of the church building. You could also just reach out to another church member you haven’t talked to in a while and just have a chat. Or volunteer to record a scripture reading for worship, or record a welcome greeting for Sunday online worship, or some other offering of your time & talent. Denise Molinari has been organizing women’s walks twice a month to pray and discuss scripture (or whatever you’d like to discuss). Do you have a different idea? Great! We’re a community of faith, and that community should include your voice, so let a Deacon or the church office know your idea!

It won’t always be like this. But we can be making the most of the opportunities that we do have. 

“Ministry needs to happen from the church, not just in the church.” 
– Pastor Karl Vaters


We have 5 Care Circles working their magic throughout the church community. People are enjoying receiving their call and then making their call to the next one on the list. Sometimes the circle gets stuck. People’s lives get busy, life happens and when that does, we just ask that you make your call as soon as you are able. If you cannot make your call, then email your leader, so that they can facilitate that the circle keeps circling for home. Many thanks for our community of care which extends that right hand of fellowship in so many different ways.
Carol and Gail


A Box of Manure – an excerpt from God’s Little Lessons for Teens

A story is told of identical twins.  One was a hope-filled optimist who often said, “Everything is coming up roses!”  The other twin was a sad and hopeless worrier who continually expected the worst to happen. The parents of the twins brought them to a psychologist in hopes that he might be able to bring some balance to their personalities.

The psychologist suggested that on the twins’ next birthday, the parents put them in separate rooms to open their gifts. “Give the worrier the best toys you can afford,” the psychologist said, “and give the hopeful child a box of manure.” The parents did as he suggested.

When they peeked in on the worrier, they heard him loudly complaining. “I’ll bet this toy will break. What will happen if I don’t like to play this game? There are so many pieces; this toy won’t last long because the pieces will all get lost.”

Tiptoeing across the corridor, the parents saw their hopeful son gleefully throwing manure up in the air. He laughingly kept saying, “You can’t fool me! Where there’s this much manure, there has to be a pony!

How are you looking at life today—as an accident waiting to happen or a blessing about to be received?

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you.”           1 Peter 5:7 NLT

Women's Walking Spirituality


Are you tired of Zoom meetings?
Do you miss your church friends?
Need some spirituality?

Join other women of the church for a walk and talk

spirituality adventure.


• When: Saturday April 10 & 24  11:00am
• Where: BR High School parking lot nearest the track
• What: Meet in the lot, share a prayer and scripture. Walk in small groups to discuss.


Questions: Call the church office or email Denise Molinari

Weather: If inclement weather or below freezing, watch your email for rescheduling.

Don’t forget your mask!

Summer 2021!

Keep your fingers crossed that we’ll be able to hold our annual golf tournament this summer. We’re hoping we can because it’s a great fundraiser for the church, as well as a really fun community event. 

WE NEED YOU. If you’d be willing to help out — a little or a lot — please contact the church office. We are in need of a coordinator (you’ll have lots of guidance) to work with our Congregational Administrator, Ellen Atherton, as well as folks to do a whole host of smaller, specific tasks. 

If you’re wondering what you can do to help the church out in these trying times, here’s your chance! 



Good Luck and God Be With You

A heartfelt and sincere farewell to Ellen Atherton, our Congregational Administrator for the last almost 8 years. She was always first to say, “How can I help?”, and willing to go that extra mile. Ellen,  you will be missed! And we wish you all the best of God’s blessings in your future endeavors.


Welcome to Deborah Lancaster!

I would like to thank all of the CSCC members I have met thus far for your warm welcome! My first week of employment was spent with Ellen Atherton learning the ropes of the Congregational Administrator’s position at CSCC. I entered the “twilight of my career” back in 2015 when I retired from my last full-time position as the Director of Human Resources at Guardian Healthcare in Boston. I spent the early part of my career as a Police Officer with the Wilmington Police Department in North Carolina. I hold a MS in Criminal Justice from the University of NC-Wilmington.  My husband, Steven, spent 23 years serving in the U. S. Coast Guard in both Wilmington and Boston. Upon my return to Boston, I was unable to continue my law enforcement career due to civil service age restrictions that were in place in Massachusetts at that time. Thus, my mid-life career change…..

Once I retired, I found a part-time position as the Church Administrator at the Pilgrim Congregational Church in Taunton where I worked for four years. I had some health issues that forced me to resign two years ago. Now that these health issues have been resolved, I welcome the opportunity to work at CSCC. Like most of you, the last year has been a difficult time for me and my family dealing with the pandemic. I pray that our lives will return to a “new normal” sometime later this year and that the church building will be open and your in-person worship services will resume.  In the interim, if you need assistance, please contact the church office at 508-697-6016 or e-mail me at office@csccucc.com. After spending a week with Ellen Atherton, I know I have big shoes to fill!

Please note the new church office hours will be Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Easter Old and New at CSCC



Pictures above (L to R): (1) The altar on Easter morning of 1887; (2) David Berard, as Jesus, turns over the tables in the temple in the Living Tableau, Palm Sunday, 2014; (3) Easter 2015; (4) Bubbles from the balcony, Easter 2017.


The Kitchen on the Common

The story of the kitchen below was printed in the CSCC cookcook published by the Women’s Guild and Fellowship in 1997, and was written by Ethel Dolan. At the beginning of the printed piece, it notes that it was first published in the “Kitchen on the Common” cookbook compiled by the Music Committee of CSCC, in September 1974.

Visualize a sumptuous chicken pie supper for 200 being prepared in a kitchen equipped with a black iron sink and stove, no refrigerator, a furnace, and an agate gray kettle so large that the women would stand on a step-ladder to fill it when making coffee. It was under such surroundings, prior to the early 1950s, that the original church kitchen, now the nursery [in 1997 the Kindergarten room], found its existence at Central Square Congregational Church. There were many days, so bitterly cold, that when the plumbing froze, water would rise into the sink, and those inventive women would labor to thaw it. Nevertheless, their spirits were untiring, and even the ordeal of assembling and disassembling plank board tables did not deter them.

Much to the surprise of the Guild women, a gift was presented to them early in the 1950s, and the renovation of the kitchen commenced. After obtaining permission to move the kitchen to its present site, a Kitchen Planning Committee was appointed by the Guild for the purpose of coordinating the project.

Being women of multi-faceted talents, the Guild members proceded to raise additional monies by undertaking and marketing such tasks as: selling steel knives, printed address labels, decorator candles, spongecakes, rolls, and breads; and performing domestic tasks - turning shirt collars, and hemming dresses. A local carpenter was contracted to design and construct the kitchen, and a used refrigerator, a “Leonard”, was purchased, and used in good stead, until the availability of parts became a problem.

To this day, most of the original “nursery kitchen” dishes, including dinner plates, vegetable bowls, platters, and some cups and saucers, remain intact. In 1956-57 the Guild purchased the tables and chairs which are presently in use, and several years later, stainless steel flatware was purchased when church members saved their trading stamps.

In the future, when you attend one of our church suppers, or participate in the organization of one, won’t you stop for a moment and ponder your surroundings? Through the years many people have passed those welcome doors — many visitors, many workers — but always with the hand of friendship extended, so that none left The Kitchen on the Common as a stranger.

Thanks to Lynn Pietras for this bit of history!


200 Years:  Franks and beans anyone?


As part of our ongoing series celebrating 200th anniversary for Central Square Congregational Church, Bridgewater native Bev Mitchell shared memories from her “70-plus” years among us. Starting at this church at 9 months of age when family members brought her, she recalls later Saturday night suppers at the church were a big deal for her and other children. Simple dinners of franks and beans and brown bread—and comraderie—were a mainstay of their fun.

Bev was a big part of Sunday School, from student to teacher. The Moore Sisters helped in the Sunday lessons.  The Youth group had a special place to meet— the Zahr residence on Union Street. Like Carol Howe told us last month, Bev recalled the Rev. Robert Mayhew leading youth trips to New York City to visit a number of churches there. Sunday School had three sections, each with a teacher and a helper for 10 to12 children. Bev taught the second grade Sunday School class for 25 years. One particular current member enjoys teasing her by telling newcomers that she was his Sunday School teacher.

Formally becoming a member in 1965, Bev says she has appreciated all the pastors during her membership, from beginning to the present.  The Rev. Wayne Philbrook oversaw her joining the church. A special service for her and her late husband George Mitchell  was a renewal of their wedding vows on their 10th anniversary with four other couples. The support of this church family was very special at the May 2002 service celebrating the life of George, a much-loved teacher at the Bridgewater elementary school later named for him.

Today, this energetic woman continues her contributions to our church life. Having served on several committees, she now works on the Care Committee and loves her work with the Women’s Guild “and all we do” to help others. 


To find the below Lectionary online, go to www.macucc.org/Lectionary.


CSCC Cabinet Meeting – Minutes
March 24, 2021, 7pm via Zoom teleconferencing

The virtual meeting was called to order at 7:02 by Anne Malmquist, Moderator.

Cabinet members in attendance: Rev. Beth Stotts, Pastor; Anne Malmquist, Moderator; Dave Sheibley, Treasurer; Larry Brown, Assistant Treasurer; Diane Sheibley, Clerk; Gordon Brailsford, Board of Trustees; Lynn Pietras, Board of Deacons; Bill O’Neil, Board of Christian Outreach; Terry Reynolds, History & Memorials Committee; Gail Wershing, Growth Committee; Ellen Crawford, Music Committee; Terry Reynolds, Women’s Guild & Fellowship
Also present: Paul Holmes, Minister of Video Evangelism; Deborah Lancaster, Congregational Administrator; Carol Chaffee, Historical Church Building Committee & Food Pantry; Mike Bundock, Growth Committee; Eric Stotts, Building Re-opening Task Force; Connie Chandler, Board of Christian Outreach 

Rev. Beth opened the meeting with a prayer.

Diane Sheibley did the roll call.

February Meeting Minutes
The minutes from the February meeting were reviewed. Gail Wershing motioned to accept the minutes. Bill O’Neil seconded. The minutes were approved.

Pastor’s Report – Rev. Beth Stotts 
Rev. Beth reported that it’s a busy time of year. She assisted with the transition from Ellen to Deborah as Congregational Administrator last week, and in developing and getting out the Stewardship mailing. There are two baptisms and one wedding coming up, and she’s been helping to plan the outdoor Easter morning service. Remember that palms will be available on a self-service basis this Saturday and Sunday in front of the church. Holy week is next week! On Holy Saturday, if the weather cooperates, she wants to get some sidewalk chalk and have folks come to the church and decorate the sidewalks for Easter. 

Treasurer’s Report – David Sheibley
Dave reported that income is down about $6200 from where it should be, but expenses are down a little more than that, so it’s OK for now. Investments are doing OK as the stock market is strong. He added a section at the bottom of page two of his report for the Food Pantry cashflow for the prior month (this report takes in the first two months of the year, since it’s new), and will include this each month. 

Rev. Beth asked if anyone had responded to the Stewardship mailing, and Dave said there was one inquiry asking if they have to do anything if they want to keep their pledge the same as last year. Dave said they don’t have to, but if they wanted to submit something that indicates that, it would be good to have on file.
Bill O’Neil reminded folks that, if they are of a certain age, they can direct their RMD (required minimum distribution) to be distributed directly to the church tax-free as a donation. They should ask their financial advisor about it if they’re interested.

Congregational Administrator Report – Deborah Lancaster
Deborah apologized for not having a written report, but confessed that she has not had time to do one in her first week on the job. She spent time working last week with Ellen for training, and appreciates Diane Sheibley being accessible to field her questions this week.

Building Reopening Task Force – Eric Stotts 
Eric Stotts and Lynn Pietras from the Task Force were both present
Eric reported that the Task Force has had some in-depth conversations in continuing the in-person reopening discussions. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to open over the summer, for reasons noted in his report (ventilation isn’t good, and fans are not a good idea). There are other reasons noted why reopening soon is not advised. They are hoping that by the time the usual September kickoff Sunday comes around, it will be safe enough to begin having in-person worship indoors. But for now, the task force recommends keeping the building closed for worship for the foreseeable future.

Eric noted that the task force has looked at what reopening would look like now, and since there is no occupancy number for the sanctuary, it would be based on square footage. Using current state calculations, we would only be allowed to have 22 people (including staff) in attendance, with no singing or several other of our usual worship traditions. He also noted that they have concerns on how that would impact the experience of those continuing to livestream at home. And to clarify, they are only tasked at considering in-person worship in the sanctuary; not outdoor in-person worship, nor use of other parts of the building. 

Anne thanked the task force for their work and ongoing discussions. Rev. Beth noted that there may be safe ways to gather for worship outside as the weather improves, as well as other non-worship gatherings (picnics, etc), and if anyone has any ideas, to please contact her. Carol noted that the outdoor Easter service at Hanson Farm will be a good test.

It was suggested that perhaps we could begin having small events in the building to start connecting again in person – cleaning projects, etc. On a small scale. Carol also noted that we might start doing things to kick off our anniversary and let people know about it. Perhaps a car parade? Gail Wershing suggested getting an anniversary banner for the front of the church to let the community know. It was suggested that the Growth committee meet with History & Memorials and brainstorm about it.

Free Baby Grand Piano – Anne Malmquist
Anne shared that Barbara Morey knows of a Bridgewater family looking to give away a baby grand piano, but they require it to be professionally moved to its new home. It was suggested that Julia and the Shave family should be contacted as they might know people who would be interested.

Food Pantry – Bill O’Neil & Carol Chaffee
[First, we all wish Jack Melcher a speedy recovery from his hip replacement surgery, which he had yesterday.]
The food pantry folks have spoken to various people in town in an attempt to expand the reach of the food pantry. The senior center, a local vets organization, the Bridgewater senior housing authority, the school district among them. They will all be helping to publicize the availability of the pantry.

Jack also purchased some gift cards that are being distributed with the bags of food that are given out at the pantry, and he will continue to purchase them as needed. Bill noted that if there is anyone interested in volunteering to help out, they need to reorganize the downstairs area so that they know what they have, and bring some of the food in the fellowship hall down. Rev. Beth noted that the office has been compiling a list of people who are interested in helping with the pantry, and they have just been waiting for a specific project.

Bill noted that limited food delivery by volunteers would probably best be implemented on the first Monday of the month, during the pantry’s evening hours. Anne noted that the Women’s Guild and others have offered to help and are willing to step up as needed. There might be people who don’t want to ask for help but are in need, and perhaps these additional volunteers can help bridge that gap.

Carol reported that she has touched base personally with the school departments. There are 28 families that they believe might need some help. Carol has been reaching out personally to those families – some don’t have the need anymore, and some haven’t taken her calls or don’t want to speak to her about it. Carol believes the biggest impact we could have in expanding our reach is in connecting with seniors in need. At the senior center, Emily Williams has people that will deliver to seniors. Jack is also trying to get the pantry listed again on the town website, as it used to be.

Contact has also been made by Carol with the town rec department, who handles the funding of Bridgewater Cares, which financially helps people in town in need, with rent and utilities payments, etc.

Jack Melcher, in his letter to Cabinet, has proposed that Carol be the liaison between the pantry and the Cabinet, as well as with all of these town groups. 

Carol and Bill recognized Jack’s passion and hard work with the food pantry, which was strongly acknowledged by Cabinet.

Gail Wershing motioned that we accept Carol Chaffee’s appointment as the Food Pantry liaison. Bill O’Neil seconded. The motion was approved.

Carol also reported on the financial aspects of the pantry. Per Jack, the annual expenses for food for the pantry total approximately $15,000 annually, and Jack is in favor of keeping a ‘rainy day fund’ amount in the food pantry account for unexpected and/or increased expenses.

Deborah offered to help in any way she and the office can. She has worked with similar projects in the past, and has contacts to which she would be happy to publicize the pantry. 

Anne thanked Bill, Carol, and Jack for getting things moving on how to utilize the accrued resources of the pantry.

Trustees Report – Gordon Brailsford
Gordon reported that Brian Pfeiffer is probably coming to the church this week to take pictures for use in the deed restriction that is being prepared.

Dave discussed the office computer. Deborah brought it to the attention of the Trustees, noting how old it was and how old the software and operating system were. Dave is donating a new computer and is in the process of setting it up with Office 365 and a current version of Windows. Larry will assist Dave with getting it hooked up to the network in the office. Dave estimates that it will be up and running early next week, possibly even by the end of this weekend.

The Cabinet then recorded an Easter Sunday worship greeting, and Rev. Beth closed the meeting in prayer with Psalm 9. 

The meeting adjourned at 8:25pm.


For the current CSCC calendar of events, click here: CALENDAR


Church Administration
Pastor: Rev. Elizabeth Stotts, csccpastor @ hotmail.com

Congregational Administrator: Deborah Lancaster
Minister of Music: Julia Scott Carey 

Director of Video Evangelism: Paul Holmes
Treasurer:  David Sheibley 
Office telephone:  (508) 697-6016
Website:  www.csccucc.org
Facebook pages: facebook.com/csccuccbridgewaterma (main page),
facebook.com/groups/801550253194149 (youth page)

Steeple Sounds submissions deadline is the 15th of the month prior to publication.