Central Square Congregational Church, United Church of Christ

August 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.

Take Me to the River

by Vicki Kemper | published on Jul 25, 2021

Jesus called over a child and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over
like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in.” – Matthew 18:2-3 (MSG)

I love sweep rowing. I rise to the challenge of moving in sync with my crew, and I rejoice in the beauty of sunrise on a
river that feeds bald eagles and great blue herons. Rowing gives me joy, community, fitness, and a sense of accomplishment.

But before the advent of coronavirus vaccines, eight rowers to a boat was not Covid-safe. To row through the pandemic,
we had to go back to square one and start over like children. We became a club of solitary rowers in long, skinny boats.

On my first day of sculling, I flipped the boat even before leaving the dock. On the second day I ran aground on a
sandbar. On the fourth day I flipped the boat in the middle of the river. On the fifth day I considered giving up.

Writer-activist Valarie Kaur says, “Discomfort is the beginning of transformation.” Jesus says starting over is the beginning
of the childlike humility that opens our hearts to God.

On my sixth day of sculling humiliation, I began to feel more at ease in the boat. Eventually, I grew to love sculling.

Whenever the painful realities of racism and other injustices discomfort, discourage, and tempt me to quit the struggle,
I remember my early sculling days. Whether we’re learning something new or trying to transform something old and
ongoing, the only way out is through. 



Take me to the river, rock me to square one, until I am fit to dwell in your heart.

About the Author
Vicki Kemper is the Pastor of First Congregational, UCC, of Amherst, Massachusetts.

Reprinted from The Daily Devotional, a spiritually deep and refreshing well, to which thousands of readers are drawn
each day. The overall vision and voice of the Daily Devotional is tended by the Stillspeaking Writers’ Group and supported
by the staff of The Pilgrim Press. www.ucc.org/daily-devotional



In-person worship is now available every week!

Masks are required, and other COVID protocols are in place for your safety and the safety of our community.


REMOTE WORSHIP ON FACEBOOK AND YOUTUBE will continue on Sundays even after in-person worship resumes.

• 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.


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 use the link on the home page of the CSCC website to access past services via YouTube.


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.

Scheduling notes

• Rev. Beth will be out of the office on sabbatical and vacation through August 7.

• Summer church office hours are Monday - Thursday, 10am - 2pm

Best to call ahead of coming just to double check that we weren't called away.

• Next Cabinet meeting is Wednesday, September 15, 7pm


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 the Pastor, call the church office at 508-697-6016. 


CSCC Deacons
Deb Sorgman – debsorgman @ gmail.com

CSCC Care Team
Carol Chaffee
Phoebe Hogg
Bev Mitchell

John Scott

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.


Book Study!

While Rev. Beth was away on Sabbatical, she read the book “Reclaiming Rest” by Kate Rademacher. If you are in need of pause, rest, or a sense of sabbath, she strongly encourages you read this book with her. Sabbath keeping is something we need to be talking more about!

Please join Rev. Beth on Saturday, August 21, 9:30am-12noon at the church for a book discussion and virtual meet and greet with the author! (Open to the public!)


Childcare Help Wanted!

From Jess Stearns: we are looking for a weekday helper, at our house in Lakeville, or possibly at your home if that works better for you. Ideally, two days a week (there’s flexibility on which days), 9-12, but if only one day works with your schedule, we can make that happen too. Our boys are silly and kind — someone who wants to play pretend, build with blocks, read books, or make music would be a great fit! One is toilet trained and one is in diapers, so you have to be comfortable with changing a diaper. No housework, please just engage and enjoy the kids for a few hours. Start date: ASAP.

For more information, contact Jess at jessicastearns1231 @ gmail.com.



Thank You for your Continued

Gifts, Tithes, and Offerings

We are so very grateful for all those who have been able to continue their giving during the past year, and those that were able to give more. We know it has been a trying time for many financially as well as emotionally. With crucial annual fundraisers having had to be cancelled or downsized, such as our golf tournament, it has stressed our church finances even more than usual.

Donations and offerings can be made in any of the following ways:

• Checks can be mailed to the church (71 Central Square, Bridgewater, MA 02324)

• Bill-pay through your bank can be set up for one-time or recurring payments

• Payments can be made via the Paypal link at the top of our website home page (no Paypal account necessary)  

If you have any questions, you can email the Treasurer directly and confidentially at treasurer @ csccucc.com.

Thank you for your caring and generosity.



Kick-off Sunday is September 12!

What does that mean this year? We’re not exactly sure, but stay tuned, and mark your calendar. Were hoping it will truly be a day to celebrate!



Donation to CSCC can be... free!

with your help!

Remember that when you shop on Amazon, type “smile.Amazon.com” into your browser rather than just “Amazon.com”, and designate Central Square Congregational Church as the charity to benefit from your purchases. It costs you nothing extra, but the church gets a percentage of most of your purchases. And tell your friends, too! Contact the church office at office@csccucc.com or 508-697-6016 with questions or to help you get set up.

Perfect for:
• back to school shopping
• Christmas shopping
• purchases for work
• all your purchases!


Are you on our email list?

If not, you could be missing out!

We send a weekly email highlighting upcoming events and the current prayer list; we send periodic emails when there’s important news or upcoming church business that you need to know about; and more. If you aren’t currently receiving these emails, do one of the following:

CLICK HERE, and scroll almost to the bottom of the home page. Look for “sign up for updates”, and fill in your email address.
• Contact the church office by phone or email, and ask Deborah to put you on the email list.

And remember, you need not be a CSCC member to be on our email list and stay in touch with what’s going on! All are welcome.

Happy Anniversary to Us!


Did You Know...

• 1955: Reverend Mayhew began the Heifer Project.
• 1955: The Guild bought 5 dozen chairs as a gift to the church.
• 1959: It was voted not to purchase Fitch House at 96 Main St. and to put the rear addition on to the church for classroom space.
• August 31, 1960: The old steeple came down because of deterioration. It was 100 years old.
• May 18, 1962: The new steeple went up. Cost was $27,000, including the clocks. Donations of money came from 18 different states to help with the steeple replacement cost.
• 1966: A purchase of 250 red hymnals and two special organist books was made at $469.37. Hymnals were $4.50 each.
• 1978: In the month of December, a new roof was put on the church sanctuary.
• 1980: The spire on the steeple was painted white for the first time. It had to weather for 18 years.
• “Steeple Chimes” was the name of the church newsletter before it was called “The Carrier” and “Steeple Sounds”.
• 1980+ renovation project: vinyl siding ($40,000), outside painting ($18,000), repair clocks ($8-10,000), restore windows ($20,000), total renovation cost approved was $125,000.
• 1987: We acquired a carillon (the set of bells in the steeple tower), a gift from the East Bridgewater Unitarian Church building.


Thank you to Barbara Morey for submitting this information, originally compiled as a retrospective in honor of our 175th anniversary. More “Did you know” fun facts to follow in future Steeple Sounds!




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


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.