Central Square Congregational Church, United Church of Christ

Steeple Sounds

December 2020

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




We don’t think about it often, but Jesus came into a world full of darkness and doubt, oppression and fear. At Christmastime we prefer to tell the glorious tale of angels lighting the night sky, of shepherds tending their flocks on an otherwise peaceful evening. We imagine a somehow quiet Baby Jesus, asleep in the hay. But historically, that was not the world Jesus entered. Palestine and Israel were occupied territories. The Romans were brutal oppressors who had no qualms killing in the name of a false “peace.” (On one occasion when Jesus would have been a child, they crucified 1000 people in one day to put down a rebellion.) The shepherds, as well as in all likelihood Mary and Joseph, would have been super poor- landless workers just striving each day to get their daily bread. Even within the story we get a glimpse of this. The Christmas story is incredible because of the world so desperately in need of peace and joy.


And yet, into that dark world, into that moment, came Jesus. Into that world, into the moment, came this promise. “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” Jesus was a light shining in the night of Roman oppression. Jesus was a light shining in the night of abject poverty felt by the majority of the population. Jesus was a light that proclaimed that even when the world seemed to be at its worst, God was still among them. Immanuel was there. And in the challenges and even horrors of the historical moment angels were able to proclaim “peace on earth,” shepherds were able to go away praising God for all they had seen, and Mary was able to “treasure all these things in her heart.” In a world gone mad some 2000 years ago, the light shined. And the world was changed forever.


This Advent, this Christmas, is a more challenging time than many of us have ever faced and worse than some have faced for decades. Traditions have been shattered, families have been separated, and Americans are dying at more than 1000/day. COVID-19 has upended so much of what we knew or had done before. Our world is not the same. It may not ever be the same. It certainly will not be the same by Dec. 25. At times it feels like we are in a world gone mad. A world we no longer recognize. And yet… and yet the light still shines. And yet Jesus still comes.


Christmas will be different this year, but the light still shines. It’s true that we won’t be singing carols in our sanctuary on Christmas Eve. Instead we’ll meet Jesus in new ways through new rituals this season.  We’ll sing carols in our own homes.  We’ll light our Advent wreaths at home. We’ll recount the amazing story of Jesus coming to a dark world, in our homes. But the basic truth of this season still remains. At Christmas, we celebrate that God has come among us. We sing praises to Immanuel. The light still shines. Jesus still comes, no matter where we are, whether in the church or at home. Joy still comes to the world. And even though much has changed here in 2020, Jesus will still be waiting in Bethlehem, waiting for us to come and rejoice! In this different Christmas season, let us remember what is the same. For the light still shines. Thanks be to God.

Shalom and peace,

Rev. Beth
csccpastor@hotmail.com, 508-697-6016



Building Closure Extended until January 3, 2021*

* 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.




• 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.  



•  Even if you have a key to the building, please do not enter the building during this time unless you are part of a pre-approved building use group, at the time of the approved use. Each one of us that enters is a potential carrier, even if we’re not feeling sick. If you are tempted to say, "well, I'm sure that doesn't mean me.", IT DOES. If you have any questions or think that you should enter the building for any reason, call the church office at 508-697-6016 (phone is being answered remotely during the shutdown) or send an email to office @ csccucc.com.




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).



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
CentralSquareCareTeam @ gmail.com
Carol Chaffee
Phoebe Hogg
Bev Mitchell

John Scott

Rev. Beth Stotts



The Bridgewater Food Pantry, hosted by CSCC, will remain open its usual days and times (Thursdays, 10am-1pm, first Mondays of the month, 6-7:30pm), although with slightly different format to respect the crucial physical distancing. 

Precautions have been put in place so that patrons will not come in contact with each other during their visit. If you have lost your job or have kids at home from school and need some assistance with food, please feel welcome to go (Bridgewater residents only). 

If you would like to help out, you can drop off non-perishable donations at the side door of the church every weekday from 9 to 1. Just leave them outside the door. They especially need ingredients for breakfasts and lunches. You can also donate money via check that can be mailed to the church (make check out to "CSCC" and put "food pantry" in the memo, and mail to 71 Central Square, Bridgewater MA 02324), or by electronically by CLICKING HERE.


Please note: The CSCC office will be closed Friday, December 25 through Friday January 1, 2021.




Welcome to Alexander James, born to 11/16/20 to Jess & Ben Stearns!




Historical Church Building Committee

Phase 1 restoration of the church, which involves the steeple only, will be starting late in the spring of 2021. We will need to put into place a Preservation Restriction (deed restriction) on the church before this work can start. It is a requirement of the Town of Bridgewater when Community Preservation grants are awarded to privately-owned historic buildings. There is a cost applied to this step and we have asked the CPC to absorb it.


In addition to this first CPC grant of $200,000 awarded to us, we have also had our grant writer apply for numerous other appropriate grants. Denials and acceptances take several months to hear back, but the good news is that even if our application is denied the first time, we can reapply as many times as is acceptable by that organization. There are several large monetary grants which allow one to apply annually, whether denied or approved.


We have also sent out more than 25 letters to prominent local businesses to inform them of this wonderful project we are undertaking, stating how the restoration of this building in downtown Bridgewater will preserve and enhance the beauty of the Bridgewater Common. We have asked them to support us financially if they are able to. Some of these companies have charitable foundations and they may be the ones to support us. 


This project was started well over a year ago (almost two). None of us on the committee would ever have dreamed that this would take so long. We are all dedicated and believe in preserving our church building, especially with 2021 fast approaching, which marks our 200th anniversary. When our committee organized, we thought that our project might be completed by our anniversary date. It looks like we may be starting the project when we hoped to be completing it, but what’s two years in the scope of two hundred? 



We’re delighted to announce our continuing music programs. We are truly honored to have all of these talented musicians sharing their gifts with our community. All services (unless otherwise noted below) will be streamed live at 10am, on our YouTube channel and will be on Facebook live. Feel free to join in the live chat and let us know that you’re watching!


December 4th, 7-8pm - Julia Scott Carey leads a Christmas Carol Singalong fundraiser, together with Rev. Beth, performing piano arrangements of beloved Christmas songs. Visit www.csccucc.org for information on how to request songs and make donations. All funds raised will support the programs and ministry of our church.


December 6th - Stephanie Riley and Greg Mancusi-Ungaro of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus will perform Christmas duets and excerpts from Handel’s Messiah.


December 13th - Trumpeter Cameron Shave returns for a rousing Christmas program.


December 20th - Soprano Rose Hegele, contemporary music specialist and member of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, along with our church’s own 10-year-old Cristianna Ciaramitaro, will perform Christmas solos and duets, including works by Samuel Barber and Benjamin Britten.


A huge shoutout to our Minister of Music, Julia Scott Carey for these musical blessings. None of them would be possible without her considerable efforts and talents.


End of Year Giving

If you find that you need to do some catching up with your pledge giving, or you are able to give a bit more this holiday season, note that the Treasurers need to receive all gifts no later than 1pm on Tuesday, December 29 in order for it to be counted toward your 2020 giving. Payments are accepted by mailed check or credit card payment through the website.



Calling All CSCC Women


The Women’s Guild and Fellowship invites all women of Central Square Congregational Church to join us for our annual Christmas program on Wednesday, December 2 at 6:30 PM. Rev. Beth is our guest and she will lead us in a meaningful service of worship at 6:30, to be followed by our business meeting and time of fellowship.  

Since we are unable to worship in the church, we will hold our meeting via Zoom. If you are not currently a member of the Guild and would like to join the Zoom meeting, please email Bette at bdekoning3@gmail.com for access to the link. All Guild members will receive access to the link on December 2.

If you have not yet paid your annual dues of $20, you may send a check to Treasurer Jane O’Connell, 108 Spruce Street, Bridgewater, MA 02324. Please put “Dues” in the memo line. Also, since we are not able to meet in person, if you would like to make a donation to the Angel Fund, perhaps equal to the amount you would normally contribute for our next 5 monthly meetings, you may also send a check to Jane. Please put “Angel Fund” on the memo line. All checks should be made out to: Women’s Guild & Fellowship, CSCC. Thank you.

We had 23 participants at our November Zoom meeting and we hope to see even more of you in December. It is the best way for now to stay connected. See you in December!

Sandra Alley, Bette de Koning

Free Piano

There is a family in Bridgewater who would like to give away their baby grand piano. The person who wants it will have to make the arrangements to move it. If you are interested, contact Barbara Morey at 508-697-4239 or bmoreyeel @ aol.com.



Building Re-opening Task Force Update

The Central Square Congregational Church Building Re-opening Task Force has been meeting since mid-September to find ways to safely reopen our church. We are following guidelines set by our public officials and UCC leaders. To make this a smooth and successful opening we have broken it down into smaller goals:

1-Reopen Fellowship Hall for meetings
As of  October 21, groups have been meeting and following all guidelines set.

2- Reopen the sanctuary for worship services
We are working on this, and most steps are complete.  Unfortunately COVID case numbers are going up, so we are also watching new state guidelines. 

3- Reopen the kitchen
We are researching what needs to be done and hopefully it will be an easier than anticipated process.


We continue to ask for your patience, cooperation, and prayers,
The Task Force -- Deb Sorgman, Ed Buckland, Krissy Cannizzo, Eric Stotts, and Lynn Pietras



Remember to "Smile" while Christmas Shopping!

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.



Outreach in Action

This month our efforts turn to warm food and warm clothing. Two hundred dollars is being donated to Father Bill’s Mainspring House to help with the cost of Thanksgiving dinners they will be providing. Like most dinners this year, the dinners will be available for pick up. 

Our Warmth in Cold Places will have a new look as well. Along with your help, we are going to provide clothing to Our Daily Bread at St Thomas Episcopal Church in Taunton in December. The Board of Christian Outreach will purchase clothing and they ask that if you would like to join in, please drop off new or gently used hooded sweatshirts (M, L, or XL), sweatpants (M, L, or XL), or gloves at our church. We will be collecting these items on Thursdays, December 10 and 17, between the hours of 10am and 1pm at the Church Street door. They will then be delivered to Taunton and the staff there will distribute them to those in need the week of Christmas. 


Please spread the word, and thank you for your continued help during these times when reaching out is so important and essential. 




Thank you to the many people who helped with this year’s fair events! While we didn’t take in as much as usual, we exceeded our expectations for this challenging year. Here’s how we did: Pie Sales: $1,007; Crafts: $1,337; Attic Treasures Yard Sale: $675; Hanson Farm Harvest Table: $300; Turkey Dinner Takeout: $2,735... all for a total of $6,054!

Thanks to all who helped organize, set up, clean up, bake pies, call pie bakers, make crafts, donate used items as well as products to sell; all who bought turkey dinners (catered by Boston Tavern in Middleboro); and all who shared and promoted the events on Facebook. 

And a VERY special and heartfelt thank you to the anonymous angel who sponsored the entire bill from Boston Tavern for the turkey dinner catering, allowing the church to keep the entire amount for each dinner. We are truly blessed!



A Big Band Christmas Season

This Holiday season will be very different for many and the Cameron Shave Jazz Orchestra’s 16-19 musicians have been busy playing and recording Holiday Big Band favorites for the public to view for free. The first video will be available on YouTube on the day after Thanksgiving, November 27th, and the second video will be released on Tuesday, December 1st. A new video be will released every December Sunday following with special videos for Christmas Eve and a Big Band Extravaganza for Christmas Day. If you go onto CameronShave.com, you will find a pop-up tab with links to all of the released videos. 

Cameron has transcribed and prepared all of the music, sent each part to each musician and has collected the videos back to place the ensemble together. The band is hoping to bring joy to the community with their music through this holiday season. They wil also be sharing this link with assisted living facilities around the country. Please consider tuning in to support these fine young players.

CSCC’s own Cameron Shave is a 17-year-old junior in high school. His big band is comprised of high school and college musicians. Many of these young musicians began playing with Cam when they were much younger — now many of them are all over the country studying at music colleges, but thanks to technology can still play together.

Cam has been working around the clock since September on transcribing some incredible big band charts that bands cannot play because the music is not put out for sale. These are mostly secular big band charts involving a jazz vocalist or two on several. After transcribing and laying out the parts for his players, he creates audio backtracks for each of the 17-18 parts on each song, emails them out to each player, then receives each player's recording back to piece together for the whole ensemble's finished audio and video. He and his bandmembers do this because they love these familiar Christmas songs but also want to spread cheer during this unusual holiday season to others through music.


Our Care "Ring" Program

It is so wonderful to have so many a part of a Care Circle.

We started with 4 groups in October and we have enough interest to launch a 5th group for the Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas seasons.  We have had to make a few adjustments to the program but there has been overwhelming positive feedback.

If you have an interest in taking part, even for just the Advent season, please reach out to Gail Wershing or myself.
Truly and prayerfully,
Carol Chaffee


“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion to clarity…
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
            ~Melody Beattie


Finding and praying for a sense of gratitude during a pandemic of unknown proportions may seem a daunting prayer. But it is the CSCC Care Team prayer for you as we enter the Advent Season. May you rise each morning or retire each night knowing and realizing one small notion of gratitude. Don’t just think it; speak it out loud, write it down, post it on Facebook or Instagram.  MAKE IT REAL!

The CSCC Care Team



Make a List, Check It Twice!

Are you making your Christmas gift list?

• Kids—check
• Grandkids—check
• Spouse—check
• Best friends—check
• Neighbors—check
• Church— ???? What?


Yes, Church.


Many of us pledge, either with the bank automatically sending in the funds or putting funds in the collection plate—when we can get together. Others of us send in a check as we can. Others use the “Donate” button on the church website.

But Christmas is a special time when we honor each other with our special gifts so appropriate to the season of Christ’s love. How about adding Central Square Congregational Church to your gift list? 


Here are some of the things your gift can do:
$20 - Heats the building for a day
$25 - Supplies water to the building for a week
$25 - Covers one week’s cleaning and maintenance supplies
$35 - Buys hosting of church web site for a month
$45 - Pays for the fire alarm monitoring for one month
$100  - Supplies electricity to the building for one week
$110 - Pays for one piano tuning
$150 - Pays for the internet service for one month (allowing streaming of services!)
$150 - Pays one month of telephone charges
$400 - Buys one tank of heating oil


What would you like to give from this Wish List? Let’s all put our beloved church family on our lists.

Christmas gift checks can be mailed to Treasurer, Central Square Congregational  Church, 71  Central Square, Bridgewater, MA 02324. Or, hit the donate button on the website: CSCCUCC.ORG.


Homemade Christmas Cookies Needed!

Sunday, Dec. 20, 3pm

We are once again providing personal bags of homemade holiday cookies to the Brockton homeless via the L Street Mission. If you are able, please cook a dozen or two of your favorite cookies and bring them to the church on Sunday, December 20, between 3 and 3:30pm. Weather permitting, there will be a table just outside of the Church St. door for you to leave them on. (If you have a bag of individually wrapped Christmas candy, we’ll take that, too!)

Because all the cookies will be mixed up and packaged in groups of 3-4, please avoid the use of nuts altogether. Also please no cookies that are too sticky or creamy on top as they will be put into baggies with other cookies.

Great project to do with your family! Thank you, as always, for your generosity.



Tune in for a Christmas Carol Singalong & Fundraiser 
with Julia and Rev. Beth!
Friday, Dec. 4 --- 7-8pm

Join Minister of Music Julia Scott Carey and Rev. Beth (virtually, of course) for an hour of Christmas Carols! A great way to kick off the holiday season, and spend some family fun time. 

Request your favorite song! Give a shoutout to family and friends! Make some hot chocolate, and get ready to sing.

The event will be broadcast on YouTube and Facebook, much like our Sunday worship. There will be a link on the church website home page for easy access to the youTube stream.




Advent Book Study

Saturday, December 12

Advent begins on November 29, and Reverend Beth’s Advent book study book will be “Christmas in the Four Gospel Homes” by Cynthia M. Campbell. Amazon has this to say about it:

“How might a house look for Christmas based on what each Gospel says about it? In Christmas in the Four Gospel Homes, beautiful illustrations from architect Kevin Burns reimagine each of the four Gospels as a ‘house,’ which the church visits at Christmas. In each section, Cynthia M. Campbell reflects on the distinctive perspective of the birth of Jesus or the incarnation offered by each Gospel. Suitable for individual or group study, Christmas in the Four Gospel Homes creatively reimagines the season and inspires new and exciting reflection for Advent.”

Join Rev. Beth on Saturday, December 12 at 10am in the Fellowship Hall for a lively discussion on the book. Reservations are required, and masks and physical distancing, along with the other building use protocols, will be observed. Contact the office for your reserved seat!


Photo Opportunity!

Do you usually take a Christmas photo? This year the church has a Christmas-themed Photo Booth in front of the church for all of Advent. Get your fancy Christmas clothes on! Gather the family! Pop by at your convenience. And if you are so inclined, share the picture with us (just email it to office @ csccucc.com)!



Christmas Eve "Silent Night" Sing-a-long

A favorite tradition for many people is singing “Silent Night” on Christmas Eve by candlelight in the church sanctuary. This year, let’s all do it together from our own homes!  At 7pm on Dec. 24, light a candle, step outside your home, maybe stand at the end of your driveway or on your porch, and sing “Silent Night”! Rev. Beth has been talking with the other churches in Bridgewater and everyone agrees that we need this experience of togetherness this year. Raise your voice in praise and celebration!


Christmas Eve worship service (streaming only, on YouTube and Facebook)

will be at 6:00pm on Thursday, December 24.


Advent Bible Study

Wednesday, Dec. 9 - 16 - 23, 12 noon

Join Reverend Beth in exploring the lectionary and the Advent themes of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love on three consecutive Wednesdays. Study will take place in the Fellowship Hall, physically distanced and masks required. 12 noon on December 9, 16, and 23.

Due to gathering limitations, reservations are required. Contact the church office to reserve your spot.



What is Advent?

In the church’s calendar (called the liturgical calendar), Advent marks the beginning of the church year. Advent starts on a Sunday, and marks the four Sundays prior to Christmas. This means, depending on how the days of the week fall, that Advent may begin in the final days of November or the first days of December each year. This year, Advent begins on Sunday, November 29. For Christians, Advent is a time of preparation and expectant waiting. We prepare our hearts and our lives for the birth of the baby Jesus and all that His life brings. In this time of waiting, we can engage in spiritual practices that help center us and prepare us for this day. Advent is a time of great opportunity, a time to slow down, to rest, and to center ourselves in our faith.


What is Christmas?

We often think of Christmas as a single day, December 25, but the liturgical celebration of Christmas is actually a whole season of the church year! Starting on December 25, the day we celebrate Jesus’s birth, and ending on January 6,  the season of Christmas is a joyful time to celebrate all that Christ’s birth means in our lives. We call January 6 “Epiphany”. On Epiphany we celebrate the journey of the Magi to visit Jesus and bring him gifts. 

And it’s this time from Christmas Day until Epiphany that comprise the “Twelve Days of Christmas”.


The Advent Wreath

Many Protestant and Roman Catholic churches use Advent wreaths to mark the passing of the four weeks in Advent. The candles are lit, one additional one per week, for four weeks. On Christmas Eve, a fifth candle is lit to represent Jesus, the light of the world. The family gathers around a very simple votive wreath to have dessert together and reflect on each of the four Advent values: Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.


To make your wreath, place four candles on a plate in a circle with a pillar candle in the center. Light one candle per week, starting with the first Sunday in Advent (this year November 29), four weeks before Christmas. On each subsequent Sunday, light an additional candle. The first week represents Hope; the second, Peace; the third, Joy; and the fourth, Love. On Christmas Eve, light all four candles as well as the candle in the middle, representing the baby Jesus.

During each of the four weeks of Advent, on Sunday evening after dinner, sit around the table with your dessert and candles and go through the simple routine of lighting the candle, discussing the Advent value, and ending with a simple prayer. The depth of discussion will vary, depending on those involved. For very young children, simply saying the word and ending with the prayer is a beautiful beginning and lays the foundation for future years.  


My Advent Countdown Picture!

Count down to Christmas Day by coloring in one star each day, 
beginning on the first Sunday of Advent (November 29)!



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


CSCC Cabinet Meeting – Minutes
November 18, 2020 via Zoom teleconferencing

The virtual meeting was called to order at 7:04.

Cabinet members in attendance: Rev. Beth Stotts, Pastor; Anne Malmquist, Moderator; Denise Molinari, Vice Moderator; Dave Sheibley, Treasurer; Larry Brown, Asst. Treasurer; Diane Sheibley, Clerk; Lynn Pietras, Board of Deacons; Ed Buckland, Board of Trustees; Margaret Weilhouwer, Board of Christian Education; Bill O’Neil, Board of Christian Outreach; Barbara Morey, History & Memorials Committee; Gail Wershing, Growth Committee; Terry Reynolds, Women’s Guild & Fellowship

Also present: Gordon Brailsford (Trustees); Ellen Atherton, Congregational Administrator; Sandy Alley (Women’s Guild), Mike Bundock (Growth), Carol Chaffee 

Rev. Beth opened the meeting with a prayer.   

Diane Sheibley did the roll call.

The minutes from the October meeting were reviewed and there were no objections or corrections. Gail Wershing moved to accept the minutes; Terry Reynolds seconded. The minutes were approved.

Rev. Beth referred everyone to the printed report she distributed ahead of time. She then shared her screen and showed everyone her advent calendar. Included were the Christmas Carol singalong that Julia and Rev. Beth will be providing on Dec. 4; the Advent book study on Dec. 12; the Advent bible study on three consecutive Wednesdays beginning Dec. 9; and the Christmas eve livestreamed worship service at 6pm on Dec. 24, followed by the lighting of candles and singing of Silent Night, where everyone at home is encouraged to participate.

Rev. Beth also reminded folks that this Saturday (11/21) was the pickup at the church for everyone’s Advent materials, as well as a time where she’ll be decorating the front of the church and setting up this season’s outdoor “photo booth” for anyone to use to take a holiday photo.
She reminded everyone that the bible studies and the book study are by reservation only, due to safe gathering limitations due to COVID. Christmas Eve service will be a livestream event only.

Dave Sheibley hoped everyone received the copies of the treasurer’s report that he distributed via email. We are running about 7-8% below projected income, but that’s not to bad given the situation. He noted that the church fair did well in its fundraising endeavors, so we’re happy to have that cash influx. We are still transferring money in from the endowments, but that will slow down for a while with the fair money. He also noted that with the status of the stock market, the value of the endowments has increased about $15,000 in recent weeks.

Ellen called attention to her status report showing all the work she’s been doing. One item she forgot to include was that, to prepare for the eventual return to worship and use of the building, she went through the whole church and removed anything that was not attached – bibles and pencils from pews, etc. She also gave a shoutout to Dave and Diane Sheibley for arranging for a donation of 4 hand sanitizer stations to be placed around the church. 

The Re-Opening Task Force finds it necessary to ask Cabinet to vote on the following 2 items: 
First, the task force asks Cabinet to affirm that CSCC follows Massachusetts masking requirements; that everyone who is in our building wear a mask, covering both their nose and mouth, at all times with only the following two exceptions: 
1. A staff member who is working alone in their own enclosed space. 
2. A worship leader in the sanctuary who is socially distanced from anyone else. 

Second, since the Trustees are the keepers of our building, we recommend that the Cabinet give them a vote of confidence to enforce the safety precautions that have been instituted to use our building. The Trustees would follow our Behavioral Covenant speaking directly with violators and, if necessary, ultimately asking them to turn in their key and leave the building. -- Respectfully submitted, Deb Sorgman, on Behalf of the Re-Opening Task Force
After brief discussion, the Cabinet affirmed both of the recommendations.

Barbara Morey updated Cabinet on the progress of their project. She noted that the next step, following the approval of the town to grant us $200,000 for phase one of the building renovation, is to secure a deed restriction. She has been in touch with Brian Pfeiffer, who did the original assessment of the building for us, and asked for an estimate of the work necessary to complete a deed restriction. His estimate was $6500, and Barbara is working with the Community Preservation Committee to have the town pay that fee. The project of the deed restriction is estimated to take between 3-4 months and 8 months to finalize.
The committee has sent out about 25 letters to local businesses soliciting donations to the project. They have also found several large corporations with a presence in the area that they can approach as well. The grant writer has assisted in communications with these prospects.

• Bill O’Neil noted that the food pantry is organizing Thanksgiving bags and will be putting them together this Saturday in the Fellowship Hall. The Food Pantry/Board of Christian Outreach has also sent checks to several places to help them out with their outreach. The annual Warmth in Cold Places project will still take place this year, but will be structured a bit differently. We will be holding a warm clothing drive and then the items will be delivered to Taunton the week before Christmas. Items to be donated can be brought to the church during Thursday food pantry open hours. 
• Mike Bundock from the Growth Committee will be contacting greeters to do more virtual Sunday greetings. [The Cabinet then recorded their own virtual greeting, to be used on a future Sunday to open worship]. Gail Wershing also discussed a possible fundraiser that involved a beard and mustache growing contest. Contestants would pay a small fee to participate, and people wishing to vote for their favorite might also pay a small donation.
• Rev. Beth mentioned the photo booth she was going to set up on the front lawn of the church. “Take a photo and share it with us.” The church will be the background.
• Diane mentioned that Jess Stearns had her baby, Alexander, on Nov. 16. Mother and baby are doing well.
• Diane also reported the results of this year’s fair events: Pie sale: $1,007; Craft sale: $1,337; Attic Treasures Yard Sale: $675; Turkey Dinner Takeout: $2735; and Hanson Farm Harvest Table: $300; for a total of $6,054. Diane also noted that an anonymous angel stepped up and sponsored the entire bill from the turkey dinner caterer (Boston Tavern, Middleboro), so ALL of the proceeds from the night went to the church. 
• Diane briefly discussed the Christmas Carol singalong fundraiser with Julia and Rev. Beth, and alerted people to be on the lookout for information on how to watch, request a carol, and donate. It will be held online on Friday, Dec. 4, 7-8pm.
• Bill O’Neil requested that the Moderator consider moving the Cabinet meetings from Zoom to in-person in the Fellowship Hall, as we’re now allowing small groups to meet. Lynn, a member of the Building Re-opening Task Force, noted that while the Fellowship Hall has been reopened for a limited number of small group meetings, the numbers in the state are going the wrong way. Anne responded by saying that we would all love to have in-person meetings, but part of loving our neighbor is watching out for each other. She also noted that the last time we considered having an in-person meeting,not enough people were able/willing to attend to provide a quorum.
• Anne thanked everyone for adapting to the current environment, and Rev. Beth added that in many ways, people are blossoming with the creative ways of handling what needs to be done.
• Mike gave a shoutout to Julia for all the music she’s been bringing in from the outside for our Sunday streamed services.

Rev. Beth closed the meeting with a Thanksgiving prayer. 

The meeting adjourned at 8:00.


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

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

Congregational Administrator: Ellen Atherton,  office @ csccucc.com
Sexton: Rich Sullivan
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.