Central Square Congregational Church, United Church of Christ

Steeple Sounds

February 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


In our Weekly Bible Study this week we had a talk about the difference between the 10 Commandments and Jesus’ Commandments. The 10 Commandments were given to Moses and were/are followed by those in the Jewish faith. You know them. They’re the one’s that say “Thou shall not…”. Jesus’ Commandments, even though there are only two, are much more difficult. “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)  

So who is your neighbor? Do you know the people who live around you? Do you know the people who ride on the same train as you in your commute? Sometimes people feel guilty about Christ’s command to love our neighbor because some of us don’t even know our neighbors. Furthermore, sometimes we know our neighbors, but maybe it’s hard to love them. I was thinking that perhaps regardless of the situation surrounding our relationships with our neighbors, here are some things we can do to “love” them, just as Jesus would ask us to: 

Pray specifically for your neighbors by name. Pray that they would know Christ by knowing you, and pray for the opportunity to develop relationships with them. Don’t know their names? Read #2...

Learn about your neighbors. You might have to have that embarrassing conversation when you say, “I’m so sorry. I should know your name since we’ve been neighbors for 20 years, but I don’t recall it. Could you tell me your name again?” Keep a list of your neighbors’ names, addresses, their dogs’ names, what you talk about, when you met, any tidbit of trivia you can follow up on later. Sometimes being a follower of Christ makes us uncomfortable.

A little gift is an instant ice breaker. It doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate— maybe some brownies or a plate of cookies, a children’s drawing (involving your children is a beautiful way to teach them to love their neighbor!), or even a handwritten note saying “Thinking of you”.

Intentionally serve outside your typical circles to meet more people. Volunteer at the food pantry, work with children at Horizons in Brockton, become trained to be a hospice visitor, groom animals at an animal rescue, share a meal at a soup kitchen, visit a nursing home, or pick up litter in your neighborhood park.

One in four of the homes on your street is occupied by one person living alone. Call one of your single neighbors using one of these conversation starters—
    “I haven’t seen you for a while and wondered how you’re doing.”
    “I really enjoy talking to you. What have you been up to?”
    “I’m going to the store, what can I pick up for you?”
    “Are you ready for the [upcoming storm, holiday, etc.]?”
Ask your elderly or shut-in neighbors specific questions during extremely cold weather:
    “Is your heat working?”
    “Are you warm enough?”
    “Do you have enough food to get through the next few days?”

Do a neighbor a favor. Carry your neighbor’s trash cans back to her house, help carry in groceries, rake leaves, or shovel snow. Scrape the frost off the windshield or help with a home improvement project. Or simply listen...listen long and hear your neighbor’s heart.

7. EAT
I mean seriously, this is what we do best here at CSCC. Invite a neighbor to join your table at the Mission Dinner (March 21st) or for breakfast on a breakfast Sunday (1st & 3rd Sunday of every month, through May). Sharing a meal with someone is one of the most spiritually intimate acts we can do and Jesus models it for us so beautifully.  

You don’t have to do all of these to “love your neighbor”, but challenge yourself to pick one and make it a point to actively engage in neighborly love. If you’re having a hard time loving your neighbor right now, give me a call or make an appointment to come talk to me. I’m always here for you.

Yours In Christ,
Rev. Beth

csccpastor@hotmail.com, 508-697-6016

February Breakfast Dates

February 2

February 16



Most months from September-May, our breakfast service is offered the first and third Sundays of the month. Please join us -- everyone is welcome!


Our breakfasts are PAY WHAT YOU CAN!

If times are tough... eat for FREE!

If you are doing OK... pay the going rate of $5 per person ($15 family limit)

If you are feeling blessed... leave some extra!



Thank you to our wonderful volunteers that make our after-worship time welcoming and delicious. If you are able to help one of our dedicated committees with this ministry on one of the dates below, contact Mike at mm.bundock@comcast.net, or Gail at wershing@ptd.net.

Feb. 2—First Sunday..................Board of Christian Outreach & Board of Stewardship
Feb. 9—Second Sunday (Annual Meeting).................CSCC Officers & Women’s Guild & Fellowship
Feb. 16—Third Sunday...........................Growth Committee & History & Memorials Committee
Feb. 23—Fourth Sunday............................Board of Trustees & Board of Christian Education

The Talking Information Center

A wonderful program entitled The Talking Information Center or TIC Network was presented at the January Women’s Guild & Fellowship meeting. It is a radio station that broadcasts for people who are visually impaired. Two hundred volunteers read the daily newspaper, short stories, books, poetry, and more to an audience of people throughout Massachusetts who would not otherwise have access to news and information or the joy of hearing a book read to them. How can a person access the TIC Network? They can listen on the TIC website (www.ticnetwork.org), call and inquire about a receiver, or listen by phone. They can call for availability on their local channel or download a free app available for both Apple and Android. Another source is Alexa or Google. Just say, “Alexa (or Hey Google) play radio station Talking Information Center” on your Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, or Google Home devices. The reason this information is being shared with you, is because you may know someone who is visually impaired and could take advantage of this wonderful program. Any questions please see Beth Basler or Terry Reynolds.
Co-Presidents: Beth Basler, bethbasler@rcn.com and Terry Reynolds, terryr0647@hotmail.com


Guild Auction: February 5

All women of the church are invited to attend the February meeting of the Women’s Guild & Fellowship on Wednesday, February 5. We will be having an auction to raise funds towards our favorite causes. Sandy Alley, Janet Colford, Phoebe Hogg, & Bev Mitchell will be our auctioneers. Members of the Guild are asked to bring one or more items to be auctioned. For an uproarious evening led by these funny women, come to the auction. You never know what to expect.


39 Broad Street, Bridgewater -- Thursday, Feb. 13, 7pm

Weekly Evening Bible Study
Tuesdays, 7pm

Join Rev. Beth in the Fireplace Room each Tuesday at 7pm to read the lectionary scripture together, discuss what sticks out, how it relates to our lives, and how it relates to the Spiritual Enrichment topic of the month, and to pray. 

Destination: Rutland, Vermont

Dates: June 28-July 3, 2020

Mandatory Meeting: Sunday Feb. 2, 11:30am

Any youth going on the mission trip (and at least one parent each) should plan on attending the meeting on Sunday, February 2 at 11:30(ish), following the Superbowl Appetizer sale at coffee hour. 

1. MISSION DINNER: All youth going on the trip are required to work at the mission dinner, this year on March 21. We will go over all the details at the meeting—make all the final decisions, talk about schedule, be briefed on the auction/raffle and your responsibilities regarding it, and more. All church youth (grades 8-12) are invited to participate in the dinner, whether they are going on the trip or not.

2. TRIP PAPERWORK: Also, Youth Works has switched to a paperless system this year. We will go over the details of the online system where your paperwork will need to be filled out. Or you can get started on it by going to the church website (www.csccucc.org), and clicking on “Ministries”. Then just scroll down to the mission trip part. There’s a link there to the Youthworks paperwork system. ALL ONLINE FORMS MUST BE COMPLETED BY MAY 17.

Questions? Contact Jess Stearns at jessicastearns1231@gmail.com or contact the church office.


Attention Youth Grades 6-12!

Sunday, Feb. 16

Next youth group (grades 6-12) will be held on Sunday, February 16. Please mark your calendars to hang out, tell funny stories, make a craft, and share our faith in the upstairs meeting room from 11:30-1. Questions and pizza topping requests can be sent to Jess or the church office. 
All youth are welcome, and feel free to bring a friend!

Jess Stearns  •  jessicastearns1231@gmail.com  or the church office at 508-697-6016.


Remember to ‘like’ the CSCC Youth Facebook page for youth news, announcements, and alerts. Just search for “CSCC Youth” in the FB search bar.


Sleepover Fun!
Saturday, February 22

All kids in the CE/Sunday School program in grades 2-8 are invited to join Rev. Beth for a sleepover at the church on Feb.22. Marci Langevin and Deb Sorgman are co-leading the programs, and it promises to be a fun adventure. 

Contact Rev. Beth for more details or to reserve your child’s spot at csccpastor@hotmail.com or 508-697-6016.



Mom & Baby Playgroup

Saturday, Feb. 8

9-10:30am in the nursery

Bring your baby or toddler and hang with other moms! No agenda or program, just a fabulous play room for the kids and time to be with other moms! 


Sunday Stories with Rev. Beth 

Sunday, Feb. 9

9am in the nursery

Hear a story, sing songs, and play! All infants and toddlers (and their parents/guardians) welcome.

At the January “Sunday Stories with Rev. Beth”, she sang with them a special song, with lyrics she had composed, to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”. We thought we’d share the song with you to enjoy with your little ones.


Nursery Song
Sung to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”
Lyrics by Rev. Beth Stotts


Gather round and sing with me
Of a love eternally
God with us, in us, we pray
Making friends while we play
Gather round and sing with me
Of a love eternally


Reading books and singing songs
Play with friends all morning long
Church is where we come to say
God loves us each night and day
Reading books and singing songs
Play with friends all morning long


Sunday Nursery Hours

Our staffed nursery is open every Sunday morning from 9am to 12noon. All babies and toddlers welcome! All our caretakers are CORI checked.

-> Nursery is open every Sunday  9am-12pm
-> Bible Study, Tuesdays, 7pm

-> Super Bowl Appetizer Sale, 2/2

-> Mission Dinner/Trip Mandatory Meeting, 2/2

-> Mom & Baby playgroup, Nursery, 2/8, 9-10:30am
-> Sunday Stories w/Rev. Beth, Nursery, 2/9, 9am

-> Ask A Pastor Anything/Faith Uncorked, 2/13, 7pm
-> Youth Group (grades 6-12), 2/16, 11:30-1

-> Sleepover (grades 2-8), 2/22



Did you know Youth and Families can be Ushers, Greeters, and Acolytes, Too?

These small commitment/big impact roles are available throughout the year, and youth and families are welcome to volunteer as well. Whether for one Sunday, or once a month, ushers, greeters, and acolytes are needed to create a helpful and welcoming experience for all who come through our doors. Contact the church office, or speak to someone in one of those roles on Sunday for more information about how you can participate. 

Acolytes have traditionally been 3rd-6th graders, but anybody is welcome to take on this important job of leading off worship by lighting the altar candles. Be the one who brings the light of Christ into our presence at the beginning of Sunday service! 
For more information, contact Ellen at office@csccucc.com or 508-697-6016.


Next Cabinet Meeting: Wednesday, Feb. 19, 7pm


Please note: The church office will be closed Feb. 17

Rev. Beth will be out of the office Feb. 14-16


Pastor's Hours

Rev. Beth is available by appointment Tuesday-Thursday. Fridays and Saturdays are her study/writing days. Monday is her day off. Contact the office at office@csccucc.com or 508-697-6016 to make an appointment to see her. She’d love to chat with you!

Community Book Study

​​​​​​​Our Community Book Study for this year is the book “Canoeing the Mountains” by Tod Bolsinger. Be on the lookout for upcoming discussion groups about this book. You can find it on Amazon or at the Bridgewater Public Library. According to Rev. Beth, “I’m only a few pages in and it’s REALLY GOOD!” To purchase it from Amazon, CLICK HERE.

An Update from your Historical Church Building Committee

On 12/11/19 members of the HCRC appeared before the Community Preservation Committee at the Bridgewater Town Hall and submitted our completed CPA grant application.  Because there are so many members on this committee, they asked if we could also submit our notebook application electronically, which they did.

The review process could take up to two months, which means we’re hoping to have an answer to our request by this month, February 2020.
Repairs are scheduled to begin in the spring. Most, or all, of the work should be completed by our 200th anniversary celebration in the Fall of 2021.

Barbara Morey, Rachel Lawson, David Sheibley, Carol Chaffee, Gloria Weinrebe, Terry Reynolds


Super Bowl Sunday Appetizer Sale!
Sunday, February 2

Did you pre-order one of the youth’s appetizers for the big game (or movie night)? They will be available to pick up during fellowship hour after service on Sunday, February 2. If you didn’t pre-order, there will be a limited number of “extras” available for sale, but they’ll go quickly!

All money raised goes to benefit the youth mission trip to Vermont in June. Thank you for your support, and happy eating!


Mission Dinner Is Coming!
Saturday, March 21

The annual dinner to benefit the youth mission trip in June is in the active planning stages. Join us as the youth and adults magically transform the Fellowship Hall into a themed restaurant! The event is reservation-only, and open to the public. Spread the word! Invite your friends! Reservations will be taken during coffee/fellowship hour as well as through the office, beginning in late February.


Early Announcement!

Are you putting away Christmas clothes now? Maybe your children will have long outgrown the holiday dress or the matching holiday pajamas by next year. Maybe your friends have seen you enough in that same "ugly" Christmas sweater. 

I'm looking to have a special table in the Attic Treasures room of the church fair for Christmas clothes (adults and children) next Fall....please let me know if you have any items and I'll keep them in my garage until November! Thanks. 
Bev Mitchell, 508-697-2949


Lenten Book Study:
“No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering”
By Thich Nhat Nanh

Lent, which begins this year on February 26, is a time of spiritual transformation, of releasing negative thoughts and feelings. 

Thich Nhat Hanh acknowledges that because suffering can feel so bad, we try to run away from it or cover it up by consuming. We find something to eat or turn on the television. But unless we’re able to face our suffering, we can’t be present and available to life, and happiness will continue to elude us.
Join Rev. Beth in reading "No Mud, No Lotus," and discover Hanh's practices and inspiration transforming suffering into finding true joy.


Available from Amazon Smile in Kindle or paperback formats. Click HERE to purchase or learn more.


Last Chance! If you haven’t completed a questionnaire for the Vitality Committee, please do! All input welcome and needed. Let your church know how it’s doing, and how it can  better serve you.

The survey is available in PDF format here: PDF SURVEY

The survey is available for online completion here: ONLINE FORMAT 

TO ALL MEMBERS: Please be advised that the Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday, February 9, 2020. Following worship, complimentary lunch will be served, and the Annual Meeting will follow immediately afterward.

The purpose of the meeting, according to the our Constitution, Article X, Church Meetings, Section 2: The Annual Meeting of the Church shall be held on the second Sunday of February for the purpose of receiving/hearing reports of all Officers, Boards, Committees and Organizations and to transact any other business that may legally come before it. 

This is a celebration! Please come and let us celebrate together the people and ministry of Central Square Congregational Church, United Church of Christ! 

No other business matters will be voted on, unless presented in writing to the Moderator prior to the meeting. That business will be added to the agenda ONLY after an affirmative vote by 2/3 of the attending-voting members.

Annual Meeting LUNCH!

Your help is needed

Sunday, Feb. 9, 11:30am

Immediately following coffee hour on Sunday, Feb. 9, we will be having our Annual Meeting Lunch, and we need your help. We are looking for crockpot soups, fruit, cheese and crackers, and desserts. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE HOW YOU CAN HELP, and please sign up if you are able so that we know what's coming!



Mission Dinner Seeks Raffle Items!

The youth are just about to embark on their project of gathering donations of raffle and auction items for the Mission Dinner fundraiser. If you have a new item, a gift basket, or a gift card you would like to donate, please contact Diane Sheibley at dianesheibley@gmail.com or contact the church office.

If you would like to help out the dinner budget (allowing more of the funds raised to go to the mission trip), your Roche Bros. or Market Basket gift cards would be most appreciated, or cash donations can also be made. Direct all donations to the office, attention ‘mission dinner’. 


Thank You!

This is the time to say a huge thank you to all of you for your recent monetary and material donations to the programs of the Board of Christian Outreach!

Through your portion of pledges that are allocated to Outreach, we made a donation to Operation Santa. Our Christmas Eve collection for the Christmas Fund to needy retired and working clergy raised $724. Thank you all so much for your generosity.

We had many wonderful warm clothing items to take to Taunton for our Warmth in Cold Places clothing drive on January 21st. Thank you for donations of hats, gloves, ponchos, coats, sweatshirts, jeans, blankets, and boots.

The food pantry is running smoothly with cash donations from local citizens, and food donations from all of you and BSU students.  We are blessed to have so many giving hearts and hands.


February's Theme is:



Inspirational Themes

This year our congregational life will be centered around monthly themes. These themes will be the topics for our Christian Education during Children’s Spiritual Enrichment, youth group meetings, Sunday Stories with Rev. Beth in the Nursery, and in our weekly Sunday Worship at 10am. They will also (along with the lectionary texts) be a focal point in our weekly Bible Study which is each Tuesday at 7pm in the Fireplace Room.   

Upcoming Monthly Themes are:
February - Loving Our Neighbors
March - Questioning
April - Journeying

Look What's Coming Up!

February 2 — Scout Sunday
February 16 — Teen Challenge in Worship
February 23 — Pajamas, Prayer, & Poetry

February 26 — Ash Wednesday Service


Pajamas, Prayer, & Poetry

On Sunday, February 23 worship service is Pajamas, Prayer, and Poetry!  Come to worship in your most comfy clothes (no need for Sunday best!), and feel welcome to bring a prayer or bit of poetry that is meaningful to you to share with the congregation.


February 26, 7pm

Please join us on Wednesday, February 26 as we begin our Lenten journey. Our Ash Wednesday worship service includes the imposition of ashes, musical meditations from the choir, and a homily. 


Why is Wearing Your Nametag Helpful?

•  Few people know everybody in the church.
•  Your nametag is welcoming to a visitor.
•  Nametags invite conversation. 
•  Knowing names makes fellowship more personal. 
•  Nametags save embarrassment. 

If it’s in your car, on your desk or dresser, or in the rack by the front door at church, there is someone on Sunday morning who might not know your name.

Please make an effort to wear your fresh new tag with large clear print so those of us who can't remember your name for a long minute won’t have that embarrassment, and newcomers can get to know you. Thank you!


A Reminder of Our Policy on Delay or Cancellation of Worship Services Due to Acts of Nature

The Chair of the Board of Deacons (BOD) in conjunction with the Senior Pastor will discuss the need and reason for cancellation of worship service. Upon the decision to cancel worship service the following procedures shall be put into effect:

1. The Pastor will notify the Music Director no later than 6am the Sunday morning of the service in question. The Music Director will in turn notify the choir.
2. The Pastor will notify the Sexton and other staff, including the Congregational Administrator.
3. The Congregational Administrator will update the office answering machine with the cancellation announcement, notify the appropriate television media, send a general church email, and update the website and Facebook page.
4. The chair of the BOD will notify the Moderator and Vice Moderator and the other members of the BOD.

The main factors used to decide a cancellation of 
worship are:
1. Excessive amounts of snow
2. Parking availability (or parking ban)
3. Damage to the church
4. State of Emergency
5. Power Outage

When coming to church on Sunday mornings, please do not park along the curb on Church Street between the common and the Verizon parking lot, unless you have mobility issues and need to be close to the church door. We have several among us who fall into that category and struggle if there isn’t a parking space close to the entrance. 

There is plenty of parking available in the library parking lot, and on church street beyond the library driveway. 

Thanks for your help! 


Central Square Services are Available Live Streaming and On Demand!

     Booth Video Productions and BTV Access Corporation team up weekly to bring you live stream productions of our service. 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 on our website homepage, www.csccucc.org.
    Central Square Congregational services are available on the go! You can watch weekly sermons live on YouTube courtesy of Paul Holmes and Booth Video (search Central Square Congregational Church) or on Replay on BTV Channel 9, here in Bridgewater. You can also watch replays and download copies, courtesy of the BTV Video on Demand Page, available at btvaccess.com. Services air on Channel 9, weekly on Sunday at 8pm (previous week), Mondays at 1pm, Tuesdays at 10am, and Fridays at 3pm. BTV also airs coverage of church events, when covered by volunteer producers. 

Come Sing With Us!

Rehearsals for the senior choir are at 8am on Sundays in preparation for that day’s 10am service. All levels of experience are welcome. 

The children’s choir rehearses at 9:15am on the second and fourth Sundays of the month, and at 9:30 on the third Sunday of the month; performance is on the fourth Sunday of the month at the 10am service. All children are welcome!

Come Play With Us!

Do you play an instrument, and would you occasionally like to be included in the Sunday worship service? Contact our Minister of Music Julia Scott Carey at juliascottcarey@gmail.com or contact the church office. We love guest musicians!

Remember that when you shop on Amazon, use “smile.Amazon.com” rather than just “Amazon.com”, and designate CSCC as the charity to benefit from your purchases. It costs you nothing extra! Contact the church office with questions.


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,
Congregational Administrator: Ellen Atherton,  office@csccucc.com
Sexton: Rich Sullivan
Minister of Music: Julia Scott Carey,
Director of Christian Education: Jess Stearns, jessicastearns1231@gmail.com

Nursery Coordinator: Maria Kean, mmkean14@gmail.com
Treasurer:  David Sheibley,  treasurer@csccucc.com
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.


Calling All March News and Events!

Have something that should be mentioned or highlighted in the March Steeple Sounds? Send it along to the church office by February 15. Please be sure that there is a point of contact listed that we can print.