. . .

Central Square Congregational Church, United Church of Christ



February 2022

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



February. A month for the Superbowl (I think I’m the only one waiting for football to finally be over). A month to celebrate love. A month to see how much longer winter might last – hello groundhog! We see you! The shortest month of the year. But it is also the month of our Annual Report. For those of you who have served in church leadership recently, you likely know all about this. But I wanted to bring all of us up to speed, to make sure we are all in the know.

Each year, our church (and many/most churches) compile what is commonly called “The Annual Report”. It’s a document that gathers together reports from the various church leaders, some of the church staff, as well as the minutes from our congregational meetings (whole church meetings) and the financial statements for the year. It’s a snapshot at the life of the church. It tells of what happened and perhaps what didn’t happen. It tells us about who joined, who was baptized or married or died. It tells us about how the finances are – where did we spend money, what money was donated. It tells us about how God has been at work in the life of the church.
Some read this report cover to cover. Some never read it and didn’t know it existed. But you want to know who will read it? Sometimes new leaders will look back to see what the person in their position did previously. More likely, your next pastor will read these reports to find out what happened in the life of CSCCUCC in 2021 (don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere … it’s just a someday next pastor).

And you know who else will read it? Someone 50-100 years from now who is facing another pandemic and wondering what we did. My colleagues all around the country have been digging up Annual Reports from 1918 and 1919 to see what happened the last time the church lived through a pandemic. They learned that church meetings stopped. They learned that an entire year of minutes was missing (likely because they didn’t gather). They learned that folks wore masks, that church was suspended. Sound familiar?

These Annual Reports are not just an annoying exercise that Cabinet and the Congregational Administrator bug you to complete. They are the storytelling document of the church that will live on for future generations!

So next week when it comes out, download it. Ask Deborah to mail you a hard copy (or hopefully pick one up at church … we’re hoping to be back in person). And then read it! Mark your calendar for Sunday, February 13th for our Congregational Meeting when we formally receive this report and have a chance to hear a bit more about it. Because, dear church, it matters. And you matter! So thank you for reading this, for reading our reports, and for attending the meeting! See you soon.


In Christ,
Rev. Beth


PS — And to take advantage of “modern technology,” the church has now begun posting its annual reports on the church website. We’ve got the last five years up there for a start, and plan to add more. Take a look for a walk down memory lane! CLICK HERE to see them.

In-person worship is currently on hold.

Watch our email and the website, and announcements from the pulpit, for information about resuming in-person worship.



Use the link on the homepage of www.csccucc.org to access Sunday worship.

There is also a link to access past services, as well as past service bulletins.


Church office hours are Monday - Friday, 10am - 2pm



Next Cabinet meeting is Wednesday, Feb. 16, 7pm

Monthly meetings of the church leadership are currently being held either via Zoom or in the Fellowship Hall, at the discretion of the Moderator. All church members are also welcome to attend. Mask and social distancing protocols are observed for in-person meetings.


Central Square Church is now on Instagram! Follow us on @centralsquarechurch.


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 or email her at csccpastor @ hotmail.com. 


CSCC Deacons
Deb Sorgman – debsorgman @ gmail.com

Jae Stotts - jaestotts @ 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.


The Women’s Guild and Fellowship will hold their next meeting, via ZOOM, on Wednesday, February 2, beginning at 6:30 PM. Our guest speaker is Dr. Kathleen M. Laquale, PhD, LDN, LAT, AT. Professor, Bridgewater State University, Licensed Dietitian.  Dr. Laquale is an excellent speaker and her topic will be “What Does Healthy Eating Look Like.” 

We invite all the women of the church to join us for this vital and informative talk.  A ZOOM link will be sent from the church office the morning of the meeting. If you are not a Guild member and would like to join the meeting, please let Deborah know so she can include your email for the link. 

Sandy Alley and Bette de Koning, 




My Recipe For How To Have a Good Day

by Laura Starbird

A heart full of hope, a soul full of joy,
A sky full of sunshine for all to enjoy.
A house filled with warmth from family and friends
Where peace always rules and love never ends.
A mind full of goals to reach and achieve,
Dreams and promises in which to believe.
A place to belong where people are kind,
Five senses to cherish the beauty you find.
Good health and good luck from the moment you wake,
A love for yourself that no-one can take.
Mixed all together with patience and care,
This recipe can carry you ‘most anywhere.



Heifer Project at CSCC 


Presenting the Heifer Project to the children this year has been very challenging. However, at the same time, it has been fun planning and recording our lessons. 

At this time, three (3) lessons for each grade level have been recorded and placed online for the children and youth to view and kits are being delivered to residences or are available for pick-up at the church 10-2, Mon-Fri.

Bible readings are used to explain God’s plan for the people and to help understand how Heifer Project works. We hope you are sharing the lessons with your child and encouraging discussion about Heifer and all our responsibilities to the earth. We have one more lesson to record and post, but watch for future videos regarding Heifer.

As you know, the culminating activity for Heifer is the Living Gift Market. Unfortunately, due to COVID, we will not be able to hold the Living Gift Market until later this year; probably in the spring. We are hoping to hold the event out on the front lawn of the church. We ask that the children and youth keep saving their money in their Heifer banks. Don’t forget to e-mail Krissy or Terry which animal you and your families or friends are sponsoring. We want to send you materials and suggestions for the Living Gift Market. Please keep Heifer in your hearts and on your minds.


Faithfully yours,
Krissy Cannizzo and Terry Reynolds
maximus202 @ comcast.net, terryr0647 @ hotmail.com



If you’d like to donate to the kids’ Heifer Project, use the button at the very top of this page, or mail a check to the church. Note “Heifer” in the memo field.



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!

Due to COVID concerns, the meeting will be held via Zoom. The Zoom meeting link will be emailed to all those on our email list on THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 10. If you do not get emails from the church regularly, such as the Monday e-blast, please contact Deborah in the church office, and she’ll be happy to email it to you personally.

The link will also be available on the church website EVENTS page that morning (not before).


Blanket Sunday, Feb. 13

You are invited to join the Board of Christian Outreach in Church World Service (CWS)’s Blanket Sunday. Here is a quote from CWS.... 

“One night in the cold. That’s all it takes to remember how important a blanket is. So, for people around the world struggling to sleep on freezing sidewalks, in unfamiliar evacuation centers or shelters, or in a drafty home, a blanket is a treasure. Give a blanket to cover someone with warmth......and the reminder that they’re not alone.” 


Let’s share our treasures and love and buy some blankets in February. Every $10 donation pays for one blanket. 

You can make one or more $10 donations electronically by clicking the button at the very top of this page, or you can mail a check to the church. Indicate "blanket Sunday" in the memo field.


Reverend Beth’s sermon about our church’s 200th anniversary got me thinking about my new role in Stewardship. I had been trying to figure out a way to express the way I wanted to promote Stewardship during the pandemic and to help our church into the future. Her words made me realize how our church was born out of love for God and for service. The generations that have held this responsibility over the years have been rooted in different times with different experiences and expectations, but we all have one thing in common — love.  

I want to frame Stewardship around the question: How do you love? How do you love your community, family, friends, church, work, pets, lives, and hobbies? What brings you joy? What do you think your calling or purpose in life is? It is okay to not know the answers to all those questions. Sometimes, we know the answer for a set time in our life and then it changes. Giving and expressing love isn’t always simple. It can be sweet, messy, annoying, profound, silly... and so very hard. It is always worth it in the end. How do you think you can love the church through Stewardship?

Stewardship should be something that everyone can participate in. It is something we all can do. You may hear of a project that you want to commit to for a period of time. You may want to help here and there as it fits in your schedule. You may have money you can donate regularly or from time to time. Sometimes just expressing encouragement, giving feedback, or sharing an idea or a dream for the church is enough. There isn’t one right way to give your time, talent, and tithes. 

In this moment of time, in our generation of loving this church, we have an abundance of gifts to share with one another. Reach out and let me know your answer to this question. How do you love?


Kathleen Mosher

Reach Kathleen via email at katmosher @ comcast.net

CSCC Cabinet Meeting – Minutes
January 19, 2022 at 7pm, via Zoom

The meeting was called to order at 7:03 by Anne Malmquist, Moderator.


Cabinet members in attendance: Rev. Beth Stotts, Pastor; Anne Malmquist, Moderator; Denise Molinari, Vice Moderator; Dave Sheibley, Treasurer; Diane Sheibley, Clerk; Gordon Brailsford, Board of Trustees; Kathleen Mosher, Board of Stewardship; Connie Chandler, Board of Christian Outreach; Margaret Wielhouwer, Board of Christian Education; Barbara Morey & Terry Reynolds, History & Memorials Committee; Ellen Crawford, Music Committee; Bette deKoning, Women’s Guild & Fellowship.

Also present: Deborah Lancaster, Congregational Administrator


Rev. Beth opened the meeting with a prayer.


Diane Sheibley did the roll call and verified that a quorum was present.


December Meeting Minutes
The minutes from the December meeting were reviewed. Dave Sheibley motioned to accept the minutes. Gordon Brailsford seconded. The minutes were approved without any changes.


Pastor’s Report [also see written report] – Rev. Beth Stotts
Rev. Beth reported that it was a weird month – tremendous COVID pastoral care, although she loved how many people reached out for a meal, and for how many people stepped up to provide them. There are also many others going through various big transitions. She met with Jack Melcher from the food pantry to help meet the needs of people for an individual meal or two.

“Christmas was awesome.” Rev. Beth did a blue Christmas service at the senior center, as well as a 5pm and 10pm at CSCC. They were well-attended. She also met with the Deacons to clean out the closet and the sacristy last weekend. Next Sunday, Greta Macrae will be the guest preacher. Looking down the road, the Lenten book study will be “No Cure for Being Human” by Kate Bowler, and Rev. Beth will be doing her end-of-life planning workshop on Holy Saturday. She is also very thankful to Ellen Crawford for putting her in touch with the BSU archivist, who has historical materials about CSCC.


Treasurer’s Report [also see financials] – Dave Sheibley
We are still plugging away, and OK. The giving is only $300 below budget. Dave reminded everyone that the fair did very well this year, especially with the participation in Christmas on the Common. Expenses are OK, and the investments are doing well. $20,000 was transferred out of investments so far, as planned.


Congregational Administrator’s Report [also see written report] – Deborah Lancaster
Deborah reminded everyone of the mask mandate in the church building, and spent some time making signs and sending out reminders to building renters. She is also making sure that our contact info for the outside groups is up to date. She also spent time making signs regarding the change in worship back to virtual. The furnace was inspected. Diane Sheibley noticed the entry on Deborah’s report regarding culling and cleaning the email list on Constant Contact, and asked that she not delete anyone off this list. Deborah noted that the cleanup of the Servant Keeper list (database of church members and visitors) is ongoing.


Food Pantry Report [also see written report] – Rev. Beth
Rev. Beth reported that she and Deborah have been discussing how much time Deborah spends on food pantry work. She suggested asking the Food Pantry people to contribute to Deborah’s compensation. Deborah estimates that she spends 45-60 minutes per day on the food pantry (out of the 4 hours she works per day). Rev. Beth noted that it was very difficult at Thanksgiving and Christmas to get everything done that had to be, with Deborah spending so much time on the pantry.

Anne asked Deborah to keep track of her food pantry time spent. It was suggested that the food pantry people also might want to keep a log of their time and tasks. 


Historical Church Building Committee Report – Barbara Morey
Barbara reminded the Cabinet that we had a DAR grant given to us for $10,000, and we had 12 months to use it or we’d have to give it back. So it needs to be used by April. Chris Burgess, who has a steeple jack, quoted replacing the louvers on the steeple and re-glazing the windows, and said he could do it for $10,000. She also has a quote from someone else in the amount of $13,870 to do the repairs needed on the ceiling (just for painting and repair of affected areas).


Board of Stewardship – Kathleen Mosher
As the new member of the Board of Stewardship, Kathleen remarked that Stewardship had always seemed like a project that had an end, but she noted that Stewardship doesn’t end – it just keeps evolving. She’d like to see more people get involved in it, although not necessarily becoming a member of the Board. She would like to see the Board’s efforts be more inclusive, and for people to know it’s an important part of our church. “Stewardship is love, and taking care and loving the church.” It’s not just about money. She sees it as there is no “big goal” – it’s about the journey. Anne encouraged people to reach out to Kathleen (email or text is best) with their thoughts and feelings.


Women’s Guild and Fellowship – Bette deKoning
Bette asked if there has been any discussion of groups not being able to meet in the church. The Trustees did discuss the issue, and decided that with masking, groups can continue to meet. Bette reported that the Women’s Guild meeting was a planned Zoom meeting, and the presenter will be Dr. Kathleen M. Laquale, and her topic will be “What Does Healthy Eating Look Like.”


New Business
• Gordon Brailsford voiced his concern over a letter he received from the UCC, encouraging people to contact their legislators to vote in favor of the voting rights act currently before Congress. He is concerned that this is a violation of separation of church and state. He recommended sending a letter to voice that concern. Rev. Beth clarified our relationship with the UCC. She also suggested to Gordon that the appropriate people to talk to about this are our delegates to the UCC, John Sharland and Deb Sorgman. They would be the ones to carry any concerns of our congregation to the UCC. Gordon then revised his original statement and noted that it was a letter from the National Council of Churches, not the UCC.

• Anne was asked if she’s still planning on re-convening the constitution committee. She is.

• Sunday School: Terry Reynolds reported that she and Krissy Cannizzo have been doing online lessons for the kids, relating to the Heifer Project. The Living Gift Market that was scheduled for January 30 has been postponed until (likely) springtime, where they might be able to have it outdoors. She let Dave know that he might see some Heifer donation money coming in to the church. Terry thanked Rev. Beth for all her work on the Heifer program, and for even making some deliveries of materials to Sunday School families.

• Gordon reported that he met with the Food Pantry people regarding their new racks, and gave them the OK to build in the “middle” room in the basement. They are trying to get all the food donations out of the Fellowship Hall.


Rev. Beth closed the meeting in prayer at 8:05.



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)

Instagram: @centralsquarechurch 

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