Central Square Congregational Church, United Church of Christ

Steeple Sounds

January 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


I got a text message from a college-aged youth last week. It said: “Thank you for everything at the church, Rev. Beth. I never realized how much church prepared me for college.”

I replied, “OOOOOoooooo! Tell me more! :)”

“I interviewed for a job on campus and told them about leading worship and how talking at church made me more comfortable in front of people. Then I realized that just about everything at church has prepared me better for life.”

“OMG!!!!!!!!! That is so awesome! You’ve warmed my heart,”
I replied. “This is just beautiful. I’m thrilled that the
church has been such an important part of your life! Did you get the job????!!!!!”

“I’ll let you know. Thanks again!”

“Good luck! You’re in my prayers. Keep me posted.”

You guys. Seriously. When looking back on 2019, this text exchange was without a doubt one of the highlights of my year. You know that New Year’s song “Auld Lang Syne”? Do you know what that means?

Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.

The Scottish phrase “auld lang syne” literally translates to “old long since,” and basically means, “days gone by.” The original, five-verse version of the poem essentially gets people singing, “let’s drink to days gone by”—a toast for the new year. Sometimes we forget that even people who aren’t in our midst anymore are still impacted by us. Or that “days gone by” should be remembered and honored.

If we do nothing else in this new year, let’s take a cue from a college student, think of the “days gone by”, and reach out to someone who changed or impacted our lives and thank them. As we ring in a new year, drink a toast to them and to the days gone by with gratitude!

“I remember the days of old, I think about all your deeds, I meditate on the works of your hands.” -Psalm 143:5

Yours In Christ,
Rev. Beth

csccpastor@hotmail.com, 508-697-6016

January Breakfast Dates

January 5

January 19


Most months from September-June, 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!

Gigantic THANK YOU to all who joined our “Pop-Up Choir” to sing Christmas Carols in the church entryway during the Christmas on the Common event in our church hall. We ran out of hot chocolate after serving nearly 100 cups in about an hour but we never ran out of voices and attentive listeners in the crowd. —Growth Committee: Mike Bundock, Tracey Doherty, Pat Lindsey, Gail Wershing.

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.

Jan. 5—First Sunday..................Board of Christian Outreach & Board of Stewardship
Jan. 12—Second Sunday...............................CSCC Officers & Women’s Guild & Fellowship
Jan. 19—Third Sunday...........................Growth Committee & History & Memorials Committee
Jan. 26*—Fourth Sunday............................Board of Trustees & Board of Christian Education
* Heifer Living Gift Market Sunday, only beverages needed

In past years, CSCC has offered the opportunity for women to attend a one-night, offsite women’s retreat, for reflection and fellowship. A break from usual day to day rituals gave way to the sharing of food and drink, and getting to know each other, or know each other better, as well as some bible study, inspirational themes, and a craft or two.

A question to the women of the CSCC church community... are you interested in exploring the possibility for a women’s retreat in 2020? In the past, it has often been held during the winter, on a Friday evening through Saturday afternoon. If you are interested, is this a good time, or is there a time you would more prefer? Might you prefer just a day’s retreat, with no overnight commitment? What are your other thoughts about format, or content, or the concept at all?

Please send your thoughts to Meg McDermott at megemcdermott15@gmail.com, or share them with the church office and Ellen will be sure to get them to Meg.

TIC Network

Each month The Women’s Guild & Fellowship presents a program to its members and guests. Sometimes the program is spiritual such as our Christmas and Lenten worship services. Other times we have the opportunity to participate such as our Laughing Yoga program or Guild auction. 

In January, it is an informational meeting. We will learn about the program called TIC Network or the Talking Information Center Network. It is a program that turns print into sound. Anna Dunbar, Executive Director, will explain how the program turns print into sound and tell us about the various programs delivered to the blind and visually impaired listeners in Massachusetts and across the country. Come and learn about this wonderful program offered to over 30,000 listeners. 

All women in the church and friends are invited to attend. The date of the meeting is Wednesday, January 8th. The business meeting begins at 6:30pm, followed by refreshments and the program will begin at approximately 7:30pm. Contact us if you have any questions. 

Co-Presidents: Beth Basler, bethbasler@rcn.com and Terry Reynolds, terryr0647@hotmail.com

Father Bill’s Wish List

Every month the Women’s Guild members and guests have the opportunity to donate items for a worthy cause.  This month we would like to help Father Bill and MainSpring House support the friends and neighbors who need us the most. Urgently needed items are:
Toiletries and bath items – Razors & shaving cream, toothbrushes & toothpaste, shampoo, soap, deodorant, feminine care products, Q-tips, nail clippers, shower curtains
Clothing & accessories – undergarments, thermals, socks, flip-flops & shower shoes, sweatshirts & sweatpants, adult backpacks
Linens – bedding sets (child & adults), towels, blankets
Kitchen & household supplies – dishes, pots & pans, flatware, cooking utensils, dish soap, disinfecting wipes, cleaning supplies
Baby products – diapers, wipes, pull-ups, onesies, underwear
Gift cards – Walmart, Target, grocery, gas, commuter rail/Charlie cards and bus passes

Super Bowl Sunday Appetizer Sale!
Sunday, February 2 

Calling all Super Bowl viewers and foodies in our congregation — place your order for your Super Bowl Sunday appetizers! On Saturday, February 1, the youth will prepare preordered appetizers for you for the big game, for pickup/sale during Coffee Hour on Sunday, February 2. 

Not interested in the big game? No problem! These appetizers pair great with any TV show! All money raised goes toward the youth mission trip in June. Help us reach our goal while enjoying some comfort food. Order forms will be circling during the month of January, so keep an eye out on our Facebook page, our website, and in the weekly bulletin (or contact the office). Any questions or special requests can be sent to Jess at jessicastearns1231@gmail.com.  

39 Broad Street, Bridgewater -- Thursday, Jan. 9, 7pm

Destination: Rutland, Vermont

Dates: June 28-July 3, 2020


There are still Hilliard’s chocolate bars available for sale to benefit the mission trip — crunch, dark, and peanut butter flavors. All proceeds go toward the trip expenses. Buy them for yourself, or take some to sell at work or amongst friends.


Calling All Youth!

Time to Do Some Cooking!

As you probably saw on the previous page, we will be selling pre-made appetizers on Sunday, February 1, perfect for watching the Super Bowl, or just a fun Sunday evening watching TV. 

This is a fundraiser for the mission trip, and it was a big success last year. Please help out on SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 1 if you are able. Contact Jess at jessicastearns1231@gmail.com or the church office at 508-697-6016 if you’re available to help on Saturday and/or Sunday.

Thank You!

The advent workshop was a wonderful kick off to the season of Christmas. To all of those who lent a hand, organized, set up, cleaned up, or bought goodies, thank you! Special thanks to Lisa Masiello, as well as the members of the Board of Christian Education who provided all of the fun treats. 

We would also like to give a big thanks to Dave Hanson from Hanson Farms for the generous donation of all the holly, pine, evergreen, and berries! The workshop wouldn’t have been possible without you and we sincerely appreciate your generosity. 

We would also like to take a minute and send a big thank you to Carol Howe who donated the wreaths. They were absolutely perfect and everyone thanks you for your help with the event! 

Cookie Success!

Our second annual mission trip cookie fundraiser was a fun filled success! Thank you to all who participated in baking and being present. We raised $551! This includes donations from Donna Albro (in memory of Carol Basler) & Ann Wood towards our event/mission. Icing on the cookie! We did have some leftover cookies which were frozen and later served on Christmas at Mainspring House in Brockton. Special thank you to Beth Basler for her hard work and expertise, and to all the adult and youth volunteers.

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. 

Attention Youth Grades 6-12!

Sunday, Jan. 19

Youth group (grades 6-12) will be held on the third Sunday of January due to the Living Gift Market for Heifer on the fourth Sunday. Please mark your calendars for January 19 as we 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.

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

We open the new year with our annual Heifer project! Heifer is a special way to help families by gifting chicken, geese, goats, fish, cows, and various other animals that help communities grow and thrive. Please consider sponsoring an animal at The Living Gift Market on Sunday January 26 at 11am in Fellowship Hall. Price point vary depending on the animal but all donations are welcome to help a great cause. Look for more specific information on our Facebook page and in the weekly bulletin throughout the month of January. 

Questions, or want to donate? Contact Jess at jessicastearns1231@gmail.com.

Sunday Stories with Rev. Beth 

Sunday, Jan. 12

9am in the nursery

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

Mom & Baby Playgroup

Saturday, Jan. 11

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 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

-> Ask A Pastor Anything/Faith Uncorked, 1/9, 7pm
-> Mom & Baby playgroup, Nursery, 1/11, 9-10:30am
-> Sunday Stories w/Rev. Beth, Nursery, 1/12, 9am

-> Youth Group (grades 6-12), 1/19, 11:30-1

-> Living Gift Market during coffee hour, 1/26

-> Sneak peek... Super Bowl Appetizer Sale, 2/2!

​​​​​​​(place your orders during January)

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.

Volunteer Opportunities and Service


Warmth in Cold Places Distribution: Jan. 21

The Board of Christian Outreach is ramping up the Warmth in Cold Places campaign to provide items of clothing to keep those less fortunate than ourselves warm in the winter. We need anything you can think of to keep people warm - socks, hand and foot warmers, socks, gloves, coats, thermal underwear, sweatshirts, hats, and anything else. We will distribute these items on January 21.

The mission of "Community Food Packaging" is to feed the underserved in communities who suffer from food insecurity, with a focus on those who hunger in Plymouth County, the South Shore, and beyond.

Depending on how far out the donors and volunteers come from, the meals that are packaged on the Friday and Saturday before Thanksgiving will go that far and wide. 8 of our top 16 counties are within an hour of Abington. This year, those 8 counties packaged over half of our meals (or more than the other 59 counties in New England combined)!

In September, Mary and Brad Barnsley, Ginny Young, and I participated in the food packaging event at Bridgewater State University. It was fun besides being an opportunity to help hungry people, even those who visit the food bank housed in our own church. Have you seen the boxes of food that occasionally appear in the back hall or in the Fellowship Hall? Those are from Outreach Inc., which is a result of the BSU and Abington food packaging events! If you would like the opportunity to help out with the next area food packaging event, please give your name to me or let the church office know.

Also follow the organization on Facebook at www.facebook.com/communityfoodpackaging, and search for "Community Food Packaging" on YouTube for some videos of their work. Also visit OutreachProgram.org for information.
—Diane Glass, dglass260@gmail.com


The "Soupman", who uses the CSCC kitchen almost every weekend to prepare his soup and bagged lunches, was featured recently on The Today Show! CLICK HERE to watch the segment.

Thank you to all from CSCC who helped collect, prepare, and serve  dinners at MainSpring House on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The folks in attendance not only got a good, hot meal, but were also treated to homemade Christmas cookies provided by our congregation as well as the youth from their cookie-making event earlier in December.

Thanks especially to the Basler family for making these happen, donating their family time, and putting together a dedicated team of helpers.

Print the above questionnaire and complete by hand, or click HERE to fill it out online.

Next Cabinet Meeting: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 7pm

Please note: The church office will be closed Jan. 1 & Jan. 20

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.

BBA Donates Food

A big thank you to the BBA for several food donations. First, they donated extra hot dogs, buns, and chips from Christmas on the Common, which we were able to pass along to several sober houses in town. (BIG thank you to Jack Melcher for making that happen!)

Next, the BBA generously donated some extra food from their catered holiday party to CSCC, allowing us to create about a dozen individual meals to deliver to some of our congregants as well as freeze for future needs. 

Thank you so much, Bridgewater Business Association, for your thoughtful and generous giving!

An Update from your Historical Church Building Committee

As many of you know, our committee sees a lot of each other, usually on Monday evenings.  But we took a break for the last part of December because....

Wait for it, Wait for it.............

We submitted our grant application to the Community Preservation Committee on Wednesday, December 11. Barbara Morey, Terry Reynolds, and Rachel Lawson attended their meeting and turned in our application for grant money to restore and repair the exterior of our church home. Questions were asked and questions were answered. At the end of the day, there is much to be hopeful about but it might be February before we hear anything back from the Community Preservation Committee. In the meantime, our grant writer, Joe, is researching and applying for other grants that will also help fund some of our project.

We look to 2020 with lots of optimism for a successful project to begin in the spring.

Truly, Patiently and Prayerfully,
Barbara Morey, Rachel Lawson, David Sheibley, Carol Chaffee, Gloria Weinrebe, Terry Reynolds

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

Attention all Boards, Committees, and Select Officers and Project Managers:
Annual Reports Due Jan. 15

Please remember that your annual report is due to the church office no later than January 15. Share your accomplishments and what you worked on in 2019! If you need a copy of last year’s to use as a guide, contact Ellen in the church office.

The Board of Christian Outreach, with the help of volunteers, is proud to report that we compiled and distributed 92 turkey dinners, with all the fixins, for Thanksgiving. 

We continue to be very fortunate to have the Bridgewater schools, as well as Bridgewater State students, conduct food drives to help to sustain the Bridgewater Food Pantry through the winter, housed here at CSCC. Also, special thanks to our off-duty Bridgewater fire fighters for delivering the schools' food donations.

May God bless you, and thank you for your generosity.

January's Theme is:



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,  
Sexton: Rich Sullivan
Minister of Music: Julia Scott Carey,
Director of Christian Education: Jess Stearns,
Treasurer:  David Sheibley,  
Office telephone:  (508) 697-6016
Website:  www.csccucc.org
Facebook page:

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

Calling All February News and Events!

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