. . .



July 2023

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


My yard has become a riot of dandelions. There are some parts of the yard that are nearly completely yellow. I love it. I realize that not everyone shares my enjoyment of these little flowers. Many folks call them weeds and work incredibly hard to remove every last one of them from their green spaces. I understand some of the frustration. But after a long, dreary winter, I can't bring myself to be annoyed with these yellow lions, turning their faces up to the sun. They remind me that the season is changing. It is time to begin planning and planting again. New things are on the horizon.


At church, we are shifting seasons, too. We just started the season of Pentecost.  The longest season of the church year.  We are also shifting out of our program year and the school year is ending too. The summer will be a season of travel for many of us as we visit loved ones far away, take a few days off, or maybe head up to camp for a couple weeks for much needed recharge and rejuvenation. If you are looking for a few ways to keep up your spiritual practices while you travel this summer, here are a couple suggestions I'd like to share:


— Beach Ball and Sharpie: Blow up a beach ball and use a sharpie to write something you are thankful for every 2-3 days. Big things and small things. Bring your beach ball back on the second Sunday in September, so we can share in each other’s blessings!


— Read two Psalms a day. See how the writers shift through joy, lament, thanksgiving, and sorrow. Put a star next to the ones that are most meaningful or surprising to you. Try writing your own Psalm!


— With kids and grandkids around more this summer, you may want to try even more home-based practices. Check out the book “Faithful Families” by Traci Smith. She has some really great ideas about creating sacred moments at home.


I hope you find some new life this spring and summer. I hope you grow something great. I hope you get some rest, too. And, I hope you can find little reminders of God's love that is like the dandelions: bright, tenacious, and always ready to surprise you with where it may grow.


In hope,

Rev. Beth

Tuesday through Thursday, 9-1

or by appointment

Please note that the office will be closed on Tuesday, July 4.


Rev. Beth will be on vacation July 4-7, and 11-25. Enjoy your time off Rev. Beth!

Remember that the office is open Tue-Wed-Thu 9-1 if you need something from the church, or contact a member of the Care Team.




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.



Note that worship on July 16 is ONLINE ONLY - there is no in-person worship that day. 
Also, looking ahead, on Sunday, August 20, worship will be in Music Alley, across the common from the church.



NEXT CABINET MEETING is Wednesday, August 16, 7pm

at the church



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

Savannah Wells, Jr. Deacon

CSCC Care Team
Carol Chaffee  *  Bev Mitchell  *  Rev. Beth Stotts

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 (except holidays). 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 (office@csccucc.com) or phone (508-697-6016) and arrangements will be made for you.




We continue to make it easier than ever to contribute to CSCC. The church accepts donations via Venmo! Aim your phone camera below, or use the Venmo app to send your donation to @cscc-ucc



Come join us for a week of ukulele camp! All ages and abilities welcome. Camp will be July 31-August 4. Monday through Thursday, camp will be 6-7:30pm. On Friday, camp will be 6-7pm, then we'll walk across the common and perform at Music Alley at 7pm.

The cost is $20 per camper to cover the cost of supplies and a camp t-shirt. Scholarships are available. Campers will need to bring their own ukulele.

Registration closes 7/13/23.

To register, fill out the registration form on the website at www.csccucc.org/events (or request one from the church office), and return it with your payment of $20 to the church office. Online payments are accepted, see the website.

This is a community event -- all are welcome to participate! Spread the word! Contact the church office for more info: office@csccucc.com or 508-697-6016.

Church Building Restoration

As you know, we have been in the process of seeking funds to do some crucial repairs and restoration to our church building. It has been several years since we began this journey. Unfortunately, even though we have been given a green light for a partial grant from the Town of Bridgewater’s Community Preservation Committee,  the process drags on at a snail’s pace without any crystal-clear answers as to allowed scope of project or if larger remainder of the building needs will ever be funded. With no resolution in sight, and with the beginning of the new Property & Finance Team in place, the outgoing members of the Board of Trustees voted to withdraw our application from the CPC funds process, and stop HCRC and Trustees members’ obligatory attendance of repeated non-productive meetings. Cabinet affirmed this decision on June 21, and a congregational meeting is set for September 24 to confirm the decision with the CSCC membership.

The outgoing Board of Trustees would like to express their thanks for the generous contributions of time and effort put forth by members of the Historical Church Restoration Committee in pursuing CPC funds to repair and restore our church building. The HCRC folks have spent many hours over the past four years negotiating with the town committee trying to fulfill the town’s stated requirements to allow disbursement of funds. HCRC has produced extensive documentation detailing what should be done to properly maintain the structure for years to come, which will prove invaluable as we determine how best to move forward. 

Again, thanks!    

CSCC Board of Trustees                       


Do you Want to be in a Parade?

CSCC will be participating in the Bridgewater 4th of July parade, getting a ride from our generous friends at Hanson Farm. You’re all invited to participate, too! All ages welcome. If you’re interested, contact Jane O’Connell or the church office, and meet at BSU’s Harrington Hall at 9am on the 4th.


Our building will also be open during the parade.


Kathleen Mosher has generously offered to make sure the building is open and the bathrooms are available to the public during the parade. 


New Officers and Team Leaders Elected
2023-24 Budget proposal approved

The CSCC annual meeting was held on Sunday, June 11, for the purpose of (1) electing officers and team leaders in compliance with our new Constitution, which goes into effect on July 1; and (2) approving the next year's budget as proposed by the Trustees.
Both measures passed by majority vote.


Our newly elected officers and team leaders are as follows:


Moderator: Anne Malmquist
Clerk: Diane Sheibley
Treasurer: Dave Sheibley
Asst. Treasurer: Larry Brown
Fin. Secretary: Judy Pino
Spiritual Engagement Team Leaders:
1. Denise Molinari
2. Eric Stotts
3. Deb Sorgman
Congregational Engagement Team Leaders:
1. Kathleen Mosher
2. Carol Chaffee
3. Ginny Young
Property & Finance Team Leaders:
1. Mark Sorgman
2. John Sharland
3. Dave Hanson
Community Engagement Team Leaders:
1. Krissy Cannizzo
2. Terry Reynolds
3. Diane Glass


Remember, the responsibility of the Team Leaders is to make sure project leaders and sub-teams have what they need to do their CSCC work successfully, to lend support and advice as needed, and to report to Cabinet on the status of these projects. Volunteers are a crucial link to help out with the individual projects such as fundraising, the Thrift Shop, the Bridgewater Food Pantry, the fair, breakfasts, other community outreach projects, Sunday ushering and greeting, Kids Church, and so much more. Please contact one of the team leaders to let them know how you can lend a hand. Roles for all ages, abilities, and commitment levels are always available.



Summer Worship Fellowship Time

During the summer, we trade coffee for juice or lemonade, and (weather permitting), the fellowship hall for the front lawn. But we need volunteers to make it happen! 

Here's what's suggested:
• bring a jug of juice or lemonade, and grab some paper cups from the fellowship hall
• if you'd like, bring (or ask someone else to bring) a box of cookies or some fruit
• during announcements, invite folks to gather on the front lawn for a refreshment (or the fellowship hall in the case of rain)
• after worship, set up the refreshments on the outside picnic table
• when it's done, throw out the trash and take home the leftovers

That's it!


Won't you take just one Sunday to play host? Here are the dates:
July 2
July 9
July 23
July 30
[Note: there is no in-person worship on 7/16]


Aug 6
Aug 13
Aug 27
[Note: Aug 20 is worship in Music Alley]


Please contact Connie Chandler at CGChandler7@hotmail.com, or the church office, to pick a date. 




Rummage sale? Church Fair? Christmas pageant? Breakfast? Kids Church?


All of those and more are all on the church calendar for the coming program year! Visit www.csccucc.org and click on “calendar” to see all the dates you need to know!


Central Closet Thrift Shop will be closed July 1 thru July 14th.

The shop will reopen on July 15th at 10am. New sale items and a new item of the month will be available at that time. 

Donations are greatly appreciated. We are currently accepting new or gently used summer clothing, footwear, pocketbooks, jewelry, glassware, household items, toys, books, DVDs and CDs. Please no electronics. Summer clothing will be accepted through July 31st. 

Starting August 1st donations of fall clothing will be accepted at the shop during shop hours. Please limit  donations to 20 items.

Central Closet Thrift Shop would like to add on-line sales for some of the larger items that have been offered to the shop.  Our space is limited. We are in search of a volunteer to help list items to make this become a reality.

Thanks to all for supporting us in our mission to help the church.  We have been very blessed with the response from all, 
Connie Chandler, Jane O'Connell, Lynn Pietras and Gail Wright 

Delegate Report from the 4th Annual Meeting of the Southern New England Conference

On Saturday, June 17, along with 519 other attendees, I had the pleasure and the duty of reconnecting with the wider church at this, the first in-person meeting of our new Conference. Covid 19 got in the way for the first three years of its existence, when it was held remotely. It was held at the DCU Center in Worcester. I think the best way to “report” on the meeting is to share the link below from the conference web site, a picture gallery. In it, you will see the faces of our Conference Executive Minister, Darrell Goodwin; our Area Associate Conference Minister, Patty Kogut; and the person who will be put forth at General Synod in Indianapolis in a few weeks for election to replace the retiring UCC President and General Minister. Her name is Reverend Doctor Karen Georgia Thompson. Perhaps you will see other faces you recognize.

To view the pictures, visit: https://www.sneucc.org/eventdetail/16428435 

One workshop that I attended had video interviews with several local church pastors on the topic of resiliency during Covid – what did churches do to “survive” the pandemic. I was proud to note that many of the things we did also, thanks to the various “think tanks” that Pastor Beth organized, along with the fund raising team.

One last note – during the Recognitions celebration, on the slide showing pastors who are celebrating 25 years of ordained ministry service in 2023, were two names many of us old timers will recognize – Rev. Sheri Anderson and Rev. Kim Murphy.

I invite you to consider attending this event with me next year. All are welcome, not just local church delegates. I guarantee it will be a moving experience for you. I’ll drive.

Your servant in Christ,
John Sharland



CSCC Cabinet Meeting - Minutes

June 21, 2023, 7pm

The meeting was called to order at 7:04 by Anne Malmquist, Moderator.


Cabinet members in attendance: Anne Malmquist, Moderator; Denise Molinari, Vice Moderator; Rev. Beth Stotts, Pastor; David Sheibley, Treasurer; Diane Sheibley, Clerk; Gordon Brailsford and Ed Buckland, Board of Trustees; Bill O’Neil, Board of Christian Outreach; Kathleen Mosher, Board of Stewardship; Jane O’Connell, Women’s Guild & Fellowship 
    Additional attendees: Connie Chandler, Eric Stotts, Krissy Cannizzo, Jenne Foronjy/Office Manager


Diane Sheibley took attendance. Quorum was not met at first, but several Cabinet members showed up late and quorum was met.


May Minutes
The meeting minutes from the May meeting were presented and reviewed. Dave Sheibley motioned to accept the minutes as written; Bill O’Neil seconded. The minutes were approved.


Treasurer’s Report – David Sheibley
Dave reported that May was a really good giving month. Best he’s seen in a while. We have caught up with budget, and will be ahead of budgeted giving for the fiscal year. He also reported that he only had to withdraw $30,000 for the fiscal year (which ends next week), instead of the $43,000 budgeted.


Bridgewater Food Pantry – Bill O’Neil, and Jack Melcher’s written report
Bill noted that the Food Pantry got another donation from Amazon today. They bring over lots of boxes of seconds and overstocks, such as beverages and hygiene products. Dave noted that the dollar figures on Jack’s report are incorrect, both donations and expenses. He repeated his offer from last month that if Jack needs to know actual figures, he can request them from Dave at any time. They agreed that Dave will provide the figures on a monthly basis to Jack.


Board of Trustees – Ed Buckland and Gordon Brailsford
Ed Buckland made a motion for Cabinet to approve the following: "The Trustees of CSCC recommend to the congregation via the Cabinet that CSCC withdraw the application to the town of Bridgewater for CPC funds for CSCC. Further, the Trustees recommend the Historical Church Restoration Committee be dissolved." It has been a long and difficult process, and it is a constant state of going in circles. They awarded us money for phase 1, but have delayed the disbursement of those funds with legal matters, and not providing us the agreements necessary to close the deal. And there will be restrictions placed on our building which we may or may not be able to comply with in the longterm, with no guarantees for money for phases 2 & 3.

    The Trustees wish to offer a huge thank you to the members of the HCRC for their persistence, patience, and hard work in trying to see this process to fruition.

    Dave Sheibley suggested that perhaps it could be productive to go to a CPC meeting to tell them we are planning on withdrawing our application, and give them one last chance to do something for us, like waive the deed restriction and perhaps award us the money they have already approved.

    Diane Sheibley seconded Ed’s motion. The vote 6 in favor of the motion, 1 not in favor, and 2 abstentions. The motion passes. A congregational meeting will be scheduled in the Fall to confirm the decision.


Annual Reports – Anne Malmquist
Due to the new timing of the annual meeting (June instead of February), annual reports from teams, groups, and projects will now be due May 31 of each year, to be compiled into the church annual report to be distributed at the annual meeting on the second Sunday of June. Unlike in the past, the annual reports will now be prepared reflecting on the past program year rather than the past calendar year.


Cabinet – Anne Malmquist
Anne welcomed the newly-elected team leaders that were present at the meeting. She went on to explain how Cabinet meetings would work going forward. As of July 1, the Cabinet would now be comprised of the officers and one representative from each of the four teams. Anyone who wishes to attend the meetings would still be welcome to do so.

    There will be no July Cabinet meeting, but there will be an August meeting, to be held on Wednesday, August 16. Anne recommends to the new teams that they take July to have at least one meeting to organize themselves, determine which of the former boards, committees, groups, and projects now fall under their purview, and invite the former board and committee members to turn things over to them to continue the work.


New Business
The remainder of the Cabinet meeting was spent reviewing the calendar items for the coming program year. Jenne and Diane led the discussion as it went from month to month getting everything available scheduled.


The meeting adjourned at 8:20pm.



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


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

Congregational Receptionist: Jenne Foronjy, office@csccucc.com
Minister of Music: Julia Scott Carey 

Director of Video Evangelism: Paul Holmes
Treasurer:  David Sheibley 

Communications Coordinator: Diane Sheibley

Office email: office@csccucc.com
Office telephone:  (508) 697-6016
Website:  www.csccucc.org
Facebook pages: facebook.com/csccuccbridgewaterma (main page),
facebook.com/groups/801550253194149 (youth page)

Instagram: @centralsquarechurch 

Venmo: @cscc-ucc

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


Amazon Shopping!

Shopping on Amazon and feeling generous? Check out the CSCC Wish List, and drop an item in your cart for us! CLICK HERE to take a peek at our Amazon wish list. (Whether you buy these items at Amazon or at other stores, this is what we need!)