Central Square Congregational Church, United Church of Christ

June 2021

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


Summers as a kid were such a magical time and there are so many encapsulated memories that fill me with warmth when I think about them. I remember going to Lake Barbee with my family for a week of vacation, fishing with my dad, swimming with my brother and cousins. I remember riding my bike on sweltering days, feeling the freedom that only comes from feeling the warm wind rush through my hair and across my bare arms and legs... doing crafts and making new friends at Vacation Bible Camp... or the excitement when Mom would get the wading pool out of the garage and fill it up so we could cool down in the backyard. I remember eating popsicles in my best friend Nicki’s treehouse. And visiting my Grandma and catching fireflies in her butter dishes.  

One of my favorite memories of childhood summers happened every Saturday morning at 9am. That’s when the Bookmobile would stop in my neighborhood. Ah… the Bookmobile. It was summer perfection. I’d walk up and proudly show the driver my library card and step into the air-conditioning, surrounded by floor to ceiling books. While I loved reading new books, there were a couple that I took out regularly: “Chicken Soup with Rice” by Maurice Sendak, and a National Geographic book about volcanos. I couldn’t just get those two though because in order to get my free Pizza Hut personal pan pizza at the end of the summer, I had to fill up the Summer Reading Card with a variety of books. I didn’t mind though. I loved all books.

I’ve been thinking about the magic of summer a lot lately as I watch my children. This week my 15-year-old has been creating a firepit, stacking bricks and collecting sticks. Meanwhile, my three- year-old has become fascinated with the hose, her water table, and wading pool. As I sit on the back deck and  watch them, I’m thankful that they will have sweet, magical memories of summertime too.

It’s got me wondering… as we grow up, do we forget to live into the magic and wonder of summer? Instead of a Summer Reading Card, would you like a Summer Wonder List? (Sorry, I can’t give you a personal pan pizza at the end of the summer.) If you’re interested, here’s a list of “Wonder”-full things you can do and experience this summer.  No matter how you spend your summer, I hope you’ll take some time each day to stop, to breathe in and out, and give thanks to God for this one “wild and precious life”.  

In Christ,
Rev. Beth 



In-person worship will RESUME Sunday, July 11*

* Providing unforeseen circumstances in our community and in our state do not arise to make such gatherings unsafe.


Dear Friends of CSCC,


We are extremely excited to announce that, barring unforeseen health circumstances in our community, we will be resuming in-person worship on Sunday, July 11! Safety protocols will be in place, and we ask that all those attending be respectful of those protocols and of your fellow attendees, and their comfort levels. There may be limitations on how we are able to participate in the service, and other minor requirements, but we will gather in fellowship once again, and be blessed with live music and Rev. Jim’s worship leadership!


REMOTE WORSHIP ON FACEBOOK AND YOUTUBE will continue on Sundays even after in-person worship resumes.

• 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.


Weather permitting, our worship service on this day will be held in-person, outdoors, in Bridgewater's Music Alley (in the center of town). Some chairs will be provided, or feel free to bring your own. Social distancing and masking will be respected. The service will be livestreamed on Facebook only.


In the event of inclement weather, the service will be online only on Youtube and Facebook. 

Scheduling notes


Next Cabinet meeting is Wednesday, June 19, 7pm

• Mark your calendars for our annual budget meeting! Sunday, June 13.

• Rev. Beth will be out of the office on sabbatical and vacation June 27-August 7.


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


Upcoming Worship Highlights


Sunday, June 6 - Communion Sunday

Sunday, June 13 - Worship in-person in Music Alley

Sunday, June 27 - Rev. Jim begins his ministry with us as Rev. Beth begins her Sabbatical and vacation time

Sunday, July 11 - In-person worship in the Sanctuary resumes!

Next Cabinet Meeting is Wednesday, June 19, 7pm, IN PERSON

Meeting to be held in the Fellowship Hall. Due to CSCC gathering limits, nonvoting  members must pre-register with the office for the limited number of available guest slots.

As in the past, this meeting is the 2021-22 scheduling meeting.
While we don’t know how the ongoing pandemic will affect our events of the next year, there is reason to hope that we will once again be gathering in the church building for group events, committee meetings, and social fellowship. If you or your group or committee would like to tentatively reserve the church building for a specific date for the coming year, please submit the date(s) and time(s) (along with the space needed) to the church office no later than JUNE 11.


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

CSCC Care Team
Carol Chaffee
Phoebe Hogg
Bev Mitchell

John Scott

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. 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.


Building Re-Opening Task Force

Hello Friends!

This article is a far cry from what we talked about in our last Steeple Sounds update. Things are moving really quickly and the vaccination rates in the state have been better than anything anyone could have imagined. That combined with the recent retooling of guidance from the CDC and the state have led us to recommend to the Cabinet that we reopen for in-person worship in the Sanctuary a lot sooner than any of us had anticipated.   


“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted”  Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 


Scripture shows us that a sign of a healthy congregation is one that can respond quickly to its own needs. This Task Force was never meant to be a permanent part of our church structure but was created by our church leaders out of necessity in response to the pandemic. But just as there is a time for creation, there is a time for ending; so with approval of in-person worship in the Sanctuary, we also requested that the Cabinet dissolve the Building Re-Opening Task Force. This approval puts any decisions going forward on changes to Covid protocols back exclusively on our church leaders and staff. It’s this ability to recognize our own needs (or in this case when something is no longer needed) that makes us all collectively, such a strong community of faith! We are grateful to the congregation for the trust you’ve placed in us throughout this challenging time, and we look forward to a safe return to in-person worship!


Your Fellows In Christ,
Ed Buckland, Krissy Cannizzo, Lynn Pietras, Deb Sorgman, Eric Stotts



Rev. Beth will be on sabbatical leave as well as taking some vacation time starting later this month. She will be out of the office June 27 - August 7. We welcome back Rev. Jim Conley to be our Sabbatical Pastor in her absence.

(See Rev. Jim’s bio farther down)


With in-person worship resuming in July, we are in need of ushers who are trained in some of the new protocols that we will be observing, and how we can keep things as safe as possible. Please contact the office if you are interested in being a part of this important ministry.


We know that “all of us possess knowledge.” Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. (1 Cor 8:1, NRSV)


In light of guidance released recently by the Centers for Disease Control advising that vaccinated Americans can go without masks or social distancing in most public settings, Central Square Congregational Church, UCC will continue to exercise appropriate caution and provide thoughtful leadership in how we gather. There are meaningful changes we can make to our COVID-safe practices but faith-based gatherings, particularly worship, are unique enough occasions that they are unlike a general indoor setting covered by most CDC guidance.

We are not required to do something just because it is allowed. The apostle Paul advises Christians that “knowledge puffs up, but love builds up” and that they should “take care that your liberty does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.” (1 Cor. 8:1, 9). The minimum standard is not necessarily the guide by which the church should operate.  

We understand many church gatherings to be somewhat like public transit, where people of mixed vaccine status are together for some time with limited ventilation. The CDC recommendations which suggest there is low risk to gathering indoors without masks, and do not raise alarm about singing, presume a fully vaccinated group. That is not the case in most faith communities – and we would not want to put church leaders in the position of enforcement, needing to check vaccination status in order to admit people to worship. This practice can be exclusionary and counter to Christian witness.

Many members of our communities remain unvaccinated and at higher risk of COVID transmission. Some—particularly children under the age of 12 and medically fragile individuals — have not had the opportunity to be vaccinated. Such members deserve the highest care and protection of the community, and all deserve to see the example of faithful people expressing the love of Christ in following sensible precautions. In our excitement at good news for the vaccinated, let us not commit the sin of overlooking parts of the body. Hastily-implemented practices can exclude “the least of these” and threaten their health. The vulnerable among us should not be expected to bear the burden of others’ unwillingness to be vaccinated or follow COVID-safe policies.

COVID is responsible for the deaths of up to 900,000 Americans, and long-term health consequences for millions more. Although vaccination and improved medical care have eased the consequences of the pandemic, it is not behind us. Our faith calls us to resist the temptation to assume that being vaccinated means our actions are without consequence to those we claim to love the most.  Let us build up the Body of Christ with wisdom: by using growing scientific knowledge together with our best theology and pastoral practice. We can gather more people in physical space, more safely now. Let us continue safe practices so that we can be part of a global effort to subdue this coronavirus.


DO’s and DON’Ts

• Continue to follow COVID-safe practices until background levels of virus are very low (see below)
• As a minimum, adopt a “two out of three” approach: masks, social distancing, gathering outdoors
• Follow state, local, and any ecclesial guidelines, which are not affected by the new CDC advice
• Provide an example of good health practices, particularly for children who have not been vaccinated
• Gather in ways that do not exclude or put at risk unvaccinated members of the community, such as children or medically vulnerable individuals
• Decide the pandemic is over
• Disregard medical and commonsense advice
• Ignore state or local health regulations or ecclesial requirements
• Act in ways that require unvaccinated or vulnerable members to choose between being safe and participating in the community
• Minimize the real concerns of our fellow community members just because they may not be our concerns



I stumbled upon a new author recently. When you were limited to only a few areas of the library because of Covid restrictions, the library staff did their best to entice readers with an assortment of genres. Me, I am at the library two or three times a week, so I was so happy to find Wanda E. Brunstetter, New York Times best selling author, who is a novelist in the Amish Romance genre. The series I came upon was a 3-book Amish Greenhouse mystery series and I had a hard time putting the book(s) down. As you can imagine, the series was suspenseful and unnerving in a very simple way. I found myself fearing something gruesome was going to happen, but it never did. So, the anticipation was the enticement to keep reading, and never were you disappointed by the outcome. I found myself rooting for the main characters in the family that the novels centered around. The Amish lead very simple and very Christian lives and those that are outside of the Amish community are referred to as English, as that is the language spoken. The novels have bits and pieces of Pennsylvania Dutch vocabulary.

Prayer is a very important part of the Amish way of life. Within this novel series I read, the author writes the thoughts and prayers of the individuals in italics. Somewhat befitting when we are all surrounded by people who need prayer, including ourselves. Praying for those that have treated us badly as well as those that we love dearly.

Keep the faith and keep the prayers coming for our church and its surrounding community.


What’s in store for my next read of this author, how about – “Another trio of novels, The Hope Jar, The Forgiving Jar, and The Healing Jar, three antique vessels are discovered hidden around an Amish farm. Filled with slips of paper containing thoughts, quotes, and prayers from an unknown author, will they help restore a family’s faith?”


Carol Chaffee, Care Team


Rev. Jim Conley

Rev. Jim will be with us while Rev. Beth is away on sabbatical and vacation in the month of July plus a bit more. 

I was born in Boston, raised in Weymouth, am an Eagle Scout, and went on to graduate from U Mass, Amherst. 

After graduating, I spent five years as a commercial fisherman on Martha’s Vineyard. I then became a businessman. My last position in business was 15 years as an executive for AAA. I was raised Roman Catholic and left the church when I went away to college. Most of my adult life was spent as a spiritual wanderer. My Christian faith was inspired by a wonderful pastor/preacher named Rev. Shelly Stackhouse. 

In my time as a very active member of UCC Norwell, I received the call from God to become an ordained Christian minister and serve God by becoming a pastor. I left my career and went to Boston University School of Theology where I received a Master of Divinity degree. For six years, I was Pastor of West Congregational Church, UCC in Taunton. I then served as Pastor of Union Congregational Church, UCC in East Bridgewater. After a marriage that ended in divorce I have married the love of my life, Rev. Meg Clapp. 

I served as Chaplain of the East Bridgewater Fire Department and currently I’m Chaplain of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of MA. I have many varied interests. I am a reader. I enjoy exercise, cooking, eating, music, movies, theater, and travel. I am a rabid fan of the local professional sports teams. I love my life. 

Congratulations Baby Alex!

It is with great happiness that we share our son, Alexander, was baptized into the church on Sunday May 2. Rev. Beth along with Deacon Deb Sorgman led the ceremony in our backyard. A small gathering among family members was the perfect option for a ‘covid friendly’ baptism. Alex is now 6 months old and we cannot wait for him to meet everyone at CSCC.

Jess Stearns


This meeting will be held in person in Bridgewater Music Alley following worship.


In the event of inclement weather, due to the pandemic this meeting will be held via livestreaming only, on YouTube and Facebook, using the same link you use to watch that Sunday’s worship.


One item of business will be conducted on this day: To present, discuss, and vote on the 2021-22 fiscal year operating budget for Central Square Congregational Church, UCC. This will be the only vote taken on this day.


The proposed budget, which has been presented to Cabinet by the Trustees, and approved, will be mailed to all members the first week of June via U.S. Mail, is available by CLICKING HERE. It is also available by contacting the church office at office@csccucc.com or 508-697-6016. 


If it is possible to hold the meeting in person outdoors in Music Alley, voting will be held in person. Those not comfortable with gathering in person will be allowed to vote online prior to the meeting. In the event inclement weather precludes an outdoor gathering, the meeting will be livestreamed with only the key personnel of the meeting in attendance in person, and voting will be held exclusively online, through 2pm on that day.


Some chairs will be available, but feel free to bring your own. Social distancing and masks will be respected.



Thank you to everyone who made pies, who bought pies, who encouraged people to buy pies, and who ate pie. The church pie sale last month made $600!

Also a big shoutout to all who participated in the Chicken Piccata Takeout Dinner fundraiser, which raised $1,400! A special nod to Gail Wershing, Diane Sheibley, and Boston Tavern Middleboro  for making it happen, and to the VERY generous angel who once again paid the BT bill for CSCC.

“I would personally like to thank you ... for continually allowing us to meet every week. This meeting has grown very special to me and so have the women. It is nice to have a place every week to go to and feel safe.”
— A leader of one of the community groups that meets at Central Square Church


Congratulations to our Graduating Seniors!

Max Compton is graduating from Bridgewater-Raynham High School. During high school he was active in football and track, and was a member of the National Honor Society. After high school he plans to attend the University of Rhode Island, the Honors Program. His favorite memories from church were the mission trips. 

Natalie Mosher is graduating with a bachelor’s degree from Smith College with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Religion. She will be teaching high school math in Boston next year. 

Emily Scott is graduating from Bridgewater-Raynham High School. While in school Emily was active in BR Twirling as well as competing with her Twirl-town USA teammates. Following graduation Emily plans to attend BSU and major in Elementary Education with a minor in Special Education. Emily’s favorite memory of Central Square Church is going on the mission trips and serving at the mission dinners.  She was so sad they didn’t get to take their last trip.  

Rebecca Sheibley is graduating from Bridgewater-Raynham High School. While in school, Rebecca was active in the Raynwater Players Set Crew and National Honor Society. Following graduation, Rebecca plans to attend Quinnipiac University and study Biology. Rebecca’s favorite memory of Central Square Church is playing manhunt in the sanctuary with her friends.  

Ben Sheibley is graduating from York College of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communications. He writes, “No plans of what’s next as of right now so I’m just enjoying myself while I still can!” 

Allison Turner is graduating from Wellesley College with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Her next step is a Ph.D. program at the University of California at San Diego, where she will pursue a career researching computer systems, networks, and security.

Christopher Turner is graduating from Bridgewater-Raynham High School, and will be heading to Northeastern University in the Fall.

Ben Wallace is graduating from Bridgewater-Raynham High School, and will be attending the University of Maine at Orono in the Fall, studying mechanical engineering.


New Free Transportation Program

The Town of Bridgewater recently announced a new, free transportation program in conjunction with Bill’s Taxi/A&A Metro — Bridgewater Cares Transit.

Through December 2021, the program is funded through a grant from the Metropolitan Area Planning Committee, and is available for Bridgewater residents with any of the following eligibility:
• Age 60+
• Any age with a disability
• Essential workers
• BSU isolated students

For more information or to request a ride, visit www.nesterlygoodneighbors.com/bridgewater-homepage/, or contact the Bridgewater Council on Aging at seniorcenter@bridgewaterma.org or 508-697-0929.


Did You Know? — MedReturn Box

The Bridgewater Police Department encourages residents who have unused or expired medications to dispose of them using the MedReturn Box located in the lobby of the police station. The medication return box is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and allows residents to safely and anonymously dispose of medications they no longer need free of charge.

Acceptable Medications include:
• Pills, Capsules and Patches
• Prescription Medications & Ointments
• Liquid Medicines in unbreakable, leak-proof containers
• Over the Counter Medications & Vitamins
• Pet Medications

Medications should be discarded in their original packaging. Please blackout any personal information on the label.


200 Years: Who is that fellow in Fellowship Hall?


Continuing our series celebrating the 200th anniversary for Central Square Congregational Church with member memories, Bridgewater native Gail Yeaton Wright shared some from before and after joining as a member in 1963.

She recalls seeing, with excited child-eyed wonder, a big fellow in a red suit on the steps of Fellowship Hall.  Sometime in the 1950s, Santa Claus came to visit the children of the church at a Christmas party.

Fellowship Hall had a lot of use by the young people. Gail remembers then Sunday School overseer, Mrs. Sanborn, holding a short worship service there each Sunday before the large group divided into classes. Their chairs were set up in two long rows, along the window wall, to mimic the sanctuary upstairs. The services were complete with mini sermons, prayers and hymns while the older folks worshipped in the sanctuary. Gail sometimes played the piano for the young ones’ hymns.

The annual church fairs were very big affairs and filled the hall with booths of cheeses, handicrafts, etc. A popular offering was a sports equipment area overseen by the Rev. Novotny. An auction at the end of the day of items remaining helped the clean-up effort move along quickly.

Church was and still is a large part of the lives of this now 5th generation Bridgewater and church family. Attending Sunday School was a regular occurrence for Gail and her siblings. She recalls bringing her mother, Alice Sargent Yeaton—office secretary to the Rev. Mayhew—in later years to a sugaring off party. Scoops of snow brought in and served with maple syrup drizzled on the serving in a bowl. Additions to the menu seem to have included dill pickles and donuts.

Alice first came to the church as a child with her family, the Putneys, and the generations followed, including the more recent baptisms of Gail’s grandchildren. Frederick Yeaton, father of Gail and her sister, Lynn Pietras (also a CSCC member), was a local dairy farm owner. Among his community efforts (a big one being seeing to the construction of the Cole Yeaton Senior Center) was the town-wide Steeple People effort to fund and raise the refurbished and now current steeple.  It stands a bit lower than the previous steeple Gail recalls, but could still be seen by those approaching Bridgewater. 


Thank you Growth Committee for arranging for our new banner! 

If you’d like to help by being a banner sponsor, suggested donation is $20, and can be sent to the church (note “banner sponsor”), or paid via the "donate" button at the top of this page.


Did You Know...

• Oct. 17, 1821 - 19 members grouped together and organized into the First Trinitarian Congregational Church.
• 1822 -  the first meeting house was built in the Scotland section of Bridgewater.
• 1836 - the church voted to sustain public worship in the center of town.
• August 31, 1836 - the new meeting house was dedicated in town.
• September 1, 1836 - deeds to pews in the new meeting house went on sale. Prices ranged from $75 per pew down to $5, depending on location of the pew. Purchases were good for a lifetime and to all descendants of the families.
• August 6, 1860 - it was recorded “the meeting house of the Trinitarian Congregational Church (incorporate) was burned up this morning at three o’clock. Cause not known.”
• May 18, 1862 - the present church building was dedicated. Cost to rebuild after the fire was about $7,224.
• January 5, 1864 - a merger of Trinitarian Congregational Church took the name of Central Square Society in Bridgewater.
• 1860s-1890s - the church’s committees were: Standing Committee, 3 members; Welcoming Committee, 5 members; Visiting Committee, 9 members; Social Committee, 14 members.
• March 24, 1904 - again, the name was changed to Central Square Congregational Church in Bridgewater.
• 1904 - committees were added: Music, Temperance, Missionary, and Historical.
• 1904 - the Historical Committee was appointed to rewrite the historical sketch of the church for the new manual. It had 3 members: Joshua Crane, A.C. Boydon, C.P. Dinnott


Thank you to Barbara Morey for submitting this information, originally compiled as a retrospective in honor of our 175th anniversary. More “Did you know” fun facts to follow in future Steeple Sounds!


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


CSCC Cabinet Meeting – Minutes
May 19, 2021, 7pm via Zoom teleconferencing

The virtual 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; Larry Brown, Assistant Treasurer; Diane Sheibley, Clerk; Gordon Brailsford & Ed Buckland, Board of Trustees; Marci Langevin, Board of Christian Education; Bill O’Neil, Board of Christian Outreach; Terry Reynolds, History & Memorials Committee and Women’s Guild & Fellowship; Gail Wershing & Mike Bundock, Growth Committee; Ellen Crawford, Music Committee
Also present: Carol Chaffee, Food Pantry Liaison; Julia Scott Carey, Minister of Music


Rev. Beth opened the meeting with a devotion.


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


April Meeting Minutes
The minutes from the April meeting were reviewed. Terry Reynolds motioned to accept the minutes. Mike Bundock seconded. The minutes were approved.


Pastor’s Report – Rev. Beth Stotts 
Rev. Beth reported what she has been working on: Reopening for worship discussions; worship planning; several funerals, weddings, and baptisms. She got 9 applications for the bee fellowship project; Pentacost is this Sunday, and Senior Sunday is May 30th. On June 13, we will be having in-person worship in Music Alley, weather permitting. 


Treasurer’s Report – David Sheibley 
Dave reported that we are doing OK. The extra fundraising is definitely helping… takeout dinners, pie sales, etc. We are running about $7,000 below budgeted revenues, but running about $9,000 below budgeted expenses. There is about $7,000 in the operating account. As long as the stock market keeps doing well, our endowments continue to be strong, and our withdrawals are less of a hit.


Minister of Music Report – Julia Scott Carey
Everyone thanked Julia for all of the music she has provided and arranged for during this last year. It was noted that online viewing is high, and is especially high during the music sections of worship. Regarding going back to in-person worship, there is special concern over the congregation singing, so we’ll continue to watch the science, but may not go back to singing hymns until the Fall. It is looking likely that the choir can come back in the Fall. We might continue with some of the guest soloists as well, although many that have been performing have been doing so because their regular jobs and events have been cancelled. They will be busier once those resume. Julia did note that all of the soloists that have been coming in have loved working in our church, both in feeling welcomed and in the physical space of the sanctuary.

    It was noted that Julia and a soloist made a recording in our sanctuary today that will be streamed in the UK, and she extends her thanks to Paul for all his work on it. The link to the performance will be made available.

    Ellen Crawford asked if we wanted to continue to have soloists, would it have more of a financial impact once things are “back to normal”. Julia said yes, likely. Rev. Beth thanked Julia for sharing her talents with us and for her ministry. Anne asked if there was anything we could do for Julia to help her, and she said no. [Julia then left the meeting as she was mid-rehearsal for another obligation.]


Congregational Administrator Report – see printed report
Deborah was not able to make the meeting, but Rev. Beth noted that she’s doing a great job, and thanked Diane Sheibley for her help in guiding and training her. 


Food Pantry (FP) Report – Carol Chaffee
Carol noted that Jack Melcher is back after recovering from his recent surgery. Patron attendance at the FP is down 30% from last year at the same time, to about 49 family units in April. 2 people visited based on the publicity from the senior center. The flyers are still being distributed and publicized in places like the Buzz Around Bridgewater newsletter and the school system. Jack is in ongoing discussions with Emily Williams at the senior center regarding the new free transportation program in BW. 

    The FP recently qualified for two new resources by virtue of their affiliation with the Greater Boston Food Bank: (1) Our FP will receive $4000 worth of Stop and Shop gift cards (100 @ $40); (2) we received 30 cases of Girl Scout cookies to distribute to FP patrons. Anne asked if the gift cards that were received can be shared with other churches for those they know are in need. Carol noted that these particular gift cards probably are intended to be distributed strictly through the food pantry to its patrons, but other ones that we buy could be used for the greater BW community’s needs. 

    Mike Bundock asked if there is a list of people that Jack could call if he found he needed more help in a given week. It was noted that he probably does not have a list, but people could certainly reach out to Jack. Carol did want to extend the FP’s appreciation to Connie and Steve Chandler for all their help while Jack was out.


Building Reopening Task Force – Ed Buckland 
The task force is in agreement that in-person worship can begin in the Sanctuary on Sunday, July 11. (Rev. Beth noted that the local vaccination rate is at about 83%.) They also submitted a written list of questions and answers that should address many of the questions that come up with this decision. They noted that since the Sanctuary is opening, they feel their work is done, and requested to be authorized to disband. 

    Anne noted that in caring for each other, health and safety protocols will be left to the individuals, and should be respected by all. Distancing and masks will be encouraged, as we strike a balance between being a safe place to be and a welcoming place to be.

    Suggestions for continued ability to do contract tracing were discussed. The Deacons are concerned about having ushers/greeters that are COVID protocol trained. A call for ushers interested in being trained will be promoted in Steeple Sounds.

    Discussion ensued as to whether the rest of the building is also reopening for its usual activities as they were conducted pre-COVID, including meetings and the food pantry, after July 11, noting that perhaps the clean-up-after-yourself protocols that were instituted for COVID, as well as mask-wearing, might be carried forward as prudent policies. 

    Per agreement by the Cabinet, the Board of Trustees will determine opening procedures, protocols, guidelines, and practices for the rest of the building, and will present them at the June Cabinet meeting.


2021-22 Budget Proposal – David Sheibley 
Dave reviewed the proposed budget. He noted that it is very much the same as last year’s budget with a few notable exceptions: (1) there is a 3% increase in Rev. Beth’s package; (2) a “miscellaneous fundraisers” line item for $5,000 was added, based on what we have been able to do this past year; (3) the golf tournament is still included, and we should be serious about making sure we hold it as it is a big line item in the revenue section. Dave noted that there are various people willing to do specific tasks associated with the tournament, but without a coordinator, it won’t happen, and it needs to. Even if it’s later this summer into the next fiscal year, like August or September.

    The bottom line in the budget is similar to last year, and still calls for up to $42,000 withdrawal from the endowments as well as $17,500 from the Johnson Fund to absorb our music expenses. If the stock market continues to do well, it will help with not depleting our endowments when we need to make withdrawals.

    Dave made a motion to have Cabinet accept the proposed budget, and Mike Bundock seconded. There were no objections, two abstentions, and the balance of votes being in favor of the motion.


Annual Budget Meeting – June 13, 11am
The meeting will be held, weather permitting, in Music Alley. The weather assessment will be made on Thursday the 10th. Members will be notified by email, website post, and Facebook whether the weather will permit an outdoor meeting. If it can’t be held outside, it will be streamed via YouTube and Facebook like that day’s worship service. Questions will be encouraged to be sent ahead of time, and will be available to be asked via email that day. Voting will be available as an option online no matter how the meeting is held. 


New Business
• Anne asked people to ponder a few questions for the next Cabinet meeting: what are some of the things we want to continue after COVID? How will our “churching” change? Anne noted that we now have people in our church community that are located around the country – how can we continue to weave them into our church family and the work of the church? Rev. Beth suggested that we also have an opportunity to have compassion for people who are not in the same emotional place that we are in following the pandemic, and to not be judgmental.

• The Growth Committee encouraged everyone to be a part of the liturgy group, and volunteer to do readings for the upcoming virtual services. 

• They also announced that they have procured an anniversary banner for the front of the church, and that sponsors are welcome to contribute to its cost. Total cost was $108.  

• Carol asked if June will be our usual calendar planning meeting. After discussion, it was determined that yes, it will be, even if we don’t quite know exactly what events will be able to be held as soon as the Fall. 


Rev. Beth closed the meeting in prayer at 8:40pm.



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)

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