. . .

Central Square Congregational Church, United Church of Christ



June 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


As I sit inside, typing where it is moderately cooler out of the hot sun since it’s 92 degrees outside, the sounds of the sprinkler and shrieks reach my ears. The family is taking full advantage of these two “like summer” spring days and I’m taking advantage of a little quiet time.  

To be honest, I can’t help but think “Ah, to be a kid again.” Americans are notorious for not giving ourselves a break. Whether it’s a vestige of the Puritan work ethic or simply the idea that more work means more success, workers in our country get very little vacation time compared to the rest of the world—and we rarely use all that we have. When we do take time off, we often fill it with work that’s been put off around the house, or schedule ourselves into a trip where every minute is planned out. We find it difficult to just relax and discover minute to minute what a day might have in store for us. 

Yet there is something holy and healing about time off, relaxing, and playing. It is a Biblical mandate to observe the Sabbath—to work six days, and then to rest on the seventh. I think it’s time for us to take up that practice if we have gotten out of the habit. Set aside a day each week for rest, rejuvenation, and play. Read for pleasure rather than enlightenment. Bring the kids to a park, the ocean, and swing, splash, and explore with them instead of simply supervising. Maybe pull out an art or craft medium and simply create as the Spirit leads, with no concern about finishing a project or making anything useful or “good.” If you love to cook, grab some fresh ingredients and try something new. If cooking is a chore, order takeout and pledge to put phones and clocks out of sight while you enjoy! Get the idea?

There is a proverb which states, “The body heals with play, the mind heals with laughter, and the spirit heals with joy.”

Picture kids in the cold water of the sprinkler on a hot summer day. Imagine their faces. Now think for a minute: when was the last time you laughed like that? If you can’t remember, it’s been too long! 

The summer is almost here. The days are getting longer and lighter. Go out and play! 


In Christ, 
Rev. Beth 


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 summer hours *

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


Please note that the office will be on limited hours June 9 and June 13-16 while Deborah is on vacation.



Important Notice Regarding Face Masks 

The significant rise in COVID-19 cases, both in our CSCC family and in our greater community, has prompted the following changes, effective immediately:
Mandatory mask-wearing is back in effect inside the church building at least through the month of June for everyone who comes into the building for any reason, no exceptions.

We encourage our boards, committees, and groups to consider alternative ways of meeting, such as outdoors, or via zoom or telephone, if at all possible.

Prayers of health and healing for our CSCC family, and beyond.

Next Cabinet meeting is Wednesday, June 15, 7pm

at the church

* This is the annual scheduling meeting *

If you would like any activities or meetings put on the 2022-23 church year calendar, please come to the meeting, or let the office know prior to the meeting.

Monthly meetings of the church leadership are currently being held in the Fellowship Hall. All church members are also welcome to attend. 



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 Passenger

Being the passenger in a car may seem like a passive activity. It isn’t. I usually drive myself everywhere I go, but when I can be a passenger, it is a time for me to daydream, think things through or, if I really trust the driver, to nap. It is a time to get clarity and recharge.   

I’m hoping to use this approach to how Stewardship will be run. If you’ve read my other two drabbles, I’m trying to use how we love our church community and what the building itself means to us. At the same time, I must be honest. Our church needs money to run, to stay open, to do good works and continue to provide a spiritual home to rest in. How can we support the church financially without feeling tapped out? How do we frame our church’s need for a viable income with what our congregation has to give? This is an important discussion that needs to be had. 

Right now, I’m stewardship. Just me. I have a few ideas and I’m willing to listen to any ideas you may have. Do you feel a pull nudging you to help with stewardship? Do you have an idea that you think could help me? Do you have any thoughts on what has worked before and, just as importantly, what hasn’t? I really would like some company and good conversation while I navigate where stewardship needs to go. I’m looking to recharge stewardship and add some clarity to the work at hand. How do you think you could fit in the car?  

This undertaking should be an adventure. We might take some wrong turns. We might come across a view that takes our breath away. The one thing I know for certain is, I can’t do this by myself. I’ll make the playlist and we’ll see where this journey takes us.  


Kathleen Mosher
Board of Stewardship



(Find more details on each elsewhere in this issue!)

Saturday, June 4 ~ Vendor/Craft Fair & Pie Sale!  9am - 1pm
Sunday, June 5 ~ Pentecost!
Sunday, June 5 ~ Communion & Crafts  5pm (new time!)
Sunday, June 12 ~ Annual Budget Meeting  11am
Wednesday, June 15 ~ Cabinet Meeting with annual calendaring  7pm
Monday, July 4 ~ March in the parade!



They'll Know We Are Christians By Our Love


The following lyrics have been meaningful to me since I was first introduced to this hymn at Central Square Congregational Church, UCC, one Sunday morning at choir rehearsal, under the direction of Lin Schuller. The hymn speaks strongly of our faith in God, in each other and in ourselves. In a world full of chaos, music that I sing helps me to stay on the balance beam of life.
They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love.
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
And we pray that our unity will one day be restored
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah, they’ll know we are Christians by our love
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
And we’ll guard each man’s dignity and save each man’s pride
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah, they’ll know we are Christians by our love. 


*About the author:  Peter Scholtes (1938–2009)
Peter was born in Evanston, Illinois and grew up in Oak Park, where he attended Ascension School and Fenwick High School before studying at Quigley and St. Mary of the Lake-Mundelein seminaries. He earned his Masters in Adult Education and Organization Development at Boston University. 


Peter wrote the hymn “They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love” while he was a parish priest at St. Brendan’s on the South Side of Chicago in the 1960s. At the time, he was leading a youth choir out of the church basement and was looking for an appropriate song for a series of ecumenical, interracial events. When he couldn’t find such a song, he wrote the now-famous hymn in a single day. His experiences at St. Brendan’s, and in the Chicago Civil Rights movement, influenced him for the rest of his life. 


After working in the public sector in Lynn, Massachusetts and Madison, Wisconsin, Peter became a consultant with Joiner Associates in the 1980s, traveling the globe to help businesses engage employees’ talents more fully, humanely, and effectively. He co-authored The Team Handbook, which was named one of The 100 Best Business Books of All Time (in the book of that title). After starting Scholtes Seminars and Consulting, he wrote the classic The Leader’s Handbook in 1998, which made the definitive case against performance appraisal—a practice he argued was demoralizing and wrong. 




Carol Chaffee-Care Team


Please plan on coming to our Vendor/Craft Fair and Pie Sale fundraiser… Saturday, June 4, 9am-1pm. Plenty of vendors will be both inside and outside here at the church, including Tupperware, Scentsy, Tastefully Simple, Touchstone… photographers, a cruise planner!, lots of handmade items, and more. 

AND, it’s a pie and bake sale! Please support this event, and just as important, PLEASE spread the word to your friends and neighbors, and on your social media.

Thank you!


PS -- Raffle items, too!  And don’t forget your mask!

Greeters! Liturgists! Ushers! Kids' Leaders!


For one Sunday, or several. No long-term commitment needed! Won’t you put yourself or your family down for one Sunday? 


CLICK HERE to sign up, or contact the church office.




The BBQ Takeout Dinner Fundraiser last month was a huge success! Thank you to all who bought dinners and spread the word about the event.  And a heartfelt and sincere thank you to a CSCC angel that stepped in and paid the bill from Boston Tavern, allowing CSCC to keep ALL of the event’s proceeds. We raised over $1,300!

Our favorite part? People asked, “I don’t know why I didn’t know about these before!” and “When is the next one??”

Special shout out to Gail Wershing, Diane Sheibley, and Rebecca Sheibley for organizing and distributing the meals.




CSCC t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hoodies!
Child & adult sizes available. Lots of color choices, too!



Thanks to www.TheHumbleExpression.com for working with us on providing our merchandise for everyone everywhere to choose their favorites!



4th of July Parade, Here We Come!

CSCC wants to march in the Bridgewater 4th of July parade! We need folks who’d like to march... all ages welcome! If you are able, use the link on the home page to order a church t-shirt if you don’t already have one, and let Rev. Beth or the office know if you’d like to join us! 

In addition to marching, the Stotts Family will be playing host on the front lawn of the church on July 4th, during the parade. Our building will be open for the use of our bathrooms to the public, and the Stotts will have water and snacks available. Some other fun ideas are in the works, so watch your email, as well as the July issue of Steeple Sounds for more info!




Congratulations to our graduates!

To all that have excelled, and all that have just squeaked by. To all that found a passion, and those that are still searching. To all who supported those that have reached this important rite of passage. Congratulations! And may God bless you on wherever your journey leads you next.



David Berard is graduating from Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School, CAD/CAM shop. He will be continuing to work with his father at F.H. Peterson Machine Corp.

His proudest moment from his high school career was placing 3rd in the state for his solidworks 3D modeling skills.



Kate Wallace is graduating from Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School, and she will be attending Emmanuel College in Boston as a nursing major in the Fall.




Mason Abboud is graduating from Archbishop Williams High School, and will be attending the University of South Carolina Honors College in the Fall, majoring in Biology and minoring in Creative Writing. 

In high school, Mason was active in musicals, student government, Kenpo karate, and was a Peer Minister. He will be recognized at graduation for having doubled the amount of required volunteer hours, and he received the St. Anselm Book Award. 



Cameron Shave is graduating from Foxboro High School, and will be attending the Manhattan School of Music in New York City in the Fall, studying jazz performance.

Cam runs and arranges music for three of his own gigging bands, even including a 17-piece big band. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with friends, writing/arranging music, and going to see live performances. 




Rob Wallace graduated from Stonehill College magna cum laude with a B.S.B.A.in Accounting. Rob will be going to work for Ernst & Young.



Grace Jackson is graduating from Bristol County Agricultural High School, and will be attending Roger Williams University in the Fall, majoring in Marine Biology and Aquaculture.



Selena Manhart, granddaughter of our Congregational Administrator Deborah Lancaster, is graduating from Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School, and will be attending UMass Amherst in the Fall, where she has also earned a place on the cheerleading team.



Katie Rucker is graduating from Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School, and in the Fall will be attending Massasoit Community College as a liberal arts transfer major.


We Need to Hear from YOU!

(Reprinted from the May issue.)


In this period of (hopefully) post-COVID, or at least the worst of it, the Governance Team has been meeting to see where we are headed. Basically, the team would like to know... what is your passion about our Central Square Congregational Church?

We are working on an organizational structure to administer the basic functions: worship, prayer, finance, the building, our missions and outreach, our social times, faith formation, and our history. We are looking to make the administration of our entity more joyful and less onerous. Teams, rather than fixed committees; shorter terms of office for some Cabinet or Council positions. In order to help us discern the best configuration, we need a sense of what ministries and programs the church is needing and wanting.

All members and congregants are in essence “owners” of this church. As we re-emerge from COVID, and winter, and Lent, we would like to know what excites YOU about church. We have a group that has expressed great excitement about bringing back breakfast in some form. The Bee ministry has blossomed. We just had a very successful Heifer Project program.  

Programs and projects do not need to be perpetual or long term. They do not need to be based in the church building. If there is a desire to have some virtual programs, let’s make them happen.  

Please CLICK HERE to answer three short questions regarding your feelings about the future of CSCC.

Rebirth. In what form to carry us toward our third century on the Square and in our community, local, national, worldwide? Send us your thoughts.

Yours in Christ’s work,

Anne Malmquist, Moderator; Gordon Brailsford, Sherley Phillips, John Sharland, Rev. Beth Stotts, Gail Wershing




The annual budget meeting will be held in person following worship, and will also be livestreamed, on Sunday, June 12 at 11am. The link will be on our website (www.csccucc.org), and will also be emailed out the prior week. The livestream will not be available after the meeting for playback. 

One item of business will be conducted on this day: To present, discuss, and vote on the 2022-23 fiscal year operating budget for Central Square Congregational Church, UCC. This will be the only vote taken on this day.

The proposed budget (CLICK HERE to see it), which has been presented to Cabinet by the Trustees, and approved, is included in this issue of Steeple Sounds, and is available on the website. It is also available by contacting the church office at office@csccucc.com or 508-697-6016.

Voting will be conducted online and in person. Online voting will be available beginning Friday, June 10, and will remain open until 2pm ET on Sunday, June 12. A vote by a member online constitutes attendance at the meeting.

If you are not able to attend the meeting in person and have questions that you would like addressed during the meeting, you may submit them to the Treasurer at treasurer@csccucc.com, or to the church office at office@csccucc.com or 508-697-6016.


CSCC Cabinet Meeting – Minutes
May 18, 2022 at 7pm

TThe meeting was called to order at 7:02 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, Board of Trustees; Bill O’Neil, Board of Christian Outreach; Terry Reynolds & Barbara Morey, History & Memorials Committee; Jane O’Connell, Women’s Guild & Fellowship.
Also present: Deborah Lancaster, Congregational Administrator


Rev. Beth opened the meeting with a devotional and a prayer.


April Minutes
The meeting minutes from the April meeting were presented and reviewed. Dave Sheibley motioned to accept them as written; Rev. Beth seconded. The minutes were approved.


Pastor’s Report – Rev. Beth Stotts (also see written report)
Rev. Beth reported that she had recovered from holy week. She recently met with Emily Williams from the Senior Center, and they discussed a joint event for pride month. There were some deaths and much pastoral care. Pentecost is June 5! Wear red! She noted that she will be out of the pulpit 6/12, 7/10, and 8/7, and needs volunteers to help lead worship. Anne Malmquist will take the lead on 6/12. She will also be away 6/21-24 and 7/7-10. On July 14, CSCC will be hosting the Young Clergy Women’s International Conference.


Treasurer’s Report – Dave Sheibley (also see written report)
Dave reported that we had another OK month. We took in about $12,000 last month, which is about $4,000 less than the same month in 2020, and we’re about $8,000 behind where we were at this time last year. Fortunately, this month so far is doing well.


Congregational Administrator’s Report – Deborah Lancaster (also see written report)
Deborah reported that we’re now using pew pads to collect names and addresses on Sundays, and for attendance records. She noted that there are several events coming up, that are listed on her report. She’s been working on making sure past records are entered into Servant Keeper, under the direction of Rev. Beth. 
Remember that the summer office hours go into effect June 3 – Monday through Thursday, 10-2. Also note that the office will be closed on Monday, May 30 for Memorial Day.


Food Pantry – Bill O’Neil (also see written report)
Bill reported that the Boston Food Bank is no longer providing frozen food, for the foreseeable future, due to staffing shortages. They’ll be figuring out how to supply some of that on their own. He also noted that Jack bought another supply of gift cards to distribute. Jack requests that if any wording on the church website is changed regarding the food pantry, that it’s run by him first. Finally, the USPS annual food drive took place last Saturday, and “lots and lots” of food was brought to the pantry.


Building Renovation – Barbara Morey
Barbara reported that the next CPC meeting is next Wednesday. Prior to that, she will contact Virginia Adams to see if she has anything to report to them regarding the deed restriction. Barbara feels it unlikely that the deed restriction issue will be resolved before the Fall. She has already put in the applications for Phase 2 and 3 funding. We will need to know how much we’ll get in total before we sign the deed restriction.

Gordon noted that we also have a grant document that needs to be prepared, not just the deed restriction. We will need both reviewed by a lawyer. Rev. Beth has been in touch with Rob Pellegrini to do the legal work we need. His nonprofit rate is a 20% discount off normal rate, which is $395/hour. He estimates a meeting should only take 30-60 minutes.


Governance Committee – Anne Malmquist
The committee has been meeting. They are working on finding models of other church structures. One topic that was discussed was changing the way we pay the conference – if it’s not based on membership (like it is now), it could add flexibility to what we call “membership”, which is important to how we may restructure in the future. They are trying to generate input and enthusiasm for what our church wants to do in the future. They are preparing a survey and will ask all members to respond. It was suggested that perhaps one-on-one interviewing could be done to get more people to respond.


Proposed 2022-23 Budget – Trustees 
The budget proposal was discussed. Dave Sheibley noted that it is similar to last year’s bottom line. 
• They took out the golf tournament as a source of income because it hasn’t been able to be organized the past few years (although it would be great to have it). 
• They left Rev. Beth’s salary the same, as it was previously discussed that she would be happy with more study time in lieu of a raise. 
• Julia’s salary stayed the same as well. 
• The Congregational Administrator and Sexton were given raises from $15-$17/hour, but the number of hours per week was lowered to 15 hours. 
• The outreach reserve was lowered to 1.5% of pledges.
• Note that the cost of heating oil has increased.


Dave noted that we can’t continue on with these deficit budgets for too much longer. Our investments will run out. It was noted that Kathleen Mosher is now doing stewardship, and is very enthusiastic about it, and about raising money.

It was asked if people who watch Sunday worship online still donate. The answer was YES.

Anne noted that we might be ready to do a big push for increased pledging. She also felt it important to remind folks that we don’t get any money from any higher organization or affiliation – it just comes from us.


Ellen Crawford motioned to accept the budget as proposed. Denise Molinari seconded. Further discussion ensued.

Clarification was asked for why the sexton pay went up so much from 2022 to 2023. It was noted that Rich refused the raise offered him last year, but the next budget needs to allow for an increase.

Barbara Morey reported on the feasibility of having a golf tournament at Olde Scotland Links. They are under new management, and their new contracts require that you guarantee at least 100 golfers for a weekday tournament, at $72 per golfer. We might look at other courses, but they need to be par 5 courses to attract the more serious golfers.


The budget was approved by majority vote.


Budget Meeting, June 12 – Anne Malmquist
The budget meeting will be held in the sanctuary after worship on June 12, starting at 11am. The meeting will also be livestreamed, but not available for playback after the fact. Online voting will be available ahead of time and for a couple of hours following.


Vendor Fair / Pie Sale, June 4 – Diane Sheibley
Diane called attention to the flyer that was distributed prior to the meeting. The vendor fair, and pie & baked goods sale will be held inside and outside the church on Saturday, June 4, 9am-1pm. She asked everyone to spread the word so that we can have a good turnout for the vendors. There are about 15 indoor vendors and about 6 outdoor vendors registered to come. We will also have raffles.


July 4th – Rev. Beth Stotts
Rev. Beth noted that the Stotts Family would be hosting water and snacks on the front lawn during the parade. She’s trying also to get a photographer to do family portraits as a fundraiser. We also decided that we would march in the parade. Rev. Beth will reach out to the parade folks to register. And finally, we will also have the church open and available for anyone needing to use the bathrooms.


CSCC Merchandise
Rev. Beth shared that we are working with Diane’s sister, who has a t-shirt company, to do CSCC logo’d clothing items that will be available to order on her website. We won’t have to worry about taking orders, tallying sizes, or investing in a stock of merchandise – people can just order whatever they want directly from the website. More info to follow.


Rev. Beth closed the meeting with a prayer. The meeting adjourned at 8:15.



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.