Central Square Congregational Church, United Church of Christ

Steeple Sounds

April 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


March was crazy. I really can’t think of another way to describe it. March brought so many unknowns, a variety of new rules for social interaction, and a cacophony of emotions. This is a frightening time in which we are living. Some days we may feel at peace. Other days, anxious and afraid. We’re all worried for those we love and we miss the face-to-face interaction we realize we may have taken for granted. For all of us, our worlds have been flipped upside down. We’re adjusting to a new (albeit, temporary) normal. As we enter into a new month and a new season, I wanted to share with you how I’ve been working and moving through time and space lately.

Here are a few of my coping tricks:
• I check in with friends, neighbors, & fellow congregants, make phone calls, send notes & text messages. I arrange videochat dates to at least see the faces of those I care about.
• I limit my reading about the virus to two articles/day. The repetition of the information makes me crabby and anxious.
• I get outside every day and pay attention to the world around me. (My daffodils are about to bloom!)
• I move my body. Whether it’s a dance party in the kitchen or a yoga video, physical activity really does change our mindset.
• I try to do something creative - even if it’s just a little - every day. Today I colored with my daughter.
• I pray. Constantly.
• I give myself permission to be a little sad, worried, stressed, bored, tired, curious, impatient, and whatever else I may be feeling. We are living through something that is strange and comes with very few instructions.


I’ve stopped keeping track of how many days we have been in this physical distancing mode. Rather, I’m looking ahead. We are making plans to continue our virtual worship services through Holy Week. While we will not be sharing the same physical space for Holy Week, we will be able to share in meaningful worship thanks to Paul Holmes and BTV for their live-streaming abilities. Our worship services include beautiful music from our Minister of Music, Julia Scott Carey, scripture readings and reflection from Rev. Beth, and of course, prayer. If you haven’t attended worship online with us yet, I hope you will consider it for Holy Week. We will have Palm Sunday worship on April 5 at 10am, Good Friday worship at 3pm, and Easter Sunday worship on April 12 at 10am. The links for the services are available through our church website (csccucc.org) and on YouTube.


Easter is a time of New Life and New Beginnings. It is a reminder that the earthly world, pain and suffering, even death itself is not the end of the story. As we enter into April and Holy Week and Easter, as a people of faith and hope, we ask ourselves, in light of our new reality, how can we live as Easter People?


I want you to know that I’m here for you. The church phone is forwarded to me (508-697-6016), or you can email me (csccpastor@hotmail.com) and I’d love to connect with you. We can even set up a time to have a videochat coffee date!


Rev. Beth, csccpastor@hotmail.com, 508-697-6016


Closed through May 3

Updated March 26, 2020


Dear Friends,

In order that we, like Jesus, might care for the most vulnerable in our community, the leadership of Central Square Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, with the guidance of the Southern New England Conference, decided last month to close our doors temporarily, that we might do our part to lessen the advance of COVID-19. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has since mandated that the closure be effective through May 3, at least.


What does this mean? Now through May 3 at least, we will offer worship exclusively online. Our small groups, Bible studies, boards, committees, task forces – anything for which you would normally come to 71 Central Square – will be conducted via Zoom, conference calls, or other digital platforms at least through May 3. Throughout this period, and at the end of it, we will be reassessing the situation, and making any further scheduling adjustments as soon as it is practical.


•  Use the link on the homepage of www.csccucc.com to access Sunday worship. Click on the COVID-19 update link to access the YouTube link for past services.
•  Sunday Worship will be livestreamed from the Sanctuary at 10 a.m. Only the Pastor, the Minister of Music, and the Director of Video Evangelism will be allowed in the building.  


•  Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at noon, visit our Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/csccuccbridgewaterma/ - to engage in a live, interactive prayer session led by Rev. Beth.


•  All building users can no longer meet at Central Square Church until the precautionary closure is lifted, with the only exception being the Bridgewater Food Pantry, with procedures put in place to protect its visitors and staff.
•  Even if you have a key to the building, please do not enter the building during this time. Each one of us that enters is a potential carrier, even if we’re not feeling sick. If you are tempted to say, "well, I'm sure that doesn't mean me.", IT DOES. If you have any questions or think that you should enter the building for any reason, call the church office at 508-697-6016 (phone is being answered remotely during the shutdown).


Yours In Christ,
   Rev. Beth Stotts, Pastor            
   Anne Malmquist, Moderator        
   Diane Sheibley, Vice Moderator  

   David Sheibley, Treasurer

   Ed Buckland, Board of Trustees

   Deb Sorgman, Board of Deacons 

• Central Square Congregational Church, UCC: www.csccucc.org
• Center for Disease Control Guidelines: www.cdc.gov
• World Health Organization Guidelines: www.who.int


Caring for our Community

Do you need a meal, a call, spiritual care, or even just a prayer?

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.
* the church phone is being answered remotely during the shutdown

CSCC Deacons
Deb Sorgman – debsorgman@gmail.com
Diane Glass – dglass260@gmail.com
Lynn Pietras – lsypie@aol.com

CSCC Care Team
Carol Chaffee
Diane Glass
Phoebe Hogg
Bev Mitchell

John Scott

Rev. Beth Stotts


All events that were scheduled to take place in our building (or sponsored by us) during the month of April have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely. This includes:


Sunday In-person Worship services
Bible studies
Women's Guild & Fellowship Rummage Sale (4/4)
Community Breakfast (4/5)
Women's Guild and Fellowship Meeting (4/8)
Holy Week In-person Worship Events (4/9-12)
Cabinet meeting (4/15)
Community Breakfast (4/19)
Growth Concert at Music Alley (4/19)
Mission Dinner (4/25)
Youth Group (4/26)
BSU Alumni Chamber Choir Concert (4/26)
Trustees Meeting (4/29)
Community Breakfast (5/3)
Confirmation Class (5/3)

Where appropriate, we will be working on rescheduling important events after the needed closure period(s).




During this time, we encourage you to continue your support of CSCC, to the degree you are able. We know this may be a trying time for you financially as well as emotionally, so please know that we understand if you are not able to meet your usual giving goals. But for those who can, remember the church has ongoing expenses that don’t care that everything is shut down. And we are trying to do right by our staff as much as possible, even though our primary income mechanism is unavailable (Sunday offerings).

As illustration, we are $11,800 behind on pledges and offerings, compared to last year on this date.


Offerings can be made in any of the following ways:
* Checks can be mailed to the church (71 Central Square, Bridgewater, MA 02324)
* Bill-pay through your bank can be set up for one-time or recurring payments
* Payments can be made via the Paypal by CLICKING HERE (no Paypal account necessary)
If you have any questions, you can email the Treasurer directly and confidentially at treasurer@csccucc.com.



The Bridgewater Food Pantry, hosted by Central Square Congregational Church, will remain open its usual days and times (Thursdays, 10am-1pm, first Mondays of the month, 6-8pm), although with slightly different format to respect the crucial physical distancing. Per Gov. Baker's guidelines, the Bridgewater Food Pantry is considered essential, so it will remain open for the forseeable future.

Per Jack Melcher, food pantry director, precautions have been put in place so that patrons will not come in contact with each other during their visit. If you know someone who frequents the pantry and may not have access to this information, please let them know. If you have lost your job or have kids at home from school and need some assistance with food, please go (Bridgewater residents only).

If you would like to help out, you can drop off non-perishable donations at the side door of the church every weekday from 9 to 1. Just leave them outside the door. They especially need ingredients for breakfasts and lunches. You can also donate money via check that can be mailed to the church (make check out to "CSCC" and put "food pantry" in the memo, and mail to 71 Central Square, Bridgewater MA 02324), or by electronically by CLICKING HERE.



To our CSCC family, I’d like to take a moment to say hello to you all. I’ve been thinking about everyone at our church; these are historical days and we are all experiencing them together. Sometimes it’s hard to feel positive with the updates we get from the news. I try very hard to think about something good when I’m feeling anxious.

For example, I can’t tell you how many kids I’ve seen playing outside in their yard getting quality fresh air and possibly playing with an old toy they haven’t used in years. I saw a child much too big riding around his driveway in a big wheel — I immediately thought “wow when was the last time he took that out for a spin? 2012?” I also try to dwell on the fact that we have an enormous number of intelligent people working on a vaccine. I know we will find a way to control this virus.

I’ve spoken to our youth, they seem to feel how many of us feel at the moment, bored. I’m thankful we live in a time with advanced technology and we can email, text, call, FaceTime a loved one, friend, or relative. Reaching out to those we care about is a great way to get through this. I am here for you, I am thinking of you, please do not hesitate to reach out.

— Jess Stearns, Director of Christian Education, jessicastearns1231@gmail.com



Olde Scotland Links


This is an important fundraiser for CSCC, and we need it now more than ever. It’s never too early to starting thinking of ways we can each contribute to making this our most successful tournament yet!


Rev. Beth's Sabbatical

In parish ministry, for a three-month period every seven years, pastors step away from the persistent obligations of daily parish life to engage in a period of renewal and reflection, for drinking again from God’s life-giving waters. In talking with Rev. Beth back in 2019, the Deacons discerned that it would be best for the congregation if she took one month of sabbatical every year for three consecutive years. In the summer of 2019 (the end of her seventh year), she took one month of sabbatical to study yoga and meditation, and to visit her family in California. While she was away, we welcomed the retired Rev. Jim Conley (a friend and colleague of Rev. Beth) into our community. He served as our sabbatical pastor for the month of July. This summer, we will be doing the same thing. While Rev. Beth is away for her second month of sabbatical, Rev. Jim will be serving our community again. We are very excited for Rev. Beth to have this period of renewal and for Rev. Jim to join us.


In honor of World Water Day (March 22), Heifer International is grateful for your support to provide safe sources of water to families in Tanzania. Since 2017, Heifer has worked with partners in Tanzania's Mbozi District to construct 10 rainwater harvesting tanks, 10 rope pump wells and improve eight water sources in 10 villages.  Women and girls risked their lives while searching for water, often from unsafe sources.  Jackline Edward Mwangoka, a 27-year-old mother of two from Hatelele village, said most women walked more than a mile twice a day searching for water.

"I myself had to walk two kilometers, sometimes with my son on my back to get water for my family,” Jackline said. "We were putting our lives at great risk from attacks by wild animals and harmful men because we often had to search for water very early in the morning around 6 a.m. when it was still dark. We would do the same in the evening when the sun had set, after retiring from the farms."

Jackline said she now has ample time. "The well has been a savior to Hatelele women," she said. “I was always exhausted from walking long distances to fetch water. Now I have enough time to look after my young children and do income-generating activities. That was impossible before having a well here.”

With gratitude for how your congregation is transforming communities,
Heifer International

Finding Your Passion:

A Special Project

The bylaws of Central Square Congregational Church, United Church of Christ are in need of revision and review, as they no longer reflect the way we church. This team will analyze the current operations of the church and revise the bylaws to reflect the way we do business. Please contact Anne Malmquist, Moderator, for more information or to express interest in this project.

This project can move forward via electronic meetings, or in person as conditions permit.

Anne Malmquist, amalmquist@comcast.net, or contact the church office


April 5, April 19, May 3 Breakfasts Cancelled


Most months from September-May, 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!



Rummage Sale Postponed

To safeguard against COVID-19, and the spread of the coronavirus, the Women’s Guild & Fellowship is postponing the Spring Rummage Sale scheduled for Saturday, April 4, 2020.  If the Guild is able to meet on May 6th as scheduled, whether it takes place at the restaurant or as a pot luck at the church we will determine at that time if the Rummage Sale will be held. You have all been such wonderful supporters of the Rummage sale with donations and purchases.  As a result, we have been able to give to many worthy organizations. Thank you for your support.  Stay well!


Guild Meeting

The April meeting of the WG&F scheduled for April 8th has been canceled as the church is remaining closed during the month of April. This month our guest speaker was to be Chris Ventura, speaking on the topic of Essential Oils. We look forward next year to including her in our program.  Hope you will be able to join us.

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


April Concert Cancelled

The Bridgewater State Alumni Chamber Choir Concert scheduled for April 26, 2020 at 4pm has been postponed indefinitely. We really appreciate all our concert family from CSCC and our host church so very much. Our Facebook page (facebook.com/BSUACC) is live for updates and some of you are on our email list. We look forward to sharing music with you in the future, as well as celebrating our 30th anniversary.


With music in our hearts, Carol Chaffee

Dear Youth and Youth Families,

It is with a heavy heart that I share, YouthWorks has been in touch with me and our mission trip has been cancelled. Due to the unforeseen circumstances, they have made this decision with everyone’s health in mind. I know this isn’t the news you were hoping for and I’m sorry to have to deliver it.

Stay safe, stay home, and please let me know if you need anything, or even if you just want to chat or check in. If you’re bored or going a little stir-crazy, shoot me a text or an email, and let’s brainstorm on how you can brighten someone else’s day with a card, or a drawing, or maybe some cookies.

— Jess Stearns, jessicastearns1231@gmail.com


Livestream Recital : April 15, 8pm

Our own Minister of Music, Julia Scott Carey, is excited to announce that on April 15th at 8pm, as part of Juventas New Music Ensemble’s “Stay Home with Juventas” concert series, she will be presenting a recital of 20th- and 21st-century music. She’ll be performing some of the most famous works in the American classical music repertory, along with some significantly less well-known works by five living composers. These are all gorgeous and moving pieces of music.

Below is a link to Juventas’ website, where you can click a link to take you directly to the livestream. The concert will also be visible on Julia’s Facebook page and Juventas’ Facebook page on the evening of the 15th.




April's Theme is:



Inspirational Themes

This year our congregational life will be centered around monthly themes. These themes will be the topics for our Christian Education during Children’s Spiritual Enrichment, youth group meetings, Sunday Stories with Rev. Beth in the Nursery, and in our weekly Sunday Worship at 10am. They will also (along with the lectionary texts) be a focal point in our weekly Bible Study which is each Tuesday at 7pm in the Fireplace Room.   

Upcoming Monthly Themes are:
April - Journeying

May - Growing and Changing

June - Release



Holy Week Info

April 5
Palm Sunday Worship (online only), 10am

April 9
Maundy Thursday Worship, 7pm, on your own

A home liturgy to follow with your family is available by CLICKING HERE (pdf format). We also suggest you videochat (Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime, for example) with one or more other people or families, especially anyone you know who might live alone, for this worship.

April 10
Good Friday Music and Meditation
with Julia Scott Carey (online only), 3pm

April 12
Easter Sunday Worship (online only), 10am



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. 


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

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.


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


Church Administration
Pastor: Rev. Elizabeth Stotts,
Congregational Administrator: Ellen Atherton,  office@csccucc.com
Sexton: Rich Sullivan
Minister of Music: Julia Scott Carey,
Director of Christian Education: Jess Stearns, jessicastearns1231@gmail.com

Nursery Coordinator: Maria Kean, mmkean14@gmail.com
Treasurer:  David Sheibley,  treasurer@csccucc.com
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.


Calling All May News and Events!


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