In February, CSCC proudly celebrated Scout Sunday.


Central Square Congregational Church, United Church of Christ

Steeple Sounds

March 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


Each week I welcome everyone to worship with these words, ”Whether you are old or young, rich or poor, gay or straight, regardless of your political persuasion, country of origin, or ethnic identity, whether your faith is strong and deep or you’re at the end of your rope, you’re welcome here.”

I want to take a minute to break that down. There is no doubt that we are a welcoming congregation. We proudly welcome people from all walks of life, all abilities, and identities. But what I want you to really think about is your faith. Is your faith strong and deep? Or are you at the end of your rope? Somewhere in the middle? Let’s talk about it!

We humans struggle to be vulnerable, to open ourselves up and show our true selves to others. Whether we’re worried about what others will think about us or we just don’t want to admit to ourselves who we are, this impedes us from truly entering into some life-changing and perhaps even faith-deepening activities. Sometimes, in order to be a welcoming community, we have to remember that we have to welcome the whole of ourselves too, not just welcome others. Self-acceptance and self-love are important aspects of welcoming. 


Each Tuesday night I lead a Bible Study where a faithful few dare to be vulnerable with each other and with me. Studying scripture together is a very intimate act. It requires those in attendance to crack themselves and their lives open and share with others. Bible study isn’t a place where you can come and observe. No. Bible study requires active participation. What Bible study does not require is perfection.


I want to say that again. Bible study does not require perfection. Bible study only requires that you show up with your authentic self, your curiosity, and your questions. (March’s Congregational Life theme is “Questioning”!) You don’t have to be a biblical scholar to read and study the Bible. You don’t even have to have your own Bible to come to Bible study. (We have plenty!) And honestly, there are no right answers when it comes to faith questions, so that should be a relief for many.

If you’ve been scared to attend Bible Study, a book study, or Score Club, if you’ve been intimidated by any of the activities or programs we offer here at CSCC, I hope you’ll just give something a try. Your life speaks to your faith and that’s really all you’ll need to attend any of our programs, studies, or events. We’re a judgement-free zone here at CSCC.

Tyra Banks (supermodel and host of America’s Next Top Model) once said “Perfect is boring. Human is beautiful.” So bring your beautiful human self, wherever you are in your faith, and let’s learn and grow and question. We’re all on this journey together.

Rev. Beth, 508-697-6016
(Bible Study is every Tuesday night at 7pm in the Fireplace Room)

Next Cabinet Meeting: Wednesday, March 18, 7pm


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.


Weekly Evening Bible Study

Tuesdays, 7pm

Join Rev. Beth in the Fireplace Room each Tuesday at 7pm to read the lectionary scripture together, discuss what sticks out, how it relates to our lives, and how it relates to the Spiritual Enrichment topic of the month, and to pray.


Church Vitality

Thank you all so much for taking the time to fill out the recent Vitality Committee survey questions! God is speaking through each of us, and we want to hear what is being said. As a place where God speaks to all of us, it is vital that Central Square Church has a clear picture on what gives us joy, both collectively and individually. Your responses have been amazing and extremely helpful. The world is always changing and evolving, and each of us are changing and evolving with it. As a church, we want to make sure that we are keeping up with this evolution.

However, the listening and communication process does not end here. Central Square Congregational Church welcomes your continued input. With this in mind, we want to make time available for anyone who would enjoy discussing:

1) The most common interests and passions that were uncovered by the recent survey (not in order of preference):
Mission  •  Food  •  Music  •  Sermons/Pastor  •  Children/Youth  •  Our sanctuary  •  New members  •  Stewardship  •  Community/Fellowship

2) Regarding Central Square Congregational Church:
What is most important to you? What are you most joyful about here at CSCC? How do you think the things that are most important, and gives you the most joy, should be supported? How would you picture CSCC in 5 years, or even 10 years, if anything were possible?

As a continuation from February discussions, on Sunday, March 1, we will be available for small group and individual discussion one hour before worship and for the hour following worship for any discussion you'd like to have with us.

One of the things we learned from our survey is how important communication and discussion is for our congregation. It is our prayer that we do this very well.

God Bless You,
CSCC Vitality Committee: Gail Wershing, Rob Basler, Anne Malmquist, Kathleen Mosher, Connie Chandler, Krissy Cannizzo, Denise Molinari

Checking In with the Historical Church Restoration Committee (HCBC)!

We, the church, excitedly wait for a response from the town Community Preservation Committee (CPC) about our application for CPA funds to restore and repair the exterior of our beloved church home. The CPC will meet before the end of February so by the time you read this, we might already know the answer. 

The HCBC has taken a break from meeting weekly since just before Christmas, but we continue to seek funding from public and private grants outside the CPA.

We expect to hit the ground running once we hear from the CPC. Our work is transparent and anyone is welcome to ask questions, or offer comments and opinions for all to consider.

Respectfully, Carol Chaffee
HCBC Committee: Barbara Morey, Rachel Lawson, David Sheibley,  Carol Chaffee, Gloria Weinrebe,
Terry Reynolds


Getting to Know You...

Where do you sit when you come to our delicious Sunday breakfasts? Who do you talk to during Cofffee Hour?  Let’s move into Spring by seeking out someone you don’t know, or don’t know well. We are all Super Welcomers once we are past the front door. Extend yourself to anyone you don’t know.


Lenten Book Study:

"No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering"

By Thich Nhat Nanh

Lent, which began this year on February 26, is a time of spiritual transformation, of releasing negative thoughts and feelings.

Thich Nhat Hanh acknowledges that because suffering can feel so bad, we try to run away from it or cover it up by consuming. We find something to eat or turn on the television. But unless we’re able to face our suffering, we can’t be present and available to life, and happiness will continue to elude us.

Join Rev. Beth in reading "No Mud, No Lotus," and discover Hanh's practices and inspiration transforming suffering into finding true joy. It’s a 124-page, manageable read!


Greyhound Tavern

39 Broad Street, Bridgewater

Thursday, March 12, 7pm


Community Concert: April 19!

Your Growth Committee continues its efforts of fulfilling the main mission of reaching out to people and inviting them to enrich or start their relationship with God at CSCC.

To that end, we are happy to announce our second annual community concert. We have reserved Music Alley from 2-4 pm, Sunday, April 19th. Our artist this year is Buddy Fanjoy (for music samples, find him on YouTube and Spotify). He is  a prominent north shore Christian singer and songwriter, and we are certain he will bring our community a wonderful musical experience.

We are also very thankful this year for a  generous grant from the Bridgewater Cultural Council which will minimize expenses incurred by CSCC.

Also, check out Soulfest 2020. This is a 2-3 day family- oriented Christian experience at Gunstock, NH. Visit for full info.

In Christ, your Growth Committee,
Co-chairs Mike Bundock, Gail Wershing; Valued members Pat Lindsey, Tracey Doherty


Pastor's Hours

Rev. Beth is available by appointment Tuesday-Thursday. Fridays and Saturdays are her study/writing days. Monday is her day off. Contact the office at or 508-697-6016 to make an appointment to see her. She’d love to chat with you!



Olde Scotland Links


This is an important fundraiser for CSCC. It’s never too early to starting thinking of ways we can each contribute to making this our most successful tournament yet!


Mission Dinner Seeks Raffle Items and Food Gift Cards (by March 15)!

The youth are currently embarking on their project of gathering donations of raffle and auction items for the Mission Dinner fundraiser. If you have a new item, a gift basket, or a gift card you would like to donate, please contact Diane Sheibley at or contact the church office.

If you would like to help out the dinner budget (allowing more of the funds raised to go to the mission trip), your Roche Bros. or Market Basket gift cards would be most appreciated, or cash donations can also be made. Direct all donations to the office, attention ‘mission dinner’.



Volunteer opportunities and service

Help Wanted:

BSU Alumni Chamber Choir

The Bridgewater State University Alumni Chamber Choir is looking for a few good people to act as hosts for our spring concert, which will be held on April 26, 2020, at 4pm. We will need assistance with the following:
• setting up our reception area in fellowship hall
• preparing food and beverage to be put out for the reception
• acting as servers and serving drinks and tending to the plates of food
• cleaning up afterwards

Arrival would be at 3pm and cleanup would end at 6:30. All the food and beverages are purchased by the choir. No cost will be relayed to the volunteer hosts. Cleanup is light work as choir members help to clean up the whole church.

Our concerts are generally one hour in length.  Complimentary tickets will be offered to the volunteers.
If you are interested in talking with me for more details, please send me an email.

Carol Chaffee, BSUACC Treasurer,


Finding Your Passion:

Two Special Projects

#1: 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.

#2: The Lilly Foundation offers grants of up to one million dollars to thriving churches to complete special projects to further their ministries and missions. We would like to apply for this grant to redesign the kitchen space and the lower level of the building, to further our food-related missions and ministries. This team will need to complete and submit and interest form by April 15, 2020 and then, if needed, a full grant proposal by June 1, 2020. Please contact Anne Malmquist, Moderator, for more information or to express interest in this project.

Anne Malmquist,, or contact the church office


The 2020 Confirmation Class is collecting pads, pantyliners, tampons, and travel sized wipes to create period packs for area homeless women. “50% of God’s creation has periods,” said one confirmand. “We should help them out.” If you would like to help, drop donations off at the church office Monday-Friday from 9am-1pm, or Sunday mornings from 8am-12noon.


Thank you, congregation, for your January clothing contributions to Warmth in Cold Places. We distributed the items on a very cold day and the recipients were extremely grateful. The Board of Christian Outreach is looking into a way that we may perhaps help with clothing needs throughout the year as some recipients reenter the work force.

Teen Challenge presented during our worship service on February 16th. Several young men eloquently told their stories of battling addictions, and their continued dedication to recovery with the ever-present  help of God in their lives. Outreach has matched the congregation’s donations and approximately $380 is being given to Teen Challenge. Thank you for your generosity.


2020 Food Pantry Lenten Calendar

The Board of Christian Outreach asks your help in making this a mindful Lenten season by participating in their “2020 Food Pantry Lenten Calendar”. Place a bag on a table or on the counter in your home; each day in March, place the designated item into the bag; then each Sunday, bring in your bag of donations and place it in the grocery cart near the church’s side door for the Bridgewater Food Pantry. Lent is often the season of giving something up; let’s also make it the season of giving.



If you would like to purchase any of the card boxes, contact the church office.

Greeting card sets available: “Cards for All Occasions”, “Holiday Card Collection Box”, “Thanks and Blanks”, “Kids Birthday Box”. Each box is $30 for 30 cards.





March Breakfast Dates

March 1 -- March 15



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!



Thank you to our wonderful volunteers that make our after-worship time welcoming and delicious. If you are able to help one of our dedicated committees with this ministry on one of the dates below, contact Mike at, or Gail at

March 1—First Sunday ..................Board of Christian Outreach & Board of Stewardship
March 8—Second Sunday ..................CSCC Officers & Women’s Guild & Fellowship
March 15—Third Sunday ...........................Growth Committee & History & Memorials Committee
March 22—Fourth Sunday ............................Board of Trustees & Board of Christian Education

March 29—Fifth Sunday ............................Board of Deacons & Music Committee

March Program

The next Women’s Guild & Fellowship meeting is on Wednesday, March 4th at 6:30 p.m.  Following the business meeting and refreshments the program will be presented. One of our own Guild members, Barbara Morey, travels a great deal and has participated in many wonderful travel excursions around the world. While on these trips she photographs many beautiful sites and learns about the landforms, the history of the area, and hears many fascinating stories. In the past she has been on safari in Africa, experienced scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, and traveled the Holy Land to name a few trips. Recently Barbara traveled to Ethiopia. While there she visited 5 cave churches (representing 5 ethnic tribal groups). You are invited to enjoy the trip to Ethiopia with Barbara and hear the stories of the cave churches. The meeting begins at 6:30 and the program at 7:30. All women of the church and friends of members are welcome to join us. 


This was the first year that the Women’s Guild & Fellowship participated in the Living Gift Market. After a very brief discussion a unanimous decision was made to sponsor a cow. In order to reach our goal of $500 we sold beef sliders, purple cow drinks, cow cookies, and offered the opportunity to have your picture taken with Bessie the cow. We were able to raise $191 at the Living Gift Market and with other generous donations from Guild members we reached our goal of $500. The Guild members would like to thank everyone who supported us at the Living Gift Market and thank you Guild members for reaching our goal.ll women of the church are invited to attend the February meeting of the Women’s Guild & Fellowship on Wednesday, February 5. We will be having an auction to raise funds towards our favorite causes. Sandy Alley, Janet Colford, Phoebe Hogg, & Bev Mitchell will be our auctioneers. Members of the Guild are asked to bring one or more items to be auctioned. For an uproarious evening led by these funny women, come to the auction. You never know what to expect.

Animal Protection Center

Each month Material Aides has a special project in which Guild members have an opportunity to give donations. In the month of March, the project will be to give to the Animal Protection Center in Brockton.  The shelter is asking for non-clumping clay cat litter, wet and dry cat and dog food, pet toys for cats and dogs, timothy hay for small animals and clean sheets and towels. Anyone within the church and guild members may give to this worthy cause for our small creature friends.
Co-Presidents: Beth Basler, and Terry Reynolds,




God's Gift of Animals

Heifer Living Gift Market 2020

The children waited with anticipation as the service ended. One last look at the tables before the congregation arrived. Various kinds of appetizers, finger foods, and imaginative desserts created by the children and their families decorated the tables. All kinds of crafts with themes related to the animals such as bee buzzers and clay fish squeezed in amongst all the food. The smell of popcorn, baked goods, and bacon drifted around the Fellowship Hall and the sounds of clucking chickens added to the excitement.

The children only had 2 weeks to prepare for this event, The Living Gift Market. The children, youth, and parents with the guidance of Jessica Stearns, Director of Christian Education, created a plan and it was executed. Now, all was ready as they waited for the church community to arrive. As the congregation entered the hall they began drifting around the tables. The children smiled as food and crafts disappeared from their tables and their baskets rapidly filled up with the money that would purchase the animals of their choice.

The Living Gift Market yielded $766.46. Not quite enough to purchase all the animals the children sponsored. Over the next few weeks though more donations arrived, and the children continued to return banks. Finally, the children gathered $1184.77, enough money for each team to purchase the animals they sponsored! Here is the result of their efforts: Team 1 is sending a trio of rabbits. Team 3 raised more than enough to send a flock of chickens and a beehive. They are sharing the extra money with team 2 helping them achieve their goal to send a pig. Team 4 is sending a donkey, while Team 5 is sending fish. And Team 6, which is the Women’s Guild, is sending a heifer.  

Families in need around the world will be trained in how to feed and care for the animals they receive and how these animals will benefit them. A pig is perfect for the small-scale farmer in the Philippines, while chickens and rabbits which reproduce rapidly help desperately poor families generating much needed income. A Vietnamese family could receive a cow which will improve the health and income of the family. A healthy beehive can double the fruit and vegetable yields in Guatemala. Families can quickly increase their daily nutrition and income with the lean, healthy protein of fish. Donkeys can plow a large field yielding a greater crop. The next step is to give the first offspring to another family within the village. Passing on the gift will improve the quality of life for others.

A big thank you should be given to the parents working directly with the children helping to plan many of the projects and food for the event. Thank you to Jess Stearns and Terry Reynolds, who worked together to plan and organize the Living Gift Market. Jess helped the children to create objects for sale and work with the youth to help brainstorm ideas for their table. A special thanks to all the people who supported the children at the Living Gift Market and the weeks following the Market. All of you helped to make the Living Gift Market a successful event. Thank you.


Destination: Rutland, Vermont

Dates: June 28-July 3, 2020

Mandatory Meeting: Sunday March 1, 11:30am

The next mission dinner meeting will be held Sunday March 1 at 11:30 in the basement. This meeting is mandatory as it’s our last meeting before the fundraiser. Are you working on your raffle prizes? I hope so! Please remember those are due no later then MARCH 15.

TRIP PAPERWORK: Also, Youth Works has switched to a paperless system this year. We will go over the details of the online system where your paperwork will need to be filled out. Or you can get started on it by going to the church website (, and clicking on “Ministries”. Then just scroll down to the mission trip part. There’s a link there to the Youthworks paperwork system. ALL ONLINE FORMS MUST BE COMPLETED BY MAY 17.

Questions? Contact Jess Stearns at or contact the church office.


Attention Youth Grades 6-12!

Sunday, March 22

Next youth group (grades 6-12) will be held on Sunday, March 22. Please mark your calendars to hang out, tell funny stories, make a craft, and share our faith in the upstairs meeting room from 11:30-1. Questions and pizza topping requests can be sent to Jess or the church office. 
All youth are welcome, and feel free to bring a friend!

Jess Stearns  •  or the church office at 508-697-6016.


The next confirmation class meets on Sunday, March 1, 11:30am-1pm. Mark your calendars! Confirmation Sunday is May 31.


Remember to ‘like’ the CSCC Youth Facebook page for youth news, announcements, and alerts. Just search for “CSCC Youth” in the FB search bar.



Mom & Baby Playgroup

Saturday, March 14

9-10:30am in the nursery

Bring your baby or toddler and hang with other moms! No agenda or program, just a fabulous play room for the kids and time to be with other moms! 


Sunday Stories with Rev. Beth 

Sunday, March 8

9am in the nursery

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

Our Nursery Coordinator

Hello, my name is Maria Kean and I’m the new nursery room coordinator. I have always had a passion for caring for and playing with kids, and have been in the child care field for 17 years. During the day, I work with kids with autism as a behavior analyst. When I’m not working,  I enjoy spending time with my dog, family, and friends.


Sunday Nursery Hours

Our staffed nursery is open every Sunday morning from 9am to 12noon. All babies and toddlers welcome! All our caretakers are CORI checked.

-> Nursery is open every Sunday  9am-12pm
-> Bible Study, Tuesdays, 7pm

-> Mission Dinner Mandatory Meeting, 3/1, 11:30am

-> Confirmation Class, 3/1, 11:30am

-> Sunday Stories w/Rev. Beth, Nursery, 3/8, 9am
-> Ask A Pastor Anything/Faith Uncorked, 3/12, 7pm

-> Mom & Baby playgroup, Nursery, 3/14, 9-10:30am

-> Mission Dinner, 3/21, 6pm
-> Youth Group (grades 6-12), 3/22, 11:30-1




Did you know Youth and Families can be Ushers, Greeters, and Acolytes, Too?

These small commitment/big impact roles are available throughout the year, and youth and families are welcome to volunteer as well. Whether for one Sunday, or once a month, ushers, greeters, and acolytes are needed to create a helpful and welcoming experience for all who come through our doors. Contact the church office, or speak to someone in one of those roles on Sunday for more information about how you can participate. 

Acolytes have traditionally been 3rd-6th graders, but anybody is welcome to take on this important job of leading off worship by lighting the altar candles. Be the one who brings the light of Christ into our presence at the beginning of Sunday service! 
For more information, contact Ellen at or 508-697-6016.


March'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:
March - Questioning
April - Journeying

May - Growing and Changing


Lenten Season Events

March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
 Sunday Morning Lenten Worship, 10am
March 28
Lenten Book Study Discussion
“No Mud, No Lotus” by Thich Nhat Hanh, 10am


Holy Week Info

April 5
Palm Sunday Worship with Communion, 10am
April 9
Maundy Thursday Worship with Communion, 7pm
April 10
Good Friday Music and Meditation
with Julia Scott Carey, 3pm
April 12
Easter Sunday Sunrise Worship, 6:30am  (Hanson Farm)
Easter Sunday Worship, 10am


Upcoming Worship/Sermon Topics:

March 1 - Forgiveness
March 8 - Protection
March 15 - Testing God
March 22 - Psalm 23
March 29 - Dry Bones



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,
    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 Services air on Channel 9, weekly on Sunday at 8pm (previous week), Mondays at 1pm, Tuesdays at 10am, and Fridays at 3pm. BTV also airs coverage of church events, when covered by volunteer producers. 

Come Sing With Us!

Rehearsals for the senior choir are at 8am on Sundays in preparation for that day’s 10am service. All levels of experience are welcome. 

The children’s choir rehearses at 9:15am on the second and fourth Sundays of the month, and at 9:30 on the third Sunday of the month; performance is on the fourth Sunday of the month at the 10am service. All children are welcome!

Come Play With Us!

Do you play an instrument, and would you occasionally like to be included in the Sunday worship service? Contact our Minister of Music Julia Scott Carey at or contact the church office. We love guest musicians!

Remember that when you shop on Amazon, use “” rather than just “”, and designate CSCC as the charity to benefit from your purchases. It costs you nothing extra! Contact the church office with questions.


To find the below Lectionary online, go to


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


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

Nursery Coordinator: Maria Kean,
Treasurer:  David Sheibley,
Office telephone:  (508) 697-6016
Facebook pages: (main page), (youth page)

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


Calling All April News and Events!


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