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March 2023

We are a Christian community of people who are reaching out to our neighbors, 
at home and abroad, sharing our faith and our resources.


Central Square Congregational Church, UCC, of Bridgewater, Massachusetts is an open and affirming
church. No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.


From the Desk of Rev. Beth

Rev. Elizabeth Stotts, Pastor

Lent is traditionally a time in the church year where we start to think about “making changes.” Traditionally, Lent has been a time of fasting, penance, sacrifice. There are folks for whom giving something up is very meaningful and find a deepening of their faith through that practice each year. If that’s you, I say GO FOR IT. 
Other folks approach Lent by “making changes” by adding something in. Perhaps they commit to a new prayer practice or find an outlet for community service. Again, this seems like a lovely practice for Lent. If adding something in helps you grow and deepens your connection to the Holy, I say GO FOR IT. 

For those wanting to try something new this year, or those “just not feeling it” as Lent approaches – I have another possibility for you.  How about a year where your Lenten practice is to Just Be?  Father Richard Rohr says that all too often, Lenten practices are about making changes, not about being changed. This whole practice of following Jesus is about transformation – about allowing our very form to be altered on a foundational level – not just about making surface-level changes. Sometimes, of course, the practice of living in new ways leads to foundational shifts. I think that’s what we are often seeking when we give something up or add something in for Lent. When that works, it’s a powerful, powerful thing. 

Sometimes, though, what we need (perhaps especially in a world that is always changing) is less movement and more stillness, fewer changes and more steadiness. Sometimes we don’t need to radically alter ourselves. Sometimes we simply need to be present and BE. This is not a passive waiting. This is an active, intentional way of grounding ourselves in each moment and inviting an awareness of God’s presence in our lives. This be-ing requires careful self-discipline and awareness.  In his book Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer, Fr. Rohr says, “Be still and know that I am God. Be still and know that I am. Be still and know. Be still. Be.” 


It’s a radical invitation in a world where we are told we need to be constantly in motion. It’s a radical invitation when our whole lives are built around the never-ending cycle of producing and consuming. It’s a radical invitation to rest in God’s presence and learn to simply be present. To honor the holiness of each passing moment. To be inspired by something as beautiful as our own breath. To stop striving, working, moving. To just BE. 

You might decide to Just Be during conversations with your loved ones at the dinner table. Or maybe you want to Just Be when that negative voice starts to play in your head. Perhaps you want to Just Be in nature, or in worship, or at the gym. I think it can be done anywhere, really. It’s about a quality of awareness we bring to each moment as holy – nothing more, nothing less. However you observe this season that we call Lent, know that I will be praying for you as you seek wholeness and growth on this journey towards Easter. GO FOR IT! 


In Christ, 
Rev. Beth 

Tuesday thru Friday, 9am-1pm

or by appointment

Please note that the office will be closed on Friday, March 10.




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.



NEXT CABINET MEETING is Wednesday, March 15, 7pm

at the church

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



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

Contact the Pastor, a Deacon, or a member of our Care Team.


To contact Rev. Beth, call the church office at 508-697-6016 or email her at csccpastor @ hotmail.com. 


CSCC Deacons
Deb Sorgman – debsorgman @ gmail.com

Jae Stotts - jaestotts @ gmail.com

Savannah Wells, Jr. Deacon

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

Contact the church office if you need us!


The Bridgewater Food Pantry, hosted and supported by CSCC, is open Thursdays, 10am-1pm, and the first Mondays of the month, 6-7:30pm (except holidays). All Bridgewater residents who are in need of food are welcome.

If you are a Bridgewater resident unable to come to the food pantry, but are in need of food, please contact the church office by email (office@csccucc.com) or phone (508-697-6016) and arrangements will be made for you.





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



One of the most influential ministries of the church is serving as an usher for worship. The usher is the friendly face greeting new folks, introducing them to our worship bulletin & hymnal, and helping them find their place in the beloved community. For the 15 minutes before worship, you have the most important job in the building. 

Would you consider signing up to do it for just one upcoming Sunday? 

Training is available! Families welcome! Contact the church office, or click this link: csccucc.org/time-talent

March 5, 12, 19 (9:15)


March 19 at 10am



Community Breakfast at CSCC
Sunday, March 5 and March 19, 9am


Are you thinking you want to be a part of this awesome ministry? Volunteers are needed. More info at www.csccucc.org/time-talent, or contact the church office.

And invite your friends to eat with us, and those that might like a meal and fellowship. All are welcome!



Coins for Kids Church : March 5


Don’t forget to bring your spare change for the Coins for Kids Church collection on the first Sunday of each month! This helps to pay for Kids Church supplies and teaching materials.

Women’s Guild and Fellowship will meet on Wednesday, March 1, at 6:30 in Fellowship Hall.

Our program for the evening will be a slide presentation by Rob and Beth Basler. They will share their experiences and pictures of the Maine Coast, Acadia National Park, and their weekend sail aboard The Mercantile Schooner through Penobscott Bay. Their slide shows are always informational and beautiful! Please join us and bring friends! We will also have a meeting and refreshments.

Jane O'Connell, Co-President

Tulips, Lilies, and Daffodils

The History and Memorials Committee will once again offer the opportunity to purchase your favorite Spring flowers in memory of a loved one. The committee will decorate the church altar for Easter with the flowers. You may decide whether you would like the flower(s) donated to someone unable to attend church, or you would like to take the flower(s) home with you on Easter morning following the service. The cost of the flowers is $10 each.  The names of your loved ones will be published in the Easter bulletin.  

You may contact the church office to order your flowers, or see one of the members of the H&M Committee after church on March 12, 19, or 26.


February was definitely a giving month, as well it should be. Your Outreach dollars went to the Heifer Fund and also to CWS Blanket Fund. Along with $200.00 from Outreach and your donations to Blanket Sunday, $676 is being sent to CWS Blanket Fund to wrap those in need with love. Although we may never meet those we help, they will feel our caring and compassion through the warmth of a blanket. Thank you for your continued generosity. 

March will bring the One Great Hour of Sharing special collection on March 19, during worship. This Lenten offering supports the disaster, refugee, and development ministries of the United Church of Christ within Wider Church Ministries.



The next Feminist Women of Faith meeting will be Sunday March 12th. Join us for great conversation and planning of our social justice work. Childcare is provided. If you have any questions please e-mail Kathleen Mosher at katmosher @ comcast.net.

Congratulations Savannah Wells!


Congratulations to Savannah Wells, commissioned on February 12 as a Junior Deacon. 


Church Lawn Care

After many years of faithfully mowing the church lawn every single Friday, Bruce Maclay has decided to hang up his lawn mower. Thank you so much, Bruce, for your quiet dedication to this faithful service.

Might there be someone else who feels called to step into his shoes, and mow the church lawn on a weekly basis? Perhaps a youth who would like community service hours? Please contact Gordon Brailsford or Ed Buckland, or the church office, if you would consider helping out in this way. 


Krissy Cannizzo is pleased to report that the total to date raised by the children and youth for Heifer International comes to $1,304.36, with a couple of more donations expected. All the children were able to meet their goals of what they want to purchase, which includes: chickens, bees, tree seedlings, fish, rabbits, pigs, a llama, and sending a girl to school.

All ages are invited to this Youth Group-hosted archery event at Reedy's Archery in Middleboro. The cost is $20 per person, and no prepayment nor reservation is necessary.

Pizza will be provided. The event will last about 2 - 2.5 hours. Parents are welcome to drop off their youth, or stay and participate. Please plan on meeting at Reedy's (not at the church) at noon. The address is 121 Wood St, Middleboro.
Youth -- feel free to bring a friend!

For more information, contact the church office or Rev. Beth at office @ csccucc.com, 508-697-6016, or csccpastor @ hotmail.com.

Kitchen and Closet Cleanout
Saturday March 11 from 9-3

Our storage areas and closets are overflowing.  If your group, committee, or event has items stored away somewhere in the church, this will be the perfect day to get rid of things that are no longer in use, throw out things that no longer work, and take inventory of your items. We are hoping to free up some much needed room as well. 


Or perhaps you just have an hour or two that you can help sort and organize. In either case, we hope to see you there!



Pronoun Project


We have had an excellent response so far. Please get your forms in with how you want your name to appear on your new nametag and your preferred pronouns. Thank you!

And if you have questions, or want to hear more info about the Pronoun Project, join us on March 5th following worship.

SUNDAY, MARCH 19      11:15am


One item of business will be conducted on this day:


The Moderator proposes that we accept the work of the Constitution Committee and adopt their proposed new Constitution as our governing document, to be effective July 1, 2023. This document would replace the existing Constitution and Bylaws of Central Square Congregational Church, UCC.


No other business matters will be voted on, unless presented in writing to the Moderator prior to the meeting. That business will be added to the agenda ONLY after an affirmative vote by 2/3 of the attending-voting members.
All church members are requested to attend. Voting will take place in person and online. 

Please join us for this CSCC fundraiser! It will be a lovely evening with Julia at the piano for many favorite tunes. Bring your friends and neighbors, too -- this is a community event!


Doors open at 6:30pm.

Show starts at 7pm.


A reception with light hors d'oeuvres will follow the performance.

  • You are welcome to bring your own wine, or enjoy a glass of non-alcoholic punch that will be provided.
  • A commemorative wine glass is included in the cost of the ticket (if purchased in advance).
  • There will be a gift basket raffle during the reception!


Free parking available in the Bridgewater Public Library parking lot (15 South St.), all along Church Street, and on the Bridgewater Common.


Tickets are $30 per person in advance ($20 Student/Senior). Use Promo Code "Senior" or "Student" at checkout for discount. All advance tickets include a commemorative wine glass. Tickets will be $35 at the door, subject to availability, and will not include the commemorative wine glass.


All proceeds benefit the ministries of Central Square Congregational Church, UCC.


CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets today! Contact the church office with questions.

CLICK HERE for full info including Julia's bio.


CSCC Lenten Schedule of Events

Saturday, March 4 : Youth Lenten Archery (12-2pm) - Reedy’s Archery in Middleboro

Sunday, March 5 : Second Sunday of Lent w/Communion (10am)

Sunday, March 12 : Third Sunday of Lent (10am)

Sunday, March 19 : Fourth Sunday of Lent (10am)

Saturday, March 25 : Lenten Book Study (9:30am)
“Wholehearted Faith” by Rachel Held Evans

Sunday, March 26 : Fifth Sunday of Lent (10am)


Holy Week Schedule of Events

Sunday, April 2 : Palm Sunday - Worship w/Communion (10am), Youth Talent Show & Lunch (11:30am)

Thursday, April 6 : Maundy Thursday Worship (7pm)

Friday, April 7 : Good Friday Worship (3pm)

Saturday, April 8 : End of Life Planning w/Rev. Beth (10am) (this event has been cancelled)

Sunday, April 9 : Easter Sunday
Easter Sunrise Service, 6:30am at Hanson Farm
Easter Worship at CSCC (10am)


Palm Sunday and Kids Church

Eric Stotts, Connie Chandler, and Terry Reynolds will be the Kids Church teachers during the season of Lent. Our goal is to have the children, with the guidance of the teachers, plan and participate in the Palm Sunday service on April 2.  Beginning on Sunday, February 26th the teachers began presenting the stories of the last week of Jesus’ life.

After hearing the stories, the children will have the opportunity to decide how they will be presented in church. With the help of the teachers, the children will next plan in what way they will participate or help with worship on Palm Sunday. This will take a great deal of planning and preparation from both teachers and students.  It is essential that during the weeks of February 26th through April 2nd that the children attend Kids Church each Sunday. If, for any reason, you have difficulty transporting your child to church, please let us know by contacting me or the church office. We may be able to assist you. We look forward for the opportunity to work with your child planning this event.

Terry Reynolds


Lenten Book Study:
“Wholehearted Faith” by Rachel Held Evans

This book is for the doubter and the dreamer, the seeker and the sojourner, those who long for a sense of spiritual wholeness as well as those who have been hurt by the Church but can’t seem to let go of the story of Jesus. Through theological reflection and personal recollection, Rachel wrestles with God’s grace and love, looks unsparingly at what the Church is and does, and explores universal human questions about becoming and belonging. 

Read it at your own pace, and join Rev. Beth for a discussion on Saturday, March 25 at 9:30am in the Fireplace Room. All are welcome.

CSCC Cabinet Meeting - Minutes

February 15, 2023, 7pm

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 by Denise Molinari, Vice Moderator.


Cabinet members in attendance: Rev. Beth Stotts, Pastor; Denise Molinari, Vice Moderator; David Sheibley, Treasurer; Diane Sheibley, Clerk; Ed Buckland and Gordon Brailsford, Board of Trustees; Bill O’Neil, Board of Christian Outreach; Kathleen Mosher, Board of Stewardship; Terry Reynolds, Board of Christian Education and History & Memorials Committee; Ellen Crawford, Music Committee; Jane O’Connell, Women’s Guild & Fellowship 
    Additional attendees: Krissy Cannizzo


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


Diane Sheibley took attendance and verified that a quorum was present.


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


Pastor’s Report – Rev. Beth Stotts (also see printed report)
Everything for Lent is being prepared, we’re just waiting on confirmation from David Hanson for the sunrise service at the farm. Rev. Beth will be making bookmarks with all of the Lenten dates on them, and they will be distributed in the Sunday bulletins. “Rest & Care” are the themes of Lent this year. The Blessing of the Stuffies will kick it off on Feb. 26. Rev. Beth thanked everyone that helped her develop and finalize the new membership packet. She is excited to distribute it to several people who have expressed interest in membership. She noted she has spent a lot of time helping get the youth group(s) up and running. There will be three groups: 4th-8th graders; high schoolers; and an LGBT youth group for the whole community. Scout Sunday will be March 12. Preparations have begun for the 3/24 Julia concert. Glassware has been ordered, thanks to Black Hat Brew Works for suggesting their supplier who gave us a really good rate. There continue to be a lot of pastoral calls.


Treasurer’s Report – David Sheibley (also see printed report)
Dave reported that last month was an OK one for income, and expenses have been pretty consistent, so we’re running a bit ahead. The stock market went up last month, so that helps. A question was asked about the two separate lines on the report, both marked “Paypal” account. Dave said this was an error and he will fix it. It should only appear once. Gordon read a list of how our budget deficit has increased each year in recent years, and noted we can’t support that trend forever.


Bridgewater Food Pantry at CSCC –Jack Melcher’s printed report and Bill O’Neil reporting at meeting
Bill noted that the Amazon warehouse on Elm St contacted the food pantry and subsequently brought over 4 large boxes of surplus items they had – cereal, cat food, etc. They said they would contact us periodically when they have more to donate. Jack’s report noted that 88 households were served in January, and a total of 807 bags were distributed.


Historical Church Building Committee – Terry Reynolds & Gordon Brailsford
Terry noted that there haven’t been any changes regarding the town. Gordon noted that he has a new draft of the grant agreement for review, and the first item is taking off all of the siding of the church. It was the committee’s understanding that they were not going to require that, as it’s a big expense. The process remains that both the grant agreement and the deed restriction need to be finalized and approved. The approval process is: we have to agree on all the terms; then our lawyers have to review and approve them; then the congregation has to approve them. Gordon still has concerns about what we’re being asked to commit to as a tradeoff for accepting the town’s grant money.


Pronoun Project – Kathleen Mosher
Kathleen noted that on March 5, Marci Langevin will be hosting a Q&A discussion regarding the Pronoun Project, following worship. She also noted that we got a lot of forms back from people in worship, picking their pronouns, and she feels like it’s going very well. 


Concert with Julia Fundraiser – Rev. Beth
Rev. Beth made a motion that we allow the concert event on March 24 to hold a raffle. Terry seconded the motion. It was noted that it would be for gift baskets. Motion was approved.
    Rev. Beth noted that the concert will be on Friday, March 24, and showed a picture of the commemorative wine glasses that she ordered for the event. The ticket price will include a wine glass. It was asked why we sometimes drop the “Congregational” from our name, and it was answered that sometimes the whole name with “Congregational” doesn’t fit and it has to be abbreviated.


Board of Trustees – Ed Buckland and Gordon Brailsford
Gordon noted that he is getting prices on fixing various things, and windows are getting repaired this week. He also noted that they helped fix the lights on the lower level for the food pantry.


Board of Stewardship – Kathleen Mosher
Kathleen noted that they will be doing a pledge drive soon. They also have more ideas for fundraising, and welcome any ideas anyone else has.


Board of Christian Education – Krissy Cannizzo and Terry Reynolds
Krissy announced that the total amount raised for Heifer is $1304.36, and that all the groups made their goals of what they wanted to sponsor. The kids and the volunteers had a Heifer Helper celebration last Sunday. Jane noted that there were leftover items from the living gift market that they tried to sell during thrift store hours. 
    Terry noted that the Kids Church teachers for Lent would be Eric Stotts, Connie Chandler, and Terry. The Palm Sunday worship service will be done completely by the kids.


Board of Christian Outreach – Bill O’Neil
Bill noted that the Board of Outreach on behalf of CSCC donated money to the Heifer project and Blanket Sunday, and will be making a donation to earthquake relief for Turkey and Syria.


Music Committee – Ellen Crawford
Rev. Beth requested that we play the chimes in church again soon. 


History and Memorials Committee – Terry Reynolds
The committee will once again be selling Easter flowers in memory of loved ones, which will decorate the altar. Orders will be taken on the last three Sundays of March. 


Women’s Guild & Fellowship – Jane O’Connell
The next meeting is on March 1, and Rob and Beth Basler will be presenting a slide show and telling stories of their experiences on the Maine coast.


Central Closet Thrift Shop – Jane O’Connell
Jane noted that they are getting too many donations, and people aren’t following the rules – there are holes in clothing, and stains. They also leave bags outside the side door, and at the door of the thrift shop. They might have to consider limiting donations.


Other Business
• Beth thanked everyone and wanted to celebrate the love and support that has been extended to Jae
• Kathleen announced that there will be a kitchen and closet cleanout on March 11, 9-3, to go through all the stuff that’s stored away, and combine like items, supplies everyone can use.


Rev. Beth closed the meeting in prayer at 7:50pm.


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


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

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

Director of Video Evangelism: Paul Holmes
Treasurer:  David Sheibley 

Communications Coordinator: Diane Sheibley

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

Instagram: @centralsquarechurch 

Venmo: @cscc-ucc

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


Amazon Shopping!

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