. . .



June 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


“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, 
                to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” Acts 2:42


We are entering the season of Pentecost, the longest season of the church year, which begins on May 28 this year and ends November 19, the Sunday before Advent. During Pentecost we find that our readings in worship begin to move on from stories of the acts of Jesus, to the stories of the acts of the early church. Acts, written by the same author as the Gospel of Luke, follows the early Church as the new believers learn, grow, and share life together, gathering as a community shaped by the good news of Jesus.


I especially love this passage from Acts 2 for the way it so succinctly describes a rhythm of life that is familiar to us even today. Learning together, sharing in fellowship, eating and worshiping together - these are the joys of community! Through these actions we strengthen our bonds as siblings in Christ and co-workers in the Gospel. As we grow in relationship to one another, we find opportunities to give and receive care, support, encouragement, and joy.


You’ll notice as you flip through these pages that “fellowship” could very well be the theme of our community. Lots of opportunities for gathering together, learning & worshiping, and serving the community are available for people of all ages and interests. Whether you’ve been around CSCC for decades or have joined us within the last year, there is a place for you here!


As we spend time together and time with God, we give thanks for the gift of community. With so many people feeling isolated and divided these days, the bonds we cultivate in this place become even more important. Of course, community is not always easy - there are disagreements and differing opinions, misunderstandings and hurt feelings, even here. What good news it is, then, that the powerful love of God continues to draw us together and make us one.


In this season of Pentecost, may we celebrate all that God is doing in our midst.

In Christ,

Rev. Beth

Note new hours starting June 12:

Tuesday through Thursday, 9-1

or by appointment

Please note that the office will be closed May 31-June 9, as our office manager will be out on medical leave. Email or call if you need an appointment to see the pastor, or have a question.




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, June 21, 7pm

at the church

This is the annual calendaring meeting

If you have any items that you want put on the church calendar for the 2023-24 program year, please either submit them to the office ahead of the meeting, or come to the meeting to present them.



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  *  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.


See below for an update on donations needed.





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



June 4, 11, 18 (9:15)


June 18 at 10am


Thanks for a great breakfast year!

See you in the Fall!


A special note: the breakfasts are only made possible by a team of volunteers that do shopping, setup, cooking, serving, and cleanup. If you wish to lend a helping hand in the Fall in any of these capacities, please let the office know. It’s been a bit of a struggle this last year getting enough help, which strains those who do show up, and risks even being able to hold the event at all. If you are willing and able to give of your time once every 4-6 weeks (or more, if you’d like), we urge you to sign up. Even one or two Sundays every now and then, in one specific capacity, would be fine. If we have a solid team of volunteers, no one will have to work every time (unless they want to!).

Thank you for making this ministry possible!



Coins for Kids Church : June 4


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.


Celebrating 9 years of officially being an Open & Affirming Church

One More Plea...

We are getting ready to mail the Thank You notes to all the wonderful folks who made their annual pledge of monetary support to fund our church and its missions in the April Pledge drive. And that brought the question: Did some of our church colleagues forget to pledge?


If you forgot, or just procrastinated, there is still time. CLICK HERE to fill out the pledge form online, or to print one out and submit it directly to the office or in the offering plate on Sunday. Pledge forms can also be obtained from the church office.


The proposed budget is going to show a $40,000 deficit—again! We really need everyone to step up and make a financial pledge to support our church and our spiritual work in the world—local and beyond.


Some examples of how your pledge helps:
• A pledge of just $20 a week ($1000 for the year) would fund Kids Church for the full year.
• $15 a week would pay the water bill for a year.
• $40 a week keeps our Internet and website hosting going for a year.


Please, if you have not pledged, do so now. If you can increase your existing pledge, do so now.


Once again, we need 40 more folks pledging $20 or more a week, or 20 folks pledging $40 a week to fill this huge gap. (A note: $40 a week is the average this year.)


In love and faith that more will step up to keep us from again digging deeply into dwindling reserves,


Your Stewardship Team,
Kathleen Mosher, Carol Chaffee, Gail Wershing

PS -- remember, you need not be a church member to make a pledge.



Strengthen the Church Offering: June 4
(postponed from May 28)

The Strengthen the Church (STC) Offering reflects the shared commitment of people across the United Church of Christ to cooperatively build up the UCC. Conferences and the national setting equally share the gifts given by members and friends through their local congregations. The funds raised support leadership development, new churches, youth ministry, and innovation in existing congregations. By your generosity to this offering, you build up the Body of Christ.

As God calls our congregations to be the church in new ways, your generosity will plant new churches, awaken new ideas in existing churches, and develop the spiritual life in our youth and young adults. We will be receiving the STC offering on Sunday, June 4, or your contribution can be sent to the church via US mail, by clicking HERE (and specifying "Strengthen the Church" under "use this donation for"), or via Venmo.


Welcome to our New Members!

Nina Gabel-Jorgensen  •  Jamie Wells
Linda Chipman  •  Lisa Mackay

The Bridgewater Food Pantry at CSCC

The food pantry continues to be very busy with more food going out and families being served weekly. 

Besides monetary donations, here are a few suggestions of items we turn over very quickly. If you are able, please consider donating white tuna, ground coffee, paper towels, shelf stable milk, salad dressings, pasta other than spaghetti noodles, and spaghetti sauce. 

Thank you for your past and future contributions. 

Since September, Ginny Young, Dave Hanson, and I have hosted the after-worship coffee time in Fellowship Hall on the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Sundays each month. 

We are suspending coffee for June, July, and August, and hoping that others will take a Sunday to serve water and/or lemonade for a fellowship time after worship. This can be done very simply and out on the front lawn at the picnic table if weather permits. Feel free to contact me with a date that is good for you, or just simply be spontaneous and take the opportunity to serve others with after-worship fellowship and refreshment.

Connie Chandler 


PS — Please remember that if you set up a time of fellowship, you are also responsible for cleaning up after it, or finding someone else that will. We need to leave the space ready for the next event! Thank you!


The annual budget and election meeting will be held on Sunday, June 11, following worship in the sanctuary, at 11am.

• The Trustees will be presenting the proposed 2023-24 budget that has been accepted by Cabinet.
• The Nominating Committee will be presenting the slate of nominees for the leaders of the four new Teams, as defined in our new Constitution, which takes effect July 1. 

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 memebers.

All church members are requested to attend this important meeting.


The proposed budget appears later in this newsletter.


The Nominating Committee (Connie Chandler, Denise Molinari, and Deb Sorgman) will present the nominees for the following officers: Moderator, Clerk, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, and Financial Secretary. They will also present nominees for the following Team leaders: Spiritual Engagement Team (3), Property and Finance Team (3), Congregational Engagement Team (3), and Community Engagement Team (3). 

If you are considering expressing interest in being a part of one of these teams, speak to one of the members of the Nominating Committee for more information. Remember that: (1) Positions are one-year terms; (2) all elected team members are not required to attend cabinet meetings, only one from each team; and (3) as an elected team member, you are a conduit between the projects and the cabinet. You do not have to organize or be responsible for all of the projects of the team.


Voting will be available online.

The link to vote online will be on the home page of the church website from June 8-11. Voting closes at 2pm on June 11. 


This meeting will be livestreamed.

It will not, however, be available for playback later.


Central Closet Thrift Shop now has an item of the month. We are now offering hand crafted pillowcases created with specialized fabrics.

We have also added a sale section with lots of items at 50% off. There is something for everyone.

Donations are greatly appreciated. We are currently looking for new or gently used summer clothing, footwear, and decorative items, pocketbooks, jewelry, glassware, household items, linens, toys, books, puzzles, DVDs and CDs. No electronics.

Donations will be accepted on Wednesdays and Saturdays during shop hours, and limited to 20 items per visit. 

Thanks to all for supporting us in this mission to help the church.  We have been very pleased to have so many donations and so many customers. 

Connie Chandler, Jane O'Connor, Lynn Pietras, and Gail Wright


Do you Want to March in a Parade?

CSCC will be marching in the Bridgewater 4th of July parade, and you’re all invited to participate! All ages welcome. If you’re interested, contact Jane O’Connell or the church office.


Our building will also be open during the parade.


Kathleen Mosher has generously offered to make sure the building is open and the bathrooms are available to the public during the parade. 



If you’re marching (or even if you’re not), do you need a CSCC t-shirt?

CLICK HERE. Lots of colors and sizes to choose from.

The Bridgewater Communities for Civil Rights (BCCR) invite you to two flag raising events:


The PRIDE flag will be flown from June 1-14. Flag raising is on June 1 at 3:30pm, at the Academy Building.


The Town of Bridgewater has a diverse LGBTQ+ community who should be able to live without fear of prejudice, discrimination, violence, or hatred based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

The Town is committed to creating an inclusive, safe, and compassionate community through supporting its diversity and its LGBTQ+ community.


The JUNETEENTH flag will be flown from June 15-30. The flag raising is on June 15 at 3:30pm, at the Academy Building.


On June 19, 1865, enslaved African Americans in Galveston, TX were told they were free - 2 1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation. 

The Town of Bridgewater denounces any form of racism, discrimination, or intolerance as a threat to the safety and well-being of the public and has designated June 19th as a town holiday.


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.


Brynlee Compton is graduating from Bridgewater Raynham Regional High School and will be attending Endicott College in the Fall.


Eddie Doherty is graduating from TEC Connections Academy, and hopes to be going to college fulltime in the Fall of 2024.


Aiden Lybarger, nephew of Rev. Beth Stotts, cousin to Jae and Jo, and grandson of Kay Wheeler, is graduating from Brussels American School, and will attend college in Belgium this Fall.


Andrew McDermott is graduating Local 103 as a Journeyman Electrician. He will continue working for them in Boston.


Nathan McDermott is graduating with his Bachelor of Science degree from Massachusetts Maritime Academy, in International Maritime Business. He will be working for Suffolk Construction as a Project Engineer.


Dr. Ariana Rowell-Hanson, DNP, FNP, wife of Lukas Hanson, graduated with her doctorate from Boston College.


Jon Rucker graduated from Bridgewater State University summa cum laude with a degree in accounting and a minor in business and actuarial science. He has already begun his masters in accounting at BSU.


Ella Struzik is graduating from Bridgewater Raynham Regional High School, and will be attending George Mason University in the Fall, majoring in psychology.

CSCC Cabinet Meeting - Minutes

May 17, 2023, 7pm

The meeting was called to order at 7:05 by Anne Malmquist, Moderator.


Cabinet members in attendance: Anne Malmquist, Moderator; Rev. Beth Stotts, Pastor; David Sheibley, Treasurer; Diane Sheibley, Clerk; Gordon Brailsford and Ed Buckland, Board of Trustees; Bill O’Neil, Board of Christian Outreach; Terry Reynolds, Board of Christian Education; Kathleen Mosher, Board of Stewardship; Barbara Morey, History & Memorials Committee; Jane O’Connell, Women’s Guild & Fellowship 
    Additional attendees: Connie Chandler


Anne Malmquist opened the meeting with a prayer.


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


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


Treasurer’s Report – David Sheibley
Dave reported that we had a reasonably good month last month. We took in $15,000 in giving. We might not have to transfer any more money out of investments this fiscal year; we’re running on budget.


Bridgewater Food Pantry – Bill O’Neil and Jack Melcher’s written report
Bill added to the written report that they are spending more money than ever on food, and they might run out of money by the Fall. Dave noted that the dollar figures shown on Jack’s report aren’t accurate; it shows zero donations for the month of April, when in fact there were $1,426. Bill said he would mention it to Jack. Dave noted that he can ask him for actual numbers whenever he needs them.


Historical Church Building Committee – Barbara Morey
Barbara reported that she has not been able to get anyone involved in the project from the town or from the architecture firm to get back to her about setting up a meeting. The CPC meeting is next Wednesday.


Nominating Committee – Rev. Beth Stotts
Rev. Beth reported that she met with the Nominating Committee and that they’re doing really well. There are only two seats still open.


Fourth of July
Diane noted that in recent years we have made the building available to anyone watching the parade who wants to use the bathrooms, but she won’t be here on the 4th this year to open the doors. Kathleen Mosher volunteered to make sure the doors are open and then locked again before and after the parade, and direct folks as they need. Rev. Beth will do the paperwork involved in registering to march, but she will be out of town on that day. Jane O’Connell offered to organize anyone who comes that day that wants to march in the parade.


Pastor’s Report – Rev. Beth Stotts
Rev. Beth reported that pastoral care has doubled in the last month. She has been in touch with the elder care services at the senior center. They have many resources and she wished more people would take advantage of them. She has been helping to plan Kids Church for next year. Tomorrow night is ‘give back night’ at Black Hat Brew Works, where they will donate a percentage of all purchases made to CSCC. There are 4 new members joining CSCC on May 28. Looking ahead, there will be no in-person worship on July 16, but there will be streaming. It was decided not to do the Strengthen the Church collection on 5/28 as previously planned, but we will do it the following Sunday, 6/4. Also note that Sunday, June 25 is “Open and Affirming Sunday”. This June is also our 9th anniversary of voting ourselves officially open and affirming.


Proposed Budget – Trustees
The Trustees presented their 2023-24 proposed budget. It shows a deficit of $45,000. The Team budgets will be a bulk figure this year until we figure out how they should break out in the new structure. Diane noted that she is voting no on the budget without a specific strategic plan for fundraising. Without a plan that details exactly what fundraising projects we’re doing and when, and which total $45,000, we are always going to be in the position we are now and have been for several years, which is not sustainable. Dave Sheibley motioned to approve the proposed budget, and Ed Buckland seconded. Discussion ensued.

    The Trustees noted that no raises were given last year, and this year a modest 3% is proposed for the Pastor and the Minister of Music. Anne remarked that the first priority of the new Property and Finance team should be developing a strategic plan for making up the deficit. Maybe the conference has someone that can advise on fundraising or otherwise raising income? 

    Rev. Beth discussed marketing the church as a wedding venue. It could possibly bring in $500-1000 per wedding. She would be happy to work on such a plan.

    Dave will make the following changes to the proposed budget:
• Add $5000 of income for wedding venue rentals.
• Remove the golf tournament from the list of income, as it’s a zero item


Gail Wershing had emailed Anne with several suggestions that would raise money:
• Have a free will donation jar at coffee hour
• Actively promote renting our space to the community, such as work at home folks that might need a place to meet with business contacts (fireplace room)
• Cultivate sponsoring specific expenses in the church like Internet (in addition to pledging), sponsoring the heat in some creative way
• Do more pleas like 40-for-40k again this year, specifically to reduce the deficit

It was also suggested to partner with organizations and groups, like Bridgewater Pride.


A vote was taken to approve the budget as presented and amended, and present it to the congregation. 
    Yes = 9
    No = 1
    Abstain = 0


Other Business
• We have someone to do the lawn. They will charge $50 per mow. We have volunteers to do it for free if we had our own lawnmower.


The meeting adjourned at 8:40pm.


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!)