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May 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

CSCC Beloveds,

I love the wide variety of church music we hear each week in worship, as I know you do too! And I believe there is a place for all of it in our congregation. But please allow me today to “geek out” a bit about traditional hymns for just a moment - I promise there is a point.

Throughout the 15th and 16th centuries it was common for Christians to learn new hymns by singing new texts to familiar tunes with a matching meter. This is why we now have many hymns with different words but to the same melody. For example, the tune FINLANDIA provides the melody for both “Be Still My Soul” and “This is My Song” - both of which can be found in our hymnals at church (#488 and #591).

One of my favorite springtime hymns is actually a Christmas tune. “Now the Green Blade Rises” is set to the French NOEL NOUVELET from the 15th century. The original Christmas carol shouts “sing we now of Christmas!” and tells of shepherds in shock at the sight of angels, a virgin birth in a dusty barn, and stars that seemingly appear out of nowhere yet somehow light the night. One miraculous sight after another.

The words for “Now the Green Blade Rises” (#238 in our hymnal), on the other hand, tell of a much quieter and far more mundane miracle - that of a single stalk of wheat coming back to life after an impossibly long winter:

Now the green blade riseth, from the buried grain,
Wheat that in dark earth many days has lain;
Love lives again, that with the dead has been:
Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.


Bulbs have been bursting before our eyes, worms are turning over last year’s soil, blades of grass are waiting to spring back to their brightest greens. As witnesses to this, we experience hope.


When our hearts are wintry, grieving, or in pain,
Jesus' touch can call us back to life again,
Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been:
Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.


The promise of resurrection is on display all around us, year after year after year. The persistent drumbeat of God’s “Yes” in a world of “No” never ceases. But empty tombs are quieter than full stables. I give thanks for the quiet persistence of resurrection, the promise born anew more often than grains of wheat sprout in dark soil, ready once again to offer food in a world that thirsts and hungers for justice.

My prayer for you this spring is that you are greeted by the amazing promise of resurrection wherever you are, and that you are reminded ours is a God of second chances, surprising springs, and new life.


In Christ,
Rev. Beth

Tuesday thru Friday, 9am-1pm

or by appointment

Please note that the office will be closed May 17-19, and possibly the week of May 22, as our office manager is having surgery.




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, May 17, 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  *  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



May 7, 14, 21 (9:15)


May 21 at 10am



Community Breakfast at CSCC
Sunday, May 7 and May 21, 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 : May 7


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.

Thank you very much for all of your donations for the rummage sale. We also appreciate all the shoppers that came and bought stuff. We raised over $2,300 for our service work!

We are holding our annual banquet on Wednesday, May 3, at Boston Tavern Middleboro.

Jane O'Connell, Co-President


Recognizing our Gifts, our Offering, our Offertory, our Blessing of Gifts

Up until our Stewardship Sunday on March 26, our recognition of gifts, offering, offertory and blessing had been pretty much absent from worship since the pandemic. Common sense told us that we should not be passing an offering plate and sharing germs with one another.

But it’s time to bring back this act of worship and we have, but it is different.

How is the collection of money an act of worship?


From Lifeway.com – “How Giving is an Act of Worship”

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21). Our giving should be viewed as a part of our worship to the Lord. If we are just giving to mark off a line on our spiritual checklist, we are merely involved in charity and we are missing out on the great joy of being a cheerful giver. This idea of our giving being a part of our worship is expanded upon in 2 Corinthians 8-9 as the apostle Paul makes the following points.

1.    Those who follow Jesus should excel in the grace of giving.
2.    Giving is an expression of the love one has for Jesus.
3.    God loves willing and cheerful givers.
4.    A willingness to be generous in giving is more important than the amount given.
5.    Our giving will result in praise and thanksgiving to God.
6.    Our giving should be a natural response to God’s gracious gift to mankind.

As we move through worship –
• We prepare ourselves
• We invite the Spirit to join us
• We sing praise to God
• We ask for mercy
• We learn lessons
• We offer grateful praise
• We ask for prayers
• We share our gifts
• We share Communion
• We serve each other
• We go forth to serve the world


So, in conclusion, we may not physically pass an offering plate, but we do experience our giving as an Act of Worship. We are given this time to reflect on what we are able to give to God and give thanks for that ability to do so.

Carol Chaffee
Stewardship/Care Team



Lawn Mowing Needed

The church is in need of someone to mow the lawn weekly this spring and summer. Do you know someone who would do this as a donation to the church? Do you know a youth who needs community service hours who might be willing? Maybe you would be willing to sponsor the “lawn ministry” by contributing to the cost of the lawnmowing service? Please contact the church office or a Trustee if you have any information that can help.

Pentecost Sunday is New Member Sunday!


If you think you might be interested in becoming a member of Central Square Church, contact Rev. Beth or the church office for more info.

As part of implementing the newly adopted Constitution, a Nominating Committee has been appointed to develop a slate of officers and elected team members of the four new teams. If you feel called by God to serve, please contact Connie Chandler, Denise Molinari, or Deb Sorgman with the position you feel called to. All positions will be newly elected.

If you are still talking it over with God, here are some things to consider:
• Positions are one-year terms.
• All elected team members are not required to attend cabinet meetings, only one from each team.
• 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.


The following officers will be elected:
• Moderator
• Clerk
• Treasurer
• Assistant Treasurer
• Financial Secretary


The following team leaders will be elected: 
• Spiritual Engagement Team (3)
• Property and Finance Team (3)
• Congregational Engagement Team (3)
• Community Engagement Team (3)


As a reminder, here are summaries of each team’s role:
Spiritual Engagement Team: The responsibilities of the Spiritual Engagement Team will include such things as assisting in creating worship, administering sacraments, and developing and maintaining Christian education programs.

Property and Finance Team: The responsibilities of the Property and Finance Team will include such things as assisting in fiscal management, maintaining church properties, fundraising, and conducting business affairs of the church.
Congregational Engagement Team: The responsibilities of the Congregational Engagement team will include such things as fellowship, parish care, talent cultivation, and nominating elected members of the standing Teams. 

Community Engagement Team: The responsibilities of the Community Engagement Team will include things such as developing Christian outreach both locally and globally, developing programs for community outreach and connections, and strengthening our bond with the Wider Church.


For more detail on each team, refer to the team handbooks available HERE, or contact the church office.


The elections will be held at the Annual Meeting on the second Sunday in June, June 11th. This is also the budget meeting.

Do you have a graduating senior in the family? Or perhaps someone completing a certificate program? Let us know so we can recognize them in next month’s Steeple Sounds! 


Please send the following info to the office:
Graduate’s name
School/program graduating from
Plans for after graduation (short term, long term, or both)

Youth Group Nature Walk

All ages are invited to this Youth Group-hosted nature walk at Camp Titicut Reservation Trail in Bridgewater.

Snacks will be provided. The event will last about 1.5 hours. Parents are welcome to drop off their youth, or stay and participate. Please plan on meeting at the entrance to Camp Titicut (not at the church) at 11:30am. The entrance is on Beech Street in Bridgewater.

Youth -- feel free to invite your friends!

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



This is the date of our new annual meeting, at which time we will elect our officers and team leaders under the new Constitution, as well as approve our budget. In future years, this will also be the meeting where we share our annual reports and celebrate our accomplishments. Please plan on attending this important congregational meeting, immediately following worship.

New Nametags Are Here!

New nametags for anyone who turned in a pronoun form are done and now available and hanging in the entryway of the church. Even if you think you know that everyone knows what your pronouns are, please fill out a form so that we can make a new badge for you, with not only your chosen pronoun(s), but they're also two-sided, so when it flips around (as they always do), people will still be able to see your name! And we have new cords to replace the ribbons that were on the old nametags. CLICK HERE FOR THE PRONOUN FORM. It can be emailed (or just the info requested without the form) to the office or put in the Sunday collection plate.



Our outreach this month will focus on our local community. The Bridgewater Food Pantry housed here continues to be very busy supplementing Bridgewater residents with needed groceries. Thank you for your ongoing support. 

Here are a few suggestions to help out the Food Pantry this month if you are able buy any of the following items. These are goods that leave the shelves as fast as we can stock them: vegetable oil, cereal, spaghetti sauce, pasta other than spaghetti noodles, canned fruit, juice, shelf stable milk, coffee, and tuna. 

We would also like to thank all of the generous attendees of the Hanson Farm Easter sunrise service for their donations to the Bridgewater Food Pantry, which totalled more than $750.

Strengthen the Church Offering: 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 Pentecost Sunday, May 28, or your contribution can be sent to the church via US mail, or by clicking HERE, or via Venmo.


Calling all Uke-ers, or Uke-wannabes!


Rev. Beth will likely be bringing back her ukelele camp this summer, tentatively scheduled for the week of July 31, in the evening. All ages - all ability levels!

Stay tuned!

CSCC Cabinet Meeting - Minutes

April 19, 2023, 7pm

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


Cabinet members in attendance: Anne Malmquist, Moderator; 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; Barbara Morey, History & Memorials Committee; Jane O’Connell, Women’s Guild & Fellowship 
    Additional attendees: Connie Chandler, Lynn Pietras


Anne Malmquist opened the meeting with a devotion.


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


March Minutes
The meeting minutes from the March meeting were presented and reviewed. Dave Sheibley motioned to accept the minutes as written; Anne Malmquist seconded. The minutes were approved.


Pastor’s Report – Anne Malmquist from Rev. Beth’s written report
Anne noted that Lin Schuller’s memorial service was meaningful for the family and everyone in attendance. Rev. Beth had recently been in Nashville and participated in several rallies on gun violence, including a multi generational clergy event. It was very inspiring, and a meaningful cause to be behind.


Treasurer’s Report – David Sheibley
Dave reported that we had an OK month, not stellar. He had to take more money out of investments: $10k for operating funds, and $2,700 to fix the windows from the parsonage fund. He reported that we are on track with last year’s giving, although that’s a little disappointing since we had the 40 for $40k campaign and received pledges for about $20k in additional funds. The recent stewardship campaign has prompted some modest increases for the coming year.


Bridgewater Food Pantry – Bill O’Neil and Jack Melcher’s written report
The report shows the food pantry received $2600 in donations in the first quarter. The Easter sunrise service at Hanson Farm collected $762 for the food pantry. Bill noted that he picked up 25-30 bags of food from the Roche Bros. donation bins today. There has been an uptick in the number of food pantry patrons lately. There are a couple of new volunteers working at the pantry as well.


Historical Church Building Committee – Barbara Morey
They still have not heard anything from the town or Virginia Adams in RI. Barbara is going to ask Gina at the town to set up a meeting with Adams, Gina, Carlton Hunt, and our representatives, here at the church. If Gina doesn’t set it up, Barbara will. We need to know what the holdup is and be able to move past it.


Nominating Committee – Anne Malmquist
Anne announced that the Nominating Committee will be comprised of Connie Chandler, Deb Sorgman, and Denise Molinari. Anne will convene the first meeting. She will also announce in church that if anyone is interested in being an elected team leader, they can contact the committee. Some points to remember: * Elected team leaders do not need to do all the work of the team – they are to keep all the projects and missions organized, and report to Cabinet; * only one team leader from each team need attend cabinet, not all three; * team leader terms are only one year long.


Board of Christian Education – Terry Reynolds
Kids church will continue through May 22. Eric Stotts will be there every week for the little kids. Terry will be there for the older kids, along with various teachers.


History & Memorials Committee 
Anne Malmquist noted to the H&M Committee that there have been several gifts in Lin Schuller’s memory, so they might be thinking of how best to honor her.


Board of Trustees – Ed Buckland
The biggest issue at the moment is who will be mowing the lawn this summer. Bruce Maclay did it for many years, but is stepping down from the role. We might have to pay someone to do it, unless anyone knows someone who will volunteer. Please contact the Trustees if you do.


Women’s Guild & Fellowship – Jane O’Connell
May 3 is their annual end-of-year banquet, at Boston Tavern Middleboro. The rummage sale and to-go soups made $2,336. The guild recently voted that they will not be cleaning the church kitchen each month, but rather will do an extensive cleaning every September and March. They will create a list of the guidelines they use, and recommend to others, of what and how to clean it.


Central Closet Thrift Shop – Lynn Pietras and Connie Chandler
The thrift shop opened again on April 19 after being closed for two weeks. They have developed more efficient donation processing procedures, and will not be storing items they can’t use for the rummage sale (too much issue with finding storage space in the church). They are limiting what comes in. For the summer months, they aren’t sure what their schedule will be; it depends on what help they can get, and what they think the traffic will be.


The meeting was adjourned at 7:35pm.


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!)