Central Square Congregational Church, United Church of Christ

Steeple Sounds

November 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



November: A Month for Gratitude and Grief

In November, I often write to you about cultivating a practice of gratitude. As the days grow shorter and we prepare for Thanksgiving, it’s a natural time to count our blessings. We have so much to be grateful for, even in the midst of all of the challenges and heartbreak of 2020. This year, though, I also want to encourage you to make time for grief, even as you lean into your gratitude.

As we prepare to observe All Saints Day on November 1, my heart is particularly thinking about those we’ve loved and lost this past year. Some from COVID, of course, but also others who died for all the other reasons we humans die. I’m sure almost every person who is reading this has loved and lost someone this year. Even if you haven’t, I am certain you’ve loved and lost something this year. Because it’s been a year of grief. We’ve had to give up our regular everyday routines, contact with our loved ones. Grandbabies and great-grandbabies have arrived and maybe we haven’t been able to meet them yet. We have elders who are shut up in care facilities who have been isolated for over seven months now. We’ve lost jobs, homes, dreams for the future, long-anticipated trips, weddings, celebrations, graduations, and more. As we enter the holiday season, many of us are actively pre-grieving our family holiday gatherings and traditions, which will look different this year. Every loss compounds on top of the others and some days it feels like a major triumph just to get out of bed. Some days we don’t even make it that far.


Beloveds, if you’ve not yet taken time to sit with the grief of 2020, I hope you will. I know it can feel scary sometimes to open up space for that pain, so you might even try setting aside a limited amount of time to try it. Light a candle, grab a box of tissues, snuggle a pet. Find stillness in your body and spirit. Breathe in and out, in and out. Allow yourself to honor and name the things and people you’ve lost this year. It is good to remember. One of the gifts of our faith is that we can take our grief to God: knowing that God is big enough to handle it all, trusting that God will help us find a way through the pain and frustration and anger and resentment. We are not alone in our grief. God is with us. And God accompanies us in our gratitude and grief, in our joy and sorrow, in all that we do. Thanks be to God.

By Patricia McKernon Runkle
Slip off your needs
and set them by the door.
Enter barefoot
this darkened chapel
hollowed by loss
hallowed by sorrow
its gray stone walls
and floor.
You, congregation
of one
are here to listen
not to sing.
Kneel in the back pew.
Make no sound,
let the candles

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



Building Closure Extended until January 3, 2021*

* The building is available to the Bridgewater Food Pantry, 12-step support groups,

and small group gatherings under strict guidelines and protocols, by reservation only (see information below).




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



•  Even if you have a key to the building, please do not enter the building during this time unless you are part of a pre-approved building use group, at the time of the approved use. Each one of us that enters is a potential carrier, even if we’re not feeling sick. If you are tempted to say, "well, I'm sure that doesn't mean me.", IT DOES. If you have any questions or think that you should enter the building for any reason, call the church office at 508-697-6016 (phone is being answered remotely during the shutdown) or send an email to office @ csccucc.com.




Booth Video Productions and BTV Access Corporation team up to bring you livestream productions of our services. 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 that we are broadcasting on our website homepage, www.csccucc.org.You can watch weekly sermons live on YouTube courtesy of Paul Holmes and Booth Video (search Central Square Congregational Church).



Caring for our Community

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 
(the church phone is being answered remotely during the shutdown)

or email her at csccpastor @ hotmail.com


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


CSCC Care Team
CentralSquareCareTeam @ gmail.com
Carol Chaffee
Phoebe Hogg
Bev Mitchell

John Scott

Rev. Beth Stotts




The Bridgewater Food Pantry, hosted by CSCC, will remain open its usual days and times (Thursdays, 10am-1pm, first Mondays of the month, 6-8pm), although with slightly different format to respect the crucial physical distancing. 

Precautions have been put in place so that patrons will not come in contact with each other during their visit. If you have lost your job or have kids at home from school and need some assistance with food, please feel welcome to go (Bridgewater residents only). 

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



Thanksgiving Worship Service

An ecumenical Thanksgiving service will be broadcast on BTV several times during the week of November 23. Watch our social media and website for times and the link to use.

Please note: The CSCC office staff will be unavailable on Wednesday, November 11 in observance of Veterans' Day.

The office will also be closed November 26-27 for Thanksgiving.

November’s Women’s Guild meeting will feature Chris Ventura, one of our own guild members. She will be presenting a program with doTerra Essential Oils. “Make Over Your Medicine Cabinet with Essential Oils”. She will be giving us helpful ideas on how to boost our immune systems with specific oils instead of all the medicines and remedies we have in our medicine cabinets. 

Remember this will be a Zoom meeting and will take place on November 4 at 6:30 p.m. I know a lot of you may not have attended a zoom meeting before but Ellen in the church office will be sending us the information you will need to have in order to “attend” the meeting and I will forward it to all of you. It’s pretty easy so don’t be discouraged!  Especially because I think this will be the “new normal” for some time to come. 

Sandra Alley, Bette de Koning

CoPresidents, WG&F



Advent Book Study

Advent begins on November 29, and Reverend Beth’s Advent book study book will be “Christmas in the Four Gospel Homes” by Cynthia M. Campbell. Amazon has this to say about it:

“How might a house look for Christmas based on what each Gospel says about it? In Christmas in the Four Gospel Homes, beautiful illustrations from architect Kevin Burns reimagine each of the four Gospels as a ‘house,’ which the church visits at Christmas. In each section, Cynthia M. Campbell reflects on the distinctive perspective of the birth of Jesus or the incarnation offered by each Gospel. Suitable for individual or group study, Christmas in the Four Gospel Homes creatively reimagines the season and inspires new and exciting reflection for Advent.”

Join Rev. Beth on Saturday, December 12 at 10am in the Fellowship Hall for a lively discussion on the book. Reservations are required, and masks and physical distancing, along with the other building use protocols, will be observed. Contact the office for your reserved seat!





Community and Faith


God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost May All Be One Many Hands Make Light Work Unity Sharing of Ourselves Honesty Truth Justice Love

What is, Central Square Congregational Church, United Church of Christ?

Thank you for being part of our community!


Carol Chaffee
CSCC Care Team


Congratulations on the baptism of Hadley Marie Becker

Child of Ross and Joanna Becker
Oct. 11, 2020



Did you catch Rev. Beth making Fall paintings with broccoli and apples during the October 18th service? How did yours come out? Remember, you can always go back and watch our livestreamed services on YouTube!


Sunday, October 18 - CSCC Congregational Meeting

Thank you to all of the people who attended and contributed to the congregational meeting on October 18. The motion to pay Gale Associates the amounts owed passed, with 26 in favor, 3 against, and 1 abstention. 



We’re delighted to announce our continuing music programs. We are truly honored to have all of these talented musicians sharing their gifts with our community. All services (unless otherwise noted below) will be streamed live at 10am, on our YouTube channel and will be on Facebook live. Feel free to join in the live chat and let us know that you’re watching!

November 1st - Soprano Kelley Hollis of Juventas New Music Ensemble performs a special All Saints Day program featuring a world premiere of a new setting of “For All the Saints” by composer Delvyn Case III. The program will also include works by Florence Price, Rosephanye Powell, Samual Barber, Leonard Bernstein, and Aaron Jay Kernis.
November 8th - Tenor Nate Ramsayer (section leader of the First Parish Church in Lexington, Unitarian Universalist, and member of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus) performs Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Mache dich, mein Herze, rein,” from St. Matthew Passion.
November 15th - Mezzo-soprano Sarah Heltzel, an opera star who has performed leading roles with Seattle Opera and New York City Opera, performs Gioachino Rossini’s “Fac ut portem” from “Stabat Mater.”
November 22nd - Our church’s own Cameron Shave, teenage trumpet player and composer, will perform a joyful Thanksgiving program.

December 4th, 6:30-8pm - Julia Scott Carey leads a Christmas Carol Marathon fundraiser, performing piano arrangements of beloved Christmas songs. Contact our church office to help our fundraising efforts by pledging a small donation per hymn, or by requesting a carol. All funds raised will support the programs and ministry of our church.

December 6th - Stephanie Riley and Greg Mancusi-Ungaro of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus will perform Christmas duets and excerpts from Handel’s Messiah.
December 13th - Trumpeter Cameron Shave returns for a rousing Christmas program.
December 20th - Soprano Rose Hegele, contemporary music specialist and member of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, along with our church’s own 10-year-old Cristianna Ciaramitaro, will perform Christmas solos and duets, including works by Samuel Barber and Benjamin Britten.


A huge shoutout to our Minister of Music, Julia Scott Carey for these musical blessings. None of them would be possible without her considerable efforts and talents. 


Attic Treasures Yard Sale!

The Attic Treasures Yard Sale is SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31! Tell your friends and neighbors! (Rain date, Sunday, November 1)



Yard Sale Donations Needed!

We need stuff to sell! Our favorite items: household & kitchen items; clean linens; sports items; puzzles, toys, and games; home décor & collectibles, small tools. 

ALSO: CHRISTMAS-THEMED CLOTHING (ties, sweaters, dresses, hats…children, adult, and pet) and other holiday-themed items and decorations.
Please, no furniture, electronics, TVs, books, or clothes (except Christmas-themed).

Donation dropoff is FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 12noon-3pm, and 6-7pm. If none of those times work for you, contact the church office for other arrangements.



A pumpkin door hanger, fall and Christmas table runners, a beautifully designed Creche to place under your Christmas tree, decorative jars filled with candy, cork reindeer and snowman to hang on your tree, these are only a few of the items available to you. 

On Saturday, November 7th between 10am and 1pm look for the Holiday church fair crafters on the front lawn of our church. In case of rain join us on Sunday, November 8th following church until 2pm. You will have an opportunity to shop for your fall and Christmas needs and run into some of your church friends you have not seen in a while. We do ask you to wear a facemask and to follow safe distancing. 

Oh, did I mention we also have a yo-yo garland and a snowman made of wood to place on your porch or use as a doorstop? We also have… never mind. We will share more later. We look forward to seeing you on the 7th or 8th of November.

The Holiday Crafters – Mauree Bundock, Connie Chandler, Jane O’Connell, Lynn Pietras, Gail Wright, Ginny Young, and Terry Reynolds




Carol Chaffee and David Hanson from Hanson Farm have generously offered to set up a Harvest Table featuring cranberries, preserves, popcorn, gourds, squash, ornamental corn, pumpkins and more! Come by and get all of your Fall necessities!

Physical distancing and face masks will be required. 



Grab ‘n Go! Come by the side door of the church (on Church St.), and pick up a delicious, homemade pie. Flavor availability will be first come, first serve. Will you take an apple pie home? How about pumpkin? Maybe one of each?

Physical distancing and face masks will be required.  



We know we can’t all gather in the Fellowship Hall and have pie and coffee, and have a nice chat. (And then go up front for another piece of pie of a different kind!) 


HOWEVER! We can do what we can do, which is gather online! Contact the church office for an invitation to the ZOOM gathering (you’ll need to have the link). Then on Saturday, November 7, cut yourself a piece of your favorite pie, grab a cup of coffee or tea, and log into the Zoom Pie Night. You’ll be put into a “breakout” room with half a dozen other folks, to visit and chat… just like on Pie Night at the Fair!



We might not be able to hold our annual turkey dinner inside the building this year, but we can still eat yummy food! Boston Tavern in MIddleborough is doing the cooking, and we are doing the eating. 

Orders must be received by FRIDAY, NOV 6. You can place your order by CLICKING HERE, or by calling the church office phone at 508-697-6016, M-F, 9am to 1pm. 


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




CSCC Cabinet Meeting – Minutes
October 21, 2020 via Zoom teleconferencing


The virtual meeting was called to order at 7:05.


Cabinet members in attendance: Rev. Beth Stotts, Pastor; Anne Malmquist, Moderator; Denise Molinari, Vice Moderator; Dave Sheibley, Treasurer; Diane Sheibley, Clerk; Lynn Pietras, Board of Deacons; Ed Buckland, Board of Trustees; Bill O’Neil, Board of Christian Outreach; Ellen Crawford, Music Committee; Barbara Morey, History & Memorials Committee; Gail Wershing (Growth)
Also present: Gordon Brailsford (Trustees); Ellen Atherton, Congregational Administrator; Rich Sullivan, Sexton; Paul Holmes, Director of Video Evangelism


Rev. Beth opened the meeting with a prayer.   


Rev. Beth did a check-in with everyone’s spiritual condition, and encouraged everyone to “check in with yourself” often.


Diane Sheibley did the roll call.


The minutes from the September meeting were reviewed and there were no objections or corrections. Lynn asked for clarification on the PPP loan from the government, and whether that was actually a loan. Dave answered that technically, yes, the program was a loan program, but that it would be forgiven if it was used for payroll. The minutes were approved.


Rev. Beth called attention to her pastor’s report. She noted that the Advent book study book was chosen. She attended a workshop on Christmas via Zoom, and hope we can incorporate some creative ways to bring it to life. She proposed working together with other local churches to perhaps, at 7pm on Christmas eve, have people and families light candles, go outside, and sing silent night in true Christmas eve tradition. Worship will be livestreamed as well.

    There were 67 pastoral care visits in the last month. Rev. Beth is working with the other local churches on a virtual ecumenical thanksgiving service. And remember, Advent is right around the corner! Begins Nov. 29.


Dave Sheibley noted that we’re running below budget on revenues, as expected. We’re at about $11,000 under budgeted revenues.  


Ellen reported on the August fundraiser – the bottle and can redemption project – and noted that a little over $100 was raised. She also noted that the September online auction was not successful, and we got no sales from it. Luckily, it didn’t cost us anything as we only had to pay if we sold something.

Ellen reported that most of the calls that come in to the office are still asking about the food pantry. She has also been spending her time on assisting Rev. Beth and the care team, and keeping up with online work like updating the website and Facebook and the database. She has put out hand sanitizer and wipes in every room through the church in anticipation of more meetings taking place. She noted that the stand-alone hand sanitizer stations were rather pricey, but it would be nice to have some around and convenient. If anyone knows of a source for cheaper ones, please let her know.


Lynn and Ed reported that the task force finished phase one of their job, and are recommending that we reopen the building to small group meetings (20 people or fewer), with strict protocols and requirements. Groups would also need to have all attendees noted on the Contact Trace Signin sheet, and complete a cleaning checklist when they are done.

    They will leave it up to the sexton as to whether he wants to remove all unused chairs (the ones beyond the 20 max allowed) to another room so that they are not used, as well as perhaps the tables. Discussion ensued about the possibility of the Sunday night AA group resuming meetings, but they are a very large group. The guidelines also say that tables can only be used with special permission, and it was determined that Ellen will handle that permission when they call to schedule the meeting. A trash can will be put in the fellowship hall, and Rich will handle removal of the trash from the room.

    Diane Sheibley moved to accept the proposed policy and guidelines, and Ellen Crawford seconded. The vote was unanimous to approve.


Barbara Morey noted that she had very good news. The town financial committee has approved the $200,000 grant that the CPC recommended, and the town council voted unanimously to approve it as well. A week from tonight the CPC will meet and tell us when the funds will be available to us. Barbara will talk to them about the deed restriction that is required of the deal, namely that we cannot sell the building unless we pay back the grant amount. There is a fee associated with the deed restriction, and it was mentioned that we should see if the town is going to pay for that. Barbara has informed Gale Associates of the progress, and that work likely won’t be starting until after January 1.

    Barbara also reported that the grant writer continues to apply for additional grants, and that the committee is also working on sending letters to local businesses soliciting donations. The grant writer’s fees are being funded by targeted donations and sales of donated items. He is working in 10-hour increments (at $40/hour).

    Gordon noted that the next step is for the town to draw up a grant agreement. The congregation should likely need to approve the deed restriction. He noted that the Trustees need to work very closely with Barbara and the HCBC on the actual work to be done as there are many details of the work, and financial decisions in the choices. We need to make sure we also have a procedure in place for processing/approving Gale Associates invoices. Barbara offered to invite several reps from Gale Associates to a conference call to talk about process and answer questions.


 Diane Sheibley noted the fundraising events taking the place of the church fair this year:
·    Yard sale on the front lawn of the church on Saturday, Oct. 31. Donation items can be brought to the church on Friday, Oct. 30. Rain date is Sunday, Nov. 1.
·    Pie sale, craft sale, Hanson Farm harvest table (all outdoors) on Saturday, Nov. 7, weather permitting.
·    Turkey Dinner Takeout, catered by Boston Tavern in Middleboro, on Thursday, Nov. 12. Preorders are required. Preordering deadline is Friday, Nov. 6.


·    Diane noted that the deadline for the November steeple sounds was passed, but items can still be accepted in the next day or two.
·    Rev. Beth noted that All Saints worship will be celebrated on Sunday, Nov. 1. She has the list of loved ones that were lost this year, but if you have anyone you’d like added to the list, just let her know.
·    Bill O’Neil (Outreach) noted that the Thanksgiving baskets for those in need will be happening this year as usual, with COVID-safe protocols in place. Distribution is the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. They expect to give out 60-80 turkey dinner baskets.
·    Rich Sullivan (sexton) noted that he has not had to order cleaning supplies in quite some time, but is nearing the time he needs to do so, especially with the building opening up to small group meetings. He will keep the expense as low as he can.
-- He also noted that a box was delivered to the church and put inside the side door, but it doesn’t belong to the church. It’s someone else’s along Church St., possibly the apartment building across the street. Ellen will look into it tomorrow.


Rev. Beth closed the meeting with a benediction. The meeting adjourned at 8:20.


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


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

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

Congregational Administrator: Ellen Atherton,  office @ csccucc.com
Sexton: Rich Sullivan
Minister of Music: Julia Scott Carey 

Director of Video Evangelism: Paul Holmes
Treasurer:  David Sheibley 
Office telephone:  (508) 697-6016
Website:  www.csccucc.org
Facebook pages: facebook.com/csccuccbridgewaterma (main page),
facebook.com/groups/801550253194149 (youth page)

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