Central Square Congregational Church, United Church of Christ

November 2021

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 



Bookends are a bit of a lost art. Those sturdy, sometimes ugly, sometimes beautiful, objects that hold up your stack of books. I was video-chatting with a colleague recently and noticed plants serving as bookends on her book shelf. It was elegant and beautiful. Later that same day I got to really start thinking about bookends. Bookends do their job. They hold the books in place and give them steady support. We could use some bookends sometimes too!

In the month of November, we’ll be bookending the month with 2 celebrations. The first bookend comes November 1st, All Saints Day. It is a day when Christians all over the world celebrate and remember the lives of those who have gone before us and paved the way on our journey of faith. These past two years, many of us have had loved ones die without the opportunity to fully celebrate their lives. Many of us have been unable to go to services or gatherings. In this pandemic time, we also recognize the sheer number of lives lost due to COVID (I just read that 1 in 500 Americans have died due to COVID! (Washington Post, Sept. 15, 2021) So on this bookend day, we remember, we mourn, we recognize the grief we have and will continue to endure.

The other end of the bookend will be on November 28th, the First Sunday of Advent. This day marks the beginning of a new church year and the beginning of the season of Advent! This is a season of Hope, Peace, Joy, Love, and Light. We thank God for new beginnings, for the opportunity to mark time, and the ability to look to the future with fresh eyes. Given all our world has been through, we anxiously await the season of Advent, and we hold on to the Hope that Love will carry us through difficult times.

Like an actual bookend holding up books, rituals in our religious life help to hold us up. The dictionary defines ritual as “a religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order.” And so, the act of sharing a meal, lighting a candle, saying a familiar prayer can hold us up when the world threatens to tear us down. Ritual can help make sense when there is no sense. Ritual can remind us that we are not the first to deal with whatever we are dealing with and to remind us that we are not alone.

So this month, I invite you to join with your faith family for these bookends! Like good bookends … you might wonder what is in the middle? In the month of November we will share in our ritual of Communion on the 7th, we’ll honor the work and journey of a Confirmand who is ready to stand before the church and declare his faith on the 21st, and we’ll give thanks to God for our abundance of blessings with an ecumenical Thanksgiving service before kicking off the season of Advent.  

Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow!!!
Rev. Beth


In-person worship is now available every week!

Masks are required regardless of your vaccination status, and other COVID protocols are in place for your safety and the safety of our community.


REMOTE WORSHIP ON FACEBOOK AND YOUTUBE will continue on Sundays even after in-person worship resumes.

• 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.


Mask Reminder

Remember that masks are required at all times inside the church building, regardless of your vaccination status or reason for being there. 


Church office hours are Monday - Friday, 10am - 2pm





Next Cabinet meeting is Wednesday, Nov. 17, 7pm

Monthly meetings of the church leadership are currently being held in the Fellowship Hall. All church members are also welcome to attend. Mask and social distancing protocols are observed.


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 the Pastor, call the church office at 508-697-6016. 


CSCC Senior Deacon
Deb Sorgman – debsorgman @ gmail.com

CSCC Care Team
Carol Chaffee
Phoebe Hogg
Bev Mitchell

John Scott

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. COVID protocols are in place and adhered to for the safety of all. 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 or phone (below) and arrangements will be made for you.



Dear 8th to 12th Grade Students and Families,

We are planning a Service Trip to Philadelphia, PA for the week of June 26 - July1. We are working with the YouthWorks organization again and we are looking forward to renewing our practice of sharing our time and resources.

We will have a meeting at the church on November 7 at 11:15a.m. to discuss details of the trip and to brainstorm/plan fundraising ideas as we will not be able to count on our usual events. If you could let the church office know if you (student and one adult) are planning to attend the trip and/or the meeting so we can make sure we find a space that will accommodate our numbers. But even if you forget to RSVP, please come anyway if you're interested, and bring interested friends.

I am very excited to resume our tradition of service. These trips have been life changing for many who have attended.

I hope to see you on November 7.

Anne Malmquist


The Women’s Guild is Offering a Special Meeting in November

All women of the church are invited to join the Guild for a special meeting offered by Rev. Beth. The meeting will be held in the Fellowship Hall at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, November 3. (Masks required.)


Defining Your Legacy: An End-of-Life Planning Discussion with Rev. Beth 

Death — we fear it, we tell jokes about it, and we work to stay healthy in order to postpone it. However, we usually don’t discuss it.  

Death is a topic we should not be afraid to talk about because it truly is a part of life. Our hope for this event is that people will leave the discussion with a positive outlook on life by sharing their personal feelings and experiences. This is a safe, respectful space where we will look at writing an obituary, discuss options for final disposition, share ideas for your own funeral/remembrance ceremony, and maybe even share our curiosity, fears, and stories. Interesting conversations are guaranteed! 

Rev. Beth will cover the following:
- Write down wishes for your final disposition. What do you want to happen to your body when you die? (She’ll also give a brief intro to the 5 Wishes Program.)
- Write your own obituary. Doing so will give you some control over how you are publicly remembered. (She’ll include a guide for help.)
- Plan for your funeral/ remembrance ceremony. Who are your chosen speakers? What music would you like to include? Write down and share your vision. (There will be a handout that will help folks plan this aspect.)
- Create a message for loved ones. Write a letter, make a video, whatever you think will be most meaningful for the people who matter most. 


Following the presentation, we will conduct the business portion of the meeting.

Please join us for this special topic.

Sandy Alley and Bette de Koning




“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:35 


Caring for One Another – Part 2

Pastoral care is one of the most powerful ways we can demonstrate the love of God to one another. It must not be left to the minister and elders alone; God calls all of us to love each other. How well we care for each other will influence how well we care for our neighbors. The following ideas will help you build or strengthen the culture of caring in your church.

Caring for others means responding to what they need, which requires that we listen carefully and ask good questions. When someone is telling you about something that is going on in their life, listen without interrupting, judging, or jumping in to fix or solve. Do not assume that you know what someone else needs, even if you’ve been through similar circumstances. Respond with compassion and, if appropriate, ask what form of support they would appreciate from the church: “I hear you saying that this situation is leaving you feeling _______ . Is there anything that we can do to support you?” 

Caring for others is as much about “being” as it “doing.” Sometimes it is important to put aside our desire to be helpful and instead focus on simply being present. Remember to ask if your presence is something the other person would find helpful before showing up. While you are by their side, take the cue from them as to what they need. Sometimes spiritual practices, such as prayer or scripture reading, will be helpful. Other times, just your presence as they go about their everyday life will be what they need.


*Taken from “Ways to Be a Caring Church Community” published by The Presbyterian Church in Canada/EQ4


Submitted by Carol Chaffee/Care Team Member

Please join us for worship 
(in person or online)

Nov. 7 - Communion Sunday
Nov. 14 - Sunday Worship
Nov. 21 - Thanksgiving Sunday & Confirmation Sunday
Nov. 23 - GBIC* Worship service
(*Greater Bridgewater Interfaith Council)
Nov. 28 - 1st sunday of advent


Advent Book Study
Sat. Dec. 11

In Dusk, Night, Dawn, Anne Lamott explores the tough questions that many of us grapple with. 

We begin, Lamott says, by accepting our flaws and embracing our humanity. Drawing from her own experiences, Lamott shows us the intimate and human ways we can adopt to move through life’s dark places and toward the light of hope that still burns ahead for all of us.

Read Lamott’s book on your own, then join Rev. Beth for an exploratory discussion on Saturday, Dec. 11, at 9am.




The Bridgewater Business Association is proud to announce that Christmas on the Common will be held on Sunday, December 5, 12noon - 4pm. 

Please take note of a few logistics:
• The streets along the common will have limited to no access between the hours of 10am and 4:30pm. (Be aware for worship that morning.)
• There will be no indoor tables this year, so there won’t be vendors in our Fellowship Hall, but stay tuned for information on what surprises we might have in store for our Hall and our front lawn!
• CSCC will be open all afternoon for guests to use our bathrooms as needed.



The CSCC Board of Christian Outreach has recently facilitated the donation of $500 each to Church World Service relief funds for Haiti, Afghanistan, and Hurricane Ida. They also directed $200 to go to the local organization, The Crayon Project, which provides art supplies with diverse skin tones to schools and organizations all over the country (see article in the October 2021 issue of Steeple Sounds).

The Neighbors in Need offering in October collected $75, which will be combined with the Outreach contribution of $200. This special mission offering supports ministries of justice and compassion in the U.S. through the United Church of Christ. 



Remember to ‘Smile’ while Christmas Shopping!

Remember that when you shop on Amazon, type “smile.Amazon.com” into your browser rather than just “Amazon.com”, and designate Central Square Congregational Church as the charity to benefit from your purchases. It costs you nothing extra, but the church gets a percentage of most of your purchases. And tell your friends, too! Contact the church office at office@csccucc.com or 508-697-6016 with questions or to help you get set up.


Anniversary Mugs are Still Available!

$10 each. Contact the church office for more information or to purchase yours. You might have to wait until the second shipment, but it won’t be long ‘til it arrives!



To make your reservation, CLICK HERE, or contact the church office.
Reservations due by November 8.



Save the Date!
Advent begins on Sunday, November 28 -- watch for information on our “Advent Workshop” event on Saturday, November 27!



Tell your friends! Share the event on Facebook!

And to make it all happen, if you are willing to do any of the following, we’d REALLY appreciate it!
• Donate to our attic treasures
• Make a crockpot of soup
• Make cookies, bread, or a pie (or 2)
• Make fudge or other fun candy creation
• Donate a gift basket (or have a local business donate one)
• Donate a case of water 
For more information, see below.


To sign up to donate, CLICK HERE.
This is the church’s BIGGEST fundraiser of the year, so we need your help! 
Thank you!




Let’s face it, people love homemade fudge. Make your favorite recipe  to donate to the fair. Other candy creations gladly accepted as well. Drop off donations:
• Thursday 11/4, 10-2 and 6-8pm
• Friday, 11/5, 10-2 
• Saturday,11/6, 8-9am


We aren’t having our eat-in lunch menu this year, but we will be selling to-go containers of homemade soups. Please consider making a crockpot of soup for us to sell. We looooove the wonderful, creative soups our church family makes! Soups should be dropped off warm on Saturday, 11/6, 8-10am. Crockpots will be cleaned and available for pickup  1-3pm, or during regular church office hours.



Please consider donating — or asking a local business to donate — a gift basket or gift card to our fair raffles. People love raffle items! Food-related and holiday-related baskets and gift cards are our favorite!  Baskets and gift cards can be dropped off anytime during church office hours, or Thu 11/4 or Fri 11/5.




We will be selling all types of pies (whole and half pies), cookies, breads, and any other baked good you’d like to contribute. Please bag cookies by the dozen. Deliver pies in non-returnable pans. Drop off items to the church Fellowship Hall on:
• Thursday 11/4, 10-2 and 6-8pm
• Friday, 11/5, 10-2 
• Saturday,11/6, 8-9am



The Church Fair is coming!! We are doing the Attic Treasures table and need items to sell. 

We are looking for lots of Christmas items (that includes sweaters, jerseys, socks, Christmas jewelry, etc.).  Everyone enjoys looking at these things.   

People are always looking for dishes, glasses, pictures, writing paper, games, puzzles, small lamps and small toys.  What we DON’T want - please no computers, large appliances, or clothing (other than Christmas).   

Drop off items to the church on: 
• Wednesday, 11/3, 10-2 - in the FIREPLACE ROOM
• Thursday 11/4, 10-2 and that evening at 6-8 in the fellowship hall
• Friday, 11/5, 10-2 in the fellowship hall  

We also need helpers to sell and for clean up. It’s a fun table and we have lots of laughs! Please call Bev at 508-697-2949 if you have any questions.   

Debbie Golob and Bev Mitchell

Happy Anniversary to Us!



The Mother’s Support Group was formed in the mid 1980s and continued through the mid 1990s and beyond.  This picture is an evening out for some of the first members of the group.  We travelled into Boston and enjoyed an evening out on the Duck Boat Tours and then enjoyed having a late dinner together.  From left to right in this picture from 1996:  Darlene and Larry Brown, Carol and Philip Chaffee, Pat and Jerry Bushika, Bill and Jane Hall, Steve Chandler (Connie must be taking the picture), Renee and Dave Anderson, Mary and Brad Barnsley.

We were a group of young mothers that really and truly listened and supported each other.  We would meet at each other’s homes and the kids would have play time and snacks and we enjoyed coffee and snacks. We also chaired the fair for many years, and raised money for the church through our Heavenly Delights cookbook sales.

These friendships are lasting to this day.

Carol Chaffee


Our 200th Year

Raising Fun(ds) with Quahogs


At 93, Anne Chaffee has a long history with Central Square Congregational Church. Her grandparents, Lizzie Dyer (paternal) and Edsil and Cora Stalker (maternal) lived in Bridgewater and when Anne was in the third grade, her mother and father, Mildred and Harry Dyer moved their family from Warwick, RI to town. Anne and her sister, Pearl, came to this church. 

A special memory she wanted to share for our series of current member memories focused on Quahog Chowder. In the middle of the last century, Central Square Congregational was known in these parts for its annual chowder making and serving. The fund-raising effort was popular throughout the area for a number of years.

The first year, however, the effort was an unfortunate flop. With no refrigeration, the big clams were stored upon delivery in the basement under cover. Oops. That advice was ill-gotten. Things improved with refrigeration the next year and beyond provided by Mildred Hatch who had a spare cooling place. 

Everything except the milk was donated. George Weygand’s father brought donated quahogs from the Cape. The Hanson family donated the vegetables. Anne’s late husband David headed up a crew of volunteers to shuck and cut up the quahogs the day before cooking and serving. Another group, including Anne, cut up the vegetables for the chowder.

The event was a success for a number of years during which the Rev. M. Walker Coe was pastor. Rev. Coe married Anne and David in 1950 when the sanctuary had two aisles. Anne and many other brides walked up the left aisle single and walked out the right aisle married. Music came from the now balcony area with sister-in-law Mary Chaffee providing their wedding accompaniment.

Thank you to Anne and her family for nearly a century of service and care for our congregation.


For the unitiated:
What’s in a name? The Native American name for the hard shell clam (Mercenaria mercenaria) is Quahog (also spelled quahaug, quohog, and others) and the name is unique to the Cape and Islands as well as Rhode Island. Elsewhere along the East Coast it is referred to as a “clam” Locally, the term “clam” is used to describe the soft shell or steamer clam (Mya arenaria). Just to confuse matters further, the younger, smallest (barely legal size) quahog is designated Littleneck.  Somewhat larger specimens of the same animal are called Cherrystone. Both are typically eaten on the half shell.
—from the Eastham, MA, website


On Cape Cod, clam chowder means quahog chowder. Quahogs are large hard-shell clams, also known as chowder clams, and they are abundant on the Cape. Quahogs have a wonderful flavor that makes a distinctive chowder. Chowder is a dish of humble origins and it often relies on “found foods” like fish you catch yourself or clams you dig. Clam chowder is like apple pie in that everyone has his or her concept of what it should be like (usually people like their mother’s version best).
—a recipe site


Pictured below:

(Left) Anne and David cutting the cake, April 30, 1950 

(Right) Roscoe Chaffee, Pearl Dyer, David Chaffee, Anne Chaffee, Mildred Stalker, Ruth Chaffee, April 30, 1950. 
(Photos courtesy of Carol Chaffee)


Anniversary Question:

What are your favorite Advent / Christmas memories of CSCC? (Pictures optional, but encouraged.) Send yours to the church office by November 15! 


Thanks for the photos: Paul Holmes, Barbara Morey, Beth Stotts, and Rachel Lawson.


The lockbox inside the time capsule, before it was reopened.


Rev. Beth with the Anniversary Committee: Barbara Morey, Gail Wright, Rachel Lawson, Lynn Pietras, (Rev. Beth Stotts), and Terry Reynolds.


The dress code was “Sunday Best” or “Period Costume”. Rev. Beth and Barbara Morey did an excellent job of illustrating both!


The Banquet

Approximately 40 of our CSCC family gathered at T. J. Smith’s Victorian House in East Bridgewater to celebrate and open the time capsule, which was last sealed in 1971.

“My favorite thing inside,” says Rev. Beth, “was a worship bulletin and the sermon from the 100th anniversary service, and a picture of Rev. Parker, who was the pastor at that time. I ended up putting the same inside — my sermon from the 200th anniversary worship service, the worship bulletin, and a picture of myself.”  We also put in a copy of a COVID vaccination card and a mask, our COVID policy, our Open & Affirming statement, some mission trip photos, and other remembrance items.


CSCC Cabinet Meeting – Minutes

October 20, 2021 at 7pm in person


The meeting was called to order at 7:04 by Anne Malmquist, Moderator.


Cabinet members in attendance: Rev. Beth Stotts, Pastor; Anne Malmquist, Moderator; Dave Sheibley, Treasurer; Diane Sheibley, Clerk; Gordon Brailsford & Ed Buckland, Board of Trustees; Bill O’Neil, Board of Christian Outreach; Terry Reynolds & Barbara Morey, History & Memorials Committee; Ellen Crawford, Music Committee; Sandy Alley, Women’s Guild & Fellowship

Also present: Deborah Lancaster, Congregational Administrator


Rev. Beth opened the meeting with a devotional.


Diane Sheibley did the roll call and verified that a quorum was present.


September Meeting Minutes
The minutes from the September meeting were reviewed. Dave Sheibley motioned to accept the minutes. Ellen Crawford seconded. The minutes were approved without any changes.


Pastor’s Report [also see written report] – Rev. Beth Stotts
Rev. Beth reported that she’s spent a lot of time preparing for the 200th anniversary events, and thanked all who participated and organized them. She noted that she would really like to see a Christmas pageant this year, so she contacted a number of families with children in the church, and they all agreed that they would like that as well. So she found a script with 6 scenes, each of which could be video recorded by different families/groups, and can be played as the pageant. Coming up on Oct. 31 is the All Saints service, followed by a Halloween-themed gathering on the front lawn, where there will be candy and storytelling. All are welcome to come, and costumes are encouraged. She has also been working with local clergy on doing joint events. She attended the virtual Super Saturday and went to some great sessions.


Treasurer’s Report [also see written report] – David Sheibley
Dave reported that revenues are below budget by about 7%, which isn’t too bad, considering we haven’t held any fundraisers yet. Expenses are running a bit below budget as well, although not as much.


Congregational Administrator’s Report [also see written report] – Deborah Lancaster
Deborah reported that the Lion’s Club meetings (a new group in our building) will be starting in November, as well as a new book club. She has been getting turkey dinner reservations, too. She needed clarification on the group key deposits, which was provided. She’s been doing some publicity for the WG&F yard sale. She wanted to double check that it’s OK that groups use the front door of the church as well as the Church St. door. The answer is yes, as long as they lock it up after they’re done.


Food Pantry Report [also see Jack’s written report] – Bill O’Neil
Jack filed a written report, and Bill added a few comments. Bill reported that the last few weeks provided a slight uptick in people using the pantry, although no one came to October’s first Monday evening hours. They’ve picked up some turkeys, and Hanson Farm is generously storing them. They have had one family volunteer to drive food to those who need it, and a volunteer to take the cardboard recycling.


Building Project/Historical Church Building Committee – Barbara Morey
Barbara has been speaking to the woman in Rhode Island who is taking over the work on the deed restriction from Brian Pfeiffer. The CPC has agreed to pay her for it, even though she’s more expensive than Brian, although they have been unreachable for written confirmation of that agreement. The CPC and the woman in RI agreed that it would save us a lot of time and effort to purchase that paperwork that Brian Pfeiffer did toward this project before he resigned, at the cost of $3500. Next Wednesday is the next CPC meeting.

Gordon Brailsford noted that the congregation should be made aware of how long it takes, and how restrictive the deed restriction is going to be. Also, the meeting between the Trustees, the Moderator, and the Historical Church Building Committee has not yet taken place.


Christmas on the Common – Diane Sheibley
Diane reported that the Bridgewater Business Association is moving forward with having their annual Christmas on the Common event this year, to be held on Sunday, December 5, 12-4. They will not be hosting indoor tables this year, so will not need to use our Fellowship Hall. “We can do whatever we want with our building” in conjunction with the event, although they ask that we do not sell/give away hot chocolate or hot dogs, as other groups will be doing that. Diane suggested that we have our building open and the bathrooms available; and thought it likely the church crafters would have their items available for sale. Rev. Beth wants to set up a Christmas photo booth again like she did last year, and have it available for Christmas on the Common. Maybe also a storytime? Maybe have advent crafts available for any child who wants to do one?


Church Fair and Annual Turkey Dinner – Diane Sheibley
Diane noted that the church fair is on Saturday, November 6, 9am-2pm. They are hoping to have most of it outside, but it all depends on the weather. They will make the decision a couple of days prior. If they can’t have it outside, they will have it in the Fellowship Hall and the fireplace room. There won’t be pie night, nor a sit-down lunch service, although they will be selling takeout homemade soups for lunch. They are looking for volunteers to donate crock pots of homemade soups, baked goods including pies, attic treasures, and homemade candy. 
The Turkey Dinner Takeout event is on Sunday, November 14. Reservations are required, and are due by November 8. You can contact the office, or visit the online registration page, accessible through the events page on the website.


Other Business:
* Rev. Beth talked about the importance of the Minister’s Discretionary Fund, a fund she uses to help people that come to her in dire financial need. It is currently very low or out of money. She asked if anyone had any ideas on how to fund it efficiently. The Board of Christian Outreach said they would make a contribution to it, as they have in the past. Dave Sheibley suggested that perhaps a small percentage of the revenues that are earmarked for Outreach could be designated to the fund, and/or that we could do a special collection on a Sunday. Rev. Beth might reach out to Bridgewater Business Association members to see if they might contribute. Perhaps the “giving tree” that is often available during the Christmas season could have items on it marked “rent”, “electric”, etc, along with dollar amounts, for people to give to the fund.

* Terry Reynolds noted that she has put in another order for mugs. She’s not sure when they will be here, but hopefully soon.

* Anne noted that the Steeple Sounds deadline was earlier in the week, but submissions can still be made through tomorrow, to Diane.

* The Advent Workshop is on the calendar for Saturday, Nov. 27, and Diane asked what that was going to look like this year. The answer is uncertain, but Rev. Beth said it might be similar to last year, with advent wreath ‘packets’ including greenery to build your wreath, and devotionals to use through Advent.

* Sandy Alley reported that the Women’s Guild yard sale was this Saturday (10/23), and it looks like they will start out inside due to the temperatures forecast, and then they’re hoping to move some of it outside as the sun comes out. Clothing will remain inside. They could use another truck and some help with cleanup if anyone is available. They will limit it to 25 people inside at a time. Everyone was also reminded that there are two more days to drop off donations, and they’d like to see more clothing come in. 

* Anne updated everyone on the youth mission trip planned for next June. There are 12 spots available, and we have to be creative about fundraising this year as we likely won’t be able to have the mission dinner, which was the biggest fundraising event. The trip this year is to Philadelphia.


Rev. Beth closed the meeting in prayer at 8:00.


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


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

Congregational Administrator: Deborah Lancaster
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.