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December 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

Beloved in Christ,
For many of us, December is a month full of “I should” and “I have to.” We have our usual responsibilities at home, at work, or school. Perhaps there is even more to do than normal as students and educators face the end of a term and we all scramble toward the close of the calendar year. And then there is the joyful but exhausting work of the Christmas season: travel arrangements and holiday parties, Christmas decorations and gift-shopping. 

The church season of Advent, which starts four Sundays before Christmas (December 3rd this year), offers us an alternative. Where our society plays Christmas music starting the day after Thanksgiving (and in some places the day after Halloween!!!), Advent invites us to quiet our hearts and wait for Christ. Where our society sees December as a month-long shopping spree so we can shower one another with gifts, Advent calls us to turn away from consumerism and await the gift of the incarnation. Where our society says “speed up,” Advent says “slow down.”

Too often, though, Advent can feel like just one more “should,” an item on an ever-growing to-do list, or a guilt trip added to the franticness of our holiday preparations. But I wonder… what would it be like to experience the Advent season not as a chore, but as a gift? Here are some ways I might explore the gift of Advent this year, ways that might be helpful for you too:

“…let justice roll down like a river…”

Perhaps we could choose holiday gifts that help justice roll down. We could choose to stem the rising tide of consumerism, giving fewer and smaller gifts. We could choose fair-trade items produced by justly compensated workers, or gifts made by local artists. For the loved one who has everything, perhaps we could make a small charitable gift in their honor.

“…the people who have walked in darkness have seen a great light…”

Advent is all about waiting in darkness, yet we are constantly surrounded by glowing screens and illuminated light bulbs. Perhaps we could choose to “unplug” a bit in Advent, turning off the computers and televisions and lights, and spending a bit more time with the darkness.

“…be still and know that I am God…”

Even in the midst of the hustle and bustle of December, perhaps we could find moments to be still. Perhaps we could reflect on Sunday’s scriptures on our Monday morning commute. Perhaps we could offer prayers for those in need near and far while we wait in a long check-out line.

“…let it be…”

In a month where so many are consumed by perfectionism, I treasure Mary’s words to the angel: “let it be.” I treasure these words which challenge me to accept what is, even if it isn’t what I had envisioned. And so when the Christmas machine pushes us all to spend more, speed up, do and be it all, I pray that we will remember Mary’s words to the angel, and God’s gift of grace and love given that we may have life abundant. And I pray that we will slow down, take a breath, and let it be. Amen.


In Christ,
Rev. Beth

Tuesday - Thursday - Friday, 9-1

Wednesday 11-3

or by appointment

Please note the office will be closed on Dec. 21 and Dec. 25-29.



August worship services will not be livestreamed, but there will be weekly devotions and worship video available at 10am each Sunday. 
Use the link on the homepage of www.csccucc.org to access Sunday worship, or visit our Facebook page.


Past worship services are also available in both places.



NEXT CABINET MEETING is Wednesday, January 17, 7pm

(Please note there is no December Cabinet meeting.)




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 at hotmail.com. 


CSCC Deacons
Deb Sorgman – debsorgman at gmail.com

Jae Stotts - jaestotts at gmail.com

Savannah Wells, Jr. Deacon

CSCC Care Team
Carol Chaffee  *  Bev Mitchell  *  Rev. Beth Stotts  *  Nina Gabel-Jorgensen

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.


CSCC Team Leadership 2023-24

Spiritual Engagement Team Leaders:
Denise Molinari, Deb Sorgman, Eric Stotts


Congregational Engagement Team Leaders:
Carol Chaffee [2 positions open]


Property & Finance Team Leaders:
Dave Hanson, John Sharland, Mark Sorgman


Community Engagement Team Leaders:
Krissy Cannizzo, Diane Glass, Terry Reynolds



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


Did you know that Venmo has lower fees to the church than Paypal? So if you can't decide which one to use, choose Venmo.




Coins for Kids Church : December 3


Don’t forget to bring your spare change for the Coins for Kids Church collection, the first Sunday of the month! This helps to pay for Kids Church supplies and teaching materials. Just put your coins in a baggie or envelope and mark it “Kids Church”, and put it in the collection plate on Sundays.


Join us for breakfast on Sunday, Dec. 17

Please note there is no breakfast on Dec. 3 due to Christmas on the Common.

Rehearsals this month at 9:20am: December 3, 10, 17


Performance at 10am: December 17


Dec. 17 & 24

The Christmas fund offering is often received on the fourth Sunday of Advent, which falls on December 24 this year.  We, the Community Engagement Team, have decided to receive the offering on two Sundays, December 17 and the 24. Donations may also be made on our website, or via Venmo (specify “Christmas fund”).

Who are the Veterans of the Cross? A first guess might be the retired clergy, and that would be a resounding yes. They have been there with us when we need them the most — it could be for a wedding, a death, or times when we are struggling. It also benefits some lay people who have been loyal and helpful to the people of the church and need some assistance. This offering could also benefit someone who needs assistance for a brief time. All are Veterans of the Cross. 

Won’t you give generously to this offering during the Christmas season? Think of these people who have given generously to us through the years.
The Community Engagement Team

Holiday Open Mic 

CSCC and The Music Loft are thrilled to announce that CSCC will be hosting a Holiday Open Mic on December 8th at 6pm!  We encourage musicians and performers of all ages to share their favorite holiday song. Individuals and groups can sign up to perform starting Nov.1 and signups will be closed on December 3rd after Christmas on the Common. Please contact the church office at 508-697-6016 or The Music Loft to sign up. We will need to know the performer's name, email, phone number, song selection (or up to three selections) and what instrument/s you'll be playing. 

This Holiday Open Mic will be free, livestreamed, and available on BTV so that those who are homebound can enjoy this community holiday event. Following the Open Mic, THE GRINCH will be visiting and we'll have cookies and hot cocoa for all to share. Let's celebrate the season together!

Christmas Season Poinsettias:
Orders due Dec. 3

Purchase a poinsettia to remember a loved one and to decorate our sanctuary for the Advent season. As of the writing of this article, there are still many unknowns about this year's poinsettia ordering (like the price) but we wanted to get the word out that we will be going forward with our poinsettia tradition.

If you have any questions, or you want to place an order via email (see email address below), please be sure to include your name, phone number and your memorial message.

The flowers will decorate the sanctuary during the Advent season, through Christmas eve, and then you are welcome to take it home if you wish.
Congregational Engagement Team Member, 
Carol Chaffee, galchaffee @ gmail.com

Advent is Here!

Advent is here and we have an exciting month of activities planned! The Kids Church theme this Advent is "Season of Giving'' so in addition to exploring the story of Jesus's birth, we'll be working on various projects that are representations of giving in various forms. Giving to our community, giving to our church space, giving to nature, and giving to those in need. 

We will have a Kids Church Advent wreath on our altar, and we'll be lighting Advent candles that will be accompanied by liturgy written by Reverend Beth. We will also have a Christmas tree! With that in mind, earlier this year we were gifted a number of undecorated ornaments by John Schuller that were handmade by Lin Schuller before her passing. So as part of our many activities this Advent season, we will be decorating them and using them to adorn our tree. So if you get a chance after worship, come back and take a look at our tree that will be dressed with the combination of Lin's craft and the kids’ art!

There are so many more things that we're doing this month that just won't fit inside a newsletter article. So if you have a child that hasn't been coming to Kids Church, there's no better time than now for them to join us and get involved! 

Director of Kids Church, Eric Stotts


Ashley helping some of the younger kids (Annemarie, Josephine, and Sammy) in Kids Church.

Women's Guild and Fellowship will have their annual Christmas communion service with Rev. Beth on Wednesday, December 6, in the sanctuary. It is a wonderful time of friendship and quiet reflection of the season. The service will start at 6:30 and then we will gather in Fellowship Hall for refreshments and our meeting. All women from the church are welcome; and members can always bring a friend!  We will also be filling boxes and mailing packages to the troops on December 10 — so remember to bring some items to the meeting. If anyone would like to write a note to a service member you could do that ahead of time and bring it to the meeting as well.

Your Help is Needed: Boxes for the Troops

The Women’s Guild and Fellowship is collecting items for our active-duty military troops. These items will be collected until December 10th when we will pack them up and send them to two different companies serving overseas. There is a labeled bag located in the church entranceway where you can deposit your items. Thank you in advance for your generosity and support. Here is the list of items requested by the troops- small sizes please:
Flavor packets for water  *  Deodorant  *  Toothpaste and brushes
Chapstick  *  Coffee pods  *  Tea  *  Women's hygiene products
Baby wipes  *  Black/white socks  *  Gum
Cocoa packets  *  Beef jerky  *  Slim Jim
Health bars  *  Candy  *  Nuts
Sunflower seeds  *  Word search and Crossword Puzzle books

December Book Study

Discussion: Sunday, Dec. 17, 11:30am



When I think of the holiday season, I think of stories.  The story of the Holy Family. The story of Charlie Brown and Linus discovering the true meaning of Christmas. The stories that the Hallmark channel sucks me into each year. The stories of The Grinch, Buddy the Elf, Clark W. Griswold. December is filled with stories.  

One iconic story is “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. I’ve seen many adaptations of this story. The one with Bill Murray, the one with George C. Scott, the one with Jim Carrey, the Muppet one with Michael Caine, and of course, Mickey’s Christmas Carol.  

One thing I realized this year is that I’ve never actually READ THE BOOK! In talking with a few members of our community, we all expressed interest in reading it together this year.  
So… our December Book Study will be Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol”.  

And this is a book study for all ages! There are kid-friendly versions of the book, too. If your youth want to participate, and you need a recommendation for an age-appropriate version, put 0553511998 into the search bar in Amazon, and you’ll find a lovely illustrated version. And then bring the kids along to the discussion!

We’ll meet up on Sunday, December 17th at 11:30am in the Fireplace Room to discuss the story over coffee and hot cocoa. All ages are welcome to come discuss this tale of transformation and grace!
Rev. Beth


December is finally here! If you haven't finished your Christmas shopping , stop in to the Central Closet Thrift Shop. You might just be pleasantly surprised. We have  slightly used items for gifts and holiday decorations of all kinds. Our gift certificates are still available—$10 gift cards for just $9.  

December's special sale day will be on December 23rd. With a purchase you will  get to pick one sale item for free. The shop will be closed the week of Christmas (Dec. 27 & 30) and will reopen on January 3rd. 

We will be celebrating our 1st anniversary in January. The first year has been amazing! Thanks to all for helping with your donations and support since day 1. We will be celebrating all month, please come in and help us celebrate. 

We are still accepting goods during the month of December. Keep us in mind as you decorate your homes this year. Those extra decorations might be just what someone is looking for. 

Merry Christmas from all of us - Connie Chandler, Jane O'Connell, Lynn Pietras & Gail Wright

A-Caroling We Go!

Saturday, December 16, 4-6 PM, we will host a Caroling Party in the community room at 10 Heritage Circle in Bridgewater.

We will serve hot chocolate and cookies to the residents and sing carols with them, spreading holiday cheer!  
Please email Carol Chaffee (galchaffee @ gmail.com) or Marci Langevin (marcilynn.gaudette @ gmail.com) if you would like to participate. We will communicate details via email once we have an idea of how many people are interested in participating.

Carol and Marci

Sunday, December 3,


When the month of December arrives, it brings the cold crisp weather and you know that winter is on the way. It is the season for familiar carols, tasty food, Christmas shopping, and so much more. The Bridgewater Common is all decorated and so is our church with the hanging of the greens. One event that begins this wonderful time of the year is Christmas on the Common. As you look up and down the road in the center of town you will see all kinds of vendors selling food for your lunch or tasty treats for afterwards. Check out the Bluestone parking lot for more vendors. There will be booths with items to purchase as well as crafts to make.  If your child wishes they can take a pony ride around the common. The parade will come marching down the road and end at the Common. Santa will arrive so your children can have their picture taken with him to save for a future memory.  

Our church doors will be open for all to come inside and warm up while listening to carolers sing on our stairs, as well as to use our restrooms if needed. In the Fellowship Hall, tables full of our homemade Christmas ornaments and crafts will be available to purchase for Christmas decorations and gifts. The jewelry tables will be full of all kinds of trinkets for children and adults...necklaces, bracelets, rings, watches and more. So, come and bring your whole family to enjoy an afternoon of Christmas on the Common, Sunday, December 3rd, from 12:00 until 4:00.  We will see you there.

Merry Christmas from The Community Engagement Team & The Church Fair Crafters


What is a cow's favorite holiday? MOO-year's Day!  January is right around the corner which means HEIFER!  It's Heifer season at Central Square Church and I'm so excited to celebrate all month with the children and families!  

During Kids Church in January, children will explore the Heifer International program, an amazing organization with the mission to end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way by supporting and investing in local farmers and their communities.  The curriculum is based on sharing, kindness, and treating others with compassion...all the values we embrace at our church! Then on February 11, we will celebrate with our Living Gift Market!  

It's an amazing program but we need your help! We need adults each week to lead the lessons. The curriculum and activities are already planned or you are welcome to get creative and plan your own activities. No experience needed!  If you could help, or if you have questions, please contact me at maximus202 @ comcast.net.
Krissy Cannizzo

Warmth in Cold Places

As the weather begins to get colder, the need to help others stay warm in our community grows. Please consider donating new or very gently used hats, gloves, socks, sweat shirts, base layers and coats (winter items only). Cash donations are greatly appreciated and will go towards the purchase of needed items. Checks can be mailed to the church noting “Warmth in Cold Places”, or CLICK HERE to donate online.

Please place all donated items in the receptacle container marked "Warmth in Cold Places" found in the shelving unit by the side entrance of our church. The Community Engagement Team will be collecting until further notice.  Should you have any questions, please contact Krissy Cannizzo, maximus202 @ comcast.net.

We are Partners in Prayer, and we are Persistent in Prayer

The Power of Persistence in Prayer

by Mike Bennett
Luke 18:1, 7-8  
Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart. … “And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”


Jesus Christ used the parable of the persistent widow (verses 2-6) to emphasize the need to be tenacious and persevering in prayer. If even the unjust judge of the parable would eventually avenge the widow because of her persistence, how much more will our just and loving God hear and respond to us!  

God does not delay because He doesn’t care or because He is cruel and unjust. But sometimes He does delay, and through those delays we must learn patience, persistence and faith—faith that He does hear and does have our best interests in mind, even if we can’t understand why He doesn’t respond immediately.

Consider how Daniel fasted and prayed three weeks for an answer, and finally God’s angel told him, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days” (Daniel 10:12-13).

This is all recorded that we might always pray and “not lose heart.” We may not know what is going on behind the scenes, but we can have faith that God has our eternal best interests at heart.

Submitted by Carol Chaffee, Care Team

It’s That Time of Year Again: Inclement Weather Policy

The Senior Deacon in conjunction with the Senior Pastor will discuss the need and reason for cancellation of worship service. Upon the decision to cancel worship service, the following procedures shall be put into effect:
1. The Pastor will notify the Minister of Music no later than 6am the Sunday morning of the service in question. The Minister of Music will in turn notify the choir.
2. The Pastor will notify the Sexton and other staff, including the Office Manager and the Communications Coordinator.
3. The Office Manager will update the office answering machine with the cancellation announcement and notify the appropriate television media.
4. The Communications Coordinator will send a general church email and a text notification, and will update the website and Facebook page.
5. The Senior Deacon will notify the other members of the Spiritual Engagement Team.

The main factors used to decide a cancellation are:
1. Excessive amounts of snow
2. Parking availability (or parking ban)
3. Damage to the church
4. State of Emergency
5. Power Outage


To ensure you receive timely notification of weather issues, be sure you are on our email list as well as our cell phone text message notification list. Contact the office with questions.


The Fair was a Success!

Thanks to the many hands that make the fair what it is, as well as to the amazing weather we had on the day of the fair, the fair brought in over $7,300! This figure includes the turkey dinner takeout event, and the extremely generous donation by an angel of the church who paid the Boston Tavern bill on the church’s behalf. We are truly blessed.

Your Fair Committee: Denise Molinari, Carla Jackson, and Diane Sheibley


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


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

Office Manager: Jenne Foronjy, office@csccucc.com
Minister of Music: Julia Scott Carey 

Director of Video Evangelism: Paul Holmes
Treasurer:  David Sheibley 

Communications Coordinator: Diane Sheibley

Kids Church Director: Eric Stotts

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!)