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November 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


“Strike “Community is a basic need and hunger of the human heart. We are created for community, but often we do not experience it in the individualistic and competitive cultures that shape our lives. Community is a place of acceptance, intimacy and vulnerability, where we can bear fruit in solidarity with others and be the body of Christ for the sake of the world.” (Henri Nouwen, Community)




Earlier this year Dr. Vivek Murthy, the United States Surgeon General, issued an “Advisory on the Healing Effects of Social Connection and Community” in response to what he has declared “Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation.” Here’s an excerpt from Dr. Murthy’s letter at the beginning of an 82-page document produced by the Public Health Service:
People began to tell me they felt isolated, invisible, and insignificant. Even when they couldn’t put their finger on the word “lonely,” time and time again, people of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds, from every corner of the country, would tell me, “I have to shoulder all of life’s burdens by myself,” or “if I disappear tomorrow, no one will even notice.” 


Friends, this is a world that aches for the Gospel. Not a gospel of coercion to correct dogma or judgment. But a Gospel that will save souls – right here and now. The world aches for connection, for community, for relationship. The world aches for spaces where we are allowed to show up with our whole selves and find that we are together, seen, and valued. And, the research Dr. Murthy has collected shows pretty convincingly that when humans don’t have connection, their lives are shorter and worse.

One cure for the Loneliness Epidemic? Go to church. Faith communities offer one of the few places left in Western society where people gather across familial, generational, and economic lines outside the trappings of consumerism. The Gospel of Jesus is one of intimate connection – it paints a picture of growing closer to God through a Way that requires the faithful to grow closer to one another. Our Christian call to worship, to pray, to serve, to do justice… are all calls to build and belong in community.

From the Advisory document I mentioned: “Among people not reporting loneliness or social isolation, nearly 90% have three or more confidants. Yet, almost half of Americans (49%) in 2021 reported having three or fewer close friends —only about a quarter (27%) reported the same in 1990.” Our number of lonely neighbors has almost doubled. How might we be called to respond? If community is literally life-saving, what’s our next faithful step?

During this season of thanks-giving, I’d love to hear how you are feeling the Spirit call you to respond to the Loneliness Epidemic. Let me know!


In Christ,
Rev. Beth

Tuesday - Thursday - Friday, 9-1

Wednesday 11-3

or by appointment

Please note the office will be closed on Nov. 23-24 for the Thanksgiving holiday.



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, November 29, 7pm




Interfaith Thanksgiving Service


Tuesday, Nov. 21, at 7pm at CSCC



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.




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 : November 5


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, Nov. 5 and Sunday, Nov 19, 9am.

They will be held on the first and third Sundays of each month, and are open to the public. Free will offering is gratefully accepted, but not required. 

If you would like to be a part of this ministry, contact Jenne in the church office. Lots of ways to participate before, during, or after, and without a big commitment, but with much gratitude from the breakfast team.

Rehearsals this month at 9:20am: November 5, 12, 19


Performance at 10am: November 19


Hello friends,
Isn’t it nice sometimes to hang around a bit after worship, and catch up with friends, check in with a CSCC Team member, or chat with Rev. Beth?
We think it is, and we know some of you do, too. And that’s why we’d like to ask your help. Perhaps you’d be willing to set up a table or two and put out treats to enjoy after worship; maybe you’d be willing to be one of the people that puts that table or two away afterwards, and packs up any leftover treats; or maybe you’re willing to bring in a snack to share -- some fruit, cookies or brownies, or that extra pumpkin bread loaf you made on Saturday. 
Please consider being the person the Fellowship Team can call on occasionally to help out with the Time of Fellowship. Contact Ginny Young or Connie Chandler for more details, or the church office. Thank you!

Women's Guild and Fellowship will be meeting on Wed., November 1, at 6:30 pm in Fellowship Hall. We will be Line Dancing with Margaret Wilson, so wear your dancing shoes and something comfortable!  All women from the church and friends are invited.  We also have refreshments and a meeting.

We just had a terrific Rummage Sale in October, and now some of us will be contributing to and working at the Church Fair in November. We're always looking for some younger women to step in and help us out and enjoy our programs! The two rummage sales (fall and spring) are our big fund raisers, and we donate all the money to worthwhile causes.

Thank you to all who helped out at the Rummage Sale!
Jane O'Connell, Co-President 


Don’t leave it others to write your obituary… write it yourself!  Look back on your life.  Highlight the important people, events, and achievements of your life, leaving your loved ones the gift of telling the story of your life in your own words.  In this one-hour workshop, Rev. Beth Stotts will offer creative examples of self-written obituaries and guide you in writing your own. It will take place at the Bridgewater Senior Center.



The Spiritual Engagement Team invites you to All Saints Worship on Sunday, November 5th.  We all have saints who have passed through our lives and in this time of worship, we will honor the God in them that lives on in us. Please bring a photo, momento, or other item that represents your saint with you to worship. We will have a special time in the service where you will be invited to place your item on the altar and share a story (if you're comfortable doing so). May the memory of our loved ones be a continued blessing.

Our October deep dive on Commandments went really well! We started off by learning about what Commandments are, then dove into both the 10 Commandments and The Greatest Commandment. We then, as a class, took each of the 10 Commandments and figured out how each one fit into The Greatest Commandment. Was it "Love God", or "Love Others"? On the final Sunday of the month, during the moment for all ages, we tested the adults and showed off our Commandments mobile. 

For November we're going to continue working from the Spark Curriculum mirroring closely what the adults are doing as we start to get ready to ramp up for Advent. More to come on that, and a look ahead toward Heifer in next month’s Steeple Sounds!

Eric Stotts, Director of Kids Church


Tell your friends! Come do some shopping, and have pie or lunch!
If you’re signed up to contribute, here are the dropoff times:

For crockpot soups:
Saturday, 8-10am (warm soup in a crockpot, please)
For all baked goods, candy, and raffle baskets/items/gift cards: 
Thursday 9-3, Friday 9-1 or 4-6
For Attic Treasures (in the fireplace room, please):
Tuesday 9-1, Wednesday 11-3, Thursday 9-3, Friday 9-1 or 4-6


It’s not too late to volunteer to help or contribute something! Contact the church office or one of the members of the fair committee, or CLICK HERE with questions.


Attic Treasures

It's that time again. We need your Christmas items and other things to sell on the Attic Treasures  table.

We are looking for Christmas clothes such as sweaters, ties, gloves, PJs , Christmas books, and Christmas jewelry. (Please no other clothing.) Save all clothes and shoes for the Thrift Shop!

We also are looking for nice dishes, writing paper, frames, new perfume, puzzles, toys and games, and housewares. See above for dropoff times, or call Bev Mitchell at (508)697-2949 if you have any questions.

Also, we need help selling on Friday night and Saturday ... it's a fun table with lots of laughs! Come join us. 
Thanks so much, 


Cookies, brownies, breads, and pies!

The bake table is always hugely popular at the fair, so we need lots of goodies to sell! See above for drop off times, and thank you! (Please bag cookies by the dozen and label them. Note on all baked goods if there are any ingredients of key concern to folks - nuts, etc.) Thank you!

“A Night at the Opera with Maryte Bizinkauskas” 

Friday, November 10, 2023 

Doors open: 6:30pm  •  Concert begins: 7:00pm 
A reception with light hors d’oeuvres will follow. 

Bring your favorite wine! 

Tickets are $30 general admission in advance. 

$20 for seniors - use promo code “senior”
$10 for students - use promo code “student” 
Scan QR code below to purchase, or CLICK HERE


There will be raffle baskets, too!


Maryte Bizinkauskas began her operatic vocal training at the Boston Conservatory of Music where she graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Opera Performance under the guidance of John Moriarty and Iride Pilla. She acquired her Master of Music in Opera Performance under the tutelage of Boris Goldovsky at the esteemed Curtis Institute of Music and won the Metropolitan Opera National Auditions. She performed in concert at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City and went on to apprentice at the Santa Fe Opera. She has performed leading roles in Lithuania at the Vilnius Opera including Cio-cio San in Madama Butterfly and Mussetta in La Boheme and at the Kaunas Music Theater again in the role of Cio-cio San and Hana Glawari in Linksmoji Nasle (The Merry Widow) and performed lead roles in Germany and Canada. She has been a guest artist with the Kaunas Philharmonic Orchestra, South Jersey Symphony, Brockton Symphony and Boston Bel Canto Opera. She was the Soprano soloist in the Verdi Requiem with the Thunder Bay Orchestra (Canada) and in Los Angeles. She also sang at the Philharmonic Hall in Vilnius Lithuania for the Sugrižimai Arts Festival and a second concert in Recital Hall in Marijampole and at the Anthracite Heritage Museum in Scranton, PA.

Ms. Bizinkauskas currently teaches in the Music Department at Bridgewater State University, where she teaches Performances Studies Voice, Voice Class I and Voice Class II, Lyric Diction and Opera Ensemble. She also teaches Classical Voice at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and in her private studio.


For tickets, click below:

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!


Available November 1, 2023: Central Closet Thrift Shop  will be offering gift certificates!

For only $9.00, you will receive a $10.00 gift certificate to give to someone on your gift list. Buy 1 or several and make your holiday shopping a little less stressful.  

Central Closet Thrift Shop will be closed on November 4th as the annual church fair will be using our usual space. Stop in for crafts, food, harvest items, attic treasures,  and so much more. It will also be closed November 11 for Veteran's Day.

We will reopen on the 8th of November. Newly crafted items and gently used Christmas items will be available for sale at this time.
November 29th is our special sale day of the month. All customers will receive one free yellow ticket item with a purchase. More specials to be announced during the month.

We are still accepting new and gently used fall/winter clothing, seasonal decorations, footwear, pocketbooks,  jewelry,  household items,  glassware, linens, books, and toys. Please no electronics and limit donations to 20 items per visit. Donations are accepted during shop hours, Wednesday  10-1 and Saturday 10-1.

Thanks to all our customers, our donors, and our volunteers for supporting us in our mission to.help the church.
Connie Chandler,  Jane O'Connell, Lynn Pietras,  & Gail Wright 


Members and Friends of Central Square Congregational Church - Greetings!  

While we appreciate everyone's generosity, sometimes we need to take control of certain areas, such as donations of items like furniture, room air conditioners, folding chairs, etc.  Your Property and Finance Team has decided to institute a donation form that asks that any such donations be approved before they are brought into the church.  Thank you in advance for your cooperation with this. 

The form is available from the office, as well as on the “giving” page of the website, or by clicking HERE. Please submit a form prior to bringing your item to the church. 
Thank you for your help!

Mark Sorgman, Dave Hanson, John Sharland


Saturday, Dec. 2
Hanging of the Greens


Sunday, Dec. 3
Christmas on the Common

CSCC Cabinet Meeting – Minutes
October 18, 2023 at 7pm

The meeting was called to order at 7:02 by Anne Malmquist, Moderator.


Cabinet members in attendance: Anne Malmquist, Moderator; Rev. Beth Stotts, Pastor; David Sheibley, Treasurer; Diane Sheibley, Clerk; John Sharland, Property and Finance Team; Krissy Cannizzo, Community Engagement Team; Carol Chaffee, Congregational Engagement Team


Diane Sheibley took attendance. Quorum was met.


Rev. Beth opened the meeting with a devotion and a prayer.


September Minutes
The meeting minutes from the September meeting were presented and reviewed. John Sharland motioned to accept the minutes as written; Dave Sheibley seconded. The minutes were approved as written.


Pastor’s Report –  Rev. Beth Stotts
Rev. Beth reported that there is a lot coming up: the fair, the “Night at the Opera” concert fundraiser, among other things. The Episcopal church in town has recently gotten a pastor. There will be a 7pm Thanksgiving service on 11/21 at CSCC, with other churches participating. People will be asked to bring a nonperishable food donation and monetary donations for the food pantry. Rev. Beth met with the people at The Well, and will be participating in a children’s grief program. Christmas, being on a Sunday this year, will be comprised of the 10am service, which will the family service, half 4th Sunday of advent, and half Christmas eve; as well as the 10pm candlelight Christmas eve service. Dec. 12 is music Sunday. Rev. Beth is conducting a workshop at the senior center on writing your obituary, on Nov. 1. Finally, she is helping to organize a Holiday Open Mic night on Dec. 8. It will be a multigenerational event, and performers need to sign up ahead of time. The Grinch will make an appearance at the cocoa and cookies reception following, and Al Lucerda will be taking pictures. 


Treasurer’s Report – Dave Sheibley
 Dave reported that we did OK last month. We’re on track with budget revenue, and expenses are a bit lower than budget so far. Rev. Beth asked Dave if, with all the new technologies (venmo, paypal, etc), is the job still manageable? Dave replied that it’s a little more time at the end of the month, but it’s still fine. As an aside, it was noted that Venmo has lower fees than Paypal, so if people have both at their disposal, Venmo is better.


Community Engagement Team – Krissy Cannizzo
Krissy noted that they haven’t met lately since they met so many times in September before Autumnfest. It was noted that the Stotts hosted breakfast last Sunday. Ginny Young is all set to do coffee hour this weekend.


Property & Finance Team – John Sharland
John talked to Sandy Kuipers about being involved in fundraising (along with Lynn Pietras and Kathleen Mosher). They will be invited to the P&F Team meeting on November 8 to discuss being the fundraising committee. John & Rich are working on getting the furnaces ready for the cold season and to be turned on (they need annual maintenance first). It was suggested that we should keep the air conditioning unit that’s currently in the fireplace room for next year. It can be kept in the sacristy. Electrical stuff (lights, etc) was delivered today for installation this week. For the Saturday work day, it’s going to rain on Saturday, so painting won’t happen, but John will make sure it happens before winter.

John also discussed the group that expressed interest in using a room in the church for their office, in exchange for a user fee. Rev. Beth researched and drafted an agreement, but they decided it was more expensive than they could afford (the charge was to be $800/month). But we now have an agreement template we can use for the next potential user.


Spiritual Engagement Team - Rev. Beth 
There is a sermon series going on for the month of October. There is also going to be a sermon series at the end of November. Christmas eve services have been set and were discussed during the Pastor’s report.


2024 Service Trip – Rev. Beth
Rev. Beth will meet with the Community Engagement Team regarding fundraising. We likely can’t do the same kinds of fundraising projects we did for the youth mission trips. So far there are 6 adults and 3 youth interested.


Annual Church Fair – Diane Sheibley
Diane reported that the fair will take place on Friday evening, Nov. 3, 6:30-8:30 (“Pie Night”) and Saturday, Nov. 4, 9-1. Plans are going well. Homemade soups and walking tacos will be sold for lunch. Diane asked permission to have raffles at the fair, and Rev. Beth asked for the same on the night of the concert (11/10). Diane motioned, Rev. Beth seconded. The motion was approve.


Next Cabinet Meeting 
Several people noted that they would not be available for the normal Cabinet meeting date of 11/15, so it was decided that Cabinet would meet on 11/29.

Rev. Beth offered a closing prayer.


The meeting ended at 7:54pm.




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!)