Central Square Congregational Church, United Church of Christ

September 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

Beloved in Christ, 

I spent a lot of time barefoot this summer. Being barefoot isn’t really something I really think about all that much. I have a nice little collection of shoes, and I tend to be on the move a lot, so shoes are kind of a requirement. But this summer was different. 

I resolved to take on a daily yoga practice this summer which, for several reasons, requires bare feet as well. With my toes spread out on the mat and the balls of my feet keeping me balanced, I’d look down at my feet and notice all the muscles and tendons at work.  I also spent a lot of time barefoot at the beach. Sand and rocks and pebbles scraping up the bottoms of my feet, new calluses forming daily. Our feet do so much for us. Remember, the world is always moving and our feet are always making micro-adjustments to keep us upright. 

Some of my best memories of childhood include bare feet. Walking through neighborhood backyards, or running on the dock to cannonball into the lake. A friend and I even started a club in 4th grade where we were trying to teach ourselves how to write with our feet. Of course, being barefoot isn’t always the safest way to move through the world. One of my more brutal injuries as a kid came from a gardening tool piercing its way through my left foot (still have the scar). But I think there is something important about feeling the ground beneath your feet – at least every once in a while. 

I know many of you have explored the ways that spiritual practices help you to find physical grounding in our otherwise spinning-out-of-control lives. If this is a new concept to you, I invite you to plant your feet firmly on the ground and imagine roots growing out of your soles and into the earth below. Remember the story of Moses meeting God in the burning bush? How he removed his sandals and felt the sand of sacred ground between his toes?

The Psalmist tells us that those who delight in the Law of God are “like trees planted by streams of water” (Psalm 1:3). There are many ways to interpret this verse but lately I’ve been thinking about the rough, weathered soles of our feet. I’ve also been thinking about the rough, weathered souls of the world. 

Grounding ourselves in the Law of God – remembering that the law is love – through study, prayer, worship, song, and especially service, makes us as trees planted by water – close to sustenance with strong roots deep into the soil and tall branches reaching toward the sun. Grounding ourselves in the Love of God connects us to a creation so much bigger than ourselves and gives us strength in whatever comes. 


Yours In Christ,
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.

Scheduling notes


• Fall church office hours begin the week of September 6. They are Monday - Friday, 10am - 2pm

Best to call ahead of coming just to double check that we weren't called away.


• The office will be closed Monday, September 6 for the Labor Day holiday.


Next Cabinet meeting is Wednesday, September 15, 7pm

Special note for the upcoming Sunday, September 5th worship

Due to the holiday weekend, there will be no formal worship service on September 5. Instead, we will meet on the front lawn of the Church to have a picnic at 10:00 a.m.!  So bring your own breakfast, or an early lunch, and join us for some fun and fellowship!!  All are welcome to join us.



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 Deacons
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.

NOTE: The Food Pantry will be closed Monday, September 6, for the Labor Day holiday.


Attention Students in Grades 8-12 for the 2021-22 School Year

Mark June 26-July 1, 2022 on your calendars, and ask your friends to join us, too. Plans are being explored for our next mission trip! Stay tuned!

Thank You for your Continued

Gifts, Tithes, and Offerings

We are so very grateful for all those who have been able to continue their giving during the past year, and those that were able to give more. We know it has been a trying time for many financially as well as emotionally. With crucial annual fundraisers having had to be cancelled or downsized, such as our golf tournament, it has stressed our church finances even more than usual.

Donations and offerings can be made in any of the following ways:

• Checks can be mailed to the church (71 Central Square, Bridgewater, MA 02324)

• Bill-pay through your bank can be set up for one-time or recurring payments

• Payments can be made via the Paypal link at the top of our website home page (no Paypal account necessary)  

If you have any questions, you can email the Treasurer directly and confidentially at treasurer @ csccucc.com.

Thank you for your caring and generosity.



Hello, everyone!


I have missed you all so much, and it’s been so great seeing some of you in-person over the course of this summer. You have all been on my mind over the course of this long time apart.

We are going to have a gradual return to full choir, due partly to concerns over Covid and partly to the need to rebuild our choral program after such a long time. Beginning the Sunday after Labor Day (Sept. 12), our choir members are invited to join us as Music Leaders, by helping to lead and encourage the congregation in the singing of the hymns. I will email them the hymns in advance beginning that Sunday. We will not be having pre-worship rehearsals at that time, though. By October or so, we will begin having brief pre-worship rehearsals with anyone interested in singing in the choir, and singing at least one unison or two-part musical offering each week. By Advent, we will be returning to 8am Sunday rehearsals and SATB anthems (although this may still not happen every week, since we will be having more guest soloists this Fall).

Additionally, if any choir members would like to volunteer to perform a solo this Fall, please let me know!

Thank you all so much! I truly value everything all of you have contributed to our church. Also, I would love to find more people to join our choral program, so if any of the choir members have friends who might like to try joining us, or if any of you reading this are interested in trying out being in the choir, please let me know.

In terms of Covid safety, until further notice, we will be singing in masks (however, if anyone is performing a solo, you are not required to wear a mask during your performance). And all participants in our choral program must be vaccinated.


Julia Scott Carey, Minister of Music


Commemorative Coffee Mugs!

200th Anniversary commemorative coffee mugs will be available for purchase this Fall. A stylish mug with the church’s photo and writing in black will be a keepsake for this momentous occasion! They will be sold at church events and after worship on Sundays. (*Artwork on mug as pictured here may not be final image.)

Happy Anniversary to Us!


Our 200th Year

Faith, Hope, and Charity



Familiar virtues? Yes. Cows? Also yes.


The definitions of the three virtues were clarified by the philosopher Thomas Aquinas in the medieval period, where Aquinas defined faith, hope, and charity as theological virtues that defined mankind’s ideal relationship to God.

While our church’s relation to these virtues goes back 200 years, our relation in the form of cows does not date that long ago. It was the 1950s when the Rev. Mayhew brought the Heifer International project to our Bridgewater congregation. Phoebe Hogg recently recalled that time, when a hog for the local fundraising project boarded at the Hogg farm.

The Heifer program ran here for a number of years with children participating before falling to the wayside. In the mid to late 1990s, Terry Reynolds and then associate minister Sheri Anderson came up with the idea of a wooden cow that would travel around the congregation’s home lawns, inviting contributions and increased participation by adults. 

The first cow, Faith, was “born” with the carpentry skills of Rob Basler. Faith traveled alone for a while but soon was joined by Hope and Charity. To this day, nearly 30 years since Faith arrived, the three are moved from house to house, raising funds to feed the needs internationally, for about a month. The three cows this past winter managed to travel safely in the pandemic. However, one year all three were buried for a while due to a horrendous snowstorm.

In addition to raising funds with our wooden cows, the Sunday school program at all age levels at CSCC has typically spent the month of January learning about Heifer International, and their mission worldwide to “end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way by supporting and investing alongside local farmers and their communities.” Whereas their mission started with providing animals to these communities, now the animals, fish, and fowl are raised in the country where they are needed. The focus is on raising funds to send to those countries to make the purchases. The month of study by our Sunday schoolers then culminates in our Living Gift Market where each age group has decided what animal(s) they want to sponsor, and has created appropriately-themed food and crafts to sell to the congregation at large in a “market” setting.

Terry recalled a few highlights over the years with the annual Heifer International Sunday celebrated by our children and adults. She remembers Brad Barnsley and Rob Basler dressing as Noah, striding the aisle to the front of the church. Other fun memories include Kevin, Max, and Brynlee Compton each taking turns dressing as a llama to provide rides (for a donation) to the little children. Bryn Jacobs offered a worm dance on the floor. The fish costume is popular and has been worn by the likes of Lukas Hanson and Ben Sheibley. Some families bring pets, providing opportunities to feed the pet rabbit, the chicken, and so on, for a small donation.

Bonus fun: a chicken brought by David Hanson once laid an egg during the festivities. David also has brought other animals from his farm, including a calf. And, Terry recalled, the Rev. Novotny raised goats at the parsonage on Union Street for donation to the Heifer Project. 

Over this recent 30 years, popular food sales at our annual Living Gift Market are keyed to the animal or other foodstuff: pigs in blankets, honey butter, deviled eggs, various creatively-named sweets and fun stuff with chocolate (which will remain nameless here).

Look for more fun with Faith, Hope, and Charity after the new year! Thank you, Terry, for the memories and for carrying this on.


Heifer International started as Heifers for Relief in 1944. Its founder, an Ohio farmer named Dan West, was a Church of the Brethren relief worker during the Spanish Civil War. Working with Quakers and Mennonites, West directed a program where hungry children were given rations of milk. In 1938, West was ladling out milk to hungry refugee children and wrote later that he thought, “These children don’t need a cup [of milk], they need a cow.”  

The charity was incorporated in 1944 and sent its first shipment of 17 heifers to Puerto Rico. Several local farmers who knew the founder West donated the animals. The first cows were named, “Faith,” “Hope,” and “Charity,” and recipient families had to promise that they would donate the first female calf to another poor family. Heifer International would eventually broaden its scope to distribute fish, chickens, pigs, goats, sheep, cattle, oxen, water buffaloes, bees, llamas, alpacas, camels, frogs, and rabbits.

History Source: Wikipedia


We have invited local historian Dave Moore to present a slide show in the Fellowship Hall during an Ice Cream Social, in honor of our anniversary. Dave will be featuring old photos of the church and the buildings around the Common from the early Bridgewater days. The date has not been finalized, but it will fall on either Thursday, October 14th or Friday, October 15th at 7pm.


Special Anniversary Worship Service

Sunday, October 17

We invite you to attend a special anniversary celebration worship service on Sunday, Oct 17 at 10am.


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.