. . .



April 2024

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


“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” 
—Maya Angelou


How do you get inspired?


Earlier this week a colleague said to me, “It’s hard to feel inspired every single week. Inspired enough to write a sermon, week after week, month after month, year after year. Some weeks are hard. Some weeks are overwhelming.  Some weeks you’re sick. But the inspiration still has to show up at some point because at 10am on Sunday morning something inspiring has to come out of our mouths.” 


Inspiration can describe the process of being overcome by a spontaneous urge to do something creative or important. It can be that a-ha moment when the path forward becomes suddenly obvious to you. But inspiration is hard to make happen. 


Coming from the Latin inspirare, meaning “to breathe into,” the word inspiration was originally used in a divine context to mean a kind of mystical animating force, a profound idea or truth revealed to a person out of nowhere. As though the feeling itself were a bolt of lightning from a God. The peculiar feeling of being suddenly inspired by a new idea can seem random and unpredictable. But some scientists think that inspiration is the result of our minds processing new information in the context of things we already know, a lot like discovering a single jigsaw piece that connects two completed parts of a picture. 


That means it’s possible to encourage inspiration through your intentional actions, rather than waiting around for it to happen spontaneously. Here are some things I do to stay inspired:  
• Pray to God
• Listen to music
• Read a book
• Sing
• Get physical activity
• Speak to people
• Watch a movie
• Visit a new place
• Dance

What do you do to stay inspired?  
Share your ideas and experiences with others!


Tuesday, 9-11

Wed - Thu - Fri, 9-1

or by appointment



Sunday Worship will continue to be livestreamed from the Sanctuary at 10 a.m. 
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, April 24, 7pm




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

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 : April 7


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.

CSCC Junior Choir rehearsals this month at 9:20am: April 7 & 21


Performance at 10am: April 21


One morning, very early, too early,  I had this earworm so I am sharing it with all of you. 


I am the church! You are the church!
We are the church together!
All who follow Jesus,
all around the world!
Yes, we're the church together!


Carol Chaffee
Care Team

PS - An earworm is a catchy song or tune that runs continually through a person's mind.



Giving envelopes available

For those who like to use envelopes to manage their contributions, envelope books are now available. Please see David Sheibley or Jenne on Sunday morning or during office hours if you’d like one. 

Sunday, April 7 and 21

Sunday, April 14

Friday, April 19

Sunday, April 28


Women's Guild and Fellowship will meet on Wednesday, April 3, at 6:30 for our monthly meeting with the program being "Learning about Elder Law" with Alyssa Asack-Rawlins, Attorney.  We will also have a meeting and refreshments. All are welcome to attend.  


Annual Spring Rummage Sale
Saturday, April 13
9 am to 1 pm

The CSCC Fellowship Hall will be filled with clothing of all sizes, shoes, accessories, jewelry, linens, household items, toys, books, glassware, and more!
This sale is sponsored by the Women's Guild and Fellowship and the proceeds are given to many charitable organizations.
• Soup and sandwiches "to-go" and baked goods, too!
• Please note the Central Closet Thrift Shop will be closed on Wed. 4/10 and Sat. 4/13 to allow for this fundraiser.  But, there will be so much more!!!
• Bag Sale at 12 noon 


Collecting for the Rummage Sale

Please bring your good, clean, non-stained, non-ripped, non-broken clothing and other items to the church the week before the sale. Items should be for the current season through summer. No Fall or Christmas stuff or electronics or big furniture. We will be there Tuesday - Friday from 9am to 2pm. (April 9 - 12) to collect and sort items. If you need to come at a later time, call me and we can make arrangements. Even if you're not in Guild and would like to help, please come on in during those times.


Jane O'Connell, Co-President

It’s Budget Time!

April 15 is the due date for teams to get their budget info to the Treasurer, Dave Sheibley (treasurer@csccucc.com). With the new constitution, this year presents an opportunity for change from what we’ve done in the past. In particular: 

If you have an INCOME line item that should be added to the 2024-25 budget, please submit it. Maybe it’s a new fundraiser that is being planned. Remember that we have been running deficit budgets in recent years, which we can’t sustain forever (see treasurer's report below). Do you and some friends have a new fundraiser you’d like to plan for the church in the next fiscal year? Or maybe there is a new component planned for an existing fundraiser. Let us know! 

In the past, we’ve often just listed the Boards and Committees as one line item each. But perhaps it’s easier to plan, and decipher, more line items, this time by Team. For example, instead of just having “Spiritual Engagement Team” with a total dollar amount, they might prefer to have multiple line items that add up to the Team’s total, such as:
• Kids Church
• Bible and book studies
• Youth Group
• Worship music/choir
• Altar/sanctuary décor and supplies
• Worship supplies and planning

The other teams may wish to have line items enumerated as well, to help keep things organized. Let Dave know what would work best for you. You can refer to the list of specific expenses that have been incurred so far this fiscal year, as well as the Team Handbook for reference for examples of what ministries fall under your individual Team.

All projects and ministries should report their budget needs to their teams, so that the teams can submit their budgets to the Treasurer by April 15.

If team leaders have questions, feel free to reach out to Dave at treasurer@csccucc.com.

Please note the thrift shop will be closed on 
April 10th & 13th. 

Any and all donations for the Central Closet Thrift Shop must be delivered to the shop during shop hours. Currently we are accepting Spring and Summer items. Please limit your donations to 20 items per drop off. We throughly appreciate all donations that have been brought in.  

The shop will be closed April 10 and 13 while the women of the Women's Guild & Fellowship prepare for their annual Spring rummage sale. The sale will be Saturday April 13th, 9-2. The Thrift Shop will reopen on April 17th. 

During the month of April, all red ticketed items will be 50% off!

April 27th will be our special sale day of the month. Any customer that purchases 1 regular priced item, will receive 1 sale item free.
New items are added weekly, stop in and check it out! 

Thanks from all of us,
Connie, Sandy, Jane, Lynn and Gail 


Annual Reports from teams and ministries are due to the office no later than May 15, for the program year 2023-24.

I Love Dogs

by Sheri Turner

I love dogs. Dogs of all kinds. I am partial to mid-sized to large dogs, but I love all dogs. Why do I love dogs? I love dogs because despite anything you do or don’t do, they love you. If you’re late getting home to let them out, do they get mad and give you the cold shoulder? No. They meet you at the door exhuberantly and let you know how happy they are that you are there. (They may have peed or pooped on the floor but that’s on you for being late. They did their best.) Late with dinner? They will complain of course, but still love you and will let you know that both before you feed them and after.

Dogs let you know every day that they love you. They don’t hold grudges. They just want to be petted, played with, and be allowed to be near you. Dogs can sense when you’re sad, depressed, or angry. They try to cheer you up when you are. My dog Cosmo will bring me a squeaky toy when I’m down. I imagine he is thinking they make him happy, so why shouldn’t they cheer me up?

I know this may sound strange, but we should all strive to be like dogs in some ways (please don’t tear up the garbage and throw it around your kitchen, I don’t mean like that). When your loved ones come home, do you let them know how happy you are to see them? Do you tell them you missed them? If your kids don’t do their chores on time do you let them know they can try again and do better and that you still love them anyway? Do you show those you love all is not lost because they disappointed you and that they always get another shot to try again? If your spouse gets laid off, do you let them know they are loved and you have faith that things will turn around? Do they have your unwavering support?

Obviously I am not saying all our loved ones are dogs (some are cats...LOL). What I’m saying is at minimum that our human loved ones deserve the love and adoration —and patience — that we afford our dogs. 



On April 27 at 10am Frank Ciaramitaro will be our host chef for the making of some scrumptious tortellini soup. If you would like to join in this fun, food, and fellowship time, please email the church office to sign up, no later than April 24. Donations are gladly accepted to cover the cost of ingredients.

What to expect? Everyone will help prep the ingredients, and make the soup. The plan is to make a large pot of soup, some for you and some to share. The soup will be packaged in containers to go for easy transport.

All ages are welcome but you must sign up.

Your Congregational Engagement Team,
Carol Chaffee

Moment for all ages on pajama Sunday after the kids’ sleepover at the church.

Last month in Kids Church we focused on the season of Lent but also looked at the story of Abraham, Sarah, and the 3 visitors.  We looked at that story from two different perspectives. The first was the importance of names and how our actions define how people think about us when our name is said. The second Sunday we focused on how God changes us. The ability to look at a passage from two different perspectives and get two different things out of it is something that, as adults, I think we sometimes take for granted. 

And yet, every year around February or March, I find myself drawn back to the words of Langston Hughes and his poem, "Let America be America Again". If you haven't read it, you need to. Every time I read it, it fills me with a swell of emotions. 

"Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed-
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above."

While the poem is not religious in nature, that line about love is something that is core to our beliefs as Christians. This idea of love, and the other lines that suggest we should all fundamentally be equal, is Jesus' message. And as the first line says, focusing on this idea of love and equality is aspirational and should be what we all strive for. But if you focused just on that message, you'd miss the point of the poem. The next line after this stanza is:

"(It never was America to me.)"

This back and forth between the narrator and the mysterious voice is talking to the oppression and how this idealized and aspirational view of what America should be, could only be reached by some, and certainly not people of color in 1935. I was not around 89 years ago when this was written, but the theme of some people having power over others is still alive and well to this day be it money, or race, or class. 

We cannot forget that the message of love and equality, and the fact that inequality exists even when we are striving to be our best selves, can both be true. So the ideas that (1) we make ourselves who we are; AND, (2) that God changes us and makes us who we are, are both important. This was one of our themes this past month in Kids Church.  We tried putting it into words that 5-13 year olds could understand, but it can be both! 

So the challenge from the Spiritual Engagement Team to the congregation this month is this:

Look up your favorite passage from the Bible. Read it several times until you are locked in on its meaning. Then read the passage before and after it. Does it change the meaning? Does it give it context?

Eric Stotts 
Kids Church Director & Member of the Spiritual Engagement Team



CSCC Cabinet Meeting – Minutes
February 28, 2024 at 7pm

The meeting was called to order at 7:07 by Anne Malmquist, Moderator.


Cabinet members in attendance: Anne Malmquist, Moderator; Rev. Beth Stotts, Pastor; David Sheibley, Treasurer; Diane Sheibley, Clerk; David Hanson, Property and Finance Team; Diane Glass, Community Engagement Team; Eric Stotts, Spiritual Engagement Team.
    Also present: Connie Chandler


Diane Sheibley took attendance. Quorum was met.


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


January Minutes
The meeting minutes from the January meeting were presented and reviewed. Rev. Beth motioned to accept the minutes as written; Eric Stotts seconded. The minutes were approved as written.


Pastor’s Report –  Rev. Beth Stotts
Rev. Beth continues to give her obituary writing workshop to various groups. She also received a letter from Elaine Henriksen that she misses her church family, and cards are encouraged. Lent is going well, and the sleepover was fun. New members will be joining in the near future. The Lenten study group began today. Bruce Maclay fell and is in the hospital. Rev. Beth requested that the April Cabinet meeting be moved to April 24th due to school vacation week. (Agreed) 


Treasurer’s Report – Dave Sheibley
Dave reported that we are pretty much on budget, unfortunately, and noted that he hoped we would be doing better. The Thrift Shop is really proving to be a big help, and the fair did well. Breakfast is running at a deficit of about $500, which isn’t part of the budget. Investments are doing OK even though we’ve had to take money out for operations.


Community Engagement Team – Diane Glass
One Great Hour of Sharing offering will be on March 10. The food pantry is looking for volunteers for when their regular people can’t be there. The Food Pantry is also in need of financial donations.


Congregational Engagement Team
The chowder-making event with Mary Barnsley went very well. Another food-making event is in the works.


Property & Finance Team – David Hanson
The team is happy to report that they got rid of the broken fan, the vacuum, the couch downstairs, and the tree branches outside. Snow removal was done recently by Nick Bagas. John Sharland is investigating unauthorized uses of the church that have been reported. Regarding the walkway out front that is in need of repair/replacement: the team might get a concrete cutter and just replace the broken parts for now. That will give time to develop a longterm plan. The plexiglass panels on the windows need to be replaced and measurements will soon be taken. Diane Sheibley asked when budget requests are due from the teams. David said he would talk to the team and get back to her.


Spiritual Engagement Team – Eric Stotts
Palms have been ordered. They need another source for the flower cross for Easter. Eric shared an open letter the team wrote to the church leadership. It suggested that we need to find ways to be inclusive of those wanting to contribute to the church with time and talent, without having the responsibility and commitment of a position of leadership. Kristi Ciaramitaro is going to be a junior deacon as of this Fall.


Communications – Diane Sheibley
Diane reminded everyone that we now have a text alert system, and encouraged everyone to sign up for occasional text messages for upcoming events as well as event cancellations.


Other Business
•    Rev. Beth noted that 10 kids attended the sleepover, and all had a great time. They want to do more. The next one is tentatively scheduled for April vacation.
•    There was a request for people to wear hats on Easter to worship.
•    There was a renewed suggestion that everyone wear nametags on Sundays. Suggestions were entertained on how best to increase compliance with this.


The meeting adjourned at 8pm.


CSCC Cabinet Meeting – Minutes
March 20, 2024 at 7pm

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 by Anne Malmquist, Moderator.


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


Diane Sheibley took attendance. Quorum was met.


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


February Minutes
The meeting minutes from the February meeting were presented and reviewed. Dave Sheibley motioned to accept the minutes as written; David Hanson seconded. The minutes were approved as written.


Pastor’s Report –  Rev. Beth Stotts
Lent is a busy time. Super Saturday was incredible. Rev. Beth began preparing for her July sabbatical. She will be exploring creating a WISE congregation (Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive, and Engaged in the mental health of the community). There are 7 youth exploring confirmation. May 7 is confirmation Sunday. There are 3 prospective members joining the church on April 28. The palms for palm Sunday have arrived. All the Bridgewater clergy are participating in the sunrise service on March 31. The end of life workshop will be held on 3/30.


Treasurer’s Report – Dave Sheibley
Last month’s giving was less than the same month last year, but this month’s is already ahead of last year. $30,000 this fiscal year has been taken out of investments, but luckily the stock market is doing well.


Community Engagement Team – Krissy Cannizzo and Terry Reynolds
They reported that they are working on the budget request and annual report. They have been discussing ways they can bring in new volunteers. Rev. Beth asked if she can put a sign outside the side door asking for volunteers for the food pantry, from the food pantry patrons. (yes) It was suggested that they connect with the BSU professor who runs the community service class. We have had several students of that class come to us to volunteer.


Congregational Engagement Team – Carol Chaffee
There will be an event called “Tortellini with Frank” on April 27. It will be a class in making Frank Ciaramitaro’s tortellini soup. Everybody will be able to take some home, and there will be some to share with others. 32 Easter lilies were sold! Carol asked what else falls under their budget. Diane looked at the Team Handbook, which lists “examples of current programs and projects” that fall under the Cong Engagement Team, namely Care Team, Care Circles, Extravagant Welcome, and Steeple Sounds. Dave Sheibley will also send list of the individual transactions from the current fiscal year to each team, as examples of what types of expenses they are responsible for.


Property & Finance Team – John Sharland
John noted that they put a thank you note for stewardship pledges in last month’s Steeple Sounds, and last Sunday different ways of giving were discussed. They noted that there is a person at the Conference that could come and preach on stewardship (Rev. Beth said that person had been here once before to preach). Regarding the Sexton position, they were unsure as to when Rich is leaving. If anyone knows of anyone who might be interested in the position, refer them to the P&F Team. It’s 15 hours a week. 
    They noted that the sacristy refrigerator has been given away. Ian Jackson came and reviewed the power situation in the lower level (food pantry), and fixed issues. The necessary steps to replace the plexiglass on some of the sanctuary windows are in process. David Ferrari has agreed to come and take care of the broken pieces in the concrete in the front of the church, for free, in May. When asked about fundraising, the team noted nothing is currently in process.


Spiritual Engagement Team – Eric Stotts
Rev. Beth has been conducting the Lenten Study. On Palm Sunday, the youth will hand out palms and have a special presentation. Flowers for the flower cross on Easter have been ordered.


New Business
• Terry Reynolds discussed a possible Harry Potter-themed fundraiser. She would like to engage the whole community in the planning, and will be looking for people to contribute to that. It might be held in the Fall, or maybe in December, without conflicting with the fair or the rummage sale.
• Budget requests are due April 15 from the teams. For reference, they should (1) refer to the programs that fall under their umbrellas in the handbooks; and (2) note the other budget line items that fall under their purview in addition to “xxx team” budget; (3) refer to the list of current fiscal year transactions that Dave Sheibley will send to them, to see what is already falling under their budget.



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!)