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March 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


“No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone.  God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.”        -1 Corinthians 10:13 


Our lives can be unbearably hectic at times.  So much so that at times we find it difficult to unwind.  During this Lenten season, when we’re asked to live mindfully, the act of looking inward can feel overwhelming. It can feel like another thing to add to the to-do list. But there are times in our lives when our need for self-care and self-reflection should be our priority over our to-do lists. Lent is that time. Lent is a season where we are given permission to center ourselves and re-evaluate our tasks and our personal mission, in order to see ourselves more clearly. When we do this, we open ourselves to truly experience the redemptive nature of the life of Christ.


There may be times in our lives where we cannot avoid taking on obligations at work and at home. However, Lent challenges us to endeavor to remember that we are complex beings whose wellness depends on more than simple survival. God calls us, first and foremost, to be in relationship. To love God, to love others, to love ourselves. We must find ways to fit serving the soul into even the busiest of schedules, even if it is only for a few moments a day. This soul food can mean the difference between an immensely stressful day and an immensely productive one. 


In 1 Corinthians, Paul reminds us that our connection with God and the divine within ourselves is the way to see clearly the path before us. This connection is what will serve us and give us the strength to endure the many tests that lie before us. 


Let us always live this truth through the love that God provides, and may we see ourselves and our lives more clearly come Easter morning.


Peace in Christ,
Rev. Beth

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, March 20, 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 : March 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.

CSCC Junior Choir rehearsals this month at 9:20am: March 3, 10, 17


Performance at 10am: March 17


March 10


One Great Hour of Sharing is one of four special mission offerings of the United Church of Christ. This Lenten Offering supports the disaster, refugee, and development ministries of the United Church of Christ within Wider Church Ministries.

This year’s offering will be taken on Sunday, March 10. Donations will also be accepted via Venmo and on our website, www.csccucc.org.

Saturday, March 2

Sunday, March 3 & 17

Sunday, March 10

Sunday, March 10

Sunday, March 10

Our Lenten Sermon Series, 
“What God Promises”

March 3 – Third Sunday of Lent Worship with Communion at 10am – 
        God Promises Moses
March 10 – Fourth Sunday of Lent Worship at 10am –

         God Promises Jesus
March 17 – Fifth Sunday of Lent Worship at 10am –

         God Promises Us

Our Lenten Study will continue to be held Wednesdays at 10am

The topic of study and discussion is “Lent, Poverty, & Christianity” by Rev. Dr. E.M. Magill.  Rev. Beth has PDF copies available.
o   Wed, 3/6, 10am – What do the Prophets tell us?
o   Wed, 3/13, 10am – What is the responsibility of the Rich?
o   Wed, 3/20, 10am – What is Spiritual Poverty?
o   Wed, 3/27, 10am – Relational Ministries 
                    & What can we do?
o   Fri, 3/29, 10am – Good Friday

March 24 – Palm/Passion Sunday, 10am (in person and online)
March 28 – Maundy Thursday with Communion at 7pm  (in person and online)
March 29 – Good Friday at 3pm  (in person and online)
March 31 – Easter Sunday Sunrise Service (in person only) at 6:30am at Hanson Farm, and CSCC Easter Worship at 10am  (in person and online)

The Easter Lily,  known to Christians as the "white-robed apostle of hope," has been a religious symbol since the birth of Christianity.

• The white lily symbolizes purity, rebirth, innocence, new beginnings and hope.  
• The lily is most often associated with the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our celebration of Easter.

An Easter Lily to remember or honor a loved one!!

 The Congregational Engagement Team is offering you the opportunity to purchase an Easter lily to decorate the church sanctuary on Easter Sunday, March 31. The lilies will decorate the church altar for Easter and then you can take yours home or give to a church/community friend.
The cost of each plant is $10. Your memorial or honorable message will be published in the Easter bulletin. Please contact the church office to order your lily,  or see a member of the Congregational Engagement Team after church on March 3, 10, and 17. Orders can also be placed by clicking HERE.

Deadline to order is March 17th. 

Women’s Spirituality Walks will resume on Saturdays in March at the high school parking lot.  We will alternate times so that more can participate.


March 2 at 10 AM
March 9 at 3 PM
March 16 at 10 AM
March 23 at 3 PM
March 30 at 10 AM and 3 PM – join us for one or both.


You need not be a CSCC member or part of the CSCC community to participate. CSCC is an open and affirming church. All are welcome.
The Congregational Engagement Team


Do you have everything in order should you die tomorrow?

Bring your coffee and join Rev. Beth as she goes over preparing Advance Directives, explore death and dying options (do you want a Death Doula? do you have a DNR completed?), review funeral options and services, explain writing an obituary, and outline steps for planning your funeral. We live our lives so uniquely - why should our funerals be any different?

Rev. Beth's End of Life Planning workshop is an in-person event, will be held at the church in the Fireplace Room on Saturday, March 30, at 10am. It is open to the public. All are welcome.

A quick read that's fun and profound ~
A Friend Should Be Drastic, Gymnastic But Most of All Elastic
by Billy Sprague


Check out some other books by Billy Sprague:


Ice Cream as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe


Letter to a Grieving Heart





...to our Kids Church youth, parents, and leaders for a very successful Heifer unit and Living Gift Market, held on Sunday, Feb. 11. They raised over $1,300 for their intended purchases of a water buffalo, seeds, two hope baskets, honey bees, and a stove, all for those in need. Great job, everyone!


Don't delay! Sign up today!

for text messages with updates 
for the Central Closet Thrift Shop
(CLICK HERE or contact the church office)


March Highlights

• 50% off all blue ticketed items
• Gift certificates are still available - pay $9 and receive a $10 gift certificate 
• March 16th - Celebrate St Patrick's day with 50% off any green item
• March 30th - Special sale day! One free sale item with the purchase of a regular price item

Donation Update

Please note that we are no longer accepting donations of winter clothing, but welcome your new or gently used spring clothing and footwear!


Looking Back at Year One

The Central Closet Thrift Shop officially opened on January 11, 2023. The Thrift Shop has become an active and busy endeavor where customers frequently visit each week. The feedback from the customers is overwhelmingly positive! 

The income for 2023 was an impressive $14,683.62.  The entire income was designated to the church for the general fund to help with church operating expenses and helps defray any deficit in the budget.

In addition to generated income, donations of surplus stock were made to various charities as well. These include Warmth in Cold Places, CSCC Women’s Guild, My Brother’s Keeper, the Bridgewater Raynham school system, Salvation Army, Keeping Pace with Multiples, and Gifts to Give.
We have a great group of volunteers who help on a regular basis, but new volunteers are always welcome. If you have an hour or more to spare, we would love to have you join us. It has been such fun and a wonderful group of people have made this place special and so successful.
We always look forward to new ideas and continued success for 2024.

Connie Chandler, Sandy Kuipers, Lynn Pietras, Jane O’Connell, Gail Wright


Women's Guild and Fellowship will meet on Wednesday, March 6, at 6:30 in Fellowship Hall. Our program will be a slide show about Japan given by Barbara Morey. All are welcome to attend and feel free to bring friends. Barbara takes such wonderful pictures and gives a beautiful feeling of traveling to other countries. We will also have refreshments and a meeting.

The Spring Rummage Sale is coming on April 13 at the church. Please start gathering your good, clean stuff. We will be able to accept your donations April 8-12. We are looking for clean, non-stained, undamaged clothing for all ages, shoes, pocketbooks, accessories, linens, glassware, dishes, household items, decorations, jewelry, books, games, sporting goods, and toys. We do not accept electronics or big furniture. We are always looking for younger help on the day of the sale, so please let us know if you can help.
Jane O'Connell,Co-President 

Volunteers Needed

If you are looking for an opportunity to volunteer here is something that may interest you. The Bridgewater Food Pantry at CSCC is looking for people to fill in on a Thursday when regular volunteers are unable to fill their roles. You will receive instructions as to what your responsibilities would be.  You would be asked to help in one of these areas:
1. Greet and direct patrons to the pantry.
2. Wheel the grocery carts outside and unload them into the patrons’ cars.
3. Help sort food when large donations arrive.
4. Help patrons select which food items they need.

If you have any questions or would like to volunteer at the Bridgewater Food Pantry, please contact one of the following people:
Connie Chandler, food pantry volunteer – 508-697-3405
Diane Glass, member of the Community Engagement Team- 508-697-9004


There will be a Writer’s Group meeting in the Fireplace Room the third Friday of each month, which is March 15. This group will meet from 7-9pm to work on any type of writing you are interested in. We will also be offering time to share with the group what you’ve written for feedback and discussion. This part is optional, sharing is not required. You must be 16 or older to participate. For more information, please contact Sheri Turner at either ssturner @ mindspring.com or 508-472-4812.


From the Property and Finance Team -  Mark Sorgman, Dave Hanson, and John Sharland...

We Thank You!!

People like to be thanked for their giving. COVID took so many things away from us in so many ways. During that period, it was difficult if not almost impossible to run an organized, energized stewardship campaign, but members and regular attendees understood and continued to give. And along the way, we no longer received quarterly or annual giving statements, which always included a thank you note. The option was always provided that you could request an annual giving statement, but I do not know if they have included a Thank You. I don’t know because Linda and I no longer Itemize our federal income tax deductions, we take the standard deduction, so we don’t need proof of our annual charitable contributions amount.

The Property and Finance Team thanks you for your ongoing giving to our church. Every Sunday, when the symbolic offering plate is carried to the back of the sanctuary during the Giving portion of the service, we thank you. Silently. Along with a few fundraising events like the church fair and now the thrift shop, you are all we have to fund our budget and our mission.  

Bob Spencer was a beloved member of our church for a long time. He recently passed away at his retirement home in North Carolina. He was the chief development officer (fund raiser) for the Boston YMCA, and he often spoke of the “modern tithe.” He defined it as “after all taxes and benefits deductions, giving 5% of your take home pay”, or words to that effect. The Property and Finance Team asks you, respectfully, to examine this and pray about it to see if you can become or already are a modern tither.

The United Church of Christ, our denomination, annually provides resources for local church stewardship campaign efforts, with an annual theme. The picture above represents the 2024 theme. For those new to pledging and/or dedicated weekly giving, CSCC has key points and FAQs about giving - CLICK HERE.

A Bibliophile’s Perspective on Kindness

by Sheri Turner

My family and I love books. We have all kinds of books all over our home. My husband Steve loves to read about history, airplanes, and clothing styles throughout history. My daughter Allison likes to read about people like Malala,  The Radium Girls, and science fiction. My son Christopher likes Dungeons and Dragons, science fiction, and sports. My son Daniel enjoys science fiction and fantasy. I absolutely love Stephen King (he writes more than horror you know) and Edgar Allan Poe, but will venture out into almost anything (I recently finished Jodi Piccoult’s Mad Honey - it was very good).

A tradition we had as a family before Allison moved to San Diego with her boyfriend Evan was to go to Barnes and Noble and pick out books to read. My husband would get a bonus from work every year and a portion of that would be spent on picking out books we each wanted to read, and then going to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner afterwards. Let me tell you waiting for a table is much easier when you have just started reading Stephen King’s Fairytale.

Last week I was looking through the titles of the books I have on my shelves, trying to decide if it was time to get rid of some to make room for others. Some, like Stephen King’s The Stand have been read over and over, and will continue to be read over and over. Some, like Eat, Pray, Love have been started, but not finished, and some, like Idiot America were on the “planning to read” list and have yet to be opened.

As I looked at that last title, Idiot America, I wondered what had possessed me to pick up a book with such a title. I reviewed the back cover, which purports to explain how American culture has become so dumb and devoid of ethics. “Wow!” I thought to myself. That’s mighty blunt. I DO struggle with understanding how corporate America and American politicians seem to feel that rules and ethics don’t apply to them. However, I’m not prepared to say they are all idiots (okay, some are, but we aren’t here to discuss that right now).

What this HAS made me think about is how quickly we can slip into thinking people who don’t see things our way are idiots. You hear frequently that living in an echo chamber where you are surrounded by people who think the same way you do is not a healthy way to develop critical thinking skills or have intelligent discourse, but precious few people really take the time to try to appreciate an alternative point of view. 

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it,” is a quote my Facebook feed credits to the great thinker Aristotle. I don’t really know if Aristotle actually said this, but I agree with the point the quote makes. We need to make room in our lives for ideas that are different than our own, even if we ultimately don’t agree with them.

You may ask, “Why must we do this?” I’ll tell you why. As Christians, we are accountable for representing truth in what we say and do. Love and truth are cornerstones to the Christian faith. How can we know that we are representing truth in what we say and do unless we challenge our thinking and test it against what we know to be fact? If something is truth, it will remain the truth no matter what anyone says or does. If someone told you the human body does not need oxygen, it wouldn’t change the fact that you would suffocate without it, right? If someone said the body has no need for oxygen, it would not harm you to think about having no oxygen for the body. Harm would only occur if you actually deprived yourself of oxygen. 

Discourse dies if we hurl insults and create an atmosphere where we fear judgement and condemnation. Critical thinking ceases to exist where questions and doubts are unwelcome. It seems to me that the kindest thing I can do then is to keep an open mind that is willing to examine why I think what I do, and leave room for others to do the same. In that spirit then, I think I will remove the book Idiot America from my shelf and move it on to someone who may want to think about the implications of such name calling. 


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 ...about cancellations, or upcoming CSCC events? Click HERE.


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!)