Holy Conversations Inside this issue: Volume 5, Issue 3 August

The TCC Connection
August September October 2016
Volume 5, Issue 3
August/September/October 2016
Holy Conversations
It will be a year in October that I’ve been your interim pastor.
We’ve done a lot of good work together since I began. We
started out developing a Covenant of Holy Manners, which
was voted on and approved at our spring annual meeting.
This covenant guides us in how we are to relate to one another especially when having difficult discussions.
You might remember the five focus points during the interim
time are Heritage. We did this when we looked at the time
line of our history and lifted out patterns, when we were at
our best, not so good and what best practices we wanted to
bring forward. We also had Peggy Bendroth come and
preach about the
importance of reInside this issue:
membering our
past while not
idolizing. She also
gave a presentaBOARD OF DEACONS
tion on “What is
Missions committee news
The second focus point is Mission. That is essentially who we
are and what we are called to be and to do. We did this when
we had our “core values” workshop. There we lifted out five
important values that define our church. They have been
shared in the Newsletter, inserted in the bulletin two times and
read during worship once, posted around the church and
shared with boards and committees. Please take a moment to
review them. Bob Masters, Mike Wildeman and Cathie Seaman put a lot of work into drafting the text. While there may
have many different possible word choices, everyone can
agree that it captures the ethos of our congregation.
The all-church survey conducted by the Board of Ministries
also got a good read on who we are from demographic information to theological tendencies, worship
styles and the kind of pastoral leadership we need and will be presented several Sundays in September
after worship.
Leadership is another focus point. We’ve seen shifts in the Board of Ministries, the Deacons, and our
other boards and committees. The BoM and Deacons have also started discussions on how to make
Tewksbury Congregational Church
… continued on page 2
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The TCC Connection
August September October 2016
Submitted by Rev. Norm Bendroth
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TCCs organizational structure more serviceable given the premium on volunteer time and the need to do
things more efficiently and effectively. We’ve also hired Mercy Delgado as our Administrative Assistant
and Suzanne Utoh as our Director of Music.
Connections is where we connect with our denomination, our community and our ecumenical
and interfaith partners. The United Church of Christ is a big tent with all kinds of flavors of people which
reflects our congregation. The Mass. Conference offers all sorts of resources to congregation including
training events like Super Saturday, workshops on topics such as church vitality and renewal, Clergy
Communities of Practice (which I participate) in plus guiding us in the Search and Call Process. This fall
Rev. Jonathan New, the interim Associate Conference Minister for Stewardship and Finance, will be
preaching our Stewardship Sunday sermon and Rev. Dr. Jim Antal, our Conference Minister and President, will be with us in January.
In addition we are using a tool called MissionInsite, which I described in detail in the last newsletter, to
give us a snapshot of the kind of people who might be attracted to our church and what kinds of ministries we can offer to meet needs in Tewksbury. We will be offering presentations after worship on several
Sundays in September to sharing the results of this and the survey.
The Search Committee and Board of Ministries also wants to interview key leaders in the community including the Town Manager, Police and Fire Chiefs, Superintendent of Schools, and the Director of the
Council of Aging. The questions we ask are, how had the town changed since you’ve arrived; what is
your biggest challenge and how can faith communities help. If anyone would like to help in this process
or go with someone, please let me know.
The last focus point is preparing for the Future. Through a nominating process, the Board of Ministries
presented a fine, balanced slate of members for the Pastoral Search Committee. This committee is
tasked to prayerfully and deliberately look for the best pastor to lead TCC into the next chapter of its history. Hold them constantly in your prayers!
The capstone of this process will be our all-church Synod to be held on Saturday, October 15th. There
will be a morning and afternoon session where people can dream, share ideas, brainstorm and set goals
for the next 2 to 5 years.
All of this work will be gathered up and presented in a Church Profile which is shared with pastoral candidates interested in serving here. This document should present an accurate picture of our church with all
its warts, wrinkles and beauty marks as the Search Committee discerns the best pastor for you for this
time and place.
I often use the saying, “Aim at nothing and you’ll hit it every time.” We’re in a season of discernment and
discovery (which I like to call “Holy Conversations”) of the future God has for TCC.
Rev. Norm
Norman B. Bendroth
Interim Pastor
Tewksbury Congregational Church
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The TCC Connection
August September October 2016
Pastoral Search Update
The Pastoral Search Committee has had its first meeting! Throughout the process we will be doing our
best to keep the congregation informed about what progress has been made. Due to the nature of the
search process and privacy needed for the candidates, many details will need to stay confidential.
Most of our updates will address where we are in the process as opposed to exact details.
In our first meeting we met with Wendy Vander Hart, our UCC Associate Conference Minister. Wendy
had lots of information about what to expect and what we could rely on her for. Thank you Wendy!
After Wendy left we got down to assigning duties and figuring out when our next meeting would be.
One of the most important tasks of the Search Committee will be to write a detailed profile of our
church for prospective candidates to read. It was agreed that waiting to hear from the entire
congregation at the October Synod would be the most comprehensive and inclusive way to proceed
with the church profile. As such, some parts of this puzzle are on hold until October.
Please feel free to talk to any of us about the process and its progress!
Committee Officers and Members:
Chaplain: Susannah Trudeau
Co-Chairs: Mary Lou Adams and James Kenney
Secretary: Stephanie Muse
Communications: Bradley Staeben
Members: Bob Wallace, Tina Ramsdell, Joe Cipriano
Tewksbury Congregational Church
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The TCC Connection
August September October 2016
Submitted by Marilyn SanClemente
TCC Survey Results
Interested in learning more about what your fellow members are thinking about
The results of this Spring’s survey and the all church canvas last year, have
been compiled and will be presented in a series of meetings after church in
This feedback is very important and is helping the BOM move forward with
planning for the upcoming Strategic Planning session (the Synod) on October
The BOM, Deacons and Pastoral Search Committee, need your participation
and input to help move our church forward!
These sessions will be held in the Vestry at 11am on the following Sundays:
Sunday September 18th - 11am
Sunday September 25th - 11am
Sunday October 2nd - 11am
Tewksbury Congregational Church
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The TCC Connection
August September October 2016
Submitted by Marilyn SanClemente
Save The Date
Pease help us with TCC's Strategic Plan! This critical session is open to all who share an
interest in this Church's vision for the future, as well as the search for Pastoral Leadership by our
Search Committee.
Date: Saturday, October 15th, 2016
Time: 9 am-5 pm
Please come. Your input and participation are invaluable.
More details will follow in the upcoming weeks.
Submitted by Sue Trudeau
Communion Sunday Update
Please note that Communion Sunday for September has been moved to
September 11th, to account for Labor Day Weekend.
Tewksbury Congregational Church
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The TCC Connection
August September October 2016
Submitted by Sue Panilaitis
Tewksbury Congregational Church
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The TCC Connection
August September October 2016
Submitted by Sue Panilaitis
Tewksbury Congregational Church
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The TCC Connection
August September October 2016
Submitted by Carol Sturtevant
2015 Pie Social and Christmas Fair –A Bonus Year for TCC!
Tewksbury Town Common Lighting & Festivities Committee joined with Team TCC for fun for all!
All ages working together Friday & Saturday during Pie Social & Town Activities—VERY
Everyone of all ages make a difference—serving, creating, baking, building, serving and behind the
Many thanks to those who have participated by attending the last two meetings, providing
suggestions & new ideas, and committing to leadership and assistance for the upcoming season.
We also thank Trish Keddie and Rita Masters for stepping up to lead the Pie Social for 2016 and all
the continuing table chairpersons, assistants and important pre & post fair leaders . The TEAM is
in place! We are ready to move forward and complete the plan for the 2016 Pie Social and
Christmas Fair at our final pre-events meeting on Sunday, October 23rd in the Vestry
following Sunday Worship. All are welcome—your ideas, input, and assistance are important
to our 2016 Success!
If you are unable to attend, please contact Carol Sturtevant(978-851-4451,
sturtevantcb@verizon.net) and share your thoughts and ideas. Again, thank you Team TCC for your
commitment to these events. Your work and the proceeds from these events are working to make
TCC a safer and more welcoming place for worship and learning.
Tewksbury Congregational Church
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The TCC Connection
August September October 2016
Submitted by Rita Masters & Sue Trepaney
News From the Friendship Garden
After a lengthy absence the sundial has been returned to the Friendship Garden.
It was given as a memorial to Ray Corey’s daughter by Bob and Rita Masters. It
adorned the garden for several years but was stolen from the garden. Sometime
later it was found behind the church parking lot near the railroad tracks.
Unfortunately, the gnomon (dial) was missing. With this part missing there would
be no shadow on the plate. With the gnomon missing you could not tell the time.
After several years of searching for a replacement one was found at a small
company in Michigan and, more importantly, a price that was reasonable!
Take a moment to go over to the Friendship Garden and take a look at the
sundial. Special note: when reading the time on the dial remember the sun
doesn’t go to daylight savings time!!!!!!
Bob and I hope you will enjoy its return to the Garden.
Rita Masters
Tewksbury Congregational Church
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The TCC Connection
August September October 2016
Tewksbury’s 8th Annual Zero Waste Day – Saturday, September 24th
What started as a copy-cat project eight years ago has become Tewksbury’s biggest GIVING
event of the year, thanks to the “people power” in our wonderful Congregation. We will, once
again, be supporting 15 local organizations at our drive thru donating and recycling event from
9am-1pm in the Wynn Middle School parking lot. Many have asked why we don’t use our TCC
lot, but those who have volunteered or donated realize that a much larger space is required.
(And even the Wynn lot is tight!)
What can you do to help? Oh… so many things! Perhaps you would like to volunteer to be a
traffic director or car unloader at the event? Or maybe you could bake some cookies or provide a
case of water for the volunteers? Or hang some posters around town? Or advertise the event on
your Facebook page (and INVITE FB Friends to attend, too)? Or share the flyer with friends?
And one of the very best things that you could do is to donate items that you no longer need to
people who could truly use them. Be a “drive thru donor or recycler.”
By the time this lovely newsletter reaches you, a Sign-up Genius electronic form will be available
if you wish to volunteer or donate (snacks/beverages). If electronic sign-ups are not your style,
please email Beth at bmcfadyen@comcast.net or call her at 978-851-4867. We typically require
about 75 volunteers to serve an average of 500 cars over the four hour period of time. Your assistance is warmly appreciated.
As a reminder, due to the nature of the busy parking lot, we do not allow children under the age of
12 (or grade 7) to volunteer on the actual day, but they are invited to earn service hours by baking
treats for the volunteers or hanging posters around town (with adult supervision).
Further details about Zero Waste Day can be found on www.zwdtewksbury.org. Thank you, TCC
Missions Committee, for co-sponsoring this great community event in partnership with the Tewksbury Recycling Committee!
Tewksbury Congregational Church
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The TCC Connection
August September October 2016
Tewksbury Congregational Church
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The TCC Connection
August September October 2016
Submitted by Joanne Kenney
Fall Missions Newsletter Submission
Throughout the summer and the start of fall, generous church members are gathering school supplies for our
friends at Church World Service. Each of 24 school bags have been sponsored by a church family and will
be returned with supplies by the start of October. The filled bags will be dedicated on October 16th and then
delivered to CWS in the Spring for the start of the following school year. Thank you all for the enthusiasm you
have shown with our new ‘bag sponsorship’ method of gathering supplies!
Also in October, look for a fun Pajama Day on the 9th, where kids and parents alike are welcome to wear
their favorite jammies to church. On this day, new pairs of pajamas will be collected and delivered to our
friends at the Wish Project.
Looking ahead to the start of November, we’ve got lots of ways to get
involved to help our friends in need:
Halloween Candy Collection for our friends at LTLC – Nov. 6th & 13th
Holiday Giving Tree program begins on Nov. 6th
Potato Collection for the Pantry begins on Nov. 6th
Tewksbury Congregational Church
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The TCC Connection
August September October 2016
Submitted by Joanne Kenney
Heifer Project International Update:
The Missions Committee is excited to report that $2051 was raised for the first year of our two-year project
to Fill the Ark. The total cost of an ark is $5000. Since HPI doesn’t accept partial donations for a project like
Fill the Ark, the money collected this year will be held in a TCC restricted account. There were a lot
of fun activities and special “ark treats” served during Coffee Hour. So be prepared! Missions is working on
some even more enjoyable ways to learn about the special work of HPI.
Special note: The Missions Committee decided to change the time for Heifer. It has been moved
from May to January 2017. We have put on our thinking caps and will find unique ways to keep those cows
on the front lawn warm and raise enough money to Fill the Ark.
Congratulations Jean Metcalf,
JoJo Scharmer & Julie Marotte,
on 40+ years of service to TCC!
Tewksbury Congregational Church
Rev. Norm-Fit as a Fiddle!
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The TCC Connection
August September October 2016
Submitted by Rev. Norm Bendroth
Public Relations volunteer needed! Do you have a PR background? Do you know how to
use social media? We need someone who can keep our active church in front of the people of
Tewksbury through the Patch, Town Crier, local newspapers, our Facebook page and more? We
need a person who will see this as a ministry to let people know about our ministries and mission.
Interested? Call or email Mercy in the church office or email Rev. Norm.
Newcomers Class
Are you interested in exploring membership at the Tewksbury Congregational Church or learning
more about what we believe, our history and what makes us tick? Rev. Bendroth will be leading
four sessions for those interested in joining or exploring membership October 2nd, 16th, 23rd and
30th after worship in the Parlor. These will be fun, interactive sessions looking at questions like
“What is a Christian?” “How to be a minister in the world?” “Why join a church?” and more. We will
take in those wishing to join on Sunday, November 13th. Please call or email the church office or
Rev. Norm if interested.
Confirmation Schedule
August 25th 6pm
Pizza and Movie Night at the Kenney’s. We will be watching the movie
"Jesus", which is based exactly on the Gospel of Luke. It's a high film
quality and quite riveting.
Sept. 11th 11 am
All group gathering in the Parlor after worship.
Sept. 25th 11 am
All group gathering in the Parlor after worship.
Nov. 12th
On Saturday, November 12, in the evening we will be having a gathering of
all who wish to come to have a special worship service led by the
confirmands. At that time each student will present what we're calling a
"God Glimpse," which will be a reflection on a parable from the Gospel of
Luke and where you the student has seen God alive in their lives.
Confirmation Sunday will be November 13. That is the Sunday we will take
you into membership if that is your choice.
Nov. 13t
Confirmation Sunday
Tewksbury Congregational Church
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The TCC Connection
August September October 2016
In Memoriam...
We are mourning the passing of Sherry Fulton's Mom, JoAnn
Shively, on August 10th, 2016, and Jack Hall, on August 18th,
2016. We continue to offer our prayers and support to Sherry,
Jackie and Kathryn and their family, and Yvonne, Julie, Dave
and Ashley.
Tewksbury Congregational Church
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The TCC Connection
August September October 2016
Permit No. 1
Tewksbury, MA 01876
Tewksbury Congregational Church
10 East Street
Tewksbury, MA 01876
phone: 978-851-9411
e-mail: tewksburycc@verizon.net
website: tewksburycc.org
Place Label Here
August September October Newsletter (2016)
Time-Sensitive Material
Secretary’s Corner
I had the opportunity and pleasure to attend the 48th Annual Church Secretaries Conference
(my first!) this Summer, June 12-14th, 2016, at the Craigsville Retreat Center, in Cape Cod. What
a wonderful group of ladies, some of whom have been attending the annual Conference for over
25 years!
The theme of our Conference this year was: “Church Secretaries Wear Many Hats”. We
examined and shared the unique nature of our work in the church office, and were fortunate to
have as key note speaker Rev. Ann Gibert, from UCC Federated Church in Webster, MA.
Rev. Ann was herself a Church Secretary, and was able to share with the group her wisdom and
wit, making the gathering that much more meaningful. She also shared her passion for Stephen’s
Ministry, which equips and empowers lay caregivers in church congregations to provide Christcentered care to those who are hurting. The outreach program was the “Sleeping Bag Ministry”,
and we each brought in items to assist those who are homeless.
We shared meals, games, crafting, songs and worship. The setting was beautiful, overlooking
Nantucket Sound, and we ended our Conference with a communion worship and offering for
missions that focus on suicide prevention. I’m already looking forward to next year’s Conference,
and the opportunity to deepen the connections I made this Summer!
Mercy Delgado
Tewksbury Congregational Church
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