Sept. 2017 Newsletter

CentralNEWS/September 2017

VOLUME 24 NUMBER 8

296 Angell Street, Providence, RI 02906 401-331-1960

From Rebecca

Dear Friends,

Like many of you, I have been struck by the coming together in this part of the world to view the solar eclipse.  People shared stories, experiences, visions…. The few moments when the sun darkened brought us closer, as we contemplated this spinning globe we all call home.  The coming together was even more striking because of the recent awful hatred on view by small groups of white supremacists throughout our country and the larger political firestorm that followed...  These people forget or refuse to realize the Confederate flag and monuments are not merely symbols of history. They fuel the hatred of white supremacists, racists, neo Nazis and others who threaten our communities large and small.  Following the Confederacy's defeat, Robert E Lee himself said about a proposed Gettysburg memorial in 1869, "I think it wiser not to keep open the sores of war but to ... obliterate the marks of civil strife and to commit to oblivion the feelings engendered."  Lee, in his defeat, urged all citizens to put away symbols and ideas that divide us.  Such different experiences in the past few weeks...the ugliness of Charlottesville exposing us all to human sin and the extraordinary vision of mortals sharing special glasses exclaiming over the moon's transit in front of the sun.  Polarization seemingly too deep to bridge and that incredible unity of awe.

I have been pondering the first book of Genesis where we read, "In the beginning of Creation, when God made heaven and earth the earth was without form and void with darkness over the face of the abyss, and a mighty wind that swept over the surface of the waters.  God said, "Let there be light" and there was light, and God saw the light was good and separated light from darkness.... And later.... God created us in that divine image, and blessed us mortals and saw all that was made and it was very good.... Thus heaven and earth were completed with all their mighty throng.”

It comes only later in Genesis, of course, that we read that the serpent was more crafty than any wild creature the Lord God had made…and we humans bought into that craftiness....and ever since we have struggled with the truth of human sin.  Sin that separates human being from human being, whether it is bigotry or hatred, selfishness or fear.... sin is present in this beautiful world God created and in each of us.

Two hundred years after my Divinity School's founding in 1816, Harvard University President Drew Faust wrote...."together we celebrate a bicentennial with renewed faith in the Divinity School's mission to illuminate, engage and serve a world perhaps more in need of its expertise than ever before in its history."  Her words apply to our own dear Central Church.  In these summer months when I've been able to withdraw somewhat from the daily bustle of pastoral tasks, I've come up with some ideas for us to find ways to deepen our understanding of faith and to work for a more inclusive community, one that is dedicated to civility, open conversations and deep respect for others' perspectives....it is in this way we will ultimately defeat the evil that dwells in the darkness.

How do we do this?  Through daily prayer and asking for God's guidance in large and small issues….by opening our hearts and minds to God's light and love….by refusing to be polarized ourselves or to polarize others.

Through seeking out those who see the world in a different way or who may be influenced by greed or racism, prejudice or misogyny, and in peace engaging them in relationship, as we stand against oppression of any kind.

Through participating in some of our upcoming events looking at the effects of the Protestant Reformation in our world, or the Poetry Spectacular celebrating God's creation, or the lecture on Islam and democracy. Through participating in our deepening relationship with the members of Olney Street Baptist Church. Through helping another refugee family escape oppression and find refuge in our country.  Through active listening to the Other with ears of love that conquers fear.  Through regular worship in this community we call Central.

God rested on the 7th day, but God never withdrew from this created world, and from all of us, God's children.   We can and we will make a difference for peace, stamping out meanness and evil and replacing these with love.  And we will do it day by day, one by one, in our quotidian lives, in relationship with others in our community. This is what Jesus taught us....to love one another, as we have been loved....

Yours, in His love

Rebecca

New Members

New Member Inquiry*
Wednesday, October 24

Faith Exploration*
Tuesday, November 1

New Member Sunday
November 5

*These meetings are held at the home of the Rev. Rebecca Spencer 15 Taber Ave at 7 pm.

Baptism

The Sacrament of Baptism is an important part of our worship life together. In an effort to uplift our celebration of Baptisms in our community of faith, we will be offering Baptisms on the following days:

Children’s Sabbath                   October 15, 2017
Sunday after Epiphany            January 7, 2018
Easter Vigil                               March 31, 2018
Sunday after Easter                 April     8, 2018

A meeting to prepare parents for Baptism will be held in our Fireplace Room at 9 am on the preceding Saturdays.  Please speak with the Rev. Rebecca Spencer if you would like to be included in this very important part of life at Central—The Sacrament of Baptism.

Our Thoughts & Prayers are With

Sandi Connors and her family as they grieve the loss of her father, Charlie Masison, who died August 25.

GATHERING SUNDAY

TIME CHANGE: 10:30 a.m. on SEPTEMBER 10

“Who wants a difficult and demanding life?”

The Rev. Rebecca L. Spencer preaching

Special Lecture Series

THREE HISTORIC PROVIDENCE CHURCHES SPONSOR LECTURE SERIES

Commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation Experts Explore the Reformation from German, English and Rhode Island/Baptist Perspectives

Wednesday, Oct. 11, 6 pm
Central Congregational Church

Wednesday, Oct. 18, 6 pm
Grace Episcopal Church
300 Westminster St. Providence, RI

Wednesday, Oct. 25, 6 pm
Calvary Baptist Church
747 Broad St. Providence, RI

PLEASE PICK UP A FLYER ON THIS SERIES AFTER WORSHIP IN CHAPEL HALL

From Claudia

As the summer draws to a close and we all turn toward the joys of fall I’ve been thinking about the creatures of this earth…all the creatures, human and otherwise.  And I’ve been contemplating Job.  In the Bible we know that Job had it tough.  In his affliction, his so-called “friends” came to heap more coals upon his head.  Essentially, they wanted to know what Job had done to deserve such suffering.

Job refuted them saying that all is in God’s hands.  “But ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you; ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of God has done this?  In God’s hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being.” (Job 12:7-10)

How easy it is to forget that God gives all life, even our own.  And that means that we are to respond in gratitude and thanksgiving.  The birds, the fish, the animals and even the plants all declare God’s glory.  No less so should we humans.  These ancient words have much to say to us in these days of strife here and around the globe.  It’s easy to get stuck in the bad news that swirls around us hour by hour.

But then I think of the wondrous chorus from Haydn’s oratorio, The Creation: “The heavens are telling the glory of God, the wonder of his works displays the firmament.” (Psalm 19:1) Today that wonder will be clearly on display as we experience a solar eclipse.  And as it happens I will be humming this part of Haydn’s composition.

Even in the midst of the many things humans have wrought for ill in this world, God’s incredible creation is all around us.  Today I will remember that and celebrate the glories of all creation—plants, fish, animals, birds, and yes—humanity, as I experience the wonder of the sun and moon in their orbits….

May it be so for us all!

Claudia

New!! Spiritual Companionship Group

Thursdays from 6:00-7:00 PM
10/5, 11/2, & 12/7

Where is God in our lives?  Spiritual companionship is a very ancient tradition.  It is a way to offer ourselves a holy spaciousness by listening for God in our lives.  We encounter our own inner wisdom as we seek where God is found in our daily living.  Through the companionship of others participants often find new possibilities in their spiritual life and practices.  Participants are asked to commit to all three sessions.

Please RSVP to Claudia.

ANGELLIC KNITTERS

Sunday, September 10
11:45 AM Deacon’s Room

Come join the fun: whether you knit, aspire to knit, or just want to experience fellowship and participate in the blessing of the prayer shawls that are lovingly made for others!  As an added bonus, if you’ve always wanted to learn how to knit we’ll teach you!  Questions?  Call Janice Libby or Claudia.

CCC Adult Sunday School

Who is God?
Fireplace Room, 9:00-10:00 AM
9/17, 9/24, 10/1, 10/8, 10/15, 10/22 & 10/29

Who is God?  People have asked this question since the dawn of time.  We will explore the ways people have experienced God throughout the ages including our own time.  Join us for thought-provoking ideas and conversation.  Questions?  Ask Claudia

FOOD FOR THOUGHT BOOK GROUP

Thursday, September 14
7:00-8:30 PM in the Fireplace Room at Central

Join us for a lively discussion of this month’s book—Crossing the Bamboo Bridge with Barrington author Mai Donohue!

Looking ahead:

October 12—Flight Behavior (Barbara Kingsolver)
November 9—Hillbilly Elegy (J. D. Vance)
December 14—Christmas Potluck and Book Swap TBD
January 11—A Gentleman in Moscow (Amor Towles)

From Aidan

Confirmation 2017-2018

Confirmation is the affirmation of the promises made for us through the sacrament of baptism.  During the Confirmation journey at Central, confirmands explore their faith, the traditions of the Christian church, and the Bible.  Over the course of our year together, we will learn from one another, ask questions, and deepen our relationship to God and the Church.  The Confirmation program at Central is open to 9th grade youth, as well as older youth who have not had the opportunity to be confirmed.

This year’s Confirmation class will begin with an orientation meeting for parents and confirmands following worship on Sunday, September 17th in the Fireplace Room.  The confirmands will stay for a special lunch following the meeting.  Classes will officially begin at 9:15 AM in the Deacons’ Room on Sunday, October 1st.  Please feel free to contact Aidan for more information.

Youth Groups Kick-Off Gathering: 9.10.17

The NEOS Junior High and WORD Senior High youth groups will kick off our new church year following worship on Gathering Sunday, September 10th.

We will have a pizza lunch, play some games, and catch up after all of our summer adventures.  Youth are encouraged to bring their favorite games…cards, board games, or lawn games.

Monthly Family Meal

Beginning this September, we will gather for a monthly family meal organized by one or more Central families.

Each month, the families will organize a simple meal and select a theme or topic relating to our faith for us to look into together.  This will be a wonderful opportunity to build deeper connections as church families, share our collective spiritual wisdom, and have a night of carefree dinner prep!

Please join us on Wednesday, September 20th at 5:30 PM for our first family meal.

WORD Fellowship Day Retreat: 9.30.17

On Saturday, September 30th, the WORD Senior High Fellowship is going on a day retreat!  The theme of the day will be fellowship and we will spend our time together getting to know one another better and simply having fun.  We will gather at Central at 10 AM to open our day of retreat together and then set off for some surprise adventures.  We will close our day retreat together back at Central at 5 PM.  More info to come!

Save the Bay Clean Up & Fellowship Lunch: 9.16.17

All are welcome to join us from 10 AM to noon on Saturday, September 16th to volunteer at the Save the Bay Shoreline Clean Up at Fields Point in Providence.  Dress for the weather, wear close-toed shoes, and feel free to bring work gloves and a bottle of water.  The cleanup will be located at the Save the Bay headquarters and parking is available at 100 Save the Bay Drive, Providence.

After we spend the morning caring for God’s Creation, we will gather for lunch at the Brass Monkey on Allens Ave.  Please let Aidan know if you plan to attend by Sunday, September 10th.

MUSIC AT CENTRAL

Come sing in our choirs!

We welcome new members to join our Adult and Children’s choirs this Fall.

Our Children’s Choir rehearses 5 - 6 p.m. on Mondays and Sundays at 10 a.m. before worship where they sing weekly.   Drawn from grades 3 - 8, children learn not only to sing, but how to read music, and what it means to lead worship.  We begin rehearsals on Monday, September 18.

Our Adult Choir also sings weekly for worship with a 9:15 warmup, and Thursday evening 7:30 - 9:30 rehearsals.  In addition to regular Sunday service, the Adult Choir also sings extra musical events approximately once a month with a more major work, often accompanied by instruments or an orchestra.  Rehearsals begin on Thursday, September 14.

Come try us out risk-free!   We’d love to see you.

CHURCH SCHOOL NEWS

Dear Church School families,

"Behold how good and pleasant it is for people to live in Oneness!"  (Psalm 133:1)

We WELCOME EVERYONE back to the Church School wing again beginning on GATHERING SUNDAY, SEPT. 10th!    We'll kick things off with our annual  9:30 a.m. GATHERING MEETING  before worship for parents/children/teachers in the 2nd floor children's "Gathering Space".   Church School classes officially begin this Sunday!   Welcome and introductions of teachers and helpers, as well as curriculum highlights for the fall, and reminders of all Central's programs involving children/youth will be made at this meeting -- PLEASE BRING YOUR REGISTRATION FORMS WITH YOU, OR COME EARLY TO FILL ONE OUT THEN (registration needs to be filled out annually).  Breakfast munchies will be provided, kindness of the Religious Education Committee (Thank you!!).

In the name of the Bee,
and of the Butterfly,
and of the Breeze,
Amen!
(Emily Dickinson)

See you soon!
Love & Care,

Cathy C-T
(Director of Religious Education at Central)

REBECCA’S BOOK GROUP

Next meets on Thursday, September 28, 12:30.  The book selection is Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue.  All are welcome to attend this lively group.

DEACON’S BENCH

Summer got away from me, as it often does, and I had not spent as much time as I would have liked at church or even taking time to be contemplative or in prayer. We had been planning an end of summer last hurrah whiffle ball and poker game when we got the news that our friend’s mother had passed away. She had been battling cancer for years, and her struggle had ended. It was with that way that you immediately turn to rearranging everything when something like this happens that I turned to figuring out how to get our youngest son from camp and cancel friends coming over to our house both in the morning and the afternoon for our party.

The day was beautiful, not a cloud in the sky and a perfect temperature as the hearse pulled up to the church. The friend whose mother had passed was one of my husband’s oldest childhood friends. It was so comforting to see our friends who had come to be with him on that day. I realized as we settled into the pew that not only was I thankful to be there to support our friend, I was thankful to be there for me. Such a great sense of peace washed over me as we sat in church amidst friends that I’ve known now for more than half of my life. While we celebrated our friend’s mother’s life, it struck me that I’d been struggling with processing so much going on in the world and feeling at a loss for how to feel that sense of peace.

I know that throughout the year I find that calm and time to focus at Central. It’s amazing how easy it is to not only take that for granted but to allow yourself not to make time for it. As we head back into the time of year when church attendance (including my own) rises, I hope that we all remember how important that time is to set aside to worship with each other. I hope we all also think about community and inclusion and how to expand that to others around us.

NEEDED:  VOLUNTEERS TO MENTOR CHILDREN

The mission of RISE is to provide scholarships and mentoring to the children of currently and formerly incarcerated parents in order to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty, crime and addiction that too often threatens them.

RISE currently provides 75 children with positive adult mentors, as well as 37 scholarships for private and parochial high schools as well as learning and family supports. RISE is seeking mentors who can commit to spending six hours a month with one of our students for a minimum of one year.

For more information please visit www.riseonline.org, call 401-421-2010 or email Executive Director Kristen Haffenreffer at khaffenreffer@riseonline.org.

Also feel free to contact Gwen Edwards, Central member who has applied to become a new RISE volunteer. Gwen was struck by the critical need for men to volunteer - there are currently as many as 50 boys waiting for a mentor! Ages range from seven to mid-teens.

Gallery Committee

To kick off our new season of art, the Gallery Committee will exhibit works from the Art Connection RI, an organization inspired by artist Fay Chandler. In 1995, Fay's work was featured in a major retrospective at the Boston Center for the Arts. She realized that not all of her pieces would sell and thought it made little sense to store them indefinitely in her studio. Why not let people enjoy the art? So, invitations were sent to area non-profits offering opportunities to choose pieces for display in their offices. To this day, the placement program makes art accessible to many people who otherwise might not have the chance to experience the transformative powers of creativity. Recipients include the RI Free Clinic, Meeting Street School, and Year Up.

Please join us for the show opening on Friday, September 15, 2017, at 5pm. We look forward to seeing you there!

MISSION AND ACTION

Mission and Action has already been at work and we are looking forward to an exciting Fall. We will continue our partnership with Amos House serving breakfast, volunteering with Camp Street Ministries and don't forget the sandwich brigade in November.  “Our first Mission Lunch with Loaves and Fishes RI  is scheduled for September 24,  immediately following worship” and we look forward to seeing all of you there!

Spirited Poetry Spectacular

October 22 Save the Date!!

Join us for a unique celebration on Sunday, October 22: Central Congregational Church UCC’s Spirited Poetry Spectacular.  In honor of Central’s own Poet Laureate, Ilse Kramer, this will be a festival of poetry for all ages.

Both RI State Poet Laureate Tina Cane and Central’s Director of Religious Education Cathy Clasper-Torch are experienced in working with youthful creativity.  These two have put together an inspired plan:   Our State Poet Laureate will accompany the children as they leave during worship, and she will address them briefly abut poetic form & device.  Tina will spend the remaining class time turning the children’s lines & phrases into a collaborative group poem. “It's messy but fun,” she promises.  "We can then share the collective poem with the congregation.”

Wondering about the final results of this delight?  Come to sip your coffee after worship.  Listen to the children’s collaborative group poem on Chapel Hall stage, crafted by Tina Cane as mediator scribe.   Stay to applaud other friends – as they compose/recite poems about anything & everything in God’s creation.

You are encouraged to be one of those poets!  Watch for more information in next month's newsletter, or contact Barry or Barbara Bayon.

Lecture

ISLAM AND DEMOCRACY IN AN AGE OF POPULISM - LECTURE – Nov. 3, at 7 p.m. BY: Tarek Masoud

MEDICAL EQUIPMENT TO BORROW.

At this time, the following items are available: walkers, crutches and a small scooter used for ankle injury and recovery. Please contact the church office for more information.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED:

To help fold the monthly newsletter in preparation for distribution and mailing.

ARE YOU ABLE TO PROVIDE AN OCCASSIONAL RIDE FOR A FELLOW MEMBER?

Some of our Central community members are unable to drive.  A dedicated but small group of people are providing rides to and from Sunday worship, as well as to other church events.  This need for rides continues to grow.  With your help, we can extend our “ministry of transportation” to more people.

ARK (Acts of Random Kindness) coordinators Maureen Whittemore and Barbara Bayon help to organize these rides and would be happy to add you to the list of volunteers.  For weekly worship service transportation, a sign-up list is available electronically, making it easy to see which weeks are already covered and when rides are needed.

Your help is needed to make certain that those among us who are less mobile are able to worship with us and attend other church functions.

Please be in touch with Maureen, Barbara, a Deacon or a minister for details and to join in this richly rewarding ministry.

Thank you very much.

Posted in Updates | Comments Off on Sept. 2017 Newsletter

August 2017 Newsletter

CentralNEWS/August 2017

VOLUME 25 NUMBER 7
296 Angell Street, Providence,  RI 02906  401-331-1960

From Claudia

The other night I was sitting on my porch just before dusk watching an amazing part of God’s creation in my own little corner of it.  Two yellow bellied sapsuckers were taking long drinks at our hummingbird feeders.  Nearby, the hummingbirds sat on my neighbor’s clothesline watching and waiting for them to leave.  Every so often one or the other would flit by the sapsuckers not willing to get too close, but obviously wanting them gone.

I marveled at their tiny selves as they “buzzed” the sapsuckers.  What courage it takes to try to move them out of the way considering the difference in sizes!  What an amazing feat of biology each of them are in their own unique way.  I started to think about how diverse all of creation is.  Yes, there are some similarities, but birds and other creatures and humans all have our own unique characteristics and traits.

So, I got curious and here’s what I discovered.  There are over 300 species of hummingbirds worldwide with 9 of them living in North America.  They fly at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour.  If humans needed the same energy required for these tiny birds we would have to eat about 1300 hamburgers and drink just over 16 gallons of water each day!

John Morton, an expert on birds says, “Were we to operate at their energy level, our hearts would beat 1260 times a minute, our body temperature would rise to 385 C and we would burst into flames.” (Vancouver Sun, 5/91)

This is utterly incredible, isn't it?  What kind of Creator could imagine such a creation?  The answer is simple.  Our Creator can and did.  “And God created…every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:21)  Each bit of creation is a miracle—including each one of you.

Thanks be to God for all creation—including amazing hummingbirds!

From Marilyn

My heartfelt thanks to you for your support through the years.  I truly enjoyed working here and am deeply touched by your kindness, love, and generosity.

The Central Congregational Church family is a very special one and I’m honored to be part of it.  You are a wonderful group of people – some of the nicest I know. I wish you well and will always cherish many happy memories of my Central years.

Love, Marilyn

Book Group

REBECCA’S  BOOK GROUP – Next meets on

Thursday, September 28, at 12:30. The book selection is Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue.  All are invited to attend this lively group.

Our Thoughts & Prayers are With

…the family and friends of Stephen Eustis, his mother, Georgia Eustis died on June 7, 2017. A Memorial Service was held at Swan Point Cemetery on June 12.

Paul Barlow, his mother, Evone Barlow, died on June 20th.

Kennon Miller, his father, Don Miller, died in May.

Ellen Barnes, her mother, Ellen Barnes, died in June.

Baptism

The Sacrament of Baptism is an important part of our worship life together. In an effort to uplift our celebration of Baptisms in our community of faith, we will be offering Baptisms on the following days:

Children’s Sabbath                  October 15, 2017
Sunday after Epiphany            January 7, 2018
Easter Vigil                             March 31, 2018
Sunday after Easter                April 8, 2018

A meeting to prepare parents for Baptism will be held in our Fireplace Room at 9 am Saturday of the preceding week.  Please speak with the Rev. Rebecca Spencer if you would like to be included in this very important part of life at Central—The Sacrament of Baptism.

New Members

New Member Inquiry*
Tuesday, October 24

Faith Exploration*
Wednesday, November 1

New Member Sunday
November 5

*These meetings are held at the home of the Rev. Rebecca Spencer 15 Taber Ave at 7 pm

FOOD FOR THOUGHT BOOK GROUP

Tuesday, August 15 from 5:30-7:00 PM

Join us for a lively discussion of this month’s book!

August 17—Tomato Rhapsody by Adam Schell (Potluck picnic at Claudia’s home—in case of rain we will meet in the Fireplace Room at Central)

From Aidan

At the closing reflection of our youth mission trip to New York City with the Youth Service Opportunities Project we were asked to share an image or scene from our week that we hoped would stay with us in the future.  After spending four days serving at various food pantries, soup kitchens, and agencies around the city, the images that flooded my mind were the tiny spaces and small gatherings of dedicated people who were making incredible impacts in the lives of so many.  These communities were responding to the needs of those who were hungry and without shelter by using whatever resources were available to them.  In most cases, this meant that a small team of whole-hearted people gave of their time and talents to serve hundreds of people in need, often on a daily basis.  It was awe-inspiring to witness just how much love and care can be spread from small groups of people working out of even smaller spaces.

Thank you to the entire Central community for prayerfully supporting this summer’s mission trip to New York.  Your prayers, fundraising contributions, and encouragement helped make this a truly special trip for all of us.  Please join us for Youth Mission Sunday on October 8th to hear prayers and reflections from our youth about their time in NYC!

Peace,
Aidan

CCC Summer VBS for ALL Ages!

Tuesday, August 1—Liberia
5:30-7:30 PM

Don’t miss this opportunity to gather with friends of all ages! Our new model for Vacation Bible School will continue to “visit ” countries with missions supported by the UCC this summer. Come join us we meet on Tuesday, August 1 knowing that this VBS is for EVERYONE!!  Children AND adults of ALL ages are welcome to join in the fun!

We will gather together for food from that country in addition to a pizza supper before “taking off” each night to a far flung place where our UCC Global Mission partners live and work.  Along the way we will play games, sing, do crafts and connect with our faith.  We will end with stories and songs and s’mores around the campfire weather permitting.

Take a trip with Aidan, Cathy and Claudia as together we explore Liberia!

Friendship Fund

Thanks to our members and friends for turning in their Eastside Market receipts.  To date Central Church as received $15,489.00 for our mission partners for our participation in their Friendship Fund.

A special thank you to Suzy Pendolino who tallies our receipts and delivers them to Eastside Market.

CHURCH SCHOOL NEWS

And now these three remain:
FAITH, HOPE and LOVE.
But the greatest of these
Is LOVE.
--1st Corinthians 13:13

Greetings, Church School friends and families!

I hope summer has been a time of rejuvenation and renewal of body-mind-spirit for you, and that you've enjoyed some slower, unplugged time with family and friends!

August in the Church School wing is the time to look towards the new church year and organize our teachers and youth helpers! Our Church School program is taught collectively and run cooperatively by parents and other caring adults, who create a loving and welcoming environment where children can learn, create, question & respond to the stories of our faith and life.   Please give some prayerful consideration to teaching for a unit (fall, winter or spring) in your child's classroom!   Your help is not only greatly appreciated, but essential for creating the Beloved Community of church family we strive to be!

Just a reminder that there is childcare, for children of any age, during summer worship (10:00 a.m.).  Come on back to the nursery!  The care-givers also take the children outside to the church playground -- taking advantage of beautiful summer weather!

Hope to see many of you at our next evening of "Intergenerational VBS (Vacation Bible School)" -- where we 'travel' to a different country each time.   In July we had a delightful evening in ARMENIA, and in August look forward to LIBERIA, on Tuesday, August 1st, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. -- food, crafts, stories, campfire & s'mores!....

Faith, Hope, Love & summer blessings,

Cathy Clasper-Torch,
Director of Religious Education

BIBLE STUDY

Psalms by J. Clinton McCann
August 6-20
Fireplace Room Sundays 9:00-9:45 a.m.

Our summer study continues as we take a look at the sweeping content of the Book of Psalms in Immersion Bible Studies’ book by J. Clinton McCann. Each week is a different topic:

  1. Whom Can We Trust?, 8/6
  2. Marching to Zion, 8/13
  3. Establishing Justice, 8/20

Summer Calendar

August (Church office closes at 3:00 P.M. this month)

6

9:00 a.m. Bible Study—Psalms (Fireplace Room)
10:00 a.m. Worship at Central Congregational Church UCC, Sacrament of Communion
11:30 a.m. Brunch at Doherty’s Irish Pub      

13

9:00 a.m. Bible Study—Psalms (Fireplace Room)
10:00 a.m. Worship at Central Congregational Church UCC
2:30   P.M. Bell, Book and Candle at Second Story Theatre  ($20 plus a $2.00 fee)

20

9:00 a.m. Bible Study—Psalms (Fireplace Room)
10:00 a.m. Worship at Central Congregational Church UCC

27

10:00 a.m. Worship at Central Congregational Church UCC
11:30 a.m.  Rasoi Restaurant, 727 East Street, Pawtucket (Buffet at $14.95 per person)

September

3

10:00 a.m. Worship at Central Congregational Church UCC

Gathering Sunday

September 10, 2017
10:30 Worship
The Rev. Rebecca Spencer preaching

Summer Labyrinth Walk

Tuesday, August 15 from 5:30-6:30 PM

Enjoy our brand new outdoor labyrinth (located just outside the kitchen door) under a beautiful summer sky.  Drop in between 5:30 PM and 6:30 PM on Tuesday, August 15 weather permitting to walk the labyrinth and enjoy the company of Central friends.  Questions? Ask Claudia.

LUNCH AT RASOI RESTAURANT

727 East Avenue in Pawtucket (at the end of Blackstone Boulevard)
August 27 at 11:30 AM Buffet at $14.95 per person

Join your friends from Central at this award-winning restaurant in our own backyard!  If you’ve never sampled Indian food, this is your chance to try a variety of dishes in a relaxed atmosphere.  Good food!  Good fellowship!  Who could ask for more?  Please RSVP to Claudia

Spirited Poetry Spectacular

October 22 - Save the Date!!

 Wondering if your occasional poetic thoughts could be part of a larger plan?  Join us for a unique celebration on Sunday, October 22:  Central Congregational Church UCC’s Spirited Poetry Spectacular.  Meet Rhode Island State Poet Laureate Tina Cane, who will conduct poetry classes for Church School youth.  Honor Central’s own Poet Laureate, Ilse Kramer.  Sip your coffee after worship and applaud your friends age 9 to 90 -- as they compose/recite poems about anything & everything in God’s creation.

Watch for more information in next month's newsletter, or contact Barry or Barbara Bayon.

LET’S GO TO THE THEATRE!!

Bell, Book and Candle

August 13 at 2:30 PM
Second Story Theatre
28 Market Street, Warren, RI

Tickets are $20 (plus a $2.00 order fee).  You are responsible for purchasing your own tickets for this outing.  Second Story Theatre is a small gem of a theater in our state and you are advised to get your tickets as soon as possible for this very special CCC outing.

DEACON’S  BENCH

Have you ever felt terribly alone?  Out of place?  Even in a crowd?  Especially in a crowd?  Perhaps most of us have felt that way at times.

But imagine that your younger, lonelier self is suddenly joined by hundreds, even thousands, who look into your eyes with friendly glances.  Imagine a still, small voice arising within loud cheering: “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.”  (I John 4:7)

Central Congregational Church UCC – our church –  helped make that possible on June 17.  For 41 years the Providence Pride parade has brought humanity out of the shadows: Starting with a daylight filled with information booths & greetings, it ended with a downtown evening parade glowing from, well, Pride.

Our dozen marchers, whom I call the “tip of the spear” representing Central members, ranged from confirmands to silver-haired seniors.  As we rounded the corner past Providence City Hall, passing crowds ten deep, those excited faces seemed to illustrate Jesus’ words:  “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.“ (John 10:10).  A few blocks further up Washington Street, two young men stood on the sidewalk and waved.  One pointed to our banner and mouthed over the cheering: “Look, a Church!!”

As a first-year marcher, his discovery filled me with pride for Central Church.  For a number of the parade’s years we have represented our national denomination, The United Church of Christ.  Our coordinator Debra Moorhead remembers, “We were one of the first churches...and every year more churches have come.”  Her counterpart Stuart Haruyama has organized and encouraged both young and old.

But if you’re not sure of your own views on the LGBTQ community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) you’re not alone.  Last Easter I pointed out Central’s UCC certification as an “Open and Affirming” church to our visiting grandchildren.  Posting that certificate followed a long period of discussion and meditation, a process which is another source of pride for our denomination.  We continue to welcome all who worship in love and peace.

Have a safe and meaningful summer.

May Grant

BRUNCH AT DOHERTY’S IRISH PUB

342 East Avenue, Pawtucket
August 6 at 11:30 AM

Join your friends at Central for brunch!  Doherty’s has an extensive breakfast and lunch menu with lots of favorite offerings, Irish and otherwise.  Interested?  Let Claudia know so she can alert the restaurant to how many are planning to be there.

LIFE ON A STAR

Retreat on Star Island for Women
September 15-17, 2017

Star Island is an amazing small island--part of the Isles of Shoals--10 miles off the NH coast.  It is a wonderful place with a large clapboard "hotel" dominating the island.  Walking around the entire perimeter of the island takes about 30 minutes to give you an idea of its size.  There are some wonderful and very old buildings on the island from when it was a tiny farming/fishing community. It's been inhabited since the 17th century. The picturesque small stone church is lit at night by lanterns.  All of the buildings are part of the Star Island Corporation--a retreat center operated by the Unitarian Church.  The UCC has a historic connection to the island as well.

For photos, etc. go to this link: starisland.org

We are proposing to be part of a retreat called Star Women: Rock, Relax, Rejuvenate attending the 2 night option from Friday, September 15 to Sunday, September 17.  More on that here: http://starwomen.weebly.com and here http://starisland.org/program/starwomen/

The retreat is described as "a casual retreat with a mind/body/spirit focus that encourages individuality and creative while respecting solitude.  Past workshop offerings have included singing, painting, poetry, basketry and wellness..."  There is also plenty of time to simply "be..."

We will take the 1:55 PM ferry from Portsmouth, NH on Friday (arriving at 2:55 PM on the island) and will return to Portsmouth via the 2:15 PM ferry on Sunday (arriving in Portsmouth at 3:45 PM).

We can car pool up there and chip in for gas (and perhaps parking if they charge for that these days at the ferry) for whoever is willing to drive.

The total cost for 2 nights (including all meals, your ferry ticket, and the program fee) is as follows:

  • $462 for a single room
  • $363 for a shared room

Each person will need to register themselves separately.

If you are opting for the shared room, please find a roommate—someone you know who would love the opportunity to experience "life on a Star..."

This promises to be a very special retreat in an incredibly special place.  Questions?  Ask Claudia.

 

 

Posted in Newsletters | Comments Off on August 2017 Newsletter

June 2017 Newsletter

CentralNEWS/June 2017

VOLUME 25 NUMBER 6

296 Angell Street Providence, RI 02906   401-331-1960

From Rebecca

Dear Friends,

It does indeed seem like yesterday that Marilyn Brown came to stay at Central for just a few

years, and it has now been 18 years of her wonderful energy, competence and thoughtful perspectives that we have been sharing -- mostly behind the scenes, as she works to make our mission possible....So many times we underestimate the significance of those who work to be sure the newsletter is printed and collated and sent, to see that events are posted on our website, to clear the calendar for an event, to let your pastor know that someone has called and is in trouble, to offer an idea for a committee organizing an outreach program, to  make a committee’s job easier by saying, “I’ll take care of that”. And Marilyn has done all of this quietly, calmly, with cheerfulness. As she has said above, she will be leaving for the new chapters of retirement, but not before, in true Marilyn form, she thoroughly trains her replacement.

And we are fortunate to have found Deborah Nigrelli, who you will find in the office now, overlapping Marilyn for a few weeks, as she learns about the intricacies of making this Central Church the place for positive energy and growth that it is. Deb is eager to come to know you, so do stop in and say hello!

We will be honoring Marilyn on Sunday, June 11, and I hope you will plan to be here! Reflecting on the gifts of administration and organization that Marilyn has brought to our church reminds me of how many different gifts God has given to each of us. Maybe your gift is a kind word to a neighbor, or finding a way to lift a stranger’s burden. Maybe you are a genius at helping others with the internet or reading books to the visually impaired, or being a Hospice Volunteer or maybe your gift is that of listening intently to another person who just needs to be heard. Perhaps your gift is in working for peace and non-violence, or social justice, or feeding those who are hungry. I hope you will take these coming weeks of summer to think about the gifts YOU can offer to church, community, country, world, and then share these generously.

Your gifts make a difference! YOU make a difference for the good in God’s world!

Warmly,

Rebecca

Thoughts and Prayers

Our thoughts & prayers are with:

Jane O’Farrell: Her mother died recently.
Janice Schmidt: Her mother, Florence, died in May.
Bob Stout: His brother, Don, died in May.
Ruth Whitford:  Her son, Ned Whitford, died in May.

Baptisms

The Sacrament of Baptism is an important part of our worship life together. In an effort to uplift our celebration of Baptisms in our community of faith, we will be offering Baptisms on the following days:

Children’s Sabbath                  October 8, 2017
Sunday after Epiphany            January 7, 2018
Easter Vigil                             March 31, 2018
Sunday after Easter                April 8, 2018

A meeting to prepare parents for Baptism will be held in our Fireplace Room at 9 am Saturday of the preceding week.  Please speak with the Rev. Rebecca Spencer if you would like to be included in this very important part of life at Central—The Sacrament of Baptism.

New Members

New Member Inquiry*
Tuesday, October 24

Faith Exploration*
Wednesday, November 1

New Member Sunday
November 5

*These meetings are held at the home of the Rev. Rebecca Spencer 15 Taber Ave at 7 pm

A Note from Marilyn

In 1999, the company I worked at for over 25 years moved their operation and I had no desire to move to Minnesota. Central Church’s ad in the Journal mentioned excellent benefits including 4 weeks of vacation. Since I was used to 4 weeks of vacation time; this was of interest to me! My plan was to work for 5 years then transition into early retirement.  Now 18 years later, I am finally planning a retirement which is no longer an early one.  I can honestly say that Central Church has been a good fit for me and is filled with good memories. My time here has been enjoyable and has gone by much too quickly thanks to the wonderful staff, members, and friends who have always given me the support needed to get things done.

A special thanks to Jack Boyce who once referred to me as a genius. If there is any ‘genius’ in me, it was because he always had the answers to my questions and to Peg for being my partner through the years.  Thanks to Rebecca and the rest of the staff for making this a very special & fun place to work.

From the beginning, you were all most helpful and you continue to be so. I have met many special people who will stay in my heart always. You truly are a kind, loving, giving group and I will miss you all!

Please join me in welcoming, Deb Nigrelli, my replacement. I know you will show her all the kindness and patience you have shown me throughout the years and welcome her into the Central Church family.

Sincerely,

Marilyn Brown

From Claudia

This month I embark on an old, yet also new, part of the spiritual path set before me.  I have been accepted into a residency program of spiritual direction.  In case a few of you are scratching your heads and wondering, “But, don’t you do a lot of spiritual direction, Claudia?”  The answer is yes.  I do it with individuals and in group settings and I love being able to accompany people on their spiritual journeys.  This will give me an opportunity to talk about the practice of such “holy listening” with others who are doing the same and to grow together in our ministries.

Spiritually accompanying another on their faith journey is a chance to remind one another that “we are not human beings having a spiritual experience.  We are spiritual beings having a human experience” (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin).  Such an experience encompasses the wholeness of the person in their relationship with God.  Specifically, “we can see spiritual experiences as events that have a particular capacity to show us the nature and guidance of God in our souls and in life around us” (Rev. Tilden Edwards).

This summer through next summer will be times of exploration and discovery for me in a group setting.  My hope is that you are also able to take some time to explore the movement of God in your lives and to reflect on what Thomas Merton calls the “improvisation” of the Holy Spirit in all our lives.

So, wherever you find yourselves this summer I would encourage you to take some time to think about where you find God in your life.  Ask God for the grace to discern the ways that God moves in and around and with you.  You might just be surprised by the answer!

Blessings on the journey,

Claudia

New Members

Please join us in welcoming our new members who united with us in membership on May 7.

Carolyn Kolesar - Providence

Carolyn, who is in management with Unidine Corp, moved from Pennsylvania 1 ½ years ago and enjoys gardening and politics. Carolyn joined Central for its faith and community and is interested in mission work and catering.

Lynne McLeod - Rumford

Lynne is a manager for the Division of Organ Transplanting at Rhode Island Hospital. She has lived in RI for 17 years and enjoys reading, cooking, traveling, and exercising. Central’s choir, sermons and sense of community brought her here and she hopes to become involved with community programs and the social committee.

Jane Pretat  - Portsmouth

Jane Pretat and her family have long been members of Central and have been active participants in many different ways.  In fact, Jane was the Chairperson in the 1960s when our current organ was installed!  Jane had wished to deactivate her membership some time ago, but now wishes to be a full member once again!

Celebrate! Commemorate!

Your lifelong connections to Central with an engraved brick in the West Lawn Terrace.

Personalize your brick as you wish: with a name(s) of your choice or “In honor of a special person, family or event in your life. . . from yesterday, today, or tomorrow”.

Bricks with a three line (18 characters per line) inscription are $200. Please contact the church office if interested.

PENTECOST SUNDAY, June 4

Wear RED!
Bring ACTS 2:1-13 to read in the language of your choice!

Pentecost commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the heads of the Apostles instructing them to go forth into the world and preach the Gospel.  Wearing red reminds us of the flames of fire that appeared over their heads.  Reading the story of that first Pentecost in many different languages reminds us how the Apostles spoke in multiple languages that day through the power of the Holy Spirit.

To find a great list of Bible translations in other languages see https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+2&version=NRSV

FOOD FOR THOUGHT BOOK GROUP

Join us for a lively discussion of each month’s book!

June 8—Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

July 20—TBD (7:00-8:30 PM at Central)

August 17—TBD (5:30-7:00 PM—Potluck picnic at Claudia’s home)

Summer Labyrinth Walks

Tuesday, June 27 from 5:30-6:30 PM
Thursday, July 20 from 5:30-6:30 PM
Tuesday, August 15 from 5:30-6:30 PM

Enjoy our brand new outdoor labyrinth (located just outside the kitchen door) under a beautiful summer sky.  Drop in between 5:30 PM and 6:30 PM on Tuesday, June 27, July 20, and August 15 weather permitting to walk the labyrinth and enjoy the company of Central friends.  Questions? Ask Claudia.

CCC CAROUSEL SUNDAY

Crescent Park Carousel Outing
700 Bullocks Point Avenue
Riverside, RI
Sunday June 25 - at 11:30 a.m.  

We’ll leave right after Coffee Hour to meet at the carousel.  Enjoy lunch with your friends from Central and go for a ride!  The Blount Clam Shack will be open for lunch (cash only) or bring a picnic lunch.  There are picnic tables to share, as well as the incredible Looff Carousel, a National Historic Landmark!

This carousel was built in 1895 by the famous designer, Charles Looff, as a showcase of his work.  Whether you ride or watch, it is a piece of Americana and a wonderful experience for ALL ages!

From Aidan:

WORD MISSION TRIP

After a commissioning service during worship on Sunday, June 25th, the WORD Summer Mission Trip Team will travel to New York City to partner with the Youth Service Opportunities Project (YSOP).  YSOP engages youth and adults in meaningful service opportunities through an orientation to the issues, hands-on volunteer work, and reflection.  We will be working at various locations throughout the city and staying with West End Presbyterian Church in the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  Please hold us in your prayers as we serve God together and make connections with our brothers and sisters in New York.  If you would like to learn about how you can sponsor one of our youth, please contact me at aidan@centralchurch.us.

HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES

As we are reminded each time we celebrate baptism at Central, we covenant together to nurture and support God’s children in our church.  We hold them as infants, play with them as children, and share in the joy and depth of their wisdom and personalities as young people.  This spring, we celebrate and acknowledge the achievements Central youth who will be graduating from high school.  Congratulations on all that you have achieved and blessings to you on your next steps.  We are praying for you, cheering you on, and looking forward to the next time that we will welcome you home to Central!

Louisa Antonio            Moses Brown
Jack Armstrong           Barrington High School
Belle Buroker              Lincoln School
Sam Bush                    Classical High School
Jack Hogan                  LaSalle Academy
Josiah Kim                  Classical High School
William Templeton    Wheeler
Josiah Whitney           Wheeler
William Worrell          Moses Brown

MUSIC AT CENTRAL

Choir Recognition

At our morning worship at 10:30 on Sunday, June 4, we will recognize our choirs for their work and dedication.  We award achievement medals and ribbons to children according to the standards of the Royal School of Church music.

This year when we recognize our Adult Choir we give special thanks and recognition to our section leader Kathryne Jennings who has served since 1994…that’s 23 year tenure!  Kathryne and her husband, Paul Phillips, will be moving to California to take positions at Stanford University.  We send them off with our thanks, congratulations, and well wishes!

Oh, Jonah!

On Sunday, June 11, our Children’s Choir presents their annual musical, this year featuring “Oh Jonah” by Allen Pote and Carole McCann.

You may know the story of Jonah and the whale, but the story is about a lot more than just a whale!  Come find out the rest of the story as our Children’s Choir tells the story in drama and music that young and old alike will enjoy.

CHURCH SCHOOL NEWS

"Wait, Jesus DIED?!!!  Who's going to replace him?!!!!

Every Church School teacher has experienced 'moments' in class when a child asks a Big Question -- one that makes you take a deep breath and say a prayer before you respond! -- and what you thought you were going to do for a lesson takes a back seat to the question at hand.   These 'moments' are one of the many reasons we love to work with children!    Such questions, and conversation that follow, feel like gifts -- they are opportunities to open our hearts to one another, and share the awe and wonder of the Gospel.    We are blessed with an amazing group of teachers and high school helpers this year; whose preparation and presence make a difference each week in our children's lives.

We GIVE THANKS to these dedicated Church School TEACHERS and YOUTH HELPERS:  Amy Frazer; Jaime Lavoie; Pamela O'Hara; Beth Cotter; Julie Passafaro; Jen Cookke; Kirstin DeShaw; Amy Weigand; Liam Newberry; Harry Mazurkie; Ben Thornton; Maddie Lee; Brian Kook; Coco Maranjian; Phoebe Maranjian; Sophia Mott; Molly O'Hara; Lexi DeShaw; John Lalli;  Gavin Rardin; Josiah Whitney; Henry Hebb; Eliza Trevor; Grace Moorhead; Kathhleen O'Hara.

We recognize the 8th graders who have finished their last year of Church School and will be in Confirmation next year:  Abraham Balogun; Jonathan Baran; Sarah Gifford; Clara Kugler; Serena Lalli; Wes Heywood.   Blessings in your continued faith journey and Confirmation year ahead!

We recognize 7th grader Miles Rardin for his most amazing fundraising mission for HEIFER INTERNATIONAL.   After his passionate and articulate announcement in church this winter, $1200 was raised!   This was then 'matched' by his parents, and was matched/doubled by Heifer International.   Through Miles, and each of your generous gifts, a total of $4400 was given!!   Miles and Central Church will be recognized officially by Heifer International staffperson Liz Ellis, on Sunday, June 11th.   Our annual PICNIC, POTLUCK, GRILL will follow the Children's Choir musical during worship that morning.  A big day with lots to celebrate!!

Please mark THURSDAY, JULY 6th and TUESDAY, AUGUST 1st for our intergenerational and international evenings of VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL!!  We may be 'visiting' Liberia and Armenia this summer! We'll keep you posted!

Love & thanks be to God!

Cathy

Gallery Committee

For our June show, we are pleased to present Trilogy, a collaborative exhibit of artwork created by Sarah Quinn, Evelyn Blum, and Paula Footer. These ladies have returned to artistic lives after studying, working, and raising families, and in the process, they have rediscovered the joys of visual expression. They have trained with local artists, at RISD, at the Massachusetts College of Art, and at the Decordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts, and now enjoy each other’s company at Hamilton House. This show promises to be colorful and inspirational!

Please join us to welcome these talented artists at the opening on Friday, June 2, from 5-7pm.

UCC Conference

Three Southern New England UCC Conferences to Hold Historic Joint Annual Meetings in June

For the first time in more than 210 years, the Rhode Island Conference of the United Church of Christ (UCC) will join the UCC Conferences of Connecticut and Massachusetts in holding joint annual meetings.  Scheduled for Friday, June 16 and Saturday, June 17, 2017 in Hartford, Connecticut, members of Congregational Churches in all three states are invited to gather for a shared time of learning, worshiping and decision making.

Central has eleven official voting delegates who will be attending, however all church members are encouraged and welcome to attend this historic occasion.  The meeting promises to be spiritually inspiring, with powerful worship experiences.  The General Minister of the UCC, Rev. John Dorhauer, will be a speaker.  It will be an occasion to meet UCC members from the other states, make new friends, exchange ideas and insights.  Everyone will be able to participate in a discussion of the proposed merger of the three Conferences and learn how and why this decision came about.

Registration information, meeting schedules and background information related to the proposed merger is available on the Rhode Island Conference website: ricucc.org or the websites of the Massachusetts and Connecticut UCC Conferences. The deadline for registration is June 5.  While there are events both Friday and Saturday, the most important day to attend will be Saturday if attendance on both days is not possible. The registration fee is $85 which Central will reimburse on request.  Carpooling will be arranged as necessary.

There will be an informational session on Sunday, June 11 at 9:00 a.m. in the Fireplace Room for those planning to attend and for anyone else interested in learning more about the Rhode Island Conference and the Hartford meeting.  More information about this meeting will be sent closer to June 11.

LIFE ON A STAR

Retreat on Star Island for Women
September 15-17

Members of Caring and Sharing invite the women of Central and their friends to experience “life on a Star”—Star Island, that is.  Part of the Isles of Shoals, Star Island is a very small, picturesque and very historic island 10 miles off the coast of New Hampshire. We will be part of a retreat offered there called Star Women: Rock, Relax, Rejuvenate.  More on that here http://starwomen.weebly.com and here http://starisland.org/program/starwomen/

We will take the 1:55 PM ferry from Portsmouth, NH on Friday and will return to Portsmouth via the 2:15 PM ferry on Sunday.

We plan to car pool to NH and share the cost of gas (and perhaps parking at the ferry) for whoever is willing to drive.

The cost for 2 nights on the island (including your meals, your ferry ticket, and the program fee) is as follows:

  • $462 for a single room
  • $363 for a shared room

Because this retreat may fill up quickly please let Claudia know asap that you want to participate and to receive registration information! Each person will need to register themselves individually for the retreat.

If you are opting for the shared room, please find a roommate either from the Caring and Sharing list (ask Martha Nielsen or Cathy Clasper-Torch if you aren’t on that list) or perhaps another woman you know who would love the opportunity to experience "life on a Star…"

This will be a very special retreat.  Questions?  Ask Claudia.

Deacon’s Bench

Matthew 11:28-30 "Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Heavy burdens are those commitments that are too heavy for us to bear. They are anything that causes concern in your hearts, and every time you think of it, gives breath of worry, frustration and helplessness. Daringly impossible problems are heavy burdens. This might be sicknesses, infirmities, poverty, loss of beloved ones, joblessness, horrible yokes like limitations, or barriers preventing full joy. These are unpleasant and horrifying upon our lives. These can be daunting challenges.

At one point in life, we face all these problems, mine came early in my life. Then what do you do? PRAYER IS THE KEY!!

From my personal experience, I was able to overcome the challenges in my life through the POWER OF PRAYERS. Each time I have a problem, I turn to the Bible and use examples that relate to that specific problem and pray about it as I have been taught by my parents.

I remembered when I lost my job at the Twin Towers in New York. I cried my eyes out. I had lost my father just few years back, barely getting over it, then this? I thought that was the end of me. I thought about all the odds against me. It's not easy looking for a job in New York City. But I quickly got on my knees, prayed and asked for God's guidance, mercy, and favor. I finally decided to move and leave New York entirely. I share this experience with you because it is outstanding and powerful testimony. God knows His plan for own lives. HE is a mysterious God. I did not know the danger that was pending ahead few years to come. HE Knew everything! At times challenges can be blessings in disguise. I will be FOREVER grateful to God Almighty. 911 happened. I still cried for all the souls that were lost. Secondly, God was preparing me for a better, lifelong profession.

Brethren, let us take our trouble and burdens to God.  He knows the best for us in every situation we find ourselves. Let us have faith in Him. I pray that God give us the strength to overcome the challenges in our lives. Amen

-Temi Sonubi

Book Group

Rebecca’s Book Group next meets on Thursday, September 28 at 12:30. The book selection is Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue. All are invited to attend this lively group.

Pride Fest

PRIDE Fest & Parade - Saturday June 17

Get ready, Rhode Island Pride Fest is just around the corner! Every year, about 30,000 people participate in this full-day of festivities celebrating LGBTQ rights and the spirit of inclusivity here in Rhode Island. This all-ages event is a fun opportunity for Central to showcase itself as a welcoming and affirming congregation. Central will have an information booth during Pride Fest in the afternoon, and then we will march together in the Illuminated Night Parade in the evening. Please come volunteer at our booth, march in the parade, or both!

Contact Stuart Haruyama or stop by the Welcome Table during Coffee Hour for more information or to sign-up!

Membership Directory

Please let us know of any email, address, or phone number changes by June 30. We will be updating our membership directory this summer.

BIBLE STUDY

Psalms by J. Clinton McCann
July and August 7/2-8/20
Fireplace Room Sundays, 9:00-9:45 a.m. 

Books available for $10 each

This summer take a look at the sweeping content of the Book of Psalms in Immersion Bible Studies’ book by J. Clinton McCann. Each week is a different topic:

  1. The Pursuit of Happiness, 7/2
  2. Where Is God in a World of Suffering?, 7/9
  3. Faithful Complaining, 7/16
  4. A Lifestyle of Gratitude, 7/23
  5. A Lifestyle of Praise, 7/30
  6. Whom Can We Trust?, 8/6
  7. Marching to Zion, 8/13
  8. Establishing Justice, 8/20

Come to one session, or all of them using this study guide so that you can’t “get behind”!  Please see Claudia to purchase your copy.

LET’S GO TO THE THEATRE!!  TWICE!!

Breakfast at Tiffany’s
July 2 at 2:30 PM

Bell, Book and Candle
August 13 at 2:30 PM

Second Story Theatre
28 Market Street
Warren, RI

Tickets are $20 (plus a $2.00 order fee).  You are responsible for purchasing your own tickets for this outing.  Second Story Theatre is a small gem of a theater in our state and you are advised to get your tickets as soon as possible for these very special CCC outings.

CCC Summer VBS for ALL Ages!

Thursday, July 6—Armenia
Tuesday, August 1—Liberia
5:30-7:30 PM

`We were delighted with the wonderful response in the past two years to our new model for Vacation Bible School and will continue to “visit” countries with missions supported by the UCC this summer. Come join us we meet on Tuesday, July 6 and Thursday, August 1 knowing that this VBS is for EVERYONE!!  Children AND adults of ALL ages are welcome to join in the fun!

We will gather together for food from that country in addition to a pizza supper before “taking off” each night to a far-flung place where our UCC Global Mission partners live and work.  Along the way we will play games, sing, do crafts and connect with our faith.  We will end with stories and songs and s’mores around the campfire weather permitting.

Take a trip with Aidan, Cathy and Claudia as together we explore Liberia and Armenia!

LUNCH AT RICK’S ROADHOUSE

370 Richmond St. Providence
Sunday July 16 at 11:30 a.m.  

Rick’s Roadhouse features down home food that can only enhance our time of table fellowship together.  Join your Central friends for good conversation and a fabulously delicious lunch after worship!  Please RSVP to Claudia.

SUMMER HYMN SING!

July 23
9:50 a.m. before Worship

Warm up your singing voices and come to church early for our summer hymn sing as we make a joyful noise to God through song!

ICE CREAM SUNDAE SUNDAY

July 30—during Coffee Hour
(Bring ice cream toppings to share)

Plan to stay for our special Ice Cream Sundae Sunday Coffee Hour on July 30!  Please bring ice cream toppings to share.  The ice cream will be provided!

BRUNCH AT DOHERTY’S IRISH PUB

342 East Avenue, Pawtucket
August 6 at 11:30 AM

Join your friends at Central for brunch!  Doherty’s has an extensive breakfast and lunch menu with lots of favorite offerings, Irish and otherwise.  Interested?  Let Claudia know so she can alert the restaurant to how many are planning to be there.

LUNCH AT RASOI RESTAURANT

727 East Avenue in Pawtucket (at the end of Blackstone Boulevard)
August 21 at 11:30 AM
Buffet at $14.95 per person

Join your friends from Central at this award winning restaurant in our own backyard!  If you’ve never sampled Indian food, this is your chance to try a variety of dishes in a relaxed atmosphere.  Good food!  Good fellowship!  Who could ask for more?  Please RSVP to Claudia.

Summer Sundays and Worship Schedule 2017

Summer Worship Services are at 10:00 a.m. from June 19 through September 4

June (Church office closes at 4:00 P.M. this month)
18 9:00 a.m. Bible Study—Psalms (Fireplace Room)
10:00 a.m. Worship at Central Congregational Church UCC
25 9:00 a.m. Bible Study—Psalms (Fireplace Room)
10:00 a.m. Worship at Central Congregational Church UCC with Youth Mission Trip Commissioning
11:30 a.m. Carousel Sunday—Lunch and rides on the carousel at Crescent Park
July (Church office closes at 3:00 P.M. this month)
2 9:00 a.m. Bible Study—Psalms (Fireplace Room)
10:00 a.m. Worship at Central Congregational Church UCC
2:30 PM Breakfast at Tiffany’s at Second Story Theatre ($20 plus a $2.00 fee)
9 9:00 a.m. Bible Study—Psalms (Fireplace Room)
10:00 a.m. Worship at Central Congregational Church UCC
16 9:00 a.m. Bible Study—Psalms (Fireplace Room)
10:00 a.m. Worship at Central Congregational Church UCC
11:30 Lunch at Rick’s Roadhouse, 370 Richmond St. Providence
23 9:00 a.m. Bible Study—Psalms (Fireplace Room)
9:50 a.m. Hymn Sing
10:00 a.m. Worship
30 9:00 a.m. Bible Study—Psalms (Fireplace Room)
10:00 a.m. Worship at Central Congregational Church UCC
11:00 a.m. Ice Cream Sundae Sunday! (Bring a topping to share)
August (Church office closes at 3:00 P.M. this month)
6 9:00 a.m. Bible Study—Psalms (Fireplace Room)
10:00 a.m. Worship at Central Congregational Church UCC, Sacrament of Communion
11:30 a.m. Brunch at Doherty’s Irish Pub
13 9:00 a.m. Bible Study—Psalms (Fireplace Room)
10:00 a.m. Worship at Central Congregational Church UCC
2:30 PM Bell, Book and Candle at Second Story Theatre ($20 plus a $2.00 fee)
20 9:00 a.m. Bible Study—Psalms (Fireplace Room)
10:00 a.m. Worship at Central Congregational Church UCC
27 10:00 a.m. Worship at Central Congregational Church UCC
11:30 a.m.  Rasoi Restaurant, 727 East Street, Pawtucket (Buffet at $14.95 per person)
September
3 10:00 a.m. Worship at Central Congregational Church UCC
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Bible 101 with the Rev. Dr. Russ Miller

Thursday evenings, May 11th and May 18th
Deacons' Room, 7-8 pm.
(Come for just one if you cannot do two!)

Bible 101Join fellow member, the Rev. Dr. Russ Miller, as he helps us engage with the Bible itself -- what it is and how it came to be in the form we know today.  Issues of authorship, how changes worked their way into the texts, difficulties posed by the original languages and their translations, the different versions of the Bible....these and other intriguing questions will be shared....

This may be a review for you, or a first and fresh look.

Do join with fellow members to learn more about this foundational document of our Christian faith.

All are welcome...

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165th Annual Meeting

Members of Central Congregational Church are cordially invited to attend the 165th Annual Meeting at 11:45 a.m. on Sunday, June 4th, 2017.

Luncheon to follow in Chapel Hall  12:30 p.m.

Please make luncheon reservations by downloading and returning this form  along with your check payable to Central Congregational Church by Tuesday, May 30.

Tickets are $10 per person

If you are unable to mail in your reservation and payment, please call the church office at 331-1960

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