TCC Flash - Weekly News
Seeking Something| Rev. Baxter Chism.
Back when I was called into ministry, I went on a mission trip to an impoverished community. It was shocking to me to see houses in terrible condition. Some of the houses did not have septic tanks or field lines and raw sewage drained into yards. I wasn't in another country. It was in the United States of America.
I don't know about you, but I think a lot of people think that mission trips are all about you and your group changing the world. Yes, we all play a big part in representing Christ and changing a lot of things, but it is more than that. Sometimes the mission is for you to change because we often find Christ through the people we meet. It's like we go seeking one thing but find something else.
Reading in Mark 6:30-34, we overhear Jesus trying to get away with the Disciples for a little rest. His mystique was growing. People had heard about healings and they wanted to see Him. If we jump ahead to Mark 6:53-56 people were healed simply by touching His cloak. Amazing!
When I read these passages, I like to focus on the seeking part. They were seeking Him at all cost and wanted to heal. When we seek Jesus, some type of healing comes to us. It may not be what we want, but usually, it is something.
So back to my mission trip. I was in a place that I would have never gone unless it was for Jesus. However, in my heart, I knew I was seeking something. The reason I went was to hopefully change and seek to make the lives of those I helped better. But what also happened was I changed. The lens through which I saw the world changed. I began to see things in a different way.
We helped a lot of people in poverty but their spirit was not poor. They were more thankful to God than I had ever been. There was a trust that everything was going to be okay. I learned a lot and it changed me.
Never stop seeking.
Thank You!| Rev. Baxter Chism.
Christina and I want to thank each and every one of you for the gracious welcome! All of the wonderful gift cards have come in very useful. It has been a long journey to get here and we have been blessed by your help. Thanks to all of you that provided blow-up beds, the air units, temporary furniture, food, and everything thing else I have failed to mention. Our stuff finally arrived the day before The 4th of July so life is starting to normalize.
I'm blessed to be your Settled Pastor and very excited to serve in ministry with you here in Tewksbury. Our ministry together is shared in that it takes all of us working together to get the job done. Over the years I have worked side-by-side with many followers to lead people to Christ. That's what it is all about...leading others to Christ by sharing the Good News, missions, various types of outreach and much more. I'm excited we get to do this together!
We read in Mark 6:6b-13 that Jesus sent out the Disciples "two by two" to spread the word. Jesus called The Twelve to share ministry together. During His time with the Disciples He taught them what it was going to take to spread the gospel. In the passage from Mark, it was early on in their ministry together and He sent them out to proclaim the message of repentance. Jesus warned that not everyone would receive the message well.
It's funny, at least to me, what Jesus tells them to do if the message isn't received well. He tells them to "shake off the dust that is on your feet". What a great and wonderful way to move on from rejection and conflict. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all didn't let the conflicts of life hold us back? Jesus was telling them to only look forward and to stay focused on the mission.
Wonderful miracles happened when the Disciples were sent out by Jesus. Healing occurred. People heard the Good News. Repentance happened and many started to experience life in a new way.
Still today this is how our church can transform our community. I look forward to us going out and telling our community about our wonderful God together. Let us be a beacon of hope and bring people together. Let us be focused on the mission just like the Disciples were when Jesus sent them out that day.
Inherited Forgiveness| Rev. Baxter Chism.
It sure is nice when someone forgives another person. However, it may be one of the hardest things for one to do.
Reading through the entire Bible, we can see that God loves us entirely. The Holy Word of God is full of examples of covenants being broken. Sometimes people are simply cruel to one another. Humanity is good at breaking stuff. Results described are often horrible due to the choices made. Exiles occurred. Disasters followed. Families fall into disarray. Nothing good happened.
Yet God always makes a way for people to be reconciled, healed, and redeemed. Ultimately, we that follow Christ live in grace and know that when we fall short, we can turn back to God, who never left us by the way, and be healed by Him. In turn, sometimes begrudgingly, we learn to practice the art of forgiveness.
I think of the Ephesians letter, particularly Ephesians 1:7a that says, "In Him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us." The same chapter also uses the word "inheritance". We inherit grace and forgiveness because of what Christ did for us. Sounds awesome, right?
Forgiveness is one of the foundations of Christian discipleship. Sometimes it takes a while, but we should pray for it to come. Especially for the person that has harmed us and has not sought reconciliation. This spiritual discipline frees the soul for wonderful and beautiful service. It also shows that a person is a living and breathing example of Christ.
Jesus talked about forgiveness a lot. People should talk and communicate when something has or is going wrong. Bring in a good level-headed person to hear both sides and maybe help both see a middle ground. Peter one time asked if seven was enough times to forgive. Jesus said to forgive 77 times!
Celebrate your inheritance by trusting God and forgiving others. No, it doesn't mean they get a free pass for what they have done. It just means that you are not letting the past hold you back anymore. You are trusting God to see the person in a new way so you can have a new, brighter day.
And by the way, if you get a chance, search on the Internet for the song written by Matthew West called "Forgiveness". The inspiration for the song is very meaningful. It's about a mother who lost her daughter because of a drunk driver. God helped her forgive the man who made a terrible decision and today they are friends. Go check it out. Maybe it will help you if there is someone you need to forgive today.
Share your inheritance.
Music Committee Notes| Lucinda Ellert.
This summer we’ve got a project that will include as many people who are bit handy and don’t mind getting their hands dirty. As is pretty easy to tell by listening to the organ, it’s in serious need to repair. Most of the leather pouches are rotted, having never been replaced since it was built in the 1920’s. To have Andover Organ do this for us would cost the church well over $20,000. But, Craig Seaman has generously offered to help us take on this aspect of organ repair to save us about $18,000 (!) Apparently it is a pretty easy thing to scrape off the old rotted leather and glue on a new pouch.
Craig has already removed two boards which are now in the Fairgrieve Room (please don’t go look at them yet, as we will have to organize and number them). He will come to church after our service on Sunday to give us a tutorial on how this done, as well as a list of what we need for tools, glue, etc. Anyone who would like to volunteer to be on the “Organ Crew” this summer, Lucinda will be on hand Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to about 3:00 to supervise, assist and get her own hands good and dirty.
If you’d like to be part of this, er, bonding experience, there is a sign-up sheet outside the Office or you can click the link for the Sign-Up Genius HERE.
Wanted: Usher Team Members| Stephanie Muse.
The Ushers are currently in need of more team members. Time commitment varies. Training provided. Please contact Stephanie Muse if you have questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 978-604-9631 .
Your Garden Flowers as Altar Flowers| Board of Deacons.
Summer is the perfect time to showcase your garden flowers on our altar during Sunday worship. Perhaps you grow roses... or lillies... or peonies... or zinnias... or hydrangeas.
Whatever collection of lovely blooms you may find in your garden would be most welcome to bless our sanctuary this summer. Everything that we find in nature is a gift from God, indeed!
Almost all of our summer Sundays are currently uncommitted for altar flowers. If you would like to offer your garden flowers (or even a small fresh bouqet from Market Basket in your own container), please click this link and add your name to a date that works for you.
As you know, we're quite informal on summer Sundays. Simply bring your arrangement before 9:30am worship begins and we'll be sure to place it on the altar.
Thank you for sharing your blooms!
Called to Care
As a community of Faith, we are Called to Care for one another. Please visit our Called to Care page to learn how you can offer or request care for yourself or for a member of our church family.
House of Hope Drive| Mercy Delgado.
One of our Confirmands, Katie Monahan, is sponsoring a charity drive for House of Hope (www.houseofhopelowell.org). This is a local organization that helps homeless families get back on their feet, and offers them a variety of resources to keep families together and helps lift them out of homelessness.
There will be a bin downstairs by the church side entrance to collect their most needed items during the Summer months (pens, new underwear for kids and teens (9 packaged), slippers for kids and adults, tissues, Clorox wipes, paper plates and cups, pacifiers & baby bottles, sippy cups, baby bottle brushes, size 4,5,6 diapers).
Katie will collect the bin at the end of August at the end of the drive.
Please help this worthwhile cause and organization!
Great Progress in the Philippines!| Joanne Kenney.
It has been a while since you have all had the opportunity to read updates on the Dumaguete Kalauman Center's construction project. As you may recall, the development center, where one of our sponsored students, Maria Azria Dagodog, attended, was forced to move from the space they had been renting for years. It was time that they acquired land and a building to call their own. We have supported this project, not only through our missions committee budget, but we also dedicated our 2016 Advent Offering to this important mission. It is a delight to see the progress of the building and the spaces where Maria and all of her schoolmates can continue to thrive! Read all about it in the link below.
Click HERE to view all TCC Sign-ups!| Church Secretary.
Click HERE to launch our TCC Sign-up Genius page. Use the tabs to switch between the sign-ups. Thank you for lending a helping hand!