Blessings and peace to you in this unsettling and confusing time. As you know, Gov. Baker has unrolled his plan to gradually re-open the Massachusetts economy, and houses of worship are now permitted to open their doors in accordance with safety guidelines specified by the governor.
I wish this meant that we were resuming in-person worship on Sunday, but out of continued concern for the well-beiing of all our church members, many of whom are in high risk categories, we won’t be doing that just yet. Church Council met via Zoom after the governor’s announcement and voted unanimously that September 6, 2020 will be the earliest possible date on which we will resume in-person worship.
Council is in the process of putting together a task force that will develop procedures and policies for our church in order to ensure the safety of everyone in the building. Some of these measures will include procuring sufficient cleaning and protective supplies, following the guidance from the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ, and advice/orders from local, state, and national governmental authorities. The Worship and Music Ministry Team will be re-evaluating long-standing worship practices such as Communion, singing, listening to the choir, and passing the peace. Council will continue to meet weekly and will keep you informed of any new developments.
I am grateful that we will continue our worship collaboration with Christ Congregational Church through the summer. Even though it will be pre-recorded, we will also be doing Baseball Sunday at some point, so stay tuned! We welcome your participation in the worship services, so if you would like to record a scripture reading or lead the Welcome and Announcements, please let me know. If you have any questions or concerns about the ways that our church plans to move forward, or if I can help you in any way, please email me at email@example.com or call/text me at 774-571-7307.
May God’s blessings be upon us and may we continue to follow the leading of the Spirit in all things.
We will continue our virtual worship services with Christ Congregational Church in Brockton until it is safe for us to resume worshipping in our sanctuary. The current services are pre-recorded to ensure everyone’s safety and may be accessed Sunday mornings at 9:55 by logging onto https://brocktonucc.org/ and clicking on “Live Worship.” There will also be a link to the service on our church website, www.uccstoughton.org, if you would like to watch it later.
WORSHIP SERVICE INFORMATION
WORSHIP SERVICE May 24, 2020
Download Order of Worship
Click to watch May 17 worship service
We will be taking prayer requests in advance of the service. You may email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via text (774-571-7307). We will use first names only when they are read during the service in order to protect your privacy.
Let us continue to pray for one another and for the world that is in such turmoil. Let us hold fast to our faith and feel the love of our community that is always with us even when we are apart. Let us be grateful that, even in the midst of sickness and suffering, God is always doing something new.
Thanks be to God for this good news!
An Open Letter to our Church Family
Today, we find ourselves in uncharted waters. COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has disrupted our daily routines as well as long range plans. Our first hope is that you are all safe and healthy. If you are in need, please know that your Church family is there to assist in any way we can.
With that said, please take some time to ensure that our Church can function and fulfill the role it has established in our area. As we cannot physically attend services for (hopefully) the short term, it is important that your financial support continues. Even though our spiritual life has been inconvenienced, the reality is that life goes on and we have bills to pay.
We encourage you to continue to support the church with your pledges and/or contributions. You can do this in one of two ways:
- Write a check: Mail it to First Congregational Church of Stoughton 76 Pierce Street Stoughton, MA 02072 ATTN: Offering Clerk
- Pay Online: Go to the church website at http://www.uccstoughton.org/. Click on Online Giving and then choose the Contribute Securely Online Now option. Fill in the boxes as directed. (This, by the way, is an excellent way to ensure that your support continues year-round...not just in these trying times.)
The Board of Trustees
Welcome to the United Church of Christ in Stoughton! This sign, created by church members Gale and Ed Porter, is a clear affirmation of what our church is all about: Love Lives Here! We believe that each person, without exception, is created by God and deeply loved by God, and we do our best to extend that same unconditional, heartfelt welcome to everyone. Please join us for worship on Sunday at 10:00 AM to see for yourself!
Practices for the Soul
The season of Lent is a wonderful time for quiet reflection. Especially during these tumultuous times, it can be helpful to our spiritual and mental health to just stop and breathe. The Southern New England Conference website (www.macucc.org/faithawakenings has several resources for spiritual practices to help us cope with the days ahead. Let us remember that God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.
We are very blessed
We offer our deep gratitude to all who are continuing to make and deliver masks, scrub hats, and ear savers. At this time we have distributed 1096 face masks, 38 scrub hats and 21 ear-savers. Our team includes Kay Giroux, Gwen Bailey, Janet Clough, Caroline Cesario, Susan Hill, Flo Ledin, Marcia Olson, and Sally Monahan. We also thank Ed Porter who has been busy with the spring maintenance of the church building and grounds. Thanks also go out to all who have been calling and sending cards to members of our congregation.
Masks have been donated to New England Sinai Hospital, the Stoughton Police and Fire Departments, the Stoughton Post Office, the Stoughton Senior Center, Stoughton Visiting Nurses, Copley at Stoughton and The Arbors assisted living facility, Southeast Rehabilitation & Skilled Care Center in No. Easton, Stop and Shop, Ilse Marks Food Pantry, Mainspring House and a new homeless shelter in Brockton, EMTs and BioCare Diagnostics in Quincy. Others were distributed to church family and neighbors. If you are in need of a mask, please contact the church office (781-344-2371) or email Marcia at email@example.com.
Wednesday Phone Prayer Service
Pastor Mary will be hosting a brief prayer service by way of a conference call each Wednesday morning at 10:00 until we are able to resume our in-person gatherings. Dial 1-857-444-0744 and when prompted, enter conference code 817429. There will be a scripture reading and time for the sharing of our prayer concerns.
Annual Program Meeting Postponed until further notice
The Annual Program meeting usually held on the third Sunday in May has been postponed indefinitely until we have more clarity about the guidance on holding safe gatherings at church as we continue to observe the social distancing protocols in effect during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At this meeting, the Annual Report is distributed detailing the activities of the various ministry teams and groups in the church throughout the 2019-2020 program year. We will still produce the Annual Report and make it available to members on our church website or via email. At this meeting we also vote to approve the nominations for the Board of Trustees and other Ministry Teams for the upcoming year. Church Council will discuss how best to move forward with nominations and appointments during this transitional time.
Our Community Garden will be in the ground by the time you read this. The soil has been replenished and the plants purchased by Flo Ledin with proceeds from the Easter Basket raffle are looking very promising. If you have not made a commitment to give two hours a month to this outreach project, please contact Janet Clough firstname.lastname@example.org |781-344-3860). Invite your friends and family to help! We can teach you what are weeds and what are our crops. You’ll be helping to provide fresh vegetables to our neighbors in need.
Give it a try!
Ways to stay connected:
Worship on-line Sunday at 9:55 am as we continue our collaboration with Christ Congregational Church in Brockton. Log onto brocktonucc.org and click on “Live Worship.” If you prefer to call in, dial 1-253-215-8782 and enter Meeting ID: 549 066 082. There will also be a link to the service on our church website, www.uccstoughton.org, if you would like to watch it later.
Zoom Coffee Hour Sunday at 11:00 am. If you wish to join by computer, see Pastor Mary’s Friday email for the link. If you prefer to call in by telephone dial 1-253-215-8782 and enter Meeting ID: 830 4652 4574 and password: 609457
On Wednesday mornings at 10:00 AM Pastor Mary leads a 30-minute conference call Prayer Service. Dial 1- 857-444-0744 and when prompted, enter conference code 817429. There is a scripture reading and a time for the sharing of our prayer concerns. This weekly gathering is open to all, so if you have a friend who might find this opportunity helpful, please share the information.
Pastor Mary has set up a private Facebook group called UCC Stoughton Prayer. No one sees the posts except group members, so it is a safe place to share your prayer requests, pray for others in our community, or just vent. If you have a Facebook account and would like to join the group let Pastor Mary know.
Also remember to check our church Facebook page and church website (http://www.uccstoughton.org/).
Church Council has been meeting every Monday evening at 7:00 pm via Zoom. These meetings are open to everyone, not just Council members. If you would like to attend, please contact Pastor Mary and she will send you the link to the meeting.
Food Pantry Collection
Food Pantry: Donations are still urgently needed. You can drop off your non-perishable food donations each Tuesday morning at the Ilse Marks Food Pantry, 103 Pleasant St. between 8:30-10:30 AM. Or you can contact director Suzanne Blacker (781-341-1994) to arrange for a drop off at a different time.
June 15 (Mon): Friendly Service usually meets from 10am to 2pm. If we are unable to meet in person, there are many projects you could work on at home and have them ready for the next time the group can meet. If you have the time, please contact Janet Clough (email@example.com |781-344-3860).
Prayer Shawl Ministry
Our group meets every Wednesday at 10am to knit prayer shawls for those who need to feel God’s loving care wrapped around them. We also work on knit goods for the church fair. Don’t know how to knit? We will be happy to teach you. Please join us.
Jun 17 (Wed): Mainspring House: This is this next date we are scheduled to provide dinner for Brockton’s homeless shelter. We do not know yet if their volunteer server program will still be suspended, but food donations are still needed to serve this most vulnerable population. If you can make a casserole or make a monetary donation to defray the cost of salad and dessert, please contact Charlene Smith by June 1 CJTS107@comcast.net Arrangements can be made to get you a casserole baking pan and recipe as well as schedule a time to pick up your casserole.
When we are able to resume worship.. If you would like to have flowers on the altar in memory of someone or in honor of a person or event.
For more information email the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Janet Clough at 781-344-3860
10:00 AM in the Sanctuary
After worship in the
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