The Chimes Online
Federated Church of Ashland
118 Main Street
Ashland, MA 01721
Volume Two, 4th Edition
|A Note of Praise!|
Join Us for a
We gather in the Church Parlor the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month at 6 PM. We have been following the Upper Room Devotional which is available at each meeting and is also available in the Church Office. No prior knowledge is required. It is informal and casual. Join us for a wonderful time of spiritual fellowship.
All Are Welcome!
The Church Office is staffed Monday-Friday mornings.
Larry is in the office as usual, Monday-Thursday and is also available by phone as needed.
As noted with the last edition of the Chimes-Online, we are testing it as a way to reach out to members and friends of the Federated Church of Ashland with current and updated news and information about what is happening in our church, some stories and reflections that might inspire you, and to take advantage of the speed and convenience of electronic media, such as email.
Your thoughts and suggestions are encouraged, and any feedback on how we might improve or even articles of interest, are welcome.
It is hoped that we can all become more familiar with the exciting things happening in our church, maybe inspire your involvement, and provide a means by which you can share this email with your family and friends. Simply "forward" it by clicking on the link below.
From Larry's Desk...
An Open Invitation
You've heard me talk about the so called Cottage Meetings or you may have heard about them from others. Back in the Fall of 2012 we began a series of meetings designed to encourage communication among those members and friends of our church who care about our long term future. These meetings were called Cottage Meeting; a gatherings of 8 to 9 people in a casual setting hosted by members of our church and facilitated by lay members of our church, to foster a kind of "get reacquainted" opportunity and learn more about who God has called to be part of this church community.
During those meetings 42 people participated.
Now Phase II is beginning and once again 5 members have agreed to host and 4 others to facilitate the discussions. Phase II of the Cottage Meetings is designed to pick up where we left off as we continue to look at our future. The format will be similar, with a brief opening prayer and with participants sharing around 3 questions which hopefully we foster some discussion of where each of us feels called in our own faith journey and what role each of us may feel called in the life of our church.
It is hoped that anyone who feels a part of our church will join us in this process. We have signup sheets posted in the church, with the following dates and times:
Wed., May 8th from 10:00 AM to 12 Noon, in the church parlor, hosted by Pam Dunham
Saturday May 11th, from 3:00 to 5:00 PM hosted by Vauntina Franklin
Wed. May 15th from 7:00 to 9:00 PM hosted by Nick Paternostro
Thurs. May 16th from 7:00 to 9:00 PM hosted by Elaine Bethel
Sun. may 19th from 5:00 to 7:00 PM hosted by Lois & BillTougas.
Please sign up this week, either by calling the church office or indicating on the sign up sheets posted in the church. It is my faith conviction that all of us, whether members or friends, have received a call from God which has drawn you to this church and given you the grace to help shape our future.
SAVE THE DATE:
All Church Picnic +
Annual Meeting +
Christian Ed Family Day.
Plan on joining us that day. Bring a Potluck picnic item to share...and share in this all church family day.
A Reflection ....
About fifteen years ago, "Joe" (not his real name) began attending services, along with his family. Joe and I were previously acquainted, owing to involvement in our children's youth sports activities. In the middle of service one Sunday, Joe turned to me and said, "I don't get it", clearly meaning "the church experience". It was during service, so I simply responded, "We'll have a cup of coffee some evening". Well, as so often happens, life intervened, and we never did have that cup of coffee.
This episode frequently comes to mind, especially when discussions turn to "church growth". Isn't the question suggested by Joe's statement, "I don't get it", the one that needs to be addressed? What is there in a church "to get"? Or, perhaps, "What's in it for me?".
How does one explain to the uninitiated the love and association that one finds in a church, and the positive impact that can have upon one's life?
When my father-in-law was sick, eventually passing away, the church family couldn't do enough for Linda ... little was really organized, mostly individuals doing the next right thing. It's nothing short of astounding to realize just how many truly wonderful people are in this church. People who are really trying to be the best that God intended. Now, I hesitate to speak for Linda, but I think that it's fair to say that she drew a wealth of comfort from this care and support. How can you explain to someone the spontaneous support network that is at work within a church?
And speaking of my father-in-law .... I'm not always an easy guy to get along with, and neither was he. Over the years, we each had offended the other, and my negative feelings toward him ran deep. When he first took sick, I reluctantly got involved in his care . I did this not for him, but for Linda, and I continued involvement until the end. Somewhere along the way, and I don't know when, my feelings toward him changed. The change was so subtle, in fact, that I only realized that there had even been a change until the very end, when I felt a sadness at his passing. All of those negative feelings had completely vanished. How do you explain to someone that church life challenges a person to live life on "higher ground"? How else to explain that I was able to allow myself to put aside my feelings toward my father-in-law, ostensibly to be of service to Linda, and through the effort, reach true forgiveness, and thereby no longer have old video tapes playing in my head, constantly reminding me of past hurts?
How do you explain that church isn't much about such cosmic questions as, "Is there a God?", or "Is Jesus the Son of God?", or "Is there a Heaven or a Hell?". There isn't a person in any church, anywhere, who doesn't - at least on some occasions - prayerfully wrestle with each of those questions. Rather, church is a family populated primarily by people who are trying to live the best life that they can. People who faithfully understand that happiness is derived from turning outward .... doing for others. How do you explain that happiness in this life is attained through humility and selflessness?
In our culture, that message is counter-intuitive .... and, I fear, is a tough sell.
July 8 to 12th
9:00 AM to 12 Noon
Tell your neighbors and friends.
This year our own Kim Connor will be our coordinator. Consider joining her as a volunteer whether for one day or the whole week!
5/2 Joanne Scotland
5/5 Kerry Kendall
5/6 Steve Kingsbury
5/22 Kirkie Maswoswe
5/23 Margaret Franklin
5/25 Doug Scotland
Happy Birthday to One and All !!
If we missed your birthday it means we don't have it in our records, please call the church office and leave your information with Linda - thanks!
Family Promise Metro West
We Are Hosting
We will have the honor of hosting the families from the Family Promise Metrowest program next week, beginning this Sunday, May 5. The volunteer sign-up board is in the sanctuary. We have URGENT need for volunteers for Over Night Hosts on Monday and Saturday nest week, as well as evening volunteers from 7pm to 9pm. Please sign up on the board or call Lois Tougas.
Three families have moved on since our February hosting date. Shakita and her adorable daughter, Carolina, will be with us again but we will be welcoming three new families.
Some of you may remember Eve and her son, Jami who were with us last September and moved into their own apartment above Purple Ink Insurance agency office in Ashland. This is a direct quote from the Family Promise Metrowest 2012 annual report, which we just received.
"At 8:15 am, Eve is already busy at work with a smile for everyone who walks through the door at Purple Ink Insurance. Her smile brightens a bit more as she tells me how well Jami is doing in school and how happy he is to have a stable place to call home in the quiet town of Ashland. The good news continues as Eve shows me (Beth Cooper) her new car, proudly says she has not smoked since January 21st, is now a Notary Public and is taking her insurance licensing exam in May! Good Luck Eve!
Eve is clearly at home in Purple Ink's office. "All fees for Notary work in the office are donated to one of the charities (Nadine Heaps, owner of Purple Ink) supports. I am going to do the same for all Notary work I do privately" says Eve. "I also want to volunteer for Family Promise at the Federated Church here in Ashland."
"I want to give back. If it weren't for Family Promise, I would not have broken the cycle of poverty and instability I was in. I'm really happy now" Eve's smile says it all.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone
508-881-1318 with any questions you may have about volunteering. God bless you all in helping make this program a success.
Meals and Food Coordinator
Delight In The Giving:
We had a wonderful turn out this past Sunday for Dedication Sunday as part of this year's Stewardship Campaign, the time when we as a church family review and renew our financial commitment to our church and the many ministries which have come to define us.
We have already received over 40 pledges which were presented and blessed by those present. There is still time to bring in your pledge card to drop in the offering plate or you can mail it in to the church office. Our Church relies on your generous commitment to this campaign in order to meet the financial challenges which we face. Please be generous if you have not already sent in your pledge!
A special Thank You to all who have already pledged so generously!
"God loves it when the giver delights in the giving." 2 Corinthians:9:7.
In Love and Peace,
The Stewardship Committee - Tina Kingsbury, Lois Tougas, Irene Brown and Alan Mancini
We Did It!
Our Habitat For Humanity Project April 6th
Fifteen members and friends of our church journeyed to Worcester on a chilling early Spring to help build a two family duplex home for two homeless familes.
Itw as great to see so many people working side by side with one of famlies as we worked to install windows, internal framing, siding and insulation etc. Though the there was a definite chill in the air, our spirits were warmed by the opportunity to do our part to address homelessness in our wider community. Click the link: Click Here for Habitat Photos In addition to the labor we provided members of our church donated in excess of $750 to help defray the costs of such a project. We already received a thank you from Habitate for our contribution and the kindness of our volunteers.
A special thanks to the laborers, the volunteers who made us lunch and for the generosity of our church. We are already looking forward to another project in the Fall at a Habitat Project in Wayland.
Spring Cleaning at God's House
Saturday May 18th
As is always the case where there are many people of good will, nothing ever gets discarded out of concern that "someone" will be upset if we do so. The unfortunate consequence is that closets and cabinets, shelves and storage spaces get filled with "stuff" that the unnamed "someone" might want.
Well its time for us to ask "someone" to label what the church needs or wants to keep, and clear out the rest of the stuff that has been save and stored all around the church.
So on Saturday May 18th, we are having a "Free Stuff" day. Between now and then, we need several volunteers to grab some "sticky notes" and label the stuff we need to keep, and move the rest to the down stairs "Coffee House". On Saturday May 18th, we will be posting a "Free Stuff" day online ( on Craigslist) so that people can come and take away anything useful. Afterwards, whatever remains, will be discarded in the dumpster.
If you are a member of a ministry or committee that has stored stuff around the building, please stop by and label anything that is essential to keep, all the rest will be considered available to give away or discard. On the May 18th, we will need a couple of volunteers to oversee our "Free Stuff" give away day.
This newsletter is produced by:
Federated Church of Ashland
118 Main Street, (P.O. Box 26)
Ashland, Massachusetts 01721
Church Office is staffed Monday-Friday 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Linda Iarussi, Office Manager
Rev. Larry Iannetti, Pastor
Telephone: 508-881-1355 Office Ext. 21 Pastor Ext . 25
Calendar of Events
Adult Bible Study
Held on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of every month @ 6:00 PM. Please join us anytime!