From the Pastor:
It's a brand new year--the first year of the 21st Century. I wonder what's in store for Oldtown this year. When I look back at the wonderful journey we've had together for almost 2-1/2 years, it's hard to believe that the time has sped so swiftly. We've seen a lot of new growth and new spirit as the Holy Spirit has been acting in most grace-full ways in our church and in our community.
We have a fresh new ceiling, a new sign and memorial garden, a set of chimes and people to play them, a growing choir and church school. We have a website and a wonderful newsletter that goes out to over 100 people. I now print twice the number of Sunday bulletins than I did when I first came. The signs of growth and enthusiasm are great! We are entering the new century and the new millennium with renewed strength and vigor.
Whatever challenges lie ahead of us, I am certain that God will give us the strength to be a faithful witness. As we formulate our "Vision Statement" about who we feel called to be and what we feel called to do here in Oldtown, may we enthusiastically embrace our call and dream dreams about how we can reach out to others in this holy endeavor. May we continue to be known as the church that shows hospitality to all--the place where you're a stranger only once. May our hearts be ready to receive the seekers just as we have received the Christmas Christ child. And may this new year be filled with all the joy and celebration of a people in love with their Lord, and in league with each other as we show compassion for all and witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Happy New Year!
Only by grace,
Welcome to the Mission Corner:
Dedicated to Serving ChristThe Missions Committee would like to thank the members of the congregation for their outstanding generosity during the recent Christmas season: several local families were supplied with Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers; eighty-three gift bags were distributed to elderly residents of Attleboro and North Attleborough. A special thanks to Lori Mobley for successfully soliciting donations from the Paramount Greeting Card Company, Baldwin's Office Supply, Ames Dept. Store, WalMart, Sears, Dollar Depot (Pawtucket), For Pete's Sake Preschool, JC Penney and the families of her daycare clients, and for making up the gift bags from the combined senior donations. And another special thanks to Nora Roesser for shopping for those families added belatedly to our list. There are no bigger hearts than those at Oldtown. The final Missions project for the year 2000 was the Soup Kitchen at the Grace Episcopal Church on Wednesday, December 27th. Thanks to the kitchen crew on Tuesday night: Lori, Marcia, Christine, June & Ed for pulling the meal together. Thanks to Judy & Carolyn for the delicious "Oldtown" coleslaw. We served approximately 40 clients (most had second helpings) and sent all home with leftovers. There were six of us from Oldtown, the youth group from the First Baptist Church of Attleboro, another group from the Foxboro Church of Latter Day Saints and some of the regular weekly helpers. Many hands made the work light and the fellowship enjoyable. It has been a busy and productive year and we look for to more rewarding projects in the year 2001! Reminder: "Souper Bowl" Sunday is January 28th. Your donation to our soup pot will go directly to the Food n' Friends Soup Kitchens to serve the hungry in our area.
Christine Pandozzi for Nora Roesser
From the Attleboro Area
Council of Churches
Did you see the Attleboro Area Council of Churches December newsletter? Our Lynne Sias was featured and thanked for all her work as the Food N’ Friends coordinator. Dot Embree is the new interim Coordinator.
SOUPER BOWL Sunday is coming: Jan. 28th Your dollar or 2 in the soup pots on your way out from worship on Sunday will go to help feed hungry people in our area with 400-500 free meals each week.
The Ecumenical Service for the Week of Prayer For Christian Unity will be held on Sunday, Jan. 21 at Immanuel Lutheran Church at 7 pm. Worship will
be led by many of our area clergy. Our pastor, Katrina will be delivering the sermon.
The 55th Annual Meeting of the Attleboro Area Council of Churches will be held on Monday, Jan 29, 2001 at Evangelical Covenant Church, 841 North Main St. A Dinner will be held at 6 pm, and at 7 pm. Mr. Rick Smith, Superintendent of the North Attleborough Public Schools will be the guest speaker.
From Our Conference
Suitcase Seminars are coming!
34 workshops are offered in a broad range of seminar topics, like: Mission Trips, Church Historians, Writing a Vision Statement, Missions, Faith and Finances, Doing Stewardship Right, Church Treasurer's, Church Growth and much more. Look for the flyer on the bulletin Board in Maxcy Hall. There is no cost. Let’s take a few carloads of folk to Duxbury on Feb. 3!
"Humility: A Saving Virtue for Women’s Lives"
Feb. 9-10, 2001. For women. Cost: $90.
Leader: Dr. Brita Gill-Austern
Practical Training for Local Church Leaders
We have received this year's announcement of the UCC Suitcase Seminars, with 34 workshops offered for clergy and laity of our 432 local congregations to provide a forum for learning, sharing and networking among our churches.
This year's session in Duxbury, MA is on February 3 (snow date: Feb 10) and there are many courses offered that we could take advantage of that deal with the Web, Writing Lesson Plans, Vocation Statements, Pastor Relations committees, and workshops for Auditors and Treasurers. The booklet will be posted in Maxcy Hall, and I hope you will consider attending one of these. We will have copies of the registration form available. You can also see the course descriptions and register on line at http://www.macucc.org/resources/suitcase.htm.There is no cost to UCC members, but you will have to buy or bring your own lunch.
We can arrange car pooling if we have enough attendees. Hope you can join us.
From the Southeast Area
A Southeast Area Senior High Youth Event will be held on Jan. 27 from 1-7 pm at Christ Congregational Church in Brockton, MA:
Who’s Out, Who’s In, in YOUR Hood?
Featured will be alternative band (e)Xnihilo. The cost will be $7. Per person and includes T-Shirt and dinner.
Oldtown Church was featured in last month’s Southeast Area Newsletter as last year’s Jerusalem Project. Our history was shared and it was reported that we received $1,040.65 from our sister churches to aid our ceiling fund.
Officers and Committees
Each year, in accordance with our By-Laws, we hold an Annual Business Meeting in which the annual reports are presented and officers elected. Our constitution states: "This Church is Congregational in polity. Its government is vested in its members who exercise the right of control in all its affairs..."
Each year a nominating committee is formed to prepare a ballot of persons for each office and committee. Their task involves obtaining the consent of each nominee before placing them on the ballot. As a member of First Congregational Church, you may be invited to accept a nomination to one of the offices or committees. In deciding whether to accept, please consider the gift you would be giving to our church family of your time, your energy, your knowledge and, more importantly, your sprit in the government of our congregation. I know it's a lot to ask in these busy times, but your commitment will make a difference in sustaining the spirit of Oldtown.
If there is an office or committee you would like to be on, you may also contact the nominating committee or moderator to be put on the ballot, or enter your name in nomination at the Annual Meeting on January 18, 2001. The Nominating Committee members are: Betty Grant, James Santsaver Sr. and Daniel Thibeault.
The offices and committees open for election are: Moderator; Clerk; Treasurer; Assistant Treasurer; Sunday School Superintendent; Historian; Deacons; Trustees; Missions Committee; Christian Education; Music Committee; Flower Committee; Auditing Committee; and Delegates to: Massachusetts Conference, UCC; Old colony Association; and to the Attleboro Area Council of Churches.
Please consider taking part in our government in service to our Lord.
I pray you have a Happy and Peaceful New Year.
The Deacons Corner
We have all been part of a dynamic year in the life of Oldtown church and as we look ahead to the coming year it is clear the journey is just beginning as we grow and change. Our church family offers each of us so many opportunities to serve and at this time of year the needs of each program and committee are great. We welcome all to seek out ways to fulfill the challenge and fill these needs by becoming actively involved in any area which you may have an interest. It is always rewarding work and the time together is invaluable. Let us know what you would like to do; every helping hand makes us stronger.
This year the Pastor and Deacons have planned a Vesper Service for New Year's Eve. It will be a way to take a new look at the future and release some of the weight of the past. We hope to see you there.
Peace always be with you.
Chair of Deacons
Thank You! Thank You!
Thank you to the members and friends of Oldtown for your support of my ministry and for the generous housewarming/Christmas gift of cash. I feel so blessed to be your pastor. The Oldtown Heart is beating strong and most beautifully!
Services on Tape
We record our Sunday Services, so those who could not attend can share in our worship. Call the church office at 695-1713 if you'd like to borrow a tape.
Now that Christmas has past and we begin the New Year I'd like to start out by saying, "Thank You!" Thank you to everyone who helped a child in our church during the Christmas season. Did you help out with crafts, singing, bake refreshments or join in the fun at the Christmas party? Did you help out with the pageant, quietly watch the pageant letting the children know that what they were doing was important or smile at a child and wish them a Merry Chistmas?
Whether you realize it or not everyone in the congregation helped and continues to help the children of our Sunday School. Children learn by example so we are ALL teachers. During the last few weeks the children have learned that going to church is important because they see you all doing it. Fellowship time is fun because you all smile and talk while sharing donuts and coffee. It's important to help others as shown when you all bring hats and mittens for the tree. It's important to be quiet during church especially during the prayer (well, learning takes time!). Children see they are an important part of our church as you smile while they sing in the children's choir and listen while they share the Christmas story through the pageant. During the next year please remember how important you ALL are and THANK YOU!
During Lent we will be starting a Communion Education Series in the Sunday School. Our goal is to offer it to the Kindergarten class each year but this year it will be offered to Sunday school children grades K-3 since it will be our first year.
We will also be participating in a program called Fill the Ark through the Heifer Program. Watch for more details!
Thank You and God Bless!
GET TO KNOW OUR
Karen and Tom Marshall live in North Attleboro and have been active in the church life for some time. Karen works with Allergy & Asthma Specialty Physicians Group and Tom with BJ's Wholesale Club. Karen came to Oldtown at the invitation of Kerri Harrop and found the "welcoming feeling" a reason to stay. Tom had been to the church in previous years. Karen enjoys cake decorating, cross-stitch, cooking, scrapbooking, crafts and sewing. Tom also does crafts and scrapbooking, reading and computers.
Jennifer & David Morrison reside in North Attleboro with their sons Neil(6) and Nicholas(2). They found Oldtown through friends Denise and Fred Achin, while looking for a family-oriented church. Jenn works for Lorell Management, a property management company and Dave is in diesel engine sales with Cummins. They both enjoy motorcycles. Jenn also likes to cook and do volunteer work. Dave is a golfer. Travel and interests in computers, football and baseball are part of their lives.
Joe & Karen McLoughlin live in North Attleboro with their daughter Mae Elizabeth. Karen is a teacher and Joe an environmental consultant. Joe enjoys rock climbing and web design; Karen reading and walking.
Lori & Scott Brown live in North Attleboro with their children Dana and Samuel. Their work is in the areas of customer service and homebuilding. They enjoy dancing and swimming and spending time with their children. The people of Oldtown attracted them, the Pastor, the members and the children.
Jenifer DeBlois resides in South Attleboro. She is a pre-school teacher and enjoys cross-stitch and crafts. Jenifer liked the "inviting" feeling of Oldtown.
The trustees have done their job and will present a balanced budget for 2001 at the annual meeting. It will take the usual leap of faith that the money will be raised, but I am sure the hard working people of Oldtown will make it happen. Happy New Year!
The Wish List:
Anyone who can provide these things or a good lead on how we can make them happen in a cost effective manner can contact any trustee.
Chairman of the Trustees
In our prayers:
Miranda Berkley, Marjorie Brown, Chessie, Charlie&Lottie Scott, The Rev. Steve Bachelder, Alice & Gus, Jeannie Sheraton, Doug Fontaine, Marion Sanders, Robert & Kathy Kennedy, Lynne Pittard, Lillian, Marion Thompson, Gail Johnson, Linda & Jimmy Smith, Mark Sullivan, Lois Blaise, Carol &Artie, Dorothy Lightfoot, Mike Lamarr, Frank, Bill, Mary K., Pat Porter, Deb Lieberman, John Gray, Andrea, Donna Humphrey, Ernie Sears, Brenda Lee Pouliet, Gina Woodrum, Elsie Morris, Margaret Kindberg, Marion Hormon, Esther Angus.
Birth Dates Wanted!
We're collecting Birth dates so we can make a parish list to include the monthly birthdays in the Spirit. Please call the office, or hand in the birth date slips so that we can share these celebrations with one another. No, you don't have to put the year of your birth- just the day and month.
Birthdays & Anniversaries
January 9: Elizabeth Pandozzi
January 10: Alyssa Rice
January 16: George Muir
January 17: Grace Cuddeback
January 18: Lori Brown
January 23: Steven Mankevech, Mary Stevens
January 26: Jenifer DeBlois
January 27: Jennifer Twyman
January 30: Leo Gaouette, Nathan Badger
Please continue to wash and save your empty glass salad dressing bottles for the next batch of Elsie’s Famous French Dressing. Both pint (16oz.) and half-pint (8oz.) are needed and please no plastic bottles…they just get too sticky. You can leave them on the seat out in the front hall and Carolyn will pick them up. Thanks!
Oldtown has a new web site. Please check it out. Let us know if you have any comments or suggestions. We would love to hear from you! http://oldtownucc.tripod.com
Also, note that you can now view this newsletter on the web site. If you would like to be taken off of the postal mailing list for the newsletter, let us know.
Women's Spirituality Group
We meet on the first Monday of each month at Pastor Katrina's house, 43 Grant St. in Attleboro, from 7- 8:30 pm. All women of the church are invited to attend this time of nurturing the sprit through exercises and reflection and prayer.
Upcoming Church Events at Oldtown!