Brookfield Congregational Church

8 Common Street
P.O. Box 457
Brookfield Massachusetts, 01506-0457
Phone: (508) 867-6262
Sunday Service starts at 10:00 AM
Communion First Sunday of the Month




Brookfield Congregational Church Announcements


Be sure to check out the Moderator's Moment, it's new!

Be sure to check out the Pastor's Page, it's new!


NEW CHURCH OFFICE HOURS

The Church building will be closed to all meetings and services until further notice.  In the meantime we will be providing pastoral support that can be reached either by calling the church at (508)867-6262, or via email or the Church’s Facebook page. Pastor John may by reached at home (508) 222-2535 or Cell phone (774) 414-4452 ANYTIME.  We will look to return calls as best we can.  Planning is underway to offer services Sunday’s at 10 AM via Facebook.  Look to the Church’s Facebook page for the coming Sunday’s.  It may not be pretty but it will be that ray of hope we can all use.


Vacation Bible School 2020



This is the time of year Brookfield Congregational Church likes to start sending out notices in preparation of our annual Vacation Bible School.  Unfortunately, due to the current pandemic and understanding it is going to take some time for us all to return to some sort of normalcy the church council has sadly been forced to cancel this year's preparation of our regular program.     We so enjoy having all the children come together the last full week of July offering them an opportunity to be with their friends while perhaps making new friends and having the chance to hear God's word.  We look forward to once again offering this valuable program next year 2021 at our regularly scheduled time when we will present To Mars and Beyond as our Theme.

In the meantime, please use our website www.BCC1857.org for updates on our activities as well as our current Sunday services which can also be found on our church's facebook page.




PLEASE JOIN US FOR A VIRTUAL
SUNDAY MORNING SERVICE



On your Computer, Click here to Join Our Service
Or dial by phone 1-646-876-9923
Meeting ID – 971-6542-7987
Services will also be uploaded to our website @ www.bcc1857.org and on our Facebook page



ORDER OF SERVICE
SUNDAY JULY 12th, 2020
Welcome
Music – Since I Have Been Redeemed
Call to Worship and Invitation    
Invocation
New Testament Scripture – Romans 8:1-11 – Brian
Music – The Joy of the Lord
Welcome and Announcements
Joys and Concerns - Prayer requests and offerings    
Silent Prayer
Lord's Prayer
Gospel – Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 – Brian
The Gospel of the Lord.  THANKS BE TO GOD.
Music – Since Jesus Came Into My Heart
Homily - "The Roots of Our Faith" Reverend Nancy Collins
Affirmation of Faith - Apostles Creed
Benediction
Music – My Children Go Forth
Thank you




Dear Brookfield Community Church Friend:

MUSIC—no better communication, contact with each other, with the world, with God. Listening, performing, practicing—whatever "kind" is your choice.

Music is such a magical part of our Sunday worship. It accompanies Sue and me at everyday work, and quite straightforwardly eliminates all sense of that work as a chore. Mya Angelou composed a wonderful poem, she wrote it another time and occasion, called it PEACE, timely for 2020, Ms Angelou published a work ages ago, which she entitled,"I know why the caged bird sings"—you need go no further than that, resident of earth in 2020!!

But we go further. Johannes Brahms, the musician, (probably an understatement of greatest kind!) wrote a Requiem in 1866, a requiem is music setting for the church service at time of a person's passing, death, and the "requiem" means rest as in rest in peace, beloved. Then follow parts in the church's liturgy on—Lord, have mercy, deliver from hell!, take away sins, deliver from eternal death.

Brahms Requiem starts totally different, a comfort for those who are now bereaved, have the loss—"Blessed are those who mourn, they shall be comforted" and then, a turning to God—home now, home then, home forever with the haunting "How lovely is thy dwelling place, O Lord". Some say Brahms wrote his piece mourning his mother's passing, and it was the memory of his mother that shaped his music; the experts say, "No, No". I wonder, and say, "Yes, Yes". Music and mother come together; and it is one of the great gifts of a mother that governs the music. That is as true to my experience as anything I know.  And why this year, Mother's Day, I think not just my honor of mothers (had several! But it is NOT me as the centerpiece of mothers day) but who those mothers were in themselves and how much they brought not just to me but to everyone, everything the whole world-wide over! And I too know why this (at least this year), This "caged bird" SINGS!!

Blessed indeed are all of You, Mothers, 
Pastor John



We are directed by these words, "But seek the welfare of the city … "Jeremiah 29:7


I was directed to our neighbor, The First Congregational Church of West Brookfield's FACEBOOK page.  In doing so I'd like to share their words as I find them appropriate:

'This church is not closed. Our building is empty, true - as it rightly should be in the midst of an infectious pandemic. But we have been, are, and will be the church together.
This church is not closed. We gather, worship, support one another, laugh, and pray - but by different means. We care for the health of our members and of the community around us. We will continue to socially distance ourselves, wear masks, and make decisions guided by the principles of love for the whole people of God, in all the diversity that God creates us.
This church is not closed. We are meeting online and that's hard in many ways. We know, though, that it is necessary. Despite the losses we feel of not gathering in the sanctuary and of embracing one another with love and joy we still experience vitality, vibrancy, growth, and holiness in our online gatherings.
This church is not closed. We are continuing to foster partnerships that allow us to feed people. We stand with Jesus in our care for the widow, the orphan, the oppressed and the vulnerable.
This church is not closed. We continue to adapt our strategies to meet people where they are, lifting up an ethic of love, compassion, and justice for all people and the planet.
The leadership of this church has considered the guidance of scientists and the CDC, we have reviewed the guidance from the state, and we stand in agreement with the advice of our regional denominational leaders. We do not believe this is the time for us to open our building. We are creating a strategic plan to do so, so that when we do arrive at that moment when we feel we can welcome people into the building, more of us can gather together and we will be doing everything we humanly can to mitigate risk factors for those who choose to join us.
Find us here, Sunday morning at 10am (or close to it) for worship online!
This church is not closed...It has never been closed.  Amen."

You will find in the newsletter and on the website a draft of a document as BCC prepares for in person gatherings.   First and foremost, we must be guided in keeping everyone safe.
We owe a great deal of gratitude to the those putting the online service and bible studies together.  I can attest it is not easy.  Change is never easy.  At the same time personally learning how to conduct ZOOM meetings has been rewarding.

The Church Council did meet on June 8.  While planning around in person gatherings was a main focus the idea of a ZOOM VBS now during the last full week of July was reviewed and we look forward to this new approach.
Mission's focus for June is Heifer International and Gideon International.  You are reminded if you wish to support these mission activities to send your donation to the church office and mark it accordingly.

This is a good time to also remind folks to please send your pledges in support of the church to the office.  Whether we meet in person or not the expenses of the church continue.  The Council appreciates your ongoing support.  It allows the Council to breathe a little easier.

I'd like to close with something that happened to me this week.  In corresponding with someone who has a lot on his plate I commented in the email "in this time He has a plan we just don't know it yet".    The person responded who is "He".  I joked back "He" is a three-letter word…begins with G, ends in D and has one vowel and it is not an A, E, I or U.   We need to remember God has a plan.  In doing our best in this difficult time the plan will become apparent.  With prayer and determination, we will make this world a better place for all.

Yours Faithfully,

Clarence (Punk) Snyder

Moderator


Brookfield Congregational Church
Guidance for In-Person Gatherings
June 11, 2020

Your Church Council is taking guidance from the government, Conference and experiences other churches to address the idea of reopening the Church.  With Brookfield Congregational Church made-up of a generally older group we are at greater risk.  As such it is better that we move with caution.  During the June Council meeting members took assignments to better understand guidance from various sources and protective equipment needs to formally adopt a gathering plan.  While we would want to assemble in person it may be September or later before that is safely possible.

We are directed by these words, "But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare." ~ Jeremiah 29:7

To give everyone a sense of just how complicated a safe opening would be consider these things:

This is a time unlike anything we have experienced in our lifetimes. This is a challenging time for all of us. We have had moments of creative ingenuity and moments of overwhelming exhaustion. 
  
We entered this time in chaos, we plan to move through it with intention. We're not reopening.  Because we never closed.  We have engaged ministry in new ways.  We will move forward in new ways.   

First, there is no way to ensure the overall safety of our congregations and communities until there is a trusted vaccine.

Second, in person worship in sanctuaries is one of the types of gatherings that is most likely to spread the infection. 

· In an enclosed room over a length of time the airborne viral particles can reach every corner.  6-foot or 12-foot physical distancing will not prevent this.   
· Speaking, praying and singing aloud propels the virus even further than just breathing.  
· Using masks limits but does not prevent the transmission of the disease.  
· Common surfaces abound. 

We know that people can be carriers of the virus without any symptoms.

Third, we don't know everything about this disease and its impact on all ages.  New information is coming out daily. This makes it hard to predict trends, safety measures, and phases. 
  
Fourth, our congregation is comprised of the populations most vulnerable to Covid-19.    

Fifth, an outbreak in our churches impacts our communities and the capacity of our health care system.  

This document is an integration and distilling from many sources. We are presenting a phasing approach beginning with where we stand today and next step phases tied to local conditions and the guidance of local government and health care professionals. 
  
There is no one date that can be universally applied to every church and every community.  Things differ; local regulations, building size and condition, age of congregation, size of congregation, health care capacity in community, rate and incidence of spread in community.
   
There is the possibility of new spikes in infection that may return us to Stay Home.

Where we are:

· Stay-at-Home Order by your State and Local Government AND
COVID-19 case count is beginning to decrease over a span of 2 continuous weeks
We need to consider and plan Requirements for Church Worship Leaders:
▪ Applies to but not limited to ministers, worship leaders, choir director, and choir members.
▪ Age (older than 60 years old at higher risk)
▪ Those with auto-immune challenges
▪ Willingness to wear gloves and mask and observe physical distancing
▪ Willingness to have temperature taken

  • Developing your Plan for Returning to In-Person Worship including:

† Consider Physical space – 
† Non-contact worship - Estimate required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for worshipers and begin planning for procurement
▪ Estimate required purchases to implement non-contact worship, cleaning and touch free facility navigation

  • Developing a plan for Youth, Sunday School and Faith Formation

▪ Council will act as Task Team to implement the guidelines and provide support to staff and volunteers
▪ Institute a Protocol Program for essential staff and lay leaders on how to clean and sanitize as well as products to use and safe use of the products. Include planned refresher sessions on changes to policies and procedures

  • Develop Church Health Policies and Screening Practices such as:

▪ Whether or not to require touch free temperature checks prior to in-person worship
▪ Health check: Weekly ask worshipers, and daily ask staff to confirm they have not experienced COVID-19 CDC-defined symptoms and to monitor their own symptoms.

  • Confirm action in the event of a positive COVID-19 case: How will we encourage worshipers to inform their faith leaders and follow state guidelines and protocols as they relate to quarantine and contact tracing? Who will decide and implement next steps?
  • Develop cleaning plans and checklists that incorporate these guidelines. Ensure it is clear which faith leaders, staff, worshipers and any users of the facility are responsible for implementing the plans.

 

  • Consider a complete deep-clean of facility before reopening and include entrances, lobbies, bathrooms, kitchens, hallways, elevators, door handles/knobs, and all equipment (e.g. printers, scanners, phones, vending machines) desks, chairs, computers, monitors

Next Phase (Phase One) 
· We have completed preparations during Base Phase
· Confirm that your State and Local Government has lifted Stay-at-Home Order AND
· Confirm with local health agent that you meet the criteria to gather
o and that COVID-19 Case Counts in your state and local area have decreased over a minimum span of 2 continuous weeks
o there is widespread availability of testing    
o there is No Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Shortage

RECOMMENDED:
Limited in-person worship of 10-25 maximum (including lay/clergy leadership and depending on ability to maintain social distance) and paired with online worship.  

Scheduled far enough out to finalize safe worship planning and allow for "dress rehearsal" of safe protocols.
o Follow recommendations for all In-person worship during the Covid-19 Pandemic designed to increase safety for gathering including No Singing and No Communion
o Continue holding online worship
Encourage those at high-risk to worship online
· IMPORTANT: If there are Covid-19 case infection increases in your area at any time or there are cases amongst your in-person worshipping community, your Church Should Immediately Close and Return to Base Phase.
· Online Meetings only
· Church Offices remain closed  

Phase Two 
· A minimum of 4 continuous weeks of declining COVID-19 Case Counts in your state and local community. There is no one in your in-person worshipping community that is exhibiting COVID-19 Symptoms AND  
· Confirm with your local health agent that you continue to meet the criteria for in-person worship
o there remains widespread availability of testing    
o there remains No Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Shortage
AND the Stay-at-Home Order remain lifted
RECOMMENDED:
In-Person Worship of 25 – 40 people maximum (including lay/clergy leadership and depending on ability to maintain social distance) paired with online worship and with prior scheduled rehearsal of new larger service protocols. 

  • Follow recommendations for all In-person worship during the Covid-19 Pandemic designed to increase safety for gathering including No Singing and No Communion

o Continue holding online worship
Encourage those at high-risk to worship online
o Consider holding services and gatherings in a large, well-ventilated areas - if they can be safely organized.

We will amend this document as we prepare for additional phases as the world works towards treatments and vaccines.


REMINDER

When an emergency is called during a church service – everything STOPS – 911 is called and everyone EXITs quickly and quietly to a designated area.  Thank you for your cooperation.


OUR CHURCH COVENANT

We, the members of the Brookfield Congregational Church following the example of Jesus, who loved and served all, promise we will:
~Do unto others as we would have them do unto us;
~Faithfully support the Church with our time and treasures;
~Seek to do the will of God to promote the life of our church community and the community at large.
~Listen to, speak with, and interact with each person in the church with respect, honesty and love.
~Interact with open minds and hearts, considering perspectives that may be different from our own and,
~Showing the charity of Christ, we will love and serve the people of the church and community in the name of our Lord







Food Pantry reminder:

BCC is one of many churches that provides support to the Brookfield Ecumenical Food Pantry.  Approximately 50 families in the community are receiving services through the food pantry.  If you are willing and able to help support this program, there are donation baskets in the back of the Sanctuary near the stairs to the Narthex.

Thank you for your continued support.  Non-perishable food donations are accepted.  The Pantry can also really use paper goods and toiletry items, as these are items they are unable to get from the food bank.

Blessings to you all!



Be the “change” you want to see in the world


One of the many things I’ve thought about while sitting at home is that as we have been unable to gather in our beloved church, Gertrude, our hungry goose has not been fed either.   

     I quote an article I found and believe it still holds true today, props do work.  Whether it be a plastic goose, a shopping cart or a plastic bank shaped as a Church.  The children, and some of us adults, loved feeding Gertrude during coffee hour.  Kudos to the person who started with this prop.

     From article of 2012 in the South New England Conference United Church of Christ


     “Paul Shailer, a deacon at the Brookfield Congregational Church, believes the goose -- which is put out at coffee hour -- is very visible and stands out.  "Gertrude the Goose" (as she has been named by the Sunday School children) has become the church's ambassador for mission donations.

      "Kids love to put money in its bill and watch it swallow the change," explained GwenYaskoski, a trustee and treasurer at the church.  "The prop really gets the children involved and they have become very curious as to not only where the money goes after it's eaten by the goose, but who is being helped by the donations." 

      Whether it's a faux fowl or a real shopping cart, unique props can be helpful to mission and fundraising programs”

     We have a post of our focused Missions for each month.  If your heart is being called to support any of these focused Missions, please submit your donation to the church at P O Box 457, Brookfield, MA  01506.  In the memo line, please note:  feed Gertrude - Focused Mission (and the month). 

     Our Lenten giving mission, which was to benefit Dismas as well as Abbey’s house, was impacted by the outbreak of Covid19 and as we will be unable to plan a Suicide Awareness and Prevention vigil in May, as hoped, I would request that we allocate any funds raised during May to donate to Dismas and Abbey’s Feel free to visit their websites for ways you can help…at: http://www.dismasisfamily.org/donate/”  and https://abbyshouse.org/donate/

I’ll sign off with the following….perhaps til we can be together and you can feed Gertrude directly, a fun little prop to make with the kids...a “feed” bag with scraps of material to stick your loose change into...

                                                                                    In His light and love,

                                                                                    Tammy, aka “T”, Mission Chair



PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY DONATIONS

Patti Coltey would like to call anyone who can knit or crochet to join this important mission.  There is nothing like being wrapped in a shawl made with love – care – blessing when you need some comfort!


knit crochet



Child Care

Child care is provided under the supervision of Ellie Blodgett during each Sunday service.  All children from newborn to Sunday school age are welcome. Please speak to the deacon in charge if you need assistance.



FLOWERS FOR SUNDAY WORSHIP   

We invite you to contribute flowers for Sunday worship.  The flowers may be from a florist or in season, home gardens.  Please see the Flower Chart in Fellowship Hall to sign up for a Sunday of your choice.  Sundays already designated will be marked on the chart.  If you wish to give flowers in memory or in honor of someone, please leave information for the worship bulletin with the office on TUESDAY BEFORE THE SUNDAY  that you give flowers. Questions?  Speak with Robin Dennehy.




COMING EVENTS

This Week

The Church building will be closed to all meetings and services until further notice





Deacons for the Month of June

Cathy Farr

Paul Shailer

Volunteers

 

READERS

CHILDREN’S SERMON

GREETERS

07/05

Child Reader

Communion Sunday

Elizabeth & Art Jay

07/12

Jo-Ann Gorham

Punk Snyder

Robin & Wayne Dennehy

07/19

Wayne Dennehy

Darlene Dean

Bill & Kate Simpson

07/26

Jane Snyder

Paul Shailer

Sarah & Brian Oxman






Recently we were graced with an outstanding mural in our nursery of Noah's Ark.  This artistry was completed by Jordan Nugent, a college student who currently attends Nichols College.  Jordan's work is so well done and super entertaining. Viewing the ark has brought smiles of delight not only to the children in the nursery but any adult who walks past the nursery.  If you would like to see more of Jordan's work you may look for her at facebook.com/nugentcreations


Church Cookbooks from Helping Hands are available.
Our Church Cookbooks make a great gift!
Available in the Fellowship Hall. Only $5.00
each. Just think of those Christmas cookies



Senior Moments.

Susan Raymond, the Outreach Coordinator for the W.B. Senior Center has notfied us that the Brookfield COA and the W.B. Senior Center have collaborated by adding 10 hrs/month of her services for Brookfield residents. Anyone over the age of 55 who would like information about SNAP benefits (food stamps), answers to questions regarding fuel assistance or needs assistance with resources, please call the W.B. Senior Center at 508-867-1407 and ask for Sue Raymond.



The Council on Aging will meet at the Brookfield Congregational Church on the 2nd Tuesday of every month, except July and August, from 10:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.



CHURCH SCRAPBOOK

Calling All People

We are looking for pictures for the Church Scrapbook.  We only have ten pages for the 2019 book.  If you have snapshots of any of our church activities such as:  Fusion Youth Group (let’s get our teens in this book), Boy Scouts, spaghetti suppers, pie baking  for Apple Country Fair, tag sale pictures, nursery and Sunday School pictures please contact Jane Snyder.  We do have pictures of VBS.
Thank you, Patti Coltey






Open to ALL Youth Grades 6th to 12th
Youth Leader: Jim Joyce Jr.         Asst Youth Leader: Tammy Taquino
Fusion.yg.bcc@gmail.com      (508) 867-6262
Sundays from 6:30 pm to 8 pm at Brookfield Congregational Church.


Need Community Hours for School?

Here are some ways to get community service hours for school.

  1. Would you like to help cheer someone up? Spirit Lifters is looking for helpers to make gift baskets and assist with delivery. 
  • Fusion Youth Group Update

    The Fusion Youth Group band, Holy Intentions, has finished the tracks for their first song! The youth group recorded at Abraham’s Closet Recording Studio located at Greenville Baptist Church. They recorded a cover of ‘On My Own’ by Ashes Remain. The mechanical license has recently been obtained. With the license, the youth will have CD’s made to use as a fundraiser. Keep your ears open for the CD release!
  • Parents are welcome to join us.

Calendar

March 17th

NO Youth Group Meetings

Calender Notes

  • There will be NO meetings until after May 18th

Love People – Love God - Connect – Grow - Reach




SEEKING A CHURCH SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT


SEEKING A CHURCH SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT
DO YOU LOVE TO WORK WITH CHILDREN?
ARE YOU ORGANIZED?
ARE YOU ABLE TO VOLUNTEER?
ARE YOU INTERESTED? CLICK HERE!

 




Just a reminder that we are still in need of Teachers and Teacher's Assistants along with Assistants for Nursery. Please Pray on this and let Jane know when you are called to commit.



YEAR-TO-DATE INCOME REPORT:  JUNE 2020



YEAR-TO-DATE REPORT OF INCOME:  JUNE 2020
ANNUAL BUDGET                                                              $150,708.00
PROJECTED MONTHLY AVERAGE                                   $12,559.00
RECEIVED INCOME FOR MONTH OF JUNE                       $6,190.00
           Offering                                          $6,190.00
           Other Sources                                        0.00
PROJECTED INCOME YEAR-TO-DATE                             $75,354.00
RECEIVED INCOME YEAR-TO-DATE                                 $55,833.00





KITCHEN RECYCLING

Just a reminder to abide by our recycling rules when using the church kitchen: rinse out any recyclables before putting them in the receptacles, crush/flatten items when possible, etc. Guidelines are posted in the kitchen for your reference.