Barre Congregational Church

30 Park Street
Barre, Massachusetts
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© 2016    Barre Congregational Church    30 Park Street, Barre, MA 01005 

Welcome to the Barre Congregational Church United Church of Christ (BCCUCC) website. BCCUCC is a center for community where we live the statement of ministry printed each week in the worship bulletin --

“The ministry of serving others, entrusted to us by Jesus Christ, is the duty and privilege of every member of this church.” 

We live according to our statement of ministry in order to bring hope, justice, and love to people wherever they are on their path to knowing The Lord, Jesus Christ, whose ministries of compassion, extravagant hospitality, and love inspire us.  


Welcoming & Serving the Quabbin Area
Worship Services:
Sundays at 9:30 a.m. 
First Day of Sunday School - September 18th!

"No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here."
Church Matters! 

What is the Pastor-Parish Committee?
The Pastor-Parish Committee helps to 
maintain a positive relationship between 
the pastor and members of the 
congregation. For a summary of what 
they do, please click here for the UCC's 
guidebook on pastor-parish activities.  



Recent EventsMore Information on Upcoming EventsGet InvolvedContact Us

Reflections 

Devotions From the Heart Rock Solid by Pamela Kennedy
But the Lord is my defense; and my God is the rock of my refuge. Psalm 94:22

Dear Lord, thank you for being my rock and my refuge. Help me to always find my way to You when I’m feeling lost or confused.

The summer I was fifteen, my mother decided she and I should take a three-week road trip from Seattle to a small town in Missouri to visit my mother’s youngest sister. My father had to stay home to tend his business. He assured us he would have plenty to keep himself busy in our absence since he was planning to put a patio in our small backyard. The day we piled into our 1956 Dodge to begin the trip, I remember my mother kissing my dad good-bye and saying, “Now, don’t overdo. Keep it simple, honey. We just need a place for the picnic table.” He assured her he would take care of everything, and we drove off filled with expectation.

After an exciting three-week journey, we arrived home late one night, unloaded the car, and fell into bed exhausted. By the time I woke up, the sun was streaming into my room I hopped out of bed and, still in my pajamas, went out to the kitchen. The back door was open and I could hear my parents’ voices drifting through the screen. As I rounded the corner into the backyard, I stopped and stared. The yard was transformed!

Extending from the back of the house was a gentle curved slab of concrete edged with rows of marigolds and purple petunias. A short pathway of bark chips led from the patio to a circular area cut out of the lawn and filled with smooth, round river rocks. And in the middle of this rocky island stood a large boulder. It was about three feet high and roughly two feet by two feet at its flat top . Perched upon this rock in her bathrobe, my mother sat sipping a cup of coffee and looking adoringly at my father.

“What in the world is that?” I asked, pointing at the boulder.

Mother chuckled and took Daddy’s hand. "It’s my rock. My refuge.”

At fifteen, I had no idea what she was talking about, but in the ensuing years I learned. My mother was a quiet woman who enjoyed solitude. My father and I were noisy extroverts who viewed silence as a vacuum needing to be filled with notice. In his loving understanding, my father had recognized the need of his wife to have a place of her own to be alone, even if it were only within the confines of our small backyard. As the years passed, I often say my mother retreat to her rock, sometimes sitting in the sunlight, absorbing the warmth from the granite beneath her. At other times, she stole out at night and contemplated the sky from her stony perch. That rock became a metaphor from home when I moved away - the solid, unmovable place where things could be still and secure.

When David wrote of God as his rock and refuge, I believe he was think- ing of a similar image. Life is uncertain. Things and people change. Re- lationships and loyalties realign. We need a place where we can know stability and security. God, in love and grace, provides that place in Him- self. He remains the same regardless of our circumstances. In Him we can take refuge from the noise and confusion of life. Where do you go when you need to find peace? Scripture reminds us that the security and serenity we seek is only a prayer away.

UCC Dues
You will soon be getting a letter requesting that all members pay their UCC dues. There was a question about dues at the annual meeting. The Church Committee researched the question and found that the last time there was a collection of UCC dues was in 2012. We will collect dues from all members (not households) and they will be sent to the UCC. The report on this topic came from Lisa Holloway, chair of the Church Committee.

Offering Envelopes & Pledge Cards
If you have lost your pledge card and would like to fill one out there are some outside the office, in the narthex or you can call the church office , 978-355-4041& one will be mailed to you.

There is a place to check off if you would like envelopes or would like some call Margaret Marshall, 978-355-4510, our collector, to make sure you get them.
Message From Margaret Keyser
Please mark your calendar! The congregation is invited to a follow-up session with Margaret Keyser on September 11, 2016 after the worship service. Remember you don't have to have attended any of the earlier sessions to attend.

*A message from Margaret Keyser:*
During the Spring we came together as members of the congregation to
share with one another difficult experiences, feelings and opinions
about what transpired last year. For those who attended the meetings,
it helped them see and understand the others' point of view. 

We created a space where members could express themselves openly and honestly. This was not easy, but the work we did was important to move forward with one another. There was deep sadness about the situation, and the fact that not everyone was part of these conversations. However, there was a deep commitment to work together. We have also done work with the
Deacons and the Church Committee, who have committed themselves to work together and make good recommendations on a number of key issues
affecting the congregation. This was an important outcome for the church.
There are clearly some areas that need attention still. 

This meeting on September 11 will help the congregation with the following:
1. Improve and solidify communication skills on a personal level, as
well as among various committees.
2. Team- and trust-building exercises for the way forward.
3. Help the congregation find consensus on important issues as you
transition into an interim period with a designated interim pastor

Everyone is invited. Everyone's voice is needed. This meeting is
important for the way forward. I look forward to work with you all.

Peace and blessings,

Margaret Keyser