Barre Congregational Church

30 Park Street
Barre, Massachusetts
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© 2019    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 mission of the Barre Congregational Church is to serve God, and to spread the word and love of God's risen son, Jesus Christ, to all people through Christian faith and unity. By our words and actions, we will bring love, hope, and acceptance to family and neighbors, respecting all differences and diversities." 

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. (NOTE: Worship service on March 10th will be downstairs in Fellowship Hall)

Click here to see a video from one of our Sunday services! 

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A Message From Pastor Margaret

Lessons from South Africa…
Soon after the release of former President 
Nelson Mandela from his 27 years in prison, 
and during his early years as president, 
he made the call to South Africans to forgive 
those who hated us, who mistreated us, and 
to come together and go through a process of 
truth and reconciliation. It was hard to understand 
that call, since we were still trying to make sense 
of the new South Africa and were still recovering from 
the struggle against apartheid, which was so difficult and exhausting.

I don’t think we were prepared for this call from Madiba, an endearing family name for President Mandela. Yes, during his imprisonment we learned how to communicate effectively, to engage in mediation and negotiation work. We were preparing ourselves for a new and free South Africa. We knew we would have to go through some process of living together as black and white South Africans, but it was unclear what that would look like. Therefore, this call to forgive the other was unexpected and much deeper than we were prepared for. It was about the saving of our nation from destruction, and so we would have to sit down with one another to try and understand how such atrocities could have happened, and to be open to forgive and move forward together. That was the utmost example of radical love and mercy from the heart.

Learning from the truth and reconciliation process in South Africa, I have through the years in my work in conflict transformation, encouraged groups and individuals in conflict to work through their differences, to come together and to find healing and reconciliation. I encourage truth telling, and the acknowledgment of hurts caused to and by others. I speak about the importance of forgiving others, in order for all involved to have a future together. We have done some of that work here at Barre Congregational Church as well.

In Luke Chapter 6, verse 27 to 38, we read about this kind of radical love for the enemy, the ones who hate and wrong us, to bless those who curse us, and pray for those who mistreat us. From a human perspective, it is an extraordinary challenge to love in that manner. Therefore, we need our inner being to be transformed by God to allow that love to direct and guide our thoughts and actions. This love from God does not pick and choose whom we should love or not. This kind of love comes from a heart that is completely surrendered to God’s will. It is called the radical commandment of love by Jesus Christ. It is the love that is willing to give the other person another chance, to forgive and heal and reconcile.

In South Africa we saw and felt that love coming from President Nelson Mandela, former Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and others who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. We saw in them the inner transformation that enabled them to convey and live out this message of peace and reconciliation. I am forever grateful for their examples, and for the work which God has done in my own life, and still does, to be an instrument of love, peace and reconciliation.

This radical love is not impossible to find. It is the Divine power of God at work in us. When we are hesitant to love and forgive in this way, the power of God is there to help us. When we struggle to express our hurts, the Divine power helps us to speak truth, justice and mercy.

May we all allow God to fill our hearts with this radical love and mercy.


Pastor Margaret

From the Diaconate
This month the Diaconate provided new clothes to a girl in need of winter clothing. It will be paid for from the Discretionary Fund.

If you know of anyone who needs 
a visit, needs care, needs help 
getting to appointments, please 
call the church, 978-355-0140 
and leave a message, and member 
of the diaconate will get back to you.

From the Church Committee
We ask everyone to remember our 
commitment to repaying the loan 
to replace the church roof. We have 
about $5,900.00 to go. Great work 
by a wonderful congregation -- let's 
see if we can pay this off by the 
end of 2019.

A reminder if you turn up the thermostat, please put it back when you leave. Also, lights have been left on overnight on several occasions -- please check and turn out the lights before you leave the building.

March Worship Services
Worship and Sunday School at 9:30 a.m.

Sunday, March 3, 2019 ~ Transfiguration Sunday- Communion Sunday /Sunday School
Lectionary readings—Exodus 34:29-35, Psalm 99, 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2, Luke 10:21-24
Deborah Page, organist / the choir directed by Karla Peterson
Deacon— Lisa Holloway
Pastor Margaret Keyser, preaching

Sunday, March 10, 2019 ~First Sunday of Lent—Sunday School
Lectionary readings—Deuteronomy 26:1-11, Psalm 91:1-2,9-16, Romans 10:8b-13, Luke 4:1-13
Deborah Page, organist /Maplewinds Orchestra directed by Dr. Russell Killough-Miller
Deacon— Steve Morrall
Pastor Margaret Keyser, preaching

Sunday, March 17, 2019 ~ Second Sunday of Lent— Sunday School
Lectionary readings—Genesis 15:1-12,17-18, Psalm 27, Philippians 3:17-4:1, Luke 13, 31-35
Deborah Page, organist/ The choir directed by Scott Bryant
Deacon— Janice Handrahan
Pastor Margaret Keyser, preaching

Sunday, March 24, 2019 ~ Third Sunday of Lent– Sunday School
Lectionary readings—Isaiah 55:1-9, Psalm 63: 1-8, 1 Corinthians 10:1-13, Luke 13:1-9
Deborah Page, organist
Deacon— Kevin Fogarty
Pastor Margaret Keyser, preaching

Sunday, March 31, 2019 ~ Fourth Sunday of Lent– Sunday School
Lectionary readings—Joshua 5:9-12, Psalm 32, 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32
Deborah Page, organist
Deacon— Jim VanWert
Pastor Margaret Keyser, preaching