Chime Notes news & updates

April 2024 | Issue 112

Upcoming Events

Sunday Worship

April 7-14-21-28

Next Communion Sunday

April 7, 10 am

Patriot's Day Holiday

Monday, April 15

In person Worship - we are now MASK OPTIONAL!

In addition to our in person worship, we will continue to use ZOOM to broadcast the 10 AM Sunday Worship Service, which is also streamed to Facebook Live.

Coffee hour is back in Clarke Hall with fans moving the air,

with great thanks to our team of ushers and coffee hour hosts.

Sunrise service 2024, courtesy of Pam Holland

EASTER and choices

What a glorious Easter season it has been, here at the church. From Ash Wednesday through Lent, to Palm Sunday and Holy Week, we have journeyed together with meaningful worship and music. Pastor Ian, Rev. June Cooper, and Amanda Grant-Rose led worship with inspiring sermons, while Patty Clark and Brittany Betts brought their creative spirit, along with the fabulous choir. Palm Sunday, with the participation of youth, was a highlight. Maundy Thursday, with a delicious meal by Dario and crew was much appreciated. Good Friday's service of readings, music, and symbolism took us to that dark place of reflection.

Those who attended Easter Sunday's 6:30 am service witnessed the sun rise on our steeple, which was captured in an image by Greg Kahler.

<---------- Thanks, Greg!

Magical! A favorite hour of the church year followed with a potluck breakfast, with great food, friends, conversation and joyful spirit.

The GOOD NEWS continued through the 10 am Festival Service, with a full congregation, triumphal horns, excited children, and the glorious strains of Christ the Lord is Risen Today, as well as a hopeful message by Pastor Ian.

From Mark 16:1-8, Pastor Ian recalled the choices of the women who went to the tomb, and were afraid when they found the tomb empty. While acknowledging that doubts and fear are part of the human condition, he encouraged us to be who we are in the world because of the hope of the Risen Christ.

Finally, thank you, FIRST CHURCH, for all the financial contributions to our Easter Offering, going to Family Promise. This organization is working on the North Shore to assist families experiencing homelessness in a holistic way. Thanks to Katie Day for sharing information with Missions about the work being done. This collection (by check or through the VANCO app) will continue through mid-April.

Spring is SPRINGING.

Susan and Karen decorate on the Terrace.

The Back Pew Crew (a COVID era Deacon's Group convened by Heidi Whear) visits with distinguished member, Becky Robinson, at Bertram House for a fun dinner of pizza and salad!

Sights of Easter Sunday....


^ March 2024 happenings ^

Priscilla and Don in Florida

The congregation sends our sympathies to their children - David, Glenn, and Beth, and all of the Fullerton family.

Remembering Donald and Priscilla Fullerton

A memorial service was held on March 27, which would have been the 95th birthday of Don Fullerton, who gave so much to First Church. With Priscilla, his wife of 60+ years, Don participated in every aspect of church life, notably the retired mens group, Fairs (furniture and electrical + jewelry), and weekly worship. Since Priscilla's passing in 2020, Don continued to join in worship through Zoom, and inspired all with his perseverance. and loyalty. Don and Priscilla are missed and warmly remembered.

Read more about Don here

2024 Grand-baby BOOM!

Several new grandchildren have come along this Winter/Spring.

Congrats to Susan and Richard Buchanan on the arrival of a second grandson, Tate Buchanan on St. Patrick's Day; to Susan and Bruce Hamilton on the birth of a second granddaughter, Addison Emma Craig (at right, with sister Mackenzie - 3.5 y/o) on March 7th; and to Cynthia and Dan McClorey on the arrival of a new grandson Louis Daniel White earlier this year. Good wishes to ALL!

Sunday morning Coffee and Conversation

This group meets in the Library on non-Communion Sundays. Each week, a member of the group will lead a discussion of spiritual topics, and how the words and stories of the Bible can inform and influence modern day issues.

We begin at 9:10 am. During April, we will meet on April 14-21-28.

MINISTRY HIGHLIGHT - Retired Persons Group

A dedicated group of retired men have been meeting for decades here at the church to do important custodial work. Once led by the Sexton of the church, the group is now self-directed, working on projects related to the care and maintenance of the church building, grounds, and property.

On a recent Tuesday morning, I (Janet) met up with team members Jim Scofield (retired for a decade from his career as a nurse anesthetist at Salem Hospital), Gordon Angel (who retired 18 years ago from his career in semiconductor research in industry), and Bruce Hamilton (who was a 35 year employee of Tufts University in carpentry and maintenance). These three are often joined by Clarke Orzalli and Jeff Mayer.

The list of their projects is long, but has recently included some youth room and kitchen renovations, duct work, painting, cleaning chandeliers and bulbs, flooring, dealing with a leak in the choir room, snowblower maintenance, steeple, dealing with the dumpster and sheds, as well as fire and electrical issues.

During Advent, the group assembles the heavy creche on the front lawn, and each week, or as needed, Gordon updates the sign that is in the driveway.

This group has saved the church money, not only through their labor, but also in installing LED bulbs and batteries in the smoke detectors.

An issue that the group is currently grappling with is the accessibility of the sanctuary, and upper level and lower level of the church. Presently, the sanctuary has only one spot for a person sitting in a wheelchair, but there is concern that this is not enough.

Thank you, retired persons group, for all your continuing care for our church. We are certainly grateful for you and your efforts. New members are welcome on Tuesdays at 9 (men or women)!

We are back doing the work of the church, from weekly worship to meetings to activities! Come join us!

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The First Church in Swampscott (MA) | [Website]
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