Author Archive

Thanksgiving Letter 2020

Friday, October 30th, 2020

 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ “Matthew 25:35-40 (NIV)

Dear Friends,

Thanksgiving is the holiday to express our gratitude for our blessings and share generously with those in need. CCOT will be collecting food again this year for our mission partner, “Citizens Inn/Haven from Hunger”.

Because of COVID-19 there will be no truck in front of the church. Instead, between November 1 and 22 you can bring shopping bags with food and place them at the entrance to the office at Emerson Center. Members of BOMO will make sure they are stored inside. We have arranged with Citizens Inn for a safe pickup before worship on Sunday November 22nd.

Please fill your shopping bags with nutritious items for those experiencing food insecurity. The Executive Director of Citizens Inn, Corey Jackson, will update our congregation via Zoom on their efforts during a future worship service.

We have also designated Citizens Inn/Haven from Hunger as the recipient of our Thanksgiving offering; thus if you are unable to drop off food items, please contribute by mailing a check to the church office with the notation, “Thanksgiving Offering.”

 Citizens Inn/Haven from Hunger’s food pantry provides over 3,800 individuals with fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, dairy, and canned goods. Last year, they distributed over 1.7 million lbs. of food, and have been very active in alternative ways to provide food and services in response to COVID-19. Additional information about Citizens Inn and Haven from Hunger can be found at this link:

Please join the Board of Mission and Outreach in filling the pantry to overflowing for the upcoming holiday season.

The Board of Mission and Outreach

Pam Warren, Co-chair James Barnes John Burgess         

Jackie Cassiday Kathy Hartmann, Co-chair Joe Gibbons           

Charise Nulsen       

Stewardship Message – Together in Joy

Friday, October 30th, 2020

 As we progress into fall and winter and Covid19 measures will stay with us, it will become even more important for us to find ways to stay connected and to find support within our church community.

Thanks to ZOOM and the efforts of our staff and technical team, we were quickly able to pull together a new way to have Sunday services. Since then we learned how to insert videos in our services, record our choir performances and to include an interactive children’s time.  This new way of being together actually opened the door for more members to attend who would otherwise be away or shut in at home. Our Sunday worship attendance has increased this year, especially over the summer months.

While we long to be together in person and enjoy the rich experience of a service with the organ and full choir in the meeting house, our outreach through a streamed service will stay with us long after we return to in person services.

We learned that we need to invest in a new video technology to make the streaming service compelling and manageable in a digital world. This investment will also enhance our in-person service with the ability to show videos and hymns on screens in the meeting house.

Your continued support in 2021 will help us to grow our outreach and to stay connected with each other in new and exciting ways.

The Stewardship Committee

Emerson Field News

Friday, October 30th, 2020

In our church’s ongoing endeavor for deeper spiritual meaning for each of us, a labyrinth is being installed on the Emerson Field. This is not an elaborate facility, but rather a simple introduction for our use. Those of you who have experience with a labyrinth need no introduction. For those who have not, information concerning it’s use and purpose will continue to be discussed here.

The Labyrinth

We are all on the path… exactly where we need to be. The labyrinth is a model of that path. A labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness. It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. The labyrinth represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world. The labyrinth has long been used as meditation and prayer tools.

Duane Melling, member

Board of Deacons

Coming Soon: A New Video System!  Contributions needed!

Tuesday, October 20th, 2020

In every crisis there is danger, but there is also opportunity.  COVID challenged us, but we created an amazing on-line ministry as a result of that challenge. Our Zoom ministry enabled many new people to access our services while at the same time allowing our regular attendees to stay bound together as a community.

It’s now time to move to the next exciting phase of our digital ministry!  Our existing video equipment in the Meetinghouse cannot meet the aggregate demands of Zoom, cable TV, and in-person worship.  The Board of Deacons has been asked to support this request in collaboration with our staff and technical team, to purchase a new system.  We are thrilled to report that of the approximately $12,000 needed, a few members have already pledged $6,000!!! As a result of their generosity, we only need to raise another $6,000. We are asking the congregation to pitch in and contribute whatever amount you can – no sum is too small (or too large) – to make the new video system a present reality.  We are hoping to purchase the system in the next three weeks, so your contribution is urgently needed now.  You can send a check to the office (9 East Common Street, Topsfield, MA 01983) with “video system” in the memo, or you can contribute online through Give Plus or Vanco.  For the online options, look for the “video system” choice to designate your contribution.

Thank you in advance for your generosity, and we look forward to seeing you all either in person or in the ether.

Larry Atkins, Chair, Board of Deacons

Kristin Palace, Moderator

Prayer Ministry Listing

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

Prayer List Contact: Kim Itz at or

Healing Scripture:  “And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick…”  Matthew 14:14

Healing Prayer: Dear Lord, I ask you to turn this weakness into strength, suffering into compassion, sorrow into joy, and pain into comfort for others. May your servant trust in your goodness and hope in your faithfulness, even in the middle of this suffering. Let him be filled with patience and joy in your presence as he waits for your healing touch.

Please pray for:

Jillian Roche – Friend of CCOT
Maria Cecilia Guerra – Sister of José Guerra
Karen Burnett – Member of CCOT
Vicki Forte – Friend of Carolyn Detato
Barry Watson – Son of Frank Watson and friend of CCOT
Kåre – Friend from Norway of Irina Günzel-Guerra
Ricardo Roldan – Brother in law of friend of Irina Günzel-Guerra
Greg Wager – Brother of a friend of Judith Gosbee
Gig Smith – Friend of CCOT
Ken Flewelling – Member of CCOT
Bill and Irma Scarff – Friends of CCOT
Ken Prouty- Member of CCOT
Yonel Fortune – BCY Sponsored boy in Haiti through USFCH
Lore and Erich Söllner – Parents of Conny Griesshammer
Diane Gent – Cousin of Anne Bridge
Linda Bissell – Member of CCOT
Cheryl Hopkins – Member of CCOT
Elizabeth Walsh – Mother of Pam Warren
Lynda Fairbanks – Atkins – Member of CCOT
Stoney Stonestreet – Member of CCOT
Jan Smallman – Daughter of Russ Blauser
The Nenart Family – Members of CCOT

In Loving Memory
Our prayers of Christian love and sympathy are extended to Jan Smallman and all the family and friends of her father, Russ Blauser who passed Saturday, June 15th, 2019. A Memorial Service is scheduled for Monday, July 8th- 11 a.m. at the Meeting house.

Important Conversation on Mental Health

Friday, April 12th, 2019

Join Us for an important Conversation on Mental Health
Let’s Come together to discuss what we all can do to reduce stigma,
increase awareness and build support and empathy.

Saturday, May 4th from 10 – 12:15 p.m.
Emerson Center Hall

Keynote presentation provided by John T. Broderick, Jr.
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Senior Director of External Affairs and Former Chief Justice of the NH Supreme court.

Following Judge Broderick’s presentation, there will be guided conversation and opportunity for Q & A with an expert panel representing NFI Massachusetts, Inc., National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Health Services Director at Masconomet Regional School District and representatives from Baystate Recovery and McLean Hospital.

Register here Flyer details here.
Sponsored by Senator Lovely, Congregational Church of Topsfield and Tri-Town Council
Light refreshments and childcare provided.
Registration begins at 9:30 a.m.

Easter Offering 2019

Friday, April 12th, 2019

April 2019

Dear Church Family and Friends of the Congregational Church of Topsfield,

During the Lenten season our church holds a special offering for organizations that are impacting the lives of those in need. This year the Board of Mission and Outreach has chosen the following two recipients:

A ministry of the United Church of Christ, 7 other Christian denominations, and Church World Service, One Great Hour of Sharing donations are at work changing lives locally and in 138 countries around the world. In the United States, this offering provides disaster relief when earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and other acts of nature devastate our communities. Internationally, the funds support disaster and hunger relief, as well as projects to promote clean and safe water and agricultural empowerment to lift people out of poverty. In addition, the funds support missionaries and refugees;

BOMO has decided to continue to support the efforts of the UCC and our Christian counterparts to increase the impact of our donations through their established infrastructure.

Learn to Cope is a nonprofit support network offering education, resources, peer support and hope for parents and family members coping with a loved one addicted to opiates or other drugs.

Founded in Massachusetts by Joanne Peterson in 2004, the organization has developed to include over 10,000 members, and has become a nationally recognized model for peer support and prevention programming. The organization has 25 chapters throughout Massachusetts including Ipswich, Salem, Gloucester and Haverhill. LTC families receive unique support and education from professionals and their peers.

Learn To Cope is a registered 501(c) 3 non profit organization. Donations enable this organization to continue their essential work.

BOMO has chosen this local organization to confront the current substance abuse crisis and its impact on our families, friends and neighbors.

Your gift will be divided equally between these two organizations unless you specify otherwise on your check. Thank you in advance for your generous offering, which can be made using the Easter envelope provided in your pledge packet or special envelopes in the church pews.

The Board of Mission and Outreach
Jim Barnes
Sue Blanchard
John Burgess
Kathy Hartmann
Mike Miller
Charise Rohm Nulsen
Mary Lou Ruckstahl
Pam Warren

“We are the agents of transformation that God uses to transfigure this world.”

Topsfield Cupboard Update

Monday, March 11th, 2019

The Topsfield Cupboard food pantry is open on the 2nd and 4th  Saturdays from 8 am – 10 am each month.  The Topsfield food pantry is out of, or low in the following items:

We hosted the food pantry on Saturday and found the following items lacking or in low supply:

May I also ask that we not supply large containers since the majority of our guests are single households. Plastic containers are also preferable and easier to carry up a flight of stairs.

Here’s the list of needed items:
Shaving cream
Hot cocoa
Instant coffee
Dish soap
Fruit juice ( small)
32 oz cooking oil
Dish sponge
Canned beef stew
Peanut butter
Small mayonnaise

Please remember too that donations for the pantry to purchase $15  gift cards.  Alternately, we accept $15 and $25 Market Basket gift cards.  These gift cards are for patrons to purchase items of a personal nature.

The items can be dropped off in the containers provided in the Meeting house narthex on Sunday or in the bins in the  Emerson Center during office hours.  There is also a bin in the public library, should that be more convenient.

Thank you for thinking of those in our community in need.

Kind regards,


February Birthday Listing

Thursday, January 31st, 2019

Happy Birthday to:
Laura Stover, 02/02
Cheryl Davis, 02/03
Doug Wills, 02/04
Dave Read, 02/06
Tom Spater, 02/07
Anne Clifton-Stoops, 02/12
Paul Worth, 02/15
Eli Redding, 02/19
Ellie Losee, 02/21
Charise Nulsen, 02/21
Sallie Bowling, 02/23
Jeffrey Nulsen, 02/27
Carole Hoover, 02/28

Mission and Outreach Christmas Offering

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

Dear Church Family,

Throughout the year, members of the Congregational Church of Topsfield reach out and give of their time, talent, and treasure to those in need in many ways. During the Christmas season, it has been a tradition in our church to offer members and friends the opportunity to make a special contribution. As we did last year the Board of Mission and Outreach has selected Lazarus House in Lawrence for our Christmas offering. Below is a summary of its work.

Lazarus House is a gospel-based ministry and welcomes all in the name of God. They provide a continuum of care for homeless families and individuals encompassing, but not limited to: food, shelter, clothing, advocacy, education, work preparation, a listening ear, a welcoming heart and the restoration of dignity and self-respect to people who are poor and in dire need. For many in desperate need, the Lazarus House Emergency Shelter is both the last line of defense and the first ray of hope. Less than 1% of Lazarus House income is from government sources, so Lazarus House relies on the generosity of donors.

You can learn more about this ministry to the homeless at their web site

We pray at this time of rejoicing in Jesus’ birth we are able to remember those who are less fortunate than we are today. Thank you in advance for your generous offering, which can be made using the Christmas envelope provided in your pledge envelopes packet or special envelopes in the church pews.

Wishing you every blessing of the Season,

The Board of Mission and Outreach

James Barnes    Kathy Hartmann     Pam Warren
Sue Blanchard    Charise Nulsen      Claudia Worth
John Burgess