Archive for the ‘Church Wide Update’ Category

July Birthdays

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

Happy Birthday to:

Hannah Barrett:  07/01

Karen Burnett:  07/01

Gwyneth Kane:   07/04

Evan Burgess:  07/05

Melissa DiTucci:  07/06

Cassandra Stoops:  07/06

Alexandra DiTucci:  07/08

Olivia Buonopane:  07/10

Sheryl Knutsen:  07/11

Sally Ann Savage:  07/11

Leslie Detato:  07/13

Brooks Barrett:  07/15

Hailey Aitchinson:  07/15

Linda Bissell:  07/18

Alice Blauser:  07/18

Bruce Jones:  07/20

Jane Jones:  07/20

Christa Riekert:  07/21

Alison Miller:  07/22

Ogden Cooper:  07/24

Scott Gilfeather:  07/24


Susan Gruber:  07/24

Barbara Welsh:  07/25

Josh Rownd:   07/27

Sarah Barrett:   07/28

Susan Blanchard:   07/31



Gather for June Service Sunday June 24th after worship

Thursday, June 21st, 2018

The Board of Mission and Outreach says, “thank you so much” to everyone who participated in our inaugural Service Sunday in May where we built 50 blessing bags for the homeless during coffee hour. Lifebridge Homeless Shelter in Salem was extremely thankful for our efforts and donations upon delivery of the blessing bags! We would also like to express our gratitude again to the Topsfield dentists who donated all of the dental hygiene products that were included in the blessing bags – Dr. Peter McAllister, Dr. Meryl Atwood, Dr. Gregory Carroll, and Dr. Thomas Carroll.

Our June Service Sunday will be held after worship during “Lemonade on the Lawn” on June 24th. This month’s activity will be to write letters of gratitude to Deployed Troops, Veterans, New Recruits, and First Responders via the organization, Operation Gratitude. You can learn about the organization, as well as tips for writing letters of gratitude, at the following link.
We will also provide these tips to you at the letter writing stations which will be set up on the lawn on the 24th.

As with the Blessing Bag Build in May, this will be an intergenerational activity which will be fun for people of all ages. Children or adults can feel free to draw pictures instead of writing letters if they prefer with the art supplies we provide. ***If you are unable to attend on the 24th, please feel free to review the letter writing guidelines at the link above and submit letters to the church office in advance. You can also hand them to a BOMO member at worship if you are unable to join us on the lawn on the 24th.

Service Sunday will return as a monthly activity for the congregation in September. We would love to hear about organizations YOU would like us to consider supporting at future Service Sundays. Please share your feedback with us by emailing BOMO chair, Jim Barnes at

Thank you!
Charise Rohm Nulsen
Board of Mission & Outreach Member

Refugee Immigration Ministry (RIM) North Shore annual Walk

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

Please join Ellie Losee and walk in the annual RIM walk on Sunday, June 24th!
Ellie will be walking representing CCoT as part of the RIM Northshore cluster fundraiser.
We are asking everyone to make donations to Ellie’s walk here:
or by check made payable to RIM Northshore cluster and put in the church mission box.

Here is the walk information:
Gazebo at Lake Quannapowitt
Lower Common
1 Church Street
Wakefield, MA
When: Gathering and Registration at 3:00pm / Walk begins at 4:00pm
Parking: on Street parking nearby
Walking: Walk 3 miles around Lake Quannapowitt – about 1 hour

This event will ensure that asylum seekers living in nearby communities have housing, food and access to English language tutoring until they can provide for themselves.
Water and Snacks will be provided.

Arbor Day and Earth Day -Topsfield Community Celebration

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

Saturday April 28th 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Gould Barn and Emerson Center

Join us as we plant a new oak tree.

Watch as a bench is crafted from the wood from the old ash tree.

Topsfield children will honor the newly planted tree with song!

“In Every Acorn, There’s A Tree”

Future Forecast- It’s In Our Hands.

Enjoy many Fun, Hands on activities and explore the impact of plastic waste on our ecosystems.

Climb inside a life size inflatable whale called Niles and learn about the impact of plastics on marine life.

“Live Gently Upon This Earth”

Help Keep Topsfield and Our Waterway’s Clean

Start the day off with Town Clean UP 2018

Return filled bags to us between 8:30 – 10 a.m. and receive coupon for a “mini whoopie pie” from the Bake Shop.

Sponsored by Topsfield Historical Society, GREEN Topsfield and the Congregational Church of Topsfield

Introducing Service Sundays Sponsored by BOMO

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

The Board of Mission & Outreach is excited to announce the addition of Service Sundays to our after worship coffee fellowship. This new service opportunity will occur once a month during coffee fellowship and will make it as easy as possible for everyone – even families with young children – to lend their hands to a worthy cause while we enjoy coffee fellowship.

Please join us on Sunday, May 6th  after worship at coffee fellowship for our first Blessing Bag Build! Blessing Bags are small bags filled with items needed by different kinds of communities. BOMO will provide the materials; all you have to do is show up for coffee, treats, and community as usual and visit our simple Blessing Bag table to help assemble the bags.

Our May Blessing Bags will be donated to Lifebridge Shelter in Salem, an organization dedicated to a comprehensive, community-based approach to ending homelessness. We will assemble bags of small needed items (note pads, pens, lip balm, toothbrushes, emery boards, trail mix, hair elastics, etc.) for the Lifebridge clientele and write or draw caring messages to be included as well. This is a family friendly activity for people of all ages. We hope you will join us and help make Service Sundays a consistent and simple way for our congregation to help others on a monthly basis!

The Board of Mission and Outreach

HUGS hosts Informational Forum for all North Shore Educators

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

On Saturday, April 21st from 10:00am – 12:00pm. HUGS (Hands Up for Gun Safety) will be hosting an informational forum for educators from all over the North Shore. For this event, an educator is anyone who is connected with a school in anyway… currently employed, previously employed and/or retired. This includes public schools, private schools, institutions of higher education and early education! This will be a wonderful opportunity to hear what you can do as an educator and a citizen to support the gun violence prevention movement. There is no pressure to sign onto anything that requires a huge time commitment. People can become as involved as little or as much as they would like moving forward, but the time is now for us to do SOMETHING!

For additional questions, please contact Dolly McIlvaine at 978-887-7446

Mission and Outreach Easter Offering 2018

Monday, March 19th, 2018

We are the agents of transformation that God uses to transfigure this world.”
(Archbishop Desmond Tutu)

March 2018

Dear Church Family,

During the Lenten season, it is the custom of our church to hold a special offering intended to help 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, tornados and other acts of nature hit our soil. Internationally, the funds are used not only for disaster relief, but also for water, hunger, and agricultural empowerment projects to lift people out of poverty. It is also used to support missionaries and refugees.

We continue to support RIM North Shore Cluster in their difficult and important work. The offering will go directly to support a refugee family in the north shore as they work toward rebuilding their lives in the U.S. More information on RIM can be found at

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
Charise Rohm Nulsen
Pam Warren
Claudia Worth

March Birthday Listing

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

Happy Birthday to:

Steve Hall,   03/01

Alex Barrett,   03/02

Jose Guerra Garcia,   03/02

Abby Bowling,   03/05

Gavin Harlor,   03/05

Madelyn Frere,   03/06

Carolyn Nenart,    03/08

Carol Seaman,   03/08

Wesley Stoops,   03/08

Tom Wheeler,   03/11

Sarah Dik,   03/13

Charles Mathison,   03/13

Alex Spaulding,   03/13

Mary Lynn Lovejoy,   03/14

Charlotte Larson,   03/15

Jack Dixon,   03/16

Nancy Preble Barrett,   03/19

Ainsley DiNardo,   03/22

Jim Redding,   03/22

Tricia Haines,   03/24

Larry Atkins,   03/27

Daniel McIlvaine,   03/27

Priscilla Renda,   03/29

Stuart Bowling,   03/30

Catie McBournie,   03/31

Jack McBournie,   03/31



2018 Spring Speaker Series Crucial Communications: Finding Common Ground

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

Sponsored by CCOT Adult Christian Education Committee

Crucial Communications: Finding Common Ground 
The Congregational Church of Topsfield is pleased to announce a series centered around the theme of how we communicate in an atmosphere where tensions run high. This series of speakers addresses pathways to better understanding of how we convey ideas to others and, at the same time, show we are receptive to understanding their point of view. It highlights past historical events that offer insight into our present era.

A recap from Rev. Don Remick’s presentation on Sunday, February 18th, 2018 addressing the difficulties presented when fellow Christians hold strong opposing views can be viewed at the following links.

View Churches Alive powerpoint presentation here.

View Simon Sinek TED talk video here.

View Michael Jr “Know Your Why” YouTube video here.

Additional information:



Make It Safe Behavioral Covenant elements

The Transforming and Transformed Church of the emerging era 2018

Speaker Series listing continued:

Pure Heart, the Faith of a Father and Son
in the War for a More Perfect Union
William Quigley
Sunday April 8 11 a.m. Emerson Center
author, historian and faculty member of Governor’s Academy. His book tells the true story of a prominent Philadelphia minister. wrongfully forgotten by history, whose success in holding his fractious congregation together during the Civil War parallels Lincoln’s saving of the nation.
It is also the story of the heroism of the minister’s son in a storied Union regiment. Now and again the author proposes we are at similar crossroads in America today with partisan politics, religious polarization and racial tribalism running amok. Is it again time for “the better angels of nature,” that Lincoln hoped to invoke, to once more appear?

What Divides Us and Is There Anything We Can Do?
Dr. T. Richard Snyder
Sunday, April 15 11 a.m. Emerson Center
is an ordained Presbyterian minister and Professor Emeritus of Theology and Ethics and former academic dean of New York Theological Seminary. For many years he has been a leader of the Restorative Justice movement in Maine seeking to bring healing to those harmed, rehabilitation for offenders, and re-establishing broken relationships. He is the author of three books and numerous articles on social justice and is completing a new book tentatively entitled, “Those People: Overcoming Our Divisions.”
Dr. Snyder will also address this theme in his sermon as guest preacher.

How Media and the Press Have Changed Since the
Elimination of the “Fairness Doctrine.”
Marc Holmes
Sunday, April 29 11 a.m. Emerson Center
producer, media expert and radio host, will address the changes in the media since the elimination of the “fairness doctrine” in the 1980’s.
He will highlight the changes that have resulted in our current political polarization as conveyed by an unbalanced media.

This series is a free offering in the hope of facilitating a more peaceful society.

Lenten Series:
The Challenge of Paul. DVD lessons beginning Feb 25th

The Adult Christian Education will begin a Lenten Series on Sun. Feb. 25th and continuing through March 18th. The series is centered around “The Challenges of Paul”. This will be based on a video series with study discussion presented by Dominic Crossan. This series will approach the discussion via video lessons and address the following:
Sun. Feb. 25: In search of the Historical Paul: an appealing or appalling apostle.

Sun. Mar. 4: How to read a Pauline letter.

Sun. Mar. 11: The Romanization of a Radical

Sun. Mar. 18: Jewish Covenant versus Roman Empire

Also, ACE will begin a new book study on Tues. Feb. 27th at 7:30 p.m. in the parlor.

The title of the book for this session is Convictions by Marcus Borg. If you are interested in joining this group please email Steve Whelan

Formation of the Social Justice Committee

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

The Board of Missions and Outreach (BOMO)
announces the formation of the Social Justice

To augment the work of BOMO, the Social Justice Committee (Committee) will work to Address the root causes of social or environmental inequities through education and advocacy in a respectful and peaceful manner (Mission).

Participants will study issues, share information and educate, advocate for and serve as a catalyst for change. Some work would be only Congregational Church of Topsfield members, while other work would interface with non-CCOT organizations, and the Committee may serve as a link, to or facilitate activities with non-CCOT people.

We envision a flexible pool of participants, based on issues you are passionate about. A list of issues that people have expressed interest in pursuing are Homelessness, Immigration, Climate Change, Gun Safety, Wealth Inequality, the Opioid Crisis, and Mental Health.

The Committee will strive to create a safe space for dialogue, and our actions will be:

Non violent, Prayerful, and Faith-guided.

If you would like to participate or are interested in learning more, please email Tom Warren (chair), or Jim Barnes (BOMO chair). We will be contacting people who express an interest to coordinate a date for an initial meeting soon.
Tom:; Jim: