Choirs Resume Rehearsals

Choirs Resume Rehearsals

Chancel and Festival Choirs

The Chancel Choir, which sings during our worship services most Sundays, will begin rehearsals Thursday, September 4, at 7:30 p.m. in the Nicoll Room (upstairs). The coming season promises to be most exciting as we revisit many familiar and beloved pieces and add novel and interesting works to our repertoire. For those who would enjoy singing but not on a regular basis, the Festival Choir is your place! The Festival Choir assists our Chancel Choir on Easter and also in our annual Christmas Concert, which will be December 8. If you have questions, speak with Jeffrey Brody or any member of the choir.

Youth Choir Gets Back Into the “Sing”!

Greetings to all past, present, and future Youth Choir singers, and we look forward to seeing you! To potential new members…if you would like to sing in this fun and lively group, come give it a try! (Newcomers are always welcome – 4th grade and older—but if you are an eager 3rd grader, your parents can contact me, and we can talk about it). The Youth Choir generally rehearses on the 1st and 2nd Sundays of each month, in the Nicoll Room, after Church/Sunday School (11:45-12:30). On the 3rd Sunday, we have an early rehearsal at 9:20am, before we perform in the church service. We sing in church on the third Sunday of each month from September through June, as well as for the Pageant, Christmas Concert, and other special events. We sing all kinds of beautiful things: contemporary and classical music, songs from other countries, folk songs, rounds, and spirituals, in unison and harmony.

For more information on either choir, feel free to contact the church office.

Evening Bible Group

Evening Bible Group

The Evening Bible Group meets twice a month, usually on the second and fourth Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. in the Fireplace Room. Our discussions are facilitated by Bill Albright, pastor and teacher at Park Avenue Congregational Church, United Church of Christ.

In our last meeting on September 10, we began a series called “Parables You Can Get Into,” as we raised the question, “What is a parable?” We noted the puzzling juxtaposition of Jesus’ frequent use of parables in his preaching [Matthew 13:34] versus his reluctance to explain their meaning to the crowds that followed him. Our discussion focused on an initial sampling, including the very short but pointed parable of “The Two Sons” [Matthew 21:28-32]; the famous story parable of “The Good Samaritan” [Luke 10:30-37]; the hilarious parable of “The Speck and the Log” [Matthew 7:3-5 and Luke 6:41-42]; the prototypical parable of “The Sower” and its allegorical meaning [Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23]; and a quick look at a “kingdom parable” called “The Mustard Seed” [Matthew 13:31-32]. Each week, participants are challenged to identify “The Greatest Parable of All.” In our next meeting on September 24, 7:30-9:30pm, we will plunge the depths of the well-known parable of “The Prodigal Son” [Luke 15:11-32], among others, for more clues in our search for The Greatest Parable.

Our meetings begin with a group check-in and prayer. After that, we spend about an hour discussing the appointed texts. All are welcome—no prior experience or knowledge is necessary. Just bring your favorite Bible (or we can loan you one), as well as an open mind, a generous heart, and listening ears, trusting the Spirit to guide our understanding. Invite a friend to come with you, for there’s room at our table for a wide variety of believers and seekers. Doubts and questions are welcome, too, with the understanding that sometimes learning to live with our questions is more important than getting easy answers. Within that context, we affirm that Bible study is an essential part of our ongoing faith formation. May the peace of God guide and bless us, each and all.

  • Recommended reading for would-be biblical scholars: John Dominic Crossan, The Power of Parable (New York: HarperOne, 2012).
  • Honors reading (also highly recommended): John Domenic Crossan, The Greatest Prayer: Rediscovering the Revolutionary Message of The Lord’s Prayer {New York: HarperOne, 2011).

Congregational Walking Tour

Congregational Walking Tour of Boston

Saturday, October 4, 2014, 11:00 a.m.

This event has been cancelled due to forecast bad weather on Saturday.

Join us for a guided walking tour with a focus on Congregational history and early leaders in the Congregational Church. Our tour will last about an hour and will be led by a staff member from the Congregational Library. The tour begins at the library, at 14 Beacon Street in  Boston. If you’d like to join us, please let the church office know by September 29.

UCC One Read

UCC One Read

Tuesday, September 30, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
Fellowship Room

Kate Lindheim

Hot Dogs and Hamburgers: Unlocking Life’s Potential by Inspiring Literacy at Any Age by Rob Shindler is the UCC community read this fall. Rob Shindler becomes an adult literacy volunteer hoping to find a way to help his son Oliver, a struggling reader. Things come together for Oliver, his dad finds friends in unexpected places and rewards and challenges in helping adults conquer literacy. I really enjoyed this book—it reminded me of my own time as an adult literacy volunteer many years ago and watching my own children emerge as readers, but you don’t need to have any particular interest in literacy to enjoy this book. It’s really about facing our challenges and how we can help and encourage others along the way. I’m looking forward to reading this book with people from PACC and engaging in a denomination-wide conversation. We’ll have copies of the book to pass out at Regathering Sunday. Please let me know if you’d like one.

We’ll meet to discuss the book on Tuesday, September 30 at 7:30 in the Fellowship Room.

Minister’s message: Regathering Sunday

MINISTER’S MESSAGE:
“Regathering Sunday and Beyond…”

Pastor Bill Albright

At Park Avenue Church, the end of summer coincides with a new program year, when members and friends settle back into their regular routines. And PACC welcomes your return to the habit of church-going that will be anything but routine this year.

Let’s begin with Regathering Sunday on September 7th. This grand welcome back time invites us to celebrate who we are and to prepare for some new things that await us in the coming year. It’s similar to Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish 8-day new-year festival (“the head of the year”), ending with Yom Kippur (“day of atonement” with God and neighbor). The shofar, or ram’s horn, is sounded at the beginning and ending of this holy season as if to say, “Wake up, for today God is making things new and making new things.”

In a Scripture shared by both Jews and Christians, God speaks through the prophet Isaiah: “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” [Isaiah 43:19]. That is our God’s extravagant welcome to God’s people to begin again—no matter what mistakes, misfortune, sorrows, or disappointments we’ve experienced in the past year. As one UCC slogan says, “No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.” It’s an invitation for us to turn again to God and to renew our bonds with our families, friends, neighbors … and to our church.

As we move ahead into this new season, look for activities that reflect four themes for the 2014-2015 church year.

  1. UCC-ID (United Church of Christ Identity) including the UCC One Read project, in which we discuss the book that churches throughout the UCC are reading, and possibly establish a “little free library” outside of PACC. Also, on October 4th, a Congregational walking tour beginning at the Congregational Library in Boston.
  2. Introduction to our new Environmental Stewardship program starting with a book to lay the groundwork for the coming year.
  3. A Healing and Wellness series of events, inspired by the booklet Before You Die and moving toward a Lenten study called “Healing and Wholeness.”
  4. “Faith Alive,” an occasional opportunity to discuss current events in light of our faith. And much more!

So we welcome you back to PACC’s Regathering Sunday, September 7th, when we will sound the shofar and let the new year begin!

“God’s peace to all.” [See John 14:27].

Pastor Bill

School supplies for homeless children

School supplies for homeless children

The Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless is already thinking about the upcoming school year and collecting school supplies for homeless children (K-12) in Massachusetts. Being homeless has a tremendous (negative) impact on educational outcomes but you can help a homeless child have a better start to the school year. PACC has generously supported this effort the last few years. If you would like to participate again this year, there will be a box in the narthex to drop off donated supplies on August 3, August 10, and August 17 between the hours of 9:30 and 11:30am. Contact the church office for more information at 781-643-8680.

Suggested supplies are listed below. Donations should be new.

  • pencil cases
  • glue sticks
  • pens (blue, black, & red)
  • scissors (blunt/pointed)
  • composition notebook
  • ballpoint pens
  • sharpie markers
  • no. 2 pencils
  • post-its
  • colored pencils
  • assignment notebooks
  • pencil sharpeners
  • folders to fit into binders
  • 3-ring binders
  • large pink erasers
  • binder dividers
  • box of crayons
  • pencil top erasers
  • water color paints
  • white out
  • bottles of white glue
  • bottles of hand sanitizer
  • highlighters
  • spiral notebooks
  • loose-leaf notebook
  • rulers
  • school boxes
  • scotch tape
  • staplers
  • kleenex
  • calendars
  • pocket folders
  • computer printer paper
  • calculators
  • drawing paper
  • construction paper
  • loose-leaf paper
  • graph paper
  • organizer/planner
  • pocket dictionary

Thank you!

Easter 2014 at PACC

Easter 2014 at PACC

Join us at Park Avenue Congregational Church for the Holy Week leading up to Easter.

Palm Sunday, April 13

Pancake breakfast begins at 8:30 a.m. Join us for pancakes, sausage, bacon and fruit on Palm Sunday! The Youth Group will host and serve from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in Parish Hall. $6/adult, $5/child, $20/ family maximum. All proceeds will help pay for our high school mission trip to the Adirondacks this summer.

Worship Service begins at 10:00 a.m. and includes the Blessing of the Palms as we commemorate Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The service will also include the account of Christ’s passion, death and burial, including excerpts from Faure’s Requiem, sung by PACC’s Chancel Choir.

Holy Week Workshop: During Sunday School on April 13 we will learn about the events of Holy Week through a variety of activities and a special snack.

Maundy Thursday, April 17

A Tenebrae service celebrating Jesus’ Last Supper begins at 7:30 p.m. in our Sanctuary. It will include Holy Communion as well as lessons accompanied by the gradual extinguishing of lights.

Good Friday, April 18

An interfaith worship service will be held at 12 noon at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 74 Pleasant Street. Bill Albright will participate.

Easter Sunday, April 20

Easter Sunrise Service and breakfast: A community Easter Sunrise Service will be held at 5:45 a.m. at Robbins Farm Park, across Eastern Avenue from the Brackett School, to welcome the Sun and the Risen Son with prayer, liturgy, and song. All are welcome.

Celebration of the Resurrection: A celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus will be held at 10:00 a.m. The flower cross formerly at Pleasant Street Congregational Church will be in our chancel. A brass quartet will join our organ and Festival Choir. There will not be Sunday School classes. Childcare will be available for children aged 5 and younger. Older children will receive activity bags to help them sit through the service.

An Easter Egg Hunt will be in the Children’s Garden after the service.