The Chimes Newsletter 
Federated Church of Ashland 
118 Main Street 
Ashland, MA 01721-3112

December 2017

Christmas Bake Sale
Christmas Gifts too!
Saturday, December 16
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Are you ready to bake your favorite holiday recipe for our Bake Sale?  We want to offer a variety of Holiday Favorites!  i.e., Cookies, Fudge, Cakes, Spiced Nuts, ETC!  You may drop your items off on Friday, December 15th between 9 AM - Noon to Linda in the Church Office OR just bring it with you to the bake sale on Saturday morning.  It would be helpful, if you would please label your item too. 

'Church' Christmas Stocking

Please remember to bring your filled Stockings back to Church on Sunday, December 17th.  We will all hang our stockings on the Christmas Tree in the Sanctuary. This is your Christmas gift to "Our" Church.  

Thank you!

Brown Bag Sunday
  December 17th

On the third Sunday of every month, we collect and bless the donations placed inside the bins in the Narthex 
of the Church. 

There are many families in Ashland that rely on the generosity of others to supplement their limited grocery 

With Christmas fast approaching, please consider picking up a few extra non-perishable food items  while you are doing your grocery shopping?
You may bring them to the Church on Sunday morning OR drop them off at the Church during the week.  All items are delivered to the Ashland Food Pantry.
Thank you for your continued generosity.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
" Winter Wonderland Vacation Bible School"
December 28th from 9 AM - 12 Noon
Children ages 4-12 are invited to join us!

This year, we are offering a Vacation Bible School during Christmas break.  It will be held for one-day only.   The day will include Stories & Scripture, Crafts, Games, and Snacks!

There will be no monetary cost, instead we ask that each child bring a donation for the Ashland Food Pantry, if they are able.

Please contact the Church Office at 508-881-1355 or via email at to request a registration form or please see Kim Conner.

                                                              To the Congregation:

In keeping with the Council's commitment to keep the Congregation abreast of events, I am submitting this memo to the Chimes. Council will do so every three months.

1 - Budget: we are spending much less than planned because we are not yet paying a Pastor's salary. Currently, money received via pledges and other income is exceeding expenses by about $13,000.

2 - However, pledges received are falling behind the amount promised by about $2,300. Please insure that your pledge is up to date. We will need your pledges to pay a Pastoral Salary when a candidate answers our call.

3 - The front steps have been chinked and caulked by Mark Grover. Replacement of the front walk is next.

4 - The new fire alarm system is installed and online, thanks to the Theta Phi Delta donation.

5 - Shrubs, which had to be removed in order to begin the work in the front, will be replaced next spring thanks to a gift from the Richards Family in Memory of their Dad, Bob Richards.

6 - Patching and sealing of the parking lot was halted because the cost was higher than expected. Bids are being obtained for a total replacement of the parking lot. Temporary patches will be put down in the large potholes.

7 - Insurance has paid for much of the cost of repairs needed that resulted from the basement sewer backup.

8 - Pumpkin Patch and the Fair were successes, with $9,065.50 from the pumpkin sales ($3,018.81 to FCOA) and $3,200 from the Fair.

9 - The Search Committee is proceeding apace, has interviewed a number of folks and has heard some of them preach. Stay tuned.

These expenses shown above may seem like substantial costs to incur at a time of reduced resources. But, the Church has been avoiding many of these maintenance/ repair needs and in some cases, there has been no choice but to do the work. Special appeals may be required for some of the things still needed.

Respectfully submitted,

John Ellsworth, Council Chair

Snow Shoveler's Needed!

Winter is finally here!!  Whenever there is a snowstorm we could use YOUR help shoveling the front stairs of the Church and the walkways leading to the front of the Church.

If you are willing to help in this way, please call the church office at 508-881-1355 and leave a message with Linda.  She will add your name to the list and give it to the Properties Committee.     
Thank you!
From the Deacons

It's hard to believe that Advent is here and as we enter into this most special time of the year I am once again overwhelmed with the generosity of this congregation.  We had thought that we might want to decrease the number of children that we "adopt" from the town for Christmas. Boy, were we wrong!  We will once again be taking care of 10 children. Lisa Colby will be looking for bathrobes for the Women's Shelter and we will provide them.  Our supply pastor, Katie Keene, reached out to a friend and secured a $250 grant to be used for these projects and once again we are reminded that God is indeed looking out for the Federated Church. 
The Deacons would like to express their gratitude to all of you who have continued to support our church missions as we go through this time of transition.  We have seen the congregation taking on all the usual programs despite the fact that we have no settled pastor.  The positive feedback that we have received from all has been a blessing. 
At our last meeting we discussed the fact that Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday this year and we wondered whether we should have two services, morning and evening, or just one, either in the morning or the evening.  We brought it before the congregation and it received mixed reviews.  One member suggested that we have a Christmas breakfast in the morning to enjoy songs, scripture and fellowship and our traditional Candlelight Christmas Eve service at 7:00. The Deacons met again and decided that this was the way to go.  Hopefully this will meet the needs of all our people. 
At this point we are happy to announce that Katie Keene has offered to be with us on a regular basis until such time as we find a settled pastor.  Katie has told us that she is inspired by our spirit and our dedication to our missions.  "Surely The Presence Of The Lord Is In This Place"!!
We leave you with blessings for the season and great hope for the future of our church.
Pam Dunham and Melanie Conner  
Co-chairs of the Diaconate  


Pastoral Search
The search committee continues to work diligently to identify candidates who fit our pastoral needs. The congregation should be aware that the pool of candidates we have at our disposal is limited because we are looking for a part time pastor (20 hours a week) and typically people do not relocate for a part time position. Despite this constraint we are encouraged by our progress.  We want to be thorough and not rush candidate selection. For that reason, we did not present our recommendations to the Board of Deacons and Church Council in November as originally communicated.  
Status update is as follows:  

We have reviewed resumes and interviewed candidates from two denominations. 
The first Methodist candidate was interviewed and unanimous decision was not to pursue her candidacy.

We interviewed a second candidate. We have not visited his "home" church to hear him lead services there. Due diligence still in progress.

A UCC candidate declined to interview after reading our profile and carefully considering the job description. The candidate felt they would not have the "energy" to lead our church. Although this was disappointing, we appreciated the honesty.

A second UCC candidate was interviewed in October. She is currently a supply pastor at a nearby church. Some parishioners went to hear her lead the service at that church. Due diligent on her viability as a candidate is still in progress.
We have not interviewed Baptist candidates as of now.
Please know that as a search committee we are doing our best to respect the church's needs and bring a pastor who will lead us to the next phase of growth.
If you have any questions please let us know.
Search Committee: Ruth Hanning, Busi Maswoswe, Porter Woodward and 
Brett Walker 

Walk For Hunger    -    Sunday, May 6, 2018

Next year, will be the 50th Anniversary for Walk for Hunger!

Please save the date AND plan to join Sue Wallace and our church's team for Project Bread's annual Walk for Hunger.  You may walk all or part of the 20-mile route starting and ending at the Boston Common.  We will collect pledges by asking our friends, family, and co-workers to sponsor us.  Your donations will help fund more than 400 emergency food programs and provide struggling families with a hot meal and hope; right in their own neighborhood.  Your walk will help feed children, seniors, people with chronic illness, and the working poor, all right here in Massachusetts.  So please plan to join us.  Together, we can make a difference! Speak to Sue Wallace for more details.  
For more information visit
  The total amount from the Pumpkin Sales was $9,065.50!!!  
The profit to our Church is $3,018,82!!!
AGAIN, A  HUGE THANK YOU  to everyone who volunteered to staff the sales tent - we couldn't have done it without your help!     

Thrift Shop is 

10:00 AM - 7:00 PM

December 2, 9 & 16
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
We opened a Christmas Annex filled with Decorations and Gifts too!

We will be closed  December 20, 27 and January 3rd.
We will reopen on  January 10, 2018
There are Lots of Hidden Treasures!
  Vintage Items and Books, Jewelry, Clothing, Household Items, Seasonal Items,  and lots of other stuff!
All donations may be dropped off on Wednesdays.
Please stop by and visit - you never know what you will find!

Thank you for your continued support!
LOST!!!!  Tables from the Church

Hello Everyone, 

We are still missing 4 tables from the Church. 

If you or someone you know borrowed them, please call the Church Office at 508-881-1355 and let Linda know ASAP.       

Henry Carlson, Properties Chair
Our Member's Birthdays

                12/13     Dave Hansen                           1/1    Angela Lawson
12/14     Brett Walker                          1/2   Dotty Clowes         
               12/30    David Bethel                         1/4   Bruce Scotland
               12/31     Laura Conner

Merry Christmas to All!
A Hug is a great gift ... One size fits all.  
It can be given at any occasion and it's easy to exchange.
Federated Church of Ashland

118 Main Street
Ashland, MA  01721-3112


  Church Office Hours:   Monday - Friday 9 AM TO 12 Noon


Office Manager - Linda Iarussi

CE Coordinator - Yucchabelle Cote

Organist - Doug Shelburne


Church Office:

     Web Site:

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