The Chimes Newsletter 

Federated Church of Ashland 
118 Main Street 
Ashland, MA 01721-3112
~ June  2018 ~

Father's Day - Sunday, June 17th

Search Committee Update
The Search Committee continues to work diligently to find a dynamic, compassionate, and vision oriented Pastor. Recently, Church membership authorized the search for a full-time Pastor. So, we have updated the Church profile to include that we are open to a full-time or part-time Pastor. The ability for the Pastor to engage with the Ashland community, to support and contribute to FCOA missions, and to grow the church, continue to be key competencies in our search.
Recently, we met with a representative from the American Baptist conference, our second meeting with this conference, to discuss specific needs for the Pastor.   We have also recently submitted the updated Church profile to Harvard University and to Boston College for posting on their Schools of Divinity career services' websites. The profile was posted at the Boston University School of Theology several months ago. We continue to think creatively about how to best fill the Pastor position.
All are welcome to become involved with the Search Committee. Let us know your thoughts.
Ruth, Busi, Porter, and Brett

From the Deacons
It has come to our attention that there may be some misunderstanding within the congregation regarding Rev. Keene's position in our church. As most of you know,  Rev. Katie Keene came to us last fall as a supply pastor. After she had supplied a few times she spoke to Pam, as Co-Chair of the Deacons, to say that if there was anything she could do to help us while we searched for a settled pastor she would be happy to do it. She suggested that perhaps she could do supply on a regular basis to bring some continuity to our congregation. We brought this before the Deacons and we agreed that it would be a good idea to have some stability in the pulpit.   At that time we agreed to give her a 6 week notice, if we found a suitable candidate and she would do the same for us if she found another position.   
We recently heard that some people were unclear about Rev. Keene's role here for the long term. We will tell you right now that Rev. Keene's role is simply to supply as needed until a settled pastor is found.
Although we are aware of the fact that there is a segment of the congregation that would prefer diversity in the pulpit, i.e., a different pastor each week, after speaking with many members and leaders in our congregation we believe that a majority are more comfortable with the stability that having one preacher brings.
At our most recent Deacons meeting, after a lengthy discussion on the pros and cons of consistency vs. diversity in the pulpit, a vote was taken and it was the Deacons decision to keep Rev. Keene on for the foreseeable future.
It goes without saying that Rev. Keene will step aside if a candidate needs to preach here at any time. We are hopeful that we will soon have a settled pastor to guide us on our journey here at the Federated Church and that is Rev. Keene's wish for us also.
If any of you have more questions about this matter, please feel free to speak with any of the Deacons.
Respectfully submitted by the Board of Deacons
Annual Meeting 2013
                      Sunday, June 24th
Please save the date and plan to attend this year's meeting.  It  will be held immediately following our worship service.  
We encourage EVERYONE to attend!  We need a quorum as the budget issues are very important this year!!!   
With no Pastor filling the pulpit, the Church has accumulated excess funds which result from not paying a Pastor's salary. In addition, a church family has donated (anonymously) $10,000 for maintenance of the Church building. After consulting with the congregation, the Council voted the following at its May meeting:

1 - Proceed with the repair of the Church Parking Lot at a cost not to exceed $27,500;
2 - Repair the floor in Fellowship Hall, using the anonymous gift;
3 - Authorize the Search Committee to search for a part-time or full-time Pastor according the candidate whom they find and invite to serve our Church;
4 - Authorize the Property Committee to issue a contract to repair the siding on the base of the Church Steeple, using insurance money received;
5 - Obtain bids to repair the Church Spire using Insurance money received and to obtain cost estimates to repaint the spire while the damaged portion is being repaired (note: both the spire and the base of the steeple were damaged in two separate instances during the heavy wind storms this past spring);
6 - Get estimates to update and renew the Men's rest room and to replace the floor in the Ladies' rest room.

If this sounds like a lot of activity, it is. It also reflects years of limited maintenance of the building. The decisions to defer maintenance have resulted from the financial pressures the church has experienced. The result is a significant back log of work needed. Because the funds are on hand currently, it was decided to repair the projects above and to determine the costs of other projects where repair is needed. Those projects will be identified and presented to the congregation for consideration in the near future. These will likely be addressed through special appeals, as they are authorized by Council.

All suggestion(s) from any member about things needed to be done, may be communicated to a Council or Properties committee member and are welcomed.

John Ellsworth

"God's Love Reaches the Stars"
July 9th -13th
Again, this year, we are inviting children ages 4-11 to join us for a full week of Vacation Bible School from  9:00 AM-12 Noon. 
Please call the Church Office  and Linda will send you the forms needed for registration. 


Hello families of FCOA!

As the school year winds down, so does the Christian Education program here at the Federated Church of Ashland. Our final class day will be June 17th and we hope to celebrate our last class of this school year with all the children who have attended throughout the year.

This year has been such a blessing as we have had some dedicated families bring their children for Christian Education in a more consistent way than ever before. It makes such a difference for everyone involved! The children get to truly feel a part of our class, our church, and our faith. We get to build upon each lesson and give our students a fuller presentation of the gospel. They have the opportunity to become more familiar with the Bible, important biblical figures, and each other. It is only with consistent class time that children feel comfortable enough to ask the big questions about faith and God. They get to pray together and sing together. It is a beautiful thing to hear their little voices lifted up in songs they have had the chance to become familiar with. Only faithful, regular attendance makes these blessings possible.

All of this would also be impossible without our volunteers! Our volunteers choose each week to be an extra pair of loving hands in the classroom. They keep our classes safe. They have brought snacks and guided little hands with gentleness. They truly have embodied service to "the least of these" throughout this year. Thank you Sylvian, Vauntina, Steve, and Vickie!

Please remember that, although our CE classes pause for summer break, our church remains open and welcoming to all, including our youngest members! Their presence is always welcome and their little voices in the pews are a sign of health coming in to the church. Church members have provided busy books and coloring supplies in the Narthex of the church and the nursery is always available if a play break is needed.

May His peace and joy be yours throughout this coming summer,

Yucchabelle Cote
Brown Bag Sunday
 June 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 budget.    
Would you please consider picking up a few extra non-perishable grocery items  while you are 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.

Family Promise

Our next host week is...
 June 10th - 17th 
We will be setting up the rooms on Saturday, June 9th at 10:00 AM. If anyone is available to help convert the classrooms downstairs into bedrooms for our guests, we would love your help. Many hands make light work.
There are currently 4 families in the program, 4 adults and 8 children, so that is what we are expecting.
There may still be openings for anyone interested in helping. You can check the signup board or contact Linda Russo at if you want to know what jobs are still unassigned.
We are still looking for someone to take over as the Lead Coordinator for Family Promise so that we can continue this mission in 2019. This is a very rewarding and fulfilling experience, and a way to help others that are going through difficult times. Even if you have not been attending church services regularly, if you have a heart to serve, please consider taking on this important mission. If you have any questions about this, please contact Linda Russo.
Our last host week for 2018 is the week of August 19th. Please mark your calendars now.
Thank you,
Linda Russo, Lead Coordinator
   Thank you to EVERYONE who 
   supported the Walk for Hunger.  

   Our team members were Sue Wallace,
   Vickie Mancini,  Raman Krishnan, 
   Eric  Beckhusen and  Betty Glenn.

   We raised over $ 3,000!!!!  

Thrift Shop is 
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
"Most" Saturdays
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Please call to confirm
There are Lots of Hidden Treasures!
    All donations must be dropped off on                                          Wednesdays while we  are open.
Thank you for your continued support!
The "FAIR" 
  Now that Summer is here .... it is a great time to
creative and to start working on your projects for the
  OH! and Please save the date...
Saturday, October 20, 2018   9 AM - 2 PM

Our  Member's Birthdays

   6/1    Cris Colby
 6/19    Sue Scotland
 6/23    Guy Williams
 6/25    Busi Maswoswe
 6/28    Yuna Woodward
 6/30    John Ellsworth     
Cherish every moment, 
Even the small day-to-day things,
Because life goes by so quickly.

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:

 Follow us on Twitter @FCOAshland