Volume 71 - No. 12 | December 2019
Message from Pastor Valeria
I saw on facebook there was a discussion whether it was okay to decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving this year, since Thanksgiving was so late.
I will admit I was surprised to see Christmas lights up a couple of weeks ago and I personally didn't feel ready for that. But my approach is: if you want to decorate your house for Christmas, go for it. Even if it's Thanksgiving, even if it's Easter. Whatever floats your boat. 
At our house, we don't decorate for Christmas at all. To us, the holiday is not about decorations. (We also don't give each other presents - WHAAAAT?) Christmas is about Jesus coming into our lives and our hearts once again. BUT I do light Advent candles in our house: One on the first Sunday of Advent, two on the second, etc., until Christmas Eve. That is an old Christian tradition I am not willing to give up. It symbolizes the light of Christ coming into a dark world and that world getting brighter as we prepare ourselves to let him into our lives. 
Christmas has become a secular holiday, whether we like it or not. We just have to accept that. But it doesn't mean we, as Christians, can't still celebrate Christmas - and Advent, the time of preparation and waiting - in a Christian way, in our own homes, in church - without judgment of what others may or may not be doing. 
Advent and Christmas are not the same. Advent means "coming, arrival." It is the time before Christmas. We prepare ourselves to welcome the Son of God. This is why we light Advent candles in church, but we don't light the Christmas tree until Christmas Eve. Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of the Son of God.
So, don't be surprised if you'll be hearing Christmas carols everywhere around you, except in church. In church, it is not Christmas yet. It's Advent. Patience and expectant waiting are old and meaningful rituals that help us appreciate the greatest gift of all even more. 
Advent is about repentance, and about hope: We take a look at our own lives, we take an inventory of our hearts and souls and the way we live. You might say we clean house like we would for a long-awaited guest. We know he will come. But we need time to get ourselves ready for him.
In your weekly Wednesday email you will find the theme for the following Sunday, and we invite you to take a few moments to reflect on it. Maybe light a candle. Read the Bible passage. Open yourselves up for the message God is bringing to you. 
We will also have the Advent calendars available that will help you look at this season as a journey, a way of preparing yourselves for Jesus Christ. Pick yours up on Sunday morning or see Emily in the office. 

I personally love Advent. I love the candles, I love the sense of expectation and hope, I love the old Advent hymns that are full of yearning for our Savior. I invite you to join us in observing this holy season, and in celebrating Christmas when it's here. 

Wishing you a meaningful, hopeful season of Advent, 
Pastor Valeria

Visit and follow Pastor Valeria's blog: https://pastorvaleriatrinitychurch.blogspot.com/ And, brand new: her vlog!
In Case You Missed It
Subscribe to our YouTube channel and watch a
selection of Pastor Valeria's sermons and our worship music.
December 8 Second Sunday of Advent :  "Prepare." Bring a personal item to decorate the tree! 

December 15 Third Sunday of Advent : "Rejoice," with our worship band

December 22 Fourth Sunday of Advent : "Behold and Believe" with our Christmas Program

December 29 : "Joy to the World!" Deacons lead worship with Carol Sing
“Optimism and hope are radically different attitudes. Optimism is the expectation that things—the weather, human relationship, the economy, the political situation, and so on—will get better. Hope is trust that God will fulfill God’s promises to us in a way that leads us to true freedom.” 
~ Henri Nouwen   
Giving Tuesday!
Tuesday, December 3
The Tuesday after Thanksgiving (and after Black Friday and Cyber Monday) has been labeled "Giving Tuesday." People are encouraged to give to a charity of their choice. Have you considered making Trinity the recipient of your gift? Help us grow towards our mission, to fill our people with the love of God and share God's love in all the world! 
Or, if you are tired of giving and receiving Christmas gifts you truly do not need or want: i nstead, make a donation to Trinity Church in honor of a loved one, and give a gift that truly will keep on giving.   
Holiday Trolley Stop, Handbell Concert & Carol Sing at 4pm
Potluck at 6pm
Saturday, December 7
Trinity Church will be opening its doors to the community on this day with several festive events!

Noon - 5pm:
  • Wreath Raffle – our own artisans are making 20 wreaths
  • Thrift Shop –will be open extended hours for holiday shopping
  • Kids Only Gift Shop – Kids 12 and under can purchase nominally priced Christmas presents for their parents/grandparents/caregivers
  • Boys Scouts live wreath sale and hot cocoa

4pm - 5pm: Handbell Concert and Carol Sing

5pm: Tree Lighting at Blake Street

6pm: Potluck Supper back at Trinity Church

Please contact Jean Leif for more information: jhleif@gmail.com
Help us decorate the tree at Trinity
Sunday, December 8th (during worship)
On Sunday, December 8, we invite you to bring a personal item that you are willing to lend us for the season of Advent and Christmas. It need not be an actual Christmas tree ornament. It could be a photo, a souvenir, a craft one of your kids made, a piece of jewelry. Anything that represents the love of God to you.

We'll trim the tree together as we get ready to welcome Jesus into our world. 

Items can be added throughout the month of December.
Trinity Game Night & Cookie Swap!
Sunday, December 8, 7pm - 9pm
This is open to everyone at Trinity who would like to join in! Kids of all ages and their families are welcome. Please bring a game if you have one and Sherry will provide others. There will be a big floor board game available and anyone who would like to participate in a cookie swap can bring a dozen cookies.

For more information please contact Sherry Clark trinitycenorthboro@gmail.com
Faith Foundation classes continued focusing on getting to know the people of the Bible and identifying their character traits while tying it to events and people today. The month of December will be focused on practicing and getting ready for the Christmas Pageant which will happen on Sunday, December 22 during worship. We also continue to make lunches for Worcester Fellowship on the 3rd Sunday of every month.

In November, we had a month full of activities planned for teens and their families. November 3rd kicked off the Teen Mental Health First Aid class for adults. The class got wonderful reviews from the participants and due to several requests will be offered again in the spring for people who might have missed it this time. November 3rd also kicked off the OWL program (Our Whole Lives). The parent orientation went very well as did the start of the teen classes. There are 9 participants in this class.

Our Youth Group activity last month was a big board game! The teens got to make their own game board by decorating spaces as they played.
November also featured our now annual Career Fair event. Many adults from both Trinity and the wider community and outside the Trinity community donated their time to explain their careers and career paths to the teens in the area. There were 16 different career options featured for teens considering both a college path and a career after high school path.
Please be sure that you have filled out forms for your kid(s) if you have not done so yet before Sunday’s classes.

Be sure to fill out all forms for your child's age group.

**We are hoping to involve the kids in communion this year and I have created a sign up for kids interested in helping set up, serve and clean up after communion.**

Sunday, December 22nd, 10am Christmas Pageant. We are hoping to have as many kids participate as possible and will be using Faith Foundations to practice so we hope to see all the kids at Trinity during Sundays in December.

Mission Trip and Worcester Outreach
We have dates!! Our teens ages 13+ will have the opportunity to go on a Mission Trip to Camden, NY from April 20-April 23 for a group called Cluster 13. This is a group that adult members of Trinity have worked with in the past.Chaperones for this trip will be Sherry Clark, Dave Gauthier, Amy and Glen Kwasny. Please use this link to fill out the participant information and return with deposit by 12/15


I am going to set up an adulting day at Trinity and will needs adults to run different "classes". Do you feel particularly adept at budgeting, taxes, interviews, applications? Maybe you would like to show your skills of how to change oil or a tire.

WANTED TEACHERS : CE in K-4, 5-8 or 9-12

WANTED ADULT: Youth Group helpers 
I need at least one adult once a month

WANTED ADULT: Builder / Handy Person 
an adult who is good with building and can help us build a neighbor chair.
GSA Link
The Link that Connects

The GSA Link is a project connecting local GSA high school and middle students to collaborate, share ideas, and socialize in a SAFE space. LGBT and allied high school students are welcome.

Trinity Church of Northborough
23 Main Street Northborough MA, 01532

Middle School: 4pm - 5:30pm
High School: 6:00pm - 8:00pm

December 6th & 20th

For more information please contact:
Melissa at projectgsalink@gmail.com or 508-735-1267
Sing with the Choir!
Christmas Eve at 5pm
YOU are invited to sing with the Trinity Chancel Choir at the 5pm Christmas Eve Service! The choir will share "He Come From the Glory", from the Cantata   Morning Star  . Limited rehearsal is required; to join, simply contact Music Director, Mike Westberry at   mfwestbe@gmail.com  .

Practices will be 15-20 minutes long on the following dates:
  • Sunday, December 15 after worship
  • Sunday, December 22 after worship
  • Wednesday, December 24, 4:15pm
Third Floor Coffee House - Now held on the first floor!
Friday, December 13, 7pm - 9pm
Please mark your calendars for Coffee House the second Friday of the month.

Purchase a VIP pass! $50 for an individual, $100 for a family, passes can be purchased at the door.

We invite you to come enjoy talented musicians performing a variety of music. You may even hear some poetry recitation. Coffee and refreshments will be served with a suggested donation.

BYOM (Bring Your Own Mug). A $5 per person donation will be accepted at the door ($10 max family).

Also check out the Coffee House Facebook page:  www.facebook.com/ThirdFloorCoffeeHouse

Please contact Pat Faldetta for more information,  thirdfloorcoffeehouse@gmail.com .  
Saturday Breakfast Fellowship - TOPIC: Santa Clause, Christmas and Christianity
Saturday, December 21 at 8am
The next Saturday Breakfast Fellowship will be on Saturday, December 21st at 8:00 AM.

This month’s topic will be Santa Claus, Christmas and Christianity. What is the origin of the Santa Claus story? Is there any connection between Santa Claus and Christianity? Can we, as Christians, support the Santa Claus story? Is it even healthy for us to present the Santa Claus story to our children?

Let’s gather on the 21 st and talk through some of these questions. Some interesting history is in the articles below along with some religious and psychological views.

As usual, we will start with breakfast and follow with fellowship and discussion.

For more information or to add yourself to the Saturday Breakfast Fellowship email list, please contact Tom Danforth at tomdan4@gmail.com

Santa Claus

What's So Christian about Santa Claus?

Santa Claus was Made by Washington Irving

Christians and Santa Claus: a Biblical View

Why It's OK for Kids to Believe in Santa Claus
Christmas Caroling
Sunday, December 22, 1pm-3pm
Join our youth in bringing the joy of Christmas to nursing home residents. We hope you and your family can join us! We will meet at Trinity and carpool.

Please contact Sherry Clark for more information:  trinitycenorthboro@gmail.com
Sunday, December 15, 2 - 4 pm: Service of Light. This year, we will try a new format in cooperation with Jeff and Rachel Koopman from Hays Funeral Home. Christmas is a difficult time for those who recently lost someone or who are estranged from family. We invite anyone, regardless of religious affiliation, to come together as a community for comfort and support. Refreshments will be served. You will have the opportunity to light a candle in memory of someone, to fill out a memory card or make a button, and to participate in a time of prayer, reflection and song (at 3 pm.) Come and go as your schedule allows. Children are welcome to participate. 

Sunday, December 22, 10am:   "Heaven and Nature Sing." Christmas Program with and for kids and adults

Tuesday, December 24, 5pm:    "Sounds of Christmas." Family Candlelight Service for all ages with our project choir. Please bring a baby item for the Northborough Food Pantry.

Tuesday, December 24,   10pm :   "Mary, Did You Know?" Introspective Candlelight Service 
Gifts for Baby Jesus!
Tuesday, December 24th @ 5pm
For our Family Christmas Eve service we invite you to bring gifts for Baby Jesus that will be handed out through the Northborough Food Pantry: Wipes, diaper rash cream, baby shampoo, baby soap/ body wash, lotions, baby food (fruit, vegetable), cereal, formula, teething crackers, squeezable fruits and vegetables. Please do not gift-wrap the items. 
Gun Violence Resolution

The following resolution was approved by the Board of Deacons on Nov. 20, 2019:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”  Mark 12:30-31
“Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.”
1 John 4:11
  • We vow to advocate for stricter gun laws to eliminate gun violence, including:
  • Requiring all gun buyers to pass a universal background check
  • Banning the sale of military-style semiautomatic weapons
  • We support the victims of violence by welcoming them into our community of faith and allowing them to tell their story.
  • We acknowledge violence, particularly suicide, can be the result of fear, despair, or a sense of isolation. As Christians, we have a responsibility to reach out to others with love, understanding and compassion.
  • We stand against racism, white supremacy, homophobia, sexual and domestic abuse, and bullying.

The Deacons will be hosting a community discussion of gun violence in January. We are also planning a community "Day of Action" to invite people to contact their Congressmen.

Jean Leif, Deacon ( jhleif@gmail.com )
November got us very close to finishing in the kitchen. I hope you have been able to see the kitchen before or after worship. It is quite different from what it was two months ago.

The big steps include:
  • The cabinets have all been installed.
  • The plumber has finished most of his work and we have hot and cold water.
  • We’ve installed most of the finish trim
  • The counter top template was created and the counter tops should be delivered in a week or two.

We’re so close to the finish; however, there are a few more steps such as installing the counter tops, doing the final electrical work, and doing the final plumbing. We anticipate these things will be finished over the next few weeks and then we can ask Northborough’s Health Department to do its final inspection.

Many thanks to the faithful workers who’ve carried us through this phase: Al Mosher, Larry Hemstreet, Don Dodson, and Tom Danforth.

Once again, we thank you for your support.

From all of us on the kitchen team,
Tom Danforth
Mary Kemp
Martha Michalewich
Nancy Robbins
Pastor Valeria will be on vacation from December 25 - January 1.

In case of a pastoral emergency please contact Rev. Lee Atherton at 508-308-7116.
Dove Tree
Doves are now available!
Gifts will be collected at coffee hour December 8th & 15th or can be dropped off during office hours. We deliver the gifts on December 15th and we'll be looking for helpers for packing and delivery that day.

The dove tree  is a program run by Helping Hands that supports local families in need by buying Christmas gifts and grocery cards for them.

Please contact John Posluszny for more information  johnposluszny@gmail.com .
Invitation to Grotonwood
Saturday, December 7 from 2pm - 4pm
Our church recently received an appreciation certificate showing our support of Grotonwood and Oceanwood over the last five years. Along with the certificate is an invitation to Grotonwood on December 7, 2019 for a donor appreciation event and ice cream social (2pm to 4pm with the option to come at 1:30pm for a tour of the new Prescott Lodge.) At 4pm that same day, Grotonwood is presenting CHRISTMAS AT GROTONWOOD, a time of food, music, and entertainment that you will really enjoy.

Call Ed (617) 721-5738 at Grotonwood for more information.
Food Pantry Donations
Bag Distribution: December 8th
Bag Collection: December 22th

Thank you to everyone for your generosity!

We will pass out the bags on the second Sunday of the month with a list inside indicating the most needed items as well as a special item for the month, but we will have the bags available every week on the bench in the back of the Sanctuary (in case you do not come to church on the second Sunday and you still want to participate).

We will continue to collect the bags the fourth Sunday and deliver them to the Food Pantry, but if you are unable to be in church that Sunday, there is a bin in the hallway marked, “Food Pantry” and you can drop off your bags there any time.

The Food Pantry right now has many more canned vegetables than they can use, so please think about other items to donate. Meals in a can are always welcome.

Thank you,
Martha Michalewich, Mary Kemp and John Posluszny

Worcester Fellowship
Sunday, December 15th
1pm Worship @ Worcester Common
We need donations!  Faith Foundations will be making lunches to donate on December 15th. Donations of food or small monetary amounts towards lunch supplies are welcome.

Join us on the Worcester common at 1pm for an outdoor service.

For more information please contact John at   johnposluszny@gmail.com
Special Offering
Sunday, December 22 during worship
We have a special offering   December 22nd  . This is our opportunity to support our retired ministers and missionaries who have served our United Church of Christ and American Baptist Churches over the years. We will be supporting supplemental pension and health benefits, emergency assistance and we will be giving a “Thank you” to those who have made it their life’s work to serve others.

Thank you. The Outreach Ministry Team

Calling all bakers!
With the holidays rapidly approaching, folks might experience some new tried and true cookie recipes. As we think ahead to our annual “cookies for college students” it isn’t too soon to collect fantastic cookie recipes. Cookies get sent out February 9  th   but now is the time to try out new recipes.

Due to allergies, please do not use recipes containing nuts and/or peanut butter.

There will be more information to come but we wanted to get you all thinking ahead.

Happy tasting. 
Barbra Sutherland and the Cookies for College Students Team
Drivers Needed

Occasionally we have requests for a ride to church by folks who have no transportation. The Pastoral Committee is compiling a list of Trinity folks willing to give rides to those wishing to come to church. 

If you would like to be included on the "Driver" list please contact Carolyn Squillante:
MTSTHLNS@AOL.COM  or 508-393-8660.
The “Count Your Blessings” Thrift Shop is now open for the season!

Now open Wednesdays, 9am to Noon and Saturdays, 10am - 1pm.

Extended hours during the Holiday Trolley
Saturday, December 7th from 10am - 5pm.

Donations of gently used clothing can be dropped off in the marked bin in the church hallway.
Please contact Linda Corbett with questions: lcorbett12@hotmail.com   or 508-688-9392
Join us for Coffee Hour!
Coffee Hour is an important part of our Sunday morning and it is a great way for people to connect and for us to welcome visitors to our church. Please join us after worship for coffee and a snack, and the opportunity to connect with old friends and meet new friends.

If you are interested in helping to host coffee hour, please see Michele Wheelock during coffee hour or contact her at  michelewheelock@gmail.com.
Orders must be in by 12/8/2019
New this year! ORDER ONLINE
Order forms are also hanging outside the church office (on the purple bulletin board), on the counter in the hallway where the donations bins are and in the church office.

Please return your forms with payment via mail or drop them in the mail slot on the church office door.

If you have any questions please contact the church office for more information:
trinitychurchnboro@gmail.com or (508) 393-8156.
Altar Flowers Needed !! ALTAR FLOWER SIGNUP!
2020 dates have been added!
We would appreciate your help signing up to take a Sunday. Please click on the link above or below and after you choose a date to bring altar flowers there is a comment section where you can add the blurb you would like written in the Sunday bulletin. Signup Genie will automatically send you an email reminder six days prior to the day you signed up to bring flowers.

The altar flower sign-ups are now linked on the Trinity website, too! ALTAR FLOWER SIGNUP!
Did you know your shopping can earn Trinity money?
Shop at your convenience all year!   iGive Website
Trinity Church is set up as a charity on iGive! Please consider downloading the app or shopping through the iGive site and a percentage of your purchase will be sent to Trinity Church! This does not cost you any extra money, the donation comes from the stores you already shop at.

Please consider shopping through iGive to help support Trinity.

You shop. Amazon gives.
  • Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice.
  • AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service.
  • Support your charitable organization by starting your shopping at smile.amazon.com
Are you interested in being added to the online church directory?
Please use the instructions  HERE  to add yourself and your family to the Trinity Church online database.

If you need any assistance connecting to the online directory please contact the church office:
(508) 393-8156 or trinitychurchnboro@gmail.com
Online giving is now available through Trinity's website!
Start your online giving here: LINK
For those situations where a person feels inspired to make a donation in support of Trinity’s mission, online giving is now available on Trinity’s website to make giving easier. 
  • After a person clicks the DONATE NOW link on Trinity’s home page, online giving provides them with multiple options of which fund or ministry they can direct their gift.
  • Payment methods include an electronic funds transfer from a checking or saving account, a debit card payment or a credit card payment.
  • The first time that a person uses online giving, they can set-up their profile so that they will not have to re-enter the information, and they will be able to access their online giving history.
  • IMPORTANT: Current members and regular donors do not need to change how they currently give to Trinity (collection plate, e-checks, etc.), if it works for them.  Online giving is being made available primarily as a convenient payment method for spontaneous givers. Unlike other payment methods, Trinity is charged processing fees for each transaction by VANCO, our electronic payments vendor. 

If you have any questions about online giving, please contact Pete Carlsen, Treasurer @ trinitynorthborotreas@gmail.com .

Start your online giving here: LINK
~ Those who are missing a loved one and those who are lonely

~ Estranged and conflicted families

If you know of someone who is hospitalized, ill, suffering from the loss of a loved one, or troubled in some way and in need of a pastoral call, please call Pastor Valeria at the church office, 508-393-8156.
Pastor Valeria will be at Inhouse Coffee on Wednesday mornings from 8:30am to 10am. Inhouse is located at 17 West Main Street. She's looking forward to seeing you and making more connections to local businesses, and to people who live and work in Northborough. She will talk to anyone, not just members of Trinity. Help us spread the word! 
Community Meal - Community Meal will be at Church of the Nativity (45 Howard Street, Northborough) until the Trinity kitchen renovation is complete. Join us each Wednesday, 6pm. The meals are free but donations toward the voucher fund are accepted. Each Wednesday at 6pm there is a new community group hosting the meal. Please join us!

Coleman House Service - Tuesday, December 17th at 2:30pm.
Did you know you can donate your gently used appliances, furniture and building supplies? And also purchase all these items at a low price while benefiting Habitat for Humanity?
More info here: 
What and how to donate:
Deadline Date ~ January Tidings
Please be sure to have all your info for the January Tidings in to the church office by Sunday, December 22, 2019. Your help is appreciated!
23 Main Street ~ Northborough, MA 01532
(508) 393-8156

Office Hours :
Monday: 9am - Noon & 1pm - 2:30pm
Tuesday: 9am - Noon & 1pm - 2:30pm
Wednesday: 9am - 10:30am & 11:30am - 2:30pm
Thursday: 9am - Noon & 1pm - 2:30pm
Friday: 9am - Noon & 1pm - 2:30pm

Rev. Valeria Schmidt, Sr. Pastor

Trinity Church is an Open & Affirming / Welcoming & Affirming Congregation

Trinity Church's mission is to fill its people with the love of God
and share God's love in all the world.