The Passion of the Christ



A special screening of The Passion of the Christ will take place in the Christ Community Church sanctuary on Saturday, February 25, at 7 p.m.  The event is open to all members of the community.


     “This is a wonderful opportunity to share a very powerful movie,” says church interim president Marc Greenwald, the leader of the event.  The film, originally released in theaters in 2004, was written and directed by Mel Gibson.  It focuses on the 12 hours of Jesus’ life leading to his crucifixion.  In defending his idea for a movie of this type, Gibson said, “I want to show the humanity of Christ as well as the divine aspect.  It’s a rendering that for me is very realistic and as close as possible to what I perceive the truth to be.”  Experts and reviewers have concluded that The Passion of the Christ is such an important film because it underscores the emotion, pain, and passion of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.    


     Evangelist Billy Graham also defended the film, saying he was “moved to tears.  The film is faithful to the Bible’s teaching that we are all responsible for Jesus’ death, because we all have sinned.  It is our sins that caused his death, not any particular group.”


     The 127-minute film, rated R for graphic violence, will be shown on the 6-foot by 8-foot projection screen.  Light refreshments will be served from 6:15 to 6:45, and discussion will follow the film for those who are interested.  The sanctuary is accessible to the handicapped.  In the event of snow, the film will be shown on Saturday, March 11, at 7 p.m.


     For more information, please call Marc Greenwald at 883-3010.



From the Pastor’s Pen


Is it possible that we have now passed through the holiday season and begun a new year?  The Christmas season is always one of my favorite times of the year to minister the Gospel of our Lord.  It is always good to turn our thoughts to the coming of the Christ child, and to remind ourselves of the greatness of God’s love for the world.  And yes, that love extends even to those whom we perhaps find difficult to love.  I wish to thank all those who participated in the special activities of Christmas.  The beauty of our sanctuary was enhanced by the decorations and the beauty of our worship was certainly enhanced by readers, musicians, and the choir that participated throughout the Advent season.

     As I look back on the past two months, it certainly has been refreshing to hear a number of different preachers sharing with us on Sunday mornings.  I think that it is a very special ministry to create opportunities for students and recent grads to preach the Scriptures.  They were all very grateful for the opportunity and expressed words of praise for the warmth of our people and for the desire to worship and serve Christ that is so evident among us.

     That said, for my part, it has been refreshing to take a break from the demands of preaching weekly.  The few times that I have preached, I have felt a renewed energy in both preparation and proclamation.  I have also spent time over the last two months reading and thinking with regard to how we ought to structure our church to meet the reality of who we are and to facilitate the creation of new ministries.  This is one of my major goals for 2006.  While change is often discomforting, I believe we can affect change in our government in a manner that perhaps will not be overly discomforting.  There are two major tasks which we will always face as a church.  The first and foremost is to teach the Scriptures to all peoples in such a way that all are led to worship.  The second

is to maintain the physical facilities which God has blessed us with to accomplish this task.  Within the body, there are many different gifts that the Lord has blessed us with for the carrying out of these tasks.  Our organization needs to free those whom God has gifted to accomplish what he has called them to do.

     As I look ahead to the coming year, it has been exciting to see a number of new faces in our worship.  We trust that they will find a warm welcome among us and that they will come to know that surely the presence of the Lord is among us here in Blackstone.

     May God richly bless you, and may 2006 be a year in which the reality of his love is manifested in your life.


Submitted by

Pastor Denis Hardy




Church Youth Group Plans Exciting Year



The Christ Community Church youth group is open to all teens in grades 7 through 12.  Meetings are held on Sunday evenings from 6:00 to 8:00 at the Parish Hall on Main Street.  All teens are welcome to join us as we explore our faith and walk this journey together.

     2005 was an exciting year which ended with a Chronicles of Narnia movie and pizza party.  The teens are looking forward to an incredible new year in 2006.  Some of the planned activities for the first half of 2006 include:


  • A new Bible study

using the “Jesus” Bible

  • Scripture Absorption contests
  • Annual “Souper Bowl of Caring” fundraiser on Super Bowl Sunday
  • Christian concerts
  • Serving at a community food bank
  • Hanging out at a local Christian teen coffee house
  • Vida Nueva Retreat weekends
  • Battle Cry Stadium Outreach Event in Philadelphia
  • “Week of Hope” mission trip
  • Fundraisers


     Be on the lookout for some crazy and exciting fundraising events this spring as our teens work to raise money for the mission trip to Pennsylvania in July.  If anyone is interested in joining us for the Battle Cry Stadium Event scheduled for May 12-13 and for the mission trip the week of July 9, chaperones are still needed.  Please see Kathy or Amy for more details.

     Our teens thank Christ Community Church for their incredible support over the past year.  We ask that you please continue to keep all teenagers in your prayers as they struggle against the darkness of this world.  Jesus is the one true light that warms our hearts and dispels the darkness!


Submitted by

Kathy LaFlamme



PRISM® Weight Loss Participants

Celebrate Collective Losses



PRISM® weight loss participants have collectively lost 125-200 lbs. since the group’s initial meeting on September 13.


     The PRISM® Weight Loss Program is a Christian-oriented program.  It is a complete, 24-plus week program divided into four or more six-week phases.  Enrollment is optional for each six-week phase, enabling you to choose how long you will participate in the program.  Each phase includes a curriculum that participants read on a daily basis. 


     For those who choose to attend a PRISM® support group, weekly meetings are offered which include a video presentation and encouragement from your group leader and fellow class members.  A new session began on Tuesday, January 10.  All are invited to attend.


Submitted by Pat Hardy, RN




CCC Receives $2500 Grant

From CVS to Fund

Parish Nursing Program


Thanks to Jackie St. Jean, Barbara Greenwald, and Robin Amesbury, we will have funds to bring in guest speakers to speak on health-related subjects at the church in the coming year. 

     The committee will meet at the home on January 9 at the home of Pat Hardy to discuss plans for the spring and summer.  All are invited to attend.

Submitted by Pat Hardy, RN



Christ Community Church

Welcomes New Members




In October, Kathy LaFlamme, Darlene Marcotte, Michael Mercier, Danielle Mercier, Amy Hanson, and Celeste Hamel were all received into membership of Christ Community Church.


     It is always a great blessing to see people taking this step of commitment to our local body.  Believers in Christ are all part of His body, the church, but the Bible clearly teaches that we live out our faith in a community.  It is here that we will grow spiritually and see that God uses ordinary people to reach out and touch the lives of others for Him.


     If you are interested in becoming a member of our church family, please contact Pastor Denis or any of the Deacons listed in the weekly church bulletin.  Candidates  for membership typically participate in several small, informal meetings where we discuss basic Christianity, what church membership is all about, the direction and vision o f Christ Community Church, and ask any questions you may have about our local church body.  There’s always room for more.


Submitted by Bob Hanson



Property Improvements

Slated for Parish Hall



Interim church president Marc Greenwald recently assembled a meeting of eight men concerned with improving the Parish Hall facility.  In a December meeting, the group prioritized a list of work needed to make the hall a useable and better maintained building for the needs of the church. A renovation of the bathrooms is expected to be completed by the end of January. When completed, the hall will have a handicapped bathroom and a second bathroom. In addition, the water heater needs to be replaced, immediate electrical work needs to be completed, and a large scale-spring clean-up will be undertaken.

     Future renovation may include carpet removal and replacement with durable, multipurpose flooring.

    For more information, or to express an interest in helping with this important property work, please see Marc Greenwald.


Submitted by

Marc Greenwald


Thought For a New Year


“And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new,  untouched, full of things that have never been, full of work that has never been done, full of tasks, claims, and demands; and let us see that we learn to take it without letting fall too much of what it has to bestow upon those who demand of it necessary, serious, and great things.”                        -- Rainer Maria Rilke, German poet (1876-1926)


Recent Outreach Activities Listed


This past Christmas season was very busy for Christ Community Church’s outreach committee.  Several church members, adults as well as youth, reached out to the boys at the Westboro DYS facility on December 13.  The 29 youth who participated greatly appreciated both the gifts and the fellowship.

     We were also able to help a group home for young children, ages 5-12, who had been removed from their homes.  We learned that they had little to play with or entertain themselves with and would not receive much for Christmas.  Donations were made in order to purchase gifts for the children, and reports indicated that the children had a very happy Christmas day.

     The church was also able to reach out to several church families to make Christmas for their children a little happier.

     Over the holidays, we received letters from Larry Jones and the Bill Miller family.  Rev. Miller was pastor of Blackstone Federated Church in the 1970s and early 1980s.  These letters are both posted in the narthex.

     Pat Hardy and I have been talking recently about strategies for continuing effective outreach.  Right now, we are thinking of having a ham and bean supper in the spring.

     The list below outlines our current regular giving:  Wycliffe Bible Translators (Larry and Linda Jones); “Because HE Lives” ministries of Woonsocket;  Bethany Christian Services; the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference; “Ripe for Harvest”; Gideons International; RIMA Tres Dias; RBC Ministries; “Straight Ahead” ministries; Monadnock Bible Conference; and Bill Newcomb (Kenya).  For more information and links, please see the church Website at


Submitted by

Nancy Mandeville

Book Discussion

Group Tackled

the Trinity


Members of the fall book discussion group recently completed a five-part study of Trinity, by Joseph Girzone.  Girzone, a retired Catholic priest, is the popular author of Joshua and A Portrait of Jesus.  The group, which met at the Blackstone Public Library on Monday evenings, was started by Blackstone Enlightener publisher Paulette Boyko and is facilitated by Jonathan Steele.  The group will return with a new book study in the spring.

     Participants from Christ Community Church were Joanne Caselli, Dottie Costa, Kayla Harvey, Jackie St. Jean, and Pauline Staples.

     Some members of the discussion group will be attending the Bill Gaither Homecoming concert on Saturday, March 11, at the DCU Center in Worcester.


Submitted by

Jonathan Steele



Church Hosts Youth Christmas Party



Several members and friends of all ages of Christ Community Church hosted a Christmas party on Wednesday, December 13, at the Westboro DYS facility.  In attendance were 29 students and 12 church members.  Those from the church brought goodies, presents, and more importantly, hope for a better life when the youth leave the facility.

     At the time of our arrival, the boys displayed a tough attitude, but as the night went on, they seemed to soften.  Each boy received a hooded sweatshirt, a lined flannel shirt, personal articles, and snacks.  Christmas carols were sung by all, accompanied by Straight Ahead founder and director Scott Larson on guitar.  While the boys were very boisterous in the beginning and did not seem to believe in God, as the night progressed, they seemed to pacify as though God was touching them.  At the very end, one boy asked how to reach God because he didn’t really know how.  We learned that at least one youth was affected by the message that we gave.  Also, the sharing of testimonies helped the students open up.  Needless to say, we were both blessed and burdened to pray for these youngsters.

     Scott Larson will be speaking at Christ Community Church at morning worship on Sunday, February 26.  Please plan on attending to support Scott.


Contributed by

Pastor Denis Hardy,

Nancy Mandeville,

Ian Maclennan, and

Alex Maclennan



Musical Service Held on Christmas Eve

Members and friends of Christ Community Church gathered for a very musical Christmas Eve service on December 24.  A special choir, suggested by Sandy Maclennan and directed by Jonathan Steele, sang three anthems:  “Were You There on That Christmas Night?”, “Lullaby for Jesus,” and “Sing Noel.”

     Guitarist Joan Robin accompanied the choir in their singing of “Mary Had a Baby” and “Go, Tell It on the Mountain.”

     Alex Maclennan played a Chopin solo on the piano, and Marc Greenwald sang “Come to the Cradle” and “O Holy Night.”

     Sarah Brushett provided flute accompaniment throughout the service, and Jonathan Steele served as pianist and organist.

     Members of the Christmas Eve choir, who rehearsed on five Saturday mornings in November and December, were David and Doreen Baisley, Dianne Beals, Joanne Caselli, Marc Greenwald, Brittany LaFlamme, Alex Maclennan, Sandy Maclennan, Darlene Marcotte, Cindy Robeau, Kitiara Robeau, Sheila Robeau, and Jonathan Steele.                       – Submitted by Jonathan Steele



Ecumenical Service Celebrates Christmas

Members and friends of the East Blackstone Quaker Meeting House and Cemetery Historical Association held a Country Christmas Celebration on Friday, December 23.  The candlelight service of lessons and carols was the third annual holiday service of its kind in the historic building on Elm Street.

     A youth handbell choir under the direction of John Staples added to the evening’s special music.  Organist for the service was association member Jonathan Steele.  Christ Community Church members in attendance were Barbara and Marc Greenwald, Dodi Faneuf, and Sandy Maclennan.  A reception and open house was held immediately after the candlelight service at the home of Pauline Staples.

     During the winter, work will continue on the south side windows, and the turn-of-the-century pump organ will be restored.

     Next season’s services will be held at 2 p.m. on the following Sundays:  May 21, June 25, October 1, and November 19.  Next year’s Christmas Candlelight Service will be held on Friday, December 8 at 7 p.m.                                                                         – Submitted by Jonathan Steele