Congregational Church of Putnam

Volume 26

From Pastor Tom

The Beacon

June, 2019

Number 6

Pastor's Letter
June 2019

My Last Newsletter Article

My first newsletter article for Putnam Congregational Church appeared in the November 1998 edition and was written soon after my first two weeks here in Putnam. After presenting a challenge to us all to focus first on Jesus during the upcoming holiday seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas, I shared the following personal note.

I began my ministry as your pastor on Thursday, October 1, 1998. My first Sunday in the pulpit was a Communion Sunday, October 4, 1998. My family moved to Putnam in August so my children could start school on time, however, I remained in Island Falls, ME until I had served out my notice of resignation. My family moved into the church parsonage the end of August and I joined my family in October and the rest is “history” as they say.

Bunnie and I appreciate your many good wishes and your prayers. We have sensed the power of your prayers for us. We are looking forward to celebrating our first Thanksgiving and Christmas and to becoming a part of God’s family at The Congregational Church of Putnam. 

Wow! It’s been almost 21 years since I wrote those words! That’s hard to believe. And in many ways it’s hard for me to believe I am retiring – that I will no longer, after our worship service on June 16th, be doing each day, week, month, and year what I have been doing for almost a total of 28 years.

I have heard folks through the years say regarding retirement that you will know when it’s time. And I have discovered they are right. For me it’s time. I heard one woman at a retirement conference say when asked why she was retiring: “I just don’t have anything left to say”. There have been times in these last few weeks I have felt the same way.

Like all major milestones in life, taking this next step of retiring involves some anxiety and concerns mixed in with the anticipation, joy, relief, and hope. Since I was eighteen I have been trying to follow Jesus in doing God’s will. One thing I have learned and know: I can trust God fully. God is perfectly and completely faithful.

Since taking up God’s call to serve in Christian ministry in 1992, I have been employed as a pastor every single day and been treated by each congregation better than I deserve. Yes, there are some petty, hypocritical and even mean people in churches. But there are also God’s genuine, humble saints, who as C. S. Lewis once said, I am not worthy to shine their shoes.

Despite my many weaknesses and sins, God in his grace has been with me and worked through me to bless others. In addition, Bunnie and I are blessed with two wonderful children and their spouses, and we have four amazing, bright, beautiful, marvelous, interesting… (Did I say amazing?) grandchildren. I could go on and on naming the blessings…

Thank you for being a wonderful part of our journey. I ask one thing of you. Please pray that I will know and follow God’s guidance and will for this last and ending phase of my life. With God’s help I have avoided burning out. I do not want to retire and rust out. I want to last out and flame out. For genuine Christians there is no retiring from God, only retiring into God.

Bunnie and I will continue to live in Putnam for the next couple of years. We do not plan to sell our house and move any time soon. Some of you have asked us if we will continue to worship and fellowship at PCC as members.

We are still praying about this and will make our decision based upon what is best for God’s kingdom, PCC,, the interim minister and us.

It is our hope that as our Lord has richly blessed us through you during these last twenty years together that He will generously bless you as you go forward into the wonderful future God has in store for you.

Blessings and Love
Pastor Tom

Dear Church Family,

Bunnie and I want to thank you for the wonderful celebration of my ministry held last Sunday afternoon at the Thompson Raceway.  The committee who put this together did a superb job in planning, decorating, and all the detail that made this event one that we will always remember.  We are grateful for the gift and the opportunity to visit Lancaster, PA and will be looking into planning a trip after my retirement.  Each of you hold a special place in my heart and I will always cherish the many years that we have worked together as the body of Christ in this place.

Love and Blessings,
Pastor Tom & Bunnie

Moderator's Report
June 2019

It is with mixed emotions and great difficulty that I am attempting to write this months report.  

First of all let me say how very pleased I am with the outcome of Pastor Tom's Reception.  I want to thank the planning committee for all their hard work in making it a great success.  The attendance was fantastic (120+),  the food was fabulous,  and the atmosphere of fun and lighthearted "roasting" was wonderful to see.   It all gave evidence to the depth of emotions, the love, and the support that was offered to both Tom and Bunnie.  

Of course this brings us one step closer to that final day of June 16th.  I know there are many unanswered question and concerns as to where we go from here and what happens next.  I am including a timeline for the UCC Procedures and Guidelines for new Pastoral Leadership.  We presently are on #4.  " Interim Minister resumes are received and interviews are conducted".   Hopefully this will help clear up any questions and confusion you may have.   We will make every effort to keep you informed along the way and ask for your support and prayers as we go through this process together.  

The church will hold it's annual meeting on Sunday June 9th at 11:15 immediately following worship service.  Please plan to attend and offer your input in the decision making process of our church.  This will also be Tom's last annual meeting with us and your support would be greatly appreciated

And this leads us to the final step to take place on June 16th.  Pastor Tom will hold his final worship service with us and deliver his final sermon.  The UCC conference minster will be here and leads us in a special service and liturgy of farewell.  There will also be a special reception in the chapel  immediately after.  It would be great if we could fill up the church this Sunday in a show of added support, celebration, and farewell.  Please join us as we  come together with Tom as our Pastor to celebrate his ministry one final time as a church family.

We thank God for the time that we have shared with Tom, Bunnie, and their family.  We wish them the very best and know that we will have them back among us again.   We pray for guidence and wisdom and  know that God will lead us as we go through this process.  We trust and know that  God has a plan for us.  


Audrey Lombardi

The Congregational Church of Putnam
Council Minutes
Tuesday, April 2019

Those Present: Pastor Tom, Audrey Lombardi, Skip Bates, Tor Bates, Sharon Almstrom, Chief Ferace, Kat Dunton, Bob Thompson, Gerry Gagne, Greg Biggs,

The meeting was called to order at 6:31 pm
Pastor Tom open the meeting in prayer.
Special Guest: Putnam Police Chief Ferace 6:30 pm- 7:13 pm
At 7:20 pm motion was made to go into executive session to speak about a personal matter. 8:00 pm a motion was made to end the executive session.
Financial Reports: At this time there is a church spending freeze. Greg made a motion to accept the financial report and Tori 2nd the motion.
March 11 council report Greg made a motion to accept the minutes and Jo-Anne 2nd the motion.
Committee Reports
•Sunday, April 14 Sophia Lynn Lewis will be Baptized.
•Good Friday Flowers delivery between 3-4
•Church cleanup will happen n April 24 alone with the town clean up
•Church usage forms-
•           * CT State Employer 3rd Tuesday of the month
•           * Roberta Solomon April 27, May 18, June 29 – Dinners in honor of Shannon.
Christian Ed:
•Children continue to come to Sunday School and taking part. The families are supporting the events and programs the church is doing with the community.
• 1 Great Hours of Sharing
See attached report
Old Business:
Safe Church Policy- Greg and Audrey have been working on this policy. Greg almost has all the information together and will share with Police Chief Ferace before council makes any final decisions. 
New Business:
Stewardship Campaign- Coming up Greg will be announcing church.
PBA asked Pastor Tom about putting Tents on the front lawn during Fairy Fest. Need to check on the insurance coverage.
Blessing Box- Kat asked the council about having a blessing box made a place on the property. The box would hold items for anyone to take if needed. (Food, first aid, personal items, etc.) Bob Thompson said he would help with the project.
Pastors Report: 
Next meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Greg made a motion at 8:38 pm to adjourn the meeting 2nd by Jo-Anne.

Respectfully submitted
Kat Dunton, Clerk.


It’s now officially Spring and with that comes thoughts of new things and new growth. It is also time to think GOLF. This year will be adding several new elements to our 18th Annual Golf Tournament. Hard to believe that it has been 18 years since we started this tourney and there have been many changes along the way.
The biggest change this year is the fact the tournament is to be played at the CT. National Golf Course here in Putnam. The committee met with Jim West, manager of the CT National, several times before deciding to make the switch. Jim has assured us that his course will do the best in assisting us in any this year way possible, thus making the committees job a lot easier.
The committee has met several times, and we have mailed out letters to prospective sponsors and golfers. We have also made sure that the applications for our golf scholarships have reached all area high schools. Dates to review the scholarships and to interview candidates have also been set. Two new items which have also been added to our agenda are donations for people who would like to have a sign either in memory of a friend or loved one, and letters to former scholarship winners asking for their support at this year’s event. Both forms and letters have been mailed out or have been made available through the church office (see another Beacon Article).
We will still be looking for volunteers to assist in the running of the tourney around the beginning of June. If you are interested in helping, please set aside the date, June 30th starting at 11:30 at CT National Golf Course here in Putnam.
Thanks So Much,
Charlie Leach


On June 30, our Church will once again sponsor the Steve Bousquet Memorial Golf Tournament. This event, held at CT National Golf Course, provides four scholarships to area high school students and also financial support to our Church. After 17 years, our venue has changed to CT National and we hope to enjoy the same great golf. As an additional means of raising money for this project, we are offering our Church members and friends the opportunity to purchase a commemorative sign to be placed for all to see on the golf course. This could be a memorial or a sign of recognition. Each sign would cost $50 with all proceeds credited to our Golf Tournament and shared equally with the Scholarship Fund and our Church General Fund. Thank you for your consideration. For more information, see Charlie or Greg.