A BCCUCC Glossary

Here is a Glossary of Terms we’ve put together to introduce new folks to our church family and help them through the maze of terms, place names, titles, etc. Sometimes church life seems much more complicated than it should be and hopefully this lighter-side-look will make you feel more welcome. More information on everything is available through the church office at 246-0111 or at office@bccucc.org.


Andrea – Our Christian Education Coordinator, Andrea Bullard, who works with the Christian Education and Youth Ministry Team, to facilitate our church school programs. Always ready for questions and suggestions.

Baptism – One of our two sacraments (the other is communion). We invite all to be baptized. Usually done during Sunday morning worship but private ones can be arranged with the ministers.

BCCUCC – Simply the abbreviated name of our church, the Barrington Congregational Church, United Church of Christ. It is affectionately called “the White Church” by locals.  The website for the United Church of Christ is: www.ucc.org.

Brendan – Our Associate Minister, the Rev. Brendan Curran, who joined the church staff in June, 2014.

CEYM – The shortened name of our Christian Education and Youth Ministries Team.

Choirs – We have 3 choirs and all are open to anyone. Our “Sing and Celebrate Choir” is for children in grades 1-6, rehearses after church most Sundays, and usually sings in church once a month. Our adult vocal choir rehearses Wednesday evenings, 7:30 -9:00 pm and sings most Sundays, Sept – mid June. Our Music Director is Marina Zabinski. Our Bell Choir is currently on hiatus. Anyone interested in playing bells should contact the church office.

Christine – Our friendly Office Administrator, Christine Wallis, who has been here almost 20 years and knows more about everything than anyone else.

Church School – Programs we offer on Sunday mornings for young people age 0 (Nursery Care) thru Grade 8. Typically families come to church together at 10:00 AM and then following a “Time for Children” the young people will depart worship with their teachers for their classes.

Coffee hour – This is the opportunity for fellowship after worship where all are invited to our Fellowship Hall (the opposite end of our education building from the sanctuary) for refreshments and meeting others. Ministry teams take turns hosting coffee hour and you can find some tasty goodies in addition to spirited conversation!

Communion – The other of our two sacraments (in addition to baptism), offered usually on the first Sunday of each month during worship. Open to all, including children.

Confirmation – The educational program offered to 9th graders which concludes with the invitation to join the church.

“Conversations about our Church” – Sessions we have, usually twice a year, to help people new to our church family learn more about our church – why we do things the way we do, what we believe, etc. They are open to all people.

Dale – Our Senior Minister, the Rev. Dr. Dale Azevedo, who joined the church staff in September 2016.

eBridge – Our electronic church newsletter, put together by Christine in the church office.  We are delighted to send it to anyone who gives us their e-mail address.

Fellowship Hall – the large meeting room at the far end of the Educational/Office building where we usually gather for coffee hour, dinners, etc.

Flowers – Many ask about the flowers on the altar each week. They are usually provided through a contract with “The Greenery” florist in Warren and paid for each week as a donation from different people in our congregation – given in memory of loved ones, celebrations of different occasions, etc. We welcome anyone contributing by simply calling the church office. After worship they are usually taken by a member of the Chancel Team to someone in our church community that could use a “pick-me-up.”

Godly Play – a Montessori-inspired approach to religious education, developed by Jerome Berryman. “Godly Play” is used in our PreK -1st Grade classroom on Sunday mornings. Please speak with Andrea to learn more.

Greeters – Those smiling faces that greet you to worship on Sunday morning. We welcome anyone to greet – it is a wonderful way to meet people.

Homecoming Sunday – The Sunday in September, usually the first Sunday following Labor Day, that our church school program begins. Traditionally thought of as the beginning of the church year. Often followed by a church picnic.

Hymns and Hymnals – Hymns sung on Sunday morning are usually chosen by the person who is preaching the sermon to coordinate with themes that person might be trying to focus on. We have two hymnals – The Pilgrim Hymnal and New Century. Each offers different music and wording with the New Century featuring more inclusive language about people and more expansive language about God.

Jubilation Sunday – The Sunday that our regular Church School programs conclude, usually mid to late May and, weather permitting, is followed by an all-church picnic.

Marina – Our wonderful music director, Marina Zabinski, who lives in Lincoln, teaches music as her day job, but is here for Wednesday night rehearsals, Sunday morning worship, weddings, funerals…and many other things. She welcomes suggestions, requests, offers to sing or play instruments.

Membership in our church – Something everyone is invited to consider. It is a sign of commitment to our community and what we stand for and gives you the opportunity to officially serve on Ministry Teams and vote at our meetings.

Ministry Teams – Committees or boards, groups within the church of people elected, usually for 1-2 year terms, to work on a particular phase of church life, ie: Christian Education, Buildings & Grounds, Music, Mission and Justice, Finance, etc. We actually have 11 such Teams with their duties all outlined in our By-Laws available through the church office or at at this link.

Moderator – The lay person in our church elected annually to be the leading church spokesperson, calling Annual Meetings to order, convening the Church Council.

Narthex – the entryway into the church building, through our beautiful red front doors, where the greeters stand on Sunday morning.

Nursery – Room #4 in our educational building (near the church offices) where on Sunday morning from 9:45-11:15 we have trained people ready to take care of infants and toddlers.

Offertory – That part of our worship service where we think specifically how we can be of service to God in the world. Plates are passed to receive monetary gifts but gifts of all kinds are invited.  Church members place their weekly pledge donation into the plates at this time – See “pledges” below.

OWL – ‘Our Whole Lives’ is a sex education program we offer youth in our church and community.  It is offered for 7th & 8th graders and 10th – 12th graders on alternate years.

Parsonages – Two homes that the church owns that our ministers live in.

Pat – A woman of many talents, Pat Stoddard, who in addition to everything else, works in the church office as Financial Secretary.

Paul Dz – Our main custodian, Paul Dziedzic, who is here every weekday morning but most never see, even though his work is seen by all.  He is assisted by custodian John Cordeiro on Thursday and Friday mornings.

Pledging – People’s annual financial commitment to funding the ministry of our church. Pledges are invited in the fall for the next fiscal year’s budget (Jan – Dec) although they can be made at any time throughout the year. Some make these payments weekly, monthly or annually.

Sermons – Messages given during the morning worship service, usually 12-15 minutes in length. It is our Reform Protestant tradition that “the Word” is one focal point of our gathering and over time the sermon has been given a great deal of focus, although this is changing with time. Our ministers often follow the “Lectionary” for the scripture references each week. This is a 3-year cycle of Bible readings used in many denominations.  The sermons are now available on line at this link

Stewardship – An attitude of giving. We remind all that there are many ways of giving to our sisters and brothers, and to God, in appreciation and in service. This is sometimes limited in people’s mind to financial contributions (see Pledging) but it is much greater than simply that.

Tots’ Preschool – Rents the classrooms across from the offices Monday to Friday, open to all although not officially part of our church.

Ushers – Those friendly folks who welcome you into the sanctuary each Sunday, hand you a bulletin (our word for program), and collect the offering. You can be one too very easily – just volunteer!

Vestry – The room on the first floor of the sanctuary building, often used as a gathering place, for choir rehearsals, hanging coats, etc.

Worship – We gather for worship every Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. in the sanctuary. Worship typically includes prayer, silence, sharing, story, scripture, sermon/reflection, offering and song.   Summer worship is at the slightly earlier time of 9:30 a.m.

Youth Ministry – Programs for our young people are very important to our church. In addition to church school classes thru Grade 9 we offer a Junior Youth Group (JYG) program for Grades 6-8 and a Senior Youth Group (SYG) for high school Grades 9-12. These groups usually meet several times a month. We also have an annual Mission Trip with our SYG each year.