Chili/Soup Cook-off

Published on March 3, 2015, by in News & Events.

March 22 after worship

It is an Old South tradition to have a cook-off in advance of a mission trip so get your taste buds ready for March 22.  Please join us to taste multiple delicious soups and chilis and vote for your favorite.  We will also get to hear from Lori and Ralph Vinciguerra about their experiences at the orphanage.  Please bring an item to donate to the orphanage. We are collecting batteries (AA & AAA), new boys underwear (all sizes, boxers preferred), soccer balls (un-inflated if possible), and notebooks. If you haven’t had time to shop, feel free to make a donation and we can shop for you. 

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Hunger Banquet

Published on February 27, 2013, by in News & Events.

You are invited to a Hunger Banquet sponsored by the Outreach Committee on Sunday, March 10, right after the service. The Banquet is an opportunity to learn firsthand about the inequitable distribution of food in the world.

Participants will draw tickets at random to find out if they are in the high, middle, or low
income tier and receive a meal that corresponds to their income level. We will have an
opportunity to learn more about the causes of worldwide hunger and how the global economy
and climate change affect the one billion people who endure chronic hunger and are powerless
to do anything about it. A free will offering will be taken to support the work of Oxfam
America, an international relief and development organization that creates solutions to poverty and hunger.

In order to help us plan the food, the Outreach Committee would appreciate RSVP’s in advance if possible. Please contact Hilary Trismen ( or
978-475-9868) or sign up the vestry on 2/24 or 3/3. People are also welcome to decide to attend on the day of the event. During this Lenten season, the Hunger Banquet is a time for us to reflect on all we have. Please join us as we learn more about how we can follow Jesus’
teachings to serve the least among us.

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MLK Day of Service

Published on January 11, 2013, by in News & Events.

A Day of Service and Remembrance for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  January 19th, 2013

We hope you will be able to join us for a community service project on the Saturday before MLK Day.  The purpose of this project is first to improve the lives of members of our larger community.  Equally important, however, is the opportunity to work together in fellowship and to remind ourselves that we each have the capacity to make a difference.  We will gather between 9am and 9:15 at the First Congregational Church of Reading for a joint service of commissioning before heading out to various tasks.

Please review the tasks below to see how you can best participate.  Most tasks are open-ended in time and in the number of people that can be accommodated.  Timing of shifts is estimated; actual timing may depend upon volunteer sign-ups.   We are using a sign-up sheet to make sure each task is covered, but feel free to move on to another project once yours is completed.  You can also go to Emarc or Old South at 1:00pm to help finish up those projects.    

Participation by children in encouraged, but keep in mind younger skill sets and attention spans.  Also, we request that all children under 14 years of age sign up with an adult or the permission of the project leader.  We have attempted to provide opportunities for all ages and abilities.                                                                                                               

  1. Food Collection @ Stop & Shop for Reading Food Pantry – Leader: Betsy Schneider
    9:30 – 11:30
    11:30 – 1:00 (move donations to OS)
    OTHER: Dress warmly 2. Food Pantry @ Old South –Leader: Phyllis Maxwell
    9:30 – 11:30 (check and sort)
    1:00 to 2:30 or when done (check and put away donations) 3. Making Bagged Lunches and Cookies for Lazarus House @ FCCR kitchen – Leader: Hilary Kopp-Trismen
    9:30 – 11:30 or when done
    Donations requested:  Sandwich breads, fruit, and money to offset food perishables purchases.
    4. Curtains for EMARC @ FCCR Dining Hall– Leader: Cindy Crampe
    9:30 – 12:30 or when done
    BRING: Your portable sewing machine and sewing supplies (scissors, etc.)

    5. Hat-a-thon @ FCCR Dining Hall –Leader: Laurie Tucker
    9:30 – 12:30
    BRING: Crotchet hooks and knitting needles.  Patterns and some yarn will be available at the site.
    Donations of materials needed: Machine washable yarn in any color. Baby or other softer yarns are especially appreciated for premature babies. Any excess donations of yarn not used for Hat-a-thon will be donated to the Senior Center knitters who do all their knitting for charities.

    6. Linus Blankets @ FCCR Dining Hall –Leader: Lesley Kerr
    9:30 – 12:30
    BRING: Your own sewing scissors.  Patterns and some material will be available at the site.
    DONATIONS OF MATERIALS NEEDED: Fleece – one-yard or 1-1/2 yard pieces.

    7. Painting @ EMARC – Leader: Len Corey
    9:00 – 4:00 or when done
    Report directly to 321 Haven Street Reading. Work to begin at 9 a.m.
    Sign up for ½ Shift (9 -1 or 1-5), whole shift (9-5) or any other time slot you can work
    Bring: Your lunch, drinks, if you are staying the whole day. Tap water for drinking will be available. All painting tools and materials will be provided.
    OTHER: Dress in painting clothes. Please, no children younger than high school age. Previous painting experience preferred.


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Christmas Eve Services

Published on December 21, 2012, by in News & Events.

Nativity sceneCelebrate the birth of Christ at Old South UMC this year.  We are offering two services on Christmas Eve: a 5pm family service, and a 7pm traditional service of lessons and carols.  Both services are family friendly, with special music and the telling of the Christmas story. All are welcome.

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Angel Tree Gift Collection Update

Published on December 6, 2012, by in News & Events, Serve.

Thank you to everyone who has “adopted” an angel from the Angel Tree and is purchasing a toy and article of clothing for a needy child.  Reminder– the first round of Angel tree gifts are due back at church this Sunday, Dec 9th, so we can get them to the Cooper Community Center in time for their holiday party.  Please return these gifts wrapped with the angel (well) attached to the package.

For those of you who are still interested in getting a gift for a needy child, Old South has just “adopted” a seven-member family from Lawrence through Lazarus House’s Project Bethlehem. For each child in the family, Lazarus House asks us to get two articles of clothing and the main item on their wish list.  Any additional toys, books, puzzles are also greatly appreciated.  We hope to get clothing items for the parents and one wish list item for the household (they would like an electric can opener).  The Outreach Committee will be splitting up these gift requests to make it easier to incorporate this family in your holiday shopping but please feel free to take more than one Angel tag if you wish.  Look for the yellow and blue angels going on the tree this Sunday (12/9).  Three important notes about this gift collection:  
— Gifts need to be returned to church by Sunday, December 16 (if you won’t be at church that day, let Hilary Trismen know and a pick up can be arranged)
— The mother and girls in this family wear skirts only for religious reasons so please don’t buy pants. 
— Please return gifts wrapped in GIFT BAGS or UNWRAPPED as we need to provide a list of gifts to Lazarus House when we deliver them.  Be sure to attach the angel tag to the gift so we know who it is for.

Thank you for helping to make the holidays brighter for a disadvantaged child.  It’s wonderful that Old South can share its Christmas spirit!

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Outdoor Worship Celebration

Published on September 2, 2012, by in Worship.

We’re kicking off the new school year and the Reading Street Faire with an outdoor worship celebration.  Joining forces with the First Congregational Church of Reading, we will gather for worship outside Old South to be a visible and welcoming presence for all of Reading.  The service will include a backpack blessing for all students, joint music, and a fun, participatory sermon.  Bring the whole family (and their backpacks), invite the neighbors, and helps us share God’s love in community.  Dress casually so you can enjoy the street fair afterward.

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Free Brass & Organ Concert

Published on September 1, 2012, by in Connect.

The Old South UMC Organ and Brass will perform a FREE organ concert this coming Sept 9 at 3:30 p.m. at Old South UMC. The concert will feature pieces from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras, including music by Morley, Buxtehude, Telemann, Brahms, and Langlais, among others.

Old South UMC Brass and Organ is a dedicated, enthusiastic group of talented members and friends of Old South United Methodist Church who have come together through the sheer joy of playing brass and organ music composed for a small group. We enjoy playing an eclectic mixture of classical, sacred, secular, and jazz music with an emphasis on early music from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. We are now in our third full season performing together for special church services, church concerts, and community events such as the Reading Street Faire and the Town Tree Lighting.

Our members are: Henry Marcy, Jim Foltz (trumpets), Terry Rawlins (trombone), Alex Lachmayr (bass trombone), and Susan Holloway (organist and Music Director, Old South UMC).

Refreshments will be served after the performance. This concert is free and open to the public.  Old South United Methodist is handicapped accessible.

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New Small Group Study: A Disciple’s Path

Published on August 11, 2012, by in Grow, News & Events.

Have you ever had a sense that there ought to be more to being a Christian than just attending worship, making a pledge, and sitting on a committee?  If so, this study is for you.  Jesus calls us to discipleship, saying, “Follow me.”  But how do we do that?  A Disciple’s Path combines a uniquely Wesleyan understanding of our growth in God’s love and grace, with the time-tested spiritual practices that deepen a disciple’s relationship with God and others, ultimately leading to transformation in the world around us.

Our hope is that this would be a congregation-wide study, and we plan to offer three or four meeting times so as many people as possible can participate.  This will be a gateway into other small group offerings as we continue to grow as disciples in community with one another.

A Disciple’s Path will meet an hour a week for six weeks, and comes with a daily (5 days a week) workbook to help you practice the key concepts at home.  Sign up to let us know of your interest and availability, so we can find the best times for the most people.

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Save the Steeple!

Published on June 30, 2012, by in News & Events.

Reading’s most iconic structure, the steeple of Old South Church, is in danger of extinction.  An activist group consisting of concerned leaders from the church and the Reading community has banded together to raise much-needed funds in order to restore the steeple and preserve it for the future.  The group has formed the non-profit organization, “The Reading Steeple and Bell Tower Fund,” with the hopes of raising awareness to the need, and inspiring the Reading community to pitch in and save this beloved and historical landmark.  A new website features an image of the church with and without the steeple — indicating the potential future of the steeple without at least $130,000 in needed repairs.  The website also provides detailed information on the nature of the repairs, and the means to make a tax-deductible contribution directly online.  Visit the website at

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New Summer Play Group

Published on June 30, 2012, by in News & Events.

We have discovered a new use for Higgins Hall: a play group space.  Higgins hall, which is full of children’s toys from our preschool and after school program, is also ideal space because it stays cool on hot days and dry on rainy days.  We are slowly building a group of moms, grandmas, and children ages 16 months through 5 years old (there are no age or gender limits, but this is how we’re trending).  The play group is open to all people, regardless of whether or not you’ve even set foot on Old South’s property before.  We are excited to provide a safe and fun place where kids (and their parents) can get out of the house and work on social skills.  Who knows what this group will lead to?  Right now, we’re having a blast on Thursday mornings, from 10:30 to noon. 

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