Christmas in Cotuit

Our beautiful seaside village hosts a Christmas Festival every year on the first Saturday in December called Christmas in Cotuit.

Some of the many events include hay rides with beautiful horses; free chili at the Fire Station; special events for kids at the Cotuit Library and the Cahoon Museum; sales at the Historical Society; wine tasting at the Cotuit Fresh Market and a Craft Sale extravaganza at Freedom Hall.

At Cotuit Federated Church, we hosts both a Theme Basket sale (e.g. chocolate lover’s basket; gardener basket; baby shower basket) and a Small Art Works sale featuring paintings and photography by such talented artisans as Alison McMurry, Carol-Jean Barnaby O’Toole, Dan Hart, our Wednesday Artists, and many others.

Christmas in Cotuit wraps up with Santa arriving by boat to the Town Dock, walking up to the Village Green for a blessing by the Rev. Angela Menke Ballou and the lighting of the Christmas Tree, and then racing up to our community hall for cookies, hot apple cider, and Christmas carols sung by the fabulous Cotuit Federated Church choir.

All in all, this is a beautiful, joy-filled community event!

Newcomers and New Members

Annually, a series of classes is offered for people who are new to the church and for people who may be long-time attenders and want to explore a more formal membership in the church.

“All persons desiring to be disciples of Jesus Christ and to grow in the Christian faith are invited to seek full membership in the Cotuit Federated Church.  By joining the Church, as disciples of Jesus, we promise to participate in the life and mission of this family of God’s people, to share regularly in the worship of God, to grow in prayer and study together, to support God’s work in this place through giving and serving as we are changed and emboldened to improve our world.  As ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, members are invited to join either the United Church of Christ or the United Methodist Church. Seasonal residents are invited to join as Associate Members with full voting rights on all issues except those relating to denominational matters.”

~Cotuit Federated Church Bylaws.

Governance and Equipping

Our governing document opens with these words: These bylaws first and foremost further God’s mission and vision for the Cotuit Federated Church.  If at any time, the congregation prayerfully discerns that the mission is serving the bylaws instead of the bylaws serving the mission, the congregation should rewrite them to ensure that God’s mission and vision will always come first.  

The ways that we are organized are to serve the purpose of worshiping and serving God, and we are open to adapting the way that we are structured in order to allow the Spirit to guide us in most effectively doing this work.

Our chosen form of governance is an Equipping model, which recognizes that all of our members have God-given gifts and a call to use these gifts to serve God, which in turn strengthens our church, local community and world. Our heart-and-spirit based governance works from the bottom up;  people are the core of a flexible, equipping structure that listens, changes, and thrives.  Bylaws adapt to people rather than people adapting to bylaws. The more we encourage each other and our spiritual gifts, the more our church spiritually grows.  

Teams and Ministries

Our church structure includes seven primary teams: Administration, Deacons, Equipping Ministry & Growth, Pastor-Parish, Mission, Stewardship, and Worship Teams.  These teams facilitate the holy work of being church from planning vibrant, relevant worship and serving communion to ensuring that our lights stay on and the facility is well-maintained.  We use our diverse God-given gifts and talents to serve the church as a whole, so that we might be the body of Christ in the world.

In addition to our formal teams, we have an abundance of ministries that spring forth from our sense of call to serve God and others.  From pithy messages on our church sign to liturgical dancing during worship… from Vacation Bible School with our children to our monthly service with elders at a local nursing home… from arranging flowers on the altar to participating in the formation of seminarians who will be future church leaders… from ministries that are long standing to the call of God that is forming anew in your life you will be invited to uncover your gifts and sense of call, in order to find meaningful ways to use your gifts in our church and beyond.

Our Covenant for Working Together

We covenant to love one another, assuming the best of one another.

We covenant to remember that each of us is created in God’s image.

We covenant to appreciate our diversity as part of God’s beauty.

We covenant to speak honestly and kindly to one another.

We covenant to communicate directly to each other using the first person and to repeat what we hear in order to confirm that we have understood correctly and ask others to do the same.

We covenant to respect differences of opinion with one another. We do not feel that these differences are unimportant, or that they should be ignored or treated as if they did not matter.

We covenant to value listening to one another and understanding one another with open hearts and gentle minds.

We covenant to affirm the merit in another person’s idea before we note its weaknesses.

We covenant to be courageous and bold in our efforts to walk in the way of Jesus.

We covenant to accept that we will sometimes have differences of opinion about Scripture and that will likely be more upsetting to us than to God.

We understand that covenanting is a process and that we will at times fall short of our ideals and need to practice making amends and asking forgiveness.

We covenant to love one another, assuming the best of one another.

portions adapted from:  https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/courageous-conversations-principles-for-bible-study