The Big Turnaround of 2019, Part 1!

time for a turn!

time for a turn!

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be open to you.”

 —Matthew 7:7

Over the next several weeks, I’m going to be updating this blog to connect with our wider congregation about what’s been going on at Franklin Federated Church. Some folks saw an initial e-mail about our budget issues, and may not have attended any of our meetings. I’ll try to fill you in (from my perspective) and we can keep the conversation going when I see you again.


Do you want the good news or the bad news?

The good news is, God is good, Franklin Federated Church is well, and most of our folks are in good health.

The good news is, new folks are coming to Franklin Federated Church and adding their faith to ours.

The good news is, some changes are coming, to help us do what we do as a church more efficiently and to give us a better base of resources.

The good news is, many of your fellow congregants are stepping up to help with all these changes.

Over the last couple years, the treasurers of Franklin Federated Church have been watching a trend: our budgets are bigger than our resources. That is, we’ve been running deficits. Good, faithful people have been pledging, the money has been well used and not abused, but our ministry needs, including staff, missions and utilities, have outstripped our ability to pay for them.

For a couple of years, we got lucky, and cash was always on hand in one form or another to make up the shortfall…until last year. Then it hit, and we are now facing another year of shortfall. So the church council met, and did what anyone would do in such a situation: we panicked!

Well, some of us did. More good news about Franklin Federated Church is that even when things aren’t going perfectly, there are some seriously cool-under-pressure folks involved at many different levels, and together we managed to talk ourselves down and figure out a way forward. We wanted very much to inform the wider congregation about what was going on, so we sent out an email that was…a little incendiary. It basically said that one way to balance the budget would be cut all the staff salaries in half, and reduce the minister’s salary. If we hoped such a letter would inspire folks to give more, then we were disappointed, and that’s as it should be: fear doesn’t breed generosity, a wise person once told me.

But it sure got everyone’s attention! And folks responded, on e-mail, by the phone, and in visits with each other. We also had a record turn-out at the Annual Meeting on February 3rd, and that was great! The good news, though the meeting ran a little long (over three hours!) people were engaged, charitable and kind to one another.  

And we found a way forward.

The good news? We know what we need to do, and we’re figuring out who’s doing it. The only bad news? You’ll have to read my next post to find out more! Thanks for reading, I’ll update this soon.

In Christ,

Pastor Charley Eastman

Special Thanks to AHOPE for a Great Message and Q&A January 13th

Drs. Umer Akbar and Mayss Bajbouj-Kinjawi were in worship on January 13th for an informative presentation about the work of AHOPE (Americans Helping Others ProsEr) in refugee resettlement in Rhode Island. We learned about the spiritual connections for folks of Islamic faith to charitable work, and we had a chance to reflect on our own reasons for reaching out, including the injunctions in Matthew 25. After worship, they led a Question and Answer time for congregants who wanted to learn more.

In the recent disagreements about immigration, refugees have gotten shuffled into the mix in sometimes misleading ways. To receive refugee status, folks go through a lot. They have two years of evaluation and verification, and once they are granted that special status, they have often exhausted a lot of valuable resources. You can learn more about the process here. Luckily, at the end, there’s AHOPE! AHOPE works to connect people to communities and to living spaces. It provides mentoring services to folks who need them. They even manage to pair family members with appropriate gender and age matched volunteers to help them get up to speed in their new country.

Refugees are not terrorists. They are often fleeing terror in their own countries. They need a great deal of help to get on the road to safety and prosperity, but once they do, they often contribute greatly to the communities they join. Many churches in the 1970s and 1980s remember receiving refugee families from different war-torn countries in Asia, so there’s historical precedent for folks lending a helping hand. A freewill offering was taken after Dr. Akbar spoke, and I’m grateful the FFC Compassion Ministry set up this important opportunity. Several members of Franklin Federated expressed an interest in helping out. I’m grateful we supported them, and I’m grateful the congregation was exposed to this special message.

Pastor Charley Eastman

The Annual Christmas Bell Concert


Franklin Federated Church is thankful for all the businesses and individuals who so generously sponsored our Christmas concert.

Platinum Sponsors

Bob and Chris Brown

Franklin School for the Performing Arts
38 Main Street
Franklin, MA 02038

Marilyn Sutcliffe 

Pat’s Automotive Service
843 Upper Union Street
Franklin, MA 02038

Steven Kinson

Silver Sponsors

Ginley Funeral Home
131 Main Street
Franklin, MA 02038

Brass Sponsors

Deborah Bergstrom Professional Billing Services
Four-Bruno Drive
Milford, MA 01757

The Rome Restaurant
4 East. Central Street
Franklin, MA 02038


2018 Handbell Concert with The New England Ringers


The Franklin Federated Church welcomes back The New England Ringers for our annual handbell Christmas Concert on Saturday, November 24, 2018.

"A Few of Your Favorite Things" starts at 7:30pm and tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling the church office at 508-528-3803.

Sponsorships are available and more information can be found on the event flyer you can download here.

Annual Rummage Sale on October 13


Franklin Federated Church will hold its annual rummage sale on October 13, from 9am-2pm.

Donations are being accepted now through October 6th.

The sale is widely anticipated by the community every year with strong attendance and provides a great boost to the church's fundraising efforts. The rummage sale helps to support the works of the church. Shoppers will find great deals on books, toys, clothes (adult and children’s), household items, jewelry, electronics, sporting goods, antiques, small furniture items, and holiday décor. The items that aren’t sold will be donated to charity.

Church Directory: Don't Be Left Out

It’s time to create a new Church Directory.  We invite everyone to participate.  Unlike books in the past, everyone who participates will get updated Community Connect Book as new members decide to be included.  This book will also be available as a mobile directory for the families to connect on-the-go.


It’s Simple! 

  • Schedule a Photography Session
  • Choose which picture you want in the directory
  • Receive a Free 8X10 photo of your chosen directory picture
  • And as a bonus, if you want to purchase more photos, get a 20% discount

How to Schedule a Sitting Time:

  • Click here to sign up
  • Or on Sundays (4/8, 4/15 and 4/22) there will be someone to help you sign up ½ hr. before Church Service and ½ hr. after
  • If you still need help signing up, contact Donna Goulet (508) 528-2158.  Leave a message with your phone number if no one answers the phone.

Sitting Dates and Times:

Photography sessions will be in the Church dining room.

  • Wednesday, 4/25 – 2p.m. to 9p.m.
  • Thursday, 4/26 – 11a.m. to 6p.m.
  • Friday, 4/27 – 2p.m. to 9p.m.

If a Ride is Needed for Your Photography Session, contact Bob Miller (508) 559-9085 and he will arrange a ride.

Any questions, feel free to contact Donna Goulet (508) 528-2158 or email dgoulet at


Holy Week Services

Join us for our Holy Week Services as we move from the crucible of Lent into the joy of the Empty Tomb! 

Thursday, March 29th is our Maundy Thursday Service. It begins with a Soup and Bread Supper in the Dining Room, then we clear away the plates and hear the choir. Communion is served and then we enter into the practice of Tenebrae, the reading of scripture and extinguishing of candles. By the end of the service we will be in complete darkness and we will leave in silence to mark the death of the physical body of Jesus. 

Sunday, April 1st we'll start with our 6:30 am Easter Sunrise Service at Camp Haiastan, 722 Summer Street in Franklin. Follow the long driveway down to the parking area on the left and then walk the last bit to the waterfront. This service is presented in conjunction with the Franklin United Methodist Church. 

Also Sunday April 1st we'll have Easter Sunday Worship at 10:00 am in the FFC Sanctuary. Bring a friend or family member to spend time with us on the Holiest Day of the Year as we celebrate Easter and the risen Christ. Please remember to take any flowers you ordered to brighten the sanctuary when the service is over. 

The Annual Christmas Bell Concert


Thanks to all who joined us at our annual Bell Concert featuring the New England Ringers. We rang in the Advent Season with great music, great support from our community, and plenty of holiday cheer!

Thank you to all of our generous sponsors for making our 2017Christmas concert a wonderful success!

Platinum Sponsors

Lyn A. Pickhover, Esquire
Post Office Box 291
Mansfield, MA 02048-0292

Marilyn Sutcliffe

The Matlet Group
60 Delta Drive
Pawtucket, RI 02860

Steven Kinson

Gold Sponsors

Bob and Chris Brown

Herbert F. Hunter, P.C.
Accounting, Auditing & Tax Services
9 Summer Street-Suite 305
Franklin, MA

Silver Sponsors

Acorn Animal Hospital
20 Earl’s Way
Franklin, MA 02038

Arthur Home Improvement
Franklin, MA
(508) 528-4424

Deborah Bergstrom Professional Billing Services
Four-Bruno Drive
Milford, MA 01757

Ginley Funeral Home
131 Main Street
Franklin, MA 02038

Shanna McKelvie

Brass Sponsors

Dave and Jane Sveden


2017 Christmas Handbell Concert with The New England Ringers

The Franklin Federated Church welcomes back The New England Ringers for our annual handbell Christmas Concert on Saturday, November 25, 2017.

"Christmas with All the Bells and Whistles" starts at 7:30pm and tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling the church office at 508-528-3803.

Click here to download the flyer.

Find out more about the New England Ringers here:

Christ Has Risen - He Has Risen Indeed!

Franklin Federated Church celebrated the rising of Christ with two special services. 

Easter Sunrise Service

Members of the church attended an ecumenical sunrise service at Camp Haiastan in Franklin. 


Easter Service

The Easter service started with a decorated cross entering the sanctuary and ended with a Hallelujah Chorus. 

Church members added flowers to  the cross that would be carried into the sanctuary during the service

Church members added flowers to  the cross that would be carried into the sanctuary during the service

Lilys and Daffodils decorated the sanctuary

Lilys and Daffodils decorated the sanctuary

Holy Week at FFC

Passion Sunday

Sunday April 9 at 10 a.m.

The day will be marked by the singing of hosannas to mark Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

As the service unfolds, it will transition toward the somberness of what is to occur in the week ahead - Jesus’ betrayal, trial, and crucifixion.

Maundy Thursday

April 13 at 6:30 p.m.

We will gather at 6:30 p.m. for a Tenebrae Service and a simple meal of soup and bread in the dining room.

All are welcome and no reservations are needed for supper.

The meal will be followed by a worship service in the sanctuary and the serving of Communion to commemorate Jesus’s ast meal with his Disciples.

Easter Sunday Services - Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Sunrise Service at 6:30 a.m.

Franklin Federated will join the First United Methodist Church of Franklin for an ecumenical Easter sunrise service at Camp Haiastan at 722 Summer Street.

Traditional Easter Service at 10:00 a.m.

We will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ with flowers, hymns and praise in our sanctuary! This beautiful tradition hearkens our spirits to the promise of new life.  

“Christ the Lord is Risen Today” - He is risen indeed!


FFC Celebrates CWS Blankets and Tools Sunday

February 12th is Church World Service Blanket and Tool Sunday. Franklin Federated Church will be taking a special offering to support this amazing mission project that provides blankets and tools across the United States and the world.

From Church World Service:

Help people around the world recover from disasters and get a fresh start.
Someone like Karen, a senior citizen in Michigan whose home was ooded in 2014. Or Nerline, a mother of four in Haiti, who lived in a tent for several years after the 2010 earthquake destroyed her house.
When you partner with us, through the CWS Blankets program, you are helping our neighbors in need recover from disaster, giving them hope and the tools they need for lasting change.
You are providing necessities and cleanup supplies to Karen and others impact- ed by stateside disasters, working with the community to rebuild their lives. You are coming alongside Nerline and others in Haiti, to construct a new home and accompany them on the long road to recovery.
You also make it possible to be prepared for whatever may come in the future so we are ready to act. Join us.

UCC's Trading Places Campaign

The United Church of Christ (UCC) is a distinct and diverse community of Christians that come together as one church to join faith and action. With over 5,000 churches and nearly one million members across the U.S., the UCC serves God in building a just world for all.
Since 1957, the United Church of Christ has been the church of firsts–the first to ordain a woman, the first to ordain an openly gay man, and the first Christian church to affirm the right of same-gender couples to marry. We were in the forefront of the anti-slavery movement and the Civil Rights movement.

We believe in a God that is still speaking, a God that is all-loving and inclusive. We are a church that welcomes and accepts everyone as they are, where your mind is nourished as much as your soul. No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you’re welcome here

Read more about the UCC's Trading Places campaign here