April 2014 Crossroads – a changing of the guard

Holy Week at BPC:
Passion/Palm Sunday, April 13
Remembering Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem to confront the power of sin and death.
10:30 a.m. Worship

In keeping with tradition, there will be a palm procession, special music, and the dedication of our One Great Hour of Sharing offering. Youth will be confirmed. Children will share in a special activity.

Maundy Thursday, April 17
Remembering the Last Supper
“Maundy Thursday” gets its name from Jesus’ “new commandment” (mandatum in Latin) to love one another as He has loved us.

6:30 p.m.
Family teaching supper about communion. Gathering for all families with conversation about the sacrament.
Then they may remain for:

7:30 p.m.
A brief service with celebration of the Lord’s Supper— on the night we remember Jesus’ last meal with his disciples.
Communion is served around the communion table.

Good Friday, April 18
The Day of Jesus’ Crucifixion
It is “good” Friday because, despite appearances, it is God’s Friday.

7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
A vigil of prayer, readings, and extinguishing of candles in the darkened sanctuary, as we reflect on the meaning of Jesus’ crucifixion, of our lives, and our world.

Easter Sunday, April 20
The Day of Resurrection
9:00 a.m.

With cries of “He is risen!” we greet one another at our annual Easter Breakfast.
Coordinated by Mark and Cheryl Wells.

10:30 a.m. ALLELUIA!
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

Worship will celebrate the heart of the Good News, with jubilant music. This is the love that overcomes death!
No Sunday School. Worship will be for the whole family. There will be child care for infants and toddlers only.

Gather with BPC friends as we celebrate Rod’s retirement!

April 26 and 27 is Rod and Cathy’s last weekend with us and the dates give us all some opportunities to be together as a congregation and celebrate their years with us.

First, on Saturday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m., plan to come for an International Dinner (Rod’s request) in Fellowship Hall, followed by participatory entertainment with LOTS of music. Everyone in the church family is welcome to come to the dinner and festivities including children, although there will be no childcare provided. Watch for a signup sheet to be posted in Fellowship Hall on Sunday, March 23 and plan to indicate what you will bring for the dinner, and whether you can help with set up or clean up. Vida Pipim and Jane McIninch are coordinating this event and look forward to having everyone sign up to come and bring something special.

Second, on Sunday, April 27 plan to be in church for a special worship service at 10:30 a.m. followed by a greatly expanded coffee hour for Rod and Cathy’s last Sunday with us. Brenda and Adam Flynn are hosts for this coffee hour and there will be a signup sheet for you to indicate how you can help the Flynns and what goodies you will bring.

A Few Closing Thoughts: Love and Boundaries with a Former Pastor

Our denomination and presbytery have some clear and practical things to say about how things change when a pastor leaves a church. It might be summed up by saying that love remains, but relationships change. Included in this is the understanding that the departing pastor will not be coming back to do weddings, funerals, baptisms, etc. unless there are extenuating circumstances, and ONLY by invitation of the current pastor or session moderator. Members may stay in touch with me as friends, but not to seek pastoral counsel or input about things at the church.
Of course, I still love you! But it is vitally important that the church family understand that I am no longer pastor after April 30, and open your minds and hearts to changes and eventually to a new pastor. BPC is a strong community, and as your liaison from presbytery’s Committee on Ministry, Jill Auger, says, “You’re going to be fine!”

Rod

One Great Hour of Sharing 2014
The theme for this year’s OGHS offering is that Faith Endures. The guiding passage comes from Romans 5:5. Paul is talking to the early church about being justified by faith and notes that we can achieve grace through our Lord, Jesus Christ. He tells the Romans, and us, that “Hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts.” When we give to One Great Hour of Sharing, we assist in the empowerment of others as they move past physical, emotional and spiritual misfortune. Our gifts and our help give hope.

Last year our congregation gave $2,103 to OGHS. As a challenge for this year, our goal is 5% more, or $2,200.
Every dollar helps. The resources provided though the One Great Hour of Sharing offering bring relief and hope to all corners of the world including here in the United States. Need is increasing. Both within the United States and throughout the world, the gap between those who have enough and those who don’t continues to widen. The pinch many Americans feel is amplified many times over for those around the world who live on the equivalent of $2/day.

The blessings of giving have not changed. When we recognize the God-given worth of each person around the globe without regard to race, religion, or nationality, we know we have God’s blessing and approval to help. The monies are distributed pretty much equally between the Presbyterian Hunger Program, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, and Self Development of People. As a result of our gifts and the gifts of other congregation, OGHS will bring hope and faith to the recipients and to us. Through the simple act of sharing, we are blessed and will experience God’s grace in surprising ways.

Envelopes will be in the pews in early April and the official offering will be collected on Palm Sunday. You can send in a gift at any time, however, marked OGHS. Thank you for your longtime support of this gift to others, as together we find that Hope does not disappoint us and Faith Endures.

A Teaching Supper about Communion:
Maundy Thursday, April 17, 6:30

The Christian Education Committee and Rod will again offer this opportunity for families with young children. There will be pizza and salad, and learning activities about the meaning and practice of the Lord’s Supper in our church. This annual event is planned primarily with elementary-age children in mind, but is open to families with children of all ages. All who come are welcome (but not obligated) to stay for the church’s Maundy Thursday communion service – which is typically briefer than most services, and is one of the times when we gather around the communion table for the sacrament.

The Presbyterian Church (USA) Book of Order states “Baptized children who are being nurtured and instructed in the significance of the invitation to the Table and the meaning of their response are invited to receive the Lord’s Supper, recognizing that their understanding of participation will vary according to their maturity.”

There will be a sign-up during coffee hour for interested families or you may call or email the church.

Sunday, May 4 is coming soon!
If you’re wondering why that’s significant, it’s the 46th annual Walk for Hunger.

What is this?
The Walk for Hunger is the major fundraiser for Project Bread,
an organization that is dedicated to eradicating hunger. The walk takes place in Boston, starting and ending at the Boston Common. The entire walk is 20 miles, but many people walk just part of it and take a bus back to the Common.

What’s the connection to BPC?
Project Bread supports our local food pantry and more than 430 other community food programs. For many years now, our church has sent a team of walkers and volunteers and raised thousands of dollars.

How can I get involved?
If you would like to walk with this year’s team, contact Linda Roscoe, the team captain.
All are welcome, young and older, whether you walk 1 mile or all 20.
Volunteers are needed at registration and checkpoints. Make a pledge to one of our walkers or to the whole team. We’ll have a team pledge sheet posted.

How can I get more information?
There will pledge/registration sheets on a table in the narthex.
Much more information is available online at http://www.projectbread.org

Dine for a cause
Saturday April 12 at 6:30pm at the Morrison’s Residence in Bedford at 19 Fox Run Rd

Whether you join us for walking or not, please join us for dinner to raise money to fight hunger in the greater Boston area.

Donations will be accepted for Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger. Please make checks out to Project Bread.

Please RSVP to Sally Morrison at sallymorrison19@gmail.com. Even if you cannot make it to dinner, but still would like to contribute please mail checks to Sally.

Coffee with Rod (one more left!)

As you all know, our pastor is retiring as of April 30. He would like to visit and talk to each one of us individually, but that is not practical. We have devised a plan so that all who wish to will have a chance to have coffee/tea with Rod. You will find sign-up sheets in the usual place in fellowship hall, or you can call the office

Coffee with the Pastor
Thursday, April 3, 1:30-2:30 PM

(Those who would prefer to meet with Rod individually before his departure should also feel welcome to contact him at the church.)

Local Egg-onomics
by Alex Haney

We will have local Pasture-raised meats and eggs in Burlington this year!
I’ve spent the winter looking for egg farms that could bring their eggs to the church on Mondays for delivery with Farmer Dave’s fruits and vegetables, and I’ve learned some very interesting Egg-onomics. Industrial scale farms with chicken houses can afford to sell eggs at the grocery store for $2-$3 a dozen because they cram hundreds of chickens into small spaces and give them conventionally grown feed. The high density of chickens increases possibility of diseases, anti-biotic use, and a crowded life for the chicken, but allows the farms to maximize yield in quantity, but it does sacrifice on the quality of life for the birds, and the quality of the eggs.

There are hundreds of local farms that are raising their own hens in a better way for eggs, just ask Barbara and Steve Karanja. Most of these farms raise only a handful of chickens and could not supply enough to Farmer Dave’s members. Most local egg farms also raise their hens in open pasture which allows them to have the option of eating insects and whatever they can find in the grass with the option of feed. This lowers the yield and makes the local eggs more expensive. It also adds variety to the diet which makes more variation in the egg color. Local farms are more likely to have rarer hen breeds as well, also adding variety to egg color and taste. If the local farm wants to have organic eggs they must pay twice as much for the organic feed also adding to the egg price. The cheapest local eggs are $4 a dozen using houses similar to the large scale industrial model, pasture raised and organic can put the price up to $6 or $7, easily and the farmers usually cut down their profit margin, and sometimes sell it barely above cost because nobody wants to pay $7 a dozen.

The best thing about local eggs is that they can be purchased directly from the farm so all the money goes to the farmer. In the grocery store, the store, the truck driver, and everyone along the chain gets only a share of the profit. So even less goes to the farmer to make improvements in the growing practices. It’s an egg-onomic model focused on cheaper eggs for more sales. The dollar takes priority over the quality and external inputs to the product.

Farmer Dave’s doesn’t sell eggs because they haven’t found an egg-onomical way to raise chickens without an industrial style chicken house model and after purchasing them from another farm and then re-selling them they become too egg-spensive. The egg CSA really can’t pay for itself, so most farms just sell to their neighbors, or sell at the market, but some farms offer it as an addition to their fruit and vegetables share or their meat share CSA members. Both of these rely on the profitability of the other food to essentially pay for the eggs.

Along with Farmer Dave’s CSA, this summer we’re hoping to offer an Egg share from Clark Farm in Carlisle and a Meat and Egg Share from Lilac Hedge Farm. Both will deliver to the church in Burlington if enough people sign up. We need 24 egg shares and 5 meat shares for this to work so help us out and buy your local food today!

Clark Farm in Carlisle offers egg shares to their existing CSA members for farm pick up, but with enough interest, they will deliver their egg shares to Burlington! You don’t have to be their CSA member, or a Farmer Dave’s member to buy the eggs! Purchase up front and get a WEEKLY delivery of eggs by the 6-pack or by the dozen for 24 weeks. ($78 for weekly 6-pack $144 for weekly dozen). They will only deliver to the church on Mondays if they can sell 48 six pack shares (or 24 full dozen shares). They will only deliver if we get enough members so see brochures in the back of the church or contact Alex alex@bostonfaithjustice.org to sign up today! More info on Clark Farm at http://www.clarkfarmcarlisle.com/.

Lilac Hedge Farm offers a 6 month meat CSA share. MONTHLY deliveries include your choice size of a variety of pasture-raised, antibiotic-free beef, pork, lamb and poultry cuts. The amount of each cut will depend on what was processed during that month. They try their best to include your typical everyday cuts as well as higher end cuts. They offer lamb and pork free shares. Local Pasture-raised Eggs are $5.00 per dozen with purchase of meat share. The monthly meat options are
10lbs-‐$528.00($8.80/lb.)
15lbs-‐$768.00($8.53/lb.)
20lbs-‐$990.00($8.25/lb.)
25lbs-‐$1225.00($8.16/lb.)
Sign up at http://www.lilachedgefarm.com and select Burlington in the location choice on the form. They will only deliver here if we get 5 people to sign up, so sign up today.

Also don’t forget to sign up for Farmer Dave’s vegetable share and/or fruit share this summer. See pamphlets in the back of the church, visit http://www.farmerdaves.net or contact Alex with questions.

A Plea to all Sunday School Teachers and Assistants Past & Present
If you have any Sunday school curriculum that you will no longer use, please bring it to the office by April 27. Bart and Priscilla Kelso will be here on that day. They are collecting whatever educational type items they can to ship to the Philippines.
Thank you!!!!

March 2014 Crossroads

Interim Search Committee formed

The Session has appointed a committee of 5 persons who will seek a minister to serve in an interim capacity. Ken Dewar, Niloo Hennings, James McIninch, Brad Morrison and Linda Roscoe have agreed to form the committee. Brad will serve as convener, at least initially. The committee will work closely with Presbytery’s Committee on Ministry in finding a minister trained in interim work, to begin at some time following Rod’s retirement (April 30) and serve until a new pastor is called.

Part way through the interim period a pastor nominating committee (PNC) will be elected by the congregation to do the work of finding a candidate for the church’s next installed pastor. The interim period typically lasts 1.5-2 years.

Congratulations… Angela Wantate has been chosen to represent the Boston Presbytery in Detroit during General Assembly in the role of Young Adult Advisory Delegate. This will take place in June. This is an exciting opportunity for her. Wish her well when you see her.

Mark Vogel has been appointed chair of the Committee on Preparation of Ministry by Boston Presbytery. It is a wonderful opportunity for him to share his knowledge with a greater audience.

Coffee with Rod

As you all know, our pastor is retiring as of April 30. He would like to visit and talk to each one of us individually, but that is not practical. We have devised a plan so that all who wish to will have a chance to have coffee/tea with Rod. We envision small group gatherings for sharing memories, hopes for the future, and maybe prayers together. We have set up a schedule of days and times to choose from. You will find sign-up sheets in the usual place in fellowship hall, or you can call the office to let the secretary know which of these times you would like to meet with Rod.

Coffee with the Pastor
Wednesday, March 19, 7-8 PM
Saturday, March 29, 3-4 PM
Thursday, April 3, 1:30-2:30 PM

(Those who would prefer to meet with Rod individually before his departure should also feel welcome to contact him at the church.)

Deacon’s Corner
The deacon’s held their first meeting a little late because of being snowed out on our original date. New assignments were distributed. Once again, we ask you to give generously to the food pantry on the first Sunday of each month. The winter is a difficult time of year for many families.

Thank you all for the rides for George. He appreciates it and so do we.

Friday Night at the Movies!
Friday, March 14, 7:00 pm
Feature Presentation to be announced

Free! Bring friends! Popcorn!

The Hospitality Committee

YES, of course there is a party being planned to celebrate our years at the Presbyterian Church in Burlington with our beloved pastor, Rod MacDonald.

Planning is just in the initial phase, but the evening of Saturday, April 26th can be marked on your calendar.
The event coordinators are Vida Pipim and Jane McIninch. See them for more information.

There will also be a special coffee hour after Rod’s last service with us on April 27th.

Winter Retreat Recap

On February 1st, eighteen good folks experienced a refreshing retreat about Seeking Simplicity. Sixteen folks were from BPC and two were friends of the church from Burlington and North Andover. The morning was spent in worship, praise, and in finding ways to simplify our lives. After small group discussions about what simplicity could look like, groups decided to tackle three themes in more depth: (1) Simplifying their minds and lifestyles, especially from the complexities and distractions of technology; (2) de-cluttering and simplifying homes and possessions; and (3) focusing and discerning priorities. Vigorous discussions ensued and some strategies and solutions were formed and then shared with the whole group.

Some of the solutions we came up with simplifying lifestyles in the complexities of today’s world and technology were defining your priorities, being able to articulate and communicate them, and stick with them. Be comfortable asking for help, it’s OK to let some projects/tasks fail, and never lose your “inner river otter” (always have fun and find enjoyment in life). Solutions for de-cluttering our physical lives were to schedule a time as a family to go through stuff and get rid of it, use the time to tell stories on why items are important to each family member, and learn about each other’s attachments as you clean up. You don’t have to say yes all the time. Ask yourself why you’d say yes to something? Think about what you are doing and determine why it is important. O.H.I.O. = Only Handle It Once (complete a task as you think of it and don’t set it aside for later). flyady.net is a helpful on-line resource. Find affirmation when you do something good. Solutions for discerning priorities and de-cluttering minds were to find out what you are drawn to, align your needs with others, trade certain times and spaces for personal Sabbath and keep your mind at rest at these times. Hopefully these can be starting points for others thinking about simplicity.

After a delicious pot luck lunch, the first part of the afternoon was enlivened with a class in making pesto, a class in Qigong, spiritual reflection, and “doodling” and conversation. This was followed by a presentation from our YAV Alex Haney about the Boston Faith and Justice Network’s take on simplicity as a tool for discipleship. Groups considered how we can respond to Jesus ‘call to care for the hungry and oppressed by taking stock of our basic needs and finding ways to share with others while simplifying our own lives. Participants also discussed the influences on how we think about money and how we think about our resources. The day closed with worship and the delightful haunting notes of “Simple Gifts” as played on a recorder. It was a lovely day for those who attended.

Legends of the Celtic Harp with Patrick Ball, Lisa Lynne & Aryeh Frankfurter at BPC
Sunday March 23, 3:00 pm
Admission: $15.00

LEGENDS OF THE CELTIC HARP – with Patrick Ball, Lisa Lynne & Aryeh Frankfurter
Three of the premier Celtic harpers in the world, Patrick Ball, Lisa Lynne and Aryeh Frankfurter have created a dramatic ensemble that takes you deep into the myths, magic and fabled history of this most captivating instrument. You will hear three harps, Swedish Nyckelharpa, Cittern, Irish Bouzouki and more. History, humor and heartwarming stories are woven together with enchanting music both ancient and new. http://www.LegendsOfTheCelticHarp.com

Spring is in the Air

If spring is coming that means it is time for Farmer Dave to return. The spring shares will be starting March 3, 2014. Pick-up time for spring are 4-6:30 pm. If you have not signed up yet, hurry! You don’t want to miss out on the tender baby vegetables that will soon be here. It’s not too late. For more information, see Jane or Alex.

YAV Report from Alex Haney
Manna Monday
President’s Day 2014 at the church was very exciting for 7 of our youth and their parents. With a visit from my friend Ezekiel we heard a first-hand account of God giving Moses’ people what he called “Bread from Heaven” and what they called manna which is translated “What is it?” There are two biblical accounts of manna given to the Israelites in the desert: Exodus 16 and Numbers 11. The Israelites in their hunger and impatience lost faith in God and wanted to go back to Egypt, where even though they were slaves, they had plenty to eat. God gives them plenty of manna to keep them going. Enough each day so they wouldn’t need extra. Every morning there was more food so they didn’t need to store it or hoard it away for later. There was always enough. (Except for the Sabbath when there was none, but they were allowed to save up for that on the sixth day only).

The story was echoed by a Rod MacDonald original song about Manna, followed by a Burlington original Bible and botany lesson. We learned about the versatility of manna, how it was a wafer-like substance, similar to coriander seed, and scattered on the ground like frost. The Israelites could eat it plain or smash it into powder with a mortar to make cakes that tasted like a wafer cooked in oil or dipped in honey. It was a versatile substance with several end uses much like flour is for us today. We use flour for bread, taco shells, doughnuts, cakes, pancakes, noodles, biscuits; the list goes on.

After some very fun food related games, the kids journeyed through the process of sorting out the wheat grains from other things, and pounding it into flour with a mortar like the Israelites did with the manna. We also made pasta from scratch with just flour, eggs, salt, water, and lots of love and care of everyone’s hands. Some of the longest noodles I’ve ever seen were made right here in our church! It made a tasty snack for us, but was kind of bland without any pasta sauce. I guess that’s ok because Moses’ people never got any tomato sauce from God with their manna (at least none I’m aware of) and it got them through the desert to the Promised Land!

Mark your calendars for the next Manna Monday on April 21, Patriots Day! While the church is celebrating new life in the season of Easter and Massachusetts celebrates our historic birth as a new nation we will discover biblical themes on seeds, sprouting, and new life together with other kitchen-crafting activities. More information to come. Just let me know if you or your kids want to get involved. (alex@bostonfaithjustice.org) Many thanks to Sally, Beth, Jane, James, Amy, Barbara, Steve, Rod, Kim, Millie, and everyone who let us borrow your stuff and your kids to make “manna.” I really enjoyed it!

February 2014 Crossroads

Legends of the Celtic Harp with Patrick Ball, Lisa Lynne & Aryeh Frankfurter at BPC
Sunday March 23, 3:00 pm
Admission: $15.00

LEGENDS OF THE CELTIC HARP – with Patrick Ball, Lisa Lynne & Aryeh Frankfurter
Three of the premier Celtic harpers in the world, Patrick Ball, Lisa Lynne and Aryeh Frankfurter have created a dramatic ensemble that takes you deep into the myths, magic and fabled history of this most captivating instrument. You will hear three harps, Swedish Nyckelharpa, Cittern, Irish Bouzouki and more. History, humor and heartwarming stories are woven together with enchanting music both ancient and new. http://www.LegendsOfTheCelticHarp.com

Lazarus at the Gate: An economic discipleship study
Are you interested in learning what the Bible says about our gifts of wealth, and learning practical ways to more effectively serve our neighbors and fight poverty?

This year, The Presbyterian Church in Burlington is exploring these ideas with the Boston Faith and Justice Network (BFJN), a gathering of Christians from many different traditions sharing a common concern to love our neighbors through economic discipleship: following Jesus with our money.

The church will be exploring this idea of economic discipleship with BFJN’s Lazarus at the Gate Bible Study during Lent. This 8-session curriculum will take place following worship each Sunday from February 9 – April 6 (no workshop on Feb 16-holiday weekend). Each session will include a light lunch (soup and salad) and last about 1 ½ hours. It is best if participants commit to the entire course.

Lazarus at the Gate allows small groups to explore economic discipleship by studying biblical themes on wealth and poverty; sharing personal budgets; making changes, small and large, to live more simply and spend more justly. The program ends with participants contributing to a group gift to fight poverty in the name of Christ. The Lazarus program helps groups make four commitments:

  • Spend joyfully Regularly give thanks for the blessing of what we have
  • Spend justly Make one lifestyle change to consume more justly
  • Spend less Make one lifestyle change to spend less for ourselves
  • Give more Make a gift to fight poverty

    Our group will be challenged to make personal changes to spending choices to save money and with the savings, give more effectively toward a few charities of the group’s choosing.

    Just as an example, six members of the Lazarus at the Gate study group at Cornerstone Church of Boston recently donated over $19,000 to sponsor children in the Congo through Covenant Kids Congo, a partner of World Vision! Only six people! You can read about that here: http://blogs.covchurch.org/covenantkidscongo/cornerstone-called-to-restoration-work/. Stories of other groups that have gone through the study can be found on the BFJN Website: (bostonfaithjustice.org.)

    Please talk with Millie (emlydgrammy@comcast.net) or Alex (alex@bostonfaithjustice.org) if you have any questions or would like to sign up.

    Deacon’s Corner
    As most of you know, the deacons have an Emergency Fund that helps members of the congregation in times of duress. We have had to tap into that fund a few times in 2013. The fund is diminishing. We are asking your help in replenishing it for 2014. You will find envelopes in the pockets in the pews marked Emergency Fund. Please try to give what you can to help.

    Thank you!

    Confirmation Classes

    Confirmation classes will be beginning on Sunday February 9. Youth of eligibility age should have already been contacted. More information to follow. Please see Rod with any questions.

    Seeking Simplicity

    Are you feeling stressed out after the holiday frenzy? Do you feel like you have lost control of parts of your life? This is just the time to take a break and come to a retreat. On February 1st, from 9:30 AM to 3 PM we will discuss together what steps we can make to simplify our lives. We will enjoy a pot-luck lunch together. Each person will have a chance to de-stress by enjoying a choice of activity. Plans are still in progress but likely to include the following: low-impact movement and meditation called Gigong; livelier music and dance; an art project; or learning to cook something new. And of course there will be times of worship and praise.

    As a bonus, all will have a chance to preview the Lazarus at the Gate discipleship curriculum. This will give folks a chance to see whether they want to sign up for the eight week course which will begin on February 16th and continue through Lent. Be assured, however, that even if you are not able to attend the retreat, you can still sign up for the course.

    Because we want to maintain a fairly calm, quiet environment, we do not plan to offer child care at this event. However, if you really want to attend and this is an issue, please talk to Rod or Millie and we will see if we can work something out for you.

    Begin thinking about what simplicity means to you. Here are a few quotes to start you off: “Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.” ~ Charles Warner
    “As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

    We look forward to seeing you on Feb 1st (snow date – Feb 8th)

    YAV Report from Alex Haney
    Simplicity
    Before this year, my idea of simplicity has always been about being cheap, conserving resources and helping the environment; it was never a church thing. Yet the last few months of retreat planning, bible study with the YAV program, and work with BFJN, I’ve seen that simplicity is something God wants us to do also.

    It goes beyond being a hippie and riding your bike. In fact, it goes way back to before there were hippies. The Old Testament prophets have been shouting God’s command for us to take care of the poor, the orphans, the widows, and those who can’t take care of themselves since they first heard God’s voice. Some sound pretty harsh on what happens if we don’t. Commandment #10 says not to covet, and we are told to love our neighbor. Jesus asked the rich man to sell his possessions give the money to the poor and follow him.

    As Christians, we are to seek ways to help those in need. How simply we can do this by loving thy neighbor, sharing resources, and not taking more than our share. These are just a part of “simplicity.” Freeing ourselves from our own wants and complexities, inside and out, brings us closer to God and allows us to be aware of and love our neighbor. In today’s world most of the economic activity we support can exploit the poor, the oppressed, the widows and orphans. That’s where local food and fair trade comes in the picture. God wants us buying things that build up the earth and the people involved rather than exploit them for profit, leaving people and the planet poor, desolate and homeless.

    Simplicity is not easy. It’s complicated. It’s all about being self-aware of your motivations, your actions and your thoughts and then being intentional about what you do, and how you treat one another. That’s the spirituality of it. It is an inward simplicity and an outward simplicity, and a corporate simplicity as a body of Christians. The simple life isn’t the easy one, but the self-aware and intentional one.

    Yes, God does want us to conserve our energy resources, to use less stuff, to throw away less, and to think about things before we do them because that builds up the widows, the oppressed, the poor, and the hungry. I now live simply not only to be cheap, not only to use less fossil fuels, but because these are ways I can love my neighbors more. These are ways I can focus on God more than my stuff. Simplicity allows me to ignore distractions so I hear and feel God, and the love of those around me, and I can show this love more freely.

    Our retreat all about simplicity is fast approaching for Saturday February 1 from 9:30 am to 3:00pm. I’d encourage you to come share your own thoughts and hear others about simplicity. Whether you make it or not, I’d encourage you to refer to the bibliography of resources from the retreat to learn more about living simply as a Christian discipline. I’d recommend Living More with Less by Doris Jane Longacre and Richard J. Foster’s Freedom of Simplicity. Those inspired this article.

    Other Food Justice News
    Manna Mondays
    Are you ready for a President’s Day like no other?! Sign your kids up for the first ever Manna Monday on February 17 (1pm-4pm) for an afternoon of pasta-making and wheat-milling! We will explore the biblical stories of manna from heaven, grind flour from wheat berries, and make pasta from scratch! As the Hebrews in the desert depended on manna from God (a starchy wafer substance) for sustenance, we depend on the earth, and the long process from start to finish for eating things like noodles and bread. Have your kids join us to learn all about, manna, pasta, and flour! School aged kids, (K-12) are welcome. A mid-afternoon snack will be provided. Sign-up in the fellowship hall or by phone with the church office (781-272-9190) by February 10 to reserve a spot. Contact Alex if you’d like to help supervise. alex@bostonfaithjustice.org

    Boston Faith and Justice Network (BFJN) Update
    Millie and Alex will begin teaching BFJN’s Lazarus at the Gate Curriculum on Sundays for 1.5 hours after worship starting February 9. It will last for 8 weeks until March 30. The class will examine the biblical themes of wealth, poverty, and generosity with real life ways to make a difference for the kingdom of heaven through our spending choices. Personal spending habits will be shared. The goal of this candor is to create an opportunity for a change in lifestyle to more effectively fight poverty and to make that change with the support of the group. A light lunch of soup and salad will be provided. Sign up in the fellowship hall. See Alex or Millie with questions.
    For those who cannot attend Lazarus at the Gate but would like to learn more about economic discipleship, BFJN is looking for participants in a brand new initiative to get Christians thinking about generosity with our tax refunds! Contact Alex for more information.

    Local Farm Connections
    Keep an eye out for brochures from local farms. This summer we hope to offer connections with more farms than just Farmer Dave’s! If things go according to plan we hope to have eggs, meat, cheese, and other farm-fresh products available to Burlington area residents on Mondays during the Farmer Dave’s pick up. See Alex or send him an E-mail if you know of local farms or growers you want to see involved. alex@bostonfaithjustice.org.

    News from the Philippines
    January 8, 2014

    Dear Friends,
    Today marks the second month since the most powerful and destructive typhoon on record devastated the central islands of the Philippines –- over 6,000 dead, 2,000 missing, I million homes destroyed, 4 million displaced. You responded in several ways — through clothing donations and funds for shipping costs, donations to Project C.U.R.E., funds to support a health clinic in one of the central islands, financial aid for students at Silliman University who lost family members and livelihood in the islands of Leyte and Samar. Thank you for your continuing prayers, long after the typhoon is no longer in the news cycle of international disasters.

    Here are some updates:

    Bart and I shall have sent 10 big boxes of donated clothing by the end of this month. They will be distributed by church groups to survivors in Leyte and towns in Northern Cebu. Those who survived the storm lost everything. Several of my relatives who were spared the fury of the storm are helping with the distribution process.

    Project C.U.R.E. (www.projectcure.org ) has sent two 20-foot container vans of medical supplies and equipment to a heavily-damaged hospital in Tacloban, Leyte, and the epicenter of the storm. This hospital continues to see hundreds of patients a day despite overwhelming limitations and welcomes the arrival of donated emergency supplies and equipment.

    The funds for financial aid to students in need at Silliman University, where Bart and I have done volunteer work recently, will be used specifically to help senior students graduate this March. This Presbyterian school is committed to finding ways of keeping 200 college students in school despite the incalculable loss of their homes and their parents’ livelihood.

    In one of the islands that the typhoon missed by 15 miles, there is a grassroots health clinic that needs basic medical supplies and is run by volunteer doctors and nurses. Bart and I are advocating for this Christian-based outreach to rural folks with no access to medical care. Some of you designated your financial contributions for this on-going project with a future.

    What to pray for in this period of rebuilding and reconstruction: The United Nations estimates that the recovery period for a disaster of this magnitude is 5 to 6 years, so the Philippines has barely just begun. These are some of the immediate needs:

    That the primary need for shelter be made available to the thousands of displaced families.
    That those on the ground who are helping (doctors, social workers, nurses, and volunteers) will be given the strength to persevere, as they too have to deal with their own trauma.
    That honest government officials handling foreign aid will put the people’s welfare first.
    That the survivors will not lose hope in the midst of unimaginable loss and tragedy.
    Our deep gratitude for your partnership,

    Priscilla and Bart Kelso

    Friday Night at the Movies!
    Friday, February 14, 7:00 pm
    Feature Presentation to be announced
    (watch your bulletin)
    Free! Bring friends! Popcorn!

    Crafter’s Group
    The Crafter’s Group will suspending their meeting in Feb, Mar & Apr. Please plan on joining us in the Spring. Bring those projects you’ve been meaning to finish, but just haven’t gotten around to.

    Bridges: Growing Older, Growing Together
    “The Burlington School System is privileged to incorporate the “Bridges: Growing Older, Growing Together” program into some of our 4th grade classes. This wonderful program pairs volunteer senior citizens with small groups of children in the classroom for an hour a week, over a 6 week session. During this time, the children have the opportunity to get to know a senior and to learn from their experiences. It is a wonderful opportunity for kids to learn about a different generation and for seniors to have the opportunity to see how children learn today. So much has changed in our schools and our approach to teaching. For this program to be successful, we need seniors who are willing to volunteer an hour of their time once a week for a 6 weeks session. Many enjoy it so much they ask to do more than one session! Sessions take place at different times over the course of the second half of the school year. (Depending on the school). If you know a senior, grandparent or neighbor, who would enjoy getting to know some fourth graders, please encourage them to fill in an application at the Senior Center.

    Any questions may be emailed to Caroline Mallard at cmallard1@hotmail.com, list “Bridges” in the subject line. For more information on this nationwide program: http://www.bridgestogether.org/”

  • Crossroads for January 2014

    Deacon’s Corner

    The Deacons would like to thank everyone who gave generously to the many causes our church supported this holiday season: donating food for the Burlington Food Pantry, giving pajamas and underwear to People Helping People, baking breads for The Dwelling Place, volunteering at the Wish Tree at the Burlington Mall, providing supplies for the School Kits for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, and purchasing CDs for Living Waters for the World. We collected $435.00. We would also like to thank the ladies of the Billerica Senior Center, especially Shirley Thornton and Betty Anderson for their donations of hats and mittens. Your gifts helped make a merry Christmas for many people in our community.

    Annual Meeting – Come All Ye!
    Ice cream sundaes – 1:30 p.m.
    Saturday, January 18 − 2:00 p.m. Fellowship Hall

    (If weather appears to be a factor, there’ll be a message on the answering machine by 11 a.m.; snow date: January 25).

    The Annual Meeting of the Congregation of our church is one of the most important times we gather outside of our regular Sunday worship. All members of our church family are most Presbyterian-ly urged to come, for business and fellowship! Be sure to come in time for sundaes at 1:30!

    According to church bylaws, the meeting is held on the third Saturday of January. It is in the afternoon, for easier winter traveling and to avoid a late evening for families with young children. Childcare will be available.

    Moderator Rod MacDonald will call the meeting to order. Following brief devotions there will be reviews of the life of our church in the year just past, election of officers (candidates for elders, deacons, trustees, and next year’s Nominating Committee are due to be presented by the Nominating Committee); review of the budget for 2014 and approval of pastoral terms of call.

    New Business: At this meeting the congregation will be asked to approve the request from Rod that the presbytery be asked to dissolve the pastoral relationship between him and the church effective April 30, 2014. The Rev. Diane Cusamano of the presbytery will be available to answer questions. We hope many of will attend for this important opportunity.

    Annual Reports will be available to the congregation by Sunday, January 12.

    Nominees for office to be presented by the Nominating Committee will be included.


    Are you feeling stressed out after the holiday frenzy? Do you feel like you have lost control of parts of your life? This is just the time to take a break and come to a retreat. On February 1, from 9:30 AM to 3 PM we will discuss together what steps we can make to simplify our lives. We will enjoy a pot-luck lunch together. Each person will have a chance to de-stress by enjoying a choice of activity . Plans are still in progress but likely to include the following: low-impact movement and meditation called Gigong; livelier music and dance; an art project; or learning to cook something new. And of course there will be times of worship and praise.

    As a bonus, all will have a chance to preview the Lazarus at the Gate discipleship curriculum. This will give folks a chance to see whether they want to sign up for the eight week course which will begin on February 16th and continue through Lent. Be assured, however, that even if you are not able to attend the retreat, you can still sign up for the course.

    Because we want to maintain a fairly calm, quiet environment, we do not plan to offer child care at this event. However, if you really want to attend and this is an issue, please talk to Rod or Millie and we will see if we can work something out for you.

    Begin thinking about what simplicity means to you. Here are a few quotes to start you off:

    “Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.” ~ Charles Warner

    “As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

    We look forward to seeing you on Feb 1st

    (snow date – Feb 8th)

    Lazarus at the Gate: An economic discipleship study

    Are you interested in learning what the Bible says about our gifts of wealth, and learning practical ways to more effectively serve our neighbors and fight poverty?

    This year, The Presbyterian Church in Burlington is exploring these ideas with the Boston Faith and Justice Network (BFJN), a gathering of Christians from many different traditions sharing a common concern to love our neighbors through economic discipleship: following Jesus with our money.

    The church will be exploring this idea of economic discipleship with BFJN’s Lazarus at the Gate Bible Study during Lent. This 8-session curriculum will take place following worship each Sunday from February 16 – April 6. Each session will include a light lunch (soup and salad) and last about 1 ½ hours. It is best if participants commit to the entire Lazarus at the Gate allows small groups to explore economic discipleship by studying biblical themes on wealth and poverty; sharing personal budgets; making changes, small and large, to live more simply and spend more justly. The program ends with participants contributing to a group gift to fight poverty in the name of Christ. The Lazarus program helps groups make four commitments:

    • Spend joyfully – Regularly give thanks for the blessing of what we have

    • Spend justly – Make one lifestyle change to consume more justly

    • Spend less – Make one lifestyle change to spend less for ourselves

    • Give more – Make a gift to fight poverty

    Our group will be challenged to make personal changes to spending choices to save money and with the savings, give more effectively toward a few charities of the group’s. Just as an example, six members of the Lazarus at the Gate study group at Cornerstone Church of Boston recently donated over $19,000 to sponsor children in the Congo through Covenant Kids Congo, a partner of World Vision! Only six people! You can read about that here: http://blogs.covchurch.org/covenantkidscongo/cornerstone-called-to-restoration-work/. Stories of other groups that have gone through the study can be found on the BFJN Website: (bostonfaithjustice.org.)

    VNA Hospice Care needs volunteers!

    Hospice volunteers play a key role in helping to provide caring and compassion to patients and families facing life-limiting illness and loss. A volunteer may provide patients with company and emotional support, give the spouse, partner, or other caregiver a needed break from care giving, and/or help caregivers run errands or get to and from appointments. A strong need exists for volunteers who can also visit on weekdays. We also seek: musicians who would like to sing or play music quietly at the bedside of nursing home residents; Reiki practitioners who would like to offer Reiki to patients and/or caregivers; and people who are interested in visiting with their therapy dog. Volunteers who speak both English and a second language are also helpful. We provide volunteer training and ongoing support.

    Call 781-569-2888 and ask to speak to a volunteer Coordinator for more information. Or email LPalaos@vnab.org

    Become a blood donor -call 1-800-Give Life to schedule an appointment.  No experience necessary!

    Friday Night at the Movies!
    Friday, January 9, 7:00 pm

    An Irish couple and two young daughters move to New York City for his dream of being an actor.

    Their adventures are comical, harrowing and heartwarming.

    Free! Bring friends! Popcorn!

    Crafter’s Group

    The Crafter’s Group will be starting up again on January 17th, 7 pm. Please plan on coming to join us.

    Bring those projects you’ve been meaning to finish, but just don’t get around to. We still have blankets to work on if you don’t have a project of your own.

    Crossroads for December 2013

    News of our Church Family

    Outreach to Lord Baron fire victims…
    Thanks to all who contributed to the special offering to help support the Basic Needs Fund of People Helping People, which has been helping to fund the stays in temporary quarters of those dislocated by the October 23 fire. Our giving came to: $600 and was added to that of other congregations. The Basic Needs fund has provided at least $11,000 in combined assistance for hotel accommodations, gift cards for food and clothing, etc.

    And thanks to those who helped set up and clean up from the Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner for the Lord Baron folks on Monday, November 25, prior to the Community Thanksgiving Service at our church. Special thanks to Sally Morrison, our coordinator. The main meal was provided by Teddy Menounos of Lester’s Barbecue Restaurant.

    Final meal served at Dwelling Place…
    There was a good team there on November 20, when we served supper to diners at The Dwelling Place for the final time. Jennifer Sullivan, current DP coordinator, was there to express thanks for our many years of service. She understood that it has become more of a challenge to our servers to fight traffic, etc. after all these years.

    On Sunday, November 17, all BPC members who have served, cooked, or otherwise provided for the DP over the years were asked to stand and be acknowledged. It look like most of those in the sanctuary were standing!

    Deacons Corner
    On November 20, we had our last supper at the Dwelling Place. It was a bittersweet event. Many thanks to all who have given so generously for so many years to this special mission of our church. We served 13 guests.

    Once again we are volunteering our time to the PHP Wish Tree. Our dates are Nov 30 and Dec 4. Thank you to all who have signed up. We are also continuing our tradition of donating to the Pajama and Underwear Drive. Thank you to all who took cards. The gifts MUST be in the office by Dec 8th.

    As you all know, George loves receiving mail. We will have Christmas cards available for you to send to him on the table in the narthex.

    See more info under Mark Your Calendar for something new for Advent from the deacons!
    Mark Your Calendars

    Community Christmas Sing-a Long
    December 6, 2013
    7:00 p.m.

    Please come! Invite family, friends and neighbors!

    Family Advent Event
    December 8, 2013
    11:45 am

    All Sunday School families invited! Make stained glass windows for church and home.

    Come A-Caroling!
    Sunday, December 15  2:45 p.m.

    Fun for all Ages
    The rallying time will be 2:45 p.m. in the church parking lot. Join a caroling caravan that will take us to various places such as senior residences, nursing homes, and homes of shut-ins. If you have suggestions for places to carol this year, speak to Rod soon! We will finish by 5:00 or 5:30 with a simple but nose-and-toes warming supper. If you’d like to be our host for supper this year, and you live not far from the church, we’d love to have an invitation. Otherwise we will share a meal at the church. It’s a truly intergenerational and heartwarming time. Look for signup on church bulletin board.

    Christmas Eve Service
    A Family Tradition with Crèche, Carols and Candlelight

    Tuesday, December 24 – 7:00 p.m.

    It’s a long-lived tradition at BPC. There will be nativity tableaux vivants (or living scenes) featuring young folks in the roles of Mary and Joseph, angels, shepherds and wise men. Choir and congregation will join in many carols. The service will end with a spreading of candlelight throughout the sanctuary. Mr. MacDonald will give a brief message. The Christmas Joy Offering will be received. This service is a wonderful way to introduce friends and neighbors to the church – and maybe to make a difference in their lives.

    Dine for a cause
    Friday December 13 at 6:00pm at the Presbyterian Church in Burlington
    335 Cambridge Street
    Take an evening off from the Holiday rush and join us for a Filipino inspired dinner with lots of Filipino dishes and other types of food, so there will be a little bit for everyone.

    Donations will be accepted for the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance for the Philippines. Make checks out to ʻthe Presbyterian Church in Burlingtonʼ, memo ʻPDA-philippinesʼ Please RSVP to Sally Morrison at sallymorrison19@gmail.com, even if you cannot make it but still would like to contribute please mail checks
    to The Presbyterian Church in Burlington, 335 Cambridge St, Burlington, MA 01803

    Brought to you by the Deacons

    Legacy Christmas is a collection of Celtic-inspired Christmas carols important to Presbyterians throughout the generations—-“treasured carols of the Kirk”. Produced by Living Waters for the World (LWW) through the generosity of an anonymous donor, Legacy Christmas is performed by some of Nashville’s and Ireland’s top musicians; it features acclaimed vocalist Alyth McCormack (of the Chieftains) on three of the ten tracks.

    These CDs will be on sale in Fellowship Hall during Advent for $15.00 each. The money will go to support Living Waters for the World, a ministry of the Synod of Living Waters, PC(USA) and the PW Birthday Offering. While the income generated is important, the real story is in the ministry itself—clean water—and PW’s partnership with LWW, improving the lives of women and children throughout the world.

    Women’s Bible Study
    Thursdays at 9:30 am

    Our Women’s Bible Study group is acting as a field test group for next year’s Presbyterian Women’s Bible Study, Water. This is a nine week commitment and an agreement to provide feedback on each lesson. A confidentiality agreement must be signed in order to attend. If you would like to learn more about how you can participate, please see Marylou Lynn.

    Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) Report from Alex Haney
    On Friday November 8, the sanctuary was filled with about 30 members from the Burlington community, to watch A Place at the Table—a film highlighting some of the widespread systemic causes for hunger in the United States. The film addressed some impacts that our food system, the federal food stamp program, farming policy, and individual food choices have on hunger and health.

    I’ve seen this film three times now, as it brings up a lot of the problems my fellow food justice YAV’s and I are working on—getting affordable, healthy food to all people and treating the many hands that prepare our food with justice, kindness and mercy while caring for God’s creation that provides the food. After the film, Rod opened up a discussion to the floor as well as to our panel of experts to discuss what we each found shocking or surprising about the film. In my prior experiences with this film the discussion usually leads to policy, and specific ways each of us can petition the government to respond to this.

    This time the subject of education took over the conversation, not policy. A general agreement with our audience was that parents aren’t teaching their kids how to cook healthily any more—parents may not even know how themselves. Neither are most schools with the removal of Home Ec. and kids aren’t learning about healthy food, like how to make soup from scratch for instance, and the convenience foods are taking over our diets. Billboard advertisements, commercials, and even grocery stores are promoting the boxed, canned, shelf stable foods, and especially the junk foods and sodas which have become much cheaper than the healthy whole fruits and vegetables. Shelf stable processed foods also fill food pantries because of their shelf life. Farmer Dave mentioned noticing that at farmer’s markets older generations buy more of the vegetables, while younger generations go for the baked goods or ready to eat fruits, because that is what each is used to cooking. There is a generation gap and education gap in our food system. This is having terrible health effects leading to type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease all related to diet. This film and conversation called each of us to work to change our own choices, and the broader public’s choices on healthy foods, and learning how to use fresh produce is one way to go.

    So what is being done to educate Burlington on healthy foods? Peter Coppola is working diligently to set up community gardens and school gardens in Burlington to teach kids about their food. Jane McIninch and Christine Ventura are doing their part to educate the food pantry clients on what the Farmer Dave’s leftover produce is and how to prepare it so they can eat healthier. We also teach the senior center about the fresh leftovers as necessary to feed their members.

    For next year with farmer Dave’s CSA, I hope to get the church involved with bringing more education to the members about what to do with this healthy food members may have never seen before. Recipes, cooking lessons, and other kitchen skill sharing events can do this. The more people share ideas on how to eat healthily and justly, the better we can fight hunger in this area. I would encourage you to watch the film at some point and join this conversation about addressing hunger and health in America and in Burlington. Consider sharing your cooking expertise with the CSA members. Help those misplaced by the area fire through offering a healthy meal and monetary donations. Put something in the food collection bins for the food pantry. Maybe we could start gardens, or advocate for community gardens to donate fresh produce to the food pantry during the growing season instead of only non-perishables. Share your own ideas with other church members. There are many ways to show the love of God to our neighbors through food justice, so let’s keep this work going together!

    Burlington Clergy, BPC, and Burlington Police Co-Sponsor Gun Buy Back Program

    What do Burlington residents do if they have guns or other dangerous weapons they no long want? The Burlington Police Department will be holding a gun buy back on December 14, 2013.

    The timing is to coincide with the first anniversary of the shootings in Newtown, CT last year. The Burlington Clergy group initiated this idea, and it has had the immediate and active support of Police Chief Michael Kent.

    Some incentive for those who might consider turning in guns will come in the form of gift certificates supplied by the Wegman’s Supermarkets company, which is building a new store in Burlington. But BPC’s Session has also participated: About 50 “Project Child Safe” gun safety locks have been purchased with $100 from this year’s directed mission line in the church budget.

    “Burlington is a safe community and the vast majority of gun owners are responsible and law abiding. This initiative of collecting unwanted guns and weapons, addresses a vital public safety and public health issue” according to Chief Kent.Unwanted firearms are a potential ha zard in any home. Unwanted firearms can be stolen, used in accidental shootings or a suicide. When guns are used in criminal attacks, the outcomes are often irreversible and fatal.

    Any unwanted guns or weapons can be brought to the Burlington Police Department on December 14, between 9am and 1pm or can be picked up during those hours by the Burlington Police Department by calling 781-272-1212

    The Session hopes that the church family will find this a meaningful part of our mission, and pray for its success during this Advent season when we welcome again the child of Peace.

    October 2013 Crossroads

    Deacons Corner
    The deacons would like to thank you for all of your donations toward the school kit/Rally Day project. It was a huge success. We could not have done it without all of your help.

    The Dwelling Place
    It is with mixed emotion that we are announcing that we will be ending our relationship with The Dwelling Place. We would like to thank all of you for the generous support you have given over the last 20 plus years. You have given your time, your hands and your money and it has been greatly appreciated. Our last supper will be on November 20, 2013.

    CE News
    Do you have children?
    Have you filled out their registration form for church school yet?
    We need one registration form from each family for children in nursery to grade 12.
    You can access the form on the church website or you can get one from the CE mailbox in the church office. Then either email the form to the church, or return the completed form to the CE mailbox. Thanks from the CE Committee.

    Mark Your Calendars
    (Or link your calendar to the Church’s Google calendar)

    Friday Night at the Movies
    October 11, 7:30 pm
    A movie about a New Mexican farmer and town who face a crisis when business and political interests conspire to divert their water supply for a resort development. With determination, and even a bit of magic, the local population forces a confrontation…in a unique blend of social commentary and comedy.

    Free! Popcorn! Bring friends!

    Crafter’s Night, October 18
    7 pm

    Come join in. We are still attempting to get the blankets for Warm Up America completed, but feel free to come with your own project whatever your craft may be. We would love to see it! There may be others who share your love of that craft. Come learn something new that you’ve always wanted to try.

    Women’s Bible Study
    Thursdays at 9:30 am
    We are pleased to announce that we were chosen to be one of the field test groups for next year’s Presbyterian Women’s Bible Study, Water. This is a nine week study, with an agreement to provide feedback on each lesson. Confidentiality must be signed in order to participate. Any woman in the congregation is welcome to join in the field test, not just those currently attending Bible study.

    Using your spiritual gifts to help you and your church grow.
    Join us on October 19th from 9am to 3pm, as we discover and explore our Spiritual gifts. We are using the assessment from “Discover Your Spiritual Gifts the Natural Way”. Individuals will complete an assessment (it takes about 30 min.) and then we will come together to discuss our findings. Everyone will bring their own lunch-snacks and beverages provided….plenty of activities and opportunities for sharing will be available.

    Cost is $10.00 to pay for materials.

    Come and enjoy!

    OCTOBER 25, is the Annual Pumpkin Party at 6:30pm. We will supply the pumpkins you supply the tools and creativity. We will have markers for small children who are not ready to carve a pumpkin!
    We will have storytelling, too!!!!

    Mission and Outreach
    Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell (HFHGL) has given BPC the date of October 12th for our build day at 49-55 Rock Street in Lowell. We can send a group of up to 12 people, and will be working from 8 am to 3 pm.

    We will be working on 1 of 2 duplexes that will be home to 4 families. Students from Greater Lowell Technical High School are building one duplex and general volunteers and local companies are building the other one. The project broke ground on October 25, 2012, and is now nearing completion.

    People who want to participate but don’t feel comfortable working with tools, can play an important role by providing lunch for the volunteers working on the homes.

    Since its founding in 1991, HFHGL has built or renovated a total of 28 homes in Bedford, Billerica, Concord, Lowell, Reading, and Westford. HFHGL projects have placed more than 100 people into quality housing. Not only do Habitat families pay for their homes through a monthly mortgage, they also put in between 225 and 400 hours of sweat equity prior to becoming homeowners.

    Habitat for Humanity’s vision is a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live and housing poverty and homelessness are eliminated.

    For more information about volunteering with BPC’s team, contact Tom Hennings.

    Annual Stewardship Campaign – Planting a Seed

    Once again it is nearing the time to respond to God’s grace in our lives and to celebrate the good work that God will do by identifying the gifts we provide. As John Calvin once said: “ We are surrounded by God’s benefits. The best use of these benefits is an unceasing expression of gratitude.”

    Gratitude can be shown in many ways. When we think of stewardship, we typically think of fundraising, but there are also the gifts of time and talents that a small church like Burlington Presbyterian needs in order to move forward and provide the rich programs we currently enjoy.

    A retreat this month will focus on discovering our spiritual gifts. Even if you do not get a chance to attend this retreat, it is a good time of year to sit down and take stock of what abilities and attributes you have that you can share with others. You may be organized and also willing to direct others – chairing a committee for a special project may be a gift you could share. You may be shy, but enjoy music – joining one of the choirs would be something to try.

    In the winter and spring, we are going to focus on Living Simply and plan to host several opportunities to explore more about how to do that. For this newsletter, I would just like to “plant a seed” of a thought – that when people spend money on things they do not really need, they also begin to want more things they do not need. Jesus told us that our hearts will follow our money (Matthew 6:21) “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” His words suggest that if we are unsure where our hearts are, looking at where our treasure is spent or contained may give us a clue.

    There will be more thoughts sent to you about stewardship over the next month. We will follow our tradition of thankfully presenting out pledges and offerings on Harvest Sunday which will be on November 24th this year. Between now and then, please think about how grateful you are for all God provides in your life. Pray and act on the confidence that God’s abundance will not cease, but will grow proportionately as we give generously of our time, resources, and talents.

    “Remember this,” Paul says, “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each person should decide to give what he has decided to give in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things and in all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)

    Summer 2013 Crossroads

    A big THANK YOU…
    …goes out to our dedicated Christian Education staff for their good, nurturing work during 2012-2013. A recognition service took place, followed by the annual CE cookout, on July 9. In the teachers’ honor, the Session gave a special donation to the Mission of Deeds.
    …and likewise to all the folks who gave so much so that we might have a successful Yard Sale on June 22, especially co-coordinators Judy Brunner and Sally Morrison (an unbeatable team!). Many came on a hot Saturday to shop, and a good quantity of our former nursery school materials were sold to folks with other schools, day cares etc.

    A NEWS FLASH!
    Jane McIninch has accepted an offer from People Helping People to serve as a co-coordinator of the Burlington Food Pantry! This is such a natural and wonderful step for Jane, who has led our church’s hosting of Farmer Dave’s CSA, and a very good thing for the Burlington community. Congratulations, Jane – and let’s keep her in our prayers as she starts this important service.

    Movies in the Good Ol’ Summertime…

    There will be two Friday Nights at the Movies during August.

    Family Movie on August 9, 6:30 p.m. (note earlier time!)
    A wonderful family film set in Scotland.

    August 23, 7:30 p.m. A 60s movie classic!

    Both movies free of charge! Popcorn! Bring friends!

    Deacons Corner
    There have been so many tragedies in our country and around the world affecting children this year. The deacons have decided to do something for the children. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance runs a program called “Gift of the Heart”. It distributes kits to people in need. In the past, we have sent hygiene kits. We decided to make school kits and we need your help. Each kit will contain 1- pair of blunt scissors, 3- 70 count notebooks (like our “doodle” books our church provides for the children), 1- 12” ruler, 1- hand held pencil sharpener, 6- new pencils with erasers, 1- large eraser and 1- box of 24 crayons. Each of these items will be packed into a homemade cloth tote bag. In August, when you are doing your back to school shopping, please think of these children who have lost everything in storms, fires, and wars. These kits can give them a small sense of normalcy in their lives as they are relocated in strange homes or shelters. We could also use a few people to make the tote bags. They are very easy to make. There will be one on display in August. If you would like a copy of the pattern, see Kathleen. There is a processing fee for each bag, so monetary gifts would also be appreciated.

    We are teaming up with Christian Education to have the children involved with the assembling of these kits on Rally Day. It’s a great way of teaching about God’s mission for us to help those in need!
    Thank you for your anticipated help!

    We served 24 guests at The Dwelling Place in June.

    Church Picnic!

    Our Church picnic is scheduled for July 14, after worship, at Springs Brook Park in Bedford. Meat will be provided, please bring a side dish, a salad, or a dessert to share. Please bring your own beverages…no alcohol allowed! There are grills available, and a snack bar. Activities include swimming and a playground. The park opens at 10:00 a.m. There is a fee of $8.00 per person as long as we have at least 20 people, children 1 and under admitted free. If you have folding lawn chairs or beach chairs you may want to bring them. If you have a fun outside game to share, please bring it!

    Your Hospitality Committee at work!

    Turn left out of church onto Route 62/3A towards Billerica. Turn left onto Francis Wyman/62. Continue to follow 62 into Bedford for about 4 miles at which point 62 is also Page Road. Turn right to continue on Page Road (departing 62) to 4 way stop at Springs Road. Turn right onto Springs Road for 0.1 mile to access road to Springs Brook Park.
    New Mission Highlights

    Following up on the Pentecost presentations and article in previous Crossroads, here are some updates:

    The Food Justice Program will really get underway in August with the arrival of a Young Adult Volunteer who will work with our CSA program and congregation as well as with the Boston Faith and Justice Network. See Jane McIninch or Millie Wiegand for more info.

    The Retreat Planning Group has set a date of October 19 for the next one-day retreat for church family and friends. Mark Vogel is contact person at this point.

    Housing Ministry is looking at possible Saturdays in the fall for work days with Habitat for Humanity. Tom Hennings is working on this.

    Friday Nights Live is beginning to schedule Friday night opportunities for the fall for crafters, movie watchers, game lovers, and live music! Tara Goss is currently the one to see.

    Unfortunately, we have not yet confirmed a major new occupant for our facilities during the week (to replace our former nursery school). We continue to have interest parties contact us, so we are hopeful something will emerge soon.

    So if you signed up as having interest in any of these areas on Pentecost Sunday – or if you missed that opportunity but want to be involved – get in touch with any of the folks above, or the church office, or stay tuned for further information!

    Welcome Back, Farmer Dave

    Summer shares have started!! Fruit shares start on July 15th!! Don’t miss out on the tasty fresh vegetables and fruit provided by Farmer Dave. Sign up for summer shares now and enjoy fresh vegetables and fruit all summer! For information, see brochures on church table.

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!
    Judy and Sally wish to thank all who helped with the yard sale on June 22. We had a lot of stuff to be sorted and priced but we made it happen. At last count proceeds were $1,827.71.
    Sally & Judy

    Table Gathering at Church of the Covenant
    To support the Young Adult Volunteer Program

    Join in for a seasonal cooking lesson and three course meal on August 11th and October 13th. Class size is limited to 25 so email bbjyavprogram@gmail.com to reserve your spot and ask for a registration form. Cost is $50 per individual and $80 per couple. See the flyer on the bulletin board for more information.

    The Holy Spirit Lives!

    Thank you to all who contributed to this year’s Pentecost Offering and proved once again that the Holy Spirit abides with us in Burlington. We raised $1,203 for projects that invest in the future of the church by supporting ministries that encourage, develop and support its young people as well as provide assistance to at-risk children. This is one of the newer special offerings that we have each year and is especially meaningful to us this year because we as a congregation are going to be able to benefit from one of the programs sponsored: the Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program. (See separate article in the Crossroads for more information about this exciting venture). THANKS AGAIN FOR YOUR GENEROSITY!

    IMPORTANT:
    We are making the Crossroads available through emailing. We will continue to send it by U.S. Post to those who do not use email, or would prefer to receive it this way. The savings in office time and postage will be significant for the church. If you did not receive this issue also by email, it means we do not have your email address. Would you like to provide it?
    Thanks!

    Sarah Parker is Peace
    Scholarship Award Winner

    Burlington High School graduate Sarah Parker received the annual Peace Scholarship award at the June awards night at Burlington High School. This is the thirteenth year of this scholarship sponsored by the Interreligious Group of Burlington, an association of congregations and clergy. Starting with the year following the Columbine High School shootings, these congregations began and funded the scholarship to recognize and encourage actions by students which resolve conflict and nurture tolerance for differences. It is given without regard to religious affiliation or financial need.

    Sarah Parker was nominated by the BHS Music Coordinator, John Middleton-Cox. She has been the Stage Manager at BHS and co-president of the Stage Crew Club. She was nominated because of her work, which has included not only managing productions. She has also mediated and intervened in many high-tension and stressful situations related to backstage anxieties and the personal lives of crew and cast. She was praised for her maturity and knack of bringing calm to those in tense conditions. The scholarship selection committee, which interviewed Sarah, was impressed with the clarity of her thoughts on the nature of peace, both inner and outer, including conflict resolution. She will be attending Clark University in Worcester, and has already reached out to a program that mentors and provides safe after-school programs for area youth.

    Congregations involved in the Interreligious Group are the Presbyterian Church, St. Malachy’s Church, St. Margaret’s Church, St. Mark’s Church, Temple Shalom Emeth, and the United Church of Christ, Congregational. For more information, contact Rev. Rod MacDonald, 781-272-9190.

    Boston Food Justice Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) Program
    The Presbyterian Church USA provides opportunities for young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 to spend a year in service with a local organization working in a partnership with a Presbyterian church. This is one of the endeavors that our Pentecost Offering helps support.

    This year, the Boston Presbytery is sponsoring four YAVS to engage in the mission of four churches to provide healthy and sustainable food for all people. Burlington Presbyterian Church applied and was selected to be a part of this innovative program. Throughout the year, we will be sharing more information about our particular projects. In the next Crossroads, we hope to introduce the young person who will become a member of our congregation for the year (Sept – Aug). For more information about this exciting YAV program, see Jane McIninch or Millie Wiegand.

    Each Host Placement Site in the Boston Food Justice YAV Program is a collaboration between a Presbyterian congregation and a local organization working on issues of food justice. These are the four programs planned for the 2013-2014 year.

    (1) Burlington Presbyterian Church & The Boston Faith & Justice Network
    The Boston Faith & Justice Network (BFJN) , a community of Christians committed to alleviating poverty and promoting just stewardship partners with Burlington Presbyterian Church, a dynamic congregation located in the Boston metro area, as a YAV host site. The YAV placed at this site will work on a variety of projects including but not limited to development and implementation of food justice educational programming, expansion of the Farmer Dave CSA program, youth engagement in food systems work, a set of recommendations for shifting food consumption towards more just patterns, and leadership of an economic discipleship curriculum.

    (2) Church of the Covenant & The Women’s Lunch Place
    The Women’s Lunch Place (WLP) provides a safe, comfortable daytime shelter, nutritious food, and services for women who are homeless or poor. They share a facility space with their YAV partner, Church of the Covenant (COTC), a faith community striving for peace, compassion, justice and love while journeying in the light of Christ led by God’s grace-filled Spirit. The YAV placed with COTC+WLP will work to improve operations of COTC’s emergency food pantry, seek local food sourcing options for WLP, and work on a demonstration vegetable garden on the church’s land, as well as enter into the life of both of these unique communities through worship and relationship building.

    (3) The Hartford Street Church & A Place to Turn
    A Place to Turn is an emergency food pantry that offers food access with dignity to residents of the greater Natick area. Located on the same property as the Hartford Street Church, this organization and congregation are looking forward to catalyzing new opportunities to work together out of what has been for many years an exciting partnership. The YAV placed at this site will work with the church to finalize and roll out plans for building a large community garden on Hartford Street Church’s land. This effort is a partnership with the City of Natick and an ecumenical group of churches in the city. The YAV will also work regularly in a support role with A Place to Turn and work on fresh food production strategies for supplying food grown in the community garden to the food pantry.

    (4) First United Presbyterian Church of Cambridge & Bread for the World
    Bread for the World works to advocate with a Christian voice for political change to end hunger both domestically and globally. Partnering with First United Presbyterian Church of Cambridge (FUPC), the YAV working in this site placement will get the opportunity to be trained as a community organizer and collaborate with FUPC and Bread for the World to develop a local strategy for political organizing. Through engaging with both the greater Presbytery community as well as the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization and other groups in the city, new opportunities will be catalyzed for activism on issues of hunger.

    June 2013 Crossroads

    Hunger Walkers make strides…
    This year’s team from BPC hit a new high of approximately $3,000 for Project Bread. Linda Roscoe, Sue McGilvray-Rivet and Caitlin Rivet, the McIninch family, Tara Goss and Spencer Goss, Angela Wantate, Kevin Haley and Kelley O’Hearne are BPC walkers we know of; there may have been more. Bless you for your service.

    Thanks…
    Many folks contributed as we provided space and refreshments for Boston Presbytery, meeting at BPC on May
    20. Special thanks to Judy Brunner, Sally Morrison and the Hospitality Committee.
    And thanks to our Deacons, especially Barbara Karanja, Sally Morrison, and Annette Chapman-Adisho, for organizing and leading a splendidly delicious International Dinner on May 4 – with donations going to our Hunger Walk team. (How did Sally manage to get so many people singing in various languages??)

    July 4 Parade…
    Watch for more info from the Hospitality Committee about our opportunity to provide some hosting (mainly in the form of goodies) for groups who will be forming up for Burlington’s July 4 parade. The parade will begin at the intersection in front of the church and proceed to the Common.

    Deacons Corner
    The Deacons would like to thank everyone who participated in our International Dinner. It was a huge success. Everyone ate well and had a fun time, especially with Miss Sally’s arm twisting for songs!!! We are especially thankful that we were able to help contribute to the “Walk for Hunger”. A “special” thank you goes out to Annette Chapman-Adisho for entertaining the children!!

    The Food Pantry does not have any requests this month. Please donate whatever you feel would be appropriate
    for the month of June.

    The Dwelling Place served 14 guests a wonderful spaghetti and meatball supper in May.

    George has a birthday coming up on June 22nd. There will be cards available on the church table for you to take and send to him. He loves to receive cards!

    New Mission Opportunities for BPC

    The Mission Exploration Team was called together in October to explore how God is calling this congregation to be faithful in mission now, including but not limited to how we are involved with the communities around us and how our facilities may be used. The members of the team were Ken Dewar, Tara Goss, Colette Greco, Sue Hadsell, Barbara Karanja, Rod MacDonald, Jane McIninch, Joseph Porte, Caitlin Rivet and Mark Vogel. In March, the team made their final recommendations to Session. On May 19th Session presented the five top priority ideas to the congregation during Worship. Please read about these ideas below and learn how you can get involved.

    Full time use of our facility:
    BPC is currently in conversation with the Burlington Public School system. They are interested in using the facility to expand their employee daycare program for 2-5 year olds. If conversations with BPS fall through, other preschool programs could be identified.

    Mission opportunities:
    • Establish a “Friday Nights Live at BPC” program with weekly programs including music programs, game nights, craft nights, movie nights, and other activities. This would serve to build relationships within the congregation as well as serving the community.

    • Needed: We seek individuals interested in any of these topics to get involved with planning; please speak with Tara Goss.

    • We are currently partnering with Farmer Dave with a well-established CSA program that runs 9 months of the year. During the main season, we offer a weekly newsletter that includes a recipe, a devotional, and notes about BPC programs. To expand our ministry through this program we will participate closely with Boston Faith & Justice Network (BFJN) in the Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program organized by Boston Presbytery. A YAV will work part time to expand our CSA offerings, to write a handbook to help other organizations build a similar ministry and to offer food related youth programs. Furthermore, jointly with BFJN, we would offer their “Lazarus of the Gate” economic stewardship curriculum as well as some food preservation workshops at BPC. We will serve as the home congregation for the YAV during the program.

    • Needed: We seek individuals to participate in a committee to oversee the YAV’s progress; this would involve quarterly meetings for one year. Also, we seek individuals who are willing to reach out to the YAV and invite them in for holiday meals and other events. Please speak with Jane McIninch or Millie Wiegand if you would like to get involved.

    • Join a local housing project to either build new houses (like Habitat for Humanity) or renovate existing homes. We would plan one-day work opportunities a couple of times a year. This would be a hands-on ministry project for BPC with great opportunity for building relationships both with folks in this area for whom we are doing the work and with the folks we are working along side, to enrich us all. Please watch for more information and contact Tom Hennings, Ken Dewar or Joseph Porte with questions.

    • We currently have a group of individuals that have already planned two great retreats. We recommend continuing with annual or biannual retreats.either here or off-site.

    • Needed: We seek individuals interested in planning and coordinating events. Please speak with Mark Vogel.

    Saturday, June 1st 8:00 am

    The Trustees are sponsoring our annual spring clean-up on Saturday, June 1, starting at 8 a.m. (feel free to arrive a little later). Please come on out, enjoy the fresh air, and help us put everything outside in shape for summer. Exciting events include leaf raking, gutter cleaning, sweeping, mowing and trimming. Please bring your own lawn tools, and don’t forget your gloves. Electric blowers and very long extension cords are especially helpful. We can put everyone to work. Bring the family and ENJOY!!!

    Welcome Back, Farmer Dave

    Summer shares will be starting June 10!! Don’t miss out on the tasty fresh vegetables provided by Farmer Dave. Sign up for summer shares now and enjoy fresh vegetables and fruit all summer! For information, see brochures on church table.

    Friday Night at the Movies
    June 14, at 7:30

    Feature for this month: a classic tale about pool. A blue-eyed star’s unforgettable role as the chain-gang convict who just won’t conform. Now what we have here is…failure to communicate. Sure, maybe you’ve seen it before – but have you ever seen it as a parable portrait of Jesus as rebel hero against oppression? Take a fresh look. No charge; popcorn; bring a friend!

    Table Gathering at Church of the Covenant
    To support the Young Adult Volunteer Program

    Join in for a seasonal cooking lesson and three course meal on June 9th, August 11th, and October 13th. Class size is limited to 25 so email bbjyavprogram@gmail.com to reserve your spot and ask for a registration form. Cost is $50 per individual and $80 per couple. See the flyer on the bulletin board for more information.

    Christian Education

    On June 9, we will be honoring our teachers and celebrating the end of our regular church school program.
    Following worship there will be a cook out. Hot dogs and hamburgers and rolls will be provided but we are asking that others provide some side dishes such as potato salad, pasta salad, chips etc.

    During the summer there will be an activity time during worship for those children from pre- school to second grade.

    Library News
    Messy Spirituality by Mike Yaconelli

    Many Christians believe the “spiritual life” can only be lived by someone who is praying all the time, who never gets angry, is always blissfully at peace, and who seems to have an inside track to God.

    This book is for the rest of us.

    Enjoy a heartwarming and often humorous look at the crazy idea that common, ordinary, screwed-up people can be godly!

    Also new: More Crochet Prayer Shawl Patterns

    Yard Sale June 22, 9am-3pm

    Sally and I are the contact people for the yard sale this year. Please put aside items that you want to donate to the sale. Make sure items are clean and in good repair. Please let us know if items need small/easy repairs. You will be able to bring items to the church June 18, 19, 20 and 21, beginning at 9:30am. There will be some evening hours yet to be determined. If you have a key you could bring things on the 17th, the office is usually closed on Mondays. Items should not be brought to the church the day of the sale.

    We have enclosed “Yard Sale Donation Suggestions”. Sally and Judy

    Yard Sale Donation Suggestions

    Appliances: Radios, mixers, bath scales, CD players, (must be in good working order). No TVs, no computers or computer components.

    Arts & Crafts: Pictures, supplies and/or creations.

    Baby Furnishings: High chairs, play pens, potties, porta-cribs, safety gates, back packs, baby monitors.
    No child safety seats.

    Books: Children’s books are good sellers…

    Camping Equipment: Tents, stoves, lanterns, sleeping bags, back packs.

    Clocks & Watches: In working order or only needing a battery.

    Household Items: Lamps, rugs, chairs, kitchenware, wall hangings, curtains, dishes, pots and pans, crystal, etc.

    NOTE: Do not bring large items to the church until a few days before the sale. Any large items that do not sell must be picked up by the donor after the sale.

    Jewelry: Earrings, bracelets, cufflinks, necklaces, tiaras. Please separate items into plastic baggies..

    Musical Instruments: From Kazoos to Trombones.

    Pet Supplies: Toys, beds, crates, leashes, collars.

    Plants: All sizes, fresh (indoor or outdoor) or silk.

    Records, CDs, In good condition.

    Sports Equipment: (Small Items only), tennis rackets, basketballs, footballs, baseball gloves, roller blades. No
    weight benches or barbells. No skis, poles or boots. No hockey equipment.

    Tools: Hand and power, garden, mechanic, tool boxes.

    Toys: Fisher-Price and Playskool items, dolls, balls, board games, puzzles, outdoor play equipment, sleds, video games.

    Vehicles: Bikes, trikes, big wheels, wagons.

    Clothing Is Not A Big Seller And Will Not Be Accepted Please Be Sure All Items Are Clean!!

    March 2013 Crossroads

    Holy Week at the Presbyterian Church
    Please come, share in these times which recall the heart of our faith. Invite your friends!

    Passion/Palm Sunday, March 24
    Remembering Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem to confront the power of sin and death.
    10:30 a.m. Worship

    In keeping with tradition, there will be a palm procession, special music,
    and the dedication of our One Great Hour of Sharing offering.

    Maundy Thursday, March 28
    Remembering the Last Supper
    “Maundy Thursday” gets its name from Jesus’ “new commandment”
    (mandatum in Latin) to love one another as He has loved us.

    6:30 p.m.
    Family teaching supper about communion 
    Gathering for all families with conversation about the sacrament.
    Then they may remain for:

    7:30 p.m.
    A brief service with celebration of the Lord’s Supper—
    on the night we remember Jesus’ last meal with his disciples.
    Communion is served around the communion table.

    Good Friday, March 29
    The Day of Jesus’ Crucifixion
    It is “good” Friday because, despite appearances, it is God’s Friday.

    7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
    A vigil of prayer, readings, and extinguishing of candles in the darkened sanctuary, as we reflect on the meaning of Jesus’ crucifixion, of our lives, and our world.

    Easter Sunday, March 3
    The Day of Resurrection

    9:00 a.m.
    With cries of “He is risen!” we greet one another at our annual Easter Breakfast.
    Coordinated by Mark and Cheryl Wells.

    10:30 a.m. ALLELUIA!
    Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

    Worship will celebrate the heart of the Good News, with jubilant music. This is the love that overcomes death!

    No Sunday School – worship will be for the whole family. There will be child care for infants and toddlers only.


    Deacons Corner

    The new Board of Deacons met for the first time on Feb 6th. The new board has been active already with providing meals to a few of our ailing church members and activation of the prayer chain.

    The Dwelling Place continues to serve those in need on the third Wednesday of each month. A special “thank you” to those who volunteer, especially Sally Morrison and Judy Brunner for preparing the food and Beth and Anne Denier for providing luscious desserts. We also thank all the other volunteers for making salads and serving the food to our guests. They truly appreciate our being there. In January, there were 11 guests served. In February, there were 19 served.

    Welcome Back, Farmer Dave

    Soon, Winter will be gone. A sure sign of this event is the return of Farmer Dave’s CSA. This year, we will be participating in the Spring share. Deliveries begin on March 18. Hurry and sign up so you don’t miss out on the freshest veggies and fruits of the season!!!!

    A Teaching Supper about Communion:
    Maundy Thursday, March 28, 6:30

    The Christian Education Committee and Rod will again offer this opportunity for families with young children. There will be pizza and salad, and learning activities about the meaning and practice of the Lord’s Supper in our church. This annual event is planned primarily with elementary-age children in mind, but is open to families with children of all ages. All who come are welcome (but not obligated) to stay for the church’s Maundy Thursday communion service – which is typically briefer than most services, and is one of the times when we gather around the communion table for the sacrament.

    The Presbyterian Church (USA) Book of Order states “Baptized children who are being nurtured and instructed in the significance of the invitation to the Table and the meaning of their response are invited to receive the Lord’s Supper, recognizing that their understanding of participation will vary according to their maturity.”

    There will be a sign-up during coffee hour for interested families or you may call or email the church.

    Crafter’s Night, March 15
    Our “Warm Up America” crafter’s night was a big success! We will be meeting again Friday, March 15 at 7:00. Bring a square to finish or help us put them together. Don’t know how to make one? Come and learn! See the brochure on the church table.

    Friday Night at the Movies
    March 8, at 7:30
    Our Feature Presentation this month is “Get Low” starring Robert Duvall, Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek.

    One Great Hour of Sharing 2013

    Over the years, the resources provided though the One Great Hour of Sharing offering, brought relief and joy to all corners of the world including here in the United States. Your generous gifts proved that our Burlington congregation, as well as other Presbyterian churches and many other denominations, care for people in their time of need. While each denomination allocates its gifts differently, all use their funds for ministries of disaster relief, refugee assistance, and development aid. In recent years Presbyterians have given about $8 million annually.

    But need is increasing. Both within the United States and throughout the world, the gap between those who have enough and those who don’t continues to widen. Increased costs of living mean that this year’s dollar simply can’t do as much work as last year’s. The pinch many Americans feel is amplified many times over for those around the world who already spend most of their earnings on food.

    Last year our congregation gave $1,610 to OGHS. As a challenge for this year, our goal is $2,000.
    That would be equivalent to 40 tanks of gas at $50/fillup or 80 trips to a fast food restaurant at $25 for the family (if you’ve got coupons!). As you consider your offering this year, think of how every $5 or $10 can help feed or clothe or provide medication for someone in need.

    The theme for this year’s OGHS offering is that SHARING BRINGS JOY. The guiding passage comes from 2 Corinthians 9:6-15. In Paul’s letter, he reminds the early church of the importance of being generous and helping to supply the needs of others. He encouraged them in giving their gifts to those who were not even Christians and whom they did not even know. He ended his letter by saying that their giving would be seen as expressions of thanks to God.

    The blessings of giving have not changed. When we recognize the God-given worth of each person around the globe, without regard to race, religion, or nationality, we know we have God’s blessing and approval. The monies distributed to the Presbyterian Hunger Project, Disaster Assistance, and self development of people, bring joy to the recipients, to us, and to God. As a result of your gifts and the gifts of other congregation, OGHS will continue to be a reminder that through the simple act of sharing, we are blessed and will experience God’s abundance in surprising ways.

    Envelopes will be in the pews mid-March and the official offering will be collected on Palm Sunday. You can send in a gift at any time, however, marked OGHS. Thank you for your longtime support of this gift to others, as together we find that Sharing Brings Joy.

    Millie Wiegand

    What does it mean to be Presbyterian today?

    More and more books related to our Presbyterian faith are available every day for e-readers. You do not need to own a Kindle or Nook to read them – there are easy ways to read them on your PC or phone. (Search either amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com for “free ereader application”.)

    You can also download free copies of the Book of Order and the Book of Confessions from pcusa.org.

    This is a partial list from Amazon to get you started. (The list is sorted by popularity in the Kindle store.) Check out your favorite eBook store and see what is there!

    Presbyterian Questions, Presbyterian Answers: Exploring Christian Faith by Donald K. McKim (Jan 31, 2004)

    (also available in church library)

    On Being Presbyterian: Our Beliefs, Practices, And Stories by Sean Michael Lucas

    Presbyterian Beliefs: A Brief Introduction by Donald K. McKim (May 5, 2003)

    (also available in church library)

    To Be a Presbyterian by Louis B. Weeks (Jan 25, 2010)

    How to Survive Being a Presbyterian!: A Merry Manual Celebrating the Funny Foibles of the Frozen Chosen by Bob Reed (Jan 16, 2001) .

    (also available in church library)

    A Sustainable Presbyterian Future: What’s Working and Why by Louis B. Weeks (Jun 21, 2012)

    Presbyterians Being Reformed: Reflections on What the Church Needs Today by Robert H.Bullock Jr. and Clifton Kirkpatrick (Mar 20, 2006

    Being Presbyterian in the Bible Belt: A Theological Survival Guide for Youth, Parents, & Other Confused Presbyterians… by Ted V. Foote Jr. and P. Alex Thornburg (May 1, 2000)

    February 2013 Crossroads

    Winter Light: Discerning Our Path
    February 2, 2013
    12:30 – 4:00

    Did you know there is an ancient Christian tradition associated with February 2 (aka Groundhog Day)? As the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, Candlemas is a day to thank God for light. It is also the traditional day to bless the candles that will be used over the coming year.

    This is an opportunity to pause and ponder about the light and shadow in our own lives. Where do we need light? What parts of our lives are in between light and dark?

    We won’t just think about light – we will make candles, worship, talk, and reflect together.

    Sign in will begin at 12:30 with coffee and goodies. There is no cost. Feel to bring friends.

    Please come and light up your own life!

    Ash Wednesday Service
    February 13, 7:30 p.m.

    Quiet reflection, music and prayer will be the focus of this service to assist our meaningful entry into the season of Lent. The service will provide a time of peaceful renewal in the midst of our challenging days.

    Join the church family, and help us welcome others, to this traditional service marking the start of Lent. There will be ashes and an opportunity for placing them on our foreheads as the sign of our humility and dependence upon God’s grace (use of ashes will be voluntary).

    This can be an important start, in the right spirit, to the journey of Lent toward Holy Week. Please plan to make it part of your life.

    One Great Hour of Sharing

    Catastrophic storms and wildfires throughout the United States. War and political uprising in the Middle East. Malnutrition and starvation. Extreme poverty and urban squalor. Stories of disaster, hunger, poverty, and other tragedies filled our newspapers and television screens in 2012. With such stories, it is easy to become disheartened and experience compassion fatigue. In the midst of these times, the prophet Isaiah reminds us that we are called to be “the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in” (Isa. 58:12). We are called to make God’s community livable for all.

    Through abundant and generous gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) Presbyterians have for many years faithfully heeded God’s call to serve people seeking to reclaim and restore their lives.

    Your gift to this offering allows Presbyterian Disaster Assistance to restore communities around the world affected by disaster including those now recovering from Hurricane Sandy. It helps the Presbyterian Hunger Program work with Presbyterians and other partners to alleviate hunger and eliminate its causes in this country and internationally and makes it possible for Self-Development of People to affirm the dignity of all by assisting in the empowerment of economically poor, oppressed, and disadvantaged people.

    “Sharing Brings Joy. To Others, to God, and to Us.”

    The programs supported by OGHS depend on continued and increased support from congregations like yours. As a result of your gifts and the gifts of other congregations across the church, OGHS will continue to be a reminder that through the simple act of sharing, we are blessed and experience God’s abundance in surprising ways. Thank you for your longtime support of this offering, as together we are Sharing Resources . . . Changing Lives.
    Sara Pottschmidt Lisherness
    Director
    Compassion, Peace, and Justice

    Our offering will be received on Palm Sunday, March 24. Fishboxes will be available for the children.

    Beth Denier

    Worship
    (contributed by Joan Ross)

    The purpose of worship is not to hear a sermon, to sing a hymn or two. It is something much larger: to come in contact with the world as it is and as we want it to be. Both and at the same time. That’s why it looks so silly to an outsider who objects to the seemingly easy transition, not knowing that it is not easy at all. It is an ongoing process Sunday after Sunday after Sunday. It is not a habit; it is a discipline and discipleship. In one short hour to moan and mourn and then forget oneself and join with joy the others in a mock-up banquet reminding us of bread/hunger, wine/blood, life/death, and resurrection/hope that defies despair. You don’t do that in an hour; the hour only becomes a manifestation of what it takes a lifetime to realize.
    The hour spent in church is irreplaceable. When I now leave for church on Sunday morning and return an hour and a half later, I can hardly believe such a short time has elapsed. What could I have done in that length of time? Read a little, think somewhat, listen to music, finish a review, prepare a meal, yes. But compared to the cosmic importance and personal engagement that takes place in church – no, it cannot be compared. Church time is eternal. (Brita Stendahl)

    JAZZ & CHOCOLATE
    Saturday, February 9th, 7-9 PM

    The UCC Church is hosting a special event for music lovers and chocolate lovers alike. Noted professional jazz singer, Lydia Harrell, will be performing while we enjoy a variety of decadent chocolate desserts.

    UCC Church
    6 Lexington Street,
    Burlington, MA

    Tickets: $15.00

    For more information:
    Julie Lewis: 617-281-8670 jalewis@gmail.com

    5p Syndrome

    Each year in the United States, approximately 50 to 60 children are born with 5p- Syndrome (five p minus), also known as Cat Cry Syndrome or Cri du Chat Syndrome. 5p- Syndrome is characterized at birth by a high pitched cry, low birth weight; slow physical development and potential medical complications. “5p-” is a term used by geneticists to describe a portion of chromosome number five that is missing in these individuals. Children born with this rare genetic defect require ongoing support from a team of parents, therapists, and medical and educational professionals to help the child achieve his or her maximum potential.

    My granddaughter, Lydia, has this rare syndrome. Fortunately, she has a strong set of parents (my daughter Laurel and son-in-law Greg) and supportive siblings who help her cope with her needs. There is also a national organization which holds yearly meetings throughout the United States to help families connect and learn more about their children. This summer the annual conference will be held in New York and my daughter is on the planning committee.

    Here’s where BPC can help. I am asking for sponsors for the Fun Camp portion of the program for the 5P youngsters and young adults ages 12 and up. (Lydia is 14). In the past, this group has often been gathered in front of tv’s or movies during the day while the parents are attending the lectures and programs. This year, Laurel is planning a more active program, using leaders from the physical therapy classes which she teaches at Columbia University. The Fun Camp will include a music game show, yoga, memory book making, a photo booth, dance party, rhythm games, and other activities. Many supplies and donations are needed.
    Examples of supplies needed include :

  • Large posters for photo backdrops – preferably of city, dance, or beach scenes.
  • Costume supplies: wedding dresses, top hats, cummerbunds, boas, big sunglasses, beach hats & towels, cowboy hats, prince and princess crowns, magician’s cape, doctor’s white coat, any NY sports team clothing, etc.
  • Yoga mats, pre-made yoga pose pictures, pre-made photo cards, memory book decorations
  • The actual memory books will be pre-made with the conference logo on the front, but donations to purchase them and to purchase film are needed.

    See me if you are interested in contributing any of these items or with a check made out to 5P- Society to help defray expenses. This outreach goes a bit beyond our Burlington community, but it would be very meaningful to me and my family. And BPC will be noted as one of the sponsors in the program notes. I need to gather all donations by March 17th in order to take them to my daughter in time for her to determine what else will be needed. You can also find out more information about the 5p- Society and the conference on their website: http://www.fivepminus.org.

    Thanks in advance – Millie Wiegand