April 2015 Crossroads

Holy Week
Our observance of Holy Week begins with Palm/Passion Sunday worship at 10:30 a.m. on March 29. It’s a day of many emotions, as we join the Jerusalem crowds in praising Jesus’ arrival, but then remember what happens as the week continues. The Word for Children will take place at the beginning of worship, as the children will distribute the palms and then lead the congregation in the call to worship. (Parents and children, remember to bring the Fish Banks with you, as we will dedicate the children’s gifts during the Word for Children.) The children will remain in worship until after the scripture lesson, and then go to Church School for a special Palm Sunday activity. The One Great Hour of Sharing offering will be dedicated later in the service.

On Maundy Thursday, April 2, we gather for worship at 7:30 p.m. to remember Jesus’ Last Supper with the disciples, and we will receive the communion elements as we stand around the table.

On Good Friday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. we’ll remember the events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion, from Jesus’ agony in the Garden of Gethsemane to his “trial”, torture, suffering on the cross, death, and burial. Scripture, contemporary readings, music and prayer will guide our reflections on Jesus’ passionate love for us.

A new week then begins Sunday, April 5 as we celebrate Easter/The Resurrection of the Lord by enjoying the annual Easter Breakfast at 9:00 a.m. in Fellowship Hall. At 10:30, we’ll celebrate Christ’s victory over death with a joyful worship service, concluding with an opportunity for members of the congregation to join the Choir in singing the Hallelujah Chorus at the end of worship. (Be sure to let Nancy Timmerman know that you plan to sing so she can provide you with the music.)

Communion Teaching
Pastor Mike and the Christian Education Committee will be offering communion education for families in April and May. On the Sunday after Easter, April 12, parents and children are invited to meet after worship for pizza and salad and some learning activities about the meaning of communion and Presbyterian beliefs about who may receive the sacrament. On Sunday May 3, children will be invited to participate in worship by asking Pastor Mike questions about communion as he leads the celebration of the sacrament that day.

Thoughts
by
Amanda Moak

Although the idea of warmer weather and less snow on the ground doesn’t seem to exist right now, it’s always nice to look to the future and the hope it can bring. At the food pantry, we are looking towards the month of May (Saturday, May 2nd to be exact) and the Health Fair put on by the Burlington Board of Health. By its own definition, this fair is looking to promote healthy living across all stages of life. We believe the idea of “all stages of life” should be inclusive of everyone’s journey and it should not correlate with age alone, which is why it is so important for the food pantry to host a table.
While donating food to a food pantry is a pretty simple concept, our table will hopefully educate the people of Burlington on the best way to add items for donation to their shopping lists. We will hopefully achieve this goal by presenting a display on what to donate and what not to donate when you are thinking about items a pantry could use; all donations should be to date, and containers should never be dented or damaged. In addition to our board, we will also give concrete examples of what people can buy and donate to the pantry for $10 compared to what we can buy from the Greater Boston Food Bank with the same amount. This display will hopefully show that donating to a food pantry doesn’t always have to be about food. When people donate the money they were going to spend on food for the pantry, we can often stretch the dollars to buy more.
One last activity we are hoping to complete with audiences at the Health Fair is to begin our Wall of Support. We will have paper plates available for people to decorate and sign. Eventually these plates will end up on display somewhere in the pantry to show clients and volunteers alike how many people support the Burlington Food Pantry, and how many people are willing to help out a neighbor in need.
Project Bread brings a fresh approach to ending hunger. These are its goals: to promote sustainable and reliable access to healthy food for all, to invest in the strength and resiliency of local communities, and to collaborate with others in building a robust regional food system.

With the support of donors, corporate sponsors, individuals—and tens of thousands of Walkers—Project Bread works to break the cycle of hunger and poverty by devising, funding, advocating for, and facilitating solutions that change lives across the Commonwealth. It is the only statewide anti-hunger organization.

Hunger exists all across our state, but because it is concentrated in specific areas it is not always apparent. By reframing how hunger is perceived, by putting it within a larger economic and social context, and by empowering those who are served to take part in solutions, Project Bread removes the stigma, connects more people with the support they need, and, ultimately, enables those in need to give back to their own communities.

In 2014 Project Bread supported over 400 community food programs – soup kitchens, food pantries (including Burlington’s), food vouchers at health centers, summer meals for kids, subsidized CSA shares, community gardens, double-value farmers market coupons, food rescue programs, etc. – in 130 communities in Massachusetts.

How is BPC involved?
The annual Walk for Hunger is the largest fundraiser for Project Bread. For more than 28 years BPC has sent a team of walkers and raised thousands of dollars. In 2014 our team ten raised more than $4,000. This year we hope to do as well, and we can, with your help!!

There is a rolling start on May 3rd at the Boston Common between 7:00 A.M. and 9:00 a.m. You can start there, or at any point along the route and register at any checkpoint. If you want to return early, there are free buses available from each checkpoint to shuttle you back to the Boston Common finish line.

If you’d like to walk this year – anywhere from 3.5 miles to all 20, you can register online for our team, or speak to Linda Roscoe, our team captain.

If you need more information, please contact the church office at 781-272-9190 or office@burlingtonpres.org.
How can I donate?
• Sign the team’s pledge sheet on the bulletin board outside the front classroom. Give cash or checks (made payable to Project Bread) to Linda Roscoe.
• Online at http://support.projectbread.org/goto/BurlingtonPresbyterianChurch
• Donations will be accepted after the walk on May 3rd.

Anything else we can do?
Pray for good weather on Sunday, May 3, for the folks who work to alleviate hunger, for a successful fundraising effort and for the thousands of folks who will be served by Project Bread.

Dine for a Cause
Sunday April 19 @ 6:00 PM
at the Morrison’s Residence, Bedford, MA

Hello BPC Family and Friends,
Project Bread funds most community food programs in Massachusetts and Walk for Hunger is their biggest fund raiser. Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger happens every first Sunday of May and May is just around the corner. Our church in Burlington has a team of walkers. Although I am not walking this year, I am helping them to raise money. So, on Sunday April 19 at 6 pm, the Morrison’s are hosting a fundraising dinner for Walk for Hunger. We hope that you can join us to help this good cause. Please do not bring anything but your checkbook or cash and your empty stomach. Please make your check payable 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.

ONE GREAT HOUR OF SHARING – 2015
Beth Denier, Co-chair – Stewardship committee

“I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.”
Matthew 25:38

One Great Hour of Sharing offering for the Presbyterian Church, USA goes to support water and hunger projects, disaster relief and empowerment programs. Thanks to our gifts, people affected by disaster are helped to rebuild their lives and their communities. The ministries of the Presbyterian Hunger Program and Self-Development of People help individuals and communities to battle hunger, disease, unemployment and environmental problems.

The One Great Hour of Sharing offering will be received on Palm Sunday, March 29. Our offering for 2014 was $1879.00. We would like to do better this year. The need is great both here in the United States and throughout the world. It is more blessed to give than to receive.

February 2015 Crossroads

Ash Wednesday Service
February 18, 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.

Announcing our new officers….
If you didn’t make it to the Annual Meeting, here are the names of the new Officers for the Class of 2018. Their ordination/installation will take place on January 25.

  • Ruling Elders: Beth Denier (1 year), Brad Morrison, Ann McGrath, and James McIninch
  • Deacons: Caitlin Rivet (2 Year), Jackulin David, Linda McCusker and Colette Greco
  • Trustees: Ken Dewar and Patrick Doody
  • Pray for them as they fulfill these callings to special service in the church.

    Deacon’s Corner
    Niloo Hennings will be retiring from active service as a deacon this month. Niloo has each served for three years. She has served as our secretary and as the deacon representative to the Personnel Committee. We thank her for all her hard work over the past few years. It has been challenging to all as we have served without a full board for the past 2 years. She will be missed.

    Don’t forget our monthly pantry needs of 20 oz. bottles of dish detergent and individually wrapped bars of soap. We always collect on the first Sunday of the month…Jan 4th this month.

    Stewardship
    Each year the Presbytery of Boston requires member churches to pay a “Per Capita Apportionment” to support the mission and ministry of the Presbytery, Synod and the General Assembly. “Per Capita” means a certain amount to be given for each adult confirmed member of the church (children who are below confirmation age are not included.) This year’s Per Capita is $51.07. Two adult members in a household would each contribute $51.07; a family with two adult members, one confirmed youth and two younger siblings would be asked to contribute for only the three household residents who are church members. The Session invites you to use the Per Capita envelope in your envelope sets (if you use envelopes) or to use the Per Capita envelopes that can be found in the narthex. Please make checks out to the Presbyterian Church in Burlington. Every Per Capita payment received will free up money for use elsewhere in a very tight 2015 budget

    YAV REPORT
    Amanda Moak

    After our successful book study on January 22, the Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce Charitable Foundation will be taking a much-needed break for the month of February. Don’t let that worry you, though, because we have big plans for the upcoming months.

    Our first event will be on the evening of Monday, March 2. We will be having a speaker, Brian Donohue, from Brandies University, present on the New England 50×60 food plan. There will also be a panel as part of the presentation, to answer any questions we may have about CSAs and the ideas behind farm-to-table marketing. There will also be displays from the Burlington High School Science Center and different organizations about composting and greener living. I will continue to make announcements at church in greater detail about the upcoming event and what we can expect. Right now, I can only ask that you mark you calendars for what is sure to be a great evening and event.

    Also, be on the lookout for different events surrounding the Burlington Community Garden and all of our favorite food and gardening holidays. As soon as we can dig our way out of all this snow, the foundation will hopefully start hosting more events outdoors as a way to bring our community together around the garden.

    Women’s Bible Study

    The Women’s Bible Study has been studying, “A Deeper Look at Fruit of the Spirit” by Hazel Offner. It’s not too late to join in. If you are interested in attending Bible Study, please come on Thursday morning at 9:30. All are welcome.

    Leadership Training

    Boston Presbytery is offering Leadership Training at our church on Saturday, February 28, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. With sessions for Ruling/Teaching Elders, Deacons, and Finance leadership, this is a great opportunity to learn more about the role you are playing in your congregation and connect with others in similar positions. The morning sessions will focus on the basics and after lunch will focus on deepening and learning helpful skills. Elders will explore how to lead change and transformation in the congregation and Deacons will explore the aspects of visitation and prayer. Ten dollars covers materials and lunch provided by the Presbytery.

    The Rosebud
    By
    Pastor Darryl L. Brown

    It is only a tiny rosebud
    A flower of God’s design;
    But I cannot unfold the petals
    With these clumsy hands of mine.
    The secret of unfolding flowers
    Is not known to such as I.
    The flower God opens so gently
    In my hands would fade and die.
    If I cannot unfold a rosebud,
    This flower of God’s design,
    How can I have wisdom
    To unfold this life of mine?
    So I’ll trust in him for his leading
    Each moment of every day,
    And I’ll look to him for his guidance
    Each step of the pilgrim way.
    For the pathway that lies before me
    My heavenly Father knows.
    I’ll trust him to unfold the moments
    Just as he unfolds the rose.

    Crossroads January 2015

    Per Capita Offering
    Each year the Presbytery of Boston requires member churches to pay a “Per Capita Apportionment” to support the mission and ministry of the Presbytery, Synod and the General Assembly. “Per Capita” means a certain amount to be given for each adult confirmed member of the church (children who are below confirmation age are not included.) This year’s Per Capita is $51.07. Two adult members in a household would each contribute $51.07; a family with two adult members, one confirmed youth and two younger siblings would be asked to contribute for only the three household residents who are church members. The Session invites you to use the Per Capita envelope in your envelope sets (if you use envelopes) or to use the Per Capita envelopes that can be found in the narthex. Please make checks out to the Presbyterian Church in Burlington. Every Per Capita payment received will free up money for use elsewhere in a very tight 2015 budget

    Deacon’s Corner

    Once again we would like to thank all who have been providing rides for George.

    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, volunteering at the Wish Tree at the Burlington Mall, and purchasing CDs for Living Waters for the World. We collected $360.00. 182 families were able to give gifts to their children because of the success of the Wish Tree. Some of you did it for the first time, so we hope you got hooked on the Christmas spirit and will be back in 2015!
    We would also like to thank the ladies of the Billerica Senior Center, especially Shirley Thornton, for their donations of hats and mittens. Your gifts helped make a merry Christmas for many people in our community.

    Don’t forget our monthly pantry needs of 20 oz. bottles of dish detergent and individually wrapped bars of soap. We always collect on the first Sunday of the month…Jan 4th this month.

    Annual Meeting – Come All Ye!
    Saturday, January 17 2:00 p.m. Fellowship Hall
    Ice cream sundaes – 1:30 p.m.

    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.

    Moderator Mike O’Brien 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 2015 and approval of pastoral terms of call.

    Annual Reports will be available to the congregation by Sunday, January 11. Nominees for office to be presented by the Nominating Committee will be included.

    Stewardship Report
    Sue Hadsell

    Our last program for the year was The Christmas Joy Offering. We’re happy to report that we have received $1684.00!!!!

    The Christmas Joy Offering has been a cherished Presbyterian tradition since the 1930s. It helps fund the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions, which provides current and retired church workers with the help they need to get through life’s unexpected challenges. The Offering also supports education at Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges, promoting a commitment to higher learning and leadership development for all students regardless of race or economic standing.

    YAV REPORT
    Amanda Moar

    As we all know, pantries are the best and sometimes only way to provide food for families in need. They are an easy way for community members to come together and support one another either through volunteering or food drives. But it is not always enough. Most of the food being donated is canned goods high in sodium or sugar, not the best for people trying to remain health-conscious about their diets. As with every dark cloud, a silver lining does appear. In this case, it comes in the form of CSAs and community gardens.

    A great example of this silver lining is Mark Winne’s, “Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty”. Winne takes time to address the differences in society we witness every day, “the demand for fresh food raising in one population as fast as rates of obesity and diabetes are rising in another”. The book is filled with personal anecdotes and the stories of others’ about community gardens, CSAs, and food pantries that are receiving and distributing healthier foods.

    Please join the library, the food pantry, and the Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce Charitable Foundation for a book study and discussion on “Closing the Food Gap”. The study will take place Thursday January 22, at 7:30pm. Books can be checked out and read beforehand from the library. Thanks and we hope to see you there!

    Women’s Bible Study

    The Women’s Bible Study will be starting up again on January 8. They will be starting off with a brunch and distributing the new study, “A Deeper Look at Fruit of the Spirit” by Hazel Offner. If you are interested in attending Bible Study, please come to the brunch. All are welcome.

    Christmas Tree Burning Fundraiser
    Saturday, January 10, 2015

    Boy Scout Troop 11 in Billerica will be accepting Christmas trees to burn at Grigg’s Farm on Saturday, January 10th. Burning begins at 6 p.m. Drop off dates are Saturday, January 3; Sunday, January 4; and Saturday, January 10, 9:00am to 4:00 pm.

    For more information contact: troop11info@gmail.com or visit http://www.troop11billerica.org.

    January Worship Themes

    January 4: Don’t pack Christmas away just yet! We will celebrate Epiphany, with a look at the visitors who came bearing gifts from the East—but we’ll also think about the Shepherds. The Scripture is Matthew 2: 1-12, and the meditation is entitled “A Celebration of Giving.” Don’t panic when you see the Shepherds in a painting on the bulletin cover. ☺ We’ll gather around the table and the stable for Communion.

    January 11: The Baptism of the Lord. Fast forward 33 years as Jesus presents himself to John the Baptist for baptism in the wilderness. Why the wilderness? What did it mean for Jesus to be baptized? What does it mean for us to be baptized? Mark 1: 4-11 is the scripture, but check out also Isaiah chapter 35, “The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall blossom like a rose,” and in chapter 43, “I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”

    January 18: The scripture lesson is John 1:43-51, and the sermon title is “A Civil Response”. We don’t have a lot of civil discourse these days, but that’s not unique to our time. The scripture tells us how a man named Nathanael, upon hearing about Jesus, says sharply “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Ouch! But it gets better, thanks to civil responses from Jesus’ disciple Phillip and from Jesus himself. A pretty good lesson in defusing what might have been a nasty situation.

    January 25: The sermon title is “Building the Team”, based on Jonah 3: 1-5, 10 and Mark 1: 14-20. One scholar writes, “The ancient Hebrews were shepherds and city dwellers, no sailors/explorers like the Phoenicians. For the Hebrews, the sea is an image of chaos…..everything comes from the sea and everything returns to it. It is an image of transformation and rebirth and the transitory condition of life. The presence of a lake or a sea in the life of Jesus is a reminder that life is, like the sea, constantly in flux.” In that context, Jesus begins building the team.

    December 2014 Crossroads

    Deacon’s Corner

    This year the deacons will be sponsoring the Wish Tree at the Burlington Mall again. Thank you to all who have signed up. There are still some empty spots. We will also be participating in People Helping People’s pajamas and underwear drive. The cards have all been taken. Please return you unwrapped gifts (with card attached) to the office by Dec. 7th

    Once again we would like to thank all who have been providing rides for George. 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. (also labels)

    Don’t forget our monthly pantry needs of 20 oz. bottles of dish detergent and individually wrapped bars of soap. We always collect on the first Sunday of the month…Dec 7th this month.

    Thank you to all for your generous giving.

    Stewardship Report
    Sue Hadsell

    Our last program for the year is The Christmas Joy Offering.

    The Christmas Joy Offering has been a cherished Presbyterian tradition since the 1930s. It helps fund the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions, which provides current and retired church workers with the help they need to get through life’s unexpected challenges. The Offering also supports education at Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges, promoting a commitment to higher learning and leadership development for all students regardless of race or economic standing.

    This Offering encourages meaningful gift giving in the spirit of Christmas while sharing the message of God’s love during the Advent season.

    Look for more information which will be available in your church bulletin.

    Women’s Bible Study
    The Women’s Bible Study has finished their first study of the year. The Brunch will be held on Dec 4 at 9:30 am. If you are interested in attending Bible Study, please come to the brunch. They will be choosing their next study. There will be no meetings in Dec. They will start up again on January 8 with the new study. All are welcome. Come see what they are all about.

    “Wish Tree” Volunteers Needed
    There are still a few open slots for staffing the Wish Tree table at the mall on “our” day – Wednesday, December 3. Please consider taking a slot. It gives one the opportunity to witness generosity and good holiday spirits.

    In Niloo’s absence, Linda Roscoe will coordinate our volunteers. Let her know if you’d like to volunteer, but aren’t available either of our days; or if you need to change your time slot.

    Please sign up!!

    Please remember to turn in your unwrapped pjs and underwear with card attached to the church office by Dec 7!

    PRESBYTERIAN GIVING CATALOG

    What would you do with three extra hours every day?

    The bigger question is, what could those who are forced to walk miles for water each day do? Help give this time back through water-related gifts found in the Presbyterian Giving Catalog. Items like the sand dam, which is an effective method of water conservation in dryland communities, provide a sustainable source of clean water for entire communities. Together, we can help change the lives of countless people by giving them a reliable and convenient source of water.

    With your support, gifts from the Presbyterian Giving Catalog can lessen the burden for those in need of help. Start flipping through the catalog, or give online at http://www.presbyteriangifts.org. There are catalogs on the table at the front of the church.

    Christmas Eve Service
    A Family Tradition with Crèche, Carols and Candlelight
    Wednesday, 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. Pastor Mike 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.

    THANK YOU!
    On behalf of Session (and our Presbytery), a moment of gratitude to all of you who joined 40% of the voters in our Commonwealth and voted Yes on Question 3 in November.

    People of Faith were the greatest hope for reversing a decision that will be particularly unjust to those who can afford it the least, not to mention the number of families who will now deal with addiction.
    Thank you again for your efforts.

    Shelly Henderson, Clerk of Session

    From the Deacons

    The carols of Christmas touch our hearts in ways beyond any other music-reminding us of our past, bringing joy to our present, promising hope for our future.

    From the Bethlehem hills, where angel songs ring, to a lowly stable where a mother sings to her newborn babe; we journey in song through the miracle of the Nativity. Legacy Christmas, created by acclaimed instrumentalists and vocalists, connects us, defines us, reminds us.

    Millions of God’s children thirst for clean healthy water to drink. To help address this need, proceeds from Legacy Christmas will assist Living Waters for the World and the Presbyterian Women Birthday Offering in providing clean, sustainable water and enhancing the quality of life for women and children throughout the world.

    We will be selling the new CD Legacy Christmas-Nativity Carols and Hymns this year during Advent. There will be limited copies of last year’s CD also available. The cost is $15.00 each. These make wonderful Christmas gifts.

    November 2014 Crossroads

    News of our Church Family
    Special thanks…
    To our Retreat Committee, headed by Mary Lou Lynn (and including Jennifer Dewar, Joan Ross, Linda Roscoe, Mark Vogel and Mike O’Brien) for our Seeking God’s Guidance retreat on October 18. Also a big thanks to our guest speaker, Rev. Judy Proctor.

    …And to the Hospitality Committee, along with Farmer Dave, who provided for another terrific Pumpkin Party on October 24!

    Deacon’s Corner
    This year the deacons will be selling CDs from Legacy Christmas again. There is a new one this year… Nativity Carols and Hymns. The music is beautiful. Last year’s will also be available. More info further down in the newsletter.

    Once again we would like to thank everyone who has been providing rides for George.

    Don’t forget our monthly pantry needs of 20 oz. bottles of dish detergent and individually wrapped bars of soap. We will also be collecting food for the Thanksgiving In-Gathering of Food. More info further down.

    Thank you to all for your generous giving.

    Stewardship Report
    Sue Hadsell

    First, let me thank all of you for your wonderful contribution of $595.0 (as of October 5, 2014) to the Peacemaking Offering. 50% or $297.50 will go to the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program, a 25% or $148.75 will go to presbyteries and synods to support projects focused on peace and 25% or $148.75 is kept in the congregation for their peacemaking ministries. Again, my thanks.

    Secondly, November is the month we give thanks for what we have and for giving to those who don’t have with our annual harvest offering for the next year. Starting the second week of November look for documentation that will explain what we plan for the coming year, along with your pledge card and your time and talent questionnaire.

    Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) REPORT by Amanda Moak
    At the end of August, I arrived to a pantry that was in the full swing of its summer season. I was new to the world of out-of-the-garden-fresh fruits and vegetables, CSAs, and community gardens. As an outsider, it felt like I was going to be the untimely hitch in a well-oiled machine. My fears were not unexpected or surprising, though. Uncertainty is always my first reaction before I start doing something new. As per usual, my hesitations were unwarranted. A single volunteer is the least of a pantry’s worries when they are trying to make healthy food accessible to over 100 families. And besides, it doesn’t matter how organized a pantry is, there will always be a surprise waiting just around the corner to keep the coordinators and the volunteers on their toes.

    To my surprise, and probably my parents’ as well, I was a pretty quick study on the fresh foods. Vegetables that I used to believe looked the same, smelled the same, or tasted the same have now taken on unique qualities that are easily differentiated. This was great news because I immediately jumped into distribution days with the fresh foods, encouraging clients to take fruits and vegetables from Farmer Dave’s CSA and the Burlington Community Garden. I even had the chance to work on a picture produce guide for the pantry. Basically it will be a group of laminated note cards that we will take out on distribution days and attach to different shelves under the foods they represent.

    Along with the produce guide, I am also working on different events between the pantry and the Chamber of Commerce Charitable Foundation that bring together elements of cooking, preserving, and the use of different fresh foods. In the future, we will hopefully see cooking demonstrations, classes on the importance of understanding expiration dates, and more movie nights and book discussions. The idea is to educate people on the importance of fresh fruits and vegetables, and also to encourage clients to use what we have available from Farmer Dave and the Community Garden.

    My first few months here have been a wonderful whirlwind of activity. You have all been so welcoming and I truly feel like a part of this community. My work has been so fulfilling and so has getting to know the members of this church family. I am very excited to see what the rest of the year holds and I can’t wait to share it, not only with my parents back in Mississippi but with all of you.

    BURLINGTON FOOD PANTRY
    2014 THANKSGIVING FOOD DISTRIBUTION

    The Burlington Food Pantry will provide food for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner
    to over 200 families, including elderly shut-ins and veterans, on Sunday,
    November 23rd. The collection, sorting and distribution will take place at the
    United Church of Christ, Congregational, on the corner of Bedford and Lexington
    Streets in Burlington. Please arrange to bring your congregation’s food donations
    to the UCC church at 12:00 noon on Sunday, November 23rd. Representatives
    who drop off donations should check in with either Deana Tredeau or Tina Brierley,
    so that we can keep track of the many deliveries to be made that day.
    If you have questions in advance about food collection or delivery, please call
    Bobbie Killilea (UCC Administrator) at 781-272-4547.

    We need the following specific foods. This is a short list – but we need many of
    each item. PLEASE ONLY NEW PURCHASES, NO EXPIRED DATES!!!

  • Stuffing (bags or boxes)
  • Canned Corn
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Cornbread Mix
  • Gravy
  • Mayonnaise
  • Chicken Broth
  • Fresh vegetables will be purchased, so please know that your monetary donations
    are also welcome. Checks should be made payable to People Helping People.
    The Greater Boston Food Bank will provide most of the turkeys this year, and the
    Cub Scouts once again will provide all the pies. BPC needs volunteers to help sort and deliver to UCC after worship.

    Thank you for your assistance with this community-wide effort.

    Burlington Interfaith Thanksgiving Service
    Monday, November 24, 7 pm

    The Burlington interfaith community will be gathering in thanksgiving at Temple Shalom Emeth this year on Monday, November 24. This longstanding tradition will include leaders and worshipers from Christian, Jewish, Hindu and Muslim faith communities. This joining of religious traditions in Burlington is itself an occasion for gratitude in our broken world – added to the seasonal American holiday which recognizes our Creator’s goodness to us.

    The preacher this year will be Rev Mike O’Brien. As usual, an offering will be received for the work of People Helping People.

    Meet with Mike & Pam

    We are invited to sign up for a chance to meet with Mike and Pam in small group gatherings as they continue to get to know their new church friends. We will have a chance to share our memories, hopes and dreams for Burlington Presbyterian Church out loud or in writing, and we’ll also have the opportunity to learn about Mike and Pam. Because we were blessed with Rod and Cathy’s 35 years here, that means that we probably haven’t had much experience with what Interim Pastors do, and they can answer questions we might have. Most of all, they hope that our time together in a small group will help us all get to know one another better. There is a sign-up sheet in Fellowship Hall (of course).
    Meetings will be held Sunday(s) Nov.2 and Nov. 16 following worship
    Meetings with just Mike Sat., Nov. 1 9:30 am
    Web., Nov. 5 10:00 am
    Tue., Nov.18 10:00 am
    If you would like to host a meeting at another time at your home with some friends, contact Mike at pastor@burlingtonpres.org.

    “Wish Tree” Volunteers Needed
    Our church has been asked to provide volunteers for the Wish Tree table at the Burlington Mall on 2 days: Sat., Nov 29 and Wed., Dec 3. There are 2-hour shifts from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. There will be a sign-up sheet in Fellowship Hall soon.

    Please sign up!!

    The “Wish Tree” gives shoppers the opportunity to provide gifts for children in need in Burlington. For more information, see Niloo Hennings.

    Young Presbyterian Scholarship
    Westminster College
    New Wilmington, PA

    If you have a young adult ready to attend college, please see the flyer about this opportunity for young Presbyterians, hanging on the board outside the children’s classroom.

    From the Deacons

    The carols of Christmas touch our hearts in ways beyond any other music-reminding us of our past, bringing joy to our present, promising hope for our future.

    From the Bethlehem hills, where angel songs ring, to a lowly stable where a mother sings to her newborn babe; we journey in song through the miracle of the Nativity. Legacy Christmas, created by acclaimed instrumentalists and vocalists, connects us, defines us, reminds us.

    Millions of God’s children thirst for clean healthy water to drink. To help address this need, proceeds from Legacy Christmas will assist Living Waters for the World and the Presbyterian Women Birthday Offering in providing clean, sustainable water and enhancing the quality of life for women and children throughout the world.

    We will be selling the new CD Legacy Christmas-Nativity Carols and Hymns this year during Advent. There will be limited copies of last year’s CD also available. The cost is $15.00 each. These make wonderful Christmas gifts.

    PRESBYTERIAN GIVING CATALOG

    What would you do with three extra hours every day?

    The bigger question is, what could those who are forced to walk miles for water each day do? Help give this time back through water-related gifts found in the Presbyterian Giving Catalog. Items like the sand dam, which is an effective method of water conservation in dryland communities, provide a sustainable source of clean water for entire communities. Together, we can help change the lives of countless people by giving them a reliable and convenient source of water.

    With your support, gifts from the Presbyterian Giving Catalog can lessen the burden for those in need of help. Start flipping through the catalog, or give online at http://www.presbyteriangifts.org. There are catalogs on the table at the front of the church.

    Bridges Together
    Are you recently retired or are you an older adult with a flexible schedule? Do you like to work with kids? The Burlington Public Schools are seeking volunteers to participate in the “Bridges Together in Burlington” intergenerational program this year. The goal of the program is to build new caring relationships between older adults (55+) and children in the schools. The commitment is one hour a week for six weeks, plus one follow-up session a few months later to reconnect. The activities include sharing stories of family traditions, comparing (and contrasting) experiences of school, and sharing hobbies.

    Volunteers do not have to live in Burlington. If you have a friend or spouse you think would make a great volunteer, please share this info with them. To sign up, please call the Burlington Senior Center at 781.270.1950 or contact Bridges Together Burlington by using the web address listed below. The program dates, times, and location are listed on the online form.

    https://docs.google.com/a/burlingtonpres.org/forms/d/1LlSGVygTptus8gUrpFktOrqO9uuDPevxbZ6_VUSShF4/viewform
    Bridges Together has been in Burlington for three years and is a very rewarding program for the volunteers and the students. I’m happy to answer any questions you might have. In Burlington, this is run as a partnership between the Senior Center and the Public Schools.

    Memorial Service

    There will be a memorial service held at the church on November 22 for Kay MacLeod. Many in the congregation knew her and her husband Ross. You are welcome to attend the service. Kay entered God’s care in October and leaves behind her husband, Ross and three children Alan, Joanne and Karen.

    Presbytery of Boston
    Proposed Resolution
    For vote at Presbytery Meeting of September 27, 2014

    Whereas, The Presbytery of Boston in 1993 stated its opposition to any expansion of the use of lotteries or other forms of gambling to fund public expenditures in and by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and again in 2007 the Presbytery of Boston resolved to oppose gambling in all its forms, including the legalization of casino gambling in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and,
    Whereas, The Presbyterian Church through its General Assembly has voiced its opposition to legalized gambling in the United States at least five times, that is in 1950, 1975, 1992, 1994, and 2000; see
    http://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/101/gambling/; and,
    Whereas, We continue to believe that the earth’s resources have been put in our hands to be used productively for the good of all, and that gambling represents an abdication of this stewardship responsibility; and,
    Whereas, Experience shows that the social costs of gambling include addiction, crime, and disproportionate participation and deprivation of those in poverty; and,
    Whereas, The legislature has passed legislation legalizing the establishment of casino and slot parlor gambling in our Commonwealth; and,
    Whereas, The citizens of the commonwealth have succeeded in proposing to repeal this legislation, to appear as Question 3 on the November 4 ballot which, if approved, will prohibit the legalization, past and future, of casinos and slot parlors in the Commonwealth;

    NOW THEREFORE
    September 27, 2014
    The Presbytery of Boston reaffirms its opposition to gambling in all its forms, including those currently legalized in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and firmly supports all efforts to repeal and prohibit the legalization of casinos and slot parlors in the Commonwealth. The Presbytery of Boston further directs the Stated Clerk to send this resolution to the major news media publishing and operating within the bounds of the Presbytery and to its member churches asking them to join the Presbytery in its support of repealing the legalization of casinos and slot parlors in Question 3 on the ballot of November 4 and sharing this resolution with its members.

    YOU CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE – VOTE YES ON QUESTION 3
    by Shelly Henderson

    On Sunday October 12, we learned about our major religious leaders who ask us to take action:

    • On September 27, the Presbytery of Boston resolved to ask each of its member churches ask their congregations to support repeal by voting Yes on Question 3 to prohibit casinos and slot parlors.

    • On Thursday October 9 the leaders of nearly every religious group in Massachusetts were similarly asking their believers to vote YES on Question 3. Visit http://www.FaithforRepeal.com

    Why? As stated in the resolution: “Experience shows that the social costs of gambling include addiction, crime and disproportionate participation and deprivation of those in poverty.”

    More specifically:
    • Casinos actually kill jobs.
    • Addiction increases destroying families
    • Crime increases destroying communities
    • Disproportionate participation and deprivation of those in poverty

    1. Casinos Kill Jobs
    Casinos propose over 8,000 slot machines.
    Each machine removes more than $100,000 from the economy, killing 1-2 jobs every year.

    2. Addiction Increases, destroying families
    Personal bankruptcies increase by more than 18% in surrounding communities.
    In Cleveland, where 4 casinos opened just two years ago, addiction increased 700%, from 93/year treated before to almost 700/year treated after the casinos opened.

    3. Crime Increases destroying communities
    Assaults, larcenies, burglaries, robberies, murders, and auto theft increase between 22-114%.

    4. Disproportionate participation and deprivation of those in poverty
    We know from the lottery purchases, that the average per capita expenditure is $43/year in Weston versus over $1100/year per capita in East Boston where the per capita income is $15,000/year.

    If you can find it in your heart, here is what you can do to get involved:

    1. Vote Yes on Question 3 on Tuesday, November 4
    2. Educate others – try to find five more people who will vote and educate others.
    3. Make copies of the Faith For Repeal Flyer and give one to everyone you know.
    4. Enlist your neighbors, friends, book groups, social groups, other churches.
    5. Put a sign in your front yard, and wear a sticker on your lapel.
    6. Join our Chili Party on Saturday Oct 25 to Rally the Vote – RSVP to Shelly.
    7. Contact Shelly Henderson 617 964-3429 to get involved.

    BPC Parents and other Adults
    Please remember that at coffee hour all food and beverages are served and to be consumed in Fellowship Hall. This includes the juice and snacks for children. It is important that the children do not take juice and/or food into the double classroom or any other rooms in the church building. Encourage the children to enjoy their snack time with their friends in Fellowship Hall before going to either the play yard or the classroom to play. The carpet in the classroom is showing signs of spilled food and drinks and cleaning the carpet frequently is an extra expense to be avoided. Thank you!!

    September 2014 Crossroads

    Welcome to….
    Rev. Michael O’Brien and his wife Pam. Rev. Mike is our new interim pastor. He is a graduate of Gettysburg College, holds an M.Div. degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and a MSW degree from Rutgers University Graduate School of Social Work. He did his Basic Clinical Pastoral Education unit at Worcester State Hospital and completed 4 Advanced units of Clinical Pastoral Education in a Chaplaincy Residency program at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, CA. He has served as either Senior Pastor, Pastor, Assistant/Associate Pastor or Interim Associate Pastor at four Presbyterian churches in New Jersey and Maryland from 1977 to 2009. From July, 2010 to July, 2014, he served as Chaplain at Beacon Hospice in Plymouth, MA, having been a Chaplain resident at Sutter Medical Center for the prior year.

    A big thank you to…

    To the Worship Committee (especially Mark Vogel) for overseeing worship while we searched for an interim pastor; to our many guest ministers, to Kathleen for the bulletins. To everyone who helped with the children during Summer Celebration times on Sundays.

    Also to the Hospitality Committee for their great work in sponsoring our hosting of the July 4 parade units for refreshment and restrooms as they prepared to step off; and for a great church picnic on July 13 at Springs Brook Park.

    To the Interim Search Committee, James McIninch, Brad Morrison, Ken Dewar, Linda Roscoe and Niloo Hennings, for all the hours they put in. They worked very hard (and very secretly) to find the right interim pastor to meet our needs.

    A Farewell to…
    Alex Haney, as he heads into his second year as a YAV. He will be spending his next year in Little Rock, AR.

    Also to the Davis Family. We will miss them…Natalie’s sweet ladylike attitude, Vanessa’s sassiness, and Eric’s beaming smiles. Best wishes to all of them as they move on in their life journey.

    Deacon’s Corner

    The Deacons have had a quiet summer. They will be assisting again this year for Rally Day.

    Thank you to all who have been bringing George to church every Sunday.

    The Food Pantry is in need of canned vegetables.

    Stewardship Report

    Many thanks to the Congregation for their Pentecost offering of $593.00. $335.50 was sent to General Assembly and the balance retained by PCBM.

    Our Peacekeeping Offering is next on the agenda and is scheduled for Sunday, October 5, 2014. Our offering concludes A Season of Peace which encourages nonviolent solutions and provides opportunities to give witness to God’s gift of peace at the local, national and global levels. Look for further information in Sunday’s church bulletins during September.

    Sing to the Lord a New Song
    Choir will be starting again in September. Choir rehearses on Thursday nights from 7:30 to 9 pm and on Sunday mornings from 10:00 to 10:20 am. The first practice will be Thursday night, September 4, and the first service will be Sunday, September 7. The ability to read music is not required in order to participate, but non-readers need to come for most of the practices. However, if a person is skilled musically, they are allowed to take the music home to study, and join the Sunday morning practice. All are most welcome. The choir sings before the Word for Children, except for Communion Sundays, so teachers and students can participate, if desired. For further information, contact any choir member or Nancy Timmerman at 617-266-2595.

    Musicians (of all ages) who would like to play or sing in church are encouraged to do so. Please let Nancy know if she does not already. This special music can occur during the Offertory most Sundays. In addition, the choir sometimes prepares music which uses an instrument or bells to supplement the choir. Special music with choir needs about a month of notice. Other music can be scheduled a week or two in advance. Let your light shine!

    Women’s Bible Study
    Women’s Bible Study will kick off their year with a brunch on Thursday, September 11. We will then begin a study, Reconciling Paul: A Contemporary Study of 2 Corinthians. All women of the church are welcome! See Marylou Lynn if you have any questions.

    FALL LUNCHEON
    September 14, we will celebrate being back together after all the swimming, hiking, traveling and the fact that we now have an interim pastor in place.

    Lunch will be served following worship in Fellowship Hall. The menu is soup, salad, breads, dessert and beverages.

    Please find the sign-up sheet in F.H. We really need to know how many to plan for. All are welcome.

    Retreat
    Saturday, October 18 is the date for the BPC fall retreat. Mark your calendars now and plan to come for the day from 10:00 – 3:30. The theme of the retreat is “Seeking God’s Guidance: As Individuals and In Our Community”. There will be time to focus on prayer, Bible study and discovering other spiritual practices to help us as we seek God’s guidance in our individual lives and as a community at BPC. We are planning time for a group craft and lunch will be provided!

    Stay tuned for more details, but for now Save the Date!

    Tony Triglione Memorial Walk
    For Mission of Deeds

    DATE: September 21, 2014

    TIME: Registration at 11:30 am; Walk at 12 noon

    LOCATION: Lake Quannapowitt, Wakefield, MA

    STARTING LOCATION: Wakefield Lower Common near the Gazebo

    REGISTRATION: $15 per walker / $40 per family

    FREE T-SHIRTS TO THE FIRST 200 WALKERS TO REGISTER!

    Complimentary appetizers from Joe’s American Bar and Grill, Radio station MIX 104.1 dishing out Ice Cream, Fabulous Music by the North Ave Band, Free Face Painting for all, Free Refreshments – popcorn, slush, granola bars, water; Raffle of Red Sox vs Tampa Bay tickets: Capitol Grille Burlington – Wine & Dinner raffle; Combined local businesses and restaurants gift cards Raffle.

    Details & forms available in the office.

    Introducing Our New YAV

    Amanda Moak
    While we are all sad to see Alex leave, he will be missed, we are also excited to continue to support the Young Adult Volunteer program with the Boston Presbytery. This year, the Boston Presbytery is sponsoring three new Young Adult Volunteers (YAVs) to engage in the mission of providing healthy and sustainable food for all people by working with area churches and community groups. The goals of the YAV program are to help the young people learn to live simply, consider vocational choices, and enrich their spiritual lives. Our new YAV is Amanda Moak.

    Amanda Moak is a recent graduate from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. In school she studied history, focusing primarily on American history. It’s one of the main reasons she fell so deeply in love with Memphis and colorful past. During her time at Rhodes, Amanda enjoyed being a part of the varsity tennis team, and working for her coaches in the tennis office. She was an active member of the Kappa Delta Sorority and worked with a student run street paper, The Bridge. While leaving Memphis and Rhodes is going to be a challenge for her, she is looking forward to living in Boston and doing something new with her life.

    Now that she has graduated, Amanda has been spending time at home in Brookhaven, Mississippi. She finally has time to read for fun again and is excited about not constantly thinking about papers and tests. This summer she has become well versed in the arts of refinishing furniture; or as some people call it, upcycling. She is still playing tennis a few times a week, but on a less competitive level. But mostly, she is ready to leave home and begin this new part of her journey.

    Jane McIninch will be Amanda’s supervisor. Amanda will be working full time in Burlington sharing her time between our church, the food pantry and working with the Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce Charitable Foundation. She will help clients of the pantry figure out how to better take advantage of the fresh produce coming in from Farmer Dave and from the Burlington Community Garden. She will help build some workshops to teach Burlington residents including pantry clients cooking skills, better nutrition and life style changes to prevent obesity and live healthier lives. She will also help with the community garden. Be on the look out for more movie nights and other events and plan to get involved. On Fridays all three YAVs will work together in various volunteering activities throughout the Boston area.

    The three YAVs sponsored by the Boston Presbytery will live together in an apartment in Watertown. They will also be challenged to live simply and will spend the first six months restricted to only purchasing food produced locally in New England and then the last six months purchasing their food through the SNAP program (Supplemental Nutrition Food Assistance). After spending a week in the New York City area at an orientation for all the YAVs serving this year both nationally and internationally, Amanda will spend the week of August 25th in a local orientation to Boston. Her first Sunday with us will be August 31st. Please welcome her to our church family and plan at some point during the year to invite her to participate in a meal or activity with you.

    Christian Education
    Sunday School Classes
    Sunday school classes will be beginning soon. In the coming weeks, registration forms will be distributed during announcements. The form is MANDATORY for children attending nursery through older youth Sunday School classes. One form will cover all children in the same family. The deadline to turn in the CE registration form is preferably Rally Day, Sept 7, but no later than Sept. 14.

    RALLY DAY PROJECT
    On September 7 the Church School classes will assemble Hygiene Kits for their Rally Day Project. We will need a one-gallon plastic bag with zipper closure for each kit. So this will be much easier than making cloth bags like last year! Note the exact items in the list below.

    You could bring several individual toothbrushes, a box of gallon bags, a few of the items, or all of the items. The kids will form an assembly line on Rally Day and create each kit.

    Place your items in the “Hygiene Kit” box near the church entrance.

    Hygiene Kit for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
    1 – hand towel (approximately 16” x 28”, no fingertip or bath towels)
    1 – washcloth
    1 – wide-tooth comb
    1 – nail clipper
    1 – bar of soap (bath size in wrapper)
    1 – toothbrush (in original packaging)
    6 – Band-Aids® or other adhesive bandage strips
    Please do not add toothpaste. Toothpaste with an extended expiration date will
    be added to Hygiene Kit shipments just prior to
    shipment.

    BPC in the world
    This article was sent out around the country in June by Church World Service.
    July 31, 2014

    Crayons Needed
    With back to school sales already starting to pop up in stores, now is a good time to organize a CWS School Kits drive! The need for CWS School Kits is great and growing, and supplies in the warehouse are low.

    Would your church or organization commit to holding a CWS School Kit drive to help our neighbors around the world? Read about the items needed to assemble school kits and then check out those sales.

    One example of New England getting involved comes from the Burlington Presbyterian Church in Burlington, Mass. Congregants organized a CWS School Kit mission project last September as their children were starting back to Sunday School. The children helped fill 62 School Kit bags while learning about what Christians can do to help those in need. An assembly line was set up with the younger children at one end. Those children put smaller single items into each bag, then passed the bags to the next class, who were a little older. The middle school children added items that needed to be counted. The assembly line concluded with the older children checking each kit to ensure all items were present. We are so grateful that hands big and small aided in the effort to increase the CWS School Kit supply and help our neighbors around the world!

    We also received the following letter from CWS:
    Dear Friends:
    Thank you for your kind donation of 62 school kits to Church World Service. Your compassion has given individuals and families touched by disaster the tangible evidence that they matter. That someone cares. And they are not alone.

    Disasters can strike anywhere, anytime. And they can take many forms: tornadoes, earthquakes, civil conflict, drought, hurricanes and more. But with the support of caring people like you – who understand the urgency of responding after a disaster – people in crisis receive help when they need it, and hope for the future.

    For updates on our most recent work, visit cwsglobal.org.

    Here at home or overseas, when tragedy strikes your donations ensure that help is never far behind.

    With deepest gratitude,
    Rev. John L. McCullough
    President and CEO

    June 2014 Crossroads

    Deacon’s Corner
    If you have any concerns or prayer requests during this time of transition, please feel free to call one of the deacons or the office. We are here to help you or find someone who is able to help.

    Thank you to all who have been bringing George to church every Sunday. His birthday is coming up again on the 22nd of June. There will be cards and labels on the table in the front of the church so that you can send him a card.

    The Food Pantry is in need of tea and coffee. They would also be grateful for personal hygiene items, such as toothbrushes and toothpaste, shampoo, individually wrapped bars of soap, razors, baby food and diapers.

    Pentecost Offering
    One of the very special offerings of Presbyterian Missions is to the annual Pentecost Offering. This offering is focused on youth-oriented activities. Here at Burlington Presbyterian, we have been blessed this year to experience one of those programs – the Young Adult Volunteers. Our YAV, Alex Haney, jumped right into church activities in the fall by working with the Community Supported Agriculture Program (Farmer Dave’s)and now in the Spring is continuing that plus adding teaching of classes for adults (Lazarus at the Gate) and for children (Manna Mondays). His enthusiasm and fresh perspective add a new dimension of service to our church life.
    The Pentecost Offering also supports children at risk and various youth events which encourage discipleship engagement and youth worker formation. One of our youths, Angela Wantate, will be attending a week-long event this summer and we look forward to seeing what she will bring back to our congregation.
    This year’s offering will be gathered on June 8th, the Day of Pentecost. We send 60 % of the funds to the Presbytery, but keep 40% to use for our own programs. Please give generously to support this vital part of our church mission.

    Thank you,
    Millie Wiegand & Sue Hadsell
    Stewardship Committee
    Christian Education

    On June 15, we will be honoring our teachers and celebrating the end of our regular church school program. The Sunday School classes will participate in the Worship Service. Following worship there will be a cookout. 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. See the sign-up sheet in Fellowship Hall.

    Beginning June 22 our younger children will attend a Sunday activity called Summer Celebration. The Christian Education committee organizes this to educate and entertain these children, and to promote peaceful summer church services. With Summer Celebration in place, parents are free from the stress of keeping young ones quiet, and the rest of the congregation benefits as well.

    We give our regular Sunday School teachers a summer vacation and ask that YOU (yes, YOU reading this right now if you don’t regularly teach!) sign up as a leader or assistant. You will receive a folder with a program module and a bag with resources for that module. There are 10 Sundays so we need ten leaders and ten assistants. Please help on more than one Sunday if you can!

    See Marti Huff with the sign-up sheet, or call her to sign up or ask questions. (978)667-3892

    YAV Report from Alex
    Eating Together
    This year has been full of experiences that show how important a shared meal is, and I share some with you here. Most of these thoughts are inspired from reading Eat with Joy by Rachel Marie Stone (InterVarsity Press, 2013). I’d recommend that for further reading. She is very good at connecting her experience with food with her faith in Christ. She talks all about her eating disorders, dieting, feasting, and fasting and references the Bible at least every 2 pages. It’s very good.

    Stone says on page 67, “Our English word companion comes from the Latin for ‘with’ (com) and ‘bread’ (panis)—a companion is one with whom you eat your bread.”

    Our companion Rod moved away, but two of my fondest memories were at a meal with him; one at his house, one when he met me at True North. How many of your stories with Rod involve a meal? How many of your stories with other people? I only have one with Rod that didn’t involve food in some form. Most of the stories we told about my friend Gus at his memorial service involved eating together in some way: Gus struggling to cook a bear arm in his college dorm, Gus getting Long John Silver’s every time he had a day off from camp, Gus falling down while salsa dancing in his socks at Tony’s house holding a slice of pizza, I could go on forever. He was a funny guy and taught me a lot, mainly about edible wild plants and how he understood God. I would guess many of your memories of family and friends both living and past involve food. We remember these times because we need food often, and when we share it we realize how much we need each other; how much we need God.

    Eating together has a special healing power. After my cousin Sarah’s recent death, her husband Mark and my other cousins have identified making family dinner with her kids as a priority. We all know that’s important. Eating dinner with their dad every night can bring them closer in this tragic, sad time. In Eat with Joy by Rachel Marie Stone there is an entire chapter on the healing power of communal eating. For anorexia, family-based-treatment or the intentional act of eating family meals and making patients eat their food with others has had success rates around 90%. Communal eating has healing power!

    Most of Jesus’ conversations were at meals with people of various economic and social statuses. Eating with the “unclean” is mostly what upset the Pharisees. If you remember the stories after the resurrection, the disciples, and others didn’t recognize Jesus until they were sharing a meal with him. They could see who God was when they ate together. God reveals himself during shared meals and shares the meal with us.

    In March, I volunteered at “Hearty Meals for All,” where volunteers cook a healthy community meal from scratch with as many local ingredients as possible at the Somerville Community Baptist Church. They open it up to anyone who walks in the door. They don’t check to see if you’re homeless before you get food, or if you “deserve” it. Anyone can come and dine together. Eating there, I conversed with some volunteers and a homeless guy named Eliot, but there was something powerful about the table that put us all at the same level. It was just as awkward to talk with the homeless man I didn’t know as the other volunteers I didn’t know. We could all share something intimate trying to talk with a mouth full of food, and talking about the weather. The same thing happens every day at the Women’s Lunch Place downtown on Newbury Street where another YAV, Audrey works. No need to distinguish class, race, just come and get food if you need it, if you want it, if you’re hungry. And when you sit at a table with other people you are all the same vulnerable people who depend on this earth and food and God for sustenance, nourishment, and survival. We all share equally in that place of feeding and conversation.

    Jesus’ table is open to us a lot like that, but better. We are all invited. We are all sinners. We don’t have to show proof of income, check the box with race, and check if we’ve been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor. He knows us, takes us as we are, feeds us and makes us whole; makes us who he created us to be. We can remember our welcome place at God’s table when we eat with others, and we can get closer to them and to God when we break the bread.

    Because it’s so important I have a challenge for you. For the rest of this week or this month have more meals with other people than meals alone. Invite someone from your job or church out for coffee or for lunch. Take a meal to a shut in and eat with them; or even to a neighbor who isn’t shut in. Sit down with everyone in your family for dinner around a table. We know it’s important. Let’s eat bread with our companions in Christ. We may even recognize him among us like the disciples.

    For more on food and faith check out the Presbyterian Hunger Program website blog where the YAVs post regularly (http://www.pcusa.org/blogs/foodfaith/) , the YAV program website (www.bostonfoodjusticeyavprogram.wordpress.org) , or just ask me, Alex, to get a meal with you and we can talk about food and faith. I’ll even help you cook it!

    Other Food Reminders:

    Want to eat healthy local Massachusetts food this summer AND get it delivered to you at the Church? Want to get your food from a farm that takes care of the workers and God’s creation? Don’t forget to sign up for the Clark Farm Egg CSA, Lilac Hedge Meat CSA and/or Farmer Dave’s Fruit and Vegetable shares starting in June! Local eggs raised on pasture and fed soy-free organic grain, and pasture raised beef, pork, lamb, and poultry will all be available this summer right here at the church with Farmer Dave’s fruit shares and vegetable shares. Place your order today for enough food to replace most of your grocery shopping!

    For Clark Farm eggs fill out a form from the table at the church or talk to Alex, Jane, Kathleen, or Mary Lou to sign up. E-mail the church (burlpres@aol.com) with questions.

    For Lilac Hedge Farm’s meat CSA, and Farmer Dave’s fruit and veggies, order online: http://www.lilachedgefarm.com, http://www.farmerdaves.net.

    For more information on the quality of the food, farm practices, etc. contact our farmer friends:
    Kristen Cummings Tom Corbett Bethany Bellingham
    Clark Farm Lilac Hedge Farm Farmer Dave’s
    (978) 369-0308 (978) 257-2207 (978) 349-1952
    info@clarkfarmcarlisle.com lilachedgefarm@gmail.com farm@farmerdaves.net
    http://www.clarkfarmcarlisle.com http://www.lilachedgefarm.com http://www.farmerdaves.net

    Yard Sale!
    June 21, 9am-3pm

    If you have items to donate you may bring them to the church during the week of the 15th. Sunday is all right if that is the only good time for you. Monday the office is not open but if you have a key you could drop items then. If you are dropping things off, please put your name on them so in case there is a problem we will know whose “stuff” it is. We need volunteers to help sorting and pricing items for the sale, Tues – Fri. On the day of the sale, we need helpers to set up, tear down and we need cashiers and general staff. There are sign-up sheets at the front of the church. Please help, if you are able!!!

    We have enclosed “Yard Sale Donation Suggestions”.
    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 Pac-n-plays, 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.
    !