September 2015 Crossroads

Delicious Food and Delightful Fellowship
Save the date for our annual Fall Luncheon – Sunday, September 20th – and start thinking about what delicious dish you want to share with everyone, because this will be an International Potluck Luncheon!

Christian Education

Rally Day is coming on September 13! This is our kick-off day for our Christian Education program. All classes will begin, from our preschoolers through our adult class. The adult class will meet at its regular 9:15 time. There will be a special program for our preschoolers-Middle School kids during the worship time. High school kids will meet at that time to decide what they want to do this year.

Adult Sunday School Resumes!

We will kick off our year September 13 at 9:15 with a study on The Power of Forgiveness led by Pastor Mike. We will be reading Forgive and Forget by Lewis Smedes and watching clips from a video series, The Power of Forgiveness. Please come join us!

Attention High School Students

High school students will be meeting after the Word for Children with Ann McGrath to decide what they want the program to look like during this year. Please make an effort to be there so you can be part of the planning.

Come Sing With Us!
Nancy Timmerman

All voices are welcome to sing in the BPC Chancel Choir. Regular rehearsal times are 7:30 to 9 pm on Thursdays and 10 to 10:20 am on Sunday mornings during the school year. The choir season will start with rehearsal on Thursday, September 10 and Sunday morning, September 13, 2015, the same time as the services return to 10:30 am. Regular choir members who are going to miss practice or Sunday morning need to notify the director ahead of time.

The ability to read music is not required. However, for skilled singers who need to miss practice, arrangements can be made to provide the music for individual study. We are a friendly group who sing a variety of musical styles. It should also be noted that, since the choir sings the offertory on communion Sundays and the anthem (before the Word for Children), students in the upper grades can participate, and Sunday School teachers can sometimes participate.

In addition, instrumentalists or not regular members of the choir are encouraged to provide special music (usually during the offertory), as they were during the summer months. This also needs to be coordinated.

Women’s Bible Study

Women’s Bible Study will begin on Thursday September 17 at 9:30 am with a welcome brunch. All women of the church are welcome! Our study is titled Encouraging One Another. Please join us! We will be meeting in the large classroom.

PEACE AND GLOBAL WITNESS OFFERING

This offering, formerly known as the Peacemaking Offering, will be received on October 4, World Communion Sunday. In 2014, the 221st General Assembly approved the change to engage with our global partners in new initiatives of reconciliation in addition to the rich tradition of our denomination’s long commitment to peacemaking.

Throughout September, articles on Domestic Violence, Gun Violence, Human Trafficking and Structural Racism will be included in the bulletins. We hope you will take time to read these articles.

Twenty-five percent of the offering will stay in our congregation. In the past, some of the church’s share of the offering has helped to provided scholarships for graduating seniors who have been involved in peacemaking activities. Our congregation may wish to support other causes this year. Please share your thoughts with the Stewardship Co-Chairs: Sue Hadsell and Beth Denier.

Deacon’s Corner
We are thrilled to report that our Sister Deacons, Kathleen and Caitlin are continuing to heal nicely from their surgery sharing a liver…Praise God! In their absence, Barbara Karanja has graciously volunteered to cover Caitlin’s role as Deacon Coordinator. If you have prayer concerns, please contact Rev. Mike.

Summer 2015 Crossroads

Don’t Forget!
Sunday July 5th we’ll be worshipping with our UCC Brethren in their sanctuary at 9:30 am. That kicks off our summer hours – we’ll worship at 9:30 am through September 6th. After that we return to our 10:30 am services.

Summer Picnic after worship service

Spring Brook Park has decided not to open on weekends this year. In order to have our Church Picnic, we had to find a new venue. The Morrisons have very graciously offer to open up their home and yard to us.
They will provide the meat. Please bring a side dish, a salad, or a dessert to share. Please sign up on the list in Fellowship Hall and indicate what you plan to bring. They have enough chairs for 40 people. If you are #41 signing up, please bring your own chair! There will be games for the children. If you have a favorite yard game, please consider bringing it along. Our aim is to have a good time. If you have any questions, see Sally or Brad. Come! Join us!

A big thank you to…all who helped with Duncan’s service. It was a graceful way for us to express our love for Duncan. As the hymn says, “They’ll Know We are Christians by Our Love”.

Thank you
…goes out to our dedicated Christian Education staff for their good, nurturing work during 2014-2015. A recognition service took place, followed by the annual CE cookout, on June14.

…and likewise to all the folks who gave so much so that we might have a successful Yard Sale on June 20, especially co-coordinators Judy Brunner and Sally Morrison (an unbeatable team!). Many came on a hot Saturday to shop.

Food Pantry Needs
We will be at UCC the first Sunday of July. Our next regular collection will be August 2. Remember, we are committed to providing 20 oz. bottles of dish detergent and individually wrapped bars of soap. Other non-food item, which need to be purchased by the pantry, are also welcome.

We need you
…to drive George to church
…to be a Worship Assistant
…to be a Greeter
Training available for Worship Assistants and Greeters
Please sign up today!

Yard Sale
We had our annual yard sale on June 20. It was a beautiful day and we sold a lot of “stuff”. Thank you, thank you to all who contributed. We earned a net of $1,234.24.

We worked hours in preparation and clean-up. Thank you to those who sorted and priced items and those who packed up the leftovers and hauled them to the thrift shop. Our sore muscles and feet are beginning to feel better. Thank you to all who baked cookies, pies, cakes and breads for our first attempt at a bake sale along with a yard sale, all looked delicious. Thanks to all who set up the tables.

Judy and Sally

Food Pantry Updates
by Amanda Moak

This past month has been a good one at the pantry. We are establishing normalcy and “regulars” with our cooking and nutrition classes, and we are finally getting fresh produce from the farm and soon the community garden.

What I like about the cooking classes is the variety of foods Nancy exposes us too. The only place I’ve ever had barley before was in a soup, and two weeks ago we made a barley summer salad. We also shop for most of the ingredients for the class in the pantry to show the clients just how doable fun recipes are.

Now that the CSA has started for the summer season, we are also able to incorporate fresh vegetables into the mix. This is especially exciting because a lot of clients (and also me) are not sure how to use all of the vegetables donated by the farm. Nancy has been giving us the confidence to branch out and do more cooking on our own. On several occasions clients have told me that after leaving the cooking class they went home and cooked the same food that Nancy made and it tasted just as good.

The nutrition classes are also fun because the clients who attend are sincerely interested in what Harriet has to say. They are active participants, asking questions and adding their thoughts. I always learn something new, and Harriet is an extremely knowledgeable teacher. She is great at listening to the attendees and answering their questions. I hope these classes are able to continue after I am gone because they have been a great service for our clients, and I think Nancy and Harriet love to teach them just as much as we love attending.

These past few weeks have been very exciting on the vegetable front as well. The CSA has officially started for the summer season, which means we’ve been seeing a large amount of fresh produce. We have also been planting in the Burlington Community Victory Garden. The plants are still to young to harvest, but soon we are hoping to see kale, broccoli, beans, eggplant, squash, and many other summer and fall vegetables. The garden is special to us because it is completely run by volunteers and all of the produce is donated to the pantry. I can’t wait to start using the Burlington-grown food in our cooking classes. It will be a fun day when we can say everything we cooked was grown and prepared right here in Burlington. If you would like to work in the garden (and trust me, you will always be welcome), please feel free to reach out by calling (339)-234-9221, or sending a quick email to phpvictorygarden@gmail.com

Stewardship
Sue Hadsell

Hello Everyone
Kudos to everyone who helped make the total contribution to Pentecost a total of $877 $40% will go to our congregation which will help us with our YAV program. Thank you.

Secondly we have received a total of $2891 for our per capita, which is more than received last year (thank you) but is shy of what we need to contribute to Presbytery for this year. If there is anything you can contribute to per capita this year it is more than appreciated.

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

Christian Education

Summer Celebrations is the summer Sunday School program for Pre-K to grade 2 (children entering Grade 2 in the Fall). It starts on June 21 to September 6. So that our fabulous teachers can take a much deserved break, we are asking for volunteers to teach and assist a summer class (or two). Just grab a prepared lesson folder, which includes materials for craft activities. The theme for this summer is the Parables of Jesus. Come and pick your favorite ones. Please contact Kim Oey-Rosenthal or Mary Lou Lynn.

Fourth of July

Once again, the parade organizers are using our parking lot to kick off the annual parade. If you live in Burlington (even if you don’t), come down to help show our hospitality and make them feel welcome.

Crossroads for May 2015

Helping Hand
by Amanda Moak

Providing food to those in need is not the only way to lend a helping hand. Often, it is what you do with the food that helps families the most. When food is stored and prepared properly, its usefulness stretches further and people are able to enjoy the benefits for longer. For this reason, I am proud to say the pantry’s first nutrition and cooking classes were an extreme success.

The nutrition class was held on Thursday, March 19th in the basement of St. Marks church. Harriet Wollman, a pantry volunteer and registered dietitian, lead our clients in a discussion about the “my plate” food chart. She answered general questions and was able to start planning future classes. The next class will be on Thursday, April 23, and we will be learning how to effectively read nutrition labels.

Our first cooking class was Thursday, March 19th. Nancy Hogan, who also teaches cooking classes at the recreation department, spent about an hour showing 23 clients how to make turkey tacos, refried beans, and homemade salsa. We shopped for most of the ingredients in the pantry. It is something we will continue to do so we can show our clients how easy it is to put together a meal with the foods they pick up on our shelves. The clients seemed to especially enjoy this class because we got to taste the product at the end. Many clients expressed an eagerness to attend more classes. They threw out suggested additions to the tacos and even requested meals to try out in the future.

It was very encouraging to see people so excited to learn about healthful eating and food preparation. I think it was a sign that I am doing exactly what I was meant to be doing this year. Hopefully, our success will continue and these classes will be happening long after I am gone.

God, from my youth you have taught me
Psalm 71:17

The Pentecost Offering will be collected on Pentecost Sunday, May 24. The ministries supported by the Pentecost Offering teach young people to make faith, fellowship and service part of their lives. Your gift to the Pentecost Offering unites young people in Christ and inspires them to share their faith, ideas, and unique gifts with the church and the world.

The Pentecost Offering is distributed so that the gift does good, near and far:
Globally: 25% supports the YAV program
Locally: 40% stays with your congregation helping youth in your community
Sustained Impact: 25% goes to ministries with youth
10% goes to ministries for children at risk

Please give generously!

BPC SPRING CLEANUP – MAY 30, 2015
9am to 1pm
The Board of Trustees has scheduled the church’s spring cleanup for Saturday, May 30th, from 9am to 1pm with a rain date of June 6th. We encourage everyone who can make it that day to assist in sprucing up the church property, both inside and out. Please bring all the equipment you need to help, including rakes, shovels, gloves, brooms, garden tools, wheel barrels, small step ladders, window cleaner and paper towels.

There will be a job for everyone, either working on the lawn and shrubbery, sprucing up the atrium or sweeping the winter debris from the play yard. We have a lot of windows to clean, both inside and out. If you don’t like doing yard work, helping out with the window cleaning will be greatly appreciated. This is a great opportunity to give a few hours of your time and maybe work with someone who you don’t know.

Spring Retreat

This year’s Spring Retreat is scheduled for Saturday, May 16 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. It will be built around William Bridges’ book Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes. We all experience times of change in our lives, some planned and some unplanned: unemployment, changes in health, loss of a loved one, becoming caregivers for aging parents, the end of a marriage, retirement, moving to a new community, and so on. Using Bridges’ model of what happens during transitions—Endings, The Neutral Zone, the New Beginning—Pastor Mike will explore the intersection of our faith and Bridges’ model. Group discussion, individual reflection, Bible study and sharing our own stories will assist us in discovering where God is in the midst of our transitions.

Books are available from Linda Roscoe. They are $10.00. Please read the book prior to the Retreat. Sign-up sheets are in Fellowship Hall.

Post Office Food Drive
Volunteers Needed

On Saturday May 9 the US Post Office is conducting its annual food drive. Volunteers are needed at St. Margaret’s Religious Education Building, 109 Winn St., Burlington, on Saturday May 9th from 1-6 pm to sort and date check food donated.

On Friday, *May 15th from 8 a.m. – 1pm help is needed to transport the food from St. Margaret’s Religious Education Building and put onto the shelves of the Food Pantry. Volunteer hours can be used towards community service hours for teenagers. If you are interested in helping and making a difference in your community – Contact Judy Walsh at judyw621@gmail.com or 617-797-6786. For more information about People Helping People go to http://www.peoplehelpingpeopleinc.org
*Please note change in date!

People Helping People

Taste of Italy, a benefit event for People Helping People, will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday, May 4 at Tuscan Kitchen, 24 New England Executive Park. The event will feature samples of food from the restaurant. A cash bar will be available. Cost: $25. For information, contact sullivanfh@comcast.net.

End Hunger
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/bpc
• 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.

Call for Congregational Meeting

By action of the Session, a meeting of the Congregation and Corporation of the Presbyterian Church in Burlington has been called for Sunday, May 3, immediately following worship, for the purpose of voting on the proposal to sell the Church Manse, with the proceeds of the sale to be dedicated to the housing needs of the Pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Burlington. The proposal will also include a motion that a sub-committee of Trustee Mark Wells, Elder Tara Goss, and Clerk of Session James McIninch (a former Trustee) be authorized to negotiate the final selling price on the Church’s behalf.

Background Information on the Proposal to Sell the Manse
At a joint meeting of the BPC Session and Trustees in December 2014, the Session considered several options concerning the future of the church’s manse as the church searches for a new installed pastor. After exploring the options, Session voted to take steps toward the sale of the manse, with the proceeds being set aside for the future housing needs of BPC’s pastor. In a straw poll the Trustees concurred in that decision.

The next step was to submit a proposal to the Trustees of Boston Presbytery, and have the proposed sale approved at a meeting of the Presbytery. At its March 21 meeting, Presbytery did grant its approval. The final step is for the BPC Congregation to approve the sale.

The two documents that follow provide important information to read before the meeting. The Manse Subcommittee of Trustee Mark Wells, Elder Tara Goss, and Elder/Clerk of Session James McIninch have prepared these to try and anticipate questions that church members may have. The first document explains the concept of how Presbyterian churches “hold property in trust” for the denomination, but are free to use the proceeds from the sale of property for the ministry of the local church. The second document is the letter that was written by the Manse Subcommittee to the Presbytery Trustees explaining the rationale for selling the manse, and how the proceeds of the sale will be used.

Hard copies of this information will be available at church on April 26 and at the meeting on May 3. Please take time to read this material, and if you have any questions, you can send them to office@burlingtonpres.org

Purpose:
The intent of this document is to explain how property is handled by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and how it applies to the sale of the manse for the Presbyterian Church in Burlington. The subcommittee was asked by the session to write this document to provide information to the congregation to assist in their decision process. The subcommittee also wrote a proposal that was presented to the Board of Trustees of the Presbytery of Boston defining our intent to sell the manse. This other document is also provided to the congregation for their review.

Definitions:
Presbyterian polity is documented in the Book of Order. For our purposes in this situation, the section of the Book of Order that refers to property is G-4.02. The relevant paragraphs have been outlined below. Property owned by legal title by any Presbyterian entity is held in trust nevertheless for the use and benefit of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The main reason for this is defined in paragraph G‐4.0201:

G‐4.0201 Property as a Tool for Mission
The property of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), of its councils and entities, and of its congregations, is a tool for the accomplishment of the mission of Jesus Christ in the world.

The PC(USA) wants to ensure that all property owned by its entities is used for the mission of the church. The PC(USA), through its presbyteries, retains control over the property owned by the churches primarily to ensure that the property is used as intended. The definition of this is stated in paragraph G-4.0203:

G‐4.0203 Church Property Held in Trust
All property held by or for a congregation, a presbytery, a synod, the General Assembly, or the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), whether legal title is lodged in a corporation, a trustee or trustees, or an unincorporated association, and whether the property is used in programs of a congregation or of a higher council or retained for the production of income, is held in trust nevertheless for the use and benefit of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Summary:
The Presbyterian Church in Burlington finds itself in the position where it wants to sell the manse. The ownership of the manse is in the name of the Presbytery of Boston. In order to complete the sale of the manse, our congregation is required to follow the process defined by the PC(USA). We have already begun this process by obtaining the approval of the Board of Trustees of the Presbytery of Boston as well as a vote by the member churches of the Presbytery of Boston on March 21, 2015. The final step in the process is a vote by the congregation of the Presbyterian Church in Burlington to approve the sale.

Proposal to sell the Manse owned by the Presbytery of Boston and maintained by the Presbyterian Church in Burlington, MA

Background:

The Presbyterian Church in Burlington plans to sell the church manse. The decision to sell was not an easy one. The manse was purchased by the Presbytery of Boston (POB) in 1960 and was recorded in the Middlesex County Registry of Deeds Southern District on November 15, 1960 in Book 9713 and Page 402. The manse was intended for use by the organizing pastor sent to Burlington by the Board of National Missions. The Presbyterian Church in Burlington (PCB) was subsequently organized on May 27, 1962. The manse served the first two pastors of the church, covering a time span from 1960 until 2014, when the second pastor retired.

After the second pastor retired, the manse was left vacant, awaiting a new pastor. However, when the Interim Pastor arrived he asked for a housing allowance as part of his compensation instead of making use of the manse. The added manse carrying expenses in the church budget precipitated a deficit budget and an evaluation of the future of the manse had to be made. In looking at the trends within the Presbyterian Church (USA), and after analysis of the options, the session of PCB voted to recommend to the congregation that the manse be sold. A manse subcommittee was formed to perform the bulk of the work needed to complete the sale.

Therefore, this document is presented to the POB Board of Trustees requesting their agreement in this decision and assistance in completing the sale.

The Manse
The manse was built sometime in the mid 1950’s. It is a two story house typical of the period with three bedrooms and 1 and ½ bathrooms. The house is in good shape, livable in every sense of the word, but a potential buyer would most likely want to perform some upgrades.

Included with this document is a copy of the residential card from the Town of Burlington. On this card is the assessed value, both current and historical, a list of building permits issued and the legal location of the property. A floor plan and picture of the manse are included on the card. The ownership of the house is listed as the Presbytery of Boston and, in error, the Presbyterian Church in Burlington. Other relevant information is also listed.

There are no mortgages on the property and the loan documentation proving that they are paid can be provided. A copy of the deed is available too.

Proposed use of the proceeds
The plan is for the proceeds to be used for the mission of the church in the same way that the manse provided housing for the pastor of the church. These funds would be used to provide assistance for the housing needs of the pastor. This assistance could come in different ways. The exact method of the assistance will be part of the salary negotiations of the new pastor. The proceeds could be invested and the income used for housing allowance or the proceeds could be loaned to the pastor to help in obtaining a home. Currently the budget of PCB includes a housing allowance and it is anticipated that future budgets will be much the same. It is not the intention of PCB to use the proceeds from the sale of the manse to balance the budget or any other one time purpose.

Summary
The Presbyterian Church in Burlington requests that the POB Board of Trustees recommend to presbytery that PCB be allowed to sell the Manse. It is understood that this request will require a vote of presbytery and we would like to have the vote taken at the March meeting of presbytery if possible. Assuming the sale is approved by presbytery, a vote of the congregation will be required to formally approve the sale. That vote can happen sometime in May, at a duly called congregational meeting.

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.