A letter from Rod

Dear Burlington Church Family,

What a wonderful, never-to-be-forgotten weekend you provided for Cathy and me! From the pre-weekend “conspiracy” to get things ready…to the stunning decor of fellowship hall, replete with giant balloons and the message banners…and the ingenious placement of the tables to accommodate the crowd…to Millie’s excellent MC-ing…to the wonderful generosity of the gifts, financial, and pictorial (the beautiful book and the slide show will always remind us of James’ time and talent, as well as giving great memories of several “generations” of BPC-ers)…Ken’s “poet laureate” verses…to the surprise of Sunday morning bagpipes and the Bells’ clever Postlude offering…and the Voices of Ghana…Shelly’s able assistance in “sending” us…and the astonishing cake with replica of the stained glass cross (James, again!)…

You could not have done more to provide us with an everlasting sense of the love and caring of the BPC family. It was also a genuine proof of your strengths as you enter this interim time.


Of course, the very best gift you can give is yourself, remaining active and committed to the life and work of BPC, and encouraging others to do the same.

We will always look forward to hearing from our friends, of course, and welcoming your visits to Brewster.

Our address is: 74 Woodview Drive, Brewster, MA. 02631.

My new EMAIL ADDRESS is: rodmac.ret {at} gmail.com.

We will provide the church with a new phone number soon.

Hope this finds you all well — enjoying the goodness of Spring, and the grace of our loving God.

Blessings and peace,


Spring Cleanup

Dear BPC Family

This Saturday (June 1, 2013) will be our annual spring work day. Come, help us clean up, and be good stewards of our church. Action will start about 8:00 a.m. – but come when you can! Exciting events include leaf raking, gutter cleaning, sweeping, mowing and trimming. Bring lawn tools, and don’t forget your gloves. Electric blowers and long extensions cords are especially helpful.

Yes, it’s going to be hot – but more hands make lighter work, and we’ll have plenty of cold drinks on hand.

See you then!

Linda Benson

Dear BPC Family,

With great sorrow, I pass along to you the word that our faithful secretary (and friend) of seven years, Linda Benson, succumbed to complications from leukemia Saturday night, December 15 2012. It is a devastating loss for many; but after six very difficult months, we know that she is embraced by God’s peace.

Please keep her husband, Ben; sons, Richard and Nicholas; and sisters Marcia and Janice in your prayers.

Here are the plans for services:

Visiting hours — Wednesday 12/19, 4-8 pm (note: a special service, called the Panikhida, takes place at 6)
Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main St, Woburn

Funeral service– Thursday 12/20, 10 am
Holy Trinity Cathedral (Russian Orthodox), 165 Park Drive, Boston (Fenway area)
(I will have room for 2 in my car if you are interested)

Memorial Gifts– Timothy Padulsky Memorial Trust, 11 Dixon Road, Woburn 01801
(To help cancer families in the community and at the Floating Hospital; Timothy was a young man who died from leukemia)

For sympathy cards and notes– please contact the office at burlpres@aol.com for the address.

At a future date – probably following the holidays – we expect to provide a simple time of remembrance of Linda at our church.

Blessings and peace,

September 2012 Crossroads

Welcome our newest members!
Josh and Stephanie who have been worshiping with us for some time have been enthusiastically received into membership by the Session. They are the parents of Gillian (age 5) and William, who was just born on June 16.

Some of the kids enjoy one of our summer fellowship events

The kids enjoy one of our summer fellowship events

Still a champion to us!
Amina Meho should be as of this writing in London, swimming with the Lebanese Olympic Team – that is, if life were fair. Despite her qualifying times and multiple-record-setting articipation with the Lebanese Swim Club (she has dual citizenship) – because of Lebanese politics much less qualified swimmers were chosen to go. Amina is taking it well (her mother, Lynda, whom we remember fondly, would be proud). Her father, Mo, who participated with the Lebanese Swim Team in the `72 Olympics is having a tougher time – understandably!

Amina writes from UMass, Amherst:

Yes it is tough not being in London but I am also happy that I’ve been able to go on a short break from swimming and been able to really enjoy this summer by visiting friends, going to the beach, I just got a job at one of the campus
dining halls and I’ve been teaching some private swim lessons on the side a couple times a week. It’s been a great summer regardless of the unfortunate news!! I’m nervous but excited for my last year at Umass. Please tell the congregation I say hello and I hope to come home and visit soon!

A big congratulations…
Brad Morrison has won the System Dynamics Society’s Jay Wright Forrester Award, together with co-authors Jenny Rudolph and John Carroll. The paper they wrote was selected for the best contribution to the field during the past 5 years. It develops and tests a model of sensemaking (or things that go into decision-making) and action. It was based on a
clinical experiment which placed anesthesiology residents in simulated crisis situations in the OR.

The Morrison family was recently in Switzerland where Brad received the award and delivered a presentation.


Chancel Choir will resume practice from 7:30 to 9 pm on Thursday, September 6, 2012, and sing in church on Sunday, September 9, 2012 (with practice at 10 am). Musically inclined people OF ALL AGES are encouraged to consider joining us. The ability to read music IS NOT REQUIRED. The choir usually sings for the Offertory on Communion Sundays, and
the Anthem before the Word for Children on the other Sundays. This allows older youth and their teachers to participate. Other Sunday School teachers and younger children can also participate, as long as it is known when they will be out. Please contact Nancy Timmerman for further information, or talk to any choir member. We hope you can join us.

The 48th Annual Choir Festival will be on Sunday, October 21, 2012 at 4 pm at Gordon Memorial Chapel in Wenham. Choir members and other interested parties should let Nancy Timmerman know as soon as possible so that music can be ordered. The Woburn practice is Monday night, October 15, with other rehearsals on Saturday, October 13 in W. Acton and Sunday night, October 14 in Bedford. Practice on the 21st is at 1:30 pm. Even if you don’t want to sing with the choir, give some consideration to joining in this ecumenical event. It is a wonderful experience.

Celebrating 175 years of Presbyterian World Mission, 1837-2012

In the Summer 2012 issue of Mission Crossroads, Presbyterian World Mission Director Hunter Farrell writes about the
175th Anniversary of international mission by the General Assembly of PC(USA). Mission programs were being done by
individual churches and groups prior to that date.

Today, almost 200 mission workers are serving in approximately 50 countries. Over the years, Presbyterian missionaries have started churches, built hospitals and begun schools. Many of these programs have grown into self-sustaining institutions led by local Christians. The longstanding bonds forged throughout the years make mission partnerships possible.

The PC(USA) mission program can help to provide the resources and personnel needed and provide resources for new programs.

Presbyterian World Mission chiefly does three things: sends skilled mission personnel, empowers the global church
and equips PC(USA) for mission. Our individual gifts and contributions to special offerings help Presbyterian World
Mission continue these programs. For more information, visit http://www.pcusa.org/missionconnections.

Clerk’s Corner

Greetings from Session! As summer fades into fall, we are turning our attention away from the slow pace of summer back to another exciting fall for the BPC. Worship returns to 10:30am on September 9, and that means that Sunday School
will be starting up again – for both our children and adults! If you’ve ever been curious about our adult class or interested in teaching the younger ones, feel free to drop by for class or see interim CE chair Cathy.

We are all very excited about the retreat planned for September 29, and we hope to see many of you in attendance. This was and idea that Session has been working on most of this year, and we are very happy to see the enthusiasm
from the rest of the congregation.

Nominating committee will be convening soon to nominate folks for our 2013 boards. Be on the lookout for those nomination forms, and let us know your ideas!

It’s sure to be an exciting fall here at BPC, and we wish everyone all the best as our programs take off on a running start.

Susan L. Kemen
Clerk of Session

Peacemaking Offering

The Peacemaking Offering will be received on World Communion Sunday, October 7.

Since 1983, more than 4,500 Presbyterian Church(USA) congregations have participated in the Peacemaking Offering. In 2011, the offering raised $1,994,792. The local church keeps 25% of the offering. The Burlington congregation has used this money to help fund scholar-ships for local high school seniors who have exhibited peacemaking skills during their
high school years. An additional 25% is used by the presbyteries and synods to support their peacemaking ministries.

The 50% is allocated to the General Assembly Mission Council. In 2011, the offering was used as follows:

  • Communities of Mission Practice – foster peacemaking practices and promote gun control.
  • Health of Congregations – Deepen peacemaking commitments and develop and launch the new “Season of Peace.” (2012)
  • Leadership Development – Train peacemaking leaders.
  • Global Perspective – Offer travel study seminars and bring international peacemakers to the PC(USA).
  • College and Young Adults – Provide internships and scholarships for young people. Support young adult and college peacemakers. Cultivate a new generation of peacemakers. Launch antibullying efforts in 2012.
  • Nick Horeanopoulos

    Dear BPC Family,

    By now most of you are aware that Nick Horeanopoulos was called home to God on New Year’s Eve. He lived a full and faithful 87 years, and he will be missed very much. I know that you are keeping Lee and the rest of the family (their children, Mark, Jena and Kyle; grandchildren and great-grandchildren) in prayer.

    Here are the arrangements for remembering and celebrating Nick’s life:

    Visiting hours this Wednesday (January 4, 2012), 2-4 and 6-8, at Sullivan Funeral Home, Winn Street, Burlington.

    Memorial Service this Saturday (January 7, 2012), 10 am, in our sanctuary.

    There will be a reception following the service, and more will be communicated soon for those who would like to help. Anyone wishing to bring something to the reception should contact Sally Morrison.

    Peace to you as we begin this new year,

    Kevin Hershey’s Ordination

    On Sunday, June 20th, Burlington Presbyterian Church was blessed to host a rare and wonderful event in the life of the church. Our member, Kevin Hershey, was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church. The service was profound and meaningful. There was music, words of wisdom, the laying on of hands, the charge to the new pastor, and finally a celebration of communion at the hands of the church’s newest minister.

    After the service had concluded, we all celebrated in a reception. One of the highlights of the reception was a cake in the shape of the State of New York (Kevin’s new church home!), with a chocolate reproduction of Kevin’s trademark hat.

    Here are some pictures of the celebration!

    Commission Members
    Rev. Elliott Hipp, Moderator, Presbytery of Boston
    Presbyterian Church in Needham

    Elder Brenda Flynn
    The Presbyterian Church in Burlington

    Elder Desiree Lawson
    Roxbury Presbyterian Church

    Elder Thatcher Freeborn
    Fourth Presbyterian Church

    Elder Betty Rots
    Church of the Covenant

    Rev. Roderick MacDonald
    The Presbyterian Church in Burlington

    Rev. Rob Mark
    First Presbyterian Church of Waltham

    Annual MS Walk

    Are you feeling footloose and fancy free? Then join us in our annual participation in the MS Walk which we do in honor of friends and families. Our team is called the Dot and Fran Team, commemorating two wonderful former church members. This year’s walk is a 5K journey through the lovely historical Concord area on Sunday, April 11th. It is sponsored by the National MS Society.

    Managing MS is an ongoing process, beginning with the very first symptoms and continuing throughout the disease course. Those of us who don’t think about taking the next step (or only have an occasional arthritis “ouch”), can show our support by joining the walk. If you don’t have the date free or don’t like to walk, you can help us raise funds for this very worthwhile project. Research in MS is progressing at a remarkable rate, with more potential therapies in the pipeline than at any other time in history. The National MS Society is a driving force of MS research, supporting and stimulating world-class research into ways to prevent, better treat and cure this unpredictable disease of the brain and spinal cord.

    Interested? Contact Millie Wiegand, team captain or Shirley Thornton, team member.

    Whitey Graham’s Last Sermon

    Our beloved member, Whitey Graham, died unexpectedly a few days before he was due to deliver the Sunday message. He had finished writing the sermon he intended to give. Here is a transcript of his sermon.

    When I was asked to preach this week, I figured that I had not done this for several years, so how hard could it be! Then the reality set in, and I had to sit down and write this sermon.

    I searched the scriptures and tried to figure out how to write a sermon about a King who was dancing around the Ark, or a king with mixed emotions about to behead a prophet. Great choices…

    Then I looked at what I had preached about before and decided those subjects were talked out. So I guess my faith would be a good topic.

    Webster defined faith as “a belief and trust in God or a religious conviction”. I think the poet Paulene Dishmon says it best:

      The origin of faith
      Is from God above.
      It’s a gift he offers
      To all in love.

      We cannot muster faith
      In a minute, an hour.
      It’s the result of belief
      In the creator’s power.

      We can build, share
      Care, plant a seed
      But faith is a blessing
      He gives as we need.

    I believe we were put here for some reason, and someday my faith will point that out to me. In the mean time, I will just try to figure it out.

    When I first became a Mason, I was asked in whom I put my trust. It being in God, I was told to take the arm of my Conductor, and fear no danger. My faith in God would help during my path. I have tried to follow that path all my life.

    When life dealt me some bad or terrible things, I placed my life in the hands of God, and somehow or other, the bad always comes and goes. The good always outlives the bad and life goes on.

    When my mother said she would like to see my children before she died, something drew me to Sears, where my future wife was working, and great things happened. First marriage, then three of the greatest kids any family would want, and an additional couple of hundred others who needed direction and help, who have become children of our hearts.

    I’m sure many of you have heard this story before, but after we were married, I became a Presbyterian, and we traveled to Quincy every Sunday until Alex arrived. Jean asked why we didn’t go to the Presbyterian Church here in Burlington. Sounded good to me, so here we came, and after being chased down the hall by Mark Wells after checking the spot on the welcome pad “Interested in Joining”, we joined with another couple. And here we are some 20 years later, and still loving it.

    Our faith has helped us to be Elders, Deacons, teach Sunday School (including me as a Jr. High teacher and making it through all those interesting questions of the Jr. Highers). Cooking Easter Breakfast for those 20 odd years. And my favorite is cooking for the folks at the Dwelling Place.

    Every class of new members is asked about their faith journey. Mine was simple. I moved from Lexington Street to Cambridge Street, from the oldest to one of the newest churches in Burlington. Boring, but before I met Jean, my faith had floundered a bit, and she gave me some new direction.

    After losing my job of 30 years, faith directed my family to caring for those 200 plus kids we’ve had.

    Believe me when I say these kids can test your faith, but with prayer and the Lord’s guidance, we seem to get through it.

    After Vickie died, I thought my life was over, but faith kept me going and God sent Barbara back to us, along with Ryan. Although it’s not the same, it kept us going and once again the direction changed and faith played a huge part of it.

    Faith is a funny thing. Just when you think you have lost it, there it is again. Our faith has been rattled by the Commonwealth many times, but faith has kept us on track and still doing what we love to do.

    Our commitment to all these kids has been unwavering and even those who tested our faith to the extreme limits still remain in our hearts.

    You can really make a difference in the world, even if it is only one child at a time, and that’s what we’ve come to understand.

    Former First Lady Hilary Clinton wrote the book, “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child” and she is correct. You are our village, and we thank you all for that.

    You renew our faith every time we come to this village.

    We seem to be continually asking for God’s help to overcome fear and resistance. At any step our belief in God has us praying all the time. It might not be the drop down on your knees type of prayer all the time, but simple requests for guidance.

    Remembering Whitey Graham

    By now you’ve joined the shock and sadness over Whitey’s sudden death, of a heart attack brought on by aneurysm while he was working in Cambridge yesterday. Jean, Alex, Andrew, Christopher, Barbara and little Ryan and Darryl are buoying up one another together with the many folks calling and coming to the door.

    The plans for remembering Whitey are these:
    There will be visiting hours at the Sullivan Home (43 Winn Str., Burlington), Monday, 4-8 (followed by Masonic service).
    The funeral will be at Burlington Presbyterian Church (335 Cambridge St., Burlington) Tuesday, 11 am, followed by burial at Chestnut Hill Cemetery, then a reception at St. Malachy’s Church (99 Bedford Street St., Burlington).

    Betty Doubek will be coordinating the reception.

    You might remember that Whitey was scheduled to be “guest” preacher for this Sunday. By God’s grace, Whitey had already finished preparing his sermon–and it will be the basis of the message Sunday. I will be there, rather than away.

    I hope that many of you will be able to be there, too. It is a time when many in our church family will be need the reminder of the strength of our bonds in Christ.

    Whitey Graham

    We received news today that Whitey Graham died of a heart attack at 1 pm, July 9th. Whitey was a beloved member of Burlington Presbyterian. We will update as soon as we have information on what services and remembrances will be held for Whitey. Please hold Whitey’s family in your prayers.