Welcome to Reverend Michael O’Brien!

To the congregation of the Presbyterian Church in Burlington:

The Interim Search Committee, having met nine times, reviewed the qualifications of five candidates, three of whom were interviewed directly. We also wrote a position description, interview and reference questions and terms of call for the position of Interim Pastor.

We are pleased to announce that our unanimous choice, Rev. Michael J. O’Brien, was appointed as our Interim Pastor beginning on August 19, 2014 by vote of the Presbytery of Boston held at our church on August 18, 2014.

Rev. O’Brien 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 Chaplain at Sutter Medical Center for the prior year.

The Interim Search Committee did reference checks on Rev. O’Brien and all were found to be very satisfactory. Our direct interview with him revealed a very competent, enthusiastic and compassionate individual committed to serving the whole church in its many facets. His preaching, which we viewed on YouTube, was lively and presented the Gospel in a relevant and personal way. He is an effective administrator and has a true gift for empathic listening We would encourage all to introduce themselves to Mike, and his wife Pam, in the coming Sundays.

- The Interim Search Committee

Summer 2014 Crossroads

A Word from the Interim Search Committee

As I write this article, it’s been almost exactly 8 weeks since our beloved Pastor has retired to the gentle breezes of old Cape Cod. As the date drew near, Mark Vogel and the Worship Committee started making calls to arrange coverage for the Sunday services and a small group of us were asked by Session to form an Interim Search Committee (ISC).

I presume that most of us aren’t familiar with the Presbyterian protocol for finding a new pastor, since I had no idea before I became involved. Like everything else Presbyterians do, there’s a process, and that process starts with the selection an Interim Pastor. The role of Interim Pastor is simply to fulfill the regular pastoral needs of a church, and help prepare the church for the transition to a new permanent pastor. The departure of a Pastor can leave people with feelings of anxiety, apprehension, or a slew of other emotions and Interim Pastor’s role is to provide support and reassurance through the process and assure that the church is ready to welcome a new Pastor. It’s not the Interim Pastor’s role to help decide on a new Permanent Pastor, nor guide the selection process outside of helping communicate with Presbytery and making sure that a Pastoral Nominating Committee has whatever resources they may need, and an Interim Pastor is not supposed to be considered as a candidate for permanent Pastor – the role is, by design, temporary.

For its part, the ISC’s only job is to find an Interim Pastor. On behalf of the church, the committee searches for a candidate and, once identified, refers a candidate and suggested terms of call to Session, who ultimately make the decision to call (or not) the candidate. The Presbyterian Church asks that the search process itself be kept confidential. This is in part to keep the process quick, fluid, and free of outside influence, but also out of respect of potential Interim candidates, whose eligibility for the position might change during the process and force the committee to go back and consider other candidates. If you asked any members of the ISC how long until we have an Interim Pastor and they seemed cagey in their response, that is why.

For our part, the ISC has had wonderful help from the Committee on Ministry in the form of Jill Auger, who has guided us through the process and been our principle contact. The ISC has met weekly to discuss the needs and priorities of the church in considering candidates, to create a job description and terms of call, to collect and review resumes, to conduct interviews, to listen to recorded sermons, to contact references, and to record and report all that needs to be so that the process is conducted prayerfully, fairly, decently, and in order. Once the committee has come to a unanimous decision on the candidate that they choose to refer to session, several other things happen: the candidate is asked if they are still available and if they’d be interested in the role; the Committee on Ministry is contacted and asked to vet/background check the candidate; if the candidate is not a member of Presbytery, they must join the Presbytery and then… then the ISC can formally present the candidate and terms of call to Session for their consideration. I believe that we are all very happy with our progress to date and hopeful that we’ll be able to present an excellent and experienced candidate to the Session expeditiously.
I would like to thank all the members of the ISC that have given up numerous Wednesday nights to the cause: Nilo Hennings, Linda Roscoe, Brad Morrison, and Ken Dewar.
– James McIninch, ISC Chair

Deacon’s Corner
A heartfelt thank you to all who sent birthday cards to George for his special day!
And to those who have been bringing him to church.

Summer Music
Members of the congregation are invited to provide special music during the summer months. Please contact Nancy if you want to be on the schedule.

No Carillon or Chancel Choir practice until September.

Christian Education
We are still in need of teachers and assistants for Summer Celebration. Please help out and give our regulars teachers a summer break. They work very hard throughout the school year. See Marti to sign up. Thank you!

YAV Report from Alex
Pick some Basil! The basil in the church garden is trying to bolt and make flowers, which stops leaf production. Come pick a handful of Basil on your next time at the church. Pick leaves from the top first. It stores several days in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Since my time as your Food Justice YAV is winding down, here is my two months’ notice. August 15 is my last day here. But there’s still plenty of time for a good conversation on food and faith, time to share a meal, and several more events I have planned. I really have enjoyed my experience here and I will leave you with some parting words in the September newsletter, but for now I leave you with some summer thoughts on compost.
We are now Composting at Church!

As of June 9 we have a compost bin at the church. It sits outside the playground fence at the forest’s edge. Feel free to bring your kitchen scraps from home to compost. Just drop the compostables in the black bin and cover it with a handful or two of dead leaves from the ground. That’s all it needs to become compost for the church’s flowers and the Manna Monday garden. We will start collecting food scraps at coffee hours for compost. Signs and instructions will be available at the church, or just ask one of the Farmer Dave’s volunteers for help. (Jane, Kathleen, Mary Lou, Stefanie, or Alex)

Compost is a better way to dispose of vegetable scraps that get left behind from Farmer Dave’s pick up, and also food scraps from church coffee hours and events. Coffee grounds and tea bags are excellent for compost. If we move to compostable napkins and plates, we could really cut down on trash!

Food scraps such as greens and coffee contain high levels of organic matter that generate high levels of methane gas when decomposing in landfills. Landfills are the third largest source of atmospheric methane, and methane has over 10 times the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide. Food waste is the single largest category of trash in our nation’s landfills. In a small way we are contributing to a larger environmental problem each time we throw food in the trash can.

Composting can significantly reduce the amount of waste we put in the landfills, reduce the stench of your trash can, and it provides a natural nutritious soil amendment. Consider composting in your own yard, or adding to our bin at the church starting this week! It’s a very simple process.

Theological reflections on Compost by Alex, with thanks to Ashley Goff of Washington, DC:
I’ve been in contact recently with some folks from the Presbyterian Hunger Program known as “Food Justice Fellows”. I’m beginning to understand why God wants us to do these things with food and compost. I’m seeing that we don’t just care about where our food comes from, and protect the Earth and people on it because it’s trendy right now, but because we are told to from the very first stories in the Bible.

So in explaining, “Why Compost?” I want to step just beyond the statistics about landfills. This may be a stretch for some folks as it was for me. One of our partners in the Presbyterian Hunger Program, Ashley Goff of Church of the Pilgrims in Washington DC, has some interesting liturgy on compost.

They started a verma-compost bin (worm bin) where members could bring vegetable scraps that earthworms could turn into valuable potting soil for the church garden—which supplies some food to their weekly meals program. Their trash could feed worms that feed some plants that feed hungry people in their community. The trash deemed for disposal and death was rescued, saved and made into new life. Kind of like how God rescues and saves us from the death of sin, and through Jesus Christ makes for us a new life.

This church dove more into the theology and liturgy. They came up with what they called a “God story for the garden” with three parts: 1. Compost is an act of resurrection. 2. Growing is an act of resistance. 3. Eating is an act of remembrance.

Compost is an act of resurrection? Hmm? “Dying with the old to create the new,” as Ashley Goff from the church in DC said, that’s what compost does to plants. Living things we put in the bin die, rot, and decay to welcome the way for new life. Ashley likened this to Christ dying on the cross so our lives become new. We must die completely from sin, so that God can fill us with new life, His life and his spirit. I see it as a clever Sunday school lesson or even a sermon illustration, but this church did something I never would have thought with the theology of compost and new life. They used the compost pile as a communion table. Yes, you heard me correctly.

Here is the story:
During a special fall sermon series on food and faith, they had a wheelbarrow of veggie scraps at door, midway decomposed compost in the Baptismal font, and in the front of the sanctuary, the bread and cup sitting on top of a pile of fully composted compost. Symbolically this represented the journey of transformation we go through as Christians. In Christ we are transformed from one thing, perhaps a bunch of scraps, into something better. At Baptism we know this and we have started to be transformed, but we are only midway there. Like the partially rotted compost you can still see there is work to be done before our minds and hearts are entirely God’s. And at communion we are completely transformed, like the compost ready to feed someone else.

The church sat on the floor around the compost pile and shared communion recognizing the mortality of our bodies we usually only recall on Ash Wednesday; remembering the adamah, the soil that God made into Adam. They also shared the eternity we have through Christ that we will be transformed through him. God’s love and spirit will become new after death. Likewise this compost is dead, new, and ready to feed next year’s garden.

That is the image I share with you. I learned of this church’s composting liturgy on a PHP webinar June 9, the day we put in the church’s compost bin. I’d encourage you to watch it for yourself to learn about what this church and others are doing with food and faith. Or to learn more without the internet, please also visit the bulletin board in the side hallway at our church.

Link to the Presbyterian Hunger Program webinar recording featuring Church of the Pilgrims in DC along with others: Food Justice Webinar: Churches & Camps-Food Growing and Greening Initiatives https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2CzNgFtv88&feature=youtu.be. (Church of the Pilgrims starts at 48 min.) More info on church bulletin board!

Cooking with Alex
On Sunday July 27 from 5-7 pm, there will be a Food Potluck and Cooking Demo at BPC.
See Alex for details.

Rocket Stoves and Solar Ovens: Cleaner Cooking Technologies Workshop
Thursday July 10 from 6-8 pm.
Location to be determined. See Alex for details.

Join Boston YAVs for Table Gatherings Dinner!
On July 13, 4-7 pm at Church of the Covenant (67 Newbury St, Boston), enjoy an evening feast with the Presbytery’s four Young Adult Volunteers! The YAVs will teach participants to a cook tasty dish learned during their year living and cooking together in intentional community, and then all will come together for dinner to celebrate their ministry among us. Please join us! Tickets are $50 per individual, $80 per couple, and will support living expenses for our 2014-2015 YAVs.

To purchase tickets: Send a check made out to the Presbytery of Boston, with “BFJYAV Dinner” in the memo line, to:
The Boston Food Justice Young Adult Volunteers Program
c/o Clarendon Hill Presbyterian Church
155 Powder House Blvd.
Somerville, MA 02144

Questions? Contact Maggie Holmesheoran, Site Coordinator, at bfjyavprogram@gmail.com. You can also learn more about us at bostonfoodjusticeyavprogram.wordpress.com.

Church Picnic
Our Church picnic is scheduled for July 13, after worship, at Springs Brook Park in Bedford. Meat will be provided, please bring a side dish, a salad, or a dessert to share. Please bring your own beverages…no alcohol allowed! There are grills available, and a snack bar. Activities include swimming and a playground. The park opens at 10:00 a.m. There is a fee of $8.00 per person as long as we have at least 20 people, children 1 and under and over 65 admitted free. If you have folding lawn chairs or beach chairs you may want to bring them. If you have a fun outside game to share, please bring it!

Your Hospitality Committee at work!

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

Three Surprises in Transition

We are a church in transition. What should we expect? After my recent transition to wintering in Florida I’d say, expect the unexpected. So, is that a good thing or a bad thing? The answer is that no one can predict the future. We have just as much evidence for a future “good” surprise as for a “bad” surprise; which is to say, we have no solid evidence that either will occur!

But change can be scary, so people often develop negative expectations. People like me.

One reason for selecting Safety Harbor FL for my winter home is that my brother lives there with his wife and son. Although Valarie is Jewish, she told me that she had heard that there was a really great church near my condo and she was pretty sure that it was Presbyterian. She couldn’t remember who had told her, but they had said that it was very active and had a lot of activities in addition to the services on Sunday. She told me how to get there, so I went to check it out. Indeed it was Presbyterian. Northwood Presbyterian is also quite a large church. Uh-oh.

I grew up in a small church in Tarpon Springs, FL. Later it became a really big church; when I attended the new church it felt like a concert, not worship. So I decided that I could never feel comfortable in a big church. Surprise! Northwood Presbyterian has three Sunday services so it is less overwhelming, and everyone made me feel welcome. I played in the bell choir, attended a monthly Bible Study and a sewing group, and went to several church dinners. Loved it!

I doubted that I would really enjoy Thanksgiving in FL because “I’ll miss my (MA) family and our traditions so much.” I did miss them, but celebrated “Thanksgivingkuh” at Valarie’s parents’ home. Last year, the first night of Chanukah coincided with Thanksgiving. My friend Janet and I joined the extended family and a friend of Valarie’s mother, Sally (who said she wasn’t Jewish either) for a wonderful dinner. After the meal, we watched the ceremony of lighting the first candle on the Chanukah menorah. Talk about memorable! Another negative expectation not realized.

When I went to my first Bible Study, I got the third surprise. The leader was the last to arrive. She asked me what had brought me to the church. “Well, my Jewish sister-in-law recommended this church to me.” The leader asked for my sister-in-law’s name. I wondered why but I told her, and she laughed saying, “Marti . . . . . Sally! I just knew that I knew you from somewhere. Thanksgiving!” I had been meeting so many new people since moving to FL that I hadn’t recognized Sally, but she knew me.

And the circle was closed because now I knew who had recommended the church that I thought I wouldn’t like, and I had already met her at the Thanksgiving that I had not looked forward to.

I suppose that I could sum this up with, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Instead, during this transition period I will encourage you to “Trust in the Lord.” And be open to surprises!

-Marti Huff

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.

THANK YOU!

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,

Rod

The Parable of the Persistent Widow & the Stripy Orange Cat

My family includes two cats: an orange stripy one named Tiberius and his all-black brother Data. Those two cats LOVE food. They practically hop up and down while you’re getting their food and get so excited that they’ll knock your hand aside when you try to put the food in your bowl. (This is ok since after they finish their servings, they’ll diligently sniff the entire room to see if any kibble rolled away.)

The persistent cat

The persistent cat

My cats will begin the process of begging to be fed seconds after they finish hoovering up their last serving. They’ll whine piteously. They’ll stare pointedly at their bowl. They will sit on your newspaper, or your head. Sometimes I give in and feed them just because they have begged so much!

The other day, I was feeding those two cats between their mealtimes when I suddenly thought of the Parable of the Persistent Widow. In the book of Luke, Jesus tells a story of a widow who bothered a corrupt judge so much he finally gave in and gave her justice. Jesus says that if a corrupt judge will eventually give justice if you keep bugging him, how much more will a loving God listen to persistent prayer? I love my cats and I tend to their needs even when they don’t bug me. But when they ask me for what they want so persistently, I give it to them – if it’s good for them. No matter how much they bug me, I won’t give them something that’s bad for them, or will harm them.

My cats have literally eaten themselves sick. Eating too much almost killed Tiberius this fall. So I can’t always give them what they desperately want. They don’t understand why I say “no” to their pleas, though. I found myself in front of their food bowls, wondering if there was any parallel to God answering prayers. What do I not know or understand?

Jesus says, “…will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.” Luke 18:7&8.

Brenda Flynn

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.
!

April 2014 Crossroads – a changing of the guard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rod

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coffee with Rod (one more left!)

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

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

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

Local Egg-onomics
by Alex Haney

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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