Crossroads for December 2013

News of our Church Family

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please come! Invite family, friends and neighbors!

Family Advent Event
December 8, 2013
11:45 am

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 24 – 7:00 p.m.

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

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

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

Brought to you by the Deacons

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

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

Women’s Bible Study
Thursdays at 9:30 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 2012 Crossroads

Christmas Eve Service

A Family Tradition with Crèche, Carols and Candlelight

Saturday, December 24 – 7:00 p.m.

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

Deacons Corner

People Helping People
We will be participating in the pajama and underwear collection for People Helping People. This helps provide clothing for low income families. We have cards showing the items needed. The clothing needs to be brought to church by December 9, and should be unwrapped. Please see Anne Denier if you would like a card.
The final day to order Christmas poinsettias is Sunday, December 2nd. The money raised will be going to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.

“Wish Tree” Volunteers Needed
Our church is asked to provide volunteers for the Wish Tree table at the Burlington Mall on 3 days: Thurs., Nov 29; Tues., Dec 4; Sat., Dec 8.
There are 2-hour shifts from 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

The “Wish Tree” gives shoppers the opportunity to provide gifts for children in need in Burlington.

To everyone who brought Thanksgiving food donations, helped staff the wish tree and purchased pajamas, underwear and sweatshirts, thank you for helping to make this a happy holiday season for everyone in our community.

Community Christmas Sing-a Long
December 1, 2012
6:30 p.m.

Please come! Invite family, friends and neighbors!

Family Advent Event
December 2, 2012 after Worship

All Sunday School families invited! There will be a hearty coffee hour for everyone that day. Then Sunday School children, youth and parents may help create a “homemade” Nativity scene (crèche) for the church.

Come A-Caroling!
Sunday, December 16  2:45 p.m.
Fun for all Ages

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

Good News of Great Joy
A cherished Presbyterian tradition since the 1930s, the Christmas Joy Offering is one of the four special offerings designated by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Because Advent and Christmas shine a light not only on our world’s greatest hope but also on our world’s greatest need, the PC(USA) provides this timely opportunity for congregations to support causes specifically designed to bring Good News of Great Joy to the poor in circumstance or spirit. Alongside the message of promise and fulfillment in Luke’s Gospel, we also hear the clear call to God’s people to respond in faith as Christ calls us: “From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded” (Luke 12:48).

Undesignated gifts to the Christmas Joy Offering will be distributed equally to the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions and to support student scholarships at Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges.
What is the Christmas Joy Offering?

For more than 70 years, Presbyterians have given generously at Christmas to support the unmet needs of families who have devoted their lives to the mission of the PC(USA). Today this Offering is shared equally by the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions, which provides critical assistance to Presbyterian church workers and their families, and Presbyterian-affiliated racial ethnic schools and colleges, which enable students to develop their gifts and find their calling. The Offering dates back to the 1930s, when the former Presbyterian Church in the United States began an offering to supplement inadequate retirement income and provide supplemental medical insurance for former ministers, missionaries, church workers, and their families.

Although its roots trace back many years, this special offering remains just as essential today. Equally important to the financial help provided is the spiritual benefit received. Again and again, the individuals and families helped by the Offering say that as crucial as the financial assistance is, what really sustains them is the knowledge that the church is standing with them in their time of need.

Our Christmas Eve offering will go to “Christmas Joy”. There will be envelopes in the pews for use at other times.

December 2010 Crossroads

Deacons Corner
Poinsettias:
The last date for poinsettia purchases is Sunday, December 5th. If you’d like to honor someone for the holidays but don’t want to purchase a plant, you can make a cash donation to the Deacon’s Holiday Offering. Half of the money collected for this offering will go to the church Emergency Fund, to help church members and friends with short-term emergency needs. The other half will be sent to support mission work in the village of Cabanlutan in the Philippines.

Wish Tree:
Each holiday season, in conjunction with the Burlington Mall, People Helping People sponsors the Wish Tree at the Burlington Mall. This event supports needy families by providing new gifts for children. Each child receives gifts of clothing as well as two additional wishes for toys, books, electronics or gift cards. Our church’s dates to staff the Wish Tree are Thursday, December 2nd, Tuesday, December 7th and Saturday, December 11th. If you can donate a few hours of your time, it would be much appreciated. There is a sign-up sheet in Fellowship Hall.

Church Family Advent Event

Cookie Swap with a Twist

On Sunday, December 12, following worship, there will be an Advent Event for all. We are asking that you bring a batch of your favorite cookies, no nuts, to church. Following a light lunch we will package the cookies to be taken to the Dwelling Place on December 15 to be given to the folks as a little gift. This is our night to serve dinner. We plan for 40 folks.

There are rumors that a special guest will be visiting us while we are packaging the cookies (no, it isn’t Santa Claus).

We hope to see you there,

Come A-Caroling !
Sunday, December 19  2:30 p.m.

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

2010 Christmas Joy Offering
What Child Is This?

Christmas Joy Offering thoughts

In this Advent season when we celebrate the child born in Bethlehem, we also realize that the birth of Jesus ushered in a new realm of God’s love at work in the world. This love causes us to recognize the image of God imbedded in all humankind. It compels us to reach out with charity, justice, and grace. We seek to honor every child of God. This, too, is how we celebrate the child born on that first Christmas Day.

Our congregation supports the Christmas Joy Offering by donating the Christmas Eve offering. There will be envelopes in the pews so those who cannot attend that service can contribute at another time. The Christmas Joy Offering is divided equally between the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions and Presbyterian-affiliated racial ethnic schools and colleges.

At some point, many ministers and other church workers and their families need help beyond what their benefits and personal resources can provide. The Presbyterian Church, USA has promoted education by establishing and supporting racial ethnic schools and colleges. These include Barber-Scotia College in Concord, NC, Cook Native American Ministries in Tempe, AZ, Knoxville College, Knoxville, TN, Menaul School, Albuquerque, NM, Presbyterian Pan American School, Kingsville, TX, and Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, AL.

Throughout Advent, there will be bulletin inserts describing some of the people who have been helped by this offering. Please take a few minutes to read those stories.

Christmas Eve Service
A Family Tradition with Crèche, Carols and Candlelight
Friday, December 24  7:00 p.m.

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

All youth are reminded to return the letter sent last month with their choices for roles by December 5.

Gospel Concert for Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend
Mark your calendars now! Sunday, January 16, 2:00 p.m.
The Bullock Brothers

A gospel group whose music inspires and “rocks” will be with us! We’ll be welcoming the whole community to this special event.

December Crossroads

Annual Gingerbread House Party!
When: Sunday, December 6, following Coffee Hour
Who: All are welcome – Children grade 3 and younger must have grownup assistance
What: We’ll have a quick ‘pizza’ lunch, then get to ‘building’

Bring some candy for trimmings and to share .

Please sign up in Fellowship Hall.

Come A-Caroling!
Sunday, December 13 – 2:30 p.m.
Fun for all Ages

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

Christmas Joy Offering
Christmas Joy offering is in existence for the last 71 years.
50% of the money will help college students at:

Barber-Scotia College
Cook School for Christian Leadership
Knoxville College
Menaul School
Presbyterian Pan American School
Sheldon Jackson College
Stillman College

The other 50 % of the money will be used by the Board of Pensions to supplement income for retired workers and emergency financial assistance for current/retired church workers.

Look for more information on the above mentioned groups in our bulletin in the weeks to come. Christmas Joy offering envelopes will be available in the pews. Happy Christmas!

Christmas Eve Service
A Family Tradition with Crèche, Carols and Candlelight
Thursday, December 24 – 7:00 p.m.

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

All youth are reminded to return the letter sent last month with their choices for roles right away!

Deacons Corner
It is hard to believe that we are starting the Advent season and 2009 is winding down.

Deacons’ projects for December include People Helping People’s pajama and underwear program and the Wish Tree. If you have taken cards for pajamas and underwear, please get your unwrapped gifts to Betty Doubek no later than December 13. Volunteers are needed to staff the Wish Tree on December 3, 8, and 12 from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. There are sign-up sheets in Fellowship Hall.

Orders for poinsettias must be in by the first week of December. Order forms are available in the Sunday bulletins. Deacons Trish Briggs and Annelies Rots are in charge of flowers in case you have questions. For those who wish to make a donation in honor or memory of loved ones, but do not wish to buy flowers, any extra gifts will be added to the Emergency Fund.

We wish you a blessed Advent.