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.

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.
!

February 2014 Crossroads

Legends of the Celtic Harp with Patrick Ball, Lisa Lynne & Aryeh Frankfurter at BPC
Sunday March 23, 3:00 pm
Admission: $15.00

LEGENDS OF THE CELTIC HARP – with Patrick Ball, Lisa Lynne & Aryeh Frankfurter
Three of the premier Celtic harpers in the world, Patrick Ball, Lisa Lynne and Aryeh Frankfurter have created a dramatic ensemble that takes you deep into the myths, magic and fabled history of this most captivating instrument. You will hear three harps, Swedish Nyckelharpa, Cittern, Irish Bouzouki and more. History, humor and heartwarming stories are woven together with enchanting music both ancient and new. http://www.LegendsOfTheCelticHarp.com

Lazarus at the Gate: An economic discipleship study
Are you interested in learning what the Bible says about our gifts of wealth, and learning practical ways to more effectively serve our neighbors and fight poverty?

This year, The Presbyterian Church in Burlington is exploring these ideas with the Boston Faith and Justice Network (BFJN), a gathering of Christians from many different traditions sharing a common concern to love our neighbors through economic discipleship: following Jesus with our money.

The church will be exploring this idea of economic discipleship with BFJN’s Lazarus at the Gate Bible Study during Lent. This 8-session curriculum will take place following worship each Sunday from February 9 – April 6 (no workshop on Feb 16-holiday weekend). Each session will include a light lunch (soup and salad) and last about 1 ½ hours. It is best if participants commit to the entire course.

Lazarus at the Gate allows small groups to explore economic discipleship by studying biblical themes on wealth and poverty; sharing personal budgets; making changes, small and large, to live more simply and spend more justly. The program ends with participants contributing to a group gift to fight poverty in the name of Christ. The Lazarus program helps groups make four commitments:

  • Spend joyfully Regularly give thanks for the blessing of what we have
  • Spend justly Make one lifestyle change to consume more justly
  • Spend less Make one lifestyle change to spend less for ourselves
  • Give more Make a gift to fight poverty

    Our group will be challenged to make personal changes to spending choices to save money and with the savings, give more effectively toward a few charities of the group’s choosing.

    Just as an example, six members of the Lazarus at the Gate study group at Cornerstone Church of Boston recently donated over $19,000 to sponsor children in the Congo through Covenant Kids Congo, a partner of World Vision! Only six people! You can read about that here: http://blogs.covchurch.org/covenantkidscongo/cornerstone-called-to-restoration-work/. Stories of other groups that have gone through the study can be found on the BFJN Website: (bostonfaithjustice.org.)

    Please talk with Millie (emlydgrammy@comcast.net) or Alex (alex@bostonfaithjustice.org) if you have any questions or would like to sign up.

    Deacon’s Corner
    As most of you know, the deacons have an Emergency Fund that helps members of the congregation in times of duress. We have had to tap into that fund a few times in 2013. The fund is diminishing. We are asking your help in replenishing it for 2014. You will find envelopes in the pockets in the pews marked Emergency Fund. Please try to give what you can to help.

    Thank you!

    Confirmation Classes

    Confirmation classes will be beginning on Sunday February 9. Youth of eligibility age should have already been contacted. More information to follow. Please see Rod with any questions.

    Seeking Simplicity

    Are you feeling stressed out after the holiday frenzy? Do you feel like you have lost control of parts of your life? This is just the time to take a break and come to a retreat. On February 1st, from 9:30 AM to 3 PM we will discuss together what steps we can make to simplify our lives. We will enjoy a pot-luck lunch together. Each person will have a chance to de-stress by enjoying a choice of activity. Plans are still in progress but likely to include the following: low-impact movement and meditation called Gigong; livelier music and dance; an art project; or learning to cook something new. And of course there will be times of worship and praise.

    As a bonus, all will have a chance to preview the Lazarus at the Gate discipleship curriculum. This will give folks a chance to see whether they want to sign up for the eight week course which will begin on February 16th and continue through Lent. Be assured, however, that even if you are not able to attend the retreat, you can still sign up for the course.

    Because we want to maintain a fairly calm, quiet environment, we do not plan to offer child care at this event. However, if you really want to attend and this is an issue, please talk to Rod or Millie and we will see if we can work something out for you.

    Begin thinking about what simplicity means to you. Here are a few quotes to start you off: “Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.” ~ Charles Warner
    “As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

    We look forward to seeing you on Feb 1st (snow date – Feb 8th)

    YAV Report from Alex Haney
    Simplicity
    Before this year, my idea of simplicity has always been about being cheap, conserving resources and helping the environment; it was never a church thing. Yet the last few months of retreat planning, bible study with the YAV program, and work with BFJN, I’ve seen that simplicity is something God wants us to do also.

    It goes beyond being a hippie and riding your bike. In fact, it goes way back to before there were hippies. The Old Testament prophets have been shouting God’s command for us to take care of the poor, the orphans, the widows, and those who can’t take care of themselves since they first heard God’s voice. Some sound pretty harsh on what happens if we don’t. Commandment #10 says not to covet, and we are told to love our neighbor. Jesus asked the rich man to sell his possessions give the money to the poor and follow him.

    As Christians, we are to seek ways to help those in need. How simply we can do this by loving thy neighbor, sharing resources, and not taking more than our share. These are just a part of “simplicity.” Freeing ourselves from our own wants and complexities, inside and out, brings us closer to God and allows us to be aware of and love our neighbor. In today’s world most of the economic activity we support can exploit the poor, the oppressed, the widows and orphans. That’s where local food and fair trade comes in the picture. God wants us buying things that build up the earth and the people involved rather than exploit them for profit, leaving people and the planet poor, desolate and homeless.

    Simplicity is not easy. It’s complicated. It’s all about being self-aware of your motivations, your actions and your thoughts and then being intentional about what you do, and how you treat one another. That’s the spirituality of it. It is an inward simplicity and an outward simplicity, and a corporate simplicity as a body of Christians. The simple life isn’t the easy one, but the self-aware and intentional one.

    Yes, God does want us to conserve our energy resources, to use less stuff, to throw away less, and to think about things before we do them because that builds up the widows, the oppressed, the poor, and the hungry. I now live simply not only to be cheap, not only to use less fossil fuels, but because these are ways I can love my neighbors more. These are ways I can focus on God more than my stuff. Simplicity allows me to ignore distractions so I hear and feel God, and the love of those around me, and I can show this love more freely.

    Our retreat all about simplicity is fast approaching for Saturday February 1 from 9:30 am to 3:00pm. I’d encourage you to come share your own thoughts and hear others about simplicity. Whether you make it or not, I’d encourage you to refer to the bibliography of resources from the retreat to learn more about living simply as a Christian discipline. I’d recommend Living More with Less by Doris Jane Longacre and Richard J. Foster’s Freedom of Simplicity. Those inspired this article.

    Other Food Justice News
    Manna Mondays
    Are you ready for a President’s Day like no other?! Sign your kids up for the first ever Manna Monday on February 17 (1pm-4pm) for an afternoon of pasta-making and wheat-milling! We will explore the biblical stories of manna from heaven, grind flour from wheat berries, and make pasta from scratch! As the Hebrews in the desert depended on manna from God (a starchy wafer substance) for sustenance, we depend on the earth, and the long process from start to finish for eating things like noodles and bread. Have your kids join us to learn all about, manna, pasta, and flour! School aged kids, (K-12) are welcome. A mid-afternoon snack will be provided. Sign-up in the fellowship hall or by phone with the church office (781-272-9190) by February 10 to reserve a spot. Contact Alex if you’d like to help supervise. alex@bostonfaithjustice.org

    Boston Faith and Justice Network (BFJN) Update
    Millie and Alex will begin teaching BFJN’s Lazarus at the Gate Curriculum on Sundays for 1.5 hours after worship starting February 9. It will last for 8 weeks until March 30. The class will examine the biblical themes of wealth, poverty, and generosity with real life ways to make a difference for the kingdom of heaven through our spending choices. Personal spending habits will be shared. The goal of this candor is to create an opportunity for a change in lifestyle to more effectively fight poverty and to make that change with the support of the group. A light lunch of soup and salad will be provided. Sign up in the fellowship hall. See Alex or Millie with questions.
    For those who cannot attend Lazarus at the Gate but would like to learn more about economic discipleship, BFJN is looking for participants in a brand new initiative to get Christians thinking about generosity with our tax refunds! Contact Alex for more information.

    Local Farm Connections
    Keep an eye out for brochures from local farms. This summer we hope to offer connections with more farms than just Farmer Dave’s! If things go according to plan we hope to have eggs, meat, cheese, and other farm-fresh products available to Burlington area residents on Mondays during the Farmer Dave’s pick up. See Alex or send him an E-mail if you know of local farms or growers you want to see involved. alex@bostonfaithjustice.org.

    News from the Philippines
    January 8, 2014

    Dear Friends,
    Today marks the second month since the most powerful and destructive typhoon on record devastated the central islands of the Philippines –- over 6,000 dead, 2,000 missing, I million homes destroyed, 4 million displaced. You responded in several ways — through clothing donations and funds for shipping costs, donations to Project C.U.R.E., funds to support a health clinic in one of the central islands, financial aid for students at Silliman University who lost family members and livelihood in the islands of Leyte and Samar. Thank you for your continuing prayers, long after the typhoon is no longer in the news cycle of international disasters.

    Here are some updates:

    Bart and I shall have sent 10 big boxes of donated clothing by the end of this month. They will be distributed by church groups to survivors in Leyte and towns in Northern Cebu. Those who survived the storm lost everything. Several of my relatives who were spared the fury of the storm are helping with the distribution process.

    Project C.U.R.E. (www.projectcure.org ) has sent two 20-foot container vans of medical supplies and equipment to a heavily-damaged hospital in Tacloban, Leyte, and the epicenter of the storm. This hospital continues to see hundreds of patients a day despite overwhelming limitations and welcomes the arrival of donated emergency supplies and equipment.

    The funds for financial aid to students in need at Silliman University, where Bart and I have done volunteer work recently, will be used specifically to help senior students graduate this March. This Presbyterian school is committed to finding ways of keeping 200 college students in school despite the incalculable loss of their homes and their parents’ livelihood.

    In one of the islands that the typhoon missed by 15 miles, there is a grassroots health clinic that needs basic medical supplies and is run by volunteer doctors and nurses. Bart and I are advocating for this Christian-based outreach to rural folks with no access to medical care. Some of you designated your financial contributions for this on-going project with a future.

    What to pray for in this period of rebuilding and reconstruction: The United Nations estimates that the recovery period for a disaster of this magnitude is 5 to 6 years, so the Philippines has barely just begun. These are some of the immediate needs:

    That the primary need for shelter be made available to the thousands of displaced families.
    That those on the ground who are helping (doctors, social workers, nurses, and volunteers) will be given the strength to persevere, as they too have to deal with their own trauma.
    That honest government officials handling foreign aid will put the people’s welfare first.
    That the survivors will not lose hope in the midst of unimaginable loss and tragedy.
    Our deep gratitude for your partnership,

    Priscilla and Bart Kelso

    Friday Night at the Movies!
    Friday, February 14, 7:00 pm
    Feature Presentation to be announced
    (watch your bulletin)
    Free! Bring friends! Popcorn!

    Crafter’s Group
    The Crafter’s Group will suspending their meeting in Feb, Mar & Apr. Please plan on joining us in the Spring. Bring those projects you’ve been meaning to finish, but just haven’t gotten around to.

    Bridges: Growing Older, Growing Together
    “The Burlington School System is privileged to incorporate the “Bridges: Growing Older, Growing Together” program into some of our 4th grade classes. This wonderful program pairs volunteer senior citizens with small groups of children in the classroom for an hour a week, over a 6 week session. During this time, the children have the opportunity to get to know a senior and to learn from their experiences. It is a wonderful opportunity for kids to learn about a different generation and for seniors to have the opportunity to see how children learn today. So much has changed in our schools and our approach to teaching. For this program to be successful, we need seniors who are willing to volunteer an hour of their time once a week for a 6 weeks session. Many enjoy it so much they ask to do more than one session! Sessions take place at different times over the course of the second half of the school year. (Depending on the school). If you know a senior, grandparent or neighbor, who would enjoy getting to know some fourth graders, please encourage them to fill in an application at the Senior Center.

    Any questions may be emailed to Caroline Mallard at cmallard1@hotmail.com, list “Bridges” in the subject line. For more information on this nationwide program: http://www.bridgestogether.org/”

  • October 2013 Crossroads

    Deacons Corner
    The deacons would like to thank you for all of your donations toward the school kit/Rally Day project. It was a huge success. We could not have done it without all of your help.

    The Dwelling Place
    It is with mixed emotion that we are announcing that we will be ending our relationship with The Dwelling Place. We would like to thank all of you for the generous support you have given over the last 20 plus years. You have given your time, your hands and your money and it has been greatly appreciated. Our last supper will be on November 20, 2013.

    CE News
    Do you have children?
    Have you filled out their registration form for church school yet?
    We need one registration form from each family for children in nursery to grade 12.
    You can access the form on the church website or you can get one from the CE mailbox in the church office. Then either email the form to the church, or return the completed form to the CE mailbox. Thanks from the CE Committee.

    Mark Your Calendars
    (Or link your calendar to the Church’s Google calendar)

    Friday Night at the Movies
    October 11, 7:30 pm
    A movie about a New Mexican farmer and town who face a crisis when business and political interests conspire to divert their water supply for a resort development. With determination, and even a bit of magic, the local population forces a confrontation…in a unique blend of social commentary and comedy.

    Free! Popcorn! Bring friends!

    Crafter’s Night, October 18
    7 pm

    Come join in. We are still attempting to get the blankets for Warm Up America completed, but feel free to come with your own project whatever your craft may be. We would love to see it! There may be others who share your love of that craft. Come learn something new that you’ve always wanted to try.

    Women’s Bible Study
    Thursdays at 9:30 am
    We are pleased to announce that we were chosen to be one of the field test groups for next year’s Presbyterian Women’s Bible Study, Water. This is a nine week study, with an agreement to provide feedback on each lesson. Confidentiality must be signed in order to participate. Any woman in the congregation is welcome to join in the field test, not just those currently attending Bible study.

    Using your spiritual gifts to help you and your church grow.
    Join us on October 19th from 9am to 3pm, as we discover and explore our Spiritual gifts. We are using the assessment from “Discover Your Spiritual Gifts the Natural Way”. Individuals will complete an assessment (it takes about 30 min.) and then we will come together to discuss our findings. Everyone will bring their own lunch-snacks and beverages provided….plenty of activities and opportunities for sharing will be available.

    Cost is $10.00 to pay for materials.

    Come and enjoy!

    OCTOBER 25, is the Annual Pumpkin Party at 6:30pm. We will supply the pumpkins you supply the tools and creativity. We will have markers for small children who are not ready to carve a pumpkin!
    We will have storytelling, too!!!!

    Mission and Outreach
    Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell (HFHGL) has given BPC the date of October 12th for our build day at 49-55 Rock Street in Lowell. We can send a group of up to 12 people, and will be working from 8 am to 3 pm.

    We will be working on 1 of 2 duplexes that will be home to 4 families. Students from Greater Lowell Technical High School are building one duplex and general volunteers and local companies are building the other one. The project broke ground on October 25, 2012, and is now nearing completion.

    People who want to participate but don’t feel comfortable working with tools, can play an important role by providing lunch for the volunteers working on the homes.

    Since its founding in 1991, HFHGL has built or renovated a total of 28 homes in Bedford, Billerica, Concord, Lowell, Reading, and Westford. HFHGL projects have placed more than 100 people into quality housing. Not only do Habitat families pay for their homes through a monthly mortgage, they also put in between 225 and 400 hours of sweat equity prior to becoming homeowners.

    Habitat for Humanity’s vision is a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live and housing poverty and homelessness are eliminated.

    For more information about volunteering with BPC’s team, contact Tom Hennings.

    Annual Stewardship Campaign – Planting a Seed

    Once again it is nearing the time to respond to God’s grace in our lives and to celebrate the good work that God will do by identifying the gifts we provide. As John Calvin once said: “ We are surrounded by God’s benefits. The best use of these benefits is an unceasing expression of gratitude.”

    Gratitude can be shown in many ways. When we think of stewardship, we typically think of fundraising, but there are also the gifts of time and talents that a small church like Burlington Presbyterian needs in order to move forward and provide the rich programs we currently enjoy.

    A retreat this month will focus on discovering our spiritual gifts. Even if you do not get a chance to attend this retreat, it is a good time of year to sit down and take stock of what abilities and attributes you have that you can share with others. You may be organized and also willing to direct others – chairing a committee for a special project may be a gift you could share. You may be shy, but enjoy music – joining one of the choirs would be something to try.

    In the winter and spring, we are going to focus on Living Simply and plan to host several opportunities to explore more about how to do that. For this newsletter, I would just like to “plant a seed” of a thought – that when people spend money on things they do not really need, they also begin to want more things they do not need. Jesus told us that our hearts will follow our money (Matthew 6:21) “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” His words suggest that if we are unsure where our hearts are, looking at where our treasure is spent or contained may give us a clue.

    There will be more thoughts sent to you about stewardship over the next month. We will follow our tradition of thankfully presenting out pledges and offerings on Harvest Sunday which will be on November 24th this year. Between now and then, please think about how grateful you are for all God provides in your life. Pray and act on the confidence that God’s abundance will not cease, but will grow proportionately as we give generously of our time, resources, and talents.

    “Remember this,” Paul says, “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each person should decide to give what he has decided to give in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things and in all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)

    Taking Time

    Certainly God is not a god in a hurry. That’s clear.
    - John Polkinghorne, physicist and Anglican priest, on NPR’s On Being

    God took a Sabbath. We might think that, once the Creator had gotten all the parts in place, God would be anxious to rush on to the next steps. But no, God rested on the seventh day. And ever since, God’s processes seem to be slow and deliberate.

    Clearly, we are more advanced than God (!) We no longer seem to require a regular time for resting and soaking in the goodness of all that God created. Many of us are wired, or wi-fi’d, to work and other concerns even when we make a pretense of Sabbathing.

    Apparently, we also have a leg up on our parents (or grandparents), too. Going through some old books to donate to BPC’s yard sale, I found an aged clipping from a WWII newspaper. Quote: Vacations are recognized by government officials as important to the health, welfare and efficiency of the American public during the time of all-out war effort, and the limited use of the automobile for a vacation…is not inconsistent with conservation nor is it un-patriotic. During the all-out effort of that war, Americans were still encouraged by our government to go on vacation!

    When we do not Sabbath, or allow adequate time to appreciate the goodness of God’s creation, a lot of things get left behind – including reverence for God and fully valuing the lives of those most precious to us. Our children learn from our hyperactive, hyper-connected patterns.

    It seems to me that one of the greatest joys of real time away from the pressures of work, even if it is just for a brief time each day, is the luxury of paying attention. When we cease trying to focus on multiple issues or electronic devices, we can be more intentional, mindful, of each thing we see or do. John Walsh, author and art historian, in a speech at Wheaton College, said:
    Do one thing at a time. Give each experience all your attention. Try to resist being distracted by other sights and sounds, other thoughts and tasks, and when it is, guide your mind back to what you’re doing.

    This is a discipline which we can learn to work on as we go about our everyday tasks. But even better, maybe it could start with some genuine Sabbath time, or vacation, this summer.

    It is a good way to become re-acquainted with that slow-paced God of scripture.

    Peace,

    Rod

    June 2013 Crossroads

    Hunger Walkers make strides…
    This year’s team from BPC hit a new high of approximately $3,000 for Project Bread. Linda Roscoe, Sue McGilvray-Rivet and Caitlin Rivet, the McIninch family, Tara Goss and Spencer Goss, Angela Wantate, Kevin Haley and Kelley O’Hearne are BPC walkers we know of; there may have been more. Bless you for your service.

    Thanks…
    Many folks contributed as we provided space and refreshments for Boston Presbytery, meeting at BPC on May
    20. Special thanks to Judy Brunner, Sally Morrison and the Hospitality Committee.
    And thanks to our Deacons, especially Barbara Karanja, Sally Morrison, and Annette Chapman-Adisho, for organizing and leading a splendidly delicious International Dinner on May 4 – with donations going to our Hunger Walk team. (How did Sally manage to get so many people singing in various languages??)

    July 4 Parade…
    Watch for more info from the Hospitality Committee about our opportunity to provide some hosting (mainly in the form of goodies) for groups who will be forming up for Burlington’s July 4 parade. The parade will begin at the intersection in front of the church and proceed to the Common.

    Deacons Corner
    The Deacons would like to thank everyone who participated in our International Dinner. It was a huge success. Everyone ate well and had a fun time, especially with Miss Sally’s arm twisting for songs!!! We are especially thankful that we were able to help contribute to the “Walk for Hunger”. A “special” thank you goes out to Annette Chapman-Adisho for entertaining the children!!

    The Food Pantry does not have any requests this month. Please donate whatever you feel would be appropriate
    for the month of June.

    The Dwelling Place served 14 guests a wonderful spaghetti and meatball supper in May.

    George has a birthday coming up on June 22nd. There will be cards available on the church table for you to take and send to him. He loves to receive cards!

    New Mission Opportunities for BPC

    The Mission Exploration Team was called together in October to explore how God is calling this congregation to be faithful in mission now, including but not limited to how we are involved with the communities around us and how our facilities may be used. The members of the team were Ken Dewar, Tara Goss, Colette Greco, Sue Hadsell, Barbara Karanja, Rod MacDonald, Jane McIninch, Joseph Porte, Caitlin Rivet and Mark Vogel. In March, the team made their final recommendations to Session. On May 19th Session presented the five top priority ideas to the congregation during Worship. Please read about these ideas below and learn how you can get involved.

    Full time use of our facility:
    BPC is currently in conversation with the Burlington Public School system. They are interested in using the facility to expand their employee daycare program for 2-5 year olds. If conversations with BPS fall through, other preschool programs could be identified.

    Mission opportunities:
    • Establish a “Friday Nights Live at BPC” program with weekly programs including music programs, game nights, craft nights, movie nights, and other activities. This would serve to build relationships within the congregation as well as serving the community.

    • Needed: We seek individuals interested in any of these topics to get involved with planning; please speak with Tara Goss.

    • We are currently partnering with Farmer Dave with a well-established CSA program that runs 9 months of the year. During the main season, we offer a weekly newsletter that includes a recipe, a devotional, and notes about BPC programs. To expand our ministry through this program we will participate closely with Boston Faith & Justice Network (BFJN) in the Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program organized by Boston Presbytery. A YAV will work part time to expand our CSA offerings, to write a handbook to help other organizations build a similar ministry and to offer food related youth programs. Furthermore, jointly with BFJN, we would offer their “Lazarus of the Gate” economic stewardship curriculum as well as some food preservation workshops at BPC. We will serve as the home congregation for the YAV during the program.

    • Needed: We seek individuals to participate in a committee to oversee the YAV’s progress; this would involve quarterly meetings for one year. Also, we seek individuals who are willing to reach out to the YAV and invite them in for holiday meals and other events. Please speak with Jane McIninch or Millie Wiegand if you would like to get involved.

    • Join a local housing project to either build new houses (like Habitat for Humanity) or renovate existing homes. We would plan one-day work opportunities a couple of times a year. This would be a hands-on ministry project for BPC with great opportunity for building relationships both with folks in this area for whom we are doing the work and with the folks we are working along side, to enrich us all. Please watch for more information and contact Tom Hennings, Ken Dewar or Joseph Porte with questions.

    • We currently have a group of individuals that have already planned two great retreats. We recommend continuing with annual or biannual retreats.either here or off-site.

    • Needed: We seek individuals interested in planning and coordinating events. Please speak with Mark Vogel.

    Saturday, June 1st 8:00 am

    The Trustees are sponsoring our annual spring clean-up on Saturday, June 1, starting at 8 a.m. (feel free to arrive a little later). Please come on out, enjoy the fresh air, and help us put everything outside in shape for summer. Exciting events include leaf raking, gutter cleaning, sweeping, mowing and trimming. Please bring your own lawn tools, and don’t forget your gloves. Electric blowers and very long extension cords are especially helpful. We can put everyone to work. Bring the family and ENJOY!!!

    Welcome Back, Farmer Dave

    Summer shares will be starting June 10!! Don’t miss out on the tasty fresh vegetables provided by Farmer Dave. Sign up for summer shares now and enjoy fresh vegetables and fruit all summer! For information, see brochures on church table.

    Friday Night at the Movies
    June 14, at 7:30

    Feature for this month: a classic tale about pool. A blue-eyed star’s unforgettable role as the chain-gang convict who just won’t conform. Now what we have here is…failure to communicate. Sure, maybe you’ve seen it before – but have you ever seen it as a parable portrait of Jesus as rebel hero against oppression? Take a fresh look. No charge; popcorn; bring a friend!

    Table Gathering at Church of the Covenant
    To support the Young Adult Volunteer Program

    Join in for a seasonal cooking lesson and three course meal on June 9th, August 11th, and October 13th. Class size is limited to 25 so email bbjyavprogram@gmail.com to reserve your spot and ask for a registration form. Cost is $50 per individual and $80 per couple. See the flyer on the bulletin board for more information.

    Christian Education

    On June 9, we will be honoring our teachers and celebrating the end of our regular church school program.
    Following worship there will be a cook out. 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.

    During the summer there will be an activity time during worship for those children from pre- school to second grade.

    Library News
    Messy Spirituality by Mike Yaconelli

    Many Christians believe the “spiritual life” can only be lived by someone who is praying all the time, who never gets angry, is always blissfully at peace, and who seems to have an inside track to God.

    This book is for the rest of us.

    Enjoy a heartwarming and often humorous look at the crazy idea that common, ordinary, screwed-up people can be godly!

    Also new: More Crochet Prayer Shawl Patterns

    Yard Sale June 22, 9am-3pm

    Sally and I are the contact people for the yard sale this year. Please put aside items that you want to donate to the sale. Make sure items are clean and in good repair. Please let us know if items need small/easy repairs. You will be able to bring items to the church June 18, 19, 20 and 21, beginning at 9:30am. There will be some evening hours yet to be determined. If you have a key you could bring things on the 17th, the office is usually closed on Mondays. Items should not be brought to the church the day of the sale.

    We have enclosed “Yard Sale Donation Suggestions”. Sally and Judy

    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: High chairs, play pens, 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.

    Clothing Is Not A Big Seller And Will Not Be Accepted Please Be Sure All Items Are Clean!!

    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.

    Choir

    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.