December 2014 Crossroads

Deacon’s Corner

This year the deacons will be sponsoring the Wish Tree at the Burlington Mall again. Thank you to all who have signed up. There are still some empty spots. We will also be participating in People Helping People’s pajamas and underwear drive. The cards have all been taken. Please return you unwrapped gifts (with card attached) to the office by Dec. 7th

Once again we would like to thank all who have been providing rides for George. As you all know, George loves receiving mail. We will have Christmas cards available for you to send to him on the table in the narthex. (also labels)

Don’t forget our monthly pantry needs of 20 oz. bottles of dish detergent and individually wrapped bars of soap. We always collect on the first Sunday of the month…Dec 7th this month.

Thank you to all for your generous giving.

Stewardship Report
Sue Hadsell

Our last program for the year is The Christmas Joy Offering.

The Christmas Joy Offering has been a cherished Presbyterian tradition since the 1930s. It helps fund the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions, which provides current and retired church workers with the help they need to get through life’s unexpected challenges. The Offering also supports education at Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges, promoting a commitment to higher learning and leadership development for all students regardless of race or economic standing.

This Offering encourages meaningful gift giving in the spirit of Christmas while sharing the message of God’s love during the Advent season.

Look for more information which will be available in your church bulletin.

Women’s Bible Study
The Women’s Bible Study has finished their first study of the year. The Brunch will be held on Dec 4 at 9:30 am. If you are interested in attending Bible Study, please come to the brunch. They will be choosing their next study. There will be no meetings in Dec. They will start up again on January 8 with the new study. All are welcome. Come see what they are all about.

“Wish Tree” Volunteers Needed
There are still a few open slots for staffing the Wish Tree table at the mall on “our” day – Wednesday, December 3. Please consider taking a slot. It gives one the opportunity to witness generosity and good holiday spirits.

In Niloo’s absence, Linda Roscoe will coordinate our volunteers. Let her know if you’d like to volunteer, but aren’t available either of our days; or if you need to change your time slot.

Please sign up!!

Please remember to turn in your unwrapped pjs and underwear with card attached to the church office by Dec 7!

PRESBYTERIAN GIVING CATALOG

What would you do with three extra hours every day?

The bigger question is, what could those who are forced to walk miles for water each day do? Help give this time back through water-related gifts found in the Presbyterian Giving Catalog. Items like the sand dam, which is an effective method of water conservation in dryland communities, provide a sustainable source of clean water for entire communities. Together, we can help change the lives of countless people by giving them a reliable and convenient source of water.

With your support, gifts from the Presbyterian Giving Catalog can lessen the burden for those in need of help. Start flipping through the catalog, or give online at http://www.presbyteriangifts.org. There are catalogs on the table at the front of the church.

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

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

THANK YOU!
On behalf of Session (and our Presbytery), a moment of gratitude to all of you who joined 40% of the voters in our Commonwealth and voted Yes on Question 3 in November.

People of Faith were the greatest hope for reversing a decision that will be particularly unjust to those who can afford it the least, not to mention the number of families who will now deal with addiction.
Thank you again for your efforts.

Shelly Henderson, Clerk of Session

From the Deacons

The carols of Christmas touch our hearts in ways beyond any other music-reminding us of our past, bringing joy to our present, promising hope for our future.

From the Bethlehem hills, where angel songs ring, to a lowly stable where a mother sings to her newborn babe; we journey in song through the miracle of the Nativity. Legacy Christmas, created by acclaimed instrumentalists and vocalists, connects us, defines us, reminds us.

Millions of God’s children thirst for clean healthy water to drink. To help address this need, proceeds from Legacy Christmas will assist Living Waters for the World and the Presbyterian Women Birthday Offering in providing clean, sustainable water and enhancing the quality of life for women and children throughout the world.

We will be selling the new CD Legacy Christmas-Nativity Carols and Hymns this year during Advent. There will be limited copies of last year’s CD also available. The cost is $15.00 each. These make wonderful Christmas gifts.

Christmas Eve Service

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Hello Friends

Hoping you will come – and invite friends and neighbors:

Tuesday, Christmas Eve, 7:00 p.m. – Our traditional Family Service for all ages with Nativity tableaux (scenes), carols and candlelight. The nursery will be heated for any parents and young children who need a break.

A great time to invite others!

Reminder for all those who are part of the tableaux – rehearsal is Monday night, 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, December 29 – Worship at 10:30 (no classes except for preschool)
A visit from Bethlehem’s innkeeper

A blessed Christmas to you and all your loved ones.

Christmas in Burlington MA

Our children's nativity scene

Our children’s nativity scene

Dear BPC Family,

We each come to this Christmas with our individual and shared thoughts and feelings. There are many realities to darken the skies over Bethlehem, and the world, as this holiday draws near. But isn’t that true of every Christmas? I think the carol says it well: The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight. And we do have hope: the Child of Bethlehem is the assurance of God’s incarnate, en-fleshed, presence with us, the power of love that nothing can destroy.

Our Christmas Eve service, at 7 p.m., is a tradition for all ages, with Nativity tableaux (scenes), carols and candlelight. It is one of our opportunities to welcome many guests and to share our warmth and hospitality, as well as the Good News. Please come, and invite someone to come with you!

This Sunday (December 23) we will mark the 4th Sunday of Advent, with a message of “Songs in the Night.”

On Sunday, December 30, we will have an informal, family-style service to include children, who will not have Sunday School classes that day.

If you are traveling for this holiday, we pray for your safe journey and a blessed holiday.

May you experience the true joy of Christmas.

Rod