May Crossroads

News of Our Church Family
…Coming up:

  • Worship on Sunday, May 10
    – will be based on music which Jennifer Dewar brought back from her retreat at Chartres Cathedral last year, and a theme of God’s Creation. Come for this Mother’s Day special.
  • “Greeter Training” event after worship on Sunday, May 31 – this will be more than specific helps for Sunday greeters; it will focus on the things that make for a welcoming congregation.
  • New England Campus Ministry event on Saturday, May 30 – our church is providing the setting for a gathering of folks involved in or interested in PCUSA campus ministry in our region. BPC members are warmly invited to attend. See Rev. MacDonald for more information.
  • Pentecost Offering

    Each year at this time we begin to think about our Pentecost offering. The offering will be received on May 31. This is one of our denomination’s special offerings. The Pentecost offering is used “to provide nurture and hope to young members of God’s family”. Our congregation will keep 40% for ministries to serve children at risk; the General Assembly uses the remaining 60% for ministries with youth and young adults (25%), for adult volunteer opportunities (25%) and for child advocacy (10%).

    Deacons Corner
    Dwelling Place: In March, a record number of people were served at the Dwelling Place. In these difficult times, this meal is very important. Please consider making a donation for the May meal.

    Yard Sale: Remember to save items for the June 13 yard sale. Check the list of suggested items included in this issue of Crossroads. Text books should be dated no earlier than 2000. Please do not bring any items before June 1 and no large items before June 10. Baked goods will be welcome. Plan to come on June 13 to buy and to help.

    Blood Drive: The annual blood drive will be on July 7, from 1:30 to 7:00 pm, at the American Legion Hall on Winn Street. Thanks to everyone who gave money for Easter flowers and donations to the food pantry and Mission in Deeds.

    Labyrinth Event
    Saturday, May 2, 2009

    Everyone is invited to come to a Labyrinth Workshop and to walk a canvas labyrinth here at BPC on Saturday, May 2 from 9:30 a.m. until noon.

    A labyrinth is a spiritual tool that invites us to walking meditation, to centering ourselves and to prayer. Jennifer Dewar (BPC member and Labyrinth Guild of New England Apprentice) will facilitate this event, beginning with a presentation about the history and use of labyrinths. Following the workshop, participants are invited to walk a canvas labyrinth in Fellowship Hall.

    In the afternoon, the labyrinth will be available for an Open Walk from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. This event happens to coincide with the celebration of World Labyrinth Day when people worldwide are invited to Walk as One at One (p.m.) in their own time zones. If you are unable to come for the morning workshop, please join us for the afternoon walk.

    On the sign up sheet in Fellowship Hall please indicate if you plan to come to the morning workshop. Also please check the appropriate column if you can help set up the hall late Friday afternoon, help Saturday morning before the workshop and/or be present at the Open Walk on Saturday afternoon. Contact Jennifer Dewar for more information. There is a $10 fee for the morning workshop and walk to defray expenses of renting the labyrinth. The afternoon Open Walk is free.

    Networkers Mothers Day Project
    Mosquito Nets for Africa

    Mother’s Day cards will be available again this year. Donations to this ministry provide mosquito nets and malaria prevention educational materials to families. Thousands of women and children have been protected from malaria by Presbyterians who have sent over 160,000 NetWorkers cards to loved ones since the project began in 2001. See Beth Denier for more information or cards.

    Annual Walk for Hunger
    Sunday, May 3

    Starts on the Boston Common, 7:00-9:00 a.m.

    With poverty and unemployment rising at unprecedented rates and 522,000 people across the state struggling to put food on the table, this year’s Walk for Hunger is more important than ever. Since 1969, The Walk for Hunger has relied on support from religious organizations. Over the years, that support has grown from one to more than 1,000 religious and community organizations that come out to protest the social injustice of hunger in our midst. Now is the time to step up and join us for Project Bread’s Annual Walk for Hunger on Sunday, May 3. With the economy struggling, every dollar, every mile, and every volunteer hour counts for our neighbors in need. Your pledges feed people through emergency food programs throughout the state and through many food programs in schools, after school programs, and pediatrician offices, which integrate help into the ordinary fabric of everyday life.

    Celebrate the spirit of giving along with over 40,000 other concerned citizens by participating in this Massachusetts family tradition. For more information, call 617-723-5000 or visit

    Facebook Friends

    Are you on Facebook? If so, join the Burlington Presbyterian Group to get reminders about church events, stay up-to-date with the news, join in discussions and view the latest pictures. If you already have a Facebook profile, just search for “Burlington Presbyterian Church”. If you are curious how social networking works, feel free to talk to Brenda.

    Faith and Gender
    Google Group Formed

    Thanks to everyone who participated in the discussion of what women in politics experience and how we feel called as Christians to respond. Challenging questions arose: If we as individuals and within the walls of our church simply model treatment of political enemies with love, does that fulfill our calling on the issue? How can we tackle sexism in the public square without tackling the overarching societal problem of the sexualization and degradation of our girls and teenagers? In a tinderbox political environment, how can we live a faithful witness to treating political opponents with love, without sparking anger that could be dangerous?

    The most contentious moment was over the question of whether a candidate might bring on “unloving” treatment by her own actions. We got sidetracked onto a particular statement made by a particular candidate, tempers flared, and we dropped the subject. I regret that I got too hot under the collar to tease out the more interesting general questions: Say that a candidate flat out lies about another candidate, or plays some other dirty political trick. To what degree are we then relieved of our calling to treat her with love, or to be a witness of that love outside of the church walls? Can we defend her dignity as a child of God with as much vigor as we challenge what we believe to be her dirty tricks? Or is it a matter of degree – all depending on how bad the lie was and on whether the “unloving” treatment is merely nasty name calling or descends to sexual degradation. Hmmm…..

    In a cooler moment, we discussed the role of the Presbyterian Church – as opposed to secular groups – in working to end sexism. We spoke of how the church was heavily involved in women’s rights in the 70’s, having fought for passage of the (failed) Equal Rights Amendment. Today, the social justice calling of the church is more in the areas of equal rights for the GLBT community, welcoming immigrants, ending racism, living “green”, sharing economic resources, etc. The church simply has its hands full with other issues.

    We did, however, decide to form a google e-mail group to exchange information and facilitate individual action. Anyone in the group can forward to the group information on subjects like violence against women, sexism in news coverage, overly sexualized commercials, workplace sex discrimination etc. If the information forwarded contains sample protest letters to write or phone numbers to call, then group members can decide whether to take action on an individual basis. The group also can be a place where we discuss how our faith informs our approaches to these issues. Anyone interested in more information about the group is welcome to contact Bill Silver.

    Late update: Former DNC Chair Howard

    Dean spoke up about election gender injustice in response to a question at a Smithsonian Associates forum. I edited the two-hour forum tape down to two minutes. Those who are interested can view it at:
    Judy Silver

    Hyannis Sprint Triathlon

    On June 13th I will be participating in the Hyannis Sprint Triathlon to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honor of the 10 year old daughter of my close high school friends who has Hodgkin Lymphoma. This will be the third time I have participated in a Team in Training event for this organization and know the work they do to support research and to support the families of loved ones with blood related cancers is amazing.

    If you would like to make a donation, please visit my website: or give me a check made out to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I also have Team in Training T-shirts available for $10.
    Thank you!!!
    Sue McGilvray-Rivet

    Gifts for Music Lovers
    Keys from our Old Organ!

    Are you looking for a unique gift for someone? Why not get them an organ key! The keys from our previous organ are available for purchase, and proceeds of the sale of the keys will help defray part of the cost of purchasing the new Rogers organ. A single key is $25 or you can purchase a pair of keys (one black and one white) for $40. These historic organ keys make great conversation pieces and will remind you of the years of music at our church. Talk with Sean Pickett or Ken Dewar or any choir member if you are interested in supporting this musical mission.

    Nurturing Nest Preschool
    Registration Event

    The Nurturing Nest Preschool has classes in full swing from September through May. We have started enrollment for the 2009-2010 school year. The following programs will be offered:
    3 day program for 4 year olds: M-W-F 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

    2 day program for 4 year olds: T-Th 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm

    2 day program for 3 year olds: T-Th 9:00 am – 11:30 am

    If you know someone who is looking for a quality, yet low-cost preschool experience for their 3 or 4 year olds, we would appreciate your spreading the word! There are a couple spots in

    3-day morning class and several places open for the 2-day afternoon class. Interested families should call registrar Linda Benson at 781-272-0081, extension 2 for more details.

    Our dedicated core teachers are Director Patricia Rooney, and teachers Darlene Jollymore and Nancy Murphy. The new Board of Directors includes Chair Colette Greco, Registrar Linda Benson, Secretary Tara Goss, Treasurer Millie Wiegand, Director Pat Rooney, and members Michelle Brown, Christina Liu and Sue McGilvray-Rivet. See anyone on the board for information.

    Occasionally we will share a few tidbits in Crossroads about this important community service which our church oversees. For now, as you leave Fellowship Hall on Sundays or after week night meetings, remember that there will be a group of toddlers there the next morning. Make sure that you dispose of your trash, lower the tables, raise the shades, pick up all personal possessions and leave the room ready for action.

    And spread the word about registration. We appreciate your help.

    Submitted by the Nurturing Nest Board

    Burlington Food Pantry
    Pantry Co-coordinator (volunteer) needed

    Introduction: The Burlington Food Pantry is looking for two or more dynamic individuals to serve as co-coordinators. The Pantry is an all volunteer organization. The pantry is housed on the grounds of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Burlington and serves residents of the town. Currently the pantry serves 130 families and is open from 3 – 6 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month. The pantry has existed for 29 years and has seen continual growth. It is overseen by a Board of Directors comprised of community members, representatives from local congregations, a representative from the Burlington Community Life Center and a representative from the Clergy Association. Support also comes from 24 active volunteers.

    This is an exciting time for the pantry as it expands into a brand new space and reaches out for support from the Boston Food Bank. The individuals who are interested in this volunteer service to the community will have the opportunity to effect change and really make a difference in people’s lives.

    If you are interested in learning more about this exciting opportunity, please contact

    Valerie Healey, Volunteer Coordinator
    Position: Co-Coordinators of Burlington Community Food Pantry (volunteer)
    Overview of Administrative tasks:

    Supervise volunteers and collaborate with Volunteer Coordinator to adequately staff volunteer pool
    Coordinate pick-up or delivery of items donated from area organizations
    Coordinate pick-up of items from food donation bins
    Receive and respond to phone calls daily. Maintain appropriate greeting.
    Maintain records of money received and acknowledge donations
    Develop and maintain client database
    Document family participation each month
    Maintain current, accurate contact information for volunteers
    Collaborate with Holiday Program Coordinators (November/December) to prepare for Holiday Program sign up
    Collaborate with Basic Needs Coordinator to determine eligibility of clients
    Communicate with Food Bank Coordinator monthly to place food order
    Serve as spokesperson to the community on the needs of the Food Pantry
    Attend monthly board meetings and prepare written report

    Functions of Pantry Coordinators: (hours may change)

    Open Pantry 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month to distribute food
    Coordinate deliveries of groceries to shut-ins
    Make up bags on 1st and 3rd Wednesday each month
    Shop for essential items and paper goods
    Check grocery store flyers and cut coupons
    Stock shelves with purchased and donated items
    Sort bakery items donated by Panera Bread once each month
    Sort produce donated by Rotary once each month
    Maintain cleanliness of the pantry and safe access in winter

    Burlington Food Drive
    Volunteers needed on Saturday, May 9, 2009

    Please only donate non-perishable items with an expiration date of either June-December 2009, or anytime in 2010, 2011, or 2012. Please do not donate food with an expiration date earlier than June of 2009, or a product code you cannot interpret.

    If you want to volunteer sorting the donated food or transporting the items back to the food pantry, please call Jay B. Barnes of the Burlington Food Pantry at (781) 270-6625. Adults, teenagers, and children eight and older accompanied by an adult are welcome to volunteer.

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