February 2013 Crossroads

Winter Light: Discerning Our Path
February 2, 2013
12:30 – 4:00

Did you know there is an ancient Christian tradition associated with February 2 (aka Groundhog Day)? As the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, Candlemas is a day to thank God for light. It is also the traditional day to bless the candles that will be used over the coming year.

This is an opportunity to pause and ponder about the light and shadow in our own lives. Where do we need light? What parts of our lives are in between light and dark?

We won’t just think about light – we will make candles, worship, talk, and reflect together.

Sign in will begin at 12:30 with coffee and goodies. There is no cost. Feel to bring friends.

Please come and light up your own life!

Ash Wednesday Service
February 13, 7:30 p.m.

Quiet reflection, music and prayer will be the focus of this service to assist our meaningful entry into the season of Lent. The service will provide a time of peaceful renewal in the midst of our challenging days.

Join the church family, and help us welcome others, to this traditional service marking the start of Lent. There will be ashes and an opportunity for placing them on our foreheads as the sign of our humility and dependence upon God’s grace (use of ashes will be voluntary).

This can be an important start, in the right spirit, to the journey of Lent toward Holy Week. Please plan to make it part of your life.

One Great Hour of Sharing

Catastrophic storms and wildfires throughout the United States. War and political uprising in the Middle East. Malnutrition and starvation. Extreme poverty and urban squalor. Stories of disaster, hunger, poverty, and other tragedies filled our newspapers and television screens in 2012. With such stories, it is easy to become disheartened and experience compassion fatigue. In the midst of these times, the prophet Isaiah reminds us that we are called to be “the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in” (Isa. 58:12). We are called to make God’s community livable for all.

Through abundant and generous gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) Presbyterians have for many years faithfully heeded God’s call to serve people seeking to reclaim and restore their lives.

Your gift to this offering allows Presbyterian Disaster Assistance to restore communities around the world affected by disaster including those now recovering from Hurricane Sandy. It helps the Presbyterian Hunger Program work with Presbyterians and other partners to alleviate hunger and eliminate its causes in this country and internationally and makes it possible for Self-Development of People to affirm the dignity of all by assisting in the empowerment of economically poor, oppressed, and disadvantaged people.

“Sharing Brings Joy. To Others, to God, and to Us.”

The programs supported by OGHS depend on continued and increased support from congregations like yours. As a result of your gifts and the gifts of other congregations across the church, OGHS will continue to be a reminder that through the simple act of sharing, we are blessed and experience God’s abundance in surprising ways. Thank you for your longtime support of this offering, as together we are Sharing Resources . . . Changing Lives.
Sara Pottschmidt Lisherness
Director
Compassion, Peace, and Justice

Our offering will be received on Palm Sunday, March 24. Fishboxes will be available for the children.

Beth Denier

Worship
(contributed by Joan Ross)

The purpose of worship is not to hear a sermon, to sing a hymn or two. It is something much larger: to come in contact with the world as it is and as we want it to be. Both and at the same time. That’s why it looks so silly to an outsider who objects to the seemingly easy transition, not knowing that it is not easy at all. It is an ongoing process Sunday after Sunday after Sunday. It is not a habit; it is a discipline and discipleship. In one short hour to moan and mourn and then forget oneself and join with joy the others in a mock-up banquet reminding us of bread/hunger, wine/blood, life/death, and resurrection/hope that defies despair. You don’t do that in an hour; the hour only becomes a manifestation of what it takes a lifetime to realize.
The hour spent in church is irreplaceable. When I now leave for church on Sunday morning and return an hour and a half later, I can hardly believe such a short time has elapsed. What could I have done in that length of time? Read a little, think somewhat, listen to music, finish a review, prepare a meal, yes. But compared to the cosmic importance and personal engagement that takes place in church – no, it cannot be compared. Church time is eternal. (Brita Stendahl)

JAZZ & CHOCOLATE
Saturday, February 9th, 7-9 PM

The UCC Church is hosting a special event for music lovers and chocolate lovers alike. Noted professional jazz singer, Lydia Harrell, will be performing while we enjoy a variety of decadent chocolate desserts.

UCC Church
6 Lexington Street,
Burlington, MA

Tickets: $15.00

For more information:
Julie Lewis: 617-281-8670 jalewis@gmail.com

5p Syndrome

Each year in the United States, approximately 50 to 60 children are born with 5p- Syndrome (five p minus), also known as Cat Cry Syndrome or Cri du Chat Syndrome. 5p- Syndrome is characterized at birth by a high pitched cry, low birth weight; slow physical development and potential medical complications. “5p-” is a term used by geneticists to describe a portion of chromosome number five that is missing in these individuals. Children born with this rare genetic defect require ongoing support from a team of parents, therapists, and medical and educational professionals to help the child achieve his or her maximum potential.

My granddaughter, Lydia, has this rare syndrome. Fortunately, she has a strong set of parents (my daughter Laurel and son-in-law Greg) and supportive siblings who help her cope with her needs. There is also a national organization which holds yearly meetings throughout the United States to help families connect and learn more about their children. This summer the annual conference will be held in New York and my daughter is on the planning committee.

Here’s where BPC can help. I am asking for sponsors for the Fun Camp portion of the program for the 5P youngsters and young adults ages 12 and up. (Lydia is 14). In the past, this group has often been gathered in front of tv’s or movies during the day while the parents are attending the lectures and programs. This year, Laurel is planning a more active program, using leaders from the physical therapy classes which she teaches at Columbia University. The Fun Camp will include a music game show, yoga, memory book making, a photo booth, dance party, rhythm games, and other activities. Many supplies and donations are needed.
Examples of supplies needed include :

  • Large posters for photo backdrops – preferably of city, dance, or beach scenes.
  • Costume supplies: wedding dresses, top hats, cummerbunds, boas, big sunglasses, beach hats & towels, cowboy hats, prince and princess crowns, magician’s cape, doctor’s white coat, any NY sports team clothing, etc.
  • Yoga mats, pre-made yoga pose pictures, pre-made photo cards, memory book decorations
  • The actual memory books will be pre-made with the conference logo on the front, but donations to purchase them and to purchase film are needed.

    See me if you are interested in contributing any of these items or with a check made out to 5P- Society to help defray expenses. This outreach goes a bit beyond our Burlington community, but it would be very meaningful to me and my family. And BPC will be noted as one of the sponsors in the program notes. I need to gather all donations by March 17th in order to take them to my daughter in time for her to determine what else will be needed. You can also find out more information about the 5p- Society and the conference on their website: http://www.fivepminus.org.

    Thanks in advance – Millie Wiegand

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