Crossroads for December 2013

News of our Church Family

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please come! Invite family, friends and neighbors!

Family Advent Event
December 8, 2013
11:45 am

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 24 – 7:00 p.m.

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

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

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

Brought to you by the Deacons

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

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

Women’s Bible Study
Thursdays at 9:30 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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