The Deacons would like to thank everyone who gave generously to the many causes our church supported this holiday season: donating food for the Burlington Food Pantry, giving pajamas and underwear to People Helping People, baking breads for The Dwelling Place, volunteering at the Wish Tree at the Burlington Mall, providing supplies for the School Kits for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, and purchasing CDs for Living Waters for the World. We collected $435.00. We would also like to thank the ladies of the Billerica Senior Center, especially Shirley Thornton and Betty Anderson for their donations of hats and mittens. Your gifts helped make a merry Christmas for many people in our community.
Annual Meeting – Come All Ye!
Ice cream sundaes – 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 18 − 2:00 p.m. Fellowship Hall
(If weather appears to be a factor, there’ll be a message on the answering machine by 11 a.m.; snow date: January 25).
The Annual Meeting of the Congregation of our church is one of the most important times we gather outside of our regular Sunday worship. All members of our church family are most Presbyterian-ly urged to come, for business and fellowship! Be sure to come in time for sundaes at 1:30!
According to church bylaws, the meeting is held on the third Saturday of January. It is in the afternoon, for easier winter traveling and to avoid a late evening for families with young children. Childcare will be available.
Moderator Rod MacDonald will call the meeting to order. Following brief devotions there will be reviews of the life of our church in the year just past, election of officers (candidates for elders, deacons, trustees, and next year’s Nominating Committee are due to be presented by the Nominating Committee); review of the budget for 2014 and approval of pastoral terms of call.
New Business: At this meeting the congregation will be asked to approve the request from Rod that the presbytery be asked to dissolve the pastoral relationship between him and the church effective April 30, 2014. The Rev. Diane Cusamano of the presbytery will be available to answer questions. We hope many of will attend for this important opportunity.
Annual Reports will be available to the congregation by Sunday, January 12.
Nominees for office to be presented by the Nominating Committee will be included.
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 1, 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)
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 16 – April 6. 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 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. 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.)
VNA Hospice Care needs volunteers!
Hospice volunteers play a key role in helping to provide caring and compassion to patients and families facing life-limiting illness and loss. A volunteer may provide patients with company and emotional support, give the spouse, partner, or other caregiver a needed break from care giving, and/or help caregivers run errands or get to and from appointments. A strong need exists for volunteers who can also visit on weekdays. We also seek: musicians who would like to sing or play music quietly at the bedside of nursing home residents; Reiki practitioners who would like to offer Reiki to patients and/or caregivers; and people who are interested in visiting with their therapy dog. Volunteers who speak both English and a second language are also helpful. We provide volunteer training and ongoing support.
Call 781-569-2888 and ask to speak to a volunteer Coordinator for more information. Or email LPalaos@vnab.org
Become a blood donor -call 1-800-Give Life to schedule an appointment. No experience necessary!
Friday Night at the Movies!
Friday, January 9, 7:00 pm
An Irish couple and two young daughters move to New York City for his dream of being an actor.
Their adventures are comical, harrowing and heartwarming.
Free! Bring friends! Popcorn!
The Crafter’s Group will be starting up again on January 17th, 7 pm. Please plan on coming to join us.
Bring those projects you’ve been meaning to finish, but just don’t get around to. We still have blankets to work on if you don’t have a project of your own.