Crossroads January 2015

Per Capita Offering
Each year the Presbytery of Boston requires member churches to pay a “Per Capita Apportionment” to support the mission and ministry of the Presbytery, Synod and the General Assembly. “Per Capita” means a certain amount to be given for each adult confirmed member of the church (children who are below confirmation age are not included.) This year’s Per Capita is $51.07. Two adult members in a household would each contribute $51.07; a family with two adult members, one confirmed youth and two younger siblings would be asked to contribute for only the three household residents who are church members. The Session invites you to use the Per Capita envelope in your envelope sets (if you use envelopes) or to use the Per Capita envelopes that can be found in the narthex. Please make checks out to the Presbyterian Church in Burlington. Every Per Capita payment received will free up money for use elsewhere in a very tight 2015 budget

Deacon’s Corner

Once again we would like to thank all who have been providing rides for George.

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, volunteering at the Wish Tree at the Burlington Mall, and purchasing CDs for Living Waters for the World. We collected $360.00. 182 families were able to give gifts to their children because of the success of the Wish Tree. Some of you did it for the first time, so we hope you got hooked on the Christmas spirit and will be back in 2015!
We would also like to thank the ladies of the Billerica Senior Center, especially Shirley Thornton, for their donations of hats and mittens. Your gifts helped make a merry Christmas for many people in our community.

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…Jan 4th this month.

Annual Meeting – Come All Ye!
Saturday, January 17 2:00 p.m. Fellowship Hall
Ice cream sundaes – 1:30 p.m.

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.

Moderator Mike O’Brien 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 2015 and approval of pastoral terms of call.

Annual Reports will be available to the congregation by Sunday, January 11. Nominees for office to be presented by the Nominating Committee will be included.

Stewardship Report
Sue Hadsell

Our last program for the year was The Christmas Joy Offering. We’re happy to report that we have received $1684.00!!!!

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.

YAV REPORT
Amanda Moar

As we all know, pantries are the best and sometimes only way to provide food for families in need. They are an easy way for community members to come together and support one another either through volunteering or food drives. But it is not always enough. Most of the food being donated is canned goods high in sodium or sugar, not the best for people trying to remain health-conscious about their diets. As with every dark cloud, a silver lining does appear. In this case, it comes in the form of CSAs and community gardens.

A great example of this silver lining is Mark Winne’s, “Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty”. Winne takes time to address the differences in society we witness every day, “the demand for fresh food raising in one population as fast as rates of obesity and diabetes are rising in another”. The book is filled with personal anecdotes and the stories of others’ about community gardens, CSAs, and food pantries that are receiving and distributing healthier foods.

Please join the library, the food pantry, and the Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce Charitable Foundation for a book study and discussion on “Closing the Food Gap”. The study will take place Thursday January 22, at 7:30pm. Books can be checked out and read beforehand from the library. Thanks and we hope to see you there!

Women’s Bible Study

The Women’s Bible Study will be starting up again on January 8. They will be starting off with a brunch and distributing the new study, “A Deeper Look at Fruit of the Spirit” by Hazel Offner. If you are interested in attending Bible Study, please come to the brunch. All are welcome.

Christmas Tree Burning Fundraiser
Saturday, January 10, 2015

Boy Scout Troop 11 in Billerica will be accepting Christmas trees to burn at Grigg’s Farm on Saturday, January 10th. Burning begins at 6 p.m. Drop off dates are Saturday, January 3; Sunday, January 4; and Saturday, January 10, 9:00am to 4:00 pm.

For more information contact: troop11info@gmail.com or visit http://www.troop11billerica.org.

January Worship Themes

January 4: Don’t pack Christmas away just yet! We will celebrate Epiphany, with a look at the visitors who came bearing gifts from the East—but we’ll also think about the Shepherds. The Scripture is Matthew 2: 1-12, and the meditation is entitled “A Celebration of Giving.” Don’t panic when you see the Shepherds in a painting on the bulletin cover. ☺ We’ll gather around the table and the stable for Communion.

January 11: The Baptism of the Lord. Fast forward 33 years as Jesus presents himself to John the Baptist for baptism in the wilderness. Why the wilderness? What did it mean for Jesus to be baptized? What does it mean for us to be baptized? Mark 1: 4-11 is the scripture, but check out also Isaiah chapter 35, “The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall blossom like a rose,” and in chapter 43, “I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”

January 18: The scripture lesson is John 1:43-51, and the sermon title is “A Civil Response”. We don’t have a lot of civil discourse these days, but that’s not unique to our time. The scripture tells us how a man named Nathanael, upon hearing about Jesus, says sharply “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Ouch! But it gets better, thanks to civil responses from Jesus’ disciple Phillip and from Jesus himself. A pretty good lesson in defusing what might have been a nasty situation.

January 25: The sermon title is “Building the Team”, based on Jonah 3: 1-5, 10 and Mark 1: 14-20. One scholar writes, “The ancient Hebrews were shepherds and city dwellers, no sailors/explorers like the Phoenicians. For the Hebrews, the sea is an image of chaos…..everything comes from the sea and everything returns to it. It is an image of transformation and rebirth and the transitory condition of life. The presence of a lake or a sea in the life of Jesus is a reminder that life is, like the sea, constantly in flux.” In that context, Jesus begins building the team.

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