March 2016 Crossroads

Welcome…
To Rev. Trina Portillo. Rev. Trina most recently served as solo pastor of a small, urban congregation in Rochester, NY. In 2014, she and her family relocated to Massachusetts when her husband joined the faculty of Boston College. Trina is a graduate of McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago and previously worked in development for Chicago Lights, the non-profit outreach ministry of Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago. She also served as development director for a small Boston non-profit in 2015. Trina and her husband, Nelson, live in Newton with their five-year old daughter, Elena.

Trina will be working from the church office on Wednesdays, from 10 am to 2 pm. You are welcome to call or come by during those times, or to set up an appointment with her. For pastoral emergencies, please contact Trina on her cell phone at (773) 951-7820.

Don’t Forget

On Easter, March 27 at 9 am, we will begin our Easter celebration with a wonderful Easter Pancake Breakfast provided by Mark and Cheryl Wells. It will be followed at 10:30 by our worship celebration.

Stewardship Report 2016

“Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above…” James 1:17

Around the world, people lack access to food, clean water, sanitation, education and opportunity. Each gift to One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) serves to help change the lives of people in these challenging situations. The Offering provides us a way to share God’s love with our neighbors in need. One Great Hour of Sharing received on Palm Sunday makes a difference in the world through three impactful programs: Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, the Presbyterian Hunger Program, and Self-Development of People.

Started in 1949, One Great Hour of Sharing is a long standing ecumenical effort aimed at raising the funds necessary to provide relief and reconstruction for communities in the aftermath of disaster. What started as an hour-long radio appeal has evolved over the years, varying from 8 to 29 participating denominations, and has become the most participated-in Offering in the PC(USA).

Last year our congregation gave $1,426.31 to OGHS. As a challenge for this year, our goal is $1500.00. Every dollar helps. Please give generously.

Christian Education
Beginning Sunday, March 6th, we are making a slight change to our Sunday school program. On the first Sunday (Communion Sunday) of each month, there will be no Sunday school class for children in second through fifth grade – they will stay in the sanctuary for the entire service. We have two purposes for this decision. First, we want our devoted Sunday school teachers and assistants to be able to attend an entire worship service. Second, we also want to start introducing the children in that class to the parts of the worship service they usually miss.

Another change that will begin in March – we are working on staffing the nursery for babies & toddlers on Sunday mornings. In compliance with our Safe Child Policy, we will have either two adults or one adult and one youth to provide childcare in the nursery. Parents are always welcome to keep their children with them during worship on Sunday mornings, but we want to provide an alternative if a parent wants to focus on worship without the distraction of a vocal or active little one.

Superbowl of Caring
On Superbowl Sunday, our youth participated in the SouperBowl of Caring by collecting 87 items of food and $169 in donations to donate to the Burlington Food Pantry. After the service, Julius Rosenthal, Annabel Greco, Genevieve Greco and Elena Greco took the food over to the food pantry and enjoyed a tour given by Mary Medina. Our congregation’s generosity will help feed many hungry neighbors!

Library News

On our fiction shelves: Sisterchicks on the Loose

Sharon has lived calmly in Chinook Springs, Washington, her entire life. All that changes when her best friend of twenty years, Penny, takes an impulsive trip to seek out her only living relatives in Finland — and brings Sharon with her. The land of reindeer and saunas holds infinite varieties of zaniness for these two unlikely friends — Sharon is a quiet mother of four and Penny was a motorcycle mama before she came to Christ — who return home with a new view of God, a new zest for life, and a big impact on those around them for decades to come.

This book is the beginning of a series of friends having adventures together.

Women’s Bible Study
Women’s Bible Study has begun their new study for the winter. They are studying “Revelation”, an N.T. Wright bible study. It’s not too late to join. They meet on Thursday mornings at 9:30 am. All women are invited to attend!

An Update by
Mary Medina

So far my adventures have included Whale Watching, Thanksgiving at my supervisors house, everyday work at the pantry, protesting in front of the State Building, canning and freezing for the winter, camping with hippies, and gardening just to name a few. For the past 6 months my roommates and I have been on a local eating challenge. We ate from Farmer Dave’s CSA, farmers markets, and the Boston Public Market. We are now entering our 2nd food challenge which is the SNAP Challenge. We have already applied for Food Stamps and are in various stages of getting our EBT cards. The application process has been stressful. Every phone call I make is met with a minimum of 30 minutes of being on hold. Hopefully, within the week I’ll have money for food.

My feelings are mixed with this new challenge. I feel like it’s supposed to give us the opportunity to understand the struggles low income families deal with on a daily basis but it doesn’t. How could the SNAP office know how much to give us when they are only told the amount we get on our living stipend. Our living stipend doesn’t give a realistic look into what it actually costs the program for us to live up here. I think the amount the SNAP office is giving me per month is distorted because of that. I think that doing a SNAP challenge can be a really beneficial learning experience but there are some kinks that need to be worked out.

I’m looking forward to the new challenge and for whatever the second half of my YAV year has in store for me.

We need you
…to drive George to church
…to be a Worship Assistant
…to be a Greeter
Training available for Worship Assistants and Greeters
Please sign up today!

Is It Spring Yet?

Are you sick of the cold and the snow?

Here comes Farmer Dave to rescue us!

Although, it is Arctic cold out as I am writing this, Spring is on its way, I know this because Farmer Dave’s Spring shares will start to arrive in just a few weeks on Monday March 7. Pick-up time for spring is 4-6:30 pm. If you have not signed up yet, hurry! You don’t want to miss out on the tender baby vegetables that will soon be here. It’s not too late. For more information, see Jane, Mary Lou or Mary.

New England Brass Band
The New England Brass Band is your neighbor. Well, kind of. We rehearse weekly at the Wilmington Congregational Church. Our site is http://www.newenglandbassband.org. We’re performing a concert at
The Wilmington Congregational Church
220 Middlesex Avenue, Route 62
Saturday, March 5, 3:00
There is no admission charge, but there will be a free will offering to support the Band.
The program will include solos and also our program for the national championships. We’re competing at the nationals in Fort Wayne, Ind. on March 31 and April 1.

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