September 2016 Crossroads

Stewardship Report

Can God spread a table in the wilderness?” —Psalm 78:19

On September 4, we enter into a 4 week Season of Peace. It will culminate on October 2, World Communion Day, when we will be receiving the Peace and Global Witness Offering (formerly the Peacemaking Offering).

Gifts to the Offering support ministries that deepen relationships between Presbyterians and inspiring peacemaking leaders as well as opportunities to learn more about some of the most difficult areas of conflict around the world. These ministries offer resources Presbyterians can use to create peace in their midst, as well as respond to cultures of violence all over the world. By sharing the money raised, the Offering allows the local congregation (25%), mid councils (25%) and ministries at the national level (50%) to deepen their commitment to the transforming work of the Spirit.

Can God spread a table in the wilderness? Our support of the Peace & Global Witness Offering helps invite others to the table, both near and far.

Please give generously.

There will be peace cards available on the table in the narthex for you to use during the Season of Peace. Peace cards provide an opportunity for families to engage in conversations about peacemaking. Sign up to receive daily reflections in your inbox by visiting and checking Path of Peace under the category of Advocacy and Social Justice.

Presbyterian Mission Agency

Safe Child Program: The Session has approved an updated version of our Safe Child Program. The goal of the Safe Child Program is to ensure that our church provides a safe place for all children and youth to benurtured in Christian faith. You may review it either by asking for a paper copy (available in the office), viewing it on our website, or asking Kathleen Stegall or Ann McGrath to e-mail it to you.

Safe Child Training will be held after church on Sunday September 11. A light lunch will be served followed by a two hour training session. Anne Boyden, a social worker, will give a presentation on recognizing child abuse, followed by a review of the Policy (Screening, Administration, and Response) by Ann McGrath and Susan McGilvray-Rivet, PhD. Child care will be provided. Please contact Ann McGrath at or 978 984-5944 so that we can plan food accordingly.

Required every three years for adults in our church who are working with children, the Safe Child training is also recommended, if not required, for members of the Response Team, Session, Trustees and anyone else in the church who is interested in understanding our policy better. There will be a sign-up sheet in Fellowship Hall.

Rally Day: Sunday school for 3-year-olds through 8th graders begins with a blast on Rally Day – September 11th! We will learn about an exciting new mission project supporting the work of Heifer International. The high school class will meet Sept. 18th.

Adult Bible Study: Adult Bible Study will begin on Sunday Sept. 11 at 9:30. The study material choice will be discussed at the meeting.

Come Sing With Us!
Nancy Timmerman

All voices are welcome to sing in the BPC Chancel Choir. Regular rehearsal times are 7:30 to 9 pm on Thursdays and 10 to 10:20 am on Sunday mornings during the school year. The choir season will start with rehearsal on Thursday, September 8 and Sunday morning, September 11, 2016, the same time as the services return to 10:30 am. Regular choir members who are going to miss practice or Sunday morning need to notify the director ahead of time.

The ability to read music is not required. However, for skilled singers who need to miss practice, arrangements can be made to provide the music for individual study. We are a friendly group who sing a variety of musical styles. It should also be noted that, since the choir sings the offertory on communion Sundays and the anthem (before the Word for Children), students in the upper grades can participate, and Sunday School teachers can sometimes participate.

In addition, instrumentalists or not regular members of the choir are encouraged to provide special music (usually during the offertory), as they were during the summer months. This also needs to be coordinated.


September 18, we will celebrate being back together after all the swimming, hiking, and traveling. Lunch will be served following worship in Fellowship Hall. The menu to be determined. Please find the sign-up sheet in F.H. We really need to know how many to plan for. All are welcome.

Pumpkin Patch Volunteers Needed

St. Marks’s Episcopal Church, 10 Saint Marks Road, Burlington, will hold their third annual Pumpkin Patch event during the month of October. Our church, along with many other churches and civic organizations, has been asked to help with the selling of pumpkins during the month. Our staffing dates are Friday, October 14th and Friday, October 21st. The patch opens at 12 noon and closes at 6pm. We need volunteers to sign up for two hours or more on each day. The hours are 12-2, 2-4 and 4-6pm. Please refer to the sign-up sheet in Fellowship Hall if you can commit to helping out. A percentage of the sale proceeds go to support People Helping People. Please speak to our church coordinator, Ken Dewar, if you have any questions.

Food Pantry Needs
We receive donations for the Food Pantry on the 1st Sunday of each month. The donations have been dwindling. Please consider purchasing some 20 oz. dish detergent, individually wrapped bars of soap or bottles of shampoo. The Pantry is in desperate need of these items. Your help is appreciated. Our donation dates are Sep 4, Oct 2, Nov 6 & Dec 4. Thank you!

Resettle Together: Local Refugee Resettlement Partnerships

The International Institute of New England one of the oldest organizations in serving immigrants in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. It supports newly resettled refugees as they begin to build their lives in the United States. Each year, IINE resettles an average of 600 refugees from countries worldwide, including Burma, Congo, Ethiopia, Iraq, Somalia, and Syria.

There is an urgent need for IINE support before we gather again in September. IINE recently learned they will be resettling 70 people (or 13 families) between August 30th and September 15th. That is 30% of their annual caseload! Below is a list of their needs. (attached list for welcome bins too) If you, or members of your community or faith group, are able to help out – please respond by Friday August 26th at the latest, to Peter Saati and cc Cheryl Hamilton at and

Include in your response the following:

  • Name
  • Mobile phone number
  • If volunteering, date (s) and shifts (9-1pm) or (1-5pm)
  • Foreign language skills (and if willing to be on-call)
  • Any additional offers: (trucks, landlord leads, etc)
  • List of the urgent needs IINE will have during this period.

    Housing/household goods: This week, we secured 50% of the apartments in Lowell. We are still seeking the following: one bedroom (1), two bedroom (1), three bedroom (3), and four bedroom (1). If you have any landlord connections, please share. Also, we need household bins for the same apartments. If you have any near completion, we would welcome them. I have attached the list again to this email. We would also welcome donations of new pillows and sheets, and/or lightly used comforters. Donations can be dropped off at our office in Lowell with advance notice.

    Weekday Volunteers: There will be lots of activity during the surge, including setting up apartments, helping clients complete paperwork, walking families to appointments, and more. To help support our staff, we are seeking volunteers for four hour shifts from 9-1pm and 1-5pm between August 29th to September 16th. Assignments will be provided on-site based on the needs of the day, but will be manageable and done in conjunction with staff.

    Interpreters: During the surge, we very much need several additional Arabic, French, and Swahili speakers for the same volunteer shifts (9-1pm or 1-5pm). We may also need evening on-call interpreters in the same languages.

    Trucks/vans: Especially the week of the 29th, we are seeking individuals with access to trucks and/or vans to help with apartment set ups.

    Cheryl Aglio-Girelli
    Co-coordinator, Refugee Resettle Partnership
    Immigration Justice Task Force

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