Winter Crossroads 2018

Ash Wednesday Service
February 14, 7:00 p.m.

As we prepare to enter into the season of Lent, a 40-day period of repentance leading up to Holy Week, we will mark the first day of Lent with our traditional Ash Wednesday service on February 14th at 7 pm.

In addition, we will also reach out to our commuters and passers-by with a “Curbside Ashes” service this year. In our front driveway, we will offer people the opportunity to receive the blessing of the ashes in their cars as they are heading home from work that afternoon, between 4 and 6 pm.

A simple soup supper will be served at 6:00, for anyone who would like to come prior to the 7 pm service. If you would like to volunteer to help impose the ashes for any time between 4 and 6, or to bring a soup or bread for the dinner, please speak to Jen Dewar.

Save the Date – Communion Workshop
Thursday, March 29th, Maundy Thursday
Pastor Trina will hold a Communion Workshop for Elementary school aged children (and any other interested persons). We’ll meet at 6:15 p.m. (pizza will be served!) to learn about the sacrament of Holy Communion, what it means and how we celebrate it. Participants are then encouraged to stay for the Maundy Thursday worship service at 7:30 p.m.

Confirmation Class Information session
Calling all youth in 8th grade and above, and their parents! We will have an informational meeting about a spring confirmation class on January 28th, following worship. Please meet in the front classroom, where we will discuss the class schedule and answer your questions. The first class is scheduled to begin on February 18th, and we will meet on Sundays after worship from 12 to 1 pm. The Confirmation date will be in early June.

Please contact Pastor Trina or Ann McGrath if you have questions prior to this session.

Stewardship Report
It is my pleasure to report that the Christmas Joy offering of 2017 totaled $2013, all of which was sent to General Assembly. The proceeds will be divided evenly, 50% to provide critical financial assistance to church leaders in need, 50% will support opportunities for future leaders at Presbyterian racial ethnic schools.

Now that the new year is upon us, it is once again time to think about our Per Capita contribution. This is required by every man, woman and adult child who is a member of our church. This does not include baptized children who have not been confirmed. The exact amount for 2018 is $56 per person so please budget accordingly.

Thank you one and all!
Sue Hadsell
Elder, Stewardship Committee

Worship Update
We continue to be blessed and so grateful for Claudia Waite’s work with the Chancel Choir and for Chelsea Whittaker, James Myers and Hana Lee, who bring piano and organ music to worship each Sunday.

Looking ahead this New Year, plans are being made for the installation service for our Pastor-Elect Trina Portillo on Sunday February 4. We will have regular morning worship that day when Mark Wells will be preaching. The service of installation will be at 3:00 pm with reception and celebrating to follow. The Hospitality Committee has plans in the works so watch for signup sheets and plan to come and be a part of this special celebration.

Thank you to all who have been signing up to be worship assistant and for those who continue to participate as ushers and communion servers. Please check the worship assistant signup sheet in Fellowship Hall each Sunday to see what date is available for you to assist in worship.

February is fast approaching. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on February 14 and stay tuned for some new ideas for observing that day.

~ Jennifer Dewar, Worship Chair

Trustees Report
As we reviewed the past year, the trustees accomplished a lot to keep the church’s interior and exterior appearance looking acceptable to our members. We look forward to the coming year to continue our efforts to keep up the repairs and requests that we get from the members of the church. If you see anything that needs attention, inform any trustee and we will see what we can do. Please be aware of any unlocked windows and doors and be sure to check the heat when you leave. There are quite a number of outside groups who presently use or will use the church facilities in 2018. This will put added wear and tear on the physical plant as well as increased utilities expenses.

Women’s Bible Study
Women’s Bible Study began again on Thursday. January 11. We began our study on the Book of Nehemiah. All women are invited to attend! Thursday mornings from 9:30 to 11:00 am.

Souper Bowl
On February 4th many of you plan to watch the Super Bowl and chow down on tasty snacks. However, some folks in our neighborhoods can’t even afford a bowl of soup. Which is why we participate in the Souper Bowl of Caring! On Sunday, January 28th our youth will be participating with youth all over the nation in collecting shelf-stable food items and cash in order to alleviate hunger. Our collection will benefit the families who use the Burlington Food Pantry.

People Helping People
People Helping People’s holiday program was successful once again. 86 families with 185 children received gifts. Families received Market Basket gift cards and senior citizens received Target gift cards and holiday baskets. This year we reached out to folks living in senior housing to let them know the pantry is available and to give gifts.
Upcoming events for PHP are the annual wine tasting/auction on February 25, a presence at the town election in April and participation in the annual postal food drive in May.

Installation
Please join us as Rev. Trina Portillo is installed as our permanent pastor on February 4th at 3pm. The installation will be followed by a reception in Fellowship Hall. The Hospitality Committee is asking for assistance with the food for the reception. There are sign-up sheets in Fellowship Hall if you can help with light finger foods or desserts. Help is also needed with set up and cleanup. Thank you for whatever you may be able to help with. This will be an exciting day for our church!

Coats and clothes for Elm Brook Place
At about this same time a year ago we ran a coat drive for the folks at Elm Brook Place. We gathered several bags full of coats and jackets and the staff at Elm Brook was very grateful. This year we’re later getting started, but have been assured that winter coats are still welcome as are clothes in like new condition.

Please bring your donations (in new or like-new condition) to the box located in the front hallway. Deacons will collect them over the next two Sundays, ending on February 4th.

Elm Brook Place is a clubhouse program of Eliot Community Human Services. It serves men and women age 18 or older with a history of mental illness who live within the communities of: Acton, Arlington, Bedford, Boxborough, Burlington, Carlisle, Concord, Lexington, Lincoln, Littleton, Maynard, Stow, Wilmington, Winchester and Woburn.
Linda Roscoe for the Deacons

Food Pantry Needs
We receive donations for the Food Pantry on the 1st Sunday of each month. The Food Pantry needs donations on a continuing basis. Please consider purchasing some 20 oz. dish detergent, individually wrapped bars of soap or bottles of shampoo. Your help is appreciated. Thank you!

Immigration Fairness
On Friday, February 2nd at 7:30 pm, the Social Justice Committee and Temple Band of Temple Shalom Emeth in Burlington will be hosting the Shabbat service, focused on informing congregants and guests about The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. This immigration policy is a kind of administrative relief from deportation. The purpose of DACA is to protect eligible immigrant youth who came to the United States when they were children from deportation. An estimated 122 Dreamers a day are losing their DACA status, which means they are losing jobs and being exposed to arrest and deportation.

Our guest speaker, Eva Millona, is the Executive Director of MIRA, the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, dedicated to helping “the Dreamers” stay in the only country they know as home. She will be helping us understand the current situation, as well as letting us know how we can help the Dreamers, for their fight is our fight (as we will explain through the service).

Where: Temple Shalom Emeth, 16 Lexington Street, Burlington
When: 7:30 PM

RSVP: If attending, please email Phyllis Neufeld at pbneufeld@gmail.com to let her know how many will attend so we know so we have accurate amounts of written information available.

If you wish to bring a dessert to the Oneg immediately following the service, please contact Ellen Finkelman at esfink29@gmail.com to let her know what you will bring (not a requirement).

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