About Us

Church members  standing in sanctuary holding signs saying "We choose welcome"

Page updated 18 July 2021; Burlington Presbyterian Church

Stylized image of people celebrating together

Who Are We?

We are the Presbyterian Church in Burlington, MA
We also go by “Burlington Presbyterian Church” or just “BPC”

At BPC our beloved community embraces children, youth, women, and men from many places and backgrounds. We come from Cameroon, Canada, Denmark, Ghana, Indonesia, Lebanon, Liberia, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, Pennsylvania, Maine, and, yes, Massachusetts. We live in Burlington, Massachusetts and in other communities north of Boston, including Andover, Arlington, Bedford, Billerica, Haverhill, Lexington, Lowell, North Andover, North Reading, Salem, Saugus, Stoneham, Tewksbury, and Woburn. We are all made in the image of God, and are on a shared journey to “Do Justice, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly with our God.” You’re welcome to join us on our journey. Our congregation is a member of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Presbytery of Boston.

To protect the health of our members and friends we are not meeting together indoors during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are using Zoom for worship and many other activities. We continue to hold some physically distanced outdoor activities. We are planning to resume in-person worship in September.

Inclusivity symbol with stylized people in a circle.

Inclusivity

The constitution of the Presbyterian Church USA declares that the Church “strives everywhere to testify to Christ’s embrace of men, women, and children of all times, places, races, nations, ages, conditions, and stations in life” (the Book of Order F-1.0302). The Presbyterian Church in Burlington welcomes all to participate fully in the life of our congregation.

Because all people are created in God’s image, we embrace diversity and acknowledge the dignity and worth of all people. We welcome into full participation in the life of our congregation persons of every race, ethnicity, national origin, age, gender-identity / expression and sexual orientation (including LGBTQ+), physical or mental condition, socioeconomic standing, marital status and faith background. At the Presbyterian Church in Burlington, all may share in the life, leadership, ministry, fellowship, worship, sacraments, responsibilities and blessings of participation in Christ’s Body, the Church.

19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, 20built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. 21In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.
Ephesians 2:11-22

Burlington Equity Coalition

Burlington Equity Coalition logo
Rainbow flag with text "Everyone is Welcome Here I n Burlington

We support the Burlington Equity Coalition, a group of local organizations committed to building an inclusive, equitable and welcoming town community that benefits from the diverse knowledge, cultures, talents and contributions of all its residents.

Leadership

Leadership in the Presbyterian Church is a shared power, exercised by Ministers and Elders gathered in councils.


Learn More About Us:

What makes Presbyterians unique? What’s special about Burlington Presbyterian? In this 22-minute episode of Spiritually Speaking, host Rabbi Susan Abramson explores our Presbyterian church community and faith tradition. With Pastor Trina Portillo, Pastor Emeritus Rod MacDonald, and members of our church. Produced by Burlington Cable Access TV (BCAT).

Colored tags spelling "vision"

Our Vision

Our door is open and Christ’s hospitality is offered to
   the believing and the seeking,
      the questioning and the doubting,
          God’s children of every background and lifestyle;

Our worship uses many ways to praise God;

Our community nurtures friendships,
   and committed caring;

Our learning fosters a thoughtful faith,
   affirming our varied places
      along the Christian journey;

Our journey leads us outward,
   into community and world,
      with Good News in our hearts,
          hands ready to serve,
              and a commission to

Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God
(Micah 6:8)

The word "Ministry" in colorful block letters

Membership & Ministry

Membership in the Church of Jesus Christ is a joy and a privilege. It is also a commitment to participate in Christ’s mission. Faithful members bear witness to God’s love and grace and promise to be involved in the ministry of Christ’s Church. Such involvement includes:

  • proclaiming the good news in word and deed,
  • taking part in the common life and worship of a congregation,
  • lifting one another up in prayer, mutual concern, and active support,
  • studying Scripture and the issues of Christian faith and life,
  • supporting the ministry of the church through the giving of money, time, and talents,
  • demonstrating a new quality of life within and through the church,
  • responding to God’s activity in the world through service to others,
  • living responsibly in the personal, family, vocational, political, cultural, and social relationships of life,
  • working in the world for peace, justice, freedom, and human fulfillment,
  • caring for God’s creation,
  • participating in the governing responsibilities of the church, and
  • reviewing and evaluating regularly the integrity of one’s membership, and considering ways in which one’s participation in the worship and service of the church may be increased and made more meaningful.

From the Presbyterian Church USA Book of Order (G-1.0304 The Ministry of Members)

Banner with symbols of the Second Helvetic Confession and text "Reformed always reforming"

What We Believe

A Brief Statement of Faith (1983); Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Book of Confessions

In life and in death we belong to God.

Through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit,
we trust in the one triune God, the Holy One of Israel,
whom alone we worship and serve.

We trust in Jesus Christ,

Fully human, fully God.
Jesus proclaimed the reign of God:
preaching good news to the poor
and release to the captives,
teaching by word and deed
and blessing the children,
healing the sick
and binding up the brokenhearted,
eating with outcasts,
forgiving sinners,
and calling all to repent and believe the gospel.
Unjustly condemned for blasphemy and sedition,
Jesus was crucified,
suffering the depths of human pain
and giving his life for the sins of the world.
God raised this Jesus from the dead,
vindicating his sinless life,
breaking the power of sin and evil,
delivering us from death to life eternal.

We trust in God,

Whom Jesus called Abba, Father.
In sovereign love, God created the world good
and makes everyone equally in God’s image
male and female, of every race and people,
to live as one community.
But we rebel against God; we hide from our Creator.
Ignoring God’s commandments,
we violate the image of God in others and ourselves,
accept lies as truth,
exploit neighbor and nature,
and threaten death to the planet entrusted to our care.
We deserve God’s condemnation.
Yet God acts with justice and mercy to redeem creation.
In everlasting love,
the God of Abraham and Sarah chose a covenant people
to bless all families of the earth.
Hearing their cry,
God delivered the children of Israel
from the house of bondage.
Loving us still,
God makes us heirs with Christ of the covenant.
Like a mother who will not forsake her nursing child,
like a father who runs to welcome the prodigal home,
God is faithful still.

We trust in God the Holy Spirit,

everywhere the giver and renewer of life.
The Spirit justifies us by grace through faith,
sets us free to accept ourselves and to love God and neighbor,
and binds us together with all believers
in the one body of Christ, the Church.
The same Spirit
who inspired the prophets and apostles
rules our faith and life in Christ through Scripture,
engages us through the Word proclaimed,
claims us in the waters of baptism,
feeds us with the bread of life and the cup of salvation,
and calls women and men to all ministries of the church.
In a broken and fearful world
the Spirit gives us courage
to pray without ceasing,
to witness among all peoples to Christ as Lord and Savior,
to unmask idolatries in Church and culture,
to hear the voices of peoples long silenced,
and to work with others for justice, freedom, and peace.

In gratitude to God, empowered by the Spirit,

we strive to serve Christ in our daily tasks
and to live holy and joyful lives,
even as we watch for God’s new heaven and new earth,
praying, “Come, Lord Jesus!”

Stained glass Celtic knot symbol for the Trinity
Blue cross hanging from the ceiling in the church sanctuary
Tall waterfall
Painting of mother holding child by Mary Cassatt
Descending dove mosaic representing the Holy Spirit
Believe wordie - God, Christ, Spirit, Church, Jesus, many others
Presbyterian Church USA Logo with cross, dove, Bible, robe, chalice, and flames
Grocery bag full of food

Food Justice

Commitment to food justice is an important, long-standing ministry of our congregation.

Image of our Fellowship Hall with people seated at tables and food buffet in the foreground

Facility Rental

As a service to the Burlington community, we offer rental of our Fellowship Hall (28 x 48 feet) at a reasonable cost for private or public events.

Cartoon of cars in a parking lot

Our Parking Lot

Picture of our church parking lot from above

Yes, our large parking lot is a distinct asset. Commuters are welcome to park here. The 350 bus, connecting to Alewife Station, stops in front of the church. There is no fee to park in our lot, but twice a year we ask commuters for donations to defray the costs of maintenance, such as snow plowing. We also have a bike rack for cyclers.

A little free library in front of our church building
Our Little Free Library

Little Free Library

Burlington Community Access Television (BCAT) just did a feature spot on the Little Free Libraries around Burlington including our own that we installed over the summer in front of the church. Here’s the recording of the News Feature: