Staying Connected

As we enter into the busy summer season, we are excited about upcoming plans to get out and enjoy our brief and glorious summer months in New England. Whether opening up the pool or airing out the cottage; getting the boat back out in the water or planting our gardens, there is certainly no shortage of activities to keep us occupied! I for one, am looking forward to seeing friends and family, whether they are coming to visit me, or I am traveling to see them.

One upcoming trip for me is to my college reunion at The College of Wooster in Ohio in mid-June. Three of my girlfriends and I plan to spend the weekend together in our old stomping grounds, catching up on life over the past….several years, and getting reacquainted with our classmates. There are some friends with whom you feel that no time at all has passed since you last saw one another, and you can just pick up right where you left off. That kind of friendship is a gift, something to be cherished and nurtured.

How do we stay connected to those who are important to us, especially in a time when many people move several times throughout their lives, and often live far away from the people and places they called “home” when they were younger? There are certainly better ways of staying in touch now than in earlier days, with technological advances allowing us to reach people at the touch of a button, video chat with people across the miles, and across the ocean, and stay “friends” with people on Facebook. But nothing beats that face-to-face time, where we can just be ourselves and have a nice, long conversation with someone we haven’t seen in a while.

It can be like that in our walk with Jesus as well. Sometimes, we get so busy and distracted by all the things that are going on in our lives that we forget to take that time to check in with Jesus, whether through prayer, scripture study, or worship. But when we do get some time to ourselves and spend a few moments in conversation with Jesus, we find that we can pick right up where we left off. And we don’t have to schedule time in advance, Jesus is always ready for that talk, whenever we need it. So, in the midst of what I hope will be a full and enjoyable summer, remember to take some time to nurture your relationship with Jesus, in ways that are meaningful to you. Connect with him through nature, in times of quiet prayer and solitude, and in the middle of life’s celebrations and difficulties. He’s waiting for you.

Wishing you a blessed summer,
Pastor Trina

June 2019 Crossroads

YARD SALE!!!

June 22, 2019 9:00am until 2:30pm
Please put aside items that you want to donate to the sale (see bottom of the page). Make sure items are clean and in good repair. Please let us know if items need small/easy repairs. If you have items to donate you may bring them to the church during the week of the 24th. If you are dropping things off, please put your name on them in case there is a problem we will know whose “stuff” it is. We need volunteers to help sorting and pricing items for the sale, Tues – Fri. On the day of the sale, we need helpers to set up, tear down and work as cashiers and general staff. There will be sign-up sheets at the church. Please help, if you are able!!!

CHURCH PICNIC! after worship service
July 7, 2019 12 pm
The Aweh-Kisob Family have very graciously offered to open up their home and yard to us…and POOL!!!! The hamburgers and hotdogs will be provided. If you would like to have other meats, please plan on bringing them. Please bring a side dish, a salad, or a dessert to share. Please sign up on the list in Fellowship Hall and indicate what you plan to bring. Please bring your own chair! If you have a favorite yard game, please consider bringing it along. Our aim is to have a good time. If you have any questions, see Yvonne, Nelson or Sally, who is helping to coordinate the picnic. Come! Join us at:
269 Carlisle Road
Bedford, MA
(If you are able, please stay and help with the clean-up)

People Helping People Vacation Lunch Program for Kids

While the news is full of stories about how the economy is doing better than ever, the reality is that 21% of all children in the US still live in families with incomes below the federal poverty limit and just as many live in families with incomes higher than the poverty limit, but that still doesn’t cover their basic needs. Poverty can impede children’s ability to learn and contribute to social, emotional, and behavioral problems. Poverty also can contribute to poor health and mental health. Research is clear that poverty is the single greatest threat to children’s well-being.

Many families who struggle financially can rely on their children receiving free or reduced-price lunch and breakfast at school, so at least their children get one or sometimes two meals a day. For many of these families this time of year is bittersweet; while the kids are excited for their summer break from school, it comes with a lot of anxiety and worry for parents, how will they find the money to feed their children for 10 weeks, how will they find the money to pay for summer camps or childcare to keep them safe, engaged, and out of trouble? The USDA does run a Summer Food Service Program which can help cover the gap when school is out for summer, but the rules and guidelines for running these programs leave many rural and suburban communities without adequate support. For a program to qualify for support at least 50% of the children attending the program must meet poverty guideline requirements, and in an affluent town like Burlington, only about 5% of the residents live in poverty, so chances that 50% of the children signed up for any one summer program are living in poverty are slim. This doesn’t change the fact that in the current school year 616 children are receiving free or reduced-price lunches within the Burlington school system. That is 616 children who will run the risk of going hungry this summer!

Back in 2016, People Helping People designed a program that extends a little extra help to these children and their families. The program is a pantry version of a school lunch: each week families are invited to pick up a bag of ingredients and recipes needed to prepare a preset menu of 5 lunches, 5 snacks and 5 drinks. The menus are designed using the My Plate nutrition guidelines. The program is offered to all school-aged children signed up for pantry services and with the assistance of the Burlington Public Schools it is also offered to all families signed up for free or reduced-priced lunches. This program is hugely popular with the families that participate, and we have received a lot of positive feedback from families about how much their kids like it, how surprised parents are to find their kids trying new foods and how kids love the chance to help get involved with preparing their own lunches and helping their younger siblings.

The Burlington Food Pantry benefits greatly from a very generous community, and 70-80% of the food on the shelves are donated either from individuals, organizations, businesses or local food retailers, like Farmer Dave’s CSA or grocery stores. These abundant donations allow the pantry to have a huge variety of food on the shelves to hopefully provide all clients with at least some of their favorite foods. However, the Vacation Lunch Program, due to the pre-set menu, require large quantities of a few ingredients, making this program more reliant on purchasing its food directly from local retailers, thereby making this program far more expensive to run than the regular pantry services. So People Helping People is reaching out to ask for your help to provide some of the staples used in the program, please consider donating something from the following list:

Bottled water (8 or 16 oz)
Milk (8oz, white or chocolate)
Snack sized Fruit cups or apple sauce
Jars of salsa
Jars of pickles
Whole wheat crackers & Ritz crackers
Peanut butter & jelly
Pepperoni
Snack sized bags of nuts
Snack size raisins
Baked beans
Canned pineapple
Snack sized bags of pretzels, veggie straws, pop corners, or pop corn

If you’d prefer to make a financial contribution to help offset the costs of the Summer Lunch Program, please make a check out to “People Helping People — Food Pantry” and note “Summer Lunch Program” in the memo line. To make an on-line donation go to https://tinyurl.com/PHPdonation and list “Summer Lunch Program” in the notes field.

Stewardship Report

God, from my youth you have taught me.
Psalm 71:17

Each year on Pentecost Sunday, we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the church.
The Holy Spirit remains with us still, connecting us with the church of the past, continuing to inspire
the church of today, and pointing us to the church of the future. Each year, this celebration is marked by
receiving the Pentecost Offering which nurtures the faith of those who are the church to come —
children, youth, and young adults.

Psalm 71 testifies that a foundation of faith established during childhood helps ensure lifelong faith
and service. The patterns and lessons established during these formative years continue to bear fruit
throughout a person’s life. By giving to the Pentecost Offering, our congregation participates in helping
our children, youth, and young adults grow up to proclaim with the Psalmist, “O God, from my youth
you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.”

QUICK FACTS

  • Congregations keep 40% of raised funds to initiate or support programs for young people in their communities.
  • The first Presbyterian Youth Triennium was held in 1980.
  • The Day of Pentecost is referred to as the birthday of the Church.
  • Pentecost is usually represented with the color red, which symbolizes the fire of the Holy Spirit.

    “Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit”:
    A Pentecost Gathering of the Presbytery of Boston
    June 8 from 4-6 PM

    In celebration of the ways in which the Spirit is moving within our churches and beyond, the Presbytery of Boston invites you to join us on June 8th for an afternoon of song, story, and fellowship!

    This is a collaborative Presbytery-wide effort and we need the participation of everyone to make this a successful event. We encourage churches and individuals to share your musical talents with us, whether voice or instrumental, in a 4 minute song, and to share your personal testimony about where you see the Spirit at work in the life of your church and community, in about 2-3 minutes. The special offering will be directed to the Boston Food Justice Young Adult Volunteer Program, in support of the Pentecost Offering’s mission to help the church “encourage, develop, and support its young people” and will count toward the $15,000 matching gift challenge of the Trustees.

    We are also asking that churches bring at least one dish to share at a community meal which will end the celebration.

    The celebration will be held at the Presbyterian Church in Needham, located at 1458 Great Plain Ave, Needham, MA 02492

    Please contact Trina Portillo, pastor@burlingtonpres.org, by May 31 to confirm how your church would like to participate in this event.

    Worship Committee

    As this is being written, we have come through a soggy May and are enjoying more sun and warmth than we have in a long time! Going into June, here is a glance at upcoming worship services at BPC. We really hope to see you on Summer Sundays!

    June 2 is Intercultural Church Sunday on the Presbyterian Planning Calendar. There will be some special music from the Voices of Africa as we also celebrate Communion.

    June 9 is Pentecost, the birthday of the church, and also Teacher Appreciation.

    June 16 we will focus on our Youth as well as on Camp Wilmot. Kayla McKinsey, Co-Director of Camp Wilmot will be with us and Brenda Flynn and Erin Alarcon will coordinate the service with Kayla.

    June 23 is designated Music Appreciation Sunday.

    June 30 worship is being planned.

    Traditionally we worship with UCC on two Sundays during the summer, July 7, we will host UCC and August 4, UCC will host us. Remember that on August 7, their service will start at 9:30 am.

    As always, you are encouraged to participate in worship (yes, even during the summer!), so please continue to check the signup sheets and volunteer at least once in the next couple of months as worship assistant. Elders and Deacons are needed to help serve communion on June 2. And July 7.

    Christian Education
    Sunday, May 26th will be the last day for elementary, middle and high school classes.
    Sunday, June 2nd will be the last day for the young children’s class.
    On June 9th (yes, Pentecost!) we will celebrate our teachers and assistants.

    Mission and Advocacy
    Each month we will provide a prayer to be used in our committee and board meetings. We also want all the members of the congregation to be able to join us in prayer. This month’s prayer is below. Please use it at home and to start your meetings.

    Heavenly Father,
    Open my eyes to see as you see and weep as you weep.
    Open my heart to love the broken and care for those without hope.
    Open my hands to hold what I have lightly and to share cheerfully.
    Open my mouth to speak for the voiceless and to shout for mercy.
    Open my ears to the gentle whispers of your Spirit and to obey what you say.
    Open up my life to the call of your voice and the needy cries of the dying.
    Amen.

    Circus Smirkus
    Craig Garnett and Claudia Waite are hoping to organize a group to attend a Circus Smirkus performance in Waltham in July. Group ticket sales begin on May 1.

    Scheduled performances are on July 25, 26, 27 & 28 at Gore Place in Waltham. Show times are Thurs 7 pm, Fri & Sat 1 & 6 pm, and Sun 11 am & 4 pm.

    If interested, please send an email to claudiawaite@aol.com please supply number in party, ages of children (if attending), and which performance works best for your family. To learn more about Circus Smirkus
    visit smirkus.org

    Take me out to the Ballgame!
    Come one, come all to a church baseball outing!
    What better way to enjoy a summer evening than at the ball park with friends!

    14 tickets available in section 119 for the Lowell Spinners August 3 game vs the State College Spikes. Game time is 5:05 PM. Friends and family are welcome to join! Only $4 per ticket, cash or check made payable to the church. Please send an email to Kathleen at the church office to let us know how many tickets you would like to reserve. First come, first serve basis.

    Summer Music
    Members of the congregation are invited to provide special music during the summer months. Please contact Susan Larson or Rev. Trina so it can be scheduled.

    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

    Yard Sale Donation Suggestions

    Appliances Radios, mixers, bath scales, CD players, (must be
    in good working order). No TVs, no computers or
    computer components.

    Arts & Crafts Pictures, supplies and/or creations.

    Baby Furnishings Pac-n-plays, potties, porta-cribs, safety gates,
    back packs, baby monitors.
    No child safety seats.

    Books Children’s books are good sellers…

    Camping Equipment Tents, stoves, lanterns, sleeping bags, back packs.

    Clocks & Watches In working order or only needing a battery.

    Household Items Lamps, rugs, chairs, kitchenware, wall hangings,
    curtains, dishes, pots and pans, crystal, etc.

    NOTE: Do not bring large items to the church until a few days before the sale. Any large items that do not sell must be picked up by the donor after the sale.

    Jewelry Earrings, bracelets, cufflinks, necklaces, tiaras. Please separate items into plastic baggies..

    Musical Instruments From Kazoos to Trombones.

    Pet Supplies Toys, beds, crates, leashes, collars.

    Plants All sizes, fresh (indoor or outdoor) or silk.

    Records, CDs, In good condition. NO VCR TAPES

    Sports Equipment (Small Items only), tennis rackets,
    basketballs, footballs, baseball
    gloves, roller blades, . No
    weight benches or barbells. No skis, poles or boots.
    No hockey equipment.

    Tools Hand and power, garden, mechanic, tool boxes.

    Toys Fisher-Price and Playskool items, dolls, balls, board
    games, puzzles, outdoor play equipment, sleds,
    video games.

    Vehicles Bikes, trikes, big wheels, wagons.

    Clothing Is Not a Big Seller and Will Not Be Accepted

    Please Be Sure All Items Are Clean!!

  • May 2019 Crossroads

    Interfaith Holocaust Remembrance Service
    Friday, May 3, 7:30pm
    Temple Shalom Emeth
    16 Lexington St., Burlington
    This year’s speaker will be Agnes Bales, our temple’s Holocaust survivor, who has an amazing story of survival. Hearing directly from Holocaust survivors is powerful, and we have fewer and fewer opportunities to do so with each passing year. All are invited and welcome to attend this special service of prayer and remembrance.

    Stewardship Report

    Thank you all for your generous donations for the One Great Hour of Sharing. Your offerings from Palm Sunday totaled $876. Our gifts and our help give hope.
    In 1 Peter 4:10 we are told to take our gifts which we have received and to share them.

    This we have done.

    May Prayer for Hunger

    Lord, the scale of global poverty is beyond our understanding. Give bread to those who are hungry and a hunger for justice to those who have bread. Help us to share abundantly the plenty that we have been blessed with. Amen.

    How to Use the Prayer:
    As a table grace
    At the beginning or end of a committee meeting
    During your personal prayer time
    Any other time you think of

    Holy Week
    Thank you to everyone who participated and helped Pastor Trina and the Worship Committee throughout Lent and with special services during Holy Week! Thank you, in particular, to parents for arriving early with your children on Palm Sunday so that they could participate in a festive parade of palms to begin the service!

    Twenty people gathered on Maundy Thursday for Communion around the Table, and 21 folks observed Good Friday in a Tennebrae service of increasing darkness, with readings and portrayals of significant characters in the story of Jesus’ Passion. Thank you to all who participated and attended these meaningful observances.

    Worship on Easter Sunday included celebratory music with James Myers on organ and piano, soloist Carla Maniscalco and some extra singers in the choir.

    More special music, including the bells, is planned for upcoming Sundays. Also, mark your calendars for Pentecost on Sunday, June 9!

    Please remember to check the signup sheets in the Narthex each week, and indicate when you can help out as Worship Assistant. Anyone, from young readers to those of advanced age☺ is welcome to assist in worship. Elders and Deacons are reminded to sign up to help serve communion. Communion will be served next on May 5 and June 2.

    Finally, we have a special request for everyone attending worship services at BPC. Kindly show your respect for fellow worshipers, as well as for the purpose of gathering to worship God, and turn off all cellphones during the service. This includes texting and any other use of this technology. God is calling, but not on your phone!

    ~ Jennifer Dewar, Worship Co-Chair

    Women’s Bible Study

    Women’s Bible Study is continuing a study on the book of Romans. Winter weather has finally subsided and we can enjoy the sunshine as we study. All women are invited to attend! Please join us on Thursday mornings from 9:30 to 11:00 am.

    Trustees Report

    BPC SPRING CLEANUP – MAY 11, 2019

    9am to 1pm
    The Board of Trustees has scheduled the church’s spring cleanup for Saturday, May 11th, from 9am to 1pm with a rain date of May 18th. We encourage everyone who can make it that day to assist in sprucing up the church property, both inside and out. Please bring all the equipment you need to help, including rakes, shovels, gloves, brooms, garden tools, wheelbarrows, small stepladders, window cleaner and paper towels. There will be a job for everyone, working either on the lawn and shrubbery, sprucing up the atrium or sweeping the winter debris from the play yard. We have a lot of windows to clean, both inside and out. If you don’t like doing yard work, helping out with the window cleaning will be greatly appreciated. This is a great opportunity to volunteer a few hours of your time for your church. You might even get to know someone who you have not talked to before.

    2019 Walk for Hunger
    The 51st annual Walk for Hunger sponsored by Project Bread is making some major changes this year. The goal is to build a movement of people passionate about ending hunger, while allowing programs to leverage their local connections to engage more walkers and raise more money at the local level.

    ∙Participating programs, such as People Helping People, will receive 60% of funds they raise, with the remaining 40% contributing to statewide efforts and event costs.
    ∙PHP is required to raise a minimum of $500 to participate in the pilot. Once the minimum is reached, 60% of all money raised (including 60% of the $500 minimum) will be granted back to agencies. For example, raise a total of $500 and receive a $300 grant or raise a total of $5,000 and receive a $3,000 grant for your anti-hunger program.
    This means that instead of a BPC team, our walkers (or runners) will be walking for People Helping People. We will still gather and travel as a group, but 60% of the funds we raise will stay local to support local programs.
    The Walk will be held on Sunday, May 5. This year there are more ways to participate:
    New 3 mile walk
    20 mile walk where you can stop at any checkpoint and get a ride back to Boston Common
    5K run
    Volunteer
    Be a virtual walker – details of which to follow

    PLEASE CONSIDER WALKING FOR PHP THIS YEAR!! To join our team and/or to pledge us, go to http://support.projectbread.org/site/TR?team_id=80616&pg=team&fr_id=1380&et=NZALZuMWznWIFUCUPS1pVA&s_tafId=59112

    Circus Smirkus

    Craig Garnett and Claudia Waite are hoping to organize a group to attend a Circus Smirkus performance in Waltham in July. Group ticket sales begin on May 1.

    Scheduled performances are on July 25, 26, 27 & 28 at Gore Place in Waltham. Show times are Thurs 7 pm, Fri & Sat 1 & 6 pm, and Sun 11 am & 4 pm.

    If interested, please send email Claudia. She’ll want to know the number in party, ages of children (if attending), and which performance works best for your family. To learn more about Circus Smirkus visit smirkus.org

    Take Me Out to the Ballgame!
    Come one, come all to a church baseball outing!
    What better way to enjoy a summer evening than at the ball park with friends!

    14 tickets available in section 119 for the Lowell Spinners August 3 game vs the State College Spikes. Game time is 5:05 PM. Friends and family are welcome to join! Only $4 per ticket, cash or check made payable to the church. Please send an email to Kathleen at the church office to let us know how many tickets you would like to reserve. First come, first serve basis.

    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

    Small things with great love

    During the season of Lent, a small group met weekly to discuss the ways in which our spirituality and relationship to food are intertwined with one another. Using the “Just Eating?” curriculum of the Presbyterian Hunger Program of PC(USA), we looked at five different areas of food, faith, and justice: The connection between food and sacrament; how food nurtures our bodies; the root causes of global hunger and our response as people of faith; the environmental impact of food production and consumption; and how we can build community through sharing meals and food with one another.

    As a Hunger Action Congregation, our church is already responding in a number of different ways to the areas named above. We were a pilot host church for the Boston-area Food Justice Young Adult Volunteer program, hosting a YAV for the first three years of the program here in our Presbytery. We host Farmer Dave’s CSA pickup nearly year-round (soon to include winter shares as well in 2020!); we actively support the Burlington Food Pantry through donations and volunteering; we have a strong commitment to the annual Walk for Hunger of more than 30 years of participation; and some of us help tend the Community Garden in Burlington as well. Our gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing also help support the Presbyterian Hunger Fund, which gives grants to programs combating hunger here in the United States, as well as globally. I’m sure there are other ways we are actively involved in combating local and global hunger or working towards food justice that I have missed.

    We also talked about ways our individual choices can have an impact on not only our own health and well-being, but on our spiritual practices; and by extension, on the wider community as well. As I continue my own journey toward better health, inside and out, I encourage you to also consider making small changes in your own daily life that will have a ripple effect in contributing toward positive change in the world around you. Small choices add up to big differences in the long run. Can you reduce your use of single-use plastic by using mesh produce bags and reusable shopping bags? Have you thought about composting your left-over food waste, or finding a local service that might be happy to receive it and turn it into wonderful fertilizer? Do you grow your own vegetables, and share the excess with your neighbors?

    Those are just a few things to get you thinking along the lines of what we have been discussing in our study. We concluded our time together last night, with a wonderful potluck of simply prepared foods, that were both filling and delicious. We all agreed that eating together with our church family is one of our favorite ways of sharing time together, and I look forward to more opportunities to share our faith at the table with all of you.

    As Mother Teresa is credited with saying: “We can do no great things; only small things, with great love.”

    Peace,
    Pastor Trina

    March 2019 Crossroads

    Lenten Study opportunities

    Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, a forty day period of prayer, reflection, and repentance leading up to Holy Week and Easter Sunday. We will have an Ash Wednesday service on March 6th, at 7 PM in the sanctuary. For anyone who would like to come early, we will have a soup supper in the front classroom beginning at 6 pm. If you would like to bring bread or a soup to share, please let Pastor Trina know.

    We will be offering a Lenten study on Thursday evenings throughout Lent, beginning on March 14 through April 11, at 7 PM meeting in the front classroom. For this 5-week series, we will use the curriculum Just Eating?, which was developed by the Presbyterian Hunger Program. As part of our focus on food justice this year, set by the mission and advocacy committee, and as a hunger action congregation of the PC(USA), this seemed like a good way to reflect on how food and faith are connected in so many ways.

    The study uses scripture, prayer and stories from the local and global community to explore five key aspects of our relationship with food:
    the health of our bodies
    the challenge of hunger
    the health of the earth that provides our food
    the ways we use food to extend hospitality and enrich relationships
    the opportunities for action, renewal and transformation in our eating practices-as individuals and as faith communities
    Come and join us for one or more sessions! If you are interested, please let Pastor Trina know ahead of time so she can have enough copies of the curriculum available.

    Deacon’s Corner
    The Deacons had their first meeting on February 10. They spent time getting reacquainted. Assignments will be given at the March meeting. The deacons will be focusing on an educational series to study the role of the deacon in the church.
    The Emergency Fund has dwindled. There will be envelopes in the pews for donations to bring the fund back up to usable numbers. We thank you for your generosity in allowing us to be able to assist those who are dealing with difficult times.

    Stewardship Report

    Around the world, millions of people lack access to sustainable food sources, clean water, sanitation, education, and opportunity. The three programs supported by One Great Hour of Sharing — Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, the Presbyterian Hunger Program, and Self-Development of People — all work in different ways to serve individuals and communities in need. From initial disaster response to ongoing community development, their work fits together to provide people with safety, sustenance, and hope. Received on Palm Sunday, each gift to One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) helps to improve the lives of people in these challenging situations. The Offering provides us a way to share God’s love with our neighbors in need. In fact, OGHS is the single, largest way that Presbyterians come together every year to work for a better world. Please give generously
    Reprinted with permission from Presbyterian mission.org/oghs

    Worship
    Lent begins with our traditional Ash Wednesday service on March 6 at 7 p.m. This will be a contemplative service with voluntary imposition of ashes.

    In addition, for the second year, we will also reach out to our commuters and passers-by with a curbside “Ashes to Go” service. 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 p.m.

    A simple soup supper will be served at 6:00 for anyone who would like to come prior to the 7 p.m. 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 Cathie DiCenzo, Mark Vogel or Pastor Trina.

    Please remember to check often to sign up to be a worship assistant during the next few months. Communion will be served next on March 3, and again on Maundy Thursday. Elders and Deacons are reminded to sign up to help serve communion according to your availability.

    Trustees Report

    Safety and Security Guidelines
    Fire Safety

    -There is a fire alarm system in the building that is located near the second front door. Do not tamper with the box since it monitors the building for any outbreak of fire.
    -If an alarm goes off, evacuate the building in an orderly fashion and move away from the building to a safe place. In each room, there is a location map on the wall to inform you where to proceed to evacuate the building. There are eight fire alarms within the building to activate and alert the fire department; sanctuary(2), front doors(2), play area door(1), fellowship hall(2) and kitchen(1).
    -There are four fire extinguishers: one located near the coat rack next to the front classroom, one in the hallway near the atrium door, one near the back classroom and one in the kitchen.
    -If the kitchen stove is used, make sure to turn it off and leave no items on top of the stove except for the hot water kettle.

    Security

    -The church has seven doors that need to be locked when exiting the building. The doors that are used most frequently are the two front doors, the playground door and the kitchen door. Make sure these doors are closed and locked when you leave.
    -All windows should be closed and locked when leaving the building. The larger windows have two locks and the windows in the sanctuary have one lock.
    -If the playground area is used, it is recommended that two adults supervise the activity.
    -If need be, call 911 for any emergency that requires medical or police presence.

    Miscellaneous

    -Make sure that all lights are turned off, including the rest rooms.
    -Make sure the church office door is locked.

    Souper Bowl
    Thank you to everyone who generously donated to the Souper Bowl of Caring. We collected 85 items of food (97.7 lbs.) and $104 to donate to the Burlington Food Pantry to help alleviate hunger in our own community!

    Come Sing with Us!
    We are looking for a few more voices to fill out our choir sections for the Lenten and Easter season! If you like to sing in the shower, or belt out tunes in your car, or just generally enjoy making music, join us on Sunday mornings before church, at 9:15, and sing with us! We will rehearse music for Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday as part of our regular morning rehearsals starting on March 10th (?). You are welcome to sing with us for any Sunday morning service you are available, and we can get music to you ahead of the date so you can look it over and listen at home. Singers of all ages and abilities are welcome!

    We also welcome instrumentalists, so if you play a musical instrument and would like to share your talents with us during a worship service, please let Susan Larson, music director, know of your interest. Once a month, we would like to have a musician, solo, or small ensemble group play or sing the anthem during worship. Let us make a joyful noise unto God together!

    Working together for literacy
    Nelson Mandela once wrote, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” People in Mangochi, Malawi, know this is true, as they have watched their community be transformed by the Muliko Literacy Project.
    Established by Chancy and Miriam Gondwe in 2014, the Muliko Literacy Project seeks to improve the 47 percent literacy rate of the predominantly Muslim community of Mangochi. The Gondwes are community development
    professionals and committed PC(USA) mission co-worker Nancy Collins, back row on left, visited with teacher Miriam Gondwe, back row on right, and students in the Muliko Literacy Project in Church of Central Africa Mangochi, Malawi. Chancy Gondwe Presbyterian members. Chancy received training from Literacy and Evangelism International in Tulsa. God gave the Gondwes a clear vision for literacy work in Mangochi, where they have used literacy as a tool for evangelism, spiritual growth and sustainable development for the people of Malawi.
    The project trains volunteer teachers who want to start literacy programs. Muliko also tutors children after school, conducts child evangelism through an after-school Good News Club and operates a preschool that generates income.
    When the people of St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church (SCAPC) in New Orleans heard about the literacy
    project, they wanted to support it. They approached me with a unique challenge. SCAPC requested that donations go through World Mission, which works with partner churches and ecumenical organizations. Since the Muliko

    Literacy Project was not a World Mission partner, I suggested that Muliko inquire about affiliating with the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian, Blantyre Synod (with which it had ties). If the synod agreed, World Mission would be happy to send support received for the literacy project through the synod. As PC(USA) regional liaison for east central Africa, Nancy Collins assisted the congregation and the synod in working out the details of such an affiliation.
    On a visit to see results of the Muliko Literacy Project in April 2017, Nancy was extremely impressed with the Gondwes and the program. She spoke with the Rev. Alex Maulana, general secretary of the CCAP Blantyre Synod. A memorandum of understanding was developed in July 2017. Now support for the literacy project can be designated for Muliko and sent through World Mission and CCAP channels.
    As Presbyterians, we believe we are better together. We are a connectional church. Because Muliko is now connected to Blantyre Synod, there is a pathway for best practices of this dynamic program to be shared with the synod to plant seeds for similar connections. And, very significantly, this program is now accountable to the Malawian church, not to foreign donors, which is the case when programs from abroad are sponsored by U.S. churches directly. And because St. Charles Presbyterian Church is connected to World Mission, Nancy Collins accompanies the program, enabling us to share stories like this with the greater church and inviting us to pray for the work of Muliko. Also, as a result of this partnership, the Gondwes plan to start five additional adult literacy classes in five villages in Mangochi’s rural areas, targeting 100 people, mostly women, and impacting thousands of lives.
    https://www.presbyterianmission.org/yearbook/
    Debbie Braaksma, Presbyterian World Mission, Africa Area Coordinator, Presbyterian Mission Agency

    Are you ready for some vegetables?
    It is that time of year again. We haven’t had much of a winter, but we have had to acquire our fresh produce at the local grocery market. Vegetables and fruits that we are not quite sure where they have come from or how long they have been sitting…in a truck, in a warehouse or on a shelf. Now is the time for all of that to end. On March 4, The Farmer Dave Spring Share will begin. You can pick up fresh grown vegetable and fruit right here at the church every Monday afternoon from 4-6:30 pm. If you need more information, please see Marylou Lynn, Jane McIninch or Kathleen Stegall. New this spring is a bakery share. Fresh baked items every other week! Try it out.

    2019 Walk for Hunger
    The 51st annual Walk for Hunger sponsored by Project Bread is making some major changes this year. The goal is to build a movement of people passionate about ending hunger, while allowing programs to leverage their local connections to engage more walkers and raise more money at the local level.
    ∙Participating programs, such as People Helping People, will receive 60% of funds they raise, with the remaining 40% contributing to statewide efforts and event costs.
    ∙PHP is required to raise a minimum of $500 to participate in the pilot. Once the minimum is reached, 60% of all money raised (including 60% of the $500 minimum) will be granted back to agencies. For example, raise a total of $500 and receive a $300 grant or raise a total of $5,000 and receive a $3,000 grant for your anti-hunger program.
    This means that instead of a BPC team, our walkers (or runners) will be walking for People Helping People. We will still gather and travel as a group, but 60% of the funds we raise will stay local to support local programs.
    The Walk will be held on Sunday, May 5. This year there are more ways to participate:
    New 3 mile walk
    20 mile walk where you can stop at any checkpoint and get a ride back to Boston Common
    5K run
    Volunteer
    Be a virtual walker – details of which to follow

    PLEASE CONSIDER WALKING FOR PHP THIS YEAR!! To join our team and/or to pledge us, go to http://support.projectbread.org/site/TR?team_id=80616&pg=team&fr_id=1380&et=NZALZuMWznWIFUCUPS1pVA&s_tafId=59112

    Questions anyone? Talk to Linda Roscoe

    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!

    Life Line Screening, a leading provider of community-based preventive health screenings, will offer their affordable, non-invasive and painless health screenings at The Presbyterian Church In Burlington on 4/9/2019. Five screenings will be offered that scan for potential health problems related to: blocked arteries which is a leading cause of stroke; abdominal aortic aneurysms which can lead to a ruptured aorta; hardening of the arteries in the legs which is a strong predictor of heart disease; atrial fibrillation or irregular heart beat which is closely tied to stroke risk; and a bone density screening, for men and women, used to assess the risk of osteoporosis. Register for a Wellness Package which includes 4 vascular tests and osteoporosis screening from $149 ($139 with our member discount). All five screenings take 60-90 minutes to complete. In order to register for this event and to receive a $10 discount off any package priced above $129, please call 1-888-653-6441 or visit http://www.lifelinescreening.com/communitycircle or text the word circle to 797979

    February 2019 Crossroads

    Ordination & Installation of Officers
    Ordination and Installation of Officers will take place during worship on Sunday, February 10th, for our incoming Deacons, Ruling Elders and Trustees. Please make every effort to attend that Sunday if you are being installed to one of these offices.

    Stewardship Report
    At the Annual Meeting, Per Capita was explained. 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 $56. Two adult members in a household would each contribute $56; 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 2019 budget

    Worship
    It always takes many hands and voices and coordination for worship services to happen each Sunday, and creativity and participation to present the Tableaux and congregational candle lighting on Christmas Eve. Thanks to all worship assistants,
    Communion servers and Brenda Flynn and her cast and crew.

    In addition, during Sundays in Advent the following people graciously agreed to light a candle on the Advent wreath: Chuck and Barbara Anderson; Jay, Annelies & Adriana Araujo; Mark and Cheryl Wells; Selina Sarkodie, Christian, Bryce and Brendon Kankam.

    A small group of worshippers attended the Longest Night service on December 19 appreciating the opportunity to have time to reflect, pray and sing together in the midst of the busy season.

    On Sunday, December 30 Mark Vogel led a service of Lessons and Carols that gave us a chance to sing out and reflect again on the Christmas story.

    Now we have entered Ordinary Time as we begin a new calendar year. Beginning on Sunday, January 13, there will be a Communion Servers sign-up sheet posted in Fellowship Hall. Elders and Deacons will have the opportunity to look at the whole year of communion services, check your calendars and sign up according to your availability. If everyone signs up for two or three Sundays we’ll have good coverage. Please check the sign-up sheet often.

    For the time being, beginning in February, we will also post a sign-up sheet for weekly Worship Assistants and invite you to sign up to assist from time to time.

    Trustees Report
    The Board of Trustees wishes everyone a Happy New Year and a prosperous 2019. Looking back to 2018, the trustees accomplished a lot with several large undertakings and many small ones.

    The restrooms were both renovated with the men’s room converted to a handicap, gender-neutral facility. The back hall was painted with four new doors installed. New windows were installed in both restrooms as well as the back classroom. A lease was signed for a new Xerox copier. The fire alarm system was inspected along with new batteries for the emergency lights. The defibrillator battery and pads were replaced. The radiators in Fellowship Hall were painted. The carpets in the Narthex and double classroom were cleaned and the hall floors and Fellowship Hall floor was cleaned and waxed. New shades were installed in the front classroom and Trina’s office. Many other small tasks were completed concerning lights, painting and heating concerns. Exterior issues were tended to with lawn care and tree removal. All the bushes were trimmed and the ramp was repaired with a partial paint job on the railings. The parking lot was striped after the front entrance to the lot was repaved.

    As winter settles in, please be aware of turning the heat down and making sure all the windows and doors are locked when you leave the church.

    Women’s Bible Study

    Women’s Bible Study is continuing with the Horizons study called “For Everything, A Season: A Study of the Liturgical Calendar”. All women of the church are invited to join us. We meet on Thursday mornings at 9:30. See Marylou Lynn if you have any questions.

    Mission

    Thank you to everyone who donated to our Clean Water fund! We collected a total of $200. Through the Presbyterian Giving catalog, we are ordering a rainwater catchment system ($75), a water filter ($50), and three jerry cans ($25 each) to provide clean water in communities around the world.

    On February 3rd our youth will be participating in the Souper Bowl of Caring by collecting canned food and dollars during the worship service. All donations will go to the Burlington Food Pantry.
    So Bring Your Can to Church on February 3rd!

    Equal Exchange
    Why pay more for coffee and tea by buying from Equal Exchange?

    Equal Exchange trades fairly and directly with over 40 small farmer co-operatives to bring you organic and delicious coffee, chocolate, tea and more. Our partners receive pre-harvest credit and above-market prices for their crops. This helps them invest in social programs, farm renovations, education and other essential projects. This can help reduce poverty, improve the environment and safeguard humane working conditions.

    Your support helps promote a more equitable, sustainable and democratic food system.
    Please look for Equal Exchange products on sale during coffee hour next on Feb 10. Mar 10, Apr 14, May 12, and Jun 9.

    People Helping People

    People Helping People (PHP) served 95 families with 208 children during this past holiday season. Thanks to BPC and others’ generosity, each child was provided with underwear, pajamas, a sweatshirt, 4 wishes worth up to $40 apiece as well as hats and gloves and books. Gift cards were given to 36 Burlington High School students and 76 gift cards were given to senior citizens. In addition, Market Basket gift cards were given to each family.

    The next important PHP event is the wine tasting and auction to be held on Sunday, February 24 from 2 – 5 at the Cafe Escadrille restaurant in Burlington. This is the major fundraising event for PHP. Tickets will cost $50 and are limited to 150 people.

    “Glory to God”
    If you would like to dedicate a nameplate for a hymnal, the cost is $20 each. Checks may be made payable to the church with “hymnal bookplate” in memo. Checks can be left with the office or any choir member.

    Lenten Study opportunities

    Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, a forty day period of prayer, reflection, and repentance leading up to Holy Week and Easter Sunday. We will have an Ash Wednesday service on March 6th, at 7 PM in the sanctuary. For anyone who would like to come early, we will have a soup supper in the front classroom beginning at 6 pm. If you would like to bring bread or a soup to share, please let Pastor Trina know.

    We will be offering a Lenten study on Thursday evenings throughout Lent, beginning on March 14 through April 11, at 7 PM meeting in the front classroom. For this 5-week series, we will use the curriculum Just Eating?, which was developed by the Presbyterian Hunger Program. As part of our focus on food justice this year, set by the mission and advocacy committee, and as a hunger action congregation of the PC(USA), this seemed like a good way to reflect on how food and faith are connected in so many ways.

    The study uses scripture, prayer and stories from the local and global community to explore five key aspects of our relationship with food:
    the health of our bodies
    the challenge of hunger
    the health of the earth that provides our food
    the ways we use food to extend hospitality and enrich relationships
    the opportunities for action, renewal and transformation in our eating practices-as individuals and as faith communities
    Come and join us for one or more sessions! If you are interested, please let Pastor Trina know ahead of time so she can have enough copies of the curriculum available.

    Another opportunity for personal devotion and study is the 2019 Lenten devotional produced by Presbyterians Today. This year’s theme is “Awakening to God’s Beauty” and the magazine-style booklet is printed with full-color images of God’s amazing creation. Accompanying scripture lessons from the book of Psalms and reflection questions are included for each day of Lent. If you would like a copy, please let Pastor Trina know by February 10. The price per copy goes down based on the number ordered.

    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!

    Commitments and Priorities

    The beginning of a new year is a good time to re-examine our commitments and priorities. Many of us do this in our personal lives, as we set goals for the year ahead, and make new commitments to our health, our relationships, our financial well-being, or any number of other things that we want to improve upon. It is also a good time to reflect on our shared life together, and the goals and priorities we want to set for the year ahead. At its heart, the church is a community of people who are called together to join in worship of God, and to grow in relationship with God, with one another, and with the world around us. As we enter the fourth year of our journey together, I am interested to hear your thoughts on the direction you feel called as a community of faith.

    As a community of faith, we must continually ask ourselves the questions:
    – What kind of community of faith are we called to be?
    – What kinds of activities are we called to do as a people of God?

    During the annual meeting, I had intended to do the following activity as a group discussion. However, we ran short on time, and decided to postpone the discussion portion to a later date. I am including the questions in the newsletter so that you might have some time to reflect on what you would most like to see us doing as a church. What do you participate in now that you would like to continue? What are some ideas of things you wish we were able to offer?

    Whether you have been part of this church for forty years, or four months – or anywhere in between! – I hope you will take some time to read through the questions below and write down some of your thoughts and responses. In my attempt to categorize things a bit, I have thought of three primary areas of our life together: Service, Study, and Support/Social.

    Through service, or mission, we seek to reach out to the wider community around us, whether they are our local neighbors, or participating in larger circles of service at the regional, national, or even global level. What are some areas of service in which you would like to get involved as a church?

    Through study, we seek to nurture and develop our relationship with God through reading, discussing, and sharing reflections on the scriptures and other faith-related materials (books, film, devotionals, etc), with a small group. What are some topics you would be interested in studying as a faith community?

    Through support or social opportunities, we seek to develop and strengthen our relationships with others in the community – whether they are part of the church or not. These may be one-time events, or long-term small groups who meet consistently over time. How can we best support you? What kinds of support groups, or social events, would you like to participate in, or do you wish we offered?

    As you reflect on these three areas, if you have specific organizations or projects in mind, please list those as well. Remember, this is a judgment-free zone – no idea is too outlandish, wacky, or impossible, so use your creativity! I look forward to hearing your visions and dreams for the Presbyterian Church in Burlington!

    Peace,
    Pastor Trina