Welcome our newest members next week (June 10)

Session was delighted to get to meet with our confirmation class today after church and learn about them and their statements of faith. Here is a collection of young people inspired to bring God’s love into the world in real and tangible ways! Join us as we welcome five of the eight on Sunday June 10th. The remaining three will be baptized and confirmed later in the summer.

Crossroads June 2018

Summer worship services this year will begin at 10:30 a.m. as during the rest of the year….EXCEPT July 1, when we worship at UCC at 9:30 a.m.

A big thank you to…

All who participated in the Walk for Hunger, including, Linda Roscoe; Tara Goss; Debbie Mirabello; Mercy Agyapong; Vida Pipim’s sons, Sammy and Roderick; Sue McGilvray-Rivet; Caitlin Rivet and Baby Eddie! We raised ~$4805!

Three Great Things!
Our worship service on June 10th will highlight a trinity (how appropriate!) of celebrations:
Confirmation! – Eight of our youth have completed the confirmation class and will officially join the church.
Graduation! – We will honor our two graduating high school seniors, Evynand Akombi and Annabel Greco.
Appreciation! – We will offer thanks for our Sunday school teachers and assistants.

Deacon’s Corner
Earlier this year we collected winter clothing for the folks served by Elm Brook Place. Included in the several bags collected were some spring/summer clothes. Those were recently delivered to the site, along with a check for $300 from proceeds from the sale of Easter flowers. This is how the director replied: “Thank you so much for your community’s kind support of Elm Brook Place!! We use donated money to help fund our health and wellness program at the YMCA, pay for special recreational outings, as well as a slush fund to help people out in emergencies such as homelessness etc.”

Summer Celebration
So that our regular pre-school class teachers can take a break for the summer, we are asking for volunteers each Sunday to lead Summer Celebration, the class for 3-year-olds through 6-year-olds during the worship service. This is FUN & EASY, and we will provide you with everything you need to read & discuss a Bible story, then do a simple craft or game. Please say yes and sign up for a Sunday! Thanks.

New Sounds!
We welcome to our sanctuary a beautiful Knabe Baby Grand piano. This joyful addition to our church was made possible by memorial funds given in memory of Philip Harry Reisman Jr. & Anna Tiebout Reisman, Bill Piper, Bill Simpson, Bobbie Steeves, Patty Rosenthal & Lynda Graham-Meho. Let us remember the loving kindness of those beloved brothers and sisters of ours while we worship God through our music!

Summer Schedule
Summer is finally upon us and here are some worship dates and notes to mark on your calendars:

June 3 – Communion
June 10 – Confirmation of this year’s terrific confirmation class
and Teacher appreciation
June 24 – Special Worship Service to Honor Rev. Rod MacDonald as Pastor Emeritus
and enhanced coffee hour afterwards
July 1, when we worship at UCC at 9:30 a.m.
On August 5 we will host members of UCC and share communion at BPC

Stay tuned for some upgrades to the sound system in the sanctuary, approved by Session in May.

Trustees Report

During the week of May 28th, the men’s room was converted to a unisex handicap restroom. We will keep all the previous toilets and sink (new faucet and mirror) since they are in ADA compliance. A new 36” door with a new closure (one new closure for the women’s also) was installed with a new lockset. The wall as you enter the room was taken down and a new knee wall was built next to the toilet with three safety handrails. A new Pergo floor was installed over the tiles. A new electric heater was installed with a new baseboard. The room was painted a light gray and a baby changer was installed. If you are using the room, make sure you lock the door. We will have a key to get in if there is an emergency.

Women’s Bible Study

Womens Bible Study will be coming to an end at the end of May. We will be having an end of the year brunch on June 7. All the women of the church are invited to attend. It will start at 9:30 am.

Poor People’s Campaign – A Season of Moral Resistance
Most people don’t like confrontation, and many of us become wary when religious discourse threatens to become “too political.” The Old Testament prophets, however, specialized in moral and political confrontation. Consider this passage from the prophet Isaiah:

“Those who enact unjust policies are as good as dead, those who are always instituting unfair regulations, to keep the poor from getting fair treatment, and to deprive the oppressed among my people of justice, so they can steal what widows own, and loot what belongs to orphans. What will you do on judgment day, when destruction arrives from a distant place? To whom will you run for help? Where will you leave your wealth?” (Isaiah 10:1-3 New English Translation)

Jesus, himself, did not shy away from confrontation with the leaders of his day:
“Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you. Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.” (Luke 11:39-42 New International Version)

The Poor People’s Campaign initiated by the Rev. Martin Luther King fought for economic justice for poor people in the United States. The Campaign climaxed on June 19, 1968 as 50,000 joined a Poor People’s March on Washington. This was the only mass mobilization of the Campaign, which faltered after Dr. King’s assassination of, and whose legislative agenda was never realized. Today an estimated 43% of Americans are classified as poor or low income.
Fifty years later a new Poor People’s campaign has been organized to draw attention to the needs of America’s poor during a season of “Moral Revival”. The campaign includes public demonstrations and acts of civil disobedience. The Rev. William J. Barber and the Rev. Liz Theoharis, a Presbyterian minister, are co-founders of the new Campaign. The Presbyterian Church (USA), has endorsed the new Poor People’s campaign, and members of Boston Presbytery are participating in local events. Over 200 people joined on the Boston Common in a May 14 rally and sit-in at the Boston State House, demanding lawmakers confront systemic racism. Six weeks of engagement will lead up to a mass mobilization at the U.S. Capitol June 21.

For more information on the PCUSA’s involvement with the Poor People’s Campaign see the following links:
https://www.presbyterianmission.org/story/anderson-pledges-pcusa-support-poor-peoples-campaign-national-call-moral-revival/
https://www.presbyterianmission.org/story/poor-peoples-campaign-a-national-call-for-moral-revival-kicks-off-on-mothers-day/

The Mission and Advocacy Committee has identified poverty as its theme for the year, in conjunction with the mission focus of the Presbytery of Boston. Each month, we will lift up a different organization working to alleviate or combat poverty in some way. For the month of June, Project Bread is our focus organization. We are asking that each group or committee lift up Project Bread in prayer at the beginning of your meetings this month, and that we also pray individually for the work of this organization, and so many others, who are helping to meet the needs of those who struggle with hunger and food insecurity, here in Massachusetts, and across our nation and world. Linda Roscoe has written the prayer below, which you may use in your meetings and in personal prayer.

Prayer for an End to Hunger

Almighty God, it is difficult to see people go hungry. We ask you to give them daily bread and end their persistent hunger. Pour out your grace on hungry families, especially parents straining to feed their children.
We pray for cooperation and support for life saving assistance to people struggling with food insecurity around the world. Here in Massachusetts we pray especially for the work of Project Bread and its mission to prevent and end hunger.

Thank you for those who are currently working to end hunger and please call forth others to make a difference. We pray for the church to advance the gospel by working for justice and an end to hunger. We lift up the leaders of our state and country, and ask that they will make ending hunger and poverty a priority. We pray for an end to global hunger in our lifetime. Amen

Pastor Emeritus

All are invited to attend a special service, honoring Rev. Rod MacDonald with the title of Pastor Emeritus.
Please join us on
June 24 at 10:30 am
A reception for Rod and Cathy will immediately follow the service.

News from the Presbytery
Cindy Kohlmann and Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri will be standing for Co-moderators of the 223rd General Assembly, which is meeting in St. Louis, Missouri June 16-23, 2018.
Donations may be sent to The Presbytery of Tropical Florida, 1919 SE 5th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. Please note in the memo field of your check that the donation is to offset expenses for Vilmarie & Cindy as they stand for co-moderator. Any funds received in excess of what is needed will be donated to the Theological Education Fund and the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance efforts in Puerto Rico.

If you would like to give online, click here. You will be redirected to the Presbytery of Northern New England’s online giving portal provided through the Presbyterian Foundation. Enter the amount you’d like to give under “Special Offerings” and then put GA223 in the Note/Memo box.

Cindy Kohlmann graduated from Whitworth College in 1995 with a B.A. in Theatre and Religion and Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary with an M.Div. in 1999. While in seminary, Cindy served in the U.S. Naval Reserves as a Chaplain Candidate, where she learned to go to where the sailors worked and gathered in order to do ministry. Discerning a call to parish ministry, she was ordained in 1999 to serve as the solo pastor of the New Jersey Presbyterian Church in Carlisle, OH. In 2005, she married the Rev. Eric Markman and moved to Massachusetts, where she served the Clinton Presbyterian Church for 8 1/2 years. During her pastorate in Clinton, Cindy helped the church become multicultural in worship, leadership, and fellowship, welcoming immigrants from West Africa and Brazil into all aspects of the church’s ministry. In 2010, Cindy added a temporary position with the Presbytery of Northern New England (PNNE). After PNNE went through two years of visioning and reorganization, Cindy was asked to stay on in the newly designed role of Resource Presbyter. At the end of 2014, she said goodbye to the Clinton church, and began a full-time position shared between the Presbyteries of Boston and Northern New England on January 1, 2015. As Resource Presbyter, Cindy provides leadership to both Presbyteries, facilitating conversations about vision and structure, designing opportunities for leadership training, planning programming during Presbytery meetings, and connecting congregations and pastors with both local and denominational resources. To provide balance, she loves walking and running, watching birds and animals and being outside, and reading. In addition to her husband Eric, she has two amazing adult step-daughters and two extremely opinionated cats.

Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri is a teacher and a Presbyterian Ruling Elder. A life-long Presbyterian, she considers serving as a Youth Advisory Delegate (YAD) to the 205th General Assembly (1993) a pivotal experience in understanding for the first time the scope of being a connectional church. Soon after serving as a YAD, Vilmarie was ordained as a ruling elder at the Iglesia Presbiteriana en Caparra Terrace, San Juan, Puerto Rico. At some point in her life, she has served at the session, as a member and chair of several presbytery committees —including the Committee on Preparation for Ministry and Nominating Committee—, vice moderator of Synod Boriquén and council member, a commissioner to the 212th General Assembly and as a member of the General Assembly Committee on Theological Education. Vilmarie has found great joy in working as an interpreter (Spanish/English) at the biennial General Assembly meetings since 2006 and at the past two Presbyterian Women Churchwide Gatherings. At a professional level, Vilmarie holds a B.A. in Education (English as a Second Language) from the University of Puerto Rico and a Master’s in Education (Curriculum and Teaching) from Turabo University. Dedicating most of her adult life to education, teaching high schoolers and adults, she began her teaching experience as a Sunday School teacher. In 2011, Vilmarie and her husband, Rev. José Manuel Capella-Pratts, moved from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Miami, Florida, where he is the pastor of First Spanish Presbyterian Church. Since moving to Miami, Vilmarie has taught ESL to adult students from all over the world in a language school in Miami. A member of First Spanish and a PW (Presbyterian Women), she has served as the Moderator of the Presbytery of Tropical Florida (2017), is currently a member of the Leadership Council, serves as clerk of the Presbyterian Hispanic Latino Caucus, Synod of the South Atlantic chapter, and is a faculty member of a CREDO team. An organizer at heart, she loves arts and crafts, decorating and…Christmas! Vilmarie also enjoys spending time with friends and family relaxing over a good cup of Puerto Rican coffee.

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!!!
June 30, 2018 9:00am until 2:30pm
Please put aside items that you want to donate to the sale. 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!!!

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!!

Busy times in Burlington

We have finally turned a corner and are enjoying warmer temperatures, sunny days, and cool nights here in New England! The school year is drawing to a close, and many of our regularly scheduled meetings and activities take a short hiatus over the summer months. The month of June is one that is traditionally full of milestones and celebrations, from graduations to weddings, and certainly have much to celebrate as a church this month! On June 10th, we will welcome our first confirmation class in four years into membership in the church. Eight young people have taken the confirmation class in preparation for making their own profession of faith and becoming full members of the church. It has been a privilege and a joy to meet with them over these past few months, and I am excited to witness their continued growth in their faith and discipleship, and the gifts that they bring to the life and ministry of the church!

On June 24th, we will celebrate another milestone as a church, when we honor Rev. Rod MacDonald with the title of Pastor Emeritus. Rod’s ordination anniversary falls on June 29th, and this seems a fitting tribute to 43 years of ordained ministry! Rod and Cathy dedicated many years of faithful service to this church, to the presbytery, and to the wider church and community. We encourage friends of the church from near and far to join us for this special service at the end of the month.

Nationally, the PC(USA) will hold its 223rd General Assembly gathering in St. Louis, from June 16-23rd. You can read more about GA later in the newsletter, as our Resource Presbyter, Rev. Cindy Kohlmann, is one of the candidates standing for Co-moderator of the PC(USA) for a two-year term. Please read more about Cindy and Vilmarie, and pray for them, the other moderator candidates, and all who are headed to GA this summer to do the work of the national church.

Also, I have been working with Rabbi Susan Abramson on an episode of her show “Spiritually Speaking” featuring our congregation! The series is aimed at introducing people to the various faith traditions and communities in and around the town of Burlington, in order to increase awareness and understanding and to strengthen our community ties with one another. You can check out previous episodes here: https://youtu.be/xTyFPkJf7uU, or by searching “Spiritually Speaking” on YouTube. I will share a link to our episode when it is finished! Thank you to all who shared your own reflections, and to James McIninch for providing video and camera work last Sunday.

I will be holding regular “coffee shop” hours at True North Café in Burlington, on Wednesdays from 12 – 2 pm through the summer. Anyone is welcome to stop by during this time for conversation, and to enjoy a cup of coffee or a cold beverage together!
Enjoy all that summer has to offer!
Peace, Pastor Trina

Autism Awareness

I wear a silver ring on my right hand. It is made up of linked puzzle pieces. The puzzle piece has become a symbol of autism, representing the complexity of autism spectrum disorders. I don’t wear my puzzle piece ring as a reminder of autism, however, I wear it because the linked pieces remind me that each of us, specially loved by God, is unique, and my youngest son, David, is the unique piece that completed our our family’s puzzle. David also happens to have autism.

April is Autism Awareness month, so I thought it would be the perfect time to introduce you to David and share with you some of the aspects of autism spectrum disorders that you may witness when he is at church. The saying goes, when you’ve met one child with autism, you’ve met one child with autism. That is, autism reveals itself in myriad ways, and like puzzle pieces, no two individuals on the spectrum are the same. So, the caveat here is that David’s behaviors and the strategies we use with him may not be the same for another individual on the spectrum.

Stimming. David almost never stops moving. Much of David’s non-stop movement during church is “stimming,” or self-stimulatory behavior.

David struggles with regulating sensory input. This means that he sometimes runs, jump, bumps into people and things, and climbs because he is seeking sensory input that he needs to regulate his body. We have techniques we use at home (rolling him up in the blanket, jumping on a trampoline, swinging from the pull up bar) that we can’t do in public. So, you may see me hold him upside down, wrap my arms around him and squeeze, or apply pressure with my hands onto his shoulders. Sometimes this will help settle him. It doesn’t always work, though. If he’s not posing a danger to himself or to others, I will let him move his body the way he needs to re-regulate himself. If his stimming behavior escalates beyond a safe level, then I will remove him.

Sometimes there is too much sensory input. In those cases, you might see David squinting at lights, putting his hands on his ears or covering his head.

Communication. David’s speech has really blossomed over the last year, but he doesn’t always respond verbally. You may see him with an iPad at church. This iPad is his dedicated speech device. It has an app on it that he can use to help him communicate. This is still a developing skill. Please don’t take it personally if he doesn’t speak to you verbally or using his device (or look at you). He usually loves to give high fives, though. And, have no fear, even though he is not responding verbally, he is a sponge soaking up everything around him. He’s always listening.

Scripting. David recites lines from movies he’s seen, songs he’s heard and books he’s read. You may hear this vocalization during church. You might even hear a screech from time to time. He’s not upset. It’s part of the script.

Eloping. It is not unusual for children on the spectrum to elope. While there are many potential reasons for this, David often runs either because he is frustrated or overwhelmed. Please, if you see David running for the door, stop him before he can get outside.

This coming summer, David will receive a highly trained service dog. Among other tasks, the dog will be trained in behavior redirection and scent tracking to find David if he wanders off. We will be bringing the service dog to church with us later this summer. This is really exciting for David, because having the dog will help David access more activities and opportunities. We can’t wait to share this new piece of the puzzle with you all!

If you are interested in learning more about autism spectrum disorders, I recommend the following resources.
National Autism Association www.nationalautismassociation.com
Asperger/Autism Network www.aane.org
The Autistic Brain, by Temple Grandin
Thinking in Pictures, by Temple Grandin
The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen Year Old Boy with Autism, by Naoki Higashida
Look Me In The Eyes: My Life with Asperger’s, by John Elder Robinson
For Kids:
Rules, by Cynthia Lord
Rain, Reign, by Ann M. Martin
Erin McCoy Alarcon, Esq.

Camp Wilmot Revival

Our church has a long history with Camp Wilmot, up in Wilmot New Hampshire. Years ago, we used to go as a congregation for spiritual retreats and community building. We’ve supported Wilmot with a new freezer for the kitchen, and scholarships to welcome children who might not otherwise be able to attend.

In the last few years, many of our youth and kids have spent a week or two up in the woods, praying, singing and hoping to spot a Polar Bear dance. This last year, 11 kids BPC kids and their friends made the trip up 93 to experience faith and nature.

Now, those kids are going to bring a bit of that faith and nature back to us! On Sunday, September 29th our usual worship service is going to take on a whole energy. Some of the counselors and directors from Camp Wilmot have agreed to come and lead our kids in showing us exactly how much fun they have! Expect the music to be energetic, the message to be inspiring, and your hearts to be lifted with hope. We’ll even be taking a special offering to help send even more kids to camp.

For those kids who have been to Camp Wilmot – we’d like your help preparing for worship. The Saturday before the 28th) at 10 am we’ll be getting together in the church to run through your favorite hymns & energizers, and practice getting the congregation up and jumping!

April 2018 Crossroads

GLORY TO GOD!!

Can you finish the lines of these hymns?

– Then sings my soul, my Savior, God, to Thee, ________________________________

-Lift high _______________________________________________________________

What is so remarkable about the majority of Presbyterians being able to fill in these phrases? Or, more often than not, being able to sing these hymns from memory? These examples were new hymns when the “new blue” hymnal was released in 1990. Had the blue hymnal not been adopted, these songs – and many others just as meaningful – would have not been part of our shared worship life at the Presbyterian Church of Burlington. We all love the comfort of our “old” hymns and cherish the memories they evoke of when and where we learned those hymns. They also bring to mind those people in whose presence we learned those ‘heart songs’: parents and grandparents, Sunday school teachers, choir directors, youth leaders, or with friends at summer camp. Those black dots and assortments of letters on the page, signifying notes and words, take on a life of their own when we give them breath and voice. When sung by a congregation they become worship: confession and adoration, praise and lament. Those songs become a part of our faith journey: touchstones of moments and places, struggles and joys. We love when favorites appear in various seasons of the liturgical calendar.

In 2014, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) adopted a new hymnal: “Glory to God.” Its purple cover will soon be gracing our pews. Be assured, our familiar “old” blue hymnal and all our most favorite hymns will not disappear! However, we will be starting a journey of discovery with “Glory to God”, hoping to find hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs that speak to our congregation’s faith journey. The “new” purple hymnal was approved by the Session and purchased through funds from the Memorial Fund. After Easter, the Chancel Choir will begin a fund raising drive to help offset the cost of the hymnals, with all fund being returned to the Memorial Fund. For a donation of $20, a personalized bookplate will be added to a hymnal to recognize your loved one or cherished event. The bookplates will remain available until all 120 new sanctuary hymnals are inscribed! Ten large print hymnals are included in the order. If you would like a personal copy of “Glory to God” for your home use, several copies will be available for purchase for $20. Checks for donations should be made out to the Presbyterian Church of Burlington with the notation of “Hymnal bookplate” on your check’s memo line. With your donation, please CLEARLY write what you desire to have written on your bookplate. Checks and inscriptions should be given to Claudia Waite or any Chancel Choir member.

Mission & Advocacy
Our new Mission and Advocacy Committee is to identify opportunities for mission and advocacy, and communicate those opportunities to the congregation for shared service, prayer and action.

Our overall mission theme for 2018 is Poverty. Each month we plan to highlight one mission area. For the month of April our focus is on Fair Trade products. Fair trade products compensate the workers fairly and work to correct injustices in global trading.
The way we shop makes a difference.

Our church currently uses fair trade coffee during our fellowship time. We hope to make this coffee available for purchase by the congregation soon. Keep an eye on the bulletin for more information.

Also in April we will host Project Bread on April 15. Project Bread will be our focus in May, beginning with the Walk for Hunger on May 6.

If you are interested in being part of the committee, please talk to Trina or Mary Lou Lynn.

Join us!
Are you considering becoming a member of our church? Would you like to learn more about the history of our church, and of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) more broadly? What do we believe and how do we practice our faith together?

We will explore these topics in a one-session new members’ class on Sunday, April 15th. We will gather for lunch together while we get to know one another better and explore our faith journeys. If you are interested in learning more, please speak to Pastor Trina and let her know! There is no pressure to join, if you want to just come and hear more about membership in the church, that is absolutely fine. Whether you’ve been coming for a few weeks, or for a few years, you are welcome to attend the class!

Confirmation Class

Our confirmation class is off to a great start! We have nine young people in the class this year, which is wonderful! The class meeting schedule is below.

In addition to our regular meetings, we will incorporate a service project into our learning experience, and attend worship services of other denominations or faith traditions. Confirmation Sunday will be on June 10th, so mark your calendars as we celebrate welcoming these young people into full membership of the church! We are also looking for adult members to pair with each of our young people as faith mentors. Mentors should be willing to meet with their student at least once prior to Confirmation Day, and to share with them your faith journey and learn more about theirs. You will also introduce your confirmand to the congregation on Confirmation Day, June 10th. If you are interested in being a mentor, please speak to Pastor Trina – we need at least seven more people to sign up!

Living our Values
Did you know that the coffee we serve every Sunday is purchased through a Fair Trade worker-owned co-operative organization called Equal Exchange? And that Equal Exchange was founded and is based locally, in Canton, MA? As part of our revitalized Mission and Outreach efforts, we have decided to go beyond just serving the coffee here on Sunday mornings, and offer bags of coffee, tea, and other products for purchase that you can use at home on a regular basis.

So, what is Fair Trade? It is part of a movement to partner with small farmers in developing countries around the world, to provide fair prices for their crops and in turn better wages for their employees. Rather than buying coffee beans, cacao, or tea leaves from a giant middleman, Equal Exchange and other Fair Trade organizations purchase directly from the growers themselves. Equal Exchange’s mission is to build long-term trade partnerships that are economically just and environmentally sound, to foster mutually beneficial relationships between farmers and consumers and to demonstrate, through our success, the contribution of worker cooperatives and Fair Trade to a more equitable, democratic and sustainable world.

Through partnering with Equal Exchange, small famers in Central America, South America, Africa, and Asia are able to build their own businesses to support their families and stay on their land; strengthen their local communities; and preserve and protect their natural environment through organic and sustainable farming practices.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is one of twelve interfaith partner organizations working with Equal Exchange. Started in 2001, the Presbyterian Coffee Project is a collaboration between Equal Exchange and the Presbyterian Church USA’s Enough for Everyone Program to involve more Presbyterian communities and individuals in supporting small farmers around the world. We hope you will be as excited to try these products at home as we are to be able to bring them to you at Coffee Hour! Look for the Equal Exchange table to appear at Coffee Hour within the next month!

Walk For Hunger
The annual Walk for Hunger is the largest fundraiser for Project Bread. For five decades, the Walk for Hunger has been Massachusetts’ annual state-wide effort to fund community-based anti-hunger work that ensure everyone living here has access to good food—a basic right. In 2017, through the individual fundraising efforts of Walk participants and generous supporters, Project Bread invested in 263 community food programs—including soup kitchens, food pantries, community farms and gardens, health center hunger prevention, food rescue, childhood nutrition programs, and much more—in 91 communities across the state.

For more than 30 years BPC has sent a team of walkers and raised thousands of dollars. In 2017 our team of ten raised more than $3,000. This year our team goal is $3,500. This is the first year Project Bread is implementing a $25 registration fee – they are doing this to make sure that all the funds raised by walkers and runners go directly to the cause of ending hunger in Massachusetts rather than covering the costs of putting on an event of this size safely (10,000-15,000 walkers + EMS services, policing, permits to walk through different towns, etc.)

If you’d like to walk this year – anywhere from 3.5 miles to all 20, you can register online for our team, or speak to Linda Roscoe, our team captain. To register online, visit projectbread.org/walk and click “Join a Team,” then select Burlington Presbyterian Church. Volunteers are also needed. If you’d like to be involved that way, please contact Olivia Wilker, the Volunteer Coordinator. Olivia will be able to answer any questions you might have about volunteering:

Worship Committee

The committee met on February 25 to plan for worship services in March through Easter. We have decided for the near future to meet to plan seasonally. In other words, at our next meeting in mid-April we will be planning for services and events in May and June. Before the summer we will meet to discuss services for July and August and early September. At least that’s the current plan☺. Rev. Trina and Claudia will meet more frequently to coordinate weekly scripture, music and sermons.

Worship Chair, Chuck Anderson has taken on the responsibility of scheduling worship assistants and Kathleen Stegall will continue to provide materials for assistants for each Sunday.

The highlight of March was Sunday, March 18, when Claudia and the Chancel Choir presented “In The Final Week: A Cantata for Holy Week” by John Purifoy, accompanied by pianist James Myers, with Narrators Rev. Trina and Brad Morrison. It was beautiful and moving and a treat to the ears. It was a blessing to all who were able to be in church that Sunday.

By the time this article goes to print, we will have enjoyed Palm Sunday with children’s procession with palms and an anthem sung by children and the Chancel Choir.

Holy Week includes communion on Maundy Thursday evening and a Service of Shadows, with readings on Good Friday evening. If you have not attended these services in the past, plan to make the intention to include these worship opportunities in remembering Jesus’ journey from Palm Sunday to the Cross.

Easter Sunday worship will be joyful and celebratory with special Introit, hymns and anthem sung by the Chancel Choir and accompanied by the Hand Bell Choir.

We continue to encourage everyone to participate in worship. We always need worship assistants, ushers to collect the offering, singers, soloists and communion servers.

God bless,
Jennifer Dewar

Stewardship Report
Our next program for gift giving is Pentecost.
A gift to the Pentecost Offering helps the church encourage, develop, and support its young people, and also address the needs of at-risk children. 40% of the Pentecost offering can be retained by individual congregations wanting to make an impact in the lives of young people within their own community. The remaining 60% is used to support ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency through child advocacy (10%), youth ministry (25 %) and Young Adult Volunteer opportunities (25 %):
Last year our church made a donation of $2000 for scholarships to children to attend Camp Wilmot.
Donations can be made on the day of Pentecost on May 20, 2018 or on-line at presbyterianmission.org/give/pentecost.
Thank you for your time and support for this wonderful program.
Your Stewardship Committee
Sue Hadsell, Kathleen Stegall, Jay Araujo

Be the church

What does it mean to “be the church”? I recently read a beautiful essay called “Church Is What We Create with Each Other” by Erin O. White that really captured the blessings of being a smaller church. In it, she describes how her church does announcements at the beginning of each service, which can be anything from the mundane to the joyful, as when an 89-year old member announced the birth of his twin granddaughters one Sunday. People share reminders about upcoming events in the life of the church and community, or ask for donations or volunteer help with something.

“For a long time announcements bothered me,” White says. “I thought they kept us from what mattered, that they were housekeeping, business best conducted somewhere else. Was now really the time to talk about pancake breakfasts and broadband networks? But I’ve since come to understand that yes, actually, now is the time. Because I’ve learned — over many, many years — that church isn’t about order or quiet or even ritual so much as it is about showing up. For yourself, for God, and for the people around you who need to feel — just as you do — that the blessings and burdens of being a human are not theirs to bear alone.”

Indeed, church is about showing up for one another, in many ways. In the small ways perhaps even more so than the big ones. Church is when someone picks you up and gives you a ride to church on Sunday mornings; or when someone brings a home-cooked meal to your house when you are sick. Church is sending cards or flowers; it is going to the memorial service for your loved one. Church is helping someone else’s child get a glass of juice at coffee hour; it is a phone call to make sure you are okay when you haven’t been at church for a while. Church is about sharing our joys and concerns, not just during prayer time in the service, but at other times as well.

“When you are part of a church you accept people’s offerings, even the ones you don’t necessarily want,” White goes on to say. “One week their announcements will bore you and the next week they will make you weep, and sometimes it will be the same announcements. And sometimes during a hymn they’ll start a harmony and you’ll join, and your voices will become a conversation, an expression of love between people who by many measures barely know each other at all.”

So, let’s keep showing up for each other, as we move into this Eastertide season filled with new life and new possibilities. Let’s create the church we want to be, together.