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

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.


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!

Pastor Trina

Services cancelled Sunday January 20, 2019

Dear Church family,

Like many of you, I have been watching the weather reports for the pending winter storm that is forecast to hit our area on Saturday night. In consultation with the session and trustees, we have decided not to hold service on Sunday morning, January 20th. Due to the mixed weather conditions in the forecast, and the timing of the storm hitting mostly overnight and into the morning hours of Sunday, it seems that road conditions will be unsafe for much of the area. Many of us, myself included, travel a significant distance to get to church, and we don’t want to put anyone’s safety at risk.

We are making the call early, ahead of the storm, so that there is time to notify everyone of the decision. If conditions change significantly, we will still not be holding church service on Sunday morning. I will be sending out a morning prayer/reflection that you can use for your own time of worship on Sunday, or anytime over the weekend. “Sabbath was created for humans, and not humans for the Sabbath,” to paraphrase Jesus. Let this weekend be a time of rest and renewal of your spirits, and stay warm and safe at home!

Grace and peace,
Pastor Trina

Crossroads December 2018

Christmas Eve Service
A Family Tradition with Crèche, Carols and Candlelight
Monday, December 24 − 7:00 p.m.

There will be nativity tableaux vivants (or living scenes) featuring young folks in the roles of Mary and Joseph, angels, shepherds and wise men. Choir and congregation will join in many carols. The service will end with a spreading of candlelight throughout the sanctuary. Pastor Trina will give a brief message. The Christmas Joy Offering will be received. This service is a wonderful way to introduce friends and neighbors to the church – and maybe to make a difference in their lives.

Every generous act of giving …is from above.
In the lead up to Christmas, many of us spend time in search of the perfect gift — the gift that communicates to friends and family how much we know and love them. We search our memories for indications of what gift might cause the faces of our loved ones to light up. We scour the stores and shops, hoping to come across the thing that will communicate a depth of love that our words cannot. As important as gifts to loved ones are, we have an opportunity to give gifts that help many people we do not know through the Christmas Joy Offering. These gifts in particular draw us back to the manger and God’s perfect gift to us — Jesus Christ.
Jesus came to live among us, bringing light into darkness, and reconciliation to God and to one another. A perfect gift from a gracious God.

During this Christmas and Advent Season, we celebrate leadership; past, present and future through support of the Christmas Joy Offering. We do so because church leaders greatly impact our lives of faith, walking with us down the path to be more like Jesus. We want those church leaders and their families who find themselves grappling with a critical financial need to have the resources they need which are provided through the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions. We also support the offering to help our future leaders in the church and world, like those educated at our Presbyterian-related schools and colleges equipping communities of color. Supporting these students helps the whole church develop leaders who reflect the wideness of God’s intended diversity.

For those supported through the Christmas Joy Offering, this help is truly a gift from above. May our gifts, and the leaders who receive them, point us always to the truth of the one whose birth we celebrate, Jesus Christ — the truly perfect gift. Please give generously.

The Season of Waiting
There are many plans and opportunities for worship during Advent, including particular ways in which many of you are invited to participate.

The Hanging of the Greens and bows will be on December 1 at 10am-12pm in anticipation of all that Advent and Christmas holds for us. Again we have an Advent Wreath at the front of the Chancel and each Sunday different members and families of our congregation will have a turn to light a new candle on the wreath.

Wednesday, December 19 at 7:00 p.m. is the time for our “Longest Night” service.
Similar to Advent services we have offered in the past couple of years, this evening will provide a different perspective and meaningful space during the holiday season, for reflection, prayer, introspection and quiet.

Brenda Flynn is again planning and directing our annual Christmas Eve Tableaux. Letters have gone out to families to recruit participants in the tableaux. Brenda has also put out the call for help with costumes, and for adults to help ‘shepherd’ (aka wrangle) the participants before and during the Tableaux. Rehearsal is scheduled for Sunday, December 23.

Also on December 23, immediately following worship, before tableaux rehearsal, the Trustees will be setting up the stable in the sanctuary for Christmas Eve. They will need and appreciate additional help with this.

The Christmas Eve Service with Tableaux and candle lighting happens on Monday evening, December 24, and is a beloved tradition at BPC.

To round out the month, Mark Vogel will be leading worship on December 30 and be leading us in a service of lessons and carols/hymns.

Fair Trade Holiday Sale

Save the date and get your Christmas gift list ready! On Saturday, December 8th from 10 – 3. You’ll have the opportunity to do your holiday shopping for a good cause. The Mission Group has invited nine not-for-profit vendors to bring their products for sale here at the church. Possible vendors include Equal Exchange, SERRV, Partners in Just Trade, Fair Trade Winds, and Mayan Hands and a range of products will be available including candles, jewelry, scarves, woodwork, embroidery, coffee, tea, and chocolate.

Proceeds will go to mission programs of the church, in addition to supporting the fair trade vendors and artisans who make the products.

Invite your friends and family, and spread the word! We’d love to see a good turnout for this event and will be looking for volunteers to help during the sale on Saturday. If you would like to help with the Holiday Sale, please contact Jane McIninch, (781) 864-9367.

Longest Night Service

“Comfort, comfort my people, says God”

There are many moments in our lives when we need comfort. There are tough times when we yearn for consolation. The suffering people who looked for the long-awaited Messiah were given a hope-filled image of God in the writings of Isaiah. It expresses the belief that no matter what happens to us, God will be there to comfort and support us.

Advent and Christmas can be a painful time for many in need of that reassurance and comfort. The constant refrain on the radio and television, in shopping malls and churches, about the happiness of the season, about getting together with family and friends, reminds many people of what they have lost or have never had. The death of a loved one, whether recent or long ago, the anguish of broken relationships, the insecurity of unemployment, the weariness of ill health, the pain of isolation – all these can make us feel very alone in the midst of the celebrating and spending. We need the space and time to acknowledge our sadness and concern; we need to know that we are not alone.
We need comfort and encouragement to live the days ahead of us.

For these reasons, we are offering a special meditative Longest Night Service, Wednesday evening December 19, at 7:00 p.m. at the church.

Come out, and join with us in sharing and hearing prayers, scripture, and music that acknowledge that God’s presence is for those who mourn, for those who struggle – and that God’s Word comes to shine light into our darkness. Everyone is welcome.

Clean Water Collection
We have counted the “Clean Water” collection and deposited about $182! Our congregation has a generous heart. During our Sunday school classes we will decide how many jerry cans and water filters we will buy through Presbyterian Giving.

Trustees Report
The fall cleanup finally occurred on November 3rd. We had a reasonable turnout, despite a little rain and wind, and a lot was done to prepare the church and grounds for winter. The fall commuter collection took place on November 13th and 14th. Thanks to Tom Hennings and Ken Dewar for braving the rain and cold respectively. We collected over $3,500 in donations with hopefully more coming in by mail.
The carpets in the Narthex and the double classroom were cleaned and the hallways and Fellowship Hall were cleaned and waxed in September. Try to keep the Narthex carpet clean by wiping your feet on the runner as you enter the church.

All the work on the restrooms are now complete with just a little paint touchup needed in the women’s room. Try to remember to turn off the lights if you are the last to leave the restrooms.

A reminder to all to close and lock any window you open and check that all doors are locked before you leave the church. A special request for parents to lock the playground door when you retrieve your children.

Women’s Bible Study

Women’s Bible Study has started a new study with the Horizons study called “For Everything, A Season: A Study of the Liturgical Calendar”. On December 13, we will be having our Holiday Brunch or Cookie Swap. 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.

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!

Hanging of the Greens
Saturday, December 1
10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Get in the holiday spirit with us! Join the Deacons on the first Saturday of December for the Hanging of the Greens! We will decorate the church for Advent and Christmas. Advent begins on Sunday, December 2!
Coffee & donuts will be provided.

Last day to order Poinsettias will be Dec 2.
Please give your order form and money to Kathleen Stegall by December 2.
Thank you.

Mitten Drive
We are once again participating in the PJs, Sweatshirt, Mittens and Books Christmas Drive for People Helping People. This is part of the wishes for Christmas. If you would like to participate, see Anne Denier to obtain a card. PJs, Sweatshirts, Mittens and Books are to be dropped off at the church by Dec 9. Do not wrap, just attach the card to the gift. Thank you again for your continued generosity!

Songs for Cameroon
On November 17th, about 80 people from the Presbytery of Boston and from the Eliot Presbyterian Church in Lowell (Presbytery of Northern New England) gathered at the Korean Church of Boston for an afternoon of song and learning about the humanitarian crisis in Southern Cameroons. Seven church groups sang a wide range of music, and we heard an inspiring message from Elder Ruphous Takang of the Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church in Easton. We also watched a video about the deadly and devastating conflict which is ongoing in Southern Cameroons, and the oppression of the people by the government and paramilitary forces there.

We received a special offering at the event, which raised almost $3,750! A combined total of $4,296 was raised from the concert and the offering from the November 12 Presbytery Meeting, held at First Presbyterian Quincy. The offering will go to the Presbyterian Church of Cameroon (PCC) to support ministry and relief efforts for internally displaced persons and refugees from the conflict through a designated mission fund of the Presbyterian Mission Association. If you would like to make a contribution, you may do so directly through PCUSA, by going to https://www.presbyterianmission.org/donate/e864103/ and clicking on the Give button.

To give by phone, call 800-872-3283. To send a check, please designate E864103 PCC in the “note” portion of the check and mail to:
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
P.O. Box 643700
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700
Many thanks to Korean Church of Boston for hosting, and to the groups and musicians who sang at the concert:
First United Church in Cambridge
Christian Women’s Fellowship Choir of Eliot Presbyterian Church
African Fellowship Choir of Eliot Presbyterian Church
Clinton Presbyterian Church
Young Adult Praise Team of Korean Church of Boston
Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church
Fourth Presbyterian Church
Stephanie and David Rodriguez, Clinton Presbyterian Church
Virine Morris, Hyde Park Presbyterian Church

Stay awake, and watch

In the rush of preparations leading up to Christmas, it can be easy to lose focus on why we celebrate Christmas in the first place. While the world is full of the hustle and bustle of putting up the lights and decorations, shopping for the “perfect” gift for our loved ones, and baking, baking, baking delicious cookies and holiday treats, the church is in a different season altogether. Advent is a period of waiting, of anticipation, of looking for the coming of the Christ child into our lives once more.

The season of Advent is a reminder that our time is not our own. We like to pretend that it is; that we can manage it efficiently, plan accordingly. That by our sheer determination we can will it to bend to our needs and desires. We strive to turn it back, and for so many reasons. To re-experience time with someone we love. To relive time with someone we’ve lost. To recreate a moment in time we want to remember again or that we wish we had handled differently. We wonder if we can alter time in some way, change the course of time.

The charge to keep awake during this Advent season is not just about waiting and anticipation. It is not just about getting ready or being ready because can you ever be ready for Christ’s coming? Can we ever be ready for God entering into humanity, into our sinfulness and brokenness, into our pain and loss, into our joy, into our love, into our longing?

Ultimately, God’s entering into time disrupts time, displaces time, disorients time. Not always comfortably. Not always helpfully. Not always desirably. And never how or when expectable. Why? Because divinity took on mortality, eternity entered temporality, and love eliminated death. This, my friends, is the meaning of Advent time.

May you find space and time amidst all the preparations of the season to remember that our time is not our own. That God bursts into our lives when we least expect it, even though we have been told to “stay awake, and watch.”

Blessings of the season,


November 2018 Crossroads

Benefit Concert for Southern Cameroon
November 17, 3 – 5 pm
The Korean Church of Boston, 32 Harvard Street, Brookline MA

As the violence increases in Southern Cameroon and the refugee situation worsens, join us for a night of music to raise funds and awareness to help those in need.

Those who are interested in collaborating on efforts to help our sisters and brothers in Southern Cameroon are invited to stay for a conversation following the performances.

New Music Director, Susan Larson, has begun her service with BPC and after a bout with bronchitis was able to start playing and directing the choir in worship on Sunday, October 21. Please note that Susan will be using a corner of the back classroom as her ‘office’. She has a desk and file cabinet there and would appreciate that anyone using that room for a class or meeting respects her space and the items she keeps there. Be sure to welcome Susan and introduce yourselves. If you’ve thought about singing in the choir before, now is a great time to start – Advent and Christmas are a wonderful season for music in the church! If you’d like to ring handbells, see Judy Brunner for more information and rehearsal times.

Coming up in November, on Sunday November 18 is the annual Harvest of Offerings. You have the opportunity to bring non-perishable food items to help People Helping People provide Thanksgiving meals to families that are served by the Food Pantry in Burlington. There will be a list in the Bulletin of items to contribute. Deacons and Worship are coordinating this effort for BPC and we will need some folks, including youth, to help package up the donations to take to UCC for processing after worship on 11/18. It won’t take long if several people pitch in!

The next evening, November 19, we are hosting the annual Burlington Interfaith Thanksgiving service at 7:00 p.m. in our sanctuary. James McIninch is coordinating the refreshments following the service and asks the congregation to help provide the food. There will be a signup sheet in Fellowship Hall where you can indicate what you will bring. If you are not able to attend the service you can still help provide the food and bring it to church when you come on Sunday, 11/18. We expect a large number of our neighboring Burlington congregations to come for the service. Hospitality, Deacons and Worship are coordinating the plans and will need help with setting up, serving and cleaning up. Let us know if you can help with any of that.

Looking even farther ahead, the Worship Committee and Deacons will again coordinate the Hanging of the Greens to decorate the church for Advent on Saturday, December 1st, from 10 am to noon. Come and help us deck the halls and get in the spirit of the season!

Hanging of the Greens
Saturday, December 1
10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Get in the holiday spirit with us! Join the Deacons on the first Saturday of December for the Hanging of the Greens! We will decorate the church for Advent and Christmas. Advent begins on Sunday, December 2!
Coffee & donuts will be provided.


Each year, prior to Thanksgiving, UCC hosts a wonderful event at their church. On November 18th they will sort food, help families shop (adult volunteers only), deliver to shut-ins, vets, etc. and deliver remaining food to the Burlington Pantry.

What we need from you is the following, (no expired dates please!):
Gravy Chicken Broth Cornbread Mix
Stuffing Mix Cranberry Sauce Canned Corn

It’s only a few items, but we need many! Fresh produce and turkeys will also be purchased and given to the Burlington Families who would otherwise not have a Thanksgiving Dinner. If you would like to make a monetary donation, please make a check out to PHP (People Helping People) and bring to worship on or before November 18th.

Want to help! Call Bobbie Killilea at UCC 781-272-4547. Please note distribution to the families between 2-5pm, ADULT VOLUNTEERS ONLY! Children can help sort food noon-1:30pm.

Fair Trade Holiday Sale

Save the date and get your Christmas gift list ready! On Saturday, December 8th from 10 – 3, and after church on December 9th, you’ll have the opportunity to do your holiday shopping for a good cause. The Mission Group has invited nine not-for-profit vendors to bring their products for sale here at the church. Possible vendors include Equal Exchange, SERRV, Partners in Just Trade, Fair Trade Winds, and Mayan Hands and a range of products will be available including candles, jewelry, scarves, woodwork, embroidery, coffee, tea, and chocolate.

Proceeds will go to mission programs of the church, in addition to supporting the fair trade vendors and artisans who make the products.

Invite your friends and family, and spread the word! We’d love to see a good turnout for this event and will be looking for volunteers to help during the sale on Saturday. If you would like to help with the Holiday Sale, please contact Jane McIninch.

Deacon’s Corner
A note about the prayer chain: Part of the ministry of the deacons is to let the congregation know when there are special needs within our church family for which prayer has been requested. In an effort to ensure that those prayer requests are communicated to the wider church as quickly as possible, we have been working hard to create a digital directory that will allow us to send out one electronic communication to all who have opted to receive email notifications. We are also working on a system to notify people by telephone or text, if that is your preferred method of communication. You will receive a form requesting your preferred communication for receiving prayer chain messages. Please return this form to Kathleen in the church office to ensure that we have the most accurate and up-to-date contact information for you. Also, we encourage you to notify Pastor Trina, Jay Araujo, or Kathleen Stegall when you have a prayer concern that you would like to send out to the church-wide prayer chain. We ask that these prayer requests be used for urgent or imminent concerns, such as surgery, emergency hospitalizations, or a death in the family.

As we look toward celebrating the birth of our Lord, there are many activities coming up in the life of the church with which the Deacons will need your help!
Please join us for Hanging of the Greens on Saturday, December 1st, from 10 – noon. More information can be found later in the newsletter.

The Harvest of Offerings will be received on November 18th. A list of items is available in Crossroads and will be at church as well. We will need some volunteers to stay after church on the 18th to help sort and transport items collected to the UCC Church.

This year we will be using a sign-up website for the Wish Tree Schedule. For those that do not have access to a computer, you can let any one of the deacons, or Kathleen, know what shifts you are available and we will update the list. We will post updated lists each Sunday on the board in Fellowship Hall. We will also be sponsoring our annual Pajama and Underwear drive, cards will be available later this month.

Information about the Poinsettia Sale will also be coming soon!

As you can see your deacons are busy at work and we welcome any and all volunteers to help these events a success! Please see any deacon for more details.

Stewardship Report
Thanks to your generous contributions, our Peace and Global Witness Offering this year is $1044. Thank you one and all.
During this season of harvest and thanksgiving, we bring our offerings of time, talent, and treasure for the coming year. Stewardship packets will be available to pick up at church on Sunday, November 4th including your pledge card and your time and talent questionnaire. An online version of the time and talent form will also be available this year (thank you, Jane!). The mission and ministry of the church cannot happen without the support of all of us, from our youngest members and friends to our oldest. Your pledges help us plan our budget and mission priorities for the coming year and give us a sense of what is needed from other financial sources to meet our needs. Our annual Harvest of Offerings is on November 18th, when we will receive your pledges for the coming year along with donations of non-perishable food items for the People Helping People Burlington food pantry.


“Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”

This quote is paraphrased from the teaching of the Talmud, a Jewish sacred text containing the intergenerational conversations and teachings of rabbis through the ages as they comment and expand upon the teachings contained in the Mishnah and the Torah. In the wake of the horrific mass murder at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh this past Saturday, I find myself searching for ways to grapple with this latest violent attack in a series of violent acts carried out by extremists in our country. The senseless murders of eleven Jewish people, who had gathered in their house of worship to pray and come together as a community of faith, was motivated by hatred and anti-Semitic, as well as anti-immigrant rhetoric and ideology.

This kind of language is on the rise in our country, and we cannot close our eyes to the devastating effects it is having on so many communities – be they Jewish, Muslim, Sikh; whether they are transgender, gay, lesbian, bisexual, or queer; if they are immigrants, refugees, or those who would give them aid; or if they are people of color, especially our Black and Latino neighbors, who may feel targeted because of the color of their skin. We are becoming isolationists, under national leadership who chooses to “go it alone” rather than work to build coalitions and partnerships between nations. We are on a dangerous path as a nation, and we stand at a crossroads. We must choose leadership that will unite and uplift all people within our country and beyond our borders. As people of faith, we are called to stand with the poor and the marginalized; to lift our voices and to put our own bodies on the line when necessary.

Fred Rogers was an ordained Presbyterian minister who lived most of his life in Pittsburgh, and for a time resided in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood where the Tree of Life synagogue is located. Mr. Rogers was a believer in a God of love, a God who loves each of us “just the way you are.” He was not blind to the brokenness of the world and he sought to find ways to help children, and the rest of us, cope with the violence of the world and the violence within ourselves as well. When we find ourselves wondering where God is, in the midst of the world’s great pain, sadness, and destructiveness, Mr. Rogers advised us to look within ourselves: “Deep within each of us is a spark of the divine just waiting to be used to light up a dark place.”

He believed that we all have God within us, and that it is in all other people as well. “To be loved as God loves us is a primary way in which we encounter God, and to love as God loves is to make God real in the lives of others. When we love our neighbor, he or she really experiences God; we experience the same when our neighbor loves us. God is present, incarnate, in the sharing and exchanging of human love. Love is a sacrament.” (Michael G. Long, Peaceful Neighbor: Discovering the Countercultural Mister Rogers, p.38)

Let us come together, and come alongside our neighbors in the coming weeks, to honor the divine spark within each of us; to shine some light in the dark places; to continue the work of justice, of mercy, of humbly walking with our God, and the God who loves us all.