Crossroads November 2017

Food Pantry Needs
We receive donations for the Food Pantry on the 1st Sunday of each month. The donations have been dwindling. Please consider purchasing some 20 oz. dish detergent, individually wrapped bars of soap or bottles of shampoo. The Pantry is in desperate need of these items. Your help is appreciated. Thank you!

Stewardship Report
Thanks to your generous contributions and to those of the Boston Grace church, our combined Peace Offering this year is $1014. Thank you one and all.

November is the month we give thanks for what we have and for giving to those who don’t have with our annual harvest offering for the next year. In November, look for documentation that will explain what we plan for the coming year, along with your pledge card and your time and talent questionnaire. Our annual Harvest of Offerings is on November 19th, when we will receive your pledges for the coming year along with donations for the People Helping People food pantry.

On October 1, World Communion Sunday, the BPC congregation worshipped together with the congregation of Boston Grace Presbyterian Church and we enjoyed having their choir, along with our Claudia Waite, lead the music for the service. We welcomed Rev. Kurt Esslinger and his wife, Hyeyoung Lee, mission co-workers in South Korea, to preach the sermon and give the Word for Children.

Hana Lee, the pianist from Grace Presbyterian, has agreed to play for rehearsals on Thursday nights with our choir. Piano and organ music and accompaniment for Sunday services will continue to be provided by James Myers and Chelsea Whittaker, who have added so much to the music ministry at BPC.

Thank you to The Voices of Ghana for leading the congregation in song on Oct 22.

As the Crossroads goes to print we are already looking at November and beginning to plan for Advent and Christmas worship services and events in December. November begins with celebration of communion on November 5, which is also All-Saints Sunday. Sunday, November 19 is the traditional Harvest of Offerings, when the congregation is asked to bring food donations and pledges for the new year. Stay tuned for more information from Deacons and Stewardship.

Advent begins on Sunday, December 3 with communion and the lighting of the first candle on the Advent Wreath. Christmas Eve is on Sunday, December 24. There will be a regular worship service in the morning and our traditional Christmas Eve service with Tableaux, carols and candle lighting in the evening. Brenda Flynn has graciously agreed to direct the Tableaux again this year and Claudia Waite will work with Brenda and be in charge of costumes. Stay tuned for the many details that will follow and how you can help Brenda and Claudia.

Worship Committee meets on October 29, so watch for updates in the Bulletin and in November Crossroads.

~ Jennifer Dewar, Worship Chair

Worship Committee:
Cathy DiCenzo, James McIninch (Session Rep.), Annette Chapman-Adisho (Deacon Rep.) Claudia Waite, Rev. Trina Portillo

Trustees
Our fall church cleanup day was held on a beautiful sunny October Saturday with a very large attendance of our members and an even larger attendance by the Boston Grace congregation that share our church. We washed windows, cleaned up the atrium, mowed and raked the grass, fixed gutters and downspouts and did a lot of other fixup stuff. Thanks to all who attended.

Pumpkin Patch Update
Our church supported St. Mark’s Pumpkin Patch by volunteering on October 6th and 20th. Thanks to Ken Dewar, Chuck Anderson, Cheryl Wells, Claudia Waite, Jen Dewar, Kathleen Stegall and Linda Roscoe, we collected over $300 to be added to money collected during October to support People Helping People.

Burlington Interfaith Thanksgiving Service
Monday, November 20, 7 pm

The Burlington Interfaith Community will be gathering in thanksgiving at UCC this year on Monday, November 20. This longstanding tradition will include leaders and worshipers from Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Mormon and Muslim faith communities. This joining of religious traditions in Burlington is itself an occasion for gratitude in our broken world – added to the seasonal American holiday which recognizes our Creator’s goodness to us. The offering collected at the service will be dedicated to hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

BURLINGTON FOOD PANTRY
2017 THANKSGIVING FOOD BASKETS

The Burlington Pantry will be giving all the food for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner to over 200 families, including elderly shut-ins and veterans, on Sunday, November 19th. We hope you will participate in the food collection for this project. Again this year, the collection and distribution will be at the United Church of Christ, Congregational at 6 Lexington Street, on the corner of Bedford and Lexington Streets. Please bring the food you have collected to the UCC church between 12:00 and 1:00 on Sunday, Nov 19th. If you have any questions about the collection or the delivery, please call Bobbie Killilea (UCC Administrator) at 781-272-4547.
We are requesting the following specific list of foods for a Thanksgiving dinner. PLEASE ONLY NEW PURCHASES, NO EXPIRED DATES!!!
Stuffing (bags or boxes) Canned corn
Cranberry Sauce Cornbread Mix
Gravy Mayonnaise
Chicken Broth

This is a relatively short list – but we need many of each item. Fresh vegetables (potatoes, carrots, green beans, squash, etc.) will be purchased, so if any of your members would like to contribute money instead of food items, such donations would be welcome. Checks should be made payable to People Helping People. The Greater Boston Food Bank will be providing the turkeys this year. Cub Scout families will be providing pies.

“Wish Tree” Volunteers Needed
Our church has been asked to provide volunteers for the Wish Tree table at the Burlington Mall on 2 days: Sat. Nov 25, 10 am – 8 pm and Thurs. Dec 7, 12 pm – 8 pm. There will be a sign-up sheet in Fellowship Hall soon.

Please sign up!!

The “Wish Tree” gives shoppers the opportunity to provide gifts for children in need in Burlington. For more information, see Jay Araujo.

Friday, December 1
11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Get in the holiday spirit with us! Join the Deacons on the first Friday of December for the Hanging of the Greens! We will decorate the church for Advent and Christmas. Advent begins on Sunday, December 3!

~ Annette Chapman-Adisho, Deacon Moderator

Zentangle® class

The Zentangle method is an easy to learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. If you can write the letters “i c s and o” you can complete a Zentangle tile. Come and learn all about it at this class taught by Certified Zentangle Teacher Marylou Lynn The class will be Friday, November 17 at 7:00PM.
Everyone is welcome to attend. If you need a Zentangle kit, the cost will be $15.00. If you already have a kit, the cost is $5.00. Ask Marylou Lynn if you have any questions.
Class size is limited to 12 so sign up soon in Fellowship Hall or call the church at 781-272-9190.

PRESBYTERIAN GIVING CATALOG

What would you do with three extra hours every day?

The bigger question is, what could those who are forced to walk miles for water each day do? Help give this time back through water-related gifts found in the Presbyterian Giving Catalog. Items like the sand dam, which is an effective method of water conservation in dryland communities, provide a sustainable source of clean water for entire communities. Together, we can help change the lives of countless people by giving them a reliable and convenient source of water.

With your support, gifts from the Presbyterian Giving Catalog can lessen the burden for those in need of help. Start flipping through the catalog, or give online at http://www.presbyteriangifts.org. There are catalogs on the table at the front of the church.

Interfaith Coffeehouse for Conscience
Saturday, November 4 7 – 11 pm
Join us for an evening of song, socializing and social justice.
Listen to fantastic live music featuring songs of protest, hope and peace.
Enjoy delicious desserts, fun raffles baskets and meeting new friends.
All proceeds will support the following local organizations assisting immigrants in our local communities:
* The Sanctuary Program at First Parish Bedford Unitarian Universalist Church, working to protect immigrants facing deportation;
* The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts, defending and preserving the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution, Bill of Rights and laws of the United States;
* The family of Francisco Rodriquez Guadardo, a hardworking Massachusetts resident with no criminal history who is currently being detained due to his lack of documentation.

Admission: $15 (includes dessert buffet)

Questions? Please contact Ellen at esfink29@gmail.com.

Location: Temple Shalom Emeth, 16 Lexington St., Burlington, MA

Crossroads for September 2017

Music Report
It’s that time again!!!

Choir rehearsals will resume on Thursday, September 7 at 7:30 pm.
For those of you who do not know me, my name is Claudia Waite. I have been active in the church life of Burlington Presbyterian since November of 2016. Professionally, I am an opera singer and my roots in singing grew from participating in church choir since I was a child. My first university degree was in choral conducting and I was the choir director at First Presbyterian Church in Bainbridge GA during my graduate school years. I have taught private voice lessons since 1991 and, over the decades of my career, I have worked with many different volunteer choral organizations. I was asked if I would provide my services until a new music director is found.

I truly believe that anyone can sing! It has been said before that you need no prior experience to join the choir and I REALLY mean exactly that!! What I am hoping for is folks who want to make a JOYFUL NOISE in a friendly, supportive, musical community! The direction we take as a group will really depend on how many folks volunteer. If you have ever wondered if you would enjoy choir, don’t let this opportunity pass you by!

What you need to know is this:

  • Weekly rehearsals on Thursday nights from 7:30-8:30 pm.
  • No musical experience necessary
  • Anthem will be performed prior to Message for Children and there will be no extended rehearsals on Sunday mornings, so Sunday School teachers and students would be welcome to participate!!!

    If you are on the fence or have questions or concerns about the time demands of participating, do not hesitate to contact me directly by email or talk to me at coffee hour: I’m the tall girl … in the orange glasses … You can’t miss me!

    In Christ’s Love,
    Claudia

    Introducing James Myers
    James will be assisting Claudia with the music for the Fall. He has been here a few Sundays during the Summer.
    Justin VandenBosch of Chicago, and James Myers of Portland, OR, met in Denver in 2008, and moved to Boston in 2012 to marry on the South Shore, in Scituate. Justin completed his graduate studies at Endicott last year, and after five years with the MGH nursing team, is now a Nurse Practitioner with Commonwealth Care Alliance. As vocal coach/pianist, James is a member of the dynamic Boston Conservatory at Berklee opera department, and directs a substantial professional private vocal coaching studio. His students have secured roles with major opera houses, summer festivals, and prizes at international voice competitions. At Boston Lyric Opera he is coach and lecturer, coordinating collaborative projects with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Public Library, Boston Symphony, Beacon Hill Seminars, and Boston University. Justin and James enjoy outdoor adventures throughout New England and in the Colorado Rockies each summer white water rafting, fishing, boating, hiking, ATV, and camping. They are travel fanatics, having each visited 49 states, and countries in five continents. Justin speaks fluent Spanish having worked in Honduras, and James fluent German through studies in Hannover and Berlin. This summer they celebrated a friend’s 50th birthday at a villa on the Italian Amalfi Coast, toured Madrid and Andalusia, and James coached with Berklee’s Summer Opera Intensive through Placido Domingo’s Palau in Valencia, Spain. This passion is only matched by their enthusiasm for good food, drink, laughter, and natural beauty. Lifelong Christians, they seek spiritual nourishment in Presbyterian and Lutheran settings. Their home is a restored historic convent in Chelsea, with regal kitties Caesar and Octavia.

    Food Pantry Needs
    We receive donations for the Food Pantry on the 1st Sunday of each month. The donations have been dwindling. Please consider purchasing some 20 oz. dish detergent, individually wrapped bars of soap or bottles of shampoo. The Pantry is in desperate need of these items. Your help is appreciated. Thank you!

    Deacon’s Corner

    We are currently looking for drivers and people to prepare meals for some of our members that are experiencing the need for help at this time. If you can provide a meal or pick someone up for church please contact Linda Roscoe.

    Starting on Sunday September 17th, we will be placing all different kinds of cards out on a table to send to anyone that is sick or just needs a kind word and a prayer. We hope to keep this program going on the third Sunday of every month. We will provide the cards, the stamps and we will mail them. You provide the message.

    “So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.”
    Ephesians 2:17
    The letter to the Ephesians tells us that Jesus came to proclaim a universal peace. While the earthly ministry of Jesus occurred in a specific age and place, the peace he shared is limited by neither time nor geography. As followers of Christ, our call to work for peace begins in our own neighborhoods and extends to the ends of the earth.
    On Sunday September 3, we begin our annual Season of Peace. It culminates on Sunday October 1. On that day, we will be receiving the Peace and Global Witness Offering.

    Path of Peace Daily Reflections
    Subscribe to daily reflections that will be delivered directly to your inbox September 3 – October 1, or download the entire set of reflections as a single file. Choose Path of Peace under Advocacy and Social Justice. https://www.presbyterianmission.org/newsletter-subscription/

    Worship
    We have been blessed over the summer to have music provided for worship services by several different musicians, and appreciate the variety and each musician’s musical gifts.

    Some exciting plans are in the works for the fall for our ministry of music and you will read about them in another article.

    In addition to those plans, we invite Middle School and High School age students to participate in Sunday services as worship assistants. Assisting in worship this way involves leading the congregation in reading the Call to Worship and Prayer of Confession, and reading one of the scripture lessons and the Assurance of Pardon. Rev. Trina and the class teachers are available to help guide worship assistants, and Kathleen Stegall always provides the written materials that the assistants need each Sunday. Please sign up on the sheet in Fellowship Hall and/or contact a member of Worship Committee or Rev. Trina.

    Another way for older students to be part of the service on communion Sundays is to help take the offering and to bring it forward to Pastor Trina during the singing of the Doxology.

    A new schedule for communion servers is in the works and will be included in the next issue of Crossroads and posted in Fellowship Hall in September.

    ~ Jennifer Dewar, Worship Chair

    Worship Committee
    Cathy DiCenzo, James McIninch, Annette Chapman-Adisho (Deacon Rep.)

    Trustees Report
    The trustees have been active during the summer months with attention to the following areas:

  • The atrium cross was given a trim and most of the weeds were cut back. The atrium still needs attention around the plantings. Any volunteers with green thumbs?
  • The company that had been cutting our grass for the past several years has told us that they can no longer do it. We did a number of mowings during the summer that kept the front lawn looking well care for. All the shrubs around the church were given their annual haircut.
  • We had a locksmith look at the front side door and he fixed the lock so we can use it without it being frequently troublesome.
  • We had a tree service take down a very large tree behind the church next to the shed that over hanged the church. We also cut down two other smaller trees and trimmed back some brushes.
  • The unused gas grill and stand behind the church were removed.
  • The damage on the front walk was repaired.
  • The rhododendron near the play yard was cut back to fence level and several branches near the lines to the church were trimmed back.
  • The hallways and Fellowship Hall were cleaned and waxed.

    Remember, if you open a window, make sure YOU close and lock it when you leave the building. Same goes for the playground door.

    Christian Education
    On September 10th our Sunday school classes will start afresh. Our classes for children and youth meet during the worship service after the “Word for Children”. To kick off the year on September 10th, all our classes will meet in Fellowship Hall for a special mission activity. This year we will be focusing on local missions. We will be putting together some activity/learning bags for the twelve pre-school children whose families use the Burlington Food Pantry. We already have some supplies for the bags, but we need some additional items and hope that you will donate them. Here is what we would like to provide (appropriate for ages 3-5). Everything should be new.

  • Stickers
  • Activity or coloring books
  • Picture books (used are OK, but only in perfect condition)
  • Play-doh
  • Any small craft kits or age-appropriate learning items

    On Sunday, October 29th Anne Boyden will be here after the service to lead Safe Child training for teachers, assistants & Elders. If you haven’t had the training in the past 3 years, you will need to attend. We’ll do it right after the worship service – lunch will be provided. The training should last about 1 1/2 hours.

    Women’s Bible Study
    Womens Bible Study will begin with a brunch on Sept. 14. The following week, Sept 21, we will begin the Horizons study of Hebrews called “Cloud of Witnesses: The Community of Christ in Hebrews”. Please join us. We meet on Thursday mornings at 9:30.

    Pumpkin Patch Volunteers Needed

    St. Marks’s Episcopal Church, 10 Saint Marks Road, Burlington, will hold their fourth annual Pumpkin Patch event during the month of October. Our church, along with many other churches and civic organizations, has been asked to help with the selling of pumpkins during the month. Our staffing dates are Friday, October 6th and Friday, October 20st. The patch opens at 12 noon and closes at 6pm. We need volunteers to sign up for two hours or more on each day. The hours are 12-2, 2-4 and 4-6pm. Please refer to the sign-up sheet in Fellowship Hall if you can commit to helping out. A percentage of the sale proceeds go to support People Helping People. Please speak to our church coordinator, Ken Dewar, if you have any questions.

    The Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is now available online for free at https://www.presbyterianmission.org/yearbook/. Printing costs became prohibitive so they switched to a digital format. This also allows them to keep current and to provide videos. Check it out and keep in touch with what the church is doing around our nation and the world.

    Tony Triglione Memorial Walk
    For Mission of Deeds

    DATE: September 17, 2017

    TIME: Registration at 10:30 am; Walk at 11 am

    LOCATION: Lake Quannapowitt, Wakefield, MA

    STARTING LOCATION: Wakefield Lower Common near the Gazebo

    REGISTRATION: $20 per walker / $40 per family

    FREE T-SHIRTS TO THE FIRST 200 WALKERS TO REGISTER!

    Raffles of Patriots vs Falcons tickets (valued at $1000); Red Sox vs Blue Jays tickets (valued at$230); Celtics tickets (valued at ~$620); Capitol Grille Burlington – a night of wining and dining for 6 (valued at $1000); Entertainment Package-Retail & Restaurant gift cards, Stoneham Theatre performance, one year AAA membership (valued at $250); Professional Stylist Forum- Hair Salon in Andover, Gift Basket of five (5) $200.00 gift cards with products (valued at $1000.00)
    Details & forms available in the office.
    6 Chapin Avenue, Reading, MA 01867 Tel: 781-944-9797, email: missionofdeeds.org

    Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
    Give today to help Presbyterian Disaster Assistance bring hope & healing to Texas families impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

    Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is in touch with Presbyteries affected in Texas to offer assistance. We are standing by with resources and National Response Team members ready to deploy upon invitation and when it is safe to do so.

    For those who wish to support PDA’s emergency response and recovery efforts, gifts can be designated to DR000169-Harvey. We need your help. Please give generously.
    If you prefer to mail a check, you may send it to:
    Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
    PO Box 643700
    Pittsburgh, OPA, 15264-3700

    Please join us in praying for courage for those who are suffering; wisdom and diligence among agencies and individuals assessing damage and directing relief efforts; and for generosity to flow as powerfully as rivers and streams, as we respond to the deep human needs left in the wake of the storm.

  • Crossroads for April 2017

    Holy Week
    The season of Lent leads us to the joyful celebration of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, April 9 with a procession led by the church school children carrying palms. There will also be celebratory music as well as a look ahead to what we call Holy Week.

    On Maundy Thursday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m. we will remember the Last Supper with communion received by intinction around the Communion Table.

    Good Friday evening, April 14, come at 7:30 p.m. for our traditional Service of Shadows, or Tennebrae Service. It will be a time of prayer, readings and quiet vigil remembering the dark day of Jesus’ crucifixion.

    Then at last comes joyous Easter Morning on April 16. Easter Breakfast at 9:00 a.m. precedes Easter worship at 10:30 a.m. and culminates in the choir singing Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus”.

    If you would like to join the choir to sing the “Hallelujah Chorus”, please speak to Nancy Timmerman and arrange to get the music and come to practice with the choir.

    If you are used to only worshipping on Palm Sunday and Easter, this year consider making Maundy Thursday worship and the Good Friday service part of your observation of Holy Week.

    It will add to the meaning of Easter celebrations to walk with Jesus through the darker days of his journey to the cross and then his glorious resurrection. Also, we will need readers for the Good Friday service and please speak to Jennifer if you would like to participate.

    As always, you are invited to sign up to be a worship assistant on a given Sunday. Kathleen and Rev. Trina provide the printed words you will need to assist in worship and can answer any questions you may have about helping in this way. If you would like to give a Word for Children some Sunday, sing in the choir or play an instrument please speak to James McIninch, Rev. Trina or Nancy Timmerman.

    Thank you!
    Jennifer Dewar, Worship Chair

    Looking ahead…
    On May 7th, we will share a joint worship service with Gateway Church, a new Presbyterian fellowship of Kenyan Christians in Beverly. Members of the Gateway congregation will join us here at our church for worship at 10:30, followed by a potluck lunch so we can get to know one another better. Led by Rev. Dr. Lawrence Mgbara, who will be our guest preacher on that date, the Gateway Church seeks to be a Presbyterian witness to Christ on Boston’s North Shore. We will find a date in the summer when we can join the Gateway Church to worship at their church also. We encourage all to stay for lunch, and bring a dish to share that represents your own cultural identity. Sign-up sheets will be in Fellowship Hall during the month of April.

    Are you looking for a church home? Are you considering joining the church or transferring your membership from another congregation? Would you like to know more about what it means to be a Presbyterian? If you are interested in exploring these and other questions, please join us for an Inquirers’ Class on May 21st, following worship. For those who are interested in becoming members of the church, we will set a date to receive new members in June. Please speak to Pastor Trina if you would like more information about how to become a member of Burlington Presbyterian Church.

    Christian Education
    The Christian Education Committee, in conjunction with Pastor Trina, is hosting a Communion Workshop on Thursday, April 13th at 6:15 p.m.

    We will start with a simple supper of pizza, then learn about the meaning of the Sacrament of Communion. After the workshop, we will attend the Maundy Thursday worship service, where participants will have the opportunity to partake in Communion. This workshop will be geared toward 2nd – 5th graders, but people of all ages are welcome. Please contact Ann McGrath (annrmcg@juno.com) if you plan to attend so that we can plan for enough pizza.

    Something to keep in mind for the future – in the Fall, we plan to hold a confirmation class for youth who want to know more about church membership.

    Have you heard about Camp Wilmot? It’s a Christian overnight summer camp program in Wilmot, New Hampshire for children entering grades 3-8. They have two one-week sessions, July 9-15 and July 16-22. Some of our youth have attended in the past and loved it. You can find out more about the camp from their website, http://www.campwilmot.org/youth-camps/. Registration is now open.

    This year, thanks to a bequest from Duncan Cruickshanks, our church is offering parents a $200 per child scholarship to attend the camp. For more information, see Ann McGrath.

    A Teaching Supper about Communion:
    Maundy Thursday, April 17, 6:30

    The Christian Education Committee and Pastor Trina will offer this opportunity for families with young children. There will be pizza and learning activities about the meaning and practice of the Lord’s Supper in our church. This event is planned primarily with elementary-age children in grades 2-5 in mind, but is open to families with children of all ages. All who come are welcome (but not obligated) to stay for the church’s Maundy Thursday communion service – which is typically briefer than most services, and is one of the times when we gather around the communion table for the sacrament.

    The Presbyterian Church (USA) Book of Order states “Baptized children who are being nurtured and instructed in the significance of the invitation to the Table and the meaning of their response are invited to receive the Lord’s Supper, recognizing that their understanding of participation will vary according to their maturity.”

    Join the 49th annual Walk for Hunger

    Join tens of thousands of people on Sunday, May 7th for the 49th annual Walk for Hunger, a Boston tradition of neighbors helping neighbors around the Commonwealth. The Walk for Hunger is a 20-mile Walk, which begins and ends at the Boston Common and weaves through Boston, Brookline, Newton, Watertown, and Cambridge. Walkers do not need to walk all 20 miles to participate. There are checkpoints approximately every two miles along the course, with complimentary shuttle buses back to the Common.

    Why Walk?
    We strongly believe that good food is a basic right! Although you may not always see it, there are nearly 675,000 people in Massachusetts who can’t reliably predict where their next meal is coming from. Among them, children are some of the most vulnerable to hunger.

    The Walk for Hunger is a vehicle for people of all ages to make a real difference in people’s lives and take action against the local issue of hunger. Donations from money raised by Walkers, Runners, and Volunteers provide the funds for grants awarded to hundreds of hunger relief programs across the state, helping to ensure that people and families of all income levels have access to nutritious food throughout the year. Your fundraising and participation in the Walk is critical for the continued support of these programs.

    What’s the connection to BPC?
    Project Bread supports our local food pantry and more than 430 other community food programs. For many years now, our church has sent a team of walkers and volunteers and raised thousands of dollars.

    How can I get involved?
    If you would like to walk with this year’s team, contact Linda Roscoe, the team captain.

    All are welcome, young and older, whether you walk 1 mile or all 20.
    Volunteers are needed at registration and checkpoints. Make a pledge to one of our walkers or to the whole team. We’ll have a team pledge sheet posted.

    How can I get more information?
    There will be pledge/registration sheets on a table in the narthex.
    Much more information is available online at http://www.projectbread.org

    December 2016 Crossroads

    Deacon’s Corner
    Advent is truly a wonderful time of year, but it is busy for all of us. Your deacons are involved in several holiday projects and are grateful for the support of the church family.
    We wish to thank all who came out on Saturday, Nov 26th for the “Hanging of the Greens”. We enjoyed a festive atmosphere with beverages and snacks and beautiful decorations for the Advent/Christmas Season.

    Poinsettia order were due Nov 27. If you would still like one, call Jackulin David at 978-821-4184 by Dec 6. Each costs $10. Proceeds will go to the International Institute of New England which is the organization that we are sending welcome bins to for families new to this country.

    Linda Roscoe is coordinating our volunteers for the Wish Tree at the Burlington Mall. This is a People Helping People holiday program in which children are given “wishes”. It involves a table on which cards with the wishes written on them are displayed. When someone obtains a gift he/she puts a snowflake on the tree. Gifts are given out to families the Monday before Christmas. Our days to staff the Wish Tree are Tuesday, November 29 (10 – 5), Saturday, December 3 (10 – 8) and Monday, December 12 (4 – 5 p.m. only). If you can take a two hour shift, please sign up or contact Linda, OR if you’d like to take a shift and our slots are full, also contact Linda.

    Pajamas, sweatshirts and underwear are also part of PHP’s holiday program. On Sunday, November 27 and Dec 4. Linda McCusker will have cards with sizes and ages of the children who need them. We are asked to bring the gifts unwrapped to the church office no later than December 11.

    Through mid-December we will also be collecting gently used or new coats, jackets and other winter clothing for Elm Brook Place in Burlington. Their clients are both men and women, aged 18 and older, some of whom wear larger sizes. There are marked boxes near the coat rack in the front hallway and in Fellowship Hall.

    Stewardship Report

    The Christmas Joy Offering celebrates the coming of Jesus Christ, the “wondrous gift” of God with us. Jesus arrived in a humble stable in a small and insignificant Bethlehem, to lead and teach in truth and love, and bring about God’s salvation to the world. What a “wondrous gift” indeed! This was a gift so profound that the only response was the bringing of more gifts; the Magi arrived with gold, frankincense and myrrh to honor the Christ Child
    Half of the Christmas Joy Offering supports the continued ministry of educating and forming Christian leaders. The other half of the Offering honors those leaders who serve and have served us well. Through the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions, current and retired church workers who experience need because of tragedy, health concerns, or financial hardship can receive assistance from the church they have served so well. You will be hearing Minutes for Mission the next few weeks. Please listen carefully to the stories told and please give generously.

    Harvest of Offerings Update: On November 20, we received 16 pledges. There are extra cards and sheets available on the table in the Narthex If you have not yet turned yours in, you may mail it to the office or place it in the collection plate on Sunday.

    Youth see Heifer
    On November 11th, nineteen members of Burlington Presbyterian traveled to Rutland, MA to visit the Heifer Farm. In the Global Village, we learned how families in various countries benefit from raising different animals – everything from worms to yaks! Did you know that snail slime is a valuable product? Or that you can drink yak milk? We also visited the one-acre farm and learned about sustainable, organic farming practices. We cooked our own lunch over a wood stove in a house with no running water or electricity, because that is how many families in the world manage. We learned that Heifer provides animals, seeds and training, and that these three gifts can empower families to become self-sustaining and entire communities to improve their standard of living.

    If you want to know more about our experience, ask one of our many youth and adults who participated!

    If you are interested in visiting Heifer Farm yourself, (it’s just a little over an hour from the church), check out http://www.heifer.org/visit/Heifer-farm. They will be having a Holiday Open House on December 3, 4, 10 and 11, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Free with a canned good donation!

    As part of our effort to raise money to help Heifer with their program, some of the Sunday school classes will be decorating gingerbread houses on Sunday, December 11th and raffling them off during Coffee Hour.

    An Invitation

    “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 Advent Service of Wholeness and Healing, Monday evening December 12, at 7:30 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.

    The short service will be followed by time for walking a canvas labyrinth in
    Fellowship Hall. For those who are uncomfortable walking the labyrinth, there will be ‘finger’ labyrinths available to “walk” while seated, and chairs for those who may wish to just sit quietly near the labyrinth.

    Pastor Nominating Committee
    The Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) recently elected by the congregation has been meeting weekly since our election, and is hard at work. The PNC is being chaired by Elder Brenda Flynn, and includes eight members: Brad Morrison, Brenda Flynn, Caitlin Rivet, Chuck Anderson, Ferdinand Akombe, Judy Brunner, Kim Oey-Rosenthal and Vijay Johnson.

    Our Presbytery Liaison is Jane Wilson, the current co-chair for the Committee on Ministry.

    The PNC is currently working hard on writing our job description (aka Ministry Information Form or MIF). You can see the kinds of questions we’re thinking and praying through here: https://www.pcusa.org/resource/ministry-information-form/ . Once the MIF is complete, both session and presbytery will need to approve it before we can submit it.

    The process is a highly confidential one, so don’t worry if you don’t hear a lot. We are working hard in hearing and seeking God’s will for our congregation!

    Here we go a-caroling….

    Meet at the church on December 11 at 2:45 pm. Join a caroling caravan to senior residences, shut-ins and other friends. All ages are welcome-singing ability optional. We end by 5:00-5:30 with a warming supper. Would you like to host? Sign up on bulletin board in Fellowship Hall.

    Christmas Eve Tableaux
    The long-standing Burlington Presbyterian tradition of the Christmas Tableaux is coming up quickly! Mark your calendars for 7 pm Christmas Eve! (Rehearsal will be 6:30 on Friday the 23rd!)

    Our young actors hail from 2nd grade through high school readers. Most eligible kids should have gotten an invitation to sign up. If you lost your form or failed to get one, reach out to Brenda Flynn (brenda@tiltedworld.com) to let her know what part you’d like to play!

    We’re also looking for some adult assistance. We need some wranglers to help make sure the kids are dressed and ready for their big entrances. We also need some additional outfits. The biggest need is for white angel outfits (to fit a wide variety of angel-sizes). We could also use more shepherd’s costumes.

    The service will end with our traditional Joy to the World as we prepare to celebrate the birth of the living Christ!

    Christmas Eve Service
    A Family Tradition with Crèche, Carols and Candlelight
    Saturday, 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.

    Women’s Bible Study
    Women’s Bible Study will begin a new study in December. We will be studying the book of Colossians and learning good study skills at the same time. Please come and join us on Thursday mornings at 9:30!

    Pumpkin Patch Report
    Thank you again for all who helped out at the fourth annual Pumpkin Patch held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church during the month of October. Approximately 21 church and community organizations participated in the staffing over a 29 day period, including 3 rainy days. Total sales were $10,621with an average day sale of $367. The highest daily sale was $955 and the lowest was $16. This effort resulted in a check for $4,700 given to People Helping People last Tuesday night at the appreciation dinner.

    Proclaiming the Mystery: Advent 2016

    So much of life is, indeed, a mystery to us. My Gran had a chronic form of leukemia, with which she had lived and managed quite well for several years. But eventually, the treatments that were available became less effective and then unable to prevent the progression of the disease. We knew that she was dying, and with the help of home hospice services, we were able to keep her comfortably in her own home, where she wanted to be. One afternoon, she was feeling well enough for a visit from her next-door neighbor, who had recently had a little girl. She brought the baby over, and my Gran held her quietly, staring into her sleeping little face. After a while, she whispered, “Isn’t it something? One life ending and a new one just begun.”

    Every birth, every new life, is a mystery. And death is a mystery to us as well. And both are a reminder to us of how we are all connected to the mystery that is greater than ourselves. None of us knows how it will all work out. None of us has all the information we would like. Sometimes we don’t have all the information we would like, but we have to make a decision anyway. And in those moments, the best we can do is to step out in faith, like Mary, a young woman faced with carrying that mystery into the world, and trust in the promises of God to catch us.

    Mary’s song is one of resistance, of hope, of mercy, of joy. In her reflection on how to live in hope even in the midst of a world filled with pain, Lindsey Anderson writes: “Active Advent waiting, hopeful resistance, shining on means, in the face of that which would destroy, we choose, again and again, to live. And to live fully, to embrace all that it is to be in this wide world. To resist the evil agendas of injustice, greed, fear that seek to steal away our humanity. To reject the lie that to be unaffected or impervious is best; instead we choose to be open to beauty, mystery, risk to the brokenness and suffering of others and so to the redemption that has been seeded into each of us.”

    She continues, “There is a power, a light, a resistance in choosing, choosing our humanity, choosing to inhabit our life. In Advent, we live into the reality of our dying selves, knowing that weak and vulnerable, finite form is where the miracle of God’s Love chose to come and do its work.”

    We are called to proclaim a mystery. A mystery in which the very heart of God was made manifest in a tiny, fragile baby; born to a young, vulnerable mother; of an occupied and oppressed nation. In the words of Isaiah, the desert shall burst forth with life, and streams of water will flow in the wilderness. “Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees,” says Isaiah, “Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God.” (Isaiah 35:3-4, NRSV)

    This Advent season, let us proclaim the mystery of our faith. Let us, like Mary, step out in faith, leave our fears behind, and believe that every word God has said will come true.

    Pastor Trina

    Crossroads for October 2016

    Stewardship Report
    On October 2, we will celebrate World Communion Day, when we will be receiving the Peace and Global Witness Offering (formerly the Peacemaking Offering). On this day, people are joined from all over God’s earth, looking at our world and our lives, and asking, “Can God spread a table in the wilderness? Even in my wilderness?” To which God responds and says, “Come to the table of peace.” Our support of the Peace and Global Witness Offering helps invite others to the table, both near and far. Please give generously.

    World Communion Sunday
    October 2 is World Communion Sunday. This year Rev. Trina and the Worship Committee are asking for your participation in this celebration in a few different ways.

    First, we are looking for people to bring colorful cloths from different cultures to use on the Communion Table.
    In addition, if you have a favorite bread that you bake that is unique to your culture or country of origin, please sign up in Fellowship Hall to let us know that you will bring a loaf for worship on October 2. These loaves will be placed in baskets on the Communion Table and used in the service.

    Communion on World Communion Sunday will be served and received around the Table and the loaves of bread and colorful cloths will celebrate and acknowledge our unity in diversity at BPC.

    In addition, the Peace and Global Witness Offering will be received during worship on October 2.

    Heifer Farm Trip
    The Christian Education Committee has planned a trip to Heifer Farm in Rutland, MA. We will participate in their “Seeds” program in order to learn more about Heifer’s mission to work with communities around the world to end hunger and poverty and to care for the earth. We will visit their Global Village (where we will eat lunch) and their livestock and garden facilities.

    When are we going?
    Friday, November 11th
    How long does the program last? Four hours, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    What is the cost? $15 per person (what a bargain!)
    How will we get there? Carpool – we’ll meet in the church parking lot at 8:15 a.m. and return there about 3:15 p.m. (It takes a little over an hour to get to Rutland.)
    What do we need from you? Signed permission forms and a check for $15 made out to The Presbyterian Church in Burlington.
    When do we need your forms and check? Sunday, October 16th
    Who is invited? Youth in 4th grade and older, including middle and high school. Adults are also welcome.

    If you are interested in attending, please contact Ann McGrath at annrmcg@juno.com for the permission forms.

    Trustees
    BPC FALL CLEANUP – OCTOBER 15, 2016
    9am to 1pm
    The Board of Trustees has scheduled the church’s fall cleanup for Saturday, October 15th, from 9am to 1pm with a rain date of October 22th. 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, wheel barrels, small step ladders, 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 fall 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 give a few hours of your time and maybe work with someone who you don’t know.

    Pumpkin Patch Volunteers Needed
    St. Marks’s Episcopal Church, 10 Saint Marks Road, Burlington, will hold their third annual Pumpkin Patch event during the month of October. Our church, along with many other churches and civic organizations, has been asked to help with the selling of pumpkins during the month. Our staffing dates are Friday, October 14th and Friday, October 21st. The patch opens at 12 noon and closes at 6pm. We need volunteers to sign up for two hours or more on each day. The hours are 12-2, 2-4 and 4-6pm. Please refer to the sign-up sheet in Fellowship Hall if you can commit to helping out. A percentage of the sale proceeds go to support People Helping People. Please speak to our church coordinator, Ken Dewar, if you have any questions.

    Burlington Wish Tree
    People Helping People has started the planning process for the Burlington Community Wish Tree which is located at the Burlington during the month of December. The Wish Tree provides gifts for children in need in the community of Burlington. Last year the program processed over 2000 gifts for children. The Wish Tree Holiday Program, although very rewarding, is all very labor intensive and much help is needed. This year we are looking for individuals who can assist the program by picking up gifts that are collected at local businesses. These pick-ups are done during the day. We are also looking for an individual to be the Gift Pick Up Coordinator for the Mall. In additional the program is always in need of people who would like to sit at the tree during the month of December. If you would like to make a difference in your community, please contact Judy Walsh at judyw621@gmail or call 627-797-6786.

    Open Our Hearts
    A benefit concert for Central American asylum-seeking women and children in Massachusetts. Show your support and enjoy a great show featuring performances by The Loomers, The Blood Mountain Brothers and a special guest appearance by The Yellow Room.
    Saturday, October 1, 2016
    7 PM

    The First Church in Belmont, Unitarian Universalist
    404 Concord Avenue
    Belmont, MA
    Tickets: $25.00 at the door

    Food Pantry Needs
    We receive donations for the Food Pantry on the 1st Sunday of each month. The donations have been dwindling. Please consider purchasing some 20 oz. dish detergent, individually wrapped bars of soap or bottles of shampoo. The Pantry is in desperate need of these items. Your help is appreciated. Our donation dates are Oct 2, Nov 6 & Dec 4. Thank you!

    Introduction to Zentangle® class

    The Zentangle method is an easy to learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. If you can write the letters “i c s and o” you can complete a Zentangle tile. Come and learn all about it at this class taught by Certified Zentangle Teacher Marylou Lynn The class will be Friday, October 21 at 7:00PM.

    The class costs $15.00 and includes all materials needed. Class size is limited to 12 so sign up soon in Fellowship Hall or call the church at 781-272-9190.

    Help set up a household for a refugee family. Fill a “Move-In Bin”

    Before a refugee family departs for the US, IINE must identify and prepare an apartment for their arrival. Help IINE by collecting a bin full of household items. Items can be purchased and/or include high-quality donations. Each bin requires the following goods.

    Please check sign-up sheet in Fellowship Hall.

    Place settings of dishes Set of Pots Pans
    Mixing/serving bowls Cooking and eating utensils
    Can opener Rice cooker
    Cutting board Colander/strainer
    Food storage containers Alarm clock
    Pens, pencils, notepads, paper, etc. Light bulbs
    Dish soap Kitchen/bathroom cleaner Sponges/paper towels Laundry detergent
    Waste baskets Trash bags
    Toilet paper Toothbrush/Toothpaste Bar soap Generic shampoo

    Food Week of Action and World Food Day
    October 9–17, 2016

    Our faith calls us to work for a world where everyone has sufficient, healthy and culturally appropriate food! And where those who produce and prepare the food are fairly compensated, respected and celebrated!
    When you go to the local grocery store or purchase a meal at a favorite restaurant how much do you know about how the food is grown, gathered and prepared? What is your church doing to end hunger and poverty in your community or across the globe?
    These are some of the questions Presbyterians and the public are asked to consider this October during Global Food Week of Action and World Food Day. October 9-17 gives Christians and others around the world the opportunity to take action for food justice and food sovereignty.
    World Food Day is celebrated every October 16 commemorating the establishment of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945. Forty-two countries came together in Quebec that day and World Food Day has been celebrated ever since. Now more than 150 countries participate. In 2008, churches around the world convened through the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance to launch a week-long campaign focusing on that special day.
    The global Food Week of Action (October 9-17) is an opportunity for Christians and others around the world to act together for food justice and food sovereignty. It is a special time to raise awareness about approaches that help individuals and communities develop resiliency and combat poverty. Beyond examining our food choices, we must also recognize the lingering roots of racism embedded in our food system, which was founded on slavery and plantation agriculture, and still exploits the environment and workers in the food chain. We call for societal and policy changes that bring us closer to realizing the right to food for everyone and positive transformation of the dominant system.
    The Food Week of Action includes World Food Day (October 16), International Day for Rural Women (October 15), and International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (October 17).
    The Presbyterian Hunger Program is asking individuals and churches to consider one of four actions during the campaign;
    Support farmworkers through the boycott of Wendy’s Restaurants
    Advocate for a raised minimum wage across the country
    Support fair trade and oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership
    End U.S. support for repression of human rights in Honduras

    September 2016 Crossroads

    Stewardship Report

    Can God spread a table in the wilderness?” —Psalm 78:19

    On September 4, we enter into a 4 week Season of Peace. It will culminate on October 2, World Communion Day, when we will be receiving the Peace and Global Witness Offering (formerly the Peacemaking Offering).

    Gifts to the Offering support ministries that deepen relationships between Presbyterians and inspiring peacemaking leaders as well as opportunities to learn more about some of the most difficult areas of conflict around the world. These ministries offer resources Presbyterians can use to create peace in their midst, as well as respond to cultures of violence all over the world. By sharing the money raised, the Offering allows the local congregation (25%), mid councils (25%) and ministries at the national level (50%) to deepen their commitment to the transforming work of the Spirit.

    Can God spread a table in the wilderness? Our support of the Peace & Global Witness Offering helps invite others to the table, both near and far.

    Please give generously.

    There will be peace cards available on the table in the narthex for you to use during the Season of Peace. Peace cards provide an opportunity for families to engage in conversations about peacemaking. Sign up to receive daily reflections in your inbox by visiting pcusa.org/subscribe and checking Path of Peace under the category of Advocacy and Social Justice.

    Presbyterian Mission Agency

    Safe Child Program: The Session has approved an updated version of our Safe Child Program. The goal of the Safe Child Program is to ensure that our church provides a safe place for all children and youth to benurtured in Christian faith. You may review it either by asking for a paper copy (available in the office), viewing it on our website, www.burlingtonpres.org/about/safe-child-program/ or asking Kathleen Stegall or Ann McGrath to e-mail it to you.

    Safe Child Training will be held after church on Sunday September 11. A light lunch will be served followed by a two hour training session. Anne Boyden, a social worker, will give a presentation on recognizing child abuse, followed by a review of the Policy (Screening, Administration, and Response) by Ann McGrath and Susan McGilvray-Rivet, PhD. Child care will be provided. Please contact Ann McGrath at annrmcg@juno.com or 978 984-5944 so that we can plan food accordingly.

    Required every three years for adults in our church who are working with children, the Safe Child training is also recommended, if not required, for members of the Response Team, Session, Trustees and anyone else in the church who is interested in understanding our policy better. There will be a sign-up sheet in Fellowship Hall.

    Rally Day: Sunday school for 3-year-olds through 8th graders begins with a blast on Rally Day – September 11th! We will learn about an exciting new mission project supporting the work of Heifer International. The high school class will meet Sept. 18th.

    Adult Bible Study: Adult Bible Study will begin on Sunday Sept. 11 at 9:30. The study material choice will be discussed at the meeting.

    Come Sing With Us!
    Nancy Timmerman

    All voices are welcome to sing in the BPC Chancel Choir. Regular rehearsal times are 7:30 to 9 pm on Thursdays and 10 to 10:20 am on Sunday mornings during the school year. The choir season will start with rehearsal on Thursday, September 8 and Sunday morning, September 11, 2016, the same time as the services return to 10:30 am. Regular choir members who are going to miss practice or Sunday morning need to notify the director ahead of time.

    The ability to read music is not required. However, for skilled singers who need to miss practice, arrangements can be made to provide the music for individual study. We are a friendly group who sing a variety of musical styles. It should also be noted that, since the choir sings the offertory on communion Sundays and the anthem (before the Word for Children), students in the upper grades can participate, and Sunday School teachers can sometimes participate.

    In addition, instrumentalists or not regular members of the choir are encouraged to provide special music (usually during the offertory), as they were during the summer months. This also needs to be coordinated.

    FALL LUNCHEON

    September 18, we will celebrate being back together after all the swimming, hiking, and traveling. Lunch will be served following worship in Fellowship Hall. The menu to be determined. Please find the sign-up sheet in F.H. We really need to know how many to plan for. All are welcome.

    Pumpkin Patch Volunteers Needed

    St. Marks’s Episcopal Church, 10 Saint Marks Road, Burlington, will hold their third annual Pumpkin Patch event during the month of October. Our church, along with many other churches and civic organizations, has been asked to help with the selling of pumpkins during the month. Our staffing dates are Friday, October 14th and Friday, October 21st. The patch opens at 12 noon and closes at 6pm. We need volunteers to sign up for two hours or more on each day. The hours are 12-2, 2-4 and 4-6pm. Please refer to the sign-up sheet in Fellowship Hall if you can commit to helping out. A percentage of the sale proceeds go to support People Helping People. Please speak to our church coordinator, Ken Dewar, if you have any questions.

    Food Pantry Needs
    We receive donations for the Food Pantry on the 1st Sunday of each month. The donations have been dwindling. Please consider purchasing some 20 oz. dish detergent, individually wrapped bars of soap or bottles of shampoo. The Pantry is in desperate need of these items. Your help is appreciated. Our donation dates are Sep 4, Oct 2, Nov 6 & Dec 4. Thank you!

    Resettle Together: Local Refugee Resettlement Partnerships

    The International Institute of New England one of the oldest organizations in serving immigrants in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. It supports newly resettled refugees as they begin to build their lives in the United States. Each year, IINE resettles an average of 600 refugees from countries worldwide, including Burma, Congo, Ethiopia, Iraq, Somalia, and Syria.

    There is an urgent need for IINE support before we gather again in September. IINE recently learned they will be resettling 70 people (or 13 families) between August 30th and September 15th. That is 30% of their annual caseload! Below is a list of their needs. (attached list for welcome bins too) If you, or members of your community or faith group, are able to help out – please respond by Friday August 26th at the latest, to Peter Saati and cc Cheryl Hamilton at Psaati@iine.org and chamiltion@iine.org

    Include in your response the following:

  • Name
  • Mobile phone number
  • If volunteering, date (s) and shifts (9-1pm) or (1-5pm)
  • Foreign language skills (and if willing to be on-call)
  • Any additional offers: (trucks, landlord leads, etc)
  • List of the urgent needs IINE will have during this period.

    Housing/household goods: This week, we secured 50% of the apartments in Lowell. We are still seeking the following: one bedroom (1), two bedroom (1), three bedroom (3), and four bedroom (1). If you have any landlord connections, please share. Also, we need household bins for the same apartments. If you have any near completion, we would welcome them. I have attached the list again to this email. We would also welcome donations of new pillows and sheets, and/or lightly used comforters. Donations can be dropped off at our office in Lowell with advance notice.

    Weekday Volunteers: There will be lots of activity during the surge, including setting up apartments, helping clients complete paperwork, walking families to appointments, and more. To help support our staff, we are seeking volunteers for four hour shifts from 9-1pm and 1-5pm between August 29th to September 16th. Assignments will be provided on-site based on the needs of the day, but will be manageable and done in conjunction with staff.

    Interpreters: During the surge, we very much need several additional Arabic, French, and Swahili speakers for the same volunteer shifts (9-1pm or 1-5pm). We may also need evening on-call interpreters in the same languages.

    Trucks/vans: Especially the week of the 29th, we are seeking individuals with access to trucks and/or vans to help with apartment set ups.

    Cheryl Aglio-Girelli
    Co-coordinator, Refugee Resettle Partnership
    Immigration Justice Task Force
    agirelli@rcn.com