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

    June 2016 Crossroads

    Summer Schedule

    On July 3 our congregation will join in worship at UCC, and the service begins at 9:30 a.m. On July 10 we will worship back at BPC at 9:30 a.m. and continue the early start time through September 4.

    Also, on July 10 and July 17 we need someone who would like to fill in for James and do the Word for Children. If you can help out, please contact James McIninch or Jen Dewar.

    Finally, please check the signup sheets in Fellowship Hall and consider being Worship Assistant on a summer Sunday.

    Summer Picnic!
    July 10, 2016

    Once again, the Morrisons have very graciously offer to open up their home and yard to us. They will provide the hamburgers and hotdogs. If you would like to have other meats, please plan on bringing them. Please bring a side dish, a salad, or a dessert to share. Please sign up on the list that will be coming soon in Fellowship Hall and indicate what you plan to bring. They have enough chairs for 40 people.

    If you are #41 signing up, please bring your own chair! There will be games for the children. If you have a favorite yard game, please consider bringing it along. Our aim is to have a good time. If you have any questions, see Sally or Brad. Come!

    YARD SALE TIME!
    June 18, 2016 8:30am until 2:30pm

    Please put aside items that you want to donate to the sale. Make sure items are clean and in good repair. Please let us know if items need small/easy repairs. If you have items to donate you may bring them to the church during the week of the 12th. Sunday is all right if that is the only good time for you. If you are dropping things off, please put your name on them in case there is a problem we will know whose “stuff” it is. We need volunteers to help sorting and pricing items for the sale, Tues – Fri. On the day of the sale, we need helpers to set up, tear down and work as cashiers and general staff. There will be sign-up sheets at the church. Please help, if you are able!!!

    A Donation Suggestion List is available on the table in the narthex.

    To George

    George’s birthday is on June 22. There will be cards and labels available in the narthex for you to send to him. He loves to receive cards! Please help put a smile on his face.

    A big thank you to…

    All who participated in the Walk for Hunger, including, Linda Roscoe; Jane and Thomas McIninch and a friend; Sally Morrison; Sue McGilvray-Rivet; Caitlin Rivet; Mary Medina; Tara Goss and a friend; Patrick and Clare Doody; Brenda Flynn; Mercy Agyapong; Vida Pipim and sons, Sammy and Roderick; Jackulin David and Vijay Johnson and Abby. We raised ~$5000!

    All who came out on a beautiful Saturday morning to help on church clean-up day. Many thanks to Ken and Jen Dewar, Chuck, John and Barb Anderson, Judy and Jim Brunner, Sally and Sean Morrison, Shelly Henderson, Steve, Skyra, Sterling and Seabright Karanja, Ann McGrath, Joseph Porte, Adam Flynn and Patrick Doody for a job well done.

    A message received…

    Dear Friends of Burlington Presbyterian Church,

    I’m sorry to say that I’m leaving my YAV year early. I have reached a point where I think it’s for the best. This year has taught me so much about who I am and how I fit into the world around me. I’ve met so many people and had so many once in a lifetime experiences during my time here. A HUGE thank you to Burlington Presbyterian Church for hosting me and supporting me for a large portion of my year here in the Greater Boston area. I will miss the community, Sunday School, and of course coffee hour. I couldn’t have asked for a better congregation to aid in my spiritual growth and development. Thank you for teaching me what it means to be a Modern Presbyterian. I must apologize for any inconvenient positions my decision will have put the church in. I’m sorry to say goodbye. I’ll miss everyone so much. Please never hesitate to call or email.

    Blanket Drive
    On Mother’s Day, we had a special collection for Church World Service’s Blanket Drive. As usual, you were all very generous. We collected $622 for blankets! Thank you all so very much for your continued generosity.

    Stewardship Report

    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 $51.12. Two adult members in a household would each contribute $51.12; 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 our 2016 budget.

    Also, thank you to all who gave to the Pentecost Offering. We collected $945.

    Church School Classes

    A big “Thank You” and “Well Done” to the Church School classes for leading the congregation in worship on Pentecost Sunday May 15. Thanks also to Ann McGrath, James McIninch and Stefanie Catella for their guidance and coaching to help each participant do so well.

    Souper Bowl of Caring update

    Back in February the youth in our congregation collected cash and food contributions during a Sunday worship service and donated it to the Burlington food pantry.

    Well, that was part of 10.4 million dollars in cash and food that was collected nationwide for the Souper Bowl of Caring!

    Together, we can make a difference.

    Summer Celebrations

    The summer Sunday school program for children age 3 through entering 2nd grade. It runs from June 12 to September 4. So that our fabulous teachers can take a much deserved break, we are asking for volunteers to teach and assist a summer class (or two). We will provide you with a prepared lesson folder which includes a Bible story and craft activities. You don’t need to do any advanced preparation! Please contact Ann McGrath to sign up.

    Food Pantry Donations

    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 Jun 5, Jul 10, Aug 7, Sep 4, Oct 2, Nov 6 & Dec 4. Thank you!

    March 2016 Crossroads

    Welcome…
    To Rev. Trina Portillo. Rev. Trina most recently served as solo pastor of a small, urban congregation in Rochester, NY. In 2014, she and her family relocated to Massachusetts when her husband joined the faculty of Boston College. Trina is a graduate of McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago and previously worked in development for Chicago Lights, the non-profit outreach ministry of Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago. She also served as development director for a small Boston non-profit in 2015. Trina and her husband, Nelson, live in Newton with their five-year old daughter, Elena.

    Trina will be working from the church office on Wednesdays, from 10 am to 2 pm. You are welcome to call or come by during those times, or to set up an appointment with her. For pastoral emergencies, please contact Trina on her cell phone at (773) 951-7820.

    Don’t Forget

    On Easter, March 27 at 9 am, we will begin our Easter celebration with a wonderful Easter Pancake Breakfast provided by Mark and Cheryl Wells. It will be followed at 10:30 by our worship celebration.

    Stewardship Report 2016

    “Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above…” James 1:17

    Around the world, people lack access to food, clean water, sanitation, education and opportunity. Each gift to One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) serves to help change the lives of people in these challenging situations. The Offering provides us a way to share God’s love with our neighbors in need. One Great Hour of Sharing received on Palm Sunday makes a difference in the world through three impactful programs: Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, the Presbyterian Hunger Program, and Self-Development of People.

    Started in 1949, One Great Hour of Sharing is a long standing ecumenical effort aimed at raising the funds necessary to provide relief and reconstruction for communities in the aftermath of disaster. What started as an hour-long radio appeal has evolved over the years, varying from 8 to 29 participating denominations, and has become the most participated-in Offering in the PC(USA).

    Last year our congregation gave $1,426.31 to OGHS. As a challenge for this year, our goal is $1500.00. Every dollar helps. Please give generously.

    Christian Education
    Beginning Sunday, March 6th, we are making a slight change to our Sunday school program. On the first Sunday (Communion Sunday) of each month, there will be no Sunday school class for children in second through fifth grade – they will stay in the sanctuary for the entire service. We have two purposes for this decision. First, we want our devoted Sunday school teachers and assistants to be able to attend an entire worship service. Second, we also want to start introducing the children in that class to the parts of the worship service they usually miss.

    Another change that will begin in March – we are working on staffing the nursery for babies & toddlers on Sunday mornings. In compliance with our Safe Child Policy, we will have either two adults or one adult and one youth to provide childcare in the nursery. Parents are always welcome to keep their children with them during worship on Sunday mornings, but we want to provide an alternative if a parent wants to focus on worship without the distraction of a vocal or active little one.

    Superbowl of Caring
    On Superbowl Sunday, our youth participated in the SouperBowl of Caring by collecting 87 items of food and $169 in donations to donate to the Burlington Food Pantry. After the service, Julius Rosenthal, Annabel Greco, Genevieve Greco and Elena Greco took the food over to the food pantry and enjoyed a tour given by Mary Medina. Our congregation’s generosity will help feed many hungry neighbors!

    Library News

    On our fiction shelves: Sisterchicks on the Loose

    Sharon has lived calmly in Chinook Springs, Washington, her entire life. All that changes when her best friend of twenty years, Penny, takes an impulsive trip to seek out her only living relatives in Finland — and brings Sharon with her. The land of reindeer and saunas holds infinite varieties of zaniness for these two unlikely friends — Sharon is a quiet mother of four and Penny was a motorcycle mama before she came to Christ — who return home with a new view of God, a new zest for life, and a big impact on those around them for decades to come.

    This book is the beginning of a series of friends having adventures together.

    Women’s Bible Study
    Women’s Bible Study has begun their new study for the winter. They are studying “Revelation”, an N.T. Wright bible study. It’s not too late to join. They meet on Thursday mornings at 9:30 am. All women are invited to attend!

    An Update by
    Mary Medina

    So far my adventures have included Whale Watching, Thanksgiving at my supervisors house, everyday work at the pantry, protesting in front of the State Building, canning and freezing for the winter, camping with hippies, and gardening just to name a few. For the past 6 months my roommates and I have been on a local eating challenge. We ate from Farmer Dave’s CSA, farmers markets, and the Boston Public Market. We are now entering our 2nd food challenge which is the SNAP Challenge. We have already applied for Food Stamps and are in various stages of getting our EBT cards. The application process has been stressful. Every phone call I make is met with a minimum of 30 minutes of being on hold. Hopefully, within the week I’ll have money for food.

    My feelings are mixed with this new challenge. I feel like it’s supposed to give us the opportunity to understand the struggles low income families deal with on a daily basis but it doesn’t. How could the SNAP office know how much to give us when they are only told the amount we get on our living stipend. Our living stipend doesn’t give a realistic look into what it actually costs the program for us to live up here. I think the amount the SNAP office is giving me per month is distorted because of that. I think that doing a SNAP challenge can be a really beneficial learning experience but there are some kinks that need to be worked out.

    I’m looking forward to the new challenge and for whatever the second half of my YAV year has in store for me.

    We need you
    …to drive George to church
    …to be a Worship Assistant
    …to be a Greeter
    Training available for Worship Assistants and Greeters
    Please sign up today!

    Is It Spring Yet?

    Are you sick of the cold and the snow?

    Here comes Farmer Dave to rescue us!

    Although, it is Arctic cold out as I am writing this, Spring is on its way, I know this because Farmer Dave’s Spring shares will start to arrive in just a few weeks on Monday March 7. Pick-up time for spring is 4-6:30 pm. If you have not signed up yet, hurry! You don’t want to miss out on the tender baby vegetables that will soon be here. It’s not too late. For more information, see Jane, Mary Lou or Mary.

    New England Brass Band
    The New England Brass Band is your neighbor. Well, kind of. We rehearse weekly at the Wilmington Congregational Church. Our site is http://www.newenglandbassband.org. We’re performing a concert at
    The Wilmington Congregational Church
    220 Middlesex Avenue, Route 62
    Saturday, March 5, 3:00
    There is no admission charge, but there will be a free will offering to support the Band.
    The program will include solos and also our program for the national championships. We’re competing at the nationals in Fort Wayne, Ind. on March 31 and April 1.

    Crossroads February 2016

    Dear Congregation,

    A little update on Pastor Mike and Pam……..

    Mike was at rehab in Quincy, MA. They helped stabilize him and gave he and Pam some valuable skills and tips to help transition home. Friday, Jan.22, they made a successful transition back to their apartment in Braintree.

    Mike had an appointment to prepare for radiation, which will be the first step for treating his cancer. He has a sizeable scar on his head, which he sometimes covers with a hat; it is winter and chilly after all.

    Pam began her chemotherapy this week, the side effects of which remain to be seen, but she is hopeful and her daughter has been chauffeur in chief. They have been receiving a few visits, many cards and emails. Caring Bridge has been a great way to communicate updates and for all who wish to, to remain in the loop. For those who haven’t had a chance and are interested, you can find and join by going to caringbridge.com and search for Rev Mike. You must give an email and set up an account but you don’t receive spam and it is free.

    Mike and Pam have expressed gratitude and feel blessed by all the outreach, thoughts and prayers. They continue to enjoy cards and emails.

    Transportation is covered thus far, this is not to say that it may not be a need in the future, but for the time being, they are doing well in that department. Meals are greatly appreciated and the biggest help these days. Between Pam starting chemo and Mike not being able to cook for himself, they are invaluable. Some visits are welcome especially when accompanied by food☺ Mike is accepting all offers with open arms.

    I have created a sign-up sheet for both cooking meals and visits/meal delivery on Sundays after church. Feel free to email, call or txt me if you are willing and able to help out. Meals can be left at church during the week in the fridge or brought with you on Sundays. We are aiming for 3 a week. There are no dietary restrictions. I will check the sign up weekly, or like I said, drop me a note.

    Linda Roscoe and Sue Hadsell brought them a few meals and had a lovely visit with them last Sunday, Kathleen Stegall and Joseph Porte the week before. This is definitely a highlight in their week.

    The deacons are going to be starting to collect donations for gift cards to Peapod. Peapod is a food delivery service that Stop and Shop offers where people can create a food list online and they deliver it to your house or apartment. This will allow them to get food they want or need, without the added work of going out in the weather, leaving Mike alone or simply the extra taxation on Pam during her own treatments. If you wish to make a donation, you can see me, Linda Roscoe or Barbara Karanja.

    Thank you one and all!

    ~Caitlin Rivet

    Ash Wednesday Service

    Quiet reflection, music and prayer will be the focus of this service to assist our meaningful entry into the season of Lent. The service will provide a time of peaceful renewal in the midst of our challenging days.

    Join the church family, and help us welcome others, to this traditional service marking the start of Lent. There will be ashes and an opportunity for placing them on our foreheads as the sign of our humility and dependence upon God’s grace (use of ashes will be voluntary).

    This can be an important start, in the right spirit, to the journey of Lent toward Holy Week.

    Souper Bowl
    More than 25 years ago, the Souper Bowl of Caring began with a simple prayer from a single youth group:

    The Super Bowl football game,
    Help us be mindful of those
    Without a bowl of soup to eat”

    Since that day, more than $110 million has been raised for local charities across the country through Souper Bowl of Caring.

    It has become a powerful movement that is transforming the time around the Big Game into the nation’s largest celebration of giving and serving.

    Through this mission, young people learn what it’s like to make a positive difference in the world – as they collect food, raise money and volunteer to work in charities that provide shelter to the homeless, food to the hungry and compassion to those in need.

    Be part of this movement that is sharing God’s love with those in need. Please give generously on Souper Bowl Sunday.

    People Helping People Holiday Program Thank Yous

    This is a belated, but sincere thank you to everyone at BPC who contributed to the Thanksgiving baskets, bought pjs, underwear or sweatshirts, volunteered at the Wish Tree, bought gifts for children, and/or picked up or sorted gifts.

    There were 82 families with 173 children who participated in the holiday program.  Each child received underwear, pajamas, sweatshirt, 4 wishes, hat and gloves and books as well as throws and generic toys. 33 Burlington High School children received gift cards.  Over 2000 gifts were sorted.

    Without the support of our church, this would not have been possible, so THANK YOU ALL!!

    Linda Roscoe (BPC rep to the PHP Board)