April 2018 Crossroads

GLORY TO GOD!!

Can you finish the lines of these hymns?

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

-Lift high _______________________________________________________________

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Confirmation Class

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Worship Committee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless,
Jennifer Dewar

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

March 2018 Crossroads

Holy Week is Coming!
If you want to follow along with all the church activities easily, you can add the BPC calendar to your calendar using this link! We also post special activities on our Facebook Page.

Passion/Palm Sunday, March 25
Remembering Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem to confront the power of sin and death.
10:30 a.m. Worship
In keeping with tradition, there will be a palm procession, special music,
and the dedication of our One Great Hour of Sharing offering.

Maundy Thursday, March 29
Remembering the Last Supper
“Maundy Thursday” gets its name from Jesus’ “new commandment”
(mandatum in Latin) to love one another as He has loved us.

6:15 p.m.
Family teaching supper about communion −
Gathering for all families with conversation about the sacrament.
Families are invited to remain for the service and partake of communion.

7:30 p.m.
A brief service with celebration of the Lord’s Supper—
on the night we remember Jesus’ last meal with his disciples.
Communion is served around the communion table.

Good Friday, March 30
The Day of Jesus’ Crucifixion
It is “good” Friday because, despite appearances, it is God’s Friday.

7:30 p.m.
A vigil of prayer, readings, and extinguishing of candles in the darkened sanctuary, as we reflect on the meaning of Jesus’ crucifixion, of our lives, and our world.

Easter Sunday, April 1
The Day of Resurrection

9:00 a.m.
With cries of “He is risen!” we greet one another at our annual Easter Breakfast.
Hosted by Mark and Cheryl Wells.

10:30 a.m. − ALLELUIA!
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

Worship will celebrate the heart of the Good News, with jubilant music.
This is the love that overcomes death!

No Sunday School − worship will be for the whole family.
There will be child care for infants and toddlers in the Nursery.

News of our Church Family

A big thank you …
To all involved in the organizing, and achieving a fabulous Installation celebration for our new Pastor, Rev. Trina Portillo. It was truly a joyous occasion! If you missed it, check it out on YouTube. https://youtu.be/WEh4X28L1YU

Goodbye…
To our friends from the Boston Grace Presbyterian Church. They have moved on to a bigger church, the First Baptist Church in Bedford.

Curbside Ashes

To start off the season of Lent we tried a new service for the commuters, offering them curbside ashes the afternoon of Ash Wednesday. Happily a few commuters did opt to receive ashes as they picked up their cars on February 14. Pastor Trina, Claudia Waite and Ken and Jen Dewar participated in dispensing the ashes. After that outreach, we were joined by the Vogels and James Myers for a light supper of soup, chili and delicious cornbread prior to the Ash Wednesday service.

Extra Voices Needed!

During the morning service on March 18, The Chancel Choir will be singing “In The Final Week”: A Cantata for Holy Week by John Purifoy. The cantata is a musical telling of the events of the last week of Christ’s earthly ministry. Each week during our regular Thursday night choir rehearsal, 7:30 to 8:30 pm, we will dedicate the last half of rehearsal to practicing the cantata. The cantata itself consists of six pieces of music, separated by narration: total length 25 to 30 minutes.

There will be other opportunities to make music throughout Holy Week … from Palm Sunday to Maundy Thursday, Good Friday AND Easter!! I am actively seeking percussionists for an upcoming anthem, as well as youth voices for a special piece on Palm Sunday (March 25).

All voices and instrumentalists of all ages are welcome!!! If you are interested in joining in any of these musical presentations, please contact Claudia! (Or drop a comment on the page and we’ll connect you.)

Confirmation Class

Our confirmation class is off to a great start! We have eight young people in the class, and we are open to more students joining us at our next meeting. If you, or your child, is in 8th grade or above, and would like to join this year’s confirmation class, please speak to Pastor Trina before our next class on March 4th. The class meeting schedule is below.

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

Schedule – Spring 2018
Confirmation Class will meet the following Sundays from 12-1:15 pm in front classroom.
Please speak to Pastor Trina if you need to sign up
February 18
March 4
March 18
April 8
April 22
April 29 (make up session)
May 6
May 20
June 3 – meet with Session members and present statement of faith
June 10 – Confirmation Sunday

Given that we only have 7 or 8 class dates, we have a lot of material to cover in our time together. If you are going to have to miss more than 2 classes, please speak to Trina about arranging another time we can meet. There will be one make up session on April 29th.

Trustees Report
At our first meeting after the annual meeting, we decided to keep the same assignments for the coming year since the board had no new members.

As most of you know, Boston Grace Presbyterian Church, who rented our space since September 1, 2017, will be leaving at the end of February for a new home in Bedford. Since they took care of closing up on Sunday afternoon, we now must be diligent in making sure the church is secure after we leave. Please be sure to lock all windows and doors, turn all lights out (especially the rest rooms) and clean up after coffee hour. This is a responsibility of all our members, not just a few.

Christian Education
Our youth participated in the Souper Bowl of Caring on January 28th, collecting 90 items of food and $75 to donate to the Burlington Food Pantry.

On Thursday, March 29th we will hold a Communion Workshop for elementary age students and their parents, starting at 6:15 with pizza. We’ll explore the origin and meaning of the Communion Sacrament. Afterwards, all participants will be invited to stay for the Maundy Thursday worship service, which begins at 7:30, which will include the Celebration of the Lord’s Supper.

Parents!
All the youth of the church will be participating in the Procession of the Palms at the beginning of the service. We kindly ask that they arrive at church no later than 9:45 am on Sunday, March 25!
Mark your calendar and thank you!!

Women’s Bible Study is beginning a study of the Book of James on March 8. All women are invited to attend! Please join us on Thursday mornings from 9:30 to 11:00 am.

People Helping People
People Helping People’s holiday program was successful once again. 86 families with 185 children received gifts. Families received Market Basket gift cards and senior citizens received Target gift cards and holiday baskets. This year we reached out to folks living in senior housing to let them know the pantry is available and to give gifts.
Upcoming events for PHP are a presence at the town election in April and participation in the annual postal food drive in May.

Food Pantry Needs
We receive donations for the Food Pantry on the 1st Sunday of each month. The Food Pantry needs donations on a continuing basis. Please consider purchasing some 20 oz. dish detergent, individually wrapped bars of soap or bottles of shampoo. Your help is appreciated. Thank you!

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

We will explore these topics in a one-session new member’s class this spring, at a date to be determined. If you are interested in learning more, please speak to Pastor Trina and let her know! There is no pressure to join, if you want to just come and hear more about membership in the church, that is absolutely fine. Whether you’ve been coming for a few weeks, or for a few years, you are welcome to attend the class!

FOURTHFEST
April 29, 2018, 2:30 to 5:30

District Hall, Boston

Fourth Fest is a chance to honor over two decades of Fourth Presbyterian Church’s service in the neighborhood of South Boston! Celebrate with us the joy of our Summer Meals Programs, our after school music and arts programming, our youth outreach and youth organizing project, our food pantry, and our many other community ministries.

We’ll have good food, a musical and magical program, a silent auction, and a live auction. Join us for the celebration!

GOIN’ GREEN
A Family FUNdraiser for the Boston YAV Program

March 17, 2018 – 4pm to 7pm

First Presbyterian Church in Needham
1458 Great Plain Avenue

Music, Games and Festive Food!
Swing and Sway with the Ipswich Jazz Band – Matthew Small, Conductor
Play games with Friends and Family
Enjoy a festive meal with a green theme
Get to know our YAVs and what they do
Wear green!
Tickets $15/single. $40/family.
$150/table sponsorship + 4 tickets

For tickets go to:
https://goo.gl/PRc2WB

Changing of the Guard at Worship Committee
Newly installed Elder, Chuck Anderson is the new chair of the committee. He will begin his duties when we meet on Sunday February 25 to make plans for the rest of Lent, Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter.

Communion will be served on Sunday, March 4 and around the Table on Maundy Thursday, March 29.

Just in case inquiring minds want to know, here is the official job description of the Worship Committee.

WORSHIP COMMITTEE PURPOSE:
To coordinate worship experiences at BPC, both weekly and special services, and recommend changes as appropriate. To support this purpose, the pastor and organist/music director are standing members of the committee.

RESPONSIBILITIES:
The committee coordinates all worship needs, including the following.

Worship assistants: Provide sign-up sheets and recruit lay members as assistants, as well as maintaining records of which members have served as worship assistants and when they served. Kathleen provides materials to the worship assistant in advance of the service.

Guest preachers: Working with the pastor, arrange for guest preachers as needed, for instance during the pastor’s vacation.

Ushers: Coordinate logistics for church services, including posting hymn numbers, lighting candles, assigning members to collect offering, counting those attending the service and recording the total, and straightening the sanctuary after the service.

Communion servers: Recruit elders and deacons to serve communion on the first Sunday each month and at special services; prepare and post diagram outlining movement and serving direction for each person; assist servers as they enter the sanctuary; maintain a list of servers and the dates they served to assure that elders and deacons have regular opportunities to serve.

Music: Working with the organist/music director, arrange any substitute or special musicians, including those needed during summer services.

Winter Crossroads 2018

Ash Wednesday Service
February 14, 7:00 p.m.

As we prepare to enter into the season of Lent, a 40-day period of repentance leading up to Holy Week, we will mark the first day of Lent with our traditional Ash Wednesday service on February 14th at 7 pm.

In addition, we will also reach out to our commuters and passers-by with a “Curbside Ashes” service this year. In our front driveway, we will offer people the opportunity to receive the blessing of the ashes in their cars as they are heading home from work that afternoon, between 4 and 6 pm.

A simple soup supper will be served at 6:00, for anyone who would like to come prior to the 7 pm service. If you would like to volunteer to help impose the ashes for any time between 4 and 6, or to bring a soup or bread for the dinner, please speak to Jen Dewar.

Save the Date – Communion Workshop
Thursday, March 29th, Maundy Thursday
Pastor Trina will hold a Communion Workshop for Elementary school aged children (and any other interested persons). We’ll meet at 6:15 p.m. (pizza will be served!) to learn about the sacrament of Holy Communion, what it means and how we celebrate it. Participants are then encouraged to stay for the Maundy Thursday worship service at 7:30 p.m.

Confirmation Class Information session
Calling all youth in 8th grade and above, and their parents! We will have an informational meeting about a spring confirmation class on January 28th, following worship. Please meet in the front classroom, where we will discuss the class schedule and answer your questions. The first class is scheduled to begin on February 18th, and we will meet on Sundays after worship from 12 to 1 pm. The Confirmation date will be in early June.

Please contact Pastor Trina or Ann McGrath if you have questions prior to this session.

Stewardship Report
It is my pleasure to report that the Christmas Joy offering of 2017 totaled $2013, all of which was sent to General Assembly. The proceeds will be divided evenly, 50% to provide critical financial assistance to church leaders in need, 50% will support opportunities for future leaders at Presbyterian racial ethnic schools.

Now that the new year is upon us, it is once again time to think about our Per Capita contribution. This is required by every man, woman and adult child who is a member of our church. This does not include baptized children who have not been confirmed. The exact amount for 2018 is $56 per person so please budget accordingly.

Thank you one and all!
Sue Hadsell
Elder, Stewardship Committee

Worship Update
We continue to be blessed and so grateful for Claudia Waite’s work with the Chancel Choir and for Chelsea Whittaker, James Myers and Hana Lee, who bring piano and organ music to worship each Sunday.

Looking ahead this New Year, plans are being made for the installation service for our Pastor-Elect Trina Portillo on Sunday February 4. We will have regular morning worship that day when Mark Wells will be preaching. The service of installation will be at 3:00 pm with reception and celebrating to follow. The Hospitality Committee has plans in the works so watch for signup sheets and plan to come and be a part of this special celebration.

Thank you to all who have been signing up to be worship assistant and for those who continue to participate as ushers and communion servers. Please check the worship assistant signup sheet in Fellowship Hall each Sunday to see what date is available for you to assist in worship.

February is fast approaching. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on February 14 and stay tuned for some new ideas for observing that day.

~ Jennifer Dewar, Worship Chair

Trustees Report
As we reviewed the past year, the trustees accomplished a lot to keep the church’s interior and exterior appearance looking acceptable to our members. We look forward to the coming year to continue our efforts to keep up the repairs and requests that we get from the members of the church. If you see anything that needs attention, inform any trustee and we will see what we can do. Please be aware of any unlocked windows and doors and be sure to check the heat when you leave. There are quite a number of outside groups who presently use or will use the church facilities in 2018. This will put added wear and tear on the physical plant as well as increased utilities expenses.

Women’s Bible Study
Women’s Bible Study began again on Thursday. January 11. We began our study on the Book of Nehemiah. All women are invited to attend! Thursday mornings from 9:30 to 11:00 am.

Souper Bowl
On February 4th many of you plan to watch the Super Bowl and chow down on tasty snacks. However, some folks in our neighborhoods can’t even afford a bowl of soup. Which is why we participate in the Souper Bowl of Caring! On Sunday, January 28th our youth will be participating with youth all over the nation in collecting shelf-stable food items and cash in order to alleviate hunger. Our collection will benefit the families who use the Burlington Food Pantry.

People Helping People
People Helping People’s holiday program was successful once again. 86 families with 185 children received gifts. Families received Market Basket gift cards and senior citizens received Target gift cards and holiday baskets. This year we reached out to folks living in senior housing to let them know the pantry is available and to give gifts.
Upcoming events for PHP are the annual wine tasting/auction on February 25, a presence at the town election in April and participation in the annual postal food drive in May.

Installation
Please join us as Rev. Trina Portillo is installed as our permanent pastor on February 4th at 3pm. The installation will be followed by a reception in Fellowship Hall. The Hospitality Committee is asking for assistance with the food for the reception. There are sign-up sheets in Fellowship Hall if you can help with light finger foods or desserts. Help is also needed with set up and cleanup. Thank you for whatever you may be able to help with. This will be an exciting day for our church!

Coats and clothes for Elm Brook Place
At about this same time a year ago we ran a coat drive for the folks at Elm Brook Place. We gathered several bags full of coats and jackets and the staff at Elm Brook was very grateful. This year we’re later getting started, but have been assured that winter coats are still welcome as are clothes in like new condition.

Please bring your donations (in new or like-new condition) to the box located in the front hallway. Deacons will collect them over the next two Sundays, ending on February 4th.

Elm Brook Place is a clubhouse program of Eliot Community Human Services. It serves men and women age 18 or older with a history of mental illness who live within the communities of: Acton, Arlington, Bedford, Boxborough, Burlington, Carlisle, Concord, Lexington, Lincoln, Littleton, Maynard, Stow, Wilmington, Winchester and Woburn.
Linda Roscoe for the Deacons

Food Pantry Needs
We receive donations for the Food Pantry on the 1st Sunday of each month. The Food Pantry needs donations on a continuing basis. Please consider purchasing some 20 oz. dish detergent, individually wrapped bars of soap or bottles of shampoo. Your help is appreciated. Thank you!

Immigration Fairness
On Friday, February 2nd at 7:30 pm, the Social Justice Committee and Temple Band of Temple Shalom Emeth in Burlington will be hosting the Shabbat service, focused on informing congregants and guests about The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. This immigration policy is a kind of administrative relief from deportation. The purpose of DACA is to protect eligible immigrant youth who came to the United States when they were children from deportation. An estimated 122 Dreamers a day are losing their DACA status, which means they are losing jobs and being exposed to arrest and deportation.

Our guest speaker, Eva Millona, is the Executive Director of MIRA, the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, dedicated to helping “the Dreamers” stay in the only country they know as home. She will be helping us understand the current situation, as well as letting us know how we can help the Dreamers, for their fight is our fight (as we will explain through the service).

Where: Temple Shalom Emeth, 16 Lexington Street, Burlington
When: 7:30 PM

RSVP: If attending, please email Phyllis Neufeld at pbneufeld@gmail.com to let her know how many will attend so we know so we have accurate amounts of written information available.

If you wish to bring a dessert to the Oneg immediately following the service, please contact Ellen Finkelman at esfink29@gmail.com to let her know what you will bring (not a requirement).

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.