February 2019 Crossroads

Ordination & Installation of Officers
Ordination and Installation of Officers will take place during worship on Sunday, February 10th, for our incoming Deacons, Ruling Elders and Trustees. Please make every effort to attend that Sunday if you are being installed to one of these offices.

Stewardship Report
At the Annual Meeting, Per Capita was explained. Each year the Presbytery of Boston requires member churches to pay a “Per Capita Apportionment” to support the mission and ministry of the Presbytery, Synod and the General Assembly. “Per Capita” means a certain amount to be given for each adult confirmed member of the church (children who are below confirmation age are not included.) This year’s Per Capita is $56. Two adult members in a household would each contribute $56; a family with two adult members, one confirmed youth and two younger siblings would be asked to contribute for only the three household residents who are church members. The Session invites you to use the Per Capita envelope in your envelope sets (if you use envelopes) or to use the Per Capita envelopes that can be found in the narthex. Please make checks out to the Presbyterian Church in Burlington. Every Per Capita payment received will free up money for use elsewhere in a very tight 2019 budget

Worship
It always takes many hands and voices and coordination for worship services to happen each Sunday, and creativity and participation to present the Tableaux and congregational candle lighting on Christmas Eve. Thanks to all worship assistants,
Communion servers and Brenda Flynn and her cast and crew.

In addition, during Sundays in Advent the following people graciously agreed to light a candle on the Advent wreath: Chuck and Barbara Anderson; Jay, Annelies & Adriana Araujo; Mark and Cheryl Wells; Selina Sarkodie, Christian, Bryce and Brendon Kankam.

A small group of worshippers attended the Longest Night service on December 19 appreciating the opportunity to have time to reflect, pray and sing together in the midst of the busy season.

On Sunday, December 30 Mark Vogel led a service of Lessons and Carols that gave us a chance to sing out and reflect again on the Christmas story.

Now we have entered Ordinary Time as we begin a new calendar year. Beginning on Sunday, January 13, there will be a Communion Servers sign-up sheet posted in Fellowship Hall. Elders and Deacons will have the opportunity to look at the whole year of communion services, check your calendars and sign up according to your availability. If everyone signs up for two or three Sundays we’ll have good coverage. Please check the sign-up sheet often.

For the time being, beginning in February, we will also post a sign-up sheet for weekly Worship Assistants and invite you to sign up to assist from time to time.

Trustees Report
The Board of Trustees wishes everyone a Happy New Year and a prosperous 2019. Looking back to 2018, the trustees accomplished a lot with several large undertakings and many small ones.

The restrooms were both renovated with the men’s room converted to a handicap, gender-neutral facility. The back hall was painted with four new doors installed. New windows were installed in both restrooms as well as the back classroom. A lease was signed for a new Xerox copier. The fire alarm system was inspected along with new batteries for the emergency lights. The defibrillator battery and pads were replaced. The radiators in Fellowship Hall were painted. The carpets in the Narthex and double classroom were cleaned and the hall floors and Fellowship Hall floor was cleaned and waxed. New shades were installed in the front classroom and Trina’s office. Many other small tasks were completed concerning lights, painting and heating concerns. Exterior issues were tended to with lawn care and tree removal. All the bushes were trimmed and the ramp was repaired with a partial paint job on the railings. The parking lot was striped after the front entrance to the lot was repaved.

As winter settles in, please be aware of turning the heat down and making sure all the windows and doors are locked when you leave the church.

Women’s Bible Study

Women’s Bible Study is continuing with the Horizons study called “For Everything, A Season: A Study of the Liturgical Calendar”. All women of the church are invited to join us. We meet on Thursday mornings at 9:30. See Marylou Lynn if you have any questions.

Mission

Thank you to everyone who donated to our Clean Water fund! We collected a total of $200. Through the Presbyterian Giving catalog, we are ordering a rainwater catchment system ($75), a water filter ($50), and three jerry cans ($25 each) to provide clean water in communities around the world.

On February 3rd our youth will be participating in the Souper Bowl of Caring by collecting canned food and dollars during the worship service. All donations will go to the Burlington Food Pantry.
So Bring Your Can to Church on February 3rd!

Equal Exchange
Why pay more for coffee and tea by buying from Equal Exchange?

Equal Exchange trades fairly and directly with over 40 small farmer co-operatives to bring you organic and delicious coffee, chocolate, tea and more. Our partners receive pre-harvest credit and above-market prices for their crops. This helps them invest in social programs, farm renovations, education and other essential projects. This can help reduce poverty, improve the environment and safeguard humane working conditions.

Your support helps promote a more equitable, sustainable and democratic food system.
Please look for Equal Exchange products on sale during coffee hour next on Feb 10. Mar 10, Apr 14, May 12, and Jun 9.

People Helping People

People Helping People (PHP) served 95 families with 208 children during this past holiday season. Thanks to BPC and others’ generosity, each child was provided with underwear, pajamas, a sweatshirt, 4 wishes worth up to $40 apiece as well as hats and gloves and books. Gift cards were given to 36 Burlington High School students and 76 gift cards were given to senior citizens. In addition, Market Basket gift cards were given to each family.

The next important PHP event is the wine tasting and auction to be held on Sunday, February 24 from 2 – 5 at the Cafe Escadrille restaurant in Burlington. This is the major fundraising event for PHP. Tickets will cost $50 and are limited to 150 people.

“Glory to God”
If you would like to dedicate a nameplate for a hymnal, the cost is $20 each. Checks may be made payable to the church with “hymnal bookplate” in memo. Checks can be left with the office or any choir member.

Lenten Study opportunities

Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, a forty day period of prayer, reflection, and repentance leading up to Holy Week and Easter Sunday. We will have an Ash Wednesday service on March 6th, at 7 PM in the sanctuary. For anyone who would like to come early, we will have a soup supper in the front classroom beginning at 6 pm. If you would like to bring bread or a soup to share, please let Pastor Trina know.

We will be offering a Lenten study on Thursday evenings throughout Lent, beginning on March 14 through April 11, at 7 PM meeting in the front classroom. For this 5-week series, we will use the curriculum Just Eating?, which was developed by the Presbyterian Hunger Program. As part of our focus on food justice this year, set by the mission and advocacy committee, and as a hunger action congregation of the PC(USA), this seemed like a good way to reflect on how food and faith are connected in so many ways.

The study uses scripture, prayer and stories from the local and global community to explore five key aspects of our relationship with food:
the health of our bodies
the challenge of hunger
the health of the earth that provides our food
the ways we use food to extend hospitality and enrich relationships
the opportunities for action, renewal and transformation in our eating practices-as individuals and as faith communities
Come and join us for one or more sessions! If you are interested, please let Pastor Trina know ahead of time so she can have enough copies of the curriculum available.

Another opportunity for personal devotion and study is the 2019 Lenten devotional produced by Presbyterians Today. This year’s theme is “Awakening to God’s Beauty” and the magazine-style booklet is printed with full-color images of God’s amazing creation. Accompanying scripture lessons from the book of Psalms and reflection questions are included for each day of Lent. If you would like a copy, please let Pastor Trina know by February 10. The price per copy goes down based on the number ordered.

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

Camp Wilmot Revival

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

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

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

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

Mission Team

We are approaching the second anniversary of the first time I came to preach at Burlington Presbyterian, and yet we are also setting out on a new phase in our journey together, as pastor and congregation. I am excited about celebrating my installation as your next called and installed pastor on February 4th! While I feel that I have gotten to know many of you individually, and as a church, I also still have much to learn. In many ways, we have been in a holding pattern over the past two years, as you grieved the loss of Pastor Mike and prepared the search process through the PNC. We have done well at keeping the basic functions of the church going strong – and have even made some changes here and there! – but we have not delved too deeply into what really makes you passionate and energized to serve Jesus Christ beyond these walls.

As a church, you have supported many missions and ministries both here in your local community, such as People Helping People, Camp Wilmot, and Elmbrook Place, and in the wider world, from Heifer Project International to special offerings for disaster relief and in many other ways. We are a small church, but we can make a significant impact on the lives of those in our pews and in the world around us when we work together. I would love to hear from you about where you think we can make a difference, whether on a local, or larger scale issue.

We will be putting together a mission team to determine where we want to focus our efforts as a church for the upcoming year, and determining some ways we can serve God together in our communities. If you know of opportunities or organizations that would benefit from a group service project, we are open to suggestions! And if you are interested in joining the mission team to help guide our focus and narrow things down, please let me know. This is a time for dreaming new dreams and seeing new visions! What new thing is God doing in the life of Burlington Presbyterian Church, even now?

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Trina

Welcoming Our Neighbors

Welcoming Our Neighbors

As we look forward to resuming many of our regular activities in our church life together, and in our communities, it is also a time of new opportunities to be a place of welcome for friends old and new alike. One such opportunity is that our church is opening its doors to the Boston Grace Korean Presbyterian Church, and providing space for them to hold worship services during the month of September.

Pastor Shi-Chang Wooh approached me earlier in the summer about looking for a new place for his congregation to worship, as the church where they were meeting in Lexington had grown and needed to expand its own use of the church building. After an initial conversation with the session, we have agreed to shared use of the church for the month of September, and possibly for a longer-term basis. The Korean Church will worship on Sunday afternoons at 2:00, and hold a Wednesday evening Bible study and Friday evening prayer meeting.

Many of the people who come to the Korean Church are here as students, doctors, or other professionals who are in one- to two-year training programs from Korea. The church has grown in the last three years from 12 adults and one child, to about 45 adults and 30 children! Please make our new friends feel welcome and share your hospitality with them, should you be in the building when they are here!

Looking forward to Sunday, October 1st, World Communion Sunday, I have invited their congregation to join us for worship at 10:30 to celebrate communion together. Friends of mine, Kurt Esslinger-Lee and Hyeyoung Lee, who are mission co-workers in South Korea serving as the site coordinators for the Young Adult Volunteer program in Daejon, will be leading us in worship that day and it seemed an ideal way to bring our two communities together. Please join me in welcoming our siblings in Christ to the Presbyterian Church of Burlington!

Peace,
Pastor Trina

Mission Study Update

It’s been a challenging time of change in the life of our church. As the news has come it, I was grateful to spend time with my friends in the small group.

The purpose of our small group meetings is to gain a realistic picture of our congregation’s place in its life so that we can make a collective decision about our direction for future ministry.

Most of the small groups are about halfway through the New Beginnings curriculum. We’ve talked about who we are now in Session 1. Session 2 covered our reactions to the New Beginnings report. Session 3 was a discussion of our community (along with the hard question of how we define our community). We are still looking ahead to sessions on “Our Church In God’s Mission”, “Discovering Our Options” and “Navigating Change”. In that last session, our small groups will create a recommendation for what direction we think we should use to go in next.

Once these recommendations are made, the small group leaders will come together to hash out the similarities and differences between our recommendations, and then use them to craft an understanding of our shared mission. We use THAT understanding to put together an idea of what kind of pastor we will need to help us accomplish the mission.

It’s a long process, but I love how it is building deeper relationships among us. I also love how the choices in our church aren’t left up to habit, or to some distant “them”, but come from the hearts of the people in our community.

If you haven’t been able to attend a small group meeting, you’re not out of luck. We still have sessions remaining, and we’d love to have you join. Reach out to me, and I’ll help you find the best one.

If you are interested in reading the New Beginnings report, here’s a link.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzuXqf_nuBMXZ3Jub3NUWEZ0clY2eGVvVjhtLUJsLU9zTXlV

As always, I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about this process!

Brenda

Small Groups for the Mission Study

Our church is making some huge strides in listening to God’s call for us. We’re using the New Beginnings process to help us think and dream about what that call might be. The first step in that process was to invite in a New Beginnings consultant who talked to us and did in-depth analysis on our situation.

From that process, we’ve gotten an amazing report back. The next step is to go through that report together and use it to inspire our thoughts on what our future looks like. We’ll be doing this in small groups of 8 – 10 people who will meet together for several hours. We’ve set up 6 small group sessions meeting with many different schedules including:

Sunday after church
Thursday nights
Friday nights

We’ve taken information from the signup sheets and our participant lists and put together some amazing small groups. The small group leaders will reach out to their groups and confirm the meetings. I think this will be an amazing spiritual time together, as well as an exciting one.

At the end of the small group process, the leaders will bring the ideas and enthusiasm of the different groups together and see what emerges. This will then lead the church to identify what qualities we will want from our next Teaching Elder (pastor). Is it preaching? Young families? Immigrant outreach? Food social justice leadership? I’m excited to find out.

If you have any questions about the small groups or the process, please feel free to ask Brenda at church or to email her at brenda@tiltedworld.com .

Help others with the gift of music

Legacy Christmas: treasured carols of the Kirk, is a beautiful album of Celtic-influenced carols supporting Living Waters for the World and the Presbyterian Women Birthday Offering fund. Featuring acclaimed musicians and Irish vocalist Alyth McCormack (The Chieftains), the record is receiving rave reviews, with all proceeds benefiting clean water and wellness for children and their families throughout the world. Legacy Christmas makes a wonderful stocking stuffer (complete with a gift card describing the project) and is available at The Presbyterian Church in Burlington at our Sunday coffee hours or by calling the church at 781-272-9190.