COVID-19 Planning

Dear Church Family,

We are all aware of the news reports of the growing global spread of the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. While there is a lot that we still don’t know, we do know that this virus seems to have originated in Eastern Asia and has been circulating within the continental United States for, at minimum, 6 to 8 weeks. Until recently, reported cases of COVID-19 in the United States have been rare, as testing was restricted to those who had either been in Eastern Asia, specifically China, or in direct contact with someone who had been. However, as testing becomes more widespread, we are beginning to see an increased number of patients diagnosed with the virus across the United States.

At the time of writing this letter, there are a total of 41 presumptive positive cases of the virus in Massachusetts, and that number is likely to rise as testing becomes more widely available and more people report symptoms to their physicians.
We are aware that we are living in the midst of a great deal of uncertainty. We do not yet fully know what this virus is doing, how far spread it already is, or even how fatal it truly is (early data from China showed an alarming 3% mortality rate, but recent global numbers show that trending sharply downwards to <1%). Complicating all of this is the fact that we are currently facing a higher than normal activity influenza season with both Influenza A and B hitting our community.

What does this mean for us as a church community?

At this time, worship and programming will continue as normal at Burlington Presbyterian Church. An emergency response team is preparing a plan for how we will care for our members, stay in communication, and respond to needs in the surrounding community should a wider outbreak be declared in our area. We will pay close attention to the public health guidelines of the Town of Burlington, Middlesex County, and the Massachusetts Dept of Public Health (MDPH). The risk to the general public in Massachusetts at this time remains low, according to the MDPH website.

It is a good reminder to follow health and safety precautions, as we would during any cold and flu season. Should you be feeling unwell, especially with signs of a respiratory infection, we encourage you to stay home, and contact your doctor. If you have responsibilities at church that day, please contact Pastor Trina and leave a message on the church voice mail so that we can find a substitute for you. It is recommended that people in vulnerable populations, such as those over the age of 75 or who have other health conditions that may compromise your immune system, also remain home to protect
themselves. Please keep the church office informed, too, so that we can pray for and care for you. If you are feeling well, as you come to worship, you will find hand sanitizer in the narthex, and in the fellowship hall and classrooms. Best practice is to wash your hands, as hand sanitizer is not 100% effective against viruses, but sanitizing your hands can help reduce the risk of spreading germs to others.

We encourage alternative forms of greeting one another, in place of handshakes or hugs for the time being. Some of these ideas include a friendly wave, or “elbow bumps”, and using gestures such as peace signs, a bow or nod with hands over your heart.
As time goes on, we may introduce new practices for other elements of worship like communion and collection of the offering to reduce transmission risks. We will also begin to post sermons to our website starting with this Sunday’s sermon. If you have knowledge about livestreaming and podcasts, please contact the church and let us know! Should it become necessary to cancel services or programming based on the recommendation of our local health officials, we will notify you via email, on the church website, and by posting to our social media accounts.

In addition, we continue to encourage best flu-season practices to protect your health and that of others. Wash your hands (for at least 20 seconds with soap and water), cough and sneeze into your elbow, avoid touching your face, mouth, eyes, and nose, take your vitamins, get enough sleep, drink plenty of water, and if you have not yet gotten a flu shot, please do so at this time. Stay informed with accurate information about what is going on, such as from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health: https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019- covid-19 Updates are posted daily.

Above all else

Let us remember to approach this season with caution, but without fear. Let us remember to be gracious and loving, caring for our siblings and our neighbors. Let us remember to be gentle with ourselves and with each other. Let us not give in to terror or panic, but instead let us live, love, and serve as Christ has called us.

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Trina

BPC Book Club!

We’re reading books together at Burlington Presbyterian Church this winter! If you’re interested in reading and discussing along with us, here’s the lineup!

February – Inspired by Rachel Held Evans
March – The Longest Road by Philip Caputo
April – Kindred by Octavia Butler
May – Just Mercy by Bryan Stevensen
June – tie between Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott and The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama

Find them in your local library or bookstore and read along with us!

October 2019 Crossroads

Stewardship Report

The church of every time and place wrestles with the distance between our timeframe and expectations and God’s. In God’s time, even the small seeds we plant can grow into sturdy trees. In God’s time, the fears we carry can be transformed into new partnership and hope. In God’s time, our expectations can be expanded and surpassed by God’s faithfulness. The 2019 Peace & Global Witness Offering encourages the church of our time to cast off anxiety and fear, discord and division, and embrace our reconciling God’s mission to those around the corner and around the world. It is boundless peace God offers. It bursts through the shackles of time and expectation. It quiets the anxiety of each believer by joining us together as we offer our prayer,
“Now, May the Lord grant us peace…in all times in all ways.”
2 Thessalonians 3:16
We will receive the offering on October 6. Please give generously.
Reprinted from Presbyterian Mission

Mission and Advocacy Prayer for October

Almighty God, it is difficult to see children suffer, especially from hunger. We ask You to give them daily bread today (Matthew 6:11) and end their persistent hunger. Provide the food they need to grow and thrive. Pour out Your grace on hungry families, especially parents straining to feed their children despite dwindling resources.

Source: World Vision web site

Christian Education

Sunday school for children and youth has started! This year we are trying to get to know each other better, as unique individuals and important members of our church family.

Adults, please take a look at the bulletin board outside the pre-school classroom – you can match names with faces of our children and youth and learn a little about what is important to them.

Safe Child Training
Safe Child Policy Training will take place on Oct. 27 right after the worship service. Lunch will be provided. All our volunteers who work with children or youth, Elders and Deacons must take this training every three years.
Anyone else interested in understanding what it means to be a “mandated reporter” of child abuse/neglect is welcome to come. Please RSVP to Ann McGrath.

Worship

At our meeting on August 29, the Worship Committee passed a motion to donate 25 of our old, blue Presbyterian hymnals to Elliot Brown for the Christian Fellowship Church of the Merrimack Valley where he is organist. Session approved the motion and the Christian Fellowship Church has gratefully received the hymnals. Elliot served BPC for many years as organist/choir director.

Sunday worship services for October begin with the celebration of World Communion on October 6. In recognition of the many cultures represented in our congregation we will have a variety of cloths on the communion table, several different breads, use several languages in the liturgy and sing hymns in different languages. Communion will be received by intinction.

October 13 is “Bread for the World” Sunday.

October 20 is designated “Children’s Sabbath” and working with the Christian Education Committee, we will invite young people to participate in different ways, such as greeters, worship assistants and ushers for that service.

On October 27 the church celebrates Reformation Sunday.

Thanks to everyone who has participated in worship services and please continue to volunteer as worship assistants and communion servers. Susan Larson would also welcome more voices to the chancel choir. Please speak with her about that opportunity.

Trustees Report

As fall and winter approaches, please be mindful of making sure that all windows and doors are locked and the heat turned down when you leave the church. On more than one occasion, the door to the play yard has not been locked after the children are out there. There is a new lock on the door and all parents whose children use the play yard should check to make sure the door is locked when they leave.

Thanks to those trustees who helped during the summer with lawn mowing and various chores around the church. The front railings and posts were recently painted, the carpets and floors were cleaned and the floors waxed and the inside wall to the front door will be soon be repaired.

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. They also really need donations of coffee, tea and hot chocolate. Your help is appreciated. Thank you

Pumpkin Patch Volunteers Needed

St. Marks’s Episcopal Church, 10 Saint Marks Road, Burlington, will hold their seventh 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 4th and Friday, October 18th. 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.

Bible Journaling

What is Bible journaling? Come and find out! It can be anything from writing a brief note to a full art piece, done in a Bible or in a notebook. We will be doing some basic techniques on paper – no artistic ability needed! Feel free to bring a journal if you would like to work in that.

Life Line Screening
Life Line Screening, a leading provider of community-based preventive health screenings, will offer their affordable, non-invasive and painless health screenings at The Presbyterian Church in Burlington on 10/15/2019. Five screenings will be offered that scan for potential health problems related to: blocked arteries which is a leading cause of stroke; abdominal aortic aneurysms which can lead to a ruptured aorta; hardening of the arteries in the legs which is a strong predictor of heart disease; atrial fibrillation or irregular heart beat which is closely tied to stroke risk; and a bone density screening, for men and women, used to assess the risk of osteoporosis. Register for a Wellness Package which includes 4 vascular tests and osteoporosis screening from $149 ($139 with our member discount). All five screenings take 60-90 minutes to complete. In order to register for this event and to please call 1-866-229-0469, visit http://www.lifelinescreening.com/communitycircle or text the word circle to 797979.

Come Alive

“Don’t ask what the world needs.
Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
— Howard Thurman, 1899-1981

Earlier in September, I had the opportunity to go to a CREDO conference in south Florida. This week-long conference is offered to pastors through the Board of Pensions, which is the healthcare and retirement plans for PC(USA) pastors and a few other denominations. It was a gift to have this week away to think deeply and reflect on many areas of my life, and how vocation is so much more than “what we do.” We are accustomed to think of vocation in terms of our job – what we do on a day-to-day basis. And that is a big part of it, for certain.
But vocation, from the Latin vocare, “to call,” encompasses more than what we would call our work. It is interwoven in every aspect of our life: our families, our spiritual life, our unpaid work, our leisure activities can all be part of our vocation. As Howard Thurman reminds us, it is “what makes you come alive” and feeds your spirit. When we consider the whole of our lives, where is it that we feel most deeply alive? How can we do more of that which makes us feel that way?

As we move into stewardship season in the church, where we are asked to consider the commitment we will make to the church for the coming year, I invite you to embrace this challenge to live into that which makes you come alive. Your financial gifts to the church are only one aspect of what is meant by stewardship. We are called to be good stewards of our time and talents as well, in service to the church and the community. If you have a passion you would like to share, offer an opportunity to the church to gather together and teach us about it. If there is a mission or service project you are involved in, let’s bring a group together to go and serve there. If you are excited about youth or children’s ministry, let’s talk about putting a team together.

Where is God calling you, through your gifts and passions, to deepen your own sense of vocation? I am grateful to be part of a caring, committed, and compassionate congregation, and I am excited about where God is leading us, together.

Blessings,
Pastor Trina

Staying Connected

As we enter into the busy summer season, we are excited about upcoming plans to get out and enjoy our brief and glorious summer months in New England. Whether opening up the pool or airing out the cottage; getting the boat back out in the water or planting our gardens, there is certainly no shortage of activities to keep us occupied! I for one, am looking forward to seeing friends and family, whether they are coming to visit me, or I am traveling to see them.

One upcoming trip for me is to my college reunion at The College of Wooster in Ohio in mid-June. Three of my girlfriends and I plan to spend the weekend together in our old stomping grounds, catching up on life over the past….several years, and getting reacquainted with our classmates. There are some friends with whom you feel that no time at all has passed since you last saw one another, and you can just pick up right where you left off. That kind of friendship is a gift, something to be cherished and nurtured.

How do we stay connected to those who are important to us, especially in a time when many people move several times throughout their lives, and often live far away from the people and places they called “home” when they were younger? There are certainly better ways of staying in touch now than in earlier days, with technological advances allowing us to reach people at the touch of a button, video chat with people across the miles, and across the ocean, and stay “friends” with people on Facebook. But nothing beats that face-to-face time, where we can just be ourselves and have a nice, long conversation with someone we haven’t seen in a while.

It can be like that in our walk with Jesus as well. Sometimes, we get so busy and distracted by all the things that are going on in our lives that we forget to take that time to check in with Jesus, whether through prayer, scripture study, or worship. But when we do get some time to ourselves and spend a few moments in conversation with Jesus, we find that we can pick right up where we left off. And we don’t have to schedule time in advance, Jesus is always ready for that talk, whenever we need it. So, in the midst of what I hope will be a full and enjoyable summer, remember to take some time to nurture your relationship with Jesus, in ways that are meaningful to you. Connect with him through nature, in times of quiet prayer and solitude, and in the middle of life’s celebrations and difficulties. He’s waiting for you.

Wishing you a blessed summer,
Pastor Trina

June 2019 Crossroads

YARD SALE!!!

June 22, 2019 9:00am until 2:30pm
Please put aside items that you want to donate to the sale (see bottom of the page). 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 24th. 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!!!

CHURCH PICNIC! after worship service
July 7, 2019 12 pm
The Aweh-Kisob Family have very graciously offered to open up their home and yard to us…and POOL!!!! The hamburgers and hotdogs will be provided. 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 in Fellowship Hall and indicate what you plan to bring. Please bring your own chair! 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 Yvonne, Nelson or Sally, who is helping to coordinate the picnic. Come! Join us at:
269 Carlisle Road
Bedford, MA
(If you are able, please stay and help with the clean-up)

People Helping People Vacation Lunch Program for Kids

While the news is full of stories about how the economy is doing better than ever, the reality is that 21% of all children in the US still live in families with incomes below the federal poverty limit and just as many live in families with incomes higher than the poverty limit, but that still doesn’t cover their basic needs. Poverty can impede children’s ability to learn and contribute to social, emotional, and behavioral problems. Poverty also can contribute to poor health and mental health. Research is clear that poverty is the single greatest threat to children’s well-being.

Many families who struggle financially can rely on their children receiving free or reduced-price lunch and breakfast at school, so at least their children get one or sometimes two meals a day. For many of these families this time of year is bittersweet; while the kids are excited for their summer break from school, it comes with a lot of anxiety and worry for parents, how will they find the money to feed their children for 10 weeks, how will they find the money to pay for summer camps or childcare to keep them safe, engaged, and out of trouble? The USDA does run a Summer Food Service Program which can help cover the gap when school is out for summer, but the rules and guidelines for running these programs leave many rural and suburban communities without adequate support. For a program to qualify for support at least 50% of the children attending the program must meet poverty guideline requirements, and in an affluent town like Burlington, only about 5% of the residents live in poverty, so chances that 50% of the children signed up for any one summer program are living in poverty are slim. This doesn’t change the fact that in the current school year 616 children are receiving free or reduced-price lunches within the Burlington school system. That is 616 children who will run the risk of going hungry this summer!

Back in 2016, People Helping People designed a program that extends a little extra help to these children and their families. The program is a pantry version of a school lunch: each week families are invited to pick up a bag of ingredients and recipes needed to prepare a preset menu of 5 lunches, 5 snacks and 5 drinks. The menus are designed using the My Plate nutrition guidelines. The program is offered to all school-aged children signed up for pantry services and with the assistance of the Burlington Public Schools it is also offered to all families signed up for free or reduced-priced lunches. This program is hugely popular with the families that participate, and we have received a lot of positive feedback from families about how much their kids like it, how surprised parents are to find their kids trying new foods and how kids love the chance to help get involved with preparing their own lunches and helping their younger siblings.

The Burlington Food Pantry benefits greatly from a very generous community, and 70-80% of the food on the shelves are donated either from individuals, organizations, businesses or local food retailers, like Farmer Dave’s CSA or grocery stores. These abundant donations allow the pantry to have a huge variety of food on the shelves to hopefully provide all clients with at least some of their favorite foods. However, the Vacation Lunch Program, due to the pre-set menu, require large quantities of a few ingredients, making this program more reliant on purchasing its food directly from local retailers, thereby making this program far more expensive to run than the regular pantry services. So People Helping People is reaching out to ask for your help to provide some of the staples used in the program, please consider donating something from the following list:

Bottled water (8 or 16 oz)
Milk (8oz, white or chocolate)
Snack sized Fruit cups or apple sauce
Jars of salsa
Jars of pickles
Whole wheat crackers & Ritz crackers
Peanut butter & jelly
Pepperoni
Snack sized bags of nuts
Snack size raisins
Baked beans
Canned pineapple
Snack sized bags of pretzels, veggie straws, pop corners, or pop corn

If you’d prefer to make a financial contribution to help offset the costs of the Summer Lunch Program, please make a check out to “People Helping People — Food Pantry” and note “Summer Lunch Program” in the memo line. To make an on-line donation go to https://tinyurl.com/PHPdonation and list “Summer Lunch Program” in the notes field.

Stewardship Report

God, from my youth you have taught me.
Psalm 71:17

Each year on Pentecost Sunday, we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the church.
The Holy Spirit remains with us still, connecting us with the church of the past, continuing to inspire
the church of today, and pointing us to the church of the future. Each year, this celebration is marked by
receiving the Pentecost Offering which nurtures the faith of those who are the church to come —
children, youth, and young adults.

Psalm 71 testifies that a foundation of faith established during childhood helps ensure lifelong faith
and service. The patterns and lessons established during these formative years continue to bear fruit
throughout a person’s life. By giving to the Pentecost Offering, our congregation participates in helping
our children, youth, and young adults grow up to proclaim with the Psalmist, “O God, from my youth
you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.”

QUICK FACTS

  • Congregations keep 40% of raised funds to initiate or support programs for young people in their communities.
  • The first Presbyterian Youth Triennium was held in 1980.
  • The Day of Pentecost is referred to as the birthday of the Church.
  • Pentecost is usually represented with the color red, which symbolizes the fire of the Holy Spirit.

    “Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit”:
    A Pentecost Gathering of the Presbytery of Boston
    June 8 from 4-6 PM

    In celebration of the ways in which the Spirit is moving within our churches and beyond, the Presbytery of Boston invites you to join us on June 8th for an afternoon of song, story, and fellowship!

    This is a collaborative Presbytery-wide effort and we need the participation of everyone to make this a successful event. We encourage churches and individuals to share your musical talents with us, whether voice or instrumental, in a 4 minute song, and to share your personal testimony about where you see the Spirit at work in the life of your church and community, in about 2-3 minutes. The special offering will be directed to the Boston Food Justice Young Adult Volunteer Program, in support of the Pentecost Offering’s mission to help the church “encourage, develop, and support its young people” and will count toward the $15,000 matching gift challenge of the Trustees.

    We are also asking that churches bring at least one dish to share at a community meal which will end the celebration.

    The celebration will be held at the Presbyterian Church in Needham, located at 1458 Great Plain Ave, Needham, MA 02492

    Please contact Trina Portillo, pastor@burlingtonpres.org, by May 31 to confirm how your church would like to participate in this event.

    Worship Committee

    As this is being written, we have come through a soggy May and are enjoying more sun and warmth than we have in a long time! Going into June, here is a glance at upcoming worship services at BPC. We really hope to see you on Summer Sundays!

    June 2 is Intercultural Church Sunday on the Presbyterian Planning Calendar. There will be some special music from the Voices of Africa as we also celebrate Communion.

    June 9 is Pentecost, the birthday of the church, and also Teacher Appreciation.

    June 16 we will focus on our Youth as well as on Camp Wilmot. Kayla McKinsey, Co-Director of Camp Wilmot will be with us and Brenda Flynn and Erin Alarcon will coordinate the service with Kayla.

    June 23 is designated Music Appreciation Sunday.

    June 30 worship is being planned.

    Traditionally we worship with UCC on two Sundays during the summer, July 7, we will host UCC and August 4, UCC will host us. Remember that on August 7, their service will start at 9:30 am.

    As always, you are encouraged to participate in worship (yes, even during the summer!), so please continue to check the signup sheets and volunteer at least once in the next couple of months as worship assistant. Elders and Deacons are needed to help serve communion on June 2. And July 7.

    Christian Education
    Sunday, May 26th will be the last day for elementary, middle and high school classes.
    Sunday, June 2nd will be the last day for the young children’s class.
    On June 9th (yes, Pentecost!) we will celebrate our teachers and assistants.

    Mission and Advocacy
    Each month we will provide a prayer to be used in our committee and board meetings. We also want all the members of the congregation to be able to join us in prayer. This month’s prayer is below. Please use it at home and to start your meetings.

    Heavenly Father,
    Open my eyes to see as you see and weep as you weep.
    Open my heart to love the broken and care for those without hope.
    Open my hands to hold what I have lightly and to share cheerfully.
    Open my mouth to speak for the voiceless and to shout for mercy.
    Open my ears to the gentle whispers of your Spirit and to obey what you say.
    Open up my life to the call of your voice and the needy cries of the dying.
    Amen.

    Circus Smirkus
    Craig Garnett and Claudia Waite are hoping to organize a group to attend a Circus Smirkus performance in Waltham in July. Group ticket sales begin on May 1.

    Scheduled performances are on July 25, 26, 27 & 28 at Gore Place in Waltham. Show times are Thurs 7 pm, Fri & Sat 1 & 6 pm, and Sun 11 am & 4 pm.

    If interested, please send an email to claudiawaite@aol.com please supply number in party, ages of children (if attending), and which performance works best for your family. To learn more about Circus Smirkus
    visit smirkus.org

    Take me out to the Ballgame!
    Come one, come all to a church baseball outing!
    What better way to enjoy a summer evening than at the ball park with friends!

    14 tickets available in section 119 for the Lowell Spinners August 3 game vs the State College Spikes. Game time is 5:05 PM. Friends and family are welcome to join! Only $4 per ticket, cash or check made payable to the church. Please send an email to Kathleen at the church office to let us know how many tickets you would like to reserve. First come, first serve basis.

    Summer Music
    Members of the congregation are invited to provide special music during the summer months. Please contact Susan Larson or Rev. Trina so it can be scheduled.

    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

    Yard Sale Donation Suggestions

    Appliances Radios, mixers, bath scales, CD players, (must be
    in good working order). No TVs, no computers or
    computer components.

    Arts & Crafts Pictures, supplies and/or creations.

    Baby Furnishings Pac-n-plays, potties, porta-cribs, safety gates,
    back packs, baby monitors.
    No child safety seats.

    Books Children’s books are good sellers…

    Camping Equipment Tents, stoves, lanterns, sleeping bags, back packs.

    Clocks & Watches In working order or only needing a battery.

    Household Items Lamps, rugs, chairs, kitchenware, wall hangings,
    curtains, dishes, pots and pans, crystal, etc.

    NOTE: Do not bring large items to the church until a few days before the sale. Any large items that do not sell must be picked up by the donor after the sale.

    Jewelry Earrings, bracelets, cufflinks, necklaces, tiaras. Please separate items into plastic baggies..

    Musical Instruments From Kazoos to Trombones.

    Pet Supplies Toys, beds, crates, leashes, collars.

    Plants All sizes, fresh (indoor or outdoor) or silk.

    Records, CDs, In good condition. NO VCR TAPES

    Sports Equipment (Small Items only), tennis rackets,
    basketballs, footballs, baseball
    gloves, roller blades, . No
    weight benches or barbells. No skis, poles or boots.
    No hockey equipment.

    Tools Hand and power, garden, mechanic, tool boxes.

    Toys Fisher-Price and Playskool items, dolls, balls, board
    games, puzzles, outdoor play equipment, sleds,
    video games.

    Vehicles Bikes, trikes, big wheels, wagons.

    Clothing Is Not a Big Seller and Will Not Be Accepted

    Please Be Sure All Items Are Clean!!

  • May 2019 Crossroads

    Interfaith Holocaust Remembrance Service
    Friday, May 3, 7:30pm
    Temple Shalom Emeth
    16 Lexington St., Burlington
    This year’s speaker will be Agnes Bales, our temple’s Holocaust survivor, who has an amazing story of survival. Hearing directly from Holocaust survivors is powerful, and we have fewer and fewer opportunities to do so with each passing year. All are invited and welcome to attend this special service of prayer and remembrance.

    Stewardship Report

    Thank you all for your generous donations for the One Great Hour of Sharing. Your offerings from Palm Sunday totaled $876. Our gifts and our help give hope.
    In 1 Peter 4:10 we are told to take our gifts which we have received and to share them.

    This we have done.

    May Prayer for Hunger

    Lord, the scale of global poverty is beyond our understanding. Give bread to those who are hungry and a hunger for justice to those who have bread. Help us to share abundantly the plenty that we have been blessed with. Amen.

    How to Use the Prayer:
    As a table grace
    At the beginning or end of a committee meeting
    During your personal prayer time
    Any other time you think of

    Holy Week
    Thank you to everyone who participated and helped Pastor Trina and the Worship Committee throughout Lent and with special services during Holy Week! Thank you, in particular, to parents for arriving early with your children on Palm Sunday so that they could participate in a festive parade of palms to begin the service!

    Twenty people gathered on Maundy Thursday for Communion around the Table, and 21 folks observed Good Friday in a Tennebrae service of increasing darkness, with readings and portrayals of significant characters in the story of Jesus’ Passion. Thank you to all who participated and attended these meaningful observances.

    Worship on Easter Sunday included celebratory music with James Myers on organ and piano, soloist Carla Maniscalco and some extra singers in the choir.

    More special music, including the bells, is planned for upcoming Sundays. Also, mark your calendars for Pentecost on Sunday, June 9!

    Please remember to check the signup sheets in the Narthex each week, and indicate when you can help out as Worship Assistant. Anyone, from young readers to those of advanced age☺ is welcome to assist in worship. Elders and Deacons are reminded to sign up to help serve communion. Communion will be served next on May 5 and June 2.

    Finally, we have a special request for everyone attending worship services at BPC. Kindly show your respect for fellow worshipers, as well as for the purpose of gathering to worship God, and turn off all cellphones during the service. This includes texting and any other use of this technology. God is calling, but not on your phone!

    ~ Jennifer Dewar, Worship Co-Chair

    Women’s Bible Study

    Women’s Bible Study is continuing a study on the book of Romans. Winter weather has finally subsided and we can enjoy the sunshine as we study. All women are invited to attend! Please join us on Thursday mornings from 9:30 to 11:00 am.

    Trustees Report

    BPC SPRING CLEANUP – MAY 11, 2019

    9am to 1pm
    The Board of Trustees has scheduled the church’s spring cleanup for Saturday, May 11th, from 9am to 1pm with a rain date of May 18th. 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, wheelbarrows, small stepladders, 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 winter 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 volunteer a few hours of your time for your church. You might even get to know someone who you have not talked to before.

    2019 Walk for Hunger
    The 51st annual Walk for Hunger sponsored by Project Bread is making some major changes this year. The goal is to build a movement of people passionate about ending hunger, while allowing programs to leverage their local connections to engage more walkers and raise more money at the local level.

    ∙Participating programs, such as People Helping People, will receive 60% of funds they raise, with the remaining 40% contributing to statewide efforts and event costs.
    ∙PHP is required to raise a minimum of $500 to participate in the pilot. Once the minimum is reached, 60% of all money raised (including 60% of the $500 minimum) will be granted back to agencies. For example, raise a total of $500 and receive a $300 grant or raise a total of $5,000 and receive a $3,000 grant for your anti-hunger program.
    This means that instead of a BPC team, our walkers (or runners) will be walking for People Helping People. We will still gather and travel as a group, but 60% of the funds we raise will stay local to support local programs.
    The Walk will be held on Sunday, May 5. This year there are more ways to participate:
    New 3 mile walk
    20 mile walk where you can stop at any checkpoint and get a ride back to Boston Common
    5K run
    Volunteer
    Be a virtual walker – details of which to follow

    PLEASE CONSIDER WALKING FOR PHP THIS YEAR!! To join our team and/or to pledge us, go to http://support.projectbread.org/site/TR?team_id=80616&pg=team&fr_id=1380&et=NZALZuMWznWIFUCUPS1pVA&s_tafId=59112

    Circus Smirkus

    Craig Garnett and Claudia Waite are hoping to organize a group to attend a Circus Smirkus performance in Waltham in July. Group ticket sales begin on May 1.

    Scheduled performances are on July 25, 26, 27 & 28 at Gore Place in Waltham. Show times are Thurs 7 pm, Fri & Sat 1 & 6 pm, and Sun 11 am & 4 pm.

    If interested, please send email Claudia. She’ll want to know the number in party, ages of children (if attending), and which performance works best for your family. To learn more about Circus Smirkus visit smirkus.org

    Take Me Out to the Ballgame!
    Come one, come all to a church baseball outing!
    What better way to enjoy a summer evening than at the ball park with friends!

    14 tickets available in section 119 for the Lowell Spinners August 3 game vs the State College Spikes. Game time is 5:05 PM. Friends and family are welcome to join! Only $4 per ticket, cash or check made payable to the church. Please send an email to Kathleen at the church office to let us know how many tickets you would like to reserve. First come, first serve basis.

    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