November 2015 Crossroads


Mark December 5th on your calendar. We will be having an Advent (International pot luck) Dinner and Christmas Sing-a-long to enter into the Advent season. It will take place from 5:30 – 8:00 pm. Children are encouraged to attend. There will be activities for the children. We will also be having a mitten and glove tree. So please be sure to bring a pair with you. The Sing-a-long will follow dinner.

Burlington Interfaith Thanksgiving Service
Monday, November 23, 7 pm

The Burlington Interfaith Community will be gathering in thanksgiving at St. Margaret’s this year on Monday, November 23. This longstanding tradition will include leaders and worshipers from Christian, Jewish, Hindu 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 preacher has not been determined at this writing. As usual, an offering will be received for the work of People Helping People.

Deacon’s Corner

We are so happy to report that sisters Caitlin and Kathleen are back in the fold! Here’s to the power of prayers!

The Deacons are readying for the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. Please note the sign-up sheets in Fellowship Hall let us know if and when you are able to help. On November 22nd, we will be collecting our annual Harvest of Offerings. We will need sorting and transporting items to St. Mark’s after worship. A list of items needed will be published in our church bulletin. Our church will also be participating in People Helping People’s Wish Tree located at the Burlington Mall. Our volunteer times and dates are Tuesday, December 1 between 10 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., and Sunday, December 6 between Noon and 6:00 p.m. Please consider volunteering for an hour slot or more. In addition, we will also help People Helping People with the PJ and underwear drive, Linda Roscoe will have cards with ages and sizes soon.

We also want to thank all of you for your generous contributions to our recent Emergency Fund drive.
Your thoughtful donations will help our church community during difficult times.

Stewardship Report
Sue Hadsell

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. Starting the second week of 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.

Come Sing With Us!
Nancy Timmerman

All voices are welcome to sing in the BPC Chancel Choir. Regular rehearsal times are 7:30 to 9 pm on Thursdays and 10 to 10:20 am on Sunday mornings during the school year. Regular choir members who are going to miss practice or Sunday morning need to notify the director ahead of time.

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

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

Food Pantry Needs
Volunteers needed at the Food Pantry. Can you volunteer a couple hours per week, or biweekly, or monthly? There are many tasks that we need help with, including helping clients to their vehicles with their groceries, organizing, shelving, and so many others. Find out more by calling 781-270-6625, or email:, or Thank you!

Women’s Bible Study

Women’s Bible Study meets on Thursday mornings at 9:30. All women of the church are welcome! Our study is titled Encouraging One Another. Please join us! We will be meeting in the front classroom.

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

Library News
One new series in our new fiction section is called a “continuity series.” This means that there is an overall story linking the six books but each book is by a different author. In Her Surprise Sister, Violet discovers she has a twin sister named Maddie and the mystery only deepens from there. The series is shelved at the end of the Fiction shelf.
New in nonfiction: Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life.

Safe Child Training
NOV 15 SUNDAY 11:30-2PM (lunch provided).
On behalf of the acting heads of Christian Education, Safe Child Training will be presented after church in the back of the fellowship hall. Anne Boyden, social worker, will describe the elements of child abuse, followed by training on the Safe Child Program at Burlington Presbyterian Church.

Burlington Food Pantry
The Burlington Pantry will be giving all the food for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner to over 180 families, including elderly shut-ins and veterans, on Sunday, November 22nd. 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, 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. 22nd. If you have questions about the collection or the delivery, please call Rev. Angela Wells 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 (bag or box)
Cranberry Sauce
Chicken Broth
Cornbread Mix

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 you would like to contribute money instead of food items, such donations would be welcome. Checks should be made payable to People Helping People. Rotary will be providing the turkeys again 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: Tues. Dec 1, 10 am – 5 pm and Sun. Dec 6, 12 pm – 6 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 Colette Greco.

Snow for December 15

Hi Friends

As of now, we are not cancelling worship for the morning.  If there is a decision to close, it will be made and posted by 9:00 am.

The Adult Class HAS been called off, since we figure that at best folks are going to be slower getting up and out of their driveways.

If we do go ahead with worship, NO ONE should feel obligated to come, even if you have are scheduled to teach, sing, light candles, do coffee, whatever. We would want no one to feel unsafe in coming to church.  You can always reply to this email, or call the church, if you want to send regrets.

One more note: The gun buy back we helped sponsor in Burlington was more successful than the clergy and police had guessed it would be – at least 15 guns were turned in. There may be coverage on the Channel 4 news at 11.

Advent: A Lovely Restlessness

There’s a loveliness to be found even amidst the hard-sell harriedness of the holiday push. It might be in a light early winter snowfall. It might be in a carol piped above mall shoppers that you hear in a new way. It might be in a smell of baking, or a child’s eager question. It could be in the sanctuary, watching a candle take flame and singing O Come, O Come… or in ancient words that promise the coming of peace in the One we call Our Peace.

Heaven knows we need such moments in times like these.

But if our efforts are directed only toward wrapping ourselves in loveliness, we will have missed our Advent calling. The prophets’ messages of this season direct us toward the coming again of One who was born in a dark stable in an occupied town… and as of this writing, this same land of his birth is exploding with rockets and wails of mourning. He came to a humble family and would grow to associate with folks on the margins of his society… and if we look through Christ-focused eyes we see how the real needs of such persons in our land are unmet, even trampled.

Advent’s hope is heralded through the rough voice of the Baptist, challenging us to prepare the way and to bear fruits worthy of repentance. This we can only do by first looking deep inside, and then deeply at the world around us, and allowing a restlessness to surface. A restlessness with ourselves, and with the conditions of our world that call into question our true readiness for a holy birth among us.

And then we must do something, or some things, even in small ways, to channel this restlessness into actions that help prepare the way – in our hearts, our families, our world.

I recently ran across this prayerful poem by Dom Helder Camara:

Take away the quietness
of a clear conscience,
Press us uncomfortably.
For only thus
that other peace is made,
your peace.

May loveliness, and restlessness, be ours this Advent season.

Peace, Rod

Advent begins at BPC

Dear BPC Family,

Two special events to bring folks together as Advent begins this weekend:

Saturday, 6:30-7:30 pm Community Christmas Sing Along (followed by cookies, hot chocolate, and a “special visitor”)
Bring friends and sing!

Sunday, after worship Advent Event for Sunday School families
After a hearty coffee hour, we will create a Nativity Scene (Creche) for
our church – there’ll be something to do for children, youth and parents

…and a big Thank You to all who contributed to our food-and-checks collection for the food pantry of the Presbyterian Church of the Moriches in Long Island. It will be on the way to its destination tomorrow.

Advent peace,

Christmas Community Sing-along – Saturday December 1

Christmas Singers from the past

The Presbyterian Church at 335 Cambridge Street, Burlington, MA is hosting a community Christmas sing-along for the whole family on Saturday, December 1. The time is 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., with time for cookies and hot chocolate afterward. Adults and children of all ages are invited to come and “make a joyful noise,” joining in a wide selection of carols and songs both spiritual and secular. From “Silent Night” to “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” from the “Coventry Carol” to “Jingle Bells,” we’ll join our voices in a spirited time of fellowship. Several accompanists will take part and all will see the words will be projected on a screen.

Please plan to take a break from shopping and join us for a warm introduction to this special season. The Presbyterian Church welcomes the believing and the seeking, the questioning and the doubting, God’s children of every background and lifestyle. So whoever you are, come and sing!

The church is wheelchair accessible.

If you need more information please call the church at 781-272-9190.

Joining with the Characters of Christmas

This year, the Sundays of Advent will be filled with people who play beloved roles in the story of God’s coming among us in Jesus. But we won’t be trying to rush into Christmas early!

Instead, we’ll explore each week the ancient Hebrew and Old Testament roots that help explain the meaning of the wise men, shepherds, Mary and Joseph. They don’t spring spontaneously onto the scene, but come filled with old understandings as well as fresh significance. They help to shape the nativity stories of Matthew and Luke in very different ways. And they reflect many of the same longings, struggles, and conflicts that are part of our world in 2011.

Our children and youth will be important in this journey. Sunday classes are preparing banners based on these characters to be presented each week, and each group will take a turn in the lighting of the Advent candles.

As you’ll see later in Crossroads, adults have an opportunity to delve more deeply into the scriptures and characters for each Sunday during their study group at 9:15 a.m. New folks are always welcome!

And the season will also have regular BPC traditions: Christmas caroling to seniors and shut-ins on December 18; and our Christmas Eve Family Service featuring children and youth in Nativity Tableaux (“scenes”).

Because Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on Sundays this year, special plans are underway. On Christmas we will have a family-friendly Service of Lessons and Carols. New Year’s Day will feature a brunch, with communion around the tables, as a meaningful way to begin the new year.

Many of our members (and some friends!) will be helping to staff People Helping People’s Wish Tree at the Mall for three days during the shopping season to help bring holiday blessing to families having hardships. Our Deacons are planning a special offering opportunity, which will include assisting local nursing home residents with clothing (as you’ll see later in Crossroads).

Come, be part of the real blessings of God’s Christmas. Is there a friend you could invite to share the gift, too?