September 2012 Crossroads

Welcome our newest members!
Josh and Stephanie who have been worshiping with us for some time have been enthusiastically received into membership by the Session. They are the parents of Gillian (age 5) and William, who was just born on June 16.

Some of the kids enjoy one of our summer fellowship events
The kids enjoy one of our summer fellowship events

Still a champion to us!
Amina Meho should be as of this writing in London, swimming with the Lebanese Olympic Team – that is, if life were fair. Despite her qualifying times and multiple-record-setting articipation with the Lebanese Swim Club (she has dual citizenship) – because of Lebanese politics much less qualified swimmers were chosen to go. Amina is taking it well (her mother, Lynda, whom we remember fondly, would be proud). Her father, Mo, who participated with the Lebanese Swim Team in the `72 Olympics is having a tougher time – understandably!

Amina writes from UMass, Amherst:

Yes it is tough not being in London but I am also happy that I’ve been able to go on a short break from swimming and been able to really enjoy this summer by visiting friends, going to the beach, I just got a job at one of the campus
dining halls and I’ve been teaching some private swim lessons on the side a couple times a week. It’s been a great summer regardless of the unfortunate news!! I’m nervous but excited for my last year at Umass. Please tell the congregation I say hello and I hope to come home and visit soon!

A big congratulations…
Brad Morrison has won the System Dynamics Society’s Jay Wright Forrester Award, together with co-authors Jenny Rudolph and John Carroll. The paper they wrote was selected for the best contribution to the field during the past 5 years. It develops and tests a model of sensemaking (or things that go into decision-making) and action. It was based on a
clinical experiment which placed anesthesiology residents in simulated crisis situations in the OR.

The Morrison family was recently in Switzerland where Brad received the award and delivered a presentation.


Chancel Choir will resume practice from 7:30 to 9 pm on Thursday, September 6, 2012, and sing in church on Sunday, September 9, 2012 (with practice at 10 am). Musically inclined people OF ALL AGES are encouraged to consider joining us. The ability to read music IS NOT REQUIRED. The choir usually sings for the Offertory on Communion Sundays, and
the Anthem before the Word for Children on the other Sundays. This allows older youth and their teachers to participate. Other Sunday School teachers and younger children can also participate, as long as it is known when they will be out. Please contact Nancy Timmerman for further information, or talk to any choir member. We hope you can join us.

The 48th Annual Choir Festival will be on Sunday, October 21, 2012 at 4 pm at Gordon Memorial Chapel in Wenham. Choir members and other interested parties should let Nancy Timmerman know as soon as possible so that music can be ordered. The Woburn practice is Monday night, October 15, with other rehearsals on Saturday, October 13 in W. Acton and Sunday night, October 14 in Bedford. Practice on the 21st is at 1:30 pm. Even if you don’t want to sing with the choir, give some consideration to joining in this ecumenical event. It is a wonderful experience.

Celebrating 175 years of Presbyterian World Mission, 1837-2012

In the Summer 2012 issue of Mission Crossroads, Presbyterian World Mission Director Hunter Farrell writes about the
175th Anniversary of international mission by the General Assembly of PC(USA). Mission programs were being done by
individual churches and groups prior to that date.

Today, almost 200 mission workers are serving in approximately 50 countries. Over the years, Presbyterian missionaries have started churches, built hospitals and begun schools. Many of these programs have grown into self-sustaining institutions led by local Christians. The longstanding bonds forged throughout the years make mission partnerships possible.

The PC(USA) mission program can help to provide the resources and personnel needed and provide resources for new programs.

Presbyterian World Mission chiefly does three things: sends skilled mission personnel, empowers the global church
and equips PC(USA) for mission. Our individual gifts and contributions to special offerings help Presbyterian World
Mission continue these programs. For more information, visit

Clerk’s Corner

Greetings from Session! As summer fades into fall, we are turning our attention away from the slow pace of summer back to another exciting fall for the BPC. Worship returns to 10:30am on September 9, and that means that Sunday School
will be starting up again – for both our children and adults! If you’ve ever been curious about our adult class or interested in teaching the younger ones, feel free to drop by for class or see interim CE chair Cathy.

We are all very excited about the retreat planned for September 29, and we hope to see many of you in attendance. This was and idea that Session has been working on most of this year, and we are very happy to see the enthusiasm
from the rest of the congregation.

Nominating committee will be convening soon to nominate folks for our 2013 boards. Be on the lookout for those nomination forms, and let us know your ideas!

It’s sure to be an exciting fall here at BPC, and we wish everyone all the best as our programs take off on a running start.

Susan L. Kemen
Clerk of Session

Peacemaking Offering

The Peacemaking Offering will be received on World Communion Sunday, October 7.

Since 1983, more than 4,500 Presbyterian Church(USA) congregations have participated in the Peacemaking Offering. In 2011, the offering raised $1,994,792. The local church keeps 25% of the offering. The Burlington congregation has used this money to help fund scholar-ships for local high school seniors who have exhibited peacemaking skills during their
high school years. An additional 25% is used by the presbyteries and synods to support their peacemaking ministries.

The 50% is allocated to the General Assembly Mission Council. In 2011, the offering was used as follows:

  • Communities of Mission Practice – foster peacemaking practices and promote gun control.
  • Health of Congregations – Deepen peacemaking commitments and develop and launch the new “Season of Peace.” (2012)
  • Leadership Development – Train peacemaking leaders.
  • Global Perspective – Offer travel study seminars and bring international peacemakers to the PC(USA).
  • College and Young Adults – Provide internships and scholarships for young people. Support young adult and college peacemakers. Cultivate a new generation of peacemakers. Launch antibullying efforts in 2012.
  • September Crossroads

    A Look Ahead to Our 50th

    The year 2012 will bring our church’s 50th anniversary. BPC was chartered as a congregation of Boston Presbytery in May, 1962. Our planning is just beginning! So far, persons who have agreed to serve on an anniversary planning team are Judy Brunner, Jen Dewar, Susan Kemen, Stephen and Barbara Karanja, and Rod MacDonald. Other volunteers for this celebration would be welcome!

    It would be wonderful to receive some ideas from the church family about what you feel would make this an especially meaningful, joyful, remembering as well as forward-looking time for the congregation. Feel invited to speak to any of the folks just name.

    To current, former, and prospective members of the Burlington Presbyterian Church Choir

    Choir practice will start at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 8, 2011. It goes to 9:00 p.m. All are welcome. For those who read music and have trouble making Thursday night, arrangements can be made to have you practice on Sunday before the service (at 10:00 a.m. starting on September 11). The choir numbers are before the Word for Children on most Sundays. Sunday School teachers and youth can participate. On Communion Sundays, the choir sings during the offertory. If you want to sing but are teaching, we’d love to have you whenever you can make it.

    At this time, Praise Group is planning on singing for September 25 and October 16. On those days, choir has off.

    News from Christian Education

    The beginning of the 2011-2012 Sunday School is fast approaching and we are hopeful that we will have enough teachers for all our classes.

    Rally Day is September 11. The first day of classes will be September 18. There will be our Sunday School Teacher’s commissioning service on September 18 also.

    By some quirk of nature our Sunday School will have no 4-year olds; all our 4-year olds are moving into the K-2 class. The 3-year olds will occupy the double classroom aka the toddler room. The smaller room will be reserved for younger children. The 3’s will have a bit of structure in their classes.

    I would like to take this opportunity to say ’thank you’ to all who served as teachers and aids in our summer activities program of 11 weeks.

    See you in September, Judy Brunner for CEC

    Peacemaking Offering

    The Peacemaking Offering was created in 1980 to support the efforts of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to live out a deeper commitment to peacemaking. This is one of four special offerings designated by the General Assembly.

    During September, there will be bulletin inserts describing the peacemaking efforts in three different areas. The first is the Red Hand Campaign which discourages countries from using children under the age of eighteen as soldiers. UNICEF estimates that as many as 300,000 children are engaged in armed conflicts around the world. To learn more and/or participate in this campaign, contact Beth Denier.

    The second emphasis is on gun control. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives reports that at least half of the guns found at crime scenes can be traced to one percent of lawful gun dealers. At the root of the problem are “straw buyers” who purchase guns with the express purpose of selling them illegally. The bulletin insert will describe what one church in Pennsylvania is doing about this problem. This is also a huge problem here in Boston Presbytery.

    The third bulletin insert will describe a “Peace Camp” program with neighborhood children. Please take time to read the bulletin inserts and plan to participate in the Peace Offering. The offering will be received on World Communion Sunday, October 2. For the past few years, the twenty-five percent of the offering retained by the congregation has been used to help fund scholarships for local high school seniors who have been involved in peacemaking activities during high school.

    Arts and Crafts Fair

    Our church is planning an Arts and Crafts Fair October 22, from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. We are planning to have a bake sale and to have lunch available for the crafters as well as anyone else. This all will happen if lots of people can put in some time helping. We especially need help Friday clearing out Fellowship Hall and setting up tables. Of curse, we can’t be in Fellowship Hall until after nursery school is out. If you can’t help, setting up or taking, down perhaps you can donate to the bake sale or help in the kitchen during lunch.

    Annual Choir Festival

    We have been participating in the Annual Choir Festival. This year, it is on Sunday, October 23, at
    4:00 p.m. “Something to Sing About”. I have received the list of numbers, and will order music when I know who would like to participate. You don’t need to be part of the choir to sing. Regional rehearsals are Saturday, October 15, 7:00 p.m. at West Acton Baptist Church, Sunday, October 16 at 7:00 p.m. at United Methodist Church in Woburn, and Monday, October 17 at 7:00 p.m. at Second Congregational Church in Beverly. The concert is at Gordon College, with a final rehearsal at 1:30 pm on the day of the festival. Please let me know, or I am likely to bug you! Nancy Timmerman

    October Crossroads

    Deacons Corner

    The deacons would like to send out care packages to people serving in the military. We would like to mail them in early November, so that they will arrive around Thanksgiving. If you have an address for someone who would like a package, please give it to one of the deacons by October 16.


    One Sunday last summer, Elder Brian Davis led the Word for Children. He showed the children several sets of pictures. In each set there was a picture of people worshiping – singing, praying, etc. – and a picture of people doing something to help someone in need. Brian told the children both of these things were important, but asked which was the more important. They all knew the answer – helping others.

    That morning, there were more children than usual in the class which followed. At activity time, the leader did not have enough sheets of stickers for everyone. She told the children those who received the sheets of stickers would have to donate 3 items so everyone would be able to do the activity. The donations were mostly small flowers and other things the children did not care about.

    This is fairly typical behavior for young children. Unfortunately, many of us have not outgrown the “me and mine” attitude. Our own pleasure comes first. God and neighbor get the leftovers. This is a challenge to consider giving a tithe (10%) of our time, talents, and money up front and trusting God to help us meet our own needs.

    Beth Denier

    Arts and Crafts Fair

    There will be an Arts and Craft Fair at our church, October 23. We are in the process of getting crafters who would like to display and sell their art. We need people to help set up and take down tables and set up for Sunday school. Most everything in Fellowship Hall will have to be moved out. Set-up will take place on Friday afternoon and early evening.

    This fund raiser is being coordinated by Jane McIninch and Judy Brunner. The proceeds will go to the general fund, 10% will go into our mission fund.

    See either Jane McIninch or Judy Brunner if you want to help.


    Recently, Hunter Farrell, Director of World Mission for our denomination, wrote about the ministry of Cobbie Palm, a mission worker in the Philippines since 1989. Cobbie, the son of missionaries, grew up in the Philippines. Some of us know his parents, Jim and Louise Palm, from their work at Stony Point Center.

    Cobbie and his colleagues at Silliman University‘s Divinity School prepare students for ministry in the United Church of Christ in the Philippines. That church has had 20 pastors and other church workers killed since 2003. Many others have been abducted, tortured, and jailed because they have dared to speak out against injustice and corruption. Despite these threats, Cobbie and his colleagues continue to spread the gospel and work for peace and justice.

    Our mission support makes ministries like this possible in more than 50 countries. Supported in part by a grant from the Presbytery of Boston, the Rev. Barton Kelso and his wife, Priscilla, will be spending the next six months in the Philippines teaching at Silliman University. Please keep them and other mission workers in your prayers.

    46th Annual Choir Festival

    The Choir Festival will be October 24, 2010 at
    4:00 p.m., at Gordon College in Wenham. Rehearsals are 1:30 p.m. the day of the service and one other time in the week before. Singers should let me know as soon as possible so that music can be ordered.