Service of Installation for Trina Portillo

Having searched far and wide, our congregation has joyfully found our new Pastor, Rev. Trina Portillo. Trina has been serving BPC for over two year in an temporary capacity since the death of our interim Pastor, Michael O’Brien in March of 2016. During that time, she and the congregation have grown together, and we’re excited to invite her to become the Pastor of our church. We hope that you all have a chance to meet her soon, and welcome her into the great community of faiths here in Burlington.

We would love for you to join us in the installation service which will start at 3:00 PM on Sunday, February 4th. The service will include communion, and will be followed by a reception in the church hall after the service (about 4:00 PM) with refreshments. There’s no need to RSVP. We encourage you to wear red, as a celebration of the Holy Spirit!

We’re going to try really really hard to live-stream the service on YouTube too:

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 ( 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, 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

Crossroads for March

Holy Week at the Presbyterian Church

Please come, share in these times which recall the heart of our faith. Invite your friends!

Passion/Palm Sunday, March 28
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.

3:00 p.m. Concert – “Seven Last Words”
Our choir plus guests will offer this dramatic musical presentation.

Maundy Thursday, April 1
“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.

Then they may remain for:

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, April 2
It is “good” Friday because, despite appearances, it is God’s Friday.
7:30 – 8:30 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.

Great Vigil Saturday, April 3
A special experience is planned for all youth.

Easter Sunday, April 4
9:00 a.m. – With cries of “He is risen!” we greet one another at our annual Easter Breakfast, prepared by Mark and Cheryl Wells and friends.

10:30 a.m. – ALLELUIA!
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 only.

One Great Hour Of Sharing
When the devastating earthquake hit Haiti recently, money from previous One Great Hour offerings helped to finance the work of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance personnel. For more than sixty years, this ecumenical program has provided funds to help those in need. Each denomination decides how its offering will be used. The Presbyterian Church (USA) uses the offering to help fund three different programs. Thirty-six percent goes to the Presbyterian Hunger Program. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and Self-Development of People each receive thirty-two percent.

The One Great Hour theme for 2010 is taken from Jesus’ last words to Simon Peter found in John 21:17 – “Do you love me? Feed my sheep.” Do you? Will you? Our offering will be received on March 28, Palm Sunday. Envelopes will be available in the pews and can be used at any time.

Seven Last Words
Palm Sunday, 3:00 p.m.
Seven Last Words of Christ (Théodore Dubois) will be presented on Palm Sunday, March 28 at 3:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. We will be joined by some singers from the United Church of Christ, Congregational. All singing voices are welcome. Rehearsals will take place at 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays, at the end of the regular choir rehearsal for the next month or so. Please see Nancy Timmerman if you are interested in solo work or instrumental work in conjunction with this effort.

Maundy Thursday Teaching Supper about Communion
The Christian Education Committee is again planning for a Teaching Supper about Communion on Maundy Thursday. It will be on April 1, starting at 6:15. Families with children in grades 2-5 are especially encouraged to come, but supper will be open to all. There will be activities and conversation to help children understand the sacrament, and to support parents who may be deciding whether their children are ready to receive communion.

Then, for those families who choose, the Maundy Thursday service will offer an opportunity to experience communion at a special time and setting. The sacrament will be shared around the communion table, during the service which will begin at 7:30.

Watch for a signup list in church for families interested in attending.

Deacons Corner

The Deacons are planning to hold an auction this summer. The tentative date is Saturday, June 12th. As before, we will be having a combination of a silent auction and a live auction. Please start thinking about items you might like to contribute. It doesn’t have to be a physical item; consider giving your time or talent. Items could be a box of gently-used books, an offer to baby-sit for a few hours, or a gift of painting lessons. Be creative! If you are interested in being on the planning committee or helping with the event, please speak with any of the Deacons. We will need help with program design, advertising, collection of donations, putting together gift baskets, set up and clean up.

Help for Haiti: an Update

Our thanks to all who participated in the community-wide, interfaith event “Help for Haiti” on January 30. Our choir did an outstanding job! The free will offering, enhanced by some after-the-event giving, has totaled close to $5,000.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance: More than $500,000 has been committed to specific projects.

PDA has helped establish 15 food and water distribution stations distribute 20,000 tents, and provided a $200,000 grant to Hospital Sainte Croix, among other things.

At this writing, we are eagerly awaiting the outcome of our Lenten Workshop on February 28 – at which we will be assembling Health Kits to send to Church World Service. Thanks to all who have helped to provide an abundance of items to go into the kits!

Our Mission Giving

Each year, a small sum is set apart in our annual budget for Directed Mission. In view of the great need for food and other necessities in the communities represented by our members, the Session voted to send the 2010 money to the Greater Boston Food Bank which helps to supply food to many communities, including Burlington.

In the Greater Boston Food Bank newsletter of February 3, 2010, there is a report on a recent study on Hunger in Massachusetts.

The number of people in Massachusetts who use a food pantry, soup kitchen or shelter grew by 23 percent over the past four years to approximately 571,600 people, or about 9 percent of the state’s population.

The majority of these people, about 394,300, live in the 190 communities of eastern Massachusetts, where 8 percent of the population uses the emergency food network.

The results from the Hunger in Massachusetts 2010 study, and its regional counterpart, Hunger in Eastern Massachusetts 2010, show that the Commonwealth’s emergency food network is serving more people but is still not reaching everybody in need, despite the fact that the state’s food banks distributed 44.7 million pounds of food last year, a 30 percent increase since 2006.

The Greater Boston Food Bank distributes more than 31 million pounds of food and grocery products annually to nearly 600 member hunger-relief agencies throughout eastern Massachusetts. The Food Bank is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network. For more information about the Greater Boston Food Bank, visit or call (617) 427-5200.

When you pledge and give regular offerings, you support his and our Shared Mission Giving, which is about 10% of our annual budget.

Annual MS Walk
Sunday, April 11, 2010

Are you feeling footloose and fancy free? Then join us in our annual participation in the MS Walk which we do in honor of friends and families. Our team is called the Dot and Fran Team, commemorating two wonderful former church members. This year’s walk is a 5K journey through the lovely historical Concord area on Sunday, April 11. It is sponsored by the National MS Society.

Managing MS is an ongoing process, beginning with the very first symptoms and continuing throughout the disease course. Those of us who don’t think about taking the next step (or only have an occasional arthritis “ouch”), can show our support by joining the walk. If you don’t have the date free or don’t like to walk, you can help us raise funds for this very worthwhile project. Research in MS is progressing at a remarkable rate, with more potential therapies in the pipeline than at any other time in history. The National MS Society is a driving force of MS research, supporting and stimulating world-class research into ways to prevent, better treat and cure this unpredictable disease of the brain and spinal cord.

Interested? Contact Millie Wiegand, team captain or Shirley Thornton, team member.

Thank you for the Choir Robes!

Grace and Peace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to you and yours, Amen.

My name is Ugwa Oji originally from Nigeria now resident in Brockton MA. I am writing to thank you on behalf of my family and the Pastor and Parishioners of Ukwa Nkporo Presbyterian Church in Nigeria for the robes you donated to the young church.

I will arrange to ship them to my sister who is helping to plant the church. I can not find words good enough to express our appreciation. May I just say thank you and God bless. May the Lord enrich your ministries and enlarge your coast. I hope to meet you in the nearest future and express our gratitude in person.

Once more THANK YOU, Ugwa Oji

M.A.T.E. in View this Summer?

It’s time to start thinking about our housing work week in central Maine. Would you like to be part of this year’s volunteer team to rehab homes of rural elderly and families in need? It looks like our week will be July 25 – July 30. Experience welcome but not necessary. We stay in a dorm at the University of Maine in Farmington.

See Rod if interested, or for more details.

Bread for the Journey

Bread for the Journey
During Lent

Bread – such an amazing, ancient mixture of God’s gifts and human creativity!

Jesus made common use of bread in his ministry in parables, in feeding crowds, in the symbol of his self-sacrifice he shared with his disciples. Through it all, we are given a taste of the abundance God intends for all people.

During the remaining Sundays of Lent, we’ll be exploring the meaning of bread in Jesus’ ministry. How might this feed us, and how can we feed others, where the pain of need and emptiness are real?

Bread-bakers of our church family have graciously volunteered to make use of their skills by providing loaves – and recipes – each week. Here is a list of the scripture texts and themes for each week:

  • February 21 – Luke 4:1-13. Jesus refuses the tempter’s urging to feed his own hunger by turning a stone into bread.
  • February 28 – Luke 9:10-17. Jesus feeds a crowd with a few loaves, and fish, revealing God’s abundance.
  • March 7 – Communion Sunday – Luke 22:7-20. Jesus’ sharing of bread at a Passover becomes a symbol of his self-giving love.
  • March 14 – Luke 11:1-8. Jesus teaches his disciples to pray for “daily bread” and tells a parable of a friend in need at midnight.
  • March 21 – Luke 13:18-21. Another parable: How are yeast in bread and the mysterious growth of God’s kingdom similar? And how do we fit in?
  • I pray that our understanding of God’s presence will be enriched through these weeks. The poet Wallace Stevens hints that the most basic of nature’s gifts to us, such as we find in bread, may hold holy meaning:

    How does one stand
    To behold the sublime?
    What wine does one drink?
    What bread does one eat?

    Grace and peace,