Welcome our newest members next week (June 10)

Session was delighted to get to meet with our confirmation class today after church and learn about them and their statements of faith. Here is a collection of young people inspired to bring God’s love into the world in real and tangible ways! Join us as we welcome five of the eight on Sunday June 10th. The remaining three will be baptized and confirmed later in the summer.

Crossroads June 2018

Summer worship services this year will begin at 10:30 a.m. as during the rest of the year….EXCEPT July 1, when we worship at UCC at 9:30 a.m.

A big thank you to…

All who participated in the Walk for Hunger, including, Linda Roscoe; Tara Goss; Debbie Mirabello; Mercy Agyapong; Vida Pipim’s sons, Sammy and Roderick; Sue McGilvray-Rivet; Caitlin Rivet and Baby Eddie! We raised ~$4805!

Three Great Things!
Our worship service on June 10th will highlight a trinity (how appropriate!) of celebrations:
Confirmation! – Eight of our youth have completed the confirmation class and will officially join the church.
Graduation! – We will honor our two graduating high school seniors, Evynand Akombi and Annabel Greco.
Appreciation! – We will offer thanks for our Sunday school teachers and assistants.

Deacon’s Corner
Earlier this year we collected winter clothing for the folks served by Elm Brook Place. Included in the several bags collected were some spring/summer clothes. Those were recently delivered to the site, along with a check for $300 from proceeds from the sale of Easter flowers. This is how the director replied: “Thank you so much for your community’s kind support of Elm Brook Place!! We use donated money to help fund our health and wellness program at the YMCA, pay for special recreational outings, as well as a slush fund to help people out in emergencies such as homelessness etc.”

Summer Celebration
So that our regular pre-school class teachers can take a break for the summer, we are asking for volunteers each Sunday to lead Summer Celebration, the class for 3-year-olds through 6-year-olds during the worship service. This is FUN & EASY, and we will provide you with everything you need to read & discuss a Bible story, then do a simple craft or game. Please say yes and sign up for a Sunday! Thanks.

New Sounds!
We welcome to our sanctuary a beautiful Knabe Baby Grand piano. This joyful addition to our church was made possible by memorial funds given in memory of Philip Harry Reisman Jr. & Anna Tiebout Reisman, Bill Piper, Bill Simpson, Bobbie Steeves, Patty Rosenthal & Lynda Graham-Meho. Let us remember the loving kindness of those beloved brothers and sisters of ours while we worship God through our music!

Summer Schedule
Summer is finally upon us and here are some worship dates and notes to mark on your calendars:

June 3 – Communion
June 10 – Confirmation of this year’s terrific confirmation class
and Teacher appreciation
June 24 – Special Worship Service to Honor Rev. Rod MacDonald as Pastor Emeritus
and enhanced coffee hour afterwards
July 1, when we worship at UCC at 9:30 a.m.
On August 5 we will host members of UCC and share communion at BPC

Stay tuned for some upgrades to the sound system in the sanctuary, approved by Session in May.

Trustees Report

During the week of May 28th, the men’s room was converted to a unisex handicap restroom. We will keep all the previous toilets and sink (new faucet and mirror) since they are in ADA compliance. A new 36” door with a new closure (one new closure for the women’s also) was installed with a new lockset. The wall as you enter the room was taken down and a new knee wall was built next to the toilet with three safety handrails. A new Pergo floor was installed over the tiles. A new electric heater was installed with a new baseboard. The room was painted a light gray and a baby changer was installed. If you are using the room, make sure you lock the door. We will have a key to get in if there is an emergency.

Women’s Bible Study

Womens Bible Study will be coming to an end at the end of May. We will be having an end of the year brunch on June 7. All the women of the church are invited to attend. It will start at 9:30 am.

Poor People’s Campaign – A Season of Moral Resistance
Most people don’t like confrontation, and many of us become wary when religious discourse threatens to become “too political.” The Old Testament prophets, however, specialized in moral and political confrontation. Consider this passage from the prophet Isaiah:

“Those who enact unjust policies are as good as dead, those who are always instituting unfair regulations, to keep the poor from getting fair treatment, and to deprive the oppressed among my people of justice, so they can steal what widows own, and loot what belongs to orphans. What will you do on judgment day, when destruction arrives from a distant place? To whom will you run for help? Where will you leave your wealth?” (Isaiah 10:1-3 New English Translation)

Jesus, himself, did not shy away from confrontation with the leaders of his day:
“Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you. Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.” (Luke 11:39-42 New International Version)

The Poor People’s Campaign initiated by the Rev. Martin Luther King fought for economic justice for poor people in the United States. The Campaign climaxed on June 19, 1968 as 50,000 joined a Poor People’s March on Washington. This was the only mass mobilization of the Campaign, which faltered after Dr. King’s assassination of, and whose legislative agenda was never realized. Today an estimated 43% of Americans are classified as poor or low income.
Fifty years later a new Poor People’s campaign has been organized to draw attention to the needs of America’s poor during a season of “Moral Revival”. The campaign includes public demonstrations and acts of civil disobedience. The Rev. William J. Barber and the Rev. Liz Theoharis, a Presbyterian minister, are co-founders of the new Campaign. The Presbyterian Church (USA), has endorsed the new Poor People’s campaign, and members of Boston Presbytery are participating in local events. Over 200 people joined on the Boston Common in a May 14 rally and sit-in at the Boston State House, demanding lawmakers confront systemic racism. Six weeks of engagement will lead up to a mass mobilization at the U.S. Capitol June 21.

For more information on the PCUSA’s involvement with the Poor People’s Campaign see the following links:
https://www.presbyterianmission.org/story/anderson-pledges-pcusa-support-poor-peoples-campaign-national-call-moral-revival/
https://www.presbyterianmission.org/story/poor-peoples-campaign-a-national-call-for-moral-revival-kicks-off-on-mothers-day/

The Mission and Advocacy Committee has identified poverty as its theme for the year, in conjunction with the mission focus of the Presbytery of Boston. Each month, we will lift up a different organization working to alleviate or combat poverty in some way. For the month of June, Project Bread is our focus organization. We are asking that each group or committee lift up Project Bread in prayer at the beginning of your meetings this month, and that we also pray individually for the work of this organization, and so many others, who are helping to meet the needs of those who struggle with hunger and food insecurity, here in Massachusetts, and across our nation and world. Linda Roscoe has written the prayer below, which you may use in your meetings and in personal prayer.

Prayer for an End to Hunger

Almighty God, it is difficult to see people go hungry. We ask you to give them daily bread and end their persistent hunger. Pour out your grace on hungry families, especially parents straining to feed their children.
We pray for cooperation and support for life saving assistance to people struggling with food insecurity around the world. Here in Massachusetts we pray especially for the work of Project Bread and its mission to prevent and end hunger.

Thank you for those who are currently working to end hunger and please call forth others to make a difference. We pray for the church to advance the gospel by working for justice and an end to hunger. We lift up the leaders of our state and country, and ask that they will make ending hunger and poverty a priority. We pray for an end to global hunger in our lifetime. Amen

Pastor Emeritus

All are invited to attend a special service, honoring Rev. Rod MacDonald with the title of Pastor Emeritus.
Please join us on
June 24 at 10:30 am
A reception for Rod and Cathy will immediately follow the service.

News from the Presbytery
Cindy Kohlmann and Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri will be standing for Co-moderators of the 223rd General Assembly, which is meeting in St. Louis, Missouri June 16-23, 2018.
Donations may be sent to The Presbytery of Tropical Florida, 1919 SE 5th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. Please note in the memo field of your check that the donation is to offset expenses for Vilmarie & Cindy as they stand for co-moderator. Any funds received in excess of what is needed will be donated to the Theological Education Fund and the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance efforts in Puerto Rico.

If you would like to give online, click here. You will be redirected to the Presbytery of Northern New England’s online giving portal provided through the Presbyterian Foundation. Enter the amount you’d like to give under “Special Offerings” and then put GA223 in the Note/Memo box.

Cindy Kohlmann graduated from Whitworth College in 1995 with a B.A. in Theatre and Religion and Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary with an M.Div. in 1999. While in seminary, Cindy served in the U.S. Naval Reserves as a Chaplain Candidate, where she learned to go to where the sailors worked and gathered in order to do ministry. Discerning a call to parish ministry, she was ordained in 1999 to serve as the solo pastor of the New Jersey Presbyterian Church in Carlisle, OH. In 2005, she married the Rev. Eric Markman and moved to Massachusetts, where she served the Clinton Presbyterian Church for 8 1/2 years. During her pastorate in Clinton, Cindy helped the church become multicultural in worship, leadership, and fellowship, welcoming immigrants from West Africa and Brazil into all aspects of the church’s ministry. In 2010, Cindy added a temporary position with the Presbytery of Northern New England (PNNE). After PNNE went through two years of visioning and reorganization, Cindy was asked to stay on in the newly designed role of Resource Presbyter. At the end of 2014, she said goodbye to the Clinton church, and began a full-time position shared between the Presbyteries of Boston and Northern New England on January 1, 2015. As Resource Presbyter, Cindy provides leadership to both Presbyteries, facilitating conversations about vision and structure, designing opportunities for leadership training, planning programming during Presbytery meetings, and connecting congregations and pastors with both local and denominational resources. To provide balance, she loves walking and running, watching birds and animals and being outside, and reading. In addition to her husband Eric, she has two amazing adult step-daughters and two extremely opinionated cats.

Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri is a teacher and a Presbyterian Ruling Elder. A life-long Presbyterian, she considers serving as a Youth Advisory Delegate (YAD) to the 205th General Assembly (1993) a pivotal experience in understanding for the first time the scope of being a connectional church. Soon after serving as a YAD, Vilmarie was ordained as a ruling elder at the Iglesia Presbiteriana en Caparra Terrace, San Juan, Puerto Rico. At some point in her life, she has served at the session, as a member and chair of several presbytery committees —including the Committee on Preparation for Ministry and Nominating Committee—, vice moderator of Synod Boriquén and council member, a commissioner to the 212th General Assembly and as a member of the General Assembly Committee on Theological Education. Vilmarie has found great joy in working as an interpreter (Spanish/English) at the biennial General Assembly meetings since 2006 and at the past two Presbyterian Women Churchwide Gatherings. At a professional level, Vilmarie holds a B.A. in Education (English as a Second Language) from the University of Puerto Rico and a Master’s in Education (Curriculum and Teaching) from Turabo University. Dedicating most of her adult life to education, teaching high schoolers and adults, she began her teaching experience as a Sunday School teacher. In 2011, Vilmarie and her husband, Rev. José Manuel Capella-Pratts, moved from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Miami, Florida, where he is the pastor of First Spanish Presbyterian Church. Since moving to Miami, Vilmarie has taught ESL to adult students from all over the world in a language school in Miami. A member of First Spanish and a PW (Presbyterian Women), she has served as the Moderator of the Presbytery of Tropical Florida (2017), is currently a member of the Leadership Council, serves as clerk of the Presbyterian Hispanic Latino Caucus, Synod of the South Atlantic chapter, and is a faculty member of a CREDO team. An organizer at heart, she loves arts and crafts, decorating and…Christmas! Vilmarie also enjoys spending time with friends and family relaxing over a good cup of Puerto Rican coffee.

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!!!
June 30, 2018 9:00am until 2:30pm
Please put aside items that you want to donate to the sale. 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!!!

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!!

March 2018 Crossroads

Holy Week is Coming!
If you want to follow along with all the church activities easily, you can add the BPC calendar to your calendar using this link! We also post special activities on our Facebook Page.

Passion/Palm Sunday, March 25
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.

Maundy Thursday, March 29
Remembering the Last Supper
“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.
Families are invited to remain for the service and partake of communion.

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, March 30
The Day of Jesus’ Crucifixion
It is “good” Friday because, despite appearances, it is God’s Friday.

7:30 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.

Easter Sunday, April 1
The Day of Resurrection

9:00 a.m.
With cries of “He is risen!” we greet one another at our annual Easter Breakfast.
Hosted by Mark and Cheryl Wells.

10:30 a.m. − ALLELUIA!
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

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 in the Nursery.

News of our Church Family

A big thank you …
To all involved in the organizing, and achieving a fabulous Installation celebration for our new Pastor, Rev. Trina Portillo. It was truly a joyous occasion! If you missed it, check it out on YouTube. https://youtu.be/WEh4X28L1YU

Goodbye…
To our friends from the Boston Grace Presbyterian Church. They have moved on to a bigger church, the First Baptist Church in Bedford.

Curbside Ashes

To start off the season of Lent we tried a new service for the commuters, offering them curbside ashes the afternoon of Ash Wednesday. Happily a few commuters did opt to receive ashes as they picked up their cars on February 14. Pastor Trina, Claudia Waite and Ken and Jen Dewar participated in dispensing the ashes. After that outreach, we were joined by the Vogels and James Myers for a light supper of soup, chili and delicious cornbread prior to the Ash Wednesday service.

Extra Voices Needed!

During the morning service on March 18, The Chancel Choir will be singing “In The Final Week”: A Cantata for Holy Week by John Purifoy. The cantata is a musical telling of the events of the last week of Christ’s earthly ministry. Each week during our regular Thursday night choir rehearsal, 7:30 to 8:30 pm, we will dedicate the last half of rehearsal to practicing the cantata. The cantata itself consists of six pieces of music, separated by narration: total length 25 to 30 minutes.

There will be other opportunities to make music throughout Holy Week … from Palm Sunday to Maundy Thursday, Good Friday AND Easter!! I am actively seeking percussionists for an upcoming anthem, as well as youth voices for a special piece on Palm Sunday (March 25).

All voices and instrumentalists of all ages are welcome!!! If you are interested in joining in any of these musical presentations, please contact Claudia! (Or drop a comment on the page and we’ll connect you.)

Confirmation Class

Our confirmation class is off to a great start! We have eight young people in the class, and we are open to more students joining us at our next meeting. If you, or your child, is in 8th grade or above, and would like to join this year’s confirmation class, please speak to Pastor Trina before our next class on March 4th. The class meeting schedule is below.

In addition to our regular meetings, we will incorporate a service project into our learning experience, and attend worship services of other denominations or faith traditions. Confirmation Sunday will be on June 10th, so mark your calendars as we celebrate welcoming these young people into full membership of the church! We are also looking for adult members to pair with each of our young people as faith mentors. Mentors should be willing to meet with their student at least once prior to Confirmation Day, and to share with them your faith journey and learn more about theirs. You will also introduce your confirmand to the congregation on Confirmation Day. If you are interested in being a mentor, please see Pastor Trina.

Schedule – Spring 2018
Confirmation Class will meet the following Sundays from 12-1:15 pm in front classroom.
Please speak to Pastor Trina if you need to sign up
February 18
March 4
March 18
April 8
April 22
April 29 (make up session)
May 6
May 20
June 3 – meet with Session members and present statement of faith
June 10 – Confirmation Sunday

Given that we only have 7 or 8 class dates, we have a lot of material to cover in our time together. If you are going to have to miss more than 2 classes, please speak to Trina about arranging another time we can meet. There will be one make up session on April 29th.

Trustees Report
At our first meeting after the annual meeting, we decided to keep the same assignments for the coming year since the board had no new members.

As most of you know, Boston Grace Presbyterian Church, who rented our space since September 1, 2017, will be leaving at the end of February for a new home in Bedford. Since they took care of closing up on Sunday afternoon, we now must be diligent in making sure the church is secure after we leave. Please be sure to lock all windows and doors, turn all lights out (especially the rest rooms) and clean up after coffee hour. This is a responsibility of all our members, not just a few.

Christian Education
Our youth participated in the Souper Bowl of Caring on January 28th, collecting 90 items of food and $75 to donate to the Burlington Food Pantry.

On Thursday, March 29th we will hold a Communion Workshop for elementary age students and their parents, starting at 6:15 with pizza. We’ll explore the origin and meaning of the Communion Sacrament. Afterwards, all participants will be invited to stay for the Maundy Thursday worship service, which begins at 7:30, which will include the Celebration of the Lord’s Supper.

Parents!
All the youth of the church will be participating in the Procession of the Palms at the beginning of the service. We kindly ask that they arrive at church no later than 9:45 am on Sunday, March 25!
Mark your calendar and thank you!!

Women’s Bible Study is beginning a study of the Book of James on March 8. All women are invited to attend! Please join us on Thursday mornings from 9:30 to 11:00 am.

People Helping People
People Helping People’s holiday program was successful once again. 86 families with 185 children received gifts. Families received Market Basket gift cards and senior citizens received Target gift cards and holiday baskets. This year we reached out to folks living in senior housing to let them know the pantry is available and to give gifts.
Upcoming events for PHP are a presence at the town election in April and participation in the annual postal food drive in May.

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!

You are invited to become a member
Are you considering becoming a member of our church? Would you like to learn more about the history of our church, and of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) more broadly? What do we believe and how do we practice our faith together?

We will explore these topics in a one-session new member’s class this spring, at a date to be determined. If you are interested in learning more, please speak to Pastor Trina and let her know! There is no pressure to join, if you want to just come and hear more about membership in the church, that is absolutely fine. Whether you’ve been coming for a few weeks, or for a few years, you are welcome to attend the class!

FOURTHFEST
April 29, 2018, 2:30 to 5:30

District Hall, Boston

Fourth Fest is a chance to honor over two decades of Fourth Presbyterian Church’s service in the neighborhood of South Boston! Celebrate with us the joy of our Summer Meals Programs, our after school music and arts programming, our youth outreach and youth organizing project, our food pantry, and our many other community ministries.

We’ll have good food, a musical and magical program, a silent auction, and a live auction. Join us for the celebration!

GOIN’ GREEN
A Family FUNdraiser for the Boston YAV Program

March 17, 2018 – 4pm to 7pm

First Presbyterian Church in Needham
1458 Great Plain Avenue

Music, Games and Festive Food!
Swing and Sway with the Ipswich Jazz Band – Matthew Small, Conductor
Play games with Friends and Family
Enjoy a festive meal with a green theme
Get to know our YAVs and what they do
Wear green!
Tickets $15/single. $40/family.
$150/table sponsorship + 4 tickets

For tickets go to:
https://goo.gl/PRc2WB

Changing of the Guard at Worship Committee
Newly installed Elder, Chuck Anderson is the new chair of the committee. He will begin his duties when we meet on Sunday February 25 to make plans for the rest of Lent, Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter.

Communion will be served on Sunday, March 4 and around the Table on Maundy Thursday, March 29.

Just in case inquiring minds want to know, here is the official job description of the Worship Committee.

WORSHIP COMMITTEE PURPOSE:
To coordinate worship experiences at BPC, both weekly and special services, and recommend changes as appropriate. To support this purpose, the pastor and organist/music director are standing members of the committee.

RESPONSIBILITIES:
The committee coordinates all worship needs, including the following.

Worship assistants: Provide sign-up sheets and recruit lay members as assistants, as well as maintaining records of which members have served as worship assistants and when they served. Kathleen provides materials to the worship assistant in advance of the service.

Guest preachers: Working with the pastor, arrange for guest preachers as needed, for instance during the pastor’s vacation.

Ushers: Coordinate logistics for church services, including posting hymn numbers, lighting candles, assigning members to collect offering, counting those attending the service and recording the total, and straightening the sanctuary after the service.

Communion servers: Recruit elders and deacons to serve communion on the first Sunday each month and at special services; prepare and post diagram outlining movement and serving direction for each person; assist servers as they enter the sanctuary; maintain a list of servers and the dates they served to assure that elders and deacons have regular opportunities to serve.

Music: Working with the organist/music director, arrange any substitute or special musicians, including those needed during summer services.