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.

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.

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!

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!

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:

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.

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.

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.

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

March 2016 Crossroads

To Rev. Trina Portillo. Rev. Trina most recently served as solo pastor of a small, urban congregation in Rochester, NY. In 2014, she and her family relocated to Massachusetts when her husband joined the faculty of Boston College. Trina is a graduate of McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago and previously worked in development for Chicago Lights, the non-profit outreach ministry of Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago. She also served as development director for a small Boston non-profit in 2015. Trina and her husband, Nelson, live in Newton with their five-year old daughter, Elena.

Trina will be working from the church office on Wednesdays, from 10 am to 2 pm. You are welcome to call or come by during those times, or to set up an appointment with her. For pastoral emergencies, please contact Trina on her cell phone at (773) 951-7820.

Don’t Forget

On Easter, March 27 at 9 am, we will begin our Easter celebration with a wonderful Easter Pancake Breakfast provided by Mark and Cheryl Wells. It will be followed at 10:30 by our worship celebration.

Stewardship Report 2016

“Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above…” James 1:17

Around the world, people lack access to food, clean water, sanitation, education and opportunity. Each gift to One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) serves to help change the lives of people in these challenging situations. The Offering provides us a way to share God’s love with our neighbors in need. One Great Hour of Sharing received on Palm Sunday makes a difference in the world through three impactful programs: Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, the Presbyterian Hunger Program, and Self-Development of People.

Started in 1949, One Great Hour of Sharing is a long standing ecumenical effort aimed at raising the funds necessary to provide relief and reconstruction for communities in the aftermath of disaster. What started as an hour-long radio appeal has evolved over the years, varying from 8 to 29 participating denominations, and has become the most participated-in Offering in the PC(USA).

Last year our congregation gave $1,426.31 to OGHS. As a challenge for this year, our goal is $1500.00. Every dollar helps. Please give generously.

Christian Education
Beginning Sunday, March 6th, we are making a slight change to our Sunday school program. On the first Sunday (Communion Sunday) of each month, there will be no Sunday school class for children in second through fifth grade – they will stay in the sanctuary for the entire service. We have two purposes for this decision. First, we want our devoted Sunday school teachers and assistants to be able to attend an entire worship service. Second, we also want to start introducing the children in that class to the parts of the worship service they usually miss.

Another change that will begin in March – we are working on staffing the nursery for babies & toddlers on Sunday mornings. In compliance with our Safe Child Policy, we will have either two adults or one adult and one youth to provide childcare in the nursery. Parents are always welcome to keep their children with them during worship on Sunday mornings, but we want to provide an alternative if a parent wants to focus on worship without the distraction of a vocal or active little one.

Superbowl of Caring
On Superbowl Sunday, our youth participated in the SouperBowl of Caring by collecting 87 items of food and $169 in donations to donate to the Burlington Food Pantry. After the service, Julius Rosenthal, Annabel Greco, Genevieve Greco and Elena Greco took the food over to the food pantry and enjoyed a tour given by Mary Medina. Our congregation’s generosity will help feed many hungry neighbors!

Library News

On our fiction shelves: Sisterchicks on the Loose

Sharon has lived calmly in Chinook Springs, Washington, her entire life. All that changes when her best friend of twenty years, Penny, takes an impulsive trip to seek out her only living relatives in Finland — and brings Sharon with her. The land of reindeer and saunas holds infinite varieties of zaniness for these two unlikely friends — Sharon is a quiet mother of four and Penny was a motorcycle mama before she came to Christ — who return home with a new view of God, a new zest for life, and a big impact on those around them for decades to come.

This book is the beginning of a series of friends having adventures together.

Women’s Bible Study
Women’s Bible Study has begun their new study for the winter. They are studying “Revelation”, an N.T. Wright bible study. It’s not too late to join. They meet on Thursday mornings at 9:30 am. All women are invited to attend!

An Update by
Mary Medina

So far my adventures have included Whale Watching, Thanksgiving at my supervisors house, everyday work at the pantry, protesting in front of the State Building, canning and freezing for the winter, camping with hippies, and gardening just to name a few. For the past 6 months my roommates and I have been on a local eating challenge. We ate from Farmer Dave’s CSA, farmers markets, and the Boston Public Market. We are now entering our 2nd food challenge which is the SNAP Challenge. We have already applied for Food Stamps and are in various stages of getting our EBT cards. The application process has been stressful. Every phone call I make is met with a minimum of 30 minutes of being on hold. Hopefully, within the week I’ll have money for food.

My feelings are mixed with this new challenge. I feel like it’s supposed to give us the opportunity to understand the struggles low income families deal with on a daily basis but it doesn’t. How could the SNAP office know how much to give us when they are only told the amount we get on our living stipend. Our living stipend doesn’t give a realistic look into what it actually costs the program for us to live up here. I think the amount the SNAP office is giving me per month is distorted because of that. I think that doing a SNAP challenge can be a really beneficial learning experience but there are some kinks that need to be worked out.

I’m looking forward to the new challenge and for whatever the second half of my YAV year has in store for me.

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!

Is It Spring Yet?

Are you sick of the cold and the snow?

Here comes Farmer Dave to rescue us!

Although, it is Arctic cold out as I am writing this, Spring is on its way, I know this because Farmer Dave’s Spring shares will start to arrive in just a few weeks on Monday March 7. Pick-up time for spring is 4-6:30 pm. If you have not signed up yet, hurry! You don’t want to miss out on the tender baby vegetables that will soon be here. It’s not too late. For more information, see Jane, Mary Lou or Mary.

New England Brass Band
The New England Brass Band is your neighbor. Well, kind of. We rehearse weekly at the Wilmington Congregational Church. Our site is We’re performing a concert at
The Wilmington Congregational Church
220 Middlesex Avenue, Route 62
Saturday, March 5, 3:00
There is no admission charge, but there will be a free will offering to support the Band.
The program will include solos and also our program for the national championships. We’re competing at the nationals in Fort Wayne, Ind. on March 31 and April 1.

April 2015 Crossroads

Holy Week
Our observance of Holy Week begins with Palm/Passion Sunday worship at 10:30 a.m. on March 29. It’s a day of many emotions, as we join the Jerusalem crowds in praising Jesus’ arrival, but then remember what happens as the week continues. The Word for Children will take place at the beginning of worship, as the children will distribute the palms and then lead the congregation in the call to worship. (Parents and children, remember to bring the Fish Banks with you, as we will dedicate the children’s gifts during the Word for Children.) The children will remain in worship until after the scripture lesson, and then go to Church School for a special Palm Sunday activity. The One Great Hour of Sharing offering will be dedicated later in the service.

On Maundy Thursday, April 2, we gather for worship at 7:30 p.m. to remember Jesus’ Last Supper with the disciples, and we will receive the communion elements as we stand around the table.

On Good Friday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. we’ll remember the events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion, from Jesus’ agony in the Garden of Gethsemane to his “trial”, torture, suffering on the cross, death, and burial. Scripture, contemporary readings, music and prayer will guide our reflections on Jesus’ passionate love for us.

A new week then begins Sunday, April 5 as we celebrate Easter/The Resurrection of the Lord by enjoying the annual Easter Breakfast at 9:00 a.m. in Fellowship Hall. At 10:30, we’ll celebrate Christ’s victory over death with a joyful worship service, concluding with an opportunity for members of the congregation to join the Choir in singing the Hallelujah Chorus at the end of worship. (Be sure to let Nancy Timmerman know that you plan to sing so she can provide you with the music.)

Communion Teaching
Pastor Mike and the Christian Education Committee will be offering communion education for families in April and May. On the Sunday after Easter, April 12, parents and children are invited to meet after worship for pizza and salad and some learning activities about the meaning of communion and Presbyterian beliefs about who may receive the sacrament. On Sunday May 3, children will be invited to participate in worship by asking Pastor Mike questions about communion as he leads the celebration of the sacrament that day.

Amanda Moak

Although the idea of warmer weather and less snow on the ground doesn’t seem to exist right now, it’s always nice to look to the future and the hope it can bring. At the food pantry, we are looking towards the month of May (Saturday, May 2nd to be exact) and the Health Fair put on by the Burlington Board of Health. By its own definition, this fair is looking to promote healthy living across all stages of life. We believe the idea of “all stages of life” should be inclusive of everyone’s journey and it should not correlate with age alone, which is why it is so important for the food pantry to host a table.
While donating food to a food pantry is a pretty simple concept, our table will hopefully educate the people of Burlington on the best way to add items for donation to their shopping lists. We will hopefully achieve this goal by presenting a display on what to donate and what not to donate when you are thinking about items a pantry could use; all donations should be to date, and containers should never be dented or damaged. In addition to our board, we will also give concrete examples of what people can buy and donate to the pantry for $10 compared to what we can buy from the Greater Boston Food Bank with the same amount. This display will hopefully show that donating to a food pantry doesn’t always have to be about food. When people donate the money they were going to spend on food for the pantry, we can often stretch the dollars to buy more.
One last activity we are hoping to complete with audiences at the Health Fair is to begin our Wall of Support. We will have paper plates available for people to decorate and sign. Eventually these plates will end up on display somewhere in the pantry to show clients and volunteers alike how many people support the Burlington Food Pantry, and how many people are willing to help out a neighbor in need.
Project Bread brings a fresh approach to ending hunger. These are its goals: to promote sustainable and reliable access to healthy food for all, to invest in the strength and resiliency of local communities, and to collaborate with others in building a robust regional food system.

With the support of donors, corporate sponsors, individuals—and tens of thousands of Walkers—Project Bread works to break the cycle of hunger and poverty by devising, funding, advocating for, and facilitating solutions that change lives across the Commonwealth. It is the only statewide anti-hunger organization.

Hunger exists all across our state, but because it is concentrated in specific areas it is not always apparent. By reframing how hunger is perceived, by putting it within a larger economic and social context, and by empowering those who are served to take part in solutions, Project Bread removes the stigma, connects more people with the support they need, and, ultimately, enables those in need to give back to their own communities.

In 2014 Project Bread supported over 400 community food programs – soup kitchens, food pantries (including Burlington’s), food vouchers at health centers, summer meals for kids, subsidized CSA shares, community gardens, double-value farmers market coupons, food rescue programs, etc. – in 130 communities in Massachusetts.

How is BPC involved?
The annual Walk for Hunger is the largest fundraiser for Project Bread. For more than 28 years BPC has sent a team of walkers and raised thousands of dollars. In 2014 our team ten raised more than $4,000. This year we hope to do as well, and we can, with your help!!

There is a rolling start on May 3rd at the Boston Common between 7:00 A.M. and 9:00 a.m. You can start there, or at any point along the route and register at any checkpoint. If you want to return early, there are free buses available from each checkpoint to shuttle you back to the Boston Common finish line.

If you’d like to walk this year – anywhere from 3.5 miles to all 20, you can register online for our team, or speak to Linda Roscoe, our team captain.

If you need more information, please contact the church office at 781-272-9190 or
How can I donate?
• Sign the team’s pledge sheet on the bulletin board outside the front classroom. Give cash or checks (made payable to Project Bread) to Linda Roscoe.
• Online at
• Donations will be accepted after the walk on May 3rd.

Anything else we can do?
Pray for good weather on Sunday, May 3, for the folks who work to alleviate hunger, for a successful fundraising effort and for the thousands of folks who will be served by Project Bread.

Dine for a Cause
Sunday April 19 @ 6:00 PM
at the Morrison’s Residence, Bedford, MA

Hello BPC Family and Friends,
Project Bread funds most community food programs in Massachusetts and Walk for Hunger is their biggest fund raiser. Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger happens every first Sunday of May and May is just around the corner. Our church in Burlington has a team of walkers. Although I am not walking this year, I am helping them to raise money. So, on Sunday April 19 at 6 pm, the Morrison’s are hosting a fundraising dinner for Walk for Hunger. We hope that you can join us to help this good cause. Please do not bring anything but your checkbook or cash and your empty stomach. Please make your check payable to “Project Bread”.

Please RSVP to Sally Morrison at Even if you cannot make it to dinner, but still would like to contribute, please mail checks to Sally.

Beth Denier, Co-chair – Stewardship committee

“I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.”
Matthew 25:38

One Great Hour of Sharing offering for the Presbyterian Church, USA goes to support water and hunger projects, disaster relief and empowerment programs. Thanks to our gifts, people affected by disaster are helped to rebuild their lives and their communities. The ministries of the Presbyterian Hunger Program and Self-Development of People help individuals and communities to battle hunger, disease, unemployment and environmental problems.

The One Great Hour of Sharing offering will be received on Palm Sunday, March 29. Our offering for 2014 was $1879.00. We would like to do better this year. The need is great both here in the United States and throughout the world. It is more blessed to give than to receive.

The Empty Cross

From the Pastor:

In a Lenten devotion for Sojourners Magazine, Kari Jo Verhurst shared this story: “A friend from college, soon after arriving at Notre Dame for graduate school, removed the corpus (Christ’s body) from the crucifix that hung in his dorm room. Unsure of what to do with that body, he put it in his bureau drawer. Raised a good Protestant, he was used to crosses that symbolize resurrection, not crucifixion.”

A disclaimer: Don’t do this at home, kids! I’m not recommending or condoning the graduate student’s behavior. If you choose to attend Notre Dame, you don’t have to give up your Protestant heritage, but you probably ought to respect the Roman Catholic beliefs of your hosts. But the student’s action does identify a clear difference between two major streams of Christianity. The empty cross of Protestantism represents victory over death while the crucifix of Catholicism emphasizes the depths of his suffering. For those of us who follow Christ, is it an either/or decision? I don’t think so.

I’m a lifelong Presbyterian. I was confirmed at a Maundy Thursday service, where the focus was on the Last Supper. Looking back, I think my experience was very much like most Presbyterians: historically, we Presbyterians have moved too easily from Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem to the joy of Easter, without entering deeply into the mystery of his suffering and death. Growing up, I attended only one Maundy Thursday service, and that was primarily because I was being confirmed and receiving communion for the first time. Growing up, I never experienced any focus on the depths of Jesus’ suffering.

My arrival at Princeton Seminary coincided with a liturgical renewal movement in the Presbyterian Church. At seminary, I experienced worship services on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday along with a Saturday night Easter vigil that touched my heart and soul very deeply and gave me a much richer understanding of the meaning of Holy Week.

Don’t worry; I’m still an empty cross kind of guy. We worship a risen Lord. For communion, we gather around a table—a symbol of fellowship—rather than around an altar—a symbol of sacrifice. Still, we need to remember and honor the suffering that Jesus Christ endured for us. The empty cross vs. the crucifix is not simply an either/or decision—it is a “both/and” decision. A complete understanding of the events of Holy Week requires both: meditation on Christ’s suffering as well as the incredible joy of Jesus’ victory over death.

That’s why what we used to call Palm Sunday is now called Palm/Passion Sunday. In our service on March 29, our children are going to help us raise the roof with “Hosannas” at the beginning of worship, but as the service continues, the focus will shift to the meaning of Christ’s passion for us. I hope you can be there not only on Palm/Passion Sunday but also on Maundy Thursday (7:30 p.m.) and Good Friday (7:30 p.m.) On Good Friday, we will leave the sanctuary in darkness, with only the Christ Candle lighted, symbolizing that “the light shines in the darkness” as we anticipate the joy of Resurrection. This Holy Week and Easter, I hope that each one of us can, to borrow a phrase from the late scholar Marcus Borg, “hear the Story again for the first time”.

The Peace of the Lord be with you,


Easter at the Presbyterian Church With Breakfast, Special Music

A fellowship breakfast open to all begins the day as the Presbyterian Church celebrates Easter this Sunday, March 31 2013. All members and friends are warmly invited, with no reservations necessary. Breakfast will be served from 9:00 to 9:30 a.m. Mark and Cheryl Wells will be leading a team of volunteers in producing a plentiful meal.

At 10:30 a.m., with cheers of He is risen! and Alleluia! all will gather in the flower-filled sanctuary for the celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord. The church’s pastor, the Rev. Roderick MacDonald, will offer a brief message of faith on the theme, “Listen to Whom?”. Glorious music will express the joy of new life, featuring the Chancel Choir, Carillon (handbell) Choir, a brass quartet, congregational hymns including the traditional singing of “Lord of the Dance,” and concluding with choir singing the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah.

Children are a vital part of the church, and all ages will be welcome in the sanctuary for this family-friendly time of worship.

Other special observances for Holy Week include a Maundy Thursday service of Holy Communion, which recalls Jesus’ last supper with his disciples, Thursday, March 28 at 7:30 p.m. On Good Friday, March 29 at 7:30 p.m., there is a vigil service, during which various parts of the Passion story of Jesus are read, and candles gradually extinguished until the sanctuary is in darkness. Time for quiet meditation and prayer follows each reading.

New and longtime friends from the community are invited to these events. The church is committed to welcoming the believing and the seeking, the questioning and the doubting, God’s children of every background and lifestyle.

The church is located at 335 Cambridge Street, at the intersection with Wilmington Road. For more information, call the church office at 781-272-9190 or email All are invited to visit the church’s website at