March 2019 Crossroads

Lenten Study opportunities

Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, a forty day period of prayer, reflection, and repentance leading up to Holy Week and Easter Sunday. We will have an Ash Wednesday service on March 6th, at 7 PM in the sanctuary. For anyone who would like to come early, we will have a soup supper in the front classroom beginning at 6 pm. If you would like to bring bread or a soup to share, please let Pastor Trina know.

We will be offering a Lenten study on Thursday evenings throughout Lent, beginning on March 14 through April 11, at 7 PM meeting in the front classroom. For this 5-week series, we will use the curriculum Just Eating?, which was developed by the Presbyterian Hunger Program. As part of our focus on food justice this year, set by the mission and advocacy committee, and as a hunger action congregation of the PC(USA), this seemed like a good way to reflect on how food and faith are connected in so many ways.

The study uses scripture, prayer and stories from the local and global community to explore five key aspects of our relationship with food:
the health of our bodies
the challenge of hunger
the health of the earth that provides our food
the ways we use food to extend hospitality and enrich relationships
the opportunities for action, renewal and transformation in our eating practices-as individuals and as faith communities
Come and join us for one or more sessions! If you are interested, please let Pastor Trina know ahead of time so she can have enough copies of the curriculum available.

Deacon’s Corner
The Deacons had their first meeting on February 10. They spent time getting reacquainted. Assignments will be given at the March meeting. The deacons will be focusing on an educational series to study the role of the deacon in the church.
The Emergency Fund has dwindled. There will be envelopes in the pews for donations to bring the fund back up to usable numbers. We thank you for your generosity in allowing us to be able to assist those who are dealing with difficult times.

Stewardship Report

Around the world, millions of people lack access to sustainable food sources, clean water, sanitation, education, and opportunity. The three programs supported by One Great Hour of Sharing — Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, the Presbyterian Hunger Program, and Self-Development of People — all work in different ways to serve individuals and communities in need. From initial disaster response to ongoing community development, their work fits together to provide people with safety, sustenance, and hope. Received on Palm Sunday, each gift to One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) helps to improve the lives of people in these challenging situations. The Offering provides us a way to share God’s love with our neighbors in need. In fact, OGHS is the single, largest way that Presbyterians come together every year to work for a better world. Please give generously
Reprinted with permission from Presbyterian

Lent begins with our traditional Ash Wednesday service on March 6 at 7 p.m. This will be a contemplative service with voluntary imposition of ashes.

In addition, for the second year, we will also reach out to our commuters and passers-by with a curbside “Ashes to Go” service. In our front driveway we will offer people the opportunity to receive the blessing of the ashes in their cars as they are heading home from work that afternoon, between 4 and 6 p.m.

A simple soup supper will be served at 6:00 for anyone who would like to come prior to the 7 p.m. service. If you would like to volunteer to help impose the ashes for any time between 4 and 6, or to bring a soup or bread for the dinner, please speak to Cathie DiCenzo, Mark Vogel or Pastor Trina.

Please remember to check often to sign up to be a worship assistant during the next few months. Communion will be served next on March 3, and again on Maundy Thursday. Elders and Deacons are reminded to sign up to help serve communion according to your availability.

Trustees Report

Safety and Security Guidelines
Fire Safety

-There is a fire alarm system in the building that is located near the second front door. Do not tamper with the box since it monitors the building for any outbreak of fire.
-If an alarm goes off, evacuate the building in an orderly fashion and move away from the building to a safe place. In each room, there is a location map on the wall to inform you where to proceed to evacuate the building. There are eight fire alarms within the building to activate and alert the fire department; sanctuary(2), front doors(2), play area door(1), fellowship hall(2) and kitchen(1).
-There are four fire extinguishers: one located near the coat rack next to the front classroom, one in the hallway near the atrium door, one near the back classroom and one in the kitchen.
-If the kitchen stove is used, make sure to turn it off and leave no items on top of the stove except for the hot water kettle.


-The church has seven doors that need to be locked when exiting the building. The doors that are used most frequently are the two front doors, the playground door and the kitchen door. Make sure these doors are closed and locked when you leave.
-All windows should be closed and locked when leaving the building. The larger windows have two locks and the windows in the sanctuary have one lock.
-If the playground area is used, it is recommended that two adults supervise the activity.
-If need be, call 911 for any emergency that requires medical or police presence.


-Make sure that all lights are turned off, including the rest rooms.
-Make sure the church office door is locked.

Souper Bowl
Thank you to everyone who generously donated to the Souper Bowl of Caring. We collected 85 items of food (97.7 lbs.) and $104 to donate to the Burlington Food Pantry to help alleviate hunger in our own community!

Come Sing with Us!
We are looking for a few more voices to fill out our choir sections for the Lenten and Easter season! If you like to sing in the shower, or belt out tunes in your car, or just generally enjoy making music, join us on Sunday mornings before church, at 9:15, and sing with us! We will rehearse music for Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday as part of our regular morning rehearsals starting on March 10th (?). You are welcome to sing with us for any Sunday morning service you are available, and we can get music to you ahead of the date so you can look it over and listen at home. Singers of all ages and abilities are welcome!

We also welcome instrumentalists, so if you play a musical instrument and would like to share your talents with us during a worship service, please let Susan Larson, music director, know of your interest. Once a month, we would like to have a musician, solo, or small ensemble group play or sing the anthem during worship. Let us make a joyful noise unto God together!

Working together for literacy
Nelson Mandela once wrote, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” People in Mangochi, Malawi, know this is true, as they have watched their community be transformed by the Muliko Literacy Project.
Established by Chancy and Miriam Gondwe in 2014, the Muliko Literacy Project seeks to improve the 47 percent literacy rate of the predominantly Muslim community of Mangochi. The Gondwes are community development
professionals and committed PC(USA) mission co-worker Nancy Collins, back row on left, visited with teacher Miriam Gondwe, back row on right, and students in the Muliko Literacy Project in Church of Central Africa Mangochi, Malawi. Chancy Gondwe Presbyterian members. Chancy received training from Literacy and Evangelism International in Tulsa. God gave the Gondwes a clear vision for literacy work in Mangochi, where they have used literacy as a tool for evangelism, spiritual growth and sustainable development for the people of Malawi.
The project trains volunteer teachers who want to start literacy programs. Muliko also tutors children after school, conducts child evangelism through an after-school Good News Club and operates a preschool that generates income.
When the people of St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church (SCAPC) in New Orleans heard about the literacy
project, they wanted to support it. They approached me with a unique challenge. SCAPC requested that donations go through World Mission, which works with partner churches and ecumenical organizations. Since the Muliko

Literacy Project was not a World Mission partner, I suggested that Muliko inquire about affiliating with the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian, Blantyre Synod (with which it had ties). If the synod agreed, World Mission would be happy to send support received for the literacy project through the synod. As PC(USA) regional liaison for east central Africa, Nancy Collins assisted the congregation and the synod in working out the details of such an affiliation.
On a visit to see results of the Muliko Literacy Project in April 2017, Nancy was extremely impressed with the Gondwes and the program. She spoke with the Rev. Alex Maulana, general secretary of the CCAP Blantyre Synod. A memorandum of understanding was developed in July 2017. Now support for the literacy project can be designated for Muliko and sent through World Mission and CCAP channels.
As Presbyterians, we believe we are better together. We are a connectional church. Because Muliko is now connected to Blantyre Synod, there is a pathway for best practices of this dynamic program to be shared with the synod to plant seeds for similar connections. And, very significantly, this program is now accountable to the Malawian church, not to foreign donors, which is the case when programs from abroad are sponsored by U.S. churches directly. And because St. Charles Presbyterian Church is connected to World Mission, Nancy Collins accompanies the program, enabling us to share stories like this with the greater church and inviting us to pray for the work of Muliko. Also, as a result of this partnership, the Gondwes plan to start five additional adult literacy classes in five villages in Mangochi’s rural areas, targeting 100 people, mostly women, and impacting thousands of lives.
Debbie Braaksma, Presbyterian World Mission, Africa Area Coordinator, Presbyterian Mission Agency

Are you ready for some vegetables?
It is that time of year again. We haven’t had much of a winter, but we have had to acquire our fresh produce at the local grocery market. Vegetables and fruits that we are not quite sure where they have come from or how long they have been sitting…in a truck, in a warehouse or on a shelf. Now is the time for all of that to end. On March 4, The Farmer Dave Spring Share will begin. You can pick up fresh grown vegetable and fruit right here at the church every Monday afternoon from 4-6:30 pm. If you need more information, please see Marylou Lynn, Jane McIninch or Kathleen Stegall. New this spring is a bakery share. Fresh baked items every other week! Try it out.

2019 Walk for Hunger
The 51st annual Walk for Hunger sponsored by Project Bread is making some major changes this year. The goal is to build a movement of people passionate about ending hunger, while allowing programs to leverage their local connections to engage more walkers and raise more money at the local level.
∙Participating programs, such as People Helping People, will receive 60% of funds they raise, with the remaining 40% contributing to statewide efforts and event costs.
∙PHP is required to raise a minimum of $500 to participate in the pilot. Once the minimum is reached, 60% of all money raised (including 60% of the $500 minimum) will be granted back to agencies. For example, raise a total of $500 and receive a $300 grant or raise a total of $5,000 and receive a $3,000 grant for your anti-hunger program.
This means that instead of a BPC team, our walkers (or runners) will be walking for People Helping People. We will still gather and travel as a group, but 60% of the funds we raise will stay local to support local programs.
The Walk will be held on Sunday, May 5. This year there are more ways to participate:
New 3 mile walk
20 mile walk where you can stop at any checkpoint and get a ride back to Boston Common
5K run
Be a virtual walker – details of which to follow

PLEASE CONSIDER WALKING FOR PHP THIS YEAR!! To join our team and/or to pledge us, go to

Questions anyone? Talk to Linda Roscoe

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!

Life Line Screening, a leading provider of community-based preventive health screenings, will offer their affordable, non-invasive and painless health screenings at The Presbyterian Church In Burlington on 4/9/2019. Five screenings will be offered that scan for potential health problems related to: blocked arteries which is a leading cause of stroke; abdominal aortic aneurysms which can lead to a ruptured aorta; hardening of the arteries in the legs which is a strong predictor of heart disease; atrial fibrillation or irregular heart beat which is closely tied to stroke risk; and a bone density screening, for men and women, used to assess the risk of osteoporosis. Register for a Wellness Package which includes 4 vascular tests and osteoporosis screening from $149 ($139 with our member discount). All five screenings take 60-90 minutes to complete. In order to register for this event and to receive a $10 discount off any package priced above $129, please call 1-888-653-6441 or visit or text the word circle to 797979

February 2019 Crossroads

Ordination & Installation of Officers
Ordination and Installation of Officers will take place during worship on Sunday, February 10th, for our incoming Deacons, Ruling Elders and Trustees. Please make every effort to attend that Sunday if you are being installed to one of these offices.

Stewardship Report
At the Annual Meeting, Per Capita was explained. Each year the Presbytery of Boston requires member churches to pay a “Per Capita Apportionment” to support the mission and ministry of the Presbytery, Synod and the General Assembly. “Per Capita” means a certain amount to be given for each adult confirmed member of the church (children who are below confirmation age are not included.) This year’s Per Capita is $56. Two adult members in a household would each contribute $56; a family with two adult members, one confirmed youth and two younger siblings would be asked to contribute for only the three household residents who are church members. The Session invites you to use the Per Capita envelope in your envelope sets (if you use envelopes) or to use the Per Capita envelopes that can be found in the narthex. Please make checks out to the Presbyterian Church in Burlington. Every Per Capita payment received will free up money for use elsewhere in a very tight 2019 budget

It always takes many hands and voices and coordination for worship services to happen each Sunday, and creativity and participation to present the Tableaux and congregational candle lighting on Christmas Eve. Thanks to all worship assistants,
Communion servers and Brenda Flynn and her cast and crew.

In addition, during Sundays in Advent the following people graciously agreed to light a candle on the Advent wreath: Chuck and Barbara Anderson; Jay, Annelies & Adriana Araujo; Mark and Cheryl Wells; Selina Sarkodie, Christian, Bryce and Brendon Kankam.

A small group of worshippers attended the Longest Night service on December 19 appreciating the opportunity to have time to reflect, pray and sing together in the midst of the busy season.

On Sunday, December 30 Mark Vogel led a service of Lessons and Carols that gave us a chance to sing out and reflect again on the Christmas story.

Now we have entered Ordinary Time as we begin a new calendar year. Beginning on Sunday, January 13, there will be a Communion Servers sign-up sheet posted in Fellowship Hall. Elders and Deacons will have the opportunity to look at the whole year of communion services, check your calendars and sign up according to your availability. If everyone signs up for two or three Sundays we’ll have good coverage. Please check the sign-up sheet often.

For the time being, beginning in February, we will also post a sign-up sheet for weekly Worship Assistants and invite you to sign up to assist from time to time.

Trustees Report
The Board of Trustees wishes everyone a Happy New Year and a prosperous 2019. Looking back to 2018, the trustees accomplished a lot with several large undertakings and many small ones.

The restrooms were both renovated with the men’s room converted to a handicap, gender-neutral facility. The back hall was painted with four new doors installed. New windows were installed in both restrooms as well as the back classroom. A lease was signed for a new Xerox copier. The fire alarm system was inspected along with new batteries for the emergency lights. The defibrillator battery and pads were replaced. The radiators in Fellowship Hall were painted. The carpets in the Narthex and double classroom were cleaned and the hall floors and Fellowship Hall floor was cleaned and waxed. New shades were installed in the front classroom and Trina’s office. Many other small tasks were completed concerning lights, painting and heating concerns. Exterior issues were tended to with lawn care and tree removal. All the bushes were trimmed and the ramp was repaired with a partial paint job on the railings. The parking lot was striped after the front entrance to the lot was repaved.

As winter settles in, please be aware of turning the heat down and making sure all the windows and doors are locked when you leave the church.

Women’s Bible Study

Women’s Bible Study is continuing with the Horizons study called “For Everything, A Season: A Study of the Liturgical Calendar”. All women of the church are invited to join us. We meet on Thursday mornings at 9:30. See Marylou Lynn if you have any questions.


Thank you to everyone who donated to our Clean Water fund! We collected a total of $200. Through the Presbyterian Giving catalog, we are ordering a rainwater catchment system ($75), a water filter ($50), and three jerry cans ($25 each) to provide clean water in communities around the world.

On February 3rd our youth will be participating in the Souper Bowl of Caring by collecting canned food and dollars during the worship service. All donations will go to the Burlington Food Pantry.
So Bring Your Can to Church on February 3rd!

Equal Exchange
Why pay more for coffee and tea by buying from Equal Exchange?

Equal Exchange trades fairly and directly with over 40 small farmer co-operatives to bring you organic and delicious coffee, chocolate, tea and more. Our partners receive pre-harvest credit and above-market prices for their crops. This helps them invest in social programs, farm renovations, education and other essential projects. This can help reduce poverty, improve the environment and safeguard humane working conditions.

Your support helps promote a more equitable, sustainable and democratic food system.
Please look for Equal Exchange products on sale during coffee hour next on Feb 10. Mar 10, Apr 14, May 12, and Jun 9.

People Helping People

People Helping People (PHP) served 95 families with 208 children during this past holiday season. Thanks to BPC and others’ generosity, each child was provided with underwear, pajamas, a sweatshirt, 4 wishes worth up to $40 apiece as well as hats and gloves and books. Gift cards were given to 36 Burlington High School students and 76 gift cards were given to senior citizens. In addition, Market Basket gift cards were given to each family.

The next important PHP event is the wine tasting and auction to be held on Sunday, February 24 from 2 – 5 at the Cafe Escadrille restaurant in Burlington. This is the major fundraising event for PHP. Tickets will cost $50 and are limited to 150 people.

“Glory to God”
If you would like to dedicate a nameplate for a hymnal, the cost is $20 each. Checks may be made payable to the church with “hymnal bookplate” in memo. Checks can be left with the office or any choir member.

Lenten Study opportunities

Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, a forty day period of prayer, reflection, and repentance leading up to Holy Week and Easter Sunday. We will have an Ash Wednesday service on March 6th, at 7 PM in the sanctuary. For anyone who would like to come early, we will have a soup supper in the front classroom beginning at 6 pm. If you would like to bring bread or a soup to share, please let Pastor Trina know.

We will be offering a Lenten study on Thursday evenings throughout Lent, beginning on March 14 through April 11, at 7 PM meeting in the front classroom. For this 5-week series, we will use the curriculum Just Eating?, which was developed by the Presbyterian Hunger Program. As part of our focus on food justice this year, set by the mission and advocacy committee, and as a hunger action congregation of the PC(USA), this seemed like a good way to reflect on how food and faith are connected in so many ways.

The study uses scripture, prayer and stories from the local and global community to explore five key aspects of our relationship with food:
the health of our bodies
the challenge of hunger
the health of the earth that provides our food
the ways we use food to extend hospitality and enrich relationships
the opportunities for action, renewal and transformation in our eating practices-as individuals and as faith communities
Come and join us for one or more sessions! If you are interested, please let Pastor Trina know ahead of time so she can have enough copies of the curriculum available.

Another opportunity for personal devotion and study is the 2019 Lenten devotional produced by Presbyterians Today. This year’s theme is “Awakening to God’s Beauty” and the magazine-style booklet is printed with full-color images of God’s amazing creation. Accompanying scripture lessons from the book of Psalms and reflection questions are included for each day of Lent. If you would like a copy, please let Pastor Trina know by February 10. The price per copy goes down based on the number ordered.

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!

Winter as the Ninth Circle of Hell

From the Pastor:

In reflecting one day on the horrible snow, ice, ice dams, mountains of snow and sub-zero temperatures we have endured this winter, I concluded that this might be what Hell is like. I was taken back to a literature class I took in college. I remembered learning about Dante’s Inferno and how, in the final circles of hell, the worst of the damned—traitors who had betrayed benefactors—were not burning in the fires of hell. Here’s what (kind of a Cliff’s Notes for poetry) tells us in their summary:

Still journeying toward the center of the Ninth Circle of Hell, Dante becomes aware of a great shape in the distance, hidden by the fog. Right under his feet, however, he notices sinners completely covered in ice, sometimes several feet deep, contorted into various positions. These souls constitute the most evil of all sinners—the Traitors to their Benefactors. Their part of Hell, the Fourth Ring of the Ninth Circle, is called Judecca.(named after Judas Iscariot)

Dante and Virgil advance toward the giant, mist-shrouded shape. As they approach through the fog, they behold its true form. The sight unnerves Dante to such an extent that he knows not whether he is alive or dead. The figure is Lucifer, Dis, Satan—no one name does justice to his terrible nature. The size of his arms alone exceeds all of the giants of the Eighth Circle of Hell put together. He stands in the icy lake, his torso rising above the surface. Gazing upward, Dante sees that Lucifer has three horrible faces, one looking straight ahead and the others looking back over his shoulders. Beneath each head rises a set of wings, which wave back and forth, creating the icy winds that keep Cocytus frozen.

Just another day in Massachusetts!

On a more serious note, we are in the season of Lent, a time of repentance, reflection, and self-examination. For some people, it is a time to “give up” something, but increasingly churches are suggesting that it is a perfect time to “take on” something to give one’s life focus as we journey with Jesus to Jerusalem and the cross.

The word Lent is said to come from an older word meaning “lengthen”, referring to the lengthening of the sunlight as Easter (and Spring) draw closer. Although it has no relation to Lent, for me, the fact that Daylight Savings Time begins on March 8 and we will have an extra hour of daylight will be especially welcome after this winter.

The Forty Days of Lent ask us to recall how the number 40 appears in the Bible (both Hebrew Bible and New Testament) at times when God is preparing to do something new. Think Noah’s Ark, the Israelites in the wilderness, Moses on the mountaintop for 40 days before coming down with the Law, the prophet Elijah also on a mountain until he finally hears the “still, small voice”, and of course Jesus’ Temptation, and the 40 days between his Resurrection and Ascension. In every case, God is powerfully at work.

Interestingly, the 40 days of Lent do not include the Sundays in Lent. Christian tradition is that we worship on “The Lord’s Day”, the day of resurrection, and so each Sunday becomes a “little Easter” for us.

Let’s hope that as Lent continues through the month of March, we will be able to gather for worship each Sunday and commit ourselves to journeying to Jerusalem with Jesus. And ultimately, not even the icy Hell of Massachusetts can prevent us from welcoming the light, warmth, joy and hope that will come once again with the church’s cry: “Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed.”

The Peace of the Lord be with you, Mike

Lent and Our Real Journey

Lent begins in Ashes, on Ash Wednesday, March 5 this year. Ashes are symbolic of the human struggle. We don’t like to think about the evil in and around us, but we know that it is real. Just as are our conflicted relationships, and our perishability.

Why be intentional about these during Lent, when our impulse is to fasten on the pretense that we can be above and outside them? Is it because with Jesus, we are able to journey through the human struggle and learn about dignity and hope? Is it because Jesus faced the worst the world can offer, but did not surrender love? Because with him is our hope of life that is stronger even than death?

During Sundays of Lent this year, we will go with Jesus as he meets up with folks who are facing the kinds of questions and troubles we also know: Nicodemus, the questioning Pharisee; the Samaritan woman thirsty for more than water; a man born blind; and sisters Mary and Martha, grieving the death of their brother, Lazarus.

We will meet again these folks, and reflect on how Jesus ministered to them in ways that opened real life. And we will meet them in ourselves – and maybe find anew that our hurts and challenges can be transformed into something new, and beautiful.

I recently came across this poem by Wendell Berry that speaks to this hopeful paradox:

The Real Work

It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,

And that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.

There are rocks in the streams of each of our lives. During this Lent, with Christ, may we find the singing waters flowing in and through us.



February 2013 Crossroads

Winter Light: Discerning Our Path
February 2, 2013
12:30 – 4:00

Did you know there is an ancient Christian tradition associated with February 2 (aka Groundhog Day)? As the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, Candlemas is a day to thank God for light. It is also the traditional day to bless the candles that will be used over the coming year.

This is an opportunity to pause and ponder about the light and shadow in our own lives. Where do we need light? What parts of our lives are in between light and dark?

We won’t just think about light – we will make candles, worship, talk, and reflect together.

Sign in will begin at 12:30 with coffee and goodies. There is no cost. Feel to bring friends.

Please come and light up your own life!

Ash Wednesday Service
February 13, 7:30 p.m.

Quiet reflection, music and prayer will be the focus of this service to assist our meaningful entry into the season of Lent. The service will provide a time of peaceful renewal in the midst of our challenging days.

Join the church family, and help us welcome others, to this traditional service marking the start of Lent. There will be ashes and an opportunity for placing them on our foreheads as the sign of our humility and dependence upon God’s grace (use of ashes will be voluntary).

This can be an important start, in the right spirit, to the journey of Lent toward Holy Week. Please plan to make it part of your life.

One Great Hour of Sharing

Catastrophic storms and wildfires throughout the United States. War and political uprising in the Middle East. Malnutrition and starvation. Extreme poverty and urban squalor. Stories of disaster, hunger, poverty, and other tragedies filled our newspapers and television screens in 2012. With such stories, it is easy to become disheartened and experience compassion fatigue. In the midst of these times, the prophet Isaiah reminds us that we are called to be “the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in” (Isa. 58:12). We are called to make God’s community livable for all.

Through abundant and generous gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) Presbyterians have for many years faithfully heeded God’s call to serve people seeking to reclaim and restore their lives.

Your gift to this offering allows Presbyterian Disaster Assistance to restore communities around the world affected by disaster including those now recovering from Hurricane Sandy. It helps the Presbyterian Hunger Program work with Presbyterians and other partners to alleviate hunger and eliminate its causes in this country and internationally and makes it possible for Self-Development of People to affirm the dignity of all by assisting in the empowerment of economically poor, oppressed, and disadvantaged people.

“Sharing Brings Joy. To Others, to God, and to Us.”

The programs supported by OGHS depend on continued and increased support from congregations like yours. As a result of your gifts and the gifts of other congregations across the church, OGHS will continue to be a reminder that through the simple act of sharing, we are blessed and experience God’s abundance in surprising ways. Thank you for your longtime support of this offering, as together we are Sharing Resources . . . Changing Lives.
Sara Pottschmidt Lisherness
Compassion, Peace, and Justice

Our offering will be received on Palm Sunday, March 24. Fishboxes will be available for the children.

Beth Denier

(contributed by Joan Ross)

The purpose of worship is not to hear a sermon, to sing a hymn or two. It is something much larger: to come in contact with the world as it is and as we want it to be. Both and at the same time. That’s why it looks so silly to an outsider who objects to the seemingly easy transition, not knowing that it is not easy at all. It is an ongoing process Sunday after Sunday after Sunday. It is not a habit; it is a discipline and discipleship. In one short hour to moan and mourn and then forget oneself and join with joy the others in a mock-up banquet reminding us of bread/hunger, wine/blood, life/death, and resurrection/hope that defies despair. You don’t do that in an hour; the hour only becomes a manifestation of what it takes a lifetime to realize.
The hour spent in church is irreplaceable. When I now leave for church on Sunday morning and return an hour and a half later, I can hardly believe such a short time has elapsed. What could I have done in that length of time? Read a little, think somewhat, listen to music, finish a review, prepare a meal, yes. But compared to the cosmic importance and personal engagement that takes place in church – no, it cannot be compared. Church time is eternal. (Brita Stendahl)

Saturday, February 9th, 7-9 PM

The UCC Church is hosting a special event for music lovers and chocolate lovers alike. Noted professional jazz singer, Lydia Harrell, will be performing while we enjoy a variety of decadent chocolate desserts.

UCC Church
6 Lexington Street,
Burlington, MA

Tickets: $15.00

For more information:
Julie Lewis: 617-281-8670

5p Syndrome

Each year in the United States, approximately 50 to 60 children are born with 5p- Syndrome (five p minus), also known as Cat Cry Syndrome or Cri du Chat Syndrome. 5p- Syndrome is characterized at birth by a high pitched cry, low birth weight; slow physical development and potential medical complications. “5p-” is a term used by geneticists to describe a portion of chromosome number five that is missing in these individuals. Children born with this rare genetic defect require ongoing support from a team of parents, therapists, and medical and educational professionals to help the child achieve his or her maximum potential.

My granddaughter, Lydia, has this rare syndrome. Fortunately, she has a strong set of parents (my daughter Laurel and son-in-law Greg) and supportive siblings who help her cope with her needs. There is also a national organization which holds yearly meetings throughout the United States to help families connect and learn more about their children. This summer the annual conference will be held in New York and my daughter is on the planning committee.

Here’s where BPC can help. I am asking for sponsors for the Fun Camp portion of the program for the 5P youngsters and young adults ages 12 and up. (Lydia is 14). In the past, this group has often been gathered in front of tv’s or movies during the day while the parents are attending the lectures and programs. This year, Laurel is planning a more active program, using leaders from the physical therapy classes which she teaches at Columbia University. The Fun Camp will include a music game show, yoga, memory book making, a photo booth, dance party, rhythm games, and other activities. Many supplies and donations are needed.
Examples of supplies needed include :

  • Large posters for photo backdrops – preferably of city, dance, or beach scenes.
  • Costume supplies: wedding dresses, top hats, cummerbunds, boas, big sunglasses, beach hats & towels, cowboy hats, prince and princess crowns, magician’s cape, doctor’s white coat, any NY sports team clothing, etc.
  • Yoga mats, pre-made yoga pose pictures, pre-made photo cards, memory book decorations
  • The actual memory books will be pre-made with the conference logo on the front, but donations to purchase them and to purchase film are needed.

    See me if you are interested in contributing any of these items or with a check made out to 5P- Society to help defray expenses. This outreach goes a bit beyond our Burlington community, but it would be very meaningful to me and my family. And BPC will be noted as one of the sponsors in the program notes. I need to gather all donations by March 17th in order to take them to my daughter in time for her to determine what else will be needed. You can also find out more information about the 5p- Society and the conference on their website:

    Thanks in advance – Millie Wiegand

    Lent and Gospel

    These are typically considered “lean” times for the church. NPR has recently finished a series featuring the “nones” – the increasing number of folks, especially young adults, who profess no religious affiliation. There is growing interest in what is sometimes called “new atheism.” Many former church members now consider themselves “spiritual, not religious.”

    In the church, many argue that it is time for us to grieve the end of Christendom (all the centuries when the church held a favored place in society) – and then get on with what we’re truly called to do, which is to gospel (yes, hear that as a verb).

    Douglas John Hall, a respected theologian, writes that the receding of religion has left large numbers of Westerners an emptiness that neither consumerism nor social activism nor entertainment nor sex nor any other substitute for religion can fill. He believes they are waiting for something to correspond to the spirituality so many of them insist they have even when they loudly disclaim any religious affiliation.

    The challenge for all serious Christians, Hall says, is not whether we can devise yet more novel and promotionally impressive means for the transmission of ‘the Christian religion’…it is whether we are able to hear and to proclaim…gospel!

    For Hall, and for us, this doesn’t mean the simplistic, feel-good evangelism of so many of the new evangelical churches. It means a message that really goes to the heart of life, where the big questions are.

    Lent is a good time to get back to basics, as the church follows Jesus in his journey to Jerusalem. This year, a Sunday series called Something to Say will focus on a contemporary look at such things as grace, repentance, and justification as pieces of Gospel that are deeply needed today. How can we speak and live them to a world that has often rejected “religion” but is hungry for the truth carried by the church?

    Here’s a look at the scripture, and themes. Why not have a look ahead of Sunday?

    February 17 Luke 4:1-3 Temptation of Jesus What’s happened to sin?
    February 24 Genesis 15: 1-12,17-18 God’s promise to Abram Covenant foundation
    March 3 Luke 13:1-9 A call to repentance The joy of ‘I’m sorry’
    March 10 Luke 15:1-3, 11-32 The prodigal son Grace amazes
    March 17 John 12:1-8 Mary anoints Jesus But what about dying?

    Let’s have a good season of reflection together.



    March 2012 Crossroads

    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, April 1
    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, April 5
    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.
    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 6
    The Day of Jesus’ Crucifixion
    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.

    Easter Sunday, April 8
    The Day of Resurrection
    9:00 a.m.

    With cries of “He is risen!” we greet one another at our annual Easter Breakfast.

    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.

    News of our Church Family
    In memory and prayer…

    Two memorial services took place in our sanctuary on Saturday, February 11.

    One was for Harry Thomasian, who along with his wife, Betty, was one of the earliest members of our church in 1962. Though he had lived away from Burlington for a long time, it was good to gather with his family, and remember and give thanks.

    The other was for Bill Piper, a member of our church for about 9 years. Bill and his wife, Rose Mary (an active Roman Catholic), moved to our area to be closer to their two daughters as he was encountering health issues. Though he wasn’t able to attend worship often, several members of the church came to be fond of the Pipers through visits with them.

    Our prayers are with the families of both.

    Service for Jay David…

    A memorial service for Jay, who entered God’s peace on New Year’s Day while he and Sheila were visiting family in India, is planned for Saturday, March 24. For reasons of space, it will be held at Mt. Hope Church in Burlington. A definite time will be announced.

    Crafts and fellowship…

    Do you know about the new opportunity for anyone who enjoys any sort of crafts to gather for “work” and fellowship? It will be on the third Friday evenings of each month. See Jane McIninch ( for more info.

    Deacons Corner

    Please welcome our new deacons, Colette Greco and Niloo Hennings. Many thanks to Annelies Rots for agreeing to stay on for one more year as our Deacon Moderator.

    The Food Pantry is requesting toothbrushes, both adult and child size. As usual, the official collection date will be the first Sunday of the month, but you can bring them anytime and leave them in the red tub outside the church office.

    One Great Hour of Sharing

    The Presbyterian Church (USA) is one of eight denominations supporting this offering. Each denomination decides how the money will be used. In PC(USA), the offering is divided among three programs. Self-Development of People and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance each receive 32% and the Presbyterian Hunger Program receives 36%. The additional 4% is used for the Hunger Program’s work on homelessness and affordable housing.

    During Lent, the children will receive the usual fish banks for their part of the offering and there will be envelopes in the pews. A Sharing Calendar will be available for those interested in a daily reminder of what our gifts can accomplish. For more information on this program, check Our offering will be received on Palm Sunday, April 1.

    Save the Date(s)!

    The 50th Anniversary Planning Team announces the following events to celebrate BPC’s 50th Anniversary:

    • Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.

    Sixties Theme Party for all adults

    • Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 6:30 p.m.

    International Potluck Dinner & food raffle-all ages

    • Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 10:30 a.m.

    Worship Celebration & Anniversary Reception

    Put them on your calendar and plan to come.

    Stay tuned for exciting details of all events to come. Please speak to one of us to help plan and/or work on one of these events: Judy Brunner, Sue Hadsell, Jen Dewar, Barbara & Steve Karanja, Susan Kemen, Marion McPhee, Colette Greco.

    Revised Coffee Hour Schedule

    The following is the revised schedule for hosting coffee hour from February through June. Please notice that I have made some changes because of the new roster of Elders and Deacons. There is an asterisk next to the dates where changes have been made. Please contact me if there is a problem with the date you are scheduled to host

    Date Team

    March 4 Session

    March 11 Deacons

    March 18 Amankwaa & Asantewaa

    March 25* Stalker & Wells

    April 1 Palm Sunday Session

    April 8 Easter Breakfast
    No Coffee Hour

    April 15 Deacons

    April 22* Adisho/Chapman & Ross

    April 29* Clark, Marshall & McGilvray-Rivet

    May 6 Session

    May 13 Deacons – Mother’s Day

    May 20 59th Anniversary Reception

    May 27* Emma Sarpong & Esther Sarpong

    June 3 Session

    June 10 No Coffee

    June 17 Dewar & Doubek

    June 24 Anderson & Briggs

    Thank you everyone.

    Jennifer Dewar