June Crossroads

Deacons Corner

On June 5th, we will be collecting cereal for the Burlington Food Pantry. Please make sure you check the expiration dates. Money to buy fresh produce would also be gratefully accepted.

Pentecost Offering
So I Send You (John 20:21)

The Pentecost Offering is one of four special offerings received annually in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Through this gift, we are able to help children at risk and nurture the faith of Presbyterian youths. We assist a new generation of church leadership through the Young Adult Volunteer program.

Forty percent of the offering stays in our congregation to support children-at-risk ministries in our community. The remainder will be sent to the General Assembly Mission Council for programs that minister to children-at-risk, youth and young adults, and the Young Adult Volunteer program.

This year’s theme, “So I Send You,” reminds us that Jesus was sent by God to heal a hurting world and we, too, are called to the same task. Through our contributions to the Pentecost Offering, we can make tangible, positive changes in our community, our church, and our world.

The Pentecost Offering will be received on June 12.

Christian Education

On June 12, we will be honoring our teachers and celebrating the end of our regular church school program. The children will have an opportunity to participate in the worship service. Following worship there will be a cook out. Hot dogs and hamburgers and rolls will be provided but we are asking that others provide some side dishes such as potato salad, pasta salad, chips etc.

During the summer there will be an activity time during worship for those children from pre-school to second grade.

One Great Hour of Sharing
Feed my sheep

Thanks to everyone who participated in One Great Hour of Sharing. Our gifts will help many people. The April 2011 issue of Presbyterians Today contains a number of articles describing projects in various churches. Many of these projects are related to food. A 2009 survey showed that 94% of PC(USA) members have given food to some food assistance program. Eighty-eight percent gave money to such a program. Eighty-five percent talked about hunger or poverty with a friend or family member. Seventy-nine percent bought fair trade coffee and other items. Forty-four percent volunteered at some emergency food facility or participated in a fund raising activity. Twenty-one percent contacted a politician to express concern over some poverty issue. Let’s continue to support our food bank and other programs.

Join us for M.A.T.E.!
July 17 – July 22

Plans are underway for our housing work week in central Maine. Would you like to be part of this year’s volunteer team to rehab homes of rural elderly and families in need? Our week will be July 17 – July 22. Experience welcome but not necessary. We stay in a dorm at the University of Maine in Farmington. Coming for part of the week is possible. We have wonderful fellowship with folks who go from other churches, and those at whose homes we work.

Youth and adults welcome!

Financial contributions are also needed – and stay tuned for requests for our church to provide some food/kitchen items.

See Rod if interested, or for more details.

May 2011 Crossroads

Thanks to Wonderful Volunteers!

To the Christian Education Committee and others for our Lent Event on April 3, which produced over 80 Hygiene Kits for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, and paper cranes as part of our church’s contribution to “Hearts and Hands for Japan.”

To those who helped with and attended “Hearts and Hands” at St. Malachy Church on April 9. The Red Cross benefited by more than $800 and our paper crane mobile is making the rounds of congregations (we hosted it on Palm Sunday) before the cranes are sent to Japan.

To workers on our Clean-Up Day, April 16, who did a great job on a cold and windy morning sprucing up our winter-battered property.

And of course, to the many who helped make this year’s Holy Week a meaningful occasion – worship leaders and readers, musicians, breakfast hosts, Deacon flower arrangers, and more.

It’s good to be part of such an active church family!

Deacons Corner

On May 1st, we will be collecting canned vegetables for the Burlington Food Pantry.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the International Dinner last month. In addition to enjoying some delicious food, we raised approximately $236.00. The money will help pay for the cost of snow removal this past winter.

We would also like to thank everyone who contributed money or purchased flowers for Maundy Thursday and Easter. The money raised will go to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, for relief work in Japan and Haiti.

The Confession of Belhar

A Special Learning Opportunity

Join our adult group on Sundays, May 8 and
May 15, 9:15 a.m., for an important exploration. This confession of faith from South Africa could become a new addition to the PCUSA Book of Confessions if approved by enough presbyteries this year (Boston Presbytery will vote on May 23). It is a strong statement of both God’s sovereignty and the struggle toward racial justice.

This is also a good occasion for understanding the significance of our confessions, and how a particular one become part of our constitution.

The presbytery will also be offering two chances to hear presentations and discuss Belhar  on Saturday, May 7 and Monday, May 9. See Rod for more info.

“Final Affairs” Fair
Sunday, May 1, 1:00 p.m. -4:00 p.m.
St. Mark’s Church, Burlington

Our church is part of sponsoring this community event. It is to help us all think about end-of-life issues and planning, medical care, advance directives, wills and estates, funeral planning, and more… things important to us all!

Healthy Women Healthy Families
Mother’s Day Project

Mother’s Day cards will be available to support this program. The program began as a malaria prevention project in Africa. It has now been expanded to include health screenings and immunizations for children, prenatal and obstetrical care, children’s nutrition programs, fistula surgery, primary care for children, cervical cancer screening and family health education.

Help Wanted
By People Helping People

On Saturday, May 14th the Post Office will hold their annual Food Drive. The food is collected throughout the day by the Mail Carriers and then delivered to St. Margaret’s CCD Building where it is sorted. The following week it will be delivered to the Food Pantry.

This is a huge project and a lot of help is needed to receive in the food & sort it on Saturday afternoon, May 14th from 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday May 21 from 8:45 a.m. – noon (or so). Folks who can lift 40-50 lbs. are also needed. Couple-hour shifts available! This is a great way to help your community. If you are interested contact Linda Roscoe, or see the sign up on the bulletin board.

Join us for M.A.T.E.!
July 17 – July 22

Plans are underway for our housing work week in central Maine. Would you like to be part of this year’s volunteer team to rehab homes of rural elderly and families in need? Our week will be July 17 – July 22. Experience welcome but not necessary. We stay in a dorm at the University of Maine in Farmington. Coming for part of the week is possible. We have wonderful fellowship with folks who go from other churches, and those at whose homes we work.

Youth and adults welcome!

Financial contributions are also needed – and stay tuned for requests for our church to provide some food/kitchen items.

See Rod if interested, or for more details.

Crossroads for March

Holy Week at the Presbyterian Church

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

Passion/Palm Sunday, March 28
Remembering Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem to confront the power of sin and death.
10:30 a.m. Worship

In keeping with tradition, there will be a palm procession, special music, and the dedication of our One Great Hour of Sharing offering.

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

Maundy Thursday, April 1
“Maundy Thursday” gets its name from Jesus’ “new commandment” (mandatum in Latin) to love one another as He has loved us.
6:15 p.m. – Family teaching supper about communion – Gathering for all families with conversation about the sacrament.

Then they may remain for:

7:30 p.m. – A brief service with celebration of the Lord’s Supper— on the night we remember Jesus’ last meal with his disciples.

Communion is served around the communion table.

Good Friday, April 2
It is “good” Friday because, despite appearances, it is God’s Friday.
7:30 – 8:30 p.m. A vigil of prayer, readings, and extinguishing of candles in the darkened sanctuary, as we reflect on the meaning of Jesus’ crucifixion, of our lives, and our world.

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

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

10:30 a.m. – ALLELUIA!
Worship will celebrate the heart of the Good News, with jubilant music. This is the love that overcomes death!

No Sunday School – worship will be for the whole family.

There will be child care for infants and toddlers only.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deacons Corner

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

Help for Haiti: an Update

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

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

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

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

Our Mission Giving

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Annual MS Walk
Sunday, April 11, 2010

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

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

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

Thank you for the Choir Robes!

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

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

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

Once more THANK YOU, Ugwa Oji

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

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

See Rod if interested, or for more details.