June 2019 Crossroads


June 22, 2019 9:00am until 2:30pm
Please put aside items that you want to donate to the sale (see bottom of the page). Make sure items are clean and in good repair. Please let us know if items need small/easy repairs. If you have items to donate you may bring them to the church during the week of the 24th. If you are dropping things off, please put your name on them in case there is a problem we will know whose “stuff” it is. We need volunteers to help sorting and pricing items for the sale, Tues – Fri. On the day of the sale, we need helpers to set up, tear down and work as cashiers and general staff. There will be sign-up sheets at the church. Please help, if you are able!!!

CHURCH PICNIC! after worship service
July 7, 2019 12 pm
The Aweh-Kisob Family have very graciously offered to open up their home and yard to us…and POOL!!!! The hamburgers and hotdogs will be provided. If you would like to have other meats, please plan on bringing them. Please bring a side dish, a salad, or a dessert to share. Please sign up on the list in Fellowship Hall and indicate what you plan to bring. Please bring your own chair! If you have a favorite yard game, please consider bringing it along. Our aim is to have a good time. If you have any questions, see Yvonne, Nelson or Sally, who is helping to coordinate the picnic. Come! Join us at:
269 Carlisle Road
Bedford, MA
(If you are able, please stay and help with the clean-up)

People Helping People Vacation Lunch Program for Kids

While the news is full of stories about how the economy is doing better than ever, the reality is that 21% of all children in the US still live in families with incomes below the federal poverty limit and just as many live in families with incomes higher than the poverty limit, but that still doesn’t cover their basic needs. Poverty can impede children’s ability to learn and contribute to social, emotional, and behavioral problems. Poverty also can contribute to poor health and mental health. Research is clear that poverty is the single greatest threat to children’s well-being.

Many families who struggle financially can rely on their children receiving free or reduced-price lunch and breakfast at school, so at least their children get one or sometimes two meals a day. For many of these families this time of year is bittersweet; while the kids are excited for their summer break from school, it comes with a lot of anxiety and worry for parents, how will they find the money to feed their children for 10 weeks, how will they find the money to pay for summer camps or childcare to keep them safe, engaged, and out of trouble? The USDA does run a Summer Food Service Program which can help cover the gap when school is out for summer, but the rules and guidelines for running these programs leave many rural and suburban communities without adequate support. For a program to qualify for support at least 50% of the children attending the program must meet poverty guideline requirements, and in an affluent town like Burlington, only about 5% of the residents live in poverty, so chances that 50% of the children signed up for any one summer program are living in poverty are slim. This doesn’t change the fact that in the current school year 616 children are receiving free or reduced-price lunches within the Burlington school system. That is 616 children who will run the risk of going hungry this summer!

Back in 2016, People Helping People designed a program that extends a little extra help to these children and their families. The program is a pantry version of a school lunch: each week families are invited to pick up a bag of ingredients and recipes needed to prepare a preset menu of 5 lunches, 5 snacks and 5 drinks. The menus are designed using the My Plate nutrition guidelines. The program is offered to all school-aged children signed up for pantry services and with the assistance of the Burlington Public Schools it is also offered to all families signed up for free or reduced-priced lunches. This program is hugely popular with the families that participate, and we have received a lot of positive feedback from families about how much their kids like it, how surprised parents are to find their kids trying new foods and how kids love the chance to help get involved with preparing their own lunches and helping their younger siblings.

The Burlington Food Pantry benefits greatly from a very generous community, and 70-80% of the food on the shelves are donated either from individuals, organizations, businesses or local food retailers, like Farmer Dave’s CSA or grocery stores. These abundant donations allow the pantry to have a huge variety of food on the shelves to hopefully provide all clients with at least some of their favorite foods. However, the Vacation Lunch Program, due to the pre-set menu, require large quantities of a few ingredients, making this program more reliant on purchasing its food directly from local retailers, thereby making this program far more expensive to run than the regular pantry services. So People Helping People is reaching out to ask for your help to provide some of the staples used in the program, please consider donating something from the following list:

Bottled water (8 or 16 oz)
Milk (8oz, white or chocolate)
Snack sized Fruit cups or apple sauce
Jars of salsa
Jars of pickles
Whole wheat crackers & Ritz crackers
Peanut butter & jelly
Snack sized bags of nuts
Snack size raisins
Baked beans
Canned pineapple
Snack sized bags of pretzels, veggie straws, pop corners, or pop corn

If you’d prefer to make a financial contribution to help offset the costs of the Summer Lunch Program, please make a check out to “People Helping People — Food Pantry” and note “Summer Lunch Program” in the memo line. To make an on-line donation go to https://tinyurl.com/PHPdonation and list “Summer Lunch Program” in the notes field.

Stewardship Report

God, from my youth you have taught me.
Psalm 71:17

Each year on Pentecost Sunday, we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the church.
The Holy Spirit remains with us still, connecting us with the church of the past, continuing to inspire
the church of today, and pointing us to the church of the future. Each year, this celebration is marked by
receiving the Pentecost Offering which nurtures the faith of those who are the church to come —
children, youth, and young adults.

Psalm 71 testifies that a foundation of faith established during childhood helps ensure lifelong faith
and service. The patterns and lessons established during these formative years continue to bear fruit
throughout a person’s life. By giving to the Pentecost Offering, our congregation participates in helping
our children, youth, and young adults grow up to proclaim with the Psalmist, “O God, from my youth
you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.”


  • Congregations keep 40% of raised funds to initiate or support programs for young people in their communities.
  • The first Presbyterian Youth Triennium was held in 1980.
  • The Day of Pentecost is referred to as the birthday of the Church.
  • Pentecost is usually represented with the color red, which symbolizes the fire of the Holy Spirit.

    “Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit”:
    A Pentecost Gathering of the Presbytery of Boston
    June 8 from 4-6 PM

    In celebration of the ways in which the Spirit is moving within our churches and beyond, the Presbytery of Boston invites you to join us on June 8th for an afternoon of song, story, and fellowship!

    This is a collaborative Presbytery-wide effort and we need the participation of everyone to make this a successful event. We encourage churches and individuals to share your musical talents with us, whether voice or instrumental, in a 4 minute song, and to share your personal testimony about where you see the Spirit at work in the life of your church and community, in about 2-3 minutes. The special offering will be directed to the Boston Food Justice Young Adult Volunteer Program, in support of the Pentecost Offering’s mission to help the church “encourage, develop, and support its young people” and will count toward the $15,000 matching gift challenge of the Trustees.

    We are also asking that churches bring at least one dish to share at a community meal which will end the celebration.

    The celebration will be held at the Presbyterian Church in Needham, located at 1458 Great Plain Ave, Needham, MA 02492

    Please contact Trina Portillo, pastor@burlingtonpres.org, by May 31 to confirm how your church would like to participate in this event.

    Worship Committee

    As this is being written, we have come through a soggy May and are enjoying more sun and warmth than we have in a long time! Going into June, here is a glance at upcoming worship services at BPC. We really hope to see you on Summer Sundays!

    June 2 is Intercultural Church Sunday on the Presbyterian Planning Calendar. There will be some special music from the Voices of Africa as we also celebrate Communion.

    June 9 is Pentecost, the birthday of the church, and also Teacher Appreciation.

    June 16 we will focus on our Youth as well as on Camp Wilmot. Kayla McKinsey, Co-Director of Camp Wilmot will be with us and Brenda Flynn and Erin Alarcon will coordinate the service with Kayla.

    June 23 is designated Music Appreciation Sunday.

    June 30 worship is being planned.

    Traditionally we worship with UCC on two Sundays during the summer, July 7, we will host UCC and August 4, UCC will host us. Remember that on August 7, their service will start at 9:30 am.

    As always, you are encouraged to participate in worship (yes, even during the summer!), so please continue to check the signup sheets and volunteer at least once in the next couple of months as worship assistant. Elders and Deacons are needed to help serve communion on June 2. And July 7.

    Christian Education
    Sunday, May 26th will be the last day for elementary, middle and high school classes.
    Sunday, June 2nd will be the last day for the young children’s class.
    On June 9th (yes, Pentecost!) we will celebrate our teachers and assistants.

    Mission and Advocacy
    Each month we will provide a prayer to be used in our committee and board meetings. We also want all the members of the congregation to be able to join us in prayer. This month’s prayer is below. Please use it at home and to start your meetings.

    Heavenly Father,
    Open my eyes to see as you see and weep as you weep.
    Open my heart to love the broken and care for those without hope.
    Open my hands to hold what I have lightly and to share cheerfully.
    Open my mouth to speak for the voiceless and to shout for mercy.
    Open my ears to the gentle whispers of your Spirit and to obey what you say.
    Open up my life to the call of your voice and the needy cries of the dying.

    Circus Smirkus
    Craig Garnett and Claudia Waite are hoping to organize a group to attend a Circus Smirkus performance in Waltham in July. Group ticket sales begin on May 1.

    Scheduled performances are on July 25, 26, 27 & 28 at Gore Place in Waltham. Show times are Thurs 7 pm, Fri & Sat 1 & 6 pm, and Sun 11 am & 4 pm.

    If interested, please send an email to claudiawaite@aol.com please supply number in party, ages of children (if attending), and which performance works best for your family. To learn more about Circus Smirkus
    visit smirkus.org

    Take me out to the Ballgame!
    Come one, come all to a church baseball outing!
    What better way to enjoy a summer evening than at the ball park with friends!

    14 tickets available in section 119 for the Lowell Spinners August 3 game vs the State College Spikes. Game time is 5:05 PM. Friends and family are welcome to join! Only $4 per ticket, cash or check made payable to the church. Please send an email to Kathleen at the church office to let us know how many tickets you would like to reserve. First come, first serve basis.

    Summer Music
    Members of the congregation are invited to provide special music during the summer months. Please contact Susan Larson or Rev. Trina so it can be scheduled.

    Food Pantry Needs
    We receive donations for the Food Pantry on the 1st Sunday of each month. The Food Pantry needs donations on a continuing basis. Please consider purchasing some 20 oz. dish detergent, individually wrapped bars of soap or bottles of shampoo. Your help is appreciated. Thank you

    Yard Sale Donation Suggestions

    Appliances Radios, mixers, bath scales, CD players, (must be
    in good working order). No TVs, no computers or
    computer components.

    Arts & Crafts Pictures, supplies and/or creations.

    Baby Furnishings Pac-n-plays, potties, porta-cribs, safety gates,
    back packs, baby monitors.
    No child safety seats.

    Books Children’s books are good sellers…

    Camping Equipment Tents, stoves, lanterns, sleeping bags, back packs.

    Clocks & Watches In working order or only needing a battery.

    Household Items Lamps, rugs, chairs, kitchenware, wall hangings,
    curtains, dishes, pots and pans, crystal, etc.

    NOTE: Do not bring large items to the church until a few days before the sale. Any large items that do not sell must be picked up by the donor after the sale.

    Jewelry Earrings, bracelets, cufflinks, necklaces, tiaras. Please separate items into plastic baggies..

    Musical Instruments From Kazoos to Trombones.

    Pet Supplies Toys, beds, crates, leashes, collars.

    Plants All sizes, fresh (indoor or outdoor) or silk.

    Records, CDs, In good condition. NO VCR TAPES

    Sports Equipment (Small Items only), tennis rackets,
    basketballs, footballs, baseball
    gloves, roller blades, . No
    weight benches or barbells. No skis, poles or boots.
    No hockey equipment.

    Tools Hand and power, garden, mechanic, tool boxes.

    Toys Fisher-Price and Playskool items, dolls, balls, board
    games, puzzles, outdoor play equipment, sleds,
    video games.

    Vehicles Bikes, trikes, big wheels, wagons.

    Clothing Is Not a Big Seller and Will Not Be Accepted

    Please Be Sure All Items Are Clean!!

  • Commitments and Priorities

    The beginning of a new year is a good time to re-examine our commitments and priorities. Many of us do this in our personal lives, as we set goals for the year ahead, and make new commitments to our health, our relationships, our financial well-being, or any number of other things that we want to improve upon. It is also a good time to reflect on our shared life together, and the goals and priorities we want to set for the year ahead. At its heart, the church is a community of people who are called together to join in worship of God, and to grow in relationship with God, with one another, and with the world around us. As we enter the fourth year of our journey together, I am interested to hear your thoughts on the direction you feel called as a community of faith.

    As a community of faith, we must continually ask ourselves the questions:
    – What kind of community of faith are we called to be?
    – What kinds of activities are we called to do as a people of God?

    During the annual meeting, I had intended to do the following activity as a group discussion. However, we ran short on time, and decided to postpone the discussion portion to a later date. I am including the questions in the newsletter so that you might have some time to reflect on what you would most like to see us doing as a church. What do you participate in now that you would like to continue? What are some ideas of things you wish we were able to offer?

    Whether you have been part of this church for forty years, or four months – or anywhere in between! – I hope you will take some time to read through the questions below and write down some of your thoughts and responses. In my attempt to categorize things a bit, I have thought of three primary areas of our life together: Service, Study, and Support/Social.

    Through service, or mission, we seek to reach out to the wider community around us, whether they are our local neighbors, or participating in larger circles of service at the regional, national, or even global level. What are some areas of service in which you would like to get involved as a church?

    Through study, we seek to nurture and develop our relationship with God through reading, discussing, and sharing reflections on the scriptures and other faith-related materials (books, film, devotionals, etc), with a small group. What are some topics you would be interested in studying as a faith community?

    Through support or social opportunities, we seek to develop and strengthen our relationships with others in the community – whether they are part of the church or not. These may be one-time events, or long-term small groups who meet consistently over time. How can we best support you? What kinds of support groups, or social events, would you like to participate in, or do you wish we offered?

    As you reflect on these three areas, if you have specific organizations or projects in mind, please list those as well. Remember, this is a judgment-free zone – no idea is too outlandish, wacky, or impossible, so use your creativity! I look forward to hearing your visions and dreams for the Presbyterian Church in Burlington!

    Pastor Trina

    Mission Team

    We are approaching the second anniversary of the first time I came to preach at Burlington Presbyterian, and yet we are also setting out on a new phase in our journey together, as pastor and congregation. I am excited about celebrating my installation as your next called and installed pastor on February 4th! While I feel that I have gotten to know many of you individually, and as a church, I also still have much to learn. In many ways, we have been in a holding pattern over the past two years, as you grieved the loss of Pastor Mike and prepared the search process through the PNC. We have done well at keeping the basic functions of the church going strong – and have even made some changes here and there! – but we have not delved too deeply into what really makes you passionate and energized to serve Jesus Christ beyond these walls.

    As a church, you have supported many missions and ministries both here in your local community, such as People Helping People, Camp Wilmot, and Elmbrook Place, and in the wider world, from Heifer Project International to special offerings for disaster relief and in many other ways. We are a small church, but we can make a significant impact on the lives of those in our pews and in the world around us when we work together. I would love to hear from you about where you think we can make a difference, whether on a local, or larger scale issue.

    We will be putting together a mission team to determine where we want to focus our efforts as a church for the upcoming year, and determining some ways we can serve God together in our communities. If you know of opportunities or organizations that would benefit from a group service project, we are open to suggestions! And if you are interested in joining the mission team to help guide our focus and narrow things down, please let me know. This is a time for dreaming new dreams and seeing new visions! What new thing is God doing in the life of Burlington Presbyterian Church, even now?

    Grace and Peace,
    Pastor Trina

    Crossroads for October 2016

    Stewardship Report
    On October 2, we will celebrate World Communion Day, when we will be receiving the Peace and Global Witness Offering (formerly the Peacemaking Offering). On this day, people are joined from all over God’s earth, looking at our world and our lives, and asking, “Can God spread a table in the wilderness? Even in my wilderness?” To which God responds and says, “Come to the table of peace.” Our support of the Peace and Global Witness Offering helps invite others to the table, both near and far. Please give generously.

    World Communion Sunday
    October 2 is World Communion Sunday. This year Rev. Trina and the Worship Committee are asking for your participation in this celebration in a few different ways.

    First, we are looking for people to bring colorful cloths from different cultures to use on the Communion Table.
    In addition, if you have a favorite bread that you bake that is unique to your culture or country of origin, please sign up in Fellowship Hall to let us know that you will bring a loaf for worship on October 2. These loaves will be placed in baskets on the Communion Table and used in the service.

    Communion on World Communion Sunday will be served and received around the Table and the loaves of bread and colorful cloths will celebrate and acknowledge our unity in diversity at BPC.

    In addition, the Peace and Global Witness Offering will be received during worship on October 2.

    Heifer Farm Trip
    The Christian Education Committee has planned a trip to Heifer Farm in Rutland, MA. We will participate in their “Seeds” program in order to learn more about Heifer’s mission to work with communities around the world to end hunger and poverty and to care for the earth. We will visit their Global Village (where we will eat lunch) and their livestock and garden facilities.

    When are we going?
    Friday, November 11th
    How long does the program last? Four hours, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    What is the cost? $15 per person (what a bargain!)
    How will we get there? Carpool – we’ll meet in the church parking lot at 8:15 a.m. and return there about 3:15 p.m. (It takes a little over an hour to get to Rutland.)
    What do we need from you? Signed permission forms and a check for $15 made out to The Presbyterian Church in Burlington.
    When do we need your forms and check? Sunday, October 16th
    Who is invited? Youth in 4th grade and older, including middle and high school. Adults are also welcome.

    If you are interested in attending, please contact Ann McGrath at annrmcg@juno.com for the permission forms.

    9am to 1pm
    The Board of Trustees has scheduled the church’s fall cleanup for Saturday, October 15th, from 9am to 1pm with a rain date of October 22th. We encourage everyone who can make it that day to assist in sprucing up the church property, both inside and out. Please bring all the equipment you need to help, including rakes, shovels, gloves, brooms, garden tools, wheel barrels, small step ladders, window cleaner and paper towels. There will be a job for everyone, working either on the lawn and shrubbery, sprucing up the atrium or sweeping the fall debris from the play yard. We have a lot of windows to clean, both inside and out. If you don’t like doing yard work, helping out with the window cleaning will be greatly appreciated. This is a great opportunity to give a few hours of your time and maybe work with someone who you don’t know.

    Pumpkin Patch Volunteers Needed
    St. Marks’s Episcopal Church, 10 Saint Marks Road, Burlington, will hold their third annual Pumpkin Patch event during the month of October. Our church, along with many other churches and civic organizations, has been asked to help with the selling of pumpkins during the month. Our staffing dates are Friday, October 14th and Friday, October 21st. The patch opens at 12 noon and closes at 6pm. We need volunteers to sign up for two hours or more on each day. The hours are 12-2, 2-4 and 4-6pm. Please refer to the sign-up sheet in Fellowship Hall if you can commit to helping out. A percentage of the sale proceeds go to support People Helping People. Please speak to our church coordinator, Ken Dewar, if you have any questions.

    Burlington Wish Tree
    People Helping People has started the planning process for the Burlington Community Wish Tree which is located at the Burlington during the month of December. The Wish Tree provides gifts for children in need in the community of Burlington. Last year the program processed over 2000 gifts for children. The Wish Tree Holiday Program, although very rewarding, is all very labor intensive and much help is needed. This year we are looking for individuals who can assist the program by picking up gifts that are collected at local businesses. These pick-ups are done during the day. We are also looking for an individual to be the Gift Pick Up Coordinator for the Mall. In additional the program is always in need of people who would like to sit at the tree during the month of December. If you would like to make a difference in your community, please contact Judy Walsh at judyw621@gmail or call 627-797-6786.

    Open Our Hearts
    A benefit concert for Central American asylum-seeking women and children in Massachusetts. Show your support and enjoy a great show featuring performances by The Loomers, The Blood Mountain Brothers and a special guest appearance by The Yellow Room.
    Saturday, October 1, 2016
    7 PM

    The First Church in Belmont, Unitarian Universalist
    404 Concord Avenue
    Belmont, MA
    Tickets: $25.00 at the door

    Food Pantry Needs
    We receive donations for the Food Pantry on the 1st Sunday of each month. The donations have been dwindling. Please consider purchasing some 20 oz. dish detergent, individually wrapped bars of soap or bottles of shampoo. The Pantry is in desperate need of these items. Your help is appreciated. Our donation dates are Oct 2, Nov 6 & Dec 4. Thank you!

    Introduction to Zentangle® class

    The Zentangle method is an easy to learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. If you can write the letters “i c s and o” you can complete a Zentangle tile. Come and learn all about it at this class taught by Certified Zentangle Teacher Marylou Lynn The class will be Friday, October 21 at 7:00PM.

    The class costs $15.00 and includes all materials needed. Class size is limited to 12 so sign up soon in Fellowship Hall or call the church at 781-272-9190.

    Help set up a household for a refugee family. Fill a “Move-In Bin”

    Before a refugee family departs for the US, IINE must identify and prepare an apartment for their arrival. Help IINE by collecting a bin full of household items. Items can be purchased and/or include high-quality donations. Each bin requires the following goods.

    Please check sign-up sheet in Fellowship Hall.

    Place settings of dishes Set of Pots Pans
    Mixing/serving bowls Cooking and eating utensils
    Can opener Rice cooker
    Cutting board Colander/strainer
    Food storage containers Alarm clock
    Pens, pencils, notepads, paper, etc. Light bulbs
    Dish soap Kitchen/bathroom cleaner Sponges/paper towels Laundry detergent
    Waste baskets Trash bags
    Toilet paper Toothbrush/Toothpaste Bar soap Generic shampoo

    Food Week of Action and World Food Day
    October 9–17, 2016

    Our faith calls us to work for a world where everyone has sufficient, healthy and culturally appropriate food! And where those who produce and prepare the food are fairly compensated, respected and celebrated!
    When you go to the local grocery store or purchase a meal at a favorite restaurant how much do you know about how the food is grown, gathered and prepared? What is your church doing to end hunger and poverty in your community or across the globe?
    These are some of the questions Presbyterians and the public are asked to consider this October during Global Food Week of Action and World Food Day. October 9-17 gives Christians and others around the world the opportunity to take action for food justice and food sovereignty.
    World Food Day is celebrated every October 16 commemorating the establishment of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945. Forty-two countries came together in Quebec that day and World Food Day has been celebrated ever since. Now more than 150 countries participate. In 2008, churches around the world convened through the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance to launch a week-long campaign focusing on that special day.
    The global Food Week of Action (October 9-17) is an opportunity for Christians and others around the world to act together for food justice and food sovereignty. It is a special time to raise awareness about approaches that help individuals and communities develop resiliency and combat poverty. Beyond examining our food choices, we must also recognize the lingering roots of racism embedded in our food system, which was founded on slavery and plantation agriculture, and still exploits the environment and workers in the food chain. We call for societal and policy changes that bring us closer to realizing the right to food for everyone and positive transformation of the dominant system.
    The Food Week of Action includes World Food Day (October 16), International Day for Rural Women (October 15), and International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (October 17).
    The Presbyterian Hunger Program is asking individuals and churches to consider one of four actions during the campaign;
    Support farmworkers through the boycott of Wendy’s Restaurants
    Advocate for a raised minimum wage across the country
    Support fair trade and oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership
    End U.S. support for repression of human rights in Honduras

    Crossroads for December 2013

    News of our Church Family

    Outreach to Lord Baron fire victims…
    Thanks to all who contributed to the special offering to help support the Basic Needs Fund of People Helping People, which has been helping to fund the stays in temporary quarters of those dislocated by the October 23 fire. Our giving came to: $600 and was added to that of other congregations. The Basic Needs fund has provided at least $11,000 in combined assistance for hotel accommodations, gift cards for food and clothing, etc.

    And thanks to those who helped set up and clean up from the Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner for the Lord Baron folks on Monday, November 25, prior to the Community Thanksgiving Service at our church. Special thanks to Sally Morrison, our coordinator. The main meal was provided by Teddy Menounos of Lester’s Barbecue Restaurant.

    Final meal served at Dwelling Place…
    There was a good team there on November 20, when we served supper to diners at The Dwelling Place for the final time. Jennifer Sullivan, current DP coordinator, was there to express thanks for our many years of service. She understood that it has become more of a challenge to our servers to fight traffic, etc. after all these years.

    On Sunday, November 17, all BPC members who have served, cooked, or otherwise provided for the DP over the years were asked to stand and be acknowledged. It look like most of those in the sanctuary were standing!

    Deacons Corner
    On November 20, we had our last supper at the Dwelling Place. It was a bittersweet event. Many thanks to all who have given so generously for so many years to this special mission of our church. We served 13 guests.

    Once again we are volunteering our time to the PHP Wish Tree. Our dates are Nov 30 and Dec 4. Thank you to all who have signed up. We are also continuing our tradition of donating to the Pajama and Underwear Drive. Thank you to all who took cards. The gifts MUST be in the office by Dec 8th.

    As you all know, George loves receiving mail. We will have Christmas cards available for you to send to him on the table in the narthex.

    See more info under Mark Your Calendar for something new for Advent from the deacons!
    Mark Your Calendars

    Community Christmas Sing-a Long
    December 6, 2013
    7:00 p.m.

    Please come! Invite family, friends and neighbors!

    Family Advent Event
    December 8, 2013
    11:45 am

    All Sunday School families invited! Make stained glass windows for church and home.

    Come A-Caroling!
    Sunday, December 15  2:45 p.m.

    Fun for all Ages
    The rallying time will be 2:45 p.m. in the church parking lot. Join a caroling caravan that will take us to various places such as senior residences, nursing homes, and homes of shut-ins. If you have suggestions for places to carol this year, speak to Rod soon! We will finish by 5:00 or 5:30 with a simple but nose-and-toes warming supper. If you’d like to be our host for supper this year, and you live not far from the church, we’d love to have an invitation. Otherwise we will share a meal at the church. It’s a truly intergenerational and heartwarming time. Look for signup on church bulletin board.

    Christmas Eve Service
    A Family Tradition with Crèche, Carols and Candlelight

    Tuesday, December 24 – 7:00 p.m.

    It’s a long-lived tradition at BPC. There will be nativity tableaux vivants (or living scenes) featuring young folks in the roles of Mary and Joseph, angels, shepherds and wise men. Choir and congregation will join in many carols. The service will end with a spreading of candlelight throughout the sanctuary. Mr. MacDonald will give a brief message. The Christmas Joy Offering will be received. This service is a wonderful way to introduce friends and neighbors to the church – and maybe to make a difference in their lives.

    Dine for a cause
    Friday December 13 at 6:00pm at the Presbyterian Church in Burlington
    335 Cambridge Street
    Take an evening off from the Holiday rush and join us for a Filipino inspired dinner with lots of Filipino dishes and other types of food, so there will be a little bit for everyone.

    Donations will be accepted for the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance for the Philippines. Make checks out to ʻthe Presbyterian Church in Burlingtonʼ, memo ʻPDA-philippinesʼ Please RSVP to Sally Morrison at sallymorrison19@gmail.com, even if you cannot make it but still would like to contribute please mail checks
    to The Presbyterian Church in Burlington, 335 Cambridge St, Burlington, MA 01803

    Brought to you by the Deacons

    Legacy Christmas is a collection of Celtic-inspired Christmas carols important to Presbyterians throughout the generations—-“treasured carols of the Kirk”. Produced by Living Waters for the World (LWW) through the generosity of an anonymous donor, Legacy Christmas is performed by some of Nashville’s and Ireland’s top musicians; it features acclaimed vocalist Alyth McCormack (of the Chieftains) on three of the ten tracks.

    These CDs will be on sale in Fellowship Hall during Advent for $15.00 each. The money will go to support Living Waters for the World, a ministry of the Synod of Living Waters, PC(USA) and the PW Birthday Offering. While the income generated is important, the real story is in the ministry itself—clean water—and PW’s partnership with LWW, improving the lives of women and children throughout the world.

    Women’s Bible Study
    Thursdays at 9:30 am

    Our Women’s Bible Study group is acting as a field test group for next year’s Presbyterian Women’s Bible Study, Water. This is a nine week commitment and an agreement to provide feedback on each lesson. A confidentiality agreement must be signed in order to attend. If you would like to learn more about how you can participate, please see Marylou Lynn.

    Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) Report from Alex Haney
    On Friday November 8, the sanctuary was filled with about 30 members from the Burlington community, to watch A Place at the Table—a film highlighting some of the widespread systemic causes for hunger in the United States. The film addressed some impacts that our food system, the federal food stamp program, farming policy, and individual food choices have on hunger and health.

    I’ve seen this film three times now, as it brings up a lot of the problems my fellow food justice YAV’s and I are working on—getting affordable, healthy food to all people and treating the many hands that prepare our food with justice, kindness and mercy while caring for God’s creation that provides the food. After the film, Rod opened up a discussion to the floor as well as to our panel of experts to discuss what we each found shocking or surprising about the film. In my prior experiences with this film the discussion usually leads to policy, and specific ways each of us can petition the government to respond to this.

    This time the subject of education took over the conversation, not policy. A general agreement with our audience was that parents aren’t teaching their kids how to cook healthily any more—parents may not even know how themselves. Neither are most schools with the removal of Home Ec. and kids aren’t learning about healthy food, like how to make soup from scratch for instance, and the convenience foods are taking over our diets. Billboard advertisements, commercials, and even grocery stores are promoting the boxed, canned, shelf stable foods, and especially the junk foods and sodas which have become much cheaper than the healthy whole fruits and vegetables. Shelf stable processed foods also fill food pantries because of their shelf life. Farmer Dave mentioned noticing that at farmer’s markets older generations buy more of the vegetables, while younger generations go for the baked goods or ready to eat fruits, because that is what each is used to cooking. There is a generation gap and education gap in our food system. This is having terrible health effects leading to type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease all related to diet. This film and conversation called each of us to work to change our own choices, and the broader public’s choices on healthy foods, and learning how to use fresh produce is one way to go.

    So what is being done to educate Burlington on healthy foods? Peter Coppola is working diligently to set up community gardens and school gardens in Burlington to teach kids about their food. Jane McIninch and Christine Ventura are doing their part to educate the food pantry clients on what the Farmer Dave’s leftover produce is and how to prepare it so they can eat healthier. We also teach the senior center about the fresh leftovers as necessary to feed their members.

    For next year with farmer Dave’s CSA, I hope to get the church involved with bringing more education to the members about what to do with this healthy food members may have never seen before. Recipes, cooking lessons, and other kitchen skill sharing events can do this. The more people share ideas on how to eat healthily and justly, the better we can fight hunger in this area. I would encourage you to watch the film at some point and join this conversation about addressing hunger and health in America and in Burlington. Consider sharing your cooking expertise with the CSA members. Help those misplaced by the area fire through offering a healthy meal and monetary donations. Put something in the food collection bins for the food pantry. Maybe we could start gardens, or advocate for community gardens to donate fresh produce to the food pantry during the growing season instead of only non-perishables. Share your own ideas with other church members. There are many ways to show the love of God to our neighbors through food justice, so let’s keep this work going together!

    Burlington Clergy, BPC, and Burlington Police Co-Sponsor Gun Buy Back Program

    What do Burlington residents do if they have guns or other dangerous weapons they no long want? The Burlington Police Department will be holding a gun buy back on December 14, 2013.

    The timing is to coincide with the first anniversary of the shootings in Newtown, CT last year. The Burlington Clergy group initiated this idea, and it has had the immediate and active support of Police Chief Michael Kent.

    Some incentive for those who might consider turning in guns will come in the form of gift certificates supplied by the Wegman’s Supermarkets company, which is building a new store in Burlington. But BPC’s Session has also participated: About 50 “Project Child Safe” gun safety locks have been purchased with $100 from this year’s directed mission line in the church budget.

    “Burlington is a safe community and the vast majority of gun owners are responsible and law abiding. This initiative of collecting unwanted guns and weapons, addresses a vital public safety and public health issue” according to Chief Kent.Unwanted firearms are a potential ha zard in any home. Unwanted firearms can be stolen, used in accidental shootings or a suicide. When guns are used in criminal attacks, the outcomes are often irreversible and fatal.

    Any unwanted guns or weapons can be brought to the Burlington Police Department on December 14, between 9am and 1pm or can be picked up during those hours by the Burlington Police Department by calling 781-272-1212

    The Session hopes that the church family will find this a meaningful part of our mission, and pray for its success during this Advent season when we welcome again the child of Peace.

    Help others with the gift of music

    Legacy Christmas: treasured carols of the Kirk, is a beautiful album of Celtic-influenced carols supporting Living Waters for the World and the Presbyterian Women Birthday Offering fund. Featuring acclaimed musicians and Irish vocalist Alyth McCormack (The Chieftains), the record is receiving rave reviews, with all proceeds benefiting clean water and wellness for children and their families throughout the world. Legacy Christmas makes a wonderful stocking stuffer (complete with a gift card describing the project) and is available at The Presbyterian Church in Burlington at our Sunday coffee hours or by calling the church at 781-272-9190.

    Summer 2013 Crossroads

    A big THANK YOU…
    …goes out to our dedicated Christian Education staff for their good, nurturing work during 2012-2013. A recognition service took place, followed by the annual CE cookout, on July 9. In the teachers’ honor, the Session gave a special donation to the Mission of Deeds.
    …and likewise to all the folks who gave so much so that we might have a successful Yard Sale on June 22, especially co-coordinators Judy Brunner and Sally Morrison (an unbeatable team!). Many came on a hot Saturday to shop, and a good quantity of our former nursery school materials were sold to folks with other schools, day cares etc.

    Jane McIninch has accepted an offer from People Helping People to serve as a co-coordinator of the Burlington Food Pantry! This is such a natural and wonderful step for Jane, who has led our church’s hosting of Farmer Dave’s CSA, and a very good thing for the Burlington community. Congratulations, Jane – and let’s keep her in our prayers as she starts this important service.

    Movies in the Good Ol’ Summertime…

    There will be two Friday Nights at the Movies during August.

    Family Movie on August 9, 6:30 p.m. (note earlier time!)
    A wonderful family film set in Scotland.

    August 23, 7:30 p.m. A 60s movie classic!

    Both movies free of charge! Popcorn! Bring friends!

    Deacons Corner
    There have been so many tragedies in our country and around the world affecting children this year. The deacons have decided to do something for the children. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance runs a program called “Gift of the Heart”. It distributes kits to people in need. In the past, we have sent hygiene kits. We decided to make school kits and we need your help. Each kit will contain 1- pair of blunt scissors, 3- 70 count notebooks (like our “doodle” books our church provides for the children), 1- 12” ruler, 1- hand held pencil sharpener, 6- new pencils with erasers, 1- large eraser and 1- box of 24 crayons. Each of these items will be packed into a homemade cloth tote bag. In August, when you are doing your back to school shopping, please think of these children who have lost everything in storms, fires, and wars. These kits can give them a small sense of normalcy in their lives as they are relocated in strange homes or shelters. We could also use a few people to make the tote bags. They are very easy to make. There will be one on display in August. If you would like a copy of the pattern, see Kathleen. There is a processing fee for each bag, so monetary gifts would also be appreciated.

    We are teaming up with Christian Education to have the children involved with the assembling of these kits on Rally Day. It’s a great way of teaching about God’s mission for us to help those in need!
    Thank you for your anticipated help!

    We served 24 guests at The Dwelling Place in June.

    Church Picnic!

    Our Church picnic is scheduled for July 14, after worship, at Springs Brook Park in Bedford. Meat will be provided, please bring a side dish, a salad, or a dessert to share. Please bring your own beverages…no alcohol allowed! There are grills available, and a snack bar. Activities include swimming and a playground. The park opens at 10:00 a.m. There is a fee of $8.00 per person as long as we have at least 20 people, children 1 and under admitted free. If you have folding lawn chairs or beach chairs you may want to bring them. If you have a fun outside game to share, please bring it!

    Your Hospitality Committee at work!

    Turn left out of church onto Route 62/3A towards Billerica. Turn left onto Francis Wyman/62. Continue to follow 62 into Bedford for about 4 miles at which point 62 is also Page Road. Turn right to continue on Page Road (departing 62) to 4 way stop at Springs Road. Turn right onto Springs Road for 0.1 mile to access road to Springs Brook Park.
    New Mission Highlights

    Following up on the Pentecost presentations and article in previous Crossroads, here are some updates:

    The Food Justice Program will really get underway in August with the arrival of a Young Adult Volunteer who will work with our CSA program and congregation as well as with the Boston Faith and Justice Network. See Jane McIninch or Millie Wiegand for more info.

    The Retreat Planning Group has set a date of October 19 for the next one-day retreat for church family and friends. Mark Vogel is contact person at this point.

    Housing Ministry is looking at possible Saturdays in the fall for work days with Habitat for Humanity. Tom Hennings is working on this.

    Friday Nights Live is beginning to schedule Friday night opportunities for the fall for crafters, movie watchers, game lovers, and live music! Tara Goss is currently the one to see.

    Unfortunately, we have not yet confirmed a major new occupant for our facilities during the week (to replace our former nursery school). We continue to have interest parties contact us, so we are hopeful something will emerge soon.

    So if you signed up as having interest in any of these areas on Pentecost Sunday – or if you missed that opportunity but want to be involved – get in touch with any of the folks above, or the church office, or stay tuned for further information!

    Welcome Back, Farmer Dave

    Summer shares have started!! Fruit shares start on July 15th!! Don’t miss out on the tasty fresh vegetables and fruit provided by Farmer Dave. Sign up for summer shares now and enjoy fresh vegetables and fruit all summer! For information, see brochures on church table.

    Judy and Sally wish to thank all who helped with the yard sale on June 22. We had a lot of stuff to be sorted and priced but we made it happen. At last count proceeds were $1,827.71.
    Sally & Judy

    Table Gathering at Church of the Covenant
    To support the Young Adult Volunteer Program

    Join in for a seasonal cooking lesson and three course meal on August 11th and October 13th. Class size is limited to 25 so email bbjyavprogram@gmail.com to reserve your spot and ask for a registration form. Cost is $50 per individual and $80 per couple. See the flyer on the bulletin board for more information.

    The Holy Spirit Lives!

    Thank you to all who contributed to this year’s Pentecost Offering and proved once again that the Holy Spirit abides with us in Burlington. We raised $1,203 for projects that invest in the future of the church by supporting ministries that encourage, develop and support its young people as well as provide assistance to at-risk children. This is one of the newer special offerings that we have each year and is especially meaningful to us this year because we as a congregation are going to be able to benefit from one of the programs sponsored: the Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program. (See separate article in the Crossroads for more information about this exciting venture). THANKS AGAIN FOR YOUR GENEROSITY!

    We are making the Crossroads available through emailing. We will continue to send it by U.S. Post to those who do not use email, or would prefer to receive it this way. The savings in office time and postage will be significant for the church. If you did not receive this issue also by email, it means we do not have your email address. Would you like to provide it?

    Sarah Parker is Peace
    Scholarship Award Winner

    Burlington High School graduate Sarah Parker received the annual Peace Scholarship award at the June awards night at Burlington High School. This is the thirteenth year of this scholarship sponsored by the Interreligious Group of Burlington, an association of congregations and clergy. Starting with the year following the Columbine High School shootings, these congregations began and funded the scholarship to recognize and encourage actions by students which resolve conflict and nurture tolerance for differences. It is given without regard to religious affiliation or financial need.

    Sarah Parker was nominated by the BHS Music Coordinator, John Middleton-Cox. She has been the Stage Manager at BHS and co-president of the Stage Crew Club. She was nominated because of her work, which has included not only managing productions. She has also mediated and intervened in many high-tension and stressful situations related to backstage anxieties and the personal lives of crew and cast. She was praised for her maturity and knack of bringing calm to those in tense conditions. The scholarship selection committee, which interviewed Sarah, was impressed with the clarity of her thoughts on the nature of peace, both inner and outer, including conflict resolution. She will be attending Clark University in Worcester, and has already reached out to a program that mentors and provides safe after-school programs for area youth.

    Congregations involved in the Interreligious Group are the Presbyterian Church, St. Malachy’s Church, St. Margaret’s Church, St. Mark’s Church, Temple Shalom Emeth, and the United Church of Christ, Congregational. For more information, contact Rev. Rod MacDonald, 781-272-9190.

    Boston Food Justice Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) Program
    The Presbyterian Church USA provides opportunities for young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 to spend a year in service with a local organization working in a partnership with a Presbyterian church. This is one of the endeavors that our Pentecost Offering helps support.

    This year, the Boston Presbytery is sponsoring four YAVS to engage in the mission of four churches to provide healthy and sustainable food for all people. Burlington Presbyterian Church applied and was selected to be a part of this innovative program. Throughout the year, we will be sharing more information about our particular projects. In the next Crossroads, we hope to introduce the young person who will become a member of our congregation for the year (Sept – Aug). For more information about this exciting YAV program, see Jane McIninch or Millie Wiegand.

    Each Host Placement Site in the Boston Food Justice YAV Program is a collaboration between a Presbyterian congregation and a local organization working on issues of food justice. These are the four programs planned for the 2013-2014 year.

    (1) Burlington Presbyterian Church & The Boston Faith & Justice Network
    The Boston Faith & Justice Network (BFJN) , a community of Christians committed to alleviating poverty and promoting just stewardship partners with Burlington Presbyterian Church, a dynamic congregation located in the Boston metro area, as a YAV host site. The YAV placed at this site will work on a variety of projects including but not limited to development and implementation of food justice educational programming, expansion of the Farmer Dave CSA program, youth engagement in food systems work, a set of recommendations for shifting food consumption towards more just patterns, and leadership of an economic discipleship curriculum.

    (2) Church of the Covenant & The Women’s Lunch Place
    The Women’s Lunch Place (WLP) provides a safe, comfortable daytime shelter, nutritious food, and services for women who are homeless or poor. They share a facility space with their YAV partner, Church of the Covenant (COTC), a faith community striving for peace, compassion, justice and love while journeying in the light of Christ led by God’s grace-filled Spirit. The YAV placed with COTC+WLP will work to improve operations of COTC’s emergency food pantry, seek local food sourcing options for WLP, and work on a demonstration vegetable garden on the church’s land, as well as enter into the life of both of these unique communities through worship and relationship building.

    (3) The Hartford Street Church & A Place to Turn
    A Place to Turn is an emergency food pantry that offers food access with dignity to residents of the greater Natick area. Located on the same property as the Hartford Street Church, this organization and congregation are looking forward to catalyzing new opportunities to work together out of what has been for many years an exciting partnership. The YAV placed at this site will work with the church to finalize and roll out plans for building a large community garden on Hartford Street Church’s land. This effort is a partnership with the City of Natick and an ecumenical group of churches in the city. The YAV will also work regularly in a support role with A Place to Turn and work on fresh food production strategies for supplying food grown in the community garden to the food pantry.

    (4) First United Presbyterian Church of Cambridge & Bread for the World
    Bread for the World works to advocate with a Christian voice for political change to end hunger both domestically and globally. Partnering with First United Presbyterian Church of Cambridge (FUPC), the YAV working in this site placement will get the opportunity to be trained as a community organizer and collaborate with FUPC and Bread for the World to develop a local strategy for political organizing. Through engaging with both the greater Presbytery community as well as the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization and other groups in the city, new opportunities will be catalyzed for activism on issues of hunger.

    Cookie Swap with a twist

    Today Burlington Presbyterian Church was blessed with two exciting events. First, we held our “cookie swap with a twist”. Families brought batches of Christmas cookies, which were then divided into gift bags to be given to the guests at The Dwelling Place. It was hard for the kids (and grownups) to keep away from the goodies, but we all thought about how much it would mean to the recipients as we packed them into festive bags.

    Then, who should arrive but St. Nicholas? And no, I don’t mean a guy who drives a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer, I mean the third-century sainted Bishop Nicholas of Myra. The kids and grownups all enjoyed listening to the story of this early man of faith.

    Here are some pictures of the cookie-packing and Bishoping! If you’re sad you couldn’t join us today, don’t miss out next week, December 19th, when we go on our annual caroling caravan – 2:30 from the church with a dinner to follow in Stoneham!

    St. Nicholas addresses the children
    St. Nicholas addresses the children

    Cookie packaging goes on behind Nicholas
    Cookie packaging goes on behind Nicholas

    Some grownups prefer the kids' chairs
    Some grownups prefer the kids' chairs

    I'd accept a dowry of cookies, wouldn't you?
    I'd accept a dowry of cookies, wouldn't you?


    One more view of St. Nicholas
    One more view of St. Nicholas