September 2012 Crossroads

Welcome our newest members!
Josh and Stephanie who have been worshiping with us for some time have been enthusiastically received into membership by the Session. They are the parents of Gillian (age 5) and William, who was just born on June 16.

Some of the kids enjoy one of our summer fellowship events
The kids enjoy one of our summer fellowship events

Still a champion to us!
Amina Meho should be as of this writing in London, swimming with the Lebanese Olympic Team – that is, if life were fair. Despite her qualifying times and multiple-record-setting articipation with the Lebanese Swim Club (she has dual citizenship) – because of Lebanese politics much less qualified swimmers were chosen to go. Amina is taking it well (her mother, Lynda, whom we remember fondly, would be proud). Her father, Mo, who participated with the Lebanese Swim Team in the `72 Olympics is having a tougher time – understandably!

Amina writes from UMass, Amherst:

Yes it is tough not being in London but I am also happy that I’ve been able to go on a short break from swimming and been able to really enjoy this summer by visiting friends, going to the beach, I just got a job at one of the campus
dining halls and I’ve been teaching some private swim lessons on the side a couple times a week. It’s been a great summer regardless of the unfortunate news!! I’m nervous but excited for my last year at Umass. Please tell the congregation I say hello and I hope to come home and visit soon!

A big congratulations…
Brad Morrison has won the System Dynamics Society’s Jay Wright Forrester Award, together with co-authors Jenny Rudolph and John Carroll. The paper they wrote was selected for the best contribution to the field during the past 5 years. It develops and tests a model of sensemaking (or things that go into decision-making) and action. It was based on a
clinical experiment which placed anesthesiology residents in simulated crisis situations in the OR.

The Morrison family was recently in Switzerland where Brad received the award and delivered a presentation.


Chancel Choir will resume practice from 7:30 to 9 pm on Thursday, September 6, 2012, and sing in church on Sunday, September 9, 2012 (with practice at 10 am). Musically inclined people OF ALL AGES are encouraged to consider joining us. The ability to read music IS NOT REQUIRED. The choir usually sings for the Offertory on Communion Sundays, and
the Anthem before the Word for Children on the other Sundays. This allows older youth and their teachers to participate. Other Sunday School teachers and younger children can also participate, as long as it is known when they will be out. Please contact Nancy Timmerman for further information, or talk to any choir member. We hope you can join us.

The 48th Annual Choir Festival will be on Sunday, October 21, 2012 at 4 pm at Gordon Memorial Chapel in Wenham. Choir members and other interested parties should let Nancy Timmerman know as soon as possible so that music can be ordered. The Woburn practice is Monday night, October 15, with other rehearsals on Saturday, October 13 in W. Acton and Sunday night, October 14 in Bedford. Practice on the 21st is at 1:30 pm. Even if you don’t want to sing with the choir, give some consideration to joining in this ecumenical event. It is a wonderful experience.

Celebrating 175 years of Presbyterian World Mission, 1837-2012

In the Summer 2012 issue of Mission Crossroads, Presbyterian World Mission Director Hunter Farrell writes about the
175th Anniversary of international mission by the General Assembly of PC(USA). Mission programs were being done by
individual churches and groups prior to that date.

Today, almost 200 mission workers are serving in approximately 50 countries. Over the years, Presbyterian missionaries have started churches, built hospitals and begun schools. Many of these programs have grown into self-sustaining institutions led by local Christians. The longstanding bonds forged throughout the years make mission partnerships possible.

The PC(USA) mission program can help to provide the resources and personnel needed and provide resources for new programs.

Presbyterian World Mission chiefly does three things: sends skilled mission personnel, empowers the global church
and equips PC(USA) for mission. Our individual gifts and contributions to special offerings help Presbyterian World
Mission continue these programs. For more information, visit

Clerk’s Corner

Greetings from Session! As summer fades into fall, we are turning our attention away from the slow pace of summer back to another exciting fall for the BPC. Worship returns to 10:30am on September 9, and that means that Sunday School
will be starting up again – for both our children and adults! If you’ve ever been curious about our adult class or interested in teaching the younger ones, feel free to drop by for class or see interim CE chair Cathy.

We are all very excited about the retreat planned for September 29, and we hope to see many of you in attendance. This was and idea that Session has been working on most of this year, and we are very happy to see the enthusiasm
from the rest of the congregation.

Nominating committee will be convening soon to nominate folks for our 2013 boards. Be on the lookout for those nomination forms, and let us know your ideas!

It’s sure to be an exciting fall here at BPC, and we wish everyone all the best as our programs take off on a running start.

Susan L. Kemen
Clerk of Session

Peacemaking Offering

The Peacemaking Offering will be received on World Communion Sunday, October 7.

Since 1983, more than 4,500 Presbyterian Church(USA) congregations have participated in the Peacemaking Offering. In 2011, the offering raised $1,994,792. The local church keeps 25% of the offering. The Burlington congregation has used this money to help fund scholar-ships for local high school seniors who have exhibited peacemaking skills during their
high school years. An additional 25% is used by the presbyteries and synods to support their peacemaking ministries.

The 50% is allocated to the General Assembly Mission Council. In 2011, the offering was used as follows:

  • Communities of Mission Practice – foster peacemaking practices and promote gun control.
  • Health of Congregations – Deepen peacemaking commitments and develop and launch the new “Season of Peace.” (2012)
  • Leadership Development – Train peacemaking leaders.
  • Global Perspective – Offer travel study seminars and bring international peacemakers to the PC(USA).
  • College and Young Adults – Provide internships and scholarships for young people. Support young adult and college peacemakers. Cultivate a new generation of peacemakers. Launch antibullying efforts in 2012.
  • September Crossroads

    A Look Ahead to Our 50th

    The year 2012 will bring our church’s 50th anniversary. BPC was chartered as a congregation of Boston Presbytery in May, 1962. Our planning is just beginning! So far, persons who have agreed to serve on an anniversary planning team are Judy Brunner, Jen Dewar, Susan Kemen, Stephen and Barbara Karanja, and Rod MacDonald. Other volunteers for this celebration would be welcome!

    It would be wonderful to receive some ideas from the church family about what you feel would make this an especially meaningful, joyful, remembering as well as forward-looking time for the congregation. Feel invited to speak to any of the folks just name.

    To current, former, and prospective members of the Burlington Presbyterian Church Choir

    Choir practice will start at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 8, 2011. It goes to 9:00 p.m. All are welcome. For those who read music and have trouble making Thursday night, arrangements can be made to have you practice on Sunday before the service (at 10:00 a.m. starting on September 11). The choir numbers are before the Word for Children on most Sundays. Sunday School teachers and youth can participate. On Communion Sundays, the choir sings during the offertory. If you want to sing but are teaching, we’d love to have you whenever you can make it.

    At this time, Praise Group is planning on singing for September 25 and October 16. On those days, choir has off.

    News from Christian Education

    The beginning of the 2011-2012 Sunday School is fast approaching and we are hopeful that we will have enough teachers for all our classes.

    Rally Day is September 11. The first day of classes will be September 18. There will be our Sunday School Teacher’s commissioning service on September 18 also.

    By some quirk of nature our Sunday School will have no 4-year olds; all our 4-year olds are moving into the K-2 class. The 3-year olds will occupy the double classroom aka the toddler room. The smaller room will be reserved for younger children. The 3’s will have a bit of structure in their classes.

    I would like to take this opportunity to say ’thank you’ to all who served as teachers and aids in our summer activities program of 11 weeks.

    See you in September, Judy Brunner for CEC

    Peacemaking Offering

    The Peacemaking Offering was created in 1980 to support the efforts of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to live out a deeper commitment to peacemaking. This is one of four special offerings designated by the General Assembly.

    During September, there will be bulletin inserts describing the peacemaking efforts in three different areas. The first is the Red Hand Campaign which discourages countries from using children under the age of eighteen as soldiers. UNICEF estimates that as many as 300,000 children are engaged in armed conflicts around the world. To learn more and/or participate in this campaign, contact Beth Denier.

    The second emphasis is on gun control. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives reports that at least half of the guns found at crime scenes can be traced to one percent of lawful gun dealers. At the root of the problem are “straw buyers” who purchase guns with the express purpose of selling them illegally. The bulletin insert will describe what one church in Pennsylvania is doing about this problem. This is also a huge problem here in Boston Presbytery.

    The third bulletin insert will describe a “Peace Camp” program with neighborhood children. Please take time to read the bulletin inserts and plan to participate in the Peace Offering. The offering will be received on World Communion Sunday, October 2. For the past few years, the twenty-five percent of the offering retained by the congregation has been used to help fund scholarships for local high school seniors who have been involved in peacemaking activities during high school.

    Arts and Crafts Fair

    Our church is planning an Arts and Crafts Fair October 22, from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. We are planning to have a bake sale and to have lunch available for the crafters as well as anyone else. This all will happen if lots of people can put in some time helping. We especially need help Friday clearing out Fellowship Hall and setting up tables. Of curse, we can’t be in Fellowship Hall until after nursery school is out. If you can’t help, setting up or taking, down perhaps you can donate to the bake sale or help in the kitchen during lunch.

    Annual Choir Festival

    We have been participating in the Annual Choir Festival. This year, it is on Sunday, October 23, at
    4:00 p.m. “Something to Sing About”. I have received the list of numbers, and will order music when I know who would like to participate. You don’t need to be part of the choir to sing. Regional rehearsals are Saturday, October 15, 7:00 p.m. at West Acton Baptist Church, Sunday, October 16 at 7:00 p.m. at United Methodist Church in Woburn, and Monday, October 17 at 7:00 p.m. at Second Congregational Church in Beverly. The concert is at Gordon College, with a final rehearsal at 1:30 pm on the day of the festival. Please let me know, or I am likely to bug you! Nancy Timmerman

    September Crossroads

    In loving memory…
    In a great shock to his family, church, and many, many friends, Whitey Graham died suddenly on July 9.

    The service of witness to the resurrection took place in a full sanctuary.

    Our special prayers are with Jean, Alex, and Andrew, and Hazel, Christopher, Barbara and Ryan, and the many dozens of foster children cared for by the Grahams.

    Our church family is just beginning to comprehend this loss, to the Deacons, the Dwelling Place, our cookouts and suppers, and so much more.

    Multi-accomplished swimmer, Amina Meho…
    …swam with a team from the nation of Lebanon in the Rome and Jordan international meets during the summer, and did very, very well!

    With great pleasure, the congregation will be providing Amina with a scholarship of $1,000 a year over 4 years in loving memory of her mother, Lynda.

    Chancel Choir Rehearsals

    Come sing with us!

    Chancel Choir rehearsals resume on Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. The choir meets from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Thursdays and at 10:00 a.m. before morning worship on Sundays. The ability to read music is NOT REQUIRED. All voice parts are welcome. Please join us.

    Here Comes Sunday School!
    Yes! Another year of exploring the faith with young and old will begin on September 13, with a rally for children in Preschool through Grade 5 at 10:30 a.m.

    We hope that you had a good summer; it has been one for the history books! Now we move into fall and the CE Committee wants to give you a few facts about our program this fall. The curriculum that we are using is the same as last year. We Believe – God’s Word for God’s People. The class structure will remain the same as well. Preschool (ages 3-5), Younger Children (K-grade 2), younger youth (Grades 3-5) and Older Youth (Grades 6-12) all classes begin after the Word For Children.

    On August 30, the teachers will be meeting for a workshop in preparation for Rally Day on September 13 and the first day of classes on September 20.

    Positions available! That little “nudge” you’re feeling might be God’s call to be part of one of our rotating teaching teams, as teacher or assistant. For more information, contact Judy Brunner (781-275-8353) or speak to Rod MacDonald. You’ll have lots of support, divine and human!

    The CE Committee

    Judy Brunner, Chair

    Carillon (Bell) Choir Rehearsals

    Bell choir rehearsals will resume Sunday, September 27, at noon, before if possible. We have lost a few people so we need some people who would like to learn to ring. Ringing hand bells is a good way to be part of the music program in the church if you feel your vocal skills are not up to singing in the Chancel Choir. We rehearse after church for about an hour. Show up or call me.

    Judy Brunner, 781-275-8353

    Deacons Corner

    The Deacons would like to thank all the people who contributed food and supplies for Whitey’s funeral reception and all who helped with set-up and clean-up. We are sure that Whitey would have been happy that all the leftovers went to the people at the Dwelling Place. Thanks to all.

    Valuing Families

    I recently read an article in Presbyterian Today entitled, “Valuing Families.” The article emphasized the importance of families and their foundational function of inspiring young disciples. Families are where kids first learn to model important values like fairness, equality, justice, integrity, and honesty. Unfortunately, making sure that our families make the most of the opportunity to instill these values is much easier said than done. You, as a parent/family member, most certainly want the best for your children and family, but we all face challenges that complicate our best intentions. Some of the barriers you may face are busyness, the current economy, unseen tragedy, disability, or personal issues. So what can we do as a congregation to become a community and make sure that amid adversity we can still value our families? Personally, I was raised in a family with many challenges, a single-parent home with a mom who was extremely busy and who often had more on her plate personally than she could handle. Even in the middle of economic and personal challenges my family was able to become a discipleship tool, because of my church community. Valuing families is a job for all church members. Parents, grandparents, adults, children, everyone should be on the lookout to help value families and provide a foundation of Christ-like living to inspire the youngest members of our church family.

    David Bielik
    Christian Education

    Adult Sunday School Class Fall 2009:
    The Cost of Discipleship

    For the first part of the year, the Adult Class will be reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship. The book is a study of the Sermon on the Mount and was written during the Nazi party’s rise to power in Germany in the 1930’s. Copies of the book are available at the church. We’ll also be taking a look at the Barmen Declaration, assembled by Boenhoeffer and other leaders of the Confessing Church in response to the National Socialists’ efforts to nationalize the churches – this is its 75th anniversary year. The class meets from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings in Fellowship Hall beginning on September 20th. If there is a need, child care can be provided. If you have any questions, please speak with Rod or with Mary Anne McDonald. Hope to see you on September 20th!

    Peacemaking Offering
    World Communion Sunday
    October 4, 2009

    Our gifts to the Peacemaking Offering helped to fund a travel/seminar to South Africa and Malawi where participants learned about the effects of HIV/AIDS and ways PC(USA) partner churches are responding to the pandemic. Peacemaking money also supported a project in New Orleans to help the urban poor rebuild their homes and lives after Hurricane Katrina.

    Twenty-five percent of the Peacemaking Offering stays in the congregation to support peacemaking activities. In recent years, our money has helped to provide Peace Scholarships for local high school seniors who have participated in peacemaking activities during their high school years. An additional twenty-five percent goes to Presbyteries and Synods for their peacemaking work. The remaining fifty percent supports the denomination’s various peacemaking activities.

    Thanks Children’s Celebration Leaders!

    Your efforts in providing care and learning activities for our mixed age children’s group on summer Sunday mornings were generous, and very valuable. And thanks to David Bielik, our CE/Families coordinator, who developed the activity plans around the parables of Jesus.

    BPC’S Safe Child Policy
    Now an “Export”
    Session has granted permission to the Presbyterian Church in Whitinsville, MA to adopt the fine program for the safety of children and training of adults which was developed and approved here at BPC. The church found it to be just what they were looking for. Once again, our thanks to BPC members who put such time and care into developing and implementing our policy—Ray Gabler, Sue McGilvray-Rivet, and Linda Roscoe.

    Another Organ Fundraiser!
    Sunday, September 20, 2009 at 1:00 p.m. – Organ Concert in the sanctuary. Nancy Timmerman will play works of Bach, Pachelbel, Stanley, Guilmant, Leighton and others. There will be a freewill offering to support the organ fund (to reimburse expenses paid a year ago in the purchase of our instrument). The music is different from that of the concert she gave in October, 2008. Please come.

    Got Books Project
    Have you “fed” the Got Books box in the church parking lot on occasion? It should interest you to know that since it was installed, the congregation has benefited by over $1,250 dollars. The book collection organization gives us 5 cents for each pound of books placed in the box.

    45th Annual Choir Festival
    “God’s Eternal Song of Love”, a Service of Ecumenical Song will be October 25, 2009 at 4 p.m., at Gordon College in Wenham. Members of Burlington Presbyterian Church will be participating. If you are interested in singing, please let Nancy Timmerman know, as music needs to be ordered. Alternatively, music will be available at the regional rehearsals: Tuesday, October 6 at 7:30 p.m. in Brookline (Korean Presbyterian Church), Saturday, October 17 at 7 p.m. in West Acton (Baptist Church), Sunday, October 18 at 7 p.m. in Woburn (United Methodist Church) or Monday, October 19 at 7 pm in Beverly (Second Congregational). A final, “dress rehearsal” will occur at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 25 at Gordon College. The concert is free and open to the public. Please see Nancy Timmerman if you want to join the singers from our church.

    Need Assistance?

    To Members of the Congregation and friends,

    Beginning in September, I will be helping people with food stamps, fuel applications, and housing for free. Anyone who needs help can contact me at coffee hour through my email address, Please let me know if you need help.

    Thank you, Joanne Stephen