October 2019 Crossroads

Stewardship Report

The church of every time and place wrestles with the distance between our timeframe and expectations and God’s. In God’s time, even the small seeds we plant can grow into sturdy trees. In God’s time, the fears we carry can be transformed into new partnership and hope. In God’s time, our expectations can be expanded and surpassed by God’s faithfulness. The 2019 Peace & Global Witness Offering encourages the church of our time to cast off anxiety and fear, discord and division, and embrace our reconciling God’s mission to those around the corner and around the world. It is boundless peace God offers. It bursts through the shackles of time and expectation. It quiets the anxiety of each believer by joining us together as we offer our prayer,
“Now, May the Lord grant us peace…in all times in all ways.”
2 Thessalonians 3:16
We will receive the offering on October 6. Please give generously.
Reprinted from Presbyterian Mission

Mission and Advocacy Prayer for October

Almighty God, it is difficult to see children suffer, especially from hunger. We ask You to give them daily bread today (Matthew 6:11) and end their persistent hunger. Provide the food they need to grow and thrive. Pour out Your grace on hungry families, especially parents straining to feed their children despite dwindling resources.

Source: World Vision web site

Christian Education

Sunday school for children and youth has started! This year we are trying to get to know each other better, as unique individuals and important members of our church family.

Adults, please take a look at the bulletin board outside the pre-school classroom – you can match names with faces of our children and youth and learn a little about what is important to them.

Safe Child Training
Safe Child Policy Training will take place on Oct. 27 right after the worship service. Lunch will be provided. All our volunteers who work with children or youth, Elders and Deacons must take this training every three years.
Anyone else interested in understanding what it means to be a “mandated reporter” of child abuse/neglect is welcome to come. Please RSVP to Ann McGrath.

Worship

At our meeting on August 29, the Worship Committee passed a motion to donate 25 of our old, blue Presbyterian hymnals to Elliot Brown for the Christian Fellowship Church of the Merrimack Valley where he is organist. Session approved the motion and the Christian Fellowship Church has gratefully received the hymnals. Elliot served BPC for many years as organist/choir director.

Sunday worship services for October begin with the celebration of World Communion on October 6. In recognition of the many cultures represented in our congregation we will have a variety of cloths on the communion table, several different breads, use several languages in the liturgy and sing hymns in different languages. Communion will be received by intinction.

October 13 is “Bread for the World” Sunday.

October 20 is designated “Children’s Sabbath” and working with the Christian Education Committee, we will invite young people to participate in different ways, such as greeters, worship assistants and ushers for that service.

On October 27 the church celebrates Reformation Sunday.

Thanks to everyone who has participated in worship services and please continue to volunteer as worship assistants and communion servers. Susan Larson would also welcome more voices to the chancel choir. Please speak with her about that opportunity.

Trustees Report

As fall and winter approaches, please be mindful of making sure that all windows and doors are locked and the heat turned down when you leave the church. On more than one occasion, the door to the play yard has not been locked after the children are out there. There is a new lock on the door and all parents whose children use the play yard should check to make sure the door is locked when they leave.

Thanks to those trustees who helped during the summer with lawn mowing and various chores around the church. The front railings and posts were recently painted, the carpets and floors were cleaned and the floors waxed and the inside wall to the front door will be soon be repaired.

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. They also really need donations of coffee, tea and hot chocolate. Your help is appreciated. Thank you

Pumpkin Patch Volunteers Needed

St. Marks’s Episcopal Church, 10 Saint Marks Road, Burlington, will hold their seventh 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 4th and Friday, October 18th. 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.

Bible Journaling

What is Bible journaling? Come and find out! It can be anything from writing a brief note to a full art piece, done in a Bible or in a notebook. We will be doing some basic techniques on paper – no artistic ability needed! Feel free to bring a journal if you would like to work in that.

Life Line Screening
Life Line Screening, a leading provider of community-based preventive health screenings, will offer their affordable, non-invasive and painless health screenings at The Presbyterian Church in Burlington on 10/15/2019. Five screenings will be offered that scan for potential health problems related to: blocked arteries which is a leading cause of stroke; abdominal aortic aneurysms which can lead to a ruptured aorta; hardening of the arteries in the legs which is a strong predictor of heart disease; atrial fibrillation or irregular heart beat which is closely tied to stroke risk; and a bone density screening, for men and women, used to assess the risk of osteoporosis. Register for a Wellness Package which includes 4 vascular tests and osteoporosis screening from $149 ($139 with our member discount). All five screenings take 60-90 minutes to complete. In order to register for this event and to please call 1-866-229-0469, visit http://www.lifelinescreening.com/communitycircle or text the word circle to 797979.

Come Alive

“Don’t ask what the world needs.
Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
— Howard Thurman, 1899-1981

Earlier in September, I had the opportunity to go to a CREDO conference in south Florida. This week-long conference is offered to pastors through the Board of Pensions, which is the healthcare and retirement plans for PC(USA) pastors and a few other denominations. It was a gift to have this week away to think deeply and reflect on many areas of my life, and how vocation is so much more than “what we do.” We are accustomed to think of vocation in terms of our job – what we do on a day-to-day basis. And that is a big part of it, for certain.
But vocation, from the Latin vocare, “to call,” encompasses more than what we would call our work. It is interwoven in every aspect of our life: our families, our spiritual life, our unpaid work, our leisure activities can all be part of our vocation. As Howard Thurman reminds us, it is “what makes you come alive” and feeds your spirit. When we consider the whole of our lives, where is it that we feel most deeply alive? How can we do more of that which makes us feel that way?

As we move into stewardship season in the church, where we are asked to consider the commitment we will make to the church for the coming year, I invite you to embrace this challenge to live into that which makes you come alive. Your financial gifts to the church are only one aspect of what is meant by stewardship. We are called to be good stewards of our time and talents as well, in service to the church and the community. If you have a passion you would like to share, offer an opportunity to the church to gather together and teach us about it. If there is a mission or service project you are involved in, let’s bring a group together to go and serve there. If you are excited about youth or children’s ministry, let’s talk about putting a team together.

Where is God calling you, through your gifts and passions, to deepen your own sense of vocation? I am grateful to be part of a caring, committed, and compassionate congregation, and I am excited about where God is leading us, together.

Blessings,
Pastor Trina

October Crossroads

Deacons Corner

The deacons would like to send out care packages to people serving in the military. We would like to mail them in early November, so that they will arrive around Thanksgiving. If you have an address for someone who would like a package, please give it to one of the deacons by October 16.

Stewardship

One Sunday last summer, Elder Brian Davis led the Word for Children. He showed the children several sets of pictures. In each set there was a picture of people worshiping – singing, praying, etc. – and a picture of people doing something to help someone in need. Brian told the children both of these things were important, but asked which was the more important. They all knew the answer – helping others.

That morning, there were more children than usual in the class which followed. At activity time, the leader did not have enough sheets of stickers for everyone. She told the children those who received the sheets of stickers would have to donate 3 items so everyone would be able to do the activity. The donations were mostly small flowers and other things the children did not care about.

This is fairly typical behavior for young children. Unfortunately, many of us have not outgrown the “me and mine” attitude. Our own pleasure comes first. God and neighbor get the leftovers. This is a challenge to consider giving a tithe (10%) of our time, talents, and money up front and trusting God to help us meet our own needs.

Beth Denier

Arts and Crafts Fair

There will be an Arts and Craft Fair at our church, October 23. We are in the process of getting crafters who would like to display and sell their art. We need people to help set up and take down tables and set up for Sunday school. Most everything in Fellowship Hall will have to be moved out. Set-up will take place on Friday afternoon and early evening.

This fund raiser is being coordinated by Jane McIninch and Judy Brunner. The proceeds will go to the general fund, 10% will go into our mission fund.

See either Jane McIninch or Judy Brunner if you want to help.

Missions

Recently, Hunter Farrell, Director of World Mission for our denomination, wrote about the ministry of Cobbie Palm, a mission worker in the Philippines since 1989. Cobbie, the son of missionaries, grew up in the Philippines. Some of us know his parents, Jim and Louise Palm, from their work at Stony Point Center.

Cobbie and his colleagues at Silliman University‘s Divinity School prepare students for ministry in the United Church of Christ in the Philippines. That church has had 20 pastors and other church workers killed since 2003. Many others have been abducted, tortured, and jailed because they have dared to speak out against injustice and corruption. Despite these threats, Cobbie and his colleagues continue to spread the gospel and work for peace and justice.

Our mission support makes ministries like this possible in more than 50 countries. Supported in part by a grant from the Presbytery of Boston, the Rev. Barton Kelso and his wife, Priscilla, will be spending the next six months in the Philippines teaching at Silliman University. Please keep them and other mission workers in your prayers.

46th Annual Choir Festival

The Choir Festival will be October 24, 2010 at
4:00 p.m., at Gordon College in Wenham. Rehearsals are 1:30 p.m. the day of the service and one other time in the week before. Singers should let me know as soon as possible so that music can be ordered.

Our Need to Give

As we journey through another season of stewardship at BPC, the Session and I invite you to reflect on this statement:

Stewardship is not about the need of the church to receive; it is about our need to give.

That’s the joyful need of our spirits (not the obligated need of our consciences!) to give in thanks to God. Stewardship is first of all a spiritual matter, about our relationship with God and God’s creation. Stewardship recognizes that all we are and all that is around us are God’s giving; to be in a relationship with such a God involves our care of creation, our responsibility as citizens, our balance of our time and nurture of our families, and yes, our financial giving to church and beyond. That’s the way to true abundance, deeper mutuality with God.

Here’s something else to ponder:

In a new study called Passing the Plate, Michael O. Emerson and Christian Smith say that Protestant Christians, on average, give 1.8 percent of their after-tax income to the church. They point out that if American Christians were more serious about giving, the impact would be amazing. If regular church attenders or those who describe themselves as “strong” or “very strong” Christians tithed (meaning, gave 10% of after-tax income), that would provide an extra $46 billion a year. They go on to say:

With that, we could basically end poverty, eliminate diseases such as malaria, feed and house and clothe the world’s refugees, provide five million microloans, and have a lot left over.

In other words, we could most definitely change the world.

Maybe it’s not surprising that Jesus talked more about money, and our relationship to it, than just about anything else. Something more to think about in this season of stewardship.

Over the next few weeks, you’ll be hearing more about stewardship, and its relationship to our faith, and abundant living (even in times that can be hard). And yes, also about the ministry and mission of BPC, and the fellowship and service we care deeply about.

On Sunday, November 22, we will celebrate our annual “harvest of offerings,” including our pledges of money, time and talents for the coming year, and bring Thanksgiving food donations for the Burlington pantry.

Peace,

Rod