Crossroads December 2018

Christmas Eve Service
A Family Tradition with Crèche, Carols and Candlelight
Monday, December 24 − 7:00 p.m.

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. Pastor Trina 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.

Every generous act of giving …is from above.
In the lead up to Christmas, many of us spend time in search of the perfect gift — the gift that communicates to friends and family how much we know and love them. We search our memories for indications of what gift might cause the faces of our loved ones to light up. We scour the stores and shops, hoping to come across the thing that will communicate a depth of love that our words cannot. As important as gifts to loved ones are, we have an opportunity to give gifts that help many people we do not know through the Christmas Joy Offering. These gifts in particular draw us back to the manger and God’s perfect gift to us — Jesus Christ.
Jesus came to live among us, bringing light into darkness, and reconciliation to God and to one another. A perfect gift from a gracious God.

During this Christmas and Advent Season, we celebrate leadership; past, present and future through support of the Christmas Joy Offering. We do so because church leaders greatly impact our lives of faith, walking with us down the path to be more like Jesus. We want those church leaders and their families who find themselves grappling with a critical financial need to have the resources they need which are provided through the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions. We also support the offering to help our future leaders in the church and world, like those educated at our Presbyterian-related schools and colleges equipping communities of color. Supporting these students helps the whole church develop leaders who reflect the wideness of God’s intended diversity.

For those supported through the Christmas Joy Offering, this help is truly a gift from above. May our gifts, and the leaders who receive them, point us always to the truth of the one whose birth we celebrate, Jesus Christ — the truly perfect gift. Please give generously.

The Season of Waiting
There are many plans and opportunities for worship during Advent, including particular ways in which many of you are invited to participate.

The Hanging of the Greens and bows will be on December 1 at 10am-12pm in anticipation of all that Advent and Christmas holds for us. Again we have an Advent Wreath at the front of the Chancel and each Sunday different members and families of our congregation will have a turn to light a new candle on the wreath.

Wednesday, December 19 at 7:00 p.m. is the time for our “Longest Night” service.
Similar to Advent services we have offered in the past couple of years, this evening will provide a different perspective and meaningful space during the holiday season, for reflection, prayer, introspection and quiet.

Brenda Flynn is again planning and directing our annual Christmas Eve Tableaux. Letters have gone out to families to recruit participants in the tableaux. Brenda has also put out the call for help with costumes, and for adults to help ‘shepherd’ (aka wrangle) the participants before and during the Tableaux. Rehearsal is scheduled for Sunday, December 23.

Also on December 23, immediately following worship, before tableaux rehearsal, the Trustees will be setting up the stable in the sanctuary for Christmas Eve. They will need and appreciate additional help with this.

The Christmas Eve Service with Tableaux and candle lighting happens on Monday evening, December 24, and is a beloved tradition at BPC.

To round out the month, Mark Vogel will be leading worship on December 30 and be leading us in a service of lessons and carols/hymns.

Fair Trade Holiday Sale

Save the date and get your Christmas gift list ready! On Saturday, December 8th from 10 – 3. You’ll have the opportunity to do your holiday shopping for a good cause. The Mission Group has invited nine not-for-profit vendors to bring their products for sale here at the church. Possible vendors include Equal Exchange, SERRV, Partners in Just Trade, Fair Trade Winds, and Mayan Hands and a range of products will be available including candles, jewelry, scarves, woodwork, embroidery, coffee, tea, and chocolate.

Proceeds will go to mission programs of the church, in addition to supporting the fair trade vendors and artisans who make the products.

Invite your friends and family, and spread the word! We’d love to see a good turnout for this event and will be looking for volunteers to help during the sale on Saturday. If you would like to help with the Holiday Sale, please contact Jane McIninch, (781) 864-9367.

Longest Night Service

“Comfort, comfort my people, says God”

There are many moments in our lives when we need comfort. There are tough times when we yearn for consolation. The suffering people who looked for the long-awaited Messiah were given a hope-filled image of God in the writings of Isaiah. It expresses the belief that no matter what happens to us, God will be there to comfort and support us.

Advent and Christmas can be a painful time for many in need of that reassurance and comfort. The constant refrain on the radio and television, in shopping malls and churches, about the happiness of the season, about getting together with family and friends, reminds many people of what they have lost or have never had. The death of a loved one, whether recent or long ago, the anguish of broken relationships, the insecurity of unemployment, the weariness of ill health, the pain of isolation – all these can make us feel very alone in the midst of the celebrating and spending. We need the space and time to acknowledge our sadness and concern; we need to know that we are not alone.
We need comfort and encouragement to live the days ahead of us.

For these reasons, we are offering a special meditative Longest Night Service, Wednesday evening December 19, at 7:00 p.m. at the church.

Come out, and join with us in sharing and hearing prayers, scripture, and music that acknowledge that God’s presence is for those who mourn, for those who struggle – and that God’s Word comes to shine light into our darkness. Everyone is welcome.

Clean Water Collection
We have counted the “Clean Water” collection and deposited about $182! Our congregation has a generous heart. During our Sunday school classes we will decide how many jerry cans and water filters we will buy through Presbyterian Giving.

Trustees Report
The fall cleanup finally occurred on November 3rd. We had a reasonable turnout, despite a little rain and wind, and a lot was done to prepare the church and grounds for winter. The fall commuter collection took place on November 13th and 14th. Thanks to Tom Hennings and Ken Dewar for braving the rain and cold respectively. We collected over $3,500 in donations with hopefully more coming in by mail.
The carpets in the Narthex and the double classroom were cleaned and the hallways and Fellowship Hall were cleaned and waxed in September. Try to keep the Narthex carpet clean by wiping your feet on the runner as you enter the church.

All the work on the restrooms are now complete with just a little paint touchup needed in the women’s room. Try to remember to turn off the lights if you are the last to leave the restrooms.

A reminder to all to close and lock any window you open and check that all doors are locked before you leave the church. A special request for parents to lock the playground door when you retrieve your children.

Women’s Bible Study

Women’s Bible Study has started a new study with the Horizons study called “For Everything, A Season: A Study of the Liturgical Calendar”. On December 13, we will be having our Holiday Brunch or Cookie Swap. All women of the church are invited to join us. We meet on Thursday mornings at 9:30. See Marylou Lynn if you have any questions.

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!

Hanging of the Greens
Saturday, December 1
10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Get in the holiday spirit with us! Join the Deacons on the first Saturday of December for the Hanging of the Greens! We will decorate the church for Advent and Christmas. Advent begins on Sunday, December 2!
Coffee & donuts will be provided.

Poinsettias
Last day to order Poinsettias will be Dec 2.
Please give your order form and money to Kathleen Stegall by December 2.
Thank you.

Mitten Drive
We are once again participating in the PJs, Sweatshirt, Mittens and Books Christmas Drive for People Helping People. This is part of the wishes for Christmas. If you would like to participate, see Anne Denier to obtain a card. PJs, Sweatshirts, Mittens and Books are to be dropped off at the church by Dec 9. Do not wrap, just attach the card to the gift. Thank you again for your continued generosity!

Songs for Cameroon
On November 17th, about 80 people from the Presbytery of Boston and from the Eliot Presbyterian Church in Lowell (Presbytery of Northern New England) gathered at the Korean Church of Boston for an afternoon of song and learning about the humanitarian crisis in Southern Cameroons. Seven church groups sang a wide range of music, and we heard an inspiring message from Elder Ruphous Takang of the Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church in Easton. We also watched a video about the deadly and devastating conflict which is ongoing in Southern Cameroons, and the oppression of the people by the government and paramilitary forces there.

We received a special offering at the event, which raised almost $3,750! A combined total of $4,296 was raised from the concert and the offering from the November 12 Presbytery Meeting, held at First Presbyterian Quincy. The offering will go to the Presbyterian Church of Cameroon (PCC) to support ministry and relief efforts for internally displaced persons and refugees from the conflict through a designated mission fund of the Presbyterian Mission Association. If you would like to make a contribution, you may do so directly through PCUSA, by going to https://www.presbyterianmission.org/donate/e864103/ and clicking on the Give button.

To give by phone, call 800-872-3283. To send a check, please designate E864103 PCC in the “note” portion of the check and mail to:
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
P.O. Box 643700
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700
Many thanks to Korean Church of Boston for hosting, and to the groups and musicians who sang at the concert:
First United Church in Cambridge
Christian Women’s Fellowship Choir of Eliot Presbyterian Church
African Fellowship Choir of Eliot Presbyterian Church
Clinton Presbyterian Church
Young Adult Praise Team of Korean Church of Boston
Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church
Fourth Presbyterian Church
Stephanie and David Rodriguez, Clinton Presbyterian Church
Virine Morris, Hyde Park Presbyterian Church

Crossroads November 2017

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. Thank you!

Stewardship Report
Thanks to your generous contributions and to those of the Boston Grace church, our combined Peace Offering this year is $1014. Thank you one and all.

November is the month we give thanks for what we have and for giving to those who don’t have with our annual harvest offering for the next year. In November, look for documentation that will explain what we plan for the coming year, along with your pledge card and your time and talent questionnaire. Our annual Harvest of Offerings is on November 19th, when we will receive your pledges for the coming year along with donations for the People Helping People food pantry.

On October 1, World Communion Sunday, the BPC congregation worshipped together with the congregation of Boston Grace Presbyterian Church and we enjoyed having their choir, along with our Claudia Waite, lead the music for the service. We welcomed Rev. Kurt Esslinger and his wife, Hyeyoung Lee, mission co-workers in South Korea, to preach the sermon and give the Word for Children.

Hana Lee, the pianist from Grace Presbyterian, has agreed to play for rehearsals on Thursday nights with our choir. Piano and organ music and accompaniment for Sunday services will continue to be provided by James Myers and Chelsea Whittaker, who have added so much to the music ministry at BPC.

Thank you to The Voices of Ghana for leading the congregation in song on Oct 22.

As the Crossroads goes to print we are already looking at November and beginning to plan for Advent and Christmas worship services and events in December. November begins with celebration of communion on November 5, which is also All-Saints Sunday. Sunday, November 19 is the traditional Harvest of Offerings, when the congregation is asked to bring food donations and pledges for the new year. Stay tuned for more information from Deacons and Stewardship.

Advent begins on Sunday, December 3 with communion and the lighting of the first candle on the Advent Wreath. Christmas Eve is on Sunday, December 24. There will be a regular worship service in the morning and our traditional Christmas Eve service with Tableaux, carols and candle lighting in the evening. Brenda Flynn has graciously agreed to direct the Tableaux again this year and Claudia Waite will work with Brenda and be in charge of costumes. Stay tuned for the many details that will follow and how you can help Brenda and Claudia.

Worship Committee meets on October 29, so watch for updates in the Bulletin and in November Crossroads.

~ Jennifer Dewar, Worship Chair

Worship Committee:
Cathy DiCenzo, James McIninch (Session Rep.), Annette Chapman-Adisho (Deacon Rep.) Claudia Waite, Rev. Trina Portillo

Trustees
Our fall church cleanup day was held on a beautiful sunny October Saturday with a very large attendance of our members and an even larger attendance by the Boston Grace congregation that share our church. We washed windows, cleaned up the atrium, mowed and raked the grass, fixed gutters and downspouts and did a lot of other fixup stuff. Thanks to all who attended.

Pumpkin Patch Update
Our church supported St. Mark’s Pumpkin Patch by volunteering on October 6th and 20th. Thanks to Ken Dewar, Chuck Anderson, Cheryl Wells, Claudia Waite, Jen Dewar, Kathleen Stegall and Linda Roscoe, we collected over $300 to be added to money collected during October to support People Helping People.

Burlington Interfaith Thanksgiving Service
Monday, November 20, 7 pm

The Burlington Interfaith Community will be gathering in thanksgiving at UCC this year on Monday, November 20. This longstanding tradition will include leaders and worshipers from Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Mormon and Muslim faith communities. This joining of religious traditions in Burlington is itself an occasion for gratitude in our broken world – added to the seasonal American holiday which recognizes our Creator’s goodness to us. The offering collected at the service will be dedicated to hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

BURLINGTON FOOD PANTRY
2017 THANKSGIVING FOOD BASKETS

The Burlington Pantry will be giving all the food for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner to over 200 families, including elderly shut-ins and veterans, on Sunday, November 19th. We hope you will participate in the food collection for this project. Again this year, the collection and distribution will be at the United Church of Christ, Congregational at 6 Lexington Street, on the corner of Bedford and Lexington Streets. Please bring the food you have collected to the UCC church between 12:00 and 1:00 on Sunday, Nov 19th. If you have any questions about the collection or the delivery, please call Bobbie Killilea (UCC Administrator) at 781-272-4547.
We are requesting the following specific list of foods for a Thanksgiving dinner. PLEASE ONLY NEW PURCHASES, NO EXPIRED DATES!!!
Stuffing (bags or boxes) Canned corn
Cranberry Sauce Cornbread Mix
Gravy Mayonnaise
Chicken Broth

This is a relatively short list – but we need many of each item. Fresh vegetables (potatoes, carrots, green beans, squash, etc.) will be purchased, so if any of your members would like to contribute money instead of food items, such donations would be welcome. Checks should be made payable to People Helping People. The Greater Boston Food Bank will be providing the turkeys this year. Cub Scout families will be providing pies.

“Wish Tree” Volunteers Needed
Our church has been asked to provide volunteers for the Wish Tree table at the Burlington Mall on 2 days: Sat. Nov 25, 10 am – 8 pm and Thurs. Dec 7, 12 pm – 8 pm. There will be a sign-up sheet in Fellowship Hall soon.

Please sign up!!

The “Wish Tree” gives shoppers the opportunity to provide gifts for children in need in Burlington. For more information, see Jay Araujo.

Friday, December 1
11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Get in the holiday spirit with us! Join the Deacons on the first Friday of December for the Hanging of the Greens! We will decorate the church for Advent and Christmas. Advent begins on Sunday, December 3!

~ Annette Chapman-Adisho, Deacon Moderator

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, November 17 at 7:00PM.
Everyone is welcome to attend. If you need a Zentangle kit, the cost will be $15.00. If you already have a kit, the cost is $5.00. Ask Marylou Lynn if you have any questions.
Class size is limited to 12 so sign up soon in Fellowship Hall or call the church at 781-272-9190.

PRESBYTERIAN GIVING CATALOG

What would you do with three extra hours every day?

The bigger question is, what could those who are forced to walk miles for water each day do? Help give this time back through water-related gifts found in the Presbyterian Giving Catalog. Items like the sand dam, which is an effective method of water conservation in dryland communities, provide a sustainable source of clean water for entire communities. Together, we can help change the lives of countless people by giving them a reliable and convenient source of water.

With your support, gifts from the Presbyterian Giving Catalog can lessen the burden for those in need of help. Start flipping through the catalog, or give online at http://www.presbyteriangifts.org. There are catalogs on the table at the front of the church.

Interfaith Coffeehouse for Conscience
Saturday, November 4 7 – 11 pm
Join us for an evening of song, socializing and social justice.
Listen to fantastic live music featuring songs of protest, hope and peace.
Enjoy delicious desserts, fun raffles baskets and meeting new friends.
All proceeds will support the following local organizations assisting immigrants in our local communities:
* The Sanctuary Program at First Parish Bedford Unitarian Universalist Church, working to protect immigrants facing deportation;
* The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts, defending and preserving the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution, Bill of Rights and laws of the United States;
* The family of Francisco Rodriquez Guadardo, a hardworking Massachusetts resident with no criminal history who is currently being detained due to his lack of documentation.

Admission: $15 (includes dessert buffet)

Questions? Please contact Ellen at esfink29@gmail.com.

Location: Temple Shalom Emeth, 16 Lexington St., Burlington, MA

Christmas Eve Service

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Hello Friends

Hoping you will come – and invite friends and neighbors:

Tuesday, Christmas Eve, 7:00 p.m. – Our traditional Family Service for all ages with Nativity tableaux (scenes), carols and candlelight. The nursery will be heated for any parents and young children who need a break.

A great time to invite others!

Reminder for all those who are part of the tableaux – rehearsal is Monday night, 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, December 29 – Worship at 10:30 (no classes except for preschool)
A visit from Bethlehem’s innkeeper

A blessed Christmas to you and all your loved ones.