GLORY TO GOD!!
Can you finish the lines of these hymns?
– Then sings my soul, my Savior, God, to Thee, ________________________________
-Lift high _______________________________________________________________
What is so remarkable about the majority of Presbyterians being able to fill in these phrases? Or, more often than not, being able to sing these hymns from memory? These examples were new hymns when the “new blue” hymnal was released in 1990. Had the blue hymnal not been adopted, these songs – and many others just as meaningful – would have not been part of our shared worship life at the Presbyterian Church of Burlington. We all love the comfort of our “old” hymns and cherish the memories they evoke of when and where we learned those hymns. They also bring to mind those people in whose presence we learned those ‘heart songs’: parents and grandparents, Sunday school teachers, choir directors, youth leaders, or with friends at summer camp. Those black dots and assortments of letters on the page, signifying notes and words, take on a life of their own when we give them breath and voice. When sung by a congregation they become worship: confession and adoration, praise and lament. Those songs become a part of our faith journey: touchstones of moments and places, struggles and joys. We love when favorites appear in various seasons of the liturgical calendar.
In 2014, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) adopted a new hymnal: “Glory to God.” Its purple cover will soon be gracing our pews. Be assured, our familiar “old” blue hymnal and all our most favorite hymns will not disappear! However, we will be starting a journey of discovery with “Glory to God”, hoping to find hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs that speak to our congregation’s faith journey. The “new” purple hymnal was approved by the Session and purchased through funds from the Memorial Fund. After Easter, the Chancel Choir will begin a fund raising drive to help offset the cost of the hymnals, with all fund being returned to the Memorial Fund. For a donation of $20, a personalized bookplate will be added to a hymnal to recognize your loved one or cherished event. The bookplates will remain available until all 120 new sanctuary hymnals are inscribed! Ten large print hymnals are included in the order. If you would like a personal copy of “Glory to God” for your home use, several copies will be available for purchase for $20. Checks for donations should be made out to the Presbyterian Church of Burlington with the notation of “Hymnal bookplate” on your check’s memo line. With your donation, please CLEARLY write what you desire to have written on your bookplate. Checks and inscriptions should be given to Claudia Waite or any Chancel Choir member.
Mission & Advocacy
Our new Mission and Advocacy Committee is to identify opportunities for mission and advocacy, and communicate those opportunities to the congregation for shared service, prayer and action.
Our overall mission theme for 2018 is Poverty. Each month we plan to highlight one mission area. For the month of April our focus is on Fair Trade products. Fair trade products compensate the workers fairly and work to correct injustices in global trading.
The way we shop makes a difference.
Our church currently uses fair trade coffee during our fellowship time. We hope to make this coffee available for purchase by the congregation soon. Keep an eye on the bulletin for more information.
Also in April we will host Project Bread on April 15. Project Bread will be our focus in May, beginning with the Walk for Hunger on May 6.
If you are interested in being part of the committee, please talk to Trina or Mary Lou Lynn.
Are you considering becoming a member of our church? Would you like to learn more about the history of our church, and of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) more broadly? What do we believe and how do we practice our faith together?
We will explore these topics in a one-session new members’ class on Sunday, April 15th. We will gather for lunch together while we get to know one another better and explore our faith journeys. If you are interested in learning more, please speak to Pastor Trina and let her know! There is no pressure to join, if you want to just come and hear more about membership in the church, that is absolutely fine. Whether you’ve been coming for a few weeks, or for a few years, you are welcome to attend the class!
Our confirmation class is off to a great start! We have nine young people in the class this year, which is wonderful! The class meeting schedule is below.
In addition to our regular meetings, we will incorporate a service project into our learning experience, and attend worship services of other denominations or faith traditions. Confirmation Sunday will be on June 10th, so mark your calendars as we celebrate welcoming these young people into full membership of the church! We are also looking for adult members to pair with each of our young people as faith mentors. Mentors should be willing to meet with their student at least once prior to Confirmation Day, and to share with them your faith journey and learn more about theirs. You will also introduce your confirmand to the congregation on Confirmation Day, June 10th. If you are interested in being a mentor, please speak to Pastor Trina – we need at least seven more people to sign up!
Living our Values
Did you know that the coffee we serve every Sunday is purchased through a Fair Trade worker-owned co-operative organization called Equal Exchange? And that Equal Exchange was founded and is based locally, in Canton, MA? As part of our revitalized Mission and Outreach efforts, we have decided to go beyond just serving the coffee here on Sunday mornings, and offer bags of coffee, tea, and other products for purchase that you can use at home on a regular basis.
So, what is Fair Trade? It is part of a movement to partner with small farmers in developing countries around the world, to provide fair prices for their crops and in turn better wages for their employees. Rather than buying coffee beans, cacao, or tea leaves from a giant middleman, Equal Exchange and other Fair Trade organizations purchase directly from the growers themselves. Equal Exchange’s mission is to build long-term trade partnerships that are economically just and environmentally sound, to foster mutually beneficial relationships between farmers and consumers and to demonstrate, through our success, the contribution of worker cooperatives and Fair Trade to a more equitable, democratic and sustainable world.
Through partnering with Equal Exchange, small famers in Central America, South America, Africa, and Asia are able to build their own businesses to support their families and stay on their land; strengthen their local communities; and preserve and protect their natural environment through organic and sustainable farming practices.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is one of twelve interfaith partner organizations working with Equal Exchange. Started in 2001, the Presbyterian Coffee Project is a collaboration between Equal Exchange and the Presbyterian Church USA’s Enough for Everyone Program to involve more Presbyterian communities and individuals in supporting small farmers around the world. We hope you will be as excited to try these products at home as we are to be able to bring them to you at Coffee Hour! Look for the Equal Exchange table to appear at Coffee Hour within the next month!
Walk For Hunger
The annual Walk for Hunger is the largest fundraiser for Project Bread. For five decades, the Walk for Hunger has been Massachusetts’ annual state-wide effort to fund community-based anti-hunger work that ensure everyone living here has access to good food—a basic right. In 2017, through the individual fundraising efforts of Walk participants and generous supporters, Project Bread invested in 263 community food programs—including soup kitchens, food pantries, community farms and gardens, health center hunger prevention, food rescue, childhood nutrition programs, and much more—in 91 communities across the state.
For more than 30 years BPC has sent a team of walkers and raised thousands of dollars. In 2017 our team of ten raised more than $3,000. This year our team goal is $3,500. This is the first year Project Bread is implementing a $25 registration fee – they are doing this to make sure that all the funds raised by walkers and runners go directly to the cause of ending hunger in Massachusetts rather than covering the costs of putting on an event of this size safely (10,000-15,000 walkers + EMS services, policing, permits to walk through different towns, etc.)
If you’d like to walk this year – anywhere from 3.5 miles to all 20, you can register online for our team, or speak to Linda Roscoe, our team captain. To register online, visit projectbread.org/walk and click “Join a Team,” then select Burlington Presbyterian Church. Volunteers are also needed. If you’d like to be involved that way, please contact Olivia Wilker, the Volunteer Coordinator. Olivia will be able to answer any questions you might have about volunteering:
The committee met on February 25 to plan for worship services in March through Easter. We have decided for the near future to meet to plan seasonally. In other words, at our next meeting in mid-April we will be planning for services and events in May and June. Before the summer we will meet to discuss services for July and August and early September. At least that’s the current plan☺. Rev. Trina and Claudia will meet more frequently to coordinate weekly scripture, music and sermons.
Worship Chair, Chuck Anderson has taken on the responsibility of scheduling worship assistants and Kathleen Stegall will continue to provide materials for assistants for each Sunday.
The highlight of March was Sunday, March 18, when Claudia and the Chancel Choir presented “In The Final Week: A Cantata for Holy Week” by John Purifoy, accompanied by pianist James Myers, with Narrators Rev. Trina and Brad Morrison. It was beautiful and moving and a treat to the ears. It was a blessing to all who were able to be in church that Sunday.
By the time this article goes to print, we will have enjoyed Palm Sunday with children’s procession with palms and an anthem sung by children and the Chancel Choir.
Holy Week includes communion on Maundy Thursday evening and a Service of Shadows, with readings on Good Friday evening. If you have not attended these services in the past, plan to make the intention to include these worship opportunities in remembering Jesus’ journey from Palm Sunday to the Cross.
Easter Sunday worship will be joyful and celebratory with special Introit, hymns and anthem sung by the Chancel Choir and accompanied by the Hand Bell Choir.
We continue to encourage everyone to participate in worship. We always need worship assistants, ushers to collect the offering, singers, soloists and communion servers.
Our next program for gift giving is Pentecost.
A gift to the Pentecost Offering helps the church encourage, develop, and support its young people, and also address the needs of at-risk children. 40% of the Pentecost offering can be retained by individual congregations wanting to make an impact in the lives of young people within their own community. The remaining 60% is used to support ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency through child advocacy (10%), youth ministry (25 %) and Young Adult Volunteer opportunities (25 %):
Last year our church made a donation of $2000 for scholarships to children to attend Camp Wilmot.
Donations can be made on the day of Pentecost on May 20, 2018 or on-line at presbyterianmission.org/give/pentecost.
Thank you for your time and support for this wonderful program.
Your Stewardship Committee
Sue Hadsell, Kathleen Stegall, Jay Araujo