March 2018 Crossroads

Holy Week is Coming!
If you want to follow along with all the church activities easily, you can add the BPC calendar to your calendar using this link! We also post special activities on our Facebook Page.

Passion/Palm Sunday, March 25
Remembering Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem to confront the power of sin and death.
10:30 a.m. Worship
In keeping with tradition, there will be a palm procession, special music,
and the dedication of our One Great Hour of Sharing offering.

Maundy Thursday, March 29
Remembering the Last Supper
“Maundy Thursday” gets its name from Jesus’ “new commandment”
(mandatum in Latin) to love one another as He has loved us.

6:15 p.m.
Family teaching supper about communion −
Gathering for all families with conversation about the sacrament.
Families are invited to remain for the service and partake of communion.

7:30 p.m.
A brief service with celebration of the Lord’s Supper—
on the night we remember Jesus’ last meal with his disciples.
Communion is served around the communion table.

Good Friday, March 30
The Day of Jesus’ Crucifixion
It is “good” Friday because, despite appearances, it is God’s Friday.

7:30 p.m.
A vigil of prayer, readings, and extinguishing of candles in the darkened sanctuary, as we reflect on the meaning of Jesus’ crucifixion, of our lives, and our world.

Easter Sunday, April 1
The Day of Resurrection

9:00 a.m.
With cries of “He is risen!” we greet one another at our annual Easter Breakfast.
Hosted by Mark and Cheryl Wells.

10:30 a.m. − ALLELUIA!
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

Worship will celebrate the heart of the Good News, with jubilant music.
This is the love that overcomes death!

No Sunday School − worship will be for the whole family.
There will be child care for infants and toddlers in the Nursery.

News of our Church Family

A big thank you …
To all involved in the organizing, and achieving a fabulous Installation celebration for our new Pastor, Rev. Trina Portillo. It was truly a joyous occasion! If you missed it, check it out on YouTube.

To our friends from the Boston Grace Presbyterian Church. They have moved on to a bigger church, the First Baptist Church in Bedford.

Curbside Ashes

To start off the season of Lent we tried a new service for the commuters, offering them curbside ashes the afternoon of Ash Wednesday. Happily a few commuters did opt to receive ashes as they picked up their cars on February 14. Pastor Trina, Claudia Waite and Ken and Jen Dewar participated in dispensing the ashes. After that outreach, we were joined by the Vogels and James Myers for a light supper of soup, chili and delicious cornbread prior to the Ash Wednesday service.

Extra Voices Needed!

During the morning service on March 18, The Chancel Choir will be singing “In The Final Week”: A Cantata for Holy Week by John Purifoy. The cantata is a musical telling of the events of the last week of Christ’s earthly ministry. Each week during our regular Thursday night choir rehearsal, 7:30 to 8:30 pm, we will dedicate the last half of rehearsal to practicing the cantata. The cantata itself consists of six pieces of music, separated by narration: total length 25 to 30 minutes.

There will be other opportunities to make music throughout Holy Week … from Palm Sunday to Maundy Thursday, Good Friday AND Easter!! I am actively seeking percussionists for an upcoming anthem, as well as youth voices for a special piece on Palm Sunday (March 25).

All voices and instrumentalists of all ages are welcome!!! If you are interested in joining in any of these musical presentations, please contact Claudia! (Or drop a comment on the page and we’ll connect you.)

Confirmation Class

Our confirmation class is off to a great start! We have eight young people in the class, and we are open to more students joining us at our next meeting. If you, or your child, is in 8th grade or above, and would like to join this year’s confirmation class, please speak to Pastor Trina before our next class on March 4th. 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. If you are interested in being a mentor, please see Pastor Trina.

Schedule – Spring 2018
Confirmation Class will meet the following Sundays from 12-1:15 pm in front classroom.
Please speak to Pastor Trina if you need to sign up
February 18
March 4
March 18
April 8
April 22
April 29 (make up session)
May 6
May 20
June 3 – meet with Session members and present statement of faith
June 10 – Confirmation Sunday

Given that we only have 7 or 8 class dates, we have a lot of material to cover in our time together. If you are going to have to miss more than 2 classes, please speak to Trina about arranging another time we can meet. There will be one make up session on April 29th.

Trustees Report
At our first meeting after the annual meeting, we decided to keep the same assignments for the coming year since the board had no new members.

As most of you know, Boston Grace Presbyterian Church, who rented our space since September 1, 2017, will be leaving at the end of February for a new home in Bedford. Since they took care of closing up on Sunday afternoon, we now must be diligent in making sure the church is secure after we leave. Please be sure to lock all windows and doors, turn all lights out (especially the rest rooms) and clean up after coffee hour. This is a responsibility of all our members, not just a few.

Christian Education
Our youth participated in the Souper Bowl of Caring on January 28th, collecting 90 items of food and $75 to donate to the Burlington Food Pantry.

On Thursday, March 29th we will hold a Communion Workshop for elementary age students and their parents, starting at 6:15 with pizza. We’ll explore the origin and meaning of the Communion Sacrament. Afterwards, all participants will be invited to stay for the Maundy Thursday worship service, which begins at 7:30, which will include the Celebration of the Lord’s Supper.

All the youth of the church will be participating in the Procession of the Palms at the beginning of the service. We kindly ask that they arrive at church no later than 9:45 am on Sunday, March 25!
Mark your calendar and thank you!!

Women’s Bible Study is beginning a study of the Book of James on March 8. All women are invited to attend! Please join us on Thursday mornings from 9:30 to 11:00 am.

People Helping People
People Helping People’s holiday program was successful once again. 86 families with 185 children received gifts. Families received Market Basket gift cards and senior citizens received Target gift cards and holiday baskets. This year we reached out to folks living in senior housing to let them know the pantry is available and to give gifts.
Upcoming events for PHP are a presence at the town election in April and participation in the annual postal food drive in May.

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!

You are invited to become a member
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 member’s class this spring, at a date to be determined. 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!

April 29, 2018, 2:30 to 5:30

District Hall, Boston

Fourth Fest is a chance to honor over two decades of Fourth Presbyterian Church’s service in the neighborhood of South Boston! Celebrate with us the joy of our Summer Meals Programs, our after school music and arts programming, our youth outreach and youth organizing project, our food pantry, and our many other community ministries.

We’ll have good food, a musical and magical program, a silent auction, and a live auction. Join us for the celebration!

A Family FUNdraiser for the Boston YAV Program

March 17, 2018 – 4pm to 7pm

First Presbyterian Church in Needham
1458 Great Plain Avenue

Music, Games and Festive Food!
Swing and Sway with the Ipswich Jazz Band – Matthew Small, Conductor
Play games with Friends and Family
Enjoy a festive meal with a green theme
Get to know our YAVs and what they do
Wear green!
Tickets $15/single. $40/family.
$150/table sponsorship + 4 tickets

For tickets go to:

Changing of the Guard at Worship Committee
Newly installed Elder, Chuck Anderson is the new chair of the committee. He will begin his duties when we meet on Sunday February 25 to make plans for the rest of Lent, Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter.

Communion will be served on Sunday, March 4 and around the Table on Maundy Thursday, March 29.

Just in case inquiring minds want to know, here is the official job description of the Worship Committee.

To coordinate worship experiences at BPC, both weekly and special services, and recommend changes as appropriate. To support this purpose, the pastor and organist/music director are standing members of the committee.

The committee coordinates all worship needs, including the following.

Worship assistants: Provide sign-up sheets and recruit lay members as assistants, as well as maintaining records of which members have served as worship assistants and when they served. Kathleen provides materials to the worship assistant in advance of the service.

Guest preachers: Working with the pastor, arrange for guest preachers as needed, for instance during the pastor’s vacation.

Ushers: Coordinate logistics for church services, including posting hymn numbers, lighting candles, assigning members to collect offering, counting those attending the service and recording the total, and straightening the sanctuary after the service.

Communion servers: Recruit elders and deacons to serve communion on the first Sunday each month and at special services; prepare and post diagram outlining movement and serving direction for each person; assist servers as they enter the sanctuary; maintain a list of servers and the dates they served to assure that elders and deacons have regular opportunities to serve.

Music: Working with the organist/music director, arrange any substitute or special musicians, including those needed during summer services.

February 2013 Crossroads

Winter Light: Discerning Our Path
February 2, 2013
12:30 – 4:00

Did you know there is an ancient Christian tradition associated with February 2 (aka Groundhog Day)? As the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, Candlemas is a day to thank God for light. It is also the traditional day to bless the candles that will be used over the coming year.

This is an opportunity to pause and ponder about the light and shadow in our own lives. Where do we need light? What parts of our lives are in between light and dark?

We won’t just think about light – we will make candles, worship, talk, and reflect together.

Sign in will begin at 12:30 with coffee and goodies. There is no cost. Feel to bring friends.

Please come and light up your own life!

Ash Wednesday Service
February 13, 7:30 p.m.

Quiet reflection, music and prayer will be the focus of this service to assist our meaningful entry into the season of Lent. The service will provide a time of peaceful renewal in the midst of our challenging days.

Join the church family, and help us welcome others, to this traditional service marking the start of Lent. There will be ashes and an opportunity for placing them on our foreheads as the sign of our humility and dependence upon God’s grace (use of ashes will be voluntary).

This can be an important start, in the right spirit, to the journey of Lent toward Holy Week. Please plan to make it part of your life.

One Great Hour of Sharing

Catastrophic storms and wildfires throughout the United States. War and political uprising in the Middle East. Malnutrition and starvation. Extreme poverty and urban squalor. Stories of disaster, hunger, poverty, and other tragedies filled our newspapers and television screens in 2012. With such stories, it is easy to become disheartened and experience compassion fatigue. In the midst of these times, the prophet Isaiah reminds us that we are called to be “the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in” (Isa. 58:12). We are called to make God’s community livable for all.

Through abundant and generous gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) Presbyterians have for many years faithfully heeded God’s call to serve people seeking to reclaim and restore their lives.

Your gift to this offering allows Presbyterian Disaster Assistance to restore communities around the world affected by disaster including those now recovering from Hurricane Sandy. It helps the Presbyterian Hunger Program work with Presbyterians and other partners to alleviate hunger and eliminate its causes in this country and internationally and makes it possible for Self-Development of People to affirm the dignity of all by assisting in the empowerment of economically poor, oppressed, and disadvantaged people.

“Sharing Brings Joy. To Others, to God, and to Us.”

The programs supported by OGHS depend on continued and increased support from congregations like yours. As a result of your gifts and the gifts of other congregations across the church, OGHS will continue to be a reminder that through the simple act of sharing, we are blessed and experience God’s abundance in surprising ways. Thank you for your longtime support of this offering, as together we are Sharing Resources . . . Changing Lives.
Sara Pottschmidt Lisherness
Compassion, Peace, and Justice

Our offering will be received on Palm Sunday, March 24. Fishboxes will be available for the children.

Beth Denier

(contributed by Joan Ross)

The purpose of worship is not to hear a sermon, to sing a hymn or two. It is something much larger: to come in contact with the world as it is and as we want it to be. Both and at the same time. That’s why it looks so silly to an outsider who objects to the seemingly easy transition, not knowing that it is not easy at all. It is an ongoing process Sunday after Sunday after Sunday. It is not a habit; it is a discipline and discipleship. In one short hour to moan and mourn and then forget oneself and join with joy the others in a mock-up banquet reminding us of bread/hunger, wine/blood, life/death, and resurrection/hope that defies despair. You don’t do that in an hour; the hour only becomes a manifestation of what it takes a lifetime to realize.
The hour spent in church is irreplaceable. When I now leave for church on Sunday morning and return an hour and a half later, I can hardly believe such a short time has elapsed. What could I have done in that length of time? Read a little, think somewhat, listen to music, finish a review, prepare a meal, yes. But compared to the cosmic importance and personal engagement that takes place in church – no, it cannot be compared. Church time is eternal. (Brita Stendahl)

Saturday, February 9th, 7-9 PM

The UCC Church is hosting a special event for music lovers and chocolate lovers alike. Noted professional jazz singer, Lydia Harrell, will be performing while we enjoy a variety of decadent chocolate desserts.

UCC Church
6 Lexington Street,
Burlington, MA

Tickets: $15.00

For more information:
Julie Lewis: 617-281-8670

5p Syndrome

Each year in the United States, approximately 50 to 60 children are born with 5p- Syndrome (five p minus), also known as Cat Cry Syndrome or Cri du Chat Syndrome. 5p- Syndrome is characterized at birth by a high pitched cry, low birth weight; slow physical development and potential medical complications. “5p-” is a term used by geneticists to describe a portion of chromosome number five that is missing in these individuals. Children born with this rare genetic defect require ongoing support from a team of parents, therapists, and medical and educational professionals to help the child achieve his or her maximum potential.

My granddaughter, Lydia, has this rare syndrome. Fortunately, she has a strong set of parents (my daughter Laurel and son-in-law Greg) and supportive siblings who help her cope with her needs. There is also a national organization which holds yearly meetings throughout the United States to help families connect and learn more about their children. This summer the annual conference will be held in New York and my daughter is on the planning committee.

Here’s where BPC can help. I am asking for sponsors for the Fun Camp portion of the program for the 5P youngsters and young adults ages 12 and up. (Lydia is 14). In the past, this group has often been gathered in front of tv’s or movies during the day while the parents are attending the lectures and programs. This year, Laurel is planning a more active program, using leaders from the physical therapy classes which she teaches at Columbia University. The Fun Camp will include a music game show, yoga, memory book making, a photo booth, dance party, rhythm games, and other activities. Many supplies and donations are needed.
Examples of supplies needed include :

  • Large posters for photo backdrops – preferably of city, dance, or beach scenes.
  • Costume supplies: wedding dresses, top hats, cummerbunds, boas, big sunglasses, beach hats & towels, cowboy hats, prince and princess crowns, magician’s cape, doctor’s white coat, any NY sports team clothing, etc.
  • Yoga mats, pre-made yoga pose pictures, pre-made photo cards, memory book decorations
  • The actual memory books will be pre-made with the conference logo on the front, but donations to purchase them and to purchase film are needed.

    See me if you are interested in contributing any of these items or with a check made out to 5P- Society to help defray expenses. This outreach goes a bit beyond our Burlington community, but it would be very meaningful to me and my family. And BPC will be noted as one of the sponsors in the program notes. I need to gather all donations by March 17th in order to take them to my daughter in time for her to determine what else will be needed. You can also find out more information about the 5p- Society and the conference on their website:

    Thanks in advance – Millie Wiegand