March 2014 Crossroads

Interim Search Committee formed

The Session has appointed a committee of 5 persons who will seek a minister to serve in an interim capacity. Ken Dewar, Niloo Hennings, James McIninch, Brad Morrison and Linda Roscoe have agreed to form the committee. Brad will serve as convener, at least initially. The committee will work closely with Presbytery’s Committee on Ministry in finding a minister trained in interim work, to begin at some time following Rod’s retirement (April 30) and serve until a new pastor is called.

Part way through the interim period a pastor nominating committee (PNC) will be elected by the congregation to do the work of finding a candidate for the church’s next installed pastor. The interim period typically lasts 1.5-2 years.

Congratulations… Angela Wantate has been chosen to represent the Boston Presbytery in Detroit during General Assembly in the role of Young Adult Advisory Delegate. This will take place in June. This is an exciting opportunity for her. Wish her well when you see her.

Mark Vogel has been appointed chair of the Committee on Preparation of Ministry by Boston Presbytery. It is a wonderful opportunity for him to share his knowledge with a greater audience.

Coffee with Rod

As you all know, our pastor is retiring as of April 30. He would like to visit and talk to each one of us individually, but that is not practical. We have devised a plan so that all who wish to will have a chance to have coffee/tea with Rod. We envision small group gatherings for sharing memories, hopes for the future, and maybe prayers together. We have set up a schedule of days and times to choose from. You will find sign-up sheets in the usual place in fellowship hall, or you can call the office to let the secretary know which of these times you would like to meet with Rod.

Coffee with the Pastor
Wednesday, March 19, 7-8 PM
Saturday, March 29, 3-4 PM
Thursday, April 3, 1:30-2:30 PM

(Those who would prefer to meet with Rod individually before his departure should also feel welcome to contact him at the church.)

Deacon’s Corner
The deacon’s held their first meeting a little late because of being snowed out on our original date. New assignments were distributed. Once again, we ask you to give generously to the food pantry on the first Sunday of each month. The winter is a difficult time of year for many families.

Thank you all for the rides for George. He appreciates it and so do we.

Friday Night at the Movies!
Friday, March 14, 7:00 pm
Feature Presentation to be announced

Free! Bring friends! Popcorn!

The Hospitality Committee

YES, of course there is a party being planned to celebrate our years at the Presbyterian Church in Burlington with our beloved pastor, Rod MacDonald.

Planning is just in the initial phase, but the evening of Saturday, April 26th can be marked on your calendar.
The event coordinators are Vida Pipim and Jane McIninch. See them for more information.

There will also be a special coffee hour after Rod’s last service with us on April 27th.

Winter Retreat Recap

On February 1st, eighteen good folks experienced a refreshing retreat about Seeking Simplicity. Sixteen folks were from BPC and two were friends of the church from Burlington and North Andover. The morning was spent in worship, praise, and in finding ways to simplify our lives. After small group discussions about what simplicity could look like, groups decided to tackle three themes in more depth: (1) Simplifying their minds and lifestyles, especially from the complexities and distractions of technology; (2) de-cluttering and simplifying homes and possessions; and (3) focusing and discerning priorities. Vigorous discussions ensued and some strategies and solutions were formed and then shared with the whole group.

Some of the solutions we came up with simplifying lifestyles in the complexities of today’s world and technology were defining your priorities, being able to articulate and communicate them, and stick with them. Be comfortable asking for help, it’s OK to let some projects/tasks fail, and never lose your “inner river otter” (always have fun and find enjoyment in life). Solutions for de-cluttering our physical lives were to schedule a time as a family to go through stuff and get rid of it, use the time to tell stories on why items are important to each family member, and learn about each other’s attachments as you clean up. You don’t have to say yes all the time. Ask yourself why you’d say yes to something? Think about what you are doing and determine why it is important. O.H.I.O. = Only Handle It Once (complete a task as you think of it and don’t set it aside for later). flyady.net is a helpful on-line resource. Find affirmation when you do something good. Solutions for discerning priorities and de-cluttering minds were to find out what you are drawn to, align your needs with others, trade certain times and spaces for personal Sabbath and keep your mind at rest at these times. Hopefully these can be starting points for others thinking about simplicity.

After a delicious pot luck lunch, the first part of the afternoon was enlivened with a class in making pesto, a class in Qigong, spiritual reflection, and “doodling” and conversation. This was followed by a presentation from our YAV Alex Haney about the Boston Faith and Justice Network’s take on simplicity as a tool for discipleship. Groups considered how we can respond to Jesus ‘call to care for the hungry and oppressed by taking stock of our basic needs and finding ways to share with others while simplifying our own lives. Participants also discussed the influences on how we think about money and how we think about our resources. The day closed with worship and the delightful haunting notes of “Simple Gifts” as played on a recorder. It was a lovely day for those who attended.

Legends of the Celtic Harp with Patrick Ball, Lisa Lynne & Aryeh Frankfurter at BPC
Sunday March 23, 3:00 pm
Admission: $15.00

LEGENDS OF THE CELTIC HARP – with Patrick Ball, Lisa Lynne & Aryeh Frankfurter
Three of the premier Celtic harpers in the world, Patrick Ball, Lisa Lynne and Aryeh Frankfurter have created a dramatic ensemble that takes you deep into the myths, magic and fabled history of this most captivating instrument. You will hear three harps, Swedish Nyckelharpa, Cittern, Irish Bouzouki and more. History, humor and heartwarming stories are woven together with enchanting music both ancient and new. http://www.LegendsOfTheCelticHarp.com

Spring is in the Air

If spring is coming that means it is time for Farmer Dave to return. The spring shares will be starting March 3, 2014. Pick-up time for spring are 4-6:30 pm. If you have not signed up yet, hurry! You don’t want to miss out on the tender baby vegetables that will soon be here. It’s not too late. For more information, see Jane or Alex.

YAV Report from Alex Haney
Manna Monday
President’s Day 2014 at the church was very exciting for 7 of our youth and their parents. With a visit from my friend Ezekiel we heard a first-hand account of God giving Moses’ people what he called “Bread from Heaven” and what they called manna which is translated “What is it?” There are two biblical accounts of manna given to the Israelites in the desert: Exodus 16 and Numbers 11. The Israelites in their hunger and impatience lost faith in God and wanted to go back to Egypt, where even though they were slaves, they had plenty to eat. God gives them plenty of manna to keep them going. Enough each day so they wouldn’t need extra. Every morning there was more food so they didn’t need to store it or hoard it away for later. There was always enough. (Except for the Sabbath when there was none, but they were allowed to save up for that on the sixth day only).

The story was echoed by a Rod MacDonald original song about Manna, followed by a Burlington original Bible and botany lesson. We learned about the versatility of manna, how it was a wafer-like substance, similar to coriander seed, and scattered on the ground like frost. The Israelites could eat it plain or smash it into powder with a mortar to make cakes that tasted like a wafer cooked in oil or dipped in honey. It was a versatile substance with several end uses much like flour is for us today. We use flour for bread, taco shells, doughnuts, cakes, pancakes, noodles, biscuits; the list goes on.

After some very fun food related games, the kids journeyed through the process of sorting out the wheat grains from other things, and pounding it into flour with a mortar like the Israelites did with the manna. We also made pasta from scratch with just flour, eggs, salt, water, and lots of love and care of everyone’s hands. Some of the longest noodles I’ve ever seen were made right here in our church! It made a tasty snack for us, but was kind of bland without any pasta sauce. I guess that’s ok because Moses’ people never got any tomato sauce from God with their manna (at least none I’m aware of) and it got them through the desert to the Promised Land!

Mark your calendars for the next Manna Monday on April 21, Patriots Day! While the church is celebrating new life in the season of Easter and Massachusetts celebrates our historic birth as a new nation we will discover biblical themes on seeds, sprouting, and new life together with other kitchen-crafting activities. More information to come. Just let me know if you or your kids want to get involved. (alex@bostonfaithjustice.org) Many thanks to Sally, Beth, Jane, James, Amy, Barbara, Steve, Rod, Kim, Millie, and everyone who let us borrow your stuff and your kids to make “manna.” I really enjoyed it!

Touching the Elephant

Life often feels like that old story of the six blind men who touched the elephant, doesn’t it? One touches the leg, and concludes an elephant is like a pillar. One touches the tail, and says an elephant is like a rope. One who touches the trunk decides an elephant is like a tree branch, and the one who touches the ear thinks it’s like a big fan…

So many aspects to our lives, we can’t contain them all, can’t understand them all at once. Doesn’t it often feel that way with our church’s life and mission?

There are so many aspects of our ministry together, and we’d probably agree that all (or most) are important and contribute something good. But as it was with the elephant, we bring our human limitations and can’t touch everything. So…the important thing is, find what it is that God seems to be calling you to, and offer your touch there!

There is a Jewish concept known as tikkun olam, which has the meaning to mend the world. This is the work we are here to do.

This fall, there are many ways to be part of BPC’s life and ministry. Have you gotten to know Alex Haney, our YAV (Young Adult Volunteer)? Find out how you can help support the food/justice ministry he is here to be part of as he works with our Farmer Dave program and more. A team is being formed for a Habitat for Humanity work day in Lowell on October 12 (Tom Hennings is heading this effort). Our retreat based on learning about our spiritual gifts (called Bloom Where You’re Planted) is set for October 19 (Marylou Lynn is coordinating). And there are still needs in our Sunday education program with children (Marti Huff is Christian Education Chair). Our Sunday worship always welcomes new worship assistants, singers in choir and praise group, bell ringers, greeters, ushers…

But if you can only be here to add to our joy in worship as part of the congregation, then, by all means, come!

None of us can be part of every aspect of the church’s life – and none of us should try! We are called to “touch” those places where God and our hearts lead us, and to give what we are able as our small part of mending the world.

Rod

Summer 2013 Crossroads

A big THANK YOU…
…goes out to our dedicated Christian Education staff for their good, nurturing work during 2012-2013. A recognition service took place, followed by the annual CE cookout, on July 9. In the teachers’ honor, the Session gave a special donation to the Mission of Deeds.
…and likewise to all the folks who gave so much so that we might have a successful Yard Sale on June 22, especially co-coordinators Judy Brunner and Sally Morrison (an unbeatable team!). Many came on a hot Saturday to shop, and a good quantity of our former nursery school materials were sold to folks with other schools, day cares etc.

A NEWS FLASH!
Jane McIninch has accepted an offer from People Helping People to serve as a co-coordinator of the Burlington Food Pantry! This is such a natural and wonderful step for Jane, who has led our church’s hosting of Farmer Dave’s CSA, and a very good thing for the Burlington community. Congratulations, Jane – and let’s keep her in our prayers as she starts this important service.

Movies in the Good Ol’ Summertime…

There will be two Friday Nights at the Movies during August.

Family Movie on August 9, 6:30 p.m. (note earlier time!)
A wonderful family film set in Scotland.

August 23, 7:30 p.m. A 60s movie classic!

Both movies free of charge! Popcorn! Bring friends!

Deacons Corner
There have been so many tragedies in our country and around the world affecting children this year. The deacons have decided to do something for the children. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance runs a program called “Gift of the Heart”. It distributes kits to people in need. In the past, we have sent hygiene kits. We decided to make school kits and we need your help. Each kit will contain 1- pair of blunt scissors, 3- 70 count notebooks (like our “doodle” books our church provides for the children), 1- 12” ruler, 1- hand held pencil sharpener, 6- new pencils with erasers, 1- large eraser and 1- box of 24 crayons. Each of these items will be packed into a homemade cloth tote bag. In August, when you are doing your back to school shopping, please think of these children who have lost everything in storms, fires, and wars. These kits can give them a small sense of normalcy in their lives as they are relocated in strange homes or shelters. We could also use a few people to make the tote bags. They are very easy to make. There will be one on display in August. If you would like a copy of the pattern, see Kathleen. There is a processing fee for each bag, so monetary gifts would also be appreciated.

We are teaming up with Christian Education to have the children involved with the assembling of these kits on Rally Day. It’s a great way of teaching about God’s mission for us to help those in need!
Thank you for your anticipated help!

We served 24 guests at The Dwelling Place in June.

Church Picnic!

Our Church picnic is scheduled for July 14, after worship, at Springs Brook Park in Bedford. Meat will be provided, please bring a side dish, a salad, or a dessert to share. Please bring your own beverages…no alcohol allowed! There are grills available, and a snack bar. Activities include swimming and a playground. The park opens at 10:00 a.m. There is a fee of $8.00 per person as long as we have at least 20 people, children 1 and under admitted free. If you have folding lawn chairs or beach chairs you may want to bring them. If you have a fun outside game to share, please bring it!

Your Hospitality Committee at work!

Turn left out of church onto Route 62/3A towards Billerica. Turn left onto Francis Wyman/62. Continue to follow 62 into Bedford for about 4 miles at which point 62 is also Page Road. Turn right to continue on Page Road (departing 62) to 4 way stop at Springs Road. Turn right onto Springs Road for 0.1 mile to access road to Springs Brook Park.
New Mission Highlights

Following up on the Pentecost presentations and article in previous Crossroads, here are some updates:

The Food Justice Program will really get underway in August with the arrival of a Young Adult Volunteer who will work with our CSA program and congregation as well as with the Boston Faith and Justice Network. See Jane McIninch or Millie Wiegand for more info.

The Retreat Planning Group has set a date of October 19 for the next one-day retreat for church family and friends. Mark Vogel is contact person at this point.

Housing Ministry is looking at possible Saturdays in the fall for work days with Habitat for Humanity. Tom Hennings is working on this.

Friday Nights Live is beginning to schedule Friday night opportunities for the fall for crafters, movie watchers, game lovers, and live music! Tara Goss is currently the one to see.

Unfortunately, we have not yet confirmed a major new occupant for our facilities during the week (to replace our former nursery school). We continue to have interest parties contact us, so we are hopeful something will emerge soon.

So if you signed up as having interest in any of these areas on Pentecost Sunday – or if you missed that opportunity but want to be involved – get in touch with any of the folks above, or the church office, or stay tuned for further information!

Welcome Back, Farmer Dave

Summer shares have started!! Fruit shares start on July 15th!! Don’t miss out on the tasty fresh vegetables and fruit provided by Farmer Dave. Sign up for summer shares now and enjoy fresh vegetables and fruit all summer! For information, see brochures on church table.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!
Judy and Sally wish to thank all who helped with the yard sale on June 22. We had a lot of stuff to be sorted and priced but we made it happen. At last count proceeds were $1,827.71.
Sally & Judy

Table Gathering at Church of the Covenant
To support the Young Adult Volunteer Program

Join in for a seasonal cooking lesson and three course meal on August 11th and October 13th. Class size is limited to 25 so email bbjyavprogram@gmail.com to reserve your spot and ask for a registration form. Cost is $50 per individual and $80 per couple. See the flyer on the bulletin board for more information.

The Holy Spirit Lives!

Thank you to all who contributed to this year’s Pentecost Offering and proved once again that the Holy Spirit abides with us in Burlington. We raised $1,203 for projects that invest in the future of the church by supporting ministries that encourage, develop and support its young people as well as provide assistance to at-risk children. This is one of the newer special offerings that we have each year and is especially meaningful to us this year because we as a congregation are going to be able to benefit from one of the programs sponsored: the Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program. (See separate article in the Crossroads for more information about this exciting venture). THANKS AGAIN FOR YOUR GENEROSITY!

IMPORTANT:
We are making the Crossroads available through emailing. We will continue to send it by U.S. Post to those who do not use email, or would prefer to receive it this way. The savings in office time and postage will be significant for the church. If you did not receive this issue also by email, it means we do not have your email address. Would you like to provide it?
Thanks!

Sarah Parker is Peace
Scholarship Award Winner

Burlington High School graduate Sarah Parker received the annual Peace Scholarship award at the June awards night at Burlington High School. This is the thirteenth year of this scholarship sponsored by the Interreligious Group of Burlington, an association of congregations and clergy. Starting with the year following the Columbine High School shootings, these congregations began and funded the scholarship to recognize and encourage actions by students which resolve conflict and nurture tolerance for differences. It is given without regard to religious affiliation or financial need.

Sarah Parker was nominated by the BHS Music Coordinator, John Middleton-Cox. She has been the Stage Manager at BHS and co-president of the Stage Crew Club. She was nominated because of her work, which has included not only managing productions. She has also mediated and intervened in many high-tension and stressful situations related to backstage anxieties and the personal lives of crew and cast. She was praised for her maturity and knack of bringing calm to those in tense conditions. The scholarship selection committee, which interviewed Sarah, was impressed with the clarity of her thoughts on the nature of peace, both inner and outer, including conflict resolution. She will be attending Clark University in Worcester, and has already reached out to a program that mentors and provides safe after-school programs for area youth.

Congregations involved in the Interreligious Group are the Presbyterian Church, St. Malachy’s Church, St. Margaret’s Church, St. Mark’s Church, Temple Shalom Emeth, and the United Church of Christ, Congregational. For more information, contact Rev. Rod MacDonald, 781-272-9190.

Boston Food Justice Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) Program
The Presbyterian Church USA provides opportunities for young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 to spend a year in service with a local organization working in a partnership with a Presbyterian church. This is one of the endeavors that our Pentecost Offering helps support.

This year, the Boston Presbytery is sponsoring four YAVS to engage in the mission of four churches to provide healthy and sustainable food for all people. Burlington Presbyterian Church applied and was selected to be a part of this innovative program. Throughout the year, we will be sharing more information about our particular projects. In the next Crossroads, we hope to introduce the young person who will become a member of our congregation for the year (Sept – Aug). For more information about this exciting YAV program, see Jane McIninch or Millie Wiegand.

Each Host Placement Site in the Boston Food Justice YAV Program is a collaboration between a Presbyterian congregation and a local organization working on issues of food justice. These are the four programs planned for the 2013-2014 year.

(1) Burlington Presbyterian Church & The Boston Faith & Justice Network
The Boston Faith & Justice Network (BFJN) , a community of Christians committed to alleviating poverty and promoting just stewardship partners with Burlington Presbyterian Church, a dynamic congregation located in the Boston metro area, as a YAV host site. The YAV placed at this site will work on a variety of projects including but not limited to development and implementation of food justice educational programming, expansion of the Farmer Dave CSA program, youth engagement in food systems work, a set of recommendations for shifting food consumption towards more just patterns, and leadership of an economic discipleship curriculum.

(2) Church of the Covenant & The Women’s Lunch Place
The Women’s Lunch Place (WLP) provides a safe, comfortable daytime shelter, nutritious food, and services for women who are homeless or poor. They share a facility space with their YAV partner, Church of the Covenant (COTC), a faith community striving for peace, compassion, justice and love while journeying in the light of Christ led by God’s grace-filled Spirit. The YAV placed with COTC+WLP will work to improve operations of COTC’s emergency food pantry, seek local food sourcing options for WLP, and work on a demonstration vegetable garden on the church’s land, as well as enter into the life of both of these unique communities through worship and relationship building.

(3) The Hartford Street Church & A Place to Turn
A Place to Turn is an emergency food pantry that offers food access with dignity to residents of the greater Natick area. Located on the same property as the Hartford Street Church, this organization and congregation are looking forward to catalyzing new opportunities to work together out of what has been for many years an exciting partnership. The YAV placed at this site will work with the church to finalize and roll out plans for building a large community garden on Hartford Street Church’s land. This effort is a partnership with the City of Natick and an ecumenical group of churches in the city. The YAV will also work regularly in a support role with A Place to Turn and work on fresh food production strategies for supplying food grown in the community garden to the food pantry.

(4) First United Presbyterian Church of Cambridge & Bread for the World
Bread for the World works to advocate with a Christian voice for political change to end hunger both domestically and globally. Partnering with First United Presbyterian Church of Cambridge (FUPC), the YAV working in this site placement will get the opportunity to be trained as a community organizer and collaborate with FUPC and Bread for the World to develop a local strategy for political organizing. Through engaging with both the greater Presbytery community as well as the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization and other groups in the city, new opportunities will be catalyzed for activism on issues of hunger.

YAV – Young adult volunteer to work with BPC

The Boston Faith & Justice Network (BFJN) , a community of Christians committed to alleviating poverty and promoting just stewardship partners with Burlington Presbyterian Church, a dynamic congregation located in the Boston metro area, as a YAV host site. The YAV placed at this site will work on a variety of projects including but not limited to development and implementation of food justice educational programming, youth engagement in food systems work, a set of recommendations for shifting food consumption towards more just patterns, and leadership of an economic discipleship curriculum.

Read mroe here!