GREEN STEEPLE MESSENGER
First Baptist Church
81 Saint Paul Street Ste. 1
Burlington, VT. 05401
VOLUME NO. 6 June 1, 2023
GREEN STEEPLE, GRATEFUL PEOPLE, GROWING IN FAITH, PROCLAIMING GOD’S LOVE
A MONTH OF CELEBRATIONS
The month of June will be full of celebrations. Each Sunday will be special and celebrate a different aspect of our life together.
On June 4 we will baptize and welcome new members. We will celebrate the faith commitments made by each new member and we will celebrate the restoration of our baptistry which was out of commission for several years. It will be a glorious day of celebrating our community of faith.
On June 11 we will be joined in worship by Jazz musician Ray Vega. We will celebrate the music ministries of our church, the dedicated folk who make up our choirs and Instrumental Ensemble, and thank our Music staff; Evan Allen, Anna Roy, Brenda Perkins, and Steve Perkins for their commitment to bringing great music to our worship each week. It will be a melodious day of celebrating the music and musicians among us.
On June 18 our worship service will be led by the children and youth of our Church School. We will celebrate their insights and energy and we will honor our teachers; Annie Field, Kee Lar, Cindy Little, Lois Lynch, Tha Lei Paw, Brenda Perkins, Anna Roy, and Sarah Wright. These teachers, children, and youth are vital and wonderful parts of our community. It will be a marvelous day of celebrating their presence among us.
On June 25 we will worship together with New Alpha Missionary Baptist Church as we welcome Rev. Dale Edwards, the Executive Minister of ABCVNH as our guest preacher. We will celebrate our connections with New Alpha and the ministries of Rev. Edwards who is retiring this summer. It will be a tremendous day of celebrating our American Baptist connections.
From celebration to celebration, we will recognize the bonds we share and the common call that we receive from Christ who draws us together and empowers us for service. This newsletter is full of opportunities for fellowship, learning, service and celebration. It is a joy to be in ministry with you.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Karen A. Mendes
First Baptist Church Staff
Rev. Karen A. Mendes .…………………………… Pastor
Annie Field ……….. ………………… CE Director
Adam Chamberlain …………… Church Administrator
Steve Perkins ……….. Instrumental Group Director
Evan Allen ………………………………..Organist
Anna Roy…………………..Chancel Choir Director
The Karen Baptist Community Team……….Sexton
Hto Lwee Wah ……………….………Tech Support
Officers of First Baptist
Mark Paulsen……………….…Assistant Moderator
Beth Gamache……. …………….…Assistant Clerk
Bill McCormick….…………….Assistant Treasurer
Marilyn Siple. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Financial Secretary
Marie Morton. . . . . . . . . . . . . Asst. Financial Sec’y
Sarah Dopp ……………………………… Historian
Sunday Morning Worship Service 10:00
Office Phone: (802) 864-6515
Office Hours: M, W, F (9-1) T, Th (9-3)
Email address: email@example.com
Web Site Address: www.fbcburlingtonvt.com
Visit us on Facebook
First Baptist Church, Burlington, Vt.
IS JUNE 15th
GIFT OF TIME
Though the pandemic is no longer affecting every aspect of our lives, we should retain some of the good things we learned. One of these is keeping in touch with our church friends in between Sundays, especially those who have not been able to return to church in person. All of us are part of the First Baptist Visitation Team and can call or email our church friends or send a note or card.
Please take some time to reach out to the church members and friends who live in your town. You can access the church directory through Instantchurchdirectory.com or through the Instant Church Directory App.
SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICES
June 4 – Baptisms and Welcome of New Members
June 11 – Mercy, Not Sacrifice
June 18 – Youth Reflections
June 25 – Guest Preacher –
Rev. Dale Edwards, Executive Minister of ABCVNH
OPPORTUNITIES FOR FELLOWSHIP AND LEARNING
MONDAY BIBLE STUDY
meets in Fellowship Hall and on Zoom each Monday at 11:30am. We are reading the Letters of Paul.
THE CHOSEN is a television series exploring the life of Jesus and his early followers. We will be showing an episode or two at church on Mondays at 2pm. Those who would like to watch from home can access the show on https://www.angel.com/watch/the-chosen or through Netflix, Amazon, or other streaming services.
CHURCH CAMP IS COMING!
We will gather for Vacation Bible Camp August 7th-11th from 9am-12pm. Please prayerfully consider how you might be a part of this vital children’s ministry. We have room to use everyone’s talents both with the children and behind the scenes. A Volunteer signup form will be available soon. The theme this year will be “A Science Lab” where children will learn about people from the Bible who brought about meaningful & positive change to their community. Children will explore what it takes to be a changemaker and how they can be an agent of change. We are so excited already. Talk with the young children in your life about saving the date! Registration details to follow.
FBC EVENTS LIST
- June 9 – Noodles for Burma Fundraiser
- June 11 – Music Sunday
- June 19 – Church School Sunday
- June 25 – Worship with New Alpha Missionary Baptist Church – Rev. Dale Edwards, guest preacher.
ABCUSA BIENNIAL IN PUERTO RICO
Annie Field and Piper, Sarah Wright, and Rev. Karen Mendes will attend the ABCUSA Biennial meeting in San Juan, PR on June 22-25. This national gathering of American Baptists will be a great opportunity to strengthen our bonds with our denomination and to get new ideas for our church life here in VT.
THANK YOU TO CHURCH YARD CLEANUP CREW!
Thanks to Jim Calder, Steve DeRestie, Sarah Dopp, Cindy Little, Lois Lynch, and Frank Swasey for their work cleaning up the church yard on May 20.
SUMMER MUSIC OPPORTUNITIES
From late June through August, we have opportunities for Special Music in worship each Sunday. This is a wonderful time for people of all ages to share their musical gifts and skills. If interested, please contact the church office.
SUNDAY FELLOWSHIP TIME
We have refreshments following worship. Please look for the signup sheet in the narthex. You may bring beverages and treats. Refreshments are usually held in the narthex. Please join us in providing and enjoying the refreshments and conversation.
CHURCH SCHOOL NEWS
Church school will wrap up the year learning about the early church, new ways to talk with God and what it means to be a community. We are finalizing the preparations for Church School Sunday and VBS. If you know of any adults interested in volunteering in any capacity with VBS please let me know. We need all hands on deck!
PLANNED GIVING BROCHURE
The Trustees of the Permanent Funds have completed a new version of the brochure entitled, “Bequests and Special Gifts.” It is now available in the church office, the narthex information table, or from one of the Trustees. The church has recently received several generous bequests. If this option interests you, pick up a copy of the brochure.
MAKING YOUR FINANCIAL DONATION
If you are unable to attend worship in person, you may mail a check to the church office or give electronically through the donate button on our church website: http://www.fbcburlingtonvt.com or through the smartphone app called Vanco Mobile Faith Engagement. Our ministries depend on the generous gifts of our members and friends. Thank you for your participation in sharing the love of God in our community and our world.
UGB REPORT MAY 2023
The Unified Governing Board met on May 15 and handled the committee and team reports, as well as action items, as usual. We planned for the Clean Up Day on May 20 and discussed how to get the mowing done when needed (Dave Little will do it monthly, but several others agreed to be available). Details of the Noodles for Burma fundraiser were discussed and publicity is going out for the June 9 event. All the proceeds will go to Burma relief.
Plans were settled for lay leadership while Rev. Mendes is on vacation. Office coverage was scheduled for the week of June 5-9, while Adam needs to be away. Office hours will be 9-12 that week. A special committee is working on uses for the childcare space. Another small group is working on updating the active member rolls.
Staff Relations is about to embark on staff evaluations. A congregational meeting will be held soon, to add the 4th member needed on the Committee. Plans are being finalized for the upcoming baptism. We will provide the meal at ANew Place on June 4. Plans are being laid out to donate food to the UVM Rally Cat Cupboard (food shelf) before next semester. Annie Field is well along with plans for the Vacation Bible School. Volunteers are needed. A new curriculum for church school is being obtained.
In the Property Committee, the big emphasis is the brick work project starting on May 22. Frank Swasey has been greatly absorbed with working with our neighbor on the sewer line/root invasion issue. We are sharing the cost. Frank has also put in many hours on the MANY steps in the baptistry repair project. Another trash hauling company (Gauthier) has replaced the former service from Casella.
A volunteer is needed to learn and use the Computerized Book Catalog for the Library. We decided to continue with refreshments indoors, after worship, unless it gets really hot. A new Congregational Care Team idea is being explored.
We reviewed all the financial reports. The investment portfolio has again modestly increased in April, bringing it up to $2,037,927. The COTS Walk Team raised $1170.
ONE GREAT HOUR OF SHARING (OGHS)
June is our official month for giving to the OGHS offering. In the Bible, the Apostle Paul writes to the Galatians in chapter 6, verse 9…”so let’s not allow ourselves to
get fatigued doing good. At the right time, we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up.” It is time to share. Go to www.abc-oghs.org to see where our gifts to the OGHS made a difference with emergency relief grants at home and around the world during 2022. Also, read a letter from Lisa Rothenberger-Winter, our
World Relief Officer. In 2022, First Baptist gave $1,555.84 to OGHS.
The First Baptist Team raised more than $1,170 for COTS on May 7. Thank you to our walkers: Deb Holonitch, Kat Hardy, Chris Thompson, Jann Lyman, Annie Field, Piper Field, and Pastor Karen Mendes. Lois D’archangelo was a COTS volunteer.
NOODLES FOR BURMA TAKEOUT FUNDRAISER – FRIDAY, JUNE 9
In February 2021 Myanmar’s democratically elected government was overthrown by the Myanmar military. Since then thousands of people have been killed and many more have been injured in protests and resistance against the coup. Join us at First Baptist Church, 81 Saint Paul St., Burlington on Friday, June 9 for delicious takeout Burmese noodles. Noodle options are vegetarian or chicken with vegetables. The cost is by donation. All proceeds will go to help folks in Burma(Myanmar). RSVPs can be made at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0F48ADAA2DA4FE3-noodles2
for pickup between 4:30 and 7:30pm. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
AUGUST 20 – ANN AND BILL CLEMMER
….global servants in Goma, Dominion of the Congo, are coming home to the States, seeing grandchildren, and visiting churches. They will visit First Baptist on Sunday, August 20, joining us with a potluck supper. Please plan to join us for this fun and informative opportunity. The last time Bill Clemmer visited First Baptist was in September of 2006. Check out our mission bulletin board in Fellowship Hall for the latest newsletter
from Bill and Ann, updating us on the many ways churches in the States are helping the Clemmers serve the refugees who have fled to Goma and provide shelter for the street children.
ANEW PLACE MEAL
A big thank you to Jamie Burke and Jill Soter for providing a meal for the people living at the Anew Place Shelter on North Street on June 4.
FOOD FOR THE RALLY CAT CUPBOARD AT UVM (JULY AND AUGUST)
Our Outreach Team has volunteered to collect items this August for the Rally Cat Cupboard at the University of Vermont which serves as a food pantry for food insecurity during the school year. This cupboard serves students and employees of the University with food insecurity. This is a great way our downtown church can serve students and employees who are our neighbors.
I will be placing a labeled box in the narthex in mid- July as I know people are away sometimes for many weeks in the summer. I will deliver to the Cupboard at the end of August as school is beginning.
Listed below are frequently needed items. If you prefer to give a check, please make it out to First Baptist Church Rally Cat Cupboard in the memo line of the check. If you have multiple items I am happy to pick up at your home at the end of August.
Herbs and spices
Canned tuna and chicken
Assorted broths, chicken, beef, turkey, veggie and bone
Thank you in advance. Please reach out with any questions
AMERICAN BAPTISTS ASKED TO PRAY AND ACT FOR BURMA;
IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED
The Burma Advocacy Group continues to ask American Baptists to Pray and Act for Burma.
The Burma Advocacy Group was active and instrumental during the successful passage of the Burma Act in December 2022, which is the essential guide of the US government in its support for religious liberty, a free and federal democracy, in holding accountable the perpetrators of crimes against humanity, and the release of generous support for humanitarian aid.
Now, it is essential that sufficient funding for these provisions of the Burma Act is secured. Just as we must not cease praying, we must not cease acting on behalf of the people of Burma. Right now, funding for the Act is before the House and Senate appropriations committees. This is where funding amounts will be determined and recommended for vote.
Help is essential to the Burma Advocacy Group’s success for Burma. Individuals can ACT, in a simple yet effective way, as follows: visit https://rb.gy/gwyhk to advocate for the full funding for the provisions of the Burma Act, the $270 million that was proposed and agreed to by the House during the last session. The funding will go towards vital humanitarian aid, efforts to establish genuine federal democracy, efforts for protections of ethnic and religious minorities, accountability for those guilty of human rights abuses, and non-lethal support for those opposing the military junta.
JUST A REMINDER…
We give to our One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) offering during the month of June which helps with disaster relief around the world.
SACRED HARP SINGING
1st and 3rd Wednesdays, 6:00-8:00pm in Fellowship Hall.
Please join us for shape note singing from The Sacred Harp, a shape note hymnal in continuous use since 1844! The Burlington Sacred Harp Singers meet regularly to sing traditional early American, 4-part harmony, a cappella hymns. All are welcome, no experience or audition necessary. We welcome singers of all levels and backgrounds, as well as listeners, any week. Free; donations welcome. Any questions, contact BSHsteeringcommittee@gmail.com
PAST WORSHIP SERVICES…
are available on our website and our YouTube Channel.
FLOWERS FOR WORSHIP
All are invited to provide flowers for a worship service. The flower chart is again posted in the Narthex. This can be a meaningful way to memorialize a loved one or commemorate an important event and bring God’s beautiful creations into the sanctuary to enhance our spirit of praise and joy in worship.
THE CHURCH OFFICE HOURS FOR MAY ARE – Monday/Wednesday/Friday 9-1 and Tuesday/Thursday 9-3.
CHURCH EMAIL ADDRESSES
The church office (Adam Chamberlain)- email@example.com
Karen Mendes – firstname.lastname@example.org
Annie Field – email@example.com
Evan Allen – firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna Roy – email@example.com
Steve Perkins – firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer – email@example.com
Financial Secretary – firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Baptist Community – KBC@fbcburlingtonvt.com