April 2019 Newsletter


Moving Forward – Reaching Out

During this season of Lent we are exploring the wilderness through our 5 senses.  We recognize that often we move forward by faith, without knowing all that might be ahead of us.  We see the brown earth emerge from the snow and look for the new green shoots of grass and flowers.  We hear the call of birds and recognize the sounds of our neighbors no longer shut up in their homes.  We taste the maple syrup and think about the first vegetables of spring.  We smell the mud and anticipate the scent of tree buds and flowers. We touch each other’s hands without the need of mittens.  We experience, with all of our being, the love of God that we know through Christ.  We are getting ready for Easter to burst forth with new life and new opportunities.

One very exciting new opportunity is the addition of Jeneve Girard-diCarlo as our new Director of Christian Education.  Jeneve has a wealth of experience in education, an inquiring mind, a caring spirit, and a deep love of Jesus.  She will be a great blessing to our congregation.

In this newsletter are many opportunities for us to experience and serve God. May we journey together in this wilderness of life, ever open to the abundant love of Jesus our Christ.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Karen A. Mendes

Sunday Morning Worship Service 9:45

Office Phone: (802) 864-6515

Conference/Kitchen Phone:

(802) 864-4721

Office Hours: Mon.+ Tues. 9-2PM; Wed.+ Fri.

9-1PM; Thurs. 9-3PM

Email address: fbcbvt@gmail.com

Web Site Address: www.fbcburlingtonvt.com

Visit us on Facebook

First Baptist Church, Burlington, Vt.


The Congregational Care Committee of the First Baptist Church Diaconate reports that there are currently 5 on the Homebound Members & Friends list. In February, 8 “known visits” were made to 3 homebound members and 3 “known calls” were made to 1 other member and friend. Also, 1 call was made to 1 other member. The committee invites you to help with this ministry.

Please contact Ray when you visit or call a homebound member and friend @864-7179/raysherrod@hotmail.com.                   


                 Sermons and Texts                                      

Apr. 07 – Rev. Karen A Mendes                   Scripture: John 12:1-8               

         Sermon: The Fragrance of Love

Apr. 14 – Rev. Karen A. Mendes

                  Palm Sunday

         Scripture: Luke 19:28-40

         Sermon: Echoing Angels

Apr. 21 – Rev. Karen A. Mendes

                 Easter Sunday

         Scripture: Luke 24:1-12

         Sermon: Dazzled

Apr. 28 – Rev. Karen A. Mendes                  Scripture: John 20:19-31                             Sermon: Ask the Pastor

Our Monday Bible Study meets at 11:30am.  We are studying the Book of Exodus.  Please join us and feel free to bring your lunch.  For more information, please email Rev. Mendes at: kamendesfbc@gmail.com or call the church office at 864-6515.                         


Palm Sunday – 9:45am                 Join us as we celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

Maundy Thursday – 6:00pm     Gather at the table with those who choose to be with Christ and his disciples.

Good Friday – 12:00pm                   A quiet service of prayer and reflection as we honor Jesus’ final hours on the cross.

Easter Sunrise Service – 6:00am              Peterson Farm, Williston.  Join us on the hill to welcome the rising sun (and Son!).

Easter Sunday Worship – 9:45am   A glorious celebration of Jesus’ resurrection!  Our service will conclude with the singing of the Hallelujah Chorus from the Handel’s Messiah.

         EASTER SUNDAY AND                        EASTER EGG HUNT                               

Children of all ages are invited to remain in worship on Easter, April 21st. There is no Church School that morning allowing all of our dedicated teachers to worship with their families and friends.  As usual there are toys in the back of the Sanctuary for restless toddlers and the nursery room will be open on a self-service basis for children accompanied by an adult.  After worship we will have our annual Easter Egg Hunt.  Kids should gather in the front of the Sanctuary to begin the hunt.  If children spy an egg before or during worship, encourage them to leave egg capture for the hunt.  Therefore more fun for all.  Have a blessed Lent and Easter.                 ~ Your Christian Education Board  

Here’s a list of what’s happening during Second Hour at FBC –      

 Lenten Series Conclusion:  The God We Can Know:  Exploring the “I AM” Statements of Jesus

Please join us for our after worship Lenten series as it concludes with:

 April 14 – I Am the Way the Truth and the Life.

 April 28I Am the Resurrection and the Life.

Rev. Rob Fuquay’s DVD, filmed in the Holy Land, and his book centered around the six “I AM” statements of Jesus from John. Rev. Fuquay’s concept is that the more we know who God is the more we know who we are and that the “I AM” statements are a way of knowing God.  Each session includes a short film, discussion of the chapter and reflection questions.  Whether you’ve read the book or not, please join us for the last of these meaningful sessions. All adults and youth are invited.


Please notify the office of any flower donations for Easter Sunday by Wed., April 17th. There will be a list included in the bulletin.  Please deliver flowers to the church no later than 1pm on Friday, April 19th.  If this is not convenient, please bring them on Sunday morning before the service.


We are planning a new form of outreach to the community this year and we need your help! The event is an “International Noodle Meal” of spaghetti and Karen noodles for marathon runners, their supporters, and members of the public and the church. Reservations will be required.  This will be on Saturday, May 25th at 6:00pm and will be followed by a service upstairs for any who’d like to stay.  There will be many ways to help (shopping, publicity, cooking/serving, set-up and cleanup).  Look for the sign-up sheet in the narthex. Please let us know if you are interested in helping!


On Thursdays, look for an email from First Baptist letting you know about upcoming events and opportunities.  This will give you a first look at the Sunday bulletin announcements and provide a way for us to communicate beyond the monthly newsletter.  If you have information you would like included in the email and bulletin, please get it to Marie at – fbcbvt@gmail.com by Wednesday.

If you have not been receiving the Green Steeple Weekly, please contact us with your email address.  Our phone number is 802-864-6515.


Our Pictoral Directory is available in printed form from the church office, but it is also available online! Members and friends of First Baptist whose email addresses are included in the directory can access the directory through their smartphone or computer. For smartphones, the app is Instant Church Directory.                              For computers, go to: www.members.instantchurchdirectory.com.  In both cases you will be directed on how to set up a password, etc.  Only those who are included in the directory will be able to access it.  Contact the church office if you have any questions. To update your photo or address, email:  fbcbvt@gmail.com.


The Christian Education Board and Search Committee are pleased to announce that Jeneve Girard-diCarlo, BA, ND, has accepted the position of Director of Christian Education. Jeneve has extensive undergraduate and graduate training in physiology, psychology, health, and human development.  She has experience teaching as an Adjunct Professor at both Northern Vermont University and Community College of Vermont as well as Harwood Union High School.  She has administrative and leadership background as Lead Academic Coordinator at Community College of Vermont. 

Jeneve has expressed a deep desire to serve God in her professional work. She states that her work in education and health care has taught her that physical and psychological health are dependent on spiritual health, compassion, forgiveness and faith in God’s perfect plan. The search committee experienced Jeneve as supportive, open, organized, energetic, creative and value directed in her work and life. Jeneve will begin her work with us in early May.  Please help the Board and Search Committee in welcoming Jeneve to our FBC staff and congregational life.

April 07 – Unified Governing Board

April 14 – Palm Sunday                 April 18 – Maundy Thursday Service

April 21 – Easter Sunday Service

                 Easter Sunrise Service- 6am

April 28 – 1st UMC – Milk & Soup

April 29 – May 3 – Rev. Mendes at

                 ABCUSA Women Pastors                             Colloquium

May 05 – Administrative Sunday

May 18 – Spring Clean-Up – 9am

May 19 – 1st UMC – Milk & Soup

May 20 – Advisory Council – 6:30

May 25 – Marathon Pasta Supper

June 02 – Music Appreciation Sunday

                Administrative Sunday

June 09 – Pentecost Sunday

                CE Appreciation Sunday

June 17 – Advisory Council – 6:30pm


In 2018 (and for many years) First Baptist gave $6,000 to JUMP….quarterly payments of $1,500.  They are in our Ministry Plan budget for $6,000 in 2019.

JUMP “realizes how much transportation creates a barrier for the working poor and homeless, whether getting to and from work, making appointments, getting medical help, or taking advantage of cultural events our community offers.  As a result, JUMP has focused on transportation assistance as its number one priority for the future. More and more, JUMP clients request gasoline cards or bus passes as their main form of assistance.”

“Seeking a hand up, not a handout, in 2018, clients requested 5,595 vouchers valued at $101,430.  Transportation assistance accounted for one-third of all assistance offered, and gasoline was almost 80% of that transportation total.”

First Baptist’s support of JUMP empowers their clients “in finding work, achieving freedom and independence in their mobility, and becoming a more active member of their community.”

Personal Care and Cleaning           Supply Drive for JUMP

Below are the personal care and cleaning supplies First Baptist gave to JUMP during the month of February.  JUMP appreciates all that you gave.  The plastic bin is still in the Narthex if you forgot or want to give more.  Mission Outreach will see that they get delivered. (Actually, Wanda came to our church to get the items). 


  • Bar Soap- 66
  • Dental Floss- 22
  • Deodorant-16
  • Hand & Body Lotion-8
  • Razors/shaving cream-52/4
  • Shampoo/Conditioner-13/2
  • Toothbrushes-31
  • Toothpaste-57
  • Feminine personal hygiene products “pads only”-5 packs       


  • All-purpose cleaner “Spic N Span/Lysol-2,
  • Dish soap-7
  • Sponges-12      


  • All sizes-8 packages and 4 packages “Pullups”.

Representative to the JUMP

Board of Directors

                                                      The Mission Outreach Board is looking for a person who would be interested in representing our church on the JUMP board of directors.  They meet once a month, the third Thursday of the month at 12:30 – 2:00pm.  While they encourage committee membership, it is not required.  Speak to a Mission Outreach Board member or Rev. Mendes if you are interested.

Check out the Mission Outreach Bulletin Board….

There are interesting new trip notes from Dan and Sharon Buttry, ABC Global Consultants for Peace and Justice.  In March, they were in Lebanon and IraqiKurdistan training Conflict Transformation trainers. 



The Christian Community Credit Union has announced a $10,000 match for any donations up to that amount received by International Ministries in support of the online MTS (Masters of Theological studies) degree program.  To date, CCCU has donated $4.7 million for missions and ministry projects.  Some of us who have invested with CCCU are pleased with this emphasis.


There is an interesting 1971 Geographic Map of SE Asia posted there now. Of special interest to us is the country of Burma.  In a special green font are noted the names of the ethnic groups in their specific parts of the country.  Look for KAREN especially!


In August of 2016 we gathered for an Envisioning Retreat in which we discerned 3 priorities for our work together: Intentional Ministry, Raising Public Identity, and a New Model of Church Governance.  From this third priority, a Governance Working Group was formed.  This group led workshops for the Advisory Council and the whole congregation regarding the differences between Governance and Ministry and helped us to look at what we do and how we do it in a new way. As a result of their work, the GWG created the following vision statement.

First Baptist Church of Burlington exists under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to worship God and to share Christ’s love with the world.  Our church governance serves to organize our ministries and safeguard our resources.  The purpose of our governance is ministries of Education, Fellowship and Outreach.

The goal of our governance change is to free us up for more ministry by:

  • Centralizing and lessening the administrative burden of boards and committees.
  • Enabling more responsive and flexible opportunities for ministry.

Thus leading to more active participation among the whole church community.

On June 19, 2018, the Governance Working Group met with the Advisory Council. Together, they proposed that for the 2018-2019 programmatic year we shift the work of our boards and committees into Ministry Teams while continuing with our current governance model (The Mission Outreach Board has already moved into this structure.).  For other examples, Trustees could oversee Ministry Teams for Stewardship and Property; Deacons could have Communion and Visitation Teams; MOB already has teams for Soup Suppers, ANEW Place, and the ABC offerings; and CE has the Church School team and the Christmas Pageant team; to name just a few of our many ministries.  Some teams, like Church School, have a commitment for a programmatic year.  Others, like the Pageant, are just for a limited number of weeks. 

In 2019 we are determining how this delineation of ministry from governance works. We will make sure that all we want to do and need to do gets done.  Our proposal includes eventually moving to a Unified Governing Board made up of our church officers, representatives from the TPF, Staff Relations, the pastor, and representatives from the Areas of Ministries (Fellowship, Education, Outreach).  This UGB would set priorities, keep track of our resources, and provide guidance and feedback to our Ministry Teams.  It will lessen the need for meetings and maximize the opportunities to serve God, our church, our communities, and our world.

Throughout this process, I encourage everyone to ask questions and to think and pray about the ministries to which you are called to participate.   On April 7 we will have a trial run of the Unified Governing Board and in May we will have a Second Hour forum to talk about this process and share ideas and concerns. We will put off any bylaws changes until we have worked out all the details needed.


Scholarships are available from the American Baptist Home Mission Society.  To be eligible, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Hold active membership in an American Baptist church
  • Enrollment at an accredited four year college/university or graduate program in the United States or Puerto Rico.
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75
  • Reside in United States or Puerto Rico

For more information and to apply please see http://abhms.org/ministries/developing-leaders/education-scholarships.    The deadline for application is April 30.

2019 Scholarships available from                  Christian Education Board

The Christian Education Board has set aside $4000.00 for student scholarships.  To be eligible you need to be a member of or attending one of First Baptist Church’s two worship services. You need to be enrolled full or part time in a college/university/ graduate school or post high school training program.  

The amount of each scholarship depends on the number of qualified applicants.  Our policy is to support every student associated with our congregation to the extent possible. 

Application forms are available in the office and on the table in the Narthex. The deadline for application submission is June 2, 2019.  Awards will be announced June 9th.