GREEN STEEPLE MESSENGER
First Baptist Church
81 Saint Paul Street Ste. 1
Burlington, VT. 05401
VOLUME NO. 10 October 1, 2023
GREEN STEEPLE, GRATEFUL PEOPLE, GROWING IN FAITH, PROCLAIMING GOD’S LOVE
THE JOURNEY OF FAITH
This fall we are traveling through the Old Testament book of Exodus and exploring what it means to be the people of God. The ancient Israelites were not perfect. They complained, they were afraid, they made mistakes, but as they traveled together they learned that God was with them no matter what. God’s presence among them empowered them to keep moving forward into the unknown.
Our journey of faith often leads us to unexpected ideas and actions. It is a given that God prods us to let go of our fears and preconceptions so that we might work with God in bringing about God’s vision for creation. Sometimes we might complain, sometimes we might be afraid, certainly sometimes we will make mistakes, but God is with us, encouraging us and empowering us to move forward in faith.
In this month’s newsletter there are many opportunities to step forward in faith; through service, fellowship, and study. First Baptist is moving forward, empowered by God. It is good to be on this journey together.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Karen A. Mendes
First Baptist Church Staff
Rev. Karen A. Mendes .…………………………… Pastor
Pastor Thee Say …………….. Karen Baptist Pastor
Annie Field ……….. ………………… CE Director
Adam Chamberlain …………… Church Administrator
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Site Address: www.fbcburlingtonvt.com
Visit us on Facebook First Baptist Church, Burlington, Vt.
NEWSLETTER DEADLINE FOR NOVEMBER IS OCTOBER 15th
GIFT OF TIME VISITATION AND
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
October 1 – How to Live Together
October 8 – Water from a Stone
October 15 – Our Golden Calf
October 22 – The Glorious Presence
October 29 – Known Face to Face
OPPORTUNITIES FOR FELLOWSHIP AND LEARNING
There is more to Church than Sunday mornings!
THE SILENT VIGIL FOR RACIAL JUSTICE
will be Sunday, October 1st at 11:30 am on the front steps of the church. Please join us for this important and meaningful witness.
MONDAY BIBLE STUDY
Bible Study meets in Fellowship Hall and on Zoom each Monday at 11:30am. We are exploring Paul’s Letters to the Corinthians.
THE CHOSEN viewing happens on Mondays at 2pm in the Sanctuary. This television series explores the life of Jesus and his early followers. 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.
FBC COFFEE HOUR meets on Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. on Zoom.
THE FALL BOOK GROUP WILL READ DANCING IN THE DARKNESS: Spiritual Lessons for Thriving in Turbulent Times by Otis Moss, III. The book can be purchased from the bookseller of your choice. Our first meeting will be Monday, Oct. 23 at 7pm on Zoom. For more information please contact Rev. Mendes.
CHANCEL CHOIR MEETS on Thursdays at 7pm. All singers are invited to join this merry and melodious group! For more information, contact Anna Roy at email@example.com
Oct. 1 – Vigil for Racial Justice
Apple Picking at Shelburne Orchard
Oct. 16-18 New Alpha Revival
Oct. 21 – A Wider View Envisioning Retreat
Oct. 23 – Fall Book Group
Oct. 28 – Church Clean Up
Karen Baptist Youth Event
Oct. 29 – Dopp Organ Recital
A WIDER VIEW CHURCH RETREAT
On Saturday, October 21, we will have the opportunity to reflect on First Baptist’s ministries and to take a wider view of God’s call to us. This will be a fun and inspiring day to look at what we have accomplished and to discern what ministries God is calling us in the upcoming year and in the future. Please plan to join us and share your ideas for our future together. Details about time and location will be forthcoming.
NEW ALPHA REVIVAL
New Alpha Missionary Baptist Church will be having Revival services at First Baptist on October 16-18 at 6-9pm. All are welcome!
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION HAS BEEN BUSY!
We started our church school year on Sep 10th with 7 primary students, 5 intermediate students and 2 youth and more have since joined us. The teachers are excited about the new curriculum.
Students 7th grade and under are studying the founding stories of our faith from Genesis and Exodus this fall. They will be learning how Abraham and Sarah first chose to follow God as their one God and how, despite the challenges they and their descendants had, God continued to keep the promises made to them. Children are also learning about prayers of Supplication – Help Me prayers. They are considering different ways to ask God for help as they learn to trust God and others. Students will also be thinking about the covenants we make; covenants between God and people and covenants between ourselves and others. They will think about what agreements we make within our church, classes and families on how we conduct ourselves to create a more friendly environment for everyone.
Students ages 8th grade and up are learning about World Religions and how we can learn about the love of God through respecting the faiths of others. The Youth are also talking about service projects and the possibility of a mission trip.
We are thrilled to welcome Karen Pope as our new primary church school teacher. Karen brings some new excitement to our group with new ideas and an eagerness to form relationships with the children. Lois Lynch and Cindy Little have volunteered to regularly substitute. Brenda Perkins continues as the Youth class teacher with Sarah Wright helping with Youth service projects.
The classrooms have and continue to undergo some revamping. We have sorted through decades of supplies considering what we use and finding good homes for what we don’t. We updated some of our supplies with a few new additions such as glitter markers to add some spark to our projects this year!
We have some exciting upcoming events.
October 1st we will host a family apple picking afternoon. All are welcome to join us at Shelburne Orchards in Shelburne, VT at 1:00 to pick apples and enjoy the fall weather. We will do our best to coordinate rides for anyone who needs it. Speak with Annie as soon as possible if you know someone in need of a ride.
We are also looking towards Advent. Our pageant this year is Called “Do Not Be Afraid” which will follow Luke’s Gospel telling of the nativity with a focus on how God provides for us and comforts our fears. All children and youth who wish to participate will be able to do so in the manner in which they are comfortable. The pageant will be held on December 17th (let grandparents know now!)
We are also hoping to plan a youth service opportunity this fall. We are welcoming ideas and will include the youth in choosing.
SEPTEMBER 2023 UGB REPORT
The monthly meeting was held on September 18th. We updated the calendar of activities which you will continue to hear about as weeks go by. We checked in on the process for the upcoming Stewardship Campaign. You will hear much more by the end of October, but it is not too soon to pray about the ways you will want to support First Baptist in 2024, including a financial pledge in the amount right for you.
We have all been concerned about the homeless people “living” on the sidewalks of Burlington and in the churchyards. Their discomforts, addictions and general distress are disturbing and we long for solutions. We have consulted with a Community Support Liaison from BPD and the leader of the Vermont Interfaith Action Chittenden County group; Rev. Mendes is joining their committee on homelessness and is taking part in several meetings of downtown clergy and representatives from the Howard Center, the City, and others, to discern ways to help the situation.
The UGB was sad to hear that the Instrumental Ensemble has disbanded, because of the reality that too many members could no longer participate. Didn’t we all just love the great music they have shared over the many years?! We all thank them.
The Outreach Team reported on their actions to plan for the I-89 Fundraiser, participate in the Cooperative Christian Ministry at UVM, and to meet the needs of victims of fire, flood, and storm events.
The Education Team is fully engaged in providing Christian Education for the growing Church School. The Property Team is working on a deep clean of the kitchen floor, repainting the lines in the parking lot, having the elevator inspected, and performing many other small repairs.
We monitored the finances as usual. There is good news in that the investment portfolio produced gains which very nearly matched the withdrawals. The current balance approaches $2M.
We urge everyone to join the all church retreat on October 21st to celebrate all that we have accomplished and plan for future directions.
-Sarah Dopp Church Moderator
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.
OCTOBER IS IM’S WORLD MISSION OFFERING MONTH AT FIRST BAPTIST….
For more than two hundred years, International Ministries (also known as the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society), has combined resilience, adaptability, and creative approaches to cross-cultural ministry with faithfulness to Scripture. We serve together with and learn from our many local partners in ministry around the globe. During the 2023 World Mission Offering, you can learn more about the work Global Servants, Aaron and Valerie Osterbrock are doing to prepare students at Sabah Theological Seminary in Malaysia to serve the church and how Christ has helped Faye Yarbrough reach her special needs students at Teleios Christian
School in South Africa. Videos are to be shown during our worship service in October. These stories offer a glimpse into what God is doing through International
Ministries’ 120+ global servants, volunteers, home staff, and 250+ international partners in 70 countries. In 2022, First Baptist gave $402 to the World Mission Offering. Let’s see if we can
increase our support this year.
MAUI WILDFIRE DISASTER RELIEF…
The American Baptist Home Mission Society is responding to the devastation on Maui by establishing a special offering through One Great Hour of Sharing. 100% of the gifts received will go to disaster relief. If you are moved to give, make
checks to First Baptist with Hawaii Wildfire in the memo line.
FRIENDS OF BURMA, INC. FALL NEWSLETTER
(check out our mission bulletin board) Blankets and mosquito nets, mats and pillows were taken to Muiangyagar in Rakhine State, Burma. The Loikaw Baptist church is providing shelter and food to 120 Internally Displaced People, etc.
FOOD AND TOWELS FOR ANEW PLACE ON SEPTEMBER 10…
A big thank you to Jamie Burke and Jill Soter for stepping up to provide a meal again for the Anew Place residents and to Sarah Wright for making the food delivery. Betty Capponi is our team leader for Anew Place.
CHURCH YARD CLEANUP DAY
Save the date of Nov 4th, 9-noon.
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 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 HOURS FOR OCTOBER ARE –
CHURCH EMAIL ADDRESSES
The church office (Adam Chamberlain)- firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Mendes – email@example.com
Annie Field – firstname.lastname@example.org
Evan Allen – email@example.com
Anna Roy – firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Perkins – email@example.com
Treasurer – firstname.lastname@example.org
Financial Secretary – email@example.com
Karen Baptist Community – KBC@fbcburlingtonvt.com