GREEN STEEPLE MESSENGER – March 2021
HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL
We have begun a new year. While we are still deep in winter, our thoughts turn to the return of Spring. 2020 was such a difficult year and the beginning of 2021 is also difficult. But we have hope that the pandemic will be contained and that someday, in the not-too-distant future, we can connect with each other in person and without fear.
In the meantime, while we wait for that day, we will remind ourselves of the resources we have as individuals and as a community of faith. Our theme for Lent this year will be Hope Springs Eternal. We will prepare for the celebration of Easter by remembering the covenants given us by God, by continuing to reach out to each other for fellowship and support, and by resting in the love of God made known to us through Jesus. We will make soup, plant seeds, and read Scripture together.
This newsletter contains opportunities for fellowship, learning, and service. It is a great blessing to be in ministry with you.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor: Rev. Karen A. Mendes
Sunday Morning Worship Service 9:45
Office Phone: (802) 864-6515
Office Hours: Suspended until further notice
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Site Address: www.fbcburlingtonvt.com
Visit us on Facebook
First Baptist Church, Burlington, Vt.
|Newsletter Deadline for March is February 15th|
GIFT OF TIME
During this time of social distancing, we can still share our time and attention through phone calls, email, cards, and letters. In fact, these connections are more important now than ever! All of us are part of the First Baptist Visitation Team.
Please let Ray Sherrod know when you call or email a homebound member and friend at email@example.com.
or call 802-864-7179.
THE FIRST BAPTIST Facebook group is called First Baptist Burlington VT. In this group, each member can share announcements, make public prayer requests, and ask questions. We can have online discussions about sermons, current events, Bible studies, etc. Please join the group and invite others to join as well.
WORSHIP ON LINE FOR FEBRUARY
Because of the social distancing requirements of this time of pandemic, it has been decided that Sunday morning worship, and all church gatherings will continue on Zoom and Facebook for the month of February.
Sunday Worship Services
Feb. 07 – Communion Sunday
Scripture: Isaiah 40:21-31
Sermon: Called to Serve
Feb. 14 – Transfiguration Sunday
Scripture: *2 Kings 2:1-12
Sermon – Called to Change
Feb. 21 – Lent 1
Scripture: Genesis 9:8-17
Sermon: God Remembers
Feb. 28 – Lent 2 – All Ages
Scripture: Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
Sermon: An Everlasting Covenant
Baptist Questions Asked and Answered
Want to learn more about the history and community of First Baptist Church? Curious about what it means to be an American Baptist? Mark your calendars for a Friends’ and Visitors’ Gathering on Sunday, February 21 on Zoom following worship. Those interested in church membership can meet with the New Members Team and join the church on a Sunday mutually convenient.
FBC COFFEE HOUR ON THURSDAYS at 9:30am on Zoom.
We gather for informal fellowship and conversation.
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89855564406?pwd=R2FtbC9tRnoyU1R1cXJTRmRsY1VIdz09 Meeting ID: 898 5556 4406 Passcode: 993539
Dial by your location
+1 646 558 8656 US (New York) Meeting ID: 898 5556 4406
OUR WEEKLY BIBLE STUDY Beginning on February 8th, we will be exploring the character of Peter in the Gospels and Acts.
For those calling in –
Dial +1 646 558 8656
Meeting ID: 868 9711 2158
For more information, please email Rev. Mendes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME by Ta-Nehisi Coates is the next book to be discussed by the Antiracism Book Group. Please join us in this meaningful project. The next meeting will be Monday, Feb. 22nd at 7pm. is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87519609036?pwd=dVFEeENVc2tuSkxHbk81Q2dHZXVMdz09
Meeting ID: 875 1960 9036 Passcode: 421309
To dial in – +1 646 558 8656 US (New York Meeting ID: 875 1960 9036 Passcode: 4213
HhhOME CHURCH CLUSTERS
During this time of social distancing, it is more important than ever to be connected (safely!) to our friends and neighbors. 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.
SINGERS AND MUSICIANS NEEDED FOR SUNDAY WORSHIP! Please send your video or audio files to Anna Roy at email@example.com and she will add them to our Sunday morning worship.
PAST WORSHIP SERVICES can be found on our church website and YouTube. On the website, fbcburlingtonvt.com, click About FBC and then Worship Services. All of the Advent and Christmas services are now available
CHURCH ATTENDANCE IS UP!
Although it is strange to worship online, it is very gratifying to know that folks have continued to gather every Sunday on Zoom and Facebook and that we have brought other folks into our community. Our average Zoom attendance is 34 “zoom squares” which translate to about 60 people. Our Facebook engagement averages between 30-50 people each week, some who watch Sunday morning and some who watch later in the day or week. We have had folks join us from other parts of Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Florida, Maryland, Colorado, and the Philippines! We have members joining us while traveling and former members joining us after they have watched their own church services.
The church is more than just the building and for this we give great thanks!!!
PLEASE MAIL IN YOUR
PLEDGE AND OFFERINGS OR
through the Donate button on our church website:
http//www.fbcburlingtonvt.com or through the smartphone app called GIVE+. Donations can be set for one time only or to be recurring. The cost to the church for this service is $10 a month and small transaction fees of 2.75% for debit/credit cards or 1.00% for ACH. These fees can be offset by adding that amount to your gift. 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.
First United Methodist Church Soup and Sandwich Supper (FUMC SSN)
A big thank you to Kathy Browne, Sarah Dopp and Penny Smith for providing soup on Sunday, January 17th. Penny also provided milk.
JUST A REMINDER…
First Baptist provides a meal for the ANEW Place, 89 North St. Shelter on Sunday, March 14th.
March is the month for contributing to our America for Christ (AFC) offering.
Dear fellow neighbors/friends,
The Joint Urban Ministry Project (JUMP) is a local resource for our economically disadvantaged neighbors in search of basic human needs and opportunities to increase self-sufficiency and quality of life.
JUMP is holding their first Online Auction “Showing Love for JUMP” February 1-12.. Whether you are yearning for a tasty treat, looking for something unique for yourself or searching for a gift for a special someone, you will be sure to find something in our auction. Help support this vital service by joining us at our online auction and bidding on any or many of the great items.
Click below to visit official Online Auction website
Wanda Hines, Director
Congratulations to Betty Capponi!
Betty was named 2020 Caregiver of the Year by Armistead Caregiver Services, Burlington, where she has served for nearly 15 years. She was given a nice plaque, which you can see in her hands if you search “Armistead Caregiver of the Year.”
Dear Church Family,
Thank you so much for your generous gift to staff this Christmas. It is very much appreciated.
I look forward to the day when we can all sing together again! I wish you all a healthy and peaceful New Year.
Sincerely, Anna Roy
CHURCH SCHOOL NEWS
Church School at First Baptist is exploring bible stories through the alphabet. Each week, we explore a letter, memory verse, scripture reading, story, activity and craft.
Starting in January, we added a Jesus-Centered Youth Bible/Leadership Group from 11:30am-12:00pm each Sunday over google meet. In January, we hosted our first virtual family movie night where we watched The Star (2017).
For more information or to participate, volunteer or support any of these activities, please email Jeneve Joslin at firstname.lastname@example.org
New Weekly Online Church School Schedule over Google Meet:
Join at: https://meet.google.com/xdt-pade-jvu
-Craft, game and or song
Youth Leadership Group for students 11+
Youth Leadership Group at First Baptist Church:
Starting in 2021, we will be offering a weekly Youth Leadership and Bible Study Program for students 11-18!
The program will include:
- Online weekly Bible Study/Youth Leadership Group for students 11+
- Certificate of completion for leadership hours as a Teaching Assistant and or Youth Worship Leader.
- Leadership development and service opportunities for students 14+
First Baptist Remote Garden
During the Season of Lent we will all receive small flowerpots, soil, and flower seeds as part of a Lent-at-Home bag. As we move toward Easter, we can watch together as new life springs forth. Volunteers are needed to deliver bags during the week of February 10-16. Please email the church office if you can help.
REPORT FROM THE UGB
The main topic of the Jan. 11 meeting was the finalization of the 2021 budget, which will be acted upon by the congregation on Jan. 31. The income side of the equation is lower due to a variety of factors (reduced numbers of pledges and building use compromised by the pandemic etc.) and thus the invested funds will be deployed to balance the budget, not for the first time. But we are very fortunate that our investments have been carefully stewarded over the years and this year’s stock market reversals have rebounded. The undesignated funds are now higher than the year before. We discussed the Staff Relations Committee’s recommendation concerning Rev. Mendes’ housing allowance, and that will appear in the budget.
On the property front, we had a guest from Kone Elevator with us to explain the need to replace the oil in the mechanism, a necessary step, but an expensive one. The heating issues have been resolved for now on the 2nd and 3rd floors. We discussed driveway plowing. And we discussed preparations for the annual report and meeting.
We reviewed reports from the committees, teams and Rev. Mendes and we reaffirmed the continuation of our pandemic virtual approach to meetings and worship. It is hoped that, when we are able to return to the building, miscellaneous income, fund-raising and loose offering will improve. We have signed up for the I-89 Rest Stop fund-raiser in light of that hope. The Marathon has been rescheduled, but it is unclear about the pasta dinner at this point.
OUR MINISTRIES CONTINUE…
Below is a list of the Ministry Teams and their team leaders. Some teams are on hiatus but others are more important than ever. Please consider to which teams God may be calling you. You can reach out to the team leader for more information. Each of these three Ministry areas send 2-3 reps to the UGB meetings.
ABC Mission – Joan Taylor
ANEW Place – Betty Capponi
FUMC Soup Suppers –Joan Taylor (Interim)
Cooperative Campus Ministries – Beth Gamache
Sister Church Initiative –Karen Mendes
Marathon Pasta Supper – Marie Morton
Public Relations – Sarah Dopp
JUMP – Kathy Browne, Joan Taylor
Welcoming – Pat Boyden
Visitation – Ray Sherrod
Communion – Cindy Little
Prayer Chain – Mark Paulsen
New Member Services –Karen Mendes
Prayer Topics – Marie Morton
Sanctuary Decorations –Mark Paulsen
Ushering – Andy Farrington, Mark Paulsen, Frank Swasey
Security – Andy Farrington
Worship – Mark Paulsen
Property (Fix It/Clean It) – Andy Farrington, Chris Thompson
Music – Steve Perkins
Church School- Jeneve Joslin
Special Events – Lois Lynch
Youth Ministry – Jeneve Joslin (interim)
Adult Christian Education – Jeneva Burroughs (interim)
Library & Educational Resources- Jeneva Burroughs
Stewardship – Stu Burroughs
NEW CHURCH EMAIL ADDRESSES
Beginning on February 1, the church email addresses will be changing. This will make it easier to contact the church staff and lessen the ability of email scammers to fake our address. Please put these new addresses into your email contact lists.
The church office (Marie Morton) – email@example.com
Treasurer – firstname.lastname@example.org
Financial Secretary – email@example.com
Karen Baptist Community – KBC@fbcburlingtonvt.com
Karen Mendes – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeneve Joslin – email@example.com
Evan Allen – firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna Roy – email@example.com
Steve Perkins – firstname.lastname@example.org
Denise Stanley – email@example.com