Green Steeple Messenger – June, 2021


First Baptist is slowly moving out from the pandemic strictures and gathering for fellowship and mission.  As Vermont opens up, so we too are slowly finding ways in which we can worship and do mission together.

Our first in-person gathering of 2021 was on Pentecost afternoon when 17 people gathered at Sarah Dopp’s meadow in South Burlington to fly kites and pray together.

Our second in-person gathering (and first at the church building) was on June 5 when noodle makers, sweet treat makers, and kitchen help came together for the Noodles for Burma Fundraiser which served more than 130 meals to folks from the wider community and raised $2200.

On Sunday, June 6, we celebrated our intrepid Church School which met every week throughout the pandemic, growing in faith and community via Google Meet.

Sunday, June 12 will be Music Appreciation Sunday when we will celebrate the wonderful music given to us this year by a variety of church members.

Sunday, June 20, will be our last online-only service as we now can finally look forward to gathering for hybrid worship together in the church building (and still on Zoom and Facebook) on June 27!

It has been a tremendous gift to remain connected as a congregation during this extraordinary year.  We have learned so much about what it means to be a church. We will retain what we have learned as we grow into this new phase of life together. This newsletter is full of opportunities both in person and remote.  I so look forward to seeing you.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Karen A. Mendes, Pastor

Sunday Morning Worship Service 9:45

Office Phone: (802) 864-6515

Conference/Kitchen Phone:

(802) 864-4721

Office Hours: Suspended until further notice

Email address:

Web Site Address:

Visit us on Facebook

First Baptist Church, Burlington, Vt.

Newsletter Deadline for July is June 15th      



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

or call 802-864-7179.   


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 each out to the church members and friends who live in your town. You can access the church directory through or through the Instant Church Directory app.

Sunday Worship Services

June 06 – Church School Sunday

         Praise with Our Whole Hearts

         Psalm 138

June 13 –Music Sunday

         A Joyful Noise

         Psalm 98

June 20 – Father’s Day

         Boat Safety

         Mark 4:35-41

June 27 – Combined Worship

         Healing Women

Mark 5:21-43

July 04 – Hometown Hero

         Mark 6-13

PAST WORSHIP SERVICES can be found on our church website and YouTube.  On our website,, click About FBC and then Worship Services.  


On June 27th we will return to the church building to worship together in our sanctuary.  Zoom and Facebook will still be available for those who cannot join us in person. Because not all of our community is yet able to be vaccinated, we will wear masks while in the sanctuary and other parts of the building.  Hymns can be hummed or sung quietly.  Our Fellowship Time after worship will happen outside on the side yard.  It will be so wonderful to be together.  These Covid precautions will ensure that all will feel safe and comfortable in our time together.


A little over 130 meals were served, take-out style, and $2200 was raised for the benefit of the hurting people of Burma. The money will be conveyed to the Friends of Burma organization, which can direct funds to the Karen Baptist Hospital and other groups supporting victims of the military coup. The atmosphere was great at our first public in-person event, as many community members came between 4:30 and 7:30 to pick up their orders at the side door, select sweet treats, and chat about our Karen Baptist Community and the situation in Burma. Many people helped on the project. Noodles were cooked by Hai Blui, Bwi Wah, Ku Say Wah, Wah Ku, Kee Lar, Tha Lei Paw, Joan Taylor, Lois Lynch, Brenda Mitchell, Sarah Dopp. Sweet treats were also prepared by them plus Kathy Browne, Jamie Burke, Carol Hewitt, Cindy Little,  Lois D’Arcangelo, Pat Reasoner,  Tee Thee and Deb Holonitch.  Helpers at the event were Rev. Karen Mendes, Pastor Thee Say, Mark Paulsen, Sarah Dopp, Moses Doe, Sheelar Moo, Moo July Htoo, Kee Lar, Wah Wah, Hte Le Wah, Moo Paw. Thanks to one and all and apologies to any we missed. This great idea was originally suggested by Rev. Mendes, and it was so fitting for our first “official” event to be focused on outreach!



We gather for informal fellowship and conversation.      
For those calling in-
+1 646 558 8656 US

Meeting ID: 898 5556 4406      Passcode: 993539

OUR WEEKLY BIBLE STUDY  We are exploring the character of Peter in the Gospels and Acts.

The Zoom login is

For those calling in –

Dial   +1 646 558 8656

Meeting ID: 868 9711 2158

Passcode: 702659

For more information, please email Rev. Mendes at

THE COLOR OF WATER by James McBride 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, May 3 at 7pm on Zoom.
For those calling in – +1 646 558 8656

Meeting ID: 875 1960 9036      

Passcode: 421309

SINGERS AND MUSICIANS NEEDED FOR SUNDAY WORSHIP!  Please send your video or audio files to Anna Roy at and she will add them to our Sunday morning worship.




through the Donate button on our church website:

http// or through the smartphone app called GIVE+. Donations can be set for one time only or to be recurring. 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.

Summer Camp at FBC

First Baptist Church is thrilled to be offering a free in-person VBS camp this summer! Good Stewards Together! The camp will run at First Baptist Church from August 9th-12th, 2021 from 9am-12:30pm. We will set up a base on the second floor but plan to do as many activities as possible outside. A big thank you to Sarah Wright, Cindy Little, Lois Lynch, Karen Mendes and Bev Nichols for volunteering to help with this exciting opportunity! Interested in signing up your student(s)? Please email Jeneve Joslin at before June 13th to register.

Monday, August 9th:  Stories of Stewardship

Tuesday, August 10th:  Holy Spirit of Stewardship

Wednesday, August 11th: Stewards of God’s Love 

Thursday, August 12th: Faith Fellowship and Fun!

One Great Hour of Sharing Offering….

The month of June is our One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) Special Offering.  All contributions will go to American Baptist Home Mission Society for disaster relief in the US, Puerto Rico, and other countries unless earmarked specifically for Myanmar relief or the Thailand Mae La Refugee Camp.

In 2021, the OGHS theme is “Let Love Flow” based on the scripture from Isaiah 49:10 (reinterpreted).  “Nobody hungry, nobody thirsty, shade from the sun, shelter from the wind. For the Compassionate One guides them and takes them to the best springs.”

To date, OGHS has provided over $537,000 emergency COVID-19 grants to churches and partners located in 28 states and 41 countries.  In some situations, the need was for food.  In others, money to help pay for housing and money to provide basic sanitation supplies.

Through churches and partners, your OGHS offering has helped with wildfire relief in California, hurricane relief in Louisiana, Texas, and West Virginia, and earthquake relief in Puerto Rico,etc.

All of these OGHS grants are a pouring out of love to communities in need.


The latest meeting of the Unified Governing Board was held on May 17.  In the “big ideas” section, we discussed how to maintain our unity as a congregation, as many of us gradually come back to worship and serve in person, while simultaneously carrying on the new practice of virtual worship for those who can’t join in person.  The idea is to be sure that these approaches make everyone feel included and never “remote.”  We also discussed the difficulties raised by the public nature of FaceBook and how that impacts our ability to maintain the intimacy of congregational life.  Several ideas were shared and the conversation will continue.

The meeting also included updates on the Noodles for Burma fund-raiser, the church picnic (will be held at the Ethan Allen Homestead on August 22), arrangements for hybrid worship and technical assistance (Champlain College student to be interviewed). 

The Building Reopening Committee will meet soon.  On the property front: a new circulation pump will be installed on the furnace; several masons will look at brick issues at 139 Bank Street and the church building; grafitti damage will be dealt with; Denise is cleaning up the yard; working on solving the bapistry leaking problem.  The new property manager for 139 Bank, Matt Boudreau, is fully engaged.  The rental will yield nearly $8200 per quarter.

Outreach Ministry reported that the ANewPlace meal is arranged for June.  The numbers of clients is lower this time.  Also, the Methodist Soup Supper will take a pause during May and June.  The need for these ministries will likely rebound when the hotel housing for the homeless closes

over the summer.  The Education Team reported on college scholarships available, the Pentecost kite-flying event and children’s Day on June 13.  Staff Relations will return to doing evaluations (music staff next).  TPF reported a net gain on investments since January 1 of $194,000!  We look forward to returning to the building sometime in June and rejoice in the great progress Vermont has achieved in COVID vaccinations (top in the nation).  Thanks be to God!

~Sarah Dopp, Moderator


The following ideas represent the latest conclusions reached by the Committee:

1. The metrics we agreed to track are favorable to reopening, both in Chittenden County and the State of Vermont. The local vaccination rate (6/3) is 71.6%. The positivity rate is 1.3 cases/100,000. The positive test rate is 0.4%. The Governor is expected to lift all precautions once Vermont reaches 80% of eligible people vaccinated, likely within the next few weeks.

2. We plan to have our first worship service in the building on June 27.

3. The pews will be alternatingly taped off to assure appropriate distancing. Ushers will seat everyone.

4. Masks must be worn while in the building.

5. Pew Bibles and hymnals can be used, but congregational singing will be limited at first. Safe communion options are being planned.

6. Ushers will assure that visitors sign the register, WITH contact information.

7. The children’s space downstairs will not be used by us for now. Material for children will be available in the narthex during the summer.

8. Refreshments and conversation will be held on the south side lawn following the service. Please do not linger in the building.

9. The Karen Baptist Community will be free to resume their 12 o’clock services on or after June 27, however they decide.

10. Open windows, doors and fans will be used to promote air circulation.

11. No large gatherings in Fellowship Hall for now. Decisions on AA groups, Nepali services, choir practices, funeral receptions etc. have not yet been made. The Summer Camp for the Sunday School is scheduled for Aug. 9-12 at church. Much outside.

12.Summer office hours will resume when Marie returns from vacation (mid-July).

13. Zoom and Face Book options for worship will continue. Our new tech person, Isabella, is being trained now.

14. All decisions are being made based on “the science,” Statewide official guidance, and by our intention to be a loving and caring community where every person’s health and comfort are paramount. (“Do unto others…..”). Risks are never 0%.


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 –

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


We are blessed with wonderful musicians and singers.  Even in these extraordinary online days we have had lovely music as part of our weekly worship service.  Join us as we acknowledge our music staff and volunteers.

Dear Church Family,

Thank you for the many calls and cards that were sent for my 90th birthday celebration!  Your kindness and thoughtfulness are greatly appreciated!

Fondly, Connie Nutter


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) –

Treasurer –

Financial Secretary – financialsecretary@fbcburlingtonvt. com

Karen Baptist Community –

Karen Mendes –

Jeneve Joslin –

Evan Allen –

Anna Roy –

Steve Perkins –

Denise Stanley –