First Baptist Church

81 Saint Paul Street Ste. 1

Burlington, VT.   05401

VOLUME LX111 NO. 10                                                                         Nov. 1, 2018






On Sunday, October 28, we experienced God through our five senses and through our community.  We got out of our pews to see, hear, touch, taste, and smell God, and in our movements around the sanctuary we were able to speak with one another and to share with each other our insights and reflections.  It was a new worship experience for most of us and it was a morning of grace and blessing.


This year we have been trying new ways to reach out to each other and to our wider communities. New forms of worship, new ways of communication, and a new governance model are all designed to enhance our ability to reach out in ministry.  Reaching out is the gist of our Stewardship theme for 2019 – Responding to God’s Love, We Reach Out to Serve the Needs of Our Church, Our Community, and Our World.


In the month of November, we have the opportunity to express our commitment to this work of First Baptist through our financial pledges in support of the church budget. Our governance model may be shifting but our work of sharing Christ’s love in Burlington and beyond continues.  We have each reached out in faith to become parts of this community and it is an act of faith to participate through our contributions of time, talent, and money.   The Ministry Plan booklet put together by the Finance Committee describes the many ways in which we will reach out and respond to God’s call in the coming year.


As you peruse this newsletter, may you be inspired to deepen your commitment to the work of Christ’s church.  Please plan to join us for the Ministry Plan forum on November 4.  Pledge Sunday will be November 11.


Yours in Christ,




First Baptist Church Staff

Rev. Karen A.Mendes.……………………………..Pastor

Marie Morton………………….Administative Assistant

Steve Perkins…………Instrumental Group Director

Adam Schneider……………………………Organist

Anna Roy………………….Chancel Choir Director

Chris Brault…….……………………………Sexton


Officers of First Baptist


Sarah Dopp.…………………………….Moderator

Mark Paulsen…………………Assistant Moderator


Beth Gamache……. ………………Assistant Clerk

Chris Thompson…………………………Treasurer

Bill McCormick….……………Assistant Treasurer

Ginger Calder………………….Financial Secretary

Barbara Farrington… ………Asst. Financial Sec’y

Sarah Dopp ……………………………..Historian

Andy Farrington….……………….Parliamentarian



Sunday Morning Worship Service 9:45

Office Phone: (802) 864-6515

Conference/Kitchen Phone:

(802) 864-4721

Office Hours: Mon., Tues., Wed., Fri.

9:00 AM to 1:00 PM; Thurs. 9am-3pm

Email address:

Web Site Address:

Visit us on Facebook

First Baptist Church, Burlington, Vt.









Deadline for

December is

November 15th










The Congregational Care Committee of the First Baptist Church Diaconate reports that there are currently 5 on the Homebound Members & Friends list. In September, 7 “known visits” were made to 2 homebound members and 1 “known call” was made to 1 homebound member by FBC members and friends. Also, 1 visit and 1 call were made to other members and friends. The committee invites you to help with this ministry.


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


November Anniversaies

Nov. 24 – Brian & Linda Hayes   11yrs

Nov. 26 – Ed & Penilee Saulnier  19yr



Sermons and Texts

Nov. 04 – Rev. Karen A Mendes                  All Saints Day Service

Scripture: Ruth 1: 1-18                         Sermon: Unrecognized Saints

Nov. 11 – Rev. Karen A. Mendes                        Pledge Sunday                            Scripture: Ruth 3:1-5, 4:13-17               Sermon: Faithful Living

Nov. 18 – Rev. Karen A. Mendes                 Thanksgiving Sunday                            Scripture: Matt. 6:25-33                       Sermon: A Life of Thanks

Nov. 25 – Rev. Karen A. Mendes              Scripture: Rev. 1:4b-8                             Sermon: Look!                    

Nov. 04     All Saints Day Service

Nov. 11      Pledge Sunday                                     All Boards

Nov. 18     Thanksgiving Sunday                          Combined Worship                                  Community Hymn Sing                        3:00pm.

Nov. 19    Advisory Council

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


Please join us on Saturday, Dec. 1st from 2-4pm as we gather in the sanctuary to decorate for the Advent and Christmas seasons.  This fun event will be facilitated by our Board of Deacons.


Calling all angels, shepherds, magi, Holy Families, directors, and crew!  We will soon be choosing our pageant for this year and finalizing practice times.  The pageant cast will be composed of people of all ages.  We hope to have the pageant be part of our Christmas Sunday worship on Dec. 16.  Please speak with Rev. Mendes or Lois Lynch, CE chair, if you are interested in participating in any capacity.


Nov. 04 – All Saints Day –                                    Ministry Plans

Nov. 11 – Administrative Sunday

Nov. 18 – Bilingual Bible Study

Nov. 25 – Family Advent Workshop

Dec. 02 – Advent Stories & Songs

Dec. 09 – Administrative Sunday

Dec. 16 – Carol Sing

Dec. 23 – Christmas Sunday –                               No Second Hour

                 PRAYER TOPIC                              Diaconate Member                                Cindy Little

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

In the month of November, as we gather for Thanksgiving, let’s keep the ideals of Mister Rogers alive.  Let’s bring our divided nation together; and closer to home, our divided friendships and families closer together as God wants us to be.  Love and appreciate each other for being who we are.

Advent and Christmas Events

Celebrate the Season with your Family of Faith

Advent Craft workshop – Nov. 25

Make Advent calendars, wreaths, and           ornaments and share in      cocoa and sweets

Greening of the Church –                 Saturday, Dec. 1

Advent Stories & Songs – Dec. 2

Ecumenical Carol Sing – TBD

Our Intergenerational

Christmas Pageant – Dec. 16

Family Ice Skating – 2:30pm


The Longest Night Service –     Saturday, Dec. 21, 4:00pm

A  Christmas service for those

who mourn.


Christmas Sunday Worship – Dec. 23

Wonderful music and vital worship to

Celebrate the 4th Sunday of Advent


Christmas Eve Services –

Monday, Dec. 24

4:00pm – Family Service

11:00pm – Candlelight Service


Director of Christian Education       Search Committee Report:


There have been very few expressions of interest in the Director position.  We have had a computer “facetime” interview with one individual who withdrew his application.  Others who contacted us lacked qualifications or were not interested enough to submit a resume.  At this time, we are in discussion with another church about the possibility of sharing a staff person.  These discussions are very preliminary and may or may not help us move forward. If joint discussions reveal a deeper interest and a sense that it could work on a practical and financial basis, we will open the discussion to include all of both congregations.  We emphasize this is only an idea both search committees are exploring. If this idea does not work, the search committee will meet to consider next steps.


Sunday school is off and running.  Our teaching teams are complete and working together to provide a fun and

meaningful experience Sunday mornings.

We welcome Paw Wah, Royna Rosario, Beverly Nichols and Lois Lynch new to our teaching teams and welcome back Beth Gamache, and Steve Lewis, Ruth Doh and Ku Sa Wah.

Classes have adopted names and we will refer to them by name as we go along.  Class 3-7 is Team Joy.  Class 8-11 is Team Courage and Faith. After two months of working to establish a new class for youth age 12-14(Team Rainbow Ark) we have decided to stop meeting for the time being.   There just isn’t a large enough core group to keep things going when some students are absent. Having a strong peer group is so important for establishing a meaningful group for youth this age. All of these youth have important real reasons for not being able to come every week.  We understand.  There are family events coming up in which youth can fully participate.

Meanwhile, our trial of having kids age 8-11, Team Courage and Faith, remain in service on the last week of each month will continue.              Kids 3-7, Team Joy, will have class as usual on those weeks.

Rowan Oberbrunner is leading our kids in song.  Kids 8-11, Team Courage and Faith, have music on the

first and third Sundays and class 3-7, Team Joy, on the second and fourth Sundays.


Planning for Advent and the Christmas Pageant has begun.  A holy family and a couple of other helpers have already volunteered, but additional volunteers for Pageant parts and behind the scenes help are needed.


Nov. 25 is our Advent workshop sponsored by Christian Ed. Board.  It’s a fun time for kids of all ages. Sunday, December 2nd, we will host Advent Stories and Songs from 11-noon and will need volunteers from both congregations willing to share their talents. A family skating party is scheduled for December 16th after the Pageant.


Adult forums during second hour are listed elsewhere in this newsletter.  We thank Charlie Roy for his September presentation of a fine diorama with information about village life in Israel during the time of Jesus. Also, Bilingual Bible Study was well received and is again scheduled for November 18.  Thank you for continuing to support and participate in Christian Ed programs.

PICTURES OF                                     MINISTRY


This year, as we meet and work and worship together, let us take photos so that at our next Annual Meeting we can put together a slide show of our life together.  Photos can be emailed to the church office  Please get parental permission before photographing children.  Thanks!

      OUR CHURCH DIRECTORY           

Our Pictorial 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:  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:


Have you noticed anything new lately?  On the red banner for the SE Asia area of the world, the word “light” has been rendered in the Karen language (top) and the Nepali language (next) in honor of our two sister congregations worshipping here.  Thank you to Gladys Severance (the original maker of the banners) and Cindy Little, who made the intricate letters and freshened up the banners overall.


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 – by Wednesday.


CHECK IT OUT – NEW ORANGE SIGN-UP CHART for “Greeters & Feeders” in the Narthex.  Please feel free to sign-up!  Store-bought goodies are fine!




Mission Outreach is collecting socks in November and December for the Committee on Temporary Shelter to support the homeless in our community.

What: New men’s and women’s socks of all kinds and sizes will be collected.

Where: Look for the collection container in the Narthex beginning November 4th.

Socks will be delivered to COTS just before Christmas.

Monetary donations are also acceptable. Talk to Nancy Danforth at or 777-5085 or any member of the Mission Outreach Team.


November 18 is Thanksgiving Sunday at First Baptist. This is an another opportunity to feed our community!

Please plan to bring appropriate Thanksgiving food items or cash donations for the Processional. These foods and money will be used to feed those among us who need a little extra help and/or have a lot of mouths to feed!  If you are aware of folks who can benefit from our Processional, please contact Nancy Danforth at 777-5085 or

JUMP eliminating food bags            as of 2019

JUMP’s decision to eliminate food bags was made in full consideration of the abundant availability of food in Chittenden County, at least 23 locations for bulk food or daily meals. Securing food in the area is not a problem for JUMP clients.  In 2019, JUMP will provide to clients a list of locations where our clients can go to receive food, either bulk food or daily meals.


Faith communities that provided food bags at their designated month are being asked to provide personal hygiene items, toiletries, diapers, etc. during their month.


JUMP’s decision will allow JUMP to concentrate on what clients request and need most, assistance for transportation and personal hygiene items.  This decision also relieves parishioners and JUMP volunteers the burden of toting heavy, bulky bags to and from JUMP.


JUMP will continue to provide grocery store gift cards and vouchers to clients to purchase food.  Faith communities

still can provide money to go toward

the purchase of these grocery store cards provided to clients in lieu of or in addition to personal hygiene items.


Note: starting in January we will personally reach out to each faith community to answer any questions and assist with your transition pertaining to JUMP’s new policy. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding during this period of transition to better meet clients’ request and needs.

Thanks to all who participated in one way or another for the Interstate 89 Fundraiser on Saturday September 29!!  $437.86 was raised.  A team effort!  Thank you to Larson Couture, Denise Rittwage, Judy Austin, Ginger Calder, Chris Thompson, Ed Bigelow, Joan Taylor, Fern Sparks, Betty Capponi, Sarah Dopp, Peg Randall, Nancy Danforth, Beth Vuley, Carol Gaylord, Bev Nichols, Peni Saulnier, Gladys Laura, Joanne Rittwage, Gail Holmes and Lois Lynch and anyone we may have missed!!!

      American Baptist Home                           Mission Societies                      National Conference –

              November 14-16th                                   Philadelphia                                                                                     

         Space For Grace – 2018                              

“Become part of the conversation of Christian leaders from across the United States and Puerto Rico about mission engagement, discipleship and church transformation in the 21st century-as well as seeking God’s leading for creating social transformation.”

This conference offers exciting keynote speakers, workshops on leadership, discipleship and healing communities. For additional information, go to the ABHMS website at


This would be a great opportunity to participate in our denomination!  Monies are potentially available to help offset attendance from Mission Outreach. If interested, please contact Nancy Danforth at



As we contemplate our stewardship giving to First Baptist, we think of two parts to that (Local Expenses and Mission Giving). Within Missions, we also think of two parts (ABC United Missions – international and national; and local missions).  Support of United Missions encompasses all American Baptist needs in the United States and Puerto Rico by way of the American Baptist Home Mission Society and International Ministries.

These include recurring needs in our VNH region, Judson Press, Baptist seminaries and colleges, Volunteer Mobilization Ministries  and missionaries in the field and  special programs like the ABHMS ‘Space for Grace’ conference in Philadelphia and volunteer work in Puerto Rico and Haiti. Additionally, we give to four other special offerings during the year, which are the American for Christ, World Mission, One Great Hour of Sharing, and Retired Ministers and Missionaries offerings.

Love Gifts are additional special offerings from American Baptist Women in support of the American Baptist ministry.                                                                                 Giving to these ABCUSA denominational mission initiatives provides us with a crucial way to join with American Baptists across the country in spreading the Love of Christ to all corners of our nation and globe, beyond our local area.               ~ Nancy Tracy


The smooth functioning of our church depends on the willingness of ALL of us to step up and take various roles on boards, committees and as officers.

The Nominating Committee is hard at work looking for members to take positions for 2019.  It has been a special challenge to find those willing to be officers.

We have been without a Church Clerk during all of 2018, putting an extra burden on the Asst. Clerk and members of the Advisory Council.  In 2019, we will also need a new Financial Secretary and Asst. Financial Secretary.

Please be thinking of persons in your extended families or others with connections to you or FBC, who might have computer and financial skills to fill these roles.  Please help us “think outside the box” to find these officers.

Perhaps there is someone in your neighborhood or someone known to your tax preparer or financial advisor?  Please ask anyone you know who might suggest a good candidate.

It is very expensive to hire out such jobs to professional accountants in the community, but a stipend is available for elected financial officers.

Thank you, Nominating Committee (Stu Burroughs, Barbara Farrington, Sarah Dopp)

      Updates from CCM at UVM

I represent our church on the board of the Cooperative Christian Ministry at the University of Vermont. This school year our group has planned monthly dinners with UVM students on campus that afford an evening of sharing a meal and friendly conversation. FBC will be asked to provide a meal likely in February or March.  Two members of our group participated in a campus ministry fair at the North Ave. Alliance Church in October. As a board with the leadership of Rev. Joe Cotner, Campus Minister, we are focusing on Food Insecurity this year. We are a part of the Food Insecurity Committee. Last year we contributed gift certificates at the end of the school year to the food pantry on campus. This year we are exploring other ways we can help decrease this growing problem. We have also been updated on the noted increase in anxiety and depression in our student population and are exploring ways we can make an impact.  There are 2 representatives from each of numerous local church communities. If you have an interest in joining me representing FBC feel free to speak to me. ~ Beth Gamache