March 2019 Newsletter


First Baptist Church

81 Saint Paul Street Ste. 1, Burlington, VT.   05401

VOLUME LX1V NO. 3                                                                         March 1, 2019


Sunday Morning Worship Service 9:45


 In the Wilderness

The first real camping trip I ever took was a 3 month excursion to Alaska with my husband and infant son. It was often wonderful and sometimes scary to be out in the wilderness, away from the trappings of civilized life. One beautiful day we were in Wrangell- St. Elias National Park, enjoying a walk through a meadow filled with blueberries and reveling in the fact that the closest other people were 100 miles away. The next thought we had was that while there might not be people anywhere near, there very easily could be Kodiak grizzly bears nearby and we probably should not be wandering in a blueberry patch with our bear-snack-sized baby! Life often seems like the wilderness; opportunities and challenges pop up unexpectedly. Whether we are dealing with issues at our job, navigating medical care, or simply trying to follow the news, sometimes we know where we are going; sometimes we get lost. During this Season of Lent we will be spending time in the wilderness as we journey with Jesus toward the cross. We will be paying attention to where and how we experience Jesus in our lives. In worship each week we will lift up one of our 5 senses as a way to focus our attention. Together we will explore the wilderness in which we find ourselves. 

This newsletter is full of opportunities for learning and service during this season, including a daily reading guide of the Gospel of Luke. It is a blessing to be on this journey through the wilderness with you. May this season be one of discovery and grace. 

Yours in Christ,

 ~ Karen Rev. Karen A. Mendes, Pastor 


The Congregational Care Committee of the First Baptist Church Diaconate reports that there are currently 5 on the Homebound Members & Friends list. In January, 7 “known visits” were made to 2 homebound members and 1 “known call” was made to homebound members and friends. 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/                               WORSHIP SCHEDULE

Sermons and Texts                                 

Mar. 03 – Rev. Karen A Mendes                  Scripture: Luke 9:28-42a           

         Sermon: Transfigurations

Mar. 10 – Rev. Karen A. Mendes         Scripture: Luke 4:1-13

         Sermon: In the Wilderness

Mar. 17 – Rev. Karen A. Mendes         Scripture: Gen. 15:1-12, 17-1

         Sermon: Setting Out

Mar. 24 – Rev. Karen A. Mendes                 Scripture: Isaiah 55:1-9                        Sermon: Provisions

Mar. 31 – Rev. Karen A. Mendes         Scripture: Luke 15:1-3. 11b-32

         Sermon: The Lost

                 PRAYER TOPIC                                     Sarah Dopp                                              “Covenants”

Covenants are formal agreements among people, solemn promises, pledges of mutual support and assistance. The concept, while used in real estate, law and other fields, is also a staple of the Abrahamic faiths. God made numerous covenants with his chosen people in the old testament.  In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ defined himself as the new covenant. In our congregation, we have had a church covenant at least since 1872.  We read our covenant every few months to reinforce our commitments to each other and to God.  May we pray for resolve in keeping these covenant promises.

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

    WINTER BOOK GROUP       The Active Life by Parker Palmer

The Winter Book Group is reading The Active Life by Parker Palmer.  This classic book articulates a vital, down-to-earth spirituality for people who live busy, active lives.  Parker Palmer is a wonderful writer and the Founder of the Center for Courage & Renewal.  Our group is meeting on Mondays at 6:30pm through March 11th. The book can be ordered online or speak with Rev. Mendes for a copy.


We are updating our Newsletter mailing list and we need your help!  Please call or email the church office if you would like to continue to receive a paper newsletter through the mail. Starting in March, we will be sending the newsletter electronically via email using our Green Steeple Weekly email address list.  If you have not been receiving the Green Steeple Weekly, please contact us with your email address.  Our phone number is 802-864-6515 and our email address is  We are happy to mail paper copies of the newsletter to everyone who wants one.  Please let us know so that we can keep you on the list. There is a sign-up in the narthex.                                                                     

AS A FAITH COMMUNITY we hold each other in prayer constantly, but we also highlight individuals when specific challenges come into their lives.  You can help the office by alerting them ( if people need to be added, and also if an individual no longer needs to be on the special list.  This applies both to the list in the Sunday bulletin and to the prayer chain, managed by Mark Paulsen (


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.


Our Pictoral Directory is available in printed form from the church office, but it is also available online! Members and friends of First Baptist who email addressed 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:

Church Greeting and Refreshments

We are offering two opportunities to serve on Sunday mornings by asking for both greeters and providers of snacks.  Feel free to sign up for both or only one or the other.


                                                   Don Dalton is not able to move to Cathedral Square as originally planned.  Another placement is being sought.  Meanwhile, he remains at Burlington Health & Rehab, but now on the 5th floor.  His daughter, Cheryl, says he is really in need of regular visitors.  They should be brief visits, but anyone who could help would be very appreciated.


Preview of Coming Attractions

Here’s a list of what’s happening during Second Hour at FBC –       March 3 -April 14

March 3, 17, 24, 31, April 14 and 28  Lenten series:   The God We Can Know:  Exploring the “I AM” Statements of Jesus

Written and filmed by Methodist minister Rev. Rob Fuquay, the DVD filmed in the Holy Land, and his book features seven chapters and 6 DVD sessions centered around the six “I AM” statements of Jesus. Each 2nd Hour Session explores one of the “I Am” statements.        Rev. Fuquay’s concept is that the “I AM” statements are a way of knowing God and ourselves. Each session will include a film, discussion of the chapter and reflection questions included in the book.

Sessions continue as follows:

March 3I Am The Bread of Life March 17 – I Am the Light of the World                                      March 24 – I Am the Good    Shepherd                                             March 31I Am the True Vine      April 14 – I Am the Way the Truth and the Life                                      April 28I Am the Resurrection and the Life.  

Books and ebooks are available on line from several sources. Prices vary from about $10.00 – $8.00.   Christian Ed purchased the DVD and has ordered a few copies of the book from Cokesbury at $7.99. We expect delivery this week so speak with Lois if you want a paperback copy. There will be a couple of books available without cost.  Though the series can be meaningful without reading the book, it is always a deeper experience if one reads along with the series. Please consider attending this Lenten experience. All adults and youth are invited.


At the Annual Meeting, we voted to establish a Designated Fund for Missions, using as seed money, $10,000 from the Undesignated Funds of our Permanent Fund.  As this Fund grows, the proceeds from it will be available for mission projects; either support for current missions or for a new mission idea.  Individuals are invited to contribute to this Fund so that its impact can grow.

GOVERNANCE UPDATE…The Governance Working Group continues to support our boards and committees in their transitions to Ministry Teams and a proposed Unified Governing Board.  To give us an idea of how a Unified Governing Board would work, representatives from the boards and the committees will meet together on  April 7 and again on October 13 in lieu of the usual board meetings and Advisory Council meeting.

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

The America for Christ Offering

 “Rebuilding, Restoring, Renewing Puerto Rico” continues to be an effort led by the American Baptist Home Mission Society and the ABHMS is promoting the America for Christ offering during March. You’ll see our Mission Outreach Board members providing information throughout the

month including a chart which requests a reasonable $900. There are many, many ways our donations will uplift national programs for people and places. The ministries supported by ABHMS include American Baptist colleges, children’s homes, national missionaries, prisoner re-entry ministries, volunteer mobilization ministries, immigration and refugee resettlement and more – all undergirded by the America For Christ offering. If you have a special national missionary or mission field you wish your AFC offering to go, just designate on the “for_________” place on your check. You can send your donation directly to: America for Christ care of: ABHMS, 1075 First Ave., King of Prussia, PA 19406. (this is a new address). Please tell a Mission Outreach Board member if you send your check directly to PA so it can be credited to our church goal. From your check for the America for Christ offering, twenty-nine percent (29%) is taken off the top for the VNH region if you send through our church and give the offering during the Sunday morning worship service. It’s your choice. Thank you for giving to this important, special offering and watch the chart grow!             ~Nancy Tracy

Feb. 25 – Mar. 11- Book Group – 6:30  

Mar. 3 –  Transfiguration Sunday Multigenerational Service      w/ Instrumental Ensemble

Mar. 8-9 –ABCVNH Annual  Gathering

Mar. 10 – Administrative Sunday

Mar. 17 –1st UMC – Milk & Soup

Mar. 18 – Advisory Council – 6:30

Mar. 24-30 – ANEW Place Meals

April 7 – Unified Governing Board

April 14 – Palm Sunday                 

April 18 – Maundy Thursday Service

April 21 – Easter Sunday Service

                 Easter Sunrise Service- 6am

                 1st UMC – Milk & Soup

May 12 – 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 2 – Music Appreciation Sunday

              Administrative Sunday

June 9 – Pentecost Sunday

              CE Appreciation Sunday

June 17 – Advisory Council – 6:30

Don’t forget to turn your clocks AHEAD 1 hour for Sunday, March 10th!

CONGREGATIONAL MEETING:     There will be a brief meeting following worship on March 10th.  The Nominating Committee will be bringing several more names for church positions, for your action.


Last month we asked for someone to temporarily “adopt” a parishioner’s cat.  Lois and Mike Lynch stepped up.  We also asked people to help with cleaning out Margaret Shaub’s apartment.  Jill Soter, Beth Vuley and Sarah Dopp have worked multiple times.  Thanks to all these folks for being of practical help to their fellow church members.