First Baptist Church

81 Saint Paul Street Ste. 1

Burlington, VT.   05401

VOLUME NO. 10 October 1, 2022



After 2.5 years of pandemic strictures, it is gratifying to open the doors of the church to welcome people back to the building for Worship, Church School, Music, Second Hours, Bible Study, Special Events, and more.  For a Faith Community that welcomes people “no matter who they are, or where they are from, or where they happen to be at this very moment”, opening doors is a powerful image of our call and of our ministries of outreach, fellowship, and education.

October is the month when we start our planning for next year. Our Ministry Teams put together Ministry Plans and proposed budgets and we all reflect on who we are and to what we are called. The theme for our ministries in 2023 will be “Opening Doors”.  As we move beyond the pandemic, we are reopening doors that were closed for a time.  We have new opportunities and new challenges meaning new doors to choose and explore.  But our call and mandate to be a welcoming and loving community remains unchanged.  We are called to open our doors wide in order to share the Good News of God’s love with the world.  

This newsletter has many doors to explore with opportunities for worship, learning, and service.  I look forward to opening doors with you.

Yours in Christ,

~ Karen

Rev. Karen A. Mendes


First Baptist Church Staff

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

                     ……….. ………………… CE Director

Adam Chamberlain …………… Church Administrator 

Steve Perkins ……….. Instrumental Group Director         

Evan Allen  ………………………………..Organist

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

Julie Sweeney …….………………………… Sexton

Hto Lwee Wah ………………………Tech Support

               Officers of First Baptist

Sarah Dopp.…………………………….Moderator

Mark Paulsen…………………Assistant Moderator

Cindy Little………………………….…………Clerk

Beth Gamache……. ………………Assistant Clerk

Chris Thompson…………………………Treasurer

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

Conference/Kitchen Phone: 

(802) 864-4721

Office Hours: M, W, F (9-1) T, Th (9-3)

Email address:

Web Site Address:

Visit us on Facebook First Baptist Church, Burlington, Vt.




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 take some time to reach 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

Oct 02. World Communion Sunday

    Luke 17:5-10

     Increase Our Faith!

Oct 09. Luke 17:11-19

    The Good Samaritan

Oct 16.  Luke 18:1-8

    The Squeaky Wheel

Oct 23.  Luke 18:9-14

    True Righteousness

Oct 30. Reformation Sunday

Luke 19:1-10

From the Sycamore Tree


Oct 16. “Inspired” Discussion- Join us as we discuss “Inspired – Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again” by Rachel Held Evans.  Childcare will be available after Church School.

Oct 23. Membership Meeting – Are you curious about what membership means at First Baptist? Do you want to learn more about American Baptist Churches, USA and other Baptist groups? Have you found a home here and want to deepen your connection?  Join us after worship on Oct 23.

Oct 30. Christian Nationalism Discussion – What does it mean to be both a Christian and an American?  What is the political movement that is growing across the US and what does it mean for our future? Join us as we discuss these questions after worship on Oct. 30. 


THE SILENT VIGIL FOR RACIAL JUSTICE will happen on the Church front steps on Sunday, Oct. 2 from 11:30-12.  Please join us for this important witness.


meets in Fellowship Hall and on Zoom each Monday at 11:30am. We are exploring the Acts of the Apostles.


at 9:30 a.m. on Zoom. All are welcome for informal chatting! 

THE FALL BOOK GROUP IS READING THE COLOR OF COMPROMISE; THE TRUTH ABOUT THE AMERICAN CHURCH’S COMPLICITY WITH RACISM by Jemar Tisby.  We have copies of the book available for purchase for $11.00. We meet via Zoom on Monday evenings.  Our next meeting will be Oct. 10 at 7pm.


Mark Howe, organist/choirmaster at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral will play the Hook at 3PM on Sun. Oct.30th. He’s preparing a super program.


The team has chosen a curriculum from Seasons of the Spirit and we plan to have an older class. The younger class started on September 18. Lois Lynch has volunteered to be one of the teachers. The team needs at least one additional teacher and helpers who could substitute. If you are interested in being a part of FBC’s ministry to children, please contact Pastor Karen, Lois Lynch, or Cindy Little. It is exciting to think we are able to get together again in person. All children 5 years to 11 years old are invited to join the Sunday school class on the second floor.  The class starts at 10:30 right after the children’s message.  Children who attend the Karen service at noon may join the class without attending the 10:00 o’clock worship service.  Just come to Church around 10:30.  Come in through the front door and take the stairs or elevator to the second floor.  You will be welcomed by either Lois Lynch or Cindy Little our Sunday school teaching team.  The class provides activities, stories and art that explore Bible lessons and messages about God and Jesus.  A snack is provided and at 11:15 children have the opportunity to sing with Brenda Perkins and enjoy familiar songs and learn new songs of faith.  Please join us.

TEACHING TEAM NEEDS HELP:  Occasionally there will be a time when both Lois and Cindy will be unavailable to teach.  Illnesses, family occasions and travel are part of life.  Sunday school will need to be canceled when both teachers are gone unless we have another substitute teacher.  There is an organized curriculum to use with suggested activities and support. Teaching is fun and so important for children’s faith development.  Additionally, the Christian Education Team would like to offer a Bible and faith based group for youth and teens 12 and up. Curriculum is available for this age group, too.   If you are interested in either of these ministry opportunities please speak with Pastor Karen Mendes, Lois Lynch or Cindy Little. 


The Board of Christian Education had our annual “Back To School Supplies” drive in August. We received over $700 and provided backpacks and supplies to more than 14 young people. Thank you so much for your support of this important ministry.


The Trustees of the Permanent Funds have completed a new version of the brochure entitled, “Bequests and Special Gifts.” It is now available in the church office, the narthex information table, or from one of the Trustees. The church has recently received several generous bequests. If this option interests you, pick up a copy of the brochure. 


Sat. Oct. 8th at 9 AM. Please come armed with rakes, gloves, clippers and energy, to help and we’ll make quick work of it. Coffee and munchkins will be available.


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: 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. 


CCM at UVM is collaborating with various campus partners in presenting a progressive Christian voice for inclusivity and justice. Through a grant from the Episcopal Church’s office of Young Adult and Campus Ministries, CCM hosted the Rev. Darrell Goodwin, an openly LGBTQ black person and Executive Conference Minister in the United Church of Christ and also arranged for Debbie Ingram from Vermont Interfaith Action to speak on the proposal to amend Vermont’s constitution to prohibit slavery that will appear on November’s ballot.  Rev. Joe Cotner, Campus Minister says  “CCM is now part of a new national network of progressive Christian campus ministries that is in the process of forming.”

Beth Gamache is First Baptist’s representative to the CCM board.  CCM is in our mission budget to receive $566 in 2022.   

October is IM’s World Mission Offering month….

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 2022 World Mission Offering, you can learn more about the work Global Servants Katherine & Wayne Niles and Kathy & Tim Rice do to provide health care, clean water, administration, and more in mission hospitals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. You can also see the impact of the ministries of Global Servants J.D. & Rhonda Reed and Sarah Matos, as they work alongside local partners and fellow global servants to offer medical clinics in Bolivia and to lead the Master of Theological Studies program that is preparing Christian leaders throughout Iberoamerica. Go to the ABCUSA website and click on Special Offerings, then World Mission Offering to view the videos. 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 2021, First Baptist gave $554 to the World Mission Offering. Let’s see if we can increase our support this year. With our giving, the Holy Spirit is at work breathing new life into broken situations.

A Letter From Our Region Executive Minister, Dale Edwards

(posted on the Mission Bulletin Board in Fellowship Hall)….renewing the regional covenant “as servant partners in God’s Kingdom”. In 2022, First Baptist will have given 45% of our mission budget toward the support of our Vt/New Hampshire regional office.

Friends of Burma…

Diana Sowards, FOB Co-founder, ran a 100-meter race for 80-84 age group in Evansville, Indiana to raise money for a large generator for a clinic in Pathein, Myanmar (Burma) and read much more in the Fall edition of Friends of Burma newsletter. (posted on Mission Bulletin Board in Fellowship Hall).


This is an interview with Lisa Rothenberger-Winter, World Relief Officer, ABC USA. Check out our Mission Outreach bulletin board in Fellowship Hall or go online to  on page 6.


ANew Place is currently in need of the following items. They can be new or gently used.  If you can help, contact 

Portable ACs & Oscillating fans

Bath Towels

3-drawer dressers

TVs (27″ or smaller)

Pillows (preferably wipeable hospital-grade)

Twin mattresses (college or hospital grade)

Travel-sized shampoo & conditioner


Men’s shorts (sizes medium, large, 3x) Gently used/new Men’s sandals/summer shoes (sizes 10-12) Gently used/new Belts (sizes 32-38) 

Backpacks – Gently used


We have refreshments following worship. Please look for the signup sheet in the narthex. You may bring beverages and treats (individually wrapped if preferred.) Once the cooler weather comes, we’ll resume inside fellowship and refreshments.


Thirteen members of the UGB met on Zoom on Sept 19. The group is continuing to discuss the concept of a Declaration of Inclusion statement. A draft was circulated for consideration. We will work on it further, then hold an Adult Forum for broader reaction before possibly bringing it to a congregational vote. The Declaration could be on our website and shared with members and potential members

The UGB had also seen the Bylaws draft created over the summer by the subcommittee of Bev Nichols, Tocher Mitchell, Sarah Dopp and Rev. Karen Mendes. A few questions were raised and answered. The next step will be to circulate the draft to church members and schedule an adult forum and/or congregational meeting to act on approval of the new bylaws, which reflect our new organizational structure. We decided that taking this up at the Sept. 25th congregational meeting was too soon.

The various arms of the governance and ministry groups will begin their ministry planning and budgeting for 2023 immediately. A brochure will be developed with the help of the Finance Committee. Stu will send a proposed schedule for the stewardship process using Nov. 13th as Pledge Sunday. We also reviewed the schedule for Christmas Eve(a Saturday) and Christmas Day(a Sunday.)

We reconstituted the Heim Scholarship Committee. The Heim family is reviewing the guidelines since the scholarship has not been awarded recently. Stu Burroughs, Steve Perkins, and Bev Nichols agreed to serve on the committee.

A search committee for the CE Director position has been named: Bev Nichols, Lois Lynch, Cindy Little, Brenda Perkins, and Rev. Mendes. We have decided to move back to the regular way of passing communion as of October. The Property Committee(Jim Calder and Frank Swasey)has been busy with small, but important, projects, as we maintain our building. We are in discussion with the Sacred Harp singing group who would like to use Fellowship Hall for rehearsals two evenings a month. 

Karen and other downtown clergy have been discussing the spike of homeless camps and drug/alcohol use in Burlington this summer, including on church properties. The group wants to meet with the Howard Center on strategies for helping the situation.

The UGB does a great deal to assure that our buildings and programs continue strong. We need the help of other congregation members to assist with tasks large and small, to benefit everyone. Thank you to all who step up when needed.

Sarah Dopp,



Special thanks to all of our church family who sent me cards, phone calls, delivered food and traveled to Stowe for my Mother’s burial service in August.  All of you at First Baptist were family to her and she so enjoyed her friendship with you all.

-Beth Nutter Gamache

Carol Gaylord would like all to know… that her grandson Jesse Narkewicz of Milton received a new liver while in a New York City hospital last sunday, September 25th and is in a normal recovery process. Thank you for all your prayers!


All are invited to provide flowers for a worship service. The flower chart is again 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 OFFICE HOURS FOR OCTOBER ARE  – Monday/Wednesday/Friday 9-1 and Tuesday/Thursday 9-3. 

Karen Mendes –

Evan Allen –

Anna Roy –

Steve Perkins –

Julie Sweeney –

The church office (Adam Chamberlain) –  

Treasurer –  

Financial Secretary – financialsecretary@fbcburlingtonvt. com 

Karen Baptist Community –