First Baptist Church

81 Saint Paul Street Ste. 1

Burlington, VT.   05401

VOLUME NO. 11 November 1, 2022



To open a door is to move from one place to another. It is a liminal experience – standing on the threshold between the familiar and the yet to be known. It is an opportunity to see with a new perspective. It is an invitation to welcome new ideas and new people. Opening doors can also mean reopening and reconnecting with people and with activities that were put on hiatus due to the pandemic.  Opening Doors is a wonderful image and theme for our Stewardship Campaign and for our ministries in 2023. 

In November, we stand on a threshold as we look ahead and make plans for our ministries in the coming year.  After more than 2 years of pandemic strictures, it is a great blessing (and relief!) to open our doors to ministries of Outreach, Fellowship, and Education as we share the love of Christ with each other and with the wider world.  Our ministries are made possible by God’s grace and the support of our members and friends.  I thank you for your prayers, your time, your care, and your financial support of our work together. Please join us on November 13 as we pledge our support for the upcoming year. Let’s open wide the doors! 

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

Nov 06. All Saints Sunday

Luke 6:20-31

     For All the Saints

Nov 13. Pledge Sunday

      Isaiah 65:17-25 

      Opening Doors

Nov 20. Reign of Christ/ Thanksgiving Sunday

Colossians 1:11-20

Thanks Be to God

Nov 27. 1st Sunday of Advent

 Isaiah 2:1-5

Walking in the Light of the LORD


Nov. 13 – A Congregational Meeting to discuss and vote upon changes to the Church Bylaws.  In 2019 the church voted to change our governing structure to the Unified Governing Board and Ministry Teams.  The Bylaws changes reflect this governance change.  Copies of the proposed Bylaws were emailed with this newsletter and are available in the Narthex or from the church office.

Nov. 20 – Greening of the Church – Following Thanksgiving Sunday Worship we will decorate our sanctuary for Advent and Christmas.


THE SILENT VIGIL FOR RACIAL JUSTICE will happen on November 6 at 11:30am on the church front steps.  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 Nov. 14 at 7pm.


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 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. 


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. 


We met on Mon. Oct. 17th. The group discussed the timing for information sessions and action by the congregation on two items: The new Bylaws revision(which will be acted upon Nov. 13th) and a proposed “Declaration of Inclusion”, (stay tuned; we’ll send a draft of this in Jan. and schedule a meeting about this for Jan 16th.)

The main part of the meeting was devoted to completing the stewardship brochure which will go out about the time you receive this newsletter. Part of this is a chart with the budget requests for 2023. We are recommending an 8% Cost of Living Adjustment for all staff, which sounds like a lot, but not when you look at peoples’ increased daily expenses in this challenging time. The actual amounts arising from this calculation do not seem large, but we do want our staff, on whom we rely so much, to feel supported and valued. By way of comparison, even Social Security payments to retirees are going to increase by 8.7% in 2023!

We heard reports from the Ministry Teams and the Property Committee and from Karen, as she plans toward Thanksgiving and Advent activities. One interesting piece of information is that the lawyer’s office on Pine Street, behind the church, is going to be sold. It was formerly(before the 1950’s)the church parsonage and is part of the Historic District, so it will not be torn down or replaced. More information as we have it.

Looking at our financial reports, we noted that we have come up short on the Childcare income line, as expected. We are hopeful that One Arts Community School will move in during Nov., which will help balance our end of year finances. 

All pledgers are also reminded to try to complete their 2022 pledge payments before Dec. 31st. We are blessed. We have financial resources invested and we have generous people, but it is undeniable that these are rocky times for churches and parishioners alike.



     Once again First Baptist had a successful I-89 Rest Stop Fundraiser on October 1 with

a total donation of $687.73 from generous rest stop visitors.  A big thank you to our 17 volunteers:  shift workers and goodie providers, Cindy and Dave Little, Sarah Dopp and Betty Capponi, Chris Thompson with friend, Lucy, Ed Bigelow and Joanne Rittwage, Fern Sparks

and Bev Nichols and other goodie providers Carol Gaylord, Ginger Calder, Lois D’Arcangelo, Pat Reasoner, Peni Saulnier, and Marie Morton. McKenzie Country Classics provided free hot dogs for this event.


        We will be providing Thanksgiving food baskets with turkeys for those families who need a little help.  Your contribution of non-perishable Thanksgiving food items and monetary gifts can be left in the Narthex on this Sunday.


Bill Mason and Deb Holonitch were our representatives to the World Mission Conference at Green Lake in July.  While there, Deb had the opportunity to talk with global servants Annie and Jeff Dieselberg and Toya Richards.  The Dieselbergs are global servants in Thailand.  Annie is the founding CEO of Nightlight International, a global organization that restores the lives of women affected by sex trafficking.  Nightlight Bangkok is a place where women can get shelter and employment (making and selling jewelry).  Toya Richards is “endorsed to serve in Cape Town, South Africa as a teacher and professor at the Cape Town Baptist Seminary”.  Go to for more information. Deb says Toya worked at the Burlington Free Press several years ago. 

       Deb and Bill had the opportunity to hear about the work of Bill and Ann Clemmer helping the homeless and vulnerable street children of Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (See newsletter from Bill and Ann Clemmer on our mission bulletin board in Fellowship Hall.)

        Your mission team will be researching the best ways to support our many IM  global servants and/or global projects, based on pledged mission money and earnings in our mission investment account in 2023.


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.   


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

Bath Towels

3-drawer dressers

TVs (27″ or smaller)

Pillows (preferably wipeable hospital-grade)

Twin mattresses (college or hospital grade)

Travel-sized shampoo & conditioner

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.) Now that the cooler weather has come, we have resumed inside fellowship and refreshments in the narthex. Please join us.


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 NOVEMBER ARE  – Monday/Wednesday/Friday 9-1 and Tuesday/Thursday 9-3. November 24th and 25th the office will be closed in observance of Thanksgiving.


Karen Mendes –

Evan Allen –

Anna Roy –

Steve Perkins –

Julie Sweeney –

The church office (Adam Chamberlain) –  

Treasurer –  

Financial Secretary – financialsecretary@fbcburlingtonvt. com 

Karen Baptist Community –

Advent and Christmas Events for all Ages

Celebrate the Season with your Family of Faith

Greening of the Church – 

Sunday, Nov. 20 following worship

Help decorate our sanctuary for Advent and Christmas.

Intergenerational Advent Craft workshop – Sunday, Nov. 27

Make Advent calendars, wreaths, and ornaments.

Advent Stories and Songs – Sunday, Dec. 11

Our Second Hour will be filled with music and story.

Christmas Sunday Worship – Sunday, Dec. 18

Wonderful music and the Christmas Pageant to celebrate the 4th Sunday of Advent.

Christmas Pageant rehearsals to be announced.

The Longest Night Service –Wednesday, Dec. 21, 7:00pm

A  Christmas service for those who mourn.

Christmas Eve Services  –  Saturday Dec. 24 

Family Service- available online starting at 2pm

Candlelight Service – 9:00pm 

Christmas Day Worship –  Sunday, Dec 25, 10:00am

Celebrate Christmas Day with our Karen and English Speaking Church Family!

Christmas Caroling – TBA

Bringing Christmas cheer to our homebound members and friends.

A New Year’s Epiphany Party – Sunday, Jan. 1 following worship

Join us for Three Kings Cake and other treats as we celebrate the new year and the Magi’s visit to the Christ Child.

For more information please contact the church office. 864-6515,