February 2019 Newsletter


First Baptist Church

81 Saint Paul Street Ste. 1

Burlington, VT.   05401

VOLUME LX1V NO. 1                                                                           Feb. 1, 2019



Last year at our Annual Meeting, we began with some open-ended questions to get us thinking about our purpose, our mission, and our Christian education.  The fruit of those discussions informed our ministries in 2018.  This year at our Annual Meeting we began with an open-ended question about our mission giving and participation.  How can we increase our mission giving?  How can we lift up mission as central to the life of our church?  It was suggested that perhaps we could end the practice of separate mission pledging and instead pledge as a congregation to designate 10% of all pledges to mission.  Perhaps 10% of the income from 139 Bank Street, or 10% of what we receive from TPF could go to missions.  We could strengthen our ties to our ABW sister church in Puerto Rico, perhaps plan a mission trip there.  We could plan a 2nd Hour series in which we invite our local mission partners to come and speak with us.   We could speak with our church school kids about mission and empower them to take on a mission project of their own.

Our theme for 2019 is RESPONDING TO GOD’S LOVE, WE REACH OUT TO SERVE THE NEEDS OF OUR CHURCH, OUR COMMUNITY, AND OUR WORLD.  Reaching out to serve is a beautiful definition of mission.  Within this newsletter there are many opportunities to reach out.  It is a blessing to be in ministry with you.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Karen A. Mendes

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 Rowan Oberbrunner… . . Children’s 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

Stu Burroughs………..Interim Financial Secretary

Jeneva Burroughs…..Interim 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: fbcbvt@gmail.com

Web Site Address: www.fbcburlingtonvt.com

Visit us on Facebook

First Baptist Church, Burlington, Vt.

Newsletter Deadline for March is February 15th    


The Congregational Care Committee of the First Baptist Church Diaconate reports that there are currently 5 on the Homebound Members & Friends list. In December, 30 “known visits” were made to 4 homebound members and 0 “known calls” were made to homebound members and friends. Also, 24 visits and 1 call were made to 5 other members and friends with Christmas caroling. The committee invites you to help with this ministry.

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


                 Sermons and Texts                                      

Feb. 03 – Rev. Karen A Mendes                   Scripture: Luke 4:21-30             

         Sermon: Unrighteous Indignation

Feb. 10 – Rev. Karen A. Mendes

         Scripture: Luke 5:1-11

         Sermon: Overwhelmed

Feb. 17 – Pulpit Exchange with            Rev. Mark Mendes of First

         Congregational Church,

         Essex Junction

Feb. 24 – Rev. Karen A. Mendes                  Scripture: Luke 6:27-38                      Sermon: A Good Measure


Back by popular demand, Rev. Mark Mendes will lead worship here on February 17, while Rev. Karen A. Mendes will preach at First Congregational Church of              Essex Junction.


Plan to attend a special recital to celebrate our new rank of pipes on Sunday, February 3 at 3PM. The event was postponed from January 20th.  Adam has lined up a group of talented Vermont organists to play an array of pieces.  The program will be varied and exciting! Reception to follow.


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 fbcbvt@gmail.com.  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.

                 PRAYER TOPIC

               Diaconate Member

                    Cindy Little

“God is the source of our love.  The key to life is loving God and loving others.  When we keep the common good in the forefront of our minds and our goals, the creative power of God’s love shines through.”  It reflects back on us and we, too, grow.  It is a challenge for all of us.  Put your love into action!  (Quoting from Rev. Bishop Michael Curry)

I have decided to stick with love.  Hate is too great a burden to bear.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

What a wonderful thought for all of us when confronted with some of the issues of the day (government or otherwise)!

    WINTER BOOK GROUP       The Active Life by Parker Palmer

The Winter Book Group will read 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 will meet on Mondays at 6:30pm from January 28 – March 11(except for February 18).  The book can be ordered online or speak with Rev. Mendes for a copy.

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: kamendesfbc@gmail.com or call the church office at 864-6515.



Royna Rosario, one of our three Team Joy teachers, is not able to rejoin the teaching staff.  We really need a three person team to rotate teaching responsibilities so no one is teaching all the time.  If you think you would enjoy the energy of 3-7 year olds and want to help young children learn about Jesus, please contact Lois Lynch or speak with Pastor Karen.  We’d love your help and will give you guidance, curriculum and craft materials.           

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 (fbcbvt@gmail.com) 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 (markepaulsen@comcast.net).

Are you being called to be baptized?

A Baptism Class for Youth (10+) and Adults will be offered starting on Sunday, February 24 during Second Hour time.  The class will meet for six weeks.  For more information, please speak with Rev. Mendes.


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 –fcbvt@gmail.com by Wednesday.


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: www.members.instantchurchdirectory.com.  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:  fbcbvt@gmail.com.              

                 HELP NEEDED!

Margaret Shaub has moved.  Helpers are needed to clean out her old apartment.  If available, please contact Sarah Dopp (985-3581). Margaret’s new address is: Ethan Allen Residence, 1200 North Avenue, Burlington, VT 05408.  She would love to have visits from her church friends.

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.

We invite you to donate flowers for Sunday worship. Please sign up on the flower chart in back of the narthex for any Sunday of your choice or call the church office.

Dear Church Family,                    Many thanks for the notes, emails, food and most of all continued prayers prior to, during and following my recent journey with cancer.                                      Brenda Perkins                                                                                         Dear Church Family,                                       Thank you all for the generous Christmas gifts.  I am blessed to be able to share in making music each week!                                  Sincerely, Anna Roy

Dear Church Family,                    Many thanks for the gift of appreciation given to me this Christmas.  It is a pleasure to provide all of you with a wide range of instrumental music selections throughout the year.  We have a truly dedicated group of talented musicians that make it all possible.         Sincerely, Steve Perkins                                 


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 they 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.


During the month of February, it is First Baptist’s turn to provide personal care and cleaning supplies to JUMP.  This is in place of the food bags that we have contributed for many years.  You can put your purchased items in the plastic bin in the Narthex.  Below is the list of items most needed:


  • Bar Soap
  • Dental Floss
  • Deodorant
  • Hand & Body Lotion
  • Razors/shaving cream
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Feminine personal hygiene products “pads only”


  • All-purpose cleaner “Spic N Span/Lysol
  • Dish soap
  • Sponges


  • All sizes

Please collect only the items on our list”


The Mission Outreach Board wants to thank everyone who donated socks to The Committee On Temporary Shelter!  One hundred and thirty –four pairs of socks were donated to COTS!!

What an incredible outpouring of compassion for our homeless brothers and sisters in our community.  Heartfelt thanks!


Preview of Coming Attractions

Here’s a list of what’s happening during Second Hour at FBC –    February 17-April 14

Feb 17 – Discussion of Rev. Mark Mendes’s sermon led by Mark Paulsen

Feb. 24, March 3, 17, 24, 31, April 7 and 14 – Lent:   The God We Can Know:  Exploring the “I AM” Statements of Jesus – Written and filmed by Methodist minister Rev. Rob Fuquay, this DVD and book features seven chapters and 6 DVD sessions centered around the six “I AM” statements of Jesus in the book of John. The DVD was filmed in the Holy Land and, along with the book, deeply explores one of  the “I AM” statements of Jesus during each session. Rev. Fuquay’s concept is that the more we know who God is the more we know who we are and that the “I AM” statements are a way of knowing God.  The sessions begin on Feb. 24th with the Introduction and Chapter 1- Knowing the Great “I AM”.  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 7 – I Am the Way the Truth and the Life                                        April 14I 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 plans to purchase the DVD and a few copies of the book from Cokesbury. If you want a Cokesbury copy let Lois Lynch know right away.  Cokesbury’s price is $7.99 but 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.

Some Mission Outreach News FYI……

    “In response to the California wildfires, American Baptist Home Missions Societies, on behalf of American Baptist Churches USA, has released $5,000 in One Great Hour of Sharing Emergency Disaster-response funds to each of the following entities:  First Baptist Church, Chico; Growing Healthy Churches; and American Baptist Churches of Los Angeles, Southwest and Hawaii.”

Donations can be made through our church by putting cash, or check made out to First Baptist, in the pew envelope indicating the money is for “OGHS-California Fires” or send a designated check directly to ABHMS to the attention of Kim Wilkins at American Baptist Home Mission Societies, 1075 First Ave., King of Prussia, PA 19406.

Read more at abhms.org>NewsRoom. 


Some church members are members of the Christian Community Credit Union.  People might like to know that CCCU has made a donation of $5000 to the ABCHome Mission Society for the “Rebuilding, Restoring and Renewing Puerto Rico” project. The target of the gift are those people and institutions affected by Hurricanes Maria and Irma.


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.

ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING for 4 major boards will precede their monthly meetings on Feb.10. All members of Trustees, Diaconate, Missions and Christian Ed. should gather in Fellowship Hall at 11:15 for @ 15 minutes, before going to their separate rooms.  Instructions will be given regarding smooth functioning of the boards during the year. All committees should meet to organize before the end of February.