Green Steeple Messenger January 2020

New Year, New Opportunities

The passing from one year to the next gives us the opportunity to take stock of what has been and to look forward to the future. January 2020 will be a month of reflection and new opportunities as we move from our 4 governing boards to a Unified Governing Board and Ministry Teams.  At the December Advisory Council meeting those attending shared thoughts about both the old system and the new.  We are glad to let go of multiple meetings, the need to fill so many nominating slots, and the insulated silos that sometimes developed around board activities.   We appreciate the familiarity of the old system, the lines of accountability, and the committed volunteers.   

As we look to the new system, we hope that the congregation as a whole will be be more involved, that there will be space for those who have been working hard to step back for a season, and that nothing important will be forgotten in the transition.  

Stepping into something new is always accompanied by some level of anxiety.  Letting go of the familiar requires a leap of faith.  Fortunately, we are people of faith!  We are buoyed and guided by God who is with us in every moment.  In this Christmas season we celebrate Emmanuel, God with us, who sustains us and challenges us to share Christ’s love with the world.

This newsletter is full of opportunities to learn, grow, and serve.  I am so glad to be stepping into the future with you. 

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Karen A. Mendes, Pastor

Sunday Morning Worship Service 9:45

Office Phone: (802) 864-6515

Conference/Kitchen Phone:

(802) 864-4721

Office Hours: Mon.+ Tues. 9-2PM; Wed.+ Fri.

9-1PM; Thurs. 9-3PM

Email address:

Web Site Address:

Visit us on Facebook

First Baptist Church, Burlington, Vt.

Newsletter Deadline for February is Jan. 15th      



The Congregational Care Committee of the First Baptist Church Diaconate reports that there are currently 10 on the Homebound Members & Friends list. In November, 5 “known visits” were made to 2 homebound members and 2 “known calls” were made to  homebound 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 or call 802-864-7179.                  


  Epiphany Party!

Sunday, Jan. 5 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.


Sermons and Texts

Jan. 05 – Rev. Karen A. Mendes

                  Epiphany Sunday

         Scripture: Isaiah 60:1-6

        Matt 2:1-12

         Sermon: Arise! Your Light

                            Has Come

Jan. 12 – Rev. Karen A. Mendes

         Scripture: Isaiah 42:1-9

                         Matt 3:13-17

Sermon: Servant, Chosen,   


Jan. 19 – Rev. Karen A. Mendes

                      MLK Day

Scripture: Isaiah 49:1-7

         Sermon: A Light to the Nations

Jan. 26 – Rev. Karen A. Mendes

         Scripture: Matt 4:12-23

         Sermon: Follow Me

Are you being called to be baptized?

A Baptism Class for Youth (10+) and Adults will be offered starting on Sunday, February 2 during Second Hour time.  The class will meet for six weeks.  For more information please speak with Rev. Mendes.

Pulpit Exchange on February 16

Back by popular demand, Rev. Mark A. Mendes will lead worship here on February 16 while Rev. Karen A. Mendes will preach at First Congregational Church of Essex Jct.

    Study/Fellowship Groups

There is more to Church than Sunday mornings!

 Weekday Bible Study – Mondays at 11:30am. We are studying the Old Testament book of Exodus.  Please join us and feel free to bring your lunch.

Young Adults – Third Sunday of the Month at 11am – College students and young adults are invited for pizza and good conversation.

THE WINTER BOOK GROUP will be reading Holy Envy; Finding God in the Faith of Others by Barbara Brown Taylor beginning on Monday, January 27 at 6:30pm.  This book invites us to reflect on our Christian faith while learning more about other world religions.  Books can be purchased online.  Speak with Rev. Mendes for more information or for help acquiring a book.

The Christian Education Board is excited to announce our mission trip for 2020 for students 6th grade-12th grade! We’re planning to go to Orland, Maine to work with HOME, Inc for the week of June 28 – July 3. We are looking for an adult volunteer/parent

or two to travel with the students, please let us know if you are interested! 

This is an amazing chance to engage in a really rural area and have direct hands-on work with an organization that focuses on homelessness & low-income families.

In addition to providing shelter and a soup kitchen, they also offer navigator services to help equip and empower people in the next step of their journey, including a learning center with free classes, subsidized daycare, and a shingle/sawmill and automotive garage to learn a marketable trade.

As volunteers, we’d be able to serve the community by helping with gardening and light construction or painting, as well as other projects on their campus, like splitting and stacking firewood. We’d also have the opportunity each day to directly engage with shelter residents.

Annual Meeting will take place on Sunday, January 26th.  After worship we’ll gather for a potluck.  Please bring a dish to share. After lunch, we will move right into the meeting, where we’ll hear reports from boards and committees during 2019, and hear plans for 2020.

Family Skating Party

Save the date! Our family skating party will be on Sunday, February 23rd at 4:30pm at The Gordon H. Paquette Ice Arena at Leddy Park. We have invited families from First Congregational and College Street Congo! If you have any questions, please email Jeneve at 

Night of the Stars

A huge thank you to Brenda Perkins, Penilee Saulnier, Steve Lewis, Lois Lynch, Beth Gamache, Shirley Logan, Jim Calder, Mark Paulsen, Sarah Wright and all of our students for helping with our Christmas Pageant!


The American Baptist Women’s Ministries wishes to thank everyone who contributed to our Overland Request, The First Crow Indian Baptist Church in Lodge Grass, Montana.  We were able to send a Walmart card in the amount of $210.00

THANKS to the Cookie Bakers who made it possible for us to host over 225 guests for the annual Community Carol Sing on Dec. 1.  These were Marie Morton, Barbara Farrington, Joan Taylor, Sarah Dopp, Lois Lynch, Bev Nichols, Cindy Little, Connie Nutter, Carol Gaylord, Judy Austin and Joanne Rittwage.  It was an uplifting and fun evening with 8 choirs participating.  Save Dec. 6, 2020 for the next “Sing” to be held at St. Joseph’s Cathedral! 

Dear Church Family,

Thank you so much for the nice Christmas gift given to me.  I so appreciate all the many ways in which we share God’s love.  You all are great blessings to me

Merry Christmas! ~ Karen

Dear Church Friends,

Thank you so much for the generous and thoughtful Christmas gift given to me.  It is both a joy and blessing to be part of this church family! ~Marie

Un-greening of the church will take place on Saturday, Jan. 11th at 2pm. Many hands are needed to make the job light and quick. Please come and lend a hand! 

Personal Care and Cleaning Supply Drive for JUMP

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


  • All-purpose cleaner:

“Spic N Span”/Lysol

  • Dish soap
  • Sponges


ELECTRONIC GIVING IS NOW POSSIBLE through a Donate button on our church website:

http// and through a smartphone app called GIVEPLUS. Donations can be set for one time only or to be recurring. The cost to the church for this service is $10 a month and small transaction fees of 2.75% for debit/credit cards or 1.00% for ACH.  These fees can be offset by adding that amount to your gift. 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.

               Prayer Topic

               Mark Paulsen

       But for the Grace of God”

We all have things with which we must deal.  Some joys, some sorrows, some troubles that pass quickly while others linger and can sometimes overwhelm.  What we don’t know about the people we see day to day, is just what burdens they are dealing with.  More than a perfunctory “How’s it going?”, take a little time to find out just what is going on with someone you meet.  Reflect their joys back to them and be uplifted.  Share their burden, offer help, offer prayers.  Listen to their feelings, talk to them “where they are”.


Check it out –We are offering two opportunities to serve on Sunday mornings by asking for both greeters and providers of snacks. Store-bought cookies are fine! Feel free to sign up for both or one or the other on the round table in the narthex. 

We are invited to be prayer partners

with the brothers and sisters of our sister church in Puerto Rico, the Primera Iglesia Bautista deMayaguez. 

Those interested will be paired up with a person from Mayaguez.  You can connect via email, text, snail mail, or Facebook.  This is an opportunity for all ages to further the bonds between our communities.  Sign up in the Narthex.


The Unified Governing Board is comprised of the Church officers, the Pastor, and representatives from 4 Governance Committees (Staff Relations, Finance, Property and TPF) and the 3 Ministry Areas.  It will meet monthly in the place of our current Board and Advisory Council meetings. This Unified Governing Board structure will officially begin in February 2020 after the Annual Meeting in January 2020.  Portions of our current Bylaws will remain in effect until we have sufficient experience with the new structure to make any adjustments.                                                     

The Ministry Teams will be responsible for much of what we do together.  These teams are open to anyone who wants to participate and they run the gamut of teaching Church School to cooking soup to calling on the homebound.  The teams do not have set terms of service nor do they require monthly meetings. If you feel called to lead a Ministry Team, please speak to one of our current Board Chairs; Joan Taylor, Lois Lynch, Jim Calder, Mark Paulsen, and Marie Morton. 

Below is a list of the Ministry Teams and their team leaders.  Some teams are for short term projects and others are ongoing. Please consider to which teams God may be calling you.  You can reach out to the team leader for more information. Each of these three Ministry areas will be sending 2-3 reps to the UGB meetings


ABC Mission – Joan Taylor

ANEW Place – Betty Capponi

FUMC Soup Suppers – Nancy Danforth

Cooperative Campus Ministries –         Beth Gamache

Sister Church Initiative –Karen Mendes

Marathon Pasta Supper –  Marie Morton

Public Relations – Sarah Dopp


Welcoming – Pat Boyden

Visitation – Ray Sherrod

Communion – Cindy Little

Prayer Chain – Mark Paulsen

New Member Services – Karen Mendes

Prayer Topics – Marie Morton

Sanctuary Decorations – Mark Paulsen

Ushering – Andy Farrington,   Mark Paulsen,   Frank Swasey

Security – Andy Farrington

Property (Fix It/Clean It) –   Andy Farrington

Music – Steve Perkins


Church School- Jeneve Joslin

Special Events – Lois Lynch

Youth Ministry – Jeneve Joslin    (interim)

Adult Christian Education –   Jeneva Burroughs (interim) 

Library & Educational Resources-        Jeneva Burroughs

Stewardship – Stu Burroughs

Looking for soup makers and milk providers for Sunday, January 19….

We are still helping the First United Methodist Church provide a soup and sandwich meal for the homeless and low-income families in the Burlington area on Sunday evenings.  We need three soup makers to provide 6-qts. each and milk providers of five gallons of milk for Sunday night on January 19. Please contact Nancy Danforth or Joan Taylor.

Don Dalton and family would like to thank the members of the congregation for their visits, cards and prayers prior to his 100th birthday celebration!  To all who attended the party, thank you for your hugs and conversation, and help!

We love how God uses you to share His love!


Cheryl Dalton Swift

NEW ADDRESS FOR MALCOLM SEVERANCE – Malcolm has moved back to his home at 2179 Roosevelt Hwy, Colchester, VT   05446