Green Steeple Messenger June, 2020

First Baptist Church

81 Saint Paul Street Ste. 1

Burlington, VT.   05401

VOLUME LXIV NO. 6                                                                      June 1, 2020


         This weekend our nation passed the devastating milestone of over 100,000 people dead from the Corona virus.  In Vermont thus far, 952 people have had the virus and 54 people have died.  Compared to other states we have been fortunate, but this must not lead to complacency nor shield us from recognizing the deep grief of our nation and world.  Our lives have been upended and this new reality will be with us for the foreseeable future.

         So, how do we live in hope amidst the fears that swirl around us?  First, we must acknowledge the grief and the fears.  Obviously, the world has changed and it does no good to deny these facts.  The loss to the world is incalculable. The divisions and fault lines in our society have been exacerbated. Racism and anti-Semitism is on the rise and political divides have devolved into different understandings of reality.  We are all tired, and sad, and worried about many things.   

         And yet, our hope is not extinguished.  We proclaim that God is with us and with the world, especially with the suffering and the vulnerable.  We rest in the love of God which sustains us and guides us always.  We are called to be witnesses to this love made known to us through Jesus our Christ. This means that through our words and actions we can participate in sharing the love of God with the world.  Although we are not gathering for worship in person, we are still able to grow in faith, to care for others, to advocate for those in need, and to reach out beyond ourselves.  “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

It is a great blessing and joy to be in ministry with you.

Yours in Christ,

~ Karen

Rev. Karen A. Mendes, Pastor

Sunday Morning Worship Service 9:45

Office Phone: (802) 864-6515

Conference/Kitchen Phone:

(802) 864-4721

Office Hours: Suspended until further notice

Email address:

Web Site Address:

Visit us on Facebook

First Baptist Church, Burlington, Vt.

Newsletter Deadline for July/August is June 15th      



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 let Ray Sherrod know when you call or email a homebound member and friend at

or call 802-864-7179.   

THE FIRST BAPTIST Facebook group is called First Baptist Burlington VT. In this group, each member can share announcements, make public prayer requests, and ask questions.  We can have online discussions about sermons, current events, Bible studies, etc.  Please join the group and invite others to join as well.

                WORSHIP SERVICE

Sermons and Texts

June 7 – Rev. Karen A. Mendes

Music Sunday

         Scripture: Matthew 28:16-20

Sermon: A Job and a Promise

June 14 – Rev. Karen A. Mendes

Church School Sunday

         Scripture: John 6:1-14

Sermon: A Child’s Gift

June 21 – Rev. Karen A. Mendes

                  Father’s Day

         Scripture: Matthew 10:24-39

Sermon:    Follow the Leader

June 28 – Rev. Karen A. Mendes

         Scripture:  Matthew 10:40-42

Sermon:  A Rewarding Life

Virtual Worship

Together in Spirit while not in Body

For the month of June, our Sunday morning worship services will be livestreamed via Facebook and Zoom. You can find us at the church Facebook page, First Baptist Church, Burlington, VT.  If you are not on Facebook, you can join the Zoom meeting by contacting the church office and requesting details.

To call in from your phone – Dial the  following phone number and when prompted give the Meeting ID number that is seen below. It is a toll call, which should be fine for a cell phone, but expensive for a landline.

 +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 563 177 197

MUSIC SUNDAY IS JUNE 7 and our worship service will celebrate the many music ministries of our church.  We are blessed with wonderful musicians and singers.  Even in these extraordinary online days we have had lovely music as part of our weekly worship service.  Join us as we acknowledge our music staff and volunteers.

CHURCH SCHOOL SUNDAY IS JUNE 14 and our worship service will celebrate our Church School students and teachers.  Children and youth will help lead worship and after the service we will have a slide show on Zoom sharing memories from the past year.

FATHERS’ DAY IS JUNE 21 and in celebration of the men who have cared for us, we will put together a slide show of your photos of your fathers, grandfathers, and other special men.  Please email them to or by June 18.


Mask Makers Needed!

Some of us are making cloth masks and some of us are in need of masks.  Please let the church office know if you are in either category so that we can match up those in need with those who can help. The church can purchase fabric and supplies for those who sew.

SERMON TALKBACK ZOOM GROUP –Mondays at 9am. Gather on Zoom to discuss the week’s sermon and its application to our lives. Contact the church office for Zoom connection details   or call    +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 891 7500 6440

Password: 705280

MOTHERS’ ZOOM GROUP -Join with other women on Sunday evenings at 8:30pm  for Fellowship and/or Bible Study. For more information, please email Jeneve Joslin or the church office.
Contact the church office for Zoom connection details  

Words of Inspiration and Cheer Wanted and Needed

While we are not in the building, we want to let our neighbors know that we are still thinking and praying for them by frequently updating our front sign and perhaps hanging a banner or writing with chalk on our front walk.  We need your short words of inspiration, encouragement, and hope. Please email your ideas to the church office. Ideas for the front sign need to be 5 short words or less. Thank you!

If you have ideas about ways in which to connect and serve,

please let us know!


During this time of social distancing, it is more important than ever to be connected (safely!) to our friends and neighbors.  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.  If you need a paper copy of the directory, please email the church office and we can mail one to you.

PLEASE MAIL IN YOUR PLEDGE AND OFFERINGS OR GIVE ELECTRONICALLY through the Donate button on our church website:

http// or through the 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.


Below is a list of the Ministry Teams and their team leaders.  Some teams are on hiatus but others are more important than ever.   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 send 2-3 reps to the UGB meetings.


ABC Mission – Joan Taylor

ANEW Place – Betty Capponi

FUMC Soup Suppers –Joan Taylor


Cooperative Campus Ministries –         Beth Gamache

Sister Church Initiative –

Karen Mendes

Marathon Pasta Supper –

 Marie Morton

Public Relations – Sarah Dopp

JUMP – Kathy Browne, Joan Taylor


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

Worship – Mark Paulsen

Property (Fix It/Clean It) –                           Andy Farrington

          Chris Thompson                                

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


I am the leader of the Communion Team.  If you’d like to help, and perhaps have never been asked, join my team! The main task for now is to contribute the communion prayer on the first Sunday of the month.  This is a great team to join!  Please email me at: or call me at 893-4211.  I’d be happy to have your help!


I’m looking for your help in providing prayer topics for the last Sunday of the month!  I am the leader of the new Prayer Topic Team and would love to have you join the team!  There are several options available in helping: writing and delivering your message or having someone else deliver it for you; sharing your ideas about topics you’d like to hear about; offering to deliver a topic that has already been written, etc. – I’m open to any and all ideas!  If you are interested in helping in any way and would like to join the team, please email me: or call me at 893-2337.



The Age Well organization now provides the meals for most of

Western Vermont, including

Chittenden County.  They are greatly in need of additional volunteers.  It only takes about 1.5 hours and you can choose which day of the week and how

often you wish to help. You may drive and/or “run.” I do two Tuesday mornings per month and am happy to answer any questions. Please call if you’d like to help.

 ~ Sarah Dopp

Mission Outreach News

One Great Hour of Sharing

An American Baptist plea for emergency One Great Hour of Sharing COVID support to help families, churches, and communities find relief and recovery across United States, Puerto Rico, and countries around the world served by International Ministries….. Give to OGHS COVID response for support of global relief efforts. Donations can be made through  our church, or online (, or mail a check payable to International Ministries to the attention of Donor Services at International Ministries, 1003 W. 9th Ave., Suite A, King of Prussia, PA 19406.  Write “OGHS-COVID RESPONSE: INTERNATIONAL” on the memo line.

 To give to OGHS for support of relief initiatives across the United States and Puerto Rico, donations can be made through our church, or online (, or mail a check payable to American Baptist Home Mission Societies to the attention of Leda Carter at ABHMS, 1075 First Ave., King of Prussia ,PA 19406.  Write “OGHS-COVID Recovery: US & PR” on the memo line.

 One hundred percent of donations go to relief efforts; no dollars are retained for administrative costs.  To ensure that our church receives credit for your gift, write the church name on your check.  So far in 2020, First Baptist members and friends have contributed $647.70 to OGHS for Puerto Rico.

      Feeding Ministry

In March, Rev. Mark Demers, pastor of the First United Methodist Church, verbally expressed appreciation and gratitude for the help our church has given them with feeding the homeless.  Thanks to the dedicated soup makers over the past three-and-one-half years.  They are Cindy and Dave Little, Sarah Dopp, Ginger Calder, Kathy Browne, Caroline Vandevord, Carol Gaylord, Fern Sparks, Nancy Danforth,

Sandi Seaver, Sue Schomody, Tracy Burdo-Gilbert, Jeneve Joslin and the Church School, Denise Stanley, and Joan Taylor.

The first United Methodist church is still continuing to provide take-out to 25 – 35 people every Sunday evening, and First Baptist will continue to provide soup and milk on the 3rd Sunday of the month.  Therefore, we need soup makers and milk providers for Sunday, June 21.  Contact Joan Taylor if you can help.

CCM at UVM Updates

As in many workplaces we have moved our monthly Campus Christian Ministry board meetings to zoom. Though most of the students at UVM left in mid- March, the virtual learning has gone on and international students and local students residing in apartments have remained.

Rev. Joe Cotner is reaching out to our seniors via email /letter to congratulate them on their 4-year accomplishments at the university. We are brainstorming new ideas to look at connecting with students this fall semester based on uncertain plans at this time. Joe is planning to offer an online weekly devotional opportunity with music over the summer to provide comfort for students. Food insecurity continues with the Rally Cupboard open part-time serving many off campus students. The needs are still great with uncertain times ahead for the university, its students and employees. CCM is thankful for your ongoing financial support. FBC supports Rev. Joe’s salary/housing along with our sister denominations in addition to the integral work of supporting students.
Thank you
Beth Gamache
FBC board member

First Baptist Church School Remote Learning Update 

We are in the last month of our 2019-2020 Church School Year! It has been such an honor getting to know all of our families as we all grow together in our community of faith. The Bible Story for the month of June is Jesus feeds 5000! On June 14th, in onlineworship, we are planning a church school slideshow in honor of our amazing students and teachers. We can’t wait to see you there!

Given the information released by health experts and church leaders within our denomination, we have decided to offer online/remote church school camps this summer! We will be offering two online camp sessions! Creative Arts Camp in July and VBS Compassion Camp in August! Materials will be sent home in advance and we will gather together over Google Hangout on Sundays, once a week for an hour.

Each camp week will include:

  • Gathering and Music
  • Bible Story
  • Create and Play
  • Movement 
  • Compassion or Creativity in action 
  • Wrap-up

Please mail back the camp registration form included in the packet so we can plan accordingly! There are no costs for families for either camp and we are happy to have your students participate in both sessions!

Thank you again for an amazing church school year! Huge gratitude to our teachers and volunteers; Lois Lynch, Steve Lewis, Beth Gamache, Brenda Perkins, Marie Morton, Cindy Little, Bev Nichols, Penilee Saulnier and everyone else who donated, offered encouragement, picked up a dropped glove, found a lost coat and made this year a huge success! We couldn’t have done it without you! 

We are looking for teachers for next year and also volunteers for smaller commitments, such as visiting story book readers and youth bible study leaders for next year! Please email Jeneve Joslin at!

We are in the process of planning for next year! The Bible Stories we will cover include Abraham and Sarah, Issac and Rebekah, Joseph and His Brothers, Advent and Christmas, Wedding at Cana, The Lost Sheep and Coin, The Sower, Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday and Fruit of the Spirit!

To join or view our Google classroom:


2. Click the + button on the top right of your screen

3. enter our classroom code: 74umqjk

Unified Governing Board Update –

If you’re like me, time is really playing tricks!  It feels like yesterday that I wrote the last of these reports – a month ago – and yet that month is also like a decade!  The journalists and politicians have moved on to concerns about how to get life back to a “new normal” and many variations of what the pace should be.  While we all long to see each other again and be back in our church building to worship and serve, there is also a rightful attitude of caution and care.  It is not too soon to plan, however, and to listen to words of guidance from experts in our denomination, leaders in state government and medical experts.  That is where the UGB is focusing right now.

First of all, we are thinking through options for worship leadership during the summer, assuming we’ll still be having “virtual” services. Karen will take her vacation in two parts this year (a few weeks in July and a few more at the end of the summer).

Karen and her local clergy group have discussed sharing sermons with one another to provide “guest preachers” for each other’s churches on Facebook and Zoom.  Lay leadership and special music will provide other parts of the services.  This isn’t that different from what we usually do in the summer; it just won’t be in person.

In a related discussion, we have put together a team to consider all the details we need to put in place in preparation for eventually reopening the church building.  This group is composed of Karen Mendes, Jeneve Joslin, Steve Perkins, Mark Paulsen, Chris Thompson, and Sarah Dopp and will begin meeting soon.  Meanwhile, there are ideas for ways to demonstrate to the community that we are still here!  (Changing messages on the sign, a banner, “chalk on the walk”, organ music through the windows and flowers in the garden.)

Jeneve and Lois have been hard at work planning summer “camp” activities for the kids.  FBC again contributed to the Sunday night soup supper on May 17.  Hand-made greeting cards have gone out to shut-ins.

The choir held an online get-together, just to talk and share experiences.  That was great.  The Property Committee and Denise, our Sexton, are taking good care of the building in our absence.  Several midweek Zoom meetings have taken place. (Sermon Talk Back and a Mothers’ Group).

Many members of the congregation are making phone calls and visits to fellow members, and helping each other out.  The strength and love of our fellowship is evident. 

Thanks be to God!

~ Sarah Dopp, Moderator


PENTECOST IS MAY 31 and our worship service will celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the church.  Please wear red and plan to take a walk outside after worship to embody the Spirit moving out into the world.  Church School families will receive pinwheel instructions in the mail.  For others who would like them,          please email Jeneve Joslin at

MUSIC SUNDAY IS JUNE 7 and our worship service will celebrate the many music ministries of our church.  We are blessed with wonderful musicians and singers.   Even in these extraordinary online days we have had lovely music as part of our weekly worship service.  Join us as we acknowledge our music staff and volunteers.

CHURCH SCHOOL SUNDAY IS JUNE 14 and our worship service will celebrate our Church School students and teachers.  Children and youth will help lead worship and after the service we will have a slide show on Zoom sharing memories from the past year.

CHURCH SCHOOL SUMMER PLANNING is underway and we would really appreciate your feedback! Please take a few minutes and fill out the survey below by sharing your thoughts about what types of offerings you would be interested in this summer.

FATHERS’ DAY IS JUNE 21 and in celebration of the men who have cared for us, we will put together a slide show of your photos of your fathers, grandfathers, and other special men. Please email them to: or by June 18.