Green Steeple Messenger – May, 2021


After a year of being scattered by pandemic restrictions, and gathered only through technology, we now are at a time when we can start making plans to gather in person once again. 

On Pentecost, May 23, we will celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit in combined worship with the Karen Baptist Community on Zoom and Facebook at 9:45am.  We will continue the celebration IN PERSON at 3pm in South Burlington with Kite Flying followed by a Prayer and Fellowship Service at 4pm. 

On June 5 we will have the Noodles for Burma fundraiser which will be a wonderful opportunity to support the people of Burma while also enjoying delicious takeout food! Details about volunteering and RSVPing for this event are within this newsletter.

Our hope is to begin a Hybrid Sunday Morning Worship Service sometime in June that is both online and in person.  The exact day will be dependent on Covid case rates in Chittenden County and our ability to handle the technical aspects of hybrid worship.  If you know a computer savvy person who would be interested in helping, please let me know!

This past year has been hard in so many ways.  Our assumptions about “normal” life have been upended.  But we, as individuals, and as a faith community, have grown tremendously.  We are more aware of the needs of our neighbors.  We have strengthened our bonds together.  We have lived our faith and hope in Jesus our Christ.   Although we have felt scattered, Christ has always gathered us together.   I so look forward to seeing your faces in person once again.

Yours in Christ,

~ Karen

Rev. Karen A. Mendes


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 June is May 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.   


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 application


Because of the social distancing requirements of this time of pandemic, it has been decided that Sunday morning worship, and all church gatherings will continue on Zoom and Facebook for the month of May.

Sunday Worship Services

May 02 – Communion Sunday

         The True Vine – John 15:1-8

May 09 –Mothers’ Day

         Abide in My Love – John 15:9-17

May 16 – Ask the Pastor Sunday

         Luke 24:44-53

May 23 – Pentecost Sunday

         Pouring Out the Spirit

         Acts 2:1-21

May 30 – Trinity Sunday

         Born from Above – John 3:1-17


Join us on May 23 at Sarah Dopp’s Meadow for Kite Flying at 3pm and a Prayer and Fellowship Service at 4pm. Bring your chairs or blankets for a fun and meaningful afternoon.  Masks and social distancing will be required.  Please RSVP to


May 15 will be our annual opportunity to ask and answer questions of faith, Scripture, Baptist identity, and church life.  Questions can be emailed to or they can be shared on the 15th via Facebook comments or Zoom Chat.   

PAST WORSHIP SERVICES can be found on our church website and YouTube.  On our website,, click About FBC and then Worship Services.  


THE SILENT VIGIL FOR RACIAL JUSTICE will happen on Sunday, May 2th from 1-1:30pm on the church front lawn. Please join us for this important witness.


We gather for informal fellowship and conversation.

For those calling in-
+1 646 558 8656 US

Meeting ID: 898 5556 4406      Passcode: 993539

OUR WEEKLY BIBLE STUDY  We are exploring the character of Peter in the Gospels and Acts.

The Zoom login is

For those calling in –

Dial   +1 646 558 8656

Meeting ID: 868 9711 2158

Passcode: 702659

For more information, please email Rev. Mendes at

THE COLOR OF WATER by James McBride is the next book to be discussed by the Antiracism Book Group.  Please join us in this meaningful project.  The next meeting will be Monday, May 3 at 7pm on Zoom.  
For those calling in – +1 646 558 8656

Meeting ID: 875 1960 9036      

Passcode: 421309

SINGERS AND MUSICIANS NEEDED FOR SUNDAY WORSHIP!  Please send your video or audio files to Anna Roy at and she will add them to our Sunday morning worship.




through the Donate button on our church website:

http// or through the smartphone app called GIVE+. Donations can be set for one time only or to be recurring. 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.

Remote Church School Update:

Since January, First Baptist Church School has been meeting each Sunday over Google Meet. Lessons last around thirty minutes and we continue to have about 10 students each week! Lois Lynch has been teaching using a variety of remote teaching methods, including direct instruction, prompts, stories, questions, scavenger hunts, hands on activities and storybook recordings. We continue to mail materials home or drop off materials in advance of each lesson. Since January, we have been exploring Bible Stories through the alphabet. Our Spark Rotation Curriculum was challenging and time consuming to adapt to remote learning. We needed something less labor intensive and that would allow for less mailings! Although we are still using Spark Rotation as a resource, in December 2020, we purchased a supplemental curriculum from Color+Kindness. We were able to purchase a church license for $15 and the digital material files for about $50.

The Color + Kindness guidebook came with activity suggestions and a suggested Spotify playlist! The alphabet cards (which you can see behind Lois in the image to the right) were printed in color on cardstock and mailed out to our 14 families. The Color + Kindness Curriculum also came with storybook suggestions! As part of this curriculum we have read, God’s Very Good Idea by Trillia Newbell and The Garden, The Curtain and The Cross by Carl Laferton. In May, we will be reading The Storm that Stopped by Alison Mitchell, When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner, Baby Wren and the Great Gift by Sally Loyd-Jones and Psalms of Praise by Danielle Hitchen. Students have completed an Outer Space Activity Kit, were challenged to build a neighborhood and made a special prayer box for their worries. In January, Jeneve Joslin started a Family/Youth Bible Study Group. This group started out meeting after Church School and working through an adapted version of the 28 Jesus Centered Youth Group Devotions. However, three remote activities on Sunday morning was not sustainable for Jeneve or her young children. We asked Kee Lar and Thali Paw if they would be willing to lead the Bible Study but due to work schedules, neither of them were available. We decided to shift the Family/Youth Bible Study to a go-at-your-own pace self-study format using Google Slides. There are four families participating. Each family received Bible Journal Pages and a Bible Reading Checklist to support their progress in the Family/Youth Bible Study Lessons.

Returning to In-Person Activities Students and teachers are anxious to return to in-person learning! Cindy Little, Karen Mendes, Lois Lynch and Marie Morton have been incredible assets in the planning, teaching and guiding of our Church School. Additionally, the parents and grandparents of all of our students have been partners in making remote learning successful. Honestly, we would not have a church school if parents were not encouraging and assisting students with google meet and the hands-on elements of remote learning! Currently, we are planning an in-person Pentecost activity for May 23d. Activities include making red-ribbon hand kites, Pentecost mobiles and pinwheels. Lois Lynch and Jeneve Joslin are currently planning our end-of-the-year celebrations, which will include a church school slideshow, certificates and teacher appreciation on June 13th. Our Church School hopes to return to in-person classes on September 12th, 2021. We are currently pondering and praying about how to structure classes for the 2021-2022 church school year. Our hope is to have one multi-aged classroom with our three oldest students as Teaching Assistants. Our summer camp programming will include some Teaching Assistant training opportunities for our older students. 

Summer Camp 2021 – This summer, we will be offering one camp session; Good Stewards Together! The camp will run at First Baptist August 9th-12th, 2021 from 9am-12:30pm. The curriculum is free through Spark Rotation and we will be using Illustrated Ministry’s Compassion Camp (2021) curriculum as supplemental material. We will define and discuss the Holy Spirit of Stewardship. With games, crafts and service opportunities we will explore how we can be Stewards of Grace, Love and Christ! Snacks and Lunch will be provided at no cost for our families. We have been blessed to have Cindy Little, Sarah Wright, Bev Nichols and Sarah Dopp volunteer to help lead this exciting camp experience! We are hoping that

Lerder Star, Moo Thay Lay Htoo and Mu July Htoo will participate as junior counselors and return as teaching assistants in the fall.

 Reflections: This past year has been incredibly challenging in terms of adapting curriculum and retaining students. Nurturing connections has required a different type of skill and approach. Lesson planning, classroom management and teaching have all required adaption and skill development. Ministering to my own children, while maintaining a presence in church and a leadership role in church school has brought many learning opportunities. I almost gave up in February! Because of Karen Mendes, Cindy Little and Lois Lynch and their wisdom and grace, I was able to problem solve so that I could more successfully balance my ministry of Motherhood with my role as Christian Education Director. I continue to feel grateful for the opportunity to work and serve with all of you. To rest, pray and restore (and after talking with Karen) I will be on vacation from June 20th through July 31st this summer.

 I am looking forward to hopefully being on the computer less for the 2021-2022 church school year!

College and Career Training Assistance Scholarships

The Unified Governing Board through the Christian Education Team has $2000.00 set aside for Scholarships.  Scholarships are intended to help with the cost of education or career/job training after High School graduation.  To be eligible a student needs to be a member or have an active relationship with one of First Baptist Church Burlington’s two worship services.  Additionally, an applicant must be enrolled in a College/University or Career Training program.  If you would like to apply for a scholarship, please call the church office or email: and an application form will be mailed or emailed to you.  The amount of each scholarship depends upon the number of qualified applicants. Our policy is to support every student associated with our congregation to the extent possible.  Application deadline is May 25, 2021.  Best wishes.


Tech Support for Sunday worship

The First Baptist Church of Burlington, VT is seeking someone to handle the technical aspects of livestreaming Sunday worship.  The applicant should be familiar and comfortable with livestreaming, Zoom, Youtube, and Facebook.  Weekly tasks would include setting up the weekly livestream connection from Zoom to Facebook, troubleshooting camera and audio issues during worship, being part of the team for Screen sharing and Zoom admittance and muting, editing beginning and ending of Zoom recordings, and posting recordings to YouTube and church website.  Initial tasks would include helping with the set up of Hybrid In -person/Virtual Worship.  Once Hybrid Worship starts, the person would be expected to be in the church building for Sunday morning worship.

Expected hours – 3 per Week (2 hours Sunday morning)

Pay – $15 an hour, negotiable based on experience.

To apply, please email

Help for Myanmar….

 Our American Baptist Foreign Mission Society (IM) is offering relief to the people of Myanmar (Burma)

by providing funds to help those who were involved in the Civil Disobedience Movement and have gone into hiding with the result of no income.

First Baptist has given $250 for Myanmar relief from our mission income carryover from 2020.  Also, $100 has been given by church members and $150 from our mission income carryover for the Thailand Mae La Refugee camp.

Burmese Noodle Takeout Fundraiser for Myanmar….

On Saturday, June 5, we will have a noodle takeout fundraiser at our church. To place an order and reserve a pickup slot for the noodles and a baked goodie, go to or email Marie Morton at, or call the church office (802 864-6515) Tuesdays or Thursdays between  9-3pm.  All donations will go to help the people of Myanmar.

We are looking for volunteers to make baked goodies and help in the kitchen filling noodle orders, etc.

Just a Reminder….

      The month of June is our One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) Special Offering.  All contributions will go to American Baptist Home Mission Society for disaster relief in the US, Puerto Rico, and other countries.  More info to follow in June.

Feeding Ministry….

      A big thank you to Penny and Larry Smith, Jamie Burke and Jill Soter for providing soup for the First United Methodist church soup and sandwich supper for the homeless on April 18.


The Unified Governing Board met on April 19.  We discussed some of the current initiatives.  The Bylaws Committee (Bev Nichols, Sarah Dopp, Tocher Mitchell and Rev. Mendes) will begin working on new bylaws soon.  A “Noodles for Burma” fund-raiser is being planned as a take-out public event in May or June.  The money raised will go to assist the people of Burma, who are suffering under a military coup (more information elsewhere in this newsletter).  We are investigating the possibility of a church picnic at Ethan Allen Homestead in August.

The Building Re-Opening Committee continues to monitor the pandemic situation and we hope that the Governor’s guidance and our own metrics will permit us to worship in

person late in May or early in June.  We have adopted these metrics (Chittenden County: vaccination rate 50-70%, positive cases 5-10/100,000 population AND positivity rate 25%).

The Property Committee has several projects in hand (changing the elevator compression oil, grafitti removal, 3rd floor heating and front step damage). The 139 Bank Street Committee has worked very hard to finalize new leases for the two spaces with Element Real Estate.  They have hired a new Property Management Company, McMahon, to take charge of the property.  The financial health of the church is sound.  Our invested funds have enjoyed an increase in value and several significant gifts and bequests have been received.  Elsewhere in this newsletter you will learn of the Outreach and Education Team activities.  The next meeting is

May 17.

~ Sarah Dopp, Moderator


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


Beginning on February 1, the church email addresses will be changing.  This will make it easier to contact the church staff and lessen the ability of email scammers to fake our address.  Please put these new addresses into your email contact lists:

The church office (Marie Morton) –

Treasurer –

Financial Secretary – financialsecretary@fbcburlingtonvt. com

Karen Baptist Community –

Karen Mendes –

Jeneve Joslin –

Evan Allen –

Anna Roy –

Steve Perkins –

Denise Stanley –