Green Steeple Messenger – September, 2020


Our extraordinary year continues. Parts of our nation are grappling with huge natural disasters. We remain in the grips of the global pandemic and in the painful struggle of racial reckoning.  Our political divisions have grown to violence in some places.  We are in the midst of an election season.  We are in need of God and our church community!

Fortunately, and providentially, our church community remains strong even in the midst of this extraordinary time. We have not gathered in our building since March but we have remained connected to each other through phone calls, our computers, and outdoor visits.  As we look to the fall, our usual patterns for September will look different this year.  Our worship will remain online.  Our Church School, which continued through the summer, will remain on Google Classrooms.  Our Chancel and Children’s choirs will be on hiatus.   Our Weekly Bible Study will resume on Zoom to start and Second Hour Forums will resume on Sept. 27.

This newsletter is full of opportunities for you to be connected. It is a great blessing to be in ministry with you.  I am so grateful for your steadfast care and support of me personally and of our church family as a whole.  We will persevere through this extraordinary time sustained by God, guided by Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Yours in Christ,

~ Karen

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 October is September 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.


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 September.

Sunday Worship Services

Sept. 6 – An Invitation

         Isaiah 55:1-13

Sept. 13 –  7 x 7

            Matthew 18:21-35

Sept. 20 – Fair Labor Practices

         Matt 20:1-16

Sept. 27 – Laughter with God

         All Ages Worship

         Genesis 18:1-15


BIBLE STUDY IS BACK! – Beginning on Monday, September 14 at 11:30am, our Weekly Bible Study will resume on Zoom.  If you have not been part of the Bible Study before, this is a great time to join a lively group.  We will be studying John the Baptist as he is portrayed in the 4 Gospels.  How does his portrayal differ among the gospel writers? What can we learn from his witness to Christ?  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

MOTHERS’ ONLINE 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.


Because of the pandemic strictures on singing, our Chancel Choir will not be gathering in September.  Instead we will continue with recorded special music offerings for our worship services and we need volunteers!  Evan Allen is available to record accompaniment tracks and Anna Roy is available to help anyone learn a new piece of music.  Recorded audio or video can be emailed anytime to

Those who might be interested in the Bell Choir should contact the church office.  The Bells are instruments that could be played in a socially distant way.  Players can be safely spread throughout the sanctuary.  The music would be recorded and shared during our online worship service.


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 GIVE+. 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.


Church School starts September 13th over google from 11-11:45am.  Join here: 

If you have not received the September materials packet in the mail and want to participate, please email so she can mail a packet to your family!


We are connecting with our families to determine what school supplies are needed during this unprecedented time of hybrid and remote learning. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are currently collecting monetary donations only for our school supply ministry. You can mail in a check or contribute online via our church website or the GIVE+ phone app indicating school supplies.


Interested in a small group outdoor church school hike or walk? Steve Lewis is available to lead some students in some church school outdoor exploration activities. Please email if you are interested! 


This year’s World Mission Offering theme is “I once was blind, but now I see.”  We are seeing God at work in so many hopeful and encouraging ways through our global servants and global partners.  And we are sharing some of those stories with you this September and October through videos and other resources so you can see the impact you are having on global mission. Your participation now more than ever will help global servants and partners rebuild and re-establish ministries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and crisis. 

In October, we will have our usual World Mission Offering.  This year, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Mission Conference was live streamed and those recordings have been available to First Baptist from IM. This will be a great opportunity to visit our American Baptist global servants, live from around the world and watch and listen to the music of worship teams.  Each viewing is 30 minutes long and the plan at this time is to have a zoom presentation after our regular zoom church service, each Sunday starting September 27.

              Feeding Ministry

The First United Methodist Church in Burlington is continuing to feed the homeless and low-income people every Sunday evening. We are looking for three soup makers to make 6qt. each of homemade soup for Sunday, September 20.

A big thank you to Penny Smith, Cindy and Dave Little, and Caroline Vandevord for providing soup on Sunday, August 16.

FBC will only serve ANEW Place one night on Sunday, Sept. 20th. New Moon Café is serving meals Monday thru Saturday – not Sundays.  So, Sundays are open for us to volunteer.

Again, please call Betty Capponi at 434-4489 if you can serve a meal on Sept. 20 before 6:30.

Reminder of what to bring:

         Main meal




         1 gal. milk

Bring before 6:30pm to ANEW Place.

~Thanks, Betty Capponi

Unified Governing Board August Update

The UGB met on ZOOM on Aug. 11. We began to discuss what stewardship will look like during the pandemic time.  The needs of FBC continue, of course, and there’s a whole world of need for us to respond to, both far away and right within our congregation.  It is a challenge to carry on our mission when we can’t greet one another in person with hugs and conversation, and can’t sing or worship in the sanctuary.  But we have been intentional about keeping in touch and this approach can also be used for stewardship.  Look for more in Sept. and Oct. as we try to reach out in person, hear your thoughts about how to be Christ’s church at this time, and to encourage your participation in financial plans for 2021 ministry.

Another focus has been trying to figure out when it will feel safe to return to the building.  Some churches have resumed in-person services with precautions.  We’ve had a committee working on this and, for now the recommendation is to wait until at least October in order to see how school reopening goes during September.  We also decided to survey the congregation to see what everyone thinks.  You should have received this by now (if not, call Marie to get a copy).  Please fill out the quick survey on-line or on paper.  We need to know what everyone is thinking on this topic!

When we do get back to the building, you’ll be delighted to see the redone back driveway.  The work was completed on August 21!

Many regular activities continue:

  1. There is a drive to provide school supplies for our kids.  Send money, not pencils or notebooks this time.  The Education Team will buy backpacks and supplies to put in them.
  2. The Church School Summer Camps continue through August and Church School will resume after Labor Day.  Thanks, Jeneve, for all the great work!
  3. More volunteers are desperately needed to get involved with the virtual worship “Tech Team.”  Please consider helping – you’ll be trained.
  4. We’ve reached out to our Sister Church in Puerto Rico.  They’ve been through earthquakes, storms and the pandemic since we last heard from them. Please pray for the well-being of Primera Iglesia Bautista de Mayaguez and their congregation.
  5. The ANEW Place meal will be our responsibility on Sept. 20.  Call Betti Capponi if you could provide one element of the meal.  If 3 or 4 people step up, it will be easy.
  6. Look for the World Mission Offering coming up in October.  There will also be 5 “Adult Forums” (end of Sept. through Oct.) to allow us to view and discuss presentations from International Missionaries. These will be on Zoom following our Sunday worship.
  7. There is a great opportunity to join in on the book discussion of “White Fragility” on Thursday evenings at 7PM.

~Sarah Dopp, Moderator