Green Steeple Messenger – April 1, 2024

April 1, 2024


Come, ye faithful, raise the strain of triumphant gladness;
God hath brought God’s people forth into joy from sadness.
– John of Damascus, 8th century

It has been a long and difficult Lenten Season. We have suffered
unexpected griefs and challenges. We are sad and tired and in great need
of God’s grace and power.

But NOW IS THE EASTER SEASON!!! Christ is alive! Spring is
arriving with life, beauty, and joy. The snow had a surprise last hurrah but
soon the green shoots of grass and flowers will burst forth from the
seemingly dead earth. Christ’s resurrection reveals to us that even in the
midst of our deepest grief, God’s love is holding us, buoying us, and lifting
us up to hope and new life. For the next 50 days we will join with
Christians around the world in celebrating Christ’s victory over death and
the incredible truth and power of God’s love for all of creation.
This newsletter is filled with opportunities to live out this Good News. It
is a great blessing and joy to be in ministry with you.
Yours in Christ,
~ Karen

First Baptist Church Staff
Rev. Karen A. Mendes ……………………………. Pastor
Pastor Thee Say …………….. Karen Baptist Pastor
Carrie Perkins ……….. …… Interim CE Director
Adam Chamberlain …………… Church Administrator
Evan Allen ………………………………..Organist
Anna Roy…………………..Chancel Choir Director
Brenda Perkins ………………Youth Choir Director
The Karen Baptist Community Team……….Sexton
Hto Lwee Wah ……………………….Tech Support

Officers of First Baptist
Currently Open……………………………….Moderator
Mark Paulsen………………….Assistant Moderator
Cindy Little……………………………………..Clerk
Beth Gamache……. ……………….Assistant Clerk
Chris Thompson………………………….Treasurer
Frank Swasey…………………..Assistant Treasurer
Marilyn Siple. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Financial Secretary
Marie Morton. . . . . . . . . . . . . Asst. Financial Sec’y
Currently Open……………………………… Historian
Andy Farrington…………………….Parliamentarian

Sunday Morning Worship Service 10:00
Office Phone: (802) 864-6515
Conference/Kitchen Phone:
(802) 864-4721
Office Hours: M, W, F (9-1) T, Th (9-3)
Email address:
Web Site Address:
Visit us on Facebook
First Baptist Church, Burlington, Vt.



All of us are part of the First Baptist Visitation Team and can call or email our church friends or send a note or card.

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. Try phoning someone you might not otherwise call, but miss seeing in church!

Apr 7 – Communion
John 20:19-31
Experiencing Jesus
Apr 14 – Luke 24:36b-48
Apr 21 – John 10:11-18
The Good Shepherd
Apr 28 – John 15:1-8
The Vine and the Branches

THE FUNERAL SERVICE FOR SARAH DOPP will be Friday, April 12 at 10am at First Baptist with a reception and then burial to follow. The service will live streamed to for those who cannot attend in person. Sarah’s obituary can be found at the end of the newsletter.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR FELLOWSHIP AND LEARNING There is more to Church than Sunday mornings!

THE SILENT VIGIL FOR RACIAL JUSTICE will be Sunday, April 7 at 11:30 am on the front steps of the church. Please join us for this important and meaningful witness.

WHITE CHRISTIAN NATIONALISM will be the topic of our Second Hour on April 14. This growing political phenomenon is causing great harm to our civic life and the perception of Christians in the wider world. Join us as we discuss what it is and how we can respond to it.

THE SPRING BOOK GROUP will read The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus: What’s So Good About the Good News? by Peter Gomes. Our first meeting will be Monday, April 22 at 7pm on Zoom. Copies of the book will be available soon.

MONDAY BIBLE STUDY Bible Study meets in Fellowship Hall and on Zoom each Monday at 11:30am. We are exploring Paul’s Letter to the Romans.

The Zoom link is
z09 Meeting ID: 844 3030 9219
Passcode: 303940
To Dial in +1 646 558 8656 US (New

WEDNESDAY EVENING BIBLE “CHAT” – Come join Carrie on Wednesday evenings 7pm for a time to discuss your favorite bible verse, a verse that you don’t like, or come for a time to chat and recenter yourself with fellow people of faith!
Zoom Link: 198

FBC COFFEE HOUR meets on Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. on Zoom. All are welcome for informal chatting! The zoom link is
Meeting ID: 898 5556 4406
Passcode: 993539
To Dial in +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

CHANCEL CHOIR MEETS on Thursdays at 7pm. All singers are invited to join this merry and melodious group! For more information, contact Anna Roy at

FIRE DRILL – We will be having a fire drill on May 5, 2024 following the service. It is Communion Sunday so we encourage everyone to come. We are making it as easy as possible. The elevator will not be in use during the drill but the people who would normally use it, will simply make their way to the front door and stand to the sides while others exit. We know we would be able to get you out in the event of a real fire so we see no
need to have you go beyond the door that day. At the conclusion of the fire drill, we will ask everyone to come back in for refreshments. If you have any questions, feel free to ask Karen, Cindy or Adam.

CHRISTIAN EDUCATION – March has been the transition month for Christian Education. Annie Field resigned and her last day was Mar 3, 2024. Carrie Perkins, has agreed to be the interim Christian Educator until June 30, 2024. She will be working on an hourly basis. Approximately 10-15 hours a week. Due to her regular full time job, she will not be spending any weekday time at Church. She will always be available via email and text.

The Youth retreat at the Heim Camp was a resounding success! The Senior High Group is ready to have another one, along with the
Heim family! Carrie, the CE Team, and the educators met on March 10th to discuss goals, needs and ideas. We are pleased to present a robust offering for the month of April.
March 17th – The Youth Group
met at Stephen J. Perkins’ home

discovering St. Patrick’s day and
Irish food

April 6th – Women’s Tea, 2-4,

April 26th – Family Game night
with Pizza, chips and drinks!
April 27th – Gentle Yoga and
Meditation led by local Yoga
instructor, 2-3 P.M.

Events for May are in the works, along with more Senior High Youth Group events. We would like to send a big thanks to Cindy and David Little for doing a clean out of the classrooms.

~Carrie Perkins, MS, Interim Christian Education Director

MISSION NEWS COTS WALK 2024….This will be First Baptist’s third year participating in the COTS Walk which will start off at Battery Park on Sunday, May 5 at 1:00 pm. Our team of walkers will be helping to raise funds to support COTS, Vermont’s largest provider of services for Vermonters who are homeless, at risk of becoming homeless, or marginally housed. To join the walking team, you can register
with COTS online. Our team name is First Baptist Church, Burlington. For more information, email Pastor Karen at and to support our First Baptist team, you can go to click “donate” or connect personally with one of our walkers with your donation of cash or a check to COTS Walk. Pastor Karen is our First Baptist team
leader again this year. Last year we raised $1,408 for COTS.

THE SHARE PROJECT WITH FUMC TO FEED THE HOMELESS…..A person from our FBC Share committee is always at the Sunday
FUMC soup and sandwich supper for the homeless, making sandwiches, serving soup, and conversing with an average of 25 appreciative visitors. The soup providers from First Baptist have been Pat Reasoner, Cindy and Dave Little, Sarah Dopp, Beth Gamache, and Joan Taylor.
More soup makers from First Baptist would be helpful. Also, the Share Committee could use one more person on the Committee to replace our Sarah Dopp who passed away unexpectedly. If the Good Lord is nudging you to be on this committee, please speak to Lois D’Archangelo, Steve DeRestie, or Beth Gamache. The signup sheet for providing soup is on the round table in the Narthex.

ANEW PLACE….Betty Capponi, our Anew Place team leader, would like to thank Cindy and Dave Little for stepping up to help Lois and Mike Lynch prepare a meal for the residents of Anew Place on March 10.

(IM) INTERNATIONAL MINISTRIES’ ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2022/2023 is on a table in the Narthex for anyone interested in reading it.

MARCH UGB MEETING The focus of the UGB monthly meeting on 3/19/24 was to honor the life of Sarah Dopp who beautifully led our group each month through the various aspects of church life and then discuss how to move forward through our grief to fill her various positions and committees. She did so much for FBC. Members may have read Rev. Mendes’ letter to the congregation outlining ways that
people could choose to step in and help. We welcome those volunteers!

MAKING YOUR FINANCIAL DONATION If you are unable to attend worship in person, you may mail a check to the church office or give
electronically through the donate button on our church website: or through the smartphone app called Vanco Mobile Faith Engagement. Our ministries depend on the generous gifts of our members and friends. You can also give using this QR code.

Thank you for your participation in sharing the love of God in our community and our world.

SACRED HARP SINGING – 1st and 3rd Wednesdays, 6:00-8:00pm in Fellowship Hall. Please join us for shape note singing from The Sacred Harp, a shape note hymnal in continuous use since 1844! The Burlington Sacred Harp Singers meet regularly to sing traditional early American, 4-part harmony, a cappella hymns. All are welcome, no experience or audition necessary. We welcome singers of all levels and backgrounds, as well as listeners, any week. Free; donations welcome. Any questions, contact

PAST WORSHIP SERVICES…are available on our website and our YouTube Channel.

FLOWERS FOR WORSHIP – All are invited to provide flowers for a worship service. This can be a meaningful way to memorialize
a loved one or commemorate an important event and bring God’s beautiful creations into the sanctuary to enhance our spirit of praise and joy in worship. Please call the church office to sign up for a particular Sunday.

Sarah Leigh Dopp, of Cheesefactory Road, South Burlington, VT., left us, gently and suddenly, on March 7th,20 24. She was born in Burlington to Leroy J. Dopp, Jr. and Katharine (Eckley) Dopp on November 21st, 1946. Sarah attended South Burlington schools and graduated from UVM in 1968. She worked as a Medical Technologist at Mary Fletcher Hospital for 50 years. A work exchange program, in her early years there, led her to The United Kingdom, where she renewed her fascination with all things historical. She returned to UVM where she received her MA in English.

Sarah gave herself, tirelessly, to her friends and the many organizations that were close to her heart. She was the founder, and president, of The South Burlington Land Trust. As a conservation champion, she donated 40 acres of her own land in the South East Quadrant to be protected forever. She was also the volunteer leader of the Champlain Valley Conservation Partnership. Sarah was a long time CSA member of Intervale Community Farm and a devoted supporter of her neighbors at Bread & Butter Farm. Sarah served as president of both The Chittenden County Historical Society, and The Vermont Historical Society, where she was currently a trustee on their board. Sarah was a member of The First Baptist Church of Burlington for 63 years, serving as the Church Moderator and Historian among myriad other roles. Sarah was a regular volunteer at Meals on Wheels, Age Well Vermont, and she loved UVM Women’s Basketball.

She never hesitated to take on any task, always with grace and cheer. She lived out her faith in all that she did. Sarah was a great supporter of the arts. She served as president and supporter of the Craftsbury Chamber Players, donating her field to them during COVID, where they could perform outside with ease and joy. She sponsored the Katharine Dopp Organ Recital each year at First Baptist and supported the preservation and use of historic organs around Vermont. Sentiment of place, and the land, past and present, was so very important
to Sarah Dopp. She kept records and documents of local history for all of us to learn from and value. Her love of the land, history, and agriculture in Vermont, as well as her love of music, and her great faith, were always within her, and she was proud to share it all. Sarah loved reading outside in the Sunshine, especially in Spring, with Snowdrops and Daffodils in bloom.

Sarah is survived by her first cousins Sue Ellen Dopp, Douglas Dopp, Christopher Chase, Katrina Gorsky, and by countless friends.
All are welcome to attend a Memorial Service at the First Baptist Church of Burlington at 81 Saint Paul Street on Friday, April 12, 2024 at 10am. Those who would like to view the service remotely can receive a Zoom link by emailing In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to the First Baptist Church Memorial Fund or the Vermont Historical Society.


Monday/Wednesday/Friday 9-1
Tuesday/Thursday 9-3


The church office (Adam Chamberlain)-

Karen Mendes –
Carrie Perkins –
Evan Allen –
Anna Roy –
Treasurer –

Financial Secretary –
Karen Baptist Community –