Serve

——  Serving People, Serving God

As a people of faith, we are on a journey.

Jesus invites us to follow, to become disciples—learners and lovers of his way of love and justice. And if we accept that invitation our lives will never be the same.

The journey outward is about ministering. It is about extending ourselves, expanding our circles of relationship until we encounter Christ in our neighbors. And then it is about partnering with those same neighbors to transform our world, bringing it closer to God’s realm of love and justice.

We are called to try on spiritual practices that teach us compassion, give us perspective, and build capacity for Billerica and the surrounding communities to be more vital and caring and just places. Serving folks who are sick, hungry, marginalized, and in prison (see Matthew 25); getting to know the gifts and challenges of our neighbors; showing up for our interfaith partners—all are ways we practice co-creating with God the world that God dreams for us and for all people.

We serve in many roles, many places, many ways. Along the way we learn that all people have needs and all people have gifts. We share our gifts—our talents, our skills, the things we geek out about—with each other and form partnerships with our neighbors for the common good.

What makes you come alive? Take a look below and let us know how you feel called to contribute!

——  Make Music

Music Ministry

The music program is a vital part of our church life. Our Adult Choir and Junior Choir lead us in making a joyful noise during worship and guest instrumentalists—be they our own youth or performers from the community—refresh us with their musical gifts. The Music Ministry supports the program by purchasing music; maintaining the pianos, organs, and sound system; and planning choir-specific activities and community outreach—most recently an invitational Christmastime concert with other distinguished choirs at Carnegie Hall!

Adult Choir

DIRECTOR: Tim Jenkins
  • Sing a variety of anthems—from stand-up-and-clap to the most beautifully somber
  • Sing most Sundays from September–June, plus Christmas Eve and Maundy Thursday during Holy Week in the spring
  • Rehearse Thursdays in the sanctuary 7:00-8:30 PM and immediately before services
  • Soloists and small groups always welcome
  • Participate in other church events that call for music
No musical experience necessary! You are invited to join anytime throughout the church year.

Junior Choir

DIRECTOR: April Goss-Baker
ACCOMPANIST: George Bowman
  • Lots of fun for participants and listeners!
  • Sing when ready—about once a month
  • Rehearse Sunday mornings in the chapel immediately following services
No musical experience necessary! Children of all ages welcome.

——  Care for Each Other

Welcoming Ministry

I was a stranger and you welcomed me”—it’s the unofficial motto of our congregation. We know—because we've experienced it ourselves—that being greeted with warmth and curiosity can help folks feel a sense of acceptance and belonging. We intend to welcome each person in the fullness of their particular identities and experiences into the life of our congregation.

To make our intentions of extravagant welcome real, we practice treating welcome as an active verb. Our ushers and greeters lead the way in this effort—though, really, all who are already at home in our congregation are called to this ministry. That can mean extending a smile and a greeting, offering to guide newcomers to where they need to go, supporting Coffee Hour as needed, and wearing name tags to make it easier for folks to learn each other’s names.

Deacons

Deacons are leaders tasked with the spiritual care and worship life of the parish. Deacons are especially mindful of welcoming the stranger and folks in need of spiritual guidance and encouragement. They visit and help people who are in want, troubled, sick, homebound, or faced with emergencies. Through the Deacons’ Fund underwritten by the congregation, Deacons see to the needs of those in their care. The Lay Shepherds assist the Deacons with care of folks who are homebound and delivering meals to folks in need.

In addition, the Deacons support the pastor in the conduct of worship and by administering the sacraments. Deacons are people with servant hearts who reach out in Christian love, making God’s love visible.

Lay Shepherds

Lay Shepherds serve to maintain connection to the homebound members of our church family. The ministry team meets monthly to identify needs in the community and to coordinate efforts to address those needs. Lay Shepherds then minister by visiting in person, sending cards, and making provisions for casseroles, rides, and other support. If you feel called to serve in this capacity, or would like to know more about this way we “bear one another’s burdens” and joys (Galatians 6:2), click below.

Office Angels

Can you fold bulletins in record time? Stuff envelopes with gusto? Look no further!

The ministry of effective administration—administry, if you will—helps keep our community connected and sustain life-changing programs. Our Office Angels support our admin needs on an as-needed basis and offer a hearty hello to folks who come by the office midweek. You might find the Angels working on:
  • collating mailings for the Stewardship Ministry, the Lantern (our monthly newsletter), invitations to public officials concerning a wide range of community activities sponsored by the Billerica Interfaith Association
  • preparing materials for Sunday School to support the Director of Christian Education
  • putting weekly bulletins and announcements together
  • distributing incoming mail
  • sending out welcoming communication to new visitors and new residents in town
  • fielding building rental inquiries
  • giving tours of our beautiful church building

——  Care for Our Neighbors

Community Ministry

We are deeply involved in the community life of Billerica. Our building serves as a hub for community gatherings and events. It is not uncommon for the school social workers, town officials or staff from the Boys and Girls Club to reach out to us for assistance. We encourage the five AA meetings at our church and offer fellowship. Other groups with whom we share space include:
  • Girl Scouts
  • Cub Scouts: find Cub Scout Pack 54 Billerica on Facebook, or contact Melissa
  • Boy Scouts
  • Abyhaas, an Indian music school: www.abhyaas.info
  • Zama Yoga
  • Seventh Day Adventist Church of Uganda: contact the church office to be put in touch with them.
  • DC Educational Services (English for Speakers of other Languages) can be found on Facebook
  • We bloom where we are planted, yet we also reach out into the public sphere, crossing boundaries to build community. We are highly active in the Billerica Interfaith Association and work collaboratively with other faith communities. Whether witnessing each other in worship and prayer, celebrating Thanksgiving and December holidays, coming together to plant a peace pole, or collaborating with town officials on issues of public safety and education around the opioid epidemic, we are committed to working together to improve life in Billerica.

Emergency Food Pantry

If you are an individual or a family in need of food, please stop in. A family in our congregation stewards the pantry, ensuring it’s consistently stocked with basic nonperishables and some toiletries. We also invite our congregation to donate regularly—on the first Sunday of each month—in support of the pantry. If you are interested in running a food drive for our pantry, please click below.

Serving Meals

Folks in our Outreach Ministry serve monthly to children at the Greater Billerica Boys and Girls Club and to folks who are food-insecure at the Lowell Transitional Living Center. Click below to learn more or get involved.

Billerica Community Pantry

Leaders in our congregation are founding members of the Billerica Community Pantry (BCP), a community-based 501(c)(3) organization staffed largely by volunteers from the Billerica Interfaith Association. BCP runs on a “just-in-time” model and stakeholders work together to provide assistance in fresh food and other nonperishable goods to our elderly folks, veterans, and young families.

Currently BCP has a once-a-month distribution. If you’re interested in receiving, donating, or both, please click below to contact Taryn Gillis, BCP co-coordinator.

——  Care for Creation

Environmental Ministry

We are committed to serving as stewards of our blessed and fragile planet. Our Environmental Ministry aims to educate folks about sustainability practices and environmental justice issues. Building on the addition of a solar panel array to our roof, we seek to establish an Environmental Statement that encompasses our commitments to sustainability and justice.

Go Green Task Force

On a weekly basis, our Go Green Task Force helps recycle paper and cardboard, along with plastic, glass, and metal containers. Folks—individuals, couples, and families—volunteer to serve one month each year as we help care for God’s Earth. We often use our church newsletter, the Lantern, to share new ideas on how to recycle, reduce, and reuse, both at church and in our homes.

——  Share Resources

Outreach Ministry

The main goal of our Outreach Ministry is to assist those battling hunger and injustice. We research various charities and make careful decisions on how to use the gifts donated by our congregation to maximize impact. During the year we provide meals and serve at the Lowell Transitional Living Center; visit and worship with The Outdoor Church in Cambridge, bringing them supplies of socks and homemade sandwiches; and organize the Alternative Christmas Market as well as other special projects.

Many of us have a passion for helping those in need and we welcome new people to the Outreach committee at any time. Bring your ideas and help to make a difference! Click below to reach out for more information.

——  Show Up for Justice

Social Justice Ministry

If we believe, as early church theologian Irenaeus says, that “the glory of God is the human being fully alive,” then we are called to break down systemic barriers to human flourishing.

Our Social Justice ministry organizes folks to learn about these barriers and to address their social manifestations. Most recently—especially through our flagship yearly event, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Brunch—we have been in dialogue within our community about white supremacy and mass incarceration and about xenophobia and the crises facing refugees and asylum seekers.

We seek peace at home, peace in our community, and peace throughout the world. If you have a passion for being part of the change we wish to see in the world, we invite you to reach out by clicking below.

Immigration Justice

In response to the atrocities facing migrant and asylum-seeking people everywhere, including those detained at the US–Mexico border, this informal working group participates in acts of public faith witness.

We pray with our feet and our song at the monthly Jericho Walk at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office next door in Burlington. We are currently looking to expand options for partnering with local organizations that offer legal and housing support for folks who are undocumented. We are heartbroken and yet hopeful, outraged and yet keep showing up—and if you, too, are so moved we invite you to join us.

——  Lead Our People

Trustees

The five-member Board of Trustees is group responsible for the general management and care of the church building and grounds. The Trustees have charge of the day-to-day and long-range financial concerns of the church and its building. They work closely with the many stakeholders in our congregation, casting a vision for increasing vitality in our ministries and community partnerships.

We welcome your feedback (with name attached). Have suggestions? Want to offer services or change something about the building or grounds? Click below to reach out.

Deacons

Deacons are leaders tasked with the spiritual care and worship life of the parish. Deacons are especially mindful of welcoming the stranger and folks in need of spiritual guidance and encouragement. They visit and help people who are in want, troubled, sick, homebound, or faced with emergencies. Through the Deacons’ Fund underwritten by the congregation, Deacons see to the needs of those in their care. The Lay Shepherds assist the Deacons with care of folks who are homebound and delivering meals to folks in need.

In addition, the Deacons support the pastor in the conduct of worship and by administering the sacraments. Deacons are people with servant hearts who reach out in Christian love, making God’s love visible.

Church Council

The Church Council gathers as a representative body to authorize ministries of the Church. The duties of the Council are oversight of strategic planning, scheduling, and coordinating inter-group activities. The Council is responsible for communication and for encouraging and authorizing new ministries. The Council also coordinates and approves all fund-raising activities.

The Council welcomes your ideas (with name attached) and is ready to help support those ideas financially or otherwise.

If you have an idea for a new event or ministry, and have at least one other person who can go in on it with you, please click below to fill out an “I Have an Idea” form. You can find a paper copy of this form outside the pastor’s office.