December News

Dear Friends and Family of The First Baptist Church of Melrose

          As impossible as it seems each year, Christmas is soon to be upon us! This Sunday, December 3, we will mark the first Sunday of the Advent Season, together we will begin our journey to the manger!  The word advent is a version of a Latin term which means “coming."

          We will use the coming weeks as a chance to look forward to our celebration of the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, the light of the world, our Savior. Advent is a season of great expectation, and I’m glad to be on this journey with you, which began more than two thousand years ago—to follow the star and discover the light of the world.

          It’s a journey of the heart and of the soul, but it’s also a journey that will realign our expectations and experience of the Christmas season. We will explore the gifts of Christmas delivered by and through Christ: hope, love, joy, and peace. We all need hope in the storms of life and love that never gives up. We need fresh joy on our journey and peace no matter what we’re facing or dealing with.

Our journey will center on the star as our guiding light. As we embark on this journey this Advent season, I want to encourage all of us to look for the light.  As we’ll explore, it is a time to prepare, maybe to pause and to ponder, to breathe deeply and turn our eyes to the true meaning of this time of year—a season that can seem so hectic and stressful in our culture.

No matter where you find yourself today, you are invited into this journey.  Join us every Sunday @ 11 AM as together we seek Him!

See you on the trail!

Pastor Dee

PANTRY OF HOPE:  Open Tuesdays 3 – 5 p.m.

THE PASTORAL SEARCH SURVEYS were distributed on Sunday, October 29, 2017.  If you were not in church that day and wish to receive a hard copy, please contact Pam Ross at 781-665-4470 ext. 402.  If you wish to complete the survey electronically, the link is  Also, the link to the smaller Redevelopment Survey is  Please note  we prefer that the surveys be filled out on-line making it easier for the Committee to compile the information.  If you have not had time to complete the survey, please return them as soon as possible.  The Pastoral Search Committee will be meeting again during December to review the results.  Thank you!  If you have any questions about this process, please feel free to contact any one of the members of the Pastoral Search Committee: Karen Rivera, Pam Ross, Fred Humphreys, Sandy Hamilton, and Linda Buttimer.

“STEWARDSHIP” The pledge cards were distributed Sunday, November 12, 2017.  If you were unavailable this Sunday, the pledge cards were mailed to you directly.  We are moving forward with our Pastoral Search, as well as the search for a new Music Director.  Pledging is important in helping us move forward to create a budget for 2018.

THE PANTRY OF HOPE While we will always accept monetary donations, please note that we will be collecting all food donations during the month of December.  There will be an area in the Coffee Hour room to bring your donations.  Thank you for supporting our clients! 

CALLING ALL SHEPERDS, ANGELS AND KINGS!  If you would like to participate in the Annual Living Nativity, please let Karen Rivera know (cell: 1-617-480-9316) or Mary MacDonald (cell: 1-781-439-2806).  The Living Nativity will be held on Saturday, December 2, 2017, at 5:00 PM.  Also, we need bakers to make sweets for the social time following the event.

RESPOND, INC. has provided us with three families this year to shop for.  This agency serves families affected by domestic violence and fighting to survive!     Their Christmas Wish List is posted in the Coffee Hour room for people to sign up or they can email Lisa Tringali at with the items they'd like to donate.  Please drop off your donations by Sunday, December 3rd, as we will be delivering them the next day.  Thank you.

ANNUAL FRIENDSHIP CIRCLE CHRISTMAS PARTY will be held at the church on Monday, December 4th beginning at 6:30 PM in Social Hall.  Kindly RSVP to Linda Buttimer (781-665-0575) to let her know what you will bring.  All women are invited!

THE ANNUAL PROGRESSIVE DINNER will be held on Saturday, December 9, 2017, at 6:00 PM.  Rob and Mary MacDonald will host the appetizers and salads at 34 Lake Street, Wakefield, and then progress to Pat and Gus Fish’s home, 57 Hammersmith Drive, Saugus, for the main course and desserts, followed by the traditional Yankee Swap.  The limit for the Yankee Swap is $10.  Please RSVP to Rob MacDonald at 781-245-0442.

THE CHRISTMAS POINSETTIA ORDER FORM is enclosed.  If you would like to purchase a poinsettia in honor or memory of a loved one for Christmas this year, please place your order by Wednesday, December 6th.  Thank you.

BUDGETS FOR 2018 should be prepared by each team and forwarded to Pam Ross at or you may call 781-665-4470 ext. 402.  If you need more information regarding your team’s 2017 budget, please contact Pam, and she will be happy to help you.

THE FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH OF MELROSE cordially invites all women to their ANNUAL CHRISTMAS TEA, on Wednesday, December 6, 2017, at 1:00 PM with a musical program at 2:00 PM.  If you can attend, please let either Pat Fish or Linda Buttimer know as soon as possible.

THE JUDSON WOMEN TOY HARVEST  We had a good representation from our church at the Judson Women Toy Harvest on Nov. 18th at the Community Baptist Church in Medford.   Our church brought over gift certificates and several bags of toys that were donated by our congregation and Women's Ministries. These gifts will be distributed to the children of people who are incarcerated in the Middlesex House of Correction in Billerica.  The host church served a delicious breakfast and everyone enjoyed the fellowship with the women that represented 10 other churches.  The program focused on social justice in our prison system and how people are helped to reenter society after being incarcerated. The speakers were Val Harris, workforce development manager at the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department and the Rev. Susan Morrison, UM minister and a faculty member of the BU School of Theology.  Thank you to Beverly Schluntz, Pat Fish, Rose DiGiacomo, Julie Ischia, Sandy Hamilton, Linda Buttimer, and Marlene Szabo for attending this annual event.

THE CHIMES  Please note that all future issues of the “Chimes” will be published on a monthly basis.  If you have an article you wish to have published in the January issue, please submit it by Tuesday, December 26th, 2017, to Pam Ross at or call the office at 781-665-4470 ext. 402.  Thank you.

BIBLE STUDIES will be held on Tuesday nights at 6:30 PM located at 212 Grove Street, Melrose.  The Wednesday morning group will be meeting in the church parlor at 10:00 AM.  A new Bible Study has been created and will be meeting every other Wednesday evening in Social Hall at 7:00 PM.  The next meeting is scheduled for December 6th.

THE MEN’S GROUP will be meeting on Saturday, December 30, 2017, at 8:00 AM in the church library.  Please bring refreshments to share.  Thank you! 

COFFEE HOUR The Worship/Pastoral Care Team is responsible for Coffee Hour during the month of December.