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Pastors' Column

Each week one of our pastors or staff members writes a column observing what is going on in our congregation, the Church and the world, and offering reflections on the Christian life and faith. Through this series of columns, we hope to connect your and our story to the enduring story of Christ; to offer pastoral reflections on our ongoing congregational life and mission; to report on news of the Presbyterian Church and Church universal; and to invite further reflection and deeper discipleship. We welcome your comments and suggestions. In other words, our words here are an invitation to continue the conversation.

Gathering as One Body at the Table

This Sunday we will gather around the communion table and celebrate the Lord’s Supper. Our custom at BMPC is to observe high holy days and mark liturgical seasons by including communion in the 10:00 a.m. worship service. (Communion is served weekly at the 8:00 a.m. service in the Chapel.) This Sunday’s special observance is the Transfiguration of the Lord, that odd and glorious moment on the mountain when Jesus is revealed to his inner circle of disciples as the Son of God while his face shines like the sun.

Read more: Gathering as One Body at the Table

Helping Children Grow in Their Faith

Next weekend Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church will be welcoming educator and pastor, Ivy Beckwith. I hope you will be able to join us for this exciting opportunity. As a congregation, we promise to support each child at baptism. Next weekend will provide us with the tools we need to live into those promises.

Read more: Helping Children Grow in Their Faith

I was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me

In a few days, a small group of BMPC members and I will travel to Beirut, Lebanon, to spend 10 days together with our partners at the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon (NESSL). This trip will include visits with denominational leaders, congregations, schools, education programs for refugee children, and even some para-church organizations who are working to fight one of the greatest humanitarian crises the world has ever known.

Read more: I was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me

Youth Sunday

One of the first times I felt called to the life of pastoral ministry was on Youth Sunday in my grandmother’s church (First Baptist Church of Rhodhiss, NC). My mother, brother and I had been looking for a congregation to call home, but it was difficult for us to find a place where we felt welcomed and supported. We met my grandmother’s pastor at a community gathering, and he invited me to take part in the service. I hadn’t been to his church in years, but that didn’t faze him. He asked me to read Psalm 139:

Read more: Youth Sunday

The Election of Officers

This coming Sunday’s Congregational Meeting is called after the 10:00 a.m. worship service for the purpose of acting on changes in the Pastor’s Terms of Call and to elect persons to serve in important leadership roles. The Nominating Committee will put before the congregation names of persons who have agreed to serve as Ruling Elders, Deacons, Trustees, and members of the Nominating Committee.

Read more: The Election of Officers

Heeding the Call to Follow Jesus

“Follow me,” Jesus shouts over his shoulder, “and I will make you fishers of people.”

Neither the gospels nor the rhythms of the church year allow us to hold onto baby Jesus for very long. It’s been less than a month since Christmas and already Jesus has grown up and begun his public ministry. He announces that the kingdom of heaven has come near and God is doing a new thing among the people. 

Read more: Heeding the Call to Follow Jesus

Do Small Things with Great Love

Six years ago this week, our son Owen came home from kindergarten and talked to us about the things he had learned that day about Martin Luther King Jr. How he marched for civil rights; how he gave bold and remarkable speeches that we still remember today; how he put himself in harm’s way to change who we are as a country.

Read more: Do Small Things with Great Love

Creating Connections in the New Year

Each day as I walk through the church campus, I am struck by the stonework on the buildings. I imagine the skill it takes fits each stone next to another. As I look at the stones, I am reminded of the early church. In the letter to the Ephesians, Paul tells the members of the church that they are being built into a new holy temple – a dwelling place for God. Peter describes the faithful as “living stones” brought together by God to create something new. 

Read more: Creating Connections in the New Year

Testifying to the Light

“In the beginning was the Word.” These words from the beginning of John’s Gospel will have new meaning as we worship this Sunday on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2017.

Read more: Testifying to the Light

A Prayer for Christmas

This weekend our church family, on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will come and go through the sanctuary for the glorious singing of carols, to hear of a most remarkable birth with hope in our hearts, and with deep appreciation for the light of God that shines in the world.

Read more: A Prayer for Christmas