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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.

Just Come Anyway

Scholars are unsure when the first potluck took place in the record of human civilization. Maybe it was the Egyptians or the Assyrians. Perhaps the Israelites. Or an ancient tribe in the Sub-Sahara. But I’m not sure it really matters much. The historical account of the event is far less significant to me than the meaning.

Read more: Just Come Anyway

2018 Theologian-in-Residence

Each year, in honor of the leadership of David and Ruth Watermulder, our Adult Education Committee invites a scholar of excellence to share their work and passion with our greater community. This year, we are especially delighted to welcome the Rev. Dr. Craig Barnes, president of Princeton Theological Seminary.

Read more: 2018 Theologian-in-Residence

From Gratitude Flows Generosity

In the life of most congregations I know, when the seasons shift from summer into fall, the church also welcomes stewardship season. It is our annual opportunity to focus on God as the source of all that we are and all that we have, and to respond with renewed commitment of our time, talent and financial resources.

Read more: From Gratitude Flows Generosity

Caring for Those With Dementia

Rabbi Abraham Heschel, from the 1971 White House Conference on Aging, said: 

“It takes three things to attain a sense of significant being: God, a soul and a moment. And the three are always there. Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy. “  

 Beautifully said but not easy to live when you or a loved one are in the stages of memory loss.  

Read more: Caring for Those With Dementia

Christian Formation Summit

When we formally began the youth ministry “renovation project” in the summer of 2017, the task before us was a momentous one. BMPC’s youth ministry was strong. The foundations were solid. Our youth were engaged and our parents were committed. Nevertheless, we knew we needed to rekindle our sense of mission and cast a vision for the future.

Read more: Christian Formation Summit

An Invitation

“The true and real sacrament of the Protestant church,” observed one visitor, “is the coffee hour.” For better or worse, he may be on to something. Those 60 minutes following a morning service are often the only time in a given week that a congregation is actually in community with one another, conversing over coffee and cake. Labeled as the fellowship hour in churches across the country, its name might be a bit misleading. What is fellowship anyway?

Read more: An Invitation

Join us for Rally Day!

Every September I welcome the return of the program year with joy. After the comings and goings of summer with vacations and travel, mission trips, camps and adventures, it is good to regather and kick off a new season of congregational life. Like a lot of churches, we’ve come to call this Sunday Rally Day, which by definition means to reunite, to gather again, to pick up, come back and recover. After the slower pace of summer, of rest and renewal, we now recover a full throttled life in Christian community and mission. 

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Praying at the Start of a Year

For the past few weeks, we’ve been finalizing fall mailings and class lists.  As I skim over all those names, I think about the coming month.  A new school year always represents enormous possibility.  The vast potential for new friendships, new learning, new mastery, and new opportunities is tempered by the dangers, anxieties, and challenges that are also ahead for each of our students.  How do we as a church help prepare our students for the year ahead?

Read more: Praying at the Start of a Year

What’s in a Name?

I read recently that God had spoken to Russell M. Nelson, president and prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and articulated that God didn’t want the church to use the terms “Mormon” or “Mormonism” anymore. Apparently, the Lord told Nelson that God didn’t much care for that name and nomenclature, and that adherents should stop using it without delay.

Read more: What’s in a Name?

The Power of Songs

Last month I had the opportunity to attend Massanetta Springs Church Music Conference. Situated in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, Massanetta is a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle of city and Main Line life. The conference was packed with choir rehearsals, music reading sessions, social times, and numerous worship services. I always enjoy this type of conference because I’m able to get ideas for the upcoming season while also having the opportunity to be a congregant and actively participate in worship throughout the week.

Read more: The Power of Songs