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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.

Repairers of the Breach

Two weeks ago, nearly 100 people gathered in Congregational Hall to hear the stories our mission team brought back from our February trip to Lebanon and Syria. In that presentation we talked about the faithfulness of the Presbyterian Church leaders in both countries as they seek to reach out with compassion and courage in response to the Syrian war and refugee crisis. We talked about the schools the churches have started, providing basic education to refugee children who have lived their entire young lives away from home and any educational system. We talked about the relief work that congregations in Syria are doing to support the thousands of internally displaced Syrians living away from not just their homes, but their communities and their family histories.

Read more: Repairers of the Breach

Making Our Way to Jerusalem

During Lent, our children spend the season following Jesus closer and closer to Jerusalem. Each step helps us know Jesus in a new way. The words he speaks, the actions he takes, the lives that are changed, the crowds who react, the disciples who follow: All these facets work together to give us a better understanding of Jesus’ ministry.

Read more: Making Our Way to Jerusalem

Thanks to Dick Wohlschlaeger

This coming Sunday, in prayers of thanksgiving during worship and at Cafe in the Court following, we will pause and give thanks for the ministry of Dick Wohlschlaeger as our Interim Associate for Pastoral Care and Senior Adults.

Read more: Thanks to Dick Wohlschlaeger

Encounters with Jesus

The gospel of John leads us through a series of lengthy encounters with Jesus as we make our way through the season of Lent toward Holy Week and Easter this year. These biblical conversations guide our reflections in this year’s Lenten Devotional written and illustrated by church members and mission partners. They also serve as the texts for our current four-week sermon series on Sunday mornings, as well as the readings for reflection and silent meditation during our Wednesday evening Taizé services.

Read more: Encounters with Jesus

Ministry Architects

It is hard to believe that it has been nearly six years since I began my ministry at BMPC. In those years, I have witnessed God do some amazing things through our ministries. It is a joy to serve the youth and families of our congregation, and our goal is to continually strengthen what we do here.

Read more: Ministry Architects

The Value of Our Interfaith Relationships

Last November several church members met two weeks in a row with friends from Main Line Reform Temple, and their rabbi, David Strauss, to study scripture together. While one week we focused on the very difficult story of the sacrifice (or near sacrifice) of Isaac, our other week was spent in study of the Love Commandment that we find in both the Old and New Testaments:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and strength,
and love your neighbor as yourself.

Read more: The Value of Our Interfaith Relationships

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