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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.

We Sing as Love

This Sunday, May 21, at 3:00 p.m., nearly 200 singers and 38 orchestral musicians will combine forces under the leadership of two of the world’s greatest choral legends, Anton Armstrong and André Thomas. Dr. Armstrong is conductor of the famed St. Olaf Choir, arguably one of the greatest choirs in the world and certainly the finest college choir in America. Dr. Thomas is renowned for his arrangements of African-American spirituals and composer of dozens of works, including a new Mass in gospel and jazz style. You will hear two movements from that Mass this Sunday.

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Disciple Project Expo

As I approach the end of my ministry at BMPC, I find myself reflecting on the milestones and memories of the past six years. One of the greatest joys in my ministry is the opportunity to walk alongside our eighth graders each year during Confirmation.

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May's Transitions

May is always the month of many transitions. Folks begin to go and come for graduations, spring weddings, year-end school activities, concerts, and many other special occasions

This year ushers in both the usual transitions at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, like welcoming members of the Confirmation Class into church membership, the winding down of the program year, and the gearing up for summer’s special activities of Vacation Bible Camp and mission trips, as well as special endings and beginnings.

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Self Development of People

I am a big history buff – especially the history of churches and congregations. When I was finishing my undergraduate degree in history at George Washington University, I wrote my senior thesis on the design and creation of my home church’s current building in East Liberty, Pa., back in the 1930s. I loved reading through historic meeting notes where elders discussed the benefits of large Sunday school classrooms or the ways that the community would feel welcomed into this new massive church building.

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Calling Two New Associate Pastors

This is no “low Sunday” upcoming at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church!!

We have a Congregational Meeting at 11:00 a.m. after worship to call two new associate pastors. You should have received a mailing at home, but in case you did not, you can view the brochures for The Reverend Frank Pottorff who is being called as Associate Pastor for Congregational Life and Stewardship and The Reverend Mary K. Steege as Associate Pastor for Pastoral Care and Senior Adults.

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“The Way to Easter”

During this past Palm Sunday’s sermon, Dr. Norfleet said, “You cannot get to Easter - in all its unspeakable hope and joy… without going down into the pit of despair over the brutal reality of death.” As a lifelong church musician, I treasure the journey that takes place between Palm Sunday and Easter. While it is a difficult journey, by annually recounting Christ’s final days, Easter’s abounding hopes and joys are simply more breathtaking.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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