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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.

On the Winds of the Holy Spirit

Pentecost is the celebration of the birthday of the church when the gift of God’s Spirit filled the diverse community of believers with a sense of oneness.

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Doing Real Good

As I walked into Target the other day, a young man asked me for gas money.  His car was down the road, he said, and no one else would listen to him. I gave him a few dollars, he thanked me profusely, and the whole exchange felt wrong. As I walked away, I questioned the young man’s motives—does he really need gas? Am I really his last resort?...and my own—Am I giving because he is in need, or am I giving so that I can be left alone to shop?  

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Trusting God Through Pain

Why do bad things happen to good people? This was a question we talked about a lot during Confirmation this past year. Beyond theology, this is a question that every person has asked at some point in their lives. 

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2014 Confirmation

It's hard to remember this past September, but it was then that our 8th grade class began Confirmation. Over the past year, these youth have continued on their faith journeys. 

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Smart as Sheep

I have always heard that sheep are stupid. The biblical references that come up in the lectionary on “Good Shepherd Sunday,” comparing the people of God to sheep, ought, I thought, to humble us. We are foolish and clueless like sheep, in need of the guidance of a shepherd who has our best interests at heart.

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A Word About Children and Family Ministry...

Please plan to join us as we celebrate the ministry of Jacqui Van Vliet at a reception in her honor on Sunday, May 4, after the 10:00 a.m. worship service. Jacqui’s three years as Supply Pastor have been a blessing to this church and community, as she has prepared us for the call of an installed pastor. We wish her all the best in her next pastoral call. 

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How Do We Swim in this Much Wider River of Song?

This week’s pastor’s column comes to us from Dr. Emily Brink, one of the world’s leading experts on congregational song. She will be with the BMPC community this coming weekend, when she leads a class at 8:45 a.m. in Congregational Hall and assists in the leading of the 10:00 a.m. HymnFest. Brink served as editor for four hymnals: Psalter Hymnal (Grand Rapids, 1987), a liturgical resource for the Christian Reformed Church; Holding in Trust: Hymns of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada (1992, co-edited with George Black and Nancy Faus); Songs for Life (1994), a children’s hymnal; Sing! A New Creation (2001), a contemporary and global hymnal supplement; and was co-editor with John D. Witvliet of The Worship Sourcebook (2004), a contemporary resource with a classical model. 

Read more: How Do We Swim in this Much Wider River of Song?

Holy Opportunities

One of the joys of my ministry is the opportunity to empower our youth to lead. This was the model that Jesus employed with his disciples. And during this Holy Week, it's fitting that the youth of the congregation are enabled to lead one of our most sacred worship services at noon on Good Friday.

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For the Love of Holy Week

In the last couple of days, a caring church member overheard me saying that I love Holy Week, to which the response was something like, “Really?!? I would think you would find it exhausting.” 

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A Signpost and Summons

“The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.” -Isaiah 2:1

Isaiah didn’t hear the word. He saw it in powerful images. A word image, just as it did for Isaiah, can conjure up a new world of story for us to see.  For instance...

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