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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.

Eastertide

I think I awakened the day after Easter with the lyrics of a children’s song bouncing around in my head. The children’s choir in my former church sang it often as an anthem: Every morning is Easter morning from now on. Every day’s Resurrection Day; the past is over and gone.

Read more: Eastertide

Holy Week

This past Sunday, I had a privileged perspective. Walking into the sanctuary with the palm fronds waving like a sea of green was powerful! One little girl said, “I felt like a disciple in Jerusalem and we were all celebrating Jesus the king together.” That experience takes on a different light in part because just as we arrived at the front of the Sanctuary there was the humbling task to sit with children, palm fronds underfoot, and remind them that the king we just celebrated is a king who will be crucified and who will be raised.

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Preparing for Holy Week

Palm Sunday is the beginning of the end of our Lenten journey to the foot of the cross and onto the glorious dawn of Easter morning. It is a very holy pilgrimage indeed – set apart for the purposes of God and the followers of Christ to step from joy to pathos to joy again. This coming Sunday we begin with that ancient shout Hosanna which is a liturgical word of adoration that means “save us, we pray.”

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Excellent Dreams

Last Saturday, the Outreach Council gathered for a session of dreaming and discernment. Our first task was to ask one another, if you had unlimited finances and people power, what would you hear God calling this church to do? That started us off on a morning of insights, ideas, and dreams.

Read more: Excellent Dreams

Praying Through Pain

By now, you have heard about the recent tragedy involving the Shipley School student who was a victim of suicide. As a person, I grieve the loss of a bright young man. As a pastor, my sympathy goes out to the family and the Shipley School. As part of a church community, anytime our neighbors experience loss, I am often moved to respond.

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God's Redeeming Love

We are now at the mid-point of our Lenten journey. I hope that all of you, in ways appropriate to your needs, have been taking advantage of BMPC’s resources for this special season of the year. My daily routine has included reading the offering for that day in the “Lenten Devotional,” our collection of meditations on Scripture from various members of the congregation. The breadth and depth of these reflections have added a valuable spiritual component to each day.

Read more: God's Redeeming Love

Sons of Cain and Abel Today

This coming Sunday, March 1, at 2 p.m. in the Chapel, we will have the opportunity to encounter two men whose families came from opposite sides of WW II – Henrik Eger’s father was a Nazi propaganda officer. Bob Spitz’s mother was an Austrian Jew who rescued her husband from Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps.

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Lenten Series: Sown in Tears

Asked about these past painful chapters in human history, Thich Nhat Hanh said recently, “Suffering and happiness are both organic, like flowers and garbage. If the flower can be on its way to becoming garbage, the garbage can be on its way to becoming a flower…During the 20th century, we have created a lot of garbage... Now it is very important for us to learn how to transform the garbage we have created into flowers.”

Read more: Lenten Series: Sown in Tears

Looking Backward, Living Forward during the Season of Lent

In many ways the season of Lent turns back the clock to help us understand who Jesus was in his life and ministry, especially as he made his way toward the crucifixion. When people of faith remember what God has done in the past, we are given courage for the present and hope for the future. It’s important to remember in order to move forward in faith.

Read more: Looking Backward, Living Forward during the Season of Lent

Walking in Faith

What a joy it was last week to be welcomed to and led in worship by the youth. I loved watching as they walked into the 8:00 service to take their places with confidence and grace.

Read more: Walking in Faith