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Psalm133

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.

A Happy and Healthy Family

Last week, feeling a little antsy on my long train ride from Connecticut to Philadelphia, I typed “Family at Christmas” into Google search. Much to my horror, among the top three hits were “How to survive family Christmas” and “Estrangement from family at Christmas: How we cope.” After a burst of sadness, my next reaction was, “Thank heavens we can look forward to a concert on December 11 that will be presented by the entire family of BMPC choirs.” Best of all, this is a happy and healthy family that ranges in age from 5 to 95. That’s not something to survive, but something to celebrate.

Read more: A Happy and Healthy Family

Gifts that Matter

I don’t know about you, but my Christmas shopping list seems to get smaller and smaller every year. I can remember in years past taking day trips to Chicago to shop on the Magnificent Mile, window shopping and looking for the perfect gift that would catch my eye and make me think of a particular loved one or another. It would also often include an afternoon spent inside Marshall Fields looking for the one thing that would express my appreciation to my parents or roommates. I remember as a child heading out in December with my mother to consider how I would spend my hard earned babysitting money on a gift for my brother or my best friend.

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A Prayer for Thanksgiving Day

O God to whom we belong in body, mind and spirit, we meet this Thanksgiving Day rejoicing in the abundance of your blessings. We are thankful for the gift of love which binds us to one another, for passion that keeps alive the goodness of life, and for compassion that opens our hearts to others.

Read more: A Prayer for Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Pancakes

When I started my ministry at BMPC more than five years ago, I wondered about what motivated church members to gather for pancakes on Thanksgiving morning. I found myself asking, “pancakes on Thanksgiving?” However, it didn’t take me long to see what makes this morning so special.

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Election Prayer of Jill Duffield

The long-awaited presidential election is over. Many in our nation are celebrating; others are dismayed and grieving. Some think we elected the perfect person in Donald Trump to shake up the establishment in bold new ways; others are fearful for what this “outsider” candidacy might mean as we move into the future as a nation amid an increasingly complex global reality.

Read more: Election Prayer of Jill Duffield

For All the Saints

Several years ago my wife Kathy and I were traveling in Italy in late October. On November 1 we were nearing the end of our journey, but we had one task still to accomplish. We were looking for a set of pottery pasta dishes that we hoped to take home as lasting and useful remembrances of our trip.  Driving through the Tuscany countryside we soon discovered that nearly every shop that would have met our needs was closed. Why?  We suddenly realized that we had forgotten so far from home that it was All Saints’ Day. And on All Saints’ Day in Italy nearly all commerce stops. Instead, families gather with flowers and memories at the gravesides of dear ones now departed. It is a lovely sight to see.

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Together, Growing in Generosity

Whenever the Session meets to receive new members, I am fond of including in prayer some words to the effect of: “Thank you, God, for making of this old, historic church a new church today!” The church is made up of the people of God, and together we share similar qualities and characteristics to any living thing.

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Family Conversations

A church member recently shared with me that in parenthood, "the days are long, but the years are fast." As a parent, I'm regularly reminded that our children are growing up in a culture that is changing more quickly than at any other time in history.

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Doing Good Together

After washing his disciples’ feet, Jesus offers this new commandment for his followers: “This is my commandment: You shall love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35).

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Theologian-in-Residence

Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church has a wonderful tradition of inviting scholars from around our country to spend time with us to share their research and apply it to our life and work as a congregation. The Theologian-in-Residence program was created in appreciation for the ministry of David and Ruth Watermulder here at BMPC for 24 years.

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