Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church cares about the health and welfare of our members and our broader community. This page has been published to help our congregation be informed. Check this page for future updates.
BMPC Campus Closed
Effective Thursday, March 12, the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church campus is closed. The campus will remain closed until further notice. All programs and activities on campus have been cancelled. For pastoral emergencies, please call 610-525-2821, and press 2.
Thursday, July 16, 2020
COVID Regathering Taskforce
We are all asking the same questions. When will this pandemic end? How can I keep those I love safe? When will we be able to resume life as it used to be? How will schools reopen? Just as you are asking these “when” and “how” questions about every aspect of your lives, your church is carefully considering how and when our intergenerational church family might begin regathering.
The BMPC Re-Gathering Taskforce, made up of church leaders and medical professionals (Rich Allman, Anita Iyengar, Chris Libson, Bill McKee, Tom Willcox, Anne Wendel, Parish Nurse Carol Cherry and myself) was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to help us navigate these complex questions.
The taskforce has been tracking guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), other medical experts, and the recommendations of state and local governments to begin imagining a gradual reopening of our church campus for worship and programs. Based on these recommendations and the current reality of the increasing viral activity across the United States, we are not ready to recommend resumption of large group gatherings at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church.
The CDC and numerous medical experts agree that the most dangerous settings for transmitting the coronavirus are indoor locations where large groups of people are talking and singing. There are now many documented cases of worship services and church activities that have become “super-spreader” events.
The Re-Gathering Taskforce will continue meeting regularly to reassess the situation and update our recommendations. In the meantime, we have developed protocols emphasizing the four pillars of safety, including hand hygiene, screening, physical distancing and wearing masks, which will be implemented for any re-gathering.
With responsibility for enforcing these guidelines, the pastors and senior staff are allowed to host small outdoor in-person gatherings, conduct small weddings and memorial services, and host indoor pastoral meetings one on one or with couples and families.
The Re-Gathering Taskforce will continue to monitor the COVID-19 public health data and scientific information and will make further recommendations to Session as we move forward.
As we prepare for fall, we are committed to providing resources to nurture the spiritual life and engage the missional outreach of our congregation by offering quality and creative worship and programming, both virtually and eventually in some hybrid virtual/in-person small gatherings.
At a recent graveside service in our Memorial Garden for one of the saints of our congregation, I was privileged to read the familiar words of Jesus: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” The burdens of all those making difficult decisions these days feel pretty heavy – in churches, schools, homes, continuing care communities, prisons, essential services, places of business and commerce, and governments near and far. Let’s join in a spirit of prayer and patience as we seek to be faithful to our calling and also find rest for our souls in the Living Christ.
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Saturday, March 14, 2020
Resources for talking to children are listed below:
Talking to Children About Coronavirus: CDC Parent Resource
How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus: PBS For Parents
Prayer from Agnes
O God, may your blessings fall upon us that we may not be afraid. Send your healing presence upon this world of need. Uphold us with hope for a brighter tomorrow. And, come what may, remind us all that even in this strangest of Lenten seasons, Easter is on the horizon bearing promises of resurrection, new life now and eternal life to come. In the hope of your promises and in the name of your love for the world, Jesus Christ, we pray, Amen.
Thursday, March 12, 2020
BMPC Coronavirus COVID-19 Response
Dear BMPC Family and Friends,
Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church cares about the health and welfare of our members and the larger community. In response to growing concerns about the spread of COVID-19, and after extensive consultation with church medical professionals, public health officials and the Session, we are making changes to engage best practices to help mitigate the spread of this virus.
Beginning today, March 12, 2020 at 5:00 pm, the church campus is closed.
Sunday worship and all church programming, including the Middleton Center and the Weekday School, is suspended until further notice.
If you have a pastoral emergency, call 610-525-2821, press 2, and you will be connected to a pastor who will be on call for 24 hours a day.
While Sunday worship is unavailable in person, we are offering sermons and worship resources online.
Regular updates will be posted on our website.
I invite you to join me in prayer for the healing of those suffering the consequences of this virus as well as all who care for them, and to engage in best practices for the community’s health and safety as outlined below in a revised message from the BMPC Care Team.
Grace and Peace,
The Reverend Dr. Agnes W. Norfleet
A Message from the Care Team:
In addition to continued vigilant everyday preventive actions like careful handwashing, frequent cleaning and social distancing, please be aware of the following:
- Symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, fever and shortness of breath. Please contact your doctor if you have these symptoms.
- The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services posts daily updates on their website. Questions may be directed to 1-877-PA-HEALTH
The following additional resources are available for more information:
Thursday, March 5, 2020
A Message from the Care Team:
As the latest updateson the new coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19)flood the news, we want to assure you we are monitoring the latest information and considering as a staff what we can do to helpthe BMPC community be safe. While the virus has spread through numerous countries, we hope most people in the United States will have little exposure to this virus. However, it is important to note that current global circumstances suggest it is likely that this virus will cause a pandemic (worldwide spread of a new disease).
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) iscontinually tracking the spread of the virus and updating its extensive website with information about precautions.
For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to the virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low. But we need to take everydaypreventive actions to help prevent thespread of respiratory diseases. Please consider the following:
- Wash your hands often with soapand water for at least 20 seconds (try singing the Doxology!) especially after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you are sick. And you can viewthe weekly Sunday sermons on the BMPC website. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Get a flu shot. It won’t protect against COVID-19, but flu is a bigger risk.Flu is widespread throughout Pennsylvania, resulting in over 60 deaths this season.If the pneumonia vaccine is recommended for you, be sure to get that as well.
- Remember you are more susceptible to flu and other infections if you are overly stressed and sleep deprived. Applyall those basic health tips we learned as children –eat a healthy diet, exercise and get enough sleep.
- Recognize the effects of living in an information-overloaded culture. Sometimes a fast from the news and social media can behelpful when fear gets the upper hand.