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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.

Resilience = Pure Joy

One year ago this weekend, I enjoyed an early celebration of my 65th birthday party. At that point, the United States had registered 60 cases of the novel coronavirus. Each day following that party the alarm bells grew. Two weeks later on March 8, the Sanctuary Choir and Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia presented a glorious concert of works by French composers. When I peeked through the doors into the Sanctuary on March 8 and saw how few people had shown up for the concert, I realized that our world was about to be turned upside down.

Praying through Lent

Lent is a journey. It began yesterday with Ash Wednesday and the reminder that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. The journey will eventually conclude at Easter morning with the celebration of our resurrected Lord, who is Lord of even the dust. In between the start and the finish, the 40-day journey between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday lends itself to contemplation, meditation and action.

Beginning Lent with Thanksgiving

Part of me feels like next Wednesday will mark the 366th day of Lent. There is something about the past year that feels as though Lent has never really ended. Despite my best attempts at hallelujahs and Easter declarations, Pentecost celebrations, and even Advent and Christmas decorations, there is something about the weight of the days and weeks that have felt more like an extended Lenten season than anything else.

Youth Sunday: Hope

It’s hard to believe it is Youth Sunday again already. Youth Sunday was the last significant event in Youth Ministry before everything changed because of the pandemic, and here we are again, in the year 2021. When I asked the high school seniors what they thought the church needed to hear from them, they kept returning to the idea of hope.

Electing Church Officers

This Sunday, January 31, we will hold our Congregational Meeting via Zoom for the first time, and we hope that those who are able will attend. A link to biographical information about each nominee for Elder, Deacon, Trustee and this year’s Nominating Committee is provided in this eNews, and a link is available on the homepage of the BMPC website. Also, the Zoom information for this meeting is included in this eNews, and it will be in this Sunday’s Worship eNews.

The Hill We Climb

Several months ago, an anonymous individual shattered my flat screen television with with their three-year-old fast arm and their toy tool bench. A warrant is still out, but no arrests have been made. Out of an abundance of caution, I had our new television mounted above our fireplace. I have to really look up to see it now, out of the reach of small bandits.

Builders of the Beloved Community

One of my favorite images the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. used in his preaching and public ministry was that of the Beloved Community. He wrote, “Our goal is to create a beloved community, and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.” The Beloved Community is in its essence a society based on justice, equal opportunity and love of one’s fellow human beings.