Sharing the Story of Mission

Do you remember that camp song, “They Will Know We are Christians by Our Love?” I grew up singing that song every year at camp, on church retreats, in Sunday School. There was something about the images in that song that really struck me as a child – especially the verses.

We will work with each other, we will work side by side
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
And we'll guard each one's dignity and save each one's pride

519740847SP005 PhiladelphiaWhen I would sing this song as a child, I always wondered what it meant for Christians to work side by side. As a young child, I assumed it meant some kind of carpentry work. Maybe if we were working side by side we would be doing some kind of work along an assembly line. That is still the picture I see in my head when I sing the song.

Isn’t it strange the things that stick in our brains as children?

Now I ask myself almost every day as pastor for mission here at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, what it is supposed to look like for us to work side by side as Christians in our larger community. It looks like a lot of different things for us – maybe assembling casseroles for local feeding programs, how about hammering nails for Habitat for Humanity on the church lawn, maybe labeling and sorting books at a new WePAC library in the city.

As a congregation, we certainly value the opportunity to work side by side in mission, but often there is a disconnect between wanting to do the work, and actually connecting and creating the opportunities to work together.

The BMPC Mission Council is very interested in finding more effective and regular ways to engage more of our congregation in opportunities to work side by side in mission.

In partnership with Broad Street Ministry in Center City Philadelphia, the Mission Council invites all members of our church to participate in one of five extended work days in the city. In addition to working side by side, these days provide the chance to be in intentional conversation about our BMPC mission values, mission priorities and mission opportunities. The hope is that after this yearlong process we will have found new and even more engaging ways to connect more of our congregation to mission.

Here are the five possible work days you are invited to join:

Tues., Oct. 24: Public Advocacy and Education (Environmental Justice)
Sat., Nov. 4: Cycles of Poverty (Outreach)
Sat., Jan. 27: Community Development (Worldwide)
Sat., Feb. 24: Food Insecurity (Hunger)
Tues., March 13: Trauma Informed Mission (Peacemaking)

If you have a lot of experience serving in mission, we would value your insight and experience as a part of these conversations. If you are just getting connected to mission at BMPC, we would value your fresh eyes and energy as we look to the future of mission at BMPC.

Something happens between people when we serve in mission together. We share our observations and our anxieties. We share our expectations and our new insights. We laugh and we problem solve. We grow closer as friends and community. When we work side by side we become the church Christ has called us to be.

Click here for a Frequently Asked Questions sheet that will give you more details of this project.

If you are interested in participating in one of these five workdays, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Space is limited.