I have grown fond of telling visitors and newcomers to BMPC that we are a congregation with swinging doors. It is a metaphor, of course, for the many ways we open wide our doors to any who would come in, and those same doors open out upon a world in need of Christian witness and service. At BMPC all are welcome to worship, attend programs, and participate in opportunities for nurture and mission, members of the church and community alike.
For 20 years, the Middleton Center for Pastoral Care and Counseling is one of our primary expressions of those swinging doors. Founded by a generous endowment of the John Middleton Company in memory of Herbert H. Middleton, Jr., the center welcomes people from all backgrounds and diverse faith traditions as a ministry of the church and outreach to the community. Offerings include counseling, therapy, spiritual direction, support groups, the labyrinth ministry, and special programs to help enhance the connections between body, mind and spirit.
This weekend we celebrate the founding of the Middleton Center in conjunction with our David and Ruth Watermulder Theologian-in-Residence weekend. Our guest speaker, the Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, was chosen because of the profound ways her scholarship as a theologian incorporates the experience of human trauma, which is often why people seek the services offered by the Middleton Center. After her first lecture on Saturday morning, a special luncheon in Congregational Hall will include remarks by Margaret Anne Fohl and Gene Bay, former BMPC pastors who were instrumental in founding the Middleton Center, as well as Karen Dunkman, the first director of the center.
I hope you will join us on Saturday and Sunday to attend Serene Jones’ lectures and sermon and to celebrate the Middleton Center’s anniversary with its founders and dear friends.
Saturday, January 25
9:30 a.m. Light refreshments in the Ministries Center Court
10:00 a.m. Lecture “Theology is a Place” and Conversation in the Sanctuary
Sunday, January 26
10:00 a.m. Worship in the Sanctuary with Dr. Jones preaching
11:15 a.m. Lecture “Theology is a Story” and Conversation in Congregational Hall