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.

Election Week

    On this Thursday morning as I write these words, the contest for the presidency is still underway. It seems like my cell phone vibrates about every five minutes while friends and colleagues text, tweet or email emerging data from a county in North Carolina or Georgia where I used to live. I am grateful for them because I have work to do, and while passionately interested in the outcome, I don’t have the mental or spiritual wherewithal to be so enmeshed in each minute movement forward toward a decision.

Transformation Through Jesus, our Joy

This Sunday, we observe All Saints Sunday, that day when we remember the loved ones who have joined the company of saints over the past year. Tragically, this year is particularly difficult, given the pandemic that has kept us separate from one another, and especially for those who lost a loved one during a time in which communal remembrances have been nearly impossible.

Upheaval, History and You

National upheaval is stressful. Within its current comes uncertainty, change and a polarization of the populous, frequently fracturing families and friends. Conversations become dangerous as a mere word can spark a firestorm of debate and condemnation. The only true guarantee is that people will hurt one another – physically, emotionally, spiritually – and that the nation, perhaps even the world, will change.

Car Seat Theology

I call it car seat theology. It’s what happens when I’m driving and our five-year-old begins to question, or as is more often the case, pontificate about the world and God’s role in it. Perhaps it’s because I am a pastor, and he’s a pastor’s kid, that he maintains a high exposure to religious language. He hears a lot about “God” in our house, both as a word of blessing and occasional cursing (admittedly from me and not his mother).

Blessing of the Animals

For 77 years, the British animal welfare organization, PDSA, had awarded the Dickin Medal to animals who display “conspicuous gallantry or devotion to duty.” This year the recipient was a giant pocketed rat named Magawa who, along with his human handlers, helped to clear more than 140,000 square meters of landmines and ordinances in Cambodia. Magawa was delightfully unaware during the ceremony as he received the medal. 

World Communion Sunday

It is hard to believe that it is has been over seven months since we have gathered as a congregation and as the Body of Christ around the Communion Table.

Live Music Abounds

Several months ago, Edward Landin Senn and I offered a three-week Facebook Live recital series on the BMPC Facebook page. For those unfamiliar with this concept, through Facebook, one can present a live concert online that may be viewed by anyone. You do not need to have a Facebook account to view these programs. Better yet, if viewers miss the live performances, they can watch a replay of the concert whenever it is convenient for them. In addition, video recordings of the concerts will be available on BMPC’s YouTube Channel. Much to our delight, nearly 5,000 viewers from all over the world watched this series.