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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.

Traveling Mercies

After two postponements, 45 BMPC members and friends in the community will finally depart for the Middle East this Sunday afternoon. In several Messenger articles and pastors columns, and in two public forums, I have written and spoken about this pilgrimage. Today, I simply want to provide you with a prayer calendar, a daily scripture reading, and several travelers’ names, so that you might include them in your daily prayers. I also encourage you to explore the tour itinerary which is available online. I also have included links to websites for our choir sponsors and venues within this calendar. 

Johnsonburg Camp Day

On Saturday, June 25 the BMPC Youth Ministry will take a group of middle schoolers to Johnsonburg Camp and Retreat Center. We'll have a day of fun, fellowship and play while giving our younger Youth members a taste of BMPC Youth Camp. This summer, BMPC Youth Camp is happening from July 31 to August 5, and we can't wait to take our middle schoolers and high schoolers to Johnsonburg again!

Changing Preaching Plans

“Life happens when you are busy making other plans,” is a saying often attributed to the musician John Lennon, but he likely picked it up along the way because it also can be found in a Reader’s Digest list of Quotable Quotes from the 1950s. The quote has been circling around in my brain because I had a plan for a three-week sermon series in June that got upended by the happenings of life. Preaching plans change when the world dishes up issues that yearn for a faithful response.

Bring out the Red! It’s Pentecost!

This Sunday we will be celebrating! We will be celebrating the joy of inviting fifth graders into our Youth Ministry program. We will be celebrating our high school seniors as they graduate. We will be celebrating the mystery and the wonder of Pentecost. We will be celebrating the birth and the continual rebirth of the church. Mixed in with that celebration will be a few tears. After all, beginning something new means that things are changing and that we are changing. There is a moment of mourning as we say goodbye to what was to embrace what is next.

Blessing and Benediction

At the end of Jacob’s life, the old patriarch blesses the two sons of his own long lost son, Joseph, saying, “The God before whom my ancestors Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, the angel who has redeemed me from all harm, bless the boys.” (Gen. 48:15-16)

Confirmation Sunday

This Sunday is Confirmation Sunday! After nine months of study, Confirmation students joyfully declare what they have come to believe in front of the congregation, affirming their faith and becoming full members of Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church. These eighth graders began their study last September, delving into topics such as the Trinity, the importance of the Bible, and church history. They asked vital questions of faith about Jesus’ humanity and divinity, what it means to be a Christian, and the impact of sin. I am deeply proud to have the Session present these 16 youth members for Confirmation.

Friendship in Faith

Almost three years ago I received an invitation. The email asked me to participate in a symposium for pastors just beginning their ministry. It was to take place at Second Presbyterian Church in Roanoke, Virginia. We would spend six days together discussing the various responsibilities of a pastor: preaching, pastoral care, teaching, supervising staff, leadership, and more. Our leaders were two current pastors and a seminary administrator. The invitation made it clear that this was a small group, designed to foster lasting impact, and that I needed to respond quickly. I eagerly leapt at the chance to partake in such an opportunity. I submitted my application and marked my calendar for late-March 2020.