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.

Starting Lent 

The smell permeates your hair, your coat, the clothes you are wearing. Like a campfire, but not quite as familiar, the smell of burnt palm fronds has an incredible ability to linger. The first time I burnt palm fronds I was in college, and another student and I were assigned to make ashes for Ash Wednesday. Neither of us had any idea what we were supposed to do. The chaplain we worked for explained, “It’s easy: Take the palm fronds we saved from last Palm Sunday, burn them, and then grind them up.” Easily said, but accomplishing the task was a little more challenging.

Awash in the Holy

It’s laundry. That’s what grabs me in this image; the wash hanging out to dry on a clothesline. Dated 1927, the picture was in a collection of photographs celebrating the completion of our present Sanctuary. The camera faces the west transept that now features the Holy Spirit window. Today, part of the parking lot and the lawn in the foreground was the side yard of Converse House when it served as our manse. More than likely this was the personal laundry of the family of the Rev. Andrew Mutch, our pastor from 1912-1936.

2023 Youth Sunday & Souper Bowl of Caring

This coming Sunday is precious in the church's calendar year – Youth Sunday and the Souper Bowl of Caring! It is the one Sunday a year when our youth lead every part of the service. From ushering to preaching, each part of the service is led by a teenager. This service is one of the ways that Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church communicates its profound value and respect for the young in our congregation, recognizing their ability and potential in worship leadership. We hope you can be here for this special service!

“Just Stop”

Research indicates that 80 percent of people ditch their New Year’s resolutions by February. The hopes and promises which abounded just a few short weeks ago have dissolved during the first month of the new year.


This Sunday, Jan. 29, at 2:00 p.m., Laura Ward and I will present a two-piano concert. I first met Laura in 1996 when she served as rehearsal pianist for the Sanctuary Choir’s preparations for Verdi’s “Requiem.” From the first notes she played I felt a strong musical connection! Years later we formed a two-piano team, making our debut concert at BMPC.

The Gift of Church Ministry

This coming Sunday’s Congregational Meeting is called after the 10:00 a.m. worship service for the purpose of acting on changes in the Pastor’s Terms of Call and to elect persons to serve in important leadership roles. The Nominating Committee will put before the congregation names of persons who have agreed to serve as Ruling Elders, Deacons, Trustees, and At-Large Members of the Nominating Committee for the coming year.

Interfaith Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

For the first time in three years we will be gathering in person for an interfaith celebration of the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And for the first time in recent memory, that celebration will take place as a part of a Friday evening Shabbat service hosted by Beth David Congregation in Gladwyne. This allows for an incredibly helpful reminder that the fight for justice and civil rights is, of course, not an exclusively Christian one.