photo showing part of a bible.

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.

Connecting Through Mothers

In anticipation of Lisa Hancock’s “Natural Mothers” photo exhibit that will be on display in BMPC’s Gallery beginning on March 3, I felt it might be nice to explain how this particular exhibit came together, as it has an incredibly personal connection to my work as a church musician and the path my husband and I took to fatherhood.

A Messy Season

I remember the Ash Wednesday when everything went wrong. I was moving a small bowl of ash, and it tipped over. Black palm ash went everywhere! It is so fine that you can’t just sweep it up but rather need to attack with damp cloths and the knowledge that you will not leave the affair unmarked. My hands resembled those of a chimney sweep- molted with soot. My fingers were tipped with perfect half circles of pitch-black embedded under each nail.

Youth Sunday 2024

Each year, Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church asks the youth to lead the church in congregational Worship on Youth Sunday. As the Associate Pastor for Youth & Their Families at BMPC, it is likely unsurprising that I believe this Sunday to be one of the holiest days in our church calendar.

Midwinter Relief: 100 Years of Cabaret

My first winter at BMPC was in 1983. What a winter that was. That February, Philadelphia was struck by a blizzard named “Megapolitan Blizzard” (21 inches of snow). Record cold temperatures prevailed. I still remember going to Chinatown with BMPC members for dinner and thinking, “I’ve never been this cold before!” (this is from a guy who grew up in Iowa and then went to graduate school in Rochester, NY!) That spring, the Music and Fine Arts Council decided to offer a “Midwinter Festival” the following February, on the Saturday before Lent – as a kind of “Bryn Mawr Mardi Gras.” Plenty of skeptics said, “Jeff, BMPC will never go for this.” Happily, they were wrong, and a tradition began that continued for nearly 25 years.

Senior Adult Ministry Initiatives

Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Miriam, Zechariah, Elizabeth, Simeon, Anna – these are names of just some of the senior adults that God used in significant ways as told in scripture. Even if they had retired from work to support their livelihood, God still actively engaged them in ministry in a variety of ways. I am thankful to get to support senior adults at BMPC in ways that enrich and engage them in active ministry in service to our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Here are some upcoming initiatives having to do with senior adults (keep reading even if you are not a senior adult): 

Code Blue Shelter – You are invited to Volunteer

Almost every night since January 2 the Atrium and Gymnasium here at BMPC have been used to shelter men sleeping outside in our community on these cold nights of the winter. For them it is a much-needed relief from the stress of sleeping in the elements, of navigating spaces where they are not welcome, and simply a respite from the dangers of being outside in the cold.

Interview with James Kealey

On Sunday, January 21 at 2 p.m., you are all invited to attend a wonderful organ recital by James Kealey, the recent laureate of the American Guild of Organists National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance (NYACOP). It’s always nice to learn more about performers, so please enjoy this brief interview with this immensely talented organist.