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.

I’m sorry, Tammy Faye.

Decades after the downfall of the television ministry of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, with their heavy mascara, tearful confessions, and money-raising gimmicks, all of us in mainline Protestantism are now televangelists ourselves these days. And yet we don’t have many models within our tradition of how to do “virtual church” well. We are all figuring it out as we go along. We remember in Matthew’s gospel where Jesus says, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” Yet now he adds a caveat: “But if there’s more than 10 people, the CDC and local police will show up too.”

Easter’s Empty Tomb

The central core of the Easter message every year is an expected emptiness. The angel says to the women, “He is not here; for he has been raised.”

Borrowed Language

Have you noticed how quickly our vocabulary has expanded in just a matter of weeks? A couple of months ago, these words and their combination hardly passed our lips: COVID-19, coronavirus, social distancing, PPEs, self-isolation, flatten the curve, pandemic.

Finding Sabbath

Since my usual ways of spending Sundays has changed with the arrival of COVID-19 and the need to close our church for a while, I am trying to find new ways to nurture my spiritual life with intention. A friend sent me this lovely poem, composed by Lynn Ungar, which has inspired me to use this odd and disconcerting season of isolation to rethink how I might practice Sabbath.

The Resurrection Window

Dear Church Friends,

I miss seeing you, and I am keeping all of you in my daily prayers: all of us who are at risk as the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to spread in our community; those of you who have been struggling with other illnesses, declining health and isolation; church members in hospice care and those who love them dearly; healthcare providers and public servants on the frontline; families trying to care for aging relatives remotely, and parents trying to comfort, teach and entertain their children in this season of perplexity.

Middle School Movie Night

This coming Friday night, the BMPC Youth Ministry will be taking our middle schoolers to see the Disney Pixar movie Onward. With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 86 percent and 100 percent from audiences, the Middle School Movie Night is sure to be a delight!

The Church Under Construction

After worship this Sunday there is a very special meeting at 11:15 a.m. in Congregational Hall. The Renovations Committee will give an update on the Education Building, and show the most recent design plans for the upcoming work on the Ministries Center, the Atrium which will connect the Ministries Center and Sanctuary, the Memorial Garden’s planned expansion and beautification, and the Sanctuary’s stained glass windows that need to be repaired. The meeting will be informative and exciting, and I encourage you to attend.