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.

On the Journey

Five years ago this week I baptized our then six-week-old son, Charlie, into the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church in the congregation I served. Since he was the first PK (pastor’s kid) born to that congregation in nearly 20 years, parishioners piled into the pews like it was the Second Coming. Some showed up the day before to help me shovel snow from the church’s sidewalks. Our family came in from out of state. Charlie managed to not throw up on his christening gown. The reception following was bountiful. And the boiler in the sanctuary basement held steady. It was a glorious event for me as a pastor and as a new dad.

Retreat 2020

The ordering of our world means that every year ends with an extra one-quarter of a day, hours that eventually add up and result in Feb. 29 on our calendars. We are given this tiny bonus — like a fifth Sunday or a special assembly, we know it’s coming, but Leap Day remains an odd and wonderful gift. It is the extra day we always claim that we need.

Presbyterians and Politics

This has been an historic week, politically speaking. As I write this on Thursday morning, the Iowa vote tally from Tuesday’s caucuses is still incomplete, and anxiety pervades the democratic process.

Youth Sunday!

This coming Sunday, February 2, is not only the Souper Bowl of Caring, the day of the Super Bowl, it is also Youth Sunday!

Celebrating the Middleton Center’s 20th Anniversary

I have grown fond of telling visitors and newcomers to BMPC that we are a congregation with swinging doors. It is a metaphor, of course, for the many ways we open wide our doors to any who would come in, and those same doors open out upon a world in need of Christian witness and service. At BMPC all are welcome to worship, attend programs, and participate in opportunities for nurture and mission, members of the church and community alike.

Loving our Neighbors

Our congregation is at work every day living out the commandment to love our neighbors. Sometimes that love looks like a stack of casseroles delivered to a shelter in Center City Philadelphia; other times it is the act of sorting books for a new library in West Philadelphia. Love lives in bringing flowers after a long sickness or working all day to build a retaining wall outside of Mexico City. Whether our neighbors live close by or they live continents away, the commandment to love shapes everything we do. 

BMPC Welcomes the Rev. Dr. Serene Jones as our 2020 David and Ruth Watermulder Theologian-in-Residence

In our search for a Theologian-in-Residence who would not only honor the legacy of David and Ruth Watermulder that is woven into the fabric of our congregation, but also help us celebrate the vital and yet often quiet work of the Middleton Counseling Center, I am not sure we could have found a more thoughtful scholar than the Rev. Dr. Serene Jones.