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.

Take a Deep Breath and Begin

Some of our students are a week into school, while others are enjoying a few more days of vacation. As the school year begins, our students are facing another year filled with uncertainty in addition to the normal back-to-school worries. Some are worried about going to new schools; some are concerned about new academic pressures; and others just want to make a friend. Our children are navigating this strange world as their teachers, administrators and families balance worries around health, safety and community. 

Sighs too Deep for Words

Sixteen months into the pandemic, I didn’t think I could be more overwhelmed with everything going on in our world.

Then came August. Clearly, I was wrong.

Back Home Again

Like some of you, I am a transplant to this area. And because ordained ministry can be fairly nomadic, clergy often find ourselves settling for seasons in locations far from where we grew up. Which leads me to think about how we talk about “home.” Is home a place? A person? A feeling? An idea? A dream? Is it something we can taste or smell? How often do we go home?

Another Hard Moment

I have frequently shared stories and fun facts from the time that our family lived as Mission Co-Workers for the Presbyterian Church in Cairo, Egypt before we came to live and work among you here in Bryn Mawr. While we loved the experience, I don’t often share publicly how hard it was. As the pandemic has taken yet another turn in recent days, I am reminded of how difficult our first months in Egypt were, primarily because of the revolution/coup that took place just three days after we arrived.

Where is God leading me?

Almost from the start of my Christian journey I’ve wanted to know God’s will for me. I desired a clear message that would let me know I was on the right path, that I was being faithful. I dismissed my own faculties of discernment, convinced that any conclusion I reached on my own couldn’t be correct. I’m not God, after all. I sought a voice from the heavens to tell me what to do and point me toward the right path.

New Camp, Same Gospel

Camp for our youth this year is different than it has ever been, and not just because it's happening during a pandemic. This coming Sunday, we'll be taking 34 BMPC youth and adults to a camp that is new to us — Johnsonburg Camp in Johnsonburg, New Jersey. We'll sincerely miss our summer youth experiences at Camp Kirkwood which was an incredible ministry of the Presbytery of Philadelphia. I'm grateful our youth were able to have so many memorable moments there during the last decade. The closing of that chapter means the beginning of another. When we learned about Kirkwood's closure, we asked their staff for recommendations of other camps. Johnsonburg was their first choice. 

BMPC Summer Podcasts: Season Two Ends This Week

There are so many things we have done during the past year and a half that I don’t think I would have ever believed we would or could do them as a church before the pandemic _ and all the other social shifts we have experienced since March 2020.

One of them has been our summer podcast. I could have imagined us hosting our own podcast, but I never thought we would have been able to share and reflect on the kinds of conversations that have taken place on our podcasts during the past two summers – conversations with mission partners, members and pastors sharing their struggles and hopes when it comes to a life of faith, and open dialogue around issues of race.

That is especially true when it comes to last week’s episode.