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.

A Year Like No Other

“It’s not what we expected.” It wasn’t the first day of kindergarten we thought it would be. It wasn’t the retirement we had hoped. It wasn’t the birth we had planned. It wasn’t the funeral he deserved. In the end, the outcome doesn’t match the glossy photos we had imagined months before; and yet, here we are. We are living in this familiar-yet-different world where expectations are turned on their head, and plans are in constant motion. It’s not an easy place to be, and yet, here we are.

Reconnecting and Focusing on the Future

Early last week I met with BMPC’s Youth Chorale on the front steps of the Sanctuary. We all came with a mask and our own lunch and were ready to catch up and see how our lives have changed in the past few months and what we anticipate the next few months might look like.

Blest Be the Ties That Bind

For almost 50 years, my parents have been attending a weekend retreat at the Pittsburgh Presbytery’s Camp and Conference Center on Labor Day weekend - every year, never missing. That is until this year.

Consciously Choosing to Care for Yourself

The present pandemic has brought to the forefront the myriad ways society is connected. No nation, community or people group has been immune from this deadly virus. We wear masks because we may inadvertently spread the virus to someone else. We deny the temptation to hoard supplies so that others may have access to materials that can keep them safe. We forgo the familiar rhythms of life in an effort to keep others healthy. We have radically adjusted our lives because we care for others.

Youth Ministry and Discernment in the Time of COVID-19

Like many 20-year-olds navigating college and transitioning into adult life, I was looking for a summer internship. Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church seemed like the perfect place for me to work. I grew up participating in programs that BMPC offered and continued my faith journey into college. This summer, I was looking to discern if ministry was a career I wanted to pursue. Given the circumstances, I felt incredibly lucky to be offered a summer intern position with BMPC Youth Ministry. Summertime is usually filled with many fantastic opportunities to build fellowship for all our youth. We had plans to visit the beloved Camp Kirkwood twice this summer with different age groups, go on a mission trip to Mexico with our high school students, and so much more!

Socially Distanced Hymn Sing

Two and a half months ago I wrote to you about our “new normal.” So much has changed since then, and it seems that every day we create a “new normal.” Of all the activities I miss – being unmasked with friends, dining in favorite restaurants, or vacationing in faraway places – communal singing is at the top of my list. Tragically, experts believe that we will need a vaccine before we can sing safely indoors, in close proximity to one another. What is possible right now is singing outdoors, carefully distanced from one another and wearing a mask.

Remembering John Lewis

This past weekend the nation paused to mourn and give thanks for the life and legacy of Congressman John Lewis, recognizing him as a genuine American hero, a giant in the Civil Rights Movement and an exemplary Christian disciple. He was propelled to work for the common good by his faith as a humble disciple of Jesus Christ, and his Christian witness led him to a brave and unwavering commitment to public service.