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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.

Trauma and the Storming of the Capitol

What happened yesterday at our nation’s Capitol building was traumatic.

We witnessed scenes that will long be seared in our nation’s consciousness, not unlike a ship in Pearl Harbor exploding, or the gunfire that targeted the Kennedy’s motorcade in Dallas, or the Twin Towers collapsing as on September 11, 2001.

Welcoming 2021

At midnight tonight, 2020 comes to a close. 

It is both trite and insufficient to say it has been a difficult year for many. Our days were often spent in isolation, fear, and uncertainty. The causes were numerous: the pandemic, the presidential election, and racial injustices, to name a few national and global sources. Closer to home we lost loved ones, struggled to pay bills and purchase basic essentials, and lamented the physical separation from our church. 

Rainbow Reindeer Games

While the newly-approved vaccines are a light at the end of this coronavirus tunnel, we are still in a strange time where social distancing and mask-wearing remain necessary for public safety. And, on top of that, it's the holiday season. We're a week out from Christmas. Families are still navigating complex health issues, the difficulties of social distancing and distance learning, decisions about travel safety, and family expectations. It has been a truly challenging year for all of us, including our youth.

Thank you from the Hunger Committee

Early on in the pandemic, a few of the pastors searched through our church archives for information about how Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church weathered the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. Did the church shut down for an extended period of time? How did our congregation respond to the needs of those most deeply impacted by the disease?

Resurrection Window... Lord is Come

In the first week of the church’s pandemic shut down this past March, I wrote about the removal of the Resurrection Window from the east transept of the Sanctuary. On my daily walks from our manse to the church offices, the sight of that window being removed became a metaphor for my grief and uncertainty about the unfolding pandemic season. I wrote back then, “The removal of that treasured window, and all that it symbolizes for us, felt like adding insult to injury just now a few weeks before Easter.”

Remember the End of the Story

We are about to head into month nine of the pandemic in the United States. It seems rather shocking to look back and realize we’ve been navigating social distancing, masking, virtual worship services and programs for nine months. I was ordained in November of 2019, and we’re now in November 2020 — meaning the majority of my ordained ministry has taken place during COVID-19. It’s been a unique first year in ordained ministry, to say the least.

Shop Advent Gift Market - 28 years of alternative giving at Christmas!

I wonder if you are beginning to have the conversation in your home that we just started having in ours: It is the “What will Christmas look like this year?” conversation. As a family, we will be staying at home. My parents, who usually arrive before the holiday to stay with us on Christmas morning, will not be traveling here this year. We will not leave on December 26 to fly to northern Minnesota to be with my husband’s family to enjoy our favorite north woods activities of cross country skiing and snowshoeing on the lake.