Environmental Justice Committee
Mission Statement: Environmental Justice Committee of the Mission Council provides a lens to focus on God’s creation. As stewards of the environment, we find meaningful ways to engage the BMPC congregation in the Christian practice of caring for God's world. We are witnesses, advocates, educators, practitioners and catalysts to our church, community, and the world.
BMPC members and other community members formed a Refugee Support Committee in 2016 to respond to the devastating worldwide crisis of more than 21 million refugees (now 25.4 million) -- over half are children under the age of 18. The original plan was to welcome and help resettle a family on the Main Line by developing a systematic, sustainable and successful process to promote a family’s self-sufficiency that could be implemented during the first four to six months after arrival. To prepare for this family, our committee established 10 teams, and many members completed childcare clearances.
This plan changed and expanded in some ways because of the dramatic reduction of refugee families permitted to enter the United States. Over the past year, important assistance was given to refugee families and asylees living in the Philadelphia area and overseas. The committee donated and delivered school supplies, furniture, clothes, and baby items. Employment recommendations were provided. Members have staged apartments for new arrivals and attended vigils at the Berks County Residential Center, a detention center that confines children and parents who are seeking asylum. At least two fundraisers were held and financial contributions were made for rent, furniture, school uniforms, physicals for green cards, and warm coats.
Worldwide Ministries Committee
BMPC works in conjunction with global partners to support ministries of compassion, justice and transformation. As we mobilize and direct our congregation's human and material resources, we learn from and are transformed by those with whom we serve. Worldwide Ministries partners with organizations in South and Central America, Africa, the Middle East, South East Asia as well as partners in other parts of the United States. Worldwide Ministries distributes funds through their annual grant program and the Richard Shaull Grant for Mission.
We care about those who cannot obtain adequate food for themselves. With an overall poverty rate of 25 percent, Philadelphia is the poorest big city (population over 1 million) in the country. Areas like West Philadelphia and Chester now are the second poorest and hungriest in the entire United States.
Donations of food supplies which are distributed to area food cupboards are greatly appreciated as well as financial donations. Please use the white Hunger envelopes in pew holders or write “Hunger” in memo line of your check. Casserole blitzes are held once a month on a Saturday morning. See the Sunday Bulletin for dates. Click here to be added to the Casserole Blitz mailing list.
Check out our current opportunities to serve.
BMPC Tutoring Program
The Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church Tutoring Program brings together 75 elementary school children from North Philadelphia and an equal number of high school students from the western suburbs. A popular community service option for local teens and adults for over 50 years, the Tutoring Program takes place at BMPC on Tuesday nights, when each child is paired with a high school tutor who makes a commitment to provide weekly one-on-one help with reading and writing skills. In addition to working toward academic goals, the program helps children and tutors grow in self-confidence, learn about each other’s worlds, and develop friendships.
Due to the current situation, the Tutoring Program will not take place in 2020. However, we look forward to starting up again as soon as the situation allows.
Our church cares about issues related to peacemaking and strives to serve as an advocate for peace in the family, the community, and the wider world. The Peacemaking Committee offers educational programs examining critical issues and provide the information you need to take direct action and make an impact. During the past year, we have sponsored a variety of programs: How to Talk About Hot Topics Without Arguing: a skill-building workshop on how to discuss difficult issues while maintaining relationships. Main Line Gun Violence Awareness Day: Bryn Mawr led an interfaith group of 19 congregations in education, prayer and advocacy around the effects of gun violence on our community. Over 150 people came to worship, walk and witness. Souls Shot: Portraits of Victims of Gun Violence was displayed in the Ministries Center through the end of May. Click here to see a brief video about this moving project.