The way we gather matters. Gatherings consume our days and help determine the kind of world we live in, in both our intimate and public realms. Gatherings – the conscious bringing together of people for a reason – shape the way we think, feel, and make sense of the world.
These introductory words to Priya Parker’s recent book, The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it Matters, are a good summary of the thoughtful, prayerful work of our church’s leaders as we begin a new program year this Sunday. Following the comings and goings of summer, September always ushers in a season of new beginnings but this year feels genuinely special. In every way possible we are celebrating God’s call to be a gathered community.
Knowing that folks will have to decide how safe they feel about coming together we will continue to livestream worship and special services as well as offer a few online classes and some hybrid meeting options. But at long last, we also will return to some treasured BMPC forms of gathering: picnicking on the front lawn after worship this Sunday; Wednesday Night Dinners begin again on September 14; the Sunday 8:00 a.m. Chapel worship with Communion returns on September 18.
In addition, this fall every member is invited to participate in a churchwide conversation about our vision for the future as we prepare to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church exactly a year from now. This past spring the congregation was introduced to the work of the 150th Vision Committee through a set of Public Forums. Later this month a series of Focus Groups will gather small groups into deeper conversation about where we believe God is calling us in ministry and mission. Our hope is the Focus Group experience really will be, as Priya Parker puts it, the conscious bringing together of people for a reason – to shape the way we think, feel, and make sense of the world, and I would add - in light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
You can sign up to participate in a 150th Vision Focus Group here.
In the meantime, I hope to see you on Sunday as we gather to begin an exciting, meaningful year of nurturing our corporate sense of Christian community and growing in faith and faithful discipleship.
Grace and Peace,