The 150th Vision Survey, which has been mailed to each BMPC household and is available online, is an important final step in engaging a churchwide conversation during this anniversary year. Where and how do we believe God is calling BMPC to grow in discipleship as we move forward together? This Sunday, May 14, is the deadline for completing the survey, and I urge you to participate if you have not yet done so.
Presbyterians come from a theological tradition that affirms the “priesthood of all believers” which is manifested in a governance of clergy and laity together. While pastors are called to a particular ministry of Word and Sacrament, our discernment of the Spirit’s leading is neither more important nor efficacious than the call God lays upon the heart of each disciple of Christ.
With that conviction, the 150th Vision Committee has led this churchwide conversation about our shared sense of God’s calling as we begin the next chapter of ministry.
We have already learned a lot through the public forums held a year ago, and the focus groups we hosted last fall. For example, there appears to be a growing interest in evangelism, in being more proactive to invite, welcome and engage new members. There also is a recognition of need in Lower Merion Township, and while we will never withdraw from serving alongside those in the greater Philadelphia community or our global mission partners, we have neighbors closer to our church home in need of food, shelter and services basic to human welfare.
Your survey participation helps us know what you think is a priority for increased engagement as we discern next steps as a congregation. What are your interests in Christian education, discipleship, fellowship and service in this moment? Where would you like to see the church more deeply engaged and how do you feel called to participate?
The little BMPC history book, Spirit of a Century, that was published 50 years ago for the 100th Anniversary recounts a bold decision made by earlier church leadership. In 1926 the church of 705 members decided to build a Sanctuary that could seat a congregation twice the size of their membership. They envisioned growth that came into reality.
We are beneficiaries of those who built a church campus to gather us. Now it is time for us to envision how we are being engaged in the faith and sent forth as disciples of Christ. Are we bold enough to imagine doubling the numbers of those currently participating in our congregation’s ministry and mission?
Help us mark this 150th with a forward thinking, spiritually-based and mission-focused vision. We need your voice. We thank you for your participation.