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.
Smart as Sheep
the Rev. Nicole Duran
I have always heard that sheep are stupid. The biblical references that come up in the lectionary on “Good Shepherd Sunday,” comparing the people of God to sheep, ought, I thought, to humble us. We are foolish and clueless like sheep, in need of the guidance of a shepherd who has our best interests at heart.
Please plan to join us as we celebrate the ministry of Jacqui Van Vliet at a reception in her honor on Sunday, May 4, after the 10:00 a.m. worship service. Jacqui’s three years as Supply Pastor have been a blessing to this church and community, as she has prepared us for the call of an installed pastor. We wish her all the best in her next pastoral call.
Jeffrey Brillhart, Director of Music and Fine Arts
This week’s pastor’s column comes to us from Dr. Emily Brink, one of the world’s leading experts on congregational song. She will be with the BMPC community this coming weekend, when she leads a class at 8:45 a.m. in Congregational Hall and assists in the leading of the 10:00 a.m. HymnFest. Brink served as editor for four hymnals: Psalter Hymnal (Grand Rapids, 1987), a liturgical resource for the Christian Reformed Church; Holding in Trust: Hymns of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada (1992, co-edited with George Black and Nancy Faus); Songs for Life (1994), a children’s hymnal; Sing! A New Creation (2001), a contemporary and global hymnal supplement; and was co-editor with John D. Witvliet of The Worship Sourcebook (2004), a contemporary resource with a classical model.
One of the joys of my ministry is the opportunity to empower our youth to lead. This was the model that Jesus employed with his disciples. And during this Holy Week, it's fitting that the youth of the congregation are enabled to lead one of our most sacred worship services at noon on Good Friday.
“Lord, even as we enjoy the Super Bowl football game, help us be mindful of those who are without a bowl of soup to eat.” This prayer by a youth pastor inspired a youth-led movement to help hungry and hurting people around the world.
The church staff enjoyed a day of service today, including the pastors, music, program, facilities and support staff. We went together on a bus this morning to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Philadelphia to do some sorting of furniture, organizing and painting.