photo showing part of a bible.

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.

Through Holy Week to Easter

Sometime in the latter half of the 3rd Century, the Christian church began to observe Holy Week. The gospels describe in considerable detail the final days of Jesus’ life as the intense scrutiny around him heightens to a fevered pitch. Those early church Holy Week observances were dedicated to reading the gospel narratives of Jesus’ betrayal, trial, crucifixion, death, and burial. Participants went to worship in sorrow, penance and fasting, and to linger at the foot of the cross, mindful of the suffering love of God revealed through the person Jesus. By experiencing the full depths of Jesus’ passion, the joy of Easter morning led believers to ecstatic praise.

Good Friday Tenebrae and Dietrich Bonhoeffer

In January 2023, my neighbor, Rachelle Fleming, texted me, inviting me to her home to meet Hugh McElyea, a composer friend. Knowing Rachelle, I knew that we would have a lovely time, but I wasn’t expecting to encounter a composer who was absolutely fascinated by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. What ensued was a wonderful evening of three musicians engaging in all manner of conversation about all sorts of topics, including that of an oratorio that draws parallels between the crucifixion of Christ and Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s death at the hands of the Nazis. By evening’s end, I knew that BMPC would have to perform Hugh’s “Tenebrae: The Passion of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.”

A Citadel of Hope

In his celebrated work, Moral Man and Immoral Society, the 20th-century theologian and political philosopher Reinhold Niebuhr wrote, “Religion is always a citadel of hope, which is built on the edge of despair.” It came to mind a couple of weekends ago when I went to see Dune: Part Two on opening weekend.

Embracing Divine Love through Art and Worship: Reflections on 'Little Things with Great Love

"Little Things with Great Love” is a song by Porter's Gate—a group of musicians, pastors, and theologians who meet and write faithful, biblical, and beautiful worship music. This song is one of my favorites. I invite you to watch the video and/or read the lyrics, listening for the Spirit's stirrings within you.

Community Forum Welcomes Matthew Desmond

On Monday, March 4, at 7:00 pm in the Sanctuary, we will host Matthew Desmond as our Community Forum Speaker.

Matthew Desmond, Professor of Sociology at Princeton University, is one of the leading voices in our country on issues of poverty in America, city life, housing insecurity, public policy, and racial inequality. His range of expertise is precisely the kind of subject matter for which these forums are intended to address.

Connecting Through Mothers

In anticipation of Lisa Hancock’s “Natural Mothers” photo exhibit that will be on display in BMPC’s Gallery beginning on March 3, I felt it might be nice to explain how this particular exhibit came together, as it has an incredibly personal connection to my work as a church musician and the path my husband and I took to fatherhood.

A Messy Season

I remember the Ash Wednesday when everything went wrong. I was moving a small bowl of ash, and it tipped over. Black palm ash went everywhere! It is so fine that you can’t just sweep it up but rather need to attack with damp cloths and the knowledge that you will not leave the affair unmarked. My hands resembled those of a chimney sweep- molted with soot. My fingers were tipped with perfect half circles of pitch-black embedded under each nail.