The Messenger - Fall 2021

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Fall | 2021

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The Messenger | Fall 2021

FROM THE PASTOR’S DESK

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ohn Milton, the 17thcentury English poet and intellectual, is the person who coined the phrase “silver lining” in a poem which refers to clouds, back lit by the moon, casting a gleam of light from under their weight of woe. One of the stained glass windows in the back of the BMPC Chapel commemorates Milton’s most famous poem, Paradise Lost, about God sending Adam and Eve forth from the Garden of Eden. In our slow emergence from the pandemic shutdown, I am struck by the fact that the person who coined our commonly used idiom, “every cloud has a silver lining,” also lived during a time of political and religious turmoil and suffered great loss. He got caught up in the constitutional crisis of the English Civil War, was influenced by the movements of English Calvinism and Humanism, became an impassioned proponent of freedom of speech and freedom of the press, and suffered the loss of two wives and a child to the complications of childbirth, as well as losing his own eyesight.. Personally and professionally, John Milton was well acquainted with the metaphor of a cloud conveying the power of unseen forces and potential danger, yet in faith, faith he wrote of silver linings. As we continue to regather, I’ve had many conversations with church folks about the silver linings of their experiences this past year and a half. There are stories of loss, sadness, loneliness and struggle coping with the isolation and anxiety of these last many months to be sure. But almost all these stories

are peppered with anecdotes of unexpected moments of joy, resilience and awareness of gratitude and generosity. In the midst of these challenging times, many have felt called toward new paths of service, neighborliness, compassion and peacemaking. Silver linings all! Faith appears to be strengthened when silver linings are seen through the clouds. The biblical witness, after all, recounts one crisis after another as people search for purpose, meaning, comfort, identity and hope among the vicissitudes of life through the changing landscapes of family drama, political intrigue and global uncertainty. One of our congregation’s silver linings that shone through our time apart was how we continued to be the church together. Some of our connections were maintained simply by a quick uptick in our use of technology from livestreaming worship to conversations on Zoom. But a large part of our shared community came through increasing numbers of people tuning into worship, musical performances, classes, small group discussions, and churchwide seminars. More folks became engaged in some form of adult Christian education than in our pre-pandemic life together. Some people who became friends and conversation partners through computer screens met one another in person for the first time this summer. Might we emerge from this season apart with a deeper appreciation for incarnate community? A more robust engagement with Christian community in worship and education? A clearer sense of our call to discipleship in service to our community and to our world? Those pandemic outcomes would be, as John Milton believed 400 years ago, wrought by the hand of God, whom he named in that silver lining poem, the Supreme Good. Grace and Peace,


New Members and Staff

Katherine Brown Bryn Mawr

Vicky Emery Wynnewood

Not pictured: Carl and Katie Stratton, Villanova

Stacey and Michael Pollock Bryn Mawr

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT BMPC? We invite you to get to know our community better by becoming a part of our virtual Discover BMPC classes on Mondays, October 4 & 11 at 7:00 p.m. These classes will give you the opportunity to learn about our denomination, our Reformed tradition, and our sense of Christian Ministry. For more information or to register, contact FrankPottorff@bmpc.org.

LAUREN ELLIS

ALICIA FRANKLIN

JACK LISKEY

Human Resources and Program Administrator

Assistant for Adult Education and Mission

Youth Director

Lauren worked in donor relations at the University of Delaware for three years and was the assistant director of restorative practices at James Madison University for two years. She has a bachelor of science degree in Human Services, Education and Public Policy and a master of education degree in higher education/ higher education administration from the University of Delaware. Lauren facilitates all human resource processes and assists with coordinating BMPC’s churchwide programs.

Alicia has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master of science degree in transformative education from West Chester University, which led her to spend some time teaching English Language Arts in the Philadelphia public school system. In addition to her role as Assistant for Adult Education and Mission at BMPC, she works part time as an English tutor at Harcum College. Alicia is energetic and motivated, and she looks forward to becoming more involved in the important mission work of the church.

Jack, a recent graduate of Concordia University Chicago where he majored in psychology and theology, will be working as youth director at BMPC for the next three years. He is enrolled in the Graduate Residency in Youth Ministry Program at the Center for Youth Ministry Training, and he also is pursuing his master’s degree in youth ministry through Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Texas. Jack is from Crown Point, Indiana, and he looks forward to working with the youth at BMPC and helping them grow in their faith. 3


The Messenger | Fall 2021

Learn More About Israel and Palestine this Fall

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n conjunction with hosting our Fall Community Forum Speaker Yossi Klein Halevi, and in preparation for the BMPC Sanctuary Choir Tour to Israel next summer, we will spend several weeks this fall learning more about historical issues in the region as well as contemporary perspectives on the future of Israel and Palestine. Those interested in reading and discussing Halevi’s book, Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor, are invited to participate in a five-week online book discussion hosted by Dr. Joshua Yoder. Lyrical and evocative, Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor is an Israeli’s powerful attempt to reach beyond the wall that separates Israelis and Palestinians. In a series of letters, Halevi endeavors to untangle the ideological and emotional knot that has defined the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for nearly a century. Using history and personal experience as his guides, he unravels the complex strands of faith, pride, anger and anguish he feels as a Jew living in Israel. You can sign up for the discussion and receive a copy of the book by contacting Alicia Franklin at afranklin@bmpc.org or calling the church office, 610-525-2821. Starting on Sunday, October 3, we also will have a series of presentations at 11:15 a.m. to help provide multiple

perspectives on this complicated issue. The Rev. Rebecca Kirkpatrick will explore the complicated history of Presbyterians in the Middle East as well as review our current denominational statements on the conflict. Adam Kessler will be with us to unpack the arguments and issues on both sides of the conflict. Finally, we will host Dr. Saed Ashtan, former professor of Peace Studies at Swarthmore University, to share a decidedly Palestinian perspective on the path toward peace. More information on all these offerings will be available on the BMPC website this fall.

BMPC Co-Hosts Author of Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor with Main Line Reform Temple Yossi Klein Halevi, a New York Times bestselling author and a senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, will be our guest speaker on Monday, October 18 for the Community Forum Distinguished Speaker Series. Halevi was originally scheduled to be at BMPC in April 2020, and due to renovation work happening on the church campus, our neighbors at Main Line Reform Temple have joined with us to host this rescheduled event. Main Line Reform Temple is located 4

at 410 Montgomery Avenue in Wynnewood. Halevi will discuss his recent book, Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor, and the project that has grown up around it. A question and answer session follows his presentation. Together with Imam Abdullah Antepli of Duke University, he co-directs the Institute’s Muslim Leadership Initiative, which teaches emerging young Muslim American leaders about Judaism, Jewish identity and Israel. Halevi’s 2013 book, Like Dreamers, won the Jewish Book Council’s Everett Book of the Year Award. His latest book, Letters to My Palestinian

Neighbor, is a New York Times bestseller. He writes for leading op-ed pages in the United States, including The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and is a former contributing editor to the New Republic. The Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church Community Forum Distinguished Speaker Series began in 1997. The forums are made possible by the Anna and Herbert H. Middleton, Sr. Fund of the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church Foundation and are offered as a service to the community at large.


A Summer

of Dialogue

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By the Rev. Rebecca Kirkpatrick

s we sought to safely navigate the return to in-person educational opportunities this past summer, our Adult Education Committee sponsored four Dialogue and Drinks events on the patio of the Main Line Adult Center. After so many months of being physically apart, it became apparent within moments of the first afternoon gathering, that folks were longing to reconnect and to spend time in one another’s presence again. Each week 30 participants chatted with an invited leader in our community to talk about what it means to be called to serve the church and the world, what it means to lead communities of faith in this particular moment, and especially what it means to be faithful and committed community partners. In our conversation with the Rev. Carolyn Cavaness, pastor of Bethel AME Church in Ardmore, we explored the history of the AfricanAmerican community on the Main Line and what it could mean for us as a primarily white congregation to find genuine conversation partners in our anti-racism work as a community. With the Rev. Sean Lanigan, rector at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Ardmore, we talked honestly about the lack of affordable housing in our Main Line communities and how we are called as people of faith to advocate for justice at a very local level. With Rabbi Geri Newburge, senior rabbi at Main Line Reform Temple, we recognized the ways that synagogues and local Jewish communities are wrestling with the same post-pandemic questions that we are, and we celebrated the long-standing partnership between Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church and Main Line Reform Temple. With the Rev. Chris Holland, pastor, New Spirit Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, we reflected on the importance of building relationships in our mission work, building bridges across communities, and building trust with those we serve alongside. Mostly though, it was a summer to learn how to reengage with one another in person. It was a time to model and to practice asking hard questions and giving hard answers. It was a season to enjoy the relationships that this church allows us to nurture both within our walls and in the local community. It was a joy to share the deep and deepening relationships that I have had the privilege to experience because of the work that I do. But it also was a joy to watch church members reconnect after being apart for too long and to begin imagining together what mission and faith will look like as we create a new normal of being a church with one another and on behalf of the world.

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The Messenger | Fall 2021

The BMPC Advent Gift Market is Changing Lives Locally, Nationally and Internationally

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By Marian Chitester

ach year, the Advent Gift Market (AGM) supports numerous charitable organizations that directly assist persons in need, thanks to the generosity of our many BMPC members and friends. Last year, as one of the 17 chosen AGM recipients, ElderNet of Lower Merion and Narberth aided over 2,100 local individuals, in part due to this BMPC program. ElderNet’s primary focus is to assist lower-income older adults and disabled persons with transportation to medical appointments, pharmacies, grocery stores and banks, in-home repairs, and to provide nonperishables and grocery gift cards to those who face food insecurity. We are excited about this year’s AGM project choices made this year by our BMPC councils, committees and Pastor Rebecca. Beginning on Sunday, November 14, you may make online taxdeductible donations to any of the selected projects on the list. With each donation (starting at $1), you will receive an insert card informing family or friends that a gift has been given in his/her honor, along with a description of the chosen charitable project(s). Each insert card can be included in your own greeting card, or you may purchase greeting cards especially produced for the AGM. This year's cards will have images of BMPC artist Larry Arney’s Visit of the Magi and Maritza Morgan’s Ecclesiastes Chapter 3. Join us for the Opening Market Festival on Sunday, November 21 in Congregational Hall following the 10:00 a.m. worship service. Representatives from the various committees, councils and charitable organizations will be available to answer questions about their chosen projects. You can shop the AGM in person that day and on any of the following Sundays in Advent.

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For added convenience, orders also can be placed online at www.BrynMawrAGM.com with a credit card beginning November 14. Please join us again this year in supporting the lives of those in need locally, regionally and internationally.


Vacation Bible Camp:

Meeting God in the Wilderness

Elijah ran into the wilderness, but what happened next!?! In June, our congregation hosted a VBC like no other. Adapting to an unusual year, our children and youth were invited to join Elijah in seeking and being found by God. What made this year special? Most of our camp took place outside. Hemmed in by Montgomery Avenue and a construction site, our church campus became the classroom where we sang, played, learned and explored. In a typical year, our fourth and fifth grade students would be off-site, working with our mission partners. This year, however, they helped run camp! Beginning with two days of “leadership academy,” our fourth and fifth graders worked with dedicated youth and adult volunteers to create camp for our youngest students. It was different for everyone, but somewhere between the fourth verse of “I’ve Got Peace Like A River,” the gentle pattern of weaving a God’s Eye, walking the labyrinth, exploring the Sanctuary, and even baking cookies in a homemade pizza oven, our students met God.

Campers dress up to preform skit.

They were reminded that when they are tired and afraid, God is there. When they are running far from home, God is with them. That even in the midst of earthquakes, fire and wind, God still speaks. When they begin a new journey, God will be their guide. We followed Elijah into the wilderness and guess what? We met God there as well!

BMPC Nursery Reopens

We look forward to welcoming students for our Vacation Bible Camp next summer from June 20-24, 2022.

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n June 6, our Nursery opened for the first time in over a year! Living into a new space in the Education Building and welcoming returning and new staff, it has been a joy to create a loving and nurturing space for the youngest members of our congregation. Reopening childcare has been a long process. We began with a careful review of our policies and procedures and made sure they reflected the most recent health and safety recommendations for very young children.

After more than a year of closure, we had to rebuild our nursery staff. Under the leadership of Rebecca Kellich, our Nursery Coordinator, we have returning childcare workers as well as some new employees. You can find out more about our childcare staff on our website, https://bit.ly/nursery-staff Of course, the most exciting part of reopening was welcoming children on Sunday mornings! During the summer, we were able to change some of our policies to expand the age group included in the Nursery and provide a modified summer Sunday School class for children three to five years old. We continue to follow best practices around COVID

mitigation and are thankful for our staff and family efforts to maintain a safe environment. When you enter the Education Building, you will notice that our staff and children are wearing masks. We do require universal masking when in children’s classrooms. While we know families have different risk factors and concerns, we are happy that the Nursery is ready and available for our youngest members! If you have questions about childcare at BMPC, contact Rebecca Kellich, Childcare Coordinator, at childcare@bmpc.org, or Rachel Pedersen, associate pastor for children and family ministry, at rachelpedersen@bmpc.org. 7


The Messenger | Fall 2021

By Kiki McKendrick

WHAT IS

SPIRITUAL DIRECTION?

Spiritual direction is a foundational component of The Middleton Counseling Center. Since the center’s inception in 1999, spiritual directors have been part of the practitioner team. Yet, there often is uncertainty about what spiritual direction is. Emily Freeman, host of the podcast, The Next Right Thing, describes spiritual directors this way: “They are not pastors, coaches, teachers or therapists, although many spiritual directors also hold those roles as well. But the art of spiritual direction stands on its own. And the task of the spiritual director is not to literally direct a person, which is often a misconception about a spiritual director, but to remain attentive to the spirit of God on behalf of someone else. A spiritual director is like a colistener, kind of like a spiritual friend. God is the director. And the process of spiritual direction is a practice of simply helping people become aware of what God is up to in their lives.”

Spiritual direction is an ancient Christian practice. It is a relationship between two persons – a seeker and a guide – meant to help the seeker grow in awareness of God’s grace in everyday life. The spiritual director helps the seeker recognize God’s “still small voice” and encourages the development of growing intimacy with God in creative and life-affirming ways. This personal relationship between director and directee often is referred to as spiritual companioning rather than spiritual direction. This title acknowledges that the two travel together, directed by God. People begin spiritual direction for many reasons. Some desire discernment on a particular issue, calling or vocation. Some yearn to deepen their relationship with God. Some begin with only a nudge and want to see where God is leading them. Spiritual directors provide the sacred space for longings to be expressed, and they do so safely and confidentiality. Meetings are typically monthly, and they are characterized by openness, welcome, safety and nonjudgmental presence. The Middleton Counseling Center is blessed to have two spiritual directors. We invite you to get to know them.

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MEET PATRICIA DANZON I have always been drawn to the “Big Questions,” like “What makes a good life?” The answers I was taught in Sunday School failed to satisfy, and college-level philosophy classes mostly talked around the questions. So I studied economics, which at least offers practical tools to address big, societal issues. With a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago, I joined the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, and for many years I enjoyed the intellectual and personal challenges of research and teaching. As retirement approached, I followed an instinct, a nudge to resume my spiritual search by pursuing a master’s degree in Holistic Spirituality and Spiritual Direction at Chestnut Hill College. Those classes introduced me to some of the deep thinkers on spirituality from our

own and other cultures. They also provided practical training in the art of companioning others in their search. Since 2013, I have had the privilege of offering spiritual direction at the Middleton Center. I bring to this practice my own experience of integrating spiritual and intellectual approaches to life and my conviction that it is not “head vs. heart” but “head-in-theheart” (paraphrasing Cynthia Bourgeault). Grounded in my own struggles, I also bring deep empathy and commitment to listen and meet each person wherever they may be on their journies; each person’s path is unique. The practice of spiritual direction is grounded in the faith that God is in each life and in all things – in our relationships and our solitude, in our joys and our sadness, in nature and the cosmos. Through spiritual direction we seek to become better attuned to this Presence in our lives.

CONTACT US If you or someone you know is interested in spiritual direction or exploring whether it might be right for you, please contact the Middleton Counseling Center. kikimckendrick@bmpc.org 610-525-0766

All communication is confidential.

BOOK GROUP MEET THE REV. BETTY WRIGHT-RIGGINS I am a “doer.” My professional careers are demonstrative of that. I have served as a speech pathologist, principal, educator, administrator, head of a private Christian School, college professor, pastor and spiritual director (companion)... all examples of doing, accomplishing and pursuing. I was asked long ago when was I going to stop doing and simply “be.” I had no idea what that meant. For me, doing was being. Doing was contributing to the betterment of society. It was acting responsibly. It was learning and sharing intellectually. Yet the question of “being” persisted. Engaging in theological studies began to frame

the question but did not settle it. Years later a longing opened up within me and a nudging I cannot fully describe led me to spiritual direction. Spiritual direction connects my need for intellectual knowledge to an inner process of “being,” and connects me to that which is larger than I can quantify. It extends an invitation to be open to a deeper inner expanse that allows me to engage at my pace, not only to the “what” of a query but to the “how” of it and includes feelings, interpretation and life journey experiences. Spiritual direction allows me to connect to the solos of birds singing as well as to the symphonies playing deep within us all. Augustine reminds us that our souls are restless until we find peace in the grand Creator. Spiritual direction is that vehicle that empowers me to live in the “be” and to “rest” as a participant and practitioner.

Led by spiritual directors Patricia Danzon and Betty Wright-Riggins. The Spiritual Life: Discussion of Henry Nouwen’s Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life.

VIRTUAL BOOK MEETINGS Tuesdays, September 14 and 28, October 12 and 26, and November 9 and 16, at 7:00 p.m. Contact: kikimckendrick@bmpc.org.

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The Messenger | Fall 2021

Support the Peace and Global Witness Offering Each year Presbyterians around the country give to support the Peace and Global Witness Offering on World Communion Sunday as we recognize our place in the global church, as we support the witness of peace in the Presbyterian Church (USA) on the national level, and as we encourage and support the peacemaking work of our own congregation. On World Communion Sunday we celebrate that Christ’s peace extends throughout all creation. We celebrate that we are all together at the communion table in God’s house. We celebrate that we are offered what we need to continue the work of building the household of God, with peacemakers here and around the world. We begin at the communion table, with our fellow peace-seekers in every time and place, and we celebrate the peace we find there and commit to build a more just and peaceful world.

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A gift to the Peace & Global Witness Offering enables the church to promote the peace of Christ by addressing systems of conflict and injustice throughtout the world. Twenty-five percent of all gifts is used directly by the BMPC Peacemaking Committee to further its work against gun violence in our local communities, to support the families impacted by increased gun violence, and to raise awareness that peace without justice is no peace at all. The remaining 75 percent is used by the Presbyterian Mission Agency and our Presbytery to advocate for peace and justice in cultures of violence, including our own, through collaborative projects of education and Christian witness.


Youth Ministry

welcomes New Director and Offers First Camp Johnsonburg Experience Pastor Leigh is pleased to announce that BMPC Youth Ministry is collaborating with the Center for Youth Ministry Training to have graduate resident Jack Liskey as our youth director for the next three years! Jack is attending online and in-person classes at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Texas while working part time at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, under the supervision of Pastor Leigh and youth ministry coaches in the area. While we missed hosting our annual youth summer camp at Camp Kirkwood, we were excited to offer our first summer camp experience at Johnsonburg Camp in New Jersey in August. Located in the northwest region of New Jersey’s beautiful highlands, Johnsonburg Camp and Retreat Center is a place where people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds are welcomed to experience God. The Synod of New Jersey made the commitment to open a dedicated space for children and youth to experience and grow in their faith in God’s creation. Time away from the pressures of home, work and school is beneficial for all of God’s children, now more than ever. Lastly, as vaccination rates have increased, BMPC Youth Ministry will restart in-person gatherings while continuing to follow CDC guidelines. We will continue making a way together, engaging, equipping and supporting our youth as they grow into who it is God calls them to be.

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Special Music

FOR ALL SAINTS SUNDAY

All Saints Sunday is a revered tradition at BMPC, a day when the beloved saints who have entered the Kingdom of God are remembered in a service that is rich in reflection, music and liturgy. This year we will present anthems that are appropriate for each section of a Requiem, composed by a diverse group of composers.

against beautiful harmonies sung by the choir. At the offering, the choir will present the world premiere of David Bennett Thomas’ “I Lift My Eyes.” Commissioned by BMPC in memory of June Adelhelm (my first administrative assistant), it is scored for mezzo soprano (June’s voice part!) and choir.

The November 7 service will begin with T. Tertius Noble’s “Souls of the Righteous.” Noble was a British organist, who, after completing successful tenures at Ely Cathedral and York Minster (both of which hosted the Sanctuary Choir during its 1992 choir tour), uprooted his life and immigrated to America to establish a choir school, in the English cathedral tradition, at New York’s illustrious St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue. The first performance of “Souls of the Righteous” was on November 24, 1900, with the text having been compiled by his father-in-law during his time in Ely.

During communion, the choir will sing two works. The first is Morten Lauridsen’s a cappella masterpiece, “O Nata Lux.” Few American composers have exerted as much influence on budding young composers than Morten Lauridsen. “O Nata Lux” is the central movement of “Lux Aeterna,” a work for chorus and orchestra that has twice been performed at BMPC. This will be followed by Samuel Sebastian Wesley’s “Thou Wilt Keep Him in Perfect Peace.”

By Jeffrey Brillhart responsible for the introduction of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach to England. Out of admiration for Bach, Samuel Wesley gave his son the second name of Sebastian. His grandfather Charles, although a clergyman, also was involved in music, especially as a writer of hymns, of which he is said to have written more than 8,000. He was the brother of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism.

Published in 1853, “Thou Wilt Keep Him in Perfect Peace” is a gorgeous work that, in spite of simple harmonies, soars. The service concludes with Jake Runestad’s “Let my Love be Heard.” Composed in memory of one of Runestad’s choir members who was killed in the 2015 Paris attacks, this is a powerful work with harmonies and lyrics that speak directly to the heart. Framing the service, the organ will offer J.S. Born into a musical family in 1810, Bach’s and Johannes Brahms’ Samuel Sebastian Wesley belongs final works, both of which speak among the icons of English church of standing before God’s music. His father Samuel was throne. In between scripture readings, the close to Felix Mendelssohn choir will sing Malcolm Archer’s who also was largely gorgeous setting of “Pie Jesu” (“Blessed Jesus”). This setting of this beloved text sets a soloist


New Art Gallery to Open in Ministries Center this Fall By Jeffrey Brillhart

The mission of the Visual Arts at BMPC is to delight in, learn from, respond to and grow from experiences with a wide range of artistic expression. We are delighted to announce that, as part of the Ministries Center renovations, a new art gallery space has been created. Located in the former conference room in the Ministries Center Court, the room dimensions and wall surfaces have been adjusted to better showcase our visual arts exhibits. Founded over 50 years ago by Lois Moon, the BMPC Visual Arts program includes a large permanent collection, with works by Harry Bertoia, Walter Emerson Baum, Maritza Morgan, Peter Lipman-Wulf, Nena Bryans, Benton Murdoch Spruance, Warren Wolf and more. Complementing the permanent collection is a decades-long tradition of art exhibitions. Over the years, these exhibitions have showcased artists of all ages and from all over the globe. This new gallery space will serve as a reminder of God’s incredible gift of the visual arts and is designed to be a warm and inviting space of refuge. We join religious institutions like Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago, Nassau Presbyterian Church, Princeton, and Congregation Rodeph Shalom, Philadelphia, in having a dedicated space for this expression of God’s gift of the visual arts. We look forward to the opening of the gallery this fall with the paintings of Michael Bartmann. After a career as a landscape architect, Bartmann studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. His work is largely inspired by the vacant industrial spaces of cities such as Camden and Philadelphia, and his paintings capture the beautiful and dynamic play of light, surface and space within these abandoned settings. He evokes emotion using spatial dimension, atmosphere and defining architecture. Space is a living thing in these paintings, a tangible presence.

Artwork by Michael Bartmann

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Stewardship 2022 W

hat does Christian discipleship look like in a pandemic? It’s a question with which many of us have been wrestling this last year and a half. We have delivered groceries to people’s doors, cheered on first responders, stood vigil alongside neighbors, and attended virtual worship. All of those are wonderful ways we have transcended the unique challenges of the moment. Alongside these efforts, we have made financial contributions to non-profits, mutual aid societies, and NGOs that are making a difference across our world. Your gifts to BMPC helped us fulfill our ministries in 2021 and care for our neighbors near and far. The work continues.

A pledge is more than a check in the offering plate; it is a promise to be committed in time, talents and treasure to contribute to what God is doing here. You will have an opportunity in the coming months to fill out a pledge card and make a commitment of some kind to be connected to the life of our church. Even if you aren’t able to make a financial commitment this year, we invite you to fill out the pledge card and check “promise to pray for the church.” These pledges and promises allow us to plan many of our ministry efforts for the coming year. Your pledge is a faithful call to action that affirms this work.

By committing to the good work of Bryn Mawr This year especially, the Stewardship Committee is Presbyterian Church, you partner with us in our call to encouraging you to consider your pledge for 2022 as an be Christ’s hands and feet to the world. act of faith. We know that congregants everywhere are pulled in various directions to share their generosity. And Dedication Sunday is October 31, and we hope you’ll we are so grateful that our congregation continues to give consider making a pledge and joining us in dedicating these gifts to the glory of God! faithfully to this community.

CARING CORNER

Building Community Together

“Community” has looked different over the last 18 months. Virtual meetings and online family gatherings have become commonplace. Yet, these new adaptations of “community” have retained the necessary ingredients to make them full and meaningful.

Throughout the pandemic, we have been present for one another: members offering meals during difficult times, crying and laughing together, and praying for one another. While the world has changed, these models of Christian “community” remain essential to our life together.

As we look back on this season and imagine the future, it’s helpful to meditate on vital questions:

The entire Caring Ministries team is here to support and walk alongside our community. We recognize this season may have taken a toll on you and your family, and you may need more support. Please reach out to us if we can care for you, your family, or those in our neighborhood. Together we can be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ as we build our “community” for the future.

What does it mean to be “in community” today?

How do we support one another, keep each other safe, listen without judgment, and learn to walk together again?

As we are able to be together more often, how can we build on the virtual experiences and continue to support and give grace and compassion to one another?


CONSTRUCTION OF NEW ATRIUM UNDERWAY AS RENOVATIONS CONTINUE IN MINISTRIES CENTER Atrium

Staircase in Court The new glass-enclosed atrium between the Sanctuary and Ministries Center is taking shape as renovations continue on campus. An elevator has been installed in the atrium to increase accessibility to the Ministries Center, and a new staircase has been built in the Court. All the meeting rooms in the Ministries Center have new flooring and LED lights, and new accessible bathrooms have been installed near those rooms.

Hallway

Ministries Center Court Atrium

New Accessible Bathrooms

Atrium

Ramp into Atrium


The Messenger Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church 625 Montgomery Avenue Bryn Mawr, PA 19010 610-525-2821

The Messenger (USPS #341840) Volume #123, Issue #3, is published quarterly by the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church. Periodical postage paid at Southeastern, Pennsylvania and additional offices. Postmaster: Send Address Changes To The Messenger Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church 625 Montgomery Avenue Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

Save the Dates

Livestreamed Worship Service

Sunday, September 19

BMPC Facebook page www.facebook.com/brynmawrpres

THIRD GRADE BIBLE PRESENTATION

BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS Sunday, October 10 YOSSI KLEIN HALEVI PRESENTATION Main Line Reform Temple Monday, October 18

View our livestreamed 10:00 a.m. worship service via:

BMPC YouTube channel www.youtube.com/user/brynmawrpres Livestream page on the church website www.bmpc.org/livestream

ALL SAINTS SUNDAY November 7 ADVENT GIFT MARKET OPENING Sunday, November 21

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