INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
BRYN MAWR PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHMESSENGER
the FEBRUARY | MARCH | APRIL 2013
VOLUME 115 | ISSUE 2
Welcome to the Rev. Dr. Agnes Norfleet (page 2)Lent and Holy Week (pages 3-4)Worshiping God through Music (page 10)Summer Preview for Children and Youth (page 14)
One of my favorite “I am” sayings of Jesus in the Gospel of John is “I am the Vine, you are the branches.” Jesus offers this beautiful, living image to help his disciples see how we grow in faith by comparing believers to branches that are connected to the Vine that Jesus himself is. “I abide in you and you abide in me,” Jesus says, “Abide in my love and your joy will be complete.”
When the church is at its best, we grow out of that which nurtures us in God’s love through worship, church school, and ministries of care, compassion and service. We grow in our own directions, but we are connected to one another by Christ. We have our own spiritual gifts for service, but together we bear the fruit of the gospel. It is with joy that I begin my work among this Bryn Mawr congregation known throughout our denomination to be deeply committed to the nurture of disciples who reach out in service. I look forward to making abiding connections with all of you.
Larry and I have been buoyed since our mid-December first meeting when you welcomed us so graciously and called me to be your pastor. One of the things we noticed was how everyone who greeted us shared some significant connection: a life-long relationship with Bryn Mawr, being a new member of the church, a ministry area of interest and involvement, and countless ties to the South! We remember meeting people from Atlanta and Richmond, folks with roots in the Carolinas, and a number of connections to the institutions where we received our educations. One Bryn Mawr member remembered that my father’s first cousin, Dr. Charlie Norfleet, was a friend of her father; another has found distant kinship with my family through the Winston clan that landed in Virginia in the 1660s! All of these connections help us place and know one another, and I look forward to hearing more about you and your families, your ties to Bryn Mawr Presbyterian, and your love and concerns for the church.
Truth be told, all of us are connected as members of one family. We are baptized into the household of God, and the most important tie that binds us together is the Vine, Jesus Christ, in whom we abide and out of whose love we grow in faith and discipleship.
During the season of Lent, as we journey toward the cross mindful of Christ’s sacrificial love for us, and beyond to the Easter joy of resurrection, I am grateful to be walking alongside you as a new member of the Bryn Mawr family. I am also grateful that while I am a newcomer and have a lot of names to learn, we are already deeply connected through Christ. I pray that together our love will grow deeper into the Vine, and our branches will reach further in service, and our joy in Christ will be complete.
Letter fromthe Pastor
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Grace and Peace,
Agnes NorfleetPastor/Head of Staff
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Welcome to the Rev. Dr.
Agnes will be installed as BMPC’s eighth Pastor/Head of Staff during worship on Sunday, April 7, at 10:00 a.m. The Rev. Dr. Theodore J. Wardlaw, President of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, will preach and the Rev. Dr. Scott Black Johnston, Pastor of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York, will participate as a special guest. A reception will follow in Congregational Hall.
A Service of Installation for Agnes
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C rossLent Begins on Ash Wednesday, February 13• 5:30 p.m. Family Service in the Chapel with
Imposition of Ashes. The Rev. Jacqui Van Vliet will preach.
• 6:00-7:00 p.m. Simple dinner served in Congregational Hall. $6/person; all welcome.
• 7:30 p.m. Service in the Chapel with Imposition of Ashes. Led by the Rev. Drs. R. Charles Grant and Agnes Norfleet.
The Season of LentThe season of Lent is a time of prayer, fasting and self-examination in preparation for the celebration of the resurrection of the Lord at Easter. It is a period of 40 days—like the flood of Genesis, Moses’ sojourn at Mount Sinai, Elijah’s journey to Mount Horeb, Jonah’s call to Ninevah to repent and Jesus’ time of testing in the wilderness. (The Sundays in Lent are not counted in this reckoning of the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter, as every Lord’s Day is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.)
At the beginning of Lent, we are reminded that our possessions, our rulers, our empires, our projects, our families and even our lives do not last forever. “You are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19). The liturgies throughout Lent try to pry loose our fingers, one by one, from presumed securities and plunge us into unknown baptismal waters, waters that turn out to be not only our death tomb but surprisingly our womb of life. Rather than falling back into nothingness, we fall back on everlasting arms and the power of the resurrection on the horizon ahead. Excerpted from www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/worship/worship-resources-lent/ and “Companion to the Book of Common Worship” (Geneva Press, 2003, 110-111)
2013 Lenten DevotionalOur 2013 Lenten Devotional book offers daily Scripture readings and enriching, contemplative devotions to guide your journey through the 40 days of Lent.
Written by our pastoral staff and members of the BMPC congregation for the days between Ash Wednesday (February 13) and Easter, copies will be available in the Ministries Center and Sanctuary beginning Ash Wednesday, or you may access each day’s reflection on the BMPC website: www.bmpc.org.
The Worship Committee sincerely thanks those who wrote entries or provided art for this publication.
Sunday Evensong ServicesOn Sundays, February 24, March 3, and March 10 at 4:00 p.m., enhance your experience of Lent by attending a series of Evensong services in the intimate Mary Catherine Pew Memorial Chapel.
These contemplative prayer services will be led by various BMPC choirs and will feature settings of the Magnificat by Herbert Howells and others. Childcare will be available with three days notice to [email protected].
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One Great Hour of Sharing
The Examen: A Discipline for Lent and BeyondBy The Spiritual Foundations Committee
We invite you to consider the Daily Examen as a way of attending to the themes that have been emerging in your life. This practice nurtures discernment of God’s direction through gratitude and prayerful reflection about the events of the day. It offers a gentle look at both our loving responses to grace and those that suggest barriers to our openness to God’s presence. It reminds us to ask for God’s guidance for tomorrow.
Information will be available on the BMPC website (www.bmpc.org) during Lent and can also be found in “The Examen Prayer: Ignation Wisdom for Our Lives Today,” “Sleeping with Bread: Holding What Gives You Life,” and at www.pcusa.org/media/uploads/spiritualformation/pdfs/20minutesabbaths-examen.pdf
One Great Hour of SharingSince 1949, Presbyterians have joined with millions of other Christians through “One Great Hour of Sharing” to share God’s love with those in need. The proceeds of your generous gifts for this special Lenten offering are designated for the Self-
Development of People Program, Presbyterian
Disaster Relief, and the Presbyterian
Hunger Program, as well as for Presbyterian work on homelessness and affordable housing.
Please consider giving generously
to funds that improve the quality of life for
individuals around the world. Envelopes for this collection will be in the pews beginning Sunday, February 17.
Holy Week ServicesJoin us for worship as we walk through Jesus’ final days on Earth and celebrate the Good News of Easter.
Palm Sunday, March 24
• 8:00 a.m. Worship with Communion by Intinction in the Chapel.
• 8:30-9:45 a.m. Breakfast in Congregational Hall sponsored by Children & Family Ministry.
• 10:00 a.m. Worship and children’s palm procession in the Sanctuary.
Maundy Thursday, March 28
• 7:30 p.m. Worship with Communion by Intinction in the Chapel. Led by the Rev. Drs. R. Charles Grant and Agnes Norfleet.
Good Friday, March 29
• 12:00 noon Service commemorating Good Friday in the Sanctuary. Led by BMPC Youth.
• 8:00 p.m. Musical worship experience featuring Arvo Pärt’s Passio in the Chapel. Led by the Bryn Mawr Chamber Singers.
Easter Sunday, March 30
• 6:30 a.m. Sunrise service on the front lawn sponsored by Children & Family Ministry. Continental breakfast follows.
• 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00 a.m. Worship with Senior Choir and Easter Brass in the Sanctuary (Communion by Intinction at 8:00 a.m.). The Rev. Dr. Agnes Norfleet will preach.
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Finding Meaning in our Spiritual Wilderness: Enriching our Middle Years
Friday, February 1 • 7:30 p.m. • Main Line Reform Temple
Now that our children have left the house (and before they move back in!), new challenges and opportunities await us. Join us and our friends and neighbors at Main Line Reform Temple for dinner and discussion as Steve Treat and Rabbi Richard Address lead us in a conversation about finding new or ongoing meaning and purpose in our lives. This event kicks off an exploration of issues and concerns related to midlife, including developing the underdeveloped parts of ourselves; intimacy and sexuality during our middle years; spirituality and integration; and managing limitations. Reservations for dinner ($25/person) are required by January 28. RSVP to Beth Lloyd at Main Line Reform Temple: [email protected], 610-649-7800.
Stephen R. Treat, D.Min., LMFT, is a Senior Therapist and former Director and CEO of Council for Relationships. Dr. Treat continues to practice marriage and family therapy and is an instructor in Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Thomas Jefferson University Medical College. Rabbi Richard F. Address, D.Min., is the senior rabbi at Congregation M’kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, NJ. He is the founder and editor of www.jewishsacredaging.com and speaks on issues related to spirituality and aging throughout North America.
In the upcoming weeks, you can expect to hear more exciting news about The Foundation. Many of us have some idea how the Foundation works, but may not be aware of the stories that accompany each and every fund and benevolence. Our Foundation’s board members and members of its two committees—Development and Investment—look forward to sharing news about how gifts to the Foundation are made and how they are distributed. An example of such a story follows:
BMPC members Nell and Paul Mecray feel strongly that we have a major responsibility to care for our church property. They believe that we have an obligation not only to meet our outreach goals but also to protect our buildings—the focal point of those outreach efforts—from deteriorating rapidly. The Mecrays have made a gift in honor of their parents to restore our Sanctuary’s West Transept “Pentecost” window. They believe that talking to their children and grandchildren about this gift will help teach them the importance of charitable giving. They
consider the church to be primary in their lives, as BMPC has been Paul’s spiritual home for the past 45 years. It has been their moral compass, giving them guidance in their daily lives. Nell and Paul have also included the church in their estate plan with a bequest specifically to the Foundation’s Building Preservation Fund, which has the goal of endowing the proper care of our property.
All gifts to the Foundation, large or small, for the Building Preservation Fund or the general endowment, during life or in death, help to assure the care of the church property or the continuance of its outreach efforts for generations to come. Consider the possibility!
GIVING... for our FutureBy the Foundation Development Committee
Stephen R. Treat Richard F. Address
West Transept “Pentecost” Window
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Stephen R. Treat Richard F. Address
Welcome to Our Newest Members!
Kristen Corcoran Villanova
Steve HardingEast Norriton
Elizabeth Hashagen Narberth
Dominic MaguireBala Cynwyd
Jennifer NestleBryn Mawr
Jeffrey Powers Bryn Mawr
Jillian RogersWest Chester
Jenna RowbothamBryn Mawr
Michael Rowbotham Bryn Mawr
*Not pictured: Kaley Hawk, Bryn Mawr
If you aren’t a member, we invite you to become a part of 2013’s vibrant new chapter in the life of our congregation! Our next membership orientation is Sunday, February 28, and new members will be received on Sunday, March 3. For more information or to register, contact [email protected], ext. 8809.
BMPC Property UpdateOur Sanctuary and Chapel exterior work and stained glass renovations in the Sanctuary’s West Transept have now been completed. This work included stone pointing, slate roof replacements, gutter and flashing repairs, replacement of the cloister walkway ceiling and roof, and the removal, re-leading, and reinstallation of the Pentecost and Lord’s Prayer windows.
Plans for repairing the Sanctuary bell tower are currently underway. Cranes and high lifts will be used to assess the condition of the carillon room, tower roof, and exterior stone and spire. Scaffolding will be erected and in place through November 2013, when repairs should be completed. During the summer, the Education Building and Ministries Center exteriors will also be work sites as stone pointing and roof repairs are done.
Support for these renovations comes from the BMPC Foundation and the Forward in Faith Campaign. For more information, contact [email protected], ext. 8844.
By Pete DiRocco
The Sanctuary Bell Tower
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Parenting on the Main Line:
Keeping Christian EngagingEducationSunday School for BMPC 4th and 5th graders is fun and different—a “rotation” aimed at keeping older elementary-aged children interested and growing in their relationship with God. Over a four-week period, 4th and 5th graders experience a Bible lesson within four different classrooms, each of which explores a given lesson in a unique way: through art, drama, computer-based lessons, and even cooking.
By the end of four weeks, the children know the story inside and out. The repetition of the story through those different modalities allows a story to be fully explored, creating opportunities for older children to grow in faith and to question what that faith really means in this post-modern world of their childhood.
Built into the schedule are “Children-in-Worship” weeks, providing a chance for older children to worship with their families as part of the whole community, to give thanks, to celebrate and to recognize the presence of God among us. Indeed, it is in worship where we learn the rituals of the community—through word, sacrament, song, prayer, and creed. Families are the first important witness for their own children. The BMPC community also models faith for children through the vows we take in baptism, church rituals, and through hospitality, encouragement, and welcoming.
The “rotation” is yet another way BMPC is working to keep children engaged and growing in faith. The first “rotation” in the new year will explore the lesson “Feeding Five Thousand” (John 6:1-14 on January 13 and 27 & February 10 and 24). Curious about other activities in the Education Building? Let us know! Contact the Rev. Jacqui Van Vliet at [email protected], ext. 8810.
Parenting on the Main Line is an interfaith project sponsored by Main Line Reform Temple, The Middleton Center at BMPC, and Lower Merion School District that seeks to support and empower parents to raise caring, resilient, well-adjusted, and ethically-grounded children on the Main Line. The conversations continue with moderated discussions following screenings of extraordinary family films, each chosen to illustrate key aspects of communication between parents and children. Join us to be entertained and enlightened, and to share your insights.
• Tuesday, February 12, 7:30 p.m. – “Whale Rider” (Parents are invited to bring middle and high school-aged children)• Tuesday, March 12, 7:30 p.m. – “Ikiru (To Live)”
For more information and tickets, visit www.ParentingOnTheMainLine.com
Winter 2013 Film Series at Bryn Mawr Film Institute
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Sundays Book Discussion Group. 8:30 a.m. Join in spirited discussions led by the Rev. Dr. Paul MacMurray.
Hymn Sing. February 10 and March 10, 11:15 a.m. Sing your favorites in the Chapel and learn their historical backgrounds, theology, and liturgical significance.
Paul’s Letters to the Galatians. February 17 and 24 & March 10 and 17, 11:15 a.m. Consider Galations in its 1st century context, its use in the 16th century by the reformers, and current interpretations by scholars. Led by Dr. Erik Heen of Lutheran Theological Seminary.
Peacemakers in the History of Christianity. April 7, 14, 21, May 5, 12. Learn about the surprising sources of peacemaking in the history of Christianity and inherent lessons for today. Led by Dr. Jon Pahl.
America and Its Guns. April 14, 11:15 a.m. Discuss the Rev. James Atwood’s book that offers a theological response to gun violence.
Choosing Alternative Living Arrangements. April 21, May 5, May 19, 11:15 a.m. Consider dwelling options for senior adults. (See page 11 for more information on this series.)
Health and Wellbeing Workshops. Help for those with cancer, chronic pain, or an interest in an improved quality of life. Presented by The Middleton Center.
• Yoga for Life. February 10, 11:15 a.m. Karen Gagnier, a certified yoga instructor who teaches at BMPC and had breast cancer, shares the benefits of yoga in recovery.
• Nutrition for Healthy Living. March 10, 11:15 a.m. Experts discuss, demonstrate, and offer tastings of foods that promote health and healing.
• Be Your Own Health Advocate. April 14, 11:15 a.m. BMPC’s Parish Nurse, Ann Fossum, offers tips to empower you to be your own best advocate at the doctor’s office and in the hospital.
Weekdays Women’s Coffee Cup Bible Study. Wednesdays, 10:00 a.m. Led by the Rev. Jacqui Van Vliet.
Horizons Bible Study. Wednesdays, Feb. 5, March 6, and April 3, 10:30 a.m., Rosemont Presbyterian Village Ballroom. Led by the Rev. Dr. R. Charles Grant.
Torah (Old Testament) Study. Thursdays, 11:00 a.m., Main Line Reform Temple, Wynnewood. Study of the Minor Prophets led by Rabbi Ethan Franzel.
Spiritual Enrichment for Adults Widen your perspective on faith and life and make a new acquaintance. All classes are in the Ministries Center unless otherwise indicated; drop-ins are welcome. For more information, see the worship bulletin (available at www.bmpc.org) or contact [email protected], ext. 8819.
Labyrinth Workshops withthe Rev. Dr. Lauren Artress
Spiritual but Not Religious: Using the Labyrinth to Find Your Way. April 18, 7:30-9:00 p.m.
Nourishing the Soul: Feeding our Spiritual Hunger by Walking the Labyrinth. April 19, 10 a.m.-4:00 p.m. (registration begins at 9:30 a.m.)
Facilitator Training Day 1. April 20, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Facilitator Training Day 2. April 21, 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
All events held at BMPC. For more information, call The Middleton Center at 610-525-0766 or visit www.middletoncenter.org
Lauren Artress is a leading force in the modern labyrinth movement. She has written several books about the labyrinth and has trained thousands of labyrinth facilitators all over the world. Lauren is an Episcopal priest and Honorary Canon at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco and Founder/Creative Director of Veriditas. She is also a licensed psychotherapist.
9 MESSENGER | February/March/April 2013
Coffee Cup Bible Study, Presbyterian Women’s weekly Bible study, is a welcome respite from busy schedules as well as a time for learning, sharing, and reflecting on God’s Word. We come together on Wednesday mornings as women from varied faith backgrounds and perspectives who are at different places on our faith journeys, which leads to lively, spirited and, sometimes, irreverent discussions. Some of us come weekly, while others drop in every few weeks. New participants always find a warm welcome from this caring, supportive community.
The Rev. Jacqui Van Vliet leads and enriches our study with historic, cultural, and pastoral perspective. Our topics have included Genesis, Ruth, the Psalms, Mark, Paul’s letters, and other Epistles, and we take time for readings related to Advent and Lent. Our recent texts have ranged from Horizons Bible Study guides to N.T. Wright’s Mark for Everyone and Ellen Davis’s Getting Involved with God: Rediscovering the Old Testament. Don’t be surprised, however, if you pass by Gloucester Room and hear singing, poetry, or some hearty laughter
as we relate these stories and lessons to our everyday lives. Join us any Wednesday morning from 10:00-11:00 a.m... the door is always open! For more information, contact [email protected], ext. 8819.
Women’s Coffee Cup Bible Study: Sharing Faith & Friendship Over a Cup of “Joe”By Pam Haynes-Walsh
This past June, a Kensington 18-year-old accidentally took his own life when he put a handgun that he did not know was loaded to his head and fired it on a dare during an online video chat. The media coverage of the shooting focused on the most unusual aspect of the story—the online dare—but the more important issue is how the gun got into the teenager’s hand. The weapon was an illegal handgun obtained by the youth’s 22-year-old brother, who was asleep in the same room when the shooting took place. It was likely purchased on the street through the city’s extensive illicit firearms network, and the dead teen would be alive if not for an illegal gun. That’s the real tragedy in this case, and it’s a tragedy that is repeated endlessly in Philadelphia, where the availability of illegal guns and the carnage they reap are devastating families and neighborhoods.
What can we do to respond to the growing problem of illegal handguns? Out of that question has come a solution: on the weekend of May 4-5, at BMPC, we will present Jazz for Peace. This event begins with a Saturday night dinner and concert by student musicians from Girard Academic Music Program, followed with a concert by one of the greatest musicians of the jazz world—Gerald Veasley. Then on Sunday, May 5, we will present another
local jazz giant, Bill Jolly, in concert at 1:00 p.m. Once expenses for the concert are met, all contributions—from ticket sales and donations—will go toward supporting the work of “Heeding God’s Call.”
“Heeding God’s Call” is a Philadelphia-based, multi-faith movement that unites people of faith in the sacred responsibility to protect all brothers, sisters, and children from the destruction of gun violence. Its vision is nothing less than a radical reduction in the number of lives lost to guns in our city.
In light of the growing epidemic of gun violence in America, we can and must act. Jazz for Peace is our way of raising awareness for this epidemic, while helping to support an organization that is truly making a difference. Visit www.bmpc.org for information about tickets, concert times, and dinner reservations.
Jazz for Peace: A Fine Arts Response to Gun Violence
By Jeffrey Brillhart
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Mark your calendars with the dates below now so that you won’t miss hearing the works of Maurice Duruflé, Herbert Howells, Morten Lauridsen, and Ola Gjeilo, to name a few. Nor will you want to miss a jazz-packed weekend, May 4-5, when BMPC mounts its first Jazz for Peace, an event that will help to fight the proliferation of illegal guns in the Delaware Valley (see page 9 for more information on the Jazz for Peace event).
On Sunday, February 10, at 2:00 p.m., organist Stephen Buzard will perform the greatest masterpieces of Maurice Duruflé on our fantastic Rieger organ. Stephen is a second-year graduate student at Yale University, where he studies with Thomas Murray and Jeffrey Brillhart. Already acclaimed as one of the finest young organists in America, at age 24, Stephen has already served as organ scholar at Wells Cathedral in England! When asked who his favorite composer is, he answers, “Maurice Duruflé because his music is always so refined, yet unfailingly evocative and emotional.” An offering will be received at the concert.
On Sundays, February 24, March 3, and March 10, at 4:00 p.m., join us for a three-week Evensong series. (See page 3 for more information.)
On Sunday, March 24, at 4:00 p.m., Organ Scholar Keenan Boswell will play a dazzling program, including works by Jean Louis Florentz. Keenan is a graduate of The Juilliard School and a current graduate student at Westminster Choir College. Tickets: $10 for adults; $5 for children 18 and under.
On Sunday, April 21, at 4:00 p.m., our Senior Choir and Bryn Mawr Choir School will be joined by The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia in a performance of Morten Lauridsen’s beloved Lux Aeterna and Ola Gjeilo’s Sunrise Mass. Ola Gjeilo (pronounced Yay-lo) was born in Norway in 1978 and moved to the U.S. in 2001 to begin his composition studies at the Juilliard School in New York City. Though only 35 years old, he is now considered one of the world’s leading choral composers, and he is renowned for his breathtaking ability to capture the spiritual essence of the poetry through sumptuous harmonies and soaring melodies. Tickets: $20 for adults; $5 for children 18 and under.
Worshiping Godthrough Music
By Jeffrey Brillhart
Save the Dates!• Organist Stephen Buzard presents the music of Maurice Duruflé. Sunday, February 10; 2:00 p.m. • Lenten Choral Evensong Series. Sundays, February 24, March 3, and March 10; 4:00 p.m.• Organ Recital presented by Keenan Boswell. Sunday, March 24; 4:00 p.m.• Good Friday Evening featuring Arvo Pärt’s Passio. Friday, March 29; 8:00 p.m.• Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna and Ola Gjeilo’s Sunrise Mass. Sunday, April 21; 4:00 p.m.• Jazz for Peace. Saturday, May 4 & Sunday, May 5
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Senior Adult Brunch with the Rev. Dr. Agnes NorfleetSunday, February 17, 11:15 a.m., Congregational Hall
Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from a special guest: our new Pastor, the Rev. Dr. Agnes Norfleet. We will accept up to 125 reservations, which may be made by sending a check for $15 per person to BMPC, attention Amy Bauer, to cover the cost of the meal. Bring a friend! Contact: [email protected], ext. 8821.
50-Year Member BrunchSunday, April 14, following 10:00 a.m. worship, Congregational Hall
If you joined BMPC in or before 1963, you are invited by our Senior Adult Council to save the date for a brunch in your honor. Family members and friends are encouraged to attend at the cost of $15 per person; 50-year members are our guests at no charge. All are welcome to celebrate and share memories. Contact: [email protected], ext. 8821.
The Move to a Retirement CommunitySundays, April 21, May 5, and May 19, 11:15 a.m., Witherspoon Parlor
After reaching the age of Medicare eligibility, you might begin to wonder how you’ll spend your “golden years.” The choice of moving to a retirement facility might become more attractive if your home begins to feel like a burden, if there’s a blip on your health radar screen, or if your children begin to worry that you live alone. Because many factors and options should be considered, we are offering a three-part series to help with your decision-making:
• Sunday, April 21: Lorie Benovic, BMPC Care Manager, presents information on the various types of contracts offered and explains how to evaluate which arrangement might work best for you.
• Sunday, May 5: Representatives from area retirement facilities host information tables and answer questions.
• Sunday, May 19: Margit Novack from Moving Solutions offers tips for downsizing.
To RSVP, contact [email protected], ext. 8833.
For Older Adults
Upward Basketball: A Positive Sports Experience
Upward Basketball is a new league at BMPC that serves children and youth with special needs from our community. BMPC youth and members are volunteering their time to coach, referee, and support our league.
More than two dozen individuals are participating, and these athletes are proud of the basketball and teamwork skills they are gaining in our program. Come check out one of our games, with our NBA-style introductions of the players and free pom-poms for all spectators!
For more information, visit www.bmpc.org/outreach/in-our-community/upward-basketball or contact the league director, Sarah Smith, at [email protected].
By Sarah Smith
12 MESSENGER | February/March/April 2013
In 1982, BMPC member David Heaton left his roofing business and founded the nonprofit 18th Street Development Corporation, which rehabilitated older houses in the Point Breeze section of South Philadelphia. After BMPC made a major commitment to the West Philadelphia community more than 10 years ago, David founded The Other Carpenter (TOC) to provide home repair services to needy home owners living in West Philadelphia. BMPC members have
served on TOC’s Board and have been among the volunteers offering hands-on repairs in hundreds of homes served by this ministry.
After 30 years of directing these housing repair ministries, David retired in November 2012 to work in his son’s contracting business. With David’s retirement, the TOC Board faced the task of finding his replacement. Fortunately, the Philadelphia Chapter of Habitat for
Humanity was looking to expand its efforts by adding a home repair component. The TOC Board invited it to consider TOC’s program, and after personnel from Habitat spent several months working with TOC, both parties decided that TOC should become a part of Habitat.
The new director of TOC is Cassie O’Connell, a field supervisor for Habitat. The current TOC staff and Girard Street office will remain. TOC’s Board and BMPC members who volunteer every week are pleased that TOC will remain in capable hands, carrying on the ministry that David started many years ago.
The Other Carpenter & Habitat for Humanity:Changes are Happening but the Work ContinuesBy Outreach Council
Save the Date for the next Day of Service on Saturday, May 18! Watch for more details
in the bulletin, eNews, and on the Outreach Kiosk in the Court. For information about
this or any of BMPC Outreach efforts, contact [email protected], ext. 8819.
Day of Service
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Consider these sobering statistics:
• While nearly 1 in 8 people in Pennsylvania struggle to find the resources to put food on the table, the number in Philadelphia approaches 1 in 3.
• Hungry children are 50% more likely to repeat a grade in school.
The BMPC Hunger Committee already works in many hunger-relief efforts, such as making more than 1,600
casseroles a year at casserole blitzes and supporting local care closets and soup kitchens. These efforts are funded almost entirely by contributions from the BMPC Hunger Envelopes found in the pews. The following organizations also offer volunteer opportunities:
• The Food Trust: Advocates for nutrition education and greater availability of healthful food. For more information, visit www.thefoodtrust.org.
• Sunday Suppers: Helps Philadelphia families make better decisions in food purchasing and introduces them to urban gardening. For more information, visit www.sundaysuppersphilly.org.
• Philabundance: Increases access to emergency food through 500 food banks and cupboards. For
more information, visit www.philabundance.org.
Thanks to all who support our Hunger Committee’s mission. Together, we are making a difference! For more information, contact Dave Hastings, [email protected].
The Rev. Jed Koball, our PC(USA) and BMPC mission co-worker in Peru, visited BMPC on December 9, 2012. He spoke about the challenges he faces as he works with Peruvian Christians to identify and respond to the needs of the local community. One concern is mining Peru’s rich deposits of heavy metals while minimizing the overwhelming negative side effects of obtaining and processing these metals. Smelting factories contaminate the air, water, and soil to such an extent that 90% of the children in one Peruvian town have lead in their bodies.
Jed told us that persons of faith have come together from different denominations to study the contamination issues. They have worked to document the problem, identify the needed research, find possible solutions and challenge all involved to use clean mining practices. They are also working to reclaim and restore the local rivers, soil, and air and eliminate lead poisoning in adults as well as children. The themes of justice, reconciliation, and cooperation—affirming the love of Jesus Christ—are evident in this Peruvian mission, one of the many ministries supported by BMPC.
Mission Partner in Peru: Jed KoballBy Carol Cobb-Nettleton
The Fight Against HungerBy The Hunger Committee
High School Mission Trip to Costa Rica. For Rising 9th-Graduated 12th Graders, July 6-13, $1,445 (fundraising support provided). Grab your passports! We have planned an amazing trip to a beautiful tropical country with volcanoes and waterfalls that also has many communities in need of our help. We’ll lead a kids club, help with construction projects, and work with a local church. Pura Vida!
Middle School Urban Plunge in Philadelphia. For Rising 6th-Rising 8th Graders, July 18-21, $345. Get ready to jump in! We’ll stay downtown at a great school while we
work with local organizations to help with community service projects. Each evening, we’ll enjoy a fun group activity.
Camp Kirkwood in the Poconos. For Rising 6th-Rising 12th Graders, August 4-10, $500. Join us for a week of fun, friends, and faith! Our camp experience includes games, arts and crafts, woodshop, worship, and free time to hang out with friends. Camp is an awesome chance to get away and grow with God... just ask any former participant!
Questions? Contact [email protected], ext. 8821.
“Joyful chaos” is a term often used to describe the nature of working in Children and Family Ministry, and we couldn’t agree more. If you’ve been in the Education Building on a Sunday morning, attended one of our popular events for families throughout the year, or visited BMPC’s campus during the week of Vacation Bible Camp (VBC), you may have a feel for what “joyful chaos” means. You may have also wondered if, in the midst of all that energetic activity, the children were really learning anything. Our emphatic answer is “yes”!
After last year’s VBC, children spoke of the joy and the love that lets us reach to the heavens; sharing the love of God with friends; the savior, the friend, the life, the helper, and the friendship and passion of Jesus; sharing our thanks for the beautiful power of God; relying on Jesus; the joyful music that rings in our ears at VBC; and knowing that “I am a fisher of men.”
We are excited for a similar response from the children this year, and invite you to come and experience the difference you can make during Vacation Bible Camp
2013. Your gifts matter, your passion matters, your unseen acts of kindness matter, and your volunteer efforts matter, as they can all produce great joy! To register as a volunteer or camper online, visit www.bmpc.org/programs/for-children-and-their-families/vacation-bible-camp. Questions? Contact [email protected], ext. 8813.
14 MESSENGER | February/March/April 2013
By Jane Wilber
Be a Part of “Joyful Chaos”:Vacation Bible Camp 2013
Vacation Bible Camp 2013: June 24-28Preschoolers (age 3 by 9/1/12)—Grade 2:Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-noon
Grade 3—Grade 5:Monday-Thursday, 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Friday, 9:00 a.m.-noon
A Youth Ministry Highlight: Summer Trips!
The MessengerBryn Mawr Presbyterian Church625 Montgomery AvenueBryn Mawr, PA 19010 610-525-2821
The Messenger (USPS #341840) Volume #115, Issue #2 is published quarterly by the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church. Periodical postage paid at Wayne, Pennsylvania and additional offices.
Postmaster: Send Address Changes To The Messenger Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church 625 Montgomery Avenue Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Help BMPC “Go Green”! Instead of receiving a mailed copy of The Messenger, you may now “opt-in” to receive it electronically instead! Simply enter your email address and name in the form found at www.bmpc.org/news-media/publications/the-messenger and hit the “submit” button, and we’ll be sure to change your preferences for receiving this publication.
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