When asked to think about what BPC means to me, what came to mind was the FCC. No I am not talking about the Federal Communication Commission but rather a different of F-C-C. For me this church and my involvement with it are about Three Core Things … FAITH, COMMUNITY, and our COMMITMENT
Last Sunday, the Old Testament reading came from the Prophet Micah: “God has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?” (NKJV) In sharing about my faith and what BPC means to me, I think this verse plays a key role. In this verse, Micah is reminding all of us that are role in this journey is not just one of following rules, attending meetings, and making sure everything is done as we see fit. No. Rather Micah is reminding us that what the Lord requires from us is to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly.
Last Sunday, the message was about Just Love – and it is something that as a community of faith is critical, as love without correction does not show love nor justice to the person. But merely castigating an individual for whatever bias or reason is neither just nor shows love. These insights including the engaging Sunday School lessons in September, “Steadfast Hope: The Palestinian Quest for Just Peace.” It shows the real faith of BPC and how the Spirit is moving in the membership. This faith is not shown through a uniformity of beliefs but a respect for others’ beliefs and a communal desire to engage God’s word and live out our lives in accordance to Jesus’ teaching – walking humbly with our God.
When I first entered the door at Bethesda Presbyterian Church, I was welcomed with a loaf of bread. This small yet symbolic gesture spoke volumes to me. (Also, the fact that the bread ended up being quite tasty didn’t hurt.) However, beyond just the flavor of the bread, the gestures showed firsthand that here was a community of believers that are interested in not only in your spiritual well-being but your physical well-being. As I learned more through talking with members such as Kurt, Dot, Donna, and John, is that the church was more than a Sunday gathering place, but also a community, which welcomed strangers and showed hospitality.
Now only a short three years later, I have a better idea about this church and this community of believers. I hope that we can embrace the idea of community even more, especially to individuals new in the area that are looking for a place to grow and be “a part of”. We are great as a community welcoming others and one another; let us continue to grow in being communal and increasing what we view as part of our community.
Our commitment: How do we support and embrace both our faith and community through our actions? Theory is great, but the action is where things really become alive! As a church, we have shown our commitment through steady support of the Saturday Lunch Program, healing of houses in bad shape through Rebuilding Together Montgomery County, a commitment to reaching beyond our own shores through support of Umbrella Initiatives, and hopefully soon through the Peacemaking Offering and the work of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).