January Pastor’s Message


I've been imagining how exciting it must have been for this congregation when the Bryn Athyn Church School opened the doors to the new primary building in 1954 and the new intermediate building in 1958. I think about how many New Church families in this community got to have their children experience a New Church education in these dedicated spaces —I'm going to guess that that number is in the thousands. As I work with the Building Committee to oversee the construction of a brand new church and school complex which we hope to break ground in the late summer or early fall of this year, I find myself walking the hallways of our current school building appreciating and savoring all that has come before, all that has led up to this point in time, that has enabled us to confidently build for the future.  In the Faculty Lounge, there's a large aerial photograph of the current building and sports fields. In the Principal's Office, there's a framed picture of an architectural rendering of the new 1954 primary building. When I pop my head into the primary and intermediate classrooms, I think of all the teachers who have come before, who dedicated a career - sometimes 20, 30 or 40 years —to this precious use. You can't put a price on the work of a teacher and the education of children. As critical and important as buildings are to "house" uses, the Lord and the workers in His vineyard deserve our highest praise. It's now over six months since I started my new pastorate here at Bryn Athyn Church. I guess you could say the "honeymoon" is over in the sense that I feel that I have a reasonably good idea of what the challenges are here in town and that those challenges are real and significant, and that they didn't happen overnight. But I'm optimistic. I'm still learning many new and encouraging things about the church, school and community which are helping "round out" my first year on the job and are helping me formulate a plan for how my pastoral team might best serve this wonderful congregation in the years ahead. A quick review of where we've been and where we're headed, whether that be the school or the church, shouldn't gloss over the challenges and difficulties that emerged along the way. This congregation, like others, has had its fair share of turmoil, crises, heartache, and pain. It would be dishonoring to dismiss this as having no relevance today but it also wouldn't be right to not enthusiastically and optimistically plan for a bright future.