Over the past 8 months, Session has been praying and discerning new ways that the Lord might be calling the community at Gladwyne Presbyterian Church. How do we live into our past and move into the future? How do we best care for the needs of the worshipping community as well as the greater community? How do we answer God’s calling in our world?
One action that Session has taken was to create a part time position entitled Director of Family Ministries and Outreach. This position has been filled with the hiring of Margaret Somerville and will focus on ways that we can provide for the spiritual nourishment of families in and around Gladwyne Presbyterian Church. Session is very excited about being able to add Margaret to the staff, much the same way we will all be excited if the Eagles sign a wide receiver who can catch the ball. Margaret’s creativity, energy and connections to the community will serve us well. In addition her commitment to ecumenism and interfaith conversations will also aid in our work of reconciliation.
Session is also looking to bring in an intern for the Fall of 2017 as the Youth Director. Over the past several years, GPC has mentored and supported two excellent candidates for the ministry in Jennifer Barchi and Margaret Somerville. GPC’s commitment to nurturing in faith is seen in its efforts to help train the leaders of tomorrow in the church. Session wishes to continue in that ministry beginning this Fall.
Over the next several months, Pastor Todd and Margaret will look at ways we can further our work for families and for the community, outline new initiatives and programs for the fall and explore ways to better integrate our worship, Christian Education and mission to meet God’s calling to us. Margaret will begin her work with us in the middle of February, and in the time being, Pastor Todd will lead Discovery.
A second action that Session has taken is a decision to create an interfaith center at GPC, the Center for Interfaith Communities. While more will be forthcoming about the center, the vision involves educational programming for communities of faith exploring other faith traditions. Session envisions resources for Christian communities to learn more about Judaism as well as Jewish resources to learn more about Christianity. There will also be programming to build bridges and connections to the Muslim community and other faith traditions. Finally, Session looks to provide educational opportunities as well as relational opportunities for members of GPC to further explore other traditions and deepened our own understandings of God.
GPC has always been a welcoming community for those from a varied faith background, and this step continues in this tradition. With the unique abilities of Margaret Somerville and Todd Stavrakos, Session believes that the Center will assist the community in reaching out to the “other” and deepen our relationship with God.