Pastor’s Perch

Reflections from the Pastor’s Study

I hope you are praying, as I am, that winter has finally left us, because I think I might snap if it snows one more time! I am also praying that I have had my last virus of the season (I am presently knocking on wood). It was a strange one, no other symptoms just a sense of haze and lethargy. Oh well.

Before the bug hit, the week started off with well. Monday was the third meeting of the West Philadelphia Administrative Commission, which has been charged with working to bring First African Presbyterian Church, Calvin Presbyterian Church and Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church into a new community. Money exists for a new building and pastor, and we are well on the way to making this happen. I have been asked to lead the efforts involving site selection and building planning, while the other part of the group focuses on the pastoral search process. Presently I am working with elected officials in the City of Philadelphia to review community development plans so that we can pick a site that will be in the midst of a growing community. I have to say, as far as Presbytery work goes, this might be the most exciting thing I have done.

Tuesday began with another brilliant Bible Study, they really keep me on my toes! After Bible Study (we are beginning the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, so feel free to join us at 10 am on Tuesdays) I had lunch with Rabbi David Levin, who is a “wandering rabbi.” Seriously, he labors in the area, trying to work with those in the Jewish community who have fallen away from their synagogue and to help them stay connected. We had been meaning to get together as we frequently run into one another at the gym or meetings around the community. At lunch, I floated the idea of co-teaching a course on the Bible. The course who help explain how the Bible came together, who wrote it, when, why, etc. Then we would explore how each tradition, Jewish and Christian, have come to understand the books. Obviously, this conversation would be open to the wider community, as I think people might be very interested. He agreed that this would be a fantastic idea, so we are going to begin planning for the Fall.

Wednesday, home in bed. After lunch things went downhill pretty quick. The rest of the day was in bed which carried over to Wednesday, but Thursday was a planning day for the General Assembly, as I had a conference call in the morning with Presbyterian for Middle East Peace. We sponsor a breakfast with speakers at the GA as well as work on resources to have available for commissioners and those attending the GA. That afternoon, I spoke with Lee Gordon, who is the founder and director of the Hand in Hand School in Israel which is one of the few schools in Israel that has Arab and Jewish students learning side by side. PFMEP has invited Hand in Hand to have a booth at the GA and to present at the breakfast.

Friday, normally my day off, but not last week, was a momentous day, as we held our first staff meeting at GPC. It was a real pleasure to sit down with Margaret, Veronica and Pavel to begin planning our future together. So lucky to be working with so many talented people, yourselves included!

Well, that is just a glimpse into last week, Now off to water the plants.