Weekly Word

Vision and Mission

Vision and Mission

Ten years ago, I was looking for a new job as a pastor and was feeling a bit discouraged. I couldn’t seem to find the right “fit” when it came to what I was looking for in a church and what the churches who were looking for pastors were

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...ALL Neighbors

...ALL Neighbors

In a few weeks, you will receive a letter with the new proposed Vision and Mission Statements for Bedford Presbyterian Church. It has been ten years since the church last intentionally examined the congregation's mission and vision. A lot has changed in those years in our congregation, our denomination (the

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"See, I am doing a new thing!"

"See, I am doing a new thing!"

Link HERE for the September 16 Weekly Word: "...ALL Neighbors" "See, I am doing a new thing!"(Isaiah 43:18)God is always doing something new - both in the life of the world and in our own lives. Sometimes, this new thing can be hard to see, and sometimes

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Naming What Has Been, Hoping For What Will Be

Naming What Has Been, Hoping For What Will Be

Over the past few weeks, I have had multiple conversations with people about where we are in the life and history of the world. There have been several times in which I have shared that I feel the need to be very mindful of the fact that we have just

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Words, Words, Words. . .

Words, Words, Words. . .

As a person who works with a significant amount of words each week, I am often in awe by both the power of words and how the meanings of words can shift over time. One expression that has recently received much attention is the word "woke." Most of us regularly

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Frederick Buechner (1926-2022)

Frederick Buechner (1926-2022)

Years ago, my Aunt Lucille and Uncle Carl invited me to attend a baccalaureate service at Wake Forest University.  Frederick Buechner was the preacher for the day.  I fear that I do not remember what Buechner said, but I do remember that he looked like he really meant what he

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When Life Gives You Lemons... Take a Brookstick Lesson

When Life Gives You Lemons... Take a Brookstick Lesson

My family and I recently returned from a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Scotland and Northumbria.  This was part of my sabbatical from earlier in the year that had to be postponed because of COVID-19.   We left on a Friday evening flew from Boston to Edinburgh, had a great time exploring the

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How to Chant Psalms

How to Chant Psalms

Music and singing can move the Holy Spirit through you and may help deepen your connection to God. Singing Psalms help us worship, pray and connect spiritually. Music can give us strength and provide a path to reflection and introspective. Read on to learn how you can chant, sing (or

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Every Seven Days. . .

Every Seven Days. . .

I was talking with a member of the church who asked what I was up to and I said, “Well, I’m working on yet another bulletin for a worship service.  They tend to roll around every seven days.”  I always try to say the “every seven days” line with

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I Got A Robe!

I Got A Robe!

There is an old African American spiritual that goes: I got shoes, you got shoes, all God’s children got shoes. When I get to heaven, gonna put on my shoes, I’m gonna walk all over God’s heaven. . . There are some other verses to this song, including one

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Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

During February, while I was on Sabbatical, Amy and I took some time to purchase a new bed for our son, Samuel.  This new “Big Boy Bed” fits in his room along with another big bed that we use for reading stories at night.  Up until February, Samuel had been

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It’s a Pentecost Blowout!

It’s a Pentecost Blowout!

Years ago, a friend of my brother (who happened to be a pastor) joked that on Pentecost Sunday, wouldn’t it be cool to have, like, a flamethrower - or something really fiery to get his congregation’s attention and remind them that the Holy Spirit is with them.  I

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How Long, O Lord?

How Long, O Lord?

On Tuesday evening, after news of the killings at the elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, I was helping my son with bath time. He has a new set of swimming goggles that he was trying out, dipping his head under the water and looking around, filled with wonder. While he

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Just Call Me John

Just Call Me John

(Tassels Abound!)When I was newly-ordained and began serving as Associate Pastor in my old church down in Georgia, I made the mistake of telling people “Just call me John or Pastor John.”  This was something that most of the people in the church did with no problem, whatsoever.  There

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The Ear of the Beholder

The Ear of the Beholder

Some of you might know that I have a minor obsession with guitar effects pedals. For those of you who don’t know about pedals,  you can take an electric guitar and plug it straight into a guitar amplifier (with a speaker that makes it loud) OR, you can plug

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When People Disagree. . .

When People Disagree. . .

A member of our church sent me a message this week, saying,  “Another super pressing morality debate is upon us!  This is, what, like #258 in the past five years?” They were, of course, referring to the news of the leaked Supreme Court opinion regarding the possible overturning of the

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End of the Pandemic Phase

End of the Pandemic Phase

I was grateful to hear the news this week that the US is “out of the pandemic phase.”  Public health and infectious disease experts have downgraded Covid-19 in the US basically from “full-blown pandemic” to “controlled pandemic.”  There are fewer infections each day, fewer hospitalizations, and fewer deaths.  This is

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What Can Be Done to Help?

What Can Be Done to Help?

So there I was. . . hiking along a rocky seashore trail in Northern Ireland one week during my sabbatical.  I had heard about a secluded beach at the base of a cliff near the town of Ballycastle and I wanted to see it for myself.  I parked my car at the

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Guest Preacher Reverend Dr. Blair Moffett

Guest Preacher Reverend Dr. Blair Moffett

Reverend Doctor Blair Moffett retired to Wolfeboro, N.H., having served two churches in Pennsylvania and two more in Connecticut.  When his wife Patricia transferred her membership to BPC, Blair became a trailing spouse. He continues as a member of Northern NE Presbytery.  It’s a bit far to commute

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Guest Preacher Elder Jill Pennington

Guest Preacher Elder Jill Pennington

A member of BPC since 2005, Jill is originally from Omaha, Nebraska. As a mother of two, she currently lives in Manchester, New Hampshire, and is a music teacher in the Bedford School District. Jill also works at the Palace Theatre in Manchester, where if she's not on stage singing

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Guest Preacher Elder Manny Barreto

Guest Preacher Elder Manny Barreto

Manny Barreto, a lifelong Presbyterian grew up in the First Presbyterian Church of Levittown, New York, and as a young man was a Deacon of that church.  He was also a member of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church for over 20 years when he lived in NY City.  As a Deacon,

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Guest Preacher Reverend Dr. David Reynolds

Guest Preacher Reverend Dr. David Reynolds

Join us in welcoming our guest preacher Reverend Dr. David Reynolds, for worship services this coming Sunday, January 2, 2022, at 10 AM. Dr. Reynolds is a member of the Pastoral Counseling Services team, a non-profit counseling agency in Manchester, NH, whose primary focus is the integration of spirituality and

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Guest Preacher Elder Michael Chen

Guest Preacher Elder Michael Chen

We welcome Elder Michael Chen, a 14-year member of Bedford Presbyterian Church, as our Guest Preacher this week.  Mike and wife Melinda, also an Elder, reside in Bedford with their three daughters.  Mike is currently an Elder on Session, has served as Chair of the Nominating Committee, is a member

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Guest Preacher Jennifer Chew

Guest Preacher Jennifer Chew

For Worship Services this Sunday, February 20th at 10AM, we welcome our Guest Preacher Jennifer Chew.  Jennifer has been a member of BPC for 21 years. She and her husband, Greg Zimmermann, joined when they moved to Bedford in 2001 from North Carolina. Jennifer and her family live in the

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Guest Preacher Marc Murai

Guest Preacher Marc Murai

Marc Michael Murai was born and raised in Monterey Park, California, a small suburb approximately 15 minutes east of downtown. He, his wife Sarah (one of BPC’s newest Elders), and their son Carter moved to Bedford, NH from the San Francisco East Bay in 2007.  Shortly thereafter, their daughter

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