When You Go to the Town Council Meeting. . .

Jan 25, 2024 | WEEKLY WORD

. . . be prepared to wait a little while. . .

This past Wednesday, BPC’s Communications Director, Beth Evarts, and I attended a meeting of the Bedford Town Council to talk about our hopes and dreams for celebrating the 275th Anniversary of the founding of our congregation.  Our part of the meeting was brief and light-hearted but there were some heavy-duty things that had to take place before we could speak.  We sat through a budget presentation and approval (which included a lengthy discussion of whether to rent or buy iPads for election days and how long an iPad battery lasts).  We also listened to a presentation about the proposed Fire Substation and Police station which residents of the Town of Bedford will be voting up or down in March.  It took a little while to discuss a 35-million dollar bond referendum to pay for the construction.  Then there was a LOT of discussion about the tax implications of such a project.  It was all important stuff, but it did take a while. 

After some additional business, Beth and I were invited to come forward and sit in front of the Town Council.  We thanked them for their time.  They thanked us for waiting so long.  

I started our brief presentation by noting that the official Seal of the Town of Bedford includes a picture of our historic church building and remarked on the historic connection that Bedford Presbyterian Church has had with the Town of Bedford.  At the time of our church’s founding, it was not lawful to found a town until there was an established church.  This is one reason why the Town of Bedford was founded a year after BPC was founded.  I also talked about how the church has always been a spiritual home for Bedford as well as a social nexus for the town.  In 2024, we hope to highlight both the spiritual and social history of our congregation – and its connection with the Town of Bedford – while we also look to our future.

The Town Council was interested to hear some of our hopes for 2024:  

  1. To host a big celebration on Sunday, May 19, with a Pentecost worship service and a meal – giving thanks for 275 years of our congregation’s ministry in Bedford.  
  2. To celebrate our history by putting up some temporary “275th Anniversary” banners on utility poles in the historic part of Bedford.  These banners and the hardware upon which they will be mounted can be reused when the town celebrates their 275th Anniversary in 2025.
  3. To hold the first (we hope, first annual) Bedford Town Picnic on Sunday, August 18, at which we are seeking to foster community connections.  I joked with the Town Council that one of the only things that seems to unite people in Bedford is complaining about taxes and that we hope to give people a different – more positive – reason to unite.  

We finished our remarks, the Town Council thanked us, and we got up to leave.  But on the way out, we met someone who was born and raised in Bedford and remembers, with fondness, the things that the church used to do in town.  She volunteered on the spot to help us celebrate in 2024.  

Finally, at the end of the meeting, Beth received a text from someone who had been watching the proceedings that our presentation was the highlight of the entire proceeding.  It is important to make good decisions on iPad batteries and police stations, BUT it is also important to point toward the things that need celebrating.  

Here’s to 2024 and here’s to our celebrations as a congregation and as a town!

See you in church!

Grace and Peace,

John


Prepare for Worship

This Sunday:  “Will All Be Well?”  (In a Word, Yes)

  • Read Psalm 89
  • Read Mark 4:35-41 
  • Read Mark 5:1-15
  • Read or sing Hymn # 470