Welcome BPC’s Own Little Free Library!

A creative and enterprising BPC youth has built a wonderful new addition for our property: a “little free library.”
Harper Ham has spent part of her quarantine time building the structure, and this past weekend it was installed next to the BPC parking lot at the start of the path that leads to Kohl’s. Our hope is that it will serve the many community members who use the path, church members, and eventually, when the school is up and running again, preschoolers! Harper will serve as the librarian, and she has placed a donation bin in a covered spot under the back steps to the cottage. Here’s where you come in! If you have books that are suitable for adults, youth, or children that you would like to donate, just swing by the church and add them to the plastic donation bin. Harper will periodically curate the donations and make sure a good blend of choices are always available in the library.
Want to learn more about the national “little free library” movement? Go here! https://littlefreelibrary.org/ We are waiting for the official plaque that has BPC’s registration number on it, and once received, Harper will be able to add this to the national map of libraries.Thanks especially to Harper and also to the Mission Committee and the Session for developing and supporting this wonderful community project.

Filling the House: BPC’s 2021 Stewardship Campaign

We are learning during this strange season that the building may be a critical tool for our various ministries (and we will sure do a lot of Kingdom-building inside it when the time is right), but it is not what links us. We are the Church, and we are continuing to answer God’s call for community, service, worship, and spiritual growth in a whole slew of creative ways.

In that spirit, we have a new phrase/concept we are using in this season to shape our vision for BPC’s next chapter: “Fill the House.” In Psalm 103:5 we are reminded that “He fills my life with good things.” Yes, this phrase has a literal component: We are filled with anticipation for the day when we can gather in person inside our new beautiful space, and hug, shake hands, sing and lift loud voices of praise. When our physical BPC house is full, our hearts will be as well.

But “Fill the House” means something else, too: Our planet is a house. Our community is a house. With what shall we fill it? We need ideas, energy, and money to continue finding creative ways to reach neighbors, feed bodies and souls, and support the disenfranchised. That’s why “Fill the House” is a stewardship message as well: We can’t fill God’s Kingdom with love without you. Pledge to our 2021 campaign today by clicking here.

BPC is Committed to Social Justice: Get Involved

Our social witness team works closely with organizations across the denomination and community to address matters related to racial justice, fair housing, easy access to voting for all, and many other topics. Want to get involved? There is a place for everyone. Fill out this form today, and we will make sure you get connected with our Social Witness Team leaders.

BPC’s Building (but not church!) Staying Closed Through Ash Wednesday 2021

The Session of Burke Presbyterian Church met in late July to discuss next steps with regards to the global pandemic and its impact particularly on in-person, indoor gatherings. It made the very hard decision to continue online worship through at least Ash Wednesday of 2021 (February 17). The formal action notes that if the public health situation changes such that large, in-person worship gatherings can be conducted with minimal risk for COVID-19 transmission, Session may modify the policy. Other churches within our National Capital Presbytery have made similar calls in recent weeks.
At the same time, the Session adopted policy and procedures guidelines for outdoor gatherings on site at BPC, and the worship team is developing plans for worship opportunities in the outdoor chapel and elsewhere on the grounds.
Meanwhile, the “Widen the Circle” construction project is drawing close to completion. While the pandemic has slowed many aspects of the project since March, we believe the building will be complete by the end of August. We are developing procedures for safely touring the space when it is open, and for gathering small groups for brief meetings inside as well.
Attached to this email is the latest letter from Pastor David, which outlines in more detail some of what we describe here. We will provide a version of a New Leaf newsletter later in the summer, with more details about all of the plans described above.
For now, we ask for your prayers, patience, and creative thinking caps as we navigate these strange waters. Let us see where the Spirit leads us.

 

Closed For Now, But Not Gone: Stay Tuned, Preschoolers!

We miss all our preschool families more than ever. But don’t let our closed doors fool you – behind the scenes, we are excitedly planning for the preschool’s reopening, tentatively scheduled for September 2021!  School Board members, preschool staff, and church leadership have continued to meet regularly to get everything in place so we can welcome children back to our program. You can check for updates on the preschool’s website at www.BurkePresPreschool.org.

In Uncertain Times, Some “Patriot Dreams”

BPC’s Interim Pastor David Ensign preached a virtual sermon-turned-film—complete with gorgeous photos—on July 5, 2020: Click on “read more” below and watch it for yourself. What are your dreams for this country we call home?

The Building May Be Closed, But Church Isn’t!

We know that church isn’t a building: It’s the people who gather within it. That’s why in this time of uncertainty, we are offering many ways to connect and “be community,” despite limitations. Check out the links you need to join online worship, get some help with groceries or other chores, attend a Godly Play session, or “play” with fellow youth by going here.
And please hold the entire community in your prayers. Indeed, given the global nature of this pandemic, we lift prayers for the world: for those who are ill and their families, for leaders everywhere facing difficult decisions, for health-care workers, and for front-line responders. God is with us.

BPC in Transition

Burke Presbyterian is in the process of searching for a new senior pastor. We are in the middle of a major construction project, through which we are upgrading and expanding our space. Our social justice team is energized, living out Christ’s work in the world. Our children and youth are showing up for music, mission, study and sabbath events. We would love for you to be part of our community. Write office@burkepreschurch.org to learn more.