by Mike Ford, Blooming Glen
Like many other eastern Pennsylvania Mennonite congregations in the 1700’s, Blooming Glen began as Mennonites migrated from Germantown to Montgomery and Bucks counties. In 1753, a farmer donated space in a field and a small log meetinghouse was built, and Blooming Glen Mennonite Church began. Today, we are a diverse congregation “on a journey with Jesus,” averaging 230 at worship on Sunday.
We’ve been blessed with a wonderful facility and land, and we want to grow in having the community use our facilities. Currently, such varied groups as Girl Scouts, Hilltown Democratic Committee, National Association for Mental Illness, and Aerobic Rhythmics use our spaces. Our outdoor pavilion and playground is often rented for family get-togethers and community events.
Blooming Glen wants to be a Christ-like presence and blessing in our community. The towns of Perkasie and Sellersville do annual community festivals, and we set up a booth at these events. One of our congregants has made dozens of engaging and fun games that set up well in a park setting. At these festivals, these games allow us to engage folks in play and conversation and build relationships and presence.
We also have some long-standing traditions. We still have a few farmers in our congregation, and annually on the last Saturday in October, we host a Harvest Festival. We host hundreds of folks on our property for food, games, hay wagon rides, kids’ play areas, and to see a combine harvest corn or soybeans. The harvest is then sold and the proceeds used to support a hunger-related ministry or organization or to provide disaster relief.
Like many, we love worshipping the Lord through music. Blooming Glen is blessed to have children and adult choirs, open to any that want to participate in choral singing. These choirs most often perform during Sunday worship, though we usually do a major choral production each year. On December 15, 2019, 6:30 pm, all are invited to an audience participation sing-in Messiah concert in our sanctuary.
We also try to share the love of God beyond our community by staying active and aware of the bigger body of Christ and worldwide needs. Our folks are supportive of Mennonite Central Committee and Mennonite Disaster Service, our youth typically do a week of summer service learning in a different setting, and we have annually sent teams to learn and work in Honduras with Healthy Ninos Honduras and other overseas locations.
In the fall of 2019, we are working at a new model of team pastoral leadership, with Michael Bishop and Mike Ford co-pastoring, and a number of other staff making up the team. We are in the midst of a September-December small group prayer initiative, with 3-4 person prayer teams meeting regularly to humbly seek God for direction for our congregation, for guidance as to what God is doing in our time and place, and how we can best join Him in his work. Our leadership is also meeting regularly with a Forge America missional ministry group.
Pray that we:
- would sense God’s specific leading and guidance for our congregation in this current season of group prayer
- would grow in being a vital spiritual presence in our community
- would relationally, lovingly represent Jesus daily among the individuals with whom we live, work, and play