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News From Pittsburgh Presbytery

A Letter from the General Minister to Pittsburgh Presbytery

In this week's pastoral letter, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?, the Rev. Dr. Sheldon W. Sorge considers these questions: How do we relate with those whose social, political, and theological perspectives differ from our own? Are our differing perspectives reasons to separate, problems to tolerate, or gifts to be welcomed for the benefit of us all?

Update Your Children & Youth Ministry Contact Info!

We are in the process of updating and expanding our list of Next Generation leaders (including children, youth, young adult, college, etc.) within our presbytery.  What we need to know is who we should contact at your church with information related to those ministry areas.  In some cases, churches have a designated staff person and it makes the most sense for it to go them.  In other cases, it is best for the information to go directly to the pastor or the secretary who can then forward it onto the appropriate person.  Or perhaps you have a long-standing volunteer who has made a commitment to this area?  Whoever it would be best for us to contact, please let us know.  To make the process easier, we have developed an online form you can use to submit the information. 

2017 GECF Grant Applications Now Available

The 2017 Great Ends of the Church grant application is now available online.  This year, the subcommittee is hoping to distribute nearly $202,000 in grants. For this funding cycle, they have streamlined the application and the timeline for awarding grants.  Applications are due by 5:00 PM on January 30, 2017.

How Can Churches Help to Reduce Violence?

Join the discussion at the pre-presbytery conference hour on today at Hamilton Presbyterian Church. Richard Garland, Assistant Professor of Public Health Practice, and Gina Brooks, Project Coordinator, of Center for Health Equity, University of Pittsburgh, will present data and insights on homicides in Pittsburgh and in Allegheny County. During this hour, plan to discuss how churches and members can help to reduce violence and, in particular, gun violence.

This event is cosponsored by the Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Black Presbyterian Caucus and the Peacemaking Ministry Team of Pittsburgh Presbytery.

Are You Willing to Speak Out & Demand Change?

The Peacemaking Ministry Team (PMT) of Pittsburgh Presbytery is seeking to offer a $2,500 matching donation. A report from the peacemaking envoy to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota:

“I am back from my week at Standing Rock. This experience was transformational and deeply meaningful to me. ...I hope to use my experience in the coming weeks and months to encourage others to go to Standing Rock and to encourage the church to take action on their behalf. After working in the camp for a week I am deeply impressed with the fortitude and wisdom of the native people. This small village of around 3000 people truly is the epicenter of climate justice and indigenous rights. As a nation, we are seeing corporate greed push through and again ignore the desires of Native Americans. We are also seeing the truth around the fossil fuel industry and its deep ties in our government. Standing Rock is becoming a military state for the sake of big oil. What the people there need is a world enraged by the injustice, a world listening and learning from their battle, a world willing to speak out and demand change…. people will continue to peacefully stand on our behalf, even through a North Dakota winter. I want to use my experience there to push the church [in] Pittsburgh to take action, I hope you’ll help me do that!” ~ Rev. John Creasy, pastor at The Open Door Presbyterian Church

The Peacemaking Ministry Team of Pittsburgh Presbytery would like to encourage all of our presbytery brothers and sisters to take action by donating funds in support of the people of Standing Rock. To this end, the PMT will match up to $2,500 given to encourage individuals and congregations to donate toward the purchase of winter supplies and Standing Rock community needs. The team is preparing to make another trip in the coming weeks.

If you have any questions, you may contact the Rev. Ayana Teter or Elder Ron Stone, PMT Chair. Please send donations by check made payable to “Pittsburgh Presbytery,” and mailed to: Pittsburgh Presbytery, ATTN: Standing Rock Donation,” 901 Allegheny Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15233.

Check Out the New Resources from the PCUSA Store

New in the Being Reformed: Faith Seeking Understanding curriculum, Baptism introduces and reviews ways the church understands Baptism, drawing from both Scripture and the experience and reflection of the historic church as a self-guided study, as a group study, and as a ready reference for personal reflection.

Lenten Reflections on the Confession of Belhar is a book of devotions based on the Belhar Confession as congregations and individuals contemplate Scripture and the meanings that emerge as the Confession is studied phrase by phrase during the season of Lent. Written by a variety of Presbyterians, the forty-seven devotions cover the days of Lent, plus Sundays.

From our Being Reformed: Faith Seeking Understanding series, is Race & Reconciliation. This workbook looks at the Confessions of 1967 and the Belhar Confession and helps readers claim the ministry of reconciliation in a world and a church deeply divided by race, nation, gender, economic status, and religion.

Coming Events & Retreats at Crestfield Camp & Conference Center

Continuing Education Opportunities & Events at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary:

NOTE: More information about Continuing Education (CE) is available online; all events offer CE Units.



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