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News From Pittsburgh Presbytery

A Letter from the General Minister to Pittsburgh Presbytery

In this week's pastoral letter, The Longest Week, the Rev. Dr. Sheldon W. Sorge, General Minister to Pittsburgh Presbytery, writes about the parallels that can be drawn between the story of Lent and the story of our fellowship's future.

Celebration Chronicle

When we hear or receive positive and encouraging news from one of the churches in the presbytery, we want to herald the good word! This article is for the purpose of sharing those celebration tidbits, like the following, to glorify God and for the body to rejoice!

The Rev. Bob Abrams, former pastor in Pittsburgh Presbytery at Sunset Hills UPC, is now "retired" in Louisville and, along with the Rev. Charles Stanford, serves as volunteer coordinator for the National Council of Presbyterian Men of the PC(USA). The unlikely pair are focused on steering the group toward a mission emphasis, not organization, and sites Presbyterian Men in Pittsburgh as a shining example hoping to replicate their model for ministry in other cities. Click here to read the entire article.

Lazarus Fund Update

Effective immediately, the Lazarus Fund Ministry Team of Pittsburgh Presbytery is not accepting new applications. At the April 14 meeting, the team disbursed grants totaling nearly $7,000 for rent and utility assistance to more than 35 local households, thereby exhausting all available funds. Operations will resume as soon as enough new contributions are made by congregations and individuals. Please pray for this important ministry and consider making a donation. Contributions may be made by sending a check payable to and mailed to “Pittsburgh Presbytery” (901 Allegheny Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA  15233) with “Lazarus Fund” noted on the memo line.  Call 412-384-4360 for more information or with questions.

You Are Invited to Experience a Deeper Spiritual Life!

Please join us for a time of reflection, meditation, and growth during the Immersion Weekend 2014 at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. This retreat class on May 15-18 includes plenary sessions on reformed, Old and New Testament, and monastic spirituality as well as time to practice a variety of prayer forms, journaling, and worship. All are welcome regardless of whether or not the participant is enrolled in the Spiritual Formation Certificate Program. Take this time to seek respite, nourishment, and refreshment from your busy life. Registration is $375 and CEs are available. More details online or call 412-924-1345.

Time to Order Your 2014-2015 Planning Calendars!

Churches and individuals may order the June 2014-December 2015 Presbyterian Planning Calendar at a discounted bulk rate. This 19-month calendar contains many planning aids for pastors and church leaders including the lectionary passages for Sundays, special days, liturgical days and the liturgical color. The calendar also provides resource information for PC(USA) programs and the updated synod, presbytery, and PC(USA) staff directories. Click here for order information.

Three Evenings on Paul’s “Letter to the Galatians”

Join us on Wednesday evenings, April 23–May 7, from 7:30-9:00 PM to learn more about the Letter to the Galatians with Robert Gagnon at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. The first week’s session will focus on Paul’s defense of his apostleship and law-free gospel as coming from God; the second week on Paul’s argument for justification by faith and the preeminence of God’s grace; and the final week on Paul’s warning to those who do not live transformed lives. Registration is $50 and CEs are available. More details online.

Coming Training Events & Ministry Opportunities:

"The Music of Your Life" Women's Retreat at Crestfield April 25-27

Tweener Retreat at Crestfield May 2-3

13th Annual Pittsburgh Pastoral Care Conference May 16

Local Church Growth & Evangelism One-Day Conference May 17

Summer Camp at Crestfield June 15-August 11

Miller Summer Youth Institute at PTS July 12-26

New Wilmington Mission Conference at West Minster College July 19-25

Provide Hospitality to Visitors from Malawi & South Sudan July 17-29

Branch Info


The fall meeting of the North Branch will be on Tuesday, October 28, from 5:45-7:30 PM at Hampton United Presbyterian Church. Dinner will be included. The meeting will be hosted by Hampton United Presbyterian Church and Bidwell Street United Presbyterian Church.



Read the winter edition of the quarterly newsletter for the South Branch of Pittsburgh Presbytery. Spring edition coming soon. Please submit your information here.


The Unglued Church Experiment
In 2014, Pittsburgh Presbytery is partnering with the PC(USA) Office of Church Growth to launch a 12-month pilot program that will develop and test transformational practices to serve the mission of Jesus Christ in our communities. The 8 congregations that participate in the year-long program will receive close coaching and support throughout the process, including an in-depth assessment of their current ministries, discernment of potential for future ministries, and incubation of new ministries. This grant has been received and cohorts are forming now.  There is limited space remaining so please contact the Rev. Ayana Teter as soon as possible.

Anti-Racism Seminar
Racism, whether we realize it or not, influences everyone in some manner each and every day. Sometimes the effects of racism are subtle, other times the effects are profoundly significant and often life-changing.  When racism exists, all of society suffers. If you desire to learn more about the issue of racism and are interested in scheduling a seminar for your worshipping community, please contact Rev. Judi Slater and/or Rev. Ayana Teter as they desire to share in this important work with you. For a sample of the last seminar, click here.



Read the February edition of East Branch News & Views, a newsletter about and for those in the East Branch of Pittsburgh Presbytery.

Previous Editions:
December 2013
January 2014


Save the date!
The Second Annual East Branch Dinner will be held at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary on Thursday, May 22, from 5:30-7:30 PM.  More details to follow!

Devotional Prayer Calendar for Lent
Click here for the sixth and final installment of the Lenten Devotional of Prayer: Declaring the Mystery of Christ. This week another seven churches in the East Branch are described including their prayer requests. Please feel free to share with your congregations online or in print. Lift up these prayer requests in worship or whenever you pray during this Lenten journey.

Previous Installments:
First Issue
Second Issue
Third Issue
Fourth Issue
Fifth Issue

Lectionary Bible Study
The Lectionary Bible Study group meets every Monday from 10:00 AM-11:30 AM at the East Branch Regional Office located at Second United Presbyterian Church (300 Hay Street, Pittsburgh, PA  15221) in Wilkinsburg. Pastors, seminarians, CREs, church members and friends are welcome. We will read and discuss the lectionary readings for the coming Sunday following the Monday we meet. Pastors, this is a great way to get a jump on your sermon!



2014 Meeting Schedule (6:30-8:30 PM):

Wednesday, May 14, at Carnegie Presbyterian Church

THURSDAY, September 4, at Westminster Presbyterian Church

Wednesday, October 29, at Sewickley Presbyterian Church


To be a part of a pastor group, please contact the Rev. Dennis Molnar, Wallace Memorial Presbyterian Church, or the Rev. Dr. Doug Portz, Pittsburgh Presbytery.

More details available online!

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For questions or comments regarding this newsletter, send an email to communications@pghpresbytery.org.

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