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News From Pittsburgh Presbytery

A Letter from the General Minister to Pittsburgh Presbytery

In this week's pastoral letter, Staying in Balance: Equality & Liberty, the Rev. Dr. Sheldon W. Sorge introduces a new series on some of the critical balances Presbyterians seek to strike between competing values. He begins with a look at how we negotiate between the claims of equality and liberty in how we order our life together.

Two Events Related to Proposed Amendments

Pittsburgh Presbytery has scheduled two events related to the proposed amendments to the Book of Order upon which we will vote at our presbytery meeting on May 14.

The first is a general question-and-answer session related to all of the proposed amendments. It will be hosted by General Minister Sheldon Sorge and Stated Clerk Carla Campbell and is scheduled for 1:00 PM on Saturday, May 2, at the presbytery offices. Sheldon and Carla will be prepared to answer questions on any of the amendments to the Book of Order.

The second is a pre-conference hour prior to the presbytery meeting scheduled for noon on Thursday, May 14, at Bower Hill Community Presbyterian Church to discuss the pastoral opportunities and challenges presented by the church’s granting permission for conducting same-sex weddings. A panel of pastors from congregations across the theological spectrum will share their own stories of pastoral engagement with this new possibility, and all present will be given opportunity to lift up their own experiences and to pray for one another.

While questions raised at either of these events should be honest and probing, the intent is not for these events to be forums for debate between those with opposing convictions. Rather, these events are being held to shed light on the matters before us and to help us engage each other faithfully and charitably as together we seek to glorify our Lord Jesus in how we conduct our life as his church.

Curriculum Workshop This Saturday!
Saturday, April 25, from 9:00 AM-12:00 PM
Patrick Room at the offices of Pittsburgh Presbytery

The grace of God and our response of gratitude are the foundation of the new PC(USA) denominational curriculum, Growing in Grace & Gratitude, for children coming fall 2015. This workshop will explore grace and gratitude as the theological hallmark of Presbyterian tradition and showcase the importance of nurturing children through an invitation to discipleship that inspires them to learn and practice hospitality, generosity, and love. God's grace and our gratitude are the heartbeat of our faith, life, and worship -- a promising theme for Presbyterian identity and the future of our denomination.

Who is Invited: Pastors, CREs, Sunday School Teachers, Seminarians, Members

Workshop Facilitator: Candace C. Hill, Coordinator of Educational Ministries, PC(USA)

Please RSVP by sending an email to Cindy miller (include name, phone number, and organizational affiliation). Refreshments provided. This is a free event hosted by the East Branch of the presbytery.

Invitation to Attend a Service of Installation
Thursday, April 30 at 4:00 PM
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

You are invited to attend the Installation Service of the Rev. Dr. Beverly W. James as the Associate Minister for Discipleship to Pittsburgh Presbytery scheduled for 4:00 PM on Thursday, April 30, at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary Chapel. Dinner will follow in the Dining Hall. There is no charge for this event but please make reservations by sending an email to Cindy Miller. A bulletin insert is available online to download and share with your congregation!

Do You Know Someone Who Would Serve Well as Senior Vice Moderator or YAAD?

The Nominations Committee is seeking candidates for Senior Vice
Moderator of Pittsburgh Presbytery. Please email recommendations or address them to the presbytery, Attn: Committee on Nominations, c/o Cathy Nelson. Recommendations must be received by the close of business on Monday, July 6. Also being sought are candidates for the Young Adult Advisory Delegate (YAAD) who will attend the General Assembly June 18-25, 2016 in Portland Oregon. A letter outlining more details regarding the process for Senior Vice Moderator and YAAD is available online.

Root for the Pirates with Your Presbytery Friends!

Tickets are available at a discount for the game on Thursday, June 25, at 7:05 PM when the Pirates take on the Cincinnati Reds. We have also been invited to sing the National Anthem that evening and are hoping to have a combined choir of up to 150 singers from the churches in the presbytery this year! More information available online.

Details for Presbytery Grants Available Online

Small Church Leadership Development Fund: Deadline Ongoing
Small Church Leadership Development Funds are designed to enable members of congregations (ordained and lay persons) with less than 100 in worship through leadership development to: grow in commitment to Jesus Christ; celebrate who and whose we are as people of God in small congregations; gain a renewed understanding and appreciation of our Presbyterian tradition; and develop congregational life. Grants are available for up to $500 per person per event per year, with a maximum of $1,000 per congregation per year. The guidelines and an application form are available online.

Enhancement Grants: Deadline August 31
The Administrative Commission for Transformation (ACT) hopes to promote ministry partnerships with the 2016 Enhancement Grants. The awards will be based on a 3-to-1 ratio: ACT will offer $3 for every $1 you raise with a maximum grant of $3,000. You are also encouraged to consider sharing in ministry with one or more congregations in your area and applying for a joint grant. Applications are due by August 31. Grants are awarded on a one-year basis. Churches are eligible to receive grants for two consecutive years but must reapply annually. After two consecutive years of receiving a grant, a church should wait one year before applying again. Applications and guidelines are available online.

Coming Training Events & Ministry Opportunities:

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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