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News From Pittsburgh Presbytery

A Letter from the General Minister to Pittsburgh Presbytery

The Rev. Dr. Sheldon W. Sorge, General Minister to Pittsburgh Presbytery, continues his series that focuses on the core gifts God has given us to keep us strong for the long haul, no matter the severity of the storms that assail us, and to keep us encouraged to trust that God has great things yet in store for us!

In this week's pastoral letter, A COOL Identity Recovery, he offers a few modest proposals for uncovering our true identity as the church in contrast to current popular understandings that are more socio-political than theological.

New Gift Posted on Let's Get Connected!

Sewickley Presbyterian Church has assorted "Weird Animals" VBS materials they would like to give away. Check out the details and get more information on how to make a connection with a gift of resources, services or opportunities or with a need on the Let's Get Connected! webpage.

Invitation to Recommend Candidates for Senior Vice Moderator

The Committee on Nominations 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. A letter outlining more details regarding the process for Senior Vice Moderator is available online.

Home Runs for Hunger is in the Race!

The second half of the season has started and the Pirates are in the race for the Central Division top spot!  Home Runs for Hunger is in a race too, trying to keep up with Pirates homers at PNC Park.  Each time a Pirate player hits a home run out of PNC Park your Presbyterian friends and others concerned about hunger donate $100 to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

During the first half of the season, the Bucs are close to the 70 mark for number of balls hit over the fence which means $7,000 has been donated to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. However we are nearly $6,000 behind our goal of $10,000-$14,000 this year and we need your help!  Join in the fun and sponsor a home run for $100 so that no child goes to bed hungry this summer!

Special thanks to Tom Henry Chevrolet, on Route 8 in Bakerstown, for promotional sponsorship the first half of the season on the FAN 93.7 FM, the station for Pirates baseball and Home Runs for Hunger!

One Day Mission Conference for Presbyterian Men

The Presbyterian Men Mission Network of the Synod of the Trinity is pleased to announce a one day mission conference on Saturday, September 20, at the Camp Hill Presbyterian Church, Camp Hill, PA.  The conference will focus on John 15 and what it means for men to abide in Jesus Christ, bear the fruit of the Spirit, and share the gifts of the Spirit.  Presbyterian resources will be introduced, Starting New Initiatives: A Discernment Process and the Engage Bible study series. More information and registration form available online.

PAM Sponsoring Congregational Music Workshops & Reading Sessions

The Pittsburgh Chapter of the Presbyterian Association of Musicians (PAM) is sponsoring workshops and reading sessions, a "Day of Inspiration & Information," on Saturday, August 23, at Shadyside Presbyterian Church from 8:30 AM-3:30 PM. Faculty includes Mark Anderson (organ), Mark Boyle (choral), Craig Dobbins (piano rep), Roberta Erickson (hand bells), Dr. Angela Hancock (pastor), Jane Howell (children's choir), Janna Kisner (global music and electronic formats for Glory to God) and Lynne Williams (hymnal as a choir resource). Registration is $45.00 and is due by Saturday, August 9. Email Roberta Jones for more information.

Great Ends of the Church Fund Applications Now Being Accepted

The 2015 Great Ends of the Church Fund (GECF) application and time line are now available.  For this funding cycle, the GECF subcommittee has streamlined the process and is eager to distribute nearly $200,000 in grants. Applications will be due by 5:00 PM on Tuesday, September 2, 2014. The subcommittee will meet with candidates to discover more about their hopes for ministry. Additionally, applicants may request an interview with the subcommittee as another avenue for communicating the ministry vision of the group or organization.

Coming Training Events & Ministry Opportunities:

Continuing Education Opportunities at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary:

NOTE: More information about Continuing Education is available online; all events offer CEs.

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.


The Presbyterian Project has an exciting mission trip opportunity planned for you and your congregation on October 11-18 to the Alabama/Arkansas area. Click here for details!


SAVE THE DATE for the fall meeting of the South Branch on Wednesday, October 15.


The summer edition is coming soon! Please submit your summer events here. Read the winter edition of the quarterly newsletter for the South Branch of Pittsburgh Presbytery.


SAVE THE DATE for the Fall South Branch Gathering on Wednesday, October 15!

The Program Has Launched!
In connection with a grant from the PC(USA) Office of Church Growth, Pittsburgh Presbytery has launched a two year program, The Church Unglued, with a focus on the development of adaptive change leadership skills. Eight congregations representing three branches have completed the New Beginnings assessment process and now consultants from PneuMatrix will guide these congregations through the discernment and implementation process based on the assessment results. If you are interested in partnering as an apprentice assigned to one of the congregations for an on-the-job year of training in adaptive change leadership and positive deviance skills with the unglued project, please contact the Rev. Ayana Teter for more information or click here for a full description of the position.

Anti-Racism Seminar
Racism, whether we realize it or not, influences everyone in some manner each and every day. The effects of racism are sometimes 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 July 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
February 2014
May 2014
June 2014


Are We Keeping the Fourth Commandment?
You are invited to make Walter Brueggemann's recent book, Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now, a part of your summer reading. Ten new copies are available for purchase from Beverly James for $10 per book. As we read together this summer, we will be framing questions for discussion with our congregations and/or colleagues. If you are interested in purchasing a book or being part of the discussion, please email Beverly James or call 412-323-1400 X 303.

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):

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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