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News From Pittsburgh Presbytery

A Letter from the General Minister to Pittsburgh Presbytery

In this week's pastoral letter, Antidote Extraordinaire, the Rev. Dr. Sheldon W. Sorge suggests the best way to address unmet longing is to practice thanksgiving.

Contributions Received for Malawi & South Sudan Have Been a-MAIZE-ing!

Those who have attended the recent gatherings of the presbytery are aware that the PC(USA) is describing the hunger situation in Malawi as "critical" while the UN warns that as many as 30,000 people face starvation and millions more face severe hunger and food insecurity in South Sudan.  In response to this, our presbytery (under the leadership of the International Partnership Ministry Team), called for a day of prayer and fasting on October 16 and a day of action on October 18.  Last week, we were able to send a leadership gift of more than $17,500 to our colleagues in those countries who are on the front lines of addressing this critical food shortage.  We were able to do so because of the faithful giving of scores of congregations and thousands of individuals. Our goal for the final three months of 2015 is $75,000.  Every congregation and individual is invited to learn more about both the famine and the ways we are seeking to help by visiting the partnership website.

The partnership has re-launched the alternative giving campaign, "a-MAIZE-ing Grace." The essence of this plan is simple. Individuals and communities will be invited to contribute money for famine relief. Each $25 gift will provide 50 kilograms of maize (corn) or its equivalent, which is enough to supplement a family's diet for one month. Those who make contributions in the USA will receive small tokens shaped like maize bags as reminders that we are blessed to be able to give. To receive a quantity of tokens for your congregation or group, or for your own personal use, please see the contact information online or simply email Jean Shaffers.

Funds collected will be sent to established ministries in Malawi and South Sudan to equip local pastors and churches to offer food to all in need, regardless of religious affiliation or non-affiliation. We are asking churches and individuals to spread the word and seek contributions.

We are delighted to be able to help the larger church take the lead in this critical area and urge each congregation and member to get involved.

Lazarus Fund Now Accepting Applications

The Lazarus Fund of Pittsburgh Presbytery is once again accepting applications for assistance with rent and utility payments. Applicants must live in Allegheny County and apply in person at one of the participating churches. To obtain a list of congregations, please call 412-697-7390 and leave a message. To continue this work in 2016, the fund needs your prayers and your contributions. Checks should be made payable to Pittsburgh Presbytery with “Lazarus Fund” noted on the memo line and sent to 901 Allegheny Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15233.

Advent Resources for Presbyterians

Whether you're leading worship or a study group, we have the resources you need for Advent 2015! You can explore Advent themes in Narnia, spend devotional time with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Illuminate Advent for your adult study group, and so much more!

Sweater Drive Collection on December 15

It’s time to dig into the closet and replace the summer duds with the winter wardrobe!  There are always several gently used sweaters that you’re probably not going to keep.  They can be a fine donation to “Mister Rogers Neighborhood Sweater Drive” conducted by the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh in collaboration with the Presbyterian Media Mission (PMM) to help people who need to keep warm this winter.

We encourage you to collect sweaters at your church and share them with neighbors who need them in your immediate community first as an extension of your care and concern for others. Additional sweaters, to be distributed via United Way and local Presbyterian mission agencies, can be taken to the museum. Bins will be located in the lobby for collecting the much needed sweaters through Tuesday, December 15. The museum has collected more than 34,000 sweaters to share with families in need throughout Southwester Pennsylvania since 2000.

For more information, please email Gregg Hartung at PMM or call him at 724-777-2489.

Mister Rogers' Sweater Drive 2015 partners include: The Presbyterian Churches of the Tri-State Area, Thelma Lovette YMCA, Young Friends Committee of the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, The Homeless Children's Education Fund, and Quaker Valley Elementary Schools.

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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