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A Letter from the Pastor to Presbytery

General Assembly
Saturday, June 30, 2012

Yesterday at the Assembly was all about preparation – airport arrivals and hotel check-ins, readying displays, beginning registration, sound and video checks, and so on. Everywhere you turned there were gold-smocked Pittsburgh volunteers rolling out the royal black and gold carpet to welcome our guests.  After more than two years of planning, GA is finally upon us – and our volunteer “machine” is running beautifully. Here’s a shout-out to all our amazing volunteers, and those who recruited and are coordinating them.

Today the festivities begin in earnest, as thousands gather to worship our Lord in opening worship at 1:30 in the Convention Center. Come join us if you can! GA Moderator Cynthia Bolbach, who visited us in Pittsburgh over a year ago, will preach from a wheelchair, as her strength has been drained by a brutal regimen of cancer treatments in recent weeks. Let us hold her in fervent prayer for complete healing.

Business sessions begin later in the afternoon, with the first major event being the election this evening of our GA Moderator to preside over this year’s Assembly and to be our denomination’s roving ambassador for the next two years. Tomorrow our guests will join us in worship at our congregations, and I trust each of us will welcome them as though Jesus himself were among us.

One of our big areas of preparation has been for prayer ministry throughout the Assembly. We have set up two rooms dedicated just to prayer, and volunteers from across our region will be available there continually to pray for and with anyone who indicates a desire for prayer. This is the most important way we ALL can be involved in GA – to pray that our Lord will be rightly honored in our Assembly, that God’s Spirit will direct the hearts of those who are charged to make decisions about the church’s direction, and that the world will know more of God’s love in Christ because of our witness this week. Pray for our army of volunteers that they will have the strength and grace to extend a splendid welcome in spite of the heat. And finally, pray especially for our own presbytery commissioners as they seek the mind of Christ amid the great barrage of business they face.

Each registrant at the Assembly is given a packet of materials that includes a prayer card they can fill out and drop in our prayer boxes. On the front is a silhouette of our city, with the slogan, “We’re praying for Yinz.” Let’s all consider ourselves as part of that promise!

Yours in Christ’s hope,

The Rev. Dr. Sheldon W. Sorge, Pastor to Pittsburgh Presbytery

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