PNews – 8/20/20

News from Pittsburgh Presbytery

Stoking fear and resentment is a powerful way to gain a mass following. But not all fear is bad. We do our children a great favor when we teach them to fear crossing the street amid traffic. It’s not fear per se, but misguided fear that leads us astray. How do we see fear used for good in the Bible? And how can we see that in our lives today? In this week’s meditation, Whom Shall We Fear?, Rev. Dr. Sheldon W. Sorge answers these questions and more.

As part of our on-going effort to provide support for our pastors and congregations, a new sermon, entitled What’s Feeding You?, as well as a complete worship service have been prepared by Rev. Brian Wallace. It is available through the Presbytery’s Downloadable Worship Resources page on the website. You can access the service as a whole, including licensed music, or individual items that you can intersperse with your own elements.

Many people are inquiring about how to celebrate the sacrament of baptism and services of ordination/installation in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Office of the General Assembly and the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Office of Theology and Worship have prepared statements and they are now posted on the Presbyery’s website for your reference.

The Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Office of Christian Formation is offering congregations, in this time of COVID separation, up to thirty free copies of resources that support faith formation at home: Book of Common Worship (Daily Prayer Edition), Glory to God (Presbyterian Hymnal), and Growing In God’s Love Story Bible. More information and an application to receive these gifts is available here.

In response to the killing of George Floyd, staff members Ralph Lowe, Director of Justice Ministries and Rev. Brian Wallace, Associate Minister, started a series of conversations entitled Awareness and Transformation: Conversations about Life, Race, and Faith. You can view the episodes on YouTube or access downloadable copies of the videos for inclusion in online worship and other church programs. In episode four, What About Reverse Racism?, Ralph and Brian talk about this question specifically and touch on a number of other topics including bias, power, access to systems, and more. For supplemental information on racial justice, visit the PC(USA) site.

Inquirers and candidates for ordination in the PC(USA), who have remained steady for four years, have the opportunity to elect healthcare coverage for themselves and their eligible family members at reduced costs, . The enrollment window is open through September 15, 2020.

Well-Being Respite is being offered by the Board of Pensions. It is a unique online opportunity to step away from your daily routine and come to the well for spiritual renewal, mental stimulation, thoughtful conversation, and meaningful engagement with colleagues in life and ministry as you contemplate God’s movement in our individual and collective experiences. This opportunity is open to all Benefits Plan Members.

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