PNews – 9/10/20

News from Pittsburgh Presbytery

The conversation about returning to the sanctuary has revealed a persisting pattern among us, a tendency to call the gathering “worship.” This way of putting it suggests that we think of worship as a “thing,” an event. In the Bible, “worship” is something we do, not something we go to. It is a verb, not a noun. So how do we worship with integrity at such a time as this? In this week’s meditation, Worship Is A Verb, Rev. Dr. Sheldon W. Sorge addresses this question and more.

Crestfield’s core mission is to create an environment for people to encounter Christ. But according to Gene Joiner, Crestfield’s Executive Director, one result of the pandemic was the realization by camp staff and its board of directors that their biggest mission now was to help neighbors. Because of their new outreach, they were featured in the PC(USA) newsletter. Read more about it on their site!

With this upcoming free webinar from The Presbyterian Outlook and author Kerry Connelly, leadership and adult study groups can begin the important work of dismantling racism as a church and finding justice for our Black brothers and sisters in Christ. Participants do not need to have read Kerry’s book, Good White Racist? Confronting Your Role in Racial Injustice, to attend.

Due to the global Covid-19 pandemic which has prevented in-person minutes readings and the disparity in access to technology to permit electronic minutes readings, the Ecclesiastical Committee has granted congregations within Pittsburgh Presbytery a waiver of the minutes reading obligation for 2019 minutes. The Ecclesiastical Committee will schedule the reading of congregational minutes for 2020 as soon as it is safe and appropriate to do so, likely during the fall of 2021.

Many Pittsburgh Presbyterians were deeply interested in the national Presbyterian Week of Action, August 24-30, focusing on racial justice. Some of us were able to participate in the week’s events, but many were not. The week’s presentations were recorded and may be viewed and downloaded.

In 1992 the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) adopted a document on how to engage each other across lines of difference while maintaining our commitment to love one another as Christ has loved us. This arose amidst swirling controversies over “hot button” issues such as abortion, sexuality, ecology, and energy. Entitled “Seeking to Be Faithful Together: Guidelines for Presbyterians in Times of Disagreement,” this document has endured in its value, and to this day our presbytery includes its first page as part of each meeting’s docket. The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program has recently updated the document, and commends it for prayerful study by sessions and congregations across the church. Rooted deeply in Scripture and our confessional heritage, it provides superb guidance on how to find our way forward together peaceably when we see things from differing perspectives.

Join the World Mission Initiative and Continuing Education of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary for a free online conversation on “Race and God’s Mission”. This four-part series is co-sponsored by Pittsburgh Presbytery and will be held on Wednesday evenings October 7, 14, 21, and 28 at 7:30 p.m. (ET) with nationally recognized speakers Brenda Salter McNeil, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, and David Campt leading the conversation. Registration is required.

Section G-3.0105 of the Book of Order specifies that meetings of councils “shall be conducted in accordance with the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised except when it is in contradiction to this Constitution.” As of August 28, 2020, the new 12th Edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised is our governing parliamentary authority. The 12th Edition is available on, including in an eBook format, and the popular Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised In Brief is available in a new edition as well. Spiral-bound and other versions may be purchased from the National Association of Parliamentarians via their on-line store.

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