PNews – 10/15/20

News from Pittsburgh Presbytery

The essential mark of love is that we do not abandon. When we love each other, we commit to staying the course together. Anything and anyone that seeks to divide us, whatever the reason, runs contrary to God’s will. How do we once again become united when so much is working against that currently? In this week’s meditation, On Earth as in Heaven?, Rev. Dr. Sheldon W. Sorge addresses this question and more.

Where in your church can you take action to address systemic poverty on a global level? The next online Matthew 25 event, scheduled for October 28 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern, will lift up how to engage existing partners for this work and where potential partnerships might exist. This event will follow the model of the previous Matthew 25 events with facilitated dialogue, guest speakers, and the sharing of resources. Mark your calendars today and register here.

Prior to the coronavirus outbreak and government mandated shutdowns, the Synod of the Trinity’s Sales Tax Exemption renewal, which includes the churches and presbyteries under its umbrella, was being processed by the Department of Revenue. They were due to be renewed and mailed out prior to expiration of the current exemption certificates, which was March 31.
An original extension was given until September 30, 2020. However, that extension has now been moved to December 31,2020.

Career development, personal growth, and issues around workplace diversity are topics many individuals face. The Employee Assistance Program, provided through Cigna Behavioral Health and the Board of Pensions, can help to inform you on how to find valuable resources to navigate challenging issues in the workplace. This program is available to all eligible employees and their household members.

Now that got your attention…Colin Kaepernick in 2016 knelt during the national anthem at the start of NFL games in protest of police brutality and racial inequality in the United States. Since that time many have expressed outrage and support of Kaepernick’s actions. Recently the NHL, NBA, WNBA, NFL and MLB players have knelt during the National Anthem in support of racial equality in this country. How do we respond as Christians to this seemingly divisive act of protest? Join Ralph Lowe and Brian Wallace as they discuss the difficult topic of how we may faithfully navigate the intersection of Patriotism and Christianity in Episode 6 of Awareness & Transformation.

Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, we’ve periodically made sermons from the Presbytery staff available for download and inclusion in online worship. There is a new sermon available this week entitled “Be Careful What You Ask For” Based on the mother of James and John’s bold request that her sons sit at Jesus’ right and left hand in the kingdom, this sermon explores the idea of servant leadership as a model for all who follow Jesus. Servant leadership in some ways sounds like an oxymoron – how can one lead a people, and yet be their servant? The answer lies, this sermon suggests, not necessarily in authority, but in the attitude and priorities of the leader being either “me-focused” or “others-focused” (in line with the Way of Jesus). You can find it on our Downloadable Worship Resources post.

We are gathering via zoom on November 12, 2020! Our theme for 2020 is Talking Politics in Church, how Christians can practice reconciliation in a politically divided world, first within the church and then beyond. In the aftermath of Election Day we will consider how we can practice what we preach about graceful speech, acknowledge all the emotions that arise when there are political winners and losers, and more. Pre-registration is required for this event so that we may send you the meeting information prior to the gathering.

The new lectionary year will be here before you know it and you can be ahead of the game with the latest volume in the commentary series for preachers who use the Revised Common Lectionary. Those who’ve used Connections love the unique approach of connecting their congregations to both Scripture and the world. They’ve also found an ease of use, reading the essays in the first few days of the week and feeling prepared to write their sermon no matter the readings for Sunday.

Events at Affiliated Organizations

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