PNews – 1/14/21

News from Pittsburgh Presbytery

Martin Luther King Jr. declared, “The force of evil may temporarily conquer truth, but truth has a way of ultimately conquering its conqueror.” Last week’s violent attack on the Capitol was fueled by a steady stream of untruths about the election. Lies can and do kill. As people of the truth, the church must expose and oppose the deceits that swirl around us and among us. Where does this difficult task begin? In this week’s meditation, The Vulnerability of Truth, Rev. Dr. Sheldon W. Sorge addresses this question and more.

Annually the Sunday before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is celebrated as Freedom Rising Sunday! A time for congregations in our presbytery to unite in prayer, worship, witness, and giving to support Freedom Rising and our shared call to address the worsening plight of the African American male. The Freedom Rising Steering Team of Pittsburgh Presbytery has created a number of resources to assist your congregation in developing a worship service addressing the themes underpinning the ministry of Freedom Rising.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, “clergy and other essential support for houses of worship” are part of the first phase of the coronavirus vaccine rollout. Clergy are listed in the chart under 1B (third from the bottom) on the Department of Health website. They are currently in phase 1A of distribution in Pennsylvania. When our region moves to phase 1B, the presbytery will send out another notification.

A second draw of Payroll Protection Program loans/grants for small businesses has been made available by the federal government. Religious organizations such as congregations are eligible to apply for these funds, under certain conditions. Most notably, this program makes grants only to those organizations that received first-round PPP Loans/Grants in 2020. The other major qualification is that the applicant must show a reduction of at least 25% in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020. Click “read more” to access the guidelines for eligibility and applications.

Join the Washington office of the PC(USA) for a conversation between Associate Director of Advocacy, Rev. Jimmie R. Hawkins and Stated Clerk of the PC(USA), Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson as they dissect the attack on the Capitol Building and the events leading up to the attack. This discussion will cover the danger of white supremacy and racism in policing. They will also discuss where we go from here as a community of faith dedicated to justice and equality for all. Webinar is today, Thursday January 14, 2021, at 3:30 p.m. live on the Office of Public Witness Facebook page (@PCUSAWashington).

Over the past few months emails falsely claiming to be from Sheldon Sorge have circulated to some of you. That activity has recently increased, and has expanded to include emails purporting to be from Carla Campbell. Most of these come from Gmail addresses that they do not own, and to which they have no access. Read more for tips on how to recognize and report these emails.

A friendly reminder that the year-end statistical reports are due Tuesday, February 9, 2021. At this point we have had only 2 churches input their reports and this information is important in calculating your per capita. Please remember that your statistics must be approved by session before the submission deadline, so plan accordingly. Read more for further information and the links to you need submit reports.

Events at Affiliated Organizations

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