Downloadable Worship Resources

To assist congregations during the COVID-19 Pandemic, the staff of Pittsburgh Presbytery will be providing downloadable worship components, usually in the form of sermons, for use by our congregations. 

Please note that the resources below are most appropriate for those who are pre-recording their services and then posting or premiering them online.  While these resources can be streamed as part of a live stream (via Zoom or otherwise) you will want to test your ability to do that in advance. 

If you have questions about virtual worship services for those being ordained or installed, Wayne Yost, Stated Clerk of the Synod of the Trinity, wrote up some guidelines for these specific services in the COVID age when we are instructed not to gather in person.  You can access that informational letter here.

For an explanation of the different quality levels please click here

Holy Week 2021

Easter Sunday (and following) – Rev. Dr. Sheldon Sorge and Rev. Dr. Tammy Wiens

  • Description: The Easter service recorded by Tammy and Sheldon is a single worship service in four movements – each includes Scripture, a reflection, and a hymn. The third movement centers on the Affirmation of Faith, and the fourth on Holy Communion. The four movements may be accessed separately as components for use in your worship services on any Sunday during Easter.
  • Complete Service:

Good Friday – Rev. Brian Wallace

  • Scripture(s): John 18-19
  • Description: Led by Rev. Brian Wallace (Storyteller) and Rev. Jason Freyer (Musician) this service explores John’s account of Jesus’ final hours before his crucifixion. Using a storytelling approach, Brian explores these two chapters providing historical and biblical connections and reflects on what it means for Jesus’ followers to do the hard thing. Jason’s music blends classic hymns and modern songs with a simple yet powerful blend of acoustic guitar and rich vocals.
  • Links:

Maundy Thursday – Rev. Ralph Lowe

  • Description: Led by Elder Ralph Lowe, Rev. Dr. Graham Standish and Caroline Baker, this service reflects on Maundy Thursday and Jesus’s new “mandate” (maundy) to “…love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” Join us in reflection, music, and communion, as we explore passages from the Gospel of John where Jesus sets the higher standard of love through example and word.  Musical accompaniments led by Bruce Smith, Samantha Kochis, Cy Fleming and Dewayne Segafredo.
  • Links:

Spring 2021

“What Makes Jesus Angry” – Rev. Brian Wallace

  • Published: Tuesday, March 4th, 2020 (This sermon is appropriate for any Sunday in lent)
  • Scripture(s): Mark 3:1-6
  • Description:  Jesus shows many emotions throughout the gospels.  In this story, Jesus gets angry – really angry – and what makes him angry should give us all pause.  The text tells us that what made Jesus really angry was the “unyielding hearts” of his listeners.  What does it mean to have an unyielding heart?  This sermon explores this question and asks how we, as disciples of Jesus, are called to be people who have yielding hearts. 
  • Links:

Advent/Christmas 2020

Mary, Did You Know? – Revs. Drs. Tammy Wiens and Sheldon Sorge

“2021: The Promised Land?” – Elder Ralph Lowe

  • Published: December 9th, 2020 (This sermon is appropriate for any Sunday between December 27th and the first weeks of January)
  • Scripture(s): Joshua 1:1-9
  • Description: 2021 The Promised Land? is a look at how we close the door on 2020 with hope, aspiration, and the knowledge of the presence of God waiting for us in 2021.
  • Links:

“A Father Named Joe” – Rev. Brian Wallace

  • Published: December 7th, 2020 (This sermon is appropriate for any Sunday in Advent of Christmas or the Sunday immediately after)
  • Scripture(s): Matthew 1:18-25
  • Description: Joseph is a critical figure in the Christmas story, but he’s also one we don’t know a lot about.  He shows up in the Christmas story and in Luke’s account of the journey to the temple and that’s it.  In spite of all this, there is much to learn from Joseph and what it means to respond faithfully to God, especially when we’re facing unwelcome surprises in our lives.  
  • Links:

Fall 2020

“Be Careful What You Ask For” – Rev. Brian Wallace

  • Published: October 4th, 2020
  • Scripture(s): Matthew 20:17-27
  • Description: 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).  
  • Notes: The opening illustration talks about the process of how presidential cabinets are formed so this sermon would be most timely in October.
  • Links: High-Quality     Good Quality     Audio-Only

Summer 2020

What’s Feeding You?” – Rev. Brian Wallace

  • Published: August 13th
  • Scripture: Psalm 1, Matthew 16:5-12
  • Description: Fear and hope are powerful forces in our lives.  While religion is often framed in terms of fear (escaping divine punishment), the ministry of Jesus is rooted in hope.  Drawing on the imagery of Psalm 1 (like trees planted by water) and Jesus’ warnings against the “leaven” of the Sadducees and Pharisees from Matthew, this message asks people to reflect carefully on what they’re surrounding themselves with so that they might be beacons of hope to others. 
  • Complete Sermon
  • Sermon + Components:
  • Complete Service w/ Sermon
    • This complete service includes all traditional elements of reformed worship and includes music that is licensed for streaming. You may also download a copy of the outline for worship as is (PDF) or in Word format for inclusion into your regular publications. 
    • Links: YouTube    High-Quality     Good-Quality     Audio-Only
    • Outline for Worship:     Word     PDF

“There’s No Place Like Home” – Rev. Brian Wallace

  • Published: July 12th
  • Scripture(s): Psalm 119:105
  • Description: Between coronavirus and the social unrest following the murder of George Floyd, we are living in times of unprecedented uncertainty.  The good news: the bible is full of people who find themselves in uncertain times.  Drawing on stories from the Old and New Testament, this message draws people’s focus on four practical steps toward living as disciples of Jesus and as the body of Christ facing an unknown future.
  • Links: High-Quality     Good Quality     Audio-Only

Reflections on Psalm 145 – Rev. Cindy Kohlmann, Moderator of the 223rd General Assembly

  • Published: July 5th
  • Scripture(s): Psalm 145
  • Description: In partnership with the Synod of the Northeast and the Presbytery of Boston, Rev. Cindy Kohlmann, Co-Moderator of the 223rd General Assembly, offers reflections on the familiar words of Psalm 145: “The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” and their implications for us today.  
  • Links: YouTube     Download     Sermon Text     Bulletin – Short     Bulletin – Complete     Hymns (Text)

“What is Your Theology?” – Elder Ralph Lowe

  • Published: June 14th
  • Scripture(s): Ephesians 2:1-11
  • Description: “What can I do?” has been the question asked by many white sisters and brothers in Christ over the past few weeks. The answer must start with scripture. The lens of scripture allows everyone to understand that we are called to a way of life created in Christ for good works and that must help shape our next steps.
  • Links: High-Quality     Good Quality     Audio-Only

“We Didn’t Start the Fire” – Rev. Brian Wallace

  • Published: June 7th
  • Scripture(s): 2 Corinthians 13
  • Description: This message draws on the Trinitarian benediction in 2 Cor 13.  The main point of the sermon is that the Trinitarian language grounds us in the love of God, frees us through the grace of Jesus, and guides and empowers us through the power of the Spirit.
  • Links: High-Quality     Good Quality     Audio-Only

Quality Level Explanation

  • Mindful that not everyone’s technology needs and/or capacity are the same, we make every file we post available in three formats.
    • High-Quality is a full high definition (1080p) format
    • Good Quality is a high definition (720p) format
    • Audio-Only is a compressed CD-quality format.
  • Most modern computers will be able to handle the high-quality format, but if not the good quality format is more than suitable.  Finally, audio online is ideal for making CDs or for situations where bandwidth is very limited for streaming.
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