PNews 12/15/22

Already, but Not Yet
Advent is that beautiful yet enigmatic season when we celebrate the One who has come, but is yet to come. Advent both elicits gratitude for the coming of our Savior Jesus two thousand years ago and deepens our yearning for his coming again to bring fulfillment to all the promises of God’s reign. May the light that no darkness can quench shine brightly in and through us this Advent season, as we watch and wait between the already and the not yet. In this week’s meditation, Already, but Not Yet, Rev. Dr. Sheldon W. Sorge meditates on this and more.
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Welcome to our New Associate Minister!
The Executive Committee is pleased to announce that the Rev. Louise Rogers will join the staff as Temporary Associate Minister to Pittsburgh Presbytery, effective January 30th. Louise has served several congregations within the region, including John McMillan, Beechview, Peter’s Creek, and since 2017 Westminster Presbyterian Church as the Associate Pastor for Congregational Care. Before her career in ministry, Louise worked as the Vice President of Sales for ADP. She has completed both weeks 1 and 2 of the transitional ministry training and a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education.

From her interviews and references, the search committee (Rev. Erin Davenport, Rev. Scott Hill, and Elder Louise Schoppe, staffed by Rev. Brian Wallace) appreciated her experience, calm and compassion, and sense of call to this position. People who have worked with her called her “deeply faithful,” “an outstanding colleague,” and “someone who helps you be at your best.” We are confident she will fit in well with the existing pastoral leadership team as they support one another, coordinating and sharing responsibilities. The intention is for Louise to work alongside the other staff, focusing on congregational support and transition, until a new General Minister is called and begins work.

ARTT Advocates for Reparations
We are the Anti-Racism Transformation Team (ARTT) of Pittsburgh Presbytery–greetings in Christ!

Our mission is to be a catalyst and resource for dismantling systemic bias in our community of faith that is Pittsburgh Presbytery. We are reaching out to the Sessions of our churches to invite you into a conversation about an important concept that took on life in Pittsburgh this year: reparations for Black congregations. In the summer, Sixth Presbyterian Church brought to our attention the Bethel AME Church Reparations Campaign. Bethel AME Church is the oldest Black church in the city (1808). It’s 3,000 seat building was seized and torn down in 1957 to make way for the Civic Arena which, itself, was torn down a few years ago. An overture from Sixth Church to support, financially and spiritually, Bethel AME Church’s request for reparations was presented to Pittsburgh Presbytery at the September meeting. The ARTT is eager to join with any group in your church (Session or prayer group or Sunday school class, for example) who wants to consider prayerfully what this request means and how it impacts our Presbytery’s historically Black congregations. A team of two ARTT members are available to schedule a time for this discussion. We have attached the Sixth Church Overture, ARTT comment, and contact information. We look forward to hearing from you.
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Webinar Offered from FEMA for Grant Information
The NSGP gives faith-based and nonprofit organizations, including churches, an opportunity to apply for resources to help them prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks. You and your congregation can attend one of their upcoming webinars hosted by FEMA and its Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships. The webinar will introduce the grant program and the application process.

When: December 13, 2022
Time: 03:00 PM ET (US and Canada)
Register in advance for this meeting here.
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Landscape Study for Pittsburgh Presbytery
As the Presbytery enters into transition as we approach Sheldon’s retirement as General Minister, the Executive Committee has authorized a Landscape Study. Some may be familiar with the CAT (Church Assessment Tool) Scan from Holy Cow Consulting. The Landscape study is a similar tool but designed for mid-councils rather than judicatories.

The Landscape study is an online survey that takes approximately 15 minutes. All members of Pittsburgh Presbytery, defined as members of any of our congregations and all minister members, are eligible and encouraged to fill out the survey. The survey will be open from November 29th through December 20th, 2022.

The survey is available here:

If someone wishes to complete the survey but cannot do so online, they can fill out a paper copy (downloadable here) and mail it to the Presbytery Office. (901 Allegheny Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15233)
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Presbyterian Giving Catalog
The Giving Catalog has gifts to honor the wishes of everyone “who doesn’t need anything” and provide a big impact to those in need. There is a wide array of gifts that bring help and hope to people and communities all over the world and speak to a variety of interests and causes sure to connect with anyone on your list. Choose from a variety of Honor Cards to let your loved one know how their gift is making a difference. Cards can be mailed, e-mailed or printed off at home to share in person.
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Registration is Now Open for The Nap!
The Nap is a retreat-style event at Crestfield Camp and Conference Center designed for next-generation ministry leaders, pastors, and volunteers. Positioned strategically during the program year lull between Advent and Lent, think of this as 1/3 sabbath retreat, 1/3 continuing education, and 1/3 fun and fellowship. Sharon Stewart will be speaking, and Del Treese will be leading worship.  The retreat will begin at 3 pm Monday February 6th and end at 3 pm on Wednesday the 8th.  Registration will close on January 25, 2023.
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