PNews 1/5/23

“To Tell the Old, Old Story…”
“I Love to Tell the Story,” written by Katherine Hankey, is a well-known hymn which includes the line: “I love to tell the story; tis pleasant to repeat, what seems each time I tell it, more wonderfully sweet.” To be a Christian is to understand one’s place in a much larger story in which God is the author of the story and has, in grace and love, written us into the story, and we are active participants in an ongoing story.  But, for most of us, it takes years and years and years of prayerful reflection to begin to grasp our place in the story and what it means for us. In this week’s meditation, “To Tell the Old, Old Story…”, Rev. Brian Wallace reflects on this and more.
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Coffee with Clergy
Coffee with Clergy will resume this coming Monday, January 9 at 10am. It’s a space for Pastors to shake off the Monday morning drudge with coffee, laughter, and great conversation among colleagues. B.Y.O.C. (or tea)! Click here for the Zoom link.
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Year-End Statistical Reports
This is a reminder to our Clerk of Session that the year-end statistical reporting site is currently open. There was an email sent out with information for the report; however, some clerks have found that the email is going to their Promotions or Junk folders. If you cannot find the information you need, please email Jenny Tarrant for your User ID, password, or any other questions. The submission deadline is Thursday, February 9, 2023.

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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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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