Transition Updates – August 2023

A Letter to Pittsburgh Presbytery from
Rev. Brian Wallace
Associate Minister for Emerging Ministries &
Acting Head of Staff
Thursday, August 31, 2023

Transition Updates – August 2023

Dear Friends-

As September approaches, we are officially eight months into our leadership transition.  As I’ve done several times, I want to update you on the leadership transition progress and some other matters in the life of the Presbytery.

At our July Executive Committee meeting, the personnel committee presented, and the Executive Committee approved, a job description for the General Minister for use by the General Minister Special Nominating Committee as they develop their Ministry Discernment Profile (the successor to the Ministry Information Form).  (You can find a copy of the job description here.)  The Special Nominating Committee anticipates submitting the final MDP to the Executive Committee for approval at the September meeting, after which the position will be posted.

During these last few months, representatives of the Executive Committee, with input from the staff, have been working on developing new purpose and strategy statements for the Presbytery that the Executive Committee will also review at its September meeting.  The development of these statements has been a process that began in March at the Executive Committee’s retreat with a deep dive into the roles and responsibilities of a Presbytery as defined by the Book of Order and a brief look into the recent history of the Presbytery.  This preliminary work, combined with an in-depth exploration of the Landscape study, helped inform the prayerful discernment work as we sought to discern who and what the Presbytery is called to be and do in this next season of our life together.  Assuming the statements are approved at the September meeting, they will be shared publicly before the September Presbytery meeting.

There are two events that are scheduled before the September Presbytery meeting on September 28th @ Crestfield Camp and Conference Center that you’ll want to make note of.

At the May 2023 Presbytery meeting, the body approved a significant shift in how candidates who are certified ready are received and examined.  Rather than have a limited window of time for questions from commissioners during the meeting, there will now be a separate gathering, hosted by the Commission on Preparation for Ministry, to get to know those who have been certified ready and will be presented for approval for ordination.  This gathering will include time to get to know the individuals and ask questions about their statement of faith and sense of call.  This event, entitled the Final Discernment Event, will be on September 20th @ 4:00pm at the Presbytery Office.  You can find more information and register here.

The 2024 Presbytery Budget will be presented for vote at the September Presbytery meeting.  One week before the meeting, on September 21st, I will host a Zoom gathering to provide a detailed look at the 2024 budget and address questions.  I will still present the budget as part of the Presbytery meeting, but it will be a far less detailed presentation.  If you cannot attend the Zoom meeting, we will be recording the Session and making it available to view shortly thereafter.  You can RSVP for the Budget Presentation here.

To close, here are a few updates on our staff.  At the end of July, we said farewell to our Business Administrator, Roy Burford and sent him with our blessing into retirement.  His replacement, Elizabeth Meriweather, began working with us at the beginning of May and has settled into the role and is quickly getting up to speed and sharing some of her unique gifts with us as well.  Our Stated Clerk, Carla Campbell,  was able to take the first half of her sabbatical from the middle of July through the end of August and returned to work this past Monday.  Rev. Ralph Lowe, one of our Associate Ministers, served as the worship leader this summer at Trinity Youth Conference, a gathering for youth and young adults.  As for me, I was privileged to spend two weeks at Crestfield, assisting with summer camp in a variety of roles.

For many of our churches, the Sunday after Labor Day traditionally marks the start of the program year.  Please know that your Presbytery staff continues to gather every Tuesday morning for a time of worship, prayer, and bible study, and we will be praying for the ministries of all of our congregations as this fall begins.

In Christ,




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