My Perspective on Presbytery Living

A Letter to Pittsburgh Presbytery from
Rev. Louise Rogers
Temporary Associate Minister for Congregational Support
Thursday, May 2, 2024

My Perspective on Presbytery Living

The time has flown by this past year and a half as I have been working on the Pittsburgh Presbytery staff as an Associate Minister to the churches in the South Branch along with other duties as needed! This time has been a joy in service to the wider church. People often ask me what I have learned since I have been at the Presbytery. Let me share with you what I have seen, heard and experienced.

First, I wish I had paid a little more attention to that polity class in seminary. Frequently when we go out from the Presbytery, we are expected to clarify process and procedures.  While I used to view the BOO as a list of do’s and don’ts, I now see this as a resource with valuable guidelines to serve as a beacon rather than a constraint. Our polity provides a solid foundation, especially in times of transition and trouble, to guide us as we move forward on a faithful path.

In my office at the Presbytery I have a photo of each church in the South Branch that makes up my prayer wall. Together as a staff we regularly pray for all Presbytery pastors, congregations and partners in ministry. The pictures I look at in my office highlight the wide array of styles in church buildings which mirrors the variety of worship styles on Sunday mornings. I have found that some congregations offer upbeat contemporary worship with children dancing upfront in the aisles. Other congregations have traditional worship with beautiful organ music, singing classical hymns of faith. Many churches exhibit screens in their sanctuaries, but not all. Some churches have clergy wearing robes but most do not. All worship is dedicated to praising God and I give thanks for the Spirit which empowers the variety of gifts.

The worship liturgy reflects our tradition. Here our deep roots take hold as the scripture is read, the Word proclaimed and prayers are lifted up from the heart. One church has communion every Sunday, another four times a year but most share the sacrament monthly. Whatever the frequency, the bread is broken, the cup – the new covenant for the forgiveness of sins is shared as we are invited and united as God’s beloved at the table.

I have been delighted to meet so many dynamic, thoughtful, spiritual individuals this past year. People who are committed to Christ, serving the church and Presbytery with passion. I continue to be amazed at the teaching and ruling elders, along with deacons who answered the call to leadership and work tirelessly for the church. They bring remarkable gifts and experience to countless meetings to determine the best way forward in seeking God’s will. Because we believe we are Better Together as a Presbytery, the Presbytery is offering an Equipping, Empowering, Engaging Event on September 19, 2024 at Ken Mawr United Presbyterian Church from 4:00 – 7:30pm.  This event is designed to provide instructions and tools to equip and empower elders and deacons to prayerfully engage God’s work in the local church community. Mark your calendars now for an inspiring time of fellowship and community building with colleagues.

Finally, knowing the staff of Pittsburgh Presbytery has been a delight for me. I marvel at their knowledge, but more importantly, how much they care. Every Tuesday the staff comes together for Bible study, followed by a leadership meeting where we discuss important issues in the Presbytery. The overall theme is not only “what is happening”, but “how can we be supportive?” “What is God calling us to do and be in this situation to as we support the congregation and pastor?” Frequently the Presbytery staff is present at a particular church or event as an encouraging presence for all. Thanks be to God for the dedication of Brian, Ralph, Carla, Cathy, Elizabeth, and Jenny.

Thank you all for welcoming me this past year. I would love to hear about your experience with the Presbytery. What is God doing in your life and how have you grown in faith?  May our work together be secured by these words: “Show me your way, O Lord, that I may follow in your truth. Teach me to revere your name, and my whole heart will praise you.”  Psalm 86: 11-12

Together on the journey,



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