Call to Prayer

A Letter to Pittsburgh Presbytery from
Rev. Brian Wallace
Associate Minister for Emerging Ministries &
Acting Head of Staff
Thursday, June 6, 2024

14 Also, let’s hold on to the confession since we have a great high priest who passed through the heavens, who is Jesus, God’s Son; 15 because we don’t have a high priest who can’t sympathize with our weaknesses but instead one who was tempted in every way that we are, except without sin. 16 Finally, let’s draw near to the throne of favor with confidence so that we can receive mercy and find grace when we need help.

Hebrews 4:14–16 (CEB)

Dear Friends-

Life in our churches is seasonal in nature.  Advent, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost come in rapid succession between December through May.  And then comes the unofficial liturgical season known as summer.  Things in our churches slow down a little bit (although those planning for summer events like VBS and trips would beg to differ with that statement).  As I thought about this seasonal shift, I reflected on the pace of the work of the Presbytery.  Summer is, without a doubt, a slower and calmer season at 901 Allegheny Ave.  The phones ring less, staff members are often like ships passing in the night with vacation schedules, and there are few gatherings on site.

Since I’ve been in the Acting Head of Staff role, each week, I’ve asked myself two questions when I’ve decided what to write to make the lead article for our Presbytery’s weekly newsletter.

  1. Is there something pressing in the life of the church that I should highlight?
  2. Is there a word of encouragement for our people that I feel called to share?

I’ll admit that initially I was a bit hesitant to try and regularly compose something for this space.  I’ve never been an especially strong writer, and much of what I do write requires extensive editing to catch the myriad of typos and run-on sentences I am notorious for producing.   But, over time, I’ve really come to enjoy the opportunity I’ve had to share with the Presbytery community what I believed God was calling me to share.   But this summer, I want to try something different with this space: intentionally focusing on prayer.

A lot is going on in our churches, in our denomination, and in our world.  There is much of that that we cannot control. As I’ve admitted many times, I struggle with how to respond when I face a situation I cannot control.  That’s part of why I appreciate the Hebrews text I’ve included above.  Our high priest is one who can sympathize with us, who gets it, who understands it, who has felt every aspect of our humanity.  And therefore, when we pray, we’re not praying to a distant, unfeeling being; we’re praying to Jesus, fully God and fully man.

So, for at least these first few weeks of summer, I’m going to list each week a few situations that I am going to ask everyone to pray about during that week.  And… I am going to try and keep the list short, 3-4 items per week.

This week, I would ask you to keep in prayer:

  • Our broken and hurting world. Specifically for an end to the suffering and violence in our world, including Ukraine, Gaza, and Sudan.
  • Our General Minister Special Nominating Committee and the finalists they will be interviewing this month. For discernment of God’s call for our Presbytery and their vocation.
  • Our friends in South Sudan and Malawi and members of our International Partnership are making arrangements for the fall pilgrimage.
  • Our Commission on Ministry and Commission on Preparation for Ministry, which will meet next week, and for the individuals they will meet with.

In Christ,


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