At the previous meeting Pastor Jim Mead had encouraged us to tell the history of our church with God as the subject and active verbs. It feels presumptuous to claim to know what God was about; all I can bring to the task are my partial awareness of the Biblical witness to what God is doing in the world and my perceptions of what I saw happening. But here is my thumbnail attempt at a summary of the meeting.
God was at work in the meeting of Pittsburgh Presbytery at the Shadyside Presbyterian Church blessing the beloved community with an awareness and appreciation of the many gifted and dedicated fellow-servants who have led us and worked alongside us. God brought new colleagues into our midst and gave us opportunities to establish pastoral relationships through which the broken will receive healing and lives will be changed. God spoke to the blessed community through the written and preached Word, and welcomed us to the feast of the Lamb of God in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.
As the meeting began, Moderator Carol Divens Roth reminded us that the day was Candlemas, on which we recall the presentation of Christ in the Temple forty days after his birth. The same day is secularly observed as Ground Hog Day. She stated her prayer that both Pittsburgh Presbytery and Punxsutawney Phil would see the light. She urged us to look around the room and see if we could identify a single person for whom Christ did not die.
The Rev. Dr. Craig Barnes brought greetings from the host church, telling us "How wonderful to have the Presbytery at the Shadyside Presbyterian Church without us being in trouble."
In adopting the docket, the Presbytery added as new business the overture prepared by Elder Robert Gagnon. No other new business was added.
Only seventeen minutes into the meeting, the Presbytery made most of the decisions necessary for the day through its use of the consent motion. Fifty-one important actions were included in that consent motion. By doing so much of the non-controversial business through the consent motion we were free to spend more time and attention on God's activity in the life of our community.
The Mt. Lebanon United Presbyterian Church gave a powerpoint presentation about their outreach program "Off the Floor Pittsburgh". As part of Pastor Jim Mead's report, Rev. Don Dilley reported on the Verona United Presbyterian Church's youth program "Almost Home", which had initially received opposition from local government, but has now established itself as a positive outreach to the local community.
We conducted the meeting in the midst of a time of Steelers' fever. As Pastor Jim Mead presented his report he reminded the Presbytery that he came from the Pacific Northwest. To allay any concerns about his current loyalties, he opened his jacket to show that he was wearing a black shirt with a gold tie.
My other articles on this meeting: 1 2 3 4 5 6