One of the significant events at the meeting of Pittsburgh Presbytery on June 1, 2006 at the Grace Memorial Presbyterian Church was the departure of the Rev. Dan Merry as the Associate Pastor to the Presbytery for medium-sized churches. The Southminster Presbyterian Church has elected him as its next pastor, and Pittsburgh Presbytery approved the call at the June 1 meeting.
Dan has been on the Presbytery staff for six years, and has been deeply involved in the transformation of the Presbytery. He has not been a distant ecclesiastical bureaucrat, but has been supportive of the ecumenical Christian community throughout the area, including here in the Valley. He preached last year in Tarentum at the Festival of Faith of the Allegheny Valley Association of Churches. He has preached at our local Festival of Faith on at least one other occasion that I remember.
Dan preached to Pittsburgh Presbytery for the last time at this meeting. His sermon based on 1 Corinthians 12 was entitled "Wierd People", and he reminded us what an odd assortment of wierd people the Pittsburgh Presbytery community was. (Of course, during the rest of the meeting the members of the Presbytery would give it right back to him royally.) He made the point that diversity was important to God's plan, and if it is God's plan it must be good.
Near the end of the meeting there was a special time for recognizing Dan's departure. The Rev. Daniel Hrach and the Rev. John Dykstra of the Bethany Presbyterian Church performed a parody of "Summer Nights" (I'm still not sure which one was doing the Olivia Newton-John part) with the refrain "We'll get by somehow." The Rev. Dave Carver compared Dan Merry to the men of Issachar (in 1 Chronicles 12:32) "who understood the times and knew what Israel should do." Dan has provided visionary leadership to the Presbytery and we are all going to miss him in his role on the Presbytery staff.
My other articles about this meeting: A B C D