Saturday, September 16, 2006

Central's 2006 church tour

On Saturday the Deacons of the Central Presbyterian Church of Tarentum sponsored our third annual tour of local churches. The tour was a social/fellowship event with an educational edge. About 27 people of all ages went on the tour, some from Central Presbyterian Church, and some from other Valley churches.

Our bus driverOur bus driver had never done a church tour before, so he was curious what the tour was about. Were we going to have worship services at each of the places we stopped? I explained that we were going to invite people at each church to tell us about the space they used and how it related to what was important to that congregation about what they were doing.

In a way we heard a sermon at each of the churches we visited. Sometimes it was in familiar language. Sometimes it was in such an unfamiliar form that it got us thinking about what was important to us about our own faith and the houses of worship that are our church homes.

Our tourbus, seen over a stone lectern in front ot the First Presbyterian Church of PittsburghWe chartered a bus through Lenzner Coach Lines, part of the CoachUSA family.

We visited the Smithfield United Church of Christ, the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh, Max's Allegheny Tavern (for lunch), the Allegheny Center Alliance Church, and St. Anthony Chapel in Troy Hill.

Stained glass window at Smithfield UCC showing Penn granting deeds to three churchesIn 1787 heirs of William Penn granted deeds to three historic Pittsburgh churches. The first churches we visited were two of those three. So our tour was a walk through Pittsburgh history even as the congregations told us about their current work and mission.

I'll be writing something about each of the churches we visited in the next few days.

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