On Thursday, February 8, Pittsburgh Presbytery met at the Bower Hill Community Church in Mt. Lebabon. There were 108 ministers and 128 elders from 92 churches, and the meeting was only a little over three hours long.
This was not a meeting at which the Presbytery voted on any controversial matters, but the Presbytery was kept aware of the fact that there were tensions below the surface. The Presbytery did take a number of votes to elect officers, appoint members of committees, and approve calls. Worship was a priority for the meeting. There was a special observance of Black History Month.
The directions to the church distributed with the meeting papers gave directions from only two starting points: from downtown or the south. The unstated message was "Why would you want to come to Mt Lebanon from the Alle-Kiski Valley? You should start somewhere else." Although it had been a while since I last navigated across the Fort Pitt Bridge and through the Fort Pitt Tunnel, I succeeded this time, and the directions from the tunnel were good.
The folks at the host church were very welcoming. From the time I arrived at the church parking lot there was no lack of assistance in finding out which way to go. There were some very nice refreshments available before the meeting, featuring coffee from the Presbyterian Coffee Project.
The sanctuary was unavoidably chilly as a result of the recent very low temperatures. The furnace had been working non-stop over the last few days but still had a problem bringing the temperature up to a comfortable range. Alas, we did not have any of those debates generating more heat than light.