Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Pittsburgh Presbytery meeting at Bower Hill: B. Worship

Wood carving on pulpit at Bower Hill Community Church, "And the word became flesh and dwelt among us full of grace and truth"Worship was an important part of the meeting of Pittsburgh Presbytery at the Bower Hill Community Church on Thursday, February 8, 2007. In addition to the main worship service at the beginning of the meeting, we had many special, brief acts of worship throughout the meeting.

The main gathering in worship featured a sermon by Pastor Judi Slater on "The Great Banquet". We sang "Sing Praise to God, Who Reigns ABove" and "Let Us Talents and Tongues Employ".

Communion elements at the meeting of Pittsburgh Presbytery, held at Bower Hill Community ChurchWe shared in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. As frequently happens at Presbytery meetings, we received by intinction. I wonder how often that method is used in particular congregations throughout the presbytery. But whatever happens in the local churches, the presbytery seems to be very comfortable with receiving the sacrament in this manner. It is very meaningful to have communion at the first meeting of the year, and to be fed by Christ as Christ's community, whatever may be the tensions among us.

During this main worship service we received the Hunger Offering of $1,232.

But we did not stop worshiping once we resumed our agenda. Moderator David Green appointed vice-moderators: the Rev. Carmen Cox Harwell and the Rev. Dr. Gail King. The presbytery then continued to worship God in a ceremony of installation of the Moderator, the Senior Vice Moderator Kears Pollock, and vice-moderator Harwell.

Near the conclusion of the meeting, there was another brief act of worship: a Service of Recognition of Honorable Retirement for the Rev. James Miller, who has had a fascinating ministry connecting the scientific community with the religious community. Rev. Miller shared three quotations with us. One was from Teilhard de Chardin:
The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.

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