Thursday, June 07, 2007

First United Presbyterian celebrates 175 years

Choir leads congregation in singing "Litany for a Festive Day" for 175th Anniversary of First United Presbyterian Church of Tarentum, June 3, 2007On Sunday June 3, the First United Presbyterian Church of Tarentum celebrated its 175th anniversary with a special worship service and a luncheon program following worship. I was able to get to most of the worship service after the service at Central Presbyterian Church that had just switched to its summer hours.

The service featured a choral piece composed for the occasion. Michael Jothen, the composer, had planned to be present to conduct "Litany for a Festive Day", but health reasons prevented him. The piece included singing by the choir, trumpets played by WIlliam Tillman and Ryan Weaver, readings by Pastor Phil Beck, and singing of portions of hymns by the congregation: "The Church's One Foundation", "Now Thank We All Our God", and "Lead on O King Eternal."

The Pastor of Pittsburgh Presbytery, Jim Mead, preached the sermon "Creating the Present out of the Future." He spoke about God's trustworthiness in the past, and the future to which God is calling First United and the whole church.

During the delicious luncheon following the service there was a presentation to Pastor Emeritus Robert Andreen of a photograph of the large Celtic Cross of St. John the Evangel that hangs behind the pulpit of the church. Rev. Andreen had been instrumental in getting the cross for the church in 1965.

It was a very uplifting day that affirmed the long history of God's care for the Tarentum area.

The VND had a nice story about the anniversary.

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