Saturday, December 03, 2011

Preaching in December

I'll be preaching three times this month.

December 4 at 11:00 AM at the Tunnelton Presbyterian Church.

December 25 at 9:00 AM at the Plum Creek Presbyterian Church, in Creekside, PA.

December 25 at 10:30 AM at the Washington Presbyterian Church, in Home, PA.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Two trips across the river

In the last fortnight I've made a couple of trips that were significant to me back across the Allegheny River from where I live in Lower Burrell.

On Sunday, June 19 I went to Brackenridge to officiate at the wedding of Brian Waters and Heather Basista.
It was a beautiful day in the park along First Avenue. On the heels of a long spell of rain, we were able to complete the service without anyone getting drenched.

The couple had decided to include a ceremony I had never seen before. Similar in concept to the unity candle, the couple poured two colors of sand into a common vessel.

The following Saturday, June 25, I went into Tarentum because I had heard about a Mission Fair and Strawberry Festival that was going to happen at the Central Presbyterian Church of Tarentum. I crossed the bridge early and walked around Tarentum for a while. A friend recognized me while we crossed a street going in opposite directions. "Five days away from heroin," he announced with a smile.

I gave him a thumbs up and said, "Keep it up." What a difficult journey people face when fighting addictions. It can be a very long journey that one has to start over many times.

I decided to use some of my free time to relax in Riverview Park for a little while. I sat at a bench and looked across the river.  Water is such a significant symbol of God's activity for me, representing cleansing, healing, renewal, freedom, and also destruction.

Over at Central Presbyterian Church I found a flurry of activity, and I appreciated the opportunity to chat with many old friends. The Clothing Closet had changed its hours for this event, and many people were checking out the clothing that was available. A number of organizations had representatives at tables: The Allegheny Valley Association of Churches, the Alle-Kiski Hope Center, the Highlands Family Center, Tarentum History and Landmarks, Central Quilters, to name just a few. There was an a la carte lunch, and the dessert was cake and strawberries and ice cream. The whole event was to support mission, generating funds that would not stay in the small congregation.

Friday, February 25, 2011

My next four preaching engagements

Three of my next four preaching engagements will take me to congregations that I will visit for the first time.

Sunday, February 27, 2011 at 8:30 and 11:00 AM at the Newlonsburg Presbyterian Church in Murrysville.

Sunday, March 6, 2011 at 11:00 AM at the Ebenezer Presbyterian Church in Lewisville.

Ash Wednesday, March 9, 2011 at 7:30 PM at the Atwood Presbyterian Church.

Sunday, March 13, 2011 at 11:00 AM at the Trinity Presbyterian Church in Clarksburg.

I am looking forward to visiting the Ebenezer Presbyterian Church again, and to visiting the Newlonsburg Presbyterian Church, the Atwood Presbyterian Church, and the Trinity Presbyterian Church for the first time.

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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Map of some churches in the area

For a few years I have been assembling a map on Google Maps to record and share the locations of area churches I have visited. I created this map because, as a transplant to Western Pennsylvania, my early experience was that any journey far from home was almost certain to cause me to get lost at least once.

When I started using a Garmin nüvi to get around, I continued to use Google Maps in satellite view to identify the precise location of churches I planned to visit, and sometimes I would remember to update this map after I actually visited the place.

A few months ago, disaster struck when the GPX file in which I had been recording the locations of churches got corrupted while I was updating it to my nüvi. (Yes, I know - when adding data to a file it is always a good idea to keep a backup copy.) Fortunately, I had remembered to put some of what I had learned on this map as I originally researched the information for my nüvi. As I rebuild my GPX file, I will continue to update this map.

I've also learned over recent years that the internet lacks information about the locations of many rural churches. Sometimes the only address on the internet is a P.O. Box or the location of the manse, or the home address of a church officer who receives the church's mail. If it will help someone else, I'd like to share my map of these places of worship with others.

I don't vouch for the completeness of this map. I do vouch for the fact that I have been to each of these churches, and that they are at the locations represented on the map. (If you see any errors, please let me know.)

View Churches around Tarentum in a larger map

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