1. This Week in Worship: February 16–22, 2018

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    Here’s what’s happening in worship this week. Click on “more” for details about this week’s Church School classes.

    Worship Services

    Journey Worship | Sunday, 8:45 am
    An interactive, energetic service for those seeking a fresh encounter with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our theme this month is Speak the Truth. Pastor Randy will preach from Mark 1:9–15.

    Sanctuary Worship | Sunday, 11 am
    Our largest service, with music from the Chancel Choir and an organ prelude prior to the service. This week, our service will highlight Thomas Merton, as we continue exploring our Lenten theme, “Voices of Peace.” Pastor Randy will preach from 1 Peter 3:8–15, and his sermon will be titled “Do Not Fear What They Fear.”

    Led by the Rev. Mary Lynn Callahan, our hour-long Taizé service includes sung prayers; simple, beautiful music; a time of silence; spoken and silent prayers; and an opportunity for individual prayer and anointing. If you’re unable to participate in person, join our live stream on your computer or mobile device.

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  2. This Week in Worship: February 9–15, 2018

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    Here’s what’s happening in worship this week. Click on “more” for details about this week’s Church School classes.

    Worship Services

    Journey Worship | Sunday, 8:45 am
    An interactive, energetic service for those seeking a fresh encounter with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our theme this month is Speak the Truth. Pastor Patrice will preach.

    Sanctuary Worship | Sunday, 11 am
    Our largest service, with music from the Chancel Choir and an organ prelude prior to the service. The Rev. Jimmie Hawkins will preach from Genesis 4:8–16, and his sermon will be titled “We Are Our Brother’s, Our Sister’s Keeper.”

    The Rev. Hawkins currently serves as director of the PC(USA) Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C.

    Ash Wednesday Service | Wednesday, 12 pm
    On Wed., Feb. 14, the season of Lent will begin with our Ash Wednesday service at 12 pm, featuring the imposition of ashes in the Chapel. Pastor Randy will preach from Matthew 5:38–48, and his sermon will be titled “Voices of Peace: Desmond Tutu.”

    Following the service, the Rev. Dr. Heather Hartung Vacek will be with us to discuss “Speaking Faithfully About the Challenge of Mental Illness.” Join us in Good Samaritan Room (formerly the Small Dining Room). Lunch provided.

    The Rev. Dr. Vacek joined the faculty at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 2012, and became vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty/associate professor of church history in 2016.

    Taizé Prayer Service | Wednesday, 7 pm
    As you begin your observance of Lent, join us for a special Ash Wednesday Taizé service, led by the Rev. Mary Lynn Callahan. The service will offer sung and spoken prayer, scripture reading and silence, an opportunity for individual prayer, anointing, and the imposition of ashes.

    If you’re unable to participate in person, join our live stream on your computer or mobile device.

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  3. Pastoral Message: February 2018

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    We have a funny, love-hate relationship with money. When we don’t have it, we wish we did; when we do have it, we worry that someone else will take it from us or we moan about how quickly it disappears. In church we quote scripture about how the love of money is the root of all evil (I Timothy 6:10), even as we encourage people to put money in the offering plate since God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7).

    Yuval Harari, in his fascinating book Sapiens, points out that people may disagree about many things in life—religion, politics, sports—but we universally share common views about money. As he puts it, “Whereas religion asks us to believe in something, money asks us to believe that other people believe in something.” Global trading networks developed long ago only because people from different lands, speaking mutually incomprehensible languages and worshiping distinct gods all shared a common belief in the value of gold and silver coins. So they would trade these bits of metal for silk in China, spices in East Asia, and grain from India. Both parties benefited from this common belief in money.

    Harari suggests that money is the only trust system created by humans that can bridge almost any cultural gap and does not discriminate on the basis of religion, gender, race, age, or sexual orientation. What we do with that money can undermine the mutual trust, just as extreme inequities involving money have led to famine, war, and revolutions. But for a moment, it is fitting to give thanks for the simple trust system inherent in money—a system that allows us to travel anywhere in the world (or welcome someone from anywhere in the world) and relate to one another as friends, peers, and citizens of one global economy.

    The season of Lent begins later this month. Perhaps it is time for us to break our silence about money. A Lenten discipline might involve spending some time imagining how the money over which we exert control might be used to nurture trust in others (in keeping with its fundamental value as a connector and trust-builder between people). If the simple dollar bill or financial transaction between us and another person is only possible so long as we believe in what that person believes in (namely, money), what other beliefs do we share in common with others that might “earn interest” and bless the common good?

    Jesus spoke a fair amount about money. But for this Lenten exercise of ours, call to mind the time when he was asked about paying the temple tax in Jerusalem and was shown a coin engraved with the likeness of Caesar. In that moment he said, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21). May all our monetary acts be done giving priority to the ways of the Lord and may it evoke the trust that is at the heart of all money—so our resources and our common belief can nurture hope in today’s troubled and distracted world.

    —Randy Bush

  4. This Week in Worship: February 2–8, 2018

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    Here’s what’s happening in worship this week. Click on “more” for details about this week’s Church School classes.

    Worship Services

    Journey Worship | Sunday, at 8:45 am
    An interactive, energetic service for those seeking a fresh encounter with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our theme this month is Speak the Truth. Pastor Heather will preach from Ephesians 4:1–7,11–16.

    Sanctuary Worship | Sunday, at 11 am
    Our largest service, with music from the Chancel Choir and an organ prelude prior to the service. Pastor Randy will preach from Mark 1:29–39, and his sermon will be titled “Public Witness, Private Faith.”

    Taizé Prayer Service | Wednesday, at 7 pm
    Led by the Rev. Mary Lynn Callahan, our hour-long Taizé service includes sung prayers; simple, beautiful music; a time of silence; spoken and silent prayers; and an opportunity for individual prayer and anointing. If you’re unable to participate in person, join our live stream on your computer or mobile device.

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  5. This Week in Worship: January 26–February 1, 2018

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    Here’s what’s happening in worship this week. Click on “more” for details about this week’s Church School classes.

    Worship Services

    Journey Worship | Sunday, at 8:45 am
    An interactive, energetic service for those seeking a fresh encounter with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our theme this month is Distance. Pastor Patrice will preach from Isaiah 49:8–16.

    Sanctuary Worship | Sunday, at 11 am
    Our largest service, with music from the Chancel Choir and an organ prelude prior to the service. Pastor Heather will preach from Mark 1:21–28, and her sermon will be titled “Public Witness.”

    Taizé Prayer Service | Wednesday, at 7 pm
    Led by the Rev. Mary Lynn Callahan, our hour-long Taizé service includes sung prayers; simple, beautiful music; a time of silence; spoken and silent prayers; and an opportunity for individual prayer and anointing. If you’re unable to participate in person, join our live stream on your computer or mobile device.

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  6. ELPC to Co-Sponsor Upcoming WQED Programs

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    ELPC is partnering with WQED to sponsor two upcoming programs.

    Authentic Lives
    Thursday, January 25, 8 pm | Monday, January 29, 7:30 pm
    This locally-produced special program addresses challenges, advances and setbacks faced by the LGBTQ community in Pittsburgh. It includes a feature report on Persad’s Celebrate Life, Celebrate Art annual auction, and a frank, informative panel discussion on gay life in our region. Learn more

    We’ll Meet Again: Coming Out
    Tuesday, February 27, 8 pm
    Join Ann Curry as those whose lives were changed by the early days of the gay rights movement reunite. Tom wants to find the childhood friend who urged him to come out, while Paul seeks a fellow student who inspired him to stand up for his beliefs. Learn more

  7. This Week in Worship: January 19–25, 2018

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    Here’s what’s happening in worship this week. Click on “more” for details about this week’s Church School classes.

    Worship Services

    Journey Worship | Sunday, at 8:45 am
    An interactive, energetic service for those seeking a fresh encounter with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our theme this month is Distance. Pastor Heather will preach from Mark 1:14–20.

    Sanctuary Worship | Sunday, at 11 am
    Our largest service, with music from the Chancel Choir and an organ prelude prior to the service. Pastor Randy will preach from Genesis 1:26–31, and his sermon will be titled “Christ & Caveman – part 2.”

    Taizé Prayer Service | Wednesday, at 7 pm
    Led by the Rev. Mary Lynn Callahan, our hour-long Taizé service includes sung prayers; simple, beautiful music; a time of silence; spoken and silent prayers; and an opportunity for individual prayer and anointing. If you’re unable to participate in person, join our live stream on your computer or mobile device.

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  8. This Week in Worship: January 12–18, 2018

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    Here’s what’s happening in worship this week. Click on “more” for details about this week’s Church School classes.

    Worship Services

    Journey Worship | Sunday, at 8:45 am
    An interactive, energetic service for those seeking a fresh encounter with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our theme this month is Distance. Pastor Randy will preach from Genesis 2:4b–9.

    Sanctuary Worship | Sunday, at 11 am
    Our largest service, with music from the Chancel Choir and an organ prelude prior to the service. Pastor Randy will preach from Genesis 2:4b–9, and his sermon will be titled “Christ & Caveman – part 1.”

    Taizé Prayer Service | Wednesday, at 7 pm
    Led by the Rev. Mary Lynn Callahan, our hour-long Taizé service includes sung prayers; simple, beautiful music; a time of silence; spoken and silent prayers; and an opportunity for individual prayer and anointing. If you’re unable to participate in person, join our live stream on your computer or mobile device.

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