1. This Week in Worship: December 15–21, 2017

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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 Joy. Pastor Patrice will preach from 1 Thessalonians 5:12–24.

    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 Romans 15:1–6, 13, and his sermon will be titled “Advent Waiting: Personal Hope.” Special prelude music will begin at 10:50 am, featuring the ELPC Handbell Choir and holiday caroling.

    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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  2. Hope Academy Winter Term 2018 Registration

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    Hope Academy’s winter term begins on Saturday, January 6, 2018

    Because of recent, unforeseen developments in our renovation project, we need to limit some of our offerings for the winter term because of a lack of available space. Our classes and most of our private lesson studios are currently full.

    Courses
    Both sections of Musical Theater Workshop, all Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre dance classes and our teen theater company ensembles (HAT Co and HAT Co Jr) are filled. We are giving students currently in those classes until December 16 to register and pay for Winter term. After that, we will contact those who have submitted online wait list forms. Music Discovery, In partnership with Pittsburgh Girls Choir, will only be offered for new 4 and 5 year old students. There are 12 spots open in this class for the winter term and half of the spots are reserved for students who are either low-income and/or who represent a racial, cultural or ethnic minority..

    Private Voice and Instrument Instruction
    We have limited openings in our private lesson studios. Students interested in Suzuki Guitar (Saturdays with Gil Teixeira), Suzuki Cello (Thursdays and Saturdays with Beth Goldstein McKee) and Flute (Saturdays with Brittany Trotter), are invited to come to an information session next Saturday, December 16 from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm in the 3rd floor Music room.

    There are also spaces open in the Saxophone/Clarinet Ensemble (moving to Wednesdays with Ben Barson) and we are looking forward to starting a Flute Ensemble (with Brittany Trotter) in the spring term. Other private lesson studios with limited openings include: Piano (with Helga Scheibert on Wednesdays; and Lee Kikuchi on Tuesdays and Fridays), Voice (with Katherine Bell on Thursdays and Fridays; and Gizel Rodriguez on Saturdays), Cello (with Ana Diaz on Tuesdays), and Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba (with Karen Sloneker on Fridays). Students interested in any of these ensembles or private lesson studios should fill out an Inquiry Form for Private Lessons.

    Registration and Payment for Winter 2018
    Continuing students can complete an online registration form and either send it in with their check or money order, or make an online credit card payment by December 16 to reserve their spots in classes and lesson days/times/teachers for private lessons. Checks should be made out to “ELPC” and mailed to: Hope Academy @ ELPC, 116 S. Highland Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15206

    Scholarships
    All of our scholarships have been awarded for 2017-2018.

    Thank you for your patience
    We apologize for the limitations and are looking for some alternatives for people interested in private music instruction. The best way to be updated as we add courses and open up spots in private lesson studios, is to complete a wait list form (for courses) and/or and Inquiry Form for Private Lessons.

    If you have any questions about registration or payment, contact Karly Threets at KarlyT@coh.net,or 412-441-3800 x117

  3. Affordable Housing Update in East Liberty

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    As you drive down Broad St., passing Target, you will notice a huge, empty lot where the East Liberty Gardens apartment complex formerly stood. For many years, ELPC leadership, members, and friends participated in East Liberty Garden’s annual Community Day celebration and served on their board of directors.

    What happened to the more than 100 families that lived there? Where did they go?

    All of the families received support through the HUD Choice Neighborhoods Initiative—including relocation assistance, employment services, health and wellness support, and education advocacy. The program’s goal is to help families move back if they choose to do so.

    • 52 families remained in East Liberty
    • 34 families moved into new housing on Larimer Ave., two blocks away
    • 25 families moved to the Hill District and Homewood
    • 25 families moved to neighborhoods within 8 miles of East Liberty

    In addition, the new housing being built on the site will have 65 units earmarked for previous East Liberty Gardens residents, and 21 other East Liberty sites are near completion, which also will provide housing for former residents.

    If you have questions about the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, or about relocation efforts for the former residents, call Becky Gloninger, ELPC Elder and Choice Neighborhoods senior project manager, at 412.520.4160.

  4. This Week in Worship: December 8–14, 2017

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    Here’s what’s happening in worship this week. As a reminder, there will be no Church School classes this week so that we all can enjoy our annual Christmas Pageant together.

    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 Joy. Pastor Randy will preach from Romans 8:18–25.

    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 Romans 8:18–25, and his sermon will be titled “Advent Waiting: Lost Hope.”

    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.

  5. Pastoral Message: December 2017

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    Back in the 1930s, the Rev. Thornwell Jacobs (what a great name!) was president of a Presbyterian college in Atlanta called Oglethorpe University. Rev. Jacobs got an idea intended to get Oglethorpe University in the national news. He decided to prepare a massive time capsule and seal it in the basement of the campus administration building. He called it a “Crypt of Civilization” and received a hearty endorsement for his plan from Scientific American. This special room was meant to record life in the early 20th century by sealing up encyclopedias, newspapers preserved on microfilm, miniature models of cars, and a complete model of the U.S. Capitol Building. Along with these things, Jacobs wanted to include everyday items, like a set of Lincoln Logs toys, a sheet of aluminum foil, model trains, chewing gum, and phonograph records bearing the voices of world leaders like Franklin Roosevelt and King Edward VIII.

    On May 25, 1940, the crypt was loaded, dedicated, and had its stainless-steel door welded shut. The plan was to keep this time capsule closed until the year 8113. Why that date? It’s a convoluted story; suffice to say that Jacobs treated his idea as the midpoint of all human history and decided that all the years that had already elapsed (based on ancient Egyptian calendars) should be added to his current date, meaning the time capsule would be opened again at the end of history in 8113.

    Even if you are skeptical about the feasibility of Rev. Jacobs’ plan, you have to admire his sheer visionary thinking. When was the last time you thought about the year 8000 AD? When was the last time you thought about the 22nd century, something only 83 years in the future? In our fast-paced world today, I’d wager that we have trouble thinking about next year or next month, much less spending any time contemplating the next millennia!

    We do a disservice to the Christian season of Advent if we think it is only meant to help us focus on Christmas Day in late December. The purple-hued, candle-commemorated, four weeks of Advent were never intended as countdowns to Christmas. This season encourages us to lift our eyes to a distant horizon—to hear again the ancient promise that Christ, the One who came once upon this earth has promised to come again.

    That theological idea shouldn’t prompt us to pull out our calculators, and like Rev. Jacobs, try to determine when God will pull down the final curtain on human history. Advent isn’t about tucking away things in a time capsule until the vaults of civilization can be unsealed and we step into God’s future with the baggage, knickknacks and trinkets of our day and age. Advent is about a promised change that finally frees us from our past and moves us into a new reality—an eternity shaped by God’s love, Christ’s compassion, and the Spirit’s joyful creativity. It builds on the good news of Christmas (God made flesh), Easter (Christ defeating death), and Pentecost (Spirit leading us into communities of love) and then goes further. Further than we can see or imagine. So take time this month to look towards a very far horizon. And know that the God of “there” is also the God of “here and now.” No need to wait for time capsules to be unsealed. Let the journey of faith begin today!

    —Randy Bush

  6. “Pittsburgh is an immigrant town” t-shirts to benefit ARYSE

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    By popular demand,  “Pittsburgh is an immigrant town” t-shirts—that we made at our East Liberty & Justice for All event in January—are now available to purchase online through Commonwealth Press for $20 each.

    As difficult as this year has been for so many of us, we are grateful for partnerships that allow us to work together to support each other and our shared values.

    Thanks to Commonwealth Press for partnering with us to offer these awesome t-shirts as a fundraiser for our friends at ARYSE (Alliance for Refugee Youth Support and Education) whose mission is to “support immigrant and refugee youth in becoming prepared, engaged, and confident members of our community.” ARYSE works toward this mission by providing individualized mentoring and support to immigrant and refugee youth, organizing summer and other out-of-school-time programming.

     

    Buy a t-shirt today to make a difference in our community and make a social justice statement all at the same time!

  7. Have You Switched to LED Lights?

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    Have you switched from incandescent lights to LED (light-emitting diode)?

    Their initial purchase price is higher, but they offer significant advantages and savings. Quality LED lights use 75% less energy, last 25x longer, emit less heat, and have a smaller profile. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, if you replace incandescent bulbs with LEDs in the most used fixtures in your home, you could save $75 in energy costs each year. The benefits of LEDs also apply to holiday lights, so consider updating your festive lights as well.

    At ELPC, our Sanctuary now features LED lights, and corridors are in progress. In renovated areas, new LED lamps are being installed with occupancy sensors. In total, ELPC is expected to save 30% on energy costs thanks to all renovations—of that, 25–30% will come from LED lighting upgrades.

  8. This Week in Worship: December 1–8, 2017

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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 Joy. Pastor Patrice will preach from 1 Thessalonians 5:12–24. Communion will be celebrated.

    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 Isaiah 64:1–9, and her sermon will be titled “Advent Waiting: Hope Against Hope.” Communion will be celebrated.

    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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  9. 2017 Advent Devotionals are Available

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    The Christian Education committee is offering Advent devotionals so that you might deepen your faith as you await the celebration of the birth of the Christ Child. The devotionals will be available at Journey worship, outside the Sanctuary, and on the Christian Education table on the Second Floor. Devotionals include: (more…)

  10. This Week in Worship: November 24–30, 2017

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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 Blessed Community. Pastor Heather will preach from Ephesians 1:15–23.

    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 Ephesians 1:15–23, and his sermon will be titled “A Theology of Process.”

    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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