1. Just the FAQs: Hope Academy Scholarships 2017-2018

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    We are pleased to be able to offer scholarships and tuition assistance to students who are in good standing, with teacher recommendation; and those who qualify as being low-income and/or who represent a racial, ethnic or cultural minority. Merit-based scholarships are awarded to teens in our HAT Co (Hope Academy Theater Company) program – this includes HAT Co Jr (middle school), HAT Co (high school) and HAT Co Band.

    Read more to find out how to apply for a scholarship; or for details about a scholarship you were awarded.


  2. End of June Construction Update

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    If you walk around the Ground Floor or Second Floor of our church, you can see that construction work is well underway now. Current work is focused on two main areas and one secondary area. Primary work is happening around the church’s Whitfield St. entrance and up on the Second Floor—including demolition/renovation work in the bathrooms, flooring removal in many of the classrooms, removal of the stage area in Room 234, and some necessary asbestos remediation.

    Secondary work continues on the Third Floor regarding some duct work needed to supply air-conditioning/air improvements on the floor below it.

    The current schedule is to have the bulk of work done on these two floors by the beginning of September, with work on the First Floor to commence thereafter.

    Check back soon for more updates!

  3. SUMMER LESSONS at Hope Academy 2017

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    Hope Academy does not have a summer session. However, we do provide space for our teaching artists and their current students who would like to continue taking lessons over the summer.(Tuesdays-Saturdays) beginning June 13, 2017. Summer lessons are for continuing Hope Academy students only. If you are interested in taking lessons in the fall, please fill out this online private lesson inquiry form.

    Because administrative staff may or may not be in the building when lessons are happening, everyone must agree to a higher level of personal responsibility. Additionally, there is a major renovation project underway so we will need to know who is going to be here in order to communicate important information about access to and from rooms.


    • Teachers will need to update the weekly online schedule by Friday at noon for the following week, so families must schedule lessons in advance.
    • Teachers and families must communicate directly with each other about schedules, cancellations, delays, etc.
    • Parents/guardians must escort their children upstairs to the lesson room and remain there, or in the hall, for the duration of the lesson and then escort them out of the building.  Students are never permitted to come and go on their own.
    • Teaching artists should be paid directly ($15 per half hour) at the time of the lesson.
    • If a family cancels a scheduled lesson, for any reason,they are required to pay the teaching artist for the missed lesson.

    If your child is coming to Hope Academy/ELPC for lessons this summer, you must fill out the online 2017 Summer Lesson Policies and Procedures Acknowledgement Form


  4. Construction’s Underway: What To Know

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    The long-awaited renovation work at ELPC has finally begun! This will be a significant project affecting three floors of the building and several of the exterior entrances. Construction is scheduled to be completed in a 10-month time period, barring any unforeseen delays.

    As we begin this journey together, all are invited to a groundbreaking event following worship on Sun., May 14.

    The sequence of work will begin with the Whitfield Entrance and Ground Floor improvements first, with work on the Second Floor offices and work spaces happening this summer. Renovations on the First Floor will likely begin this fall.

    Throughout this time of construction, your patience, prayers and flexibility will be greatly appreciated. Programs and events will largely continue as planned, although rooms hosting the events or pathways to the events may at times be different than normal.

    If you have specific questions, contact Pam Kimmel, business administrator, at 412.441.3800 x118.

  5. Exploring Science, Cosmology, Theology, and Mysticism

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    March marks the beginning of the Spiritual Life Committee’s new focus on Science, Cosmology, Theology, and Mysticism. Our journey will be based on the work of Teilhard de Chardin—a 20th Century Jesuit and world-renowned paleontologist. Don’t miss any of these exciting opportunities to explore faith, the world, and spirituality. Download our brochure for more information.

    Sun., March 5: Interfaith Panel on Our Role in the Universe 12:15 pm
    The Spiritual Life Committee invites you to an Interfaith Panel that will discuss the question, “What is our (human) role in the universe?” Pastor Randy will join representatives from Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and more in this intriguing discussion with diverse religious perspectives. A light lunch will be served.

    Please RSVP with Kate Carlson by calling 412.441.3800 x16.

    Thurs., March 23: Book and Video Study 6:30–8 pm
    Continued on Thurs., April 6 & 20, May 4 & 18, and June 1
    All are welcome to a study series as we read and discuss Teilhard’s Mysticism: Seeing the Inner Face of Evolution (Orbis Books, 2014), and watch several videos by other scholars on cosmology and theology. Join the conversation!

    Fri.–Sun., June 16–18: Teilhard’s Mysticism—Spiraling into the Cosmic Christ
    Mark your calendar now for a retreat guided by Teilhard’s Mysticism—Spiraling into the Cosmic Christ. Our retreat will be led by Dr. Kathleen Duffy—a Sister of St. Joseph (S.S.J.) and a professor of Physics at Chestnut Hill College, where she directs the Interdisciplinary Honors Program and the Institute for Religion and Science. Download our brochure for more information and a registration form.

  6. Find ELPC

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    Illustration by Mario Zucca

  7. 2017 Lenten Devotionals are Available

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    As we look ahead to the start of our Lenten journey beginning on Ash Wednesday, March 1, Christian Education (CE) is offering Lenten devotionals for people of all ages. These materials will be available on Sun., Feb. 26. They will be located on the table outside of the East Transept, on the Second Floor CE table, and in the Social Hall during Journey worship.


  8. A Statement from Pastor Randy

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    It has been a troubling week in America. To remain silent on current events is to be unfaithful to the gospel of Christ.

    As you likely all know, in the past few days, several executive orders were signed by President Trump. Some of them are political grandstanding. Some are more threatening, running contrary to how scripture calls us to live. Tuesday’s order to streamline and expedite pipeline projects like the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipeline undermine our commitment to protect God’s creation and to honor the places our Native American brethren deem sacred. Wednesday’s order to punish any Sanctuary cities as well as the President’s statement that he believes torture works violate our Judeo-Christian duty to welcome the stranger and to treat others as we would have them treat us. And Friday’s executive order to suspend all US refugee programs for several months and to reduce the number of refugees allowed into America in 2017 causes malicious harm to the most vulnerable of all God’s children.

    God is never to be confined to one nation’s borders; hence the concept of “America First” runs contrary to the heart of the gospel. That is why these recent actions and the policies surrounding them are more heretical than historical. If you support President Trump or oppose President Trump, your responsibility is the same: to remain vigilant and hold this nation’s elected leaders to Christian values of compassion, justice and peace. Let us pray, and act, and speak out until they do. For as it says in Hebrews 12:  Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. To God alone be the glory. Amen.

    —Rev. Dr. Randy Bush

  9. Hope Academy Winter Term 2017 Registration

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    Hope Academy’s winter term begins on Tuesday, January 10, 2017.


    The deadline for RETURNING STUDENTS to register – in order to save their spot in classes and/or their private lesson teacher, day and time – is Saturday, December 17. We will have an onsite registration that day from 9 am to 3 pm so that you can hand-deliver your registration form and payment to make sure that we have it. Scholarship students do not need to re-register for each term.


    PBT Pre-Ballet B class Fall 2016NEW STUDENTS interested in MUSICAL THEATER WORKSHOP 1 & 2 (acting, singing and tap dance for 2 & 3 grades, and 4 – 6 grades) and PITTSBURGH BALLET THEATRE dance classes (Creative Movement, Pre-Ballet A, Pre-Ballet B and Ballet 2) should fill out an online Waitlist Form. We will contact you after December 17 to let you know if there are any openings.

    We are accepting new students for MUSIC DISCOVERY, for children ages 4-6 on Saturdays from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm, in partnership with Pittsburgh School for the Choral Arts; and our FLUTE CHOIR, under the direction of Kristine Rominski. Download the course brochure for more information.

    This Girl Dress Rehearsal CollageHAT Co (Hope Academy Teen Theater Company) and HAT Co Jr; accepts new ensemble members throughout the year based on application and audition. These ensembles are for singers, actors, dancers and musicians from 6-12 grade. To apply and audition, fill out this online HAT Co Application Form.  Returning students receive private voice or instrument lessons, in addition to all of the classes and ensembles.

    Download the 2016- 2017 Hope Academy Course Brochure + Registration Form, fill out the registration form and return it with your payment.


    Suzuki Info Session 9/3/16If you are interested in registering for private music instruction, please complete the online Inquiry Form for Private Lessons at Hope Academy. This will help us to have a more informed conversation with you, and will expedite the process of matching your child with a teacher and finding a lesson day/time that will fit into your schedule. We will contact you with options for lesson days/time and teachers – after returning students are placed.


    Scholarships are awarded in September for the entire year. The best way to get onto the wait list for a scholarship, mid-year, is to complete the online 2016-2017 Scholarship Application Form, Families will be contacted if additional funding is received that will allow us to offer additional scholarships.

    Preference is given to returning Hope Academy students (in good standing), and those who qualify as being low-income and/or who represent a racial, ethnic, or cultural minority. Please make sure to look at the yearly schedule before applying for a scholarship. Scholarship students are held to a high standard and must attend all classes and participate in all scheduled open classes, recitals and performances.

  10. Misguided Angel: The Role of the Nervous System in Spiritual Growth

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    From conception, our brains develop from the bottom up: brain stem, limbic system, and then cortex. The nervous system is the first to develop, with the primary responsibility of protecting us from danger. It operates through approach or avoid—going toward what nurtures us and away from what threatens us. From a young age, we perceived our caregivers as doing both. Our personality becomes hardwired into our nervous system as a survival strategy, setting patterns of thinking, feeling, and behavior. While they served us well in childhood, these patterns limit us in adulthood.

    Learn about your individual patterns using the Enneagram as a map, and how to work with the nervous system to expand your capacity for spiritual growth. This class will be taught in two five-week terms:

    • Term 1: Mondays, February 6–March 6, from 7–9 pm, will focus on understanding the Nervous System and the Enneagram. (suggested donation is $35)
    • Term 2: Mondays, March 13–April 10, from 6:30–9 pm, will continue the learning, but will add an experiential element to the academic teaching. You must have completed Term 1 to take Term 2. (suggested donation is $50)

    Required Book: The Enneagram: Understanding Yourself and the Others In Your Life by Helen Palmer (available on Amazon). The Rev. Mary Lynn Callahan has a limited number of copies in less than perfect condition for $10/ea or by scholarship if requested.

    Click here to download a registration form.

    About Our Instructor and Guide, Kerry O’Donnell

    img_kerry-odonnellKerry O’Donnell has 25 years of experience working for the United States Institute of Peace, Council for International Exchange of Scholars, and American University. She has taught classes on interpersonal conflicts at Carnegie Mellon University’s Osher Institute, and workshops for businesses and nonprofit organizations. Kerry also founded and directed a community victim-offender dialogue program in Washington D.C., and received the Jefferson Award for public service as a mediator for the Pennsylvania Office of Victim Advocate—facilitating dialogues between violent crime victims and offenders.

    Kerry holds a Masters degree in Education, is trained in Traumatic Stress Studies, and is certified in Somatic Experiencing (Peter Levine) through the Trauma Institute. She also is a certified Conflict Management Coach, Enneagram Teacher and Coach, Mediator, and Senior Certified Professional in Human Resource Management.

    In her free time, she enjoys visiting the patients at Children’s Hospital with her miniature horse, Lucky Stars.