1. 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.

  2. Find ELPC

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    Illustration by Mario Zucca

  3. 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.


  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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. 


  7. Devotions for Lent: Sprituals

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    The Christian Education Committee of ELPC,  with the help of the Worship Music & the Arts Committee, the Pastoral Staff and the Program Staff, are excited to be offering devotional material for Lent in a new format … blog posts. Our prayer is that the material posted here will be an invitation to prayer and reflection throughout this Lenten season.The Lenten Devotional blog posts in the coming weeks are meant for personal, family and small group spiritual engagement that will connect the practices of prayer, reflection and discussion with our life in worship together.

    Each week in worship, the Pastors’ sermons will explore themes generated by the content and history of African American Spirituals, each paired with a companioning Biblical text.  Throughout Lent, Spirituals will be sung and performed in worship during the 11 AM Sanctuary Service, tying in to the message each week.

    The legacy of Spirituals has served a powerful witness to God’s liberating and redemptive work in the midst of great suffering.  Spirituals emerged from within the African American community, as men and women who were enslaved gave voice to their faith and hope in a liberating and present God through song.  Musically, many spirituals reflect a clear connection to African music.  Lyrically, Spirituals point to the courage, lament, hope and faithfulness of a people on a journey from oppression to freedom.   Universally, Spirituals both lead us to the cross and the empty tomb, while giving voice to the ongoing human experience of suffering, redemption and hope.

    In anticipation of each Sunday, a blog post will be featured here that will offer a preview of a selected piece that will appear in worship, information about the history of each Spiritual, and information about the arrangement featured.

    On Sunday the week’s lyrics, scripture and reflection questions and activites will be posted.  A live recording of the Spirituals performed by the ELPC Chancel Choir in worship will appear here early in the week.  Please also note that Pastor’s sermons – in written and audio formats – can be found here on the ELPC website each week.  Printed devotionals will also be available at the church.

  8. Maunday Thursday Experience: Young Adult Ministry

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    Let’s make a night of if from dinner to worship back to time in devotional practice and prayer. Not sure what that means? Come and find out on this holy night. This is a young adult (20/30s) ministry experience.

  9. Rebuilding Our Bodies & Souls

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    stewardship-logo-2017We plan for tomorrow by our actions today. That is true, both for us as individuals and as a church. Our “planning for tomorrow” includes setting ministry priorities and itemizing budgets for the coming year. A key part of this work involves congregation members and friends sharing their 2017 pledge information. While our endowment allows us to maintain our church building, it is the tithes and pledges that support our staff and programs. The Stewardship Committee’s theme of Rebuilding our Bodies & Souls reminds us to see the act of pledging as part of a healthy spiritual discipline involving all of who we are—body and soul.

    This coming year will be a wonderful, challenging, and busy time of construction and renovation. Having been blessed by prior generations’ generosity in erecting our cathedral church, we are able to pass the gift forward by being wise caretakers of this community treasure. But much of our church’s ministry goes far beyond its walls—our educational programs touch lives throughout the city, our social justice and community programs provide for those in need, our Hope Academy teachers prepare tomorrow’s performers and dancers, and our LGBTQ fellowship and Spiritual Life offerings provide solace and hospitality to all members of God’s family.

    Bring your pledge card to worship on Stewardship Sunday, Nov. 13. Bring along some non-perishable food items to support those in need. Build up yourself, body, and soul by re-committing your time and treasures to the ministries we do today, seeking to meet the needs of East Liberty tomorrow!

  10. 2016 Stewardship Campaign Set to Kick Off

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    stewardship-logo-2017When the Israelite people came out of exile in Babylon, the prophet Isaiah gave them these “marching orders.” “Build up, build up; remove every obstruction from my people’s way”—Isaiah 57:14.

    In many ways, this theme from Isaiah speaks strongly to where ELPC finds itself now. We are soon to begin a year of renovation, “removing obstructions” in our historic building so that it can be a safe, energy-efficient, and hospitable place of ministry for generations to come. We also are a church committed to radical hospitality, removing social barriers and prejudices that keep people apart, so that our diverse voices together may praise our gracious and generous God.

    On Sun., Oct. 9, this year’s Stewardship Campaign will kick off with a few words in worship and a letter mailed to the entire church. Our hope is to increase our congregation’s giving by 6.5 percent through higher pledges and new pledges. These added funds will allow us to maintain the staff, programming, and ministries at the heart of ELPC’s active Christian service. The campaign will culminate on Stewardship Sunday, Nov. 13.

    Indeed, this is a season for building up, construction, planning, and looking toward the future. By our generous gifts, tithes and pledges, each one of us heeds Isaiah’s marching orders. May God bless our stewardship commitments this fall!