Souls Shot: Portraits of Victims of Gun Violence Art Exhibition
From January 16 through February 14, Shadyside Presbyterian Church will host the final showing for the 2023 Pennsylvania traveling exhibition of Souls Shot: Portraits of Victims of Gun Violence in the Sharp Atrium.
The Souls Shot Portrait Project pairs fine artists with families and friends of victims of gun violence. The artists create portraits using diverse approaches and emphasize the individuality and uniqueness of the victims portrayed. The exhibition is a moving tribute, memorializing the victims and leading viewers to a place of empathy through the power of art.
Please join us for this powerful experience, which is free and open to the public during gallery hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or by appointment. The gallery is also available to the congregation on Sundays following worship, January 14 through February 11. Please also consider joining us for our opening reception on Friday, January 12, from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m., in the Parlor and Sharp Atrium.
Learn more about the Souls Shot Portrait Project.
Shadyside Presbyterian Church is centrally located in the heart of Pittsburgh’s university district, just a few blocks away from the campuses of the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. The church is situated on the corner of Amberson Avenue and Westminster Place, only one block off Fifth Avenue. Free on-street parking is available surrounding the church. (On weekdays during gallery hours, two-hour parking limits are enforced by the Pittsburgh Parking Authority.) The church is wheelchair-accessible.
The Building and Grounds Committee of Shadyside Presbyterian Church has engaged a lighting consultant, Clear Story Creative, and an electrical contractor, Hatzel & Buehler, Inc., to undertake a sanctuary lighting system modernization project.
The modernization project is tailored to meet the functional and program requirements of the church — combining the illumination principles of art, production, and architecture — with special attention to the ambient in-person worship experience and regular video live-streaming of services. The scope of work consists of the following:
- Chancel front-light system at two existing positions in the sanctuary
- Area and downlight system at the existing positions in the chancel
- Integrated illumination for the restored mosaic niche
- Accent lighting systems at the pulpit and choir seating areas
- Upgrades to lighting and power controls for the above
The installation phase began earlier this fall and is scheduled to be completed by year’s end. We anticipate only one Sunday with any disruption to worship, which will take place on November 12. On this date, you may expect to find substantial scaffolding in the sanctuary. Some pews will be inaccessible for seating, and visibility from some of the pews in the back of the sanctuary may be impacted. Please pardon the appearance of our worship space on November 12, and please exercise caution in moving about the areas surrounding the scaffolding. If you need any assistance in accessing a particular seating area, please speak with an usher.
We ask for your patience as this important project moves forward, and we thank you for your understanding while we make these improvements to the sanctuary lighting, which has not seen enhancement for more than three decades. We are confident that the results will be worth the temporary inconvenience.
Welcoming Rev. Jessica Rigel
On Sunday, November 19, the Reverend Jessica Rigel will preach during the service of worship at 11:00 a.m.
Rev. Jessica Rigel grew up in the great and beautiful state of New Jersey and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and religion from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She completed her theological studies at Princeton Seminary, where she earned a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Christian education focused on youth and young adult faith formation, and a certificate in theology, ecology, and faith formation. Prior to ministry, Jess taught middle school language arts, and also served as a mission co-worker in Louisiana and Arizona through the PC(USA)’s young adult volunteer program. She is currently blessed to serve as the Associate Pastor for Discipleship at Alamance Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, where she spends most of her time learning alongside youth and young adults. She is also active in Salem Presbytery’s Peace and Justice Task Force, and sits on the North Carolina Regional Advisory Council for Comfort Zone Camp, a free camp for grieving children. In her spare time, Jess is an avid vegetable gardener, a voracious reader, a lover of all things Masterpiece Mystery!, and an experienced traveler. She shares her life with her bossy corgis, River and Lewis.
We give thanks that Rev. Rigel will proclaim God’s Word among us when we celebrate the installation of the Reverend Dr. Rachel Hebert as Associate Pastor for Missions and Campus Ministry. Please join us in welcoming her to Shadyside’s pulpit. To connect remotely, visit the live worship webcast page of the church website.
Worship on Sunday, November 19, at 11:00 a.m., with Reception Following
The installation of the Reverend Dr. Rachel C. Hébert as Associate Pastor for Missions and Campus Ministry of Shadyside Presbyterian Church will be celebrated during the morning service of worship on Sunday, November 19.
The presbytery in which a newly-called minister serves conducts the installation. Mr. Mark Roth, Elder, East Liberty Presbyterian Church, will serve as Acting Moderator of the Pittsburgh Presbytery and will preside on November 19. In addition to the Moderator, the Reverend Dr. Hébert has asked the following individuals to serve as the administrative commission for her installation:
- Mr. Robert W. Anderson, Elder, Shadyside Presbyterian Church
- The Reverend S. Balajiedlang Khyllep, Associate Director of the World Mission Initiative of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
- The Reverend Jessica Rigel, Associate Pastor for Discipleship, Alamance Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, North Carolina
- The Reverend Austin Crenshaw Shelley, Senior Pastor, Shadyside Presbyterian Church
- Ms. Mary Margaret M. Stamy, Elder, Shadyside Presbyterian Church
- Ms. Ann Turnock, Elder and Congregational Care Assistant, Beulah Presbyterian Church
The Reverend Rigel will preach the sermon during the service.
Sunday, November 19, will be an important day in the life of our congregation, and it is altogether fitting that the observance of this auspicious occasion take place during our normal celebration of the Lord’s Day. An offering for the Oldman Fund, a scholarship for inquirers and candidates for ministry under the care of the Pittsburgh Presbytery, will be collected during worship. A reception will occur in the Parish Hall following the service.
All Saints’ Sunday: November 5
Christians throughout the world celebrate All Saints’ Day in honor of all the saints, both known and unknown. In most Protestant churches, it is celebrated on the first Sunday of November. Protestants regard all Christians, both past and present, as saints. As we solemnly remember all those who have died in the past year, we also focus on Christ’s victory over death. While the festival acknowledges the reality of death, we emphasize our hope in the Resurrection and our place in the “communion of saints.”
- During the All Saints’ Sunday morning service at 11:00 a.m., we will celebrate Communion and remember those members of Shadyside Presbyterian Church who have been received into the Church Triumphant during the past calendar year.
- On the afternoon of All Saints’ Sunday at 3:00 p.m., in memory of those who have entered eternal rest throughout time, the Chancel Choir will sing Gabriel Jackson’s Mass for All Saints in the liturgical context of a Service of Remembrance, which also will include Communion. We invite the congregation to submit the names of any deceased loved ones whom they would like to have acknowledged in the afternoon bulletin. Please share names with the church office (firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-682-4300, ext. 116) before Friday, October 27.
- The Shadyside Presbyterian Church Care Team members share their gifts of compassion, care, encouragement, support, and prayer with our congregation in intentional ways. If you think you could benefit from the support and encouragement of a Care Team member as you grieve, please contact Rev. Elizabeth Michael Ross, Parish Associate for Pastoral Care, through the church office.
- Please remember that Shadyside Presbyterian Church has four pastors who are available to talk and pray with you. Although each of them focuses upon certain aspects of ministry, they all are, first and foremost, pastors. They all are ordained to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament, and all of them desire to walk with you as you seek God’s strength and wisdom through both joys and challenges of life, including your seasons of grief. If you would like to speak with one of the pastors, please do not hesitate to contact the church office.
“Blessed are they who die in the Lord,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them.”
Rev. Rachel C. Hébert Accepts Call to Shadyside Presbyterian Church
With gratitude and delight, Shadyside Presbyterian Church is excited to announce the outcome of the congregational meeting held on Sunday, May 21, 2023. After hearing the report of the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee (APNC), the congregation voted to approve the motion of the APNC to extend the call to the Reverend Rachel Christine Hébert to be the Associate Pastor for Missions and Campus Ministry of Shadyside Presbyterian Church. Rev. Hébert has accepted this call with enthusiasm – thanks be to God!
The APNC was thanked for its faithful service to our congregation in completing its task under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We extend our deepest appreciation for the thorough and diligent efforts of these dedicated individuals: Robert W. Anderson; Laura C. Duncan; Timothy C. Engleman; Robert B. Luthultz; Daniel S. Potter; Robert B. Reppe; Melissa A. Rychener; Jee Eun Song; and Mary Margaret M. Stamy, Chair.
We hope that many members of our community enjoyed the opportunity to greet Rev. Hébert this past weekend, and we look forward to the beginning of her ministry among us in July, if the way be clear. Pittsburgh Presbytery will give its final approval to her call based on the recommendation of the Commission on Ministry at its next meeting.
In the weeks ahead, we will continue to prepare for Rev. Hébert’s arrival by sharing more information. Meanwhile, please read more about her on the church website and enjoy an album of photographs from this joyous weekend on Facebook. In the event you were unable to join us for worship, you may view the video recording of the service on YouTube.
Thank you for your prayers and support during this search process. Please join us in offering prayers of thanksgiving to God for leading our APNC to nominate Rev. Hébert and for leading Rev. Hébert to follow God’s call to Shadyside Presbyterian Church. In addition, please pray for Rev. Hébert, for Williamsburg Presbyterian Church, and for our own church as we enter this time of transition.
An Update from the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee
Note: This letter was mailed to all members on Tuesday, May 16, 2023. Its publication on the website was intentionally delayed in order to respect confidentiality concerns.
The Associate Pastor Nominating Committee of Shadyside Presbyterian Church enthusiastically introduces the Reverend Rachel Hébert as our candidate to be Associate Pastor for Missions and Campus Ministry.
Reverend Hébert comes to us from Williamsburg Presbyterian Church in Williamsburg, Virginia, where she serves as the Associate Pastor for Community Care. In this role, her responsibilities include campus ministry for college students at the College of William and Mary and other area institutions. At Williamsburg, Reverend Hébert coordinates all levels of mission and outreach and leads annual trips to Guatemala.
Reverend Hébert will graduate with a Doctor of Ministry degree from Union Presbyterian Seminary at the end of May. She has a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and graduated from Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in religion and the arts with a minor in classical vocal performance.
One of Reverend Hébert’s mentors says that college students “gravitate toward her,” as demonstrated by the thriving campus ministry program that she has nurtured at Williamsburg. Campus ministry under Reverend Hébert consists of lively discussion, food, fun, service, and participation at national conferences. It also creates opportunities for the congregation to open their hearts and homes to college students. Reverend Hébert’s commitment to campus ministry is evident in her internship experiences at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City and at First Presbyterian Church, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Beyond Reverend Hébert’s success in college ministry, her philosophy of leadership drew our attention. She sees her role as engaging the church in conversations with college students about life and faith. Reverend Hébert describes her approach as connecting with students, noticing their struggles, and empowering them to find their voices, which deeply resonates with Shadyside’s vision for this ministry.
Shadyside’s historic college involvement extends to supporting the foundation of Chatham University and to pioneering campus ministries at Pitt and Carnegie Mellon. As our community works alongside Reverend Hébert to re-establish our campus ministry program, she brings service as a board member of UKirk National, the collegiate ministry organization of the PC(USA). Her established ties with other churches as chair of UKirk’s National Gathering of Campus Ministers will be a valuable resource at Shadyside Presbyterian Church.
Today’s flourishing mission ministry at Shadyside Presbyterian finds its roots, local and international, at the congregation’s beginning in 1866. At Williamsburg, Reverend Hébert reimagined that congregation’s relationships with partner Guatemalan churches. She notes that, initially, these interactions had been financial in nature and related to building projects. Reverend Hébert encouraged participants to learn about the history and culture of the region in order to strengthen and transform fellowship ties with mission partners.
Described as “delightful, lively, and a great singer,” we are confident that Reverend Hébert will soon become a treasured part of the Shadyside community. Please join us in extending a warm welcome to the Reverend Rachel Christine Hébert.
The Associate Pastor Nominating Committee:
Robert W. Anderson; Laura C. Duncan; Timothy C. Engleman; Robert B. Luthultz; Daniel S. Potter; Robert B. Reppe; Melissa A. Rychener; Jee Eun Song; and Mary Margaret M. Stamy, Chair
Members of the congregation and their families are invited to meet our candidate for Associate Pastor for Missions and Campus Ministry on Saturday, May 20, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Enjoy cookies and lemonade in the Parish Hall as we welcome Rev. Rachel Hébert to Pittsburgh and Shadyside Church. Immediately following the service of worship at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 21, the congregation will hear the report from the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee during the annual meeting and will vote to approve the call of Rev. Hébert as our Associate Pastor for Missions and Campus Ministry. We respectfully request that everyone entrusted with this information will keep this news within our church family until Wednesday, May 24, so that Rev. Hébert may notify her congregation appropriately.
We thank you for your patience and for caring for the pastoral needs of our candidate and her congregation in this way. We also give thanks to God for guiding this process; please continue to pray for our candidate and both of our congregations in this season of change.
On January 31, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency because of the emergence of SARS-CoV-2. After thirteen renewals, the public health emergency expired on May 11, 2023. Authorizations to collect certain public health data expired on that date as well, causing changes to national monitoring and reporting of COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that surveillance of community transmission level and COVID-19 community level metrics have been discontinued as of May 11. As a result, Shadyside Presbyterian Church will no longer share this status on a weekly basis through the church website, as we have been doing since last summer. The CDC has replaced COVID-19 community levels with COVID-19 hospitalization levels to guide the prevention decisions of individuals and communities in the future. COVID-19 precautions within the church building will be lifted as of May 28. Of course, people may choose to wear a mask at any time.
For nearly three years, the Shadyside Presbyterian Church COVID-19 Task Force met regularly to monitor data and to prayerfully discern our church’s response to the pandemic. Formed by Session in June 2020, the task force was comprised of Trustee Alexander G. Dick and Elders Donald P. Coffelt Jr., Brigetta P. Del Re, Robert J. Ferguson, Carla M. Gedman, Robert B. Luthultz, and J. Alexander Viehman. The Reverend Austin Crenshaw Shelley provided pastoral leadership beginning in the summer of 2021, even before she officially joined the church staff. We express our profound gratitude to each of these individuals for their extraordinary commitment to the well-being of our congregation and our community, generously devoting their time in order to give these matters the careful and faithful consideration required. As we thank them for their efforts, we also thank you for your prayers for the task force as they made important decisions that impacted the church and our neighbors. Finally, with humble and grateful hearts, we return thanks to the God who heals and who has sustained us throughout these challenging times, guiding us in right paths.
“Surely He has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases … .” (Isaiah 53:4a)
To read all previous COVID-19 announcements, visit the coronavirus archive by clicking here.
Architectural Photograph: Detail of a caduceus in the 1968 bronze bas-relief by Virgil Cantini at Shadyside Presbyterian Church. Dedicated to Shadyside physician W.D. Richards, the artwork depicts the woman who touched the hem of Christ’s garment and was healed (Luke 8:43-48).
As of May 18, 2023, the COVID-19 community level for Allegheny County has been categorized as Low (Green). Each individual may make a personal decision about wearing masks while inside the church building.
Services of worship at Shadyside Presbyterian Church continue to be held on-site and online. Although pre-registration is no longer required to attend worship, other safety precautions and protocols remain in effect. To better prepare yourself for what conditions to expect as you gather for on-site worship, please visit this page of the church website to review current worship practices.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to adapt to the changing landscape of the pandemic.
About Masking and CDC COVID-19 Community Levels
The Shadyside Presbyterian Church COVID-19 Task Force has established the following guidelines for indoor masking, consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), based on COVID-19 community levels for Allegheny County.
- Red (High): Masks are required inside the church building.
- Yellow (Medium): Masks are suggested inside the church building.
- Green (Low): Each individual may make a personal decision about masking inside the church building.
Please note the following exceptions will remain in effect even during yellow (medium) and green (low) community levels:
- Masks will be required at all times in the transepts of the sanctuary to provide a safer area for those who are most vulnerable. (Seating in these pews will also continue to maintain social distance.)
- All participants in Children’s Ministry activities will remain masked for safety, including staff, volunteers, and children. Parents, caregivers, and guardians are welcome to accompany their children at any time; adults must continue to wear masks at all times when in Children’s Ministry areas.
In addition, please also be aware that our worship leaders in the Chancel may be unmasked at times in order to carry out their worship responsibilities, even during red (high) community levels.
Shadyside Presbyterian Church will make every effort to keep our website updated with current masking guidelines, especially www.shadysidepres.org/covid-19 and www.shadysidepres.org/covid-19/current. Please check the website on Saturdays to inform your decisions and preparations for attending Sunday worship in person. In the event the church website has not been updated by the Saturday prior to worship, you may check the CDC website using the following steps:
- Direct your web browser to www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/covid-by-county.html.
- Locate the COVID-19 County Check section, and, under “Select a Location,” select “Pennsylvania” under “State.”
- Then select “Allegheny County” under “County.”
- Press the “Go” button.
- The current community level will be displayed.
Alternatively, you may click the button below, which will open a new tab in your web browser. Scroll down to “COVID-19 Community Level” under “Allegheny County, Pennsylvania” to view the current community level.
About the COVID-19 Task Force
The Shadyside Presbyterian Church COVID-19 Task Force continues to meet regularly to monitor data and to prayerfully discern our path forward. Formed by Session of Shadyside Presbyterian Church, the COVID-19 Task Force is comprised of the Reverend Austin Crenshaw Shelley; Trustee Alex Dick; and Elders Don Coffelt, Brigetta Del Re, Rob Ferguson, Carla Gedman, Bob Luthultz, and Alex Viehman. These individuals have committed their time in order to give these matters the careful and faithful consideration required. Other staff members and experts serve in an advisory capacity as needed.
For nearly two and a half years, the task force met regularly to monitor data and to prayerfully discern our path forward. The task force now meets as needed. Thank you for your prayers for the task force as they made important decisions for the well-being of our congregation and community. If you have concerns or thoughts to share, you are welcome to contact the task force through the church office.
- To access the current version of the COVID-19 Task Force’s policy and protocols document, visit www.shadysidepres.org/covid-19/guidelines.
- To read all previous COVID-19 announcements, visit the coronavirus archive by clicking here.
Architectural Photograph: Detail of a caduceus in the 1968 bronze bas-relief by Virgil Cantini at Shadyside Presbyterian Church. Dedicated to Shadyside physician W.D. Richards, the artwork depicts the woman who touched the hem of Christ’s garment and was healed (Luke 8:43-48).
This summer, a once-in-a-century project is scheduled to begin at Shadyside Presbyterian Church. Our existing slate roof has reached the end of its life and is in need of a full replacement.
In 2019, after a series of roof leaks and evidence of deterioration, the Building and Grounds Committee retained a roofing consultant to provide a condition assessment of our slate roofs. The consultant’s report indicated that the roofs had between five and seven years of remaining useful life, with some areas needing to be repaired immediately. Subsequent to the consultant’s report, Building and Grounds authorized multiple repairs to address ongoing roof leaks while planning for a full-scale replacement of all slate roofs.
In late 2021, after conducting research to identify architects experienced in roof replacements and historic buildings, the church issued requests for proposals to three firms. After interviewing two firms, Building and Grounds selected MCF Architecture to lead a team of design professionals that includes a specialized roof consultant and a structural engineer. MCF has previously worked with the church on a façade restoration project and has extensive experience with roofing projects and historic buildings similar to our church.
The design team conducted a thorough analysis of the condition of our slate roofs and associated building components. This process utilized scaffolding to gain access to the underside of the roof in multiple interior locations, personnel lifts for exterior inspections, and drones equipped with high-resolution cameras, enabling detailed imagery of the roof, masonry, and other building elements in hard-to-reach locations.
The design professionals concluded that, while the building’s structural elements are in very good condition, the roof and associated accessories should be replaced and certain areas of stone masonry require repointing. In response, Building and Grounds authorized MCF to prepare construction documents in anticipation of a competitive bid process.
In its oversight of the design process, Building and Grounds has been committed to respecting the original design intent of our present church building while implementing advanced and proven building materials and techniques. Our goal is to maximize the longevity and quality of the new roof without sacrificing the character and historic nature of our beloved building. We believe this goal to be especially important considering the investment we are making in this project and the church’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
Church records show that architects Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge chose a black slate for the roof of our present church. Our consultant believes that the existing slate was sourced from a quarry in Pennsylvania. The design team noted that slate from Pennsylvania is not of the highest quality and is prone to fading, which is likely why the existing slate has varying tones of brown and other colors. Respecting the original intent to source a black slate, Building and Grounds, at the recommendation of our design team, has selected a non-fading Canadian Black slate from a quarry in Quebec, Canada. This slate is classified as Grade S1 by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), which is the highest quality available. We received material and shipping quotations for the Canadian Black slate from two sources vetted by our design team and secured a production spot from the best value provider to allow for timely delivery of materials once the quarry resumes operations later this spring.
For flashing materials, we have selected stainless steel, which has optimal lifespan, for concealed locations and twenty-ounce copper for exposed locations. These selections maximize value and longevity while respecting traditional aesthetics consistent with the original design.
Please be aware that the dark color of the slate and the shiny new copper, which will patina over time, will be a significant aesthetic change from the current materials. We believe this change will be an enhancement consistent with the original design intent and hope that it is well-received by all considering the historic context outlined above.
Volpatt Construction has been retained to serve as our construction manager for the roof replacement project. They were selected after receiving proposals from three firms. Some readers may recall that Volpatt was the contractor for the Sharp Atrium project. Volpatt conducted trade bidding for the roof project earlier this year. All bidders were prequalified by the project delivery team. Miller-Thomas-Gyekis, Inc. (MTG Roofing) and Mariani and Richards, Inc. have been selected for the roofing and masonry work, respectively. An electrical contractor, needed for the snow melt and lightning protection work, has not yet been selected as we may elect to bundle this scope with other planned electrical improvements.
In terms of logistics, access to the roof will require scaffolding of the building. Scaffolding is currently planned to be done in phases. The contractors are required to maintain access to key entry and exit points throughout the project, although temporary closures of certain entry points are a possibility. Advanced notice of any temporary closures will be provided to the congregation. The lawn at the drive circle will be utilized for staging of materials and equipment and will be fully restored upon completion of the work. The north entrance to the circular drive will also be closed during most of the construction period. These areas will be secured using fencing with privacy screening. The driveway to the rear parking lot will remain open for use, as will sidewalks to the nursery school entrance. Portions of the sidewalk along Westminster Place will be closed for a period of time, both for this project and to facilitate work on a separate project involving replacement of storm water lines.
The City of Pittsburgh has issued a building permit for the project. We are currently working with the slate quarry to finalize their production timeline. The current anticipated project start date is late May, but the project schedule is dependent on quarry production and shipping. Once started, the project is anticipated to take nine months.
The Building and Grounds Committee is grateful for the support we have received from staff, the Board of Trustees, and Session during the planning and design phases of this project. We would also like to extend a special thank you to Tim Engleman, who provided information pertaining to the original design of our present building. We ask for your patience as this important project moves forward in the months ahead. Thank you.
Trustee Alexander G. Dick
Co-Chair, Building and Grounds Committee