Giving Thanks for the Ministry of Rev. Todd Leach

An Update from Session

Rev. Todd E. Leach
Rev. Todd E. Leach

Dear friends,

Greetings in Christ our Lord! By now you have received the letter from the Reverend Todd Leach sharing the news that God has called him to serve as the Senior Pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Buffalo, New York. As we, the Shadyside Presbyterian Church, prepare to bid farewell to Rev. Leach, we remember with gratitude all the ways his ministry has shaped our identity as a church and prepared us to enter the future God has planned for us. We will deeply miss Todd; his wife, Linda; and their daughters, Nadia and Dhini. Yet we also celebrate their faithful response to God’s call and give thanks for the incredible ways God will work in and through them to bless their new church and community.

Todd has served as our Associate Pastor for Missions for almost fourteen years. In that time, we have been abundantly blessed by his wise and visionary leadership, his caring heart, his thoughtful and inspiring preaching and teaching, and, most of all, his great love for Christ and for our church. Todd has challenged us to think differently about engaging our community and the world beyond, encouraging us to see Christ at work and to participate in that work by building partnerships with God’s people in new and exciting ways.

Linda also has blessed us in the ways she has freely shared her love for the children in our midst, as well as her gifts of teaching, hospitality, and compassion. We have also had the joy of watching Nadia and Dhini grow from toddlers to teenagers, and we so appreciate the ways they have given of themselves in friendship, caring, and service.

The Leaches’ last day with us will be Sunday, August 8. We hope you will join us in celebrating their time among us, and in thanking them for all they have meant to our church and community.

  • Please attend worship on August 8 at 11:00 a.m. A Special Meeting of the Congregation will be held in the sanctuary immediately following worship, at which time we will act on the request of Rev. Leach that his pastoral relationship with Shadyside Presbyterian Church be dissolved. It is important to have a good attendance for this meeting.
  • After the congregational meeting, all are invited to gather outside in the Fisher Garden for an informal opportunity to greet the Leach family, express appreciation, and offer well wishes.

While we know that, ideally, everyone would participate in these events in person, we also understand circumstances may prevent your attendance. The live worship webcast continues to be available at www.shadysidepres.org/live. In addition, the format of the congregational meeting will be hybrid, so participants may attend online via Zoom videoconferencing. The link, telephone number, meeting ID, and passcode will not be shared publicly in the interest of keeping the meeting secure, but these details will be provided directly to members in a letter delivered by the United State Postal Service and in an email on the morning of Sunday, August 8. (If you have questions or concerns, please contact the church office by phone or email before Friday, August 6, and we will be happy to assist you.)

As an expression of gratitude, you are invited to contribute to a gift for the Leach family, which will be presented to them on August 8. Checks may be sent to the attention of the church finance office, designated as “Leach Farewell Gift” in the memo line. Contributions also may be made online by clicking here; please select “Miscellaneous Revenue” in the drop-down menu on the giving form and include “Leach Farewell Gift” in the memo line. The goal for donations is Wednesday, August 4.

Together, we lift Todd, Linda, Nadia, and Dhini in prayer as they transition to their new home, church, schools, and city. We know that Christ meets them there, having already prepared for them a season of continued growth in their love of Christ and participation in His ministry.

In Christ,

Elder Robert B. Luthultz
Chair, Human Resources Committee of Session

Further Reading

Farewell Message from Rev. Todd Leach to the Congregation

Farewell Letter to Congregation from Rev. Leach

A Parting Message from Our Associate Pastor for Missions

Dear Shadyside Family,

Nearly fourteen years ago, you welcomed me to be one of your pastors. Since that time, you have trustingly supported and participated in opportunities to witness Christ’s presence beyond our beautiful sanctuary. Throughout these years, you have invited me to travel alongside you in your personal journeys, and, together, we have journeyed alongside our mission partners near and far. These journeys have been filled with an abiding love and a generous grace. I will forever treasure them and hold them close to my heart.

I am writing to share with you that God is calling my family to a new journey. This past Sunday, I accepted the call to be the next Senior Pastor for the Westminster Presbyterian Church of Buffalo. I will begin serving Westminster on September 1, with August 8 being my last Sunday at Shadyside.

My call to serve as your Associate Pastor for Missions has never wavered, nor have I viewed this call as a stepping stone toward another opportunity. When Westminster reached out to me in early February, I shared with them that I continue to love engaging in our collective ministry at Shadyside. Westminster replied that they were searching for a pastor who loves ministry, who would also embrace the opportunity to lead them deeper into their community as their Senior Pastor. In the early months of our conversations, I began discerning God calling me toward this position.

Soon thereafter, I had the privilege to meet Rev. Austin Crenshaw Shelley, your next Senior Pastor. Rev. Shelley and I have been in close communication throughout this discernment process, and she has already become a trusted colleague in ministry. Though I am disappointed I will not serve Shadyside alongside her, I honestly have never been more excited for you. I am convinced of the Spirit’s movement in our midst, and anticipate Shadyside’s next chapter will be an outstanding one under Rev. Shelley’s leadership.

And speaking of colleagues, I have found the greatest throughout my Shadyside tenure. Words cannot express the care and respect I have for those with whom I have served, who are privileged to serve together as your staff. I pray for a similar staff at Westminster, but realize the rarity in such a committed and caring team.

Finally, on behalf of Linda, Nadia, and Dhini, I thank you for embracing us into the Shadyside community. You have lived well into your vows to help raise our daughters in faith. You have done so in both word and deed. You have been a treasure to us, and we will forever treasure our time with you.

And, as your Missions Pastor, I encourage you to continue seeking after and witnessing to Christ’s presence within and beyond the beloved Shadyside Presbyterian Church community.

Grace and peace,

Reverend Todd E. Leach
Associate Pastor for Missions

An Invitation to Communion

Special Invitation to the Lord’s Supper

The Chalice, Flagon, and Plate used on World Communion Sunday, October 1, 2017, were dedicated to the glory of God and in loving memory of Momoko H. Mills. For decades, Momoko faithfully prepared the Lord’s Table in our Sanctuary with humble reverence and deep love. Commissioned by Shadyside Presbyterian Church, the Communion set was fashioned by Deacon Garret B. Smith. We give thanks to God both for Momoko’s caring service and for Garret’s talented craftsmanship. This set will be used regularly as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper during our midweek vespers. Also visible above in detail is the damask linen from Damascus which was a gift from Mark A. Anderson to Shadyside Presbyterian Church. Photograph taken by Nick Conti.

Our service of worship at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 1, will incorporate a celebration of the Sacrament of Communion, both on-site and online.

  • In the Sanctuary, Communion will be served through the practice of intinction. Ushers will invite pews forward using the center aisles. After receiving a piece of bread from the pastor at the Chancel steps, dip it into the cup held by a Communion server, and then return to your seat using the side aisles after communing.
  • If you prefer to remain in your pew to commune in the Sanctuary, you may do so using elements you choose to bring from home. Alternatively, pre-packaged elements will be available in the Narthex. Gluten-free, vegan Communion wafers also are available in the Narthex for those who prefer them.
  • Those who are unable to attend worship in the Sanctuary may celebrate Communion virtually through our worship livestream. In this unprecedented time, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) has approved the online celebration of Communion (Communion in an Emergency/Pandemic).

In this time when we are separated by space, yet united in the Spirit, we remember that Christ is always at work, gathering us in unique ways.

Preparations for Celebrating Virtual Communion

In preparation for the Sacrament, we invite you to look through your own kitchen to find “bread and beverage.” While there is rich symbolism in the elements we traditionally use to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, the Church also has a long history of using the most fitting materials that are readily available in any given time and setting. So feel free to be creative and use what you have on hand.

Prior to our time of worship, please prepare your worship space. Have ready the device on which you will view the service, the bulletin (available online in the worship archive) which will enable you to more fully participate in the service, and the elements you will use for Communion. Have your “bread” ready on a plate and your “beverage” poured. Any vessels will do, but you might consider using special dishes to help you remember that this is a holy meal, set apart from our regular meals. If it is safe to do so, you also may want to light a candle and place it by your prepared Communion elements. Through the light, may you be reminded that Christ is present with us all in this meal.

During worship, you will be guided through the celebration and reception of the Lord’s Supper. Whether or not you are a member of Shadyside Presbyterian Church, we invite you to prepare your hearts to receive this Sacrament as a means of grace. For Christ is our host, and He invites all who seek Him to partake of this holy meal.

Some possibilities for bread:

  • any kind of bread
  • crackers
  • cookies
  • chips
  • tortilla
  • pita

Note: If you have time and want to involve your family with a meaningful activity in preparation for Communion, consider baking a special loaf of bread together. Please contact Ellen Allston, Director of Christian Education for Children’s Ministry, who has shared several recipes with families by email.

Some possibilities for beverage:

  • grape juice
  • any other type of juice
  • wine
  • water

Photograph: The Chalice, Flagon, and Plate used on World Communion Sunday, October 1, 2017, were dedicated to the glory of God and in loving memory of Momoko H. Mills. For decades, Momoko faithfully prepared the Lord’s Table in our Sanctuary with humble reverence and deep love. Commissioned by Shadyside Presbyterian Church, the Communion set was fashioned by Deacon Garret B. Smith. We give thanks to God both for Momoko’s caring service and for Garret’s talented craftsmanship. Also visible above in detail is the damask linen from Damascus which was a gift from Mark A. Anderson to Shadyside Presbyterian Church. Photograph taken by Nick Conti.

Wayne Younger to Preach August 1

Wayne Younger
Wayne Younger
Welcoming Pastor Wayne Younger

On Sunday, August 1, Pastor Wayne Younger will preach during the service of worship at 11:00 a.m.

As Executive Director of Open Hand Ministries, Wayne Younger brings over twenty-five years of nonprofit service experience in the Pittsburgh region to his work with our mission partner — including proficiency in organizational management, public speaking, strategic planning, fundraising, and board development. Wayne’s entrepreneurial and executive leadership is marked by a focused mission to advocate for and improve the lives of economically marginalized persons. He does all of this with a pastor’s heart, as a co-founding pastor of Cityview Church in East Allegheny.

A native of Pittsburgh, Wayne is a graduate of Langley High School and Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky. Previously, he has led and served in mentoring programs and churches, and he was program coordinator at Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience (PULSE). Most recently, he served as the Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Project.

We give thanks that Pastor Younger will proclaim God’s Word among us in August. Please join us in welcoming him to Shadyside’s pulpit. To connect remotely, visit the live worship webcast page of the church website.

Announcing Twelfth Senior Pastor

Rev. Austin Crenshaw Shelley
Rev. Austin Crenshaw Shelley

Rev. Austin Crenshaw Shelley Accepts Call to Shadyside Presbyterian Church

With joy and thanksgiving, Shadyside Presbyterian Church is delighted to announce the outcome of the congregational meeting held on Sunday, June 27, 2021. After hearing the report of the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC), the congregation voted to approve the motion of the PNC to extend the call to the Reverend Austin Crenshaw Shelley to be the twelfth Senior Pastor of Shadyside Presbyterian Church. Rev. Shelley has accepted this call with grace and humility – thanks be to God!

The PNC 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 tireless efforts of these dedicated individuals, particularly as they persevered in prayerful discernment during the pandemic: Susan Balaan; Sara Brooke; Don Coffelt; Percy Jackson, Chair; Adam Loucks; Ann Pauley; and Janet Rohrer.

The Shelley Family
The Shelley Family

We also express our thanks to those who helped to plan and implement the activities surrounding the candidacy weekend as we welcomed Rev. Shelley and her family to Shadyside. We hope that many members of our community enjoyed the opportunity to greet them, and we look forward to the beginning of her ministry among us on September 27. Pittsburgh Presbytery will give its final approval to her call based on the recommendation of the Commission on Ministry in September.

In the weeks and months ahead, we will continue to prepare for the Shelley family’s arrival by sharing more information. Meanwhile, please use the following links to access recent materials and messages surrounding this sacred and joyful process:

Read the Letter from the PNC

View the Brochure

View Rev. Shelley’s Sermon

Thank you for your prayers during our interim time and the accompanying search process. Please join us in offering prayers of thanksgiving to God for leading our PNC to nominate Rev. Shelley and for leading Rev. Shelley to follow God’s call to Shadyside Presbyterian Church. In addition, please pray for Rev. Shelley and her family, for the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, and for our own church as we enter this time of transition.

More from the Pastor Nominating Committee

Read previous updates from the Pastor Nominating Committee of Shadyside Presbyterian Church.

Introducing Pastoral Candidate

Rev. Austin Crenshaw Shelley
Rev. Austin Crenshaw Shelley

An Update from the Pastor Nominating Committee

Note: This letter was mailed to all members on Wednesday, June 23, 2021. Its publication on the website was intentionally delayed in order to respect confidentiality concerns.

Dear Shadyside Presbyterian Church Family,

It is with great joy that we, your Pastor Nominating Committee, announce the Reverend Austin Crenshaw Shelley as our candidate for Senior Pastor and Head of Staff. It has been an honor to be entrusted with this important, sacred work, and we have felt the weight of your collective hopes and prayers. That is why we could not be any more certain that Rev. Shelley is the person God has in mind to lead Shadyside Presbyterian Church into its next chapter.

We were looking, first and foremost, for someone who loves preaching and teaching. We were looking for someone who is a leader and who can help us discern the future God has planned for us. We were looking for someone who can inspire us to love each other and our neighbors well. Ultimately, we were looking for someone who can help us fulfill our potential for good in the world. We have found that someone in Rev. Shelley.

We were enamored by Rev. Shelley’s ability to preach, crafting sermons that are engaging, that challenge us to think, and that show us how Scripture is relevant to our lives. We were inspired by the examples she gave of her collaborative, visionary style of leadership. We were impressed with stories shared by her references that illustrate she is a pastor at heart, with an endless capacity to love the people within the church and those outside it. And when we had the opportunity to meet her in person, we were convinced that we had found someone who each of us felt was the perfect fit.

The majesty of our worship service is one of the signature features of our life together. When we learned that
Rev. Shelley not only appreciates a beautiful, traditional worship experience, but is as nourished by it as we are, we knew without a doubt that she was the person we were seeking.

The Shelley Family
The Shelley Family

Currently, Rev. Shelley serves as Associate Minister at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she has been for the past nine years. She is nearing completion of her Ph.D. in Homiletics at Princeton Theological Seminary. Austin and her husband, Mark, have four children, two cats, and a border collie puppy. We hope this brochure, which includes a message to our congregation from Rev. Shelley and her statement of faith, will serve as an initial introduction while revealing profound theological insights that reflect her spiritual strength. (Click here to view the brochure as a .pdf file.)

Earlier this month, we shared with you the schedule of events for Rev. Shelley’s candidacy weekend. You are invited to attend a meet-and-greet reception for the Shelley family on Saturday, June 26, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Rev. Shelley will preach her candidacy sermon on Sunday, June 27, during the service of worship at 11:00 a.m. Immediately following the service, the congregation will hear the report from the Pastor Nominating Committee and will vote to approve the call of Rev. Shelley as the twelfth senior pastor of Shadyside Presbyterian Church. (For your convenience, links to details about each of these events appear at the bottom of this announcement.)

As a gentle reminder, we also previously conveyed the need for confidentiality surrounding this announcement. We respectfully request that everyone entrusted with this information will keep this news within our church family until June 30, so that Rev. Shelley may notify her congregation appropriately. We thank you for exercising discretion.

If the way be clear, Rev. Shelley will begin her tenure at Shadyside on September 27. This schedule will give her time to move her family to Pittsburgh, take her comprehensive exams, and fulfill prior commitments.

We hope you will join us in welcoming Rev. Shelley and her family to Shadyside this weekend!

With love in Christ,
The Shadyside Presbyterian Church Pastor Nominating Committee:
Susan Balaan; Sara Brooke; Don Coffelt; Percy Jackson, Chair; Adam Loucks; Ann Pauley; and Janet Rohrer

View the Brochure

Candidacy Weekend Events at Shadyside Presbyterian Church

More from the Pastor Nominating Committee

Read previous updates from the Pastor Nominating Committee of Shadyside Presbyterian Church.

An Invitation to Communion

Special Invitation to the Lord’s Supper

The Chalice, Flagon, and Plate used on World Communion Sunday, October 1, 2017, were dedicated to the glory of God and in loving memory of Momoko H. Mills. For decades, Momoko faithfully prepared the Lord’s Table in our Sanctuary with humble reverence and deep love. Commissioned by Shadyside Presbyterian Church, the Communion set was fashioned by Deacon Garret B. Smith. We give thanks to God both for Momoko’s caring service and for Garret’s talented craftsmanship. This set will be used regularly as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper during our midweek vespers. Also visible above in detail is the damask linen from Damascus which was a gift from Mark A. Anderson to Shadyside Presbyterian Church. Photograph taken by Nick Conti.

Our service of worship at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, July 4, will incorporate a celebration of the Sacrament of Communion, both on-site and online.

  • Those who attend this service on-site may choose to bring their own elements from home; alternatively, pre-packaged elements will be available.
  • Those who are unable to attend worship in the Sanctuary may celebrate Communion virtually through our worship livestream. In this unprecedented time, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) has approved the online celebration of Communion (Communion in an Emergency/Pandemic).

In this time when we are separated by space, yet united in the Spirit, we remember that Christ is always at work, gathering us in unique ways.

Preparations for Celebrating Virtual Communion

In preparation for the Sacrament, we invite you to look through your own kitchen to find “bread and beverage.” While there is rich symbolism in the elements we traditionally use to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, the Church also has a long history of using the most fitting materials that are readily available in any given time and setting. So feel free to be creative and use what you have on hand.

Prior to our time of worship, please prepare your worship space. Have ready the device on which you will view the service, the bulletin (available online in the worship archive) which will enable you to more fully participate in the service, and the elements you will use for Communion. Have your “bread” ready on a plate and your “beverage” poured. Any vessels will do, but you might consider using special dishes to help you remember that this is a holy meal, set apart from our regular meals. If it is safe to do so, you also may want to light a candle and place it by your prepared Communion elements. Through the light, may you be reminded that Christ is present with us all in this meal.

During worship, you will be guided through the celebration and reception of the Lord’s Supper. Whether or not you are a member of Shadyside Presbyterian Church, we invite you to prepare your hearts to receive this Sacrament as a means of grace. For Christ is our host, and He invites all who seek Him to partake of this holy meal.

Some possibilities for bread:

  • any kind of bread
  • crackers
  • cookies
  • chips
  • tortilla
  • pita

Note: If you have time and want to involve your family with a meaningful activity in preparation for Communion, consider baking a special loaf of bread together. Please contact Ellen Allston, Director of Christian Education for Children’s Ministry, who has shared several recipes with families by email.

Some possibilities for beverage:

  • grape juice
  • any other type of juice
  • wine
  • water

Photograph: The Chalice, Flagon, and Plate used on World Communion Sunday, October 1, 2017, were dedicated to the glory of God and in loving memory of Momoko H. Mills. For decades, Momoko faithfully prepared the Lord’s Table in our Sanctuary with humble reverence and deep love. Commissioned by Shadyside Presbyterian Church, the Communion set was fashioned by Deacon Garret B. Smith. We give thanks to God both for Momoko’s caring service and for Garret’s talented craftsmanship. Also visible above in detail is the damask linen from Damascus which was a gift from Mark A. Anderson to Shadyside Presbyterian Church. Photograph taken by Nick Conti.

COVID-19 Updates and Announcements

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).

Services of worship at Shadyside Presbyterian Church continue to be held on-site and online. All individuals are asked to wear masks while in the building. Most church-related activities will continue to occur online, and the church office is open during weekday business hours. The COVID-19 Task Force continues to meet regularly to monitor data and to prayerfully discern our path forward.

Although pre-registration is no longer required to attend worship, other safety precautions and protocols remain in effect. To better prepare you for what to expect as you return to on-site worship, please visit this page of the church website to review current worship practices.

We are committed to continuing to offer a virtual worship option so that you may join us remotely. You may access the video here on our website, from our YouTube channel, or from our Facebook page. Visit the live webcast page to access worship documents, including the bulletin and the children’s bulletin in .pdf format.

Selected Highlights from Previous COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Task Force

In June 2020, the Session of Shadyside Presbyterian Church formed a COVID-19 Task Force to continue the prayerful discernment process regarding how and when we might begin the gradual return to our building. With direction from the government and the medical community, this task force will develop our own guidelines specific to our conditions, in addition to a timeline for resuming certain activities on the church premises.

Along with the Reverend Lynn Portz, the task force is comprised of Trustee Alex Dick and Elders Don Coffelt, Brigetta Del Re, Rob Ferguson, Carla Gedman, Jim Gockley, Bob Luthultz, and Alex Viehman. Each of these individuals has committed to meeting regularly and often in order to give these matters the careful and faithful consideration required. Other staff members and experts will serve in an advisory capacity as needed.

Please keep the task force in your prayers as they make important decisions for the well-being of our congregation. We will communicate further with you as plans emerge; meanwhile, if you have concerns or thoughts to share, you are welcome to contact any member of the task force through the church office.

Policy and Protocols

In September 2020, the Session of Shadyside Presbyterian Church approved the COVID-19 Task Force’s proposed policy and protocols document. Access the current version of these guidelines at www.shadysidepres.org/covid-19/guidelines.

Care Team Support for Vaccination Process

The Care Team of Shadyside Presbyterian Church has the availability to aid congregation members with navigating the many websites to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments. These folks are vaccinated and can bring a laptop computer to your home to assist in this process. We also have vaccinated members that are available to transport congregants to vaccine appointments. Please let us know if you, or anyone you know, is in need of assistance. You may contact Linda Leach, Care Team leader, through the church office.

Congregational Letters

  • October: The Session has mailed a letter to all members on October 31, 2020, in order to update the congregation about the resumption of on-site Sunday worship in a limited capacity. Click here to read the letter on the church website if you did not receive your copy through the United States Postal Service.
  • September: The Session has mailed a letter to all members on September 28, 2020, in order to update the congregation on the approval of a policy and protocols for the phased re-opening of the church. Click here to read the letter on the church website if you did not receive your copy through the United States Postal Service.
  • August: The pastors have mailed a letter to all members on August 20, 2020, in order to update the congregation for the upcoming new program year. Click here to read the letter on the church website if you did not receive your copy through the United States Postal Service.
  • July: The COVID-19 Task Force sent a congregational letter to all members on July 13, 2020, in order to share with you some considerations and factors guiding their discernment process for the gradual re-opening of the church building and offices. Click here to read the letter on the church website if you did not receive your copy through the United States Postal Service.
  • June: The pastors of Shadyside Presbyterian Church sent a congregational letter to all members on June 1, 2020. In case you did not receive it via the United States Postal Service, you may read the letter online by clicking here. Also enclosed in this mailing was a notice of the annual meetings of the corporation and congregation to be held electronically on Sunday, June 14, at noon. Learn more.

eGiving Options

Shadyside Presbyterian Church is pleased to offer secure eGiving options during this especially challenging time in order to encourage faithful stewardship among our congregation. Read the full article to learn more about these options, and then visit the giving area of the church website to select the best option for you and begin a new gift.

COVID-19 Relief Fund

Shadyside Presbyterian Church has established a COVID-19 relief fund to support individuals and families experiencing economic hardships due to the coronavirus countermeasures. In this video message, the Reverend Todd E. Leach explains the purpose of the fund, outlines who may benefit from it, and invites those who are able to donate. If your situation allows you to do so, you may make a financial contribution by giving online through the church website, selecting the COVID-19 Relief Fund. You may also send a check made payable to “Shadyside Presbyterian Church” with “COVID-19 Relief Fund” in the memo line to the attention of the Finance Office at the church. Thank you for your generosity and your concern for our neighbors.

By God’s Side

On August 12, 2020, Shadyside Presbyterian Church introduced By God’s Side, a weekly series of inspirational reflections from the Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles, to support you in your spiritual journey. These pastoral messages appear in the blog section of the church website each week. (Our weekly e-newsletter includes an excerpt to remind you to read along with us regularly; click here to subscribe to the e-newsletter if you do not already receive it.) We hope this regular feature will help you to draw closer to God’s side in your life of faith. Begin reading here.

The Quarantined Kitchen

Through this new weekly feature on the church website blog, Chef Steven Bright shares ideas and recipes to help you stay healthy by eating well during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit The Quarantined Kitchen.

Local Mission Partner Updates

Shadyside Presbyterian Church (SPC) has been in communication with our local mission partners regarding needs and responses to COVID-19. Many of our partners have already been impacted financially, with some having to lay off staff. In addition to concerns for their staff, they are greatly concerned for their clients. Their repeated and greatest request was for prayer, but that was soon followed by expressed need for funding. SPC will respond to financial needs as our budget allows, but Rev. Todd Leach has shared a summary of the ways you may be able to pray more specifically. Read the full update from our mission partners.

Choices You Can Make to Stay Emotionally Healthy During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In light of the recent stay-at-home order for Allegheny County issued by the governor, Shadyside Presbyterian Church shares with you suggestions to promote emotional health as we face an extended time of physical separation from our community of faith. Read the full list of suggestions.

Additional Resources

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).

Pastoral Search Complete

An Update from the Pastor Nominating Committee

Dear Shadyside Presbyterian Church Family,

We are delighted to share an important update with you. The Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) of Shadyside Presbyterian Church (SPC) has completed its search, and we want you to know that God has led us to our next Senior Pastor. Throughout this two-year journey, we have been blessed by your prayerful support and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and we are confident that Shadyside will be blessed by the leadership and ministry of our candidate.

While we can hardly contain our enthusiasm, we are not yet able to share all of the good news with you. The purpose of this letter is to inform you of the timeline of events so that you will have the opportunity to meet our candidate when the time is right and participate fully in the process of electing this outstanding nominee as our twelfth Senior Pastor.

You are invited to attend a meet-and-greet reception for our candidate on Saturday, June 26, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. During the service of worship at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 27, we will hear our candidate preach. A congregational meeting will occur immediately following the service. (Links to details about each of these events appear at the bottom of this announcement.)

Although we could not be more excited about our candidate, we are mindful that, because our candidate presently serves another church, we must exercise extreme care in sharing our candidate’s name. Out of respect for the candidate and the candidate’s congregation, we have agreed to wait until the end of the month to reveal our candidate’s identity. Even then, we request that our church family will treat this disclosure sensitively, holding all information in confidence until June 30, when our announcement may be made public.

Having articulated the need for confidentiality, we know you are eager to learn more about this individual, and we also know you need to be well informed in advance of the congregational meeting. To that end, members will receive a mailing delivered via the United States Postal Service within the two days immediately preceding our candidacy weekend events. The materials enclosed in the forthcoming mailing will introduce our candidate to you in more detail just prior to meeting the candidate and hearing the candidacy sermon. Recognizing that news travels quickly in the digital age, we will not share the candidate’s profile online through the church’s website or social media channels until June 30 and thereafter, in keeping with our commitment to honor our candidate’s desire to respect both congregations and the different pastoral needs of each.

This approach may be a new experience for many in our congregation, but it has become the preferred practice for pastors and congregations as they seek to follow God’s direction in their mutual ministry. The Pittsburgh Presbytery confirms that several of our neighboring churches have followed this pattern as they have called new pastors recently, and we feel strongly that we are proceeding properly — balancing our own needs with those of our candidate and the congregation which will grieve the departure of its pastor.

We trust that you will concur, and we thank you for your patience as we allow our candidate the time needed to say farewell to our sister congregation in an appropriate way. We know that our candidate is grateful for this courtesy, which will facilitate the transition to ministry with Shadyside.

Please keep our candidate, along with our candidate’s family and church family, in your prayers during this season of change. We look forward to sharing more about our candidate later this month.

In hopeful anticipation,
The Shadyside Presbyterian Church Pastor Nominating Committee:
Susan Balaan; Sara Brooke; Don Coffelt; Percy Jackson, Chair; Adam Loucks; Ann Pauley; and Janet Rohrer

Candidacy Weekend Events at Shadyside Presbyterian Church

More from the Pastor Nominating Committee

Read previous updates from the Pastor Nominating Committee of Shadyside Presbyterian Church.

Rev. Dr. Hunter Farrell to Preach June 13

Rev. Dr. Hunter Farrell
Rev. Dr. Hunter Farrell
Welcoming Rev. Dr. Hunter Farrell

On Sunday, June 13, the Reverend Dr. Hunter Farrell will preach during the service of worship at 11:00 a.m.

The Reverend Dr. Farrell is the director of the World Mission Initiative at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Dr. Farrell brings thirty years of experience to the position. He has been a professor in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, coordinator of the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s mission work in East and West Africa, community organizer addressing issues of poverty and justice in Peru, and director of World Mission for the PC(USA) in Louisville. Dr. Farrell attended Pontificia Universidad Católica (doctor of anthropology), École Pratique des Hautes (post-graduate diploma), Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and University of Texas at Austin (B.A.).

We give thanks that Rev. Dr. Farrell will proclaim God’s Word among us in June. Please join us in welcoming him as he returns to Shadyside’s pulpit. To connect remotely, visit the live worship webcast page of the church website.