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).

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Shadyside Presbyterian Church building remains closed to visitors. All services of worship, activities, and events will not meet in-person until further notice.

While we cannot be together on-site for any activities, we are glad to share with you worship videos which will be made available at 11:00 a.m. on Sundays, 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, the sermon text, and the children’s bulletin in .pdf format.

The Shadyside Presbyterian Church online worship archive also contains audio recordings of worship from previous years, which we encourage you to explore. We hope these archived resources will enhance your personal devotional time as we face an extended period of physical separation from our community of faith.

We regret that we cannot gather in person for worship, but we hope you will gather with us in spirit.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we follow this challenging course of action, but one we know to be responsible and safer for our congregation and our community.

COVID-19 Task Force

The Session of Shadyside Presbyterian Church has 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 Dr. John Dalles and 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 begin to 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.

Update on September 13, 2020:

The Shadyside Presbyterian Church COVID-19 Task Force wants to share that our plan is for the church staff to return to the offices beginning Monday, September 14. While the task force is not yet ready to welcome visitors into the building, you will be able to reach the church office more readily by phone. We are excited about this development, yet we remain attuned to the statistics surrounding COVID-19 and continue to move forward with flexibility and caution.

The COVID-19 Task Force asks for your prayers and your patience as its members prayerfully consider best practices for the health and safety of our congregation. You are welcome to contact any member of the task force through the church office.

Selected Highlights from Previous COVID-19 Updates

Congregational Letters

  • 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).

The Quarantined Kitchen: September 9, 2020

Your Culinary Source

Over the past many months, I have come to find there are many iterations of the Quarantined Kitchen throughout the country, but none as special as ours. Alas, we must come to a stopping point. Thank you for all of your feedback. I hope the recipes served you well. I leave you with a few tips for your fall pantry.

Chef Steven M. Bright

Fall Pantry Tips

  • Check for outdated food items, herbs, and spices.
  • Make a list of replacement items – this time in smaller quantities.
  • Note: Cinnamon has a long shelf life if tightly sealed and kept out of direct sunlight.
  • Note: Always buy nutmeg in the whole form and just freshly grate what you need.

Happy Cooking!

Explore More

The Quarantined Kitchen shared ideas and recipes from Chef Steven Bright, Hospitality Coordinator at Shadyside Presbyterian Church, to help you stay healthy by eating well during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more from Chef Bright by exploring previous entries in The Quarantined Kitchen.

The Quarantined Kitchen: September 2, 2020

Your Weekly Culinary Source

The Quarantined Kitchen shares ideas and recipes from Chef Steven Bright, Hospitality Coordinator at Shadyside Presbyterian Church, to help you stay healthy by eating well during the COVID-19 pandemic.

September 2, 2020: Best Chicken Burger

The following is a better-than-beef burger recipe I make to fit into Weight Watchers. Makes incredible meatballs, too!

Best Chicken Burger

Makes 4-6

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
1 whole portobello mushroom, broken up
2 whole scallions, cleaned and rough chopped
Salt and pepper

Procedure

  1. In Cuisinart, add chicken, portobello mushroom, and scallions. Purée to hamburger consistency.
  2. Heat ovenproof pan, add cooking spray or 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  3. Form burgers, season with salt and pepper, then sear in pan on both sides about 4 minutes.
  4. Finish in 400 degree oven another 8 minutes or until juices run clear.

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright

Read more from Chef Bright by exploring other entries in The Quarantined Kitchen.

The Quarantined Kitchen: August 26, 2020

Your Weekly Culinary Source

The Quarantined Kitchen shares ideas and recipes from Chef Steven Bright, Hospitality Coordinator at Shadyside Presbyterian Church, to help you stay healthy by eating well during the COVID-19 pandemic.

August 26, 2020: Vidalia Dressing for Potato Salad

Consider adding crumbled bacon and green onion to the potato salad!

Vidalia Dressing for Potato Salad

Makes enough for 3 pounds of potatoes

Ingredients

2 ½ c mayonnaise
1 c grain mustard
¼ c honey
2 T white wine vinegar
2 T lemon juice and zest
1 T black pepper
1 t salt
3 Vidalia onions, caramelized and rough chopped

Procedure

  1. Whisk first seven ingredients together
  2. Fold in onions
  3. Adjust seasoning

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright

Read more from Chef Bright by exploring other entries in The Quarantined Kitchen.

Pastoral Letter

Artwork: Detail of Shadyside Presbyterian Church’s “Digital Mosaic,” illustrated by Mark Bender. All rights reserved by Shadyside Presbyterian Church.

A Congregational Update for the New Program Year

Dear members of Shadyside Presbyterian Church:

We are so grateful to all of you for your faith, patience, and fortitude throughout these past months as COVID-19 has brought necessary reconsideration and restructuring of our church life. The Shadyside Presbyterian Church (SPC) COVID-19 Task Force (formerly the Back-to-Church Task Force) continues to meet weekly, paying close attention to the science and data about COVID-19, comparing notes with other churches throughout our region, and prayerfully considering best practices for the health and safety of our congregation.

We know that everyone misses seeing one another in person. As your pastors, we feel that loss profoundly. We understand that being unable to worship in person as the body of Christ is no small thing. It is also true that we are learning new ways of being the body of Christ during this time. We rejoice in the generosity that our congregation has exhibited in caring for one another and our mission partners. The words of support from all of you to one another and to our leadership have provided both encouragement and hope. Our online worship services continue to draw a wonderful diversity of people from a wide range of geographic locations. Other virtual ministry gatherings continue to provide rich and deeply faithful opportunities for learning and fellowship. And as we approach the beginning of a new program year, we are so excited for all of the new (or newly structured) ways we will be participating in Christ’s work! Please see below to learn more about some of these opportunities and discover ways you can be involved.

As we look to the year ahead, we embrace a mindset of flexibility and grace. Plans are underway for the staff to return to the church office in stages over the coming weeks. In time, we then hope to open the building for smaller gatherings of a pastoral nature. In the coming weeks, you will receive communications from the SPC COVID-19 Task Force, including anticipated timeline, hours of operation for the church office, and safety protocols.

While we look forward to these developments, we also recognize that plans may change depending on fluctuating virus positivity rates, as well as state and county guidelines. We remain committed to communicating with you on a regular basis as circumstances change and decisions are made. Updates are available on the church website at www.shadysidepres.org/covid-19 and the church office answering message (412-682-4300). The church also sends multiple email messages each week to keep members informed and to provide convenient links for accessing online opportunities. If you are not receiving these messages, please contact the church office to share your updated email address with us; you may find it most convenient to send your subscription request to info@shadysidepres.org.

Please know that the grace of God remains visible in our community of faith, and that the vitality of our congregation continues during this unexpected and challenging time. Together, let us seek to discover the new things God is doing in our midst! We hold all of you in our prayers, and we request your prayers as well.

In Christ,

Rev. Dr. John A. Dalles
Interim Senior Pastor and Head of Staff
jdalles@shadysidepres.org

Rev. Lynn M. Portz
Associate Pastor for Parish Life
lportz@shadysidepres.org

Rev. Todd E. Leach
Associate Pastor for Missions
tleach@shadysidepres.org

Rev. Kendra L. Buckwalter Smith
Temporary Associate Pastor
ksmith@shadysidepres.org

Virtual Opportunities: Fall 2020

Worship

  • Virtual services of worship continue each week on Sundays at 11:00 a.m. through the church website, Facebook, and YouTube.
  • Midweek vespers will resume on Wednesday, September 16, at 7:00 p.m.
  • We especially look forward to celebrating World Communion Sunday on October 4! Our ability to worship virtually will allow us to share in this experience with some of our mission partners from around the globe, together celebrating the Lord’s Supper, in which Christ unites us with all people of every time and place.

Care and Support

  • Grief Support Group will continue to meet online monthly, resuming on Monday, September 21.
  • Prayer gatherings occur online on Tuesdays from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. and Thursdays from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.
  • Caring ministries continue through the Deacons and Care Team. Please reach out to us!

Fellowship

  • All are welcome to join our virtual Time of Fellowship every Sunday following the service of worship.
  • “Happier Hours” will resume in September. Parents and friends gather online for fellowship on Thursday evenings after their children are in bed.

Mission and Urban Ministry

  • Ministry with our various mission partners continues, connecting us with members of Christ’s body near and far.
  • Shadyside Presbyterian Church (SPC) is sponsoring Pittsburgh Theological Seminary’s McClure Lecture Series, “Jesus Christ and the ‘Dividing Wall’: Race and God’s Mission.” The lectures will take place online each Wednesday evening in October at 7:30?p.m., followed by national conversations, then a time for SPC members to meet together.

Children’s and Youth Ministries

  • Our youngest disciples continue to gather online for Children’s Chapel each week before Sunday worship.
  • Ask a Pastor: Conversations between Children’s Ministry staff and pastors will help children grapple with some of their more challenging questions about life and faith.
  • Our youth in grades six through twelve will connect weekly — sometimes virtually and sometimes in person for outdoor, physically distanced prayer, games, and service opportunities.
  • Youth will help to plan and lead an online Bible study for children.

Adult Ministry

  • Adult Christian Education studies occur online before worship on Sunday mornings. New studies begin September 13.
  • Friday Evening Scripture and Prayer: Participants spend time reading the daily lectionary and praying together online at 7:30 p.m.
  • A new book study group for families and parents will begin in the fall.

Other Exciting News

  • Through the Quarantined Kitchen, published in the blog section of the church website, Chef Steven Bright shares recipes and ideas to help you stay healthy by eating well during the pandemic.
  • On the evening of Monday, October 5, we will host a New Members’ Welcome Meeting online. Do you know of someone who has been participating in the life of Shadyside? Please invite them to consider becoming a member!
  • We are excited to welcome our new student pastor, Wesley Smith, from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in September.

We would love to hear from you! What are other ways you feel God calling you to connect with and serve in the Shadyside Presbyterian Church community? Please reach out to any of the pastors or contact the church office.

The Quarantined Kitchen: August 19, 2020

Your Weekly Culinary Source

The Quarantined Kitchen shares ideas and recipes from Chef Steven Bright, Hospitality Coordinator at Shadyside Presbyterian Church, to help you stay healthy by eating well during the COVID-19 pandemic.

August 19, 2020: White Asparagus Soup

Although you still may be able to find a few bunches here and there, white asparagus is seasonal (April through June). Fortunately, this recipe works perfectly with green asparagus!

White Asparagus Soup, by Steven Bright

Makes 2 quarts

Ingredients

2 medium-sized shallots, diced small
1 large onion, diced small
2 T butter
½ T olive oil
¾ C white wine
4-5 bunches of white asparagus, snapped at ripe-point, then cut into 4-5 sections
1.5 qt chicken stock
Lemon juice, salt, and white pepper to taste

Procedure

  1. Sauté onions and shallot in butter and olive oil until golden. Do not brown.
  2. Deglaze with wine and reduce by half.
  3. Add asparagus, then toss to coat.
  4. Add stock.
  5. Simmer until asparagus is tender, about 18-20 minutes.
  6. Season lightly with salt and white pepper.
  7. Purée in blender (separating solids and adding liquids as needed) until very smooth. Finish seasoning to taste.
  8. Cool quickly in large flat shallow pan. Transfer to glass container, cover, and chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  9. Serve chilled.

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright

Read more from Chef Bright by exploring other entries in The Quarantined Kitchen.

The Quarantined Kitchen: August 12, 2020

Your Weekly Culinary Source

The Quarantined Kitchen shares ideas and recipes from Chef Steven Bright, Hospitality Coordinator at Shadyside Presbyterian Church, to help you stay healthy by eating well during the COVID-19 pandemic.

August 12, 2020: Jumbo Lump Crab Cocktail

Maryland blue crab season has ended, but now is the time to purchase jumbo lump crab meat by the pound!

Jumbo Lump Crab Cocktail

Makes about 8 servings

Ingredients

1 lb. jumbo lump crab meat
½ c each: cucumber, plum* tomato, avocado, asparagus tips, diced small
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced, carefully
4 scallions, minced
Zest and juice of 3 fresh limes, about ¾ c
3-4 T good olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black peppercorns to taste
Cocktail sauce (optional)

Procedure

  1. Toss all (*any fresh tomatoes will do) ingredients gently together with 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil; salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Divide into 8 chilled cocktail glasses. (You can opt to place a tablespoon or two of cocktail sauce in the bottom of the glass before adding the crab mixture.)

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright

Read more from Chef Bright by exploring other entries in The Quarantined Kitchen.

The Quarantined Kitchen: August 5, 2020

Your Weekly Culinary Source

The Quarantined Kitchen shares ideas and recipes from Chef Steven Bright, Hospitality Coordinator at Shadyside Presbyterian Church, to help you stay healthy by eating well during the COVID-19 pandemic.

August 5, 2020: Jumbo Lump Crab Beignet

Maryland blue crab season has ended, but now is the time to purchase jumbo lump crab meat by the pound!

Jumbo Lump Crab Beignet

Makes about 60 pieces

Ingredients

1 lb. jumbo lump crab meat
½ c clam juice
¼ c evaporated milk
¼ t sugar
½ t instant yeast
1 ¼ c cake flour
1 egg
1 T butter, melted
1 ½ t black pepper
2 t salt
1/8 t celery seed
½ t red pepper flakes
3 scallions, minced
Zest of 2 lemons

Procedure

  1. Warm clam juice and milk to 105 degrees.
  2. Sprinkle yeast over clam juice milk mixture. Wait 8 minutes.
  3. Combine flour, egg, butter, seasonings, scallions, and zest.
  4. Add yeast mixture and gently fold in crab.
  5. Refrigerate overnight.
  6. Form 1-oz portions with a 1-oz scoop, fry in 315-degree oil until golden brown, about 6 minutes.
  7. Serve with chive yogurt.

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright

Read more from Chef Bright by exploring other entries in The Quarantined Kitchen.

The Quarantined Kitchen: July 29, 2020

Your Weekly Culinary Source

The Quarantined Kitchen shares ideas and recipes from Chef Steven Bright, Hospitality Coordinator at Shadyside Presbyterian Church, to help you stay healthy by eating well during the COVID-19 pandemic.

July 29, 2020: Pecan Pralines

Because of the molten sugar, this recipe can be dangerous! Be careful and enjoy!

Pecan Pralines

Makes about 2 dozen

Ingredients

2 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup light cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups pecan halves
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Procedure

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a 3 – 4 quart saucepan, mix together sugar and baking soda. Add cream and place over medium-high heat. Cook, carefully whisking occasionally, until golden brown and mixture reaches 235 degrees on a candy thermometer, 25 to 30 minutes. Carefully add butter, vanilla, and pecans, and mix together until butter has melted and mixture is well combined, about 1 minute. Using a tablespoon, drop mixture onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart; let cool completely. Store in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright

Read more from Chef Bright by exploring other entries in The Quarantined Kitchen.

The Quarantined Kitchen: July 22, 2020

Your Weekly Culinary Source

The Quarantined Kitchen shares ideas and recipes from Chef Steven Bright, Hospitality Coordinator at Shadyside Presbyterian Church, to help you stay healthy by eating well during the COVID-19 pandemic.

July 22, 2020: Lemon Herb Hummus

Try this simple and light recipe as an appetizer or TV snack!

Lemon Herb Hummus

Makes about 1 ½ cups

Ingredients

1 15.5-oz. can garbanzo beans, drained
1 large clove garlic
Juice and zest of 1 large lemon
2 t tahini
½ bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 t ground cumin
Warm water and extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt to taste

Procedure

  1.  In processor, add beans, tahini, garlic, zest, cilantro, and cumin. Pulse a few times.
  2.  With processor running, add lemon juice, then alternate warm water and olive oil.
  3.  Open processor and scrape down sides, season with salt, and continue processing, adding oil, water, and additional lemon juice to your desired taste and until very smooth. About 2 minutes.
  4.  Enjoy with fresh vegetables, fresh pita bread, or toasted pita chips.

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright

Read more from Chef Bright by exploring other entries in The Quarantined Kitchen.