Pulpit Notes: Abide in Christ

Christ our risen Lord, whose fullness we all have received, You call us to abide in You as You abide in the Father.

Strengthen us then, who seek the truth and beauty of Your gospel. For those in our church and community who are dispirited or downcast, may we become a visible demonstration of Your encouragement and compassion. Let us build our dreams, our lives, and our community with courage that is based upon our resurrection hope and the indwelling presence of Your Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Conrad

Reverend Dr. Conrad C. Sharps
Senior Pastor

Pulpit Notes: Order My Steps

Lord, lead me in Your way everlasting and grant me peace in the assurance that, wherever I am, You are there with me.

Order my steps in this new season and make Your path known to me. Let me delight in seeking You all the days of my life in the knowledge that, though I may stumble and fall, You are loving and kind. Lift and renew me, O God, that I may walk humbly with You. Equip and prepare me, Lord, for the journey that this new year promises, so that I may glorify You and enjoy You forever. In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Conrad

Reverend Dr. Conrad C. Sharps
Senior Pastor

Pulpit Notes: Be Expectant of Wondrous Things

Lord, grant me what I need to serve others and, in this way, glorify Your name.

Grant me discernment through immersion in Your Word, a careful examination of my heart, and a faithful dependence upon Your Holy Spirit. Reveal the will of Christ to me, and open my eyes to His presence in the least of these, whom I often look right past. Help me to be expectant of wondrous things today, O God, that I may walk humbly with Jesus as one prepared to see His face in others, responding, as needed, with the compassion and hope He has shared with me. Amen.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Conrad

Reverend Dr. Conrad C. Sharps
Senior Pastor

Responding to Hurricane Harvey

Last fall, the Session of Shadyside Presbyterian Church (SPC) approved a disaster response plan submitted by our Mission and Urban Ministry (MUM) Team. The MUM Team has committed to set aside annual funds specifically for disaster response, and, in addition, provide SPC members with the opportunity to give to a disaster assistance organization. If you would like to make a contribution to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA), please place your check (payable to Shadyside Presbyterian Church) or cash donation in the pew envelope designated for PDA, and place the envelope in the offering plate during worship. Contributions also may be mailed to the church office.

Let us remember in prayer those who have lost family, friends, or property as a result of this natural disaster. The Reverend Dr. Laurie Ann Kraus of PDA has extended this invitation to prayer: “Please join us in praying for courage for those who are suffering; wisdom and diligence among agencies and individuals assessing damage and directing relief efforts; and for generosity to flow as powerfully as rivers and streams, as we respond to the deep human needs left in the wake of the storm.”

Learn more about PDA’s relief efforts in response to Harvey here.

Read a prayer for those in the midst of Harvey here.

Pulpit Notes: Look, But Don’t Stare

As I face my own spiritual and emotional battles this day, O Lord, I pray for wisdom to look upon them, but not stare.

Refocus my attention and therefore my heart upon what is eternal, and instill in me the courage of a conqueror, like that of Christ. Let me set my gaze upon Him who has overcome all things, not for self, but for the world. Let me grasp the faith, the truth, the patience, and the forgiveness He wielded in the world to truly conquer this life. He taught; He healed; He fed the hungry; and, when the time was right, He suffered even for sinners like me. Grant me this faith, the light of which will reveal not only the darkened field of battle for this world, but also the Kingdom to come. In Jesus’ name, I pray.  Amen.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Conrad

Reverend Dr. Conrad C. Sharps
Senior Pastor

Curt Scheib: Thirty Years of Music Ministry

Dr. Curt A. Scheib
Dr. Curt A. Scheib
On Sunday, August 20, we celebrate the long and significant ministry of Dr. Curt A. Scheib, who retires from the Chancel Choir after thirty years of faithful service. Throughout his many years with us, his steadfast commitment to the church and its music program has been both broad and deep.

Dr. Scheib began sharing his musical talents with Shadyside Presbyterian Church in 1987, in the last weeks of Russell Wichmann’s tenure as Director of Music. We thank God for blessing Dr. Scheib with such musical gifts, and we thank him for sharing those talents with us in so many ways — as a chorister, bass soloist, music assistant, substitute organist, and occasional choir conductor. For many years, he also served on the church staff as the Director of the Shadyside Choral Society, a group of community singers dedicated to singing sacred repertoire. In addition, Dr. Scheib shouldered the significant responsibilities of our music program as the Interim Director of Music — not just once, but twice, ensuring seamless transitions in our musical leadership.

Dr. Scheib is a Professor of Music and Voice at Seton Hill University, where he also serves as the Dean of Visual and Performing Arts. He will continue to sing the masterworks of choral literature as a member of the professional core of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, the long-standing choral partner of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Please join us in praying for God’s blessings upon him, and plan to join us on Sunday, August 20, as we recognize Curt’s ministry during the service of worship, with an opportunity for individual congregation members to express their appreciation to him during the Time of Fellowship in the Sharp Atrium following the service of worship.

Pulpit Notes: Jesus, Our Consolation and Hope

Lord Jesus, You are the author of our salvation, the One in whom we find our consolation and hope. We profess our need to rely on You.

The more real the desolation of sin, human suffering, and evil, the more we must pray for You to reveal Your will and redeeming mercy. Invade our consciousness, Lord. In the midst of desperation and confusion, strengthen our resolve; equip us as a priesthood of believers, a Church whose first order is the proclamation of the Gospel, and the spiritual nurture and fellowship of the people of God. Jesus, may we become a living sanctuary, where the hungry are fed, the wounded are cared for, and the desperate can discover God in You, and You in us.  Amen.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Conrad

Reverend Dr. Conrad C. Sharps
Senior Pastor

Pulpit Notes: A Spiritual House

Holy God, exalted over the nations, we praise Your name this day. Like a divine stonemason, You choose, chisel, and place us in Your grand design: a spiritual house, a royal priesthood, living stones. May we function this day as a living and dynamic body, making sacrifices through which hard work and prayer become the mortar of a new society: a people through whom the world is blessed by the Word proclaimed — not only with our lips, but with our every thought, word, and deed.

Father, grant us strength to put on Jesus, to be strong and of good courage, that we may proclaim with joy Your redemption in Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Conrad

Reverend Dr. Conrad C. Sharps
Senior Pastor

Pulpit Notes: A Majestic Avenue of Prayer

Father above, Your Holy Spirit reveals a majestic avenue of prayer to those who would seek Your narrow path, and beckons us to quiet meditation before You. Consumed with our own affairs, we beseech You, O God, to remind us that You will not forsake the humble. As You have been faithful to countless generations before us, You are prepared to shower Your mercy upon those who love You and seek You with all their heart. Release us from the chains of compulsion and fear, O God, and let Your Spirit lead us to righteous living born of prayer. In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Conrad

Reverend Dr. Conrad C. Sharps
Senior Pastor

Pulpit Notes: Save Us from Fear

Of what are you afraid? What fears keep your heart and mind blocked from a loving and personal relationship with God?

For this and everything, let us turn to God in prayer.

Arise, O Lord, and save us. Assist us in casting off every fear that would hold us back from effective discipleship and a personal relationship with You. If the field erupts in battle today, grant us the courage to not shirk our duty nor avoid the conflict; for, in the midst of affliction, the most able leaders rise. We pray for inner strength to defeat the fears that imprison us. Purify our thoughts like precious metal. Test our hearts and make us strong; gather our wits and grant us confidence of character, not based upon our own wisdom, but upon humble dependence on Your promise that You will not abandon us or fail us. Arise, O Lord, and save us, not from conflict — in the world, or in our own souls — but from the fear that mangles and destroys our hope and our faith. In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Conrad

Reverend Dr. Conrad C. Sharps
Senior Pastor