Pulpit Notes: Cover Us with the Love of Christ

Remember us this day, O Lord, and cover us with Your mercy.

Preserve us from suffering that distracts and shelter us from arrogance, especially our own. Teach us your Word. In our brokenness, prepare a home for Your Spirit that will defend and protect. Grant us a freedom, O Lord, that will baffle the proud. Grant us peace in the midst of conflict, patience when facing anger, kindness before the rude, and a self-control that demonstrates joy which cannot be denied. Cover us with the love of Christ this day, O God, and remember us. Amen.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Conrad

Reverend Dr. Conrad C. Sharps
Senior Pastor

Pulpit Notes: Delight in What Is Good

Sometimes we get so bogged down with stress and worry, and things not going the way we think they should, that we have to make ourselves really focus on the positive, the good of all that is life.

In so doing, we are then open to seeing the good in others and sharing that goodness from God with those in need around us. Do you struggle with attitudes or burdens that fill your life with the negative rather than the positive? Prayer is a good place to start to change that.

Grant me clarity of thought this day, O Lord, and let me delight in what is good. May the fruit of goodness blossom in my soul that I might love without pretense and avoid what is evil in the world. As You looked upon the work of Your creation and called it good, may I reflect upon my labors this day and seek in every opportunity the natural design of creation: Your glory and goodness demonstrated in what is good for others, not in judgment, but in righteous and loving compassion. As Christ came for me, may I be present for others this day and recognize the good in them and the good of prioritizing their needs even to the sacrifice of my own. In this, may I find the good delight Christ desires for all this day. Amen.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Conrad

Reverend Dr. Conrad C. Sharps
Senior Pastor

Pulpit Notes: Discipleship Is a Journey

“If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, my servant will be as well.  If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.”
John 12:26

I often write about journeys. This started early in my life. My father thought traveling and exploring were important, so he refurbished an old camping trailer, and our family traveled most weekends and in the summer.

In my ministry, drawing parallels between geographical travel and spiritual journeys just makes sense. Think about Jesus’ ministry, when He walked by the Sea of Galilee. He said to Simon Peter and his brother Andrew, “Come, follow me.”

If we are to be faithful to Christ’s call in our lives, we also must commit ourselves to a journey of faith, obedience, and service. Jesus Christ will never let us stay where we are spiritually. He wants us to grow in His Word and in the gifts of the Spirit, that we might glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

All life is a journey. For Christians and disciples of Christ, the most important question will always remain, “Will we follow Jesus?” In the blog posts that follow, I hope to share with you thoughts, prayers, and devotions which I hope will help us all to reflect upon our journey as we seek to follow Jesus Christ.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Conrad

Reverend Dr. Conrad C. Sharps
Senior Pastor

Celebrating Gavin Walton’s Ordination

Gavin Walton
Gavin Walton

The Pittsburgh Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church (USA) ordained Gavin Walton on Sunday, January 22, at Grace Memorial Presbyterian Church. Since 2010, Gavin has been a member of Shadyside Presbyterian Church (SPC), and, in May 2016, he successfully completed the denomination’s care process, which he entered under the sponsorship of the Session of SPC. Gavin will serve as Temporary Pastor at Grace Memorial Presbyterian Church, a sister congregation in the nearby Hill District of Pittsburgh with which Shadyside has enjoyed a long relationship.

In June 2016, Gavin wrote the following message to SPC:

“I wanted to thank you all for your prayers and support along the way. . . . I wanted to reaffirm my love and appreciation for my home church. I would have never made it to the point of realizing God’s purpose for me if not for your rearing and guidance during these formative years. As I seek to help a congregation live into God’s vision for them, I will remember and (try to) emulate the love and discipleship with which you have blessed me.”

Please support Gavin with your prayers as he officially begins his ministry.

Welcome to Our New Website

Throughout 2016, the Communications Committee met regularly and worked diligently to re-develop and re-design the Shadyside Presbyterian Church website. This project partially continues the committee work begun in 2012 which resulted in the establishment of a new graphic identity for the church. As announced at that time, the graphic identity has been integrated gradually throughout the church’s publications; now, the website joins our other updated materials through a multi-phase launch.

The new site layout you see on your screen was carefully created with the superb help of the talented team at Pittsburgh-based Imagebox Productions; their efforts ensure the site looks beautiful, clean, and legible, regardless of the size of your screen. In addition to this mobile-responsive design, the new site benefits from an expanded menu of options for navigation. We hope this means you will find it easier than ever to find what you are looking for on our site, using the device of your preference: cellphone, tablet, or computer.

While we encourage you to take some time to explore the new site yourself, we would like to take a moment to highlight two improved resources which we hope you will find particularly useful and convenient:

  • the blog, which you have just visited to read this inaugural post; and,
  • a more robust online calendar, from which you may now export events to your own personal electronic calendar. You may also filter events on our new calendar by category — a helpful tool to streamline the schedule of a very busy and multi-faceted organization such as our beloved church.

In order to bring you increased functionality in the future — including online giving options and a private online community portal for members to contact each other, share, and access information — we needed first to modernize our website platform; so today’s introduction is merely the first step in a longer campaign to move the church’s digital communications forward. Later in 2017, we look forward to offering the aforementioned new features, as well as additional content, including video and, eventually, increased social media activity. We are confident these efforts will better position the church for continuing to build community online.

We are deeply grateful for the creativity, insight, and expertise Imagebox brought to this significant undertaking, and we are so pleased to share the results of their hard work with you. We hope you enjoy browsing the new site, and we look forward to sharing even more exciting features with you in the months ahead.