Rev. Dr. Beverly James to Preach August 5

Rev. Dr. Beverly W. James
Rev. Dr. Beverly W. James
Welcoming Dr. James on Her Return to Shadyside

On Sunday, August 5, the Reverend Dr. Beverly W. James will preach during the service of worship at 11:00 a.m. in the Sanctuary. Please join us in welcoming her as she returns to Shadyside’s pulpit.

About Dr. James

The Reverend Dr. Beverly W. James serves as Associate Minister to the Pittsburgh Presbytery, where she works with more than sixty congregations in the East and South Branches of Pittsburgh Presbytery, including ours. A Minister of the Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church for thirty-seven years, Beverly began her service as a Volunteer in Mission in Thailand teaching English as a second language five years before she entered the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. During her seminary studies, she interned among us at Shadyside Presbyterian Church.

Previously, Dr. James has served many churches as Interim Pastor and has a strong commitment to assisting churches and pastors in times of transition. In addition, she has taught as adjunct faculty at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, the University of Pittsburgh, and La Roche College.

Beverly earned a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Communication from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master of Arts of Divinity from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, a Master of Arts in English from Carnegie Mellon University, and an A.B. in English from Brown University.

John Walker Returns to Shadyside

Dr. John C. Walker
Dr. John C. Walker
Welcoming John Walker on His Return to Shadyside

Shadyside Presbyterian Church welcomes Dr. John C. Walker as our guest organist during worship on Sunday, July 29, at 11:00 a.m.

Dr. Walker served as the Minister of Music at Shadyside Presbyterian Church from 1992 to 2004. Following his tenure at Shadyside, Dr. Walker went to Baltimore, where he served as the Minister of Music at Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church, and Professor of Organ at the Peabody Institute of Music. Please join us in welcoming him as he returns to Shadyside.

About Dr. Walker

John Walker is Immediate Past President of the American Guild of Organists. Following earlier distinguished tenures at The Riverside Church in the City of New York and Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, he is Minister of Music Emeritus at Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church in Baltimore. Gothic, Pro Organo, and JAV recordings have issued numerous CD recordings of his organ performances and choirs under his direction.

As concert organist, Walker has performed throughout America, Europe and Asia. In 2005, he performed his third solo recital at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris; in 2006, he made his fourth concert visit to Korea; in 2015 he taught as Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music; and in 2017 he made his 15thprofessional journey to Taiwan, where in 1999 he was a Fulbright Fellow, appearing frequently with the National Symphony Orchestra and also performing and teaching throughout the country.

Under representation by Phillp Truckenbrod Concert Artists, John Walker has performed recitals and appeared with orchestras and choruses throughout America. In multiple seasons with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, he has performed Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Organ and Percussion, Leos Janácek’s Glagolithic Mass, and the world premiere of Steven Mackey’s Pedal Tones, commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony. Widely acclaimed for his dynamic service playing, he has taught that skill in workshops at the Montreat Conference, the Mo Ranch Conference, the Lake Junaluska Conference, the Colby Institute, and elsewhere throughout the nation.

Choirs under Walker’s direction have toured England and Wales, singing for services of Evensong at Westminster Abbey and York Minster; and in Taiwan, presenting concerts and workshops in Tainan, Taichung, and Taipei. In America, choirs under his direction have been featured at regional conventions of the American Choral Directors Association and have performed choral masterworks with orchestra ranging from compositions by Monteverdi through Stravinsky.

John Walker earned the Doctor of Musical Arts in historic performance practices at Stanford University, where he was also Assistant University Organist. He holds two Master of Music degrees cum laude in organ and music theory from American Conservatory of Music, where he was later appointed to the faculties of organ and music theory. He has been Chair of the Organ Department at Manhattan School of Music and a member of organ faculties at Duquesne University and San Jose State University. He is a Fellow of the American Guild of Organists.

Pulpit Notes: A Notice for Readers

The Reverend Dr. Conrad C. Sharps has announced that he has received a call from a church in Florida and has accepted that call.

As a result, the Pulpit Notes pastoral blog will no longer be updated regularly. We hope you have enjoyed reading the thoughts, reflections, and prayers of Dr. Sharps over the past several years

Dr. Sharps’ last Sunday preaching at Shadyside Presbyterian Church is Sunday, July 29. Following worship on July 29, at a farewell reception in the Parish Hall, we will express our appreciation to Conrad and Lauren for their ministry among us. Please join us in sharing our best wishes with them as God leads them to serve elsewhere.

Read Dr. Sharps’ farewell message to the congregation.

 

Pulpit Notes: A Prayer for Silence

Grant us silence, O Lord.

Let Your Word speak first, that we might find our voice in truth. And as the day unfolds, and the evening comes, may a quiet repose fill our hearts with the joyful knowledge that we are Yours. We rejoice that Your Word is eternal, O God, and we acknowledge that all our speech and all our thoughts must fade in the knowledge of Your perfect will for our lives. O Lord we offer our lives in service and humble praise to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Conrad

Reverend Dr. Conrad C. Sharps
Senior Pastor

 

Pulpit Notes: Following Jesus

Sometimes I 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 must also commit ourselves to follow Him on 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. All life is a journey of faith. And for Christians, an essential question will always remain: “Will we follow Jesus?”

“If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, My servant will be as well.”  John 12:26a

Soli Deo Gloria,
Conrad

Reverend Dr. Conrad C. Sharps
Senior Pastor

 

Pulpit Notes: As the Day Unfolds

Lord Jesus, as the day unfolds, help me to see Your hand in the midst of every situation.

Help me to make of every moment an opportunity to serve You; to see, in what I often view as setbacks, what You intend for blessing.

Help me to keep my eye on the horizon and Your kingdom on my mind, looking forward to the glorious day my path crosses the horizon, and I can see in every situation what You intended it to be. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Conrad

Reverend Dr. Conrad C. Sharps
Senior Pastor

 

Pulpit Notes: The Perfect and Eternal Will of God

Heavenly Father, we often pray for discernment of Your will for our lives.

We even pray for Your perfect will to be made known to us. Sometimes, in our own desire for this knowledge, we forget that Your ultimate will for us has already been disclosed and accomplished by the atonement of our sin through Christ’s sacrificial blood, which was shed for our forgiveness and, also, has sealed us with Christ in His death and His resurrection. As we have died with Him, so we have been raised to life in Him. Your will—perfect and eternal. In Christ’s name, amen.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Conrad

Reverend Dr. Conrad C. Sharps
Senior Pastor

 

Pulpit Notes: Food that Sustains

O God, we hunger this day for food that will sustain.

Some hunger for sustenance, some for justice, some for release from pain, and others for significance. Whatever we hunger for most, Lord, we know You can, and will, provide, for Jesus said: “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to Me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in Me will never thirst.” O Lord, hear our prayers this day and meet our needs as we lift our hungers to You. In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Conrad

Reverend Dr. Conrad C. Sharps
Senior Pastor

 

Pulpit Notes: The Mystery of the Trinity

When it comes right down to it, for me faith is a mystery, a gift.

This coming Sunday, we dive headlong into a mystery no human can fully comprehend except through faith: the glorious mystery we profess in the doctrine of the Trinity—one God in three persons.

We all have probably heard of the Great Commission, recorded in the twenty-eighth chapter of Matthew, in which we read Jesus’ command to His disciples: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

The Trinity is a mystery we seek to understand through faith—not blind faith, but faith in the power and mystery of how God chooses to reveal God’s self to humanity. We seek to be stewards, as Scripture tells us, of the mysteries of God! May the creating, redeeming, and sustaining comfort of God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—be present in our lives today and always.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Conrad

Reverend Dr. Conrad C. Sharps
Senior Pastor

 

Pulpit Notes: An Evening Prayer

Normally, I’m a morning devotion person. I like to get up before anyone else, sip coffee, and read Scripture. But I remember one night in particular when I was reminded of the great need for evening prayer and devotion.

It had been a very long, hard day. The demands of the day seemed to have taken a toll, and my heart ached for those I knew who sat at home alone, or those who were facing for the first time the reality that their marriage was in grave danger, or those who had just heard that the lab reports were not good.

I had a tremendous need for solitude. Lauren had retired for the night, and I sat and turned to a book that I’ve come to love: The Prayers of Peter Marshall, edited by his wife, Catherine. As I ran my finger down the table of contents, I saw an entry titled “Evening Prayer.” Perhaps the words of this humble servant could provide the balm I needed.

I offer just a portion of this prayer in the hope that it might touch you in the same manner it moved my weary spirit that evening:

“Lord Jesus, we come to Thee for an evening blessing, to seal within our hearts the inspirations and memories of this day.

We ask Thee for the blessing of
quietness for every troubled heart,
rest for every weary soul,
new faith and courage for all who have faced exhausting tasks this day.

We would rest now in Thee and find in this evening hour Thy stillness and Thy peace to bring us into quiet harmony with Thy will.

We give thanks for
every challenge that this day has brought,
every new vision of God that winged its way across our skies,
every whisper of God that we have sensed in the beauty of Thy world,
every thought of God that comes in quiet moments,
every need of Thee that brought us back again to Thee in prayer… .”

What about your day? Is it a day that might require dedication to the divine for ultimate understanding and meaning? If it is, spend some time alone in quiet meditation. Read an evening prayer that seeks God’s blessings and peace, as well as offering the thanks that every day deserves when it is seen as a precious gift from God.

Perhaps then — no matter what you have faced — you will be granted the peace the Psalmist knew when he wrote: “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O God, make me dwell in safety.”  (Psalm 4:8)

Soli Deo Gloria,
Conrad

Reverend Dr. Conrad C. Sharps
Senior Pastor