Announcing New Associate Pastor
Rev. Rachel C. Hébert Accepts Call to Shadyside Presbyterian Church
With gratitude and delight, Shadyside Presbyterian Church is excited to announce the outcome of the congregational meeting held on Sunday, May 21, 2023. After hearing the report of the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee (APNC), the congregation voted to approve the motion of the APNC to extend the call to the Reverend Rachel Christine Hébert to be the Associate Pastor for Missions and Campus Ministry of Shadyside Presbyterian Church. Rev. Hébert has accepted this call with enthusiasm – thanks be to God!
The APNC 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 thorough and diligent efforts of these dedicated individuals: Robert W. Anderson; Laura C. Duncan; Timothy C. Engleman; Robert B. Luthultz; Daniel S. Potter; Robert B. Reppe; Melissa A. Rychener; Jee Eun Song; and Mary Margaret M. Stamy, Chair.
We hope that many members of our community enjoyed the opportunity to greet Rev. Hébert this past weekend, and we look forward to the beginning of her ministry among us in July, if the way be clear. Pittsburgh Presbytery will give its final approval to her call based on the recommendation of the Commission on Ministry at its next meeting.
In the weeks ahead, we will continue to prepare for Rev. Hébert’s arrival by sharing more information. Meanwhile, please read more about her on the church website and enjoy an album of photographs from this joyous weekend on Facebook. In the event you were unable to join us for worship, you may view the video recording of the service on YouTube.
Thank you for your prayers and support during this search process. Please join us in offering prayers of thanksgiving to God for leading our APNC to nominate Rev. Hébert and for leading Rev. Hébert to follow God’s call to Shadyside Presbyterian Church. In addition, please pray for Rev. Hébert, for Williamsburg Presbyterian Church, and for our own church as we enter this time of transition.
Introducing Associate Pastor Candidate
An Update from the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee
Note: This letter was mailed to all members on Tuesday, May 16, 2023. Its publication on the website was intentionally delayed in order to respect confidentiality concerns.
The Associate Pastor Nominating Committee of Shadyside Presbyterian Church enthusiastically introduces the Reverend Rachel Hébert as our candidate to be Associate Pastor for Missions and Campus Ministry.
Reverend Hébert comes to us from Williamsburg Presbyterian Church in Williamsburg, Virginia, where she serves as the Associate Pastor for Community Care. In this role, her responsibilities include campus ministry for college students at the College of William and Mary and other area institutions. At Williamsburg, Reverend Hébert coordinates all levels of mission and outreach and leads annual trips to Guatemala.
Reverend Hébert will graduate with a Doctor of Ministry degree from Union Presbyterian Seminary at the end of May. She has a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and graduated from Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in religion and the arts with a minor in classical vocal performance.
One of Reverend Hébert’s mentors says that college students “gravitate toward her,” as demonstrated by the thriving campus ministry program that she has nurtured at Williamsburg. Campus ministry under Reverend Hébert consists of lively discussion, food, fun, service, and participation at national conferences. It also creates opportunities for the congregation to open their hearts and homes to college students. Reverend Hébert’s commitment to campus ministry is evident in her internship experiences at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City and at First Presbyterian Church, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Beyond Reverend Hébert’s success in college ministry, her philosophy of leadership drew our attention. She sees her role as engaging the church in conversations with college students about life and faith. Reverend Hébert describes her approach as connecting with students, noticing their struggles, and empowering them to find their voices, which deeply resonates with Shadyside’s vision for this ministry.
Shadyside’s historic college involvement extends to supporting the foundation of Chatham University and to pioneering campus ministries at Pitt and Carnegie Mellon. As our community works alongside Reverend Hébert to re-establish our campus ministry program, she brings service as a board member of UKirk National, the collegiate ministry organization of the PC(USA). Her established ties with other churches as chair of UKirk’s National Gathering of Campus Ministers will be a valuable resource at Shadyside Presbyterian Church.
Today’s flourishing mission ministry at Shadyside Presbyterian finds its roots, local and international, at the congregation’s beginning in 1866. At Williamsburg, Reverend Hébert reimagined that congregation’s relationships with partner Guatemalan churches. She notes that, initially, these interactions had been financial in nature and related to building projects. Reverend Hébert encouraged participants to learn about the history and culture of the region in order to strengthen and transform fellowship ties with mission partners.
Described as “delightful, lively, and a great singer,” we are confident that Reverend Hébert will soon become a treasured part of the Shadyside community. Please join us in extending a warm welcome to the Reverend Rachel Christine Hébert.
The Associate Pastor Nominating Committee:
Robert W. Anderson; Laura C. Duncan; Timothy C. Engleman; Robert B. Luthultz; Daniel S. Potter; Robert B. Reppe; Melissa A. Rychener; Jee Eun Song; and Mary Margaret M. Stamy, Chair
Members of the congregation and their families are invited to meet our candidate for Associate Pastor for Missions and Campus Ministry on Saturday, May 20, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Enjoy cookies and lemonade in the Parish Hall as we welcome Rev. Rachel Hébert to Pittsburgh and Shadyside Church. Immediately following the service of worship at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 21, the congregation will hear the report from the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee during the annual meeting and will vote to approve the call of Rev. Hébert as our Associate Pastor for Missions and Campus Ministry. We respectfully request that everyone entrusted with this information will keep this news within our church family until Wednesday, May 24, so that Rev. Hébert may notify her congregation appropriately.
We thank you for your patience and for caring for the pastoral needs of our candidate and her congregation in this way. We also give thanks to God for guiding this process; please continue to pray for our candidate and both of our congregations in this season of change.
Appreciation for COVID-19 Task Force
On January 31, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency because of the emergence of SARS-CoV-2. After thirteen renewals, the public health emergency expired on May 11, 2023. Authorizations to collect certain public health data expired on that date as well, causing changes to national monitoring and reporting of COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that surveillance of community transmission level and COVID-19 community level metrics have been discontinued as of May 11. As a result, Shadyside Presbyterian Church will no longer share this status on a weekly basis through the church website, as we have been doing since last summer. The CDC has replaced COVID-19 community levels with COVID-19 hospitalization levels to guide the prevention decisions of individuals and communities in the future. COVID-19 precautions within the church building will be lifted as of May 28. Of course, people may choose to wear a mask at any time.
For nearly three years, the Shadyside Presbyterian Church COVID-19 Task Force met regularly to monitor data and to prayerfully discern our church’s response to the pandemic. Formed by Session in June 2020, the task force was comprised of Trustee Alexander G. Dick and Elders Donald P. Coffelt Jr., Brigetta P. Del Re, Robert J. Ferguson, Carla M. Gedman, Robert B. Luthultz, and J. Alexander Viehman. The Reverend Austin Crenshaw Shelley provided pastoral leadership beginning in the summer of 2021, even before she officially joined the church staff. We express our profound gratitude to each of these individuals for their extraordinary commitment to the well-being of our congregation and our community, generously devoting their time in order to give these matters the careful and faithful consideration required. As we thank them for their efforts, we also thank you for your prayers for the task force as they made important decisions that impacted the church and our neighbors. Finally, with humble and grateful hearts, we return thanks to the God who heals and who has sustained us throughout these challenging times, guiding us in right paths.
“Surely He has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases … .” (Isaiah 53:4a)
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).
COVID-19 Updates and Announcements
As of May 18, 2023, the COVID-19 community level for Allegheny County has been categorized as Low (Green). Each individual may make a personal decision about wearing masks while inside the church building.
Services of worship at Shadyside Presbyterian Church continue to be held on-site and online. Although pre-registration is no longer required to attend worship, other safety precautions and protocols remain in effect. To better prepare yourself for what conditions to expect as you gather for on-site worship, please visit this page of the church website to review current worship practices.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to adapt to the changing landscape of the pandemic.
About Masking and CDC COVID-19 Community Levels
The Shadyside Presbyterian Church COVID-19 Task Force has established the following guidelines for indoor masking, consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), based on COVID-19 community levels for Allegheny County.
- Red (High): Masks are required inside the church building.
- Yellow (Medium): Masks are suggested inside the church building.
- Green (Low): Each individual may make a personal decision about masking inside the church building.
Please note the following exceptions will remain in effect even during yellow (medium) and green (low) community levels:
- Masks will be required at all times in the transepts of the sanctuary to provide a safer area for those who are most vulnerable. (Seating in these pews will also continue to maintain social distance.)
- All participants in Children’s Ministry activities will remain masked for safety, including staff, volunteers, and children. Parents, caregivers, and guardians are welcome to accompany their children at any time; adults must continue to wear masks at all times when in Children’s Ministry areas.
In addition, please also be aware that our worship leaders in the Chancel may be unmasked at times in order to carry out their worship responsibilities, even during red (high) community levels.
Shadyside Presbyterian Church will make every effort to keep our website updated with current masking guidelines, especially www.shadysidepres.org/covid-19 and www.shadysidepres.org/covid-19/current. Please check the website on Saturdays to inform your decisions and preparations for attending Sunday worship in person. In the event the church website has not been updated by the Saturday prior to worship, you may check the CDC website using the following steps:
- Direct your web browser to www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/covid-by-county.html.
- Locate the COVID-19 County Check section, and, under “Select a Location,” select “Pennsylvania” under “State.”
- Then select “Allegheny County” under “County.”
- Press the “Go” button.
- The current community level will be displayed.
Alternatively, you may click the button below, which will open a new tab in your web browser. Scroll down to “COVID-19 Community Level” under “Allegheny County, Pennsylvania” to view the current community level.
Check Allegheny County COVID-19 Community Level
About the COVID-19 Task Force
The Shadyside Presbyterian Church COVID-19 Task Force continues to meet regularly to monitor data and to prayerfully discern our path forward. Formed by Session of Shadyside Presbyterian Church, the COVID-19 Task Force is comprised of the Reverend Austin Crenshaw Shelley; Trustee Alex Dick; and Elders Don Coffelt, Brigetta Del Re, Rob Ferguson, Carla Gedman, Bob Luthultz, and Alex Viehman. These individuals have committed their time in order to give these matters the careful and faithful consideration required. Other staff members and experts serve in an advisory capacity as needed.
For nearly two and a half years, the task force met regularly to monitor data and to prayerfully discern our path forward. The task force now meets as needed. Thank you for your prayers for the task force as they made important decisions for the well-being of our congregation and community. If you have concerns or thoughts to share, you are welcome to contact the task force through the church office.
- To access the current version of the COVID-19 Task Force’s policy and protocols document, visit www.shadysidepres.org/covid-19/guidelines.
- 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).
Roof Replacement Project to Begin
This summer, a once-in-a-century project is scheduled to begin at Shadyside Presbyterian Church. Our existing slate roof has reached the end of its life and is in need of a full replacement.
In 2019, after a series of roof leaks and evidence of deterioration, the Building and Grounds Committee retained a roofing consultant to provide a condition assessment of our slate roofs. The consultant’s report indicated that the roofs had between five and seven years of remaining useful life, with some areas needing to be repaired immediately. Subsequent to the consultant’s report, Building and Grounds authorized multiple repairs to address ongoing roof leaks while planning for a full-scale replacement of all slate roofs.
In late 2021, after conducting research to identify architects experienced in roof replacements and historic buildings, the church issued requests for proposals to three firms. After interviewing two firms, Building and Grounds selected MCF Architecture to lead a team of design professionals that includes a specialized roof consultant and a structural engineer. MCF has previously worked with the church on a façade restoration project and has extensive experience with roofing projects and historic buildings similar to our church.
The design team conducted a thorough analysis of the condition of our slate roofs and associated building components. This process utilized scaffolding to gain access to the underside of the roof in multiple interior locations, personnel lifts for exterior inspections, and drones equipped with high-resolution cameras, enabling detailed imagery of the roof, masonry, and other building elements in hard-to-reach locations.
The design professionals concluded that, while the building’s structural elements are in very good condition, the roof and associated accessories should be replaced and certain areas of stone masonry require repointing. In response, Building and Grounds authorized MCF to prepare construction documents in anticipation of a competitive bid process.
In its oversight of the design process, Building and Grounds has been committed to respecting the original design intent of our present church building while implementing advanced and proven building materials and techniques. Our goal is to maximize the longevity and quality of the new roof without sacrificing the character and historic nature of our beloved building. We believe this goal to be especially important considering the investment we are making in this project and the church’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
Church records show that architects Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge chose a black slate for the roof of our present church. Our consultant believes that the existing slate was sourced from a quarry in Pennsylvania. The design team noted that slate from Pennsylvania is not of the highest quality and is prone to fading, which is likely why the existing slate has varying tones of brown and other colors. Respecting the original intent to source a black slate, Building and Grounds, at the recommendation of our design team, has selected a non-fading Canadian Black slate from a quarry in Quebec, Canada. This slate is classified as Grade S1 by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), which is the highest quality available. We received material and shipping quotations for the Canadian Black slate from two sources vetted by our design team and secured a production spot from the best value provider to allow for timely delivery of materials once the quarry resumes operations later this spring.
For flashing materials, we have selected stainless steel, which has optimal lifespan, for concealed locations and twenty-ounce copper for exposed locations. These selections maximize value and longevity while respecting traditional aesthetics consistent with the original design.
Please be aware that the dark color of the slate and the shiny new copper, which will patina over time, will be a significant aesthetic change from the current materials. We believe this change will be an enhancement consistent with the original design intent and hope that it is well-received by all considering the historic context outlined above.
Volpatt Construction has been retained to serve as our construction manager for the roof replacement project. They were selected after receiving proposals from three firms. Some readers may recall that Volpatt was the contractor for the Sharp Atrium project. Volpatt conducted trade bidding for the roof project earlier this year. All bidders were prequalified by the project delivery team. Miller-Thomas-Gyekis, Inc. (MTG Roofing) and Mariani and Richards, Inc. have been selected for the roofing and masonry work, respectively. An electrical contractor, needed for the snow melt and lightning protection work, has not yet been selected as we may elect to bundle this scope with other planned electrical improvements.
In terms of logistics, access to the roof will require scaffolding of the building. Scaffolding is currently planned to be done in phases. The contractors are required to maintain access to key entry and exit points throughout the project, although temporary closures of certain entry points are a possibility. Advanced notice of any temporary closures will be provided to the congregation. The lawn at the drive circle will be utilized for staging of materials and equipment and will be fully restored upon completion of the work. The north entrance to the circular drive will also be closed during most of the construction period. These areas will be secured using fencing with privacy screening. The driveway to the rear parking lot will remain open for use, as will sidewalks to the nursery school entrance. Portions of the sidewalk along Westminster Place will be closed for a period of time, both for this project and to facilitate work on a separate project involving replacement of storm water lines.
The City of Pittsburgh has issued a building permit for the project. We are currently working with the slate quarry to finalize their production timeline. The current anticipated project start date is late May, but the project schedule is dependent on quarry production and shipping. Once started, the project is anticipated to take nine months.
The Building and Grounds Committee is grateful for the support we have received from staff, the Board of Trustees, and Session during the planning and design phases of this project. We would also like to extend a special thank you to Tim Engleman, who provided information pertaining to the original design of our present building. We ask for your patience as this important project moves forward in the months ahead. Thank you.
Trustee Alexander G. Dick
Co-Chair, Building and Grounds Committee
Pittsburgh Marathon 2023
Pittsburgh Marathon on Sunday, May 7, 2023
Several members and friends of Shadyside Presbyterian Church are preparing for the Pittsburgh Marathon on Sunday, May 7. The entire church is invited to “run” alongside them in a number of exciting ways:
Show Your Support
This year, we are again honored to be running with our local mission partner, Open Hand Ministries (OHM). Shadyside relay team members are running with a purpose to support OHM’s urban-renewal work in the Garfield and East Liberty communities. To support our runners and walkers financially, you may contribute online using the official Pittsburgh Marathon fundraising page for OHM. Search by name to support an individual, give to one of our relay teams, or simply make a donation directly to OHM at the top of the page. Donations are accepted through Wednesday, May 31.
- Geoffrey Arnold
- Matthew Amole
- Jennifer Beck
- Jane Boyle
- Julia Doherty
- Hayden Keefer
- Jamie Piotrowski
- Robert Reppe
- Austin Shelley
- Lillian Shelley
- Micah Shelley
- Ruby Shelley
- Katie Thomson
- Carey Vinson
In addition, please also keep all of the participants and our mission partner in your prayers.
Join the runners and meet our mission partner at a carbo-loading pasta dinner and pep rally on Friday, May 5, at 6:00 p.m. in the Parish Hall. Please RSVP by contacting the church office or signing up in the Sharp Atrium no later than Sunday, April 30.
Slice Oranges and Make Signs
Volunteers are needed after dinner on Friday, May 5, to slice oranges and make signs to encourage runners. Oranges will be given to runners during the race as they ascend Fifth Avenue, one of the most challenging portions of the 26.2-mile course. To help, please sign up in the Sharp Atrium or contact the church office.
Be a Fan
Shadyside’s cheer station will once again be located near the church at the corner of Amberson and Fifth Avenues. Not only will we pass out orange slices and fruit chews, we will be the words of encouragement as the athletes run their race with perseverance and strength. Rain or shine, be prepared to cheer with enthusiasm from 7:30 to 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 7. To help, please contact the church office.
Marathon weekend concludes with worship in the Sanctuary at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 7. Due to the church’s location within the marathon route, our service of worship has been re-scheduled from the morning to the afternoon. The Reverend Kendra L. Buckwalter Smith, Associate Pastor for Discipleship, will preach, and we will celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. (Communion will be served in a manner similar to our midweek services. Please read the invitation on our website.) Nursery care will be available during the 4:00 p.m. service. As a fitting conclusion to Marathon Weekend, this will serve as a reminder that acts of running, giving, and encouraging are all done in worship. Following the service in the Sanctuary, all are invited to enjoy an outdoor time of fellowship. (Worship will not be held at 11:00 a.m., and Christian Education classes will not be held at 9:45 a.m.)
Reflecting on the Pastorate of Dr. Barnes
A Reflection from Shadyside’s Resident Historian on the Pastorate of Our Tenth Senior Pastor
The Reverend Dr. M. Craig Barnes is widely and accurately recognized as one of the best preachers in America. However, those who know him well understand the root of that inspired proclamation: a crucial part of his identity lies in being a pastor. That became clear when he graciously considered the clearly impractical idea of a shared ministry between Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and Shadyside Presbyterian Church. Careful analysis showed that the seminary would require two-thirds of his time, and the church would require the other two-thirds of his time. He responded, quite pastorally, that the question is not how to make that work; rather, should it work? If the Holy Spirit is in the call, it will work.
Dr. Barnes recognized that his new congregation had, by 2003, come through a deeply disappointing pastorate, tempered by a long and healing interim pastorate. He urged the church to use its significant legacy as a sail rather than an anchor. He knew that worship — formal, reverential, Reformed worship — is the wellspring of all that Shadyside Church is and does. His refinements to that tradition of excellence helped renew the wellspring.
Dr. Barnes saw an opportunity — a need, really — to expand the church’s mission ministry; and discerned the will of Shadyside members to support that initiative. The congregation embraced the idea to elevate mission leadership to a pastoral position. The success bestowed on our mission work by the Holy Spirit has led us to renew and re-envision that pastoral leadership.
One of Pittsburgh’s best-kept secrets was the genuine welcoming spirit of Shadyside Church. With church leaders, Dr. Barnes guided the congregation to a ministry theme of “Building Community.” One result was the reconfiguration and expansion of our historic buildings to become a more inviting place for fellowship and a more effective base for outreach. A side benefit emerged: the boost of confidence that blesses a congregation when it places faith in a Spirit-led effort.
How do inspired sermons flow out of the pastoral identity of Craig Barnes? When discussing the portfolio of a very busy pastorate, he insisted that he have time for congregational care. He explained that he could not preach to people unless he engaged them personally. In one of his books, Dr. Barnes portrayed the role of preaching pastor as being in the midst of the holy conversation between God’s Word and God’s people. He also once admitted to a friend that, next to his home study, Shadyside’s pulpit was his favorite piece of geography on Earth.
Each of his sermons found an anchor point in the grace of God. A few representative themes demonstrate that grounding:
- We are not called to be saviors, especially of ourselves. Jesus was dying to be our Savior.
- Our identity is not defined by our work or even our place in the church. Jesus wants to weave our life stories into His eternal Gospel.
- We do well to hold God’s gifts in upturned hands to be used for the work of the Kingdom. It is impossible to receive new gifts when we grasp those we already have.
- The concept of a distinctly individual Christian is a modern construct. For much of history, the Christian life was centered on community.
- Craig Barnes came to us at Shadyside Church from a seminary. In 2012, the time came for us to release him — to return to a seminary. The lesson of his especially memorable sermon, about the story of David and Jonathan in the Book of Samuel, became very important to us. Life or death can separate us from one we hold dear. But, when the Holy Spirit is in our midst, even in separation, we always get to keep the love.
Now, Craig moves his ministry beyond the institutions of church and academy. Now, we get to reaffirm that love that has bound us in separation. Now, we celebrate that bond by welcoming Craig Barnes back into our community as our Pastor Emeritus.
Elder Timothy C. Engleman
Read the Announcement about Honoring Dr. Barnes as Pastor Emeritus
Honoring Rev. Dr. Craig Barnes as Pastor Emeritus
“Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labour is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)
“For God is not unjust; He will not overlook your work and the love that you showed for His sake in serving the saints, as you still do.” (Hebrews 6:10)
It brings me great joy to share with you that the Session of Shadyside Presbyterian Church (SPC) has recently voted to confer the title of Pastor Emeritus upon the Reverend Dr. M. Craig Barnes, our tenth Senior Pastor and recently retired President of Princeton Theological Seminary. Traditionally, the honorific title of Pastor Emeritus is reserved for retired ministers whose faithful service to God in a particular congregation is recognized as distinctive. You may recall that the Reverend Dr. F. Morgan Roberts received this honor in 1994. As a sign of our congregation’s deep gratitude, this honor lifts up the relationship of care and trust that already exists between Shadyside, Dr. Barnes, and his family. Naming Dr. Barnes as Pastor Emeritus also expresses our profound thanks for his commitment to covenant community centered in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Many of us who find our places in Shadyside’s sanctuary or connect to our livestream on Sunday mornings were members of SPC during Dr. Barnes’ pastorate from 2003 through 2012. Even those who, at that time, had not yet become a part of this faith community still benefit from the far reach of his ministry in the Church and in the academy. The Reverend Elizabeth Michael Ross and I studied as Master of Divinity students at Princeton Theological Seminary during Dr. Barnes’ service on its Board of Trustees. When I traveled with the seminary’s touring choir to Pittsburgh for the 2012 General Assembly of the PC(USA), Dr. Barnes met us at the door and welcomed us into the sanctuary, where he seemed to delight in our awe upon first setting eyes on the mosaic in the apse, the ornate carvings in the wood, and the grand Romanesque architecture quite unlike the sparse style of many of the Presbyterian churches we had visited on tour. During Dr. Barnes’ tenure as a professor at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, the Reverend Kendra Buckwalter Smith studied under his tutelage, and when he came to Princeton as its President, I, too, learned not only from his powerful preaching from the pulpit of the seminary chapel, but also from his faithful and wise leadership on campus and in the community. As he has answered the call of God upon his own life, Dr. Barnes has shaped a generation of leaders in the Church, perhaps especially here at Shadyside.
And so, upon the occasion of his retirement, please join us as we honor Dr. Barnes’ faithful service and give thanks for his pastoral heart, his poetic preaching, his discerning vision, his inspired teaching, and his gifted leadership. In the spring, we will invite Dr. Barnes into the pulpit, and Dawne and their family into their favorite spot in the fourth pew, as we worship God and celebrate together. Thanks be to God!
The Reverend Austin Crenshaw Shelley
Senior Pastor and Head of Staff
Refugee Assistance Update
In Partnership with Jewish Family and Community Services
“The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.” — Leviticus 19:34
The Refugee Resettlement Team is pleased to provide the congregations of Temple Sinai and Shadyside Presbyterian Church with an update on our efforts since our family’s arrival.
Our congregations partnered with Jewish Family and Community Services (JFCS) in the summer to train and prepare ourselves for supporting a refugee family. By September, our team welcomed a family of four from the Democratic Republic of the Congo by way of a refugee camp in Rwanda. Upon their arrival at Pittsburgh Airport, Susan Balaan and the Welcome Committee brought the family to their new home to share a warm meal after a multi-day journey to America. Our Housing Committee, led by Connie Coffelt, furnished a lovely apartment within the East End of Pittsburgh. Lizzy Kline led our Cultural Orientation Committee to coordinate grocery shopping multiple times a week. Melissa Rychener ensured the Educational Committee confirmed school enrollments, English as second language courses, and tutorials on how to ride the bus. Finally, Emma Balaan and the Medical Committee coordinated medical appointments, vaccinations, and health education when needed.
Several volunteers provided cultural orientation, employment coaching, and other odds and ends for life in the United States. Besides those highlighted above, others who have supported this family include Drew and Jan Barkley, Tanya Bass, Karla Byrd, Owen Clinger, Laura Duncan, Barbara and Daniel Ernsberger, Adona Iosif, Carol James, Adam Loucks, Ann Pauley, Vanessa Rychener, Virginia Thornburgh, and Victoria Wellstead Murphy.
The refugee family we have served since September is moving to Massachusetts to take advantage of an opportunity to be closer to loved ones. We are proud to have witnessed this family’s growing understanding of our culture, their English language skills, and their confidence to be fully realized citizens of this country. We are sad that we will not continue to be their partner, but we are grateful to have been part of their journey.
Our Refugee Resettlement Team is now preparing for another family to arrive in Pittsburgh in early December. This is a young couple with a baby girl under six months old, with unique needs which are different from our prior family. Given our renewed startup costs to build the relationship with this family, please consider contributing to a special collection during this holiday season using the instructions below. If you have clothes for children between six and eighteen months, including sweaters and hats, and other items appropriate for children under one year old, such as disposable diapers and baby wipes, please contact Elder Laura Duncan through the church office.
If you are interested in directly serving a stranger and their family, please contact Elder Laura Duncan through the church office. Individuals able to drive or ride the bus during a weekday, or able to accompany our family for medical appointments, are especially needed.
With appreciation for your continued prayers and support,
Elder Laura C. Duncan
Contribute a Financial Gift
If you would like to make a financial contribution, please do so before noon on Thursday, December 29, by one of the following options:
- Visit our online giving portal at www.shadysidepres.org/give, click the “Give Now” button, then select “Spec. Mission Programs” in the drop-down menu and “Refugee Assistance” in the memo line.
- Place your check (payable to Shadyside Presbyterian Church, with “Refugee Assistance” in the memo line) or cash donation in an envelope designated for “Refugee Assistance” and place it in the offering plate.
- Mail your check (payable to Shadyside Presbyterian Church, with “Refugee Assistance” in the memo line) directly to the church office marked to the attention of the Finance Office.
Remembering Loved Ones: All Saints’ Sunday
All Saints’ Sunday: November 6
Christians throughout the world celebrate All Saints’ Day in honor of all the saints, both known and unknown. In most Protestant churches, it is celebrated on the first Sunday of November. Protestants regard all Christians, both past and present, as saints. As we solemnly remember all those who have died in the past year, we also focus on Christ’s victory over death. While the festival acknowledges the reality of death, we emphasize our hope in the Resurrection and our place in the “communion of saints.”
- During the All Saints’ Sunday morning service at 11:00 a.m., we will celebrate Communion and remember those members of Shadyside Presbyterian Church who have been received into the Church Triumphant during the past calendar year.
- On the afternoon of All Saints’ Sunday at 3:00 p.m., in memory of those who have entered eternal rest throughout time, the Chancel Choir will sing Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem in the liturgical context of a Service of Remembrance, which also will include Communion. We invite the congregation to submit the names of any deceased loved ones whom they would like to have acknowledged in the afternoon bulletin. Please share names with the church office (firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-682-4300, ext. 116) before Friday, October 28.
- The Shadyside Presbyterian Church Care Team members share their gifts of compassion, care, encouragement, support, and prayer with our congregation in intentional ways. If you think you could benefit from the support and encouragement of a Care Team member as you grieve, please contact Rev. Elizabeth Michael Ross, Parish Associate for Pastoral Care, through the church office.
- Please remember that Shadyside Presbyterian Church has three pastors who are available to talk and pray with you. Although each of them focuses upon certain aspects of ministry, they all are, first and foremost, pastors. They all are ordained to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament, and all of them desire to walk with you as you seek God’s strength and wisdom through both joys and challenges of life, including your seasons of grief. If you would like to speak with one of the pastors, please do not hesitate to contact the church office.
“Blessed are they who die in the Lord,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them.”