By God’s Side: January 20, 2021

Weekly Inspirational Reflections from the Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles

January 20, 2021: Trust in the Lord

By now, the word is out. After two wonderful years of the joy of serving you as your interim senior minister and head of staff, I will be concluding my service among you on Sunday, February 14. The Session, at the recommendation of the Human Resources Committee and the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC), has determined not to renew my contract, because the PNC’s candidate is mostly likely on the near horizon.

So, with this news, from today until then, we can anticipate twenty-five more days of shared ministry. That is about half as long as the season of Lent lasts; and in fact, the season of Lent will begin the same week as my departure.

In a short time, I will have more to say about that, in my last By God’s Side article. Nevertheless, for now, I would like to share just a few words about trust. Because, in this season and in every time and season, our faithful attitude is one of trust.

Today, I am reminded of the disciples, asleep in the boat, when Jesus came walking toward them on the water. The always-impetuous Peter said to the Lord that if it was really Him, bid him come to Him on the water. And, for a moment, Peter was able to do that, without sinking — until he looked down at the waves, instead of at Christ.

How we move through a day or a succession of days is either filled with power or filled with fear. It all depends on where we are looking. When you are uncertain, when you are intimidated, when the waters that stretch before you frighten you, look to Christ. Be confident in the Lord, every moment. As Proverbs tells us:

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” — Proverbs 3:5–6

The Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles
Interim Senior Pastor, Shadyside Presbyterian Church

About Dr. Dalles

Read more about Dr. Dalles.

Watch a brief video introducing a series of conversations with Dr. Dalles.

About By God’s Side

Shadyside Presbyterian Church publishes 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.

Read more reflections by Dr. Dalles from By God’s Side.

Giving Thanks for the Interim Ministry of the Reverend Dr. John Dalles

John and Judith Dalles

An Update from Session

Dear friends in Christ:

The Session of Shadyside Presbyterian Church (SPC) convened early in January to act on a joint recommendation of the Human Resources Committee and the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) that the annual contract for the Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles as Interim Senior Pastor and Head of Staff not be renewed in mid-February.

This decision in no way reflects a lack of confidence in or appreciation for the excellent leadership Dr. Dalles has demonstrated among us over the past two years. His ministry at Shadyside has been a tremendous blessing to us, and we are deeply grateful. Your elders simply find that the timing has aligned in such a way that Dr. Dalles will be completing the second year of his contract as the PNC enters the final stages of our pastoral search.

Elder Percy Jackson, PNC Chair, reported to the congregation on Sunday, January 3, that the PNC anticipates submitting the names of a group of finalists to the Pittsburgh Presbytery at the end of this month. While it is unlikely that our congregation will have completed all the steps necessary to call our next senior pastor before the end of Dr. Dalles’s contract, the PNC foresees bringing a new senior pastor to the church within the first part of 2021. The associate ministers will share the responsibilities of preaching, leading worship, and coordinating pastoral care until the arrival of our next senior pastor.

The departure of an interim pastor is a bittersweet but necessary step in clearing the way for our congregation’s next senior pastor. Dr. Dalles has been preparing us well to be ready to welcome our twelfth senior pastor, and so this final step of his tenure is in harmony with all of the good work he has accomplished at Shadyside thus far.

The partnership in ministry formed by the pairing of our congregation with Dr. Dalles is one of those joyful happenings that can only be explained by divine orchestration. Dr. Dalles has been a longtime friend of Shadyside Presbyterian Church; indeed, at times, it has seemed as if he knows us better than we know ourselves. We give thanks that God in His wisdom found a way to bring our congregation and Dr. Dalles together so that we might serve Him alongside each other. We could not have been blessed with a finer interim minister. Through his excellent preaching and warm-natured care, Dr. Dalles has extended the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ to us, even amidst the most challenging of circumstances. His steady leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic has provided both the calm, reassuring dependability and the innovative flexibility necessary to navigate the ever-changing landscape of the public health crisis.

Dr. Dalles’s last Sunday in the pulpit will be Sunday, February 14. Final messages from Dr. Dalles will be published in the February issue of the Church Mouse newsletter and in his blog, By God’s Side, which may be found on the church website at www.shadysidepres.org/blog. Disappointingly, the pandemic is depriving us of an opportunity to gather in fellowship to thank the Dalles family and say our farewells at a festive celebration; however, we will have an opportunity following worship on Sunday, February 14, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. for a drive-by farewell in the church’s semi-circular driveway. Parishioners are invited to wave from their vehicles and send their well wishes as the Dalles family maintains a safe social distance in the entrance to the Parish Hall.

In addition, we also intend to give Dr. Dalles a monetary gift as an expression of our appreciation. Contributions may be made by sending a check to the attention of the church finance office, designated as “Dalles Farewell Gift” in the memo line, before Thursday, February 11. Finally, we also encourage you to reach out directly to Dr. Dalles with personal messages of appreciation via email (jdalles@shadysidepres.org) or notes sent to his attention at the church’s postal address.

From the moment of their arrival, John, his wife Judy, and his mother Pat Coleman became our dear friends and beloved members of our church family. Please join us in giving thanks to God for the time we have been able to enjoy together and in expressing our thanks to the Dalles family as best we can under the current conditions.

With grace and peace,

Elder Timothy E. Nye
Clerk of Session

Elder Robert B. Luthultz
Chair, Human Resources Committee of Session

By God’s Side: January 13, 2021

Weekly Inspirational Reflections from the Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles

January 13, 2021: June in January

The Reverend Dr. John A. DallesThere is an old popular song called “It’s June in January,” the premise of which is that, when you are in love, the seasons may come and go, but the climate is great, no matter what. I like that sentiment, and perhaps you do, too.

When we find ourselves in mid-January, we are not going to come across the gorgeous wildflowers that surround us in the woods and fields in the spring and summertime. Winter has its own charms, but those who enjoy the trillium and violets look for their charms in vain, this time of year.

Even so, remember that God is doing something good for those wildflowers now — preparing them, as they wait and rest, for their days of fully opened blossoms and joyous color. Yes, even when the ground is frozen or blanketed with snow, the power of the Almighty is working toward that day when we will see those flowers in bloom, and rejoice.

Maybe you have a touch too much of a January mood right now. I hope not. However, that happens to us all. When it does, it is good, and right, and faithful, for us to envision what will be. God is at work, caring for you. God is at work, preparing you. God is at work, so that you will become what God knows you can become. God loves you into the future, day by day.

So, do not be discouraged. Remember that God loves you. Make it your plan to think along these lines, as you echo the lyrics of that old song: “The night is cold, the trees are bare; but I can feel the scent of roses in the air.”

“If God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you.” — Matthew 6:30 (New Living Translation)

The Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles
Interim Senior Pastor, Shadyside Presbyterian Church

About Dr. Dalles

Read more about Dr. Dalles.

Watch a brief video introducing a series of conversations with Dr. Dalles.

About By God’s Side

Shadyside Presbyterian Church publishes 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.

Read more reflections by Dr. Dalles from By God’s Side.

By God’s Side: January 6, 2021

Weekly Inspirational Reflections from the Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles

January 6, 2021

The Reverend Dr. John A. DallesThe visit of the Magi is the centerpiece of this day we celebrate – the day of Epiphany. We envision elegantly and exotically dressed gentlemen on camels, with boxes resembling Fabergé eggs, traveling over hill and dale, guided by a star. So often these elements of Epiphany get moved over to Christmas celebrations. It is good, nonetheless, to let Epiphany stand on its own.

Unexpected gifts. Rare treasures. Heroic effort. Wise planning. And divine guidance. All of these are elements of Epiphany.

Paying attention to something greater than you. Paying attention to what is happening all round. Paying attention to dreams. Epiphany could not happen without these things.

Nowadays, the culture around us has appropriated the word “epiphany.” They use it in the same way that cartoonists use light bulbs – that “ah ha!” moment of insight. “I had an epiphany” is a kind of magnified “Eureka!”, “I should have known!”, or “I could have had a V-8!”

In the realm of belief, it is more. The Epiphany has at its center the Lord Jesus Christ. Epiphany is about realizing that He is a King over other kings and earthly powers (whether good kings, like the Magi who honored him, or those nasty kings like old Herod, who sought to destroy him). He has power over even the course of the stars in the heavens. And He is worthy of all worship and praise.

Without Jesus, the Magi would have been condemned to a life of eternal wandering but not finding, of seeking but not seeing. You know those kinds of feelings. So do not let it happen to you. Let God’s star guide you to the place where Jesus is. There, worship and adore Him. And you will have your own Epiphany.

The Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles
Interim Senior Pastor, Shadyside Presbyterian Church

About Dr. Dalles

Read more about Dr. Dalles.

Watch a brief video introducing a series of conversations with Dr. Dalles.

About By God’s Side

Shadyside Presbyterian Church publishes 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.

Read more reflections by Dr. Dalles from By God’s Side.

An Invitation to Online Communion

Special Invitation: The Lord’s Supper for Epiphany

The Chalice, Flagon, and Plate used on World Communion Sunday, October 1, 2017, were dedicated to the glory of God and in loving memory of Momoko H. Mills. For decades, Momoko faithfully prepared the Lord’s Table in our Sanctuary with humble reverence and deep love. Commissioned by Shadyside Presbyterian Church, the Communion set was fashioned by Deacon Garret B. Smith. We give thanks to God both for Momoko’s caring service and for Garret’s talented craftsmanship. This set will be used regularly as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper during our midweek vespers. Also visible above in detail is the damask linen from Damascus which was a gift from Mark A. Anderson to Shadyside Presbyterian Church. Photograph taken by Rebecca D. Reeder.

Observed on January 6, Epiphany celebrates God’s manifestation to the world in Jesus Christ. In particular, we celebrate the revelation of God’s promise and purpose to the nations of the world, as the Magi came from the East to worship the Christ Child, and God’s covenant of grace is extended to all who believe the good news of Christ Jesus. We see in the Magi, too, a reflection of our longing to see the God in whom we believe. One of the ways in which we continue to see Christ in our lives is through His abiding presence in Word and Sacrament. As we remember the Epiphany of the Lord during our service of worship on the first Sunday in January, it is an especially appropriate occasion to observe the Sacrament of Communion.

In this unprecedented time, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) has approved the online celebration of Communion (Communion in an Emergency/Pandemic), and, according to the Book of Order, it is the responsibility of the Session to authorize the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. The Session of Shadyside Presbyterian Church has so authorized the online celebration of the Sacrament on Sunday, January 3, 2021. In this time when we are separated by space, yet united in the Spirit, we remember that Christ is always at work, gathering us in unique ways.

Preparations

In preparation for the Sacrament, we invite you to look through your own kitchen to find “bread and beverage.” While there is rich symbolism in the elements we traditionally use to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, the Church also has a long history of using the most fitting materials that are readily available in any given time and setting. So feel free to be creative and use what you have on hand.

Prior to our time of worship, please prepare your worship space. Have ready the device on which you will view the service, the bulletin (available online in the worship archive) which will enable you to more fully participate in the service, and the elements you will use for Communion. Have your “bread” ready on a plate and your “beverage” poured. Any vessels will do, but you might consider using special dishes to help you remember that this is a holy meal, set apart from our regular meals. If it is safe to do so, you also may want to light a candle and place it by your prepared Communion elements. Through the light, may you be reminded that Christ is present with us all in this meal.

During worship, you will be guided through the celebration and reception of the Lord’s Supper. Whether or not you are a member of Shadyside Presbyterian Church, we invite you to prepare your hearts to receive this Sacrament as a means of grace. For Christ is our host, and He invites all who seek Him to partake of this holy meal.

Some possibilities for bread:

  • any kind of bread
  • crackers
  • cookies
  • chips
  • tortilla
  • pita

Note: If you have time and want to involve your family with a meaningful activity in preparation for Communion, consider baking a special loaf of bread together. Please contact Ellen Allston, Director of Christian Education for Children’s Ministry, who has shared several recipes with families by email.

Some possibilities for beverage:

  • grape juice
  • any other type of juice
  • wine
  • water

Photograph: The Chalice, Flagon, and Plate used on World Communion Sunday, October 1, 2017, were dedicated to the glory of God and in loving memory of Momoko H. Mills. For decades, Momoko faithfully prepared the Lord’s Table in our Sanctuary with humble reverence and deep love. Commissioned by Shadyside Presbyterian Church, the Communion set was fashioned by Deacon Garret B. Smith. We give thanks to God both for Momoko’s caring service and for Garret’s talented craftsmanship. Also visible above in detail is the damask linen from Damascus which was a gift from Mark A. Anderson to Shadyside Presbyterian Church. Photograph taken by Rebecca D. Reeder.

By God’s Side: December 30, 2020

Weekly Inspirational Reflections from the Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles

December 30, 2020

The Reverend Dr. John A. DallesHere we are at the last Wednesday of the year. The days have dwindled down to a precious few, as the song lyric says. So what do you have planned for celebrating the New Year?

I am guessing that you are marking the end of 2020 and the start of 2021 in a way that is different from your usual New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day practices. Recently, I was reminded that, the past two New Years, we celebrated by going to dinner with dear, long-time friends. We will not be able to do that this year, due to the pandemic. You have probably made similar adjustments to your usual practice, and will miss not being able to do what you enjoy doing.

That comes with a measure of sadness. But don’t let the sadness prevent you from taking a moment to be grateful for what this past year has brought you. In a year when there were many things that we could not do, we did things we might not have done otherwise: time spent sheltering together, when we might have been apart; learning new skills, such as how to Zoom, instead of being with someone in the same room; learning how to cope with the unexpected, and how to be as agile as possible when conditions change.

There may have been that one phone call that filled your heart with joy; that place in your yard or down the street that took on a new significance because you were staying close to home instead of going farther afield; that book you read; that song you sang; that craft you perfected; that quiet time you didn’t know you had. Find a moment to give a prayer of gratitude for these kinds of things.

And yes, we hope that 2021 will hold many new joys, anticipated and unexpected. Do more than hope; entrust the unfolding days to the Lord. Give this coming year to Him, before it begins. Say, “This year is Yours, God; we rely upon Your grace day by day.” And perhaps you can say (or, if you are of the right generation, sing) that beloved prayer of St. Richard of Chichester:

Thanks be to Thee, my Lord Jesus Christ,
For all the benefits Thou hast given me,
For all the pains and insults Thou hast borne for me.
O most merciful Redeemer, friend and brother,
May I see Thee more clearly,
Love Thee more dearly,
And follow Thee more nearly,
Day by day.
Amen.

The Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles
Interim Senior Pastor, Shadyside Presbyterian Church

About Dr. Dalles

Read more about Dr. Dalles.

Watch a brief video introducing a series of conversations with Dr. Dalles.

About By God’s Side

Shadyside Presbyterian Church publishes 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.

Read more reflections by Dr. Dalles from By God’s Side.

By God’s Side: December 23, 2020

Weekly Inspirational Reflections from the Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles

December 23, 2020

The Reverend Dr. John A. DallesTomorrow is Christmas Eve.

In my many years as an ordained minister, this year is only the second in which I was prevented from celebrating Christmas Eve with my congregation in our sanctuary in worship. The other happened when I was the associate minister of The First Presbyterian Church of South Bend, Indiana. That year, we had to cancel Christmas Eve at the last moment, not because of snow (which you might have supposed, with South Bend being in the lake effect region), but because the temperatures had plummeted so low that a statewide emergency had been declared. Essential workers were the only ones permitted on the roads. The greatest fear was that people might get where they were going, turn off their cars, and, when they returned, be prevented from starting them up, and therefore become stranded, due to the frigid weather. It was a major public safety issue.

So we celebrated Christmas Eve at home, as we are doing this year. No, it isn’t the cold that keeps us apart; it is the coronavirus. But the precautions are similar. It is a major public safety issue. Our concern for the well-being of others eclipses our heartfelt longing to be together.

Please know that as you mark this Christmas Eve in a very different way, worshiping online instead of in person, you are part of a great company of believers. Please trust that the Holy Spirit connects each one of us to every one of us, in ways that transcend social distancing and sheltering in place.

And as you do, remember that, as earth-changing as it was, the first Christmas came silently, and intimately, to Mary and Joseph, who were also sheltering in place. They are with you, and you are with them, in Spirit, as the wondrous Gift is given.

The Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles
Interim Senior Pastor, Shadyside Presbyterian Church

About Dr. Dalles

Read more about Dr. Dalles.

Watch a brief video introducing a series of conversations with Dr. Dalles.

About By God’s Side

Shadyside Presbyterian Church publishes 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.

Read more reflections by Dr. Dalles from By God’s Side.

By God’s Side: December 16, 2020

Weekly Inspirational Reflections from the Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles

December 16, 2020

The Reverend Dr. John A. DallesIt is a funny thing about Christmas trees. They are new and different every year, but they hold memories of every Christmas tree that came before them.

You know how it is. You manage to get the lights on and working, and then you begin decorating. Each ornament triggers thoughts of people and places that are dear to you.

I am told that Martin Luther, the great Reformer, began the whole Christmas tree tradition. The story goes that he was outside on a snowy, star-filled night, and came across an evergreen tree that sparkled with a luminous wonder. He chopped it down, dragged it home, and put candles on its boughs to simulate the starlight. And people have been crooning “O Tannenbaum” ever since.

Look around. Christmas trees are everywhere, aren’t they? From the tree by your hearth, to the Horne’s Christmas tree downtown. They are freshly cut, or freshly unboxed from the attic. They have handmade heirloom ornaments, or brand new ornaments you found to carry out a particular decorative theme. They all signal something special is now among us. Something that takes our lives from the ordinary to the extraordinary. And we know that something is the Babe of Bethlehem.

The trees are all in His honor. The lights remind us that He is the light of the world. The ornaments’ golden glow, and pretty workmanship, and quiet beauty all speak of things that are everlasting, like an evergreen’s boughs. As we deck our halls, may we also deck our hearts with the love of Christ.

The Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles
Interim Senior Pastor, Shadyside Presbyterian Church

About Dr. Dalles

Read more about Dr. Dalles.

Watch a brief video introducing a series of conversations with Dr. Dalles.

About By God’s Side

Shadyside Presbyterian Church publishes 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.

Read more reflections by Dr. Dalles from By God’s Side.

By God’s Side: December 9, 2020

Weekly Inspirational Reflections from the Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles

December 9, 2020

The Reverend Dr. John A. DallesIn recent weeks, several of you have told me that, at some point or another since mid-March, you experienced a meltdown. I can relate. The pressures of coping as best we can, during a year which mustered forces to prevent that, have certainly yielded a range of feelings that we normally keep in check. So if you have had a meltdown moment, remember that you are not alone — that what you are feeling is understandable and appropriate. And it comes of a long time waiting, with no end in sight.

I am reminded of the children of Israel who had their own, literal, meltdown moment when they were out there wandering in the wilderness. Moses, their leader, had gone up the mountain and was a long time returning. Fear and worry and all sorts of gloomy thoughts got the better of them. What did they do? They gathered up every precious golden treasure they had and melted it down to form an idol they could worship.

You cannot be too harsh with them, even though you know it was wrong. They were at the end of their tether. The waiting was driving them crazy. And the meltdown happened.

The big difference between then and now is that we know for whom we are waiting. We know that He is on His way. We know when He will arrive. We know that it is just fifteen days more, till we joyously celebrate His birth.

So if you are having a meltdown moment, forget about idols, no matter how glittery and tempting they may appear. Remember that Christ brings salvation. Allow His coming to set you free of the worry that comes of uncertainty. His love is greater than your fears; His goodness is far grander than anything else you can name.

The Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles
Interim Senior Pastor, Shadyside Presbyterian Church

About Dr. Dalles

Read more about Dr. Dalles.

Watch a brief video introducing a series of conversations with Dr. Dalles.

About By God’s Side

Shadyside Presbyterian Church publishes 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.

Read more reflections by Dr. Dalles from By God’s Side.

By God’s Side: December 2, 2020

Weekly Inspirational Reflections from the Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles

December 2, 2020

The Reverend Dr. John A. DallesIf you have been watching the national news and managing to wade through all of the seemingly endless reporting about the coronavirus and about the unusual political scene, you also may have seen what I consider to be just about the best news of the past several weeks.

When the giant evergreen tree from upstate New York made its 170-mile journey to where it now stands as the official New York City Christmas tree, it was not alone. Well, of course it wasn’t. In addition to the usual participants in such a trip – the rig driver and helpers – there was one more passenger that no one could have anticipated: a diminutive saw-whet owl.

You may have seen the photos of this little guy. Nothing could be cuter than those big yellow eyes and beautifully feathered face. Somehow or other, he managed to be a stowaway. As the tree was hoisted into place in front of the RCA Building, and as the workers removed the twine that bound the boughs, there he was, in all of his indisputable wonder. Maybe he had heard about the Big Apple and wanted to see it for himself. Or maybe, gently held and cared for by hands that folded round it almost like a prayer, this was a kind of Advent miracle.

Can something so small bring such a measure of joy? Can an unexpected surprise brighten a world that is feeling frankly glum? Can one living being enrich lives far beyond those who will ever see it in person, or hear its voice with their own ears?

Of course, those questions pertain to “Rockefeller the Owl.” But, even more, they can serve as a reminder to us that the Messiah, whose arrival is soon upon us, comes as a small child, yet brings immeasurable joy, brightens this world with a light that shines into even the darkest of places, and offers hopefulness. The one eternal God is coming to enliven hearts and minds.

This Advent season, look for the small things, for they are the matters of everlasting worth. May you find them in expected and unexpected places.

The Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles
Interim Senior Pastor, Shadyside Presbyterian Church

About Dr. Dalles

Read more about Dr. Dalles.

Watch a brief video introducing a series of conversations with Dr. Dalles.

About By God’s Side

Shadyside Presbyterian Church publishes 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.

Read more reflections by Dr. Dalles from By God’s Side.