Coronavirus Precautions and Suggestions

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).With reports about the spread of the coronavirus (or COVID-19), we want you to know your health and well-being is of utmost concern.

We are doing all we can to stay current with public health guidelines, to follow best practices for hygiene, and to exercise an abundance of caution in responding to this situation.

Update: Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, the Shadyside Presbyterian Church building and offices remain closed. All services of worship, activities, and events will not meet in-person until further notice.

While we cannot be together on-site for any activities, we are glad to share with you a video which will be made available at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 29, so that you may join us remotely. You may access the video here on our website, from our YouTube channel, or from our Facebook page.

We regret that we cannot gather in person for worship, but we hope you will gather with us in spirit.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we follow this challenging course of action, but one we know to be responsible and safer for our congregation and our community.

The following information was shared previously on April 26, 2020:

Update: Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, the Shadyside Presbyterian Church building and offices remain closed. All services of worship, activities, and events will not meet in-person until further notice.

While we cannot be together on-site for any activities, we are glad to share with you a video which will be made available at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 26, so that you may join us remotely. You may access the video here on our website, from our YouTube channel, or from our Facebook page. Visit the live webcast page to access worship documents, including the bulletin, the sermon text, and the children’s bulletin in .pdf format.

We regret that we cannot gather in person for worship, but we hope you will gather with us in spirit.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we follow this challenging course of action, but one we know to be responsible and safer for our congregation and our community.

The following information was shared previously on April 22, 2020:

Update: Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, the Shadyside Presbyterian Church building and offices remain closed. All services of worship, activities, and events will not meet in-person until further notice.

Virtual Vespers: While we cannot be together on-site for any activities, we are glad to share with you a video which will be made available at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22, so that you may join us remotely. You may access the video here on our website, from our YouTube channel, or from our Facebook page.

COVID-19 Relief Fund: Shadyside Presbyterian Church has established a COVID-19 relief fund to support individuals and families experiencing economic hardships due to the coronavirus countermeasures. In this video message, the Reverend Todd E. Leach explains the purpose of the fund, outlines who may benefit from it, and invites those who are able to donate. If your situation allows you to do so, you may make a financial contribution by giving online through the church website, selecting the COVID-19 Relief Fund. You may also send a check made payable to “Shadyside Presbyterian Church” with “COVID-19 Relief Fund” in the memo line to the attention of the Finance Office at the church. Thank you for your generosity and your concern for our neighbors.

eGiving Options: Shadyside Presbyterian Church is pleased to introduce new eGiving options during this especially challenging time in order to encourage faithful stewardship among our congregation. Read the full article to learn more about these new options, and then visit the giving area of the church website to select the best option for you and begin a new gift.

The Quarantined Kitchen: Through this new weekly feature on the church website blog, Chef Steven Bright shares ideas and recipes to help you stay healthy by eating well during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit The Quarantined Kitchen.

We regret that we cannot gather in person for worship, but we hope you will gather with us in spirit.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we follow this challenging course of action, but one we know to be responsible and safer for our congregation and our community.

The following information was shared previously on April 19, 2020:

Update: Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, the Shadyside Presbyterian Church building and offices remain closed. All services of worship, activities, and events will not meet in-person until further notice.

While we cannot be together on-site for any activities, we are glad to share with you a video which will be made available at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 19, so that you may join us remotely. You may access the video here on our website, from our YouTube channel, or from our Facebook page. Visit the live webcast page to access worship documents, including the bulletin, the sermon text, and the children’s bulletin in .pdf format.

We regret that we cannot gather in person for worship, but we hope you will gather with us in spirit.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we follow this challenging course of action, but one we know to be responsible and safer for our congregation and our community.

The following information was shared previously on April 15, 2020:

Update: Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, the Shadyside Presbyterian Church building and offices remain closed. All services of worship, activities, and events will not meet in-person until further notice.

While we cannot be together on-site for any activities, we are glad to share with you a video which will be made available at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15, so that you may join us remotely. You may access the video here on our website, from our YouTube channel, or from our Facebook page.

We regret that we cannot gather in person for worship, but we hope you will gather with us in spirit.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we follow this challenging course of action, but one we know to be responsible and safer for our congregation and our community.

The following information was shared previously on April 5, 2020:

Update: Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, the Shadyside Presbyterian Church building and offices remain closed. All services of worship, activities, and events will not meet in-person until further notice.

While we cannot be together on-site for any activities, we are glad to share with you a virtual worship videos which will be made available according to the Holy Week schedule, so that you may join us remotely. At the appropriate times, you may access the videos here on our website, from our YouTube channel, or from our Facebook page.

We regret that we cannot gather in person for worship, but we hope you will gather with us in spirit.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we follow this challenging course of action, but one we know to be responsible and safer for our congregation and our community.

The following information was shared previously on April 1, 2020:

Update: Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, the Shadyside Presbyterian Church building and offices remain closed. All services of worship, activities, and events will not meet in-person until further notice.

While we cannot be together on-site for any activities, we are glad to share with you a video which will be made available at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1, so that you may join us remotely. You may access the video here on our website, from our YouTube channel, or from our Facebook page.

We regret that we cannot gather in person for worship, but we hope you will gather with us in spirit.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we follow this challenging course of action, but one we know to be responsible and safer for our congregation and our community.

The following information was shared previously on March 29, 2020:

Update: Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, the Shadyside Presbyterian Church building and offices remain closed. All services of worship, activities, and events will not meet in-person until further notice.

While we cannot be together on-site for any activities, we are glad to share with you a video which will be made available at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 29, so that you may join us remotely. You may access the video here on our website, from our YouTube channel, or from our Facebook page. Visit the live webcast page to access worship documents, including the bulletin, the sermon text, and the children’s bulletin in .pdf format.

We regret that we cannot gather in person for worship, but we hope you will gather with us in spirit.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we follow this challenging course of action, but one we know to be responsible and safer for our congregation and our community.

The following information was shared previously on March 25, 2020:

Update: Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, the Shadyside Presbyterian Church building and offices remain closed. All services of worship, activities, and events will not meet in-person until further notice.

Lenten Vespers: While we cannot be together on-site for any activities, the pastors and church leaders are working diligently to bring you worship resources online. We are glad to share with you a video of the Lenten vespers homily which will be made available at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25, so that you may join us remotely. You may access the video here on our website, from our YouTube channel, or from our Facebook page.

Local Mission Partner Updates: Shadyside Presbyterian Church (SPC) has been in communication with our local mission partners regarding needs and responses to COVID-19. Many of our partners have already been impacted financially, with some having to lay off staff. In addition to concerns for their staff, they are greatly concerned for their clients. Their repeated and greatest request was for prayer, but that was soon followed by expressed need for funding. SPC will respond to financial needs as our budget allows, but Rev. Todd Leach has shared a summary of the ways you may be able to pray more specifically. Read the full update from our mission partners.

Choices You Can Make to Stay Emotionally Healthy During the COVID-19 Pandemic: In light of the recent stay-at-home order for Allegheny County issued by the governor, Shadyside Presbyterian Church shares with you suggestions to promote emotional health as we face an extended time of physical separation from our community of faith. Read the full list of suggestions.

We regret that we cannot gather in person for worship, but we hope you will gather with us in spirit.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we follow this challenging course of action, but one we know to be responsible and safer for our congregation and our community.

The following information was shared previously on March 22, 2020:

Update: Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, the Shadyside Presbyterian Church building and offices are closed. All services of worship, activities, and events will not meet in-person until further notice.

While we cannot be together on-site for any activities, the pastors and church leaders have worked diligently to bring you worship resources online for Sunday, March 22. We are glad to share with you a video which will be made available at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, so that you may join us remotely. You may access the video here on our website, from our YouTube channel, or from our Facebook page. Visit the live webcast page or the worship archive to access the bulletin and the sermon text in .pdf format.

We regret that we cannot gather in person for worship, but we hope you will gather with us in spirit.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we follow this challenging course of action, but one we know to be responsible and safer for our congregation and our community.

The following information was shared previously on March 20, 2020:

On Friday, March 20, 2020, Shadyside Presbyterian Church published an edition of its e-newsletter, The Mini-Mouse. Click here to read this issue.

The following information was shared previously on March 18, 2020:

Update: All activities at Shadyside Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, March 18, including Lenten vespers, have been cancelled.

Following the announcement of a local state of emergency due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Session of Shadyside Presbyterian Church has concluded that we should not conduct our Lenten vespers service on Wednesday, March 18. Out of concern for the health of our ministers, musicians, and other essential worship personnel, we unfortunately cannot offer the live audio webcast this week, either. All other on-site activities – including the Connections Dinner originally scheduled to occur before Lenten vespers – also have been cancelled for March 18.

We regret that we cannot gather in person for worship, but we hope you will gather with us in spirit. The bulletin for Lenten vespers is available to access here.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we determine together the most responsible course of action for our congregation and our community.

The following information was shared previously on March 14, 2020:

Update: All activities at Shadyside Presbyterian Church on Sunday, March 15, including the service of worship, have been cancelled.

Following the announcement of a local state of emergency to begin Monday, the Session of Shadyside Presbyterian Church has concluded that we should not conduct our service of worship on Sunday, March 15. Out of concern for the health of our ministers, musicians, and other essential worship personnel, we unfortunately cannot offer the live audio webcast this week, either. All other activities – including Christian Education classes, the pie fellowship event, and the Music in a Great Space concert – also have been cancelled for March 15.

We regret that we cannot gather in person this Sunday, but we hope you will gather with us in spirit. The bulletin for the service of worship is available here, and the text of the sermon is available to read here.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we determine together the most responsible course of action for our congregation and our community.

Read the full statement about the cancellation of worship here.

The following information was shared previously on March 12, 2020:

  • Worshipers are always encouraged to participate, or not, according to their comfort level.
  • If you wish, instead of shaking hands or embracing, consider a verbal greeting, a nod, or a smile.
  • At Vespers Communion, the ministers use hand purifier just beforehand. If you prefer to receive a blessing rather than partake of the elements, simply cross your arms over your chest.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or handkerchief when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands frequently with warm water, for at least 20 seconds (about as long as it takes to sing one verse of “Happy Birthday to You”). The friction is as important as the soap and water, in preventing the spread of germs. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers if soap and warm water are not available.
  • To avoid placing yourself or others at greater risk, reduce unnecessary touching of your face (especially your eyes, nose, and mouth), and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Please, stay home when you are sick.
  • Remember when you are not able to be present in worship on Sunday mornings, you can worship with the church via the live worship webcast at 11:00 a.m.
  • If you stay home from worship or other events due to illness, please find ways to be in touch through social media, emails, and phone calls.

We are constantly monitoring reports with regard to the coronavirus, and will update the information on this page as deemed appropriate. Please also remember to check the church website calendar to see if an event you had anticipated attending has been cancelled, postponed, or re-scheduled. We will make every effort to update the calendar as conditions change.

Additional Resources:

 

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).

New Hymn by Dr. Dalles Selected as Winner

“In Christ the Church Is Ever One” Chosen as Fiftieth Anniversary Hymn by Christian Associates

The Reverend Dr. John A. DallesChristian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania has announced the winner in their search for a fiftieth anniversary hymn. We are delighted to share the news that the selected hymn, “In Christ the Church Is Ever One,” is one written by our very own Interim Senior Pastor, the Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles.

Christian Associates is comprised of twenty-eight church bodies representing 2,000 local congregations in Southwest Pennsylvania, and began fifty years ago at Shadyside Presbyterian Church.

The hymn selection committee judged about thirty entries from all over the United States, anonymously. The author’s identity was not disclosed to the committee until after the judging was completed.

The new hymn is scheduled to debut at the fiftieth anniversary celebration gala, which had to be postponed from its original May 2020 date. On a future date to be announced, the event will be held at – where else? – the church where it all began fifty years ago: Shadyside Presbyterian Church.

Congratulations, Dr. Dalles!

About Dr. Dalles’s Hymnwriting

Dr. Dalles is the author of numerous hymn texts, including “Come, O Spirit” and “God, Bless Your Church with Strength,” which are included in the 1990 Presbyterian Hymnal. His commissioned hymns include those for Presbyterian Heritage Sunday; Augsburg, Goshen, Maryville, Tusculum, Wilson and Knox (Toronto) Colleges; American University; Pittsburgh and Lancaster Seminaries; Peachtree Presbyterian Church; and the Lutheran World Federation. His works are catalogued at Oberlin College Library and represented by GIA Publications, Oxford University Press, and others. A life-member of the Hymn Society, Dr. Dalles has published three collections of hymns: Swift Currents and Still Waters (2000), We Turn To God (2010), and God Is the Singer’s Friend (2013). His hymns have twice received first place in the highly-regarded Macalester Plymouth Annual Hymn Competition, in 2012 and in 2013.

Introducing New eGiving Options

Shadyside Presbyterian Church is pleased to introduce new eGiving options during this especially challenging time in order to encourage faithful stewardship among our community of faith.
Detail of Jesus Multiplies the Loaves and Fishes, art glass window in the north rear corner of the nave of Shadyside Presbyterian Church.

We know many of you have been eager for the church to explore these alternative methods of giving, and we thank you for your patience as the church’s staff and leaders determined the solution that meets our needs and merits your trust and confidence.

The church is now able to offer the following eGiving options:

  • Through the church website
  • Via text message
  • With an app on your mobile device

Each of these options supports transactions with credit/debit cards, or with your bank account using your routing and account numbers. You can select to make a one-time gift, or you can establish parameters for a recurring gift. (Note: Those of you who have arranged previously for fund transfers from your financial institutions may wish to consider setting up recurring contributions through one of these new alternatives instead.)

Before completing your gift, you will have the option to increase the total amount of your gift in order to help offset the processing fees the church incurs on each transaction. The suggested amount is calculated based on a percentage of your gift; the percentage varies depending upon the payment method you have selected.

During the introductory phase of this initiative, we will provide a limited number of funds to which you may direct your gift. Presently, you will find in the drop-down menu only two choices: one for general gifts (“Pledges”), and one for the COVID-19 Relief Fund. In the future, the Finance Office will identify other funds to be made available for contributions. The giving form includes a memo line, which you may complete if needed.

To learn more about which eGiving option is best for you, simply click here.

Thank you for faithfully supporting the mission and ministry of Shadyside Presbyterian Church.

To Get Started

Visit the home page of the church website and click the orange “Ways to Give” button in the upper right corner; or, if you are browsing the site on your mobile device, use the menu button in the upper right corner to find the orange “Ways to Give” button. Click the blue “Give Now” button to begin making a new gift online, or follow the instructions for the mobile giving options.

Names to Know

Our secure giving platform is called Abundant. Payments are processed by our merchant partner, Vanco. As a certified Level 1 Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant service provider, Vanco follows the PCI Data Security Standard, a mandated set of security requirements for protecting cardholder data. Trusted by more than 22,000 faith-based organizations, Vanco safeguards your privacy by adhering to the most stringent and comprehensive security guidelines.

 

Photograph: Detail of “Jesus Multiplies the Loaves and Fishes,” art glass window in the north rear corner of the nave of Shadyside Presbyterian Church. Photograph taken by Len Levasseur.

Staying Emotionally Healthy During COVID-19

Choices You Can Make to Stay Emotionally Healthy During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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).In light of the recent stay-at-home order for Allegheny County issued by the governor, Shadyside Presbyterian Church shares with you suggestions to promote emotional health as we face an extended time of physical separation from our community of faith.

Pay Attention to Your Body and Your Emotions

It’s natural to experience stress and anxiety in the face of a threat we cannot control. Because every person reacts differently, notice what your body and emotions are telling you:

  • Listen to your emotions, noticing any anxiety, sadness, anger, or detachment;
  • Listen to your body, noticing any change in appetite, new aches and pains, or feeling particularly hot or cool; and,
  • When you notice troubling symptoms, pause to care for your body and mind. If you become unable to manage or function well, seek the assistance of a professional.

Embrace Best Health Practices

Though there’s much about the COVID-19 outbreak over which you have no control, you can choose to embrace the kinds of practices that will keep you and your loved ones safe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a face mask.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Access Reliable Resources

You can choose how you will receive and consume information about the outbreak. If you rely on panicked phone calls from your anxious loved ones, you’re likely to suffer more than if you choose to rely on credible sources. Two reliable sources for health news include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization. Also, if you become consumed by breaking news about the spread of COVID-19, you also can choose to step away from media reports for a time.

Share Reliable Information

Another way to care for yourself is to care for others by sharing the best information you’ve discovered. When you find a reputable resource that’s particularly helpful, share it with a loved one. When you learn about practices that keep people safe, let a relative who is vulnerable to illness know. In a culture where people are feeling anxious, you can be a gift to others.

Practice Self-Care

In the midst of a stressful season or situation, many self-care practices are the same ones that prove helpful in everyday living:

  • Maintain your normal routines.
  • Connect with family and friends.
  • Eat well.
  • Stay active.
  • Get adequate rest.
  • Do enjoyable activities.
  • Employ coping skills that nurture your spirit, like mindfulness exercises or prayer.

Support Each Other

We aren’t created to go through extreme stress alone, so this is also a time as part of God’s family to care for each other. Here are two questions to keep asking yourself:

  • What opportunities do I have to help others?
  • What is overwhelming right now that I should ask someone for help with?

While it feels like there is a lot we can’t control amidst concerns over COVID-19, every one of us can make choices to stay emotionally healthy.

Source: Wheaton College

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).

Organ Repair and Refurbishment

The Reuter Organ in the Chancel of the Shadyside Presbyterian Church Sanctuary. (Photograph taken by Len Levasseur.)
The Reuter Organ in the Chancel of the Shadyside Presbyterian Church Sanctuary. (Photograph taken by Len Levasseur.)
In 2020, the Music Ministry of Shadyside Presbyterian Church will begin an important multi-year project that affects the worship life of us all: the repair and refurbishment of our two organs in the sanctuary.

Our chancel organ was installed in 1994 to the specifications of Dr. John Walker, our Minister of Music and Organist at the time. It is a splendid instrument which has served us well this quarter of a century. But other than routine tuning, and the occasional small repair, the organ has been at work on our behalf all this time without what now has become a great need for repairs and refurbishment.

The gallery instrument was installed in 1973 in memory of Dr. Howard Scharfe. It, too, is in need of refurbishing, cleaning, and re-voicing. The pipes of this instrument are crucial in supporting congregational singing in the back half of the sanctuary and gallery. A more detailed document outlining the condition of the organs is available through the church office upon request. In addition, Mark Anderson would be more than happy to speak to you to answer further questions.

At the December 2019 meeting of the Session, our ruling elders approved moving forward in this effort, as well as reaching out to the congregation to invite one and all to share in it.

The work is being undertaken by Charles Kegg Organbuilders, a highly respected firm, in which we have utmost confidence. The work will be accomplished in phases, in order that we will have at least one of the organs working at all times. We will address the chancel organ first, beginning after Easter and continuing throughout the summer and early fall, during which time we will worship utilizing the gallery organ and grand piano in the chancel.

The combined power and beauty of our chancel and gallery organs is like another member of the congregation who raises our spirits, supports our corporate singing, lifts our minds and hearts, and inspires our lives. With their rich resources, our organs help illuminate sacred mysteries, reveal divine grace, and stir our deepest emotions. The unleashing of the full spectrum of an organ’s power can move us to tears, console our grief, and enhance our joy. It has been said that no other form of music acts so powerfully as an instrument of both meditation and celebration, as we listen, and as we sing together.

We know that our congregation and our community have been blessed by these magnificent instruments in many of these ways, and we invite you to share in their preservation for the future. If you are interested in sharing a gift that will help underwrite this project, we would be most grateful! We hope you shall.

Please direct any financial gifts to the church finance office, earmarking your check “Organ Fund,” as this special donation is separate from the annual budget of the church. Designated cards with instructions and envelopes are located in the Narthex and Sharp Atrium for your convenience.

We thank you for prayerfully considering your support of this worthy endeavor.

The Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles
Interim Senior Pastor and Head of Staff

Mark A. Anderson
Director of Music Ministry

Remembering Loved Ones: All Saints’ Sunday

All Saints’ Sunday: November 3

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 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., the Chancel Choir will sing Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem. We invite the congregation to submit the names of any deceased family members whom they would like to have acknowledged in the afternoon bulletin. Please submit the names to Kaysie Strickland in the church office before Friday, October 25.

Additional Resources:

  • Shadyside Presbyterian Church offers a Grief Support Group designed to provide encouragement and a faith-centered perspective for those who have lost a loved one. Two meetings will occur within the next month, including one which will focus on surviving the holidays.
    -Monday, October 21, 2019, at 7:00 p.m.  (Details)
    -Monday, November 18, 2019, at 7:00 p.m.  (Details)
  • Please remember that Shadyside Presbyterian Church has four 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 call 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.”

Revelation 14:13

Dr. Tucker Ferda to Speak Sept. 18

Dr. Tucker S. Ferda
Dr. Tucker S. Ferda
Welcoming Dr. Tucker S. Ferda

On Wednesday, September 18, Dr. Tucker S. Ferda will speak during the Connections Dinner in the Parish Hall at 6:00 p.m. and will preach during the vespers service in the Chapel at 7:00 p.m.

Dr. Tucker S. Ferda began his position as visiting assistant professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (PTS) in 2017 after serving as a lecturer since 2013. He earned his Ph.D. in New Testament from the University of Pittsburgh, where he also served as teaching fellow. In 2015, he was named one of only three Society of Biblical Literature Regional Scholars, an award which “recognizes and promotes outstanding entry-level scholars.” Dr. Ferda has expertise in a wide range of areas in biblical studies, including the Gospels, the life of Jesus, the Old Testament in the New, the history of biblical interpretation, Hellenistic Jewish literature, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and biblical theology.

Explaining why Dr. Ferda is so appreciated as a professor, one of his recent students shared, “His profound knowledge of the subject matter makes his classes always informative, but, even more importantly, his deep faith and humility connect the subjects to our lives today in a powerful way.” His pupil continued, “Students often say that Tucker is one of the most pastoral people on campus, despite the fact he isn’t an ordained minister. His love and care for the students and seminary community is always deeply apparent.”

A member and deacon at East Liberty Presbyterian Church, Tucker frequently leads studies and preaches at churches in the Pittsburgh area.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Ferda to Shadyside, and read more about Dr. Ferda on the PTS website. Also, consider joining us for a weekend of spiritual growth and fellowship during a fall retreat led by Dr. Ferda from October 25 through 26, 2019, at Crestfield Camp and Conference Center. Learn more about the retreat.

Introducing New Children’s Choir Program

The Choir School at Shadyside Presbyterian Church

“Psallam Spiritu et Mente” • “I Will Sing with the Spirit and with the Understanding Also”

The Shadyside Presbyterian Church children’s choir program has a new name and some exciting additions and changes. Beginning this fall, the Shadyside Presbyterian Choir School welcomes choristers as young as kindergarten age with a new curriculum, including in-depth music learning and Christian understanding.

Children begin in the training choir and progress through the Voice for Life program from the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM). Within this program, choristers are able to gain different colored ribbons and medals by working toward various assessed levels of music theory, vocal technique, and Christian understanding. You may notice choristers wearing these medals during worship. Please help us congratulate them for their accomplishments when you see them!

Shadysiders attend the Royal School of Church Music summer training course at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Pro-Cathedral and King’s College of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
Shadysiders attend the Royal School of Church Music summer training course at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Pro-Cathedral and King’s College of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

Once children enter third grade and have completed their initial training choir program, they can become an official “chorister” and participate fully in our Sunday worship services alongside our Chancel Choir. Now that a weekly Thursday night rehearsal has been added for the choristers, you can expect to see them leading music in worship more frequently.

Choristers will be invited to enjoy a week of music-making and fun next summer at the annual RSCM choir course held in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. This past summer, chorister Dhini Leach had the opportunity to attend the course along with children’s music director Stephen Donnelly and Reverend Kendra L. Buckwalter Smith. For choristers, the week consists of activities like swimming, movies, games, variety shows, and, of course, rehearsal. Dhini gives it an enthusiastic “two thumbs up!”

There is no fee or tuition, and enrollment is open to anyone regardless of religious affiliation. For more information about the Choir School and enrolling, please contact Mr. Stephen Donnelly.

Welcoming Rev. Kendra Buckwalter Smith to Staff

Rev. Kendra L. Buckwalter Smith
Rev. Kendra L. Buckwalter Smith
Rev. Smith Joins Staff as Temporary Associate Pastor

Following Rev. John Magnuson’s departure in July 2019, the Human Resources (HR) Committee of the Session has been working diligently to discern how to proceed and to address immediate staffing needs. Our Youth Ministry responsibilities were identified as an early priority, and the HR Committee is especially excited to announce that the Reverend Kendra L. Buckwalter Smith has joined the church staff as Temporary Associate Pastor.

Our enthusiasm, of course, stems from the fact that Rev. Smith is no stranger to Shadyside Presbyterian Church (SPC). A ministerial daughter of our church family, she has attended worship and actively engaged in the life of this congregation since 2004, during her time as an undergraduate student. In 2017, Rev. Smith completed the ordination process with the Presbyterian Church (USA) under the care of the Session of SPC and was ordained in our Sanctuary. Throughout the year, she regularly supports our music in worship on Sunday mornings by singing with the Chancel Choir.

In assuming this new role, Rev. Smith expands her worship leadership to include non-musical elements of liturgy as she joins our clergy in the Chancel on a regular basis. In addition, parishioners will enjoy the opportunity to hear her preach more often as she enters the rotation of ministers who deliver the homily during our midweek vespers services.

Her primary responsibilities, though, include oversight of the Sunday morning Christian Education classes and curriculum for our students in grades six through twelve, as well as the afternoon Shadyside Presbyterian Youth Sundays (SPYS) program for youth in the same age ranges. This facet of her work has already begun unofficially. This summer, Kendra began building relationships with our youth as they worked alongside each other in North Carolina while participating in the Mars Hill mission experience. She also attended a summer choral training course with our children’s music director Stephen Donnelly and chorister Dhini Leach in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

The part-time nature of this position means that Rev. Smith will continue serving full-time as the Director of the Worship Program at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, strengthening our longtime partnership with the seminary. We give thanks to God that Rev. Smith has agreed to add the spiritual care of our youth and their families to the many ways in which she already shares her gifts in our community of faith. Please join us in welcoming Rev. Smith to our church staff!

Shadyside Introduces New “Digital Mosaic”

Shadyside Presbyterian Church’s “Digital Mosaic,” illustrated Mark Bender. All rights reserved by Shadyside Presbyterian Church.
Shadyside Presbyterian Church’s “Digital Mosaic,” illustrated by Mark Bender. All rights reserved by Shadyside Presbyterian Church.
Artist Mark Bender Creates New Church Illustration

On April 4, 2018, the Communications Committee of Shadyside Presbyterian Church (SPC) met with noted Chatham art professor and award-winning graphic artist Mark Bender to explore the idea of creating an inspiring illustration based on our SPC community of faith. Mark presented his work and on May 2, 2018, the committee agreed to move forward with a commission for him to create a new branding image that would inspire current members and provide exciting visual information to visitors and new members.

After attending a worship service and touring the exterior and interior of the church, Mark presented four illustrated concepts for the committee’s consideration on June 12, 2018. The committee selected the concept that combined unique architectural features of the building and sanctuary with illustrations representing SPC life and mission and asked Mark to fully develop the illustration as a new branding image.

The final illustration is clearly inspired by the visual centerpiece of our sanctuary, Rudolf Sheffler’s shimmering 1938 mosaic of the Transfigured Christ. It depicts our vibrant and inclusive community of faith, which enriches the life of all members and is open to any and all to join our mission of service to God and to the world.

The illustration has been presented to the ministerial staff and to the SPC Session, and both have endorsed its use as a new institutional image of the church. Due to its mosaic-like form, the artwork can be used for many graphic purposes, in part or as a whole, and allows for the possibility to incorporate additional vignettes in the future. The Communications Committee invites members to let us know your thoughts about this new “digital mosaic.” You can share your feedback by sending a message to info@shadysidepres.org.

SPC Communications Committee: Elder Jayne Adair Cox, chair; Elder John E. B. Baldridge; Elder Sara G. Brooke; Trustee H. Daniel Cessna; Elder Robert J. Ferguson; and Rev. Janice L. Murray

About the Artist

Mark Bender is a nationally-recognized illustrator who is currently an assistant professor of art at Chatham University. Mark is known for creating illustrations that give contemporary concepts an elegant and timeless motif. His illustrations have been featured frequently on the covers of Pittsburgh Quarterly. Mark also created the illustration which formed the basis for the Magee-Women’s Hospital 100th anniversary photo mosaic. His other clients include The Boston Globe, Carnegie Mellon University, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, the University of Pittsburgh, Heinz History Center, NPR, and the University of Chicago.