Christmas Eve Virtual Service (ONLINE ONLY)

Shadyside Presbyterian Church’s Nativity WindowThis virtual service celebrating the Nativity of our Lord begins with a prelude by harpist Nuiko Wadden and concludes with the singing of “Silent Night” during a ceremony of lights. The worship video premieres on Christmas Eve, Thursday, December 24, at 8:00 p.m. on YouTube and Facebook.

Photograph: Detail of Shadyside Presbyterian Church’s Nativity Window, located at the center of the south transept in the Sanctuary. Manufactured by Tiffany Glass Company, the window was installed when the church was erected in 1890 and is the only original stained glass window remaining at the church. The window is based on the 1522 painting “The Holy Night” (also known as “The Adoration of the Shepherds”) by Correggio, who was a contemporary of Raphael. Depicted are the Infant Jesus and His mother Mary. Those surrounding the Child are illuminated by a radiance that emanates from Him. Photograph taken by Mary Jane Bent.

Virtual Giving Tree Gifts Due

During the early weeks of Advent, the Community Partnerships Mission Action Community (MAC) will again sponsor the Giving Tree at Shadyside Presbyterian Church benefitting the families at Sojourner House; Sojourner House’s Mentoring, Opportunity, Motivation, and Spirituality (MOMS) program; and the Pennsylvania Organization for Women in Early Recovery (POWER). Gifts for Sojourner House recipients are pajamas and slippers. Gifts for POWER recipients are hats, scarves, and gloves. Please visit this page on the church website to select a gift recipient from the virtual Giving Tree.

Wrapped gifts should be returned to the church by noon on Wednesday, December 23, 2020, with gift tag attached. (Please include the identification number and the name/initials of your gift recipient on the tag.)

The Community Partnerships MAC thanks you for participating in this mission project. Your gift, along with your thoughts and prayers for the families of Sojourner House and POWER, are appreciated and will be a sign to them of Christ’s love this Christmas season.

If you have questions about the Giving Tree, please contact Rev. Todd Leach or Deacon Lisa Iadicicco through the church office.

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.

Sunday Worship ONLINE ONLY

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Shadyside Presbyterian Church building and offices are open on a limited basis. Click here to learn more.

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, December 20, so that you may join us remotely. You may access the video here on our website, from our YouTube channel, or from our Facebook channel. 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.

For the latest updates and announcements related to COVID-19, please visit this page.

Missed a service?

Visit the worship archive to explore past worship services and discover resources for enhancing your personal devotional time as we face an extended period of physical separation from our community of faith.

Virtual Vespers in Advent (ONLINE ONLY)

During the liturgical season of Advent, Shadyside Presbyterian Church invites you to join us each Wednesday for an evening of music and reflection. These online-only candlelight Communion services include a homily, the Lord’s Supper, and music offered by the Shadyside Strings, Chatham Baroque, and a chamber choir.

Virtual Advent vespers videos premiere at 7:00 p.m. on YouTube and Facebook.

Note: This service will incorporate an online celebration of the Sacrament of Communion, which has been approved by both the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Session of Shadyside Presbyterian Church. In order to participate at home, please read the invitation, along with suggestions for preparation.

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.

Pittsburgh Camerata Concert (ONLINE ONLY)

Christmas with the Camerata

The 28th concert season of Music in a Great Space continues with the Pittsburgh Camerata, presenting “Christmas with the Camerata,” online only on Sunday, December 13, 2020, at 3:00 p.m.

In this exclusive web-based concert, the Pittsburgh Camerata sings a program of choral and vocal music for Christmas. Recorded in advance, the performance will be released for viewing online on at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 13, and available through midnight on Friday, January 1. Hear Pittsburgh’s premier professional chamber choir under the direction of Mark A. Anderson, the church’s Director of Music Ministry and the Camerata’s Artistic Director.

Virtual tickets and subscriptions may be purchased online at www.pittsburghcamerata.org.

Learn more about Music in a Great Space, the concert series at Shadyside Presbyterian Church.

Sunday Worship ONLINE ONLY

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Shadyside Presbyterian Church building and offices are open on a limited basis. Click here to learn more.

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, December 13, so that you may join us remotely. You may access the video here on our website, from our YouTube channel, or from our Facebook channel. 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.

For the latest updates and announcements related to COVID-19, please visit this page.

Missed a service?

Visit the worship archive to explore past worship services and discover resources for enhancing your personal devotional time as we face an extended period of physical separation from our community of faith.

Virtual Vespers in Advent (ONLINE ONLY)

During the liturgical season of Advent, Shadyside Presbyterian Church invites you to join us each Wednesday for an evening of music and reflection. These online-only candlelight Communion services include a homily, the Lord’s Supper, and music offered by the Shadyside Strings, Chatham Baroque, and a chamber choir.

Virtual Advent vespers videos premiere at 7:00 p.m. on YouTube and Facebook.

Note: This service will incorporate an online celebration of the Sacrament of Communion, which has been approved by both the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Session of Shadyside Presbyterian Church. In order to participate at home, please read the invitation, along with suggestions for preparation.

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.