Report from the Executive Board 2016
All meetings open with morning devotions with each board member taking turns at leading those moments of reflection and prayer. It is amazing how God directs that time for us to pause and think and learn.
This year our focus has been on building community among our churches of the Pittsburgh Association that together we might be a more visible Christian presence in the mission fields to which we are in relationship.
In January Vice-President Rev. George Steffey began to formulate a plan to gather the clergy of the association in meaningful dialogue and support for one another. We meet once a quarter at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and it has been a blessing to those who have attended. Thank you George for leading us in this valuable ministry!
We voted in February to send $500.00, which was all of our reserve youth funds, to Penn West Conference for supporting the 13 students from the conference who hoped to attend the National Youth Event in Orlando, Florida in July.
Under the supervision of Diane Nugent, we planned and cooked and hosted the German Fest in April at First United Church of Christ in Millvale for the benefit of the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank and Bethlehem Haven. Talk about building community! The food preparation was shared among people from our churches and on the day of the event, the social hall was filled to capacity as we talked, laughed, and joined in the fun with the “Mad Bavarian” who was our German entertainer for the day. Our mission partner representatives that were present said they never had such welcome and enjoyment at an event. That day we raised $1,422.52 which we divided between Bethlehem Haven and the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank giving them $711.26 each. This amount was much greater than the $250.00 that we normally have budgeted to give. Praise God for this blessing!
Some of our church members participated in St. Paul’s Day in Greenville June 25th. It was a long day, but very informative and made us proud that our churches heeded God’s call years ago to forge ahead with a compassionate blessing for the elderly. The mission monies we send to St. Paul’s are well needed to continue the mission of care. In 2017 St. Paul’s will be one of our mission partners who will benefit from the 2nd Annual German Fest to be held at Smithfield United Church of Christ in Pittsburgh.
Gladys Pluskey has been our liaison to the Penn West Conference Annual Meeting working on hospitality and travel. This year it was held at California University, California, Pa. June 10-11. Many of our church members were present at the meeting and volunteered their time to help with transportation and hospitality. Thank you Gladys for all you do each year as our Pittsburgh Association representative in mission to this gathering of the membership of the conference!
I could go on and on about each of the dedicated persons which make up the Executive Board of the Pittsburgh Association, but this report would be too long. This is a working board and each brings valuable assets to the positions they hold.
We are saddened by the death of Kathleen Hoffman this October. Kathy was a member of Trinity United Church of Christ in Dorseyville. She dedicated her life in support of the local church, Pittsburgh Association, Penn West Conference, and the National settings of the United Church of Christ. She was an example of discipleship and stewardship and friend to us all. I am certain Kathy heard the words of Jesus, “Well done good and faithful servant”!
In closing, we thank you for your support of the Pittsburgh Association in its ongoing ministry to share in the cost and joy of discipleship with each of our churches of the association, and in the mission which we share making God’s love known through the United Church of Christ in the Greater Pittsburgh Area.
Yours in the Service of Jesus Christ,
Pittsburgh Association Executive Board 2016.
Though we are individual churches, we are stronger and better together.