Rev. Bush’s sermon, “On Second Thought,” was featured on the home page of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians website. Bush’s sermon addressed the importance of listening and its role in promoting understanding and compassion: I pray that our faith may be modeled after the example of Hannah so that we will belong to a church of justice, a church of inclusion, a church of love, and thereby a church of Jesus Christ. That may require some second and third thoughts on our part; that’s alright – God is patient. Like the father waiting for the prodigal to turn around and come home, God is anxious for our return to the fullness of God’s word and love. What is required of us? It requires listening skills. Turning down the radio stations inside our minds and listening to the stories of those around us – especially when they are carrying around heavy secrets and pain; especially when they are worried that their social status or sexual identity necessarily closes every door before them. Listen carefully, respectfully, compassionately. Bush’s sermon was originally delivered at ELPC in November 2012.Read the article (PDF)March 25, 2013
ELPC member Tina Calabro writes regularly for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on disability rights and issues. Her article “Breaking down barriers: Prevalence of disabilities grows worldwide,”discussed the World Report on Disability. The report, with its mission of assembling the best scientific evidence available on the subject, is a joint effort of the World Health Organization and the World Bank. Calabro will be discussing her overall efforts in the field of disability issues and rights at the Contemporaries class (9:45am) Sunday April 14, 2013. Read the articleMarch 16, 2013
Rev. Bush contributed the Easter meditation for the Lenten Devotional “From Ashes to Resurrection, From Soot to Hope | A Lenten Devotional for 2013.” The booklet of prayers and devotionals was prepared for the Lenten season by Presbyterians for Eco-Justice, part of the PC(USA) network. Rev. Bush’s devotional, “Resurrection – A Miracle is Waiting to Unfold,” calls us to have an Easter perspective and hope on the Earth’s ecological damage. View the devotionalFebruary 13, 2013
ELPC locations were featured in the February 2013 edition of Pittsburgh Magazine’s article “The Proposal.” Four Pittsburgh couples share their romantic engagement stories, proving that movie-perfect proposals really do exist. Viewers are invited to share their responses and guesses as to the exact location of the photos on our Facebook page! View “The Proposal” articleFebruary 11, 2013
The Reverend Patrice Fowler-Searcy will be the guest speaker at Westminster College’s Martin Luther King Jr. Remberance Day, Open Door Worship service. Services will be held Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 7pm, at the Wallace Memorial Chapel, on Westminster’s main campus. Fowler-Searcy is ELPC’s Director of Mission Ministries. View Westminster College’s Spiritual Life and Campus Worship webpageJanuary 15, 2013
Rev. Bush’s sermon, “Music of the Spheres,” was featured in the October issue of The American Organist, the national journal of the American Guild of Organists (AGO). The “Music of the Spheres” sermon was originally delivered at ELPC on September 26, 2011, when the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Guild of Organists had their opening service at ELPC, with installation of officers. The “Music of the Spheres” journal article reprints Rev. Bush’s original sermon text as well as a mini-article, “The Intervals and Harmonies of the Spheres,” touching on Johannes Kepler’s and Thomas Stanley’s respective ideas and theories on planetary orbit and musical “spheres.”Read the article (PDF)November 16, 2012
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette quoted our senior pastor, Rev. Bush, for his comments at last week’s Christian-Jewish Roundtable meeting, sponsored by the Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee. A special meeting was convened with Christian-Jewish Roundtable members to discuss the October 5, 2012 letter to the United States Congress. In the letter, the PC(USA) and several other Protestant denominations seek to make U.S. military aid to Israel contingent upon Israel’s “compliance with applicable U.S. laws and policies.” Rev. Bush attended last week’s Christian-Jewish Roundtable and spoke to the tensions across Pittsburgh’s inter-faith community that surround the letter. Read the Post-Gazette article, “Pittsburgh Jewish-Protestant talks endure here amid tiff.” Read the original October 5 letter to Congress, “Religious leaders ask Congress to condition Israel military aid on human rights compliance.”November 13, 2012
East Liberty Presbyterian Church was honored to receive the Seeds of Justice Award from Just Harvest at its October 2012 Annual Harvest Celebration Dinner! Just Harvest works in Allegheny County to end hunger and poverty. It sees hunger and poverty as symptoms of deep economic and political injustice. The Seeds of Justice Award was given to ELPC for our ongoing advocacy work to eradicate poverty in our community. Congratulations to our Mission Board Poverty Committee and all who work so hard to eliminate hunger! November 4, 2012
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published an editorial written by The Rev. Dr. Randall K. Bush: “Torture at any level is immoral.” Bush describes torture as a counterproductive and immoral practice that violates constitutional standards and religious beliefs. The editorial also highlights the excessive use of solitary confinement within Pennsylvania state correctional institutions as a wrongful act that amounts to state-sponsored torture. Read the articleJune 1, 2012
Open Hands Ministry, one of the groups that East Liberty Presbyterian Church partners with, was featured in a front-page feature in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for its work helping new homeowners in the Garfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Open Hands Ministry works with ELPC, East Liberty Development, Inc., and other area Presbyterian churches to identify and assist low-income families who would not otherwise be able to purchase or remain in a home. ELPC’s Neighbors Committee, part of our Mission Board, organizes volunteers for regularly scheduled work days to help support Open Hands Ministry. Read the articleApril 29, 2012
The Rev. Dr. Randall K. Bush will be the featured preacher, April 22, on “Day 1,” the nationally syndicated ecumenical radio program. Bush’s “Day 1” sermon for the third Sunday in Easter, based on a post-resurrection appearance of Jesus with the disciples (Luke 24:36-48), is entitled “Serious Stories.” “Day 1” has been broadcast every week for 67 years. Featuring outstanding preachers from the mainline denominations, the program is currently distributed to more than 200 radio stations across America and overseas. Read the articleApril 18, 2012
Developers and politicians came together this week for the ground-breaking ceremony of renovating the turn-of-the-century Highland Building. The historical 102-year old building, designed by turn-of-the-century architect D.H. Burnham. sits directly across the street from ELPC’s main entrance. The neighboring Wallace Building will also be renovated, and a 180-space parking garage will sit between the buildings. Read the articleApril 16, 2012
Stories, journeys, shared experiences: “A Season of Welcome” is a new website from the Covenant Network of Presbyterians that highlights the stories of ordained LGBT Presbyterians living into the new day in the PC(USA) in which their gifts are welcomed to lead as pastors and church officers. ELPC member Carol Chonoska is a featured story as she discovered ELPC's welcoming spirit. Read the articleMarch 29, 2012
Pop City released “Pop Video: East Liberty,” a video exploring the businesses and individuals that have contributed to East Liberty’s renaissance as a forward-thinking haven for artists, small creative businesses, restaurants, and more. The video focuses on the key role that East Liberty Development, Inc. (ELDI) has played in the neighborhood’s re-development and return. ELDI, one of ELPC’s community partners and works specifically in ongoing renewal efforts in the East Liberty neighborhood, particularly in the area of renovation of abandoned properties and successful neighborhood and community building. The Rev. Patrice Fowler-Searcy is vice president of ELDI’s board of directors. See the videoMarch 28, 2012
The Rev. Dr. Randall K. Bush has received a Clergy Renewal Grant from the Lilly Foundation, a special award designed to allow pastors and their families to take an extended sabbatical break from ongoing ministry responsibilities. Rev. Bush will be in New Zealand for three months, where he will pursue studies in theology and piano. The congregation will bid Rev Bush a bon voyage on July 8, and will look forward to his return in mid-October. Read the letterMarch 27, 2012
The Honorable Luke Ravenstahl, Mayor of Pittsburgh, declared March 2 as Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s Citizen Service Award Recipient, Hope Academy of Music and the Arts Day. Hope Academy was honored in this distinction due to the “... partnerships its leadership has established with local arts and philanthropic organizations,” how its students “learn the value of self-expression and creativity ... and valuable communication skills and confidence”; how its “high-quality and affordable classes have significantly contributed to East Liberty's cultural renaissance,” and also that Hope Academy’s “mission of bring students of diverse backgrounds together fosters an appreciation of various perspectives.” Read the articleMarch 5, 2012
The Taizé service, held weekly here at ELPC, was featured in a recent article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The article covered our Taizé service, including leadership from The Rev. Christiane Dutton, and the music team, as well as an overview of other Taizé services offered in the region. The article also discussed the history of this special prayer service, which was originally conceived as an ecumenical service during World War II in the town of Taizé, France. Read the articleFebruary 16, 2012
ELPC member Hal Sanders died February 6, 2012. He was active in several areas of the church and was a strong advocate for single-payer health care, having argued before the Pittsburgh Presbytery to approve a resolution in support of single-payer health care, which it did. Ms. Sandy Fox notes, "He took it to the General Assembly in California in 2008, and I am told he argued eloquently and it was approved there, and that was groundbreaking." Sanders’ service was held at ELPC on February 11, 2012. Read the articleFebruary 11, 2012
Pittsburgh-based Rev. Janet Edwards, who is a nationally prominent gay rights advocate, is seeking the position of moderator of the Presbyterian General Assembly for 2012-13, yet was denied an endorsement from the Pittsburgh Presbytery. ELPC was one of three Presbytery congregations (along with South Side Presbyterian Church and Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community) who petitioned the presbytery to endorse Edwards. Edwards previously served as moderator of the Pittsburgh Presbytery in 1987. She currently serves on the board of the Pittsburgh Presbytery Foundation and is co-moderator of the national board of More Light Presbyterians. Read the articleFebruary 3, 2012
ELPC member Elaine Bellin was recently featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for her company's role in bringing locally grown fruits and vegetables to area restaurants. She is the president of her family’s firm, Paragon Foods. Read the articleJanuary 1, 2012
ELPC member Catarina Rosano’s work and research on the human brain and aging was featured in the University of Pittsburgh’s PITT Magazine. Rosano is a faculty member in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health, and a researcher in the University’s Center for Aging and Population Health. Read the article
Rev. Bush has asked the Pittsburgh Presbytery to consider entering into a one-year period of study related to the environmental concerns associated with natural gas exploration involving hydraulic fracturing (fracking), commonly associated with Marcellus Shale exploration and development. This moratorium would be in place refraining any Pittsburgh Presbytery groups from entering into contracts, leases or other agreements with natural gas companies. Bush said, “This pathway of a moratorium is following similar actions taken by the New York assembly and the New Jersey Governor. I make this request out of a sincere desire that our Presbytery be faithful stewards of the environmental resources entrusted to us and our congregations for our present and future generations.” The matter has been referred to the Property Committee of Presbytery. Updated September 20, 2011
In related news: The Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light issued a four-page ethical analysis that declares its opposition to development of the deep and massive shale gas play because it is not part of a strategy to end fossil fuel use, creates too many environmental and health risks, and perpetuates the “boom and bust” cycles of other, earlier extractive industries in the state. PA-IPL is a state chapter of the national Interfaith Power and Light, a national religious response to the threat of climate change. | Read the Post-Gazette story
Rev. Bush was a featured speaker at the 9/11 remembrance service, “Memory & Hope: An Interfaith Remembrance of 9-11,” held at the Rodef Shalom synagogue. The service is sponsored by The Religious Leadership Forum of Southwest Pennsylvania (Christian, Jewish, and Islamic leaders) and Christian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania. Bush will be preaching the sermon titled “Prisoners of Hope.” Read the press releaseSeptember 2, 2011
The Post-Gazette featured East Liberty Development, Inc. (ELDI), one of ELPC’s community partners, for its work on rescuing several houses in the East Liberty neighborhood with the goal of establishing the Borland Green Ecovillage, a co-housing initiative. The Rev. Patrice Fowler-Searcy is vice president of ELDI’s board of directors. Read the articleAugust 15, 2011
ELPC was featured in a WQED video about the Pittsburgh Gospel Choir, who rehearses in our church every Monday evening and calls our church their home. “The Pittsburgh Gospel Choir brings the tradition of American gospel to life. Horizons drops in on a Choir rehearsal to meet the charismatic director and learn the history behind the Choir's many voices.” Click to view the video segment on WQED’s site.
In light of PC(USA) ratifying amendment 10-A, Rev. Bush was featured recently along with Rev. Paul Roberts, Senior Pastor at Eastminster Presbyterian Church, in a Huffington Post video, “Living with Differences: Two Congregations, Two Viewpoints on Gay Clergy”:
ELPC member Carol Chonoska was featured in a story about Pittsburgh’s PrideFest. Read or view the news segment on local CBS affiliate KDKA’s website.
PC(USA)’s Amendment 10-A has been ratified! Our national governing body, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), has ratified an amendment to its constitution. This allows congregations to ordain partnered gay elders and deacons, and for presbyteries to ordain or install pastors in same-sex relationships. PC(USA) joins the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as the fourth major Protestant denomination to lift this barrier. Read the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article | Read the LA Times editorial | Read the Covenant Network article | Read the TAMFS article
The work of East Liberty Development, Inc. (ELDI), one of ELPC’s community partners, was featured in the Post-Gazette for its recognized work and ongoing renewal efforts in the East Liberty neighborhood, particularly in the area of renovation of abandoned properties and successful neighborhood and community building. The Rev. Patrice Fowler-Searcy is vice president of ELDI’s board of directors. Read the article
Rev. Bush was featured in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story that looked at the perennial popularity for attending church on Easter, even for those who don’t usually attend services. “Easter sermons tend to be non-threatening. It’s a guaranteed upbeat message.” Read the article
Dr. Edward Alan Moore, ELPC’s current Music Director and Organist, played a concert in early March on the newly restored Skinner organ at the Stambaugh Auditorium in Youngstown, OH. WFMJ carried the video news story. The organ had been silent for nearly five decades before being restored. Moore’s concert was the inaugural performance, on the occasion of the auditorium’s 85th anniversary. View the video (plays after a ten-second ad)
Hope Academy’s annual “Love and All That Jazz” was a huge success this year, drawing over 200 attendees. Several members of the Pittsburgh City Council, including Bill Peduto, Ricky Burgess, Darlene Harris, and city Controller Michael Lamb also took part, doing live spoken word performance. View the coverage in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Muriel Helene McEvoy Szeremany, beloved wife of ELPC’s former Music Director, The Reverend Dr. J. Richard Szeremany, died on Saturday, January 15, 2011 after a brief illness. A funeral service was held at the chapel of Fairmount Cemetery in Newark, New Jersey on Saturday, January 22, 2011. A celebratory Memorial service and Witness to the Resurrection was held on Sunday, February 13 at 4 p.m. in the East Liberty Presbyterian Church. Read the obituary notice
ELPC member Doug Cooper had his work exhibited in February at the Concept Art Gallery, in Pittsburgh’s East End. In collaboration with Pittsburgh Filmmakers and colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University, Doug Cooper has experimented with using his panoramic Pittsburgh landscapes as sites for a motion picture, using green screen technique to set live-action sequences directly into Cooper’s charcoal world. View the first of the series, “Pingurgh” on Vimeo.
Sojourner House’s MOMS program, affiliated with our community partner organizations East Liberty Development, Inc. (ELDI) and East End Cooperative Ministry (EECM), was featured for its new “green” playground and its role in helping to renovate its neighborhood. Read the article (PDF).
Our September 11, 2010 special labyrinth event, “May All Peoples Walk Together” was featured as a WPXI news item . Read the article (PDF).
Two of our members, Doug Cooper and Stefani Danes, were featured in the Post-Gazette in July 2010 for their work on Pittsburgh’s co-housing movement. Read the article (PDF).
Our national organization, PC(USA) held its biennial conference at the beginning of July 2010 in Minneapolis, MN, which Rev. Bush attended. The conference discussed and voted on several key issues. Read the AP news article: Votes Continue Debate | Read the “daily dispatch” notes from the head of the Pittsburgh Presbytery, the Rev. Dr. Sheldon Sorge (PDF).
ELPC was mentioned in two Post-Gazette articles on the June 2010 Organ Historical Society 2010 Convention: our concert by Juilliard Organ Chair Paul Jacobs, and our famous Æolian-Skinner organ. Read the articles: Pipe Dreams | List of Pittsburgh area recitals
Dave Epperson, an Elder at ELPC and member of the family care team, was featured on a recent American Public Media documentary, “War on Poverty - from The Great Society to The Great Recession.” ELPC is also noted in the piece for its efforts to help rehabilitate a home for a family to move from a dangerous public housing development and become first-time home-owners. Read the transcript | Download the MP3. (June 2010)