North Hills Community Outreach is having a food drive on Thursday and Friday, April 30/May 1. Local food banks are having a very difficult time keeping up with demand right now. If you are in a place to give a little extra right now, please help out this week. You can make in kind donations of food items to the outreach directly, or make financial donations instead. If you would prefer to drop off items at Emsworth UP, please contact Pastor Charissa or Janet Shaffer.
Please remember that any time you're in a public place (like shopping for the food bank, dropping off food at the food bank. church, etc.), wearing a mask is of the utmost importance. If you do not already have one, let us know and we will make sure you get one.
Here are the details for making donations:
Virtual lunch with the pastor has been a ton of fun and is one of the highlights of my week these days! All are welcome to join us for this casual gathering. Grab your lunch and your laptop and dial in to see your loved ones from church. We meet from 12pm-1 on Tuesday each week. The link and dial in information for this event stay the same every week.
We also have weekly book club and Bible study on Wednesdays and Thursdays. This are also video conference gatherings for the time being and you can find details at the link below. It's never too late to jump in!
We'd also love for you to help out with Sunday morning worship! It's been great getting all the videos and photos from everyone for Witnessing God at work and for the pieces of the worship service! You can text your photos or videos of God at work in the world around you to 412.219.2503 OR email them directly to Pastor Charissa. If you send a photo, make sure to include a short description of it. If you need help walking through how to make a video with your computer, tablet, or smart phone, let me know and we'll talk through it together. I promise you it's easier than it sounds.
We're also still looking for people to help with prayers and readings for Sunday worship. You let us know what you want to read and we'll send you the reading. Just send back a video of you doing that reading and that's it! You can sign up to be a virtual worship assistant at the link below.
Need some FaceTime (or Zoom time or Skype time or phone time. . . ) with Pastor Charissa? You can sign up for specific meeting times at the link below. If it's an emergency, just call. You're never a bother. Even if it's not an emergency, you can call or text any time and I'll answer as I'm available. But if you want to just check in, vent, brainstorm, etc, and are wondering when I will definitely be available, you're welcome to sign up for virtual office hours.
If there is one "command center" or "FAQ" page that you should save or bookmark for now to keep up with church news and happenings, it's the one below. We have one page on the website that is dedicated to keeping track of links and events for you.
Friends, it was a difficult, but important decision that the elders and I made at our session meeting this week. The church buildings will both remain closed at least through the end of May. While we dearly miss gathering together for worship and fellowship, recent events have made it clear that it will be at least 5-6 more weeks before it is safe for our congregations to gather in person. Many in our community are medically vulnerable and their safety is our utmost concern at this time. Please continue to join us for online worship and events and check in with us for new opportunities for community during this strange wilderness time.
Listen to God
Holy week and Easter usually fall in late March or early April. Cut out a cross and write your word on it. Hang it up like the others or add it to your journal. Think about what your word has to do with redemption.
We are happy to let you know that the member who had been told last week they were positive for the Covid-19 virus was told wrong. The other member who was under quarantine has tested negative. Both are doing well and resting up.
Please continue to use caution in your day to day life, respect the state-wide shelter in place order, and limit your physical exposure to other people.
If you are a member who does not receive prayer chain updates and you would like to be put on the prayer chain, please let us know so that we can put you own the list. We will not add anyone who has not specifically signed up to be on the prayer chain list. If you are not getting the updates, you are not on the list.
Thanks, friends. Have a blessed Holy Week.
I think you're wrong (but i'm listening)
We are changing up our Bible study and book study plans just a little bit for this spring. While we still want to read "I Think You're Wrong (but I'm listening)", but we're going to move that study to just one session per week, beginning on April 15th. We will meet Wednesday mornings at 11 am.
If you already have the book, you're set. If not, you can get it on Kindle, audiobook, or hard copy on Amazon. Just be warned that hard copies may take a while to arrive due to shipping delays. If you previously requested that the church purchase it for you, we have not bought copies yet. Please let us know if you need help figuring out the purchase and having it sent to your home. The study will last 10 weeks, with one chapter per week. Please prepare by reading the first chapter by the start date. We will meet via Zoom. You will need to sign up using the form below and you will get an email with the link and/or call in information.
Our second option for a small group study is a good old fashioned walk through Philippians. We will spend 4 weeks walking through this comforting section of scripture with our friends from Mount Nebo and Glenshaw Valley. We will meet Thursday afternoons at 2 pm beginning April 16th.
We will go through one chapter of Philippians per week. Please prepare by reading the first chapter by the start date. We will meet via Zoom. You will need to sign up using the form below and you will get an email with the link and/or call in information.
Many of you may have the ability to watch the church services on your tv through your cable box. Both Verizon Fios and Comcast Xfinity offer a YouTube app on many of their devices. Here are the directions :
Verizon FIOS YouTube Instructions
Comcast Xfinity YouTube Instructions
Friends, many of you have heard through the prayer chain that one of our members at Emsworth UP has been confirmed to have COVID-19. Due to other health concerns and risk factors, this member is being kept under watch in the hospital, but is doing well overall. We also have one other member who is currently undergoing quarantine at home while awaiting test results. Please join us in praying for their recovery and rest during this time.
Please know that neither of these cases cause infection concern for our congregation as a whole. It is coincidence that both have fallen ill. Neither were present at church on March 8th, the last week that we met on Sunday morning for worship. Since then, we have been worshiping online only and have had limited staff presence at either church building. Please know that none of the congregation - outside of these members' own households - have been exposed to either of them.
I am grateful for the caring and thoughtful leadership of our elders through this time. While it was not easy to decide to cancel in person worship for as long as we've been apart, it is very apparent at this time that it was the right decision. Had we continued to meet regularly, this could indeed have been a congregation-wide health crisis.
Please remember that it's of the utmost importance that you limit your trips outside your home to infrequent and essential trips only. It is not only for your own health that this is important, but for the health of others in the community as well. It is our loving Christian duty right now to do everything we can to protect our community from this pandemic.
Below, you will find links to safety tips to keep healthy during this time, as well as some mental health and wellbeing tips. If you ever need to talk, please feel free to call the pastoral care line at 412.219.2503 or call Pastor Charissa directly on her cell phone. If you have a medical concern or emergency, please call your doctor or 911 immediately.
Thank you all for your love and concern for one another! You are beloved and loving and I am constantly humbled and honored to call myself your pastor.