After reviewing new CDC recommendations and status of Pennsylvania state masking mandates, beginning Sunday, June 6th, masks will be optional for all vaccinated persons while at church gatherings - including Sunday morning worship. We will still practice physical distancing in the pews and request that everyone limit the amount of time they are in the building together before and after services, whenever possible. Fellowship outside is encouraged both before and after events and services.
On June 13th, we will all come together at 10 am in the sanctuary at Emsworth for a joint worship service on Pastor Charissa's last Sunday as the pastor of Emsworth and St. Andrew's. Immediately following the service, there will be a brief congregational meeting (for both congregations) for the purpose of formally dissolving her call. The worship service will be live-streamed. If you need to access the congregational meeting from home, please contact us ASAP to let us know.
Dear friends of Emsworth and St. Andrew’s
It is with a heavy heart that I announced to you last week my resignation from serving as your pastor effective June 13, which will be both my final Sunday and my last day.
I have appreciated our time together over these past 4 ½ years and have loved growing together into the future. When we took on this task of shared ministry, it was an experiment. I think it’s fair at this point to deem it a successful one. You all have moved forward with courage and creativity in ways that other churches can now look to as a model for ministry in a rapidly changing world. I am so proud of each one of you.
Please know that this was not an easy decision for me and it was very unexpected. However, God is calling me into a new season of my ministry. I have been called to serve the Foundation of HOPE as the director of chaplaincy services at the Allegheny County Jail. This is a program that I have been a volunteer with for years, as many of you know, and one that several of the members of Emsworth UP also volunteer with. I would be honored to have any one of you as volunteers for HOPE as soon as volunteers are allowed back into the jail again as the pandemic tapers off.
Thank you for being so patient, kind, willing to roll with the punches, and especially for being brave in this experiment these past few years. I believe that God truly has a wonderful new season ahead for you as well. I am confident that you are also ready to embrace a new season in life and ministry and that you will have ample support to guide you into and through that season.
Our sailing has not always been easy, but I am grateful you gave me the opportunity to grow pastorally and these years will be a valued experience that will be with me for the rest of my ministry. I will always remember our time together fondly.
You will continue to be in my prayers. I would appreciate you holding me in your prayers as well. May God's blessings be with you as you continue to serve God in the community.
Blessings in your new season,
Rev. Charissa Clark Howe