“When we started this, there was the whole emergent church thing, and we kind of got labeled in that. We had all of these punk rock kids, and we did a Bible study in a tattoo shop. We were the cool kid on the block. You can get caught up in that, trying to be the unique church. I’m not worried if we’re unique or not. I’m worried if we’re authentic.”
– Rev. Jeff Eddings, pastor at Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community in Pittsburgh
Being authentic, not unique, goal at Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community
What do you get when you have two college friends with backgrounds in theater and combine that with degrees in ministry? Simply put, you have the Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community church in Pittsburgh.
Pastors Jeff Eddings and Jim Walker teamed up to create Hot Metal Bridge, a congregation that offers a “narrative style of worship that shares the story of God through drama and the arts, as well as traditional forms of worship.” Located in the South Side neighborhood of Pittsburgh since 2004, Hot Metal Bridge is affiliated with both the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the United Methodist Church. But Hot Metal Bridge is much more than a church that provides worship in the forms of plays and music, it is also a key component in the community, offering meals twice a week plus a Homeless Ministry on Saturdays.
To read more about the ministry at Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community in Pittsburgh, click here.
Valley United PC brings three PA, NY congregations together
Four miles. That’s all that separated three Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations. But within that four miles there were not only state boundaries that had to be crossed but also synod and presbytery lines. That, however, didn’t keep this trio of small churches from coming together to form one worshiping body that is unifying to help tackle the issues within the community.
Valley United Presbyterian Church consists of congregations from Athens and Sayre in Pennsylvania and Waverly in New York. Athens and Waverly are roughly four miles apart, with the Sayre building almost directly in the middle of the two. Prior to the merger, Athens and Waverly averaged around 40 worshipers per Sunday while Sayre was somewhere in the low 20s. Because of their low attendance numbers, Athens and Waverly decided to combine and alternate worship services during the summer months in 2012. A year later, Sayre joined in the rotation, and a collaboration was born.
To read more about this unique situation along the Pennsylvania-New York border, click here.
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The Synod of the Trinity, through Presbyterian Mission Exchange, has made it easy to donate funds to some of our worthy causes, like the Peacemaking Grants we give out to presbyteries and churches within our bounds. To support the Synod’s Peacemaking efforts, or our Ministry and Mission Fund, click on the ‘Give Now’ button and select the appropriate fund.
Around the Synod…
Susan Wonderland: Big Tent was a success!
The Big Tent conference in Knoxville, Tenn., was a fabulous event, and I am brimming over with food for thought and action. Around 850 of us gathered for rich and invigorating worship, thoughtful Bible Study on Luke 15 and a plethora of workshops with excellent leadership. While there were no longer clear “tracks” for folks to participate in multiple conferences while under the same roof, there were enough options in many areas to go deep if one wanted to. To read more of Synod Transitional Executive Susan Faye Wonderland’s remarks following her trip to Big Tent, click here.