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PLUM Churches:

Bethany (Dormont)

Christ (Duquesne)

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Luth. Church of Our Saviour

Messiah (Munhall)

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St. Andrew (East Carnegie)

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August 2018




Here we are in the ‘dog days’ of summer.  The heat and the humidity sends us indoors to find relief through air conditioning.  And if we don’t have air conditioning available to us, we find a cool iced drink and a shady spot to sit and think.  We may not be motivated to do any specific tasks and our church may be way down on our list of things to think about or activities in which to participate. 


Certainly, we all deserve a break from our usual routines and there are opportunities to enjoy summer activities that are not always available to us at other times of the year.  These activities might include visiting with relatives, traveling to places we haven’t been before or going back to someplace that we once enjoyed in previous summers.  These breaks in routine might include going up to a lake house or a camp site and relaxing.  Or there are often a variety of picnics, pool parties, and sports games in which to participate.


Amidst all these ‘summer breaks’, let us be reminded that God never takes a break from guiding, supporting and sustaining our life and spirit.  In fact, God may have to increase God’s efforts to lift us up as we ‘take a break’ from our normal routine or ‘take a break’ from church attendance and activity.  Do you remember the story of Jesus observing the first disciples applying their skill at fishing?  After their initial encounter, Jesus calls Peter, James and the others to ‘take a break’ from the familiar, usual routine of fishing and explore, with him, what it would be like to ‘fish for people.’  They were so taken by surprise that they dropped their nets, abandoned their father’s business and followed Jesus.  It meant a complete change in their lives.


What might happen to you if Jesus were to walk by as you are fishing, swimming at the lake, on vacation, or just sitting in the shade enjoying a cool drink during the heat of an August afternoon?  While ‘taking a break’ may be important for your spiritual, mental and physical well-being, be forewarned that Jesus is still walking around, seeking disciples who can spread the liberating message of the Gospel.


I wonder if there is a way to ‘take a break’, but at the same time continue to be a part of the on-going life of the church.  In some of our congregations, members participate in automatic withdrawal to keep their offering regular through their absence.  Other members make it a habit to pray for the congregation, its ministry, and anyone who has requested special prayers for healing or consolation.  Scripture reading is another way to keep in close contact with God and God’s on-going mission among us.


As August brings us its gifts of sunny days and time off, let us give thanks as we remember Jesus’ promise:  “Lo, I am with you always to the end of the age.”


+Pastor Paul, on behalf of the pastoral team




Pittsburgh Lutheran United Ministries (PLUM), 405 Kennedy Avenue, Duquesne, PA 15110        412-466-7773