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PLUM Churches:

Bethany (Dormont)

Christ (Duquesne)

East Liberty

Hope (Forest Hills)

Luth. Church of Our Saviour

Messiah (Munhall)

Resurrection (Oakdale)

St. Andrew (East Carnegie)

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Trinity (Mt. Oliver)

Zion (Coraopolis)


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September 2018


I know the calendar says it is September – but what happened to the summer months?

What happened?! I can tell you:

§   Seven churches had VBS – Have trailer; will travel

§   Pastor Beth retired – Look out Erie, here she comes!

§   Vicar Brenda experienced CPE and began her internship – Look out PLUM, here she comes!

§   Pastor Jocelyn Johnston joins our ranks – Don’t worry – she will get used to us

§   The annual PLUM picnic – Tie Dye for all

§   Pastor John Took a Vacation!!! – and PLUM didn’t fall apart while he was gone

§   Pastor Paul visited his former congregation in Chicago – and he came back!

§   Pastor Liz was the Chaplain for the Synod Assembly – and lived thru the whole thing!

§   Pastor Melba took a two-week vacation to the beach – and she CAME BACK!


And many of you went to your campgrounds, vacations, stayed home, or however you got to spend the lazy days of summer.  Now, it is time to regroup, get the kids back into school (thank goodness) and plan for the fall and winter activities and worship for your congregation.


I pray you will take a moment to thank God for the time of rest and relaxation that you have experienced during the summer.  We do not spend enough time on our knees, we do not spend enough time in prayer and we do not spend enough time listening to our Lord and Savior.  We spend too much time worrying, we spend too much time complaining and we spend too much time away from God.  Let’s work on that this fall.  One way to begin that work is to get into our Narrative Lectionary.


I am looking forward to using the Narrative Lectionary for the next four years.  The stories we will learn are wonderful and so important for us to hear and know.  It will be a relief to have new readings to preach.  We will experience God in a new and wonderful way.  And yes, we MIGHT even learn new music!  Hard to believe that one, huh?


I also pray that each of you realizes just how much your pastors love the work they do and how much they also need rest and relaxation.  I realized, after returning home from vacation, that I enjoy my vocation so much and I am so happy when I am spending time in that vocation.  I will confess that, before I left for vacation, if someone had said VBS to me one more time, I might have gotten ill.  But then, after vacation, I watched the children at SAL and RLC (the last two VBS churches) and realized just how important VBS is to the kids in our lives and how easily they love God and believe in the Trinity.  No questions asked.  They just DO.  Besides, VBS is so much fun.  I do enjoy it.


I also realized that, before vacation, I was controlling my time, not letting God lead me.  I lost my focus on the One that loves me so much.  The time of rest and meditation helped me define what was wrong and God got me back into focus.  Sort of like getting your eyes examined – things come into focus when you are looking through the correct lenses.


As we get busy with our lives, post-summer, may we be child-like in our love for Christ and allow Him to love us as much as possible.  When we allow Him to invade our very being, we can love those around us so much more.  I love the saying: “Let Go and Let God”.  It is so true.


Hope you got rested this summer and enjoyed the lazy days of the hot weather and the rain.  And, I hope you will be as enthused as you can possibly become and immerse yourself in all the activities, worship, and fellowship that will be offered this next season, as we discover the stories that help form our Lutheran beliefs.


Yours in Christ,

Pastor Melba



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