PLUM: We are family!
“They said to him, ‘Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.’ And Jesus replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ And looking at those who sat around him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:32-35)
PLUM is like an extended family. It is a family that is bound together in Christ. It is a family that strives to discern the will of God and to move according to that will. Sometimes this happens as a whole and other times our response to God is best expressed in our home congregation.
Like every family, the PLUM family experiences changes - a son or daughter goes off to college or gets married, begins a new job or moves away from home. Other times new people are attracted to our family, move in with us, and share in the love and work of our family.
We had the privilege of standing with the members of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sheraden when they acknowledged with thankful hearts the 115th Anniversary of their congregation. Soon, Trinity will close and we will be sitting alongside these members who have been transferred from Trinity to St. Andrew Lutheran Church (East Carnegie) as they become part of PLUM’s family there.
We have been a blessing to the members of Bethany Lutheran Church, Bethel Park. Our gratitude is overflowing because we have played a role in Bethany’s healing as it continues to be the Light of Christ in Bethel Park. We have been privileged to provide a safe space for Bethany’s members to re-group and listen to the will of God. Bethany is in the Call Process and Pastor Melba is being considered for a part-time Call.
Our PLUM family accompanies and encourages East Liberty Lutheran Church as it seeks to move its worship life and its community outreach ministry to a new location. Their building, which continues to deteriorate, has been sold. Therefore, the congregation is negotiating a temporary rental space in or near East Liberty until it can find a permanent home.
We rejoice with Susan Devine who has been appointed Vicar/Intern at Hope Lutheran Church (Forest Hills) and we wish her well as she continues her education. Finally, we are grateful for Pastor Melba Dibble and her sojourn among us. She came to the PLUM family nine years ago as an intern and, when her formal preparation for ministry was completed, we celebrated her ordination by laying on holy hands and with great excitement. She has contributed in mighty ways to PLUM’s life and ministry. Now, she is hearing a call to move to a new field of service. We will wish Pr. Melba ‘farewell and God speed’ at the Reformation Service, October 28 at 3:00 p.m. at Trinity (Mt. Oliver).
So, we witness changes in our family: The transfer of Trinity congregation, the departure from PLUM of the Bethany (Bethel Park) congregation, the arrival of Vicar Brenda Henry, Pastors Jocelyn Johnston and Martin Rafanan, and the need to release Pastor Melba, who is personally responding to God’s call. You may receive this news with mixed feelings. You may be wondering what impact these shifts will have on our PLUM family and its ministry. Our family is financially sound and our commitment to God’s will is firm.
Jesus’ loving words assure us that God still leads us: “Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” IN CHRIST we are one family wherever we are. Give thanks and praise to God who created our PLUM family fourteen years ago and who continues to bless it in abundant ways.
+ To God be the glory +
Pittsburgh Lutheran United Ministries (PLUM), 405 Kennedy Avenue, Duquesne, PA 15110 412-466-7773