Home

What's New!

Upcoming Events

Worship Services

About Us

Pastors

Newsletters

Past Sermons

Photo Gallery

Stewardship

Join Us

Links

    

PLUM Churches:

Bethany (Dormont)

Christ (Duquesne)

East Liberty

Hope (Forest Hills)

Luth. Church of Our Saviour

Messiah (Munhall)

Resurrection (Oakdale)

St. Andrew (East Carnegie)

St. Paul's (Canonsburg)

Trinity (Mt. Oliver)

Zion (Coraopolis)

       

Find us on Facebook

Newletter

Click HERE for a printable copy

July 2021

 

          Can you believe that this is the July 2021 newsletter for PLUM?!  Where has the time gone?  It wasnít so long ago that I sat across from Pastor John in Eat n Park on Frankstown Road on my internship interview.  That meeting ended after about three hours with a handshake and the now famous PLUM keyring that is comprised of the keys to every worship space.  I finished up with school at United Lutheran Seminary, moved to Penn Hills, got married to Frank, and became Vicar Mandy.

 

          Internship went by very fast and before I knew it, I was meeting with my wonderful internship committee.  I donít think that too many candidates for ministry have a committee that was represented by all of the then ten churches of PLUM.  Candidates in one worship space have a sampling of that one context, being a PLUM Vicar was quite a unique experience, ten contexts that cover three counties in Western Pennsylvania is a lot to wrap your head around.

 

          There has always been a common thread between all of the PLUM churches, that still exists today.  I have always been affirmed of my call to serve Godís people in ministry.  Some of my fondest memories are Bethany Dormont at Easter Vigil 2019, when then Vicar Sue Devine preached, my husband took a picture of me by the lily adorned cross with my alb and collar on.  I believe that was the first picture I ever had dressed in that way.  I canít forget a service at East Liberty when I randomly picked John Curry to give me directions on how to cross the street in my sermon.  There is Messiah in Munhall that has become much like family as I was honored to help with two funeral services in one day, by walking right across the street from one funeral home to another.  Resurrection was the church that hosted the annual PLUM picnic with a massive grill, fellowship, and outdoor worship.  St. Paulís in Canonsburg, where I coordinated with Jill Shook the first time that I would meet my sister who found me on Ancestry.com, while I conducted the worship service that day.  Trinity Mount Oliverís diaper ministry was very special as outreach for a community in need.  But to be honest, the best part of that was hanging out in the diaper storage room getting to know Don and Kathy Lindner.  Zion in Coraopolis was where I read a childrenís book as a sermon that just happened to be on the day someone from my synod committee came to hear me preach; I can still remember Rachelís eyes full of tears in reaction to the book.  Christ Lutheran with its social hall that gets transformed overnight into a VBS site, a Mardi Gras party, or a lovely ordination dinner space for Pastor Brenda.  That social hall was the first place that I preached a sermon at PLUM, I used my own photo album, it was an indoor picnic because of bad weather.  St. Andrew in East Carnegie was a meeting place where I spent hours of time with Confirmation students and staff meetings.  But, my favorite times there were the soup lunches full of fellowship, sometimes attended by members from other PLUM churches.  Hope in Forest Hills came just in time to be my last stop for my internship project, I never knew how fun outdoor worship could be.  Immanuel in Irwin is my newest memory, Gene the organist and his devoted service, council meetings in the church hall, and the boat that hangs from the ceiling are just the beginning of its charm. Lutheran Church of Our Saviour, what can I say, this was to be the place of my ordination.  The space reminds me of a church that I attended as a Roman Catholic in first grade at school; it was going to be a cookout/potluck with a huge cake.

 

          I graduated from United Lutheran Seminary on May 15, 2020, the very same day that I was put on probation for the summer by the NWPA synod, then to be denied for candidacy by the NWPA synod in November.  But, the whole time, the Holy Spirit was at work.  YOU, PLUM, hired me in December of 2020, still affirming me even when others would not.  I became the Minister of Pastoral Care in a unanimous vote that was so very humbling and of which I will never take for granted for the rest of my life.

 

          I submitted my letter of resignation on Friday, June 11.  These past six months have been a time of healing, space to discern, and I know that Jesus is still asking me to follow Him.  My story is still being written, so is yours, believe it!  I am moving on to a full-time position as the Director of Childrenís Ministry at Chippewa United Methodist Church in Beaver Falls, where I live.  ďThere Was JesusĒ by Zach Williams is a song that Lutheran Church of Our Saviour used in worship on June 13. The lyrics struck me, ďIn the waiting, in the searching, in the healing, in the hurting.  Like a blessing buried in the broken pieces.  Every minute, every moment. Where Iíve been or where Iím going, even when I didnít know it or couldnít see it.  There was Jesus.Ē  Throughout this whole newsletter you might have read about me but remember, there was always Jesus.  Jesus, the I AM, who always was and will ever be, God with us.  We never journey through this life alone!

 

          My thanks will never be enough, but thatís what I have to extend to you.  May God continue to bless all of the people of the churches of PLUM, the Pastoral Team of PLUM and the PLUM Board for all that you do in your communities here in Western Pennsylvania!

 

Love and Peace to ALL!

Minister Mandy Gilberti

 

         

   
 

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