Author Archives: chris

Celebrate Passover with The Upper Room – April 22 – 6pm-8pm

Come celebrate Passover with the Upper Room on Friday, April 22, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm! This is an opportunity to live out our church’s values of being cross-cultural and sacramental as we participate in the Jewish tradition that is the origin of our sacrament of communion. The Passover Seder is an interactive meal meant to help us better understand and remember the God who leads His people to freedom. Contact Daniel Kaufman for more information.

An Afternoon of Godly Play – April 16 – 2:30-4:30pm

An Afternoon of Godly Play
Saturday, April 16, 2:30 to 4:30 pm, FREE
Hosted by the Sloan Carlton family (email for address)
Godly Play practice teaches us to listen for God and to make authentic and creative responses to God’s call in our lives.
For me (Karen), Godly Play is my absolute favorite way to explore the bible and draw near to God’s Spirit. Rather than simply reading words on a page or listening to teaching from the bible, Godly Play’s visual and tactile elements, with its emphasis on space for genuine wondering, continue to open up ways of being with God that bring such depth to my Christian discipleship.
This afternoon is designed to have the feel of a mini spiritual retreat by following the rhythms of a typical complete Godly Play session. This includes: gathering/preparing for the session’s presentation, bible storytelling with 3D objects, a whole group conversation of wondering about the presented story, individual work time for further personal reflection with God – this may include journaling, drawing/coloring/painting, walking outdoors, and more – then regathering to share what arose during time alone with God, especially any prayer requests to briefly lift up together, eating some small bits of food together, thoughtfully closing with expressions of appreciation and blessing.
Through participating in an Afternoon of Godly Play, our hope is that the time will refresh and nurture all of you, mind, body, soul and spirit.  We are not clear what types ongoing Godly Play gatherings may form in the future.  For now we seek to offer occasional Godly Play experiences.  If there is interest, we will do more. Do let us know if you are curious about Godly Play!
Godly Play is a creative, imaginative approach to Christian formation and spiritual guidance.
Godly Play has a Montessori foundation with 40+ years of research and practice.
Godly Play values process, openness, discovery, community and relationships.
Godly Play models the worship life, stories, symbols and rituals of Christian congregations.
Godly Play allows practitioners to make relevant and personal theological meaning.
Godly Play nurtures participants to larger dimensions of belief and faith through wondering and play.

Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter at The Upper Room

Holy Week Services at The Upper Room

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Holy Week is the cornerstone of the Church year. It’s a way of walking through the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. The goal is to live into the story in our worship in such a way that Jesus’ story becomes our story. Here’s the schedule of Upper Room’s Holy Week Services:

Maundy Thursday - March 24th @5:30pm – 5828 Forward Ave. - ”Agape Meal” Potluck and Liturgy of Love. (Bring bread, fruit or cheese to share, and immediately following our meal we will worship in remembrance of the Last Supper and celebrate the Eucharist.)

Good Friday - March 25th @ 7:30pm – 5828 Forward Ave. – Liturgy of Shadows

Easter Vigil – March 26th @ 8:15pm – 5828 Forward Ave. – Liturgy of Light

Easter Sunrise – March 27th @ 6:45am – Frick Park “Blue Slide Entrance” OR the entrance at the corner of Beechwood and Nicholson - Liturgy of Resurrection

Easter Sunday Service – March 27th @ 11am – 5828 Forward Ave. – Liturgy of Joy

 

Easter Sunday Flower Potluck and Care Home Visit

Sunday March 27th @ 11am and immediately after the service | 5828 Forward Ave.

We believe that we are called to be a sacramental church; we celebrate God’s grace in visible signs. We also believe that we are called to be a missional church; we seek to be a church that blesses our neighbors as much as or more than we bless one another. Our annual Easter Flower Potluck is an opportunity for us to live into both of those identities. When you come to church on Easter, bring a pot or bouquet of flowers to help decorate the church as make it beautiful for our Easter worship. Then, after worship, join us in delivering the flowers to residents at The Commons at Squirrel Hill (on Wightman Street).

Two Ways to Support Refugees This Week:

Jewish Pittsburgh and The Refugee Crisis:  A Community Conversation

Thursday February 25th @ 7:00 pm | JCC Squirrel Hill, Levinson Hall

Jewish Pittsburgh will have an opportunity to hear experts’ insight on international and local refugee issues.  We will examine whether we can be welcoming to refugees and still maintain a safe community. Three panelists — Aryeh Sherman, Mark Hetfield and Michael Kenney, PhD — a group with expertise in refugee resettlement and terrorism, will contribute informed views and invite attendees’ questions. This event is free, but registration is required, so visit this website to register:  http://www.jfedpgh.org/refugee.

Refugee Resettlement Benefit Dinner at Spring Valley Bruderhof

Thursday February 25th @ 5:30pm | 100 Spring Valley Rd. Farmington, PA 15437

On February 25th, our friends from the Spring Valley Bruderhof are partnering with Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh to host a benefit dinner for refugee resettlement. It will start at 5:30 pm at 100 Spring Valley Rd, Farmington, PA 15437. The cost is $30 per plate or $150 per table. RSVP to Tim Hochstetler at benefitdinner@ccimail.com.  Contact Karen Sloan (flirtingwithmonasticism@gmail.com) if you have questions, or if you plan to go and would like to carpool. Want to see more about who the Bruderfhof is? Watch this short video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ohC8cEcdOE

Ash Wednesday at The Upper Room

Ash Wednesday at The Upper Room
Wednesday, February 10 @ 7am-7:45am | 5828 Forward Ave.

As Christians, we believe that true joy and transformation is preceded by repentance. So before celebrating the joy of Jesus’ resurrection and the transformation that is ours in his death and resurrection at Easter, we first prepare with a season of penitence and fasting called Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday. As a community, we’ll begin Ash Wednesday, and the season of Lent, with a “solemn assembly” early in the morning. The service will include time to commit personally to Lenten disciplines God is calling you to take on, and also the imposition of Ashes. Throughout Scripture, the people of God lay in and cover themselves in ashes as a visible and public sign of repentance. We’ll mark our foreheads in ashes with the sign of the cross, a visible sign of our repentance to those who see us during the day.

chURch News 1.29.16: International Student Conversations, Godly Play

PRISM English Conversation Group and Volunteer Orientation

Mondays @ 7 – 8:30pm | Bellefield Presbyterian Church in Oakland

Do you realize the impact you can make on the lives of international students simply by meeting with them to converse in English? PRISM offers an English Conversation Group every Monday evening from 7-8:30pm at Bellefield Presbyterian Church in Oakland, and it is a great place for you to come volunteer. Not only is it an easy way to meet and talk with internationals, but it often leads to lasting friendships where you can share Christ through both actions and words. We are hosting an English Volunteer Orientation on Monday, February 15th, from 5:30 – 6:45pm. at Bellefield Church.   Come to learn about the program and get connected. It’s an easy way to start volunteering with us!  Please contact Lisa Boyd or office@prismpgh.org. Call 412-683-0342 if you have any questions

An Afternoon of Godly Play, “The Best Ways of Love”

Saturday February 13 @2:30 – 4:30 | Dave and Karen’s home

Our family had a blast doing Godly Play presentations at the beginning of worship during the Sundays of Advent. Now, together with Daniel Kaufman, we are excited to explore having more Godly Play style happenings with Upper Room this year.  Though we are not entirely clear about what Godly Play at Upper Room might be like by the end of the year, we want to start by sharing occasional Godly Play experiences.  If there is interest, we will do more.  Do let us know if you are curious about Godly Play!
For me (Karen), Godly Play is my absolute favorite way to explore the bible and draw near to God’s Spirit.  Rather than simply reading words on a page or listening to a sermon, the visual and tactile elements of Godly Play with its emphasis on space for genuine wondering, have opened up ways of being with God that bring so much depth to my Christian discipleship.Beyond the brief presentations at Upper Room worship during Advent, this upcoming Godly Play afternoon will have the rhythm of a typical complete Godly Play session.  This includes: gathering/preparing for the session’s presentation, bible storytelling with 3D objects,  a whole group conversation wondering about the presented story, individual work time for further personal reflection with God – this may include journaling, drawing/coloring/painting, walking outdoors, and more – then regathering to share what arose during time alone with God, especially any prayer requests to briefly lift up together, eating some small bits of food together, thoughtfully closing with expressions of appreciation and blessing.We hope an afternoon of Godly Play will refresh and nurture all of you, mind, body, soul and spirit, preparing you for greater love with whoever crosses your path on Valentine’s Day.
Please email Dave if you are interested!

chURch News 1.16.16: MLK Jr. Day Events, Science Sunday School, Ash Wednesday Service

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Events with Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Sunday, January 17th at 3:30pm. | 616 N. Highland Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15206

David J. Garrow, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, will present the annual Kelso Lecture in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Sun., Jan. 17 at 3:30 p.m. Garrow will speak on the theme “The Political Evolution of MLK.” It is important to appreciate how hugely Dr. King’s political views evolved between 1955 and 1968, and particularly how they changed during the last five years of his life. Within two years of King’s 1963 “I Have A Dream” speech at the March on Washington, he began to feel increasingly pessimistic about both America’s behavior in the world and the prospects for any further social justice progress on the US domestic scene. The Kelso Lecture is a celebration of Dr. King’s accomplishments and hopes for the future. The event is held in cooperation with the East End Cooperative Ministry and Morningside Church of God in Christ. The lecture is free and open to the public. Learn more.

Sunday School Series: Enhancing Our Faith through Scientific Knowledge

Sunday Mornings, January 10 – February 7 @ 9:30am | 5828 Forward Ave.

With God’s Word, He created our world.  In this study, we explore how God’s Word is revealed to us, both through Scripture and through His creation.  To accomplish this, we will draw from science, the systematic study of God’s creation.  While science is often placed in opposition to Christian faith, in this five-week study facilitated by Mike Lipschultz, we will discover how it can actually deepen our faith.  There is no science background prerequisite for this class.

Ash Wednesday
Wednesday, February 10 @ 7am-7:45am | 5828 Forward Ave.

As Christians, we believe that true joy and transformation is preceded by repentance. So before celebrating the joy of Jesus’ resurrection and the transformation that is ours in his death and resurrection at Easter, we first prepare with a season of penitence and fasting called Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday. As a community, we’ll begin Ash Wednesday, and the season of Lent, with a “solemn assembly” early in the morning. The service will include time to commit personally to Lenten disciplines God is calling you to take on, and also the imposition of Ashes. Throughout Scripture, the people of God lay in and cover themselves in ashes as a visible and public sign of repentance. We’ll mark our foreheads in ashes with the sign of the cross, a visible sign of our repentance to those who see us during the day.

chURch News 1.6.16: Epiphany Potluck and Worship, Science Sunday School, Bible Study

Epiphany Potluck and Worship -TONIGHT
Wednesday, January 6 @ 6pm | Mike and Rachel’s Home
(Email church@pghupperroom.com to request the address)

After the 12 days of Christmas comes Epiphany, the day the church celebrates the magi who followed the star to discover and worship the Christ child. There are two pieces to the story that the Church lifts up in it’s celebration:
- the magi were the first Gentiles to worship Christ. And so the Church celebrates that Christ has been revealed as Lord of every nation.
- the magi were welcomed by Mary and Joseph into their home, and so the church celebrates the gift of hospitality, and prays blessings over households.
We’ll celebrate this feast day by gathering and Michael Lipschultz and Rachel Luckenbill’s home in Stanton Heights for a potluck dinner and a time of worship. Customary to Epiphany, our worship will close with a time of blessing water for holy use, and then using the water to bless the home of our hosts. Then everyone will have an opportunity to take some of the holy water home with them to bless their own homes. We hope you can join us tomorrow evening for dinner and worship!

Sunday School Series: Enhancing Our Faith through Scientific Knowledge

Sunday Mornings, January 10 – February 7 @ 9:30am | 5828 Forward Ave.

With God’s Word, He created our world.  In this study, we explore how God’s Word is revealed to us, both through Scripture and through His creation.  To accomplish this, we will draw from science, the systematic study of God’s creation.  While science is often placed in opposition to Christian faith, in this five-week study facilitated by Mike Lipschultz, we will discover how it can actually deepen our faith.  There is no science background prerequisite for this class.

Inductive Bible Study Restarts Tuesday Jan 12!
Tuesday Evenings at 7pm | Jane L’s Apartment

Bible Study will continue in 2016 at a new time in new locations. We will be meeting at 7 PM on Tuesdays now and will be rotating locations on a per month basis. We will be going through the book of Mark.For this month, we will be meeting at Jane Larson’s apartment. For details on her address, please email church@pghupperroom.com. Hope to see you there!

Ephiphany Potluck and Worship – January 6th, 6:00pm

Epiphany Potluck and Worship

Wednesday, January 6 @ 6pm | Mike and Rachel’s Home in Morningside

After the 12 days of Christmas comes Epiphany, the day the church celebrates the magi who followed the star to discover and worship the Christ child. There are two pieces to the story that the Church lifts up in it’s celebration:
 - the Magi were the first Gentiles to worship Christ. And so the Church celebrates that Christ has been revealed as Lord of every nation.
- the Magi were welcomed by Mary and Joseph into their home, and so the church celebrates the gift of hospitality, and prays blessings over households.
We’ll celebrate this feast day by gathering and Michael Lipschultz and Rachel Luckenbill’s home in Morningside for a potluck dinner and a time of worship. Contact church@pghupperoom.com for directions.
Customary to Epiphany, our worship will close with a time of blessing water for holy use, and then using the water to bless the home of our hosts. Then everyone will have an opportunity to take some of the holy water home with them to bless their own homes.

Christmas Eve at The Upper Room – 6:00pm

This year on Christmas Eve, we’ll have a special worship service based on the King’s College Nine Lessons and Carols Service. The liturgy of this service includes Scripture and music that moves us from God’s promise in Genesis 3 that the “woman’s seed” will crush the head of the serpent, to the messianic prophecies of Isaiah, to the story of Christmas in Luke and Matthew, and finally the unfolding of the mystery of the incarnation in John 1. Our liturgy will move us on from the mystery of the Incarnation to the mystery of the Eucharist, and will include visual engagement with an icon of the Nativity. We know that many of you leave town for Christmas, but if you are here, we hope you’ll join us in praising God for the gift of His Son, and sitting in awe at the mystery of God becoming flesh.