chURch news 8/20/15

By | August 20, 2015

Pray for 72
Daily @ 10:02am

As we’ve worked our way through Luke 9-12 in our Sunday worship, we recently spent time in the beginning of Luke 10. In Luke 10:2, Jesus tells 72 disciples to pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send out laborers into his harvest field.

As we began preparing for this sermon series, Chris felt especially convicted to pray for God to increase our numbers at Upper Room to 72 members. He invited the elders to join him in that, and we now invite all of you to join us, too.

Since we’ll be praying according to Luke 10:2, we invite you to set a daily reminder on your phone for 10:02am to ask the Lord of the Harvest to send out more laborers, and to increase our numbers to 72 members.

I’m also excited to report that our brothers and sisters at Congregation Shoresh David in Monroeville have also begun to intercede on our behalf for this.

So, let’s start asking for 72, and see what the Lord of the Harvest does when we pray to him earnestly.

PRISM Garage Giveaway
THIS SATURDAY | Bellefield Presbyterian Church in Oakland

This Saturday PRISM is holding their annual Garage Giveaway at Bellefield Church in Oakland, an event where close to 500 new international students will each be able to take home free furniture and household items. If you would like to volunteer at the event (they need people to help the students carry items through the church and they need individuals who own trucks) or in the days before the event (PRISM is looking for volunteers to help sort donated items) please let Rachel Luckenbill know as soon as possible.

Help Us Show Hospitality
Sunday Mornings @ 10:41am | 5828 Forward Ave.

We’re entering a season in which many people move into our neighborhood and visit Upper Room for the first time. We want their experience with us to be one in which they experience God’s love through our community. To facilitate that, the Upper Room elders invite all of us to take on some practices of intentional hospitality:

1. Come to worship early. Many first time visitors arrive early for worship before many of us members and “regulars” get there. It’s hard to create a welcoming environment without people to do the welcoming. We’ve set the goal for this month for all members and regular attenders to arrive by 10:41amto be well prepared to welcome guests.

2. Wear a name tag. This saves guests the embarrassment of forgetting your name after you introduce yourself. Our hospitality team has set up a table with name tags and some info about the churchimmediately to the right as you enter 5828 Forward.

3. Greet people you don’t know. When you see a first time visitor, take the initiative to introduce yourself. Point out where the name tag table is. Offer to get them a cup of coffee. And get to know more about them, and introduce them to some others in the community.

4. Sit with a stranger. When you enter the worship space, if you see someone sitting alone, sit with them. Make sure they have a bulletin. Ask about the style(s) of worship they’re used to, and explain a bit about how we worship, and how you experience God through it. Keep getting to know them.

Welcome BBQ
Sunday August 30 Immediately Following Worship (about 12:30pm | 5828 Forward Ave.

We are having a BBQ right after the church service out on the sidewalk in front of the church to welcome new visitors and celebrate the beginning of the new school year.

We need volunteers to help set-up and clean-up as well as to bring sides/desserts/drinks (pot-luck style!) to complement the standard BBQ fare of burgers/hot dogs.

Please sign-up here to volunteer to help/bring stuff.

Contact Jeff if you have any questions or comments.

New Members Class
Sunday Mornings @ 9:30am, September 20-November 1 | 5828 Forward Ave.

We live in a culture in which the word membership is pretty cheap. We can become members of plenty of groups an organizations with a few mouse clicks and maybe the payment of a small fee.

Church membership isn’t like other memberships, though. Church membership is a spiritual commitment. It’s a way of saying “Yes” to Christ’s call to follow him in the particular place and time you find yourself. It’s also a way expressing your commitment to your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Our membership class is intended to help you make these commitments thoughtfully and intentionally through reading Scripture, group discussion, and several other activities.

Our next membership class will begin on September 20, and proceed for seven Sundays, ending on November 1. In addition to classes on Sundaymorning, participants will be asked to do some Bible reading and some writing during the week.

For more information, or to sign up, send an email to

Free Lecture: The Church Rediscovered Through Mission: Characteristics of a Mission-Shaped Church
Monday, September 21 @ 7:30pm | Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

What are the characteristics of an authentic church? How can the local church be recognizably the churchof Jesus Christ, as seen down the centuries, but also be authentic to its local context? These questions and more will be explored by Graham Cray at the free McClure Lectures in World Mission and Evangelism at Pittsburgh Seminary.

Bishop Graham Cray was educated at Leeds University and St. John’s College, Nottingham, before beginning his ministry as a curate of St. Mark’s Church, Gillingham. Cray later spent 14 years at St. Michael-le-Belfry in York before becoming princpal of Ridley Hall Theological College in Cambridge and later the Bishop of Mainstone in 2001. In 2009, he was appointed to lead the Archbishops’ (of Canterbury and of York) Fresh Expressions team. Fresh Expressions is a movement established by the Church of England the Methodist Church to pioneer new congregations and churches that appeal to people who have never attended church or those who are not attracted to traditional styles of church. Bishop Cray retired from full-time ministry and from his position as Archbishop’s Missioner in 2014. He is currently Honorary Bishop of the Diocese of York in the United Kingdom.

These lectures are free and open to the public, and can be a great benefit to our community as we seek to be more and more faithful to Christ and his call on us to be the church for Squirrel Hill.

Conference: Members of God’s Household: Planting Churches in Multicultural Contexts
Tuesday-Wednesday, September 22-23 | Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

In the Apostle Paul’s vision, the Church is a unified body of Jews and Gentiles. We’re a people among whom Christ has “broken down the dividing wall of hostility,” reconciling differing ethnic groups and cultures. Now, just as in the first century, church-plants like the Upper Room are called to bear witness to Christ’s destruction of our divisions and his establishment of a new family. But in a social context where racism and racial injustice are endemic, how do we plant churches that bear witness to the reconciling love of Jesus Christ?

The Church Planting Initiative at Pittsburgh Seminary (led by our own co-pastor Chris Brown) invites us to hear responses from faithful and experienced leaders of multicultural church communities at this two-day conference.

For more information, or to register, click here.

All Church Retreat: Save the Date and Call for Volunteers
October 17-18 | Jumonville Camp and Conference Center

Save the date for our upcoming fall retreat from Saturday to Sunday, October 17-18th! It will be a wonderful time of fellowship, rest, prayer and worship together.

If you are interested in being part of the retreat planning team (especially organizing food and activities), please contact Jeffery.