Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Bridging the Word and the World

10/27 2014

The good news is…


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good-news1Most of the stories we hear about tend to be the negative ones. There are lots of reasons for that. Self-proclaimed “Media Manipulator” Ryan Holiday attributes some of that negativity to the decline of “subscription based” news outlets. The loudest, scariest, most negative stories grab attention.

But sometimes, great stuff happens. We just don’t hear about it because the bad news is louder.

Some really cool stuff happened in the Church this week that wasn’t particularly loud. You probably didn’t hear about it, so I want to share some of it with you. Some of it happened in Africa, some of it happened in Italy, and some of it happened just outside Pittsburgh.

First, a Presbyterian pastor and infectious disease specialist was sent to Sierra Leone to help in the response to Ebola. He describes the struggles with educating people about safe practices, monitoring health scares, and even working to make sure the money sent to help actually gets to the right places.

Second, an Italian priest decided to ignore death threats and continue his work against organized crime. He decided that the need for faithful cultural change was greater than his need for safety. And by the way, his greatest fear is for the safety of escorts who have been assigned to protect him.

Third, right here in Western Pennsylvania, the Central Presbyterian Church in Tarentum just celebrated 125 years of ministry. Pittsburgh Seminary’s own Don Dawson, of the World Mission Initiative, was part of the celebration. Central Presbyterian was founded in 1888. To put this in perspective for you, Montana, Washington, North Dakota, and South Dakota didn’t become states until 1889. Central Presbyterian has been doing ministry longer than Montana’s been a state. Happy Birthday, Central Pres!

There are three quiet pieces of “good news” about what the Church is up to! Next time you hear all the negative stuff, take a second to search for stories like these. Or share something great with us that your church is doing. Maybe next time we’ll include you in the “good news.”

Written by the Rev. Derek Davenport ’05, director of enrollment and program co-director of the Miller Summer Youth Institute at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Derek is also an alumnus of the Master of Divinity (MDiv) Program. He researches church symbolism on his website www.preachingsymbols.com.

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