Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Bridging the Word and the World

4/19 2012

Guest Speakers: Formation for Students and the Community

There is a lot happening on our campus next week. It’s amazing how our little corner of Western Pennsylvania on the PTS campus, draws guests from around the country and the world. These guests are leaders in the church, biblical scholars, biblical archaeologists, missionaries, and leaders in the community advocating for justice. Guests come to this campus to share their work and what they are doing in their specific corner of God’s Kingdom.

The presentations are always thought provoking and engaging. Yet, something beyond just hearing happens at the many events that take place here. These presentations often illicit a transformation – coupled with a spirit of action. Ministry partnerships are born out of these events. As students, we are always welcomed and encouraged to participate in the lectures and conferences. In doing so, our education takes on a more enriched quality. Hearing about the faithful work of others deepens our own sense of call and in some cases clarifies it. So, take a moment and mark your calendars for these upcoming events!

Archaeology Lecture Explores Beekeeping: Pittsburgh Theological Seminary will host archaeologist Amahai Mazar Mon., April 23, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. as he examines the role of beekeeping within ancient Israel and its significance to understanding the use of honey and wax production there and in the surrounding regions. Mazar is the Eleazar Sukenik Chair in the Archaeology of Israel at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The Seminary will host its annual Albright-Deering Lectures in Methodist Studies Thurs., April 26, 2012 and the The J. Hubert Henderson Conference on Church and Ministry Fri., April 27, 2012. These lectures are free and open to the public. Edward P. Wimberly, Jarena Lee Professor of Pastoral Care at Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta, Ga., will present two lectures on the theme “No Shame in Wesley’s Gospel: A 21st Century Pastoral Theology.” Special lectures include “No Shame in Wesley’s Gospel: The Shame Factor” at 2:00 p.m. and “Public Theology, Civil Rights, and the Wesleyan Spirit” at 3:45 p.m. The Henderson Lectures will feature keynoter R. Gustav Niebuhr, associate professor in religion and the media at Syracuse University. He will address “The Church and the News Media: A Difficult, Necessary, and Inseparable Relationship.” Lectures include “Bound Together by the First Amendment” at 11:00 a.m., “The Problem of Differing Directions in Storytelling” at 2:00 p.m., and “Common Challenges in Contemporary Culture” at 4:00 p.m.

Melanie, Senior MDiv student


4/5 2012

Stations of the Cross on Good Friday

The Open Door (a Church Plant started by two PTS graduates) is sponsoring the Stations of the Cross Art Exhibition on Good Friday. One of our own students, Will Jackson, has an original piece that will be presented. The station that he has chosen is the one in which Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns. This piece will reflect the pain and suffering that goes on in the world. It will reflect the nations, thus he gives it the title, Missio Dei, or the Mission of God. He will be presenting an airbrushed scroll which will be newly unveiled for the community.

By His Wounds is an invitation for artists to participate in The Open Door’s 7th annual Stations of the Cross exhibition, on view Friday, April 6, 2012, 11:00 a.m.- 9:00 p.m. at the Union Project 801 (N. Negley Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15206). Held on Good Friday each year, this exhibition is intended to encourage contemplation and artistic response to the last hours of Jesus’ life, leading up to his crucifixion. By His Wounds invites artists to create works in response to one of the traditional Stations of the Cross. In doing so, artists are welcomed to consider the reality and cost of suffering — both personal and global, as well as its transformative (and even healing) power. Artists are encouraged to consider how such suffering intersects with the wounds of Jesus. All attendees of the exhibition are invited to engage the works on view and participate in a collaborative artwork. This exhibition is free and open to the public. It will be featured as part of the First Friday art gallery openings.

The Rev. John C. Welch, MDiv graduate, and Vice President for Student Services and Dean of Students


3/1 2012

Lenten Reflections








How does one observe Lent? This question seems to be in conversations all around me. Many of my friends have gone off the grid so to speak – relinquishing all modes of social media communication. Others have given up meat, dessert, or shopping – the list goes on. Still others have decided to devote more time to cultivating the classic Lenten disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

What I love about each of the seasons in the Church Calendar is just how unifying they truly are. As the Church observes, remembers, and celebrates the events that each season points to, the Church is upholding the Lordship of Jesus Christ. We set aside the differences that often plague the Church and come together centered in and on Christ. It’s not about us. It is always about Jesus Christ. Lent is about examining ourselves and being reminded that we are utterly dependent upon God alone. So, whether one aims to deny the self or give of one self in this season of Lent, we can agree that the sole purpose of it all is to draw closer to God through Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Apparently even the World Wide Web has been inculturated to prepare for Easter! Here is a wonderful resource that I came across online which engages all of in our Lenten disciplines. Lent 2012: Lenten Fast With Prayers, Poems, Reflections Prepares For Easter. I leave you with today’s prayer by the Archbishop Desmund Tutu.

Disturb us, O Lord

when we are too well-pleased with ourselves
when our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little,
because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, O Lord

when with the abundance of things we possess,
we have lost our thirst for the water of life
when, having fallen in love with time,
we have ceased to dream of eternity
and in our efforts to build a new earth,
we have allowed our vision of Heaven to grow dim.

Stir us, O Lord

to dare more boldly, to venture into wider seas
where storms show Thy mastery,
where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars.

In the name of Him who pushed back the horizons of our hopes
and invited the brave to follow.


Melanie, senior MDiv student at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

1 2 3 4