The South Side Messenger (November-December Newsletter)
Upcoming Special Dates
November 5 Daylight Savings Ends: turn your clocks back one hour November 7 Election Day: our church is a polling place November 9 Open Mic Coffee House: 7:30 – 9:00 pm – suggested donation $5 November 11 Veterans Day November 19 Stewardship Sunday November 23 Thanksgiving Day November 25 South Side Small Business Holiday Market (the church will participate in this inside event – come and see – 10 am – 3 pm) November 26 Decorate Church for Christmas after Worship Service December 3 First Sunday of Advent and Congregational Meeting December 14 Open Mic Coffee House: 7:30 – 9:00 pm – suggested donation $5 December 21 First day of winter December 24 Christmas Eve: worship service at 11:30 am and Christmas Eve Service at 7:30 pm December 25 Christmas Day – Hospitality on Christmas Morning at the Church (music, blessings, cocoa’n) at 10:30-11:30 am with Pastor Dora and Wayne
A Message From The Pastor
Borrowing from Paul writing in 1 Thessalonians 2.1-8: “So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.”
Dear People of God, I am blessed to be serving as your new pastor and to call SSPC my new church home. It’s been a busy two months since 1 September. I feel the Holy Spirit working in and through this church and pray that we will grow and thrive together. It has been good getting to know those of you who can attend on Sunday or join in prayers through the phone. Through calls and written notes, I have been able to reach out to many of the rest of you and look forward to more of the same. Though scattered, we are still one community through the gathering of the Holy Spirit.
I am proud of the way SSPC is part of the South Side Community. Not only through our relationship with Brashear and with AA meetings, but through the monthly Open Mic. We had a good group of poets, both in September and October, and musicians too! It’s a safe space for sharing that is not restricted or judged. Energy was high; we simply had fun! We continue to be a Polling Place for the community, providing in this way a familiar place for people to come and support our democracy. What the community may not realize is the effort it takes to sustain this.
Because I have wanted to get to know our larger South Side Community, I accepted an invitation, provided through your former pastor Kathy Hamilton-Vargo, to attend the South Side Planning Forum with community leaders, on zoom, and then the Neighbor Night sponsored by the South Side Community Action Network (SS CAN). At both meetings, I heard serious discussion about how to strengthen the South Side community, to make it a safer place to live, work, shop, and visit. At SS CAN especially, since it was in person, I had a chance for some good conversation.
And we have much to offer one another. My prayer is that we will get to know one another more fully and share our faith journeys in any number of ways—including doubts and questions that do not need to be buried. Do not hesitate to be in touch with me; leave voice mails please on the office phone and I’ll respond as soon as I can. And please, in this time of tragedy, not only in Ukraine but in Palestine and Israel, let us use prayer as our weapon to replace hate and fear with the love and the strength that we learn from Christ.
Grace all ways, Pastor Dora
Please Keep In Your Prayers
Special prayers are requested for Sharon Ives for her vein procedure which has been postponed. Please continue to keep in your prayers Dorothy Perrucci, Lois Baxendell, Christine Zarnich, Charolette Flamm, Janet and Jerry Bauer, Amanda Gordon, Juanita Johnson, Charlotte Taylor, Janet Frisch, Sharon A. Ives and her sister Janet Williams, Edna Czlapinski, Michelle Alker, and Sandra Winer.
Deacons Christmas Toys For Children of Needy Families In Our Community
Applications are still being accepted and if you wish to request a Christmas toy for a child call the church office at 412-431-0118 and leave your name and address so that an application can be mailed to you. The deadline for applying for a toy has been extended to November 13, 2023.
Stewardship Sunday, November 19, gives us all an opportunity to commit some financial support for our church. This is not legally binding should you need to adjust what you pledge. Knowing what may come in does allow us, like any good household, to plan ahead and to support the ongoing needs of our church and its growing ministry. Your heart will guide your generosity-whatever it can be is entirely up to you. In the words of our Christmas hymn: “If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;/ if I were a wise man, I would do my part;/ yet what I can I give Him.”
Save The Date - November 25th, 2023
Please plan to attend the South Side Small Business Holiday Market on November 25, 2023 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm located at the Velum building, 2120 Jane St. 15203 (South Side). This market is a family friendly gift to the community and a way to encourage interest in the South Side as a viable place for artisans and retailers. On this date our church will have a table to sell advent calendars and beeswax candles. We hope to see you on the 25th !
Blessing of The Animals
For Sunday Worship on October 8, we celebrated the gift of living creatures and of the environment though the lens of St. Francis, their traditional patron. The service is usually held as close to October 4 as possible. Worshippers were invited and any friends they might muster– to bring in companion animals such as dogs and cats to receive a blessing.
Thanksgiving Dinner at Our Church
Once more, we have approved the AA group to use our church for their wonderful, annual Thanksgiving Dinner. All are invited, doors will open to the public at 9 am with donuts and coffee provided to the early birds. An inspiring speaker will present at 11 am with lunch served from noon until 1 and clean up from 2:30 to 3:00. The mission is to feed and welcome the larger community together with the recovery community on a day when no one should be alone, and to provide a safe sense of home.
MAY THIS THANKSGIVING TIME BLESS YOU IN WAYS YOU HAD NOT IMAGINED!
Candied Walnuts ¼ C packed brown sugar 1 teaspoon fine sea salt 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne 1 egg white 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 4 cups (12 ounces) raw walnut halves
Heat oven to 300F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne until combined. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together egg white and vanilla until combined. Add walnuts and toss until they are evenly coated with the egg white mixture. Add the brown sugar mixture and toss until walnuts are evenly coated.
Spread walnuts in an even layer on the baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes. Remove sheet from oven and give the walnuts a brief stir. Return to the oven for 20 minutes more. Cool 10 minutes. Prep time 10 min; cook time 40 mins; total time 50 mins; yield happiness.
Christmas morning can be a lonely time. Pastor Dora, along with Elder Wayne, intend to be on the front steps from 10:30 to 11:30, sun or snow, to offer Hospitality and Fellowship with music, blessings, cocoa’n. Join us!
The first week of the four-week Advent season will begin on Sunday, December 3rd and take us right to Christmas Eve on Sunday, December 24. We will mark the weeks by lighting the candles in our Advent Wreath, Sunday by Sunday. This holy time, by-passed by the commercial world, is a time of preparation, allowing us to ready ourselves, to make of our hearts a cradle fit to hold our precious Christ Baby.
Open Mic Coffee House for November and December
Open Mic Coffee House for November and December will be held on the 2 nd Thursday of the month from 7:30 - 9:00 pm (November 9 th, December 14 th ). Suggested donation--$5. Refreshments are free and there will be plenty of time for fellowship.
If you would like to share your talent with others or know of someone who might want to share their talent in either the November or December Coffee House, please call Mike at 412-327-5498 or email him at email@example.com.
Bouquets of Thank You
Special thanks to Charlotte Pyle for tuning our piano and filling in as our musician in Waynes’ absence while he was on vacation. We also give a special thanks to Meg Booth for designing and preparing the Open Mic flyer.