Tuesday, April 14
In the heart of one of Pittsburgh’s most distressed neighborhoods, Presbyterians have banded together to proclaim the gospel in word and deed, just where it’s needed most. Several years ago, Rev. Eugene and Dina Blackwell felt stirred to reach out to the people on local streets long ravaged by the kind of violence that too often makes the news.
Pittsburgh Presbytery joined with the Blackwells to launch a new ministry, House of Manna, in 2010. In addition to gathering neighborhood folk each week for meals, prayer, and teaching, the Blackwells enlisted the financial and volunteer support of several of Pittsburgh Presbytery’s 143 congregations. A vision emerged for what has become the Homewood Renaissance Association—Christians refurbishing neighborhood homes, offering apprenticeships in construction to the unemployed and underemployed, and providing shelters for the homeless. A local bank donated a building that was formerly a store to be the home for House of Manna’s worship and Homewood Renaissance’s offices.
For five years, the Blackwells have invited people who want to make a difference in Homewood to join local residents in marching through the community on Good Friday to proclaim the good news of peace to this community long assailed by violence. On Good Friday 2014, that message was underscored powerfully as Rev. Blackwell rose for the first time in several months to speak publicly after having undergone surgery to remove a massive cancerous tumor from his thigh. He simply recited Psalm 91, a powerful declaration of God’s care for him through his personal trial and a declaration of hope for his beloved neighborhood.
—Rev. Dr. Sheldon Sorge, general minister, Pittsburgh Presbytery
Let us join in prayer for:
Elder Kears Pollock, member, PMA Board
Rev. Dr. Sheldon Sorge, general minister
Rev. Dr. Douglas Portz, senior associate minister
Rev. Dr. Beverly James, associate minister for discipleship
Rev. Ayana Teter, associate minister for outreach
Rev. Jeff Tindall, stated clerk
Rev. Betty Angelini, executive director, Crestfield Camp and Conference Center
Elder Roy Burford, business administrator
Lana Dumrauf, administrative assistant, senior assistant stated clerk
Elder Cindy Miller, administrative assistant
Elder Cathy Nelson, administrative assistant
Kenny Summers, custodian
Dorothy Winter, financial secretary
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Rosemary Gallagher, BOP
Ricky Galvan, PMA
Let us pray
God of mercy, in tender compassion bring your peace to all who suffer violence. Make whole those who are broken, and use us as your Spirit’s instruments of healing, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.