Emergent Pittsburgh

This is the discussion blog of the emerging/missional church in the Pittsburgh area. We will use this blog as a place to continue our monthly conversations.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

New Website

Please follow Emergent Pittsburgh at its new website and join in the conversation...

Emergent Pittsburgh

Thanks to Brian Wallace for all his efforts in getting the new site up and running. Well done, Brian!

Grace and Peace - Terry Timm

Monday, April 03, 2006

Opportunity for Study

The Foundation for Reformed Theology is looking to start a new study group here in Pittsburgh! The Foundation, which was founded to honor the memory of John Leith, provides funding for individuals to gather and study Reformed Theology.

This group would focus on reformed theology in the emerging/missional/post-modern/post-colonial era, selecting from authors such as Lesslie Newbigin, David Bosch, NT Wright, Miroslav Volf, Jurgen Moltmann, Darrell Guder, John Franke, William Stacey Johnson, Walter Brueggemann, Nancey Murphy, Kendra Creasy Dean, etc. as well as inviting featured guests to guide our conversations.

If you are interested in being part of such a group, please email Brian Wallace (brian.wallace@gmail.com) for more information.

About the Foundation for Reformed Theology:

The Foundation for Reformed Theology was founded to honor the legacy of John Leith. Dr. John Haddon Leith, was professor of theology at Union-PSCE from 1959 to 1990 who was named the M.E. Pemberton Professor of Theology in 1972. At retirement Leith became professor emeritus and died in 2002. He is the author of a number of books, including Introduction to the Reformed Tradition: A Way of Being in the Christian Community" and "Basic Christian Doctrine".

About the Foundation's Financial Support for meetings:

The Fund pays up to $300 for travel expenses, $40 per night for five nights in seminary rooms or $50 per night for five nights for hotel rooms, and a $25 per diem for five days for meals. Individuals pick up the rest of the expenses, usually from continuing education money Normally, each participant turns in an expense voucher and is reimbursed.”

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Join Us for the Conversaion with Michael Frost

The Pittsburgh Emergent Cohort is pleased to announce:

A Day of Conversation about the Missional Church in North America with Michael Frost, Australia's preeminent missional thinker and practitioner

Saturday, March 25th from 9 am - 3 pm
At Pittsburgh Presbytery, 901 Allegheny Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15233
Cost $35 (pay at the door & lunch on your own)
For more information contact BJ Woodworth at bj@pghopendoor.org

Michael Frost is the Founding Director of Centre for Evangelism & Global Mission at Morling Theological College in Sydney. He is one of Australia's most widely recognized evangelists and conference speakers, having spoken at some of Australia's largest conventions and events as well as at conferences in the United States and parts of Asia and Africa. Michael is the author of six books including, The Shaping of Things to Come (2003) co-authored with Alan Hirsch and Exiles in a Post-Christendom Empire (forthcoming spring 2006 from Hendrickson). He is strongly committed to leadership development and has been the co-director in the establishment of Forge, a missional training network for young leaders based in Melbourne. He is on the board of the Australian Arrow Leadership Development Program. Michael has also recently planted a missional church on Sydney's northern beaches called Small Boat Big Sea. Michael lives in Sydney's northern beaches area with his wife Carolyn (a marriage and family counselor) and their three daughters Courtney, Kendall and Fielding.

Friday, March 03, 2006


Join us for a day with Michael Frost (co-author of The Shaping of Things to Come) on Saturday March 25 from 9 AM-3 PM. The event will take place at the Pittsburgh Presbytery offices on the Northside of Pittsburgh. Cost is $35.

More details to follow soon...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


The following reflection is from Lauren from the Open Door community.

On Thursday I was blessed to attend a discussion on the Emerging/Missional Church in Pittsburgh. It was a really exciting discussion, with people from the “traditional” (several people from the Pittsburgh Presbytery, etc.) as well as the “emergent” church. I myself was there as a member of the Open Door. Before the meeting, I was a little intimidated and unsure if I would get anything out of it. The discussion mainly centered around the theology of the missional church, and I am a far cry from a theologian, or even a theology student. Thankfully, the discussion stayed at a lay person’s level of understanding!

Although the conversation covered many topics, I was struck by a common theme: the connection between the traditional and missional church. Pittsburgh’s own emergent movement seems to be borne from and supported by the traditional church in a very holy way. The traditional church has given life and support to several of the emerging churches in Pittsburgh. Although there is certainly tension and frustration on both sides of the fence, there is an honesty and a willingness to share that frustration. People at the meeting were comfortable talking about the personal frustrations and difficulties they have had with the traditional church model; on the flip side, members of the traditional church offered experience and insight into the process of forming a new church. I was struck by what a safe environment we have created for sharing, and that is the only way to get to the Truth. That love and honesty is a model of Christ’s love, and it allows the Holy Spirit to shape the movement in a way defensiveness and aggressiveness could not.

I am so personally grateful for this sharing and support and challenges that are happening on both sides of the fence. To totally discount and invalidate either way of church is, I believe, not holy and will do more to tear down Christianity in the eyes of not-yet-Christians. We are on a journey, and I am excited about approaching it with a group of believers who believe they don’t have all the answers, with a group that believes in change, with a group that believes in focusing on the mission field that is our neighborhood. I look forward to continuing the conversation!

Join in the conversation...

Monday, February 13, 2006


It was to great to gather together last Thursday to dialogue with John Franke and one another around emerging church issues.

Over the next week or so we want to share some personal reflections on the experience, along with providing some space for the conversation to continue to unfold. If you would be willing to share something of your experience, let me know via email (terry@cccsh.org).

For me, one of the things that resonated most was John's description of leadership in environmental terms. What does a movement away from leader as "theologian in residence" or "CEO" mean in a community of faith (or a seminary setting might I dare ask)? What kinds of mindsets and heartsets need to be embraced, nurtured, and developed to see this kind of leadership unleashed in the Body of Christ? What do you think?

Thanks to Brian Wallace for all his work on bringing John to Pittsburgh. If you missed any of the events you can listen to podcasts of the conversations here...

Grace and Peace - Terry Timm

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Emerging Conversation about the Emerging Church in Pittsburgh

God is on the move; the winds of the Spirit are blowing through our region. Can you feel it? Do you see it? Are you a part of it?

I hope you will add your voice to the ongoing conversation about the emerging church in the greater Pittsburgh region.

On February 9 we will have a great opportunity to connect with one another and engage in some quality conversation about the shape of the emerging church in our part of the world. John Franke, author and faculty member at Biblical Seminary, will be in Pittsburgh for a number of important gatherings.

There are events during the afternoon at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and an evening gathering at the Open Door (contact BJ Woodworth at bj@pghopendoor.org).

Our hope, prayer, and commitment to catalyst this experience and leverage the energy as we seek the shape of the movement in the days ahead. That might include things like more regular gatherings and missional orders (and may not for that matter), but we truly need your input and ideas. If you would like to be a part of that process, I would love to hear from you.

Grace and Peace,

Terry Timm