"We are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building." 1 Cor 3:9
Pittsburgh Area Lutheran Ministries
Annual Report 2020
Our purpose and mission
Pittsburgh Area Lutheran Ministries was incorporated to assist the member congregations in their various ministries and foster, encourage and expedite those activities too large or too comprehensive for one congregation, such as missions, publications, chaplaincies, etc.
PALM's Mission Includes:
The initiation of new congregations and ministries.
The support of new ministries or of ministries that are inherently unable to support themselves.
The publication of periodicals and special information letters for reporting on the work and affairs of the organization or of its constituents.
The conducting of joint celebratory worship services and other meetings involving all or several of the members.
The management of local assets owned jointly by the members or by entities within the LCMS.
The preparation, maintenance and publishing of calendars and/or schedules to minimize conflicts and interference among entities found within the Pittsburgh Area Community of member congregations.
The collection of contributions from member congregations, from individuals, from Trusts and Foundations and from any other appropriate source for the support of the organization’s activities.
The allocation of available resources among prospective and existing ministries.
The application of criteria established by the appropriate District of the LCMS to allocation of funds given by that district.
Who would have thought, one year ago, that 2019-2020 would be the kind of year that it has been? No one imagined that we would have seen the things that we have seen in the past several months! Things have changed in our world and these changes are clearly the presence of our Lord among us!
I am NOT talking about pandemics, financial fluctuations, protests, riots, and political upheaval. Those things, while disruptive and of great concern to us, are temporary and change with the shifting sands of time.
I AM talking about God's work of establishing two new LCMS churches in the Pittsburgh region. On October 6, 2019, St. John's Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Clarksburg, WV was received as a new congregation of the English District of The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. On November 26, 2019 PALM acquired a church building in the Hazelwood neighborhood of the City of Pittsburgh to be the new home of Holy Cross Evangelical-Lutheran Chapel. It was in this chapel that the first Holy Baptism and Divine Service of the mission church took place on Christmas Day and that twenty-seven people were received into membership on the Feast of the Epiphany of our Lord.
Since our delegates last met, the PALM Endowment Fund has been established for the long-term funding of missions in our region. The governance committee has worked diligently to revise our bylaws so that PALM will have a strong legal footing for our work in the years and decades to come.
Have the challenges facing our society had an impact on the work of our missionary efforts in Pittsburgh? They certainly have. The pandemic struck just as new missionary work was beginning in the Cranberry area, halting that effort for at least a little while longer. The pandemic was also a factor that hastened the closing of the Unity After-School Program. But the work of the Lord continues! His mercies never fail. The turmoil in society has brought many to the Church seeking mercy and hope. While the number of children in Homewood has decreased, we have found a new field in which to reach children and families in Hazelwood. North Central West Virginia has been blessed with the outreach work of Pastor Gandy and the people at St. John's Church. We celebrate and learn from our past, looking to the future for the opportunities that the Lord will give us to proclaim His Gospel in Word and deed.
In a world filled with anger, hatred, fear, and despair, we Lutherans have the joy and privilege to bring hope, courage, love, and kindness to our neighbors. PALM exists and stands ready to work with our congregations in doing just that wherever and whenever the Holy Spirit provides us with the opportunity. Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is Himself the Light of the World, promises to us that "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." - Matthew 5:14-16
What a joy and privilege it is to serve the people of the Pittsburgh area with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to celebrate His presence among us! This year, TODAY, is the time of our salvation. "This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." - Psalm 118:24
The Reverend Dr. Douglas H. Spittel
the Lord's mercies never come to an end.
From the President
we will rejoice!
July 6, 2019
Vicar Timothy Kern installed as first full-time missionary to Hazelwood Neighborhood in the City of Pittsburgh.
August 10, 2019
Third Annual Hazelwood Community Day sponsored by PALM.
October 6, 2019
Saint John's Evangelical-Lutheran Church, Clarksburg, WV becomes a congregation of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod.
October 27, 2019
Annual Reformation Service held at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Oakmont, PA.
November 16, 2019
The Rev'd. Amadeus L. Gandy is installed as the first resident pastor of St. John's Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Clarksburg, WV.
November 26, 2019
PALM acquires the former St. Paul's Evangelical-Lutheran Church building on Second Avenue to serve as the new home of Holy Cross Evangelical-Lutheran Chapel, serving Hazelwood.
January 5, 2020
27 Members received at Holy Cross Chapel.
July 5, 2020
Vicar Silas Hasselbrook installed as the second full-time missionary to Hazelwood.
Area and Member Congregations (non-members in italics with *)
Accident - Zion Lutheran Church (Town) and St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church (Cove)*
Albion* – Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
Arnold – John Huss Lutheran Church
Beaver Falls (Chippewa Township) – Mount Olive Lutheran Church
Brentwood – Concordia Lutheran Church
Bridgeville – Zion Lutheran Church
Cabot (Hannahstown) – St. Luke Lutheran Church (Cabot and Butler Sites)
Central City – St. Peter & St. Paul Lutheran Church
Fairhope* – Trinity Lutheran Church of Glen Savage
Forest Hills – Christ Lutheran Church
Freedom (New Sewickley Township) – Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
Glenshaw – Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church
Johnstown – Holy Cross Lutheran Church
McCandless Township – Ascension Lutheran Church
McMurray – Peace Lutheran Church
Millvale – St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church
Monroeville – Trinity Lutheran Church
Morrisdale/Munson* – St. John Lutheran Church
Murrysville – Calvary Lutheran Church
New Castle* – Christ Lutheran Church
New Kensington* – St. Paul Lutheran Church
Oakmont – Redeemer Lutheran Church
Oil City* – Christ Lutheran Church
Penn Hills – Grace Lutheran Church
City of Pittsburgh:
Allegheny – St. Matthew Lutheran Church
Hazelwood* - Holy Cross Evangelical-Lutheran Chapel
Homewood (Brushton) – Unity Community Lutheran Church
Lawrenceville – Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church
Lincoln-Lemington – Faith Lutheran Church
Shadyside/Oakland – First Trinity Evangelical-Lutheran Church
Punxsutawney – Martin Luther Lutheran Church
Sharon – Ss. Peter & Paul Lutheran Church
Slippery Rock – All Saints Lutheran Church
State College and Huntingdon – Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
West View – Mount Calvary Lutheran Church
Whitehall – Good Shepherd Lutheran Church of South Hills
Wilkinsburg – Trinity Lutheran Church of the Deaf
Clarksburg – St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church
The Structure of PALM
Rick Crain - Peace, McMurray
Senior Software Engineer Contractor, University of Pittsburgh
The Rev'd. Brian P. Westgate - Redeemer, Oakmont
Trevor Kemp - St. John's, Millvale INCUMBENT NOMINEE
Software Engineering Manager, Argo AI
David McElroy - Mount Calvary, West View
President, Barnett Davis, Inc.
Justin Spittel - Grace, Penn Hills
Associate Signaling Engineer - Hitachi Rail STS
The Rev'd. Robert E. L. McCanless - Concordia, Brentwood
The Rev'd. Jacob T. Deal - Saints Peter and Paul, Sharon INCUMBENT NOMINEE
Kristi Price - First Trinity, Pittsburgh NOMINEE
Physician Assistant - UPMC
The Rev'd. Dr. Douglas H. Spittel - First Trinity, Pittsburgh
Board of Directors
Banking Services provided by PNC Bank - Pittsburgh, PA
Investment Services provided by Lutheran Church Extension Fund - St. Louis, MO
Investment Services provided by T.D. Ameritrade - Omaha, NE
Endowment Fund management services provided by JFS Wealth Advisors - Pittsburgh, PA
Legal Services provided by Fiffik Law Group, P.C. - Pittsburgh, PA
Auditing Services provided by R. D. Hoag & Associates, LLC - Pittsburgh, PA
Insurance Services provided by Donald Hamm & Sons Insurance, LLC - Carnegie, PA
Insurance Services Provided by GuideOne Insurance - Des Moines, IA
PALM is a silver-level Guidestar participant committed to transparency. PALM's IRS Forms 990 are available at www.GuideStar.org.
Changes to the Board of Directors Since the Last Delegates Meeting
Additions:9/26/19 –Rick Crain, Peace McMurray, English District Representative
Changes to PALM Member Congregations
Activities by the Board of Directors
The Board directed the newly-elected president to write personalized letters to the LCMS Districts represented in the Pittsburgh area, asking them to support or continue to support PALM.
The Board members signed a Conflict of Interest Questionnaire & Affidavit.
The Board passed a Board Confidentiality Policy and then the members signed an Acknowledgment of Policy of Confidentiality.
The Board approved the following 2020 Mission Grants, for a total of $1875.00 –
$375.00 for Good Shepherd State College’s campus ministry, called Revive
$500.00 for Ss. Peter & Paul Sharon’s 2020 Community Day
$1000.00 for Ss. Peter & Paul Sharon’s Preschool for scholarships. Note: This grant was returned due to the temporary closure of the preschool.
The Board authorized the purchase of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hazelwood for the use of Holy Cross Evangelical-Lutheran Mission.
An ad hoc committee was allowed for appointment for the purpose of studying continuation of the work of Unity Community Lutheran Church in Homewood in the event of Pastor McCants’ retirement.
The Board recognized Holy Cross Lutheran Food & Clothing Distribution as a mission of PALM.
The Board allowed for the appointment of an ad hoc committee to work on amendments to the Bylaws and the Articles of Incorporation dealing with the ownership of property and the physical boundaries of PALM’s potential member congregations. Note: The July and August meetings approved the work of this Committee, see below.
The Board directed the Treasurer to contract with an accounting firm to do some level of audit and to file the annual 990 forms.
No new business to report.
No new business to report.
The Board designated the 2020 PALM Sunday Appeal to benefit the PALM Mission Grant Fund and All Saints Lutheran Church & Student Center, Slippery Rock (campus ministry), split evenly.
The Board decided to sponsor an LCMS Stewardship Seminar, to be led by Pastor Heath Curtis, on Monday, September 21. Note: Due to the pandemic, this event may be held in 2021.
The Board approved a Memorandum of Understanding with Davis Consulting Services, which would develop a partnership for DCS to work with PALM at Holy Cross Lutheran Clothing & Food Distribution through the Community2Work program in order to deliver results to job seekers.
No new business to report.
No new business to report.
The Board approved the Governance Committee’s motion of Amendment of the Articles of Incorporation of Pittsburgh Area Lutheran Ministries, to be acted upon by the 2020 Annual Delegates Meeting.
The Board approved the Governance Committee’s motion of Creation of a PALM Board of Directors Policies & Procedures Manual, to be created by the next Board.
The Board approved the Governance Committee’s motion of Revision of the By-Laws of Pittsburgh Area Lutheran Ministries, to be acted upon by the 2020 Annual Delegates Meeting.
Since the annual PALM Sunday offering was not able to be gathered due to the pandemic, the Board resolved to ask the congregations to take this offering before the annual Delegates meeting. All Saints Lutheran Church & Student Center will be the recipient of 100% of this collection. The congregations are asked to bring this offering with them to the Delegates meeting.
The Board resolved to designate the 2020 Reformation Service offering for St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Clarksburg, WV. As is our custom, the Board will ask the delegates to approve this at the annual meeting.
The Board approved the following Mission Grants for the 2021 Mission Grant Cycle, for a total of $1600.00 –
$400.00 for meals for students served by the International Student Ministry of Lutheran Student Fellowship (Pastor Andrae’s Pittsburgh LCMS-U chapter)
$700.00 to the Catechetical Program of Holy Cross Evangelical-Lutheran Chapel of Hazelwood to provide print, online, and audio-visual materials and equipment for in-depth catechesis of youth and adults for the furtherance of the mission church
$500.00 to Ss. Peter & Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sharon for their Community Day 2021.
The Rev'd. Brian Westgate, Secretary
These are difficult times indeed when we find ourselves lost in a new and strange status quo. In the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic many urban congregations, missions, and ministries alike are not able to reach out to others as they had before and, consequently, many congregations have been forced to consider their longevity and their active roles in their communities.
By the grace of God, many of the urban ministries supported by PALM have been resilient in this time of adversity. While many ministries have had to adjust operations in order to conduct themselves safely in a time of social distancing, they continue to reach out to the people of their communities, selflessly serving their bodily and spiritual needs.
Holy Cross Evangelical-Lutheran Chapel - Hazelwood Neighborhood, Pittsburgh, PA
The Holy Cross Evangelical-Lutheran Mission has grown significantly in the last year. The Mission purchased St. Paul’s Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Hazelwood in November 2019, and held its inaugural Divine Service as Holy Cross Evangelical-Lutheran Chapel on 25 December 2019. Holy Cross expanded on its weekly noonday prayers, observing daily prayer and Sunday services. In addition, the biweekly food and clothing outreach operated by the congregation and backed by the Heinz Endowments was chartered as Holy Cross Lutheran Food and Clothing Distribution, a recognized PALM mission, to be led by members who had been grandfathered into the new congregation.
During the first months of national emergency, Pastor Douglas Spittel and Vicar Timothy Kern continued their outreach in whatever ways they could, including live-streaming Divine Services via Facebook Live and continuing to distribute food to the community on a restricted scale.
Vicar Kern completed his vicarage assignment in June 2020, and he was succeeded by Vicar Silas Hasselbrook, a seminarian from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne. His vicarage is administered by PALM with ecclesiastical training and supervision supplied by Pr. Spittel and First Trinity. Vicar Hasselbrook and his wife, Moira, live in Hazelwood, with the “rectory” being only minutes’ walking distance from the church!
Due to the restrictions placed on gatherings due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the fourth annual Community Day, originally slated for 15 August 2020, was canceled. However, members of Holy Cross are considering alternative ways to continue their outreach into the community in these times of isolation.
Thanks to the continuing support and givings of the districts and congregations that support PALM, Holy Cross has become a permanent fixture in the Hazelwood community. Please continue to support this mission with your prayers, time, talent, and treasure as you are able. All glory be to God!
St. John’s Evangelical-Lutheran Church - Clarksburg, WV
PALM has been blessed to aid in the continuing success of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Clarksburg, WV, and in its associated urban ministries, since the constitution of their congregation last year.
In October of 2019, PALM, in part with the Pittsburgh Circuit of the English District, celebrated receiving the St. John’s congregation into fellowship. Soon after, Pr. Amadeus Gandy was called to serve as St. John’s parish pastor. Pr. Gandy has networked with many different groups and organizations to learn the needs of the community and how St. John’s could serve. From homeless shelters to the zealous youth who yearn for the faith, the congregation is reaching out to those individuals in need of hope and truth in such a desperate time.
Please continue to support the saints of St. John's with your prayers, time, talent, and treasure as you are able, and join us in wishing them continued success in the years to come.
Justin Spittel, Urban Ministry Director
A Worker Approved by God:
The Reverend Reholma McCants
In 1986, Unity Community Lutheran Church was established by the Reverend Reholma McCants using property from the former Holy Cross Lutheran Church in the Homewood-Brushton neighborhood of the City of Pittsburgh. For thirty-four years a hallmark of this neighborhood mission has been the after-school program that served the youth. Providing homework assistance, a hot meal, and prayer services in a stable, consistent environment helped generations of young people thrive and come to know the love of Jesus Christ.
Pastor McCants worked tirelessly all of these years serving as pastor, mentor, tutor, chef, and custodian. He could often be found on a Saturday cleaning the building so that it would be ready for the Sunday Divine Service and the following week's after-school program. It is not an overstatement to say that the Holy Spirit worked through the ministry given to Pastor McCants to save many children who have gone on to be faithful Christians and leaders in their communities. Fondly remembered are the Harvest Festival gatherings and smiling faces of the many children who passed through the doors at Unity. Even though Pastor McCants is now retired, the work that our Lord has done through him will continue to bear fruit for generations to come.
Pastor McCants' passion for the work of the Holy Ministry at Unity and his indefatigable promotion of the after-school program developed long-lasting partnerships with other Pittsburgh area LCMS congregations, Concordia Lutheran Ministries, and students from the University of Pittsburgh. The mission outreaches that are presently supported by PALM can thank the ground-breaking work done by Pastor McCants at Unity. Missionary pastors and vicars in Pittsburgh and elsewhere in our beloved Synod look to Pastor McCants as a role model.
In addition to his work at Unity, Pastor McCants has served Pittsburgh Area Lutheran Ministries as our chaplain to independent nursing homes not affiliated with the Concordia Lutheran Ministries system since PALM was reorganized in 1997. This chaplaincy dates back many decades, usually being served by retired LCMS pastors in the area. Pastor McCants brought his missionary spirit and the energy of a full-time pastor to this chaplaincy, serving the residents of a dozen nursing homes scattered across the region and continues to do so.
We give thanks and praise to our Lord for the many years of ministry of Pastor Reholma McCants. May the Lord continue to bless him with many years and joy in Christ Jesus.
"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth." - 2 Timothy 2:15
The Vicars of PALM
Holy Cross Evangelical-Lutheran Chapel in the Hazelwood neighborhood of the City of Pittsburgh is a preaching station of First Trinity Evangelical-Lutheran Church. After the closing of the steel mill in the late 1990s, Hazelwood became an economically depressed neighborhood. During times of normalcy, the faithful at Holy Cross operate a food and clothing pantry in order to provide necessary sustenance to their friends and neighbors. We serve over 50 needy families in the Hazelwood area by giving away free clothing and food at a bi-weekly distribution day. During this time of COVID-19, we are determined to serve our neighbors and show forth the love and mercy of Jesus. We continue to provide emergency food for the neighborhood throughout this crisis. We give away food almost every day. We have also continued to keep our bi-weekly distribution days. We put together paper bags of food including fresh produce, bread, and frozen meat for those who come seeking help. While many businesses and services are closed, Holy Cross is open and ready to serve the needs of our neighbors.
Holy Cross Evangelical-Lutheran Chapel is a relatively new mission in the Pittsburgh area. Worship services began on December 1, 2019 - the first week of Advent. In addition to offering the bi-weekly clothing and food distribution, Holy Cross hosts hot meals for the community on the first and third Sundays of each month. These dinners are followed by a Vespers service with preaching on the catechism. Holy Cross Lutheran Chapel also hosted a toy give away on December 21, 2019 providing Christmas gifts for over 250 children. This event will take place annually in the years to come. Since August 2017, Holy Cross Evangelical-Lutheran Mission, in partnership with Pittsburgh Area Lutheran Ministries, has hosted an annual Hazelwood Community Day. We plan to do this again in 2021. Various LCMS missions from the Pittsburgh Area will be in attendance, as well as several other Pittsburgh Area community organizations. The Community Day is a great way to raise awareness in the neighborhood for Holy Cross Evangelical-Lutheran Chapel and the Holy Cross Food and Clothing Distribution Center.
Holy Cross acquired a church building in November 2019 through the agency of PALM. There are currently a few maintenance and building improvement projects underway. Currently, we are pursuing a small pipe organ to replace the electric organ and piano. We have replaced the broken entrance doors with new red steel and glass doors and we are restoring the church’s beautiful stained-glass windows at what is a surprisingly minimal cost. Our desire is to make the exterior of the building more attractive and inviting to residents in the neighborhood. After removing the old window shields from the exterior stained-glass windows, one passer-by remarked about the improvement saying, “Wow, now it looks like a church!” Even though we have had a presence on the street for several years, of our “new” building and its renovations, another said, “Oh, I didn’t realize you guys were open.” Perhaps these projects will lead a new person or family into Holy Cross Lutheran Chapel. They most definitely beautify the church for the praise and glory of God.
Holy Cross is a steadily growing mission in the city. Even during the Covid-19 lockdowns, residents of Hazelwood have been asking about the church. While receiving food from the pantry, one mother asked about baptism for her daughter. We have a small but faithful congregation, and there is no shortage of catechism students. We resumed in-person services on May 17 and baptized our second infant member on June 7. On June 28, two new members were received by profession of faith and one by confirmation. Three children are ready to begin confirmation classes as are four adults to begin adult catechesis with Vicar Hasselbrook.
We are actively involved in the community. The vicar attends various community meetings to improve and benefit Hazelwood, walking up and down the streets and speaking with the residents, and writing articles for the local newspaper, and the church supporting the local businesses by shopping at them and utilizing their services for church projects. We partner with Davis Consulting to help those in need of a job acquire the necessary skills, and support Propel Charter School as they seek to provide food and uniforms to their students’ families. We have partnered with a local youth organization to clean up the trash outside the church and around the neighborhood. Our presence is strongly felt in Hazelwood. At one community meeting, someone remarked that our Facebook page is the most visited page of all local groups and organizations. Another mentioned that we are a well-known source of aid and relief to the community. It is our earnest prayer that the Lord continues to bless Holy Cross Lutheran Chapel and our outreach to Hazelwood.
Seminarians Timothy Kern (2019-20) and Silas Hasselbrook (2020-21) at Holy Cross, Hazelwood
Pittsburgh Area Missions
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Holy Cross Evangelical-Lutheran Chapel
St. John's Evangelical-Lutheran Church
All Saints Slippery Rock Campus Ministry
Slippery Rock University
LCMS-U Campus Ministry of Pittsburgh
Carnegie Mellon University
University of Pittsburgh
Point Park University
Community College of Allegheny County
Robert Morris University
Revive at Penn State
Penn State University - Main Campus
First Trinity Homeless Ministry
Holy Cross Food and Clothing Distribution
Mileposters: A Christian Tandem Bicycle Group
Outreach to Nepalese Immigrants
Pittsburgh Lutheran Center for the Blind
Pittsburgh Lutheran Deaf Ministry
Trinity Lutheran Church of the Deaf
Deaf Mission in Western Pennsylvania
Unity After School Children's Outreach
Homewood / Brushton
Celebratory Services 2019-2020
October 6, 2019: Receiving of St. John's Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Clarksburg as a congregation of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. The Rev'd. Brian Westgate, English Circuit Visitor - Celebrant; The Rev'd. Ben Eder, English District Vice-President - Preacher and Officiant; The Rev'd. Robert Zagore, Executive Director, Office of National Mission - LCMS, Honored Guest.
October 27, 2019: Annual Reformation Vespers at Redeemer, Oakmont. The Rev'd. Bud Palmer, LCMS Deaf Ministry - Preacher.
February 2, 2020: Vespers on the Feast of the Presentation of our Lord in thanksgiving for the mission chapel at Holy Cross, Hazelwood. The Rev'd. Berton Greenway - Preacher.
PALM continues to administer the Minersville Cemetery in the Herron Hill neighborhood of the City of Pittsburgh on behalf of The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. The cemetery committee oversees the contracted maintenance of the grounds, fields genealogical requests, and maintains a strategic plan for improvements to the cemetery. Recently, the committee erected a new flag pole on which flies the national standard as well as that of the LCMS. The committee is currently in discussion with Tree Pittsburgh, an urban forestry non-profit, about establishing a partnership with them to develop and enact a forestry plan for the cemetery. Future plans include the building of a decorative fence around the perimeter of the cemetery and the righting of fallen grave stones.
Celebration and Remembrance
The Rev'd. Dr. Douglas H. Spittel, Functional Director
Pittsburgh Area Lutheran Schools
Pittsburgh Area Lutheran Schools has distributed scholarships to our Lutheran schools. The PALS Board has been meeting via virtual meetings since March. The Board is beginning to prepare for next year's scholarship distributions and is redesigning the website. A position remains open for a Development Director.
Area schools include –
Calvary Early Learning Center, Monroeville (PreK-K)
Good Shepherd Christian Preschool, Whitehall
Good Shepherd Lutheran Preschool, State College
Holy Trinity Lutheran Preschool, Albion
Prince of Peace Lutheran Preschool, Freedom
Redeemer Lutheran School, Oakmont/Penn Hills (PreK-12)
St. John’s Lutheran Preschool, Millvale
St. Luke Lutheran School Cabot (PreK-8)
Zion Lutheran School, Bridgeville (PreK)
This past school year, Mrs. Anna Mussmann, a member of First Trinity and a rostered LCMS teacher, started a group for Lutheran homeschoolers in the Pittsburgh area. Before the pandemic, the group met monthly for Matins at First Trinity, followed by an art or science enrichment project and social time. The purpose is to bring together Lutherans who home school in the area for mutual enrichment and support. The Lutheran Homeschoolers group plans to resume meeting in September.
The Rev'd. Brian P. Westgate, Lutheran Education Director
The Pittsburgh Lutheran
We recently had an editorial board change and would like to take this opportunity to thank Dione Vallelunga for serving as Layout Editor for the last several years. Megan Migyanko the newest member at Zion Lutheran, Bridgeville, has volunteered for this position and has stepped in seamlessly.
The Pittsburgh Lutheran Newsletter highlights: PALM News, Campus Ministries, Local Missions, Upcoming Special Events, School News, News from Area Congregations and Concordia Lutheran Ministries. There are ten monthly newsletters with no newsletters published for the months of January and July. A Call for News email is sent out the first of each month requesting articles be submitted between the 10th and 15th. If anyone would like to be added to our mailing list to receive this Call for News or to receive the Newsletter itself, please send a request to email@example.com.
We currently have 152 Subscribers. According to reports provided by Mail Chimp which is the mechanism which we use to distribute our monthly newsletter, 74% of our subscribers are highly engaged and open our email, 12% are moderately engaged and 13% are not very engaged. This is very good news! This Newsletter is only as good as its content so we encourage all to participate and submit your articles and pictures. Because we are now digital, there is no cost for a subscription.
Editors: Nancy Koester, Mary Lou Rilee and Layout Editor Megan Migyanko
The Rev'd. Dr. Daniel Hahn
Eastern District - LCMS
Deaconess Pam Voormann
Concordia Lutheran Ministries
Michael Fiffik, Esq.
Fiffik Law Group, P.C.
Mr. Justin Spittel
Urban Ministries Director
PALM Board of Directors
Boards Made to Order, Inc.
Unity Exploratory Committee
The Unity Exploratory Committee was appointed by the Board of Directors in January 2020 at the request of Concordia Lutheran Ministries to work with Pastor Reholma McCants in evaluating the feasibility of continuing the after-school program at Unity Lutheran Church in Homewood. The committee found that the Unity program would end with the retirement of Pastor McCants due to demographic changes in the neighborhood.
Daniel Spittel, MA, sHRBP
UPMC Senior Services
The Governance Committee was appointed by the Board of Directors in January 2020 to update the PALM Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws in order to bring us into compliance with current laws and best practices regarding not-for-profit corporations.
The Rev'd. Jacob Deal
SELC District Representative
PALM Board of Directors
Loving one another...
Photos: ©Erik Lunsford, LCMS Communications, Alfred Dirosa, Douglas Spittel, Edward Terhune V, Emily Bitting, and Public Domain.
Whether it is one-to-one personal contact or the opportunity to reach out to an entire community, Pittsburgh Area Lutheran Ministries looks forward to reaching out with the love of Christ to our neighbors. By His Holy Word and Sacraments, our Lord Jesus comes to us to bring us to repentance of our sin and joy in the Good News of His death and resurrection for the forgiveness of our sins. We pray that our Lord will continue to strengthen the bonds of love that He has made between the congregations of our region and give us many more opportunities to reach out to our neighbors. "We are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building." 1 Cor 3:9