I am so grateful that in this strange time we continue to be the people of God and the church together. Though our gathering together in person is limited, our ministry has not stopped, and in some ways, continued to grow in vitality during this time. I know that so often I feel “stuck,” like I just want this pandemic time to be over. I want my kids to be able to be in school with friends. I want to see the church overflowing each Sunday again. I want my old life back.
And, over the last few months, I have found that more and more I am drawn to the line from Romans (8:18) “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us.” In this section, Paul is looking at the ever present disappointment and suffering in his own life. And he sees that his current suffering can only be understood through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That somehow, through that eternal action of Jesus all suffering is not eliminated, but somehow transformed into the healing and loving work of God. It helps me to wonder how the present time is not just a moment of communal suffering, and also an opportunity to serve as part of God’s healing and loving work in the world. An opportunity to see God’s glory revealed, even if dimly, in the work of our community – serving, caring for one another, worship together and raising our children in the faith. How are you glimpsing God being revealed at this time?
I am excited to share some updates on the Clergy of our parish. First, I am thrilled to announce that Deacon Jean Chess has been formally assigned by Bishop McConnell to serve at St. Paul’s.
Jean began assisting Laura with the 'No Contact' Eucharistic Visitor program in the Spring of 2020 and now will formally serve as a deacon supporting ministries related to pastoral care.
Jean grew up in Mt. Lebanon attending St. Paul's and after college moved to the East End of Pittsburgh for her work as a computer engineer. Jean joined Calvary Church where ministry as a Lay Eucharistic Visitor led her to discern a call to the vocational diaconate. Upon completion of the diocesan training program and an internship at Canterbury Place she was ordained deacon in June of 2000. In December of 2001 Jean was assigned to St. Andrew's in Highland Park where she was the parish deacon until February of 2020.
She has served as a volunteer chaplain in hospital, hospice and nursing home settings and especially enjoyed a ministry where a monthly Godly Play based service was offered to residents of a Memory Care unit. Jean moved back to the South Hills in 2012 and was elected to the board of Old St. Luke's in 2019.
Jean holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Education and a Master's degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. She retired from her full-time career as an engineer in 2017 and in her spare time enjoys playing golf and being a member of Steel City Ukuleles. Please join me in welcoming Jean into the life of our parish!
I also offer congratulations to our Priest Associate, the Rev. Cat Munz, who has accepted a call as the Interim Rector of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, Squirrel Hill. She expects to serve in this capacity from October this year to next June as the parish searches for a new Rector. She will remain a Priest Associate at St. Paul’s and I am excited that her many gifts will be shared with other parishes of the Diocese as well as St. Paul’s.
Please know that you continue to be in my prayers, and please continue to pray for me as well.
The Reverend Noah H. Evans, Rector