Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Does Pittsburgh Have a Prayer?
From the Faithburgh blog of Pittsburgh Post Gazette reporter Ann Rodgers posted on Friday April 22
It does each Holy Saturday. Each year on the day before western Easter (which this year is also eastern Easter), local leaders of the Catholic, Orthodox and many Protestant churches gather on the Mount Washington overlook to pray for the city. They also bless it with holy water.
This tradition goes back 19 years, and is a ministry of the Christian Leaders Fellowship. That's a group of these same bishops and their equivalents who gather once a month for breakfast at each other's homes. There they study the Bible, pray together -- and commiserate
about the difficulties of being a church leader. The annual blessing of the city stemmed from their desire to show unity in their care for all of the people of Pittsburgh.
Close friendships have grown up between some leaders of these churches. Even where close friendship may be difficult, it's a setting where barriers are broken down. One Christian leader recently told me how moved he was to see Anglican Archbishop Robert Duncan and Episcopal Bishop Kenneth Price -- whose rival dioceses are locked in property litigation --holding hands in prayer and asking the others to pray that they would be able to resolve their difficulties in a manner that honors Christ. The Christian Leaders Fellowship also sponsors the Pittsburgh Creche, the world's only replica of the Vatican creche, that is on display each Advent and Christmas in USX Plaza.
The Christian leaders will gather at 10 a.m. Saturday April 23, on the Mount Washington Overlook just east of McArdle roadway, to pray and bless the city. It's a very short service. If you want to witness it, be on time.