What’s right? (Published in The Presbyterian Outlook)

What’s right? is an ongoing entry in the Presbyterian Outlook. The following is my submission about what is right with Third Presbyterian Church. The kiddos in the picture are thrilled to see themselves in a magazine!


Third Presbyterian Church — Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Karie Charlton, the associate pastor of Third Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, shares how the Spirit is moving in their congregation.

What’s right with Third Church? We haven’t asked that question in a while. We’re still evaluating life as a congregation after the pandemic. Our church can be described as someone looking at their home for the first time after a hurricane went through. The pandemic hurricane hit our house, and it hit hard. The survivors have assembled not to clean up, not to do a new thing, but to simply be together. We are tired and beaten but something (perhaps the characteristic Pittsburgh grit or Holy Spirit or both) have pulled us together again. It is easy to get caught up in the “what once was” of our situation, but we endeavor to simply be together. It’s a spiritual discipline of “not doing what we’ve always done” and accepting “what is possible.” This spring, we opened our social hall to be a space where we can have the simplest of coffee options and be together without agenda and masks (which are optional for the first time in years). Building on these small simple gatherings, we’ve hosted a Maundy Thursday dinner, Palm Sunday breakfast, multiple birthdays, and a baby shower. Being together in whatever way possible is a simple expression of love.

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