The Spire Online

Welcome to the online version of the Spire.

If you prefer a printable version, view and download a printable PDF copy of any previous issue here.

From the Office of JO FORREST: Pentecost

Think of those places you felt a rush of wind. The beach. Between the canyons of buildings on a city sidewalk. Frigid nights at PNC Park. I’m not referring to the time the wind merely refreshed the stale air. Remember the time you felt humbled, the wind ruffled your feathers with discomfort, or plain knocked you off your feet. Just before Jesus ascended into heaven, he breathed on his f…

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Spirit At Work

Some of my favorite stories in scripture are those when the Spirit is working in separate places, at the same time, for the same cause. There are a handful of these stories, but the one that always stands out to me is in Acts chapter nine. It’s the story of Saul (who will become the writer of so much of our New Testament, named Paul) and his conversion. Saul, a notorious leader well-known for his w…

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Connecting In Small Groups

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” –Jesus, Matthew 18:20* “If you build it, he will come.” – Ray Kinsella, Field of Dreams* The Spirit is moving here at Westminster. Folks are longing for connection. As humans, we’re built for connection. Even God in the flesh spent time in relationship with other humans. Jesus spent his life connecting—calling disciples, healing the sic…

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God Made Me Do It!

Two years ago, a pastor friend called to tell me about a job opening at a large church in the South Hills that she thought I would be perfect for. I told her that I was not interested, and yet she continued to reach out every few weeks asking if I had reconsidered. “The congregation is lovely and welcoming. The building is beautiful. There are so many children and families!” But I was not ready to …

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Friendship Is Caring

Healthy congregations often are noisy congregations. People gathered early at Westminster for the first mask-free worship service after COVID-19. They stood in the sanctuary pews and waived at church-made friends whom they had not seen for two years. People got out of their pews and walked enthusiastically to greet longtime friends. Those who found themselves sitting next to their usual pew…

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Westminster’s Pet Ministry RELAUNCHES

When John Calvin wrote those words 500 years ago, at the very dawn of the Presbyterian Church, he couldn’t have foreseen the degree to which companion animals would infiltrate human society. According to the American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA), about 70% of American households include a pet. That’s a whopping 85 million U.S. families who share their homes and lives with at least one ani…

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The NEW Generation of the NEXT Generation

Growth often means the gift of new opportunity. A growing family means more smiles and laughs. A growing income perhaps allows for a bigger home with more bedrooms and a bigger dinner table for that family. A growing church shares the word of God and creates a vibrant community of faith. Part of the privilege of my job is watching students grow in front of me. Physically they grow taller in the…

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The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Acts 2…

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