On a rotating basis, each Downtown Pittsburgh Ministerium church serves for one week at a time in addressing the needs of those who “walk-in” seeking assistance. The needs presented are many: emergency food, prescription medication, shelter, transportation to medical appointments or employment, aid in applying for all manner of governmentally supported social programs, eye glasses, etc.
In a typical week, the church on duty will see approximately 75 clients. Costs for the ministry beyond in-kind gifts are borne by each congregation with some small assistance from the Ministerium. Congregation members usually provide non-perishable food items and toiletries on a regular basis. The “walk-in” ministry of our downtown churches is the only such social service provided in downtown Pittsburgh.
The demands placed on the churches have increased in recent years. With cut-backs in governmental social programs, a greater and greater burden falls on the religious community.
The Downtown Pittsburgh Ministerium is grateful to generous individuals and a small number of organizations for their support of this social ministry. Gifts to the Ministerium are shared equally with the five congregations which provide the “walk in” ministry.
A client entering any participating church is referred to the church on duty that particular week.
St. Mary of Mercy, First Presbyterian, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Smithfield United Church of Christ, and First English Evangelical Lutheran
Developed in 2007, Camp Downtown is a unique Vacation Bible School developed for the churches of the Downtown Pittsburgh Ministerium. Each day, children will explore biblical stories through music, crafts, and other activities. Lunch is served at the downtown churches and followed by excursions through the downtown community.
This program is for children in grades K-6, and youth in grades 7–12 serve as camp counselors.
Ice Fest is the Camp Downtown winter event. This is one-day event allows Camp Downtown participants to reconnect and enjoy a day of Vacation Bible School one Saturday in February. During the morning, campers rotate through learning stations, lunch is provided at the host church, and then the group walks to PPG place for a fun afternoon of ice skating, hot chocolate and games.
Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service
On Thanksgiving Eve, at 7:00 PM we gather together for an ecumenical celebration of The Holy Eucharist. Each year the service is held at a different Downtown Pittsburgh Ministerium church. We rejoice in this opportunity to gather at the Table of the Lord with fellow believers from our sister churches. Clergy from each of the churches will provide leadership for our celebration of the Church’s “Great Thanksgiving.” Be sure to come and offer your thanks for all of God’s gracious and generous gifts, including the gift of brothers and sisters in Christ.
Annual Staff Appreciation Luncheon
Each May, we hold an Annual Staff Appreciation Luncheon for all staff members of churches and ministries in the Downtown Pittsburgh Ministerium. It is a wonderful opportunity for us to gather together and celebrate the work that we do all year!