See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19
What are you searching for in your faith journey? Our contemporary service will bring you back to the heart of worship where you can find an intimate connection with Jesus Christ. Praise God with us as we offer ourselves through contemporary Christian music, prayer, scripture, and fellowship. We meet every Sunday morning at 9:00. Yes, it’s a little early, but you’ll leave with your spiritual battery fully recharged. You can dress up or dress down—come as you are.
Ten years ago, we decided to try something new. We weren’t sure we could support a second service every Sunday, but we felt we had to provide a forward-looking worship experience that would reach out to people who aren’t engaged by traditional, liturgical worship. We took a leap of faith, assembled a praise band, and haven’t looked back. Our congregation is growing, our ministry is maturing, and our spiritual lives have expanded in ways we couldn’t foresee.
Come unto me, ye who are weary and overburdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
God invites us into His house, for within these walls, we will find peace, rest, and forgiveness in the grace of Jesus Christ. Many find reassurance in a worship experience that continues to connect them with their childhood memories, reminding them of what church was like “back in the day.” Others crave refuge from the frenetic pace of modern living, seeking a worship service that provides them structure and formality through the observance of traditional customs and rituals.
Our 11:00 traditional worship service remains centered on those familiar methods and practices you would expect: robed acolytes still light and extinguish the worship candles; the pastor and liturgist still process from the doors of the church to the altar to signify the start of the worship hour; the hymns and sacred music continue to resound from our tremendous pipe organ and Chancel Choir; the children still have a moment in the service reserved just for them to learn of God’s love for them and all of us; and while we continue to provide a printed bulletin each week, we have also integrated just a bit of technology to enhance the worship experience.
It is Christ who bids us welcome and asks us to walk with Him. Wherever you may be on your personal faith journey, we invite you to experience the traditional worship service at Sewickley United Methodist Church.
Pastor Russel is a second career pastor, experiencing the call to ministry after working at the Carbon Limestone Company for ten years. With a Bachelor of Science in Education from Slippery Rock University, and a Master of Divinity from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio, he was ordained a Full Member in 1991 by Bishop Bashore. Russel has been at SUMC since 2006, fulfilling his mission to create an inclusive atmosphere where the Good News of God’s unconditional love can be celebrated by all of God’s children.
Matthew comes to the Pittsburgh area having recently completed his Master's Degree in Choral Conducting from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Matt has been working with choirs most of his life—accompanying, participating in, or helping to conduct in various settings: multiple churches in eastern Ohio and West Virginia, the All-Ohio Youth Choir and Cardinal Chorale, and as the Choral Director at The MacDuffie School in Granby, MA. He once conducted on stage with The Rolling Stones.Matt is recently married and is happy to be making his home in Pittsburgh with his wife and stepson.
Hurst has been involved with the music ministry at SUMC for a number of years and has led the Worship Team since 2009. He serves on various committees within the church, including the Board of Trustees. He has been playing and singing since he was eleven years old, but it has only been in recent years that he has come to understand why he received these gifts, and he is very thankful to the Father for the opportunity to lead God’s people in worship each week. He strives in his work with the ministry to fulfill God’s commandment through the prophet Micah, “...to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
After picking up the saxophone in fourth grade, Joe participated in a number of different ensembles, including his high school marching, symphonic, and stage bands. He also played with Purdue bands for a short stint, then put his efforts into family and career while his sax collected dust. Fortunately, via a series of events impossible to assign to coincidence, God called Joe back to the instrument to make music in His name with SUMC’s Leap of Faith. With a mostly cerebrally-based faith journey prior to that point in his life, the contemporary service exposed Joe to emotionally-charged and genuinely spiritual Christian experiences. Joe feels truly blessed to be called to participate in LOF and the SUMC contemporary worship service.
Pam has been offering her musical talents at our church for many years and considers music one of her most cherished gifts from God. She is constantly amazed at its power and ability to touch the soul, delivering a message in a way that the spoken word does not. Music is the channel God uses most often to speak to us—leading, teaching, re-assuring, comforting, and reminding us of what is most important in this life. The opportunity to sing praises and worship with everyone on Sunday mornings is the highlight of Pam’s week.
Jack has been playing drums since the sixth grade when his father told him to stop beating on the table and join the band. He was a member of the acclaimed WVU drumline and plays an array of percussion instruments, his favorite being the marimba. Jack hadn’t played much after college, but found a new calling when the contemporary service was founded. It quickly became the highlight of his week, pushed him to develop a much deeper relationship with God, and revealed a new talent for songwriting. Now a certified lay speaker, Jack considers it an honor to use his talents in the Lord’s service.
Scott started playing the drums at age 4 and continued through high school in NY. During that time, he played in a number of bands (wind ensemble, marching band, jazz band). He also began teaching himself how to play the guitar, but at a very slow pace. He had not played any percussion instruments after high school and only played the guitar at home. Scott was first able to join Leap of Faith to fill in while Jack was on vacation a few times. His relationship with the Father was not all that strong, but since joining LOF, he has grown tremendously in his faith. Scott feels truly blessed to be a part of the worship team.
Mark began playing the violin at age four, taking lessons from his grandfather, the concert master of his home town symphony in Roanoke, Virginia. Mark’s father played, arranged, and conducted big band orchestras and met Mark’s mother, a minister, in the Roanoke Symphony. Mark later played in the Roanoke Youth Symphony for 6 years, but left the fiddle in it’s case virtually undisturbed since age 16. Fortunately, his wife told Hurst that he played, and it wasn’t long before Mark was accompanying Leap of Faith regularly. “It’s been absolutely surreal, the positive feedback and feeling that has come over me since playing with Leap of Faith,” Mark told us. “I’ve had a musical awakening playing in worship.”
Lou Ann Scott