In the Community
- Shepherd’s Heart Meal – While the youth of St. Alban’s organizes and prepares a meal for Shepherd’s Heart Fellowship in Pittsburgh, the entire parish supports and participates in the worship service and serving a meal to homeless veterans. Shepherd’s Heart Veteran’s Home, also known as the House of Hope is a transitional housing for homeless veterans. The Veteran’s Home is collaboration between Pittsburgh Veterans Affair’s Health Care for Homeless Veterans, Comprehensive Homeless Center and Shepherd’s Heart Fellowship, a parish of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh. There are approximately 1500 homeless veterans on any given night in Allegheny County. The program aims to service male veterans who are homeless and may have post traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse problems, mental illness, dual diagnosis, and those who are disabled. Shepherd’s Heart Veterans Home strives to restore honor and dignity to those who have served our country.
- National Day of Prayer – National Day of Prayer for the year 2020 is celebrated on Thursday, May 7th. Several million people from different faiths are called to pray for the United States and its leaders. In Murrysville, this interfaith event is held at Export American Legion and all participating churches share expenses. Each participating church pastor makes a short presentation on a topic of interest. This uniting event allows fellowship among members of different faiths and an opportunity to experience different points of view.
- Mother of Sorrow’s Community Food Pantry – St. Alban’s participates with local churches to collect food and toiletry items for those in need in our community. The first Tuesday of each month these items are distributed from Mother of Sorrows Church in Murrysville. St. Alban’s is challenged to collect 200 bars of bath soap and tissue boxes during the month of May. Each month more people need our help. This ministry is yet another way for our community to unite and take care of our own.
- Loaves and Fishes – This emergency food pantry is located in the Newlonsburg Presbyterian Church. “Loaves and Fishes” provides a three day supply of food to those who need it on an individual and emergency basis. “Loaves and Fishes” serves the Murrysville, Export and Delmont areas. St. Alban’s provides a basket in the Narthex to collect non-perishable items or members can make a donation to St. Alban’s designating “Loaves and Fishes” as the recipient.
- Bread Mission – Surplus bread from the Monroeville Giant Eagle and occasionally from the food pantry at Assembly of God finds a home through our Bread Mission. Members of St. Alban’s pick up and distribute bread weekly to Loaves and Fishes, Westmoreland County Food Bank, Light of life Mission, Shepherd’s Heart Fellowship and others in need.
- Fisher House – The Sunday School provides veterans and active military families staying at the Fisher House with stationary and stamps or some other gift to comfort them while their loved ones are in the hospital. Since 2012, VA Pittsburgh Fisher House has been providing a “home away from home” for the families of Veterans & active duty military who are hospitalized. They are located on the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System’s Oakland campus.
- Project Hope – The holidays can be particularly difficult on a family who is struggling financially. This outreach project provides a local family, who remains anonymous, the opportunity to not worry and the chance to enjoy Christmas. St. Alban’s members pick a card from the bulletin board that lists the gifts that the children of the family would enjoy. They purchase the gifts, which are then collected and given to the family to wrap and put under the Christmas tree. The family selected is determined by the school counselors.
Nationally and Internationally
- Nolan and Sandra Sharp’s Campus Crusade (CRU) Ministry in Croatia- Nolan was in Croatia on a summer mission trip 1997 when he met Sandra, who is from Croatia and was working as a missionary to college students. They started to date and married in 1999. Nolan and Sandra moved to Croatia in 2001 to found a CRU ministry to the marketplace. They have been missionaries with CRU there for 19 years. Nolan leads outreach in the Croatia marketplace and overseas operations for 25 missionaries in Croatia. Sandra disciples young women leaders and coordinates spiritual care for women. They use special speakers and intriguing seminars to meet new people, develop relationships, and share the Gospel. They work to integrate those who come to Christ into churches. Their goal is to see a movement for Christ take off among young leaders in Croatia.
- Domi and Biljana Malovic’s CRU Ministry in Croatia and Bosnia – These non-believers became believers after viewing the Jesus Film. They joined CRU and in 2007 Domi focused 100% of his time reaching people in the business world. Bibi became Operations Director and served in evangelism and discipleship. From 2013, they have led a team of 20 people to be the national leaders for CRU in Croatia. They reach out to high school and college students, business people, families and women and have started ministries to athletes and the military. Their goal is to serve the community by helping to meet needs as they arise.
- Frank and Anne Bernardi’s Anglican Frontier Mission (AFM) in Tunisia, Africa – St. Alban’s continues to support the Bernardi family in Tunisia (firstname.lastname@example.org) as they struggle to make progress in bringing the Tunisian community to Christ and Christianity. AFM is committed to going where the need is greatest, planting indigenous churches among the largest and least evangelized peoples in the world. Although 67 generations have come and gone since Jesus’ resurrection, over 2 billion people are still unreached. This unseen 1/4th of the world has no geographic and/or cultural access (or limited access) to the Gospel. AFM mobilizes churches and sends short- and long-term missionaries to do pioneer, frontier missions, to areas where a viable and visible church still does not exist. We look forward to their visits to St. Alban’s where they share their stories and progress.
- Bishop Lamido St. Martin’s and St. Alban’s Nigerian School in Wusasa – Given the special needs present within his mostly rural diocese, Bishop Lamido started a diocesan school for girls through the support of St. Martin’s, St. Albans, St. James and other congregations of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. This school has been a huge success and grows in the number of graduates each year. It not only provides a safe haven for Christian girls (who often suffer abuse and discrimination), but also provides them with the tools they will need to become future lay and ordained leaders within the Anglican Church of Nigeria. Bishop Lamido speaks powerfully about the vital partnership between the Diocese of Pittsburgh and the Diocese of Wusasa. “Here in Pittsburgh, you have the resources and generosity that my people are so thankful for. While we may be poor, we do have something important to share with you in return: the deep joy of living out the Gospel in difficult circumstances.”
- Heifer International – Each lent, the Sunday School and parishioners save change which is collected on Love Sunday (the Sunday following Easter at St. Alban’s) and chooses an animal to buy for families in need around the world. Heifer International is a global non-profit working to eradicate poverty and hunger through sustainable, values-based holistic community development. Heifer distributes animals, along with agricultural and values-based training, to families in need around the world as a means of providing self-sufficiency. Recipients must agree to “pass on the gift” by sharing animal offspring, as well as the skills and knowledge of animal husbandry and agricultural training with other impoverished families.
- Compassion International – The Sunday School sponsors children from Compassion International, currently one from Ethiopia and one from Brazil. They fund this sponsorship with weekly collections and money collected from the Vacation Bible School Marketplace. Compassion International is a Christian humanitarian aid child sponsorship organization dedicated to the long-term development of children living in poverty around the world.
- Operation Christmas Child – Each November, members of St. Alban’s put together shoeboxes with various needed items which is sent to a child somewhere in the world who may be a victim of war, poverty, natural disaster, disease and famine with the purpose of sharing God’s love. In addition to hearing the Gospel before they receive their shoebox gift, children also receive The Greatest Gift, a storybook that shares the message of salvation. With the Apostle John as narrator, the booklet shares 11 Scripture stories and invites children to follow Christ. Children take this home to share with family and friends. It is written in more than 80 languages.
Pastoral Care is a parish wide ministry whose goal is to help parishioners who may need a little extra or a lot of care and attention. This ministry sends birthday cards to every member on their birthday, provides meals to families when needed, visit shut-ins, provide rides to the doctor and anything else that may make a parishioner’s day a little brighter. Since the person in need rarely asks for help, our membership is small enough and very much a church family, the parish as a whole looks after each other.
As you read through the list below, you may think to yourself, “They sure like to eat!” – And you’d be right! We are blessed with some really good bakers, cooks, and members who know just where to get the most delicious snacks and sweets. Fellowship and sharing a meal is so much more than just food. It allows us to feed our bodies as well as our spirits and provides a venue to strengthen interpersonal relationships. Fellowship at St. Albans includes, but is not limited to the following events:
- Weekly Coffee Hour – Just because the service ends, doesn’t mean we have to go home. Fellowship is served in the parish hall following the 10:45 service. Also, during the summer months, attendees of the 8:30 am service also have coffee hour and time to socialize.
- Annual Parish Meeting’s Pot Luck – While members each bring a dish to share, the Fellowship provides drinks, sets up tables, chairs, and decorates the Fellowship hall to provide a warm inviting dining experience.
- Share Your Heart Sundae – Children and adults have an opportunity to get to know one another by selecting ½ half a heart and finding an adult with the other half. During Coffee hour, this intergenerational event encourages the pair with matching hearts to make an ice cream sundae adorned with a multitude of toppings, sit down and learn about one another. This has fostered life-long friends between the young and the not-so-young. Usually held the Sunday closest to Valentine’s Day.
- Lenten Events including:
- Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper – Pancakes for supper has become an enjoyable tradition on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of lent. Evening prayer worship begins at 6 pm which is followed by delicious pancakes, ham and fellowship lovingly prepared by the St. Alban’s men’s group.
- Lenten Studies – The Fellowship Committee will organize a meal to share prior to the Lenten Study event in preparation for Easter.
- Maundy Thursday – The Fellowship Committee will organize a meal to share prior to the Maundy Thursday Service which begins Holy Week.
- Dinner groups – A Fellowship opportunity to share a delicious meal and to become acquainted with fellow members in their homes. Small groups meet at a Host Family’s home on the third Saturday of the month from September to April (except December). The host family (a different family each month) provides the main dish and drinks. Others in the group provide appetizers, bread, dessert and vegetables. You host only once during the year and may use the Fellowship Hall if your home is not suitable for hosting.
- Recognition Sunday Picnic Lunch – A Sunday in May is slated to recognize our High School and College graduates as well as the promotion of Sunday School students and other groups. This is followed by a picnic and potluck with plenty of fellowship and fun.
- Members of St. Albans also prepare for funeral luncheons, receptions, the Bishop’s visits, Confirmation Classes, and any other events that can be enhanced by food.
Men's and Women's Ministries
Saint Alban’s Women (SAW) Ministry
SAW meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month in the comfortable and welcoming Cardwell Room from September through May. Through bible study and fellowship SAW provides women the opportunity to study scripture in a safe, judgement free, multi-generational environment. SAW also hosts an annual Christmas Home Eucharist and Cookie Exchange. All women of St. Alban’s and their friends are invited to attend. The cookie exchange is optional. The real goal of the Christmas Home Eucharist is to give women a chance to slow down during the busy Holiday season, and to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.
Saint Alban’s Men (SAM) Ministry
Worship Service Support
- Acolytes – The Acolytes at St. Alban’s are an integral part of worship. The traditions and ceremony of worship are dependent on a team of 3 Acolytes at each worship service. St. Alban’s Acolytes serve on a rotating schedule and are often called on to fill in for an absent team member. Acolytes all have one thing in common and that is the desire to serve. Our Acolytes live out that desire by assisting in our worship services and by their involvement in numerous activities inside and outside of church. St. Albans is honored to have our roster of dedicated Acolytes
- Altar Flowers – The Altar Flower Coordinator organizes and orders flowers for the Altar for Sunday worship and special occasions. A sign-up book is located on the table in the Narthex for members to sign up if they want to donate the Sunday flowers for a special honor or memorial. The donation is then placed in the Flower Fund Box attached to the wall at the left entrance, and the donor’s request is put into the bulletin.
- Altar Guild – The Altar Guild, a behind the scenes ministry, is vital to our worship at St. Albans. It includes setting up the Altar, Credence table and the entrance table with appropriate altar cloths, linens and worship elements for weekly services, special services, baptisms, confirmations, weddings, funerals, Bishop Visits and any other service using the church. The Altar Guild also cleans up after the service by washing the receptacles and laundering the linens at home. A chairperson sets up a quarterly schedule which is emailed to each member.
- Lay Readers, Lectors, Chalicists and Lay Eucharistic Ministers – This group consists of adult and young adults who actively participate in the liturgy. Lay readers read the Old and New Testament readings each Sunday. Lectors also participate in the readings and the Chalicists assist the priest during the administration of communion. The Lay Eucharistic Minister Officiates may conduct Morning and Evening Prayer and conduct confirmation classes.
- Ushers – This group greets members and visitors before the service, hands out the bulletin which has the service printed, takes up the collection and checks the pews after the service. In addition, ushers are an integral part of the safety plan at St. Alban’s. In an age where we can take nothing for granted, ushers are trained to keep an eye out for individuals or situations that could present a safety risk. St. Alban’s has recently installed an AED and ushers as well as several members of the congregation have been trained to use it in the event an individual suffers a heart attack.
- Counters – This group counts the collection monies and deposits it in the bank.
- Choir – St. Alban’s is blessed with a choir and organist that sound larger than they are – and they are always looking to add members! The Choir and Organist perform at the 10:45 service from Labor Day through Memorial Day. They begin rehearsing pieces and contacting other musicians that might join in the celebration in the fall and on Wednesdays throughout the season. The repertoire includes congregational singing, solos and solos/ensembles with organ accompaniment. Their Christmas and Easter performances are outstanding and unique, with special music as well as guest musicians and vocalists! Their commitment is an inspiration to the congregation!