Across our history, PMC has received the gifts of both consistency and change. One gem we found in our research was the following description of PMC written by our resident theologian, Dr. Scott Holland, in the early nineties. More than twenty years later it still rings true, and pushes us to become more of who we are and desire to be.
As a church born in an era of great unrest, upheavals and uprisings, PMC seeks to be faithful to God’s agenda for peace and justice in the world as a multicultural, interracial congregation providing gracious space for all who seek to join us in the adventure of living life’s questions with passion and integrity. -Scott Holland, member of PMC
In 1967, Pittsburgh Mennonite Church (PMC) began when a visionary young engineer gathered others around the possibilities for an urban Mennonite presence in Pittsburgh modeled after the London Mennonite Center where he had worshiped as a graduate student. Sushil Ganguly, that now-retired engineer, continues to be a faithful presence at PMC, and one of the only remaining members that bears witness to all of the dreaming, questioning, yearning, and growing PMC has done over the years.
In its early years – the 1980’s and early 90’s – PMC’s main mission was offering radical hospitality to those in need. At that time, the North Point Breeze building PMC was using as a house church also contained a number of apartments. International students, refugees, and family members of inmates all were welcomed to lodge at the church and join worship. These were the years of the church as sanctuary.
In 1992, PMC moved to a church building on Murray Avenue in Greenfield. Because the majority of members were young families with growing children, PMC shifted its focus toward supporting and guiding these young people and others into their adult lives. Expansions were made for greater Sunday School capacity, and the church took an active role in supporting the newly founded Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Experience (PULSE), a one-year arts-based urban internship program designed to cultivate young servant leaders with a desire to transform Pittsburgh. PMC also started its Shoulder to Shoulder medical outreach project in Honduras. These were the years of church as nourisher.
Fifteen years later, the PMC body had again expanded beyond its physical capacity. A number of the young adults involved in PULSE had stayed in Pittsburgh over the years, and more and more graduate students and other professionals found a home at PMC. This was a time of great activity for PMC; members were encouraged to join small groups as well as take part in a variety of service projects. Discussion began about seeking a larger building, and in 2009, PMC moved to its current location in Swissvale.
Currently, PMC is putting down stronger roots in Swissvale. As the result of a reflection and goal-setting activity in 2012, the church identified several focus areas it wanted to reengage as it continued to endeavor to be a gracious space for all. These are reflected in some of the active groups you will see on other pages (Grow Group, Welcoming Group, Peace and Justice).
The work of these groups and much of the work of the present church is in opening doors between church and community so that PMC becomes community.