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PLUM Churches:

Bethany (Dormont)

Christ (Duquesne)

East Liberty

Hope (Forest Hills)

Luth. Church of Our Saviour

Messiah (Munhall)

Resurrection (Oakdale)

St. Andrew (East Carnegie)

St. Paul's (Canonsburg)

Trinity (Mt. Oliver)

Zion (Coraopolis)


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Pittsburgh Lutheran United Ministries (PLUM)

Congregations United In Christ's Service

Click HERE to see a larger version of the map PLUM map

The origins of PLUM go back to the year 2004 when our sister congregation at East Liberty Lutheran became vacant and was unable to provide the resources to call a pastor. Pastors Beth and John recognized that East Liberty’s situation was similar to that of many of our small congregations.  So, they put their heads together, along with the members of East Liberty, Christ and St. Andrew, to develop a plan of action. That work led to the PLUM model for addressing the pastoral care needs of small congregations in our Greater Pittsburgh area. It is from those discussions, the fantastic support of our congregations and our synod, constant prayer, faithful action and humble beginnings that the Pittsburgh Lutheran United Ministries has, and continues to, evolve. PLUM continues to meet the needs of small congregations and now has eleven churches as part of this cooperative ministry. These churches include:

  • Bethany Lutheran Church – Dormont

  • Christ Lutheran Church – Duquesne

  • East Liberty Lutheran – East Liberty

  • Hope Lutheran Church Forest Hills

  • Lutheran Church of our Saviour – North Huntingdon

  • Messiah Lutheran – Munhall

  • Resurrection Lutheran – Oakdale

  • St. Andrew – East Carnegie

  • St. Paul’s Lutheran – Canonsburg

  • Trinity Lutheran – Mt. Oliver

  • Zion Lutheran – Coraopolis

In these first decades of the 21st Century, Pittsburgh Lutherans are giving birth to a renewed enthusiasm for the mission of the Gospel.  Ten congregations have begun to respond to God’s Call for transformation.  They have discovered that the best way to live into this calling is through an intentional cooperative ministry.  We call it "Pittsburgh Lutheran United Ministries" (PLUM).

Gradually our members are learning that faithfulness to the challenge of the Gospel requires a move out of the confinement of our church buildings and unbinding the restrictions of traditionalism.  This will renew the congregations’ commitment to the Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28.19-20)

Bringing the joy of the Gospel into the streets and homes of the people living around our buildings requires a transformation of our congregations.  This is neither an easy task nor is it a ‘quick fix’ for congregations that are in various stages of decline, discouragement, and detachment from the Gospel’s Call. 

The great prophet Elijah provides an illustration (1 Kings 19).  Having defeated the false prophets of Baal and publicly challenging the political powers of his day, Elijah escaped arrest and began a journey to Mt. Sinai.  In his exhaustion, he sat under a broom tree and he thought he might die there.  Instead of dying, angels came with food.  He continued his journey in the strength of God’s providence only to hear God say to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19.13b)   This question was followed by instructions from God.  Elijah had a new mission to accomplish.

So it is with PLUM’s twelve congregations!  As we have turned the corner from survival to mission, members have begun to think in terms of the church’s mission.  Some initial examples of their transformation into this new mission include:

1.   Moving a Saturday Summer worship out on the front porch (including fire pot and a fellowship of marshmallows and hot dogs).  This has attracted the attention of passers-by.

2.   Giving a block party for the neighborhood.  This has resulted in baptisms and new member families.

3.   Cooking, serving and delivering over 1,000 full turkey dinners on Thanksgiving Day.

4.   Two congregations, whose financial resources are very limited, made the decision to take 10% of the weekly offerings and divide them evenly between support of the ELCA and a local mission or benevolence (a different group is chosen each month).

5.   The new enthusiasm recently inspired two visitors at one of our churches to step forward with an interest in building outreach to children and youth.

6.   Two congregations are now offering a free lunch program for their neighbors.

7.  Two congregations host monthly diaper banks, which offer new and gently used baby supplies to individuals in the local community.  They distribute items such as diapers, baby wipes, baby clothes, baby/toddler toys and equipment, and other baby supplies to over 100 children each month.

One recent development is the identification of $400.00 each month, in each congregation, caused by a reduction of the congregation’s monthly contribution towards pastoral care.  The Pastoral Team and the PLUM Board are challenging each congregation to put that money into a Congregational Mission Fund that would be used for new mission efforts.  In other words, each congregation could have $4,800 mission dollars annually, or collectively PLUM would have $43,200 mission dollars available.

The ultimate goal is to see each congregation as a Mission Outpost.  We hope to see the Gospel’s mission at the center of the congregation’s planning, ministry, and life.

It is the Pittsburgh Lutheran United Ministries (PLUM) mission to be LIVING CHRIST’S LIGHT OF HOPE IN OUR COMMUNITIES.  PLUM will:

·        Provide stability of Word, Sacrament, and Pastoral Care.

·        Foster opportunities for connectivity among individuals, congregations, and communities.

·        Develop lay leadership for sharing the Gospel.

·        Encourage freedom to care for neighbors.

Vicar Mandy Gilberti      Rev. Brenda Henry        Rev. Sue Devine      Bishop Kurt Kusserow        Rev. Paul Koch          Rev. John Gropp     

Click HERE to learn more about Our Pastors!

405 Kennedy Avenue, Duquesne, PA 15110

Office Phone: 412-466-7773

E-mail: plumofpa@comcast.net



Pittsburgh Lutheran United Ministries (PLUM)

is a member of the


Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod





of the

Evangelical Lutheran Church in AmericaELCA - Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Contact Webmaster: plumofpa@comcast.net



Pittsburgh Lutheran United Ministries (PLUM), 405 Kennedy Avenue, Duquesne, PA 15110        412-466-7773