Join Us

If your church:

       ...then please consider joining PLUM! 

 If you're reading this, then PLUM might be the miracle that you've been praying for!

If your church does not have a pastor, your pastor is planning to retire or you have an Interim pastor

Why should your church join PLUM? You get immediate pastoral coverage (from THREE pastors) and you can ‘try it out’ for a one-year trial period.  Also, your salary costs should decrease, since you would only be paying for less than one-half of a pastor’s salary (ten churches paying the salaries of three pastors).  If you decide to join PLUM - and later decide to drop out - PLUM only asks that you give the group a one-year notice, so that the other PLUM churches have time to adjust their budgets.

What is PLUM?

Pittsburgh Lutheran United Ministries (PLUM) is a cooperative ministry comprised of ten ELCA congregations in the Pittsburgh Area.  The purpose of PLUM is to provide pastoral support and joint activities shared by the member congregations. PLUM currently has ten full-member congregations.  The Ministry was founded by Rev. Beth Siefert and Rev. John Gropp in 2004 and currently has three pastors. The member congregations share in financial support of the pastoral staff and in joint worship/outreach/fellowship activities - yet they maintain their independence and individuality as they minister to those in their respective communities.  PLUM provides a means by which small, struggling or pastor-less congregations can continue to exist and minister to their communities.  It is hoped that PLUM can be a model for other churches who need a way to survive while rebuilding their congregations.

If we join, do we have to do only PLUM stuff?

The answer is NO!  Although we have many joint PLUM (group) activities, you always have the choice of whether or not you want to participate in any of them.  if you do events in your community - or even with other churches in your area - you are still free to continue doing those (or even new) activities!  We WANT you to continue to provide a service to your community - that's the whole reason that PLUM exists.  Lately, in the Catholic church, their leadership has been closing struggling churches, which forces its parishioners to attend a different church in a different neighborhood...but, then there's no one to minister to that abandoned community!  PLUM was created to prevent that from happening to our smaller Lutheran churches!  PLUM wants you to be the active, growing, beating heart in your community.

Will we have to move our Worship Service time?

The answer is...probably.  In order for our pastors to be able to preach on Sunday mornings to ten churches, they must 'stagger' the Worship Service times.  The Sunday morning Worship Service times are 9:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.  Our PLUM pastors (and several Sunday 'Supply' pastors) go to the PLUM churches that have 9:15 Services.  Then, once those Services are done, the pastors travel to the PLUM churches that have the 11:15 Services.

How can I talk to current PLUM members to find out more about PLUM?

The people in our PLUM congregations are so impressed with what PLUM has done for us, that many of them have offered to visit any interested church (such as a Church Council meeting) to tell you all about PLUM and how it has benefited our churches.

What if I have more questions?

For more information, feel free to contact the pastors directly or send us an e-mail at

Lutherans Alive! interview of Pittsburgh Lutheran United Ministries (PLUM) 2010-11-13.mp4

Lutherans Alive! interview with Pittsburgh Lutheran United Ministries (PLUM) on November 13, 2010, explaining how PLUM was created, how it works and what its benefits are.