Statement from Rev. Charissa Howe

Recently, our church has found itself the target of online and phone harassment from people upset by the actions and words of a former minister of Emsworth United Presbyterian Church.

To be clear: Rev. Susan Rothenberg is no longer the minster at Emsworth United Presbyterian Church. Her pastoral relationship with EUPC ended several years ago under amiable and unrelated circumstances.

For her safety, we will not and cannot provide any of her contact information, nor are we able or willing to pass along any messages from outside of our congregation to her. Our facebook and web-contact pages have been temporarily disabled until the harassment abates. It is a shame that we have had to reduce our accessibility to a hurting community because of this unwarranted harassment.

Ours is a church family based on the gospel message of love and acceptance. We don’t always live that out perfectly: nobody does, not even pastors. But we do cling to it, even in the darkest times. When one of us hurts others in our words or actions or have our words or actions used against us in ways we did not intend, we must extend grace to one another. We must stop to listen to each other’s stories and to share our own so that we can find the common ground we share even in the midst of disagreement or hurt. It’s not easy, but it’s what God calls us to in the pages of scripture.

This is indeed a dark and difficult time in Pittsburgh. Let us take this time to be compassionate and loving, extending the grace and light of Jesus Christ to all those who are hurting. If you are hurting at this time, you are welcome to join us at worship this or any Sunday. You do not have to hurt alone.

Reverend Charissa Howe

Pastor of Emsworth United Presbyterian Church