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The Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG), along with the family of late Mayor Bob O'Connor and First Commonwealth Bank, will present Pastor Sue Hutchins of Pittsburgh's Allentown neighborhood with the second annual Bob O'Connor Award on Thursday, May 1st, 2008.
Pastor Hutchins will receive the award in recognition of her volunteer efforts leading the Hilltop Health Ministry Consortium. According to Eric Renner, Executive Vice President of Consumer Services for First Commonwealth Bank and title sponsor of the award, "We can all learn a great deal from Pastor Hutchins.
St. John Vianney
Rev. Sue Hutchins, HHMC Board President - HilltopHMC@gmail.com
Church Records of the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church
Pastors: Pittsburgh: Hilltop: Barry Lamont Lewis January 4, 1970-1975; Rodger Raymond Buzzard 1975-1981; Delbert Wayne Wasser 1981-1986; Clarence Ernst Hoener, Jr. 1986-1997; Pittsburgh: Hilltop/Castle Shannon: Susan Ruth Hutchins 1997--
Rev. Sue R. Hutchins,
Pastor, Hilltop United Methodist Church President of the Advisory Board Hill Top Health Ministries Consortium
Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference: NewsSmall Churches Value Relationships
Bill Kemp and Sue Hutchins, here with the Rev. Erwin Kerr (at right), Church Union president. Kemp and Hutchins spoke at Bakerstown UMC during the annual meeting of the UM Church Union in late November.Hutchins provided some concrete examples of small membership churches making a difference for Christ by working with others in their communities. That's what happened in two communities where Hutchins serves. Castle Shannon, she explained, is within about 5 miles of three large UM congregations and has a membership of 141, with about 35 or 40 in worship each week.Within four blocks are three Protestant churches.A Roman Catholic church is across the trolley tracks.Representatives visited the local elementary school to see if there was something the children needed that the churches could provide, Hutchins said. "They said the older kids have activities like soccer and scouts, but there was nothing after school for children from kindergarten through third grade," she explained."We (the Protestant churches) started Saint Afterschool." "Most of these children never sit down at the table to eat with a family," she added. Volunteers from the churches shared food, talked and played with them. "The average age of the volunteers is approaching 80," Hutchins said.Hutchins explained that through the program she was able to connect with young mothers in the community who didn't have a church and has since provided pastoral care for some. Hutchins also serves as pastor of Hilltop UMC in the Allentown section of Pittsburgh.There, she said, "We have an ecumenical health ministry.It started about five years ago with a $1,500 budget and now has $125,000 budget. We serve many elderly and single moms.I'm the pastoral leader of that health ministry. "The greatest roadblock to the ecumenical health ministry was the pastors," said Hutchins.Hutchins said if smaller membership churches aren't working together they won't survive.
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