Pittsburgh Marathon, 2019

This Sunday is the Pittsburgh Marathon. Tens of thousands of runners and visitors from across the country and around the world will be downtown. It’s like no other morning all year.

Our church is right in the middle of it all

A lot of churches are completely blocked by the course on Marathon Sunday. Ours isn’t. You can take the “T” to within half a block of the church. If you drive and can make it to Grant Street, you can park in the Mellon Garage, half a block from the church.

God put our church in the perfect place to be a blessing on Marathon Sunday.

For the last nine years, I’ve been out on the street in front of the church at 5:45 AM on Marathon Sunday, blessing runners. I pray with folks in small groups or one-on-one, or over the loudspeakers to the hundreds of people walking down the street to their corrals.

Many people are nervous about taking on so big a challenge. In those moments before the race, they’re anxious for a higher power. Many runners are Christians who run for God, and many others run for causes that matter to them. Hearing words of blessing, grace, and peace is important.

People I’ve prayed with in years past come up to thank me. It seems that my prayers for a following breeze sometimes are answered.

This year, we’ll again be playing motivational Christian music in front of the church, interspersed with our prayers. Later in the morning (10:45) we’ll hold our worship service outside and preach from our unique outdoor pulpit. God’s Word will be loose out on Sixth Avenue. What a privilege to be the church in the heart of the city.

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