Blessing the runners

This Sunday, May 1st, the Pittsburgh Marathon returns for the first time in three years. Tens of thousands of runners, and visitors from across the country and around the world, will be downtown. It’s like no other day all year.

First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh and Trinity Episcopal Cathedral next door are right in the middle of it all.

Roads are shut down all over the city on Marathon Sunday, making it hard to get to many churches. But not our churches. You can take the “T” to the Wood Street Station, or drive in and park in the Mellon Square Garage, each a half a block away.  

God put us in the perfect place to bless the city on Marathon Sunday.

We will be out on Sixth Avenue at 5:45 AM, blessing runners. You should join us.

Many runners are so scared before the big race that they’re shaking. They wonder, “What was I thinking when I signed up for this?” Some are quite literally looking for a higher power.

Some are running to raise money and awareness for a loved one who passed away, or who suffers with a particular condition. Some are running to glorify God. Hearing words of blessing, grace, and peace means a lot to them.

People I prayed with in years past come up to thank me. They remind me that I had said that when they “hit the wall” around mile 20 they would experience a “following breeze.” They tell me that prayer was answered.

This year, after we bless the runners early in the morning, we’ll hold a combined worship service outside at 10:45, weather permitting. Our friend, The Very Reverend Aidan Smith, Dean of Trinity Cathedral, will preach from our unique outdoor pulpit. What a privilege to be the church in the heart of the city.

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