Level Green Presbyterian in Trafford gets jump on Back to Church

| Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The congregation of Level Green Presbyterian Church is inviting people to rediscover the church community with a special service Sunday.

The local “Back to Church Sunday” program is modeled after a national initiative that began in 2007. According to its website, the initiative was prompted by two statistics — that 82 percent of nonchurchgoers are at least somewhat likely to attend church if asked, and only 2 percent of Christians invite people to attend church.

Church members, their guests and any community members who want to attend the Olive Drive church for the first time will gather on the lawn for a “meet-and-greet” with church leadership and refreshments at 10 a.m. The service will begin at 10:30 a.m.

As an enticement, attendees will have chances to win tickets to a Pirates game, a Chris Tomlin concert or “The Story Tour” concert.

The church's membership of 475 is down a little from past years, said the Rev. Dennis Macaleer, who has been the pastor since 1999. He said church leaders are hoping some of the newcomers will discover what they've been missing by not attending services.

“I think we'll hook some folks, for sure,” Macaleer said. “Most likely, it'll be those that come with a friend.”

The service is being advertised on yard signs and in a mailing to residents in Level Green and Trafford.

Nearly 20,000 churches are planning to participate in the National Back to Church Sunday program on Sept. 15.

Living Word Congregational Church in Penn Township, Crossroads Church in Delmont, First Baptist Church of Jeannette, Light-House of Prayer Ministries in Jeannette and First Presbyterian Church of Murrysville are among the local churches participating next weekend.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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