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Faith's places in 'urban village'

| Friday, March 1, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

Kudos to Bob Bauder for his upbeat news story “Pittsburgh officials want to create a Downtown ‘urban village' atmosphere“ (Feb. 19 and TribLIVE.com). Mr. Bauder missed a key element of our “urban village”: vibrant places where people live out their faith. The “most livable” city must have places where people can explore the answers to life's big questions.

In Downtown Pittsburgh, you can walk to five churches that have anchored the community for centuries. They're havens for people who need a break. In a town with many needs, the Downtown Ministerium's Walk-In Ministry serves hurting families with food, clothing and other assistance. Even if you're a skeptic when it comes to faith, you can appreciate that we maintain some of the city's most breathtaking spaces.

First Presbyterian Church, like the other Downtown churches, is an architectural gem. I love it when Pittsburghers come here for the first time (we welcomed 500 on Light Up Night). They're amazed by the beauty of the place and the warmth of the people.

We love this “urban village,” just as we have for the last 240 years!

The Rev. Tom Hall

The writer is senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh.

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