Christian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania
working for the unity of the church and the wholeness of communities through collegiality, collaboration, and connectedness
The Rev. Liddy Barlow is a creative and passionate servant of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church in all its complicated diversity. She works to bring Christians of all traditions together to make visible our true unity as the Body of Christ.
In April 2014, Rev. Barlow became the first woman to be installed as Executive Minister of Christian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania. She reports to the Council of Bishops and Judicatory Executives, who represent 28 Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox church bodies throughout greater Pittsburgh. As Executive Minister, Rev. Barlow sets a vision for Christian Associates and manages all of the organization's projects and relationships.
Under her leadership, Christian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania has made unanimous public statements on ending racism and welcoming refugees. She is a key organizer of public worship services and events, including interfaith services in support of immigrants, mourning lives lost at Mother Emanuel in Charleston, SC, and standing against bigotry after the demonstrations in Charlottesville, VA. Rev. Barlow edits Christian Associates’ publications, including The Call newsletter, The Word in Our Voices series of sermon collections, and worship resources produced in partnership with community organizations.
In the aftermath of the anti-Semitic massacre at Tree of Life Synagogue on October 27, 2018, Rev. Barlow offered a clear voice of compassion and hope, representing the Christian community at numerous interfaith and civic events. With partners of many faith traditions, notably the Center for Loving Kindness and Civic Engagement at the Jewish Community Center, she convened interfaith spiritual leaders from 9 world religions and 24 Christian denominations for the "We Have to Talk" initiative, which continues to promote collegiality and healing.
Through Christian Associates' ministry of connectedness, Rev. Barlow holds a variety of leadership roles in local organizations, serving as treasurer of the City of Pittsburgh's Commission on Human Relations, chair of the Allegheny County Emergency Food & Shelter Board, and board member for the Foundation of HOPE. She formerly served as secretary of the Western PA Regional VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters), steering team member for All for All, and board member at Pittsburgh Pastoral Institute. She has been active in the International Association of Women Ministers for over a decade, and served as Program Chair for the 2019 Centennial Assembly. In 2015, she traveled to Israel and Palestine in the inaugural journey of Interfaith Partners for Peace.
Rev. Barlow frequently preaches and speaks at churches and community organizations throughout our region. Her publications include columns in The Christian Century and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; one of her sermons was featured in a Sojourners project.
On June 24, 2019, Rev. Barlow received an Antoinette Brown Award for trailblazing leadership in the United Church of Christ. She was recognized as "40 Under 40" leader by Pittsburgh Magazine. She received a Circle of Courage award from BCC Ministries, a Dialogue Award from the Turkish Cultural Center, and the Volunteer Mitzvah Award from the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh.
Rev. Barlow is ordained in the United Church of Christ, and is a member of the national Manual on Church working group. She served for four years as secretary of the Penn West Conference Board of Directors, six years as chair of the Pittsburgh Association Committee on Ministry, and was a member of the Habakkuk Group, a national United Church of Christ task force that rewrote the church's Manual on Ministry.
Rev. Barlow grew up in Keene, New Hampshire and attended Mount Holyoke College. After teaching sixth grade in Rocky Mount, North Carolina with the Teach for America program, she earned a Master of Divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School. Prior to her ministry at Christian Associates, Rev. Barlow served congregations in downtown Pittsburgh and North Huntingdon. She lives in Pittsburgh with her husband Gregory, a robotics entrepreneur, and their two young children.
Rev. Barlow welcomes invitations to preach, teach, and speak about the ministries of Christian Associates. Click here for more information.
Read Rev. Barlow's most recent "Reflections Along the Way" column here.
Photo by Jennifer McKinney