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Re: The Pittsburgh Project

A few of you have asked about my resignation from The Pittsburgh Project. The official word came down yesterday. You can read it here. 

I wanted to say just a few quick things here. I apologize in advance if some of it is cryptic, but it has to be that way for something as public as a blog post. 

When one chooses to be a leader in any arena, their private life comes under scrutiny. Fair or not, leaders are judged as much by who they are as what they do. The Pittsburgh Project is an amazing organization that has done immeasurable good for literally thousands of people. An organization of this caliber requires a leader who can, at the very least maintain a healthy balance between those things that happen in their personal world and those that happen in their work life. I was not that person. I came into what I knew was an impossibly difficult job in the midst of wrestling my own demons and baggage. My self destructive tendencies got the best of me. I was not fit to lead. 

I want to take this opportunity to apologize to the board and staff of the Pittsburgh Project, many of whom invested a great deal of energy and trust into my leadership. I am so sorry for this unneeded distraction. I love you all and will continue to support you in any way that seems appropriate. 

If you are reading this, I hope that you will continue to support TPP. If you know me, you know the great love that I have for that place. Young people on the North side and vulnerable homeowners all across the city are loved in meaningful, tangible ways through their efforts. The value of their ministry is incalculable. Many of you loved them because I was there. I hope that you will continue to love them. 

As for me, I am going to do what I should have done at the end of 2011, which is to take a break from doing ministry. This has been a heartbreaking, humiliating, and humbling season of life. Hopefully it has been a wake up call. I have deferred maintenance on my psyche that I can no longer put off until tomorrow. I need to get my head and heart clear. And in the mean time, I need to figure out the best ways to love my family and friends. For those of you who have reached out to me, please forgive me for not reaching back as quickly as I should. I’m overwhelmed and embarrassed. I will reach back. I promise. 

So that’s me. 

How are you? 


About derricklweston

Father of two. I co-host God Complex Radio, a show highlighting progressive voices in the faith community. (godcomplexradio.com) I am an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church USA. I like lots of stuff. Sometimes I write about that stuff.


19 thoughts on “Re: The Pittsburgh Project

  1. Thanks for the vulnerability and honesty. My wife and I are praying for you and TPP. Grace and Peace.

    Posted by Drew Hart | February 19, 2014, 4:40 pm
  2. I am praying for you Derrick. May God do a deep work of renewal and restorative in your life.

    Posted by Terry Timm | February 19, 2014, 4:43 pm
  3. It takes a good man to know their own limits. You are loved and supported. May grace be found in this time of transition for you.

    Posted by Zane | February 19, 2014, 5:05 pm
  4. You know what I think… you’re an amazing person. May you breathe deeply and find some rest.

    Posted by Carol Howard Merritt | February 19, 2014, 5:09 pm
  5. Derrick, what a note to everyone. Much love and prayers to you, I will hold you and your family in my prayers each day. Peace and love. Life’s a journey, and I know God is with you….

    Posted by Shannan Vance-Ocampo | February 19, 2014, 6:46 pm
  6. I know you, and I know The Pittsburgh Project – this seemed like a match made in heaven! I am sad for them but glad you are putting on your own oxygen mask first. Please be well.

    Posted by Cindy Bahn | February 19, 2014, 7:10 pm
  7. I’m taking this in and breathing with you. Every person and situation is unique, but many of us know the pain of ministry and the pain of leaving. Praying for deep renewal and a new sense of self and health and balance for you.

    Posted by Gail Doering | February 19, 2014, 7:59 pm
  8. Prayers for rest, reflection, and healing for you and for your family. May God’s peace enfold you this day and every day.

    Posted by Jeff Cheifetz | February 19, 2014, 8:03 pm
  9. i am both sorry and happy to hear this Derrick. Blessings to you in determining right thought and right action in all of the important ways you live.

    Posted by Kamal Hassan | February 19, 2014, 8:33 pm
  10. My prayer for and with you: Psalm 139:23-24. Shalom!

    Posted by Henry Beun | February 19, 2014, 8:39 pm
  11. Sending love….. You are a beautiful child of God and my brother. I value you immensely. Ammon

    Posted by Ammon Ripple | February 19, 2014, 10:08 pm
  12. Praying your wounds heal into scars as you make amends and go forth.

    Posted by Andrew Tatusko | February 19, 2014, 10:50 pm
  13. Derrick, I’ve watched you from afar ever since I worked that one summer at the TPP. I’ve read a lot of your sermons and blog posts and have often resonated with the words you write. Once again I feel such resonance. My heart aches for you because I know the feeling of being embarrassed as well as the feeling of needing to get out of ministry. Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing.

    Andrea and I will continue to support TPP and I’ll definitely continue to follow you as you go on your next adventure. Can’t wait to read about where life takes you next!

    Posted by Kyle Wetherald | February 20, 2014, 4:45 am
  14. Holding you in prayer. Much love.

    Posted by marciglass | February 20, 2014, 5:06 am
  15. I have admired your deliberate attempt at ministry. You are not alone and you will be back. It is not even near the end, only transition. Once you heal, I look forward to the next level.

    Posted by Bruce foster | February 20, 2014, 3:53 pm
  16. No stones, just the fellowship of the forgiven and prayers for you and your family. Recently, in the midst of a situation that I considered embarrassing, the voice of love whispered to me, ” When I humble you, it’s never to humiliate you.” I can’t wait to see you restored.

    Posted by Wayne Younger | February 20, 2014, 7:29 pm
  17. Praying for you Derrick. Thanks for your honesty and exhibiting leadership. I know God is with you in this season.

    Posted by Rachel Goode | February 20, 2014, 7:45 pm
  18. Derrick,

    Without knowing any of the details, I want to say to you that this models of spirit of humility that I think all of us are called to in the church today. Our leaders far too often begin with denial and dig in for a battle that serves no one. Thank you for the courage you are demonstrating with this post. I will hold you in prayer as your time of discernment unfolds.


    Posted by Rick Ufford-Chase | February 21, 2014, 5:53 pm
  19. I love you Derrick and if you just need a friend to make you laugh and be goofy with that has nothing to do with ministry feel free to call me…

    Posted by Shanea Leonard | February 22, 2014, 6:36 pm

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