First Church Notes: 01.07.2022

News regarding the life and ministry of our wonderfully diverse and energized faith community

Welcome to First Notes!

If you have items for our notes, we ask that they be submitted to the office by email no later than Wednesdays at 9:00 AM.


Just as a reminder, we are still accepting scarves at the altar rail, which we will give to First Food and Friends to distribute to those in need.


Beginning Jan. 9th, our Prayer Vigil will be the 2nd Sunday of each month at noon in memory of Jim Rogers.


Most of you by now have seen or heard of our weekly worship experiences we are posting on YouTube. We hope they have been meaningful to all of you. We invite you to share the experience with friends and family far and wide. If you search for “fumcpitt” on YouTube it will take you to our church page where you can find all past videos and also the live SundayCast. An email will still be sent out to the FUMC email list each week by early Sunday morning with a link for each “live” experience. We are grateful to be able to connect in this way.


Sunday School classes meet each Sunday from 9:45 to 10:45 AM. A combination of online and in-person classes reflects our commitment to being one community in multiple locations and modalities.


Miss Helen and Miss Becky are holding Godly Play in person and ONLINE. (Watch on YouTube on Sunday mornings at 9:30.) 

Rather than separating by age, older children and youth will gather into “modes.” Those interested in calm discussion can join Alyssa Stadelman and our new Intern for Youth and Social Justice Ministries, Rudeene Jackson, for study of the Bible and Social Justice. Those who need to get some energy out can join Joe in the courtyard or Fellowship Hall (depending on the weather) for group games. Other modes (crafting, music, etc.) may be offered periodically.

The nursery (just outside the sanctuary) has been recently remodeled and refreshed and it will be staffed by Emily Burke, our loving and nurturing childcare professional, from 9:30 to 12:30 each Sunday.

There are no online Sunday School offerings for children or youth at this time.



Sundays 9:45-10:45 AM

The Seekers class is facilitated by one of our former pastors, Rev. David Keller. They discuss various topics related to the Bible, spirituality, justice, and personal growth. 

This Sunday I am asking our class to discuss the following note from my fellow UM minister and book club member (see below). For many years, Brian was the senior pastor of Christ UM Church in Bethel Park before retiring about fifteen years ago. I am impressed by his insight and urgency.


Facebook note from Rev. Brian Bauknight, December 28, 2021:


I think it was G. K. Chesterton who said, “The problem with Christianity is not that it has been tried and found wanting; rather it has been found difficult and not been tried.”

Each time we dare to pray, “Thy Kingdom Come,” we pray for a life thrust of peace, forgiveness, gentleness, and love. Then comes along a secular blowhard like Donald Trump, Jr. who says to a group of young evangelicals in Phoenix just before Christmas, “Following Jesus’ command to ‘turn the other cheek’ has gotten us nothing.” He told them that they have spent half a century turning the other cheek as Jesus taught and it hasn’t worked out for them.

I am appalled, deeply saddened by this frontal assault on the meaning and value of Christian discipleship. It is evil and dangerous beyond belief.

Coffee & Chat

Sundays 9:45-10:45 AM

A casual conversation group, Coffee & Chat has moved inside for the winter and meets upstairs (use the stairs near the S. Aiken door). Masks are required inside the church. For those who would like to join virtually, a Zoom link is available. Please contact the church office ( or Michele Jury ( for more information or to receive the Zoom link.

The Spirit of Justice

NEW TIME!!! 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month, 8:00 PM online

The Spirit of Justice class discusses books, articles, and podcasts about various social justice issues. This class is currently fully online. For the Zoom link, please contact the church office ( or Lisa Morse (

“White Awake” Book Study via Zoom

Join the book study of “White Awake: An honest look at what it means to be white” by Daniel Hill, sponsored by the WPA Commission on Religion and Race. The 6-week study, Tuesdays, 7 – 9 pm, February 1 – March 8, is being led by Lisa Morse and Rev. Dylan Parson, South Hills Partnership. To attend please purchase the book and register here via Eventbrite.

Joe’s Sunday Night Bible Study

Sundays 6:30-8:00 PM online

Does your knowledge of the Hebrew Bible (or, the Christian Old Testament) feel like a grab bag of people, books, events, and ideas? This fall we’ll use Dr. Sandra Richter’s book and twelve-week video lecture series, The Epic of Eden, to orient us in the time, geography, culture, and history of the Hebrew Bible. We’ll weave together the patterns of the story that runs from the Garden of Eden to the garden of the New Jerusalem and how it relates to God’s activity in our own lives.

Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 823 5451 2499


The cross is the assurance that effective prophetic criticism is done not by an outsider but always by one who must embrace the grief, enter into the death, and know the pain of the criticized one.

–Walter Brueggeman


Tracy Cox
DeaconAnais Hussian
Director of Music and Community Tim Coles
Director of Spiritual Formation Joe Smith
Office Administrator Gwendolen Jackson
Office Assistant Sherrie Kaiser
Building Maintenance Manager Nelson Viola
Custodians Tacoma Woods
Freddie Griffin
Digital Tech Engagement SpecialistMichael Dodin
Youth & Community InternRudeene Jackson