First Church Notes: 01.14.2022

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.

As a reminder, the church office will be closed on Monday, 1/17, for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.


Pittsburgh District Anti-Racism Team brings a multi-media musical documentary to the Pittsburgh area for Black History Month:

“I Go On Singing:  Paul Robeson’s Life in His Words & Songs.”

Dutilh United Methodist Church sanctuary

1270 Dutilh Road, Cranberry Township

Saturday, February 26 at 6:00 pm

The story of this American hero, Paul Robeson, who struggled and triumphed comes alive in a rousing 90-minute song-filled presentation performed by the gifted Pittsburgh native, gifted American baritone and international ambassador of peace, Anthony Brown.  “I Go On Singing” brings music and history alive with equal parts documentary and live concert experience.  Musical numbers range from spirituals to Broadway, and include Robeson’s original arrangements of favorites like “Wade in the Water,” “Ol’ Man River,” ”It Ain’t Necessarily So,” “Water Boy” and many others.

In addition, Robeson’s musical colleague, the legendary folk singer Pere Seeger, makes three video appearances discussing his friendship with Robeson, the music they shared, and the turbulent times in which they lived.

“Once in a lifetime a human being comes along who stands head and shoulders above the rest. Paul Robeson was such a man.”

A free-will offering will be received at the evening’s conclusion to help cover the cost of the program.


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.


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.) 

Older children and youth will gather in the Fellowship Hall with Joe and Rudeene for group games and discussions about the Bible, spirituality, and social justice.

The nursery (just outside the sanctuary) is 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. 

Coffee & Chat

Sundays 9:45-10:45 AM

A casual conversation group, Coffee & Chat will be virtual only on January 16 and 23. 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.

Joe’s Sunday Night Bible Study

Sundays (resuming Jan 23rd) 6:30-8:00 PM online

Jesus spoke beautiful words of blessing and challenge. But sometimes Jesus spoke words that followers then and now have found difficult. He instructs disciples to hate members of their own families (Luke 14:26), to act as if they were slaves (Matthew 20:27), and to sell their belongings and give to the poor (Luke 18:22). He restricts his mission (Matthew 10:6); he speaks of damnation (Matthew 8:12); he calls Jews the devil’s children (John 8:44). For six week, January 23 – February 27, we’ll study these difficult words of Jesus with Dr. Amy-Jill Levine as she discusses how they would have sounded to the people who first heard them, how have they been understood over time, and how we might interpret them in the context of the Gospel of love and reconciliation.

Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 823 5451 2499

“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.


We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.

–Dietrich Bonhoeffer


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