First Church Notes: 02.16.2020

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

DAY TRIP TO THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE IN D.C. On Saturday, March 14, 2020, the FUMC/Warren Wrestling with Racism will have an all-day visit to the NMAAHC via chartered bus. 

NAMATH has 36,000+ and artifacts and is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American Life, History and Culture. The museum presents the journeys of African Americans within USA and around the globe. Every aspect of the African American experience be it slavery, freedom, race, politics, economics, sports, music and so much more, comes to life thru collections and exhibits.

The trip includes timed admission at museum – opening thru closing and round-trip bus. The cost is $145/person but various scholarships are available if requested. All meals are at the user’s obligation but there will be a stop on the return to Pittsburgh at a buffet restaurant in Berkley Springs. See hall bulletin board for more details and/or contact Lee Shaw, 412-782-0288.

LENTEN STUDY: Sunday mornings, March 1st – April 5th, 9:45 am, in the Parlor

The story at the heart of lent and Easter is one of an angry God sentencing his son to die a cruel and gruesome death to somehow appease his wrath against all humanity. Or at least that’s how it’s often been told. How can we come to grips with a God like that? How could a God of justice and love abandon his child to such a fate? During lent the Seekers class will explore the broad array of ways that Christians throughout the centuries have understood the meaning of Jesus’ death, in order to develop an understanding of the cross that coheres with our sense of justice and nourishes our spirituality.  Facilitated by Joe Smith.


February 16th—Peggy Hooker will lead us in discussing various devotional statements.

February 23rd—Claudia Detwiler will lead a session titled “What Do We Mean by Rights of Nature?” 


During Lent the LGBTQIA+ Ministry Team will facilitate a study of the Reconciling Ministries Network resource, Claiming the Promise: An Ecumenical Welcoming Bible Study Resource on Homosexuality. The four session study will meet Sundays March 15th – April 5th, 12:30-3:30 pm in the Parlor. Lunch is provided, and childcare is available. If you plan to attend please RSVP to, so that we know how much food to prepare. 

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt 6:21).

For 2020, the Finance Committee will be working toward “Responsible Investing” of the church’s money. Our first effort is a process of discernment as to what we, as a faithful Congregation, would use as criteria for guiding our investment decisions. If you would like to be part of the process, please call the church office or contact John Detwiler or Michele Cesare Jury. We’d like to hear from you as we decide when and how often to get together. Thank you. 

FELLOWSHIP HOUR for the month of February is brought to you by the FUMC Property Committee. 

Our Property Committee uses our gifts and talents to maintain God’s building as a welcoming place of hospitality, worship, fellowship and ministry to all.  We work together with creative energy to see new possibilities and common sense to be good stewards of our budget, gifts and trusts. We communicate openly and invite others to serve with us in ways that use their gifts and talents to their fullest potential.  We recognize that meeting together is an essential part of good communication and accomplishing our mission. Our priorities are guided by:

  • Sustainable, reliable maintenance of the church “physical plant”
  • Safety of our congregation and staff
  • Sensitivity for this architecturally significant historic property that provides a sense of place in the life of the Shadyside / Bloomfield communities
  • Maintenance of equipment to support our ministries

If you have a heart for this work, please consider joining our committee. You are also welcome to join us in our spring and fall work days.


February is First Church’s month to volunteer at First Food & Friends, our weekly – every Saturday – meal ministry to anyone in need. (First Church has made a commitment to staff a volunteer team the last Saturday of every other month).     

Please consider volunteering to be part of this ministry on Saturday, February 29th – Leap Year day! Come to Fellowship Hall at 9:00am.  Clean-up is done by 1:00pm. Please email Karen Merrick at, if you are able to be there.  Any questions, please talk with Karen, Dave Keller or Fred Watts. Thanks for considering being a part of this very important outreach ministry of First Church!


This title, borrowed from the New York Times, describes the theme for a new First Church reading group about soil, agriculture and care of the earth. Please join us. We will be reading Wendell Berry’s Bringing It to The Table: On Farming and Food. We will meet at noon at the Detwiler’s with our brown bag lunches. Our first session is February 18th. We will meet for six sessions on alternate weeks. Feel free to come even if you haven’t received your copy of the book OR even if you can’t attend all of the sessions. If you are interested, let Claudia Detwiler, Nancy Eddy, or Peggy Hooker know so we can stay in touch.


We will have our first of the year All Church dinner on Sunday, March 8th, immediately after worship.  Even though we missed Chinese New Year, Chinese food will be on the menu! The cost of the dinner is $6.00 for Adults, $4.00 for Children under 12, not to exceed $20.00 per family.  First time Guests and college students, no charge. Please consider signing up to help at the dinner.  A sign-up sheet with a listing of jobs/help needed will be on the Clip Board table in the Sanctuary.  You can also email Karen Merrick at Come and join us for good food and good fellowship! 


Each Tuesday for light office support and/or to make the weekly deposit. Please call the church office for more details or email Shelby at


Housing and funds may be available for First Church members interested in attending the 2020 General Conference as either an observer or an advocate. If you are interested, please contact Shelby at


If you have a new or gently used set of hats and/or gloves, we are seeking to replenish our Caring Cupboard as the weather can turn dangerously cold and affect those who have little to no shelter. You may drop them off at the church at any time.


Sunday, February 16

9:00am            Handbell Choir Rehearsal

9:35am            Chancel Choir Rehearsal 

9:45am            Education for All Ages 

11:00am          Worship in the Sanctuary

11:00am          Youth Snow Tubing

2:00pm            Recorders Society 

Monday, February 17

President’s Day 

9:30am            IWAP English Class

6:00pm            Hospitality Team

6:15pm            Phoenix Institute 

7:30:pm           Leadership Council 

Tuesday, February 18

7:45am            Susan Rupani Yoga

10:00am          Play Group

10:30am          Staff Meeting

12:00pm          Eco-Ministry Reading @ Detwilers’ 

1:00pm            East End Song Studio

2:00pm            Strengthen & Stretch

6:00pm            B.C.I.

7:00pm            Edgewood Symphony 

7:30pm            NA Reading Group 

Wednesday, February 19

9:30am            AA

1:00pm            East End Song

2:00pm            Recorders Society

7:00pm            Mystics in Motion

7:30pm            NA Bigger on the Inside

Thursday, February 20

9:30am            IWAP

1:00pm            East End Song 

2:00pm            Strengthen & Stretch 

7:00pm            Interplay

7:30pm            Chancel Choir Rehearsal

Friday, February 21

12:00pm          AA

1:00pm            East End Song

5:30pm            Women’s AA

Saturday, February 22

9:00am            First Food & Friends 

7:00pm            Birthday Bash   


Tracy Cox
DeaconAnais Hussian
Director of Music and Community Tim Coles
Director of Spiritual Formation Joe Smith
Administrative AssistantShelby Vane
Office Assistant Sherry Kaiser
Building Maintenance Manager Curtis Mitchell
Custodians Lamont Hunter
Tacoma Woods
Hospitality Nick Solic
Music Intern Michael Dodin