First Church Notes: 03.15.2020

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


On March 7th, First Food and Friends shared meals with 67 friends.


If you have a need the Caring Ministry might be able to provide, contact Deb Shearer @ 412-670-4027 or


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


Messy Church is a worldwide, all-ages, fun experience of church. It is open to all members of the community, especially those who may not normally attend church on Sunday morning. Many people who do not feel comfortable in a traditional church setting, including persons with disabilities and children who learn differently, have become regular participants in Messy Churches around the world.

Our time together begins with crafts and activities where kids and adults play together in a way that we build new relationships and friendships. Then, we celebrate the joy, play, and mess of God through interactive worship and prayer. And we end with a family-style lunch where the fun and mess continue! There is no cost to attend. All are welcome, all the time, just as you are. We look forward to a time filled with great crafts and activities, great celebration, great food and YOU.

Our Messy Church on Sunday May 3rd has been Cancelled. Next Messy Church date TBA.


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. Sunday mornings, March 1st – April 5th, 9:45 am, in the Parlor. Facilitated by Joe Smith.


A hard copy of the Lenten devotional is now available at the church as of last Sunday.  They can be picked up and used as a daily devotion during Lent.  If you prefer there are two other ways to access the devotional as well.  You can access an electronic version either directly from the church web site or on the church Facebook page which will list the daily scripture and link you directly to the writing for the day. There is also an audio version being put together as well if you prefer this media.  You can listen to the scripture and writings read by the writer or guest reader.  This form will soon be accessible on the church website.  For this first week you can contact Hannah Morris ( and I will send you the files directly.


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.


Friday, March 27th, 7:00 pm at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church. If you plan to attend, please let Joe know


It’s time to order Easter flowers. You may choose lilies or tulips at $8 each. Please fill out the enclosed form and place in the offering plate. Deadline for orders is March 16th.


In these difficult times, the Caring Ministry is putting out an appeal to all who might be willing and available to help when there is a need.  Would you:

·         help with grocery shopping for someone who might be in self-quarantine?

·         run errands, pick up prescriptions, etc.?

·         provide transportation to appts.?

·         send cards/texts, make phone calls to those that are homebound and need a caring message?

·         offer other ways to reach out in a safe manner to those in need?

Please contact Deb Shearer, Caring Ministry Coordinator for March, if you are interested in helping out in any way.  Email her at or call 412-670-4027. Also if you have a need/request for assistance from the Caring Ministry, please know that we are here for you.  Again, contact Deb Shearer, the March coordinator (see above for contact information).


Sunday, March 15

9:00am            Handbell Choir Rehearsal

9:35am            Chancel Choir Rehearsal

9:45am            Education for All Ages

11:00am          Worship in the Sanctuary

12:00pm          Hospitality Team Luncheon

12:30pm          Claiming the Promise

12:30pm          Confirmation Gathering

2:00pm            Recorders Society

4:30pm            Clothing Swap

Monday, March 16

9:30am            IWAP English Class

6:00pm            Hospitality Team

6:15pm            Phoenix Institute

7:30pm            Leadership Council

Tuesday, March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day)

7:45am            Susan Rupani Yoga

10:00am          Unity in Motion

10:30am          Staff Meeting

1:00pm            East End Song Studio

2:00pm            Strengthen & Stretch

6:00pm            B.C.I.

7:30pm            NA Reading Group

Wednesday, March 18

9:30am            AA

1:00pm            East End Song

7:00pm            Mystics in Motion

7:30pm            NA Bigger on the Inside

Thursday, March 19

9:30am            IWAP

1:00pm            East End Song

2:00pm            Recorders Society

2:00pm            Strengthen & Stretch

 7:00pm           Interplay

7:30pm            Chancel Choir Rehearsal

Friday, March 20

12:00pm          AA

1:00pm            East End Song

5:30pm            Women’s AA

Saturday, March 21

9:00am            First Food & Friends


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