First Church Notes: 04.14.2019


April 14 – We will share readings and thoughts on Easter.  Illa Jean Boggs will offer some Easter odes.

April 21 – No class.  Come to the Easter breakfast!

April 28-May 19 – How does our relationship to God relate to our ethical lives? Do we need God to be good? Does God command what is right; or is something right because God commands it? How do we make sense of biblical commands that seem irrational or immoral? We will take up these and other questions in a series titled God and the Good, facilitated by our new Director of Spiritual Formation, Joe Smith. 


There are several opportunities to celebrate Holy Week here in our church. Please watch for this list to increase in the days to come.

Sunday, April 14         Palm Sunday 125th Anniversary Worship Concert 3pm

Wednesday, April 17  Mystics in Motion 7pm

Thursday, April 18      Maundy Thursday Worship in the Sanctuary 7:30pm

Friday, April 19            Good Friday Prayer Sanctuary noon-3pm

Sunday, April 21         Easter Sunday! 9:30-12:00 Celebrations and Worship


9:30 – 10:45 am Easter Sunday in the Fellowship Hall. Suggested donation of $5/person or $15/family. All proceeds support youth summer mission trip! Gluten free options available. 


April 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, April 27th.  Come to Fellowship Hall at 9:00am.  Clean-up is done by 1:00pm.  

Please email Karen Merrick at, by Monday, April 22nd, 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!


You’re invited to a small group, in-depth exploration of the Epistle to the Ephesians, Sunday’s at 9:45 am, beginning April 28th, Facilitated by Ruth and Walt Gates. We’d like to get a headcount of those interested in the study in order to know what room to hold it in. If you are interested, please contact Joe Smith, Director of Spiritual Formation @ 304-731-8717 or   


Students 6th -12th grade are invited to join us for pizza, ping pong, and dreaming about new opportunities for our youth group on Sunday May 19th, right after worship. Please RSVP to Joe Smith, Director of Spiritual Formation @ 304-731-8717 or so we’ll know how much pizza to get.    


Peki and Nua are inviting First Church members and friends to a Luau to celebrate Nua and Nua Jr’s birthday!  They will prepare all the food — a roasted pig as the main entree!  The dinner will be in Fellowship Hall immediately following worship on Sunday, April 28th.  The suggested donation is $6 per person, not to exceed $20 per family.  Peki and Nua have graciously indicated that all proceeds from the dinner will be their gift to the church!

Come and enjoy a taste of Polynesian food!  Thank you, Peki and Nua, for your wonderful hospitality and generosity!!

P.S.  Please consider helping with clean up after the dinner.


When They Call You a Terrorist – The Wrestling with Racism Team would like to encourage anyone who is interested in discussing the amazing book When They Call You a Terroristto join us for energetic conversation-filled sessions. The authors, Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele, are two of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement. This four session study has been scheduled for 6 pm on April 29th at Warren United Methodist Church. Please order your own copy of the book. If you have any questions regarding the study, please contact Sam Procter or Tracy Merrick. 


Learn more about the antislavery effort of women and men in Western Pennsylvania prior to the Civil War. Trip will include information on how the Underground Railroad operated in the area. Bus tour will be led by local historian and storyteller John Burt. Trip is Saturday, May 4 from 9 Am to 4PM, cost $30. Prior registration is required. Registration forms can be found at the three sanctuary entrances and hallway bulletin board. Event is sponsored by the Wrestling with Racism team which includes FUMC, Warren, St Andrews Lutheran, Friends Meeting House, Pgh Mennonite and Unitarian Church. For more information or questions email:


Why REC-CO? Over the last two weeks we introduced you to Carbon Offset (CO) and RECs (Renewable Energy Credits) – both stewardship options for supporting sustainable use of energy. Our scriptural tradition expects us to care for all creation. When we embrace programs like these, we are taking small but very real steps to address our own contribution to the problem of climate change, practicing our faith.  Stefan will be available in the Gathering Space after church with more information on REC-CO. We also have information on calculating our individual carbon footprints.

Movie Night: On May 7th, 7 PM we are showing the National Geographic documentary From Paris to PittsburghThe movie addresses ways we can shape the future in a time of dramatic climate change. The evening includes popcorn and other snacks and a raffle (free) for a sustainable utensil from Our Children Our Earth: Toys, Silks & Eco-Goods. Following the movie, Gail Ransom will lead a discussion exploring the challenges of moving into a future with many unknowns and changing expectations


This three-day event is being sponsored by United Methodist Advocacy in Pennsylvania and is intended to provide information and inspiration for Christians who believe that the Church has a role in society, including influence on public policy. This event will be May 18-20, and coincides with our denominational initiative, Change the World Weekend. For more information, or to register, go to:


The Poverty Team has compiled a list of ongoing needs for First Food and Friends and the Caring Cupboard. Please consider supporting these ministries by bringing in any of the following items:


• New Women’s Bras, Panties (Larger sizes)

• New Men’s Boxers (Med, LG, XL)


• Sweatshirts, all sizes

As always new socks are greatly appreciated.

MYSTICS IN MOTION: For mystic explorers, cosmic thinkers, and lovers of creation.  Wednesdays 7-8:30pm

If you are a spiritually inquisitive, active, social, and creative person who wants to explore the connection between your soul and the sacredness of all creation, we invite you to join our Wednesday evening community, Mystics in Motion. We are cosmic thinkers and lovers of creation who want to grow in spiritual wisdom through conversations of consequence, meditation, movement, and the creative arts so that we might serve the common good and restore a healthy relationship to our planet.

We have been inspired by Matthew Fox and his two young co-authors in Order of the Sacred Earth to consider taking a vow “to be the best lover and defender of mother earth that we can be,” a vow we hope to make on retreat this September. Conversations about taking vows for The Order of the Sacred Earth happen mostly on the first Wednesday of the month. You are welcome to join us.

We have changed our name from Worship Jam to Mystics in Motion to better reflect the active, mystical community we have become. 

SPRC meets the 2nd Wed of each month.

                                                      THIS WEEK

Sunday, April 14                                                   

9:00am      Handbell Choir Rehearsal                       

9:30am      Chancel Choir Rehearsal                         

9:30am      Music Ministry                                           

9:45am      Education for All Ages                                   

11:00am    Worship in the Sanctuary    

2:00pm       Recorders Society

3:00pm      Anniversary Concert

6:00pm      Sunday Night Yoga  

Monday, April 15

6:00pm      Hospitality Team

6:15pm      Phoenix Institute

7:30pm      Leadership Council

Tuesday, April 16

7:45am      Yoga

10:00am    Parent & Child Play Group

10:15am    Unity in Motion

10:30am    Staff Meeting

2:00pm      Strengthen & Stretch

3:15pm      After School Program @ Warren Church

6:00pm      B.C.I

6:00pm   Companions in Christ

7:30pm      NA

Wednesday, April 17

9:30am      Shake Hands & Share

7:00pm      Mystics in Motion

7:30pm      Bigger on the Inside

Thursday, April 18

1:00pm      East End Song Studio

2:00pm      Strengthen & Stretch

7:00pm      Interplay

7:30pm      Chancel Choir Rehearsal

7:30pm      Maundy Thursday

Friday, April 19

Office Closed

12:00pm    AA

5:30pm      AA Women’s Group

Saturday, April 20

9:00am     First Food & Friends

Tracy Cox
Director of Music and CommunityTim Coles
Director of Spiritual FormationJoe Smith
Administrative SecretaryGwendolyn Payne
Building Maintenance ManagerCurtis Mitchell
CustodiansLamont Hunter
Tacoma Woods
Offering StewardSherry Kaiser
HospitalityNick Solic
Music InternMichael Dodin
Family & Community
Ministry Intern
Megan Miles