First Church Notes: 05.05.2019


May 12-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.


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  


On Sunday, May 5th, there will be no worship service at First Church due to the Pittsburgh Marathon going right by our building (Baum Blvd).  But we want to have a welcoming presence and open doors at the church on that Sunday.  And as is our tradition, we will be handing out oranges to the runners and cheering them on! We are also looking for a few volunteers to help the relay teams hand off the batons to the next runner.  Please contact the church office and/or come early on Sunday, May 5th to help cut up oranges and be around to show First Church hospitality to any marathon participant or spectator!


 May 6th at 7 pm – Group will attend the seminar Racism and the Church at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. All are welcome! For more information, …


Join us on Tuesday, May 7th at 7 PM to watch the National Geographic documentary Paris to Pittsburgh. Then stay for conversation about our personal challenges in responding to climate change –AND for the chance to participate in a free raffle for a great earth-friendly gift.


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:


Students 6th -12th grade are invited to join us for pizza, ping pong, and dreaming about new opportunities for our youth group onSunday 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.  

All Church Dinner/90th Birthday Celebration – Sunday, May 19th 

The All Church Dinner in May will be a “covered dish” dinner and a celebration of Millie Platt’s 90th birthday!  Meat and rolls will be provided by the Hospitality Team.  We are asking the congregation to contribute a dish to share for this dinner.  Meal will be served at 12:30pm.  No cost, just bring your favorite “covered dish”!

If you are able and willing to bring a dish, we are suggesting a:

·         Vegetable or starch (potato/rice) item if your last name begins with N through Z

·         Salad or fruit if your last name begins with A through M

 And of course, dessert will be Birthday Cake!

Also please email Karen Merrick ( if you are able to help with set up or clean up as we will need volunteers for the usual tasks.  Clean up should be done by 1:45pm.

Come and join us for good food and good fellowship!  And to wish Millie a Happy 90th Birthday!


Please plan to join us for either a Round Table Discussion on Wednesday, May 29th at 5:30 pm, or a Brunch and Learn on Sunday, June 2nd at 9:00 am to learn about what happened at the Special Session of the General Conference in February and the meeting of the Judicial Council in April, have your questions answered, and add your voice to the discussion as FUMC discerns its ongoing response to these events.


Sat. June 1st at 9 AM.  I hope people will come out to help plant the flowers and get a little dirty as we brighten up our corner!  Hope to see you there!!


Mark your calendar for Sunday, June 9th – FUMC, along with a number of other Reconciling United Methodists congregations in our Annual Conference, will March in Pittsburgh PrideFest.  


If you are thinking you might like to become a member of First Church, join us for an “exploration/orientation” luncheon on Sunday, June 23rd immediately after worship.  This will be a time to get information and ask questions about our church from Pastor Tracy and other members of our different Ministry Teams. 

Please let Pastor Tracy know of your interest by emailing her at or by calling the church office at 412-450-8532.

New members will join the church on Sunday, June 30th.


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 will meet on May 15.  This will be the last meeting until fall.


Sunday, May 5                                                   


1:30pm      What’s Up

6:00pm      Sunday Night Yoga 

Monday, May 6

9:30am      IWAP English Class

10:00am    Book Club

6:15pm      Phoenix Institute

7:00pm      Wrestling with Racism @ Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Tuesday May 7

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

7:00pm      Eco-Ministry Movie Night

7:30pm      NA

Wednesday, May 8

9:30am      Shake Hands & Share

7:00pm      Mystics in Motion

7:30pm      Bigger on the Inside

Thursday, May 9

9:30am     IWAP

1:00pm      East End Song Studio

2:00pm      Strengthen & Stretch

7:00pm      Interplay

7:30pm      Chancel Choir Rehearsal

Friday May 10

12:00pm    AA

5:30pm      AA Women’s Group

7:00pm       Ecstatic Dance

Saturday, May 11

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