First Church Notes: 05.22.2020

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


We are seeking to know about those of us in our FUMC community who have graduated from high school, college, or technical school of some sort. We are planning to celebrate graduates in worship and to present them with a gift from the church. Please contact the church office at 412-450-8532 or to let us know.


FUMC will be planting flowers on May 30 at 9AM. 


Big thank you to John and Karen Jacobs and daughter Leanne. They have gone to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank Food distribution and then delivered food to Family Promise families who are in temporary housing during the pandemic. This is a generous gift of time and mileage on their cars.


Calling all First Church seamstresses!  First Food & Friends is in need of washable, reusable cloth face masks for volunteers to wear when they are making up the Grab N’Go bags each Saturday.  Patrick and his crew have been providing bag lunches for 90-100 friends every week since the pandemic started.  This is a way we can help by keeping both volunteers and friends safe through the wearing of masks.

If you are able to make some masks, please contact Karen Merrick at or 412-779-0797 if you would like to coordinate a date/time to drop them off at the church or have them picked up at your home (practicing safe distancing at all times!).  Or you can send them to the church at:  First United Methodist Church of Pittsburgh, 5401 Centre Ave, Pittsburgh, PA  15232,  Attn:  Patrick Haver.  

If you are not into sewing, but want to help, please consider donating to First Food & Friends.  Patrick reports that the Food Bank has fewer options available, thus he has to spend more on food and supplies for the lunches.  The best way to donate is through their Facebook page, First Food and Friends.  Click on the Donate button.

If you prefer to donate by check, please note that it’s important to make the check out to 

First Charities, Inc. not First Church.  Please send to the church’s address above.  

THANK YOU, First Church, for supporting this vital ministry for the most vulnerable during this difficult time!    


As we continue our May congregational advocacy focus on sustainable energy, following Kelly Vaden’s reflection in the 5/3 worship video, below are ways to respond to the call to advocacy by taking action. 

1. Ask senators Casey and Toomey to support Senator Ron Wyden’s amendment to the American Energy Innovation Act that would address expiring energy tax policies by expanding incentives for clean transportation, electricity, and energy efficiency. Background Information at:  would-expand-vital-clean-energy-tax-incentives

2. The most sustainable energy is the energy you don’t use.  Don’t rush to turn on air conditioning when the weather gets warm. Try natural options to maintain a comfortable temperature. When it gets really hot, try setting your air conditioner five -ten degrees higher than you normally do.

3.  Donate to the Green Building Alliance at  “Green Building Alliance (GBA) advances innovation in the built environment by empowering people to create environmentally, economically, and socially vibrant places.”

Kelly would also welcome discussing this issue with you. You can email her at:

Please feel free to share your reflections about the advocacy readings and action items with Anais ( or Claudia ( 


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.


Our commitment to appropriate social distancing doesn’t mean that we can’t connect. Many of our regular Sunday School classes continue to meet each Sunday at 10:00 am by Zoom. 

Due to the increasing concerns about strangers logging into Zoom calls to cause trouble, we are not publishing invitations to Zoom meetings publicly. So to receive a weekly invitation to a Sunday School gathering, please email the convener:  

Seekers –  Kristi Woolsey

Spirit of Justice – Sam Procter

Coffee and Chat – Michele Jury

High School – Alyssa Stadelman

Middle School – Joe Smith    

And Godly Play is now offering a virtual story time each Sunday morning at 9:30 am. Watch your email for the link. 

And you can check out last week’s session here:

Haven’t been part of a Sunday School class before? This may be a better time than any! 

At a time when children are spending more time at home than ever, families are beginning once again to take a more active role in children’s spiritual formation. We offer the FAITH5 as a simple yet profound model for families to engage in conversation and meditation together:

Join Joe Smith for a virtual study of the book of Genesis:

–       First Creation Narrative:

–       Second Creation Narrative:

–       The Tower of Babel:

–       Noah’s Ark:

–       New videos will be available every Tuesday at 8:00 am. Subscribe to the FUMC YouTube channel or just watch your email.


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