First Church Notes: 05.29.2020

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.

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 previous sessions 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:

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


The Joy of Caring for Others

By Ross Gay

It started with a mask. A month or so back, at the beginning of mask wearing out here in Bloomington, Ind., I was taking a walk and a friend pulled up in her little Toyota pickup truck. We chatted a bit from a distance (we usually hug, so many friends, so many beloveds we no longer touch, that touching being one of the ways we know each other, a sensorium bereft, and let us figure out how to mourn this properly), and then she told me she was on her way to drop off some masks she’d made for her nephew, who’s about my age, at the jail.

“Here’s an extra,” she said, holding a mask out the window, where it dangled from her finger. It was pretty, kind of floral and quilt-y, and homemade as hell. I reached toward the mask, toward my friend, trying to keep away from her at the same time — both of us a little bit nervous, a little bit scared (I’ve never before noticed that “scared” and “sacred” are so close), making that by-now-familiar I-hope-we-are-not-infecting-each-other face.

That gesture, and the thousands of such gestures these past several weeks I have been a partner in the dance of, the clumsy and beautiful and awkward and elegant and nervous and tender figuring-out-how-to-reach-toward-while-staying-away dance, the reaching toward despite, the million gestures that carry all the figuring it out, all the wondering how to be close without touching, which is also to say, how to be together in our sorrow, how to be together in our need, our need for one another, which is profound, and good, for each other’s touch, really, how to hold one another, in these forms and labors of care, some of which we’ve always kind of done, some of which are emergent, we are inventing, they are becoming, to me anyway, differently luminous these days, these days of need, forms and modes of care utterly quotidian and utterly novel (though care is never quotidian), forms and modes minuscule and grand (though care is never minuscule), forms and modes and acts and events of care that become practices of care, and structures of care, witnessing this, studying this, trying to join this, the light that radiates from the dreaming and need and labor, I mean, despite the sorrow, in the midst of the sorrow, with the sorrow, brings me to what is there always if sometimes I forget, and I do, and when it takes me in I often nearly weep, I feel something breaking a little bit inside, and I think this is joy.


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