First Church Notes: 06.14.2020


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


Welcome to our “reboot” of First Notes! We are intending to provide this source of First Church news once per week on Fridays once again in the midst of the ongoing crisis. We hope this will be a way to better stay connected with everyone and share good information with you all.

If you have articles for our notes we ask that they be submitted to the office by email no later than Wednesdays at 9:00AM.


HAVE YOU GRADUATED OR KNOW SOMEONE WHO HAS?

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 office@fumcpittsburgh.org to let us know.


CALL TO ADVOCACY


Our June LGBTQIA+ advocacy focus will be introduced by Josh Popson in this week’s worship video. As you hear him share how Pride is a remembrance of riots of active resistance against homophobic and transphobic police harassment led by transgender people of color, you are invited to also be mindful of current riots and protests against racist police brutality and systems that continue to harm and oppress people of color. It may be tempting to quickly shift our focus to the positivity of Pride month as an escape from the difficulty or discomfort of anti-racist work, but we hope you will continue to actively work to dismantle racism while also engaging this month’s topic of LGBTQIA+ justice.


Below are some articles for you to engage this topic:

Students Reflecting on Being Black and Queer: https://www.glaad.org/amp/11-students-explain-what-being-queer-black-and-proud-means

Pride Cannot—and Must Not –Exist Without Anti-Racist Work: https://www.vogue.com/article/pride-cannot-and-must-not-exist-without-anti-racist-work

LGBTQ+ Policy Changes Under Current Presidential Administration: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/03/02/804873211/whiplash-of-lgbtq-protections-and-rights-from-obama-to-trump

Pittsburghers Reflecting on LGBTQ+ Identity and Faith: https://www.publicsource.org/lgbt-religion-comforting-harmful-rejection-pittsburgh/


FUMC SUNDAY CAST FOR CONGREGATION AND THE WORLD

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.


CHRISTIAN EDUCATION AND SPIRITUAL FORMATION

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 Woolsey.Kristi@bcgplatinion.com

Spirit of Justice – Sam Procter sam.procter@gmail.com

Coffee and Chat – Michele Jury mcjury@gmail.com

High School – Alyssa Stadelman alyssastadelman@gmail.com

Middle School – Joe Smith joe@fumcpittsburgh.org   

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: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLk6VxCsmhEQnpgkFlbiVddDryAUTaqJA3


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: https://faithink.com/about-faith5

Join Joe Smith for a virtual study of the book of Genesis: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLk6VxCsmhEQnrTKA3I1SW-m02Fs-EVMnY

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


A PRAYERFUL THOUGHT FOR YOU

Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and
purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say

it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.


FUMC Staff

Pastor
Tracy Cox
pastortracy@fumcpittsburgh.org
DeaconAnais Hussian
anais@fumcpittsburgh.org
Director of Music and Community Tim Coles
timcoles@fumcpittsburgh.org
Director of Spiritual Formation Joe Smith
joe@fumcpittsburgh.org
Administrative AssistantShelby Vane
shelby@fumcpittsburgh.org
Office office@fumcpittsburgh.org
Office Assistant Sherry Kaiser
Building Maintenance Manager Curtis Mitchell
Custodians Lamont Hunter
Tacoma Woods
Hospitality Nick Solic
nicsolic3@fumcpittsburgh.org
Music Intern Michael Dodin