First Church Notes: 08.13.2021

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

Welcome to First Notes!

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

Poverty Team News


“In most cities, zoning rules need an upgrade. Limiting available housing and banning affordable home options and rentals pushes prices up and pushes people out. Indeed, exclusionary zoning laws uphold a long, ugly history of practices that segregated neighborhoods by race and class.

One important part of the solution is upzoning, revamping our zoning laws so that more neighborhoods allow a healthy mix of homes of all shapes and sizes, including duplexes, apartments, and backyard cottages. 

Most people probably don’t think—or talk—about zoning too much. But if you care deeply about racial and social equity in your city, rising prices and affordability, and solutions to combat the climate emergency, it’s time to start!”

FIRST CHURCH INVITED:  Patrick Haver’s Retirement Celebration

All FUMC members and friends are invited to an open house to celebrate Patrick Haver as he retires as Program Director of First Food & Friends. The date is Saturday, August 28th, from 11:30 – 1:30 in FUMC Fellowship Hall & Courtyard. A picnic luncheon will be served from 11:30 – 12:30and “Stories of Thanks” will be from 12:30 – 1:30. (Food will be available 11:30 – 1:30).

Please RSVP ASAP to Gwendolen at 412.450.8532 or

Let’s send Patrick off on a well-deserved retirement with our presence, our prayers and our congratulations on a job well done for 22 faithful years at FFF!


Over the last several months, each Wednesday at 6:00 – 6:30pm, there has been a faithful gathering at the corner of Aiken Ave and Centre Ave to be a voice of support for BLM. During this time, we pray in voice and in silence.

There is a constant stream of horns honking in support for the BLM. Voices can be heard from cars saying, “Thank you for your support,” and “We love you!” Conversations with those walking their dog, those coming off their shift at the hospital, and those just walking by have started. Some folks have even joined in the vigil.

Along with the growing affirmation, recently we have encountered voices of distraction. This coming Wednesday, there will be additional guidelines for safety for all to follow. This prayer vigil is a visible expression of FUMC’s voice to be a church that stands for justice.

Everyone and your neighbor is invited to come. Adherence to social guidelines for mask wearing and physical distancing is required. If you do not have a mask, FUMC will provide one.

***Looking for a volunteer to expand the vigil on social media. Could you help, or do you know someone who could?


The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened our awareness of deeply rooted inequity within our institutions and our communities that have been built on systems of white supremacy and oppression. We would like to create space in our weekly worship video to share moments where we have grown in our awareness and understanding of inequity, and have felt the call to take action to promote a more just world. As we are all on a journey of growth, there is no step too small to be significant.

So, we invite you to share your heightened awareness to an injustice or inequity in a short video and, if you’ve taken action, describe what you’ve done to respond to that new awareness.

 If you are interested in recording a video, or want to learn more, please contact either Anais ( or Claudia Detwiler. We look forward to continuing this justice-seeking journey together! 


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.


Most of our Sunday School classes pause during the summer, but the Coffee and Chat time continues. If you would like to join, please email Michele Jury for the Zoom link.

Godly Play offers a virtual story time each Sunday morning at 9:30 amon our FUMCPitt YouTube channel.

A Prayerful Quote

In prayer for an end to the extreme droughts in the western US:

You visit the earth and water it,

you greatly enrich it;

the river of God is full of water;

you provide the people with grain,

for so you have prepared it.

You water its furrows abundantly,

settling its ridges,

softening it with showers,l

and blessing its growth.

You crown the year with your bounty;

your wagon tracks overflow with richness.

The pastures of the wilderness overflow,

the hills gird themselves with joy,

the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,

the valleys deck themselves with grain,

they shout and sing together for joy.

–Psalm 65:9-13 (NRSV)

First Church Staff

Tracy Cox
DeaconAnais Hussian
Director of Music and Community Tim Coles
Director of Spiritual Formation Joe Smith
Office Administrator Gwendolen Jackson
Office Assistant Sherrie Kaiser
Building Maintenance Manager Nelson Viola
Custodians Lamont Hunter
Tacoma Woods
Music InternMichael Dodin