First Church Notes: 08.25.2019


Over the years, many of you have enjoyed listening to the Barbershop chorus I sing with- Vocal Confluence (formerly Steel City Harmonizers).  We have expanded our repertoire and styles of songs, and we now rehearse in Shadyside at Rodef Shalom.

Our first performance for this fall is Today from 3pm-4:30pm. It’s at Rodef Shalom, located at the corner of Fifth Ave and Morewood Ave. Tickets at the door will be $18.  I have a set of tickets, and if you are interested in coming or have questions about our group, please send me (David Krackhardt) an email ( or give me a call at 412-726-8151.  I hope to see you there!


Kids, teens, and families are invited to join us for s’mores, hotdogs, fun, and fellowship. Sunday August 25, 6:00-9:00 pm in the church courtyard. Please RSVP to Joe @ 304-731-8717 or   


You are invited to attend the Eco-ministry Team meeting on Tuesday, Sept.3, 7:30 pm. We will look at what plastic has to do with our climate crisis and how we can make change happen. This is a no-guilt-trip conversation. Check out our bulletin board outside the Fellowship Hall for a preview. Read what our colorfully clothed little board people have to say. For even a bigger preview, contact Claudia ( for some pre-September reading.


The Pan Methodist Council of Western Pennsylvania has noticed a great thirst for unity in our various communities. With hopes of quenching that thirst, we’ve joined with several faith-based organizations and social groups to organize Western Pennsylvania’s first annual “March to Unite” scheduled for Saturday, September 7th, 2019. It is our goal through this event to unite Western Pennsylvanians from various social, religious and economic backgrounds for a prayer rally and march for peace and reconciliation.

The Pan Methodist Council includes leaders from the UMC (majority white) and AME, AMEZ, and CME (black Methodist denominations). This event to be a public demonstration of unity across racial divisions in a time of heightened racism and vocal white-supremacy. Setting aside time to pray together, symbolically march “across bridges” and to hear speakers and be led in prayer will hopefully form relationships that lead to deeper cooperation and action.


For our first class this fall a special guest will share with us how he, as a Jewish boy and teenager, lived in hiding from the Nazi soldiers in his home country of Bulgaria. He is a special friend of mine who I met at the Squirrel Hill JCC.  We will be honored by his willingness to tell his account about how he survived with the help of courageous people in his community. 


Microphones and Sound System:  Anyone who wants to know the ins and outs of speaking into a microphone in the sanctuary and how to make sure your voice is heard! (Announcements, Liturgists, Singers, and more!) Also, in addition, any who would like to know a little more about the system itself and possibly learn how to operate it on Sunday mornings!

Acolytes: The depth, meaning, and procedures involved for bringing the great gift of light into our worship space on Sunday mornings!

Ushers and Greeters: The strong team of people who use hospitality and devotion to guide the community into worship.

Liturgists: Weaving voices together to bring scripture, prayer, and liturgy alive in our Sunday mornings.

We will have some light snacks available and a heart full of hope and anticipation for our upcoming program year at the church! We look forward to spending some time with you for this offering!


First Church is producing a Lenten Devotional and we want your voice to be included! If you would like to be a part of co-creating this resource, please join us for a brief planning session Sunday, September 8th at 12:15 in the office conference room. If you are unable to make it to the meeting but would like to write for the devotional, please let Joe know.


People of all ages are invited to participate in the First Church Ping-Pong Tournament on Wednesday, September 18th 5:30-7:00 pm in the youth room. Join us for some friendly, competitive fun!


Would you like to re-engage with the scriptures? Join Companions in Christ for five sessions of practicing meditative readings of scripture, guided by the lectionary text. The groups will meet 5:30 – 7:00 pm on select Wednesday evenings through the fall: September 11th, October 9th, October 23rd, November 13th, and December 11th. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be biblically literate, have any experience with “meditative reading,” or even know what that means! We’ll all learn a new practice together! A light dinner will be provided. For more information, please talk to Joe. If you don’t catch him in the hallways, you can contact him at 304-731-8717 or


As we gear up our ministry with FAMILY PROMISE, we need to collect a number of supplies. We will hold a “TENT WARMING PARTY” on Friday evening, Sept. 27 from 7 – 9 pm. We hope that many church members will attend and bring gifts for this ministry.  A list of needed items will be published in the near future.  You do not have to be a volunteer for the ministry to attend and provide your donations. 

Please mark your calendars for a fun Friday evening.


You are invited to share your musical gifts to be woven into the life of FUMC. There are many opportunities to do this including our fantastic Chancel Choir that rehearses Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings in the Fall, Handbell Choir on Sunday mornings, instrumental and vocal solos in worship, drumming for Mystics in Motion on Wednesdays, and many other ways! Please see Tim Coles to share your interest.


We’re looking for people to join our children’s and youth ministry teams. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved, from teaching a Sunday School class to chaperoning social gatherings, providing meals, or just hanging out and getting to know some really cool kids. No experience or special skills required, just a love for kids. If you’d like to learn more, please talk to Joe. If you don’t catch him in the hallways, you can contact him at 304-731-8717 or

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 changed our name from Worship Jam to Mystics in Motion to better reflect the active, mystical community we have become


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) & (T-Shirts XL, XXL)


• Sweatshirts, all sizes

As always new socks are greatly appreciated.


Sunday, August 25

10:00am     Worship in Fellowship Hall  

6:00pm       Back to School Bonfire

Monday, August 26

6:15pm        Phoenix Institute

Tuesday, August 27

7:45am        Yoga

1:00pm        East End Song Studio

2:00pm        Strengthen & Stretch

7:00pm        Edgewood Orchestra

7:00pm        Safety Team

7:30pm        NA 

Wednesday, August 28

9:30am         Shake Hands & Share

1:00pm         East End Song Studio

7:00pm         Mystics in Motion

7:30pm         Bigger on the Inside

Thursday, August 29

1:00pm         East End Song Studio

2:00pm        Strengthen & Stretch

7:00pm        Interplay

Friday August 30

12:00pm       AA

11:00am       East End Song Studio

5:30pm         AA Women’s Group

Saturday, August 31

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