FUMC Notes: 12.06.2019

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


On Monday, December 16, 2019 at 7:30pm at the beginning of the Leadership Council Meeting First United Methodist Church will hold a church Charge Conference for the purpose of approving budget and salaries. Rev. Rand Edwards will facilitate the conference. All are welcome to attend this gathering as affirmations of our ministries and visions are discussed and celebrated.


We are planning to give $5 Wendy’s gift cards to our guests at First Food & Friends this year as a Christmas gift. We will be collecting cash and checks for those cards during worship on next Sunday, December 15th. The theme of the day from our lectionary scriptures is “Deliver.” May we deliver compassion and joy to our friends!


HALLELUJAH! CONCERT DECEMBER 7 and 8 at 4pm at Calvary UMC

Bask in Handel’s inspiring Messiah while surrounded by candlelight and Calvary’s magnificent Tiffany stained-glass masterpieces. Our FUMC Choir will be joining the choir at Calvary UMC AT Calvary church as part of our 125th Anniversary Celebration.

We will be performing the “Christmas” portion of Messiah. Calvary’s Music Director Brian Burns conducts the event which includes popular regional soloists, a chamber orchestra comprised of some of the area’s most accomplished instrumentalists, and the Festival Choir. The concert is family-friendly – each child 12 and under will receive an activity pack. This concert is also a sing-along. As an audience member you are not required to sing, but you are certainly invited to sing along on each of the choruses sung by the Festival Choir.

We also offer this concert in support of outreach ministries on Pittsburgh’s Northside. This year, as in years past, we ask audience members to bring non-perishable food items and extra shopping tote bags for Northside Common Ministries Food Pantry. Also, tickets are given to neighborhood schools, smaller churches, and groups such as Tickets for Kids.It’s a fantastic way to kick off the holiday season, and we invite everyone to join in and sing for the joy of it! Tickets are available now at CalvaryPgh.com


We hope you will also consider joining us on Saturday, December 14, at 7pm for our own Candlelight Worship Concert in the sanctuary at FUMC. This decades-long tradition is special and will be a bit more subdued this year due to our involvement in Calvary’s concert. We will be offering some selections from “The Messiah” and other new and old favorites. “O Holy Night” is a moment to look forward to as everyone is invited to join in! This gives our church musicians the chance to take you on a special journey towards Christmas. Wonderful reception following. Hope to see you there!


Inspired, Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again, by Rachel Held Evans, will guide our conversation as we gather to discuss the stories, events, people and history of the Bible.  This class will be led by Pastor Tracy and all questions and comments are welcome.  Reading the book Inspired, ahead of the class may be helpful for you, but not required to participate in conversation. The class will meet in the parlor where we will be joined by the Seekers Class.


Fat Tuesday before Lent is for pancakes, but Fat Saturday is for cake, birthday cake!  Please save the date of Saturday, February 22, 2020 for First Church’s “Fat Saturday Birthday Bash”.

There will be a table for each month of the year – decorated in a theme chosen by the host of that table who will make and decorate a delicious theme birthday cake.  Attendees will be asked to join the table corresponding to their birthday to enjoy cake, snacks and good conversation.   Volunteers willing to choose a month (it doesn’t have to be your birthday month) and host that table or anyone willing to organize/coordinate the tables, should email Karen Merrick (crimmerr@aol.com).   May, July and August have been chosen, but the remaining months are open – first come, first serve! AND…there will be entertainment! First Church is full of very talented people. Please consider sharing your talent either solo or with friends and contribute to the evening’s program. Register by contacting Tim Coles (timcoles@fumcpittsburgh.org) or Dave Keller (revdfkeller@aol.com).

More information to come, but for now – save the date and please consider volunteering for one of the following to make this event a success:

·         Host a table by yourself or with a friend (bake a cake and decorate it and the table in your chosen theme)

·         Organize/coordinate the host tables

·         Be part of the talent show!


Would you like to re-engage with the scriptures? Join Companions in Christ in practicing meditative readings of scripture, guided by the lectionary text. Wednesday, December 11, 5:30 – 7:00 pm. 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 joe@fumcpittsburgh.org


Elf. Hot chocolate. Christmas cookie decorating. Ugly Christmas sweater contest. Sunday, December 15, after worship.


Sponsored by the Pittsburgh District Anti-Racism Team      January – February 2020

Please join participants from across the Pittsburgh District who will be meeting in January and February 2020 to discuss challenging issues about race and racism. In light of the current environment across the country, it is incredibly important that we discuss these topics in our communities of faith.   

Participants are asked to attend four meetings, one each week. Since all three meetings each week will cover the same topics, attendees should feel free to participate in any one of the three. Here are the dates:

South Avenue UMC: Tuesdays at 7 PM – Jan. 21, Jan. 28, Feb. 4, and Feb. 11 

Baldwin UMC:  Wednesdays at 7 PM – Jan. 22, Jan. 29, Feb. 5, and Feb. 12

McKnight UMC: Thursdays at 7 PM – Jan. 23, Jan 30, Feb. 6, Feb. 13

The teams leading these sessions expect to draw on a variety of resources, including the New York Times 1619 Project.

Please contact the Pittsburgh District Office to confirm your participation via email (pittsburgh.district@wpaumc.org) or phone call (412-281-7154). 

Additional information will be distributed soon!


Sunday, December 8

  9:00am          Handbell Choir Rehearsal

  9:35am          Chancel Choir Rehearsal

  9:35am          Education for All Ages

11:00am          Worship in the Sanctuary

  2:00pm          Recorders Society

  6:00pm          Sunday Night Yoga

Monday, December 9

  9:30am          IWAP English Class 

  6:15pm          Phoenix Institute

  6:30pm          Conscious Evolution

Tuesday, December 10

  7:45am          Susan Rupani Yoga

10:00am          Play Group

10:30am          Staff Meeting

11:30am          Western Psych Party

  1:00pm          East End Song Studio

  2:00pm          Strengthen & Stretch

  7:30pm          NA Reading Group

Wednesday, December 11

9:30am            Shake Hands & Share

1:00pm            East End Song Studio

5:30pm            Meditative Scripture 

7:00pm            Mystics In Motion

7:30pm            NA

Thursday, December 12

 8:00am           Organ Tuning

 9:30am           IWAP Cooking Class

 1:00pm           East End Song Studio

 2:00pm           Strengthen and Stretch

 5:00pm           Kitchen Cleaning

 7:00pm           Interplay          

 7:30pm           Chancel Choir Rehearsal

Friday, December 13

12:00pm          AA – Cookies & Kisses

  1:00pm          East End Song Studio

  5:30pm          Women’s AA

  7:00pm          Ecstatic Dance

Saturday, December 14

  9:00am          First Food & Friends

  7:00pm          Candlelight Concert 

Tracy Cox
DeaconAnais Hussian
Director of Music and Community Tim Coles
Director of Spiritual Formation Joe Smith
Administrative Secretary TBA
Office office@fumcpittsburgh.org
Office Assistant Sherry Kaiser
Building Maintenance Manager Curtis Mitchell
Custodians Lamont Hunter
Tacoma Woods
Hospitality Nick Solic
Music Intern Michael Dodin