First Church Notes for 05.01.2022

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 9:00 AM.

Marathon Sunday

On Sunday, May 1st, there will be no worship service at First Church due to the Pittsburgh Marathon going right by our building (Baum Blvd).  But we will have a welcoming presence and open doors at the church on that Sunday.  The online worship service will be running in the Gathering Space and there will be music outside.  And as is our tradition, we will be handing out oranges to the runners and cheering them on!  So please come early on Sunday, May 5th to help cut up oranges and be around to show First Church hospitality to any marathon participant or spectator!

State of the United Methodist Church – Gathering

On May 15th from 10:00 to 10:30 in the Fellowship Hall, we will be gathering to discuss what is happening in the United Methodist Church and how First United Methodist Church of Pittsburgh will be affected. In broad strokes, the United Methodist Church may be making headlines soon as the Global Methodist Church begins to solidify institutionally. Pastor Tracy will be leading conversation on various aspects of events that have led to this moment in the denomination. Please feel free to research these matters ahead of time and bring any questions you may have, but be assured that FUMC remains committed to the work of full inclusion, as reflected in the hospitality statement. Live stream will be available—please contact the church office for details.

Staff Appreciation

First Church, we all love our wonderful lay and clerical staff. They put such passion into bringing us the Gospel, keeping our building a functional and inviting space, in infusing our gathering with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and leading us in the community. They have gone the proverbial extra mile during the trying pandemic times. On Tuesday, May 3rd, the Staff Parish Relations Committee will be honoring and celebrating the staff with a luncheon to say thank you on behalf of the whole congregation. We invite each of you to send a greeting card to the church office, addressed to all the staff, to add your appreciation.

Membership Exploration

On May 22, 2022, after worship at 12:15 PM in the Fellowship Hall, we will be holding a membership exploration meeting for anyone who is seeking confirmation, profession of faith, transfer of membership from another United Methodist church, or transfer from another denomination. Light refreshments will be provided. Please RSVP by contact the church office at or 412.681.8222.

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.

Queering Wesley, Queering the Church

Wednesdays June 1st, 15th, 22nd, and 29th, 6:30-8:30 pm, in the Fellowship Hall

Join us for a study of Queering Wesley, Queering the Church by Keegan Osinski and for a discussion of how the Wesleyan tradition can foster and expansive openness to the love and grace of God. Please RSVP to to get a copy of the book. Facilitated by Anais Hussian, RoBear Wilson, and Joe Smith.

Christian Education and Spiritual Formation

Sunday School classes meet each Sunday from 9:45 to 10:45 AM. A combination of online and in-person classes reflects our commitment to being one community in multiple locations and modalities.

Sunday School Classes for Children and Youth

Miss Helen and Miss Becky are holding Godly Play in person and ONLINE. (Watch on YouTube on Sunday mornings at 9:30.)

Older children and youth will gather in the Fellowship Hall with Joe and Rudeene for group games and discussions about the Bible, spirituality, and social justice.

The nursery (just outside the sanctuary) is staffed by Emily Burke, our loving and nurturing childcare professional, from 9:30 to 12:30 each Sunday.

There are no online Sunday School offerings for children or youth at this time.

Adult Discussion Groups


Sundays 9:45-10:45 AM

The Seekers class is facilitated by one of our former pastors, Rev. David Keller. They discuss various topics related to the Bible, spirituality, justice, and personal growth.

Interested persons can join us by obtaining the Zoom ID and code from the church office at

Coffee and Chat

Sundays 9:45-10:45 AM

A casual conversation group. A Zoom link is available. Please contact the church office ( for more information or to receive the Zoom link.

A Prayerful Quote

You have to understand, my dears, that the shortest distance between truth and a human being is a story.

–Anthony de Mello

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 Tacoma Woods
Freddie Griffin
Digital Tech Engagement SpecialistMichael Dodin
Youth & Community InternRudeene Jackson