First Church Notes for 05.08.2022

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.

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.

Planting Flowers

FUMC will be planting flowers in the Western PA Conservancy beds on Saturday, May 21st, at 9 AM, rain or shine!

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.

Volunteer Opportunity: Sound the Alarm Rally

The event in Homewood on May 7th will be our signature “Sound the Alarm” rally for Pennsylvania in 2022.  The rally is on Saturday, and we encourage you, your volunteers and team to bring friends, family, work colleagues, and neighbors to join in. You will be participating in teams of three volunteers, offering free fire safety education to the residents of Homewood and installing free smoke detectors in their homes.

This free program has been underway since 2014 in all 50 states and US Territories. As of March, 2022, the Red Cross volunteers and partners have installed 2,317,009 smoke detectors and have made 982,369 homes safter.  We have confirmed that these events have saved dozens of lives in Pittsburgh over the last few years. 

Come and have fun and know you are doing something good for your surrounding communities!

May 7, 2022:  

Where:       Homewood YMCA – 7140 Bennett St, Pittsburgh, PA 15208

Time:          8:30 am to 3:00 pm

Volunteers Needed:      200

Food:          Breakfast provided during registration. Lunch will be catered and there will be food etc… after the event.

There are 3 roles in every Home Fire Volunteer Team:  Educator, Installer and Documenter:

•         Volunteer Safety Educator: Educates the family on fire safety and assists with completing a fire escape plan while the smoke alarms are being installed. This volunteer should be comfortable speaking with a wide variety of individuals.

•         Volunteer Smoke Alarm Installer: Installs smoke alarms in homes during the event. This volunteer should be comfortable using a step ladder, power drill, and screwdriver. 

•         Volunteer Documenter: Records information about each home and the number of alarms installed. This volunteer should be comfortable completing basic paperwork.

We would like folks to pre-register for the event so we can plan appropriately for the supplies and food.  But will also take event volunteers on the day of. 

Contact the church office for registration information.

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

Solidarity does not assume that our struggles are the same struggles, or that our pain is the same pain, or that our hope is for the same future. Solidarity involves commitment, and work, as well as the recognition that even if we do not have the same feelings, or the same lives, or the same bodies, we do live on common ground.

–Sara Ahmed

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