First Church Notes for August 14, 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.

Preview of This Sunday, August 14th

Please join us for:

10:00 AM Worship: In Person and Livestream

11:10 AM Annual Conference Conversation – Led by Pastor Tracy Cox, Anais Hussian, Dave Krackhardt, and Tracy Merrick

Please view the Annual Conference Conversation Primer which was emailed on August 2nd, think about questions the video raises for you, and bring your questions to this in-person session in the Fellowship Hall. It will also be livestreamed.

Noon Black Lives Matter Vigil – Led by Don Blinn and Tony Brown

Please join us on the corner of Centre and South Aiken for prayers, singing, and calls to action.

Help Build UMCOR Flood Bucket and Hygiene Kits

A huge thank you to everyone who has contributed to the flood bucket project. As you can imagine, this has been a big undertaking, but many hands make light work!

Many of you have already dropped off your items at the church. If you haven’t yet, please bring them with you on Sunday, Aug. 14th. Buckets and kits will be assembled during worship on Sunday, Aug. 21st.

NOH8 Campaign

FUMC and the Pittsburgh Equality Center will be hosting a photo shoot for the NOH8 Campaign in the Fellowship Hall on Aug. 16th from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. For more information, check out the Facebook event or the NOH8 website:

Facebook: Open NOH8 Photo Shoot in Pittsburgh, PA | Facebook

NOH8 website: Open Photo Shoot in Pittsburgh, PA | NOH8 Campaign

All Church Summer Picnic – Save the Date for August 28th!

After a two-year absence due to COVID, we will have an All Church Summer Picnic on Sunday, August 28th, immediately following the 10 am worship.  Please mark this date on your calendars and plan to come and enjoy the fun!

See you there on August 28th!

August Wilson’s Play Jitney


The Wrestling with Racism Team would like to invite you to join us for a performance of August Wilson’s play Jitney at 5 pm on Sunday, August 28th in the backyard behind the recently renovated August Wilson House (his boyhood home) at 1727 Bedford Avenue in the Hill District.

Those who are planning to attend will need to purchase their own tickets. The following link includes information about the location and the way to buy tickets:

The Wrestling with Racism Team plans to spend time during its meeting on Monday, September 5th at 6 pm discussing the play. You are welcome to join us for that discussion. Logistics for the meeting will be shared closer to the session. If you would like to participate in the conversation that evening, please email the church office so we can send you the plan for that evening.

Please share this information with anyone who might be interested in either the performance or the conversation.


Reparations Study Group

A group of us at First Church have been learning about reparations as a practice of racial justice.

We will be studying the ways in which reparations are practiced by faith traditions and discussing what reparations might mean for witness by First Church.

If you would like to join in this study process, please contact the church office at

Fundraising for Sound and Media Project

As some of you already may have heard, at the beginning of the month Leadership Council approved our Sanctuary Sound and Media Upgrades Project. We are extremely thankful for the support that the board of the Preacher’s Aid Society is giving this project by underwriting 50% of the cost. Another thanks goes to Tim and Michael, who worked so diligently to define the exact needs and the scope of this project for our vendor.

Now it is on us as the congregation to fund the other 50% ($45,000) of this project, which will significantly change the experience for both those who worship in-person as well as those who participate through our online streaming.

A steering committee is being formed for the purpose of successfully executing a fundraising campaign. We hope to have this in place by the end of the month so that work on the campaign can begin in August and will be completed by the end of the year. If you think that you can make a contribution with your creativity and organizing skills for this fundraising effort, we would like you to prayerfully consider participating or even leading this committee.  Please contact the church office if you are willing to consider helping with your time and talent, so that we can make this campaign a success.

Oh, and in case you already want to donate to this cause…Please mark your gift “Sound and Media”.

Job Posting – Please Share

Associate Director (First Food and Friends)

This is a part-time position.  The Associate Director is assigned to work at least two Saturdays/month: on the first and fourth week of the month, averaging 10-15 hours per month.  In addition, the Associate Director will oversee the Saturday program in the Director’s absence. 

The Associate Director will assist the Director in preparing and serving meals every Saturday with the volunteers.  The Associate Director will have the following job duties:

   *Report directly to the Director.

   *Pick up assigned weekly donations; including weighing, packaging, and storing the products in the kitchen.

   *Assist volunteers in prep work, preparing meals, serving, and packaging the snack bags and other preparations. 

   *Assist with cleanup in the facility including the kitchen area. 

   *Meet with the Director every fourth week in the month.

   *Completion of the Allegheny County Food Service Training within 90 days of employment. (This is required.)

   *Completion of miscellaneous duties assigned by Director.

Additional requirements/duties:

   *Associate Director will receive mileage reimbursement for driving to pick up the donations.

   *Associate Director will complete Act 33 as a condition of employment.

   *Associate Director will be paid for one month trial period, while training with the Director.

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.

Christian Education and Spiritual Formation

Sunday School classes do not meet during Summer schedule. They will resume in September.

A Prayerful Quote

Tell me, what is it you plan to do/ with your one wild and precious life?

–Mary Oliver

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