First Church Notes for June 19, 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.

Office Holiday

Please note that the office will be closed on Monday, June 20th, for Juneteenth observed.

Volunteer Opportunity

Family House is planning to move into their new location across the street from First on June 24th. As you can imagine, they have some projects to complete before this can happen. They have the following needs:

June 23rd at 10am – Room Set-up

June 24th at 12pm – Move In

Both of these projects will require some physical tasks, as they will include moving furniture… so volunteers should be comfortable with that.

Prayer Flag Picnic

Kids and people of all ages are invited to the prayer flag picnic on Sunday, June 26th, 11:15 am in the courtyard. Have a light lunch, learn about prayer flags in Buddhist and Christian traditions, and create a beautiful set of prayer flags to hang around your home. 

Juneteenth Event at Bethel AME

Several First Church members attended the Bethel AME Reparations Table Talk held at our church in April. First Church is currently represented at regular meetings with Bethel AME to support their reparations effort.

Contact the church office for registration information.

Juneteenth, Reparations and People of Faith

Sunday, June 19 11:00 – 5:30

Bethel AME

Join people of faith from across Pittsburgh to worship together, learn about the theological basis for Reparations and stand with Bethel AME.

Our day will start at 11:00am with worship – Bishop Errenous McCloud preaching

A Box Lunch will be provided, with an opportunity to connect with others

The afternoon will include a keynote address and panel discussion from faith leaders.

We will end with a driving procession down to the site of Old Bethel to lift up our prayers and voices.

Please 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.

Christian Education and Spiritual Formation

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

Queering Wesley, Queering the Church

Note dates changes: Wednesdays June 1st, 15th, and 29th, and July 6th

6:30-8:30 pm, in the Parlor

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.

A Prayerful Quote

Note from Gwendolen: As we wait for word from the Supreme Court on the fate of women, girls, and pregnant people, we will draw here from Wilda Gafney’s Womanist Midrash for the next several weeks. The following is an especially poignant theological challenge given that this week we also celebrate Juneteenth:

“For me as a black feminist and womanist descended from enslaved Africans in the Americas, biblical slavery is a particularly pernicious and personal issue. Slavery in the Bible represents more than the ubiquity of slavery in the ancient world; it represents the theological bulwark on which the Atlantic slave trade rested.”

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