FUMC First Notes

Friday, November 29, 2019

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


Being a part of a faith community with a wide variety of theological perspectives and backgrounds can be a challenging, but rewarding experience. Take a brief moment to consider the special contribution you make to this community. Sometimes just your prayer or presence and other times your energy, strength, and service. Cultivating servant hearts and a compassionate ecosystem is holy work. Thank YOU for whatever way you plant yourself in this fertile soil. May you be filled with gratitude and joy in the days ahead.


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.


Messy Church is a worldwide, all-ages, fun experience of church. It is open to all members of the community, especially those who may not normally attend church on Sunday morning. Many people who do not feel comfortable in a traditional church setting, including persons with disabilities and children who learn differently, have become regular participants in Messy Churches around the world. 

Our time together begins with crafts and activities where kids and adults play together in a way that we build new relationships and friendships. Then, we celebrate the joy, play, and mess of God through interactive worship and prayer. And we end with a family-style lunch where the fun and mess continue! There is no cost to attend. All are welcome, all the time, just as you are. 

We look forward to a time filled with great crafts and activities, great celebration, great food and YOU Sunday, December 1st, 12:30 pm in the Fellowship Hall


Join us at our next conversation on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 7 pm as we continue to explore what it means to be grounded in “relationship to the land (earth) that is inseparable from our relationship with God our Creator, with each other, and all of Creation, in one single relationship.” We are challenging ourselves to explore the meaning of this for our own lives and for the work of the Eco-Ministry Team. Please join us. 


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!


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. This gives our church musicians the chance to take you on a special journey towards Christmas. Wonderful reception following. Hope to see you there!


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.


Sunday, December 1

  9:00am          Handbell Choir Rehearsal

  9:35am          Chancel Choir Rehearsal

  9:35am          Education for All Ages

11:00am          Worship in the Sanctuary

12:30pm          Messy Church

  3:00pm          Awakenings

  6:00pm          Sunday Night Yoga

Monday, December 2

  9:30am          IWAP English Class

10:00am          Book Club 

  6:00pm          Wrestling With Racism 

                             @ Warren  

  6:15pm          Phoenix Institute

Tuesday, December 3

7:45am            Susan Rupani Yoga

10:00am          Play Group

10:15am          Unity in Motion

10:30am          Staff Meeting

  1:00pm          East End Song Studio

  2:00pm          Strengthen & Stretch

  7:00pm          Edgewood Symphony

  7:30pm          Eco-Ministry Team

  7:30pm          NA Reading Group

Wednesday, December 4

9:30am            Shake Hands & Share

1:00pm            East End Song Studio

5:30pm            LGBTQIA+ Task Force 

7:00pm            Mystics In Motion

7:00pm            SPRC

7:30pm            NA

Thursday, December 5

 9:30am           IWAP

 1:00pm           East End Song Studio

 2:00pm           Strengthen and Stretch

 7:00pm           Interplay

 7:30pm           Chancel Choir Rehearsal

Friday, December 6

12:00pm          AA – Cookies & Kisses

1:00pm            East End Song Studio

5:30pm            Women’s AA 

Saturday, December 7

   9:00am         First Food & Friends

10:00am          N.A.-East End Area


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