First Church Notes: 10.27.2019

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


October is First Church’s month to volunteer at First Food & Friends, our weekly – every Saturday – meal ministry to anyone in need. (First Church has made a commitment to staff a volunteer team the last Saturday of every other month).     

Please consider volunteering to be part of this ministry on Saturday, October 26th. Come to Fellowship Hall at 9:00am.  Clean-up is done by 1:00pm.  

FALL WORK DAY!                        

Our annual fall work day will be Saturday, October 26th. This is also our Saturday for First Food and Friends (3F), so please come help feed our neighbors and stay to do several much needed projects. We need to clean out a basement storage area for Family Promise. We need to clean out our worship closet behind the chapel to be in compliance with our insurance policy. And we would like to plant low shrubbery around our front porch areas. If you’re not volunteering at 3F, come at 1:00 pm for the Work Day. 

Please email Karen Merrick at, by October 21st, if you are able to be there.  Any questions, please talk with Karen, Dave Keller or Fred Watts.

Thanks for considering being a part of this important outreach ministry of First Church!


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.


Would you like to re-engage with the scriptures? Join Companions in Christ for five sessions of practicing meditative readings of scripture, guided by the lectionary text. The groups will meet 5:30 – 7:00 pm on select Wednesday evenings through the fall:  October 23rd, November 13th, and December 11th. 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


If you would occasionally be available throughout the daytime hours to provide transportation to someone in our church family who needs to get to a Dr.’s appointment or run errands, the caring ministry needs you.     Recently several of our volunteers in this area have become unavailable due to scheduling conflicts. Please give this opportunity to serve your prayerful consideration and let Karen Jacobs know if you are willing at or 412-828-3854.    Thank you.


Will meet Wednesday, October 30th at 5:30pm in the parlor. We welcome new voices to the team as we discern new ways to lead the congregation and our community in LGBTQIA+ advocacy and justice efforts. Please email Anais:  if you have questions or plan to attend! 


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 a family-style lunch 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. 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, November 3rd, 12:30 pm in the Fellowship Hall


November 3-10 we will be hosting our first families! We need volunteers to make dinner, spend the night as a Host and van drivers (must attend a tailgate safety session on October 22 at 7:30 pm). Sign up on clipboards or call/email Nancy Ross (859)556-3723


The response of the congregation has been overwhelming and wonderful.  We have all the donated supplies needed with gift cards left over to purchase grocery and miscellaneous supplies needed for quite awhile!  We on the Poverty Team are extremely amazed and grateful. Our first host week begins Sunday evening, Nov. 3.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Training for all Volunteers is this coming Tuesday evening at 6pm, (pizza provided), followed by the Van Safety Training at 7:30 for anyone volunteering to drive the van.  You are expected to complete the training.  IF YOU ARE NOT AVAILABLE on Tuesday, you can complete the training online.  If you haven’t yet signed up, it is not too late.  Feel free to come to the training to learn more.   This needs to be completed by Friday, Nov. 1.

If you have questions feel free to contact Glenna Wilson. or 412.519.5062


A group of folks from Warren UMC and FUMC has begun to plan opportunities to share worship and fellowship opportunities in November.

The current plan includes two shared worship services:

  • Sunday, November 10th –10:45 AM – at Warren UMC followed by a fellowship dinner
  •  Sunday, November 17th – 11 AM – at First UMC followed by the annual All Church Thanksgiving Dinner

In addition, the group is planning:

  • Monday, November 11th – 7 PM – at Warren a public reading of Martin Luther King’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech followed by discussion
  • Tuesday, November 12th thru Thursday, November 14th – afternoon or evening – two in-home gatherings each day, one in a Warren UMC home and one in an FUMC home.

PLEASE: If you are willing to host a gathering at your home on November 12th, 13th, or 14th, notify Tracy Merrick ( by October 14th. Opportunities to sign up to make reservations for dinners and to participate in home visits will occur after  October 15th..


Join the “eco” conversation on Tuesday, November 5th at 7 pm. We will be sharing our own understandings of “eco ministry”. To whom/to what do we minister? How many “eco” words are there? Do they have anything in common? Does eco-ministry share concerns with other ministries? What eco hints do we get from scripture?

We will also start planning our joint project with ELPC to engage political leaders with letter writing and visits about eco matters.

Join the conversation. New voices welcome!


First Church is known for its warm hospitality – the mantra being, “All are Welcome and Belong here”.  Our Greeters on Sunday mornings are an important way we demonstrate our welcome statement and this hospitality to all. 

We are in need of several more Greeters to offer friendly greetings and welcome to members/guests and hand out bulletins at the Sunday morning worship service.  We especially need greeters for the teams that greet the second and fourth Sunday of the month.

If you would like to be a Greeter for one Sunday a month or possibly a substitute Greeter (when a regular team member is absent on a Sunday), please see Karen Merrick or email her at for more details.  We encourage you to consider becoming a part of this meaningful ministry at First Church! 


Christianity contains a rich tradition of prayer practices that help a person participate in the life of God in the silence of their heart and in community with others. The Christian mystical path, broadly speaking, treats a life with God as a journey, with perceivable signposts along the way. This seminar invites students to learn about the mystical path through the life and works of mystics who have gone before us, including the author of The Cloud of Unknowing, Meister Eckhart, Julian of Norwich, and others. Friday, Nov 1, 6:00-8:30 pm and Saturday, Nov. 2, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, in the Chapel. Please register at


Sunday, October 27

  9:00am          Handbell Choir Rehearsal

  9:35am          Chancel Choir Rehearsal

  9:35am          Education for All Ages

11:00am          Worship in the Sanctuary

  6:00pm          Sunday Night Yoga

Monday, October 28

 9:30am           IWAP English Class 

 6:15pm           Phoenix Institute

Tuesday, October 29

7:45am            Susan Rupani Yoga

10:00am          Play Group

10:30am          Staff Meeting

  1:00pm          East End Song Studio

  2:00pm          Strengthen & Stretch

  7:00pm          Edgewood Symphony

  7:30pm          NA Reading Group

Wednesday, October 30

9:30am            Shake Hands & Share

1:00pm            East End Song Studio

5:30pm            LGBTQIA+ Task Force 

7:00pm            Mystics in Motion

7:30pm            NA

Thursday, October 31

9:30am            IWAP

1:00pm            East End Song Studio

2:00pm            Strengthen & Stretch

7:00pm            Interplay

7:30pm            Chancel Choir Rehearsal

Friday, November 1

12:00pm          AA – Cookies & Kisses

1:00pm            East End Song Studio

5:30pm            Women’s AA 

6:00pm            Seminar on Mysticism and Prayer

Saturday, November 2

  9:00am          First Food & Friends

  9:00am          Seminar on Mysticism and Prayer

10:00am          NA-East End Area


Tracy Cox
DeaconAnais Hussian
Director of Music and Community Tim Coles
Director of Spiritual Formation Joe Smith
Administrative Secretary TBA
Office Assistant Sherry Kaiser
Building Maintenance Manager Curtis Mitchell
Custodians Lamont Hunter
Tacoma Woods
Hospitality Nick Solic
Music Intern Michael Dodin