First Church Notes 09.10.2017



FUMC Pittsburgh celebrates Holy Communion on the first Sunday of every month.



 September 10 Tracy Merrick will update us on the First Church partnership with Warren United Methodist Church, our racism Committee, and recent shared experiences with Warren regarding Charlottesville.

September 17 Krisiti Woolsey will help us follow-up her sessions with us last May as we reflected on our church and its mission.

September 24 Noted Pittsburgh psychiatrist, Dr. Maurice Cerul, will help us understand the medical meaning of “transgender” or “transexual” (the “T” in LGBTQ) and its recent developments.  He was the first medical director of PERSAD with its mission of “strengthening the regions LGBTQ Communities and their allies.”

October 1 Jeff Miller will share with us the important work of the interfaith group “Circle of Faith.”



Join us for our All Church dinner after worship today. The dinner will be great food and welcoming fellowship. The suggested donation is $6 per adult, children $4, maximum $20 per family.  Guests, Visitors, and Students are free!



Do you like to get messy? Be creative? Experience joy? Join us for Messy Church on second Mondays, in Fellowship Hall!



A new adult Sunday School class on race will be forming on September 10 at 9:45 a.m. in Fellowship Hall.  Discussion will be focused on race, using books (one entitled The Hate U Give) and articles to inform our conversations.  Coffee and bagels too!  Class will be led by Pastor Jim and Sam Procter.



The church is open every Wednesday with an environment of welcome. You are invited to just “be” with us. Several worship, study, and meditation opportunities are all happening at once in our spiritual marketplace. A snack and food table will be open in the Gathering Space at 6:30 for you to eat and, if moved, bring food to share too! Childcare is provided.



Wednesdays 7pm. What does it mean to be a people of… Welcome? Intention? Courage? Join us for this lectionary-based study that pairs weekly group discussion with daily spiritual practice and reflection. This class begins on Wednesday, September 13th. 



Worship Jam is a community that seeks and celebrates the spiritual essence of life through earth-based traditions, Christian mysticism, and scientific revelation. Please join us any Wednesday at 7pm in the chapel.


LUNCH AND LEARN – Sunday, September 17

There will be a lunch and learn after worship on September 17 to explore the realities of incarceration in our nation and in our neighborhood. Join us for discussion, reflection, and an exploration of the ways that our community can respond to the needs of people impacted by incarceration. Questions? Talk to Anais.



We will resume meeting on September 12th at 6pm. Companions in Christ meets every other Tuesday for sharing and reflection, and exploring ways that different texts connect with our spiritual journey.



You’re invited to celebrate the marriage of Constance Clive to Alexander Morin, 4pm on Saturday, Sept. 16th here at First Church.  A cookies and punch reception will follow in Fellowship Hall from 4:30-5:30pm. In lieu of gifts, the couple request that a donation be made to First Food and Friends.



Come Celebrate and Support Our “First Food & Friends” Saturday Meal Ministry

Celebratory buffet dinner and program Saturday, September 23 at 6:30 PM

in the Fellowship Hall. We will celebrate the history, mission, volunteers and other heroes of this vital ministry, including recognition of Dan Catanzaro and Rich Mayer who have been on the governing board since its inception in 1993.

Donation of $50 per meal.  Limited seating. Please send your donation and reservation by September 15 to the church office (5401 Centre Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15232).  If you cannot attend, please consider sending your contribution to the church.



The Wrestling with Racism Team of the First United Methodist Church and Warren United Methodist Church invites you to participate in an extremely exciting event in September:

Saturday, September 30th at 4 pm at Warren United Methodist Church at 2604 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh. Please mark your calendars now.   Please join us to view this outstanding film and to discuss the movie over light snacks!  Please invite your friends! This gathering is open to anyone who wishes to attend!

The movie is named after the 13th Amendment which was ratified in 1865 and abolished slavery in the United States.

Common Sense Media’s review of the film includes:

“… 13th is a powerful Netflix Original Documentary that addresses racial issues confronting America in 2016. In a time of polarized attitudes about mass incarceration, brutality, and the explosion of for-profit prisons and their affiliates, director Ava   DuVernay interviews social activists, academics, journalists, and political figures to make the case that today’s prisons, which house millions of persons of color, are simply the next incarnation of the centuries-old U.S. exploitation of those who have been deemed ‘lesser personages.’…” …Note: Recommended for anyone over 16 years old.

If you have any questions regarding this event, please talk with any member of the Wrestling with Racism Team: Fran Blakley, Don Blinn, Wanda Guthrie, Alecia Gibbs, Karen Merrick, Tracy Merrick, Katie Murphy, Mary Page, Sam Procter, Nancy Ross, Carolyn Schrading, Lee Shaw, Betsy Shaw, Jean Snyder, Jim Walker, Arletta Williams, John Young, and others.


CROP HUNGER WALK October 8th at 2pm

Join us at South Avenue United Methodist Church for a 1, 3 or 6 mile walk to raise funds and awareness for hunger issues in our community.  20% of the money stays local in the East End. This is an event open to children, youth, and adults. See Anais for more information about participating.



Saturday, September 30

8:30am (light breakfast)—1pm (with First Food & Friends)

Clean, organize, paint, build, repair, help with the gardens—in other words, have a great time together maintaining our sacred space so the church can continue to minister to the congregation and the community.

There will be food, fellowship, and a sense of satisfaction. Let us know if you are coming so we have a food count, but come at the last minute if you need to. Stay a couple of hours or the whole time if you can.

Sign up at the table in the sanctuary or contact Marcia at

Hope you can join us!

Fred Watts & Marcia Gruver, Co-Chairs, Property Committee


PUT THE FLOWERS TO BED on September 30 @ 9am with Deb Shearer



Please register before October 1. Even if you did not sign up to be on the task force, you are welcome to join in the planning. It is not necessary that you attend the retreat … we just need ideas! Please see Lee Shaw with questions.



Early Response Team Training is available through

ERT training prepares you to respond to those in need in the aftermath of a natural disaster.  We need “listeners” as well as workers and those who support teams with prayer & financial support.  Volunteers trained & not trained are needed now to assist in local cleanup.  Sign up on the conference website or contact Fred Watts.




Sunday, September 10


Communion Sunday

9:30 a.m.   Education for All Ages

9:35 a.m.   Chancel Choir Rehearsal

11:00 a.m.  Worship in the Sanctuary

12:00 p.m.  Trans Group

12:30 a.m.  All Church Dinner

2:00 p.m.  Trans Group


Monday,    September 11

5:00 p.m.   Messy Church

6:15 p.m.   Phoenix Institute


Tuesday,    September 12

10:00 a.m.  Parent & Child Play Group

10:30 a.m.  Staff Meeting

2:00 p.m.  Strengthen & Stretch

3:00 p.m.  Greater Pgh Literacy Council Tutoring

6:00 p.m.  Companions in Christ

7:00 p.m.  Site Nite

7:30 p.m.  NA Reading Group


Wednesday, September 13

9:30 a.m.   AA – Shake Hands and Share

7:00 p.m.   Worship Jam

7:00 p.m.    Bible Study

7:30 p.m.   NA Meeting


Thursday September 14

9:30 a.m.   IWAP

1:00 p.m.   East End Studio

2:00 p.m.   Strengthen and Stretch

3:00 p.m.   Greater Pgh Literacy Council Tutoring

5:00 p.m.   Kitchen Cleaning

7:30 p.m.   Chancel Choir Rehearsal


Friday,       September 15

10:00 p.m.   AA Cookies & Kisses Anniversary

7:00 p.m.   Ecstatic Dance


Saturday,   September 16

9:00 a.m.   First Food & Friends

4:00 p.m.   Connie Clive wedding


Sunday,     September 17

9:00 a.m.   Handbell Choir Rehearsal

9:30 a.m.   Education for All Ages

9:35 a.m.   Chancel Choir Rehearsal

11:00 a.m.   Worship in the Sanctuary

12:30 p.m.   Healing Communities Lunch & Learn

2:00 p.m.   OM Again-Multi-Faith Chanting & Singing

2:00 p.m.   Recorder Society

2:00 p.m.   Recorder Society beginners

6:00 p.m.   Sunday Night Yoga


First United Methodist Church of Pittsburgh affirms that God’s grace is available to all.  We prayerfully seek to openly welcome all of God’s children regardless of Christian perspective, education, economic condition, race, gender, national origin, physical and mental abilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or marital status.  We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons, independent of society’s regard. God blesses us all so that together we can be God’s instruments of blessing to the world.



Rev: James Walker

Director of Music and Community: Tim Coles

Director of Christian Education: Anais Hussian

Administrative Secretary:  Gwendolyn Payne

Building Maintenance Manager: Curtis Mitchell

Custodian: Tacoma Woods

Custodian:  Lamont Hunter

Hospitality:  Nick Solic

Offering Steward: Sherry Kaiser

Sound Technician: Jonah Schriver

Music Intern: Michael Dodin

Clergy with Charge Conference Relationship to FUMC:

Rev. Rand Edwards, Rev. Paul Schrading (Pastor Emeritus) Rev. John Wilson, Rev. Dr. Maurine C. Waun, Rev. Howard Cherry, Rev. Scott Peterman, Rev. Kathy Clark, Rev. Donna Anderson, Rev. Sue Anne Steffey Morrow, Rev. Craig Bennett, Rev. Susan Bennett, Pastor Robert Wilson, Rev. David Keller, Rev. Dianne Glave


First UMC of Pittsburgh is a member of the

Reconciling Ministries Network–

Bread for the World Covenant