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Tree of Life Synagogue Tragedy

A man kneels to light a candle beneath a police cordon outside the Tree of Life Synagogue after a shooting there left 11 people dead in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh on October 27, 2018. – A heavily armed gunman opened fire during a baby-naming ceremony at a synagogue in the US city of Pittsburgh on October 27, killing 11 people and injuring six in the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in recent American history. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images)

“The future frightens us. But the Promise comforts us. Blessed are those who are called to it.” -Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Germany, 1932.

Pastor Brian Evans writes, “In light of the terror the Jewish community and all of us in Pittsburgh faced on Saturday, it was clear the sermon I had originally prepared for Sunday was not going to work; the rising hate against minorities in our country had hit home. As a student of Bonhoeffer’s writings, I sought to find how he had proclaimed the Word of God on such a day and and in such a climate. Translated and published only last year, his 1932 Reformation Sunday sermon is haunting and speaks boldly to the fear and hatred we face today. Through these words of his I have shared, may God’s Promise in Christ be our comfort. May the Holy Spirit enkindle our love for God and all our neighbors.”

The audio and text of the sermon are available below:

Listen to the recording of Pastor Evans’s 10/28 sermon, below:

Download a PDF of Pastor Evans’s 10/28 sermon, below:

Reformation Sunday 2018

Laudate Dominum: 2018/2019 Season

LAUDATE DOMINUM:                              Music in the Beauty of Holiness


ALL SAINTS DAY CHORAL  CONCERT                                              Featuring the Pan-Orthodox Choir of Pittsburgh under the direction of Father Thomas Soroka.                                                                                   SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4 at 4:00 PM


LIGHT-UP NIGHT CHORAL  VESPERS                                                       Featuring the children and youth choirs of First Church offering prayers for the City of Pittsburgh.                                                                 FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16 at 6:00 PM


SECOND ANNUAL VICTORIAN  VESPERS                                Celebrating Advent and the 19th Century heritage of First Church with organ and choral music of the Victorian Era.                               SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9 at 4:00 PM


GERMAN CHRISTMAS SERVICE (WEINACHTGOTTESDIENST) Featuring the Gloria Dei Ringers and traditional German choral and instrumental music.                                                                                        SUNDAY, DECEMBER 23 at 4:00 PM


ORGAN RECITAL: METRO MUSICALE                                               Featuring the musicians of Downtown Pittsburgh’s historic houses of worship.                                                                                                                        SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 3 at 4:00 PM


TRANSFIGURATION CHORAL  VESPERS                                                      Featuring the Pittsburgh Compline Choir, Dr. Mark A. Boyle, Musical Director.                                                                                                                           SUNDAY, MARCH 3 at 4:00 PM


HAVERFORD HIGH CHORAL  CONCERT                                                Featuring the award-winning concert choir of Haverford High School, Philadelphia.                                                                                              SUNDAY, APRIL 7 at 2:00 PM


PAUL MANZ CENTENNIARY HYMN FESTIVAL                                Celebrating the 100th birthday of organist and composer Paul Manz, featuring commentary by The Rev. Dr. Philip Pfatteicher. SUNDAY, MAY 12 at 4:00 PM



On January 31, 2016, the congregation of First Lutheran Church began the important work of preserving our nearly 130-year-old church building through the five-year, $1.5 million capital campaign, Reverence My Sanctuary.  Together in love, we embark on this journey to tend to the physical needs of our sanctuary.

Our 180-year history as a congregation reflects a welcoming community of faith that proclaims the Good News of Jesus in word and deed. We look forward to the preservation of this holy house, and the creation of new and innovative spaces within it, that will enable us to expand our ministry to the city for many years to come.

Please take a few minutes to review our plans and consider how you can help. And check back often for project updates.

Click here to watch video and learn more about our Capital Campaign

FLC Capital Campaignbrochure

May God give us glad and generous hearts that we may pledge to this work the gifts he has given to each of us.

Check out our progress below: