Pastor McCurry Speaks to Parents…

Our lives have been turned upside down in the past few weeks, and I know that my family is still trying to figure out this new way of life together. I pray that you and your family members are well, in body, mind, and spirit.

In the video above, you’ll see that I mention some specific resources for engaging your faith at home. Every family is different, so we want to offer a variety of supports so you can find what works for you. Here are some attachments and links, which you might find helpful:

By clicking HERE, you will find a PDF resource for daily devotions that you may want to use, which we will distribute to the whole congregation and can be done as a family.

Families can also consider using Faith 5 (https://faithink.com/the-faith5-steps), which Pastor Natalie and Father Dan Hall discussed at First’s Adult Education sessions a couple years ago.

Teens and adults can consider praying the “Ignatian Daily Examen,” which I have mentioned in Adult Educaiton sessions.  It is another five step way to reflect on God’s presence and guidance in your day, and to pray for the next day. Read more at:  https://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/the-examen/

For parents of littles, this online book uses helpful (secular) language to talk about why we’re staying home: https://www.mindheart.co/descargables

 

COVID-19 Programming and Contact Changes

Effective immediately, all public events and worship services are cancelled until further notice. The building will remain closed to the public. Click HERE to read Pastor Evans’s recent letter to the congregation about the pandemic.

Virtual worship will be streamed live on Sunday mornings at 10:00 AM. You may visit our YouTube Channel to access the live stream. In the event of technical difficulty, an announcement will be made on our Facebook page for an alternate stream, or instructions on how to access one. Additional opportunities for virtual worship will be filmed and posted

The office staff will be available to answer your telephone calls 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM, Monday through Friday. The main office number is 412-471-8125. If you have need of anything: whether it be groceries, prescription medication pickup/delivery, prayer, or simply conversation during this period of social distancing, do not hesitate to call. The office staff will work to coordinate with our volunteers to get what you need and deliver it to you.

If you need to reach a pastor outside of regular office hours, know that you may always call our emergency line at 412-471-6507 and leave a message. The pastor on duty will return your call as soon as possible.

Remember: physical distancing does NOT have to mean spiritual distancing! The staff and volunteers of First Church will be available for you. Keep watching this website, our Facebook page, YouTube Channel, and all of our social media outlets for further details in the coming days.

Peace be with you.

Vital News from Pastor Evans Regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic

Dear Beloved of God,
Yesterday I announced some temporary but drastic changes affecting the life of our parish during this pandemic. Today we must go a step farther. It is now clear that it necessary for the greater good that we practice social distancing immediately. This comes at the urging of many of our own members who are doctors and medical experts, as well as with the general consensus of our leadership. Therefore, after the celebration of the Eucharist today at noon, our building will close for all public gatherings and worship. Except for staff presence, the building will remain closed at least through the end of March. Bob Beer’s visitation and funeral is postponed and will be announced at a later date.
This does not mean that the Church’s work is paused. On the contrary, our ministry must intensify. Our staff and leadership will be coordinating resources for worshipping and tending to our faith from home. We will also be organizing multiple ways in which we will be helping the elderly, the sick, and all those in need. Meetings will go on by internet as announced. Worship will be offered virtually as well. Your prayers, as well as your time, talents, and treasure are needed more than ever.
It is the instinct of the Christ’s flock to keep close together in body as well as in spirit. How good it is to be in the house of the Lord! But sometimes, every once in a great while, the danger is such that the flock must disperse in body for the good of the whole herd. Yet because we live not to ourselves but in Christ, we are never truly apart in spirit.
We have been rehearsing for a moment such as this throughout our whole lives as baptized children of God. Today, we are called to act with one mind and one heart toward the greater good. This must be our generation’s finest hour. Be not afraid. The Lord has prepared us already for this moment. In the words of St. Paul:
“Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:10-18)
With you in Christ,
The Rev. Brian A. Evans
Senior Pastor