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All Saints Day 2020

On Sunday, November 1, 2020, First Church will celebrate All Saints Day. In the interest of maintaining the health and safety of our members, the usual sign-up sheet to add the names of your recently departed family and friends will not be used. Instead, use the submission form below, speak with Suanne at the reception desk on Sunday morning, or call the church office at 412-471-8125 to submit the names you wish to have read. Thank you!

List the name(s) you wish to add to the list that will be read on All Saints Day, Sunday, November 1.

Adult Church School Class: Talking About Faith at Home

How did you come to believe what you believe?  Or, are you not quite sure, which makes talking about it difficult? How do you start? How do you talk about what you believe and why it matters?

Join Pastor Natalie Hall on Thursday, October 8th from 8:00-9:30 PM on Zoom for a discussion about what you believe and why it matters (when you register you’ll receive the link the day before our time together). We’ll offer ideas on how you can articulate your beliefs together in with people you love. We’ll introduce a method called FAITH5, which is an at-home faith conversation that everyone can use.  It is not  only for families with children. FAITH5 is for couples whose children are adults, for grandparents and grandchildren, for people who live alone, and people who have no children. Faith5 is for EVERYONE!

If you have never heard of FAITH5 and even if the thought of having a conversation about what you believe makes you nervous, join us for the discussion!  Sign up below!

Please list the names of each individual participant from your household, if applicable. All are welcome!
List the e-mail address for the primary contact person here.
List your preferred contact number here.

A word from our Health Ministry Team…

As we are all acutely aware, the world is currently held in the grip of a global pandemic. The origin of COVID-19 is not known. It has spread rapidly throughout much of the world, including every state of the US. The healthcare professionals of First Church’s Health Ministry team have prepared this document to give you the information you need about SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Click on the button below to access this file. If you need additional support in these isolated times, your church congregation may be able to help. Updated church directories are available from our church office (cgh@flcpittsburgh.org or 412-471-8125). First’s pastors and vicar are also available to support you with appropriate social distancing.

Click HERE to access the full document…

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

Assisted Listening Devices NOW AVAILABLE!

First Church is pleased to announce the installation of our new sound system! Many of you probably noticed the improved clarity of the audio this past Sunday. We are also pleased to announce that we are now able to offer assisted listening devices to our members and guests who are hearing impaired. We have easy-to-use receivers that may be used with our headphones or neckloops (we have antiseptic wipes to clean them before use, if desired), or you may bring your own headphones. Hearing aid users who have telecoil-equipped hearing aids can take advantage of our new induction loop by simply switching their device to its T-Coil setting. A feed from the audio system will automatically be picked up by their hearing aid with no additional equipment required!

A happy side-effect of our new sound system is the ability to generate broadcast-quality recordings of our services that you may listen to at will from our website or by visiting our Soundcloud page. Feel free to share these recordings with your familes and friends!