The members of First Lutheran Church express concern, care and support to members, friends and neighbors who are in need. We serve in many ways and places. Some of the ways we serve are through formal church activities; others include structured opportunities for service by members with and for those in need, including the programs noted below.


First Lutheran Church is a warm, welcoming, active congregation because so many people get involved. There are opportunities for service for persons of every age and ability. In joining one or several of these volunteer activities, you not only bless others, you yourself will be blessed and our community life will be enriched. For information on any of these programs, please contact the Church Office.

Angel Tree

FLC sponsors an Angel Tree between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Our partner, Family Links, provides names and information to guide gift-giving, and handles gift distribution. FLC members choose a name and purchase a gift, and/or make a donation for a gift. Family Links provides behavioral health, youth and family services, and more to enable individuals to live a safe, healthy, and successful life.

Christmas Cheer Baskets

First Lutheran Church cheer baskets during the Christmas season are a long-loved tradition that started with gift-wrapped shoe boxes containing fruit and cookies. At one time given to members who found it difficult to leave their homes, the cheer baskets are now a treat given to FLC members who have had exceptional challenges during the year. Containing the much-anticipated Christmas card made by a Sunday Schooler, sweet and salty edibles remind us of God’s blessings given to us and meant to be shared. Prepared and delivered by FLC members, we celebrate that the gift is in the giving and the receiving.


Each year, the First Lutheran Church Social Ministry Committee, in collaboration with the FLC Church Council, creates a list of designated organizations to receive special monetary offering gifts. The organizations are selected to provide a range of their impact (local versus global) and the types of activities they support (for example, food insecurity, disaster relief, education). Designated offerings allow FLC members to give to well-known organizations, while potentially bringing awareness to other organizations less familiar to all congregation members.

Health Ministry

The Health Ministry Team encourages and promotes the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of FLC members and our community neighbors. The Card Ministry assures that cards are sent to support those going through health challenges, the loss of a loved one, the joy of a new baby, or the celebration of birthdays for those 80 and up. The Team also supports other FLC ministries, helping to plan Adult Sunday School topics, and joining in Social Ministry Committee projects including Christmas Cheer Baskets and Global Links volunteer events.


Lay Visitation volunteers are matched with church members who are unable to attend worship services due to health or mobility challenges, in order to bring FLC to these members. Lay Visitors visit about once a month. They bring Holy Communion, provide a personal connection to the congregation, and help to maintain a sense of continued belonging through church updates and conversation. These visits are in addition to regular pastoral visitation.


First Lutheran Church has had the honor and pleasure of serving our brothers in Christ at the Northside Common Ministry/Pleasant Valley Men’s Shelter since 2016. The shelter accommodates the needs of 25-30 men and male-identifying individuals who are homeless, every night of the year. FLC members participate in this ministry by providing meals one Tuesday evening every other month, enabling the men to enjoy a warm and welcoming meal when they stay at the Shelter.

Global Links

Sharing Surplus. Saving Lives. Global Links is a nonprofit organization that recovers valuable surplus medical materials from our region’s healthcare systems and individuals. Global Links was founded in Pittsburgh and for 30 years has been dedicated to improving health care in communities in need of medical supplies and equipment. Donated materials are prepared and shipped to medical providers in Latin America, South America, and the Pittsburgh area. Twice per year, volunteers from FLC sort and pack materials for shipping.


Each Sunday, the Chaplain’s Office at the Allegheny County Jail welcomes small teams of worship leaders from Pittsburgh congregations to lead worship with incarcerated individuals. At the end of each calendar year, a group from First Lutheran Church is identified and trained to be one of the teams for the following year, participating in this ministry about once each month. Lay leaders and sometimes clergy members lead worship, including songs, prayers, a sermon, and distribution of Holy Communion.


Meal Ministry is a new adventure at FLC that allows us to foster relationships with our adjacent communities. Ready-to-heat meals are made fresh each Wednesday and delivered to local organizations that assist individuals who are dealing with low income, homelessness, and other life challenges. Volunteers are needed to help prepare food, package meals, and perform clean-up and transporting duties. Volunteers need not have prior experience preparing large quantities of food. As we pull together to share God’s blessings to us, we witness and enjoy the community we have at FLC and the communities beyond our walls.


On a rotating basis, each of the churches in the Downtown Ministerium serves for one week at a time in addressing the needs of those who “walk-in” to our church, seeking assistance. The needs presented are many and can include emergency food, prescription medication, shelter, transportation to medical appointments or employment, help obtaining government IDs, and aid in accessing governmentally supported social programs. Parishioners who volunteer for Walk-In Ministry duty will be trained and supported by FLC staff.