February 20, 2020
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This Weekend at First Unitarian Church
Worship Celebration
Sunday, February 23, 2020, @ 10:30 am

Connecting, Inspiring, Serving, Learning

Many congregants added notes to a timeline of your recollections of the past seven decades of First Unitarian Church history. Your Transition Team will offer reflections on some of the themes that emerged.

Kirsti Adkins, Alice Bright, John Hooper, Corey Layman, Rob Masterson, and Rev. Connie Grant speaking. Music by Al Schwartz, Brian Junker, Noah Lee, and Jamie Kunning.

Parking Policy
Pastoral Care & Caring Community
Covenant Groups 
Social Action Council
Adult Self Study 
Music & the Arts
Young Adult & Campus Ministry
Church Happenings
Space Reservations & Rentals
Contact Us
Publicize Your Event

Ministerial Search Update
We have been assigned a Transitions Coach from the Central East Region of the UUA, and we will soon proceed with the process of nominating and electing a Ministerial Search Committee.  Kathy Kerns, from Kent, Ohio, will be our guest speaker at the Sunday service on March 22.  At an informational meeting following the service, we will introduce the nomination and election process and Kathy will answer questions about the search.   

Plan to attend the service and meeting on March 22, and watch for further details! 
Getting to the Heart of the Matter (in six words more-or-less):
A Congregational Experience
Sunday, March 1, noon – 3:00 pm in the Undercroft Gallery
The objectives of this congregational gathering are two-fold
1) To offer an opportunity for congregants to articulate and share their thoughts and feelings (in six words more-or-less) about what this congregation is and can be, for themselves, for each other, and for the larger community.  (This is the “experience” part.)
2) To generate a congregational covenant that can become part of Sunday morning liturgy, expressing the foundational and aspirational identity of the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh.  (This is the “product” part.)
Facilitated by Rev. Connie Grant; sponsored by the VIM (Vision Identity Mission) Team and the Transition Team.  Lunch will be provided for participants. 
Please register
here by February 23.
An “experience” not to be missed!  Be there or be square!

Childs care is available. 

Helping Each Other
Throughout the year, members of the church occasionally need a helping hand. The Pastoral Care Team asks you to identify ways you may be able to assist. We expect you would be called only a few times during the year. Please stop by the Caring Connections table on Sunday morning to fill out a Practical Assistance Volunteer form.

You’ll be asked to indicate which of these you may be able to help with from time to time:

□ Transportation

□ Providing a meal for an individual or family

□ Shopping

□ Memorial service food item

□ Memorial service kitchen assistance, set-up, or clean-up

□ Memorial service greeting/ushering

In the event of a need in the congregation, you may be contacted to see whether you are available to help at that time. Your help will be appreciated!


The Family Ministries Committee invites you to "Everybody's Birthday Party" on Sunday, March 15!
Join us in the Undercroft Gallery after service for a special social hour. There will be cake, games, singing happy birthday, and making/building friendships! Stay tuned for more information.


Good Government Justice Team of UUPLAN
Connect with your local PA State House Representative and advocate for good government/anti-corruption reforms in PA. Start with the 2020 Petition and continue with a new slate of issues in June, and October.
There will be tabling for this project, Feb. 23 in the Undercroft during the coffee hour.

Cluster Spring Gathering - UU the VOTE
March 21, 9 AM to 12 PM

Our Cluster congregations will gather at the N Hills Church to learn WHAT WE CAN DO and HOW TO DO IT to 'UU the VOTE 2020'. There will be educational presentations, time for Q&A, opportunities to network, and sharing how we can get out the vote and support our UU Values in this election cycle.
UU Church of the North Hills, 2359 W Ingomar Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15237

Women's Alliance meets informally in the Schweitzer Room on the first and third Thursdays of every month for coffee or tea at 10:00 a.m., followed by a 30-minute business meeting at 10:30 a.m., and a unique program of guest speakers from 11:00 a.m.—12 p.m. Please bring your own brown bag lunch.
All are welcome!
Contact co-chairs: Alice Carnes, 704-453-4175 or Kathy Fein 412-337-4925 for more information.


Meet and Greet for newcomers and current members – First Sundays 
Stop by the Membership Table on the first Sunday of each month in the Undercroft Gallery at coffee hour to meet and greet current and new church members and interested visitors!!
Build connections with each other and welcome those who are new to our church and interested in UU values. 
Also, for existing members, get your picture taken for the on-line church directory and learn how easy it is to use our new on-line database!!

Introduction to Unitarian Universalism – Third Sundays
Drop in to find out more about the history, varied theologies, and organization of Unitarian Universalism.  Led by church staff and representatives of the Membership Team.  Third Sundays of the month, noon – 12:45 pm in the Library (on the lower level).

 Covenant group Opportunities  
If you are interested in joining a new covenant group, you can complete an interest form from the church website, complete a paper form found in the rack at the Ellsworth entrance or contact:  

Every Sunday after services
Curious about what is happening around our church? Interested in connecting with others? Visit the Undercroft Gallery after the service. You can learn about upcoming activities, opportunities to get involved, & the latest art show. Purchase gift certificates for the Giant Eagle (and help the church) or purchase olive oil from Palestine. Help yourself to a snack and chat with someone you may not yet know. Welcome!

Adult Religious Education
Doing the Work – Workshops on Understanding Racism and White Privilege
You are invited to join Pittsburgh Freethought Community/First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh workshops on understanding racism and white privilege. We have scheduled six sessions that will include lecture, discussion, and multi-media presentations along with assigned readings. The purpose of this series is to develop the understanding and ability of white people to do the work of dismantling racism. We ask that participants commit to reading the assigned material. We strongly encourage participants to attend all sessions; each session, however, covers a separate topic and will be open to all.

All sessions will take place in the Undercroft Gallery at First Unitarian Church, 605 Morewood Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15213

Session # 3 - The Invention of Whiteness - February 23, 2020, 1 to 3 PM
Where did whiteness come from? Who is white and how do people get to be labeled white? How does whiteness function? How do we perpetuate the value assigned to whiteness?

Session #4 - Disadvantage and Advantage -  March 8, 2020, 2 to 4 PM (Note time change!)
If black people are disadvantaged by racism, who is reaping those advantages? We will identify some of the advantages white people receive, discuss what it might mean not to have them, and imagine what a fair society would be.

Session #5 - Doing Anti-racism -  March 22, 2020, 1 to 3 PM
Good intentions are not enough. What stops white people from engaging with others about racism? Can white people be sensitive to the pain of oppressed people without centering their own experiences or feelings?

Session #6 - Wrapping Up and Moving Forward - April 5
1 to 3 PM

Each of us has power that we can use to oppose racist policies and customs. Participants will reflect on the discussions and suggest anti-racist actions.
To sign up for the workshop, please send an email to one of the facilitators:

John Hooper -
Liz Hrenda -
Mary Schinhofen –
A detailed description of each session along with assigned readings will be emailed to each person who registers for the workshop.


UUA 2019-20 Common Read:  An Indigenous Peoples History of the United States

A book discussion group for the UUA common read this year will be in January, on the 3rd Sundays of each month, from 12 - 1:30 pm!  Interested in joining?  Please email Erica  

New Common Read General Discussion Group Feb. 23, March 29, and April 26
 This second group is a general discussion group for anyone unable to join the first one above.  We will meet in the Schweitzer Room for 3 guided study sessions Feb. 26, March 29, and April 26 @ 9 - 10:15 a.m.  This event replaces the FORUM on those dates.

Suggested books celebrating Black History Month 


  9:00 am Sundays in the Schweitzer Room
The Sunday morning lecture series held at First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh features presentations given by distinguished individuals from our congregation and from local universities, organizations, businesses, and government.  With a long-standing tradition in Unitarian Universalist churches across America, FORUM has been integral to First Unitarian of Pittsburgh since 1916.
February 23 Erica Shadowsong UUA Common Read: An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
View all the adult lifelong learning content posted on our website, click here.

Young Adults Religious Education 
Young Adults Small Group, every Wednesday @ 6 - 8 pm (*NEW TIME)
 The goal of the circle is to aid us in integrating care and inspiration of the spirit in regular, individual practice.  Each "session" is independent and not sequential, so you can attend whenever you like.  We explore things like building your own theology, creating a credo statement, books of interest, and other topics. 

Children and Youth Religious Education 
Family Choir 
Family Choir meets for dinner, fellowship, music, movement & fun every Tuesday, Sept-May, 5:30 – 6:30.

Chalice Lighting in the Service! 
We are restarting a tradition of having families light the chalice in our services!  If you are interested in having your family light the chalice on a particular date, please let me know!  I often ask families who are present the day of, but scheduling is also possible.

Family-Friendly Social Hour and Snacks on Sundays are Back! 
Families are invited to the Schweitzer Room to socialize.  A healthy, simple snack and some drinks will be provided for the children, an alternative to the downstairs’ fare.  Some simple activities will be provided.  For those who want coffee and/or more variety of snacks, you can go down to the Undercroft and then bring them up to the Schweitzer with you.
Upcoming Worship Services  

March 1
“Practical Theology”
With our diverse theological beliefs and spiritual practices, what do Unitarian Universalists have in common as we practice our religion? Rev. Connie Grant speaking.  Music by Maddy Izzo; Ellen Gozion, Instrumental Music Director. 

Sanctuary Flowers 
The women's Alliance has funds from the Irene Hanes Mowy Semple fund to add to the church Sanctuary. Instead of a florist's bouquet each month, we have divided the money between four or five Sundays a month for the last year. They are arranged by volunteers.
Dedicated flowers are also invited; to buy a bouquet for a loved one to honor a special occasion. Call Chris Michaels: 412-731-8450 or At least two weeks advance notice is required so she can cancel the Women's Alliance flowers and send a specific dedication to the order of service. 

Incidental Chamber Players, in collaboration with the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh, has announced the details of its 2020 chamber music concert series ELEMENTS curated by flutist Brittany Trotter.
Each concert in this five-concert series is curated by one of its members featuring music that speaks to their personal histories or “elements” of their identities. Dedicated to their mission of highlighting music that has been unjustly forgotten or ignored, the program includes works by living, BIPOC, women and LGBTQ+ composers from Pittsburgh, this country, and the world.

ELEMENTS II — Monday, March 16, 7 pm
Works by Pablo Gómez-Estévez, Jonathan Pina, Hilario Gonzales, and Darwin Aquino.
ELEMENTS III — Monday, April 20, 7 pm
Works by Valerie Coleman, Janet Beat, Alex Temple, and Erwin Schulhoff.
ELEMENTS IV — Monday, May 18, 7 pm
Works by Rebecca Clarke, Sergei Prokofiev, Franz Schubert, and Mark Fromm.
ELEMENTS V — Monday, June 15, 7 pm
Works by William Grant Still, Jennifer Higdon, Laurel Zucker, and Darius Milhaud.

UU Pittsburgh Community Singers 
Contact Director Kris Rust for more information: 412-352-8488
March 8, Sunday, 9:30/ 10:30 Sunday service @ 1st UU

The few remaining photos are in a box in the Undercroft Gallery. The art committee will not be responsible for photos left after Sunday, March 1.


Sankofa Legacy presented by Women Of Visions

"About to embark on their 40th Anniversary Women of Visions, once again embraces the Sankofa bird, African symbol of “looking back to look forward.” Gathering wisdom from the past to make the path forward more productive is a theme which stimulates the creative energy, and informs the work by this diverse group of women. Their talents cover every medium including fiber, painting, ceramics, sculpture, film and mixed media. This exhibition presents only a sampling.”
Founded in 1981 and incorporated in 1995 as a non-profit, Women of Visions was formed as a need to recognize the art of African American Women, providing exhibition opportunities, mentoring, and professional development in the arts not usually obtainable or available. To that end, the organizations mounts collaborative shows with other arts groups and individuals, and builds relationships to create visibility both in Pittsburgh and beyond.

March Art Exhibit      March 12 - April 2
“The Colors of My World”
By Phiris Kathy Sickels

Phiris is an experienced artist whose extravagantly colorful works in watercolor are often abstract but clearly fun. The show will be hung on March 12 and can be seen all month.

Church Sponsored Activities and Community Events

Khasi Hills Teacher Card Signing Tabling Event
Sign a card for teachers of the school we sponsor in Khasi Hills India. Originally we hoped to send them with congregation member Anne Van Cott on her pilgrimage. We are sad to share that Anne had a fall fracturing her ankle and is unable to travel. Please hold her in your heart for the double loss. We will be sending our teacher greetings with a Pilgrim from Missouri so that our teachers can still receive our love and good wishes.

First Sundays. First Unitarian Church has a regular monthly commitment to cook and serve a meal at the EECM Shelter on the first Sunday of each month. If you or your group would like to help please contact Mary at or 412-421-5516.

Community Table schedule for Winter, 2019-2020:

 Feb 23- last names L-M
March 1- last names N-Re
 March 8- last names Ri-S
 March 15- Everyone's Birthday Celebration 
 March 22- last names A-B
 March 29- last names C-D

Feel free to bake or cook, or pick something up at the store. The Community Table is about sharing and love. If you want to bake your heart out, that's great, but so are pretzels and Oreos! Some suggestions: fruit, nuts, veggie tray with or without dip, hummus, sliced meats and cheeses, salsa, pretzels, chips, fresh popcorn, cookies, brownies, coffee cake or fruit breads. Please bring enough for 25 people. Finger food is best since we have very limited resources for cutting and preparing.

All the food at our Community Table during social hour is from member donations. (There is no church budget for food.) Please pick up something for the social hour when you go to the supermarket. You needn't wait for your assigned date to bring a donation of easy to serve finger food, which we will very gratefully accept and serve.
Need an answer to a question and don’t know who to ask?  Want to pass along some feedback and not sure who to contact?  Reach out to your Board Ombudsman Ebe Emmons.  Ebe will coordinate with staff, committees, and the board to get an answer or pass along feedback.  Ebe can be reached at
Copyright © 2020 First Unitarian Church, All rights reserved.

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First Unitarian Church · 605 Morewood Avenue · Pittsburgh, PA 15213 · USA

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