March 26, 2020
View this email in your browser
Update March 26, 2020
Dear First Unitarian Church Community,
Again on Sunday, March 29, our worship service will be streamed from the sanctuary on YouTube.  Please go to at 10:30 am.  We hope you will join us at that time so we can be together in spirit even though we are physically distanced from each other.  
As you know, all programs and activities at the church are postponed until further notice.  Some church groups, including covenant groups, are meeting by Zoom.  If you have questions about this, contact your group leader.  

One thing that doesn’t change during this time is our need for connection with each other and with this community.  Please stay in touch.

Another thing that doesn’t change is the need for your financial support of your church.  Expenses go on even as rental income is suspended.  Your Board of Trustees is committed to continuing compensation of your staff during this difficult time for all.  Please continue your pledge payments and perhaps even give a little extra if it is possible for you to do so.  Donations by check may still be mailed to the church office.  Electronic donations can be made online through the church
website or by texting "give" to (412) 435-1050 and following the instructions.  

Please consider making a donation to the Minister’s Benevolent Fund, known as Marion’s Purse.  This fund is used to help congregants in temporary financial need—which may be particularly useful in the weeks ahead.  “Carefund” is the designation for this.   
As ever, please contact Rev. Connie Grant at or (847) 840-8542 if you have pastoral needs or other concerns. 

In faith and hope,
Rev. Connie Grant
This Weekend at First Unitarian Church
Worship Celebration News

Sunday, March 29, 2020


Live-streamed at 10:30 am

Is “between” neither here nor there, or is it somewhere something happens?  

Homily by Rev. Connie Grant; story told by Erica Shadowsong, Director of Lifespan Religious Education; Music by Ellen Gozion, Instrumental Music Director, and Brian Junker, guitar and voice.

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

The First Unitarian Church Annual Congregational Meeting
The First Unitarian Church Annual Congregational Meeting will take place on Sunday, May 17, 2020, from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Please make sure that this important event is on your calendar!

Our hope is that the meeting can be held in the Undercroft Gallery. However, the Board of Trustees is making contingency plans to hold the meeting by Zoom video conference if necessary. 

Important business to be conducted at the meeting will include 

• Electing a search committee that will conduct the search for a new settled minister, and

• Electing three new members each to the Board of Trustees and the Nominating Committee

If we can hold the meeting in person, members who are unable to attend will have the option to vote by absentee or proxy ballot. If we need to hold the meeting by videoconference, all voting will be by absentee ballot. 

Please stay tuned for more details. Questions? Please contact Board President Martin Schmidt or Board Secretary Eleanor Mayfield

Call for Candidates for Nomination
For the 2020-2021 Church Year Board of Trustees and Nominating Committee
Your Nominating Committee (NC) is reaching out to you to discern who among us is willing and able to become a nominee for service on the Board of Trustees and the Nominating Committee for the coming church year.  We are seeking a total of 6 candidates who can agree to serve 3-year terms for these groups.  It will be an exciting time to deepen your involvement in leadership at 1st Unitarian.  We will be continuing our work with Rev. Connie, our Interim Minister, and will soon begin the process of recruiting and calling a new settled Minister. Consider whether you or someone with whom you have worked here at 1st Unitarian might be ready for these responsibilities. Board work involves people with many skills, but as the church Treasurer is now a Board Member, we should identify someone with interest and/or ability in financial affairs to succeed our current Treasurer when his term ends in May 2020.
Please contact any of the current NC members [Gretchen Aiyangar, Jen Layman, Rob Masterson, Bob Mitchell, Raeann Olander Murray, Susan Regan, Shelley Ross, Michael Safran, and Becky Studer] with your suggestions or questions. 


Church Sponsored Activities and Community Events

Helping Each Other
During these trying times members of the church may 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 Contact a member of the team if you are able to help. 

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

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!

Pastoral Care Team Contact Information:

Christine Beregi: Phone: 412-992-1888
Jan Carlino: Phone: 412-727-0200
Julie Childers: Phone: 412-726-3590
Jim Cunningham: Phone: 412-256-0205 (Co-Chair)
Kathy Miller: Phone:
412-639-8012 (Co-Chair)
Bob Sullivan: Phone:
Rev. Connie Grant: Phone: 847-840-8542 (Church Office: 412-621-8008)


After careful thought and recognizing the contagious power of COVID-19, First Unitarian Habitat group is going on break until May or June when the situation will be reevaluated.  The health and welfare of our group takes first priority.  There will be a time when we can come back in full force to help build or rehab a home for a family.  At that time, our volunteers will be welcome to participate in a safe Habitat environment.  Information will be released ASAP about the next Habitat work party. 
For more information email Marty Lieb at

Dear Red Cross Supporter
As the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues to impact our communities, we need your help ensuring we have a sufficient blood supply to support hospital patients inPennsylvania and across the country.The American Red Cross hashad a staggering number of scheduled Red Cross blood drives cancelled as more workplaces, college campuses and other venues send people home and encourage social distancing.Disruptions to blood donations can lead to shortages and cause delays in essential medical care. As ofMarch 16, about 2,700 blood drives, representing approximately 86,000 fewer blood donations, have been canceled in the U.S. due to COVID-19 concerns.Here in Pennsylvania we have seen 116 blood drives canceled resulting in over 3,600 lost donations. As concerns about the coronavirus pandemic rise, we need your help to communicate three vital messages to the public:
•Donating blood is a safe process and people should not be concerned about giving or receiving blood during this challenging time.
•More healthy donors are needed to give now to prevent a blood shortage.
•Keep scheduled blood drives, which will allow donors the opportunity to give blood. As anemergency preparedness organization, the Red Cross has also taken additional steps to ensure the safety of staff and donors at each Red Cross blood drive.
•We are now pre-screening all individuals by checking their temperature before they enter any Red Cross blood drive or donation center, including our own staff and volunteers.
•At each blood drive and donation center, Red Cross employees follow thorough safety protocols including wearing gloves, routinely wiping down donor-touched areas, using sterilecollection sets for every donation, and preparing the arm for donation with an aseptic scrub.
•Additional spacing has been implemented within each blood drive set up to incorporate social distancing measures between donation beds and stations within theblood drive.
•The average blood drives are only 20-30 people over several hours and are not large gatherings.
The Red Cross is also working to ensure we can continue to carry out other aspects of our lifesaving mission, including providing critical disaster relief services. We are working with public health officials to ensure the safety of local communities and our workforce, while still providing the help and hope they need should disaster strike. We’re asking the American people to give blood during this challenging time, and we are asking you as a leader to help communicate this critical need. Those who are healthy, feeling well and eligible to give bloodare urged to make an appointment to donate as soon as possible by visiting or calling
1-800-RED CROSS.


Fortunately, in PA, we can now request a Mail-In Ballot, without needing to give a reason. With the Coronavirus uncertainty, the Post Gazette article in Sunday's paper, recommended we all apply for Mail-In Ballots. Here is a link to the article:  

Here is an excerpt from the article with information about how to apply. 
Voters have until April 21 at 5 p.m. to apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot, and while absentee ballots require voters to disclose if they are — among other things — away at college or going out of town for work, mail-in ballots don’t.  

The mail-in ballot application can be completed online at with a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license or PennDOT-issued photo ID. Voters can also download and complete a paper application and send it to their county election office, or fill one out in person. 

When the primary ballot is finalized, the ballots will be sent to approved applicants.

It’s the best way to “ensure one’s vote is counted if concerned about heading to the polls,” said Charlie O’Neill, deputy executive director of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania, 

April 5

“Saving Souls or Spending Them?”

Our Universalist forebears long ago rejected the doctrine that some people were predestined to eternal damnation, believing that a loving God would not consign anyone to eternal torment.  What meaning can “salvation” have for Unitarian Universalists?  Rev. Connie Grant speaking.


April 12

“Why Does Jesus Matter?”  

Using reason, our Unitarian forebears developed new ways of thinking about the nature of God, of Jesus, and of humanity in general.  Why does Jesus matter to Unitarian Universalists today?  Rev. Connie Grant speaking.

Dear families, volunteers and youth,
These are interesting times we're living in!  I'm hearing a lot of talk about the world changing, and how our lives may change permanently - or for a long while - as we face this coronavirus situation.
Church staff are taking this opportunity, as many other congregations and organizations are, to get creative and explore ways to be in community together, be ministered to, and worship that make use of the multitude of virtual tools available to us.  We are, in fact, having a virtual service this Sunday morning!  More information will be coming on that.
This being new territory, I want you to know that you all are in my thoughts, as I know you are in each other's, and I am going to do my best also to find ways to stay connected with you all and boost our religious education in the many ways we can.  It may not be too polished at first, but I am going to be sending a general "lesson" or message out to RE families, like this, each week for the time being so that we all have some things on which to reflect. 
Here are some thoughts I wanted to share with you today, with the Vernal Equinox being tomorrow and the all the virus talk we're hearing!

The following is one of my favorite laugh-out-loud stories.  I hope you enjoy it!

Nasruddin and the Melons (Or, A Different Kind of "Virus")
Nasruddin was a famous wise man and trickster who loved to tell jokes.  He would tell stories, but the people didn't believe his tales. He went home to think of a story everyone would believe, and swore he would only leave that room when he had such a story. After a while, he found himself disturbed by children's noise outside in street. He decided he's play a trick on them to get peace, by going outside and telling them, "In market at other end of town - they are giving away free melons." Sure enough, the children ran off, leaving Nasruddin in peace to think. As children ran others who saw them asked why.  When they heard about the free melons, more started running - children - adults ran - soon the whole town ran. An old man happened to run by Nasruddin himself, and when Nasruddin asked why he was running, he told him. Nasruddin thought, "Perhaps there really are free melons." And he ran off, too, showing that the only people who can tell really good stories must believe them themselves!

-and beware the contagious nature of gossip!

All About the Spring Equinox

Celebrating Ostara

Blessings to you all in this time; stay healthy, and have a good rest of the week!


Hello, all;

Instead of holding RE grade classes and the live family worship, for this week, I am going to focus on sending you a worship/RE experience you can view and enjoy on your own time.  Scheduling live meetings seems not to be the best for most uf us right now, though that may change.

Meanwhile, I will continue to keep everyone updated on new offerings for next week; thank you for all the feedback you've been providing!



Like many of my colleagues, I am learning that the needs of our families in this transitional and somewhat traumatic time are all different!

Please help me better understand how the church RE program can best support you right now in staying connected.  

This is a very short survey.  Thank you!


Adult Religious Education
Beginning Thursday, April 2 @ 7pm - Spirit in Practice for Adults

Register to receive Zoom meeting link.  (You only need to register once to attend all the sessions.)

Tapestry of Faith course by Erik Walker Wikstrom

Number of Sessions: 10

Spirit in Practice was created to help Unitarian Universalists develop regular disciplines, or practices, of the spirit—practices that help them connect with the sacred ground of their being, however they understand it. Spirit in Practice affirms religious diversity while seeking unity in our communal quest for meaning and wholeness. Whether participants follow a path they identify as Humanist, Jewish, Christian, Pagan, Theist, Atheist, Agnostic, Mystic, and/or any of the other paths we follow in our diverse congregations, the Spirit in Practice workshops offer a forum for learning, sharing, and growth that can enrich their faith journeys.   

An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States book discussion series will be rescheduled.  
Please check this space next week for new dates!

All webinars will be 2–3 p.m. Eastern.
Online Information to access the webinars will be sent upon registration.
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Examining Public Health Workers’ Perceptions toward Response Expectations in Disasters: Climate Change Considerations
In the face of climate change, an expanding array of disasters and emergent public health threats has raised operationally relevant research questions about the willingness of public health and other healthcare workers to fulfill organizational expectations in disaster response and recovery. This webinar will describe the latest research on public health and healthcare workers’ perceptions toward fulfilling disaster response expectations against the backdrop of an ever-broadening array of threats to population health relating to climate change, including emergent infectious diseases and more frequent severe weather events. The presentation will include evidence-informed interventions based on mixed-methods research, for boosting responders’ willingness to perform role expectations amid climate change-related disaster scenarios.
Click on the link below to register for the webinar:


Join the Goodreads Church Forum for Book Discussions!
Now is the perfect time to join a discussion group with First Unitarian Church members...virtually!  Join the Goodreads Group created for the Common Read and other books members are reading.  
You can join at the following link:  [http://First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh Readers]First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh Readers
If the link does not work for you for some reason, go to and search for "First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh Readers" on Goodreads. You may need to make a free account if you do not have one.

Young Adults Religious Education 
Young Adults Small Group   
Weekly Meetings to Resume on Zoom!
Please join us for our weekly meeting from 6pm - 8pm on Wednesdays.

  Click on the following link on Wednesday, when you are ready to join:

1st U YA Meeting

Children and Youth Religious Education 
Erica is inviting you to a Zoom Meeting 


Time: Mar 31, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

        Every week on Tue, until May 5, 2020, 7 occurrence(s)
        Mar 31, 2020 07:00 PM
        Apr 7, 2020 07:00 PM
        Apr 14, 2020 07:00 PM
        Apr 21, 2020 07:00 PM
        Apr 28, 2020 07:00 PM
        May 5, 2020 07:00 PM

Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.


Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID:
720 917 028
Password: 426001

One tap mobile

+19292056099,,720917028# US (New York)

Dial by your location
 +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 720 917 028
Find your local number:

  Bringing the Digital Calendar back
Your help is needed! The digital calendar is being prepared with the hopes that everything will be functioning normally by Ingathering. Help in its creation by submitting a reservation form for the upcoming season. Use this opportunity to get together virtually to discuss meeting times, dates, and leadership. Reservations are needed from all groups.

 Covenant group Opportunities  
Consider joining/ creating a virtual covenant group.
If you are interested in joining a new covenant group, you can complete an interest form from the church website or contact:  

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.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list


This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
First Unitarian Church · 605 Morewood Avenue · Pittsburgh, PA 15213 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp