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  Pittsburgh, PA 15213-2999

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First Unitarian Pittsburgh

A Welcoming Congregation

Our Mission

The mission of the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh is to . . .

Connect Inspire Serve
deeply in community
reverence and
spiritual growth
each other and
the world

We connect deeply in community by . . .

gathering together in fellowship in a safe space
listening with empathy and without judgment
warmly welcoming everyone who enters our doors

We inspire reverence and spiritual growth by . . .

celebrating and exploring the moments of awe we experience in life
encouraging each other along our journeys toward truth and meaning
fostering humility in the pursuit of wisdom and understanding

We serve each other and the world by . . .

providing support to those experiencing hardship or distress
working for social justice by standing on the side of Love
being active stewards of our environment

We ask that you devote at least forty-eight (48) hours each year to your own spiritual growth, at least twenty-four (24) hours each year in service to First Unitarian Church, and at least twelve (12) hours each year in service to the larger community. See this Skills and Interests form to identify opportunities to fulfill this 48-24-12 expectation.


From our Senior Minister, The Rev. Dr. David Herndon (April 2014)
See the vision for six new Councils at First Unitarian Church in this month's Chalice

Robin's Bird's Eye View, The Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker (April 2014)

Introducing First Unitarian Church (video)

Are You A Unitarian Universalist? (video)

Our Documents, Our Stories - 116 original documents from the Founding and Development of the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh

Covenant Group Discussion Guides

In April at First Unitarian Church

Spiritual Theme:

Our spiritual theme for this month is Courage. Here are some examples: It took courage for the Hebrew people to leave enslavement in Egypt and enter the wilderness. It took courage for Jesus to challenge the religious understandings and social conditions of his age. It took courage for people such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., and Nelson Mandela and Malcolm X to bear prophetic witness against the political and social oppression in their nations. What is the source of this courage? Is this path of spiritual courage limited to just a few special people, or can anyone venture down this path? What does courage look like on a smaller scale such as a family or an institution?


April 6, 2014 - Shared Ministry Sunday
The Rev. Dr. David Herndon, Senior Minister. “Whose Church? Your Church!”

This year, April will be Shared Ministry Month here at First Unitarian Church! The sermon this morning will explore what we mean by Shared Ministry, why it is important for First Unitarian Church to embrace Shared Ministry, and how we can do Shared Ministry most effectively. We will also hear from our newly-formed Shared Ministry Committee.

Forum 9:30 a.m. Andy Norman. The Origins of Ethical Behavior (?) Hosted by Joy Reinhart.

April 13, 2014 - Palm Sunday and Passover
The Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker, Assistant Minister. “We’ve Known Rivers: Challenge and Change”

The river is one of my favorite natural features and also one of my favorite spiritual metaphors. As the adage goes, “You never step into the same river twice,” meaning that rivers are ever-changing and ever-flowing, just like our human stories. In this sermon, we’ll explore the challenges we face as we attempt to stay “in the boat” as it heads downstream - the only direction possible - mindful of the rocks and the swift shifting currents along the way. We’ll examine our reactions to change, and also how we might find the courage to let go of what was, or could have been, upstream.

Forum 9:30 a.m. Edward Gerjuoy. Global Warming. Hosted by Barry Farkas.

April 18, 2014 - Maudy Thursday and Good Friday
The Rev. Dr. David Herndon, Senior Minister.

This service retraces the last few days of the life of Jesus and offers us a way to find our own Unitarian Universalist meanings in the ancient stories. The Maundy Thursday portion of the service is the one time of the year when First Unitarian Church offers communion, but you certainly do not have to be Christian to appreciate the many meanings of this occasion. The Good Friday (or Tenebrae) portion of the service provides an opportunity for deep meditation on the ways our society may fall short of its ideals, and perhaps how we may fall short of our own personal ideals as well. We are then invited to hold that spiritual tension until the joy and hope and renewal of Easter.

April 20, 2014 - Easter Sunday
The Rev. Dr. David Herndon, Senior Minister. “The Courage to Roll the Stone Out of the Way”

When we avoid taking them literally, the stories and symbols of Easter can provide powerful metaphors for our own personal spiritual growth. For example, in the Easter story, new life was possible only when the stone blocking the exit from the tomb was rolled away. Are there stones blocking your path toward more abundant life? What are they? What courage might be required from you to roll those stones out of the way?

Forum 9:30 a.m. - No Forum

April 27, 2014 - Earth Sunday
The High School Class and Green Sanctuary Committee

For Earth Sunday, we welcome the High School Class to our pulpit. In preparing for this service, they will be assisted by the Green Sanctuary Committee.

Forum 9:30 a.m. Do you need a physical exam? Danforth Lincoln, MD. Hosted by Joan Harvey.



Go With the Flow at the Jumonville Spring Retreat!

After such a difficult winter, it’s hard to believe that Spring is finally here. Come celebrate with us at the Jumonville Spring Retreat,  May 2-4, 2014 at the Jumonville Retreat Center in Fayette County, PA (about an hour south of Pittsburgh).

We’ll be joined by Lauren Sims, co-owner of Inner Hearth Yoga in Point Breeze, who will lead a restorative Yin Yoga workshop.

Everyone is welcome at the retreat, whether you come for the full weekend, stay just one night, or only take a ride down for Saturday. Perfect for kids or kids at heart, it’s a time for us to be together to learn, relax, worship and just have fun!

Register for the spring retreat here.


Adult Faith Development

Welcome to Adult Faith Development at First Unitarian Church! Our offerings are open to all members and friends, new and longstanding. We invite and encourage you to explore a rich variety of courses, presentations, and events this fall that reflect our mission to “Connect, Inspire, and Serve.”

Membership Orientations:
There are two opportunities to attend a Membership Orientation coming up soon:

Three Sundays: March 23, 30, and April 6 12:30 – 2:15 p.m. in the Schweitzer Room

Leaders for the Membership Orientation will be Rev. David Herndon and members of the Membership Committee

More: Adult Faith Development; Spring 2014 Adult Faith Development Catalog


Pastoral Care & Caring Connection

Pastoral care is available to all members and friends, new and longstanding. Our Caring Connections program is coordinated by the Rev. Robin Zucker. If you would like to join the Caring Connections team, please contact the Rev. Zucker at 412-727-6870 (home study - preferred), 412-621-8008, ext 110 (church), 978-505-7245 (mobile - urgent calls) or flowingforce@comcast.net. 


SongSpace at First Unitarian

Tracy Grammer with special guest The Early Mays
Saturday, May 10 at 7:30 pm (doors open at 7:00 pm) in the Sanctuary

Tracy Grammer rose to acclaim as half of the “postmodern, mythic American folk: duo, Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer. From 1998-2001, they released three chart-topping folk albums featuring Carter's Americana songcraft and toured with Joan Baez. Called “the new voice of modern folk music,” the duo was in its ascendancy when Carter suffered a fatal heart attack in 2002. Determined to honor their journey and bring Carter’s songs to broader audiences, Grammer kept to the road and now tours internationally. Her latest release, “Little Blue Egg,” was the #1 most-played album on Folk Radio in 2012. Grammer has become one of folk music's most beloved performers. Renowned for her springwater-clear alto, perfectly intoned violin and guitar playing that is by turns percussive and delicate, Grammer has also become a masterful storyteller with an ease and charisma on stage, not to mention a riotous sense of humor. www.tracygrammer.com

The Early Mays were born at a holiday service of American folk music at First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh in 2011. The Appalachian-inspired folk songs of Judith Avers, Ellen Gozion and Emily Pinkerton are built on deep country sensibilities, masterful ballad singing and a sweet old-time sound. www.theearlymays.com


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