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Rev David HerndonReverend David Herndon has served First Unitarian Church since 1990. A lifelong Unitarian Universalist, he earned his undergraduate degree in physics from the College of William and Mary. He received his M.A. degree from the Divinity School at the University of Chicago, and his Doctor of Ministry degree from Meadville/Lombard Theological School in Chicago. In 2001, he received a Master of Public Management degree from the Heinz School at Carnegie Mellon University.

April 2014

This year, April will be Shared Ministry Month here at First Unitarian Church! Here are the goals of Shared Ministry Month:

  • First, all of us will become better acquainted with the concept of Shared Ministry, something our Board of Trustees is strongly promoting for First Unitarian Church.

  • Second, all of us will become acquainted with the newly-created Shared Ministry Committee.

  • Third, all of us will complete the Skills and Interests form if we have not already done so. You can either complete a paper copy of the Skills and Interests form or you can complete the online version, which can be found at

  • Fourth, all of us will come to understand the difference between a task-centered approach to finding volunteers for particular responsibilities, and a person-centered approach to tapping the spiritual vitality and vision of our members and friends.

In the spirit of shared ministry, I would also like to initiate an intentional transition toward having multiple Councils here at First Unitarian Church. This idea comes from the Shared Ministry Committee. For now, I am envisioning six different Councils. Each of these six Councils will include several different committees which contribute toward a particular part of church life. You can read more about this vision on the following pages. Councils will definitely help move us along the path of providing church members and friends with more opportunities to participate in making decisions, and encouraging church members and friends to have a greater sense of ownership of the shared ministry of this religious community.

See the vision for six new Councils at First Unitarian Church in this month's Chalice

See you in church!
Rev. David


Rev Robin Landerman Zucker

Rev. Robin Landerman Zucker is part-time Asst. Minister, and an affiliated community minister at the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh. In First Unitarian, she coordinates the pastoral care and adult faith development aspects of our ministry, and preaches regularly.

In the community, Rev. Robin is the director of Flowingforce (http://www.flowingforce.com), comprised of two community ministries that offer counseling, education, and mediation services to individuals and couples at all stages of relationship. Radiant Vows focuses on pre-marital and marital education and counseling and weddings. Divorce Without Destruction promotes a fair process and peaceful parting for couples and families.

Rev. Robin received an Masters of Divinity from Harvard and was ordained to the UU ministry in 2000. She served two New England parishes and worked as a professional hospice chaplain prior to launching her community ministries.

She grew up in Pittsburgh and has returned home after 30 plus years in the Boston area where she raised her two children (Sam, 25 and Michaela, 22). She lives (and works) in Regent Square with her rescue dog, Kip, and has been enjoying playing with the First Unitarian Folk Orchestra and volunteering at the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank.

You may contact Rev. Robin at Flowingforce@comcast.net, or
412-727-6870 (home study) - Preferred
412-621-8008, ext 110 (church)
978-505-7245 (mobile - urgent calls)

Rev. Robin's office hours at First Unitarian are typically on Tuesdays in the Garden Office behind the Fahs Room. Please call if you'd like to set up an appointment in the morning or the afternoon.

April 2014


This year, more than ever before, April is a month for memories for me. If you walk through the Undercroft Gallery this month, you will see some of them in black and white (and more than 50 shades of grey, too). My exhibit of documentary street photographs and essays, DeJa View: Darkroom/Digital has offered me a unique and long-anticipated opportunity to l ook back, remember, and fashion “A New Narrative on a Journey Once Taken.” Such a gift. A fuller write-up about the exhibit and the reception/gallery talk on Fri., April 11th are elsewhere in this newsletter.

As I’ve reviewed literally hundreds of black and white negatives, meticulously preserved since the mid-1970’s, and chosen the 50 of so images to be included in the exhibit, memories and emotions have been stirred. It is incredible what a 38 year old image of a rock pile from Troy or a London Nanny pushing a pram, or a boy skipping by a Paris pond, or an imposing Italian priest ambling in Siena, or a sheep grazing in Crete can conjure! Memory is often visceral and sensual – we see it, feel it, hear it, touch it, and in the case of the glistening barrel of fish from a Turkish oasis, taste it, too.

The experience of preparing this exhibit has reminded me how powerful memory can be and how the passage of time impacts on it. What we remember is shaped by who we were and who we have become and what lay in between. Sometimes it is helpful to look back along the timeline of your life and take inventory. But the past is what it is – the past. We can’t change it. We can learn from it, grow from it, and we can write new narratives to make sense of it. My sermon on April 12, “We’ve Known Rivers: Challenge and Change” will explore this topic more deeply; and the Chalice Café on Tuesday , April 15 (noon – 1: 30 p.m.) will, too.

April is also my birthday month and this year I am 57 (the same as the year I was born, and it’s especially quirky this year in my childhood home of “57 Varieties”). I’m still sticking to my response from my sermon last April, that is, when I’m wondering “What can I look forward to?,” the answer is still “Everything!” I’ve retained such happy memories of Baby Boomer birthday parties – bowling at Forward Lanes, pin-the-tail on the donkey and party hats, Mineo’s pizza, and Waldorf Bakery’s fabulous chocolate layer cakes.

And then there is Passover, too, beginning on April 14, commemorating an arduous and significant “journey once taken” by Moses and the Israelites out of bondage. When I was first considering moving back to Pittsburgh, I asked a friend to drop me off at the corner of Murray and Forward so I could meander up to Forbes and feel the ground I had walked so many times as a child. It was March 2011, and as I passed Pinsker’s Judaica shop, I had to go in. The Passover display was just inside the door and I nearly wept when I saw the Jellied Fruit slices. Memory is such a powerful thing. I was awash with emotional snapshots of those super-sugary slices, macaroons, my Grandma Esther’s brisket with Manischewitz Cherry Wine, my mother’s delicious matzo meal rolls, and the fuss we always made over opening the door for Elijah.

Memories are rarely black and white, yet nostalgia has its uses. Even if you can not step into the same river twice, or have a “do-over” on some moment that happened upstream, new narratives can be written and new understandings gained from looking back at journeys once taken. What are the significant snapshots of your life?

In faith,
Rev. Robin

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