If you ever wanted to do this pilgrimage, THIS is the year to do it since it will be the last trip led by long time Unitarian Universalist Partner Church Council (UUPCC) travel coordinator/tour guides, John Dale and Csilla Kolcsar, before they retire. You will surely have a smooth, engaging experience.
March 12-22, 2020 may seem a long way off, but the DEADLINE IS NOVEMBER 5, AND IT MAY FILL QUICKLY because it is their last trip.
What an opportunity for an adventure and to connect with our Khasi Hills partners, representing our church and strengthening the bond. For 10 nights of lodging, most meals, and transportation within India, $1629 is quite a good deal. In the past our Social Justice Endowment Fund and the UUPCC Travel Grant Fund have generously supported this social service and denominational initiative. There is also an opportunity for fascinating pre-trip tourist extensions before the pilgrimage, a wonderful opportunity since you are halfway across the world.
For information go to https://uupcc.org/pilgrimages/pilgrimage-opportunities and/or contact Karen Litzinger at 412-242-7045.
The Annual Church Picnic is scheduled for June 2nd, immediately following the service and it’s a great way to enjoy each others’ company! Please consider volunteering for an hour or so to help make it a success. We could use help with set-up, keep-up, and clean-up. If you’d like to volunteer, please contact Raeann Olander-Murray at Raeann.email@example.com or 412-660-0012 (call or text).
The UUA is advising that several UU congregations have reported that their members are receiving scam emails that are requesting gift card donations for a charitable cause. Religious groups and congregations are becoming easy targets for these types of scams.
Even in this time of transition, the church's fund raising practices remain the same. No staff member or church leader will call, text, or email you asking for an "emergency" donation for a charitable cause. Marion's Purse is our reserve fund for use in these situations, so no one will be called. Donations to the church are only via cash (at events and services), check payable to the church, texting as listed in our order of service, or our online giving page. The monthly Share the Plate during Sunday Service is the intentional way the church collects funds to support community groups.
The Interim Minister Search Committee is very pleased to announce that the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh has completed a final agreement with The Rev. Constance L. Grant to become our Interim Minister, beginning August 1, 2019.
Connie (as she prefers to be called) earned her MDiv. From Meadville Lombard Theological School in 2000. She comes to us after a two-year interim ministry at the UU Fellowship of Midland, MI. Previously, she had served as the called Congregational Life Minister at the Unitarian Church of Evanston, IL, Minister for Education at the UU Society of Sacramento, CA, and Interim Minister of Religious Education at the First Unitarian Church of Cleveland in Shaker Heights, OH. Early in her ministry, Connie also worked closely with the Lay Leadership Development Office of the UUA in their roll out of the Covenant Group Program.
The breadth of Connie’s experience in the ministerial transition process and in a wide variety of congregational ministerial roles were very appealing to your Search Team.
Connie is an accomplished and effective preacher, writer, and educator. Indeed, her use of metaphor and narrative in her sermons is masterful and moving. But she is not a flamboyant person. Her answers in her Ministerial Record and in our interview with her were concise, complete and reflected a no-nonsense experiential knowledge that we felt was extraordinary and particularly applicable to the challenges and opportunities we face here at First Unitarian.
The conversations that each of the members of the search committee had with the individuals whom Rev. Grant had suggested as references revealed that she has been consistently seen as an intelligent, warm, pragmatic leader. One of her former professors at Meadville Lombard said that Connie was the brightest students she ever had. Here’s what the president of the Board of The UU Fellowship of Midland said about her:
“Connie prioritized the things that needed to be done in order for us to become the healthy, functioning congregation we have the capacity to be and to complete the tasks needed to support our search for a settled minister. Although it may sound like hyperbole it is not an exaggeration to say that, within a few short weeks of her arrival, we felt like a community again.”
(Incidentally, the membership at the Midland congregation grew by 30% during Connie’s ministry there.)
We could go on, but we think you get the picture.
Connie is absolutely thrilled to be coming here and can't wait to begin her ministry at First UU. She requested that we share with you what she considers her professional mission: Helping people live lives of meaning and wholeness through Unitarian Universalist congregational life.
Our congregation has entered a transitional period when we move from who we were, to understanding who we are, to becoming who we are meant to be. Your Interim Minister Search Committee is confident that the Rev. Constance L. Grant is the minister to lead us on this journey.
INTERIM MINISTER SEARCH COMMITTEE
John Hooper, Chair
Al Schwartz, former Chair, who formed and led the team through 80% of the process
Azi Mussalehdan Block
Others: Martin Schmidt and Claus Makowka
As part of First U governance, and of particular importance now that we are lay-led, the congregation is asked to come together in conversation twice a year to share thoughts about the work of the church. Sessions are designed both to build community and to assure that all voices at First U are heard in the decision making processes.
Please join together in guided conversation pertaining to First Unitarian Church Priorities:
* Create a strong sense of BELONGING for ALL who enter our doors
* Explore paths to the formation of a long-lasting and meaningful FIRST UNITARIAN / COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP
Conversations are being held the following days and times:
Wed May 8 7:00-8:30 pm, Thurs May 9 6:30-8:00 pm, Sunday, May 12 noon - 1:30, Sunday, May 12 7:00 - 8:30 pm, Mon May 13 6:30-8:00 pm, Tues May 14 7:00 - 8:30 pm, Thurs May 16 5:00 - 6:30 pm
The link to sign up is:
Childcare provided if requested in the comment line.
We are also thinking about offering a virtual session. If you are interested in this option or have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
1st Unitarian held several work parties at the homes at 6928 Bennett St. The end product is a beautiful energy efficient and safe home for the new women owners. There are 3 spacious bedrooms and 3 bathrooms plus living room, kitchen and dining area. You can see the homes from the outside by driving by at 6928 Bennett St.
We just received these exciting photos regarding progress of the first graduates of our new Higher Secondary School, Badashisha and Philinsimai, who are in post-high school training in Cosmetology and Fashion Technology respectively. These are the two graduates who scored 100% on last spring’s graduation exam. We also learned that they are the first two children from the Children’s Village orphanage to be professionally trained. The Children’s Village was co-founded by a student in our campus ministry program, Catie Scudera, and celebrated the 10-year anniversary in February. For more information about participating or contributing, please contact Karen Litzinger at 412-242-7045.
All members and friends of First Unitarian Church are invited to attend the Annual Congregational Meeting on Sunday, May 19 in the Undercroft Gallery.
This month's exhibit will feature the work of Shellie Sherman and her sons and daughter-in-law. It's a multi-generational show which includes Rochelle's abstract colorful collaged paintings, Kate's stained glass mobiles, Yaniv's cut-paper assemblages, paintings by Moshe and photographs by Ilan. It showcases the creative diversity of two generations of one family.
A reception will be held on May 12 at noon.