Is this email not displaying correctly? Are you not able to see the entire Church Calendar thru December or Small Groups thru Thursday? If so, the Newsletter may have been clipped short by your email software. View it in your browser.
A place for the spirit, a place for the arts, a place to begin your life's journey, a place for community, a place where all of God's children are welcome, a place for you.

Monthly Newsletter

September 2014

Photo - Chris Siewers Photography


Annual Pittsburgh Parish Family Church Picnic

It's church picnic time! The Annual Pittsburgh Parish Family Church Picnic will be Sunday, September 14th at 2:00pm at the Riverview Park Chapel Pavilion. Bring your lawn chairs, picnic blankets, board games, and lawn games as we celebrate another season together. Please bring your favorite side dish, salad, or dessert to share; snacks and the main course will be provided. Bringing a game to play? Please let Devin Harris know what you plan to bring. We hope to you there!

1:30pm:  Drinks and Snacks
2:00pm:  Lunch
4:00pm:  Vesper Service

Volunteers Needed
We are looking for a few volunteers to help out with the following if you can. (1) We need someone with a truck to help transport tables and chairs on Saturday, September 13th, the day before the picnic. (2) We are also looking for people willing to pick up and drop off members of Church of Our Savior. They would need picked up at approximately 12:30pm at Church of Our Savior, and then they would need dropped off following the picnic. If you are able to do either of these tasks, please contact Devin Harris at 229.395.2265 or
Vacation Bible School

Vacation Bible School at Calvary this year was a huge success! Calvary was privileged to have approximately 35 children from our local area attend VBS this year during the 2nd week of August. Also, Rev. Larry Homitsky held a Bible Study during the same time as VBS for any of the parents or guardians that wanted to participate, and there were several that attended.

The children were given backpacks for perfect attendance, and ALL of the children attended every night! They also received school supplies from each station that they went to. There were 4 stations each night - (1) Art Projects, (2) Storytelling, (3) Music, and (4) Outdoor Physical Activity. After this year's success, it has been decided that moving forward Calvary UMC will be holding Vacation Bible School during the 2nd week of August every year.

"Thank You!" to everyone that made VBS the huge success that it was, and there are so many that contributed; but, there are three people without whom Vacation Bible School would not have been possible - Susan Laszko, Christina Kautchick, and Rev. Ellie Laws. Thank you so much for all of your hard work and leadership!

Thank you everyone again, and we look forward to seeing you all next year!
Congratulations Calvary!!

Northside Common Ministries has awarded the congregation of Calvary United Methodist Church in honor of our commitment to improve the lives of the area's hungry and homeless. Calvary, along with two individuals from our community, will be presented awards at a Celebration of Caring event on Friday, October 17th, at The Grand Hall at the Priory. As Reverend Larry would say... "Way to go, Gang!"
Celebration of Caring
An Event Held By Northside Common Ministries

Join Us!
Dinner & Dancing with the talented Tania Grubbs, jazz vocalist, and her band!

Friday, October 17th, 2014
5:30pm to 9:30pm
The Grand Hall at the Priory
614 Pressley Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Join us as we honor the commitment to improve the lives of the area's hungry and homeless; we will present two individual awards and one award to a congregation. Enjoy a delicious meal and live music with jazz vocalist Tania Grubbs while helping NCM feed the hungry and shelter the homeless.

5:30pm to 6:30pm:  Reception with a Cash Bar
6:30pm to 7:15pm:  Dinner
7:15pm to 7:30pm:  Highlights and Honors
7:30pm to 9:30pm:  Celebrate!

The cost is $75.00 per ticket, and tables of 8 or more are available. Seating is limited so RSVP early. To purchase tickets call 412.323.1163 or email

Proceeds from this event benefit the programs of Northside Common Ministries providing help to the Hungry and Homeless for 30 years. Northside Common Ministries is an affiliate of Goodwill of Southwestern PA.
Exciting Things Happening With Missions at Calvary

A Message from the Missions Committee

Thanks to everyone who contributed school supplies. With the help of North Hills Community Outreach we collected everything an elementary student could need - with the backpacks to hold them. We supplied Allegheny School, Bethany House, and Church of Our Savior with a wagon load of supplies.
Eastbrook Mission Barn

Western Pennsylvania has the honor to host an important link in the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) chain of emergency response resources. Located in an old dairy barn in Eastbrook, PA is a sorting and storage facility for the supplies used in response to disasters and poverty needs in the United States and around the world. United Methodists across the area make Health Kits, Sewing Kits, School Kits, Layette Kits, and Cleaning Buckets which are checked, placed on pallets, and shipped to the UMCOR central facility in Louisiana or held for local needs. In addition, the Barn builds modular handicapped access ramps for families across the conference.
On Saturday, October 4th, Calvary is sending a team to Eastbrook (near New Castle) to verify kits and share in other needed services. We invite you to go along, to learn about the Mission Barn and volunteer a few hours in support of its ministry. We will meet at the church (Calvary) and car pool. Space is limited to 15 so get your name in early. Contact Myles or Joan Bradley if you want to go along.

BUT, WAIT there’s more! Everyone can be supportive of UMCOR by creating Health Kits or Sewing Kits for us to take to Eastbrook. Detailed instructions are available at Calvary or can be found at these sites: or

Please join us as we extend our mission support to UMCOR.

Missionaries to Visit Calvary

On Thursday evening, October 9th, at 7:30pm, Calvary United Methodist Church will host Missionaries Steve and Gail Quigg. Steve flew a Cessna 206, a “flying pick-up truck”  to Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo supporting other missionaries with transportation and supplies. Thus he had the ability to quickly move supplies to areas of need and provide medical ambulance service.
From 1979 to 1999 the Quiggs served this unique ministry until a civil war forced them to leave the Congo.

Steve now serves as Aviation Coordinator, overseeing the three pilots who continue the service. These pilots are highly regarded in the community, and serve as role models for young people - all supported by the mission funding of the United Methodist Church. 
Join us for an evening of fellowship with Steve and Gail to hear their story. We are extending this invitation to the Pittsburgh Parish and all the churches of the Pittsburgh District. Watch for further details at mid-month!

Ugly Quilt Project (Sleeping Bags)

The sleeping bag project will continue sometime this Fall, and will meet at Calvary instead of New Hope UMC. We haven't decided when we'll being to meet; we will let you know!
Fall is just around the corner, and you know what that means...
Football Season has arrived!

 Steeler Sundays 
Just a reminder that this Sunday, September 7th, is the 1st afternoon Steelers home game, and the game starts at 1:30pm.

On Steeler afternoon game day Sundays, Calvary provides valet parking and directions to the lot at Brother's Brother Foundation on the 1200 block of Galveston Avenue. Look for the volunteer on Allegheny in front of Calvary for instructions.

News & Announcements

Hospitality Opportunity - Greeters & Ushers

Message from Kenny Elliott

Being an usher is one of the most important ministries at Calvary. You are the first friendly face that greets visitors and members Sunday mornings.

If you are an usher or interested in becoming an usher, please let me know your schedule for the rest of the summer (724.747.7467). If you have work or travel schedules that keep you away on many Sundays or don't know your schedule until a week or two ahead of time, you can still usher. I will be glad to fit you in as your schedule permits or call on you if we need a substitute.

And, if we have a number of ushers willing to serve, you may not have to serve more than once every month or two months. I am hoping to put together a schedule with alternating usher teams, and I’ll send that out for each quarter.

- Kenny

Hospitality Committee - Visitor Welcome Table
Thanks to Christine Thomas, LaDasia Thomas, and Devin Harris for staffing the Visitor Welcome Tables!  If you would like to help out at a welcome table, call Kenny Elliott at 724.747.7467.

Audio/Visual Volunteers Needed
Are you interested in learning how to operate the audio/visual systems here at Calvary? Are you interested in getting involved in the music program at Calvary but feel like you don't have the time? Come and learn how to operate the sound board to make sure our church services sound great, or learn how to run the projector for videos and slides for Praise Band. You can serve as little or as often as your schedule permits. Please see Brian Burns for more details.

Feed the Sheep
Sponsors are needed for the months of August and September. If you would like to host a fellowship luncheon please see Doug Lucas, Clayton Harris, or Mike Schnitgen. Two sponsors are needed per Sunday, $35.00 per sponsor.

The Daily Bread
Calvary Sponsors The Daily Bread at New Hope every 2nd Thursday of each and every month. If you are interested in helping physically or financially please let us know. It can be a group project or an individual donation of time; we are always looking for help. If you are interested in helping please call Audrey Jennings at 412.335.3559 or email her at

Calvary UMC Newsletter
The Calvary UMC Newsletter is distributed twice a month. The first, more detailed, newsletter will be sent out at the beginning of each month. The second newsletter will contain only important Church News and the Church Calendar. This second, abridged, newsletter will be sent out around the middle of each month. If you have something that you would like to be highlighted or printed in an upcoming newsletter please see Karen Ferguson or email her at

Small Groups


Holy Book Club
The Holy Book Club will resume on Sunday, October 5th.
Sunday Mornings at 9:30am
Location: Calvary UMC Parlor
This Fall, two of the included books will be (1) "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow, and (2) "The Seed" by Jon Gordon.

Praise Band
Sunday Mornings at 9:30am
Location: Calvary UMC Sanctuary
The Praise Team presents two or three contemporary songs to open each worship service. All songs are chosen to encourage congregational singing and participation. Some tunes are based on well-known hymns with a contemporary twist, while others are original tunes by contemporary Christian artists. Guitar and piano accompany this group. See Brian Burns for more details or if you are interested in joining the Worship Team.

Prayer Circle
Sunday Mornings from 10:15am to 10:45am
Location: Church Union Office (Next to Rev. Larry's Office)
See Ellie Laws for more details.

Alcoholics Anonymous
Sunday Nights from 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Location: Calvary UMC Fellowship Hall


Gamblers Anonymous
Every 2nd Monday of the Month from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Location: Calvary UMC Fellowship Hall


Renewal Choir
Tuesday Nights from 6:15pm to 7:30pm
Location: Calvary UMC Sanctuary
The Renewal Choir sings traditional anthems on Sunday mornings as well as supporting Calvary special events and observances. The choir is open to anyone age 14 and up, no auditions required. The group presents a wide variety of musical styles from September through May. Choir members actively participate in worship and may be found assisting during such times as Communion, Advent and special services. See Brian Burns for more details or if you are interested in joining.

Tuesday Crew - A Young Adults Gathering
Tuesday Crew will be returning in October! Details to come soon!
Tuesday Nights from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Location: To Be Determined
For more information contact Kenny Elliott at 724.747.7467 or


Adult Bible Study
Adult Bible Study will resume again on Wednesday, September 24th. The start time has changed from 6:30pm to 6:15pm.
Wednesday Nights at 6:15pm
Location: Calvary UMC Parlor
- Over the 4 week period from September 24th thru October 15th, the group will be studying The New Testament.
- Over the 4 week period from October 22nd thru November 12th, Denny Hunt will be with us to share his extensive knowledge of dreams and their meanings.
- Several members of the group go out for a light meal afterwards.

Iron City Square Dancing
Wednesday Nights from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Location: Calvary UMC Fellowship Hall


Narcotics Anonymous
Thursday Nights from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Location: Calvary UMC Fellowship Hall

Prayer Requests

Prayers For This Week
  • Aleata in the sudden loss of her twin brother, Frank
  • Aleata's cousin, Mindy - pneumonia and recovering from surgery

Continued Prayers For
  • Drucilla Milner in the loss of her brother
  • Rossilynne Culgan in the loss of her grandmother
  • Lisa Ferguson's father who is recovering from heart bypass surgery
  • Robert Brown - Overall health concerns, and is recovering at Baldwin Nursing and Rehab
  • Melvin Branch - Not doing well, health
  • Prayers for Ida's daughter - Cancer
  • Pam Geary whose cancer has been in remission, she is now undergoing treatment
  • Cindy in the loss of her mother
  • A friend Shelly and her family
  • Baores Skena - Health concerns
  • Bruce Ernst, Moira Brennen's father - Health concerns
  • Linda Ernst, Moira Brennen's mother - Cancer treatment
  • Chrisine Thomas's cousin - Health concerns
  • Michael Snell - Kidneys, heart, and prostate
  • Jon Knight, Gerry Knight's brother, and family - Health issues
  • Prayers for Ralph Gravante
  • Mildred Blackburn's daughter, Joyce
  • Barbara Mehring, sister of Shirley Mehring
  • Dennis Joseph Huber
  • Jim Cox - Health concerns and cancer
  • Dwayne Rife - Internal bleeding
  • Jason, Beth Ann, and others suffering from some form of addiction
  • Truddie Burke who is at Manor Care in Oakland
  • Ron - Discerning health concerns
  • Julie - Health concerns
  • Ron - Health concerns
  • Richie Family - Health / Heart
  • Janet - Back pain and surgery
  • Patty Brown - Health / COPD Concerns
  • Zeek Thomas's brother
  • Charlie - COPD Health 
  • Kenny Branch - Health / Heart
  • Marci Deutsch - Rehab and recovery
  • Ministries of Calvary / Church Union
  • Remember Light of Life in your prayers
  • Pray for the protection of firefighters and police officers

Prayers for the World Community
  • World Leaders / President / Congress
  • Places of conflict around the world
  • Families of those in service to our country
  • Homeless and the hungry
  • Those in need of jobs
  • Mental health centers
  • Shooting violence and the families that have lost loved ones
  • Victims of violence

Historical Tidbits

A Church Picnic Long Ago

By Ann Marshall

Fifty years ago when St. Anthony Shrine near Emmitsburg (Maryland) held a chicken dinner, the chickens were raised by the parishioners. Today, a contractor with a kitchen-on-wheels drives in to provide and fry the birds on the premises.

Fifty years ago, Miss Maggie Rosensteel, who "ran the kitchen" for longer than anyone can remember, would go door to door in the mostly rural parish asking for donations. People were expecting her. They had already put in extra tomato, bean, or cabbage plants with the church festival in mind, or planted an extra row of corn. There were promises of five chickens here, perhaps fifteen.

"My Dad, Bernard Shields, raised a lot of those chickens," recalls Mary Catherine Shields who has been helping with the annual fund-raiser since she was a little girl. "My, but he was particular about them." The Roy Wivell family also could be counted on to raise as many as a hundred birds.

The dinner was a tradition almost as old as the church itself, which was built in 1897. It began as a private picnic for parishioners who gathered in the church grove for a day of festivity, each family bringing its own dinner packed in a basket. By the twenties, it had become and remains today a major fund-raiser for the parish.

Was the food good? Absolutely! But the preparation changed the years. "Well, the world is different," says Ruth Wivell who has chaired the dinner for over twenty years, "But it's still an enormous parish project. A lot of people pitched in. Debbie Wivell and Millie Valentine where in charge of the dining room. Joe Scott ran the outside games and Dan Durski called bingo. Sr. Carol planned the entertainment for the children. I guess you could say we just all get together and did it."

Nevertheless, the days are long gone when men would take a half day off from farm work on the Thursday before the event to catch and kill the chickens. This was often done at Lewis Seiss's store oft Old Emmitsburg Road just south of St. Anthony's. The women plunged the birds into butchering kettles of hot water to remove the feathers and then singed them over fire in big drums to remove the pin feathers. They were cleaned and packed in tubs of ice.

By today' measure, everything done for the picnic fifty, sixty and more years ago was done the hard way from scratch. For example, ice for packing chicken on Thursday or cooling tea on Saturday was brought from an ice house in Emmitsburg and chipped from hundred pound blocks.

Back then, the picnic was held in the grove next to the church, now largely a parking area. Pius Shorb, as sextons before him had done, set up the long tables and chairs and sometimes tents. Lights were strung in the trees because the picnic often went on until 11 p.m.

Cooking in the Red Schoolhouse at the foot of Grotto Road began early Saturday morning. Seniors in the Parish would reminisce about Nellie Wetzel, Mary Shields, Joe Shorb, Marie Williams, Alma Seltzer, and Goldie Landis among many who started frying chicken before 6 a.m. They cooked in iron skillets over propane gas heat.

Lottic Kreitz took charge of husking and cutting corn. Lelia Omdorff was there to make pepper slaw, Nora Wetzel prepared fruit salad and Cecil Kreitz, long-time baker at Mount St. Mary's College, sent wonderful rolls and sheet cakes. Ice tea stood ready in huge stone crocks. Alice Shorb, who worked at F&M Bank in Emmitsburg, kept track of the money.

Mrs. Mary Sanders remembers sitting down with a group of women to peel two bushels of potatoes which would then be cooked, cooled, chopped and seasoned into potato salad. Mashed potatoes were also popular. The real thing, no flakes, no preservatives, mashed by hand by the men of the congregation and served with gravy.

Maggie Rosensteel was a stern supervisor in the busy schoolhouse. No silk could be left on the corn, no strings on the beans. Mrs. Sanders remembers her making lemonade for the hot workers but also cautioning the hungry to eat only the backs of the chickens.

Yes, fifty years ago it was a very big Saturday in August when it all came together Parish families along with friends and relatives gathered to enjoy a country fried chicken dinner, shop the cake and candy booths, and play games of chance and skill in St. Anthony's grove. Local bands provided music. Bob Kaas recalls that as a kid he had an especially choice job. He helped Viola Hemler and her family run the ice cream stand.

Fond memories include comments such as, "I looked forward to it each summer," "The grab bag was special," "We kids saved up our money for the picnic," "I remember that my Dad gave me a quarter to spend. Although the annual picnic is now served in the parish hall where a modem kitchen with double sinks and huge refrigerator is approved by the Health Department, many things remain the same -- bingo, penny pitch, homemade baked goods, music, raffles, and memories in the making.

Fifty years ago, the children of the parish who ran errands tirelessly, served meals, and assisted with games on Saturday got a bonus Sunday morning. After early Mass they would dash out of church to scour the grove for dropped nickels and dimes. Of course they added these gleanings to the picnic profit. Like fun they did! It was service to the parish on Saturday but Sunday's rule was "Finders, keepers!"

2014 Church Calendar


Sunday Morning Worship
Sunday Mornings at 11:00am

Sunday School is offered for children. Fellowship with a light lunch follows worship every Sunday. Communion is held the first Sunday of each month. Everyone is welcome at Calvary's table.


Church Council Meeting
Thursday, August 28th at 6:00pm

Location: Calvary UMC Chapel


Pittsburgh Parish Family Picnic
Sunday, September 14th

Location: Riverview Park Chapel Pavilion
This year's family picnic will be held at the Riverview Park Chapel Pavilion where it has been held in years past. Hotdogs, hamburgers, and drinks will be provided; so, start thinking about your favorite side dish or dessert to make, bring, and share. Lots of fun for everyone!! More details will be provided closer to the date of the picnic.

Committee Meeting
Thursday, September 25th at 6:00pm

Location: Calvary UMC Chapel


Eastbrook Mission Barn
Saturday, October 4th

Location: Eastbrook, PA (near New Castle)
On Saturday, October 4th, Calvary is sending a team to Eastbrook (near New Castle) to verify kits and share in other needed services. We invite you to go along, to learn about the Mission Barn and volunteer a few hours in support of its ministry. We will meet at the church and car pool.

Missionaries to Visit Calvary
Thursday, October 9th at 7:30pm
Location: Calvary UMC Sanctuary
On Thursday evening, October 9, Calvary United Methodist Church will host Missionaries Steve and Gail Quigg. We are extending this invitation to the Pittsburgh Parish and all the churches of the Pittsburgh District.  Watch for further details at mid-month!

23rd Tiffany Concert Season
Sunday, October 19th at 4:00pm
Location: Calvary UMC Sanctuary
Presented By: Allegheny Historic Preservation Society, Inc.
Tickets: General $15.00, Seniors $10.00, Students $7.00
Maestro James Gourlay and the River City Brass Sextet present "Brass from the Masters" including works by Johan Sebastian Bach, Giovanni Gabrielli as well as George Frideric McCartney, Mick Jagger, and Chicago! This six member ensemble is drawn from Pittsburgh's own River City Brass, which guarantees good tunes, fun, and zany humor. It's always a blast with the River City Brass!

Church Council Meeting
Thursday, October 23rd at 6:00pm

Location: Calvary UMC Chapel


No Events Scheduled At This Time


Handel's Messiah Sing-Along Concert
Saturday, December 6th at 4:00pm
Location: Calvary UMC Sanctuary
Further details to be announced at a later date on how interested singers can join us and more!

Candlelight Christmas Eve
Wednesday, December 24th

Location: Calvary UMC Sanctuary
7:00pm: Music
7:30pm: Service

January 2015

Upcoming Mission Opportunity
WPA VIM Team For Bahamas

Week of January 4th thru 10th, 2015

Location: Bahamas
Team Leader: Stephanie Gottschalk
Host: Bahamas Methodist Habitat
Estimated Cost: $1400.00 ($100.00 deposit due by October 1st, 2014)
The team is open to all young adults, ages 18-36, in Western PA. The WPA VIM Team Application along with a $100.00 deposit are due by October 1st, 2014. Please contact the Calvary church office via email for an application if you are interested in attending.
Visit Calvary UMC on Facebook
Visit Calvary UMC on Facebook
Visit Cavary UMC's Website
Visit Cavary UMC's Website
Send an Email to Calvary UMC
Send an Email to Calvary UMC
Copyright © 2014 Calvary United Methodist Church, All rights reserved.

Email not displaying correctly?  View it in your browser.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp