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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

May 2014


Calvary’s UMC Missions Committee teams with “My Brother’s Keeper” to make sleeping bags for the homeless.

On Monday evenings, September through November and January through April, you will find several of Calvary’s members gathered to make sleeping bags for those who live on the streets in Pittsburgh.  Calvary’s UMC Missions Committee has teamed with “My Brother’s Keeper” to make sleeping bags out of recycled materials for the homeless.

“My Brother’s Keeper” (a.k.a. “The Ugly Quilt Project”) began over 30 years ago at the home of Flo and Jim Wheatley. Flo and her 13 year old son, Leonard, had to travel to New York City from Hop Bottom, PA for Leonard’s cancer treatments. During one of those visits, Flo was struggling to carry her luggage through the rain while caring for her sick son who was vomiting on the streets of New York City. As people rushed by them, a complete stranger, a homeless man, stopped and said to Flo, “Lady, you need help.”  He carried Flo’s luggage to her destination, then turned to her and said, “Please don’t abandon me.” He walked out of Flo’s life as quickly as he had entered it. Flo felt a need to pay the man back and the idea of making sleeping bags from recycled materials was born. Since that day over 30 years ago, “My Brother’s Keeper” has grown and there are sewing groups all over the country. And we are happy to report that Leonard is alive and well and living in Hop Bottom, PA near his parents.

This past year, Calvary’s sleeping bag group has delivered over 70 sleeping bags to homeless shelters in the Pittsburgh area, most of which have gone to Light of Life Rescue Mission on the North Side and Shepherd’s Heart Veteran’s Home on Pride Street near Mercy Hospital. The group stuffs each of the ugly quilts with a health kit that includes travel-sized shampoo, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, socks, hats, and gloves when available.

The group ends each gathering with Flo’s Roll-Up Prayer over the sleeping bags:

“Lord, take the work of our hands and bless it and in Thy Name, let the person that receives this gift know that he is loved. Amen.”

Like Calvary and the City of Pittsburgh, it is a diverse group in many ways – some actually know how to sew! If you’d like to learn more about Calvary’s “quilting bee”, please e-mail Lynn or Dave Sevick at or call 724.272.9478.

Special Letter from Ellie Laws



Just a word to follow up on a program at Calvary we referred to as Lenten Prayer Missionary 2014. These past two months we have been in a prayer partnership with 60 men incarcerated at the Western Correctional Institute in Cumberland, Maryland. We promised to pray each day for our prayer partner. They prayed for us and for the members of Calvary. We wrote letters to introduce ourselves and to share our prayer concerns. What came as a great delight and gladness was this, they also wrote letters to us. Letters that inspired us! Letters that humbled us. Letters that revealed personal struggles! Letters that spoke of the hope they had found in meeting Jesus.

I am still praying and writing to Steve and Dontae. Steve and Dontae are both facing long prison terms. Both are paying a high price for their past. Both are trusting God each day. They look beyond the walls that confine them to a Savior that loves them. I hope our relationship with continue. Praying with them and for them has opened my heart in some new ways. Steve and Dontae are my brothers in Christ. I believe there is every chance that I will see them someday in another place Jesus called Paradise.
With thanks,

Journeys to Calvary

Stories are powerful, and we all have one.

Each month a member of Calvary will tell the story of their own unique journey to Calvary United Methodist Church in this new segment titled "Journeys to Calvary". 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
~ Jeremiah 29:11

Devin Harris

Thirteen years of Sunday School, 4 years in the church orchestra, multiple discipleship retreats, participant in numerous Easter and Christmas services, and... I had had enough.
I had attended the same church since the age of 2, but by the time I turned 18 and was heading off to college, I did not want to a part of my home church or honestly any church for that matter. I had great teachers and mentors while growing up, but the scriptures, sermons, and messages had been presented as you must believe this and everything else, even slight variations, is absolutely wrong. When I had the opportunity to be out on my own in college, I began to ask questions, started to doubt what I had previously been taught, and stopped going to church entirely unless I was at home with my parents for the holidays.

Four years passed and then I moved further away from my Atlanta to Pittsburgh, a city where I knew no one and had never stayed in longer than 3 days, for graduate school. With the prospect of moving to a new city and starting anew, I felt nervous, scared, and excited all at the same time. While making my way to my apartment for the first time along in my new city, it happened — I got horribly lost! The exit sign on the bridge came up much faster than expected and somehow I ended up by Heinz Field. “I got this” I spoke out loud and tried to wind my way through the Northside back to my place. Along the way, I passed Calvary and something told me to visit sometime. I did not grow up Methodist and I had only attended one service at a Methodist church before, but I felt it was time to reconnect with my faith and another church. I decided to visit Calvary the following Sunday and then two other churches near my apartment in the coming weeks.

"Please take this time to greet one another,” said Rev. Funk from the pulpit. Ok, I know the drill from my home church: handshake to the person in front of you, beside you, behind you, and sit. But wait, what is going on… People are leaving their pews, crossing aisles, and hugging one another!?! I was shocked, surprised, and immediately felt more at ease. During that community greeting time, Minna Bullard, Calvary’s former organist, greeted me and invited me to sit with her closer to the front. That simple gesture meant so much to me and I honestly believe was the beginning of my reconnection with God, my faith, and a church that I felt like I truly belonged to from the first moment I walked in.

In case you are wondering, after my first visit to Calvary I never tried going to another church. I didn’t need to because I knew I would stay from the initial moments of that first service. And, I am proud to report that I have been at Calvary for almost ten years. Some may say that my getting lost and finding Calvary that afternoon in 2004 was a metaphor for my faith journey up to that point. I would completely agree with that assessment, but add an addendum. My time at Calvary, which has included helping with the Missions Committee, organizing the Hospitality Committee, co-chairing the Council, singing in the choir, among other things, is a sign that my journey is still in progress and there is plenty of opportunities to grow even more.

Small Groups


Holy Book Club
Sunday Mornings at 9:30am
Calvary UMC Parlor
The 2 books currently being focused on are (1) “Primitive Physics: Or an easy and natural method of curing most diseases” by John Wesley, and (2) “Repacking Your Bags: Lighten your load for the good life” by Richard J. Leider & David A. Shapiro. Please join us!

Prayer Circle
Sunday Mornings from 10:15am to 10:45am
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
Calvary UMC Fellowship Hall


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


Praise Band
Tuesday Nights at 5:30pm
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.

Renewal Choir
Tuesday Nights at 6:45pm
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 Nights from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Modern Café on Western Ave.
For more information contact Kenny Elliott at 724.747.7467 or


Adult Bible Study (Restarting on May 7th)
Wednesday Nights at 6:30pm

Calvary UMC Parlor
Bible Study will be taking a Spring break, and will restart on Wednesday, May 7th at 6:30pm in the Calvary UMC Parlor. Our theme will be "Total Inclusiveness Throughout the Scriptures". We are honored to have Dr. Steven Tuell back with us for 4 sessions in May. Dr. Tuell is the Old Testament professor at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. This will be his third time here at Calvary, and everyone simply loves his energy and knowledge of the scriptures. Everyone is welcome to participate. All levels of biblical expertise are present, so come and join us! Many go out for a light meal afterwards.

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


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

Historical Tidbits

Excerpt from the Journal of John Wesley

John Wesley was an Anglican cleric and Christian theologian who, with his brother Charles Wesley, is credited with the foundation of the evangelical movement known as Methodism.
March 1762
At West Street in a Storm

March 15, Sun. - While I was preaching at West Street [On the same day he preached at Snowsfields.] in the afternoon there was one of the most violent storms I ever remember. In the midst of the sermon great part of a house opposite to the chapel was blown down. We heard a huge noise, but knew not the cause; so much the more did God speak to our hearts; and great was the rejoicing of many in confidence of His protection. Between four and five I took horse, with my wife and daughter. The tiles were rattling from the houses on both sides; but they hurt not us. We reached Hayes about seven in the evening, and Oxford the next day.

March 17, Tues. - The rain continued without intermission till we came to Enstone. Soon after we set out from thence it was succeeded by so vehement a wind as on Broadway Hill often drove us clear out of the path, and was ready to carry away both horse and rider. But our strength was as our day, and before six in the evening we came unhurt to Evesham.

I preached in the evening at the Town Hall, where several of the clergy and gentry were present.

News & Announcements

Northview Heights Playground Project
Can you imagine collaborating with friends and neighbors to build the Northview Heights community a new place to play? Can you imagine a new play space materializing in just one day? Thanks to the generosity of the Heinz and Buhl Foundations, and a Build It With KaBoom Grant, that dream will come true in June. This is a project shared by The Church of Our Savior, Church Union, and Calvary. To support this project, we need to raise $4,000 in matching funds, and we will do so with the help of our children. Each week in May they will take a special offering during Sunday Morning Worship. So come prepared to share in funding this important addition to the ministry of the Pittsburgh Parish.

The Pittsburgh Marathon
The Pittsburgh Marathon, is Sunday, May 4th. It will be coming through the Northside before Morning Service starts so we shouldn’t see any parking or traffic inconveniences that day.

Pittsburgh Foundation's Day of Giving
Mark your calendars now for Tuesday, May 6th, for The Pittsburgh Foundation’s Day of Giving. Gifts made to The Foundation of HOPE on the Day of Giving will be eligible to receive a portion of the funds offered by the Pittsburgh Foundation. PittsburghGives is a resource of The Pittsburgh Foundation which is designed to provide detailed information to donors on nonprofits in Western Pennsylvania. You will find in depth information about The Foundation of HOPE’s mission, programs, leadership, and finances in their portrait on the PittsburghGives website. Check it out at:

Lenten Prayer Missionary
Thank you again to all those who answered God’s call to serve as a Lenten Prayer Missionary. Eighteen members of Calvary joined their prayers with 58 inmates at the Western Correctional Institute in Cumberland, Maryland.

Feed the Sheep
Sponsors are needed for the months of June and July. 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 Monthly Newsletter
The Calvary UMC E-Newsletter will be 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 15th of each month. If you have something that you would like to be highlighted in an upcoming newsletter please see Karen Ferguson or email her at

2014 Church Calendar


Sunday Morning Worship
Sundays 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.


New Member Orientation Dinner
Tuesday, May 6th at 6:00pm or
Tuesday, May 13th at 6:00pm

Calvary UMC Chapel

Reverend Larry invites everyone interested in learning more about our congregation and its ministries to join him for a light dinner on either Tuesday, May 6th or Tuesday, May 13th. If you are seeking to join our family of faith please join us on either of these Tuesdays in May. Please RSVP to the church office by calling 412.231.2007 or by emailing New members will be received on Sunday, May 18th.

Calvary Visioning Session
Saturday, May 10th from 8:30am to 12:30pm

Pittsburgh Presbytery
The Visioning Session is an opportunity for the members of Calvary United Methodist Church to gather together with the purpose of sharing our hopes and dreams for our church. It is also a time to reflect on all of the amazing things that God is currently doing at Calvary and where God is calling us to go next. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend. You don’t need to be a member of a committee or on Church Council in order to be able to participate. We are excited to hear the ideas that everyone at Calvary has to share and hope to see you there! Breakfast will be provided. Please RSVP to the church office by calling 412.231.2007 or by emailing

Mother's Day
Sunday, May 11th
Calvary UMC Sanctuary
One word ladies... Hats! All ladies and girls are invited to wear their favorite hats to Sunday Morning Worship at Calvary on Mother's Day. There is no such thing as too simple or too extravagant. Have fun ladies!

Breaking Bread Dinner Group
Thursday, May 15th at 6:00pm
Nikki's Thai Kitchen (Patio) on Western Ave.
Join fellow parishioners for a fun monthly dinner social gathering. Join us as we break bread together and try new restaurants, share stories, laugh and enjoy the company of others. Our first dinner will be in our church neighborhood at Nikki's Thai Kitchen on their patio. Hosts for this dinner are Jennifer Golling and Kenny Elliott. All are welcome! Bring a friend! Please RSVP by Sunday, May 11th, with Jennifer Golling via text or call at 412.736.9488. You can also email her at

Memorial Service for Audrey "Red" Mittendorfer
Sunday, May 18th at 12:30pm
Calvary UMC Sanctuary

Committee Meeting
Thursday, May 22nd at 6:00pm
Calvary UMC Chapel
Committee Meetings are held on the 4th Thursday of every other month. Dinner is served at 6:00pm, meetings start at 6:30pm.



Father's Day
Sunday, June 15th
Calvary UMC Sanctuary
The ladies will get to show us their favorite hats on Mother's Day, so now it's your turn gentlemen! All men and boys are invited to wear their ugliest ties to
 Sunday Morning Worship at Calvary on Father's Day. Time to show off the best ties that you have received over the years!

Church Council Meeting
Thursday, June 26th at 6:00pm

Calvary UMC Chapel



Committee Meeting
Thursday, July 24th at 6:00pm
Calvary UMC Chapel


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


Pittsburgh Parish Family Picnic
Sunday, September 14th
Details to be announced at a later date.

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


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


No Events Scheduled At This Time


Handel's Messiah Sing-Along Concert
Details to be announced at a later date.

Candlelight Christmas Eve
Wednesday, December 24th
7:00pm - Music
7:30pm - Service

Calvary UMC Sanctuary

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