Small Groups

At Calvary, our small groups form naturally out of the interests and needs of our community. There is always a new small group popping up as our congregation is growing. Explore our groups and how to get involved.

Current Bible Studies

Bible Study with Rev. Ellie Laws
Wednesday Nights at 6:30pm in the Calvary UMC Chapel
Please join us this fall for a bible study led by Rev. Ellie Laws. "Old Testament Fast Track - Becoming Disciples" will be 12 weeks beginning Monday, September 27 at 7:00pm on Zoom. We will be studying creation, Israel as a nation, kings, prophets, and our savior. Text or call Rev. Ellie Laws at 302-682-4860 or email her at for further information and Zoom link.

Bible Study with Rev. Larry Homitsky and Rev. Kornelius Neal
Tuesday Nights at 6:30pm at the New Destiny CMEC Church (old Emanuel UMC building)
The Wednesday night Bible Study led by Rev. Larry Homitsky and Rev. Kornelius Neal has started up again only it is NOT on Wednesdays BUT ON Tuesday evenings instead. The location has also changed from Calvary UMC to the old Emanuel UMC Church which is now the site of the New Destiny CMEC Church led by Rev. Kornelius Neal. Also, during the next few weeks thru the Tuesday before Christmas, we will be joined by Dr. Steven Tuell from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminar and studying “Why Reading The Bible Is So Important Today”.

Why do small bible study groups make such a difference?

Exercise Class

Tuesday and Thursday Mornings at 9:00am in the Calvary UMC Chapel

There is an exercise class that meets every Tuesday and Thursday at 9:00am in the Calvary Chapel. The group uses the program "Grow Young Fitness". The program is targeted to "older adults", but great for people of all ages. You can participate at your comfort level, and many exercises are done while sitting. If you check out the Grow Young Fitness web site ( you can get some details about the exercises. If you have any questions contact Linda Ehrlich (, or come by some Tuesday or Thursday morning to join in the fun. As the exercise leader always tells us, remember to "keep it movin'".

The Renewal Choir

Tuesday Evenings from 6:30-7:30pm and Sunday Mornings from 10:00-10:45am in the Calvary Sanctuary

The Renewal Choir sings traditional anthems on Sunday mornings as well as supports Calvary special events and observances. The choir is open to anyone ages 14 and up. The group presents a wide variety of musical styles. Choir members actively participate in worship and may be found assisting during such times as Communion, Advent, Lent, and special services. If you are interesting in joining the choir, either speak to Calvary's Music Director Brian Burns or simply show up at rehearsal.

Handbell Choir

Tuesday Evenings from 7:30-8:30pm in the Upstairs Music Room at Calvary

The Hand Bell Choir will begin rehearsing this week. No experience is necessary to join and it is probably easier to do than you think! See Brian Burns for further details or with questions.

Calvary United Methodist Women

Meetings are typically held the first Saturday of each month at 10:00am in the Calvary Fellowship Hall. Watch for an email from the group for meeting updates and events.

Come join Calvary’s first United Methodist Women chapter in over 35 years. This group is open to all women of the Church and community. Calvary United Methodist Women is the local church chapter of the international United Methodist Women organization. The organization supports the needs of women and children across the world through local and global initiatives.

Ugly Quilt Project - Sleeping Bag Ministry

The Monday night Sleeping Bag Group will take a break the rest of November and all of December. They will meet again in the new year on Monday, January 10, 2022 at 6:30pm. Contact Anne Christianson at with any questions.

Ugly Quilt Project Photo Gallery

The sleeping bags are made from recycled materials, stuffed with personal items such as toothpaste, shampoo, hats and gloves then distributed to nearby homeless shelters. The team is also working on plastic mats made from plastic grocery bags, so you can see there is plenty to do. No sewing experience needed; if you can tie a knot, you can make a sleeping bag! Please consider joining us on Monday evenings. Questions? Please contact Anne Christianson at with any questions.

Ugly Quilt Project

On Monday evenings from 6:00-8:00pm, September through November and January through April, you will find several of Calvary's members gathered in Calvary's Fellowship Hall to make sleeping bags for those who live on the streets in Pittsburgh. Calvary's Missions Team 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 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."

Old Blankets Needed
We are in need of old blankets that can be recycled into sleeping bags for the homeless. Please consider donating old blankets to our project. Please contact Anne Christianson at with any questions..

Queeen Sheets and Neck Ties Needed
We are in need of old queen size sheets and neck ties. Please contact Anne Christianson at with any questions.

Plastic Bags Needed
We are in need of plastic bags that can be crocheted into mats for sleeping bags for the homeless. 500 to 700 plastic bags are needed for each mat. Please bring them to the church.

Crocheters Needed to Make Sleep Mats for the Sleeping Bags
The group that makes the quilts for the homeless is looking for persons who are able to crochet. There are directions for using the plastic grocery bags to crochet a plastic mat which keeps the quilts off the ground keeping the quilt drier. There are already rolls of "plastic yarn" ready to be used and needles are available. If you can crochet or want to learn please contact Joan Bradley. We would love to give a plastic mat with every quilt but are in desperate need of persons who crochet.

  • You will need approximately 500-700 plastic grocery bags for each mat.
  • You will need a crochet hook, size M or larger.
  • Finished size is 24 X 72 inches.
  • To make the "yarn", smooth out the grocery bag, fold it in half lengthwise twice and cut off seamed bottom and top handles/hanging tabs. Fold in half and cut across, repeat. This will give you 4 loops. Take a loop and insert another loop, then bring the rest through to attach (remember how you strung rubber bands together as a child?). Repeat then wind your "string" of connected loops into a ball. Don't make the ball too big to handle. I usually work with one full bag of grocery bags and make three or four balls out of it then repeat until I run out of bags.
  • Make the mat chain 72 inches using the doubled looped strands of grocery bags. Single crochet until the mat is 24 inches wide.
  • To make a carrying strap, chain a length long enough to go around the rolled mat and slide on, connect that chain into a loop with a single crochet then chain a length long enough to cross your back, go over your shoulder and reach the other end of the mat. Chain an additional length equal to the first loop and attach with a single crochet.
  • YouTube videos are online for viewing. Simple Google "sleeping mats for the homeless" or you can watch this tutorial here - Plastic Bag Sleeping Mats for the Homeless Tutorial.