Recent News

Join us on Saturday, March 9 for a Ham Loaf Dinner at First Church.

Ham loaf, a central Pennsylvania tradition, is a mixture of fresh pork, smoked ham and other ingredients, served with a tangy, sweet sauce. The meal will include green beans, potatoes, rolls, applesauce, a beverage and assorted desserts. Chicken nuggets will be available for children.

Dine in or get a meal to go. Cost is $11 for adults, and $5 for children ages 4 to 12. Children 3 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance. Proceeds benefit First Church’s missions and ministries.

The dinner runs from 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. For tickets, call or e-mail the church at 717.766.4611 or

Registrations are now being accepted for Church Camp this summer.

First Church firmly believes in the benefits of a church camp experience. Set in beautiful woods and natural surroundings, camp provides a distraction from video games, television and the general rushed pace of life. Away from these distractions, campers can take many steps in their faith journey and build a closer relationship with God.

Camp sessions are offered at several locations. Students in kindergarten to sixth grades can attend one or more camp sessions. Most sessions last a week. Mini-sessions of three days are available for new campers. Check out for more details.

Fees vary based on the camp session. Scholarships are available, and First Church will help sponsor children and youth from our congregation who wish to attend. For more information, call the church at 717.766.4611 or e-mail

First Church will hold “A Living Hope for Christ,” a women’s small group Bible study based on the book of 1 Peter, to take place this Lenten season.

In this book, Peter shares his concerns on big picture issues for the early church, describes believers’ true identity in Christ, and ultimately helps readers discover what it means to experience the Living Hope they have in Christ.

The study will be held on Mondays from March 4 to April 29 (nine weeks), from 6:45 to 8 p.m. The group will be facilitated by First Church members Janice Bowen and Merri Shellenberger.

All are welcome! You do not have to be a member of First Church or any church to participate in the Bible study.

The $13 cost includes the workbook. Scholarships are available to offset the cost.

To register or for more information, call or e-mail Tina Eaton, Director of Adult Ministry, at 717.766.4611 or

The Mechanicsburg Cluster of Churches will host a community Ash Wednesday worship service on March 6 at 7 p.m.

Ash Wednesday emphasizes two themes: our sinfulness before God and our human mortality. The service focuses on both themes, helping us to realize that both have been triumphed through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

All are welcome to attend this meaningful service at Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church at 5000 Simpson Ferry Road, Mechanicsburg.

Are you interested in becoming a member of First Church? Please consider attending our New Member Class. The next one begins on Sunday, March 3, 2019. Classes are held during the Sunday School hour from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

For more information, call or e-mail Tina Eaton, Director of Adult Ministry, at 717.766.4611 or

The Little Friends Preschool of First Church will hold its Annual Vendor and Craft Fair on Saturday, March 2, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room.

The public is invited to attend for a day of shopping and fun. Representatives from more than 25 featured vendors will be on-site with a variety of items for sale including jewelry, crafts, candles, items for the home, and more! New this year, the On My Grind Coffee Truck will be selling delicious hot drinks in the parking lot. The current list of vendors includes:

  • A Little Sparkle
  • Alright Bath Products
  • Avon
  • Bath Fitter & Kitchen Saver
  • CKP Studios
  • Colorstreet
  • Crazy Horse Jerky
  • Discovery Toys
  • DizzyOwl Crochet
  • doTERRA Essential Oils
  • Forte International Exchange Assoc
  • GlairCraft Co.
  • Jordan Essentials
  • Kari’s Kreationz
  • Kind Dreams
  • Lilla Rose
  • Lois Jourdan
  • M Global
  • Made New
  • Made with Love, Cat Hair & Merlot
  • Mary Kay
  • Moses Family Jerky
  • Nancy Poleto
  • Noah’s Ark Workshop & K7 Krafts
  • Pampered Chef
  • Paparazzi
  • Purple Turtle
  • RockHouse Designs
  • Scentsy
  • SECCO Home Services
  • Stefi’s Accessories
  • Susie Q’s Creations
  • Tastefully Simple & Silpada
  • Thirty-One Bags
  • Timeless Crafts Shop LLC
  • Trades of Hope
  • Tupperware
  • Wink Naturals
  • Young Living Essential Oils

Proceeds will benefit Little Friends, a non-profit, Christian-based preschool that offers classes for children from 18 months to pre-kindergarten.

For more information, call or e-mail Maria Petrilak, Little Friends Director, at (717) 766-4611 ext. 111 or

First Church will hold its annual Vacation Bible School Monday to Friday, June 10 to 14, 2019, from 9 a.m. to noon daily.

All area children ages 4 through entering sixth grade are invited and encouraged to attend. Students entering seventh to 12th grades can volunteer as classroom helpers.

Daily lessons are supported with Bible stories, science activities, music, crafts, games and snacks. You do not have to be a member of First Church or any church to attend.

Watch for more information this spring!

Come experience the passion and power of the Easter story. First Church will put on its annual Passion Play on Wednesday, April 17 at 6:30 p.m. in the church sanctuary.

The Passion Play re-enacts the events of Holy Week, beginning with Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and concluding with his crucifixion and resurrection. The live performance, featuring singing and dancing, will be put on by the children, youth and other members of First Church.

The event is free and open to the public.

Pastor John Shellenberger will lead a weekly Lunch and Learn Bible study, based on the sermon series, Praying the Names of God, this Lenten season. Beginning March 6, the group will meet on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. in the church sanctuary for study, followed by a Dutch treat lunch at a nearby restaurant. All are welcome!

No sign-up is required. Simply visit the “Be One, Make One” display in the church lobby (outside the multipurpose room) to pick up your daily Bible reading plan and begin reading! Free Bibles are also available for those who would like one.

If you have questions or would like more information, call or e-mail the church office at (717) 766-4611 or

First Church will hold a Rejoicing Spirits worship service on Sunday, Feb. 24, at 4:00 p.m. All are welcome!

The service is specially designed and adapted for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their families. An informal atmosphere, brief messages, and lots of music and fellowship opportunities.

Rejoicing Spirits is held on the fourth Sunday of each month.

First Church will host speaker Michael Arteen, a missionary who serves in the city of Bethlehem in the Holy Land, on Tuesday, Feb. 5. The event begins at 7:00 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

Arteen is the official United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries’ missionary to Bethlehem and serves at Bethlehem Bible College.

An Egyptian Christian, Arteen is married to Grace Zoughbi, a Palestinian Christian who teaches religion at Bethlehem Bible College. Michael and Grace are a dynamic young couple who share God’s love with all they meet.

Read more about Michael here.

First Church is pleased to support Isaiah 61 Ministries, a local organization that serves the needs of the homeless in Dauphin County. They provide a variety of services including a soup kitchen, clothing bank and Life groups.

Specifically, First Church members help serve meals to the homeless in downtown Harrisburg on the third Wednesday of each month. The next volunteer opportunity is Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, at 6:30 p.m. A carpool leaves from First Church at 6:00 p.m. for those who are interested.

All are welcome! To volunteer, call or e-mail the church at 717.766.4611 or

Join us at Mission Central on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 6:00 p.m. to help sort and bag donated groceries. The groceries are then transported to the Bethesda Mission shelter in Harrisburg to be shared with residents in need.

Mission Central, a warehouse and affiliate of the Susquehanna Conference of The United Methodist Church, collects and distributes relief supplies and humanitarian aid locally, nationally and internationally as needed in response to natural disasters and other crises.

First Church members volunteer at Mission Central the third Wednesday evening of every month to sort and bag groceries.

For more information or to volunteer, call the church office at (717) 766-4611.

Feb. 17 is Youth Sunday at First Church. Members of the Youth Fellowship Group (grades 6 to 12) will lead both morning worship services at 8:15 and 10:45.

All are welcome!

© 2015 First United Methodist Church | 135 West Simpson Street Mechanicsburg, PA 17055 Phone: (717) 766-4611.
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