First Church invites the community to attend one or more of the special events and worship services we have planned for Advent and Christmas.

During Advent we will be offering in person, livestreamed and recorded services. The church will follow all appropriate safety measures and protocols for in-person events. Click here to view these measures.

Dec. 1  Joy to the World Daily Advent Readings begin.  Visit the website with the daily readings or you can pick up a free copy of the book at our church!

Dec. 5  Service of Remembrance and Hope 4:00 p.m. If you are grieving a loved one this holiday season, please join First Church for our annual Service of Remembrance and Hope on Sunday, Dec. 5 at 4:00 p.m.  The service will be held in-person following appropriate COVID-19 safety protocols. Additionally, a recording of the service will be available on the church website, fumchurch.com, after the service for those who prefer to view from home.

Dec. 11  Annual Youth Cookie Walk Fundraiser, multipurpose room, 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. or until cookies run out!

Dec. 12  Christmas Caroling 4:00 p.m. in the parking lot  (in the event of inclement weather, we will meet in the church sanctuary)

Dec. 24  Christmas Eve Worship Services at 5:00 and 10:00 p.m., in person and livestreamed!

5:00 p.m.      Family Services – includes worship band leading Christmas carols, special music,  reading of the Christmas story and candlelighting.  Children are invited and encouraged to attend the service along with their families.  Click here at or after 5:00 p.m. to view this service.

10:00 p.m.    Traditional Service – includes traditional Christmas carols, Christmas meditation, Holy Communion and candlelighting.  Click here at or after 10:00 p.m. to view this service.

By definition, caroling means “to sing in a joyful manner!” Join us for Christmas festivity and outdoor worship with joyful carol singing in the First Church parking lot on Sunday, December 12th at 4:00 p.m.
  • If you wish to sit, please bring along a folding chair
  • A restroom will be available if needed
  • Hot cocoa will be provided to keep you warm!
In the event of inclement weather, we will sing carols in the church sanctuary.  Please check the church website at fumchurch.com for updates.
As you decorate, wrap gifts, and prepare for Christmas celebrations, don’t forget to take time during Advent to prepare your heart through reading scripture and reflecting in prayer! Experience joy in your spiritual journey as you focus on the Word and remember to adore Jesus above all.
You can use the scriptures below in your daily prayer time. But we encourage you to enrich the experience by reading “Joy to the World,” the devotional book that accompanies this reading plan. The book was written by Pastor John Piper, founder and teacher of DesiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. Free copies are available at our church Welcome Stations or by contacting Tina Eaton at adultministry@fumchurch.com. In addition, follow us on Instagram (@fumchurch) for daily scripture reminders and personal reflections recorded by church staff and other members.
December 1                Luke 1:16-17               Prepare the Way
December 2                Luke 1:46-55              Mary’s Magnificent God
December 3                Luke 1:68-71               The Long-Awaited Visitation
December 4                Luke 2:1-5                   For God’s Little People
December 5                Luke 2:6-7                   No Detour from Calvary
December 6                Luke 2:12-14               Peace to Those with Whom He’s Pleased
December 7                Matthew 2:1-2            Messiah for the Magi
December 8                Matthew 2:2               Bethlehem’s Supernatural Star
December 9                Matthew 2:3               Two Kinds of Opposition to Jesus
December 10              Matthew 2:10-11        Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh
December 11              Hebrews 2:14-15         Why Jesus Came
December 12              Hebrews 8:1-2             Replacing the Shadows
December 13              Hebrews 8:1-2             The Final Reality is Here
December 14              Hebrews 8:6                Making it Real for His People
December 15              John 10:10                   Life and Death at Christmas
December 16              Philippians 2:9-11       God’s Most Successful Setback
December 17              Jeremiah 31:31           The Greatest Salvation Imaginable
December 18              John 17:18                   The Christmas Model for Missions
December 19              Hebrews 2:14-15         Christmas is for Freedom
December 20              1 John 3:8                    Christmas Solidarity
December 21              John 18:37                   The Birth of the Ancient of Days
December 22              John 20:30-31             That You May Believe
December 23              Romans 5:10-11          God’s Indescribable Gift
December 24              1 John 3:7-8                The Son of God Appeared
December 25              1 John 3:7-8                Three Christmas Presents
First Church is pleased to offer its popular Cookie Walk again this year!
Join us on Saturday, Dec. 11, in the multipurpose room from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. or until the cookies sell out. Guests can select from a variety of homemade cookies baked and donated by church members. The cost is $12 for a full box or two boxes for $20. All proceeds benefit a youth mission trip to Alaska planned for next summer.
New procedures will be in place to ensure the safety of participants. Servers will be masked and gloved, and will assist in packaging the cookies. We will observe social distancing and invite guests to wear a mask while inside the building.
Thanks for your support of this sweet fundraiser! For more information, contact Lynn Rapp at minion.youth17@gmail.com or Lisa Aronson at uthrock@fumchurch.com.
How would you complete that sentence? Perhaps, without a tree and decorations, or cookies and gifts?
Hopefully, your Christmas also includes worship and embracing anew the powerful Christmas story of a baby born in a manger and the lives that were powerfully touched by the Holy Spirit at the Savior’s birth. Though it’s the old, old story, we need to hear it in fresh and new ways.

 

The pastors of First Church will present “It Wouldn’t be Christmas Without…”, a special sermon series for the Advent and Christmas seasons. All are welcome and encouraged to join us for worship at 8:30 a.m. (Foundation Service) or 11:00 a.m. (The Gathering), or join the 8:30 service via livestream. In addition, recorded services are available on our website at fumchurch.com.

Find the Daily Bible Reading Plan here.

November 28 First Sunday of Advent “It Wouldn’t Be Christmas Without…Family” Matthew 1:2-3a, 12:46-50
Holy Communion
December 5 Second Sunday of Advent “It Wouldn’t Be Christmas Without…Hope” Luke 1:5-25
December 12 Third Sunday of Advent “It Wouldn’t Be Christmas Without…Joseph” Matthew 1:18-25
December 19 Fourth Sunday of Advent “It Wouldn’t Be Christmas Without…A Miracle” Luke 1:26-38
December 24 5:00 p.m. Family Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
December 24 10:00 p.m. Traditional Candlelight Service with Holy Communion
December 26 First Sunday of Christmas “It Wouldn’t Be Christmas Without…The Mess” Matthew 2:1-13

First Church will hold a Rejoicing Spirits worship service on Sunday, November 28 at 4:00 p.m. All are welcome!

We will be worshipping in person, but as an extra measure of precaution, we ask that all attendees wear a mask while indoors. The service will include music, scripture, prayer and a brief message. This service can also be viewed via livestream. To receive the livestream link, please contact Karin McHale at karinmch@comcast.net or contact the church office at office@fumchurch.com.

The service is specially designed and adapted for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their families. Following the service, there will be a time of fellowship and refreshments.  You do not need to be a member of First Church or any church to attend.

Rejoicing Spirits services are held on the fourth Sunday of each month.  For more about Rejoicing Spirits and our Special Needs Ministry, see information here: https://fumchurch.com/missions/disability-ministry/.

Please join us for worship and communion on the first Sunday of Advent, November 28 at 8:30 and 11:00 a.m. We invite you for in-person worship at both services and continue to offer live-stream worship at our 8:30 a.m. service. Pre-filled communion cups and wafers will be used at in-person worship. If you are worshipping from home, remember to bring your own crackers or bread and fruit juice while our pastors provide instructions for Holy Communion. All are welcome!

If you are grieving a loved one this holiday season, please join First Church for our annual Service of Remembrance and Hope on Sunday, Dec. 5 at 4:00 p.m.
This special service provides a subdued and dignified time of worship during the busy Christmas season to comfort anyone who is experiencing feelings of sadness, loss or isolation. The service provides time for reflection and prayer to honor the memory of cherished family and friends.
All are welcome. You do not have to be a member of First Church or of any church to attend.
The service will be held in-person following appropriate COVID-19 safety protocols. Additionally, a recording of the service will be available on the church website, fumchurch.com, after the service for those who prefer to view from home.
For more information, call or email Janice Bowen, Director of Congregational Care, at 717.766.4611 ext. 112 or wecare@fumchurch.com.

First Church invites you to enjoy the sounds of the season with this Christmas Handbell Concert from our Praise Ringers. Click here to listen to the songs of our faith as they ring out to declare the Christmas season to us all! Merry Christmas!

We invite you to watch our recorded Fireside Worship from December 1 here. This brief service includes Christmas carols, lighting of the Advent wreath, a Christmas message and singing of “Silent Night.” We look forward to sharing this meaningful service with you.

First United Methodist Church invites you to view the Service of Remembrance and Hope that was held on Sunday, December 6 at 4:00 p.m. If you are grieving this holiday season, missing loved ones, or experiencing loss and isolation, we invite you to this quiet service to remember and honor the memory of cherished family and friends. You can view the service here. You can find the program for the service here.

First Church will observe Holy Communion on Sunday, December 6. Please join us for worship and communion on our website or Facebook page on Sunday morning at 8:15 a.m. Our worship services are now live-streamed, starting at 8:15 a.m. or you can watch anytime after 9:45 a.m. Remember to bring your own crackers or bread and fruit juice while our pastors provide instructions for Holy Communion. All are welcome!

The December Spotify Playlist, “For God So Loved the World” is here! Click here or copy and paste this URL into your browser: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5rbHEYEfHei97cUI8rjwNJ?si=AAumRDWASuGsr6-31f7FpQ.

We will be sharing a new playlist the first Wednesday of each month. For Spotify users, search for the user First UMC of Mechanicsburg, and click on the playlist titled “Where Words Fail, Music Speaks”.

If you don’t have a Spotify account, you can easily create one for free. Enjoy!

The Rejoicing Spirits ministry of First Church announces the following worship services.

Fireside Virtual Worship, Tuesday, Dec. 1 – Join us by Zoom for a Fireside Worship at 7:00 p.m. Join in singing Christmas carols, watch as the Advent wreath is lit, open a door of the Advent calendar, hear a message about Jesus the Light, and light our Christmas candle as we sing “Silent Night.”  See the service here.

Jesus’ Birthday Celebration (virtual), Tuesday, Dec. 15 – Join us at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom. Includes a dramatic reading of the Christmas story, cupcakes, candles and favors, which will be distributed in our “Joy to the World” bag of materials for Rejoicers.

The Rejoicing Spirits service is specially designed and adapted for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their families. Services are informal and relaxed. All are invited to attend!

For the Zoom links or more information on Rejoicing Spirits, call or email the church office at 717.766.4611 or office@fumchurch.com.

In the Bible, choruses of individual praise play a crucial role in the Christmas narrative. These are the original Christmas carols!

The pastors of First Church will explore the significance of music in the Christmas story through “LifeSong,” a series of messages each Sunday during Advent. Themes include the songs of Zechariah, Mary, Joseph, and the Shepherds.

Why are there so many songs in the Christmas story? Perhaps the revelation of and response to our Messiah, Jesus the Christ, requires more than words can satisfy. Perhaps the emotion and joy that soars in these songs give greater opportunity to express the Glory that was found in Jesus!

Daily Bible readings are recommended to accompany each weekly message. Click here for a complete list of them.

During Advent, First Church will be offering livestream worship on Sunday mornings at 8:15 a.m. on our website at fumchurch.com and our Facebook page at First United Methodist Church of Mechanicsburg, PA. The service can also be viewed anytime later that morning on our website. For more information, call the church office at 717.766.4611 or office@fumchurch.com.

First Church invites the community to attend one or more of the special events and worship services we have planned for Advent and Christmas.

During Advent we will be offering livestreamed and recorded services. The church will follow all appropriate safety measures and protocols for in-person events.

  • Nov. 29 Worship 8:15 a.m. (online)
  • Dec. 1 Rejoicing Spirits Fireside Worship 7:00 p.m. (on Zoom)
  • Dec. 6 Worship and Holy Communion 8:15 a.m. (online)
    Service of Remembrance and Hope 4:00 p.m. (Please pre-register with Janice Bowen at wecare@fumchurch.com) Watch on our website here.
  • Dec. 13 Worship 8:15 a.m. (online)
    Christmas Caroling 4:00 p.m. in the parking lot (rain date Dec. 20)
  • Dec. 15 Rejoicing Spirits ~ Jesus’s Birthday Celebration 7:00 pm (on Zoom)
  • Dec. 20 Worship 8:15 a.m. (online)
    (Christmas Caroling raindate)
  • Dec. 24 Christmas Eve Worship Services at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m., online only! (as of December 23).
    • 4:00 p.m. ~ Due to the impending rain, this service will be livestreamed through our website, starting at 4:00 p.m.  There will be no outdoor service, livestream only. Please click here to view this service at or after 4:00 p.m.
    • 7:00 p.m. ~ Sanctuary Livestream Service (Online only)
      • For all ages. Includes communion. Concludes  with “Silent Night” and interactive candle lighting. Please click here to view this service at or after 7:00 p.m. This will be livestreamed, and a recording will be available after the service through our website.  Please click here to prepare your virtual candle before the service.
    • “Any Time” Family Service
      Pre-recorded and available here on our church website after 2 p.m. so that you can worship when you wish. Contact Dawn Fisher and Anna Harris at kidscount@fumchurch.com ahead of time to receive a Christmas kit, with items to be used during the service.

By definition, caroling means “to sing in a joyful manner!” Join us for Christmas festivity and outdoor worship with joyful carol singing in the First Church parking lot on Sunday, December 13th at 4:00 p.m.

All appropriate safety measures will be observed at this event:
• Bring your own chair(s)
• Marked spaces in the parking lot will ensure physical distancing
• Masks will be required at all times, even while singing
• A restroom will be available if needed

Rain date is Sunday, Dec. 20. Check the church website for updates.

If you are grieving this holiday season, missing loved ones, or experiencing loss and isolation, please join us for a quiet Sunday afternoon service in the sanctuary to remember and honor the memory of cherished family and friends. The service can also be viewed online at fumchurch.com after Monday, December 7. Pre-registration is required for in-person worship. Contact Janice Bowen at 717.766.4611 ext. 112 or wecare@fumchurch.com for more information and to register for in-person worship.

© 2015 First United Methodist Church
135 West Simpson Street
Mechanicsburg, Pa 17055
Phone (717) 766-4611
Sunday Services:
8:30 a.m. In-Person & Live Stream Worship
11:00 a.m In-Person Worship
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