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 email@example.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.
Options include in-person, 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.*
- Dec. 1 Worship 8:15 a.m.*
Rejoicing Spirits Fireside Worship 7:00 p.m.
- Dec. 6 Worship and Holy Communion 8:15 a.m.*
Service of Remembrance and Hope 4:00 p.m.
- Dec. 13 Worship 8:15 a.m.*
Christmas Caroling 4:00 p.m. (rain date Dec. 20)
- Dec. 15 Worship 8:15 a.m.*
Rejoicing Spirits ~ Jesus’s Birthday Celebration 7:00 pm (on Zoom)
- Dec. 20 Worship 8:15 a.m.*
(Christmas Caroling raindate)
- Dec. 24 Christmas Eve Worship Services at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m., and online
- 4:00 p.m. ~ Outdoor Service
45-minute service for all ages. Concludes with candle lighting. Bring your own chair(s).
- 7:00 p.m. ~ Sanctuary Service*
- For all ages. Includes communion. Concludes outdoor with “Silent Night” and candle lighting. The indoor portion will be livestreamed, and a recording will be available after the service through our website.
- “Any Time” Family Service
Pre-recorded and available on our church website so that you can worship when you wish. Contact Dawn Fisher and Anna Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org ahead of time to receive a Christmas kit, with items to be used during the service.
- 4:00 p.m. ~ Outdoor Service
*Pre-registration for these services is strongly encouraged for our planning purposes. Space is limited to 25 percent capacity. Please visit https://fumchurch.com to pre-register by the Thursday before the service you wish to attend.
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. For an added treat, Audrey’s Cup of Sunshine Café food truck will be on-site offering hot beverages and waffles.
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 until you are seated in your marked space
• 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 later that afternoon at fumchurch.com. Pre-registration is required for in-person worship. Contact Janice Bowen at 717.766.4611 ext. 112 or email@example.com for more information.
“Did you know that on any given day, there are up to 13,000 people in Pennsylvania without a home?”
First Church, in partnership with Mechanicsburg Brethren in Christ Church (McBIC), will hold its 29th annual Youth Sleepout for the Homeless during November. This year’s event has been recrafted for the safety of participants and the public, but it will still fulfill its primary goal of raising funds for local agencies that support those struggling with homeless realities.
The Sleepout also raises awareness. It is intentionally held before Thanksgiving to remind participants that while many of us eat and live in abundance, there are others who struggle even to meet their basic needs.
Normally, students give up the comforts of home and sleep in cardboard boxes for a night. The youth will not sleep out this year, but the community can still support the event through a GoFundMe campaign, which can be found here. In addition, cash and check donations (payable to FUMC with “Sleepout” in the memo line) can be mailed or delivered to First United Methodist Church, 135 W. Simpson Street, Mechanicsburg PA 17055.
Participants will meet outdoors on Nov. 21 at McBIC for a campfire, soup kitchen style meal, and other socially-distant activities. Participants also will learn about the devastating effects of homelessness, and are encouraged to educate others through social media.
We are well are on the way to meeting the $5,000 goal! All donations will benefit New Hope Ministries, Family Promise, and Bethesda Mobile Mission. To learn more about the youth ministries participating in this event, visit the GoFundMe page here.
The First Church Bell Choirs will be making and selling pies for Thanksgiving! All pies are handmade on the premises and bakers will be wearing masks and practice physical distancing. You can choose from Pumpkin, Mincemeat and Apple (crumb topping or double crust). You can also choose to have them baked or unbaked. The pies are $10. Pick up is Saturday, November 21 from Noon to 2:00 p.m. Customers will drive up to the alley entrance and the pies will be brought to them. To order your pie(s), contact Kathie Bittenbender at 717-697-6257 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proceeds benefit trips the Bell Choirs take to workshops and festivals.
Learn how you can support several worthwhile ministries and missions with your time, talent, and/or financial resources!
For the safety of our congregation and the public, First Church will not hold its annual in-person Ministries and Missions Fair. In its place, we have created a booklet with information on various ministries and volunteer opportunities within our congregation and the community, and details on how to get involved.
Are you ready to make the commitment? Sunday, Nov. 15 is Consecration Sunday at First Church. We hope you will plan to attend either of our church’s worship services at 8:15 a.m. or 4:00 p.m. to learn more about how you can grow in your faith journey through giving your financial and spiritual gifts. New for this year, you can make your financial commitment in person, electronically by clicking here or return your card by mail.
If you have questions, please contact the Church office at (717) 766-4611 or email@example.com.
First Church continues to hold the Gathering, an outdoor worship experience, on Sunday evenings this fall. New for November 1, we will start at 4:00 p.m.
The Gathering will offer a time of praise and worship in a casual, “come as you are” experience for all ages. Worship will be held from 4:00 to 4:45 p.m. in the church parking lot.
Rest assured in the knowledge that all appropriate safety measures will be observed:
Physical distancing at least 6 feet apart (unless you are with members of your family/daily social circle).
Mask wearing any time physical distancing is difficult or as you are walking around (masks will not be required once you are seated).
Children will remain with their parents (and a fun activity will be provided!)
Greeters will be on hand to welcome all, take attendance and assist with spacing.
Singing will be allowed in this outdoor venue! (proper physical distancing required)
A clean restroom will be made available for anyone in need.
Worshippers are asked to bring a mask and lawn chair, and to arrive early to allow for physical distancing. Dress for the weather, but we will move indoors in the event of bad weather.
All are welcome and encouraged to attend! For more information, contact Lisa Aronson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
First Church will host a health lecture on Choosing to Eat a Gluten-free Diet on Tuesday, Nov.10, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom conferencing. Giant Foods nutritionist, Kilene Knitter, MS RD LDN, as well as a ‘panel presentation’ from First Church members who maintain a gluten-free diet will be our presenters. To register and to receive the link for the presentation, please contact Janice Bowen at email@example.com or 717-766-4611, ext. 112.
The lecture is free and open to the public.