Although we cannot physically gather this Holy Week, First Church invites and encourages you to join us for the following events and worship services from the safety of home.
Passion Play – This event was cancelled for the safety of our community, but we invite you to experience its powerful message through the new Passion Play Home Edition posted on our website here (“Resources, Fun and Faith” tab). The Passion Play re-enacts the events of Holy Week, beginning with Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and concluding with his crucifixion and resurrection.
Maundy Thursday Service, April 9, 7:00 p.m. – Join us on our website for music, a message, and communion. To partake in Holy Communion, use your own crackers and juice while our pastors provide instructions.
Good Friday Prayer, April 10 – Pastor Denny will open the day online at 9 a.m. with prayer and instructions via the Mechanicsburg and Upper Allen Area Churches Facebook page. Feel free to pray for others throughout the day, using this Prayer Guide. The day concludes at 3:00 p.m. with a closing prayer from Pastor Marleen Griffith-Stull of St. Mark Lutheran Church via the Facebook page.
Easter Worship Services, April 12 – He is Risen! Join us live for the Sunrise Service at 6:30 a.m. via our Facebook Page, First United Methodist Church of Mechanicsburg, PA. We will also air our Easter worship service through our website.
If there’s ever been a time for followers of Jesus to come together in prayer, it’s now as we face this global pandemic and health crisis.
First Church typically participates in the Mechanicsburg Good Friday Prayer Walk. Members of several area congregations form groups, and walk to locations throughout our town to blanket them in prayer.
We cannot physically meet for this year’s Prayer Walk, but we invite the community to join us online and for independent prayer on April 10.
If there’s a day for all of us to be in prayer, it makes sense for it to be Good Friday. This is the day we remember Jesus’ death on the cross.
Here’s the schedule of events.
- 9:00 a.m. Pastor Denny will start our day live streaming on the Mechanicsburg and Upper Allen Area Churches’ Facebook page.
- Daytime From there, you can pray from wherever you are as you feel led. A prayer guide will be posted on the FB page for direction. You can also find the Prayer Guide here.
- 3:00 p.m. Pastor Marleen Griffith-Stull from St. Mark Lutheran Church will conclude our day via video stream with the Lord’s Prayer on the Mechanicsburg and Upper Allen Area Churches FB page.
We hope you will partner with us as we pray for healing, hope, and for God’s Will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. See Good Friday Prayer flyer here
For the first time in 30 years, First Church will not present its annual Passion Play. The event, scheduled for April 8, was canceled in observance of the recent measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The Passion Play re-enacts the events of Holy Week, beginning with Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and concluding with his crucifixion and resurrection. More than 60 church and community members, young and old alike, rehearsed for months to bring the story to life.
“They can take the Passion Play out of the church, but they cannot take the play out of our hearts,” said Dawn Fisher, Co-Director of Children’s Ministries at the church.
The Children’s Department has devised an “At Home” edition of the Passion Play. The script has been transformed into a readable story so that families can experience its powerful message from the safety of their homes.
In addition, all are invited to take Passion Play-themed photos with their family. For example, grab your favorite instrument for a pic to recognize the Blowing of the Shofar, the traditional opening of the Passion Play. Or, join in a group hug to commemorate the Last Supper and Jesus’ command that we love one another.
Then, email your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Church staff will use the photos to create a video, showing how we can still honor God and celebrate the Easter message from our homes.
Questions, contact the children’s department at email@example.com.
Prayer is an important part of our faith journey. If you need some direction on prayer and praying for others, we invite you to use the Prayer Guides we will be posting on our website. You can find them under Resources and choose Fun and Faith from the dropdown menu. This week’s Prayer Guide can be found here.
Many people choose to give up something for the 40 days of Lent. Perhaps a favorite snack food, like chocolate or potato chips. It is a reminder of and very small sacrifice to honor the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made for each of us.
Beginning March 1, the pastors of First Church will present “Giving it Up! Our Journey to the Empty Tomb.” The seven-week sermon series takes the idea of giving something up one step further. Each message focuses on something Jesus invites us to give up – not just for 40 days, but forever.
March 1 “Overcoming Temptation” Matthew 4:1-11
March 8 “Losing My Religion” John 3:1-17
March 15 “Letting Go of Shame” John 4:5-42 (view Service on Resources tab)
March 22 “Opening Blind Eyes” John 9:1-41 (view Service on Resources tab)
March 29 “Untying Unbelief” John 11:1-45 (view Service on Resources tab)
April 5 “Laying It All Down” Matthew 21:1-11
April 12 “Rising Up to New Life” Matthew 28:1-10
The sermons will be presented at the 8:15 and 10:45 Sunday morning worship services. All are invited to attend! For more information, call or email First Church at 717.766.4611 or firstname.lastname@example.org. See the Daily Reading Plan and other studies offered here.
The Mechanicsburg Cluster of Churches will host a community Ash Wednesday worship service on February 26 at 7 p.m. First United Methodist Church 135 W. Simpson Street, will be hosting the service. New this year, you will be invited to participate in interactive stations to help prepare you for the beginning of Lent. All are welcome to attend.