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

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

• March 28, Palm Sunday Worship with us at 8:15 a.m. online and in-person. Please pre-register for in-person worship on our website at fumchurch.com.
• April 1, Maundy Thursday Service and Seder Meal This service will be offered online via our website and FB page anytime after 4:00 p.m. Instructions for the Seder Meal are available on our website at fumchurch.com. This service includes communion.  Click here to watch this video with simple instructions for the Seder Meal.
• April 2, Good Friday One Thousand Prayers Kick-Off All are invited to blanket our community in prayer! Details about how to get your prayer kit and participate can be found on our website at fumchurch.com.
• April 4, Easter Sunrise Service Join us at the Mechanicsburg Cemetery at 6:45 a.m. to celebrate our Risen Lord! Please wear a face mask if you are unable to physical distance. This service will be led by our Youth and will last approximately 30 minutes. No registration required. We will be observing Holy Communion at this service.
• April 4, Easter 8:15 a.m. Service He is Risen! We invite you to worship with us in-person or via livestream at 8:15 a.m. We will continue to follow all safety protocols, which includes wearing a face mask and physical distancing. Please pre-register for this service on our website at fumchurch.com.
• April 4, Easter 11:00 a.m. Service He is Risen Indeed! We will be gathering in our parking lot for this outdoor service! Please bring your own chair(s) and wear a face mask until you find your seat. Activities will be available for children in attendance. In the event of rain, the service will be moved indoors to the green chair section of the sanctuary. Please pre-register for this service on our website at fumchurch.com.

First Church invites the community to join us for “One Thousand Prayers,” to spread joy and blanket our community in prayers of care! Due to the ongoing pandemic, we are not gathering as a group, but encourage participants to pray where they feel led!

“One Thousand Prayers” kicks off on Good Friday, April 2, and runs until the end of the month. Our goal is to collectively pray for 1000 places (at least!) for four weeks. Other area churches are joining us in this prayer journey.

All are welcome to participate. You do not have to be a member of First Church or any church to pray with us. Here’s how it works:

  • Contact Tina Eaton, Director of Adult Ministry, to say you’ll pray.
  • Pick up your Free prayer kit which contains prayer prompts, suggestions on places to pray (although you are encouraged to pray wherever you feel led by the Spirit), ten “We Prayed for You” door hangers, and a pocket journal to jot down where you prayed, who you prayed for, and any promptings you discern from the Holy Spirit.
  • Provide feedback to Tina so we know if we have reached our goal.

If you have questions or would like to participate, please email Tina at adultministry@fumchurch.com. Thanks for joining us in prayer!

First Church invites the community to join us for the Maundy Thursday Seder Meal and worship service on April 1.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, First Church’s Maundy Thursday service will only be available online. We invite you to join us on our website at fumchurch.com or Facebook Page (First United Methodist Church of Mechanicsburg, PA) any time after 4 p.m.

Maundy Thursday is the part of our Holy Week when we remember Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples. In the Passover meal, Christ shows the link between the ancient Festival of Redemption in Exodus and Christ as the Lamb of God.

First Church’s Maundy Thursday service will be visual and participatory. Worshippers will have the opportunity to see, taste, and reflect over a table set with traditional Passover items. Celebrating the Passover story helps enrich one’s faith and understanding of Christ in the Last Supper and delivers a universal message of hope. We will use scripture as well as visual and worship elements to walk through the Jewish Passover Seder, weaving the story of Exodus with the life, death and resurrection of Christ.  See this video from Sarah Pugh with simple instructions.

First Church encourages worshippers to gather the items listed below in advance to prepare for the Maundy Thursday service.

Candles and matches/lighter
Damp washcloth or napkin/paper towel
A bowl of water to wash hands
Ceremonial foods
3 pieces of unleavened bread (the traditional bread is Matzo, but you may use naan bread or tortillas)
Karpas (a green vegetable- parsley, celery, cilantro, or lettuce). One stem per family member.
Salt water in a small dipping bowl.
Maror, the bitter herb (horseradish)
Charoset/Haroset (a traditional apple/walnut mixture – you can find a recipe online or mix apple sauce with graham crackers for a nut-free version)
Hagigah (hard-boiled egg)
Shank bone of a lamb (you may use a bone from chicken, turkey, or other meat with a small bone instead)
Red juice and cups – one cup per family member
Your normal full meal – there will be time for you to enjoy fellowship over your regular dinner

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

Once again, we will be worshipping via Zoom video conference. If you had ever wanted to attend, but were not able to, this is a great opportunity! The service will include music, scripture, prayer and a brief message. To join in the service, please contact Pastor John Shellenberger at pastorjohn@fumchurch.com before Sunday afternoon.

The service is specially designed and adapted for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their families.

Rejoicing Spirits services are held on the fourth Sunday of each month.

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

Once again, we will be worshipping via Zoom video conference. If you had ever wanted to attend, but were not able to, this is a great opportunity. The service will include music, scripture, prayer and a brief message. To join in the service, please contact Pastor John Shellenberger at pastorjohn@fumchurch.com before Sunday afternoon.

The service is specially designed and adapted for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their families.

Rejoicing Spirits services are held on the fourth Sunday of each month.

First Church invites the public to view an online worship service in honor of the Annual Day Pampering on Saturday, Feb. 27.

Day of Pampering is an annual outreach held to celebrate and recognize women who serve as the primary care provider for a loved one with extraordinary needs. This can include the mothers of children who have special needs, or women who are caring for a husband with health issues.

The church and the community come together to share God’s love in a most special way with all of those in attendance. For more than a decade, First Church has transformed its building into a beautiful retreat for the day-long event that includes a featured speaker, a served lunch, fellowship and networking, and an afternoon full of personal services such as manicures, pedicures, massage therapy, health screenings, and a tea room.

In adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols, First Church will not hold the Day of Pampering in person this year. But we will make available a pre-recorded worship service for anyone who wants to participate. The service will include worship, music, a guest speaker, and an opportunity for an interactive Blessing of the Hands ceremony.

The service is available here for viewing. Viewers are encouraged to prepare a small bowl of water and a towel before watching the service.  You can find the program for the service here.

First Church invites the public to join us online for a worship service in honor of Ash Wednesday on Feb. 17.

Ash Wednesday is the day when Christians gather to begin and prepare spiritually for the 40 days of Lent, leading up to Easter. It is traditional for Christians to have ashes placed on their forehead by clergy members in observance of this special day.

In adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols, First Church continues to hold all of its worship services virtually. Because we will not meet in person for Ash Wednesday, our pastors have prepared a brief instructional video on how to prepare your own ashes. Click here to watch the video in advance of the service.

We will also be observing Holy Communion at this service. Remember to bring your own crackers or bread and fruit juice.

The Ash Wednesday Service will be available to view anytime after noon on our website at fumchurch.com on Wednesday, February 17.  See the Ash Wednesday bulletin here.

The pastors of First Church will present a series of sermon messages on the “Seven Last Words” of Jesus during worship services this Lenten season.

The messages, based on the book The Hope of Glory by Pulitzer Prize winning presidential historian and lifelong Episcopalian layman Jon Meacham, reflect on the gospel accounts of the final words of Jesus during the six hours he suffered on the cross. The “words,” or more accurately statements, of Jesus convey in a powerful way the message of the Savior’s radical love. May we experience anew the depth of his love for us, and discover the meaning of his words for us today.

In addition, Senior Pastor Denny Keller will lead a Bible study based on the new book Seven Words: Listening to Jesus From the Cross, by Susan Robb. Robb is the Senior Associate Minister at Highland Park United Methodist Church. The group will meet via Zoom on Wednesday evenings beginning Feb. 24, from 6:45 to 8:00 p.m. To register, please email pastordenny@fumchurch.com by Feb. 21. Participants are invited but not required to order a copy of the book.

First Church offers worship via Livestream 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.  Recordings of our services can be viewed anytime on our website at fumchurch.com.

You do not have to be a member of First Church or of any church to worship with us or participate in the Bible study. Find the Daily Bible Reading plan here, which corresponds to a personal reflection in the 2021 Lenten Devotional Booklet.  For more information, call or email the church office at 717.766.4611 or office@fumchurch.com.

Feb. 21                 “Father, Forgive Them”
Feb. 28                 “Today You Will Be with Me in Paradise”
March 7                “My God, My God”
March 14             “Woman, Here Is Your Son”
March 21             “I Am Thirsty”
March 28             “It Is Finished”…”Into Your Hands”
© 2015 First United Methodist Church
135 West Simpson Street
Mechanicsburg, Pa 17055
Phone (717) 766-4611
Sunday Services:
8:15 a.m. In-Person & Live Stream Worship
11:00 a.m In-Person Worship
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