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.

First Church will present “Know the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s,” a live webinar, on April 27 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Alzheimer’s and other dementias cause memory, thinking and behavior problems that interfere with daily living. Join us to learn how to recognize common signs of the disease, how to approach someone about memory concerns, the importance of early detection and benefits of a diagnosis, possible tests and assessments for the diagnostic process, and other Alzheimer’s Association resources. Questions will be accepted electronically during the webinar.

The webinar will be presented by First Church member Nancy Routch, an Alzheimer’s Association Community Educator with the Penn State Extension of Cumberland County, as part of the church’s Health and Wellness Committee.

Participants must be pre-registered. Go to or call 1-800-272-3900 to register. Participants will receive a meeting code and downloadable handouts in advance of the webinar.

The Children’s Department of First Church invites families to download “My 2020 COVID-19 Time Capsule,” a fun resource for children to complete while the public is under quarantine.

The time capsule consists of a packet that prompts children to record the history they are living through with family photos, journaling, and news clippings.

Children also are encouraged to record their feelings, conduct an interview of their parents or other loved ones, and to think about what they are most excited to do when the quarantine ends.

Click here to download the time capsule packet.

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


First Church, along with several other churches, has been invited to help the families in Mechanicsburg. If you feel comfortable, please pick up any of the items listed below. Drop off at Mechanicsburg Brethren in Christ, 1050 S. York Street between the hours of 10:00 am and 2:00 pm in their parking lot, Wednesday, April 1. See a detailed list here.

Canned vegetables
Canned fruit
Canned or pouches of tuna
Boxes of macaroni and cheese or canned meals, such as Spaghetti o’s
Boxes of pasta
Single serve boxes/bowls of cereal
Individually packaged snacks, such as crackers, pretzels, chips
These items will be distributed to families in the Mechanicsburg School District in collaboration with the district. Questions, contact Lori Hoffnagle at Thanks for your support!

First Church will begin two new Bible studies and continue the Alpha course, already in progress, via Zoom video conferencing. All are invited to participate in these free studies!

The Power of Knowing God, a six-week, no homework, Precept Bible study for men, begins Sunday, March 29. Classes begin at 6:15 p.m.

Breaking Free From Fear, also a six-week, no homework, Precept Bible study, begins Thursday, April 2. Classes begin at 6:45 p.m.

In addition, the Alpha course resumes this week. Five lessons remain, and newcomers are welcome to join at any time. Join us on Sundays from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., or Wednesdays from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m.

If you are interested in joining any of the Bible studies, email Tina Eaton, Director of Discipleship, at for details and the Zoom links.

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 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.

Click here for a copy of the “At Home” edition and click here for a list of photo ideas.

Questions, contact the children’s department at

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.

Bishop Jeremiah Park of the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church invites us all to a Call for Prayer at noon on Wednesday, March 25. See his Special Announcement here.

We may be postponing the April Food trucks.  Keep watching for updated information and thanks for your patience!

The April 2020 Food Trucks have been announced! Join us on Friday, April 17 from 4:30 to 8 p.m. in the church parking lot.

We will be welcoming the following trucks: Mad Dash, Marsico’s Italian, Philly Hoagie, Potato Coop, Soul Burrito, Get Smok’d, Sugar Whipped and brand new this year, Doggie Delights (a dog treat truck)!

First Church will provide tables and chairs, and free parking including handicapped accessible parking. See you then!

Sunday, March 15, 2020 has been designated as a National Day of Prayer. This comes after the president’s national emergency declaration in response to the international outbreak of COVID-19.

Throughout our history, our country has looked to God for protection and strength in times like these. You are invited to join us in prayer using the prayer guide, provided to us by Moms in Prayer International. See Prayer Guide here.

And may the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

First Church will offer “The Power of Knowing God,” a men’s Bible study by Precept® Ministries, this spring.

Beginning March 15, the group will meet on Sunday evenings at 6:15 p.m. in room 207. The six-week, “no homework” study will be led by First Church members Ken Guise and David Mengle.

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

Participants are asked to pre-register for the Bible study. The $7.99 cost covers the workbook.

For more information or to register, call or email the church office at 717.766.4611 or

We are sorry for the inconvenience, but the Ham Loaf Dinner has been cancelled.  Thank you for understanding.  See you next year!

Join us on Saturday, March 21 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

First Church is pleased to announce that the Third Friday Food Trucks will be returning in 2020!

Join us on the following Fridays: April 17, May 15, June 19, July 17, August 21, September 18 and October 16 from 4:30 to 8 p.m. in the church parking lot.

An expected six to eight trucks will be pulling in with a variety of foods including chicken, French fries, barbecue, Greek food, pizza and desserts. In addition to good food and music, the event offers a fun time to meet and socialize with other community members.

First Church will provide tables and chairs, and free parking including handicapped accessible parking.

Check out the Facebook page at First United Methodist Church of Mechanicsburg, Pa. for details, and an updated list of food trucks for each event.

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  See the Daily Reading Plan and other studies offered here.

Come experience the passion and power of the Easter story. First Church will put on its annual Passion Play on Wednesday, April 8 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.

Important Update!
We are temporarily postponing these classes.  Please check back frequently for updates on when we plan to start again.  Thanks for your patience!
Join us for the Drawing Closer Café, located at Mechanicsburg Crafter’s Retreat, 304 W. Main Street, Mechanicsburg.  We will enjoy a time of crafting and creating using God’s Word as our backdrop.
Each night will include a time of fellowship, coffee, crafting and learning.  The classes will be held on the first and third Wednesday’s starting March 4 through May 20th from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.  The first class will include a modern calligraphy mini lesson.
Classes will be led by church members and all materials and instruction provided at no cost. No registration required.
Questions, contact Lori Hoffnagle at or 717-766-4611, ext 115. You don’t have to be a member of First Church or any church to participate, all are welcome!
View the flyer here.

Are you interested in becoming a member of First Church? Please consider attending our New Member Class. The next one begins on Sunday, March 1 and runs through April 26 (no classes on March 8 or April 12). 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 Discipleship, at 717.766.4611 or

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