First Church will hold a Rejoicing Spirits worship service this Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, at 4:00 p.m. All are welcome!

The service is specially designed and adapted for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their families. An informal atmosphere, brief messages, and lots of music and fellowship opportunities.

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

The long-awaited Messiah finally arrived, only to be betrayed and sentenced to death. Why would Jesus knowingly do this for us? Come to discover afresh the good news of the gospel!

First Church will host “Jesus: Understanding His Death and Resurrection,” a Precept Ministries study on chapters 14 to 16 of the Gospel of Mark.

The six-week, no homework study, led by First Church members Juanita and Ken Guise, will be held on Sunday mornings beginning Jan. 26 during the Sunday School hour from 9:30 to 10:30. The cost is just $5, for the workbook.

All are welcome. You do not have to be a member of First Church or of any church to attend.

For more information, call or e-mail Tina Eaton, Director of Adult Ministry, at 717.766.4611 or adultministry@fumchurch.com.

First Church is offering “The Holy Spirit Unleashed in You,” a men’s Bible study by Precept Ministries based on the book of Acts.

Led by First Church members Ken Guise and David Mengle, the group meets on Sunday evenings at 6:15. Classes run for 60 to 75 minutes. The class is on-going. Participants can join in at any time.

All men are welcome. You do not have to be a member of First Church or of any church to attend.

For more information, call or e-mail Tina Eaton, Director of Adult Ministry, at 717.766.4611 or adultministry@fumchurch.com.

How did Jesus spend his final days? And just what happened when Jesus died and rose from the dead? Come to find the answers in “The Savior of Sinners,” a study of chapters 17 to 24 of the Gospel of Luke.

The seven-week study Precept Ministries will be led by First Church member Juanita Guise. Classes begin in February. Thursday morning and Thursday evening classes are available. The $15.75 cost covers the workbook.

All are welcome. You do not have to be a member of First Church or of any church to attend.

For more information, call or e-mail Tina Eaton, Director of Adult Ministry, at 717.766.4611 or adultministry@fumchurch.com.

If you are looking for real love, real hope, real friendship and the real message of Jesus, join us for “Alpha” this winter! First Church will offer the 10-week course, in search of the real answers to life’s biggest questions.

Three class times are being offered:

  • Sunday mornings, 9:30 to 10:30, beginning Jan. 26. Led by Tina Eaton, Director of Adult Ministry.
  • Wednesdays 11:00 a.m. to noon, beginning Jan. 29. Led by Pastor John Shellenberger. Dutch-treat lunch to follow for those who are interested.
  • Wednesday evenings, 6:45 to -8:00, beginning Jan. 29. Led by Pastor Dennis Keller.

The study is free and open to the public. All are welcome. You do not have to be a member of First Church or of any church to attend.

For more information, call or e-mail Tina Eaton, Director of Adult Ministry, at 717.766.4611 or adultministry@fumchurch.com.

Raising children is both beautiful and challenging, and having a network of other moms to lean on is a life-giving part of God’s plan! That’s why Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) connects moms to a community of women who meet to laugh, support and embrace the journey together.

If you are the mother of a young child, you won’t want to miss this special opportunity! Every group meeting will include fellowship time over a light breakfast, teachings/lesson time, small group discussion time, encouragement and support from mentor moms, Christian devotions and quality childcare.

Between monthly meetings, fun outings/play-dates, creative projects and/or service opportunities will be organized for those who are interested.

The next meeting is Friday, January 24, 2020 at 9:15 a.m. If you would like to attend, please call the church office at 717-766-4611 for information on how to register.

Children ages three through sixth grade and their families are invited to attend the fall session of the Wonderful Wednesday family fellowship program.

This unique program, held weekly on Wednesdays, provides Bible study and fun activities for children, and allows families to spend quality time together. The spring session starts January 22 and concludes with the Annual Passion Play on April 8. Meetings last from 4:45 to 7:00 p.m.

Non-church members are welcome to attend, but all participants must be pre-registered. The cost is $20, per child per semester, which includes meals. Click here for the 2020 registration form.

For more information, call or e-mail the church office at (717) 766-4611 or office@fumchurch.com.

Registration is now open for the annual Men’s Retreat, to be held Friday to Sunday, March 6 to 8, 2020 at Wesley Forest in Weikert, PA. See the Wesley Forest website here: http://wesleyforest.org/.

All First Church men are invited and encouraged to attend, for a weekend filled with fellowship, fun, great food and spiritual renewal. Register by January 19 to enjoy the early bird fee of just $80! After that date, the fee is $95. For more information, call or e-mail the church at 717.766.4611 or office@fumchurch.com. You can find the registration here.

First Church will hold the 2020 Day of Pampering on Saturday, Feb. 29. This is a special day to honor primary care providers…..mothers of children with disAbilities and wives of husbands with disAbilities. After giving so much of themselves, it’s their turn for some pampering, connecting and renewal.

Morning refreshments are provided, followed by worship and a guest speaker. The women are then served an elegant luncheon. Following lunch, women are pampered for the afternoon! They can enjoy manicures, a massage, relaxation techniques, hair styling and other services, as well as a tea and dessert room, all at no cost!

Service providers are still needed! In particular, we still need 1 Hair Stylist, 2 Table Massage Therapists, 3 Chair Massage Therapists and volunteers to assist throughout the day. If you are willing to volunteer your time, please call or e-mail the church at (717) 766-4611 or office@fumchurch.com.

If you enjoy cooking, please join First Church for Soupy Saturday on January 25, beginning at 9:00 a.m. We will meet in the church kitchen to make delicious homemade soups and muffins to share with friends, neighbors and homebound church members.

All are welcome! You do not have to be a member of First Church or any church to attend.

For more information, call or e-mail Janice Bowen at the church, (717) 766-4611 ext. 112 or wecare@fumchurch.com.

The United Methodist Women of First Church invites volunteers to help prepare feminine hygiene kits on Saturday, Jan. 18, in the church Fellowship Hall starting at 8:30 a.m.

Feminine hygiene kits provide basic necessities to young women in underdeveloped nations, allowing them to continue in school all month long. The kits are being assembled and distributed through Mission Central in Mechanicsburg. See information about this initiative here: https://www.daysforgirls.org/dfg-kits.

Specifically, volunteers are needed to help sew several items to be included in the kits. Instructions and materials will be provided, but volunteers are asked to bring sharp scissors, rotary cutters, quilting rulers and cutting mats as able.

Mission Central, a warehouse and affiliate of the Susquehanna Conference of The United Methodist Church, collects and distributes relief supplies and humanitarian aid locally, nationally and internationally as needed in response to natural disasters and other crises.

To participate or for more information or to donate items to make the kits, call or e-mail the church at 717.766.4611 or office@fumchurch.com. To learn more about Mission Central and the Feminine Hygiene Kits, visit www.missioncentral.org.

First Church is pleased to support Isaiah 61 Ministries, a local organization that serves the needs of the homeless in Dauphin County. They provide a variety of services including a soup kitchen, clothing bank and Life groups.

Specifically, First Church members help serve meals to the homeless in downtown Harrisburg on the third Wednesday of each month. The next volunteer opportunity is Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. A carpool leaves from First Church at 6:00 p.m. for those who are interested.

All are welcome! To volunteer, call or e-mail the church at 717.766.4611 or office@fumchurch.com.

Join us at Mission Central on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. to help sort and bag donated groceries. The groceries are then transported to the Bethesda Mission shelter in Harrisburg to be shared with residents in need.

Mission Central, a warehouse and affiliate of the Susquehanna Conference of The United Methodist Church, collects and distributes relief supplies and humanitarian aid locally, nationally and internationally as needed in response to natural disasters and other crises.

First Church members volunteer at Mission Central the third Wednesday evening of every month to prepare the groceries.

For more information or to volunteer, call or e-mail the church office at 717.766.4611 or office@fumchurch.com.

Have you had your vision tested lately? Not just your eyesight, but your view on life. If life often leaves you feeling empty and longing for something more, First Church has a message you will want to hear.

This winter, the pastors of First Church will deliver a series of messages on Jesus’ vision for living a life of joy, and the radical difference between His vision and what the world values. “The Beatitudes: Keys to a Blessed Life,” a sermon series based on Matthew 5:3-12, will explore each of the eight keys Jesus gives us to find peace, lasting satisfaction, and fulfillment, through what many have called the greatest sermon ever preached. See Daily Reading Plan and all Winter studies here.

Join us for worship services at 8:15 and 10:45 a.m. on Sundays this winter, beginning Jan. 5. All are welcome!

“The Beatitudes: Keys to a Blessed Life” Sermon Series

Jan. 5 “It Depends On Who You Depend On” Blessed are the poor in spirit

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.,

Jan. 12 “How God Blesses Broken Hearts”

 

Blessed are those who mourn,

for they will be comforted.

Jan. 19 “The Strength of Gentleness” Blessed are the meek,

for they will inherit the earth.

Jan. 26 Youth Sunday  
Feb. 2 “Why You Need to Stay Hungry” Blessed are those who hunger

and thirst for righteousness,

for they will be filled.

Feb. 9 “Your Ministry of Mercy” Blessed are the merciful,

for they will receive mercy.

Feb. 16 “God Blesses A Heart of Integrity” Blessed are the pure in heart,

for they will see God.

Feb. 23 “How To Reconcile a Relationship” Blessed are the peacemakers,

for they will be called children of God.

If you struggle with on-going health challenges, First Church invites you to join us for a new, spiritually-grounded support group beginning in January, Joy in the Morning.

Based on the book, With the Dawn Rejoicing, a Christian Perspective on Pain and Suffering, the group will focus on sharing and encouraging one another to live with greater hope and peace while navigating health issues.

Meetings will be held at First Church monthly on Monday afternoons from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. beginning Jan. 13, 2020.

The group will be facilitated by Janice Bowen, First Church Director of Congregational Care, and Terry Ketrow, Stephen Minister.

Participation is free and open to the public. You do not have to be a member of First Church or any church to attend the group meetings.

For more information, call or e-mail Janice Bowen at wecare@fumchurch.com or 717-766-4611, ext. 112.

First United Methodist Church is pleased to offer “Beyond Suffering”, the groundbreaking course created to transform the way we view God’s plan for disability.

“Beyond Suffering” equips participants with the tools and knowledge they need to begin or enhance a disability ministry within their church or faith community.

The demand for churches to develop disability ministries is growing daily. According to the National Health Interview Survey, currently one out of six children (17 percent) in the United States has special needs, with autism affecting 1 in 45 births.

This has a dramatic effect on the spiritual life of entire families. In fact, many families with a child who has a special need do not attend church because they do not feel accepted. Parents also may be concerned that the church staff and volunteers cannot adequately care for the needs of their child.

“Beyond Suffering,” designed by the Christian Institute on Disability and Joni & Friends, is unique in that it views disability and suffering through a Biblical lens, and is only taught by certified trainers.

Lisa Wickenheiser, M.Ed., a certified instructor and member of First Church, will teach the “Beyond Suffering” course. Lisa is a local educator who has a passion and personal connection to those living with a disability. See Lisa’s bio here.

The eight-week course will conclude with a field trip to the “Finding the Forgotten” exhibit at Joni & Friends in Mountville, PA. This free exhibit gives an immersive, realistic glimpse into five or six very personal disability journeys.

“First Church is blessed to have an active disability ministry,” said Tina Eaton, Director of Discipleship at First Church. “And we have a responsibility, not just to continue to grow our own ministry, but also to encourage and equip other churches in developing their own disability ministries.”

“Beyond Suffering” is open to all. You do not have to be a member of First Church or any church to participate.

“Our dream is to build a network of churches in the local area that cooperatively work together to bring about God’s glorious plan for a fully inclusive body of Christ,” Eaton said.

Classes will be held at First United Methodist Church, 135 W. Simpson Street in Mechanicsburg. A brief orientation meeting will be held on Jan. 20, 2020. Course dates are Jan. 27, Feb. 3, 10, 17 and 29, and March 2, 9, 16 and 23. Classes will run from 6:15 to 7:45 p.m. The course concludes on March 28 with the field trip to Joni & Friends “Finding the Forgotten” exhibit. Find the flyer here.

The $35 fee includes a workbook, CD-ROM with valuable resource materials, and the cost of the field trip.

Learn more about “Beyond Suffering” at https://www.joniandfriends.org/ministries/christian-institute-on-disability/beyond-suffering/.

To register for the course, go to ttsu.me/ndcagr or contact Tina Eaton at adultministry@fumchurch.com or 717.766.4611, ext 104.

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