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Lent and Easter

Holy Week

April 2:   Palm Sunday
  •  9:30 am   Palm Sunday Procession and Prayer Walk.  Gather on Hinman Ave. lawn. 
  • 10:30 am   Worship in the sanctuary and livestreamed 
April 6:   Maundy Thursday
  • 7:00 pm   Maundy Thursday Service in Tittle Chapel and livestreamed
  • Worship details.
April 7:   Good Friday
  • 7:00 pm  “Seven Last Words” Service in Tittle Chapel and livestreamed
  • Worship details.
April 8:   Easter Vigil
  • 7:00 pm   Easter Vigil Worship with Baptism, Renewal of Baptismal vows, and New Members in Tittle Chapel and livestreamed
  • Worship details.
  • Festive reception immediately following in Great Hall. 

Easter Sunday  – April 9

  • 10:30 am  Easter Worship Service.  Festive Prelude begins at 10:00 am. 
  • Worship in the sanctuary and livestreamed. 
  • Worship details.
  • Eucharist Service in Tittle Chapel immediately following worship 
  • Community Hour following worship in Great Hall 
  • Easter Sunday “Eggstravaganza”  (outdoors; moved inside if raining) 

Special Easter Offering

Gifts to this year’s Easter offering will fund First Church’s continued support of the Interfaith Reparations FundDonate online at https://onrealm.org/faithatfirst/-/form/give/now and choose “Reparations-Easter Offering” from the dropdown menu. 

Lenten Journey 2023:  Invitation to a Lenten Fast 

The Earth Care Committee invites our church family to embark on a Lenten Journey that recognizes the damaging effects plastics have on God’s Creation. Plastics are part of almost every facet of our daily life and making choices to reduce plastic use can leave us feeling overwhelmed and powerless. In our Lenten Journey together, we want to emphasize that actions of fasting single use plastics can have a healing aim.

Learn more about the Lenten Journey and Invitation

Sunday Worship Services  

  • 10:30-11:30 am  Worship in the sanctuary and livestreamed on YouTube.
    • Worship this Sunday
    • Advance registration encouraged.  Registration link included in weekly E-News.
    • Current safety protocols
    • Accessible via the 516 Church St. entrance
    • Community Hour with coffee and snacks immediately after worship.
  • Eucharist Service immediately following worship. 
      • In Tittle Chapel
      • Offered the 2nd, 3rd, 4th  Sundays each month

    Lenten Class Opportunities

    The Apostle’s Creed: What does it mean to confess the church’s faith? - March 26

    The Apostle’s Creed: What does it mean to confess the church’s faith?

    Sunday, March 26, 9:15 am in Glenna Hall

    In baptism and membership, we are asked to confess our faith as the church through the Apostles’ Creed. What does it mean to do so and how do we making meaning from the creed for our lives today?  This class, for Inquirers and any other interested persons, is led by Dr. E. Byron Anderson, Associate Dean and Styberg Professor of Worship at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.  All are welcome.

    Fasting as Spiritual Practice - March 5, 12, 19, & 26

    Sundays at 9:15am on March 5, 12, 19 & 26 in Room 34 

    Sign up online 

     During Lent, many Christians fast from eating certain foods or abstain from participating in certain activities. In this class we will explore the Biblical and historical roots of fasting as we seek to understand the roots of a practice that might seem to be embraced more often in contemporary culture by fitness and nutrition experts than by Christians. We’ll thus examine fasting as a spiritual practice and ways it can be part of our spiritual formation. 

    This class is co-led by Henry Carrigan, Pastor Grace, and Pastor Britt. Please sign up using the above link. 

    Pulpit of Fire - March 5, 19 & 26 (online)

    Sundays, March 5, 19, 26, 3:30-5:00pm (ONLINE)

    Sign up at https://faithatfirst.regfox.com/pulpit-of-fire      

    Pulpit of Fire:  The trajectory of our history to living in the world today

    Pastor Grace and Jim Hagedorn co-teach this class which looks at selected sermons of Arthur Landwehr, Harold Bosley, and Ernest Fremont Tittle, all of them past senior pastors of First Church. A sermon and supporting docs will be shared with participants to read in advance of each gathering; the gathered group will then study and discuss. 

    This opportunity is limited to 15 people. Sign up at the above link to receive the Zoom link via email. 

    Lent One Church, One Book - weeks of March 12, 19, & 26 (online and in person groups)

    Group Conversations on Is It Too Late?: A Theology of Ecology 

    Group options: 

    • Sundays at 9:15 a.m., Mar. 12, 19 & 26 – Led by Jan and Joe Womack.
    • Sundays at 9:15 a.m., Mar. 12, 19 & 26 – Led by Colin McDonald. Designed for parents and caregivers of children and youth. Room 24.  
    • Sundays during the Young Adult potlucks – Led by Kelsey Morton   [time and room?]
    • Tuesdays at 1:00 p.m. ONLINE, Mar. 14, 21 & 28 – Led by Phyllis Bird and Henry Carrigan.  

    Sign up at https://faithatfirst.regfox.com/one-church-one-book-lent-2023 

    More than fifty years ago, theologian John Cobb asked a simple question regarding the state of the environment: ”Is it too late?” His book by that title is one of the earliest attempts to pose questions for the Church about the relationship between Christian theology and ecology. During Lent, First Church’s One Church, One Book study will focus on Cobb’s recently reissued Is It Too Late?: A Theology of Ecology (Fortress Press, 2021). Part one of the book examines the need for a new vision of ecology and theology, and part two suggests a contour for the new vision we need that we may be ”a force for hope rather than an instrument of despair.” 

    We look forward to your joining us for this important and timely discussion. We offer a variety of times and formats for you to connect with a group during Lent. Copies of the book may be purchased from the church office at a 20% discount. 

    Questions?  Please contact Henry Carrigan at carjrn@aol.comorColin McDonald at colin@faithatfirst.com 


        Messy Church (for all ages) -- March 5

        Sunday, March 5, 9:00-10:15am in Great Hall.

        Life is rarely neat and tidy. But God isn’t afraid to enter the mess.

        “Messy Church” is an opportunity for kids, families, and adults to engage in hands-on creative activities, celebratory worship, and time together in community. The concept originated in the U.K. and has spread around the world.

        This new program begins at First Church on Sunday, March 5 and offers a different kind of Sunday School for children and adults on March 5 and again on May 7.

        Please register for the sessions you plan to attend so we can plan food and materials appropriately.

        Journey to General Conference - March 5 (online)

        Sunday, March 5, 7:00pm (Online) 

        Hosted and sponsored by the Pastor’s Advisory Team (PAT) 

        Sign up at https://faithatfirst.regfox.com/journey-to-general-conference 

        Journey to General Conference:  What’s coming up at General Conference, and how might GC2024 affect the future of the UMC?

        Rev. Richard Bentley, a U.S. delegate to the United Methodist General Conference, and Rev. Izzy Alvaran, a General Conference (GC) delegate from the Philippines, will meet by Zoom with any interested First Church members to discuss current preparations for General Conference, who/what is disaffiliating (under current rules), and other topics of interest, so we can understand what we as First Church can do while the denomination prepares for GC 2024.   

        With the results of 2019 Special GC, and GC 2020 being postponed at least twice (and now not occurring), we are living in unprecedented times for our denomination, and it will be very helpful for us to be as informed as possible this year leading up to GC 2024.  Please make plans now to attend this most important and informative meeting.  Sign up below by 6pm on March 5, and the zoom link will be emailed to you. 

        Questions?  Please contact bethswanick@gmail.com. 


        Lent Weekday Services  (February 22-April 5)

        • Monday 6:30-7:00 am  Morning Prayer with Communion (via Zoom).  Sign up.
        • Tuesday 8:30-9:00 pm Compline Night Prayer Service (via Zoom).  Sign up.
        • Wednesday 6:00-6:30 am  Morning Prayer in Tittle Chapel

        Connect This Season

        Interested in making connections but not sure where to start?  Contact us using the button below and provide your email or phone number; we’ll reach out to hear about your interests and identify opportunities that might be a good fit.  We look forward to chatting with you!

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        Find Your Place

        Interested in volunteering? Looking to build meaningful relationships? Want to see what’s on the calendar that sparks your interest?