First United Methodist Church of Kalamazoo

212 South Park Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
(269) 381-6340


Upcoming Events

Spiritual Formation Class: Having a Mary Heart, September 10 - November 26, 10 - 11:30 am

The Spiritual Formation Group invites you to join them on Tuesday mornings from 10-11:30 a.m. in the chapel for their new book study that begins on September 10 and concludes on November 26. They will be reading and discussing the book, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver. Facilitators of this book study are Nancy Hyde, Miriam Downey, and Jan Baker. Books are available to begin your reading. Contact Jan Baker at (269 342-4092 to purchase.

"The life of a woman today isn't really all that different from that of Mary and Martha in the New Testament. Like Mary, you long to sit at the Lord's feet... but the daily demands of a busy world just won't leave you alone. Like Martha, you love Jesus and really want to serve him... yet you struggle with weariness, resentment, and feelings of inadequacy. Then comes Jesus, into the midst of your busy life, to extend the same invitation he issued long ago to the the two sisters from Bethany. Tenderly, he invites you to choose the "better part" — a joyful life of intimacy with him that flows naturally into loving service. With her fresh aproach to the familiar Bible story, Joanna Weaver shows us how all of us—Marys and Marthas alike—can draw closer to our Lord: deepending our devotion, strengthening our service, and doing both with less stress and greater joy." (book description from

Academy Class: The Challenge of Paul - Paul & Justice, October 27 - November 24

Our exploration of Paul resumes as John Dominic Crossan focuses on what Paul understands the “life in Christ” to mean. Jesus, radical Paul would say, rejects that worldview and invites all into a community of mutuality, equality and justice. This dvd-based class will be led by John Clark.


Inquirer's Class, October 27 - November 24, 9:30 - 10:30 am

Those interested in becoming a member of our family of faith are invited to the Inquirer's Class that begins October 27 at 9:30 a.m. for five weeks. Pastor Steve Charnley leads this class in the chapel. He may be contacted at if interested!


Academy Class: People with Disabilities 101, October 27 - November 24, 9:30 - 10:30 am

Have you ever met a person with a disability but were unsure how to interact or how to be helpful without being patronizing? This will be a basic class that will explore etiquette, history, theology, and empowerment of people with disabilities. Rev. Mantu Joshi hopes you will learn to “see people as people” as he shares some of what he has taught at Western Michigan University as a part-time faculty member. Each week the class will delve into relevant U.S. history, ADA laws, and finally a liberation theology for disability.  It will be a class that will change how you see the world and challenge your preconceptions.


November Mission of the Month, November 1-30

The November mission of the month will support Ministry with Community's 20th Annual Underwear Drive.  To support this event, we are collecting new underwear as well as some winter outerwear items for men and women. Please consider purchasing any of the following items:    
   - Thermal Undergarments
   - Scarves
   - Winter Gloves
   - Winter Hats
   - Men’s Boxers or Boxer Briefs
   - Women’s Underwear
   - Socks (regular and thick)
(Adult Sizes: M to 4XL, new and unwrapped items, plain colors preferred, no open-knit items, please.). Thank you for helping to keep a neighbor warm!  A basket in the office is available for your donations. 

Apple Pie & Crisp Sale, November 3-24

Just in time for the holidays!  The youth will be selling their homemade apple pies, crisps, and (new this year!) applesauce on Sundays beginning November 3 in the Marketplace. We once again thank Gull Meadows Farm for their donation of fresh apples! Thank you for supporting our youth mission projects with your purchase!  Apple pie $14; Apple crisp $14; Mini-apple crisp $7. Applesauce $4.

Family Fun Night Candle Making, Friday, November 15, 5:15 - 8 pm

On Friday, November 15, 6-8 p.m. in Wesley Hall we will enjoy a potluck dinner and candle making event. Liz Moon will help the children (and any interested adults) make colorful and amazing candles, which could possibly become Christmas gifts!  The cost for each candle ranges from $3.50 to $16.75. This has been a popular event, so to give enough time for the candle making, anyone who can come early (any time after 5:15) are welcome. We’ll provide paperware and beverages; bring a dish to pass for our meal. 


Systemic Racism Workshop, Saturday, November 16, 8:30 am - 5 pm

Have you been interested in attending an anti-racism training and wondering how to do that? We have an opportunity for you to attend a 1-day Christian-based Introduction to Systemic Racism Workshop. The workshop will be facilitated by Sunnyside United Methodist Pastor, Rev. Dr. JoAnn Mundy and First United Methodist Church Reconciling Ministry Team Co-chair, Dr. Diane Owen-Rogers. This workshop is helpful for beginning the development of a common language necessary for having productive conversations about race and systemic racism. You will unpack the definition of racism, consider the relationship between individuals and institutions, and build on your analysis of systemic racism in the United States. This workshop will connect these ideas to faith and church context.
Location: Wesley Foundation of Kalamazoo (2350 Ring Road on the edge of WMU’s campus)
Food: Lunch is provided
Registration: The Reconciling Ministry Team has been awarded funds from the Richard Knapp Memorial Fund to cover the registration fee.
To register email to let Diane know you are interested. 

Holiday Parade, Saturday, November 16, 11 am

The downtown Kalamazoo Holiday Parade begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16. (Pray for good weather!) Come on down and watch a terrific parade of floats, college and high school bands, and giant character balloons. Don't forget to get some hot cocoa and donuts that UMW will be selling in the tower entrance of the church before and during the parade. 


Blessing Bags, November 17-24

The children will be handing out empty grocery bags, Blessing Bags, for our food pantry on November 17th with a list of items needed by our food pantry. Return the bags filled with items on Sunday, Nov. 24 so they can be blessed in worship on November 24th!  


"A Well-Founded Fear" documentary, Tuesday, November 19, 6:30 - 9 pm

Friends of JFON invite you to a film screening on Tuesday, Nov. 19 from 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. in the church's movie lounge.  They will be viewing "A Well-Founded Fear," a classic documentary filmed in 2000 is a unique examination into the asylum interview process. There will be a discussion afterward with JFON legal staff members, Kathy Purnell and Coral Cervantes. Film event is FREE. Popcorn and light refreshments will be available.  Click here for flyer.

"The Uncomfortable Truth" film showing, Thursday, November 21, 6:30 pm - 8:30 am

The Reconciling Committee invites you to a film viewing of a 2017 documentary film directed by Loki Mulholland. When the son of Civil Rights Hero, Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, dives into the 400-year history of institutional racism in America, he is confronted with the shocking reality that his family helped start it all from the very beginning.  A comprehensive and insightful exploration of the origins and history of racism in America told through a very personal and honest story. Refreshments will be available!


Annual Charge Conference, Monday, December 16, 7 - 8:30 pm

Kalamazoo District Superintendent Rev. Dwayne Bagley will preside over the church's regular business charge conference on Monday, December 16, 2019 at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary. Members and friends of the church are invited. The meeting will include a short time of worship, prayer, hymn singing and meditation, followed by nominations for next year's administration, setting clergy and directors' salaries. The 2020 Officiary/2019 Annual Reports will be available that evening. Extra copies will be available after Charge Conference at the Welcome Center. Be sure to pick up your copy.  All our ministry groups warmly welcome new people to join them! Contact any of the team/committee chairs if interested in joining them, or with questions.