Family Foundations (Room 304) is a class that meets during the Sunday School hour specifically to create connection and grounding for parents of young children. The time is supplemented by an online Facebook group under "Family Foundations - First UMC." Because of the challenges of family life, drop-ins to the class are encouraged, and babies/young toddlers are always welcome. We will have coffee ready for you as we begin the new program year by celebrating imperfection and whole-hearted living with Brene Brown’s book, “The Gifts of Imperfection.” Books available for $12 in class.
We are offering an 8-week class which will be a beautiful blend of spirituality and social justice. Participants will study, reflect, and dialogue on critical realities of poverty and consumerism through the lens of the Gospel and the teachings of our faith. The class is called Just Faith and will meet on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m., beginning on October 24 and ending on December 19 (skipping November 21, Thanksgiving Eve).We will be using three books as our resources. One is written by Fr. Greg Boyle who has worked with gangs in LA for decades, titled Barking to the Choir. Another is the deep spiritual work of Joyce Rupp. Rupp's book Prayer Seeds is a gathering of blessings, reflections, and poems for spiritual growth. The last book is an indictment of our affluence and a challenging read. Written by Elizabeth L. Hinson-Hasty, the Problem of Wealth presents a radical vision, that instead of focusing on the problem of poverty we should reverse the equation and see the processes of wealth creation as the problem. Those who have taken Just Faith classes in the past have found their lives, faith, and work inspired to help them to birth the following ministries at First UMC: Justice for Our Neighbors, You Are Not Alone, Helping Our Neighbors, and the Dream Team.
Sip 'N Sing returns December 2-16, 2018! A holiday tradition returns! Come to the Parlor during the Sunday School hour (9:30-10:30) for fellowship and holiday singing. Bring your voice—whether it is in tune or not—and open your heart to receive the Advent spirit. This is a fun gathering when we sip coffee or hot chocolate, eat donuts, and sing some of the favorite Advent/Christmas carols. All are invited!
This year’s Christmas Offering will be directed to the following three efforts:
- The Pastor's Discretionary Fund - allows the church to assist our neighbors with emergencies such as utility shut-off notices, funds to secure housing, or help with a car repair or gas.
- Wesley Foundation - is a United Methodist campus ministry open to all in the Kalamazoo community, including the cities' college campuses.
- Grow Hope Globally - formerly known as Foods Resource Bank, this response to hunger is a link between agricultural communities around the world and smallholder farmers to help grow lasting solutions to hunger.
Our second Advent Season Concert will feature Frank Silva Jazz Trio. With Frank Silva on saxophone and clarinet, the jazz trio will present holiday music that will sparkle and shine. Concert is open to the public, free will offering. Meet the musicians and enjoy refreshments after each concert.
Evening Advent Candlelight services are being offered for three Wednesdays: Dec. 5, 12 and 19 at 7pm. Come experience Advent and live into the wholeness and holiness of the complete season. Be blessed and be a blessing in this sacred time. With prayers, songs, and the flickering candlelight, we will slow ourselves down and prepare for the Christ child to come into our lives anew. Please join us for this holy time together.
Our third and final Advent Season Concert will feature choral scholars Isaac James, Joey Gottschall, Halle Shadrake, and Shannon Kelley singing a variety of pieces including holiday favorites. Concert is free and open to the public. Meet the musicians and enjoy refreshments after each concert.
On the fourth Sunday of Advent, December 23, we will have ONE worhsip service at 10 a.m. This is also the Sunday that the children will share their Christmas program during the worship service. Please join us!
The Christmas Story (According to The Four Evangelists)by Kristin AgudeloSunday, Dec. 23 at the 10:00 serviceFeaturing the children of our First Beats Music Ensemble and the children of the congregationPlease join us on Sunday, Dec. 23rd as we hear the re-telling of the Christmas story from the perspective of each of the Four Evangelists. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John will tell their version of the story, adding his unique ‘take’ on the events of the birth of the Messiah. Through their joint efforts (and sometimes humorous disagreements), the evangelists address the big questions of the season in a light-hearted way that gives the viewers a crash course in Biblical literacy. The story will unfold with all the sweetness of the babe in the manger. The tradition of our children learning the story through action, word, and song is a beautiful ritual. Come see the story as told by our youngest evangelists!
We will have ONE worshp service at 10 a.m. on Sundays, December 23 and 30. There is no Sunday School on those days, but childcare for infants and toddlers will be available.
Please join us in our Christmas Eve celebrations of the coming of Christ into the world and into our hearts. Family, friends and neighbors are warmly invited to come with you! Nursery care will be available at the 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. services.
5 p.m. Family Christmas. A Christmas service especially designed for children led by Rev. Daniel Duncan, Pastor of Children & Families Ministries. Includes lighting candles as we sing Silent Night.
7 p.m. Lessons and Carols. This traditional favorite led by Senior Pastor Stephen Charnley features brass music, choir anthems, and lighting candles to the singing of Silent Night.
11 p.m. Christmas Communion Service. This service with Rev. Stephen Charnley preaching, features choir anthems and holy communion, and concludes with candlelight and the singing of Silent Night at midnight.
Save the date for the Annual New Year’s Fest Downtown Kalamazoo on December 31! Everything starts with the Tuba New Year Band at 5:30 p.m. on stage in Bronson Park. There will be special attractions in the park as well as area buildings around Bronson Park. The evening concludes with the ball drop and fireworks at midnight. Visit the New Year’s Fest website atwww.newyearsfest.com for more information about this family-oriented entertainment around Bronson Park!It will be a busy evening at First Church as we welcome visitors into our building with shows in the Sanctuary and Wesley Hall. United Methodist Women will once again be providing sloppy joes and other desserts in the Youth Center. A Vespers Service will be held in the chapel from 11:15-11:45 p.m.We are looking for friendly faces to welcome visitors to First Church and direct them to the events. Work shifts are only two hours and everyone who volunteers will receive a free admission button to enjoy the entertainment all evening. Sign up sheets will be available on Sunday mornings in December. If you are considering volunteering this year, please be sure to sign up early so you can get the time slot you want. Please contact Dan or Sharon Bunker at 269.329.1196 (email email@example.com) if you have any questions.