First United Methodist Church of Kalamazoo

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


Upcoming Events

September Mission of the Month, September 1-30

Ruth Zielinski, a member of our church and Clinical Associate Professor, Program Lead, U-M Midwifery Program, takes 4-5 midwifery students each February to two refugee camps in Uganda where they train and assist South Sudanese women. There they will train women as doulas. Bringing along some very basic supplies listed below, Ruth and her students hope to give women and their babies a better chance at survival. Please consider purchasing any of the following and placing them in the basket in the church office:

One-sided razor blades
Soap for babies (Baby Magic or Johnson and Johnson)
Size medium or size 7 sterile gloves 
Disposable non-sterile gloves 
Size medium cotton women's underwear
2 packs of 4x4 gauze
New (or gently used) light-to-medium weight newborn clothing
Gallon-size Ziploc bags

Spiritual Formation: Shades of Light, September 10 - October 15, 1 - 2:30 pm

The Spiritual Formation Group invites you to join them for another book study that begins on Tuesday, September 10, 2019. Join them Tuesday afternoons from 1-2:30 p.m. in the chapel. They will be reading and discussing Sharon Garlough Brown's new book, Shades of Light. The book is a six-week study and exploration of depression, anxiety, cargiving, and the healing journey. With simple spiritual practices, this book offers a healing balm for those in the midst of a difficult season. Please call Jan Baker at (269) 342-4092 to reserve a spot and to order a book.

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 Introduction to the Bible, September 15 - October 13, 9:30 - 10:30 am

The Bible is the foundation of our understanding of and relationship to God. Yet how many of us think we have a handle on what it says or how it is organized? This class will provide a fresh, friendly, and thoughtful overview of Christianity’s Holy Book for adults with questions, concerns, and general lack of familiarity with scripture. In a supportive atmosphere of candor and care, this class will explore some major biblical themes, address the complexities of Bible interpretation, and introduce members to new ways of looking at, reflecting on, and receiving the gifts of scripture. This class is five Sundays (Sept. 15 - Oct. 13) and will meet in the lower level Fellowship Room.


Family Foundations Class, September 15 - October 20, 9:30 - 10:30 am

Family Foundations is kicking off the year with a look at Mr. Roger's and how he handled discussions of tough topics. They'll explore ways in which we can appropriately answer our children's questions and concerns in today's world—especially around such topics as; race, death, war, and disabilities.  This 6-week session will conclude with a group viewing of the new Mr. Rogers movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, starring Tom Hanks. The viewing will be the afternoon of Sunday, October 20, showtime TBD. 

Academy Class "Living Unafraid", September 15 - October 20, 9:30 - 10:30 am

There are many things in modern society that inspire fear and anxiety. The vast majority of fears have almost no basis in reality, however, yet they tie us in knots and steal our peace of mind. This class, based on the Adam Hamilton book by the same name, helps readers untangle the knots of fear and truly embrace Jesus’s recurring counsel: “Do not be afraid.” Hamilton examines fear as a common human emotion, looks at the ways in which we are limited by fear, and presents strategies for what we can do about it. The class will include Hamilton's suggestions for 30 days of short Bible readings meant to help give us courage.  The class will be led by Carol Hodges in the Parlor.


Family Fun Event, Friday, September 20, 5 - 7 pm

Join us for the first Family Fun Night of the new school year! Everyone is invited to gather at the Oshtemo Park Pavilion (a park located behind the Oshtemo Township Hall at 7275 West Main Street) for a picnic and playtime on Friday, September 20, from 5-7 pm.  Because of the recent news and county health letters on mosquito-borne viruses, we are pushing the time up by an hour (originally scheduled at 6 p.m.) and providing mosquito repellent spray to help follow the recommendations of county health officials.   


Baptism Sunday, Sunday, September 22, 11 am - 12 pm

Our next date for baptisms is Sunday, September 22.  Please contact any pastor if you would like baptism for yourself or a child.


4 Score & More Luncheon, Thursday, September 26, 12 - 2 pm

Luncheon and entertainment for our members ages 80+ and a guest, 4 Score and More will feature a home-cooked meal and musical entertainment featuring our First Strings Ensemble. Please RSVP by September 23, 2019 by emailing or calling the church office at (269) 6340. 

ASP Sunday, Sunday, September 29, 8:30 am - 12 pm

On Sunday, September 29 the Appalachia Service Project Team of 2019 will be leading worship and will be sharing their stories of “Being the Peace” in the Appalachian Mountains this summer. An element of this worship is a special offering for Youth Missions. This offering primarily funds the service trip with ASP in the summer of 2020. However, the Youth Tribe does a "Simple Service" every month locally as well. They may provide laundry soap to the food pantry, shop and deliver Thanksgiving baskets, or deliver flowers to our elders. They are all meant to share God’s Love and remind us to simply and wonderfully serve one another. It is their hope that if you are able to give financially to the special offering for youth missions, you would do this gladly knowing that you are a part of making "God moments" happen in the lives of our youth and the lives of those whom they are engaged in service. They look forward to seeing you in worship on September 29 and sharing their stories and visually showing you all the ways they helped to make homes warmer, safer, and drier for the families they served this summer. 

Stewardship Sunday, Sunday, October 13, 8:30 am - 12 pm

STEWARDSHIP 2020.  "Lives will be changed by our giving."  That is the theme for this year’s Stewardship program.  As members and friends of First Church, you are helping to change lives. Some changes are drastic, life-altering changes that help turn someone’s life around.  While others might serve to enrich someone who already enjoys a prosperous, blessed life. Either way, our giving serves the purpose of helping our neighbors. As it is written 
in Hebrews  13:16, "And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased." Our charge as your Stewardship Team is to highlight how your generosity makes positive change.

UMW Sunday, Sunday, October 20, 8:30 am - 12 pm

United Methodist Women will lead worship at both services on October 20. Special guest speaker is Ruth Zielinski, a member of our church and Clinical Associate Professor, Program Lead, U-M Midwifery Program, takes 4-5 midwifery students each February to two refugee camps in Uganda where they train and assist South Sudanese women. There they will train women as doulas—a woman typically without formal obstetric training, who is employed to provide guidance and support to a pregnant woman during labor. In the past five years over 100 women have completed the training by Ruth and her students.

Inquirer's Class, October 20 - 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 20 at 9:30 a.m. for six weeks. Pastor Steve Charnley leads this class in the chapel. He may be contacted at if interested!


Parents' Night Out Together, Saturday, November 2, 5 - 8 pm

Back by popular demand! Join in a time of adult fellowship while the kids have their own fun together.  Children will be cared for by background-checked babysitters in Room 203 with pizza, games, and movies! Adults will gather in room 203 at 5 p.m. before walking to an area restaurant for dinner, drinks and kid-free conversation! Childcare is $10/child or $25/family. Dinner at the restaurant is on your own. Dates for 2019/2020: Nov. 2, Jan. 11, Mar. 7, May 2.