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First Church Response to the Coronavirus

Dear First Church Family,

The coronavirus pandemic (COVID 19) is affecting virtually every aspect of life. First Church is committed to keeping you informed about our responses as a congregation. Unless we receive new directives or information from the government, we plan to hold all Sunday activities and services as scheduled. Please keep the following in mind during the coming days:

First, hold on to the promises of God during this unsettling time. Isaiah 41:10 teaches “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” It is easy to be overcome with fear and anxiety given the many unknown aspects of this virus and the stress of the major disruptions to our lives. Even when our circumstances are challenging, God is with us. Many may question the existence or grace of God during times of crisis, but we, as people of faith, remember that God has not promised that we will live without difficulties. God promises to be with us through them.

Second, know that we are taking extra measures to keep our facility sanitized. There will be several places where hand sanitizer will be available. We are doing extra cleaning in high traffic areas and on high use surfaces, also.

Third, we ask that if you have any symptoms, please consider the well-being of others in our community and join our worship service online rather than attending in person. Illness is a legitimate reason not to come to church. Also, if you are a member of a group that is especially vulnerable to this virus, make the best decision for yourself. If you are uncomfortable subjecting yourself to the risk, we understand.

Know that God loves you. So do we, and this too shall pass. If you are aware of someone in need of assistance, please call or email the church.

Lastly, we encourage members of our community to stay updated with the best possible guidance. Please visit any of the agencies below for more information about the coronavirus COVID19:

With Christ’s Love,
Pastor Scott

Ever wonder how to handle hard times? Join us tonight!

Everyone faces difficulties. Sometimes the challenges of life can be overwhelming. Tonight out Bible study group will be exploring a story in scripture that addresses these issues directly. One man experienced more hardship than most of us can fathom. Join us and see how his experience can guide us through life’s toughest moments.

We’re meeting tonight at 7:00 at the church at 332 Baynes Street, which is at the corner of Baynes at Potomac. All are welcome!

Recent News About the United Methodist Church

Some of you may have seen the United Methodist Church in the news recently. A group of bishops and other leaders put forward a plan for the United Methodist Church as a whole to separate into at least two denominations because of the longstanding disagreement over the issue of fully including LGBTQ people. Both the church’s history on this issue and the proposed plan, called the Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation, are complex. Click on the title to read the document. Some of what has been reported in national outlets is not entirely accurate. We will talk about this in greater detail over the coming days. For now, understand this:

First, to any child of God who has been harmed, cast out, or silenced by any faith community or individual claiming to represent Jesus Christ, know that First Church is a safe and welcoming place. You are loved just as you are, and there is a place for you here.

Second, the United Methodist Church has not split. The proposal is the beginning of a long process that will culminate in an official decision at the denomination’s General Conference in May. There will also be work to do after the conference depending on what the delegates decide.

Third, this doesn’t impact the day to day life of First Church at all at this point. We will keep loving God and loving our neighbors in every way that we can.

If anyone has questions, feel free to email, call, or text the church.

Help During a Hard Season

The holiday season can be especially difficult for those who have experienced the death of a loved one. If you are in a time of grief, this program can be very helpful. Join us tonight for a conversation that helps with different aspects of grief and ways to make progress in your healing.

Christmas Eve

The anticipation and excitement are building. This Christmas Eve in the middle of all of your preparing, wrapping, cooking, traveling, and other tasks, make sure that you take time to remember the incredible truth at the heart of it all. God loves us so much that:

“For to us a child is born
To us a son is given
and the government will be on His shoulders
and He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, and Prince and Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

All are welcome at First Church tonight at 7:00 for a candlelight service to honor the birth that changed the world and still changes all of us.

Griefshare Tonight

Join us tonight for the next session of our grief support program, Grief Share. It doesn’t matter whether you have faced a loss recently or if it was some time ago, these conversations will help you move forward. Everyone experiences the death of someone close to them differently. Having a community of people to share the walk with you makes the challenges easier to overcome. Join us at the church tonight at 6:30.

Find Support During a Time of Loss

This Thursday at 6:30 we will begin our grief support ministry. GriefShare is an opportunity for anyone processing a death in their life to find support and community as they work through the feelings and struggles that are common during those times. Please join us and discover that you do not have to handle these issues alone.

Help Victims of Hurricane Dorian

First Church is focusing on building cleaning kits, also known as flood buckets, this month to help those suffering from natural disasters like Hurricane Dorian. Click here to watch a video to see what’s involved in putting a cleaning kit together. You can drop off any of the items requested at the church on Wednesday or Friday evenings from 6:00 – 8:30 or Sunday mornings from 9:00 to 1:00. You can also make a financial donation to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) at the following link: https://www.umcmission.org/umcor/give/how-to-give.