May 8, 2020

Being the Church

Weekly Email from Pastor Cathy

Women’s Connect

In April, Women’s Connect gathered online for tea. 17 women joined in a Zoom meeting for scripture, worship, prayer, fellowship, and tea! We are planning another virtual Zoom gathering for Saturday, May 16, from 9:30-10:30 am. We will be sending an email invite with a link to join closer to the date. Looking forward to “seeing” everyone on Zoom until we can safely meet in person again. The theme will be: “Portrait of a Godly Lady”

If you would like an invite to their next function, email Robin Barrick or Paula Hepfer at

Men’s Bible Study – 6:30 am Wednesdays on Zoom

Our Wednesday morning Men’s Group continues to meet at 6:30 a.m. A time of men joining together for bible study, conversation, and prayer. Guys, if you want to plug in email John Hostetler at

Grief Share

Our ministry to those who have experienced loss continues to meet online on Mondays. If you are interested in joining, please contact Gail Vaughn at

Need A Pastoral Call? Have a Hospitalization? Need Prayer?

As staff is only in the building on a rotating basis, if you or anyone in your family is sick or not doing well, please contact us at If you would like to be included in the daily prayer list, please call me at 717-860-9307. Thanks for helping us stay connected!

Gail Vaughn

Director of Congregational Care

Exciting News From Our Youth Ministry

Every Wednesday night up to 100+ people gather online to watch Illuminate YouTube videos, and 20+ youth break into live sessions and zoom small groups. We are meeting every Friday on zoom from 7-9 with the youth for games, a devotional, and connecting!

Celebrating Our Graduates Sunday, May 31

To all our graduates (high school and college), we know this has been a difficult spring for you with many ups and downs! Not the senior semester we were hoping for! Nonetheless, First UMC wants to celebrate with you! (so that part is not missing!)What we need from you:

Picture or Video (with following information in the video) of graduating student to Collin Moyer at by Wednesday, May 27th (It would be great to have them send me a video recording themselves sharing the following information, but if they just send a picture and text, that would be okay)

2. Full Name

3. Where are you graduating from

4. (If applicable) Degree and Major

5. Current plan for next year

6. Who would you like to thank

Blessings and love on your journey!

Hungry Hearts – Shine!

Our community ministry continues to be a much needed and appreciated way of walking with our neighbors. We are currently giving about 500 grocery bags worth of food a week, when one considers the additional food given through our food bank and vendors. A recent study revealed 41% of American households are currently reporting difficulty paying utilities, rent, or food. We continue to hear stories from persons new to Hungry Hearts, saying they had jobs but now are laid off.

Recently, Hungry Hearts partnered with a company, who usually supplies the school systems with pizzas and now is left with thousands of pizza. Hungry Hearts was able to partner with and purchase a number of pizzas, which were joyfully received by our guests, and help a small business as well. Our Thursday night meals are given out with no leftovers – averaging about 130 every Thursday night. We also, through generous donations, have been able to continue the grab and go breakfasts Sunday morning at 10 am which offer 100 breakfasts to our neighbors, and support a local restaurant.

First Lights Children’s Ministry Live at 6 pm Every Wednesday on Facebook.

We continue to stay connected through:

Connecting to kids old school style through the mail!

2:52 prayer group – every Tuesday at 2:52 pm First Lights kids, family, and team will be praying related to COVID-19 2:52 because that is the verse for elementary kids Luke 2:52.

Addy and Owen Brubaker are leaving encouraging messages for postman and other essential workers on the bottom of her driveway and at her front door.

Visit for more information on everything Children’s Ministry related.

Want to Be Safe and Still Make Your Vote Count?

As a poll worker I have a vested interest in voting in the Primary on June 2. I encourage you to vote but wonder if a mail-in ballot is something you might want to consider. There is concern over protective gear for poll workers so the more that use the mail- in the fewer contacts that will be made. You can ask for a ballot on-line at The choice of a mail-in or absentee ballot is given. You need no excuses to vote by mail-in ballot. You will need your driver’s license number. You can also call 1-877-votespa (option 3). It’s a time when we have our minds on so much else but we all know this is important. May 26th is the last day to apply for a mail-in ballot and it must be in by June 2.

Submitted by Deanna Nolder

Need a creative outlet? Recipe for Chalk Paint

1 cup water, 1 cup cornstarch, food color Go paint a message of hope! Submitted by an anonymous fan of sidewalk art ? Send pics of your creations to and we’ll post them!

Looking Ahead

Many of you have been asking what is happening with the pastoral transition due to the pandemic. The answer is: we are moving ahead. Pastor Cathy has been meeting online with the Cabinet and Bishop Park, and is spending about 2 days a week in Cabinet/district meetings. While our actual move date from the parsonage is not yet known, Pastor Cathy will be starting part-time in the York District office in June, and part-time here in Chambersburg. Which means, May will be the last month of meetings for administrative teams with Pastor Cathy. Staff will continue to meet with Pastor Cathy as needed in June.

In the meantime, Pastor Steve has been joining us for various online meetings, and is meeting one on one with leadership and staff. He has already visited the Men’s Wednesday bible study, and talks regularly with Pastor Cathy.

Pastor Cathy’s last Sunday will be June 21, Pastor Steve’s first Sunday will be the first Sunday in July.

We also realize that as Franklin County is still in the red zone, it will most likely not be possible to have a full church goodbye celebration for Pastor Cathy before she leaves for her new assignment. Pastor Cathy and SPRC will be working on how to best care for our goodbyes in ways that are helpful and keep us all safe.

In the meantime, staff, Leadership Team and the Corona Response Team are all working hard on what it will be like to be the church when our county moves into first yellow, then green zones. Stay tuned for further details!


Due to the hard work of staff, leadership and a special thanks to Ryan Stouffer, First UMC has received a provisional approval to receive a PPP loan for the specific purpose of assisting with the salaries of our staff who continue to work hard during this pandemic. We are not certain at this time, however, as to whether or not we will qualify for the loan forgiveness program. We will keep you informed.

While the PPP would certainly be a blessing, and ease some of the financial challenges of keeping our giving strong in this time while we are apart, it would only cover salaries for a very short time. With or without the additional funding, the financial health of First UMC is dependent on the giving of its fellowship. The month of April showed a return to about 80% of our regular giving. The last two weeks in March were about 40% of our regular giving.

We thank everyone for making the extra effort of mailing in your offerings, or moving to online giving. The good news is because of the staff’s presence online and the sharing of what is happening in Hungry Hearts, we have also received multiple gifts from the Chambersburg community towards the food ministry. With the increased demands on our Hungry Hearts budget, we are grateful that God is connecting people to First UMC and our ministry through our digital presence.

Posted in Being the Church.