Sunday December 5, 2021

9am Traditional Service in the Sanctuary

10am Sunday School All Ages

11am Contemporary Service in the Family Life Center (FLC)

Covid in Franklin County

As of November 29th, the rate of positive tests is still elevated at 15.5% in Franklin County. Our vaccination rate has not changed much with only 39.5% of the people in Franklin County being fully vaccinated. By comparison, Philadelphia County has a 4.9% positive rate with 59% fully vaccinated. Montgomery County has a rate of 7.5% with 57% fully vaccinated. In contrast, York County has a rate of 20.2% with 50.1% fully vaccinated. Of note, there has been a lot of resistance to masking and social distancing there. Also, a word about the omicron variant of the virus. Early reports from South Africa indicate that this mutation may well be more contagious but the severity of the illness may be relatively mild. In addition, the vaccinations already administered may not be as effective. Again, it is very early and as more data becomes available, I will pass it on. Until then, take the necessary precautions, get your flu shot and be vaccinated for covid.

Grace and Peace,  Dr. Hurley


COVID19 Protocol Update

First Church leadership asks that congregants wear masks while inside the building per CDC recommendation.

This is recommended NOT mandated.



Watch our services on youtube at 12pm!

We also have a dedicated phone number so you can listen to latest recorded service at 717-899-4JOY (4569).

We are asking folks not to mail donations through the US Postal service. Please hand-deliver them to the church, because we are having issues with receiving mail. We also have online giving available as well. Thank you for blessing us!

In Traditional Service this week:


Pastor - Steven M. Livermore

Organist - Diaconal Minister—Linda Peppernick

Reader - Rachel Gotwald

Advent Wreath - The Bistline Family

The altar flowers are given to the glory of God and in loving memory of Harold Barnes who would have celebrated his birthday on December 1st. Given by Beverly Barnes and family.


Children's Ministry

Pray with us Tuesdays at 2:52pm.

Worship Bulletins for kids to engage them with the service are available at the welcome tables.

Our Sunday Children's programming begins at 10am. Children ages 4yrs through 5th grade will meet on the 2nd floor.

The infant/toddler room is open for Infants - 3 years and nursing mothers on Sundays.

It is staffed with volunteers during the 10am SS hour.

There is a designated family area in the FLC for families with little ones at the 11am service.

If you would like to volunteer in this important ministry, please email Brianna.

Visit First for more

Youth Group

Illuminate Youth Ministry will be meeting in backyards this September on Wednesday nights. A full schedule is on the events page at

Visit for more

Hungry Hearts

Egg Cartons -We have more than enough and no more room to store egg cartons for HH so, please stop bringing them to the church. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation!

Hungry Heart's Clothing MissionThe Clothing Mission has remained open since last January.  From January until June, we asked our customers to fill out request forms and the ladies did their best to fill those orders.  Since June, customers have been making appointments to shop for themselves on Thursday afternoons.  During that entire time the ladies have been meeting on Thursday to size and sort donations.  When the elevator quit in August, several of our volunteers were unable to continue because they couldn't manage the stairs.  We also found that without the elevators we weren't physically able to move donations downstairs.  With the help of some special young men from our congregation we were able to move all our stored winter clothes from the NAPA building to the  basement and continue to meet the needs of our community.

With the elevator still out of order and our stored clothing already on display, we need to ask for donations of winter clothing, blankets, and housewares.  The catch is that we can only accept donations if you are willing to carry them to the basement.  The bins are in the Faith and Fellowship Sunday School classroom and items can also be left on tables in that room.  If you are unsure of where to leave donations please talk to Carel Fish on Sunday and I will be glad to give you the short tour of the basement. You can also call me for info.  (717 264 4354).  Please only donate items that can be used at this time (winter clothing) and that you are able to  carry to the basement.  Thanks to you all for making this mission possible as it greatly benefits our neighbors.


Visit Hungry Hearts

Team Haiti

Sponsors are Needed for Haitian Children at Kaendra's Place orphanage. School of Hope tuition sponsorships at $140 a semester or $280 for the school year.  Fall semester tuition is due now.  Talk to Pastor Steve or mail for more information.

Pastoral Care Ministries
Surviving the Holidays (December 12) is a helpful, encouraging seminar for people facing the holidays after a loved one’s death. Please join us on December 12 at 3:30pm at First United Methodist Church.

GriefShare group meets Mondays at 1:00 PM. For more information or to register for the seminar contact Gail at 717-263-8491 ext. 207.

Stephen Ministry is here to walk with you through difficult journeys. If you need someone to listen and to care, call Gail at 717-263-8491 ext. 207 for more information. Also, please take a moment to read this wonderful testimony from Bill Holland entitled The Story of Rosemary's Bible.

Visit Pastoral Care Ministries

Women Connect

Women Connect now has a private Facebook Group! All women in the church are invited to join!

Our next meeting is December 18. Hope to see you soon!


Christmas Eve Service Times

4:00 Informal in the FLC; 7:00 Family in the Sanctuary and 9:00 Lessons and Carols in the Sanctuary.

Sunday December 26, 2021

One combined service at 10 o’clock in the FLC.

Sunday January 5, 2021

One combined service at 10 o'clock in the Sanctuary.

Joyful for Jesus (formerly Joyful Jingle) gift shop will be giving out Christmas gifts this year by partnering with Hungry Hearts food distribution on Thursday, December 16th and 23rd 9 o’clock to noon.  Since there are several community programs focused on gifts for children, we focus on gifts for adults in our community that may not otherwise get Christmas gifts.  We are asking the church family for donations of men’s slippers, men’s gloves, women’s slipper socks, gift baskets and small kitchen appliances.  Also, wrapping paper and gift bags.  Sunday, December 12th you can bring completed baskets and other items to the Family Life Center, after the service and join in the fun of making gift baskets.  Several small appliances can be purchased from Kohl’s Black Friday Deals November 21-26 with mail-in rebates for final cost of less than $5 for Toastmasters and Hamilton Beach.  Thank you for shining the joy of Jesus to our community. Question? See Susie Kunkle or call 717-352-2562.

Mt. Asbury Retreat Center in Newville is hosting their 2nd annual drive thru Christmas Lights Show! This event takes place every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening from November 26 to December 19. ILLUMINATE YOUTH is volunteering at this great event, and we invite you to join us in helping!

Here are the ways you could join us and support this ministry:

  • Help at the Lights Show on December 11, and December 18.
  • Bake Cookies for the event
  • Donate to raise money for the Retreat Center

If you are interested in helping in any of these ways, or would like more information about the Lights Show, please contact Collin .


Important Note regarding upcoming events: If you are planning a church event, please contact Stacey in the church office so that we can coordinate all events in the church and are not overlapping ministries. Thank you!

Please contact the church about hospitalizations as we no longer are contacted when parishioners are hospitalized.

Photos will be taken in the Lobby on Sundays, beginning today through the 26th.  Lifetouch Photography has ceased their church directory operations so we will produce our own “in house” with some of our own fine photographers.  The directory will be available on line and through our own Church Center app as well as in print at a later date.  Each person/family will be sent digital copies.  Help us make this a success by having your photo taken!

Chancel Choir-Practice is held Wednesday nights at 7:00. All singers welcomed! Contact Diaconal Minister Linda Peppernick at

Post-High School Connections - First Church Friends: I am looking for people to connect with our post high age young adults. Check-in texts, notes, and emails are a great way to let them know they're a part of the family even when they may not be able to attend regularly. If you're willing to friend one of our post high young adults, please contact Beth Stahl ( or 717-375-8011).

200th Anniversary – 2022 will mark the 200th Anniversary of the birth of First Church.  We are looking for interested individuals to be part of the committee planning our celebrations. Please contact Pastor Steve at if you would like to help.

Evening Bible Studies:

Intergenerational Study -Interested in making connections between faith and real life?  In building intergenerational relationships within the church?  Consider joining this discussion-based Bible study at 5:30 p.m. on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of every month. Study is designed for youth Grade 7 or higher in the company of their parents. All adults welcome!

“Wednesday Bible Study” @ 6:30 PM and meets every Wednesday in the Preschool Classroom (Apple Place). We will be studying the book of Jeremiah.  Jeremiah lived and wrote in a dark time. Studying the ministry of the prophet Jeremiah, you will get a glimpse of what it is like to have a personal relationship with God, for God and a human to be together and you will discover how you can grow in your own personal relationship to God.  This study will also stream on Zoom.  Study guides are available to pick up at the Welcome Center or you can download a copy here.

Elevator Update -We have been told it will be 10 weeks from the time the parts are ordered until work begins which is the end of January or the beginning of February. The bulk of funds has come from endowment and a CD, leaving $20,000 to be raised.  To date contributions of $10,310 have been received.  Thanks for giving as we fund the remaining $9,690 needed.

Friendly reminder that if you need to take tables out of the FLC please return them by Wednesday night so they are available for Thursday morning food distribution.

Refugee Resettlement: Please contact Clint Bolte (717) 267-2157 to volunteer with helps for the family.  Donations can be sent to Congregation of the Sons of Israel, 209 East King Street, Chambersburg 17201—memo “refugee resettlement”.

Free Advent Devotional Guide Don't let Christmas sneak up on you this year. Prepare your heart and take joy in the spiritual journey that leads you to that holy day! Best-selling author John Piper offers 25 devotional readings to sweeten your worship of God's Son this December. Available to pick up at the Welcome Center, one per family.

YMCA Sam’s Club Christmas Party is December 21st – Thanks to everyone who donated teddy bears stored on top of the church family mailboxes.   We still need sign-up of 3 or 4 dozen baked cookies for the party placed in the church kitchen Sunday December 19th..  Monetary donations toward the cost of the meal of pizza, apples, soda and M&Ms can be given to Susie Kunkle.  717-352-2562.


Prayer and Study Group

FUMC Prayer & Study Group-

You are invited to join us on a new journey toward intimacy with God. We will be studying different prayer techniques and spiritual rhythms. We will meet on Zoom December 14th at 6:30 here.

Meeting ID: 869 2125 5975 Passcode: 7yWCpF

We use  Padlet to post our comments & experiences All the group information will be on Padlet. The link is  If you have any questions email Lindsay

Advent Study - In the early church, Advent was a season of fasting and prayer, similar to the season of Lent. It was a time of stillness and preparation, in anticipation of the birth of Christ. The Advent wreath is a simple practice of this anticipation, the light gradually building toward the arrival of the Light of the World on Christmas Day. The four Advent candles—Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace— also build on each other. Hope remains that Love will come for us, causing Joy to spread and Peace to fill our lives. Please consider joining us as we explore practices to make room for more hope, love, joy, and peace in our lives this Advent season.  We will begin as a full group in the FLC at 10:00 a.m. before splitting into smaller groups for discussion.  All are welcome!


A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. Proverbs 17:22 (KJV)

Pray that during this Advent season you become closer to The Babe of Bethlehem, our Savior

Healing for:

  • Sarah Baker
  • Brad Lucus
  • Lucille Lowe
  • Paul Bridgegam
  • Janet Jojhnston
  • Mike Zubal

Praise for Matt – he is home!

Continue praying for the people of Haiti & Afghanistan

Pray for our government leaders

Prayers for Norine Selby

Pray for all those who take the gospel to a broken world in need of healing

Pray for those who are grieving this holiday season

Surviving the Holidays Sunday 12/12 @ 3:30pm FLC

Pray for Stephen Ministry

Healing for those with Covid

Safety and protection for school children and those working in school systems

Pray for First Lights -Connecting the light of the church to the heart of families to ignite the faith of the next generation

Pray for Illuminate Youth Ministry

Pray for Hungry Hearts Ministry

Prayers Needed for:

  • John & Bunny Parson
  • Larry & Avis Guise
  • Al & Linda Lojacono
  •  Betty Upperman
  •  Bill & Mary Butts
  • Jack & Bette Bowers
  • Dean & Carol Crow
  • Paul & Erma Collins
  • Bill & Thelma Peerce
  • Kirk & Kathy Paul
  • Chuck & Dianne Salter
  • Dave & Joan Kauffman

Praise and Thanksgiving!

We celebrate the coming of Jesus this Advent Season!

Endowment Fund Status

as of September 30, 2021

The total amount of principal (market value) in the Endowment fund is $1,412,978. This is an increase of $59,086.28 from the beginning of the year. As you know we cannot spend the principal amount. We can only spend the interest earned. The amount available (interest earned) is $221,164. The amount available by category is as follows:

General $88,653   Music $41,017   Facilities $40,484   Missions $11,723 Scholarships $39,287

 So far this year the Fund has purchased a mobile sound system ($2,200) for use at the park and the church. We supported building/repairing a wall ($3,000) at the Haiti Orphanage for safety and security. We provided uniforms and books ($2,000) for the students at our school. Uniforms are very important in Haitian society so that the children are not bullied or targeted by traffickers. In the near future the Endowment Fund will contribute $29,500 towards the repair of the elevator.

Please consider contributing to the Endowment Fund. In addition to the support the Fund has provided this year, examples of past year support are:

Stain Glass Windows – Pastoral Support to Sierra Leone – Visits to Haiti – Adult Work Camp – Continuing Ed Conferences – Auto Repairs for a Missionary – Noah’s House – Video/Streaming Equip. – Sierra Leone Initiatives (5-year commitment)



Posted in Being the Church.