Christmas cantata: “The Heart of Christmas”

The Chancel Choir will present Pepper Choplin’s Christmas cantata, “The Heart of Christmas” on Sunday, December 18 at 10:00 am.

The Christmas story found in St. Luke’s gospel is told musically through the creative use of various musical styles, ranging from bluegrass to traditional carols.  Come join with us as we worship the newborn King.  Fellowship will follow in the FLC.


In Today's Service:

Diaconal Minister of Music - Linda Peppernick

Acolyte  - Landyn Stottlemyer

Reader - Linda Peppernick

The altar flowers are placed to the glory of God and in loving memory of of their son Bradley Scott who passed away December 13, 2021 by his parents, Ted and Denise Lucas and family.

The centerpiece is given to the glory of God by John Ile in loving memory of his wife Anna Mae who would have celebrated her birthday on December 15.

 To place flowers contact Bette Renshaw (717-263-3660)


Bicentennial Spotlight

ADVENT DEVOTIONAL BOOKLETS are available for pick up at the Welcome Center.

Did you know that if you can’t make your preferred Sunday morning service, you can come Thursday Night for a brief but meaningful service and stay for a delicious dinner?

At First Church you can!

It's called Dinner Church and you are welcome to join us every week to connect with God through worship and with our community through food and conversation!


Hold the cookie baking! The YMCA has moved the date a week later! Sam’s Kids Program at the YMCA 6:30-8:00 ** Tuesday, December 20th **  We are looking for homemade cookies to be placed in the church kitchen by noon December 20th and marked for “Sam’s Kids.”  Also, monetary donations toward the pizza meal. See Susie Kunkle 717-352-2562

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).

Donations can be made in person, by mail or through online giving.


Children's Ministry

Family Worship FAQs

Childcare available for 0-4yrs on December 18 at 10am for the Cantata.

Pray with us and/or for us (see below) Tuesdays at 2:52pm!

2022-2023 Parent Information Packet (Digital)

Prayer Partner December Focus: Thank God for putting a plan into action to make a way for us to have a relationship with God now and forever! Thank God for being a God who can do anything, yet still chose to send a Savior in such a humble and unexpected way! Thank God for the unending love that is communicated through the gift of Jesus. Ask God to help kids remember that Jesus is the greatest gift, better than any physical gift they could ever receive. Thank God for the excitement of the season and that we DO get to celebrate with gifts and fun traditions.

Visit First for more

Youth Group

Illuminate Youth meets regularly at the church on Wednesdays from 6-8pm through December 14.

FUMC Boys Basketball Team, grades 9-12!  Practice starts Monday, October 3 from 7 to 8:30 and will be the same time every Monday. Games begin in early January.  Parents, please contact Bob Byers (717-816-6976).  No experience necessary.

Visit for more

Hungry Hearts

We need a team to tear down Hungry Hearts on Thursday and to set up for Sunday service. This is a big ask -Huge! It's also a big need of the church. 

Visit Hungry Hearts

Women Connect

Next Gathering: December 17, 2022

Team Haiti/Missions

THE OLD KNIT, CROCHET MARKETPLACE will be open Sundays starting November 27th in between church services and after services until Christmas.  Come do some Christmas shopping with us.   Proceeds will support UMCOR. Thank You

Joyful for Jesus  -Today! Help assemble gift baskets from donated items 11:00-12:30 in the basement Faith & Fellowship classroom. Join in the fun Friday, December 16 from 1:00-6:00 to share Christmas joy with our neighborhood community.  1:00-3:00 timeslots are full, elves are needed from 3:00-4:30 and 4:30-6:00 to pass out cookies and escort shoppers to the basement to choose a gift, help shoppers wrap their gifts, and share the love story of Jesus. Our Joy for Jesus inspires us to share His gifts as well as His Good News. Thanks to all of you who have donated gift baskets. Bakers: Dozens of homemade cookies would be appreciated.  For details, see Susie Kunkle or call 717-352-2562


Pastoral Care Ministries

GriefShare -Help and encouragement after the death of a loved one - is a special weekly (13) seminar and support group designed to help you rebuild your life.  We know it hurts and we want to help. New Session Starts: Sept. 12 - Nov. 28   1:00 - 3:00 pm  in the Alda Bower Classroom.

Stephen Ministry is here to walk with you through difficult journeys.

Visit Pastoral Care Ministries


Weekday Welcome Desk Help Needed.  If you can provide coverage at the welcome desk on Mondays OR be a backup when we have a need Tuesday –Thursday, from 9 o’clock to noon, please contact Stacey at 717-263-8491 or

New Years Day Service is a Combined Worship in the FLC at 10am.

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.

Discernment Meetings

Thank you to everyone who attended the information/discernment meetings on November 20th and December 8th.  Thank you for the loving spirit of the discussion on what is a difficult topic of conversation.  The previously announced date of January 8th for voting our discernment regarding First Church and the United Methodist Denomination has been postponed to sometime in February.  We will announce the day as soon as it is available.

The leadership team and the pastor hope to be afforded the opportunity to engage in conversations with Sunday school classes and small groups for further information discernment.

Three Links for further information are listed below.

UMC Official facts about disaffiliation.

The views/opinions expressed in the following links do not necessarily represent those of the leadership of First Church. 

Reconciling Ministries - Progressive movement (started in the 1980s) This is not a church denomination; nor is it affiliated with just one denomination. This is an organization that exists to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and help other churches do the same.

People Need Jesus - A website/blog for the Global Methodist Church led by Chris Ritter who sits on the Global Council of the Wesleyan Covenant Association. Please be aware that readers who are sensitive may find comments on the blog triggering/offensive/political. It is always a good idea to avoid comment sections altogether.

Prayers for Healing

Don Nolder

Gideon Hill

Bobbi Snyder

David Kauffman

Jenny Barnes

Jina Zook

Jan Horst

Gary Gettle




Prayers for Our World

Clean air and water for every child of God.

For an end to the invasion of Ukraine.

Wisdom for all government leaders.

God's intervention in the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

Relief for those dealing with severe weather - heat, drought, floods.

Healing for our divided country, nations, and leaders.

All Military and Law Enforcement and First Responders and Essential Workers.

Prayers for Church Ministries, Events and Special projects

Stephen Ministry

First Lights Children's Ministry

Illuminate Youth Ministry

Hungry Hearts Ministry

Grief Share

Joyful for Jesus

Discernment talks/conversations
Prayers needed for these members with long term concerns:

Dick Jenkins

Don Nolder

Shirley Jones

Mary Butts

Linda Leidig

Lucille Lower

Vicki Leisher

Deb Ewing

Connie Love

Jane Pensinger

Barb Armstrong

Susie Bulger

Kathy Beaston

Don Ardery

Ron Diehl

Wayne Gettel

Steve Hessong

Dottie Vidil

Ed Wentz's Daughter and Son-in-law

Prayers of Comfort, Peace and Condolence

Wisdom, strength and comfort for in-home caregivers.

Families struggling with grief and loss.

Families struggling with housing and financial issues.

Families struggling with reconciliation and forgiveness.

Peace for those dealing with anxiety.

Faith for those who struggle to believe in what they cannot see.


Posted in Being the Church.