March 14, 2020

Updates in response to COVID-19

Sunday March 15, 2020 Plans

8:15am - Service as normal

9:30am and 10:45am services (Contemporary and Traditional) will be combined into one blended service at 10am.

There will be no Sunday School (adult, children, or youth) or childcare tomorrow. We welcome children to sit with their families, or families to worship at home. An online activity will post for family use by noon tomorrow which may/may not include a video of the sermon. Those attending are invited to practice our FUMC protocols: please observe safe space (6 feet) and avoid physical contact with people outside your own household. Please use the provided hand sanitizer before and after worship. Please cover coughs and sneezes, and wash or sanitize your hands after. Please allow safe space between your household and other worshippers in your seating choices. Please stay home if you feel ill and call us so we can check in with you.

Anyone interested in meeting to discuss how First United can respond to the needs of the community during this unexpected and uncertain moment can meet in the Sanctuary at 11:15am for discussion and planning so we can move forward on a path of service and care.

In discerning God's direction, we feel strongly that we need to offer people the opportunity to worship God especially in this season. But we also encourage you to use wisdom, prayer, and God's discernment as you decide whether you and your family should worship at home or with us tomorrow and all future Sundays. Most of all, we want you to choose what is best for your family and your health.

Several of you have asked about streaming and while we have been working on it, we are not yet ready. Staff will be discussing this week what is possible. Like you, we are taking this one day at a time. Please continue to check Facebook and our website under announcements for future COVID19 updates.

Know that we are actively praying for you all.

March 13, 2020

First UMC is concerned for the safety and health of all our Chambersburg neighbors and friends. We are actively praying, watching reports and working through effective safety measures for the COVID19 virus.

We believe that COVID19 poses a significant threat to the wellbeing of our community, and therefore want to put the best practices in place that will help us all stay healthy.

Here are some things you can do to help keep us all safe:

If you have any symptoms of illness, we ask you to care for yourselves and also others and stay home, seeking medical attention if necessary. Please call the church to let us know you are ill, so we can check in on you and pray for you.

Use hand sanitizer offered in common areas before eating anything, or after coughing or sneezing. We invite everyone to wash or sanitize before joining in a class or worship service. (Jesus makes us all clean! 🙂 ) Medical experts tell us also to refrain from touching your eyes, nose and mouth to limit your exposure to the virus.

If you cough or sneeze, please use your arm or tissue. Please discard your tissue immediately and wash your hands. (We will understand if you need to step out of worship or your group to keep us all safe.)

Please be sensitive that some people are of greater risk than others. Keep a safe distance (6 feet) from others. Our older adults will appreciate and remember a card more than a hug and a potentially dangerous infection. Please remember even younger members care for family members or may have had chemo in the recent past. Send cards, not hugs.

All meeting areas will now have a basket of sanitizing supplies. Please disinfect your classroom/meeting space before your group leaves following the instructions in the basket. This will help us disinfect even more frequently than once a week in prime meeting areas. It also allows us to serve each other.

Please understand if our greeters hold the door rather than shake your hand. They are not unfriendly, they are simply limiting your exposure to germs on the door handles, and serving as gatekeepers for the House of God. Thank them and wave and cheer them on! Remember,”I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of the Lord………”

Keep your sense of humor. It will help your immune system, but also help us be flexible. Thankfully, we rarely experience this kind of threat to our health and wellbeing, so let’s be grateful for our wonderful God and seek creative ways of being church. This is a good time for God to teach us how to do church in ways “that we have never done before.” Let’s use this season as a chance for God to do something good out of difficult circumstances and try new ways of serving others that might actually reach our community and us!

And lastly….

Pray. Pray for your family, and others you know. Pray for medical professionals who will be working the front lines and trying to help all of us while exposing themselves to illness. Pray for those who are most vulnerable, including those with limited resources who cannot afford to buy extra food or have no health care. Pray for First UMC and all churches, and prayerfully consider how to continue to support the church in this season of disruption. Pray for holy imagination for ways we can be the church even if personal contact (and in some cases attending church) are limited.

Most of all, we are in this for the long haul, together. If you or your family’s needs would be better served by playing it safe and staying home, stay home. We are on a journey together, and you are a cherished part of Christ’s body in the building on Second Street or in your home. Wherever you are, you are a member of the Body of Christ.

Psalm 91. Let’s believe that God is greater than the COVID-19 virus, and let God’s goodness consume our thoughts so fear may have no home in us.

God bless you all.
Pastor Cathy

Celebration of Life

First United is celebrating the life of Dick Vaughn, husband of our Director of Congregational Care, Gail Vaughn.

Richard Leroy ‘Dick’ Vaughn, 80, of Chambersburg, passed from this life to the next on Tuesday February 18, 2020 at the Chambersburg Hospital following a lengthy illness. Born on April 7, 1939 in Chambersburg PA, he was a son of Everett & Margaret (Argenbright) Vaughn.

Dick was a graduate of Chambersburg Area High School and served in the U S Air Force. He was employed as a Fire Apparatus driver for the Borough of Chambersburg, for 30 years. He held many part time jobs, including The Butcher Shoppe, during his working career. He was a member of First United Methodist Church and the Franklin Fire Company,

He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Gail T (Jones) Vaughn, 3 children, Chad (wife, Jen) Vaughn of Laurel MD, Michelle (husband, David )Hall of Marysville, PA, Amy (husband, Eric) Simmons of Elliotsburg PA, & brother Terry (wife, Kathy) Vaughn of Chambersburg, 4 grandchildren and several nieces & nephews. He was preceded in death by 2 brothers and 2 sisters.

Dick enjoyed fishing, hunting, playing cards and enjoyed his collectibles.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:30 p.m. on March 1, 2020 at the First United Methodist Church, 225 South Second Street in Chambersburg. The Rev Cathy Boileu will officiate. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service on Sunday at the church.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First United Methodist Church, 225 South Second Street Chambersburg or Franklin Fire Company at 185 West King Street Chambersburg.

Ash Wednesday Service

Join us on February 26 for our Ash Wednesday Service

7pm in the sanctuary

Before the service, there will be prayer stations for individuals and families, kids too. The prayer stations will be set up in our Family Life Center.

Women’s Connect Group

9am on Saturday February 15, 2020 at First United

Greetings, sisters!

Let's connect with one another for prayer, conversation, worship and encouragement. Women's Connect is an informal gathering once a month for women and is open to all women of the community.

We will meet in the Connections Cafe.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Service of Lights

Monday December 9th at 7pm in the Sanctuary

The Christmas season can be a beautiful time of lights, music and faith. But for the soul who grieves or for the family experiencing separation across miles, Christmas can be a challenge. The carols that once brought us joy are difficult to listen to. The lights of Christmas that once lit our hearts now just seem to remind us of what we have lost. We feel strangely out of place.

The service of lights is a worship experience designed to offer the true hope of Christmas, Christ, to those who grieve and those who find the holidays a little darker this year. A gentle service of inspirational music, readings and the lighting of candles for those we remember.

Christ came most of all for those who grieve.

Team Haiti

Love Cookies?

Team Haiti is selling cookie dough from Butcher Shoppe to benefit our church's mission in Haiti.

Order now by November 6th!

Pick up Saturday November 23rd from 10am - 12pm

Watching Carbs?

You can order Butcher Shoppe Coffee as well!