A Message from SPRC

It's Not a Goodbye; It's a See-You-Later

A Farewell Event for the Boileaus

Greetings, FUMC Family,

As we prepare for Pastor Cathy's departure, we wanted to alert you of an opportunity to participate in a "drive-by farewell" celebration for the Boileau family on June 14th. Please read the details below carefully so that we can ensure a safe, meaningful event for all in a timely fashion.

On Sunday, June 14th, Staff-Parish is inviting FUMC attendees to participate in a "drive-by farewell" located at the church at 2:00 p.m. We would like for cars to begin arriving at 1:30 p.m. so that ushers can organize cars, allowing the celebration to begin promptly at 2:00 p.m. As you arrive, please park in the church parking lots. Cars will be directed by ushers, one at a time in an efficient manner, to drive under the canopy from the direction of the alley. As each car passes through the canopy area, you will have the opportunity to say a brief goodbye to Pastor Cathy and Mike and leave a card or gift with them as you wish. Cars will exit the area onto Washington Street. As one car leaves, ushers will direct the next car to pull up, allowing for a continuous flow.

We hope that you will join us in this farewell celebration. We appreciate your flexibility and understanding as we work through this transition in creative ways in order to keep everyone safe. If you are unable to attend the "drive-by farewell" and still wish to extend a good-bye to Pastor Cathy and Mike, you are welcome to send a card to the church via mail and we will ensure that the cards get forwarded to the Boileau family.

Staff-Parish Committee

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 raad04@comcast.net or Paula Hepfer at sphepfer@yahoo.com.

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 johnhostetler20@gmail.com.

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 parishvisitorfumc@gmail.com.

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 parishvisitorfumc@gmail.com. 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 xcultureyouth@gmail.com 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 firstlights.org 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 votespa.com/mailballot. 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 pastor4fumc@gmail.com 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.

May 1, 2020

Email Update May 1, 2020

From Pastor Cathy

Greetings, beloved of God.

This week we will be hosting a FB Watch party for worship at 10:00 am. Come watch with us online through Facebook and be able to share comments, pictures, and worship with each other via text. At First UMC Facebook page.

We know that some of you have been having difficulty viewing worship on Youtube. We check and double-check our videos on Saturday, so the links are definitely working. We've added additional links to try and if you still have difficulty, it most likely is the internet, which is greatly overtaxed with all churches worshipping online. You can: try again in a few minutes, sign off the internet and log back on, clear your browser history and try again. I’ve hit that grey screen and was able to get back into the worship videos just a few minutes later.

Ring Those Bells!

On Sunday, May 3rd, at 7 p.m. the Mayors Association of Pennsylvania invites all residents and houses of worship in the commonwealth to ring bells for 3 minutes. The first minute is intended to honor all hometown heroes; those working in health care, pharmacies, grocery stores, first responders, medical teams, and all who are putting their lives on the line to offering lifesaving services in the COVID19 pandemic. The second minute is to support all local, state, and national leaders who are laboring to help guide the nation through these difficult times. The third minute is to rally as citizens of the commonwealth and work together to defeat the COVID19 virus. First UMC’s bells will be ringing! Step outside, and if you have a bell, ring it!

Watch for another email coming out early next week!

Stay well!

Pastor Cathy

Covid 19 Building Protocol for FUMC

Updated April 14, 2020

1) The only persons who are allowed access into the building will be those working in designated areas deemed essential by the Governor (Food Ministry, Worship, Operations)

2) Face masks need to be worn at all times in the building.

3) At a minimum, hands should be cleansed with hand sanitizer provided at the entrances upon entering the building and leaving the building. Gloves are required of all in any food ministry while onsite. Please sanitize any areas before and after working in your area. Gloves are optional in non food activities done while in the building.

4) Everyone should maintain a distance of 6-10 feet from each other at all times.

5) If anyone from your household is hospitalized or ill for any reason, please refrain from entering the building for 14 days. As much as we love your servant heart, please do not come to serve if you or a household member are having any symptoms.

6) At this point, we ask that until the Governor lifts the stay at home order, that you would mail your offering in or use electronic giving. Access to the building will be joyfully restored as soon as we deem it safe to do so. What a day of rejoicing that will be! Let's overcome CoronaVirus.....together!

April 3, 2020

Being the Church

Email update from the Pastor

I saw a picture on Facebook that captured my reality these days. A children’s minister knew her Lead Pastor was preaching his Sunday sermon that evening, and she went through the children’s area finding every large, stuffed animal puppet, and creature she could. Then she placed them in the pews throughout the sanctuary, so he wouldn’t be lonely.  I love it!

It is a strange feeling to walk into an empty sanctuary, and preach. As Linda played our opening hymn this afternoon for Palm Sunday, I could see the choir ready to process. I miss the faces and the shared testimonies. The smiles and the singing. The prayers and so many things. But the one thing I don’t miss is your witness.  For that remains constant in the multiple ways you continue to bless others. Thank you.

I think this pandemic tells a lot about who we are as a church. I know that many of you have taken it upon yourselves to reach out and check on each other. Make soup or offer to run errands for those who need to stay in. Have come in to bring offerings, or served in the community food ministry. Have sent your children’s pictures they drew in worship, or responded to the sermon or worship with some word of encouragement. I know it is a difficult season, but it is a joy for me to watch the countless ways you are looking to give back, serve, and help us be stronger as a church.

I am so grateful for your willingness not to give up, or to sit this out, but actively find ways to be the church.  But most of all, we do miss you. And look forward to being with you soon.

God Sightings

Hungry Hearts 

Our community food ministry continues to meet a very real need in our community. Wanting to limit the exposure of both our servants and our guests, we now are open only on Thursdays from 9 am to 1 p.m., and then again for grab and go dinner from 5-6 p.m.  This evening we shared 145 dinners until we ran out. On Sunday, through a generous donation, we again will partner with Molly’s to serve grab and go breakfast from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. And every week, we hear much gratitude for staying open in the midst of the storm.

Being Good Neighbors to Our Healthcare Professionals

We now have a growing team of members sewing masks. We learned that homemade masks can now be used to cover and protect N95 masks. If you want to help, send an email to pastor4fumc@gmail.com and we’ll be sure to get you the pattern.

John Hostetler and Ray Kauffman have also teamed up to help FUMC adopt a unit in the Chambersburg Hospital. With a donation of $50/week, juice and donuts from Windy Knoll will bless a unit in the hospital for our health care workers. We are also hoping to offer notes/pictures of encouragement. First UMC has 3 weeks still available. If your Sunday School class, choir, or small group would like to partner with us, please contact John Hostetler at johnhostetler20@gmail.com.  This would be a great project for a family, group of families, or anyone wanting to give back to our frontline champions in the war with Corona.

Many of First UMC also placed luminaries on their front porch on Wednesday, April 1st, to show support for our healthcare workers. Let your light shine!

Small Groups/Sunday School classes

We now have several groups meeting online. This week our Chancel Choir met through a Zoom chat. If you would like to reconnect with your buddies in your class, choir, or other, let us help you!  Also, all men, there is a men’s bible study at 6:30 a.m. in Zoom on Wednesdays. To join in, contact Dr. Jim Hurley at jehtwo@comcast.net.   For help getting your group online (it’s easy!), contact Pastor Cathy at pastor4fumc@gmail.

Holy Week Schedule

For families, Brianna Renshaw has prepared a Holy Week box of activities for you and your family. Or, simply download the activities. Contact Brianna to access directions for this meaningful way to celebrate Holy Week as a family.  Look for her resource on the First Lights page, or in the email to parents.

Palm Sunday – Worship will be posted online by Sunday morning. Please go to our website at www.firstonsecond.org/watch and click on the service for the date you wish to watch. You can also see past services posted as well.

Holy Week Prayer Time – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 7 p.m. Facebook live on the First United Methodist facebook page with Pastor Cathy. Come as we pray and read reflections on the last week of Christ.

Maundy Thursday – our beloved Dianne Salter has prepared a service for you and your household to do together on Maundy Thursday. As communion is not possible while we are separated, this service will help restore meaning and worship to your remembrance at home. (There is no online service this night). The link to the resource is here.

Good Friday Tenebrae Service – Tenebrae service will be posted by 3 p.m. Tenebrae, meaning shadows, remembers the descent of earth into darkness during the passion of Christ. Scriptures, songs, the extinguishing of candles offer a powerful remembrance of the death of Christ.

Easter Sunday – 6:30 a.m. Online Sunrise Service on Facebook Live. Come join Pastor Cathy and Caleb Schelander as we wake up early to celebrate Christ’s resurrection! He is Risen! Indeed!

Easter Sunday Online Service – will be posted by Sunday morning. www.firstonsecond.org/watch.


Our giving increased significantly over the last week. Thank you for the way in which you have responded so quickly and been so proactive in reconnecting with your offering. This week our Endowment Fund authorized a transfer of $20,000 from available interest to our FUMC general fund. This was a precautionary measure, to make sure we were able to meet payroll and other commitments, but our giving this past week moved a lot closer to our usual level. Thanks so much for moving into action First UMC!  Thanks to the Endowment Fund Team for partnering with us.


It has been a joy to receive so many encouraging emails, pictures, and responses to worship. A special thank you to Dan Renshaw and Collin Moyer, as well as musicians and other staff, who have kept us worshipping online. It is a very labor-intensive endeavor, so when we hear back from you, it is a great encouragement.

I want to share on reflection from long time member, Joyce Horst:

As we have needed to find other ways to experience worship, it makes me think about places and times when folks had to worship secretly in small groups or obscure places.  Some may need to do that today.  I am reminded of my Mennonite ancestry from Germany and Switzerland that had to worship in secret.

I don’t know of another time in our country when we were not allowed to go to our church building.  Maybe now we will appreciate our freedom of worship which we take for granted.

One good thing about this happening at this time in our history is the fact that we can put our most recent technology to good use by providing another means for us to worship somewhat jointly.  I appreciate greatly the efforts of my pastor and other staff that are making this happen for our congregation and others with whom we are sharing.

Also, the fact that we are advised not to leave our homes unless necessary, makes me think about what many have faced in war-torn areas when it was not safe to go outside their doors.  We have never experienced that situation.  Well, again our ancestors experienced that too when Civil War battles were on their doorsteps.  Guess I sound like a historian and genealogist!

I believe we will all learn something from this experience.  I pray that we all will be brought to a spiritual awakening. May God’s peace be upon us.

Love to All,

Joyce Horst

March 31, 2020

Families with children and youth, don’t forget to visit First Lights (kidmin) and Illuminate (youth)! They have fun and exciting opportunities to connect online.

Also, if you are in need of a hard copy of the sermon, or know someone who is not online, just let us know.

Keep connecting. Keep igniting. Keep shining.


Pastor Cathy

Sermon Notes March 22, 2020

Make It Personal!

Questions for Reflection on the Sermon.


How has life changed for you this week?
What has been a blessing?
What has been difficult?

They Leaned into God Acts 16:1-10

How can you lean into God this week?
What specific time will you set apart to spend with God this week?


They Sought to Bless Others Acts 16:11-15 FLC


How will you make your offering to God each week?
Whom can you bless this week?
How will you do it?

They Worshipped Where They Were Acts 16:16- 26 (Gail’s office)



What space can you create in your household for an altar?
How can focusing on God calm your worries and fears?

They Offered Christ (Sanctuary) Acts 16:27-34


With whom will you share Christ this week?


March 21, 2020

First United Updates

March 21, 2020

Grace and peace to you through God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

As one can imagine, the parameters are changing daily for our ministry at First United and we want you to have the latest information.

Worship for March 22, 2020 will be online at 10 am. It will be recorded so you may access it any time after 10 am.  This week, you will see the music is separate from the sermon. You may click on any of the additional songs/testimony to enhance your worship. You can find the worship links on our Facebook page or on our website here.

For updated procedures in our Hungry Hearts Ministry please click here. We fervently continue to pray for our neighbors in the downtown community and all impacted by economic hardship.  If you feel called to help in the Hungry Hearts Ministry, please email hungryheartsfumc@gmail.com.

Our children and youth ministries are maintaining activity via Facebook, Youtube and their websites. If you have any questions for our children and youth leaders, email kidsedfumc@gmail.com.

If you meet as a group at First United and are interested in connecting online, please email pastor4fumc@gmail.com for suggestions and help in facilitation.

We continue to communicate with our neighbors by sending out printed notices in both English and Spanish offering assistance in the downtown community.

For daily prayers and encouragement, follow us on Facebook.

We are connecting with our members through a card ministry. If you would like to send cards to members at this time, please email kidsedfumc@gmail.com.

Some of you have been asking about how to send in your offering. We appreciate so very much the fact that many of you are determined to care for the church during this difficult season of separation. We have had a healthy start to our giving in 2020, and it would be sad if we allowed that to slip due to COVID19 limitations.  There are a few options:

First, you can participate through Vanco, our electronic website for giving. Or you can email office4fumc@gmail.com for assistance in getting enrolled.

Second, you can mail your offering in. Our mailing address is 225 S. Second Street Chambersburg, PA 17201. Staff will be in to collect mail during the week.

Third, you may bring your offering in to the church and place it in the box in the office door. Please remember though, our governor and bishop are urging minimal social contact. If you decide to drop into church to pick up something for a ministry, or drop off your offering, we ask that you not visit with any staff who may be present. Staff are continuing to work both at home and in the office, so when they are in we are trying to minimize their contact for their sake and the sake of their families.

If you have a question or need, the staff are working either at home or in the office, but please reach out by phone or by email. We want to protect your health as well as staff member's health during this time. 

There are many new ways of doing ministry emerging at First United, and we continue to want to connect, ignite and shine even though we cannot physically meet together.

If you have a need, become ill, or want to find a ministry you can do in the safety of our new parameters, please email or call us and let's find a way together. Take heart as we believe in the communion of saints, the mystical communion which binds us to saints past, present and future. Often times, we think of that communion as those who have lived before us, the unseen cloud of witnesses who surround us on our journey. Cherish that communion now, as that mystical bond of Christ holds us together even when we are separated into different households. When we pray for each other, encourage each other by email, text, or phone, when we give together, or witness to our faith, we are living into the bonds of Christ. Blessed be the tie that binds us even now, one to another.

These are difficult times, but we serve an amazing God who the gospels tell us can be present in all places, wherever His church resides.

Blessings and peace, First United. Blessed be the tie that binds.

Women’s Connect Online

Join Us!

Hello Friends,

We wanted to “Connect” with you, even though we have cancelled our regular gathering for Women Connect this weekend (3/21/20).  Here’s what’s happening:

Our topic for March was: Lent/Spring/Easter and we were planning to have a panel of 3 ladies speak about – The Cross (by Sandy James), Forgiveness (by Karen MacWilliams), and Sacrifice (by Paula Hepfer).    They have graciously prepared a version of what they were going to present for us to read, so we could share it with you.   After you read each part, consider these questions:

  1. At what time in your life has “the Cross” been most important to you?
  2. When is a time you were able to “forgive” or someone forgave you?
  3. Has there been a situation where “sacrifice” was important to you?

Enjoy the newness of Spring all around and reflect on your most memorable Easter.  If you had an item to put in our Easter Mission Basket (nail clippers), please hold on to it until the next time we meet.

I pray we can quiet our hearts during this Lenten season, when there is so much anxiety and fear in our world, so God can reveal how we can make His love & forgiveness visible to others.

Our faith reminds us that God’s presence never depends on our situation: God is with us everywhere and always! We may be isolated from one another right now, but we are never alone!  Many things have been cancelled because of the coronavirus; Love is not one of them.   Turn to scripture to calm your soul during these uncertain times and remember, your Women Connect Sister’s in Christ are praying for you - pause just now, and pray for as many “sisters" whose names or faces you remember.

Great is Our God & We are Safe in Him!

Your Women Connect Team,

Dianne, Paula & Robin


The Cross; Forgiveness; Sacrifice.

March 17, 2020

Grace and peace, Chambersburg.

In loving response to the Governor's additional restrictions, here are the most updated changes to First UMC/Hungry Heart schedules.

Sunday morning worship will now only be offered online. Join us at 10 am on our facebook and website (www.firstonsecond.org) or click on the video at whatever time suits you. There will be no Sunday School for March 22 or March 29 or small group/bible studies gathering at First UMC.

We are capable now of using Zoom for online meetings. We will be working to keep our essential teams connected during this time using Zoom.

Food Distribution - (Bread, Milk, Grocery bags) has moved to the alley door (gym) Tuesday and Thursday 9 am to 1 p.m. Our personal shoppers will assist you in choosing items for your family.

HH worship and meal: - No inside worship. Dinner will be take out.  Please watch for further instructions.

Clothing ministry - will be closed until we can safely reopen. If you have an emergency need for clothing, please call the church at 717 263 8491 or message us here.

We know this is a very difficult time for our neighbors and friends. Please let us know if you become sick so that we can be caring of you and hold you in prayer.  We know that many families are struggling with childcare and other challenges. While we have needed to secure our building and encourage you to stay safe, the staff and members of First UMC are very much still in ministry and want to partner with you in your journey. Please feel free to message us and we will see what we can do.

Please let us know how we can help you at this time!

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