New Guidelines Issued for Gatherings

Worship with us online at home!

With new directive from the governor’s office to limit indoor gatherings to 25 people or less, we will not be able to be together in church this Sunday July 19, 2020. We can worship together from our homes!

Click here to download the order of worship and follow along.

Watch us on our youtube channel at 10am Sunday!

July 10, 2020

First United Weekly Email

Good Day,

This Sunday is our second back in the building, and I need to remind everyone of some important things to do and to refrain from doing to lower the risk of COVID spreading as we gather in worship. While some areas of society are opening up, we still need to continue observing the CDC protocols when we gather.

If you are ill or not feeling well, please stay safe at home and participate in worship through our YouTube channel here. This link takes you directly to our YouTube page and the live stream. Once you’re on the YouTube page please subscribe so you will be notified when new content is uploaded.

It is essential that you wear a mask in the building.
On entering the building please use the hand sanitizer offered to you.
Please practice social distancing with people who are not members of household. Six feet (2 arms lengths) is the prescribed distance between people. This is difficult to remember when we are with people who we care about but, it is important not to hug, shake hands or sit too close.
Please do not sing. I feel like one of the Pharisees in Luke 19 who demanded Jesus to stop his disciples from shouting his praise and Jesus replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” However, there is rising evidence that infection spreads in churches where singing is taking place, even with masking. This is due to the increased air pressure of singing, forcing particulates out the sides, top and bottom of the mask. Clapping or lifting your hands are biblical directives for worshipping God (Psalm 134:2, Psalm 47:1) Humming is fine. There are still ways of expressing your love for the Lord in worship without singing, difficult and strange as it seems. The Lord understands and receives the worship of our hearts.
Please only enter the building through the 2nd Street entrance or through the alley entrance off the parking area. We are not using the Lobby Entrance off the parking lot.

This Sunday in worship we will continue to look at the role of Faith in our lives focusing on the personal nature of Christian faith. Jesus said in Revelation 3:20 “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” NLT. How do we open the door to Jesus?

Additional Information:
FUMC loves to see families in worship together! To make the most of our current circumstances this summer, First Lights Children's Ministry will be offering an extended children's moment during Pastor Steve's sermon.

How it will work:
Before the sermon, Pastor Steve will invite kids to go with Brianna.
Brianna and the kids will go out onto the playground through the preschool classroom.
KIds (over age 2) will need to wear masks and we will continue to social distance on the grass, under a canopy on the playground.
We will not be playing on the playground equipment.
Kids will have a short lesson/activity (no contact).
Kids will wash hands and return to the sanctuary at the end of the sermon.
This is completely optional for parents.

Remember that if you are still only comfortable staying at home, we have The Sunday Show for kids on our First Lights youtube channel.

We are collecting new boxes of crayons for Mission Central. Any boxes sized 6-24 count will be accepted. Donation bins are at the front entrances where you enter for service and you can simply drop them in the bins. Thank you!

A Funeral service will be held this Tuesday, July 14th at 7:00 PM in the sanctuary for Grace Pace. Visitation will be from 1 – 4 PM and 6- 7 PM in the sanctuary overflow. Please enter and exit by the 2nd Street and alley side door entrances. Please remember to mask and social distance inside the building.

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!

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

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

If you meet as a group at First United and are interested in connecting online, please email 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

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 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.

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 ( 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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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