Invitation to Ash Wednesday Event

Pastor Joe and Children & Youth Director, Lisa Rogers, invite people of all ages to join us on Ash Wednesday, March 6, for a special observance.

  • Come to Wesley Hall at 6:00 pm
  • Discover the 3 Pillars of Lent:  Pray, Fast, Give
  • Receive Ashes
  • Share a Lenten Supper
  • Enjoy Multi-age Activities
  • Pick up a Lenten Devotional packet for yourself or to share with your family or friends throughout the Season.

Guests are welcomed and encouraged!

Suggested donation:  $5/person or $20/family

RSVP to Church Office 630-834-2440 or by Tuesday, March 5.


The Gospel of Mark coming to First Church on April 7

Experience the Bible as it was intended to be shared:  as Story ~ told by Heart ~  in Community!

First United Methodist Church is proud to present The Gospel of Mark as told by Prairie Wind Guild

 Performance  at 3:00 pm, Sunday, April 7. These tellers, who include our own Marlene Stratton, are passionate about bringing Scripture to life through the ancient-future art of biblical storytelling. The Gospel of Mark is the Guild’s flagship presentation. In 2 hrs 20 minutes (including a 10-minute intermission), just like an evening at the movies, experience the drive, intensity and mystery of Mark’s Gospel.

Suggested Donation:  $5

Pot-Luck Supper & Post-Show Discussion Join us in Wesley Hall at 5:30pm for an old-fashioned pot-luck!  Bring your favorite dish and drop it off  in the kitchen prior to the performance!

For more about Prairie Wind Guild: Tellers of Sacred Stories go to

A Spring Letter from Pastor Joe

O Sing to the Lord a new song  Isaiah 42:10

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Grace and Peace to you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Emma Hooper in her novel, Our Homesick Songs, tells the story of a Newfoundland family’s struggle to maintain home. Finn, the twelve year old son who plays the accordion, is gathering people to sing and to play music.  One day he asked the postwoman,

“Sophie, do you play any instruments or sing?”

“Hm. Well, I’m a decent bodhran, and, well, everyone can sing, can’t they?  Sure, sure they can. Everyone can sing.”

Isaiah called the Israelites to sing a new song.  This new song will be about God’s deliverance of Israel from the Babylonian Captivity.  This new deliverance will be similar to the exodus from Egypt but unlike the original; this one will be without travail.  God will do a new thing.  Listen to Isaiah:

I will lay waste mountains and hills,
and dry up all their herbage;
I will turn the rivers into islands,
and dry up the pools.
I will lead the blind
by a road they do not know,
by paths they have not known
I will guide them.
I will turn the darkness before them into light,
the rough places into level ground.

During Lent and Easter, we remember and participate in the new thing God is doing through Jesus Christ.  Like Isaiah and Finn, I invite you to come and “sing” a new song to God as we experience new exoduses in our lives from bondage and oppression.

Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the end of the earth!

Christ’s Servant,

The Reverend Joseph A. Johnson

General Conference 2019 Update

And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. 

Matthew 28:20

First, First Church affirms its position to welcome and celebrate as God’s beloved children, LGBTQ persons, their families, friends and allies.  We joyfully hold a place at Christ’s table for you!

Yesterday, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church passed the Traditional Plan with a vote of 438 to 384.  A slim majority of the church decided against unity (The One Church Plan) and for banning the rites of the church, ordination and marriage, for LGBTQ persons.

Several petitions within the Traditional Plan have been ruled unconstitutional by the United Methodist Church’s Judicial Council and knowing this delegates passed it anyway.  The earliest the Traditional Plan would take effect is January 1, 2020.  If and when it does take effect, it will mean significant changes for the Northern Illinois Conference and First United Methodist Church.

As of now there are no changes in The United Methodist Church’s polity.

A few words from Bishop Dyck,

What do we do the day after? First we grieve. Then we go and make disciples of Jesus Christ. Making disciples means becoming incarnate love and grace to each other and our communities.

Pastor Joe and other clergy from the Elgin District will be meeting with the district superintendent tomorrow morning.  Pastor Joe will be giving a digest and answering questions after worship on Sunday, March 3, 2019 in Wesley Hall.