Racism & White Christianity

The August Sermon Series will focus on Racism and White Christianity in America.  Pastor Joe seeks to align Sunday sermons with the United Methodist Church campaign to End Racism.


To bring visibility to the UMC’s Stand Against Racism, Pastor Joe has ordered yard signs for members of First Church to place in their yards.  If you would like a yard sign, please email Lisa Rogers  at jlrogers204@comcast.net


RETURNING TO the Sanctuary for in-person Worship

First Church has developed a plan to return to in-person worship on August 2, 2020.  This plan includes reduced attendance (50 or fewer), shortened service, mandatory face coverings, and social distancing.  Since we are requiring face coverings, First Church will provide them if you don’t have one.   If you would like to make cloth ones for the church, please contact the church office at admin@umcelmhurst.org. This plan will guide us during Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan.  As we move closer to this date, First Church will begin taking reservations for in-person worship.  Stay tuned!

Service of Lamentation ~ May 24

As we enter our second month of sheltering at home, social distancing, and the cancelling of our church and community events, Pastor Joe invites the congregation to a Service of Lamentation at 10:30 am on Sunday, May 24.

To create a  prayerful collage of our lamentations during this unexpected lockdown , all are welcome to forward a photo of yourself along with 3-5 words of what you are lamenting, feeling, or thinking. These will be gathered by Kathy Hansen and placed in a presentation for the Worship Service.

Please check announcements for Kathy’s contact information or contact the church office at admin@umcelmhurst.org.

ON-LINE HYMN SING coming up on JUNE 4

Hymn Sing 

Join us on-line for an old-fashioned hymn sing on Thursday evening, June 4, 7:00-7:30 pm.  From the last few summers, First Church music director Doug Peters will have culled a list of our favorites for us to choose from.  Organist Dick Stultz is ready to play any and all!!

April Letter from Pastor Joe

My soul longs, indeed faints for the courts of the Lord. Psalm 84:2

Arnold Belkin, 1951, Exodus








April 20, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

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

I am so grateful to the members, leaders and staff of First Church.  Your commitment to the ongoing mission of Jesus Christ is inspiring.  This whole episode feels like the Israelites in the desert escaping the oppressive yoke of the Egyptians.  Our usual structures of meaning and purpose have been suspended…births, graduations, weddings, funerals, etc.  We join all who lament these tangible losses.

We have entered a new ministry landscape and you have demonstrated your willingness to understand, adapt and continue. The church’s work continues because of your faithfulness to Jesus Christ.

At present, we will continue our level of ministry through online worship, fellowship, and meetings as well as wellness checks. We would like to hear from you so don’t be a stranger.  As the landscape changes we will evaluate and adapt accordingly.

With the assistance of the government, health authorities and the annual conference, we will monitor to see when we can safely return to in person ministry including worship.  Until then, we join in the Psalmist’s cry, “My soul longs, indeed faints for the courts of the Lord.”

Christ’s Servant,



The Reverend Joseph A. Johnson