In-Person Worship at First Church

To ensure the safety of our congregation for in-person worship during this pandemic, First Church has created a ReTurn plan which includes a shortened service, limited attendance, and requirements for face coverings and social distancing. On Sunday mornings, the Worship Team will be recording attendance, providing a sanitizing station, and seating you in especially marked pews.  There will be no bulletins or other materials handed out.  When you enter the Sanctuary, you will be able to drop your offering in the offering plate by the door.  On Communion Sundays you will be able to pick up your individually wrapped communion cup and wafer.  At the end of Worship, you will be asked to exit to the parking lot.  Please greet your fellow congregants while standing by your car.

September Sermon Series

When you let loose your breath, they are created,
    and you make the surface of the ground brand-new again.     
Psalm 104:30

Creation and the Christian

Season of Creation Series
Sunrise at Richard Bong State Recreational Area (Photo by Brian C. Smith)

For two thousand years, Christians have confessed God as the Creator of Heaven and Earth.  Yet, we have often disconnected our confession with our practices and ethics.

This series will proclaim that the the Spirit is breathing life into creation, suffering with creation and renewing all creation.  Worshipers will be invited to align themselves with the activity of the Spirit.

Sunday Themes and Scriptures

Sept. 6                 Forest  Sunday   Genesis 2:4b-22; John 3:1-16

God has placed us in creation.

Sept. 13               Land Sunday      Genesis 4:8-16; Matthew 12:38-40

Our sin infects and causes creation to suffer.

Sept. 20               Wilderness Sunday   Joel 1:8-10, 17-20; Matthew 3:13-4:2

Joel’s laments are hauntingly prescient.

Sept. 27               River Sunday      Revelation 22:1-5; Matthew 28:1-10

Our salvation is on earth, fully restored by God.


Racism & White Christianity

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 contact the church office.


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 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!