Salt Creek Cluster Pulpit Exchange & Good Friday Observance

What is the Salt Creek Cluster?

First Church belongs to the Elgin District of the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church.  Within the Elgin District,  First Church is part of a smaller group that is called the Salt Creek Cluster — including churches from Addison, Bensenville, Elmhurst, and Wood Dale.

Pulpit Exchange

Children’s Word on March 17 with Pastor Hernandez from Faith Evangelical at First Church.

March 17, 2019:  Reverend Uriel Hernandez, Pastor, Faith Evangelical United Methodist Church in Elmhurst served at First Church.

 First Church Pastor Joseph Johnson served at Christ Church in Elmhurst.  




March 31, 2019:   At First Church — Reverend James Fu, Pastor, Christ United Methodist Church in Elmhurst.  First Church Pastor Joseph Johnson will preach at Wood Dale Community United Methodist Church in Wood Dale.

Combined Service for Good Friday Observance

The Salt Creek Cluster churches will join us in observing Good Friday at First Church.  The service at 7:00 pm will include The Seven Last Words of Christ and music by our combined choirs.  The Rev. Darneather Murph-Heath, the Superintendent of the Elgin District of the NIC, will be preaching.


Help Spread God’s Love

Northern Illinois Conference of The United Methodist Church will be placing an ad in the Chicago Tribune for Easter that welcomes and affirms LGBTQ persons.  If you would like to help with this through a donation, please make your check payable to First United Methodist with “Chicago Tribune” written in the memo line and return to the church office (232 South York Street, Elmhurst IL 60126) or click on our donation button at the bottom of the page.

More information regarding annual conference legislation, NIC’s payment of the general church apportionment and reaffirmation of Reconciling status of local churches will be forthcoming.

Spiritual Growth with Sunday Morning Series during Lent

Be guided through the practices in which Jesus himself participated.  Genuine prayer can lead to a life of hospitality, mercy, and justice.

Join this study of Elaine Heath’s FIVE MEANS OF GRACE, Experiencing God’s Love the Wesley Way on Sunday  mornings at 9:15 through April 7. 

Malcolm X Book Discussion on March 31

” The future belongs to those who prepare for it today. ” Malcolm X


Doug Hotchkis will lead a discussion on The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X and Alex Haley. Originally published in 1964, Malcolm X tells the extraordinary story of his life and the growth of the Black Muslim movement. His fascinating perspective on the lies and limitations of the American Dream, and the inherent racism in a society that denies its nonwhite citizens the opportunity to dream, gives extraordinary insight into the most urgent issues we are still facing today.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X stands as the definitive statement of a movement and a man whose work was never completed but whose message is timeless. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand America.

No need to buy the book. The Elmhurst library has a copy and there are many copies available from our partner libraries through LINKin. However, if you are like Doug Hotchkis, you might want a copy for your own library so you can read it frequently.

NOTE:  The Church Library is undergoing restoration.  Please gather in Aldersgate for the Discussion.





Next Steps Post GC 2019

You know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  James 1:3

Dear First Church:

Since the general conference digest on March 3, many of you have spoken with me about what is next in the life for First Church and the denomination.  Let me suggest four things.

  • Attend to your spiritual life through worship, prayer and fellowship at First Church.  Here is a link for a daily devotional through the Upper Room as well as our church calendar.
  • Join the NIC Reconciling Ministries Taskforce for a post-general conference meeting on March 23, 1-3 pm at Downers Grove First UMC. Register here. We will talk about legislation, resistance, and action.
  • Bishop Dyck will host a listening post at Barrington UMC on March 30 at 2 pm. All lay and clergy of Northern Illinois conference are invited to attend.
  • Volunteer with the RMN’s national office in Chicago. They are swamped with the need for data entry help and other office tasks. If you could volunteer for half a day that would make a big difference.  The office is located at 123 W. Madison. Hours are 9 to 5. Using Spot Hero one can usually get parking for $15.

Brother James concludes his section on testing and endurance with these words:

Those who stand firm during testing are blessed. They are tried and true. They will receive the life God has promised to those who love him as their reward.

Let us cling to God’s promise through these days and remember that our love of God is our reward.

Peace, Love and Grace,

Reverend Joseph A. Johnson