Unwrapping Christmas

7 Lessons on Jesus–A sermon series beginning January 8

These seven lessons on Jesus give us time to unwrap the gift of Christmas by considering the nature of the kingdom he proclaims and the his call on our lives.

Children’s Christmas Tree is Here! – November 27th

For children the crunch of wrapping paper and finding a hidden treasure within can mean so very much. That’s why for fifty-six years the members and friends of First Church have delighted in taking children’s names from our Narthex Christmas tree. This year the name tags will appear on Sunday, November 27th. Once again children from Lord’s Lambs Ministry in Pembroke and from Bethany Pastore El Buen Church in Chicago will be the recipients of our gift giving.  If you take a pair of tags from the tree, please remember to write your name and phone number on one tag, place it in the basket, and take the matching tag with you, so that you have the child’s age and size for shopping. After wrapping the gift, please securely attach the tag that you took with you to the present. If you prefer, sending money for others to shop for you, your monetary gift is also much appreciated. Please make checks payable to First United Methodist Church Elmhurst or use this PayPal link:  HERE  or use this QR Code:   

QR code for Christmas Giving Tree

Gifts will be delivered on Sunday, December 11, after worship.  Over the years, these Christmas gifts have brought joy to literally tens of thousands of children. Be part of the joy and take a tag or two from the tree this year!

2022 Advent Study begins November 27 with Tracy Daub’s Holy Disruption

1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus Christ, God’s Son, happened just as it was written about in the prophecy of Isaiah. Mark 1:1-2

Advent prepares us for the The Incarnation–God comes to earth in human form to be baptized, teach, heal, eat, and die–is what we celebrate at Christmas, and Mark shows us just how radical and celebration-worthy it is!

Sundays November 27-December 18 , 9:15 AM & Wednesdays November 30-December 21, 10 AM

Join us in reading Mark’s Gospel during December:

  • Day 1     1:1–28
  • Day 2     1:29–45
  • Day 3     2:1–28
  • Day 4     3:1–35
  •  Day 5    4:1–34
  •  Day 6    4:35–5:20
  • Day 7     5:21–43
  • Day 8     6:1–29
  • Day 9     6:30–56
  • Day 10 7:1–23
  • Day 11 7:24–8:10
  •  Day 12 8:11–9:1
  • Day 13 9:2–29
  • Day 14 9:30–50
  • Day 15 10:1–31
  • Day 16 10:32–52
  • Day 17 11:1–33
  • Day 18 12:1–27
  • Day 19 12:28–44
  • Day 20 13:1–37
  • Day 21 14:1–25
  •  Day 22 14:26–14:52
  • Day 23 14:53–15:20
  • Day 24 15:21–16:8

Looking for an electronic version of Mark’s Gospel? Try the Common English Bible Translation.

Birding with Pastor Joe

York Woods, September 11, 2022; 7 am-8 am; overcast and rain.

Hermit Thrush Photo courtesy of Cornell’s All About Birds

Four people took a chance today to go birding with Pastor Joe. We learned that DuPage County is home to 268 observed species and that York Woods was the first forest preseve of DuPage County. Woodpeckers were the most abundant bird family represented so we learned how to identify male and female wood peckers.

We heard many hermit thrushes and were rewarded with one on the path flitting its wings.

We recorded 14 species:

3 mourning dove

1 great blue heron

6 red bellied woodpecker

3 downy woodpecker

1 hairy woodpecker

1 eastern wood peewee

1 great crested flycatcher

10 blue jay

1 black capped chickadee

3 white breasted nut hatch

2 European starting

4 hermit thrush

10 American robin

6 common grackle

1 northern cardinal

Experiencing God’s Grace

This series explores the sacraments of holy communion and baptism.  In preparation for this, consider watching the 1987 movie Babette’s Feast (available for rent  on Amazon and Apple tv for $3.99 or free to checkout at Elmhurst Public Library).  Additionally, the library is hosting a series of events called  Common Connection: Around the Table that uses lectures, discussion and critical thinking to identify topics that influence the world today.  Pastor Joe would love to hear about your experiences.  You can leave him a comment by clicking this form.

Taize Prayer Returns to First Church

Sunday mornings: July 10, August 14, and September 11; and Wednesday Evening October 5 at 6:30 pm.  Taizé prayer is a meditative common prayer that uses uncomplicated and repetitive songs that allow the mystery of God to become tangible through the beauty of simplicity. 

Bible Study and Conversation about Gun Violence

Join in this three session Bible Study written by Bishop Sally Dyck, former bishop of the Chicago Episcopal Area.

Many of us want to respond to the continued tragedies of gun violence and we wonder what resources our faith tradition gives us. In her introduction, Bishop Dyck says,

This Bible study; Kingdom Dreams, Violent Realities; is important in helping
us identify and articulate the common good that is essential in our policies
and attitudes toward guns. We need biblically-based and faith-filled
conversations about this public health epidemic. Lives are at stake!

This study will be ZOOM only on June 15, 22, 29 at 11 am. Registration is required. Register here.

Click here for a digital copy of Bishop Dyck’s study.

Micah 4:1-4

4 But in the days to come,
        the mountain of the Lord’s house
            will be the highest of the mountains;
        it will be lifted above the hills;
            peoples will stream to it.
Many nations will go and say:
    “Come, let’s go up to the mountain of the Lord,
            to the house of Jacob’s God,
        so that he may teach us his ways
            and we may walk in God’s paths!”
Instruction will come from Zion
        and the Lord’s word from Jerusalem.
God will judge between the nations
        and settle disputes of mighty nations,
            which are far away.
They will beat their swords into iron plows
        and their spears into pruning tools.
Nation will not take up sword against nation;
        they will no longer learn how to make war.
All will sit underneath their own grapevines,
        under their own fig trees.
    There will be no one to terrify them;
        for the mouth of the Lord of heavenly forces has spoken.

Lenten Sermon Series Begins March 6

Study of the Hands of an Apostle,
Albrecht Dürer

When asked by his disciples how to pray, Jesus gave them these words:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name.

They kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

The Lord’s Prayer is a beloved prayer that is prayed daily by Christians across the world. The sermons of Lent will explore each line of the prayer and encourage you to pray as Jesus and his disciples did.

Prayer was the foundation of Jesus’ life and ministry and he called his disciples to pray with him.

Let us pray!

What Do We Do with Evil

If you don’t believe that evil exists, this adult Lenten class might change your mind. This six-week study will be based on Father Richard Rohr’s book What Do We Do with Evil?: The World, the Flesh, and the Devil. Father Rohr is a Franciscan priest and the founding director of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This small volume addresses three traditional sources of evil. Rohr describes how Christianity has focused almost exclusively on the individual, flesh level, while the world and the devil got off scot-free for most of Christian history. Evil is subtle and usually well-disguised.

Join us in a journey of discovery on Sunday mornings at 9:15 a.m. beginning March 6 and ending April 10, 2022.