A New Creation Sermon Series

In the coming weeks, First Church will be having conversations about faith and caring for the earth.  The Christian scriptures are rich resources for this conversation.

The conversations that we will consider at 9:30 am Sunday Worship:

April 14 A Special Responsibility (Genesis)

April 21 Facing Creation’s Brokenness (Romans)

April 28 A New Creation (2 Corinthians)

In addition, join us for two activities that will aid us in this conversation.

April 14               7 am – 8 am       Birdwatching at Churchill Woods.  Join Pastor Joe, an amateur birder, will help us experience some of our avian kin.  Churchill is a DuPage County birding hotspot because of its diverse habitats.  We’ll meet at the picnic shelter entrance parking lot.  Bring binoculars if you have them.  Possible species include: woodpeckers, warblers, water fowl and wading birds.  Please sign up here.

April 27               9 am – Noon       In honor of Earth Day, the Illinois Prairie Path corporation, in cooperation with the Friends of the Great Western Trails, several municipalities, DuPage County and other partner organizations, has scheduled its annual cleanup for Saturday, April 27 at 9am. Please note that exact time and date are set by each site coordinator.  We will probably be cleaning up in Berkeley, Bellwood or Maywood as that is where volunteers are needed.  Please sign up here.

Lent at First Church

Worship (Available on Facebook)

February 14 6 pm                              Ash Wednesday Dinner and Service (Wesley Hall and Sanctuary)

February 18-March 17, 9:30 am              Sunday Morning Worship (Sanctuary)

March 24       9:30 am                       Palm Sunday Worship (Sanctuary)

March 28       7 pm                              Maunday Thursday Worship (Sanctuary and Prayer Stations)

March 29        7 pm                              Salt Creek Cluster Good Friday Service (Prince of Peace UMC, Elk Grove Village)

March 31      9:30 am                        Easter Worship (Sanctuary)

                           10:30 am                     Scavenger Egg Hunt and Brunch (Wesley Hall)

Small Group

Wednesday    10 am                            Small group discussion on the scriptures with devotional booklet. Devotional Book available from church office for $3. (Feb. 21-March 27; Aldersgate Room)

Prayer

Six prayer stations will be located on the first floor (Narthex, Quiet Room, Aldersgate) for personal prayer throughout the Lenten season.  Each station is self-guided.

Service

Feed My Starving Children              March 23, 2pm                       

Schaumburg Packing Facility         740 Wiley Farm Court

Fall 2023 Christian Education Offerings

September/October

One Day I Wrote Back: Interacting with Scripture through Creative Writing by Jane Herring


Sundays, Sept. 24-Oct. 29; 9:15am – 10:15

Herring leads you to talk back to those scripture passages you don’t understand. Ask questions, explore your life, plead, praise and ponder.
She provides reflection questions and simple practical exercises to encourage writing.

November

Sundays in November 9:15 am

We will kick off this observation by learning about the Papal Bull
Romanus Pontifix, of 1452 that declared war on the non-Christian world and gave Spain and Portugal rights to conquest.

We’ll watch a 45-minute video for this first session.
We will explore our denominational teaching about Christianity and Native Americans the next three weeks by reading United Methodist Resolutions 6025, 3321 and 3334.

December

Advent 2023

Wednesdays, Nov. 29- Dec.20; 10 am- 11am
Sundays, December 3-24; 9:15 am -10:15 am

With the help of Bishop Willimon, we will explore the Incarnation of Jesus with his new book, Heaven and Earth.


“It’s not within our own power to make afresh start. If we’re to have a future different from the past, it must come as a gift, something not of our devising. What we need is a God who refuses to be trapped in eternity, a God who not only cares about us but is willing to show up among us and do something with us, here, now.”

ASIAN HISTORY & CULTURE

THURSDAY, MAY 25

Over 15 people gathered in Wesley Hall to participate in the Northern Illinois Conference’s Second Quarter Film Series highlighting Asian American and Pacific Islander History and Culture.  Participants watched Pew Research Center’s Being Asian in America.

We gathered over a meal catered by Ming Chef and heard a brief history of AAPI in North America by Dr. Dr. WOOHEE ANNE JOH.  She also facilitated four panelists reflecting on their experiences of living in the United States and the church.  You may watch this presentation by clicking this link.

The next film series is

PRIVILEGE, POWER AND RACE PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION

Thursday, September 21, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Different locations across the conference

Join us for this FREE event Comemmorating Juneteenth

Sunday, June 18, 2023 – 10:30 am-12 Noon – First United Methodist Church of Elmhurst, 232 S York St, Elmhurst

We will have music, soul food, guest speakers, education, and activities for people of all ages.

This event will take place outside but will moved inside if the weather is bad. Restrooms will be available during the event.

Youth Group Service Retreat

June 2-4, 2023

During the weekend the youth will serve at DuPage Habitat for Humanity, The Northern Illinois Food Bank, and The Night Ministry in Chicago. In addition, we will travel to the DuSable Museum of African American History to see the virtual reality exhibit “Step Into History, The March”.

For fun, we will go to an escape room and will have a lock-in at the church on Saturday, June 3.

Cost for the retreat is $25 each for Friday or Saturday, $50 if attending both days. All food, supplies, and admissions are included in the cost.

Click HERE to register.

Vacation Bible School 2023

When: Every Wednesday from May 31-June 28 – 5:30-7:00 pm

Where: First United Methodist Church of Elmhurst, 232 S York St. Elmhurst

What: Children will learn bible stories each week through art, music, crafts, science, recreation, and FUN! Dinner will be served each class.

Cost is $15 total per child. To register click HERE

Peace and Justice Studies during Eastertide

Peace with Justice Sunday is a faithful expression of shalom in the Bible. It calls the church to strengthen its capacity to advocate publicly in communities and nations throughout the world. The offering is administered by the General Board of Church and Society and benefits peace with justice ministries in the annual conferences and around the world. Half of our gifts stay with local ministries in this conference and half support the work of Church and Society globally.

Peace with Justice Sunday is June 4th this year.  In preparation for this offering, Pastor Joe will lead a 6-week Peace with Justice Study.  The study will explore what the Bible says, what the church says, what the facts say and “what do you say”.  The topics are: Peacebuiliding, Multilateralism, Non-proliferation and Disarmament, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Gun Violence, & Peace on the Korean Peninsula. 

Study will have two in person sessions Sundays at 9:15 am and Wednesdays at 10 am.  Begins April 23 and 26.  Sign up in Narthex or complete the form.

Christians Against Christian Nationalism Workshop

On Sunday, March 19, Elena Aronson led over twenty people in a workshop exploring the origens and expressions of Christian Nationalism. Christian Nationalism claims that Christianity should have a privileged position in the public square.

Aronson provided a worksheet that helped participants counter the features of Christian Nationalism with civically-engaged Christian responses. For example: “America was founded as a Christian nation” is countered with “America was founded as a place of religious freedom.

The unedited workshop is available on YouTube.

Additional resources include:

Christian Nationalism Reading and Resource List

  1. Articles
    a. What is Christian Nationalism? – Christianity Today
    i. https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2021/february-web-only/what-is-christ
    ian-nationalism.html
    b. Views of the U.S. as a ‘Christian nation’ and opinions about ‘Christian
    nationalism’ – Pew Research Center
    i. https://www.pewresearch.org/religion/2022/10/27/views-of-the-u-s-as-a-ch
    ristian-nation-and-opinions-about-christian-nationalism/
    c. Black, Evangelical and Torn – New York Times
    i. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/14/magazine/black-evangelicals.html
    d. White Christian Nationalists Want More Than Just Political Power – Atlantic
    i. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/01/white-evangelicals-fixa
    tion-on-washington-dc/617690/
    e. What Does ‘White Christian Nationalism’ Even Mean, Anyway? – Sojourners
    i. https://sojo.net/articles/what-does-white-christian-nationalism-even-meananyway
  2. Books
    a. Taking America Back for God: Christian Nationalism in the United States –
    Andrew L. Whitehead & Samuel L. Perry
    b. Postcards from Babylon: The Church in American Exile – Brian Zahnd
    c. Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and
    Fractured a Nation – Kristin Kobes Du Mez
    d. American Idolatry: How Christian Nationalism Betrays the Gospel and Threatens
    the Church – Andrew L. Whitehead
    e. Unsettling Truths: The Ongoing, Dehumanizing Legacy of the Doctrine of
    Discovery – Mark Charles & Soong-Chan Rah
  3. Organizations
    a. Christians Against Christian Nationalism
    i. https://www.christiansagainstchristiannationalism.org/
    ii. Instagram: @endchristiannationalism

Lenten Sermon Series 2023

Sundays at 10:30 am February 26-April 2

In conjunction with the Salt Creek Cluster of United Methodist Churches, First Church will explore the Lenten season with common objects found in the scriptures: dust, bread, cross, coins, shoes and oil.  This series is inspired by Jill Duffield who reminds us that God works through the ordinary and goes to great lengths to communicate with us about Jesus Christ, salvation, grace, and reconciliation.

Drawing from the Christian contemplative tradition, Duffield reminds us that it is often in “hindsight that God’s providence becomes recognizable.”  Throughout his teaching, Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is near and in our midst.  Each week through these objects you will be asked to consider the possibility, the promise, that God is present, speaking, seeking to be in relationship with you.

Finally, the churches in the cluster will participate in a pulpit exchange.  First Church will be welcoming Reverend Hong-kien  Jeremiah Lee of Addison: Good Samaritan Church and the Reverend Juyeon Jeon of Bensenville: First UMC.  Pastor Joe will be preaching at Addison: Good Samaritan and Elmhurst: Christ and Villa Park: Calvary.