Weekly Announcements - January 11, 2024

    01.10.24 |

    January 11, 2024
    Weekly Communications from First United Methodist Church – Hershey
    64 W. Chocolate Avenue, Hershey, PA 17033   717-533-9668    www.firstumchershey.org 
    Sunday Worship 
    8:00 a.m. Traditional Worship in the Sanctuary
    10:00 a.m. Blended Worship in the Sanctuary
    The 10:00 a.m. Worship Service is live streamed. It is also recorded, so you may watch later at your convenience. Please visit the First UMC YouTube channel to view the current week’s service as well as all past services. 
    New Sermon Series Beginning January 7th: Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations - Epiphany at Hershey First UMC In this season of the church’s life, we celebrate the birth of Jesus as an irreversible victory of God. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overtake it.” (Jn 1:5) In this sermon series we will look at ways the light of Christ shines brighter in vital congregations with the help of Bishop Robert Schnase’s study of vital congregations. Congregations shine brighter as they engage in five practices: passionate worship, radical hospitality, intentional faith development, risk-taking mission and service, and extravagant generosity. 

    Sunday School January 7, 14, 21, 28 Texts of Terror – Conclusions of Grace (Pastor Lew, Teacher) - There are stories and words in our Bible that a Christian would be reluctant to share with a new believer let alone a non-believer. There are stories of unbelievable cruelty to women and children, irrational hatred of those who do not fit some religious norm of the time, even holy wars where God is said to have ordered the extinction of every man, woman, child, animal, and structure. What to do with these texts of terror? We can ignore them, and hope seekers and skeptics do the same. The problem with that is that these texts have a long reach. Echoes of them can be heard in the hateful and hurtful language of contemporary people. So, Bible in hand, in this four-week course we will examine several of the texts of terror and some of the methods that students of the Bible have offered for turning the texts of terror into grace-filled conclusions and applications.  * New Location: Rm 204  - 9:00a-9:45a

    Join Zoom Meeting
    Meeting ID: 813 6610 2141
    Passcode: 660206

    Fundraiser Luncheon: January 21, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Join us in the Social Hall following the 10am worship service for a fundraiser luncheon! Proceeds benefit the Youth & Young Adult Ministries including highlight events like Zeteo, Impact, and NYC Mission Trip. A meal ticket includes spaghetti (with marinara or meat sauce), salad, bread roll, drink, and dessert. Tickets will be available on January 7 and 14 in the lobby outside the sanctuary. You can also reserve a ticket with this online form before January 19. Cost is $12. Children under 6 are $6. Non-ticket holders will be able to purchase food after 12pm, if food is still available.

     After School Program Donations The After School Program is looking for donations of individually packaged chips such as Doritos, Cheetos, Lays, etc.  If you are willing to donate some, please put them in the After School Program tote in the Narthex.

    Congregation Care Calls/Emails: As Beth transitions to retirement, we are asking that all calls regarding hospitalizations, recent illness, and needs of care be directed to Pastor Jenn. Office: 717-533-9668 ext. 105 E-Mail:  or text or call cell number 717-450-6390.

    Prayer Requests: We invite you to submit prayer requests in one of the following ways: 1) on our web site using the prayer request form ; 2) by email using  ; 3) using a paper prayer request form at church and placing it in the offering plate or one of the blue prayer request boxes. Whichever method you use, please choose one of the following when you submit your request:

    • Pastor only – First UMC’s Pastor will keep the utmost confidentiality for prayers when requested to do so; these sensitive prayer requests will not be shared with others.
    • Covenant Prayer Group – this intercessory prayer group of volunteers commits to dutifully praying for all submitted prayer requests and maintaining confidentiality; prayer request information will be shared with this group at the level designated by the person requesting prayer (first name only, full name, any specific information).

    Weekly Notes of Encouragement 
    We invite you to help bring encouragement to our church family members who are homebound or in residential care. Each week, one person will be selected to receive cards or notes of encouragement. Just a simple note saying “thinking of you” or “praying for you” will bring so much joy! Won’t you share Christ’s love in this way?!  This week’s notes of encouragement go to: Reed Good, Country Meadows of Hershey, Room 171A, 451 Sand Hill Rd. Hershey, PA 17033

     United Women of Faith (former United Methodist Women) We invite any women of our congregation who would like to consider being part of small groups serving a larger purpose. The Circle of Hope meets once a month to share a devotion and consider how they can assist those in need in our area. The Circle of Faith meets twice a month to create projects that can be given and shared with others such as prayer shawls, baby blankets, and outdoor mats for the homeless. And the Women’s Reading Group meets the last Thursday of each month to discuss a book we read and what we learned from it. For the month of January the schedule is as follows: January 10th & 24th Circle of Faith in Room 204 9am and January 25th the Women’s Reading Group will meet in Room 204 as we discuss the book - Maid: hard work, low pay, and a mother's will to survive by Stephanie Land, author. February 7th the Circle of Hope will meet at 10am in the Social Hall. Any questions, reach out to Pastor Jenn. 

    February 20 (Tuesday) Serious Methodist Biography Club: Charles Wesley – Pastor Lew, Teaching  Through the medium of biography (recent and classics), we will tap into the roots of our Wesleyan heritage. Our biography for the winter term is John Tyson’s Assist Me to Proclaim: The Life and Hymns of Charles Wesley. While overshadowed by older brother John, Charles was a musical genius whose 8,765 hymns shaped Methodist faith and practice as much as John’s sermons and journals. Think, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” or “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing”. Simply secure the book on Amazon.com. ($34/new, $20/used, $24/kindle) or borrow one of the lending copies in the church office. Sign up at the church office during the week or Welcome Desk on Sunday morning to receive a copy of discussion starters ahead of the gathering. Online participation will be available.  Location: Upper Overflow Time: 7:00p – 8:30p. 

    Bethesda Mobile Mission: NEW DATE!  January 27th 5:45 – 10:00 p.m. 7-10 volunteers, suitable for older youth with a parent or guardian and above. Volunteers meet in the church parking lot to carpool to the Bethesda Mission on Reily Street in Harrisburg. The Greene’s drive the Bethesda Mobile Mission van and lead the group into the streets of Harrisburg to feed the homeless and hand out blankets, clothes, and toiletries. Call Jenny Greene 717-579-4786 or if interested. We always need the following donations to hand out: gently used blankets, sheets, towels, toiletries, underwear, socks, t-shirts, sweatshirts, jeans, and coats.

    Gently Used Blanket Collection for Bethesda Mobile Mission: January 7-January 28th Please share any gently used blankets with those who are without this cold Winter season.  Blankets can be placed on the table outside the narthex.  Bethesda's Mobile mission van goes out every weekend to reach out to those in need.

     Children’s Ministry Dates1/14- Discovery Club and BOND resume meeting at 5pm

    Note about Year End GivingAs we prepare to finalize year-end giving statements, we've learned how to merge profiles of spouses in the same household.  When the merger is completed in the system, you will receive an automatic email notification.  No action is needed on your part.  We just wanted you to be aware of why you will be receiving the notification.  If you have an email in the system, the year-end statement will be sent electronically.  If not, you will receive a paper statement through the mail.  All statements will be sent no later than the end of January.  Please direct any questions to the church office.