Second @ First

Small Group Hour

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Second @ First

Small Group Hour

UPDATED: See info below on small groups meeting October-Novemeber 2020
Second @ First is the Small Group/Sunday School hour at First UMC. Our first hour is always dedicated to congregational worship. The second hour is a time to meet new people, deepen friendships, share life together intergenerationally, recognize how God is at work in our lives, facilitate fruitful conversation, challenge one another in practical ways, and pray together. In this Fall 2020 season, opportunities for discipleship and connection will take the form of "growth gatherings and short-term studies." See the descriptions and information below of the current groups. You can always jump in late if you're new to our church community!

Growth Gatherings and Short-Term Studies


“The Walk” by Adam Hamilton

A 6-week DVD study that examines five essential spiritual practices rooted in Jesus’ own walk with God. How do we walk with Christ—daily follow him, grow in him, and faithfully serve him? In the Gospels, Jesus modeled for us the Christian spiritual life. The apostles taught it in their writings. And the Church has, through the last 2,000 years, sought to pursue this Christian spiritual life. Each of these practices is intended as part of our daily walk with Christ while also being an essential part of growing together in the church. In each chapter, Hamilton explores one of these practices, its New Testament foundation, and what it looks like to pursue this practice daily in our personal life and together in the life of the church. Deepen your walk with Christ as we explore the five essential practices of worship, study, serving, giving, and bearing witness to our faith.

  • Facilitators: Beth Valentine, Kathy Smith, and Julie Webb
  • Meeting place: Online via Zoom, Sundays at 9:00 a.m., October 18 to November 22
  • Sign up: Contact Beth ( ) or sign up online at

Wilderness Reflections: Being Faithful in the Midst of a Pandemic

A 4-week study based on a Sermon Series by Pastor Troy Howell, “DELIVERANCE CAN TAKE AWHILE......BUT REJOICE GOD IS THE GREAT DELIVERER”. Each week we will listen to one of the four sermons in the series based on biblical accounts of what God's people experienced in the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land. This time of listening will be followed by a time of sharing. We will explore various themes identified in the messages as life lessons for us today: FACING BULLIES IN THE WILDERNESS - DEALING WITH WILDERNESS ROUNDABOUTS - CUTTING THROUGH RED TAPE IN WILDERNESS TIMES - AVOIDING DETOURS ON OUR WILDERNESS JOURNEY. A Reflection Guide will be provided. This can be useful both to individuals in their journey of faith and to our congregation as we explore ways to be faithful in our pandemic wilderness. The questions are focused and open-ended designed to make room for the work of the Spirit and participation of/by group members. It is our hope that while on a pandemic wilderness journey we will see beyond the darkness of this world and look for the light birthed by Christ in the midst of a pandemic. You are invited to join us in this spiritual adventure.  Please note class size is limited to a maximum of 12 due to meeting in-person. All First UMC COVID-19 guidelines will be in effect.

  • Facilitators: Jim Dawes and Rev. Phil Jurus
  • Meeting place: In-Person at First UMC (Room TBD), Tuesdays at 1:00 p.m., October 20, 27, November 10, 17.  No meeting on November 3 due to election day (First UMC polling place)
  • Sign up: Contact the church office (717-533-9668 or )

Parent Cue

A 4-week study looking at relevant topics for parents. How has this pandemic been for you as a parent? Are you anxious? Feeling overwhelmed with uncertainty? Maybe you’re just exhausted? Or you’re struggling with how to make the most of family time? You’re not alone and we want to help - to come alongside you with intentional spiritual care and time for parents to support each other. During each 45-minute session, we’ll take a topic (anxiety, uncertainty, exhaustion, and family time), look at a related scripture passage or story, reflect on a few discussion questions, and learn a spiritual practice together. You do not have to commit to all 4 sessions to sign-up.

  • Facilitators: Stephen Haverstick and Cassie McCachren
  • Meeting place: Online via Zoom, either Sunday evenings or Tuesday (dependent upon group availability), October 25 to November 15.
  • Sign up: Contact Cassie ( ) or Stephen ( ); or sign up here.

Fellowship Class

An ongoing class that reads and discusses books of the Bible - currently the Gospel of Mark.

  • Facilitator: Craig Fasnacht
  • Meeting place: Online via Zoom, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. (ongoing class; may join anytime)
  • Sign up: Contact Craig ( )

Bible Study

A 10-week study of Paul’s letter to the Romans

  • Facilitator: Craig Fasnacht
  • Meeting place: Online via Zoom, Mondays at 6:30 p.m. or Tuesdays at 9:00 a.m., October 12/13 to December 14/15.
  • Sign up: Contact Craig ( )

Racial Justice Book Club

To continue our journey of becoming more anti-racist as followers of Christ and living Micah 6:8 as a church, we will be starting another book club focused on racial justice in November. We will be using Drew Hart’s new book Who Will Be A Witness? for study and discussion. More details will be announced later via Rapid Pulse, our website, and social media.

Email with questions about 2nd @ 1st