UPDATES REGARDING COVID-19

In response to the growing cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) around our world, we as First Church seek to respond in ways that are faithful, while being mindful of everyone’s health and safety. We seek to be ever vigilant and flexible at the same time.

 

FIRST CHURCH UPDATE (GOVERNOR WOLF’S MANDATES PER MAY 8 FOR LYCOMING COUNTY):

RED –> YELLOW QUICK REFERENCE:

  • Worship
    We encourage those who are comfortable doing so to worship in groups of less than 25 people and to follow government guidelines related to social distancing and wearing masks.  If you worship with a group in your home, please list the names of people worshiping on the Connection Card so that we can know who is staying connected to First Church. If you have any questions, contact the church office at [email protected].
  • Life Groups
    Life Groups are encouraged to meet via online platforms, or in-person, as long as they respect government guidelines. If you wish to meet in-person, make sure to meet in groups less than 25 people, be six feet apart, and wear a mask. If you have any questions, or need help scheduling an online Life Group meeting, please contact Daniel Passini ([email protected]) or Erin Mowrey ([email protected]).
  • Children’s Ministry
    Children’s Ministry will be utilizing videos and online platforms only for connection and Biblical teaching. Opportunities include regular Children’s Corner videos and STEM-B-U. You can see all the details under the “Children’s Ministries” section under “Ministry Updates” below. Be on the lookout for updates on the Children’s Ministry Facebook page. If you have any questions, please contact Director of Children’s Ministry, Angie Tobias, at [email protected]
  • fuse* Student Ministries
    fuse* Student Ministries will be utilizing videos and online platforms only for connection and Biblical teaching. Opportunities include tuning in to fuse* Digital Live on Instagram and fuse* Zoom Electives. You can see all the details under the “fuse* Student Ministries” section under “Ministry Updates” below. Be on the lookout for updates on the fuse* Student Ministries Facebook page and their Instagram account. Please contact Director of fuse* Student Ministries, Josh Tobias at [email protected] with any questions.
  • Acts Network
    The Acts Network will be utilizing online platforms and in-person meetings depending on the size and needs of the group. Please contact the Director of Acts Network, Mitch Marcello at [email protected] with any questions.

 

CHURCH OFFICE:

In response to the “Stay at Home” order for the state of Pennsylvania, the Church Office will be closed until further notice.

The church office will be closed Monday, May 25, 2020 in observance of Memorial Day.

 

MINISTRY UPDATES:

 

Acts Network

The Acts Network will be utilizing online platforms and in-person meetings depending on the size and needs of the group. Please contact the Director of Acts Network, Mitch Marcello at [email protected] with any questions.

  • Monday Dinner
    Dinner at the Pajama Factory will continue to tentatively be scheduled for Mondays at 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM. A to-go table will be set up outside of Clearstory by the main entrance.

 

Care

For pastoral care or congregational concerns, contact Rick Waters at [email protected].

 

Celebrate Recovery

Celebrate Recovery will meet at 4:30 PM on Sundays by Facebook Live on the Celebrate Recovery at First Church Facebook page. To join us, go to the Celebrate Recovery Facebook page.

 

Children’s Ministry

Children’s Ministry will be utilizing videos and online platforms only for connection and Biblical teaching.

  • Sunday Morning
    Nursery, Sunday School and KidZone have been suspended until further notice. If you have any questions or concerns, contact Angie Tobias at [email protected].
  • Virtual Sunday School
    Starting May 31, children are encouraged to follow along to a guide and videos for an age-friendly Bible lesson. To find the lessons and associated resources for each week, click here.
  • Wednesday Evenings
    Children’s First Night Ministries has been suspended until further notice. If you have any questions or concerns, contact Angie Tobias at [email protected].
  • Videos
    Director of Children’s Ministry Angie Tobias will create videos featuring Biblical teachings through a variety of visuals and examples. Be on the lookout for these videos on the Children’s Ministry Facebook page.
  • STEM-B-U
    STEM-B-U is a hands-on Bible lesson using STEM activities that kids and volunteers do together via zoom and ties in a Bible (B) Understanding (U). The next STEM-B-U event will be themed the “Tower of Babble” and will take place on May 31 at 3:30 PM on ZOOM. Be sure to have disposable cups ready for this craft! If you have any questions or would like the ZOOM link, please contact Angie Tobias at [email protected].
  • VBS 2020
    Have your child discover the love of God at Vacation Bible School! Each year is a new and exciting theme, but the core message of Jesus’ unending love always remains the same every year. Children will take part in music, scriptures, crafts, snacks; and all the things that make VBS so exciting. VBS 2020 will be available online on June 22-26 from 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM daily. You can register here (Registration closes on June 26). Please contact Angie Tobias at [email protected] with any questions.

 

Disciple’s Journey

Disciple’s Journey has been suspended until further notice.  If you have any questions or concerns contact Janet Durrwachter at [email protected].

 

First Nursery School

First Nursery School is cancelled until further notice. Kathy will provide resources for learning and connecting with your children over this break, so check for updates and messages regularly on the Bloomz App. If you have any questions or concerns, contact Kathy Choate at [email protected].

 

fuse* Student Ministries

  • fuse* Weekly Events
    You can find the current weekly schedule for online fuse* events here. Be sure to revisit this page often as there are new ways to engage online every week!
  • Sunday fuse*
    Fuse* digital meets each week on Sunday evenings through Instagram live (https://www.instagram.com/fuse_student_min/).  This time is designed for interaction and engagement of God’s word and encouragement for 6-12th grade students.  Fuse* digital electives are also being offered at various times throughout the week/month.  Follow fuse* social media pages or join the fuse* text update service for the most up-to-date information and communication.
  • d-fuse*
    In-person d-fuse* (discipleship) opportunities are suspended until further notice.  Fuse*zoom will meet Wednesday evenings at 7 PM and will focus on discipleship and connection. 6-8th grades and 9-12th grades will alternate weeks – If you have any questions or concerns, contact Josh Tobias at [email protected].
  • Open Gym
    Open Gym is cancelled until further notice. If you have any questions or concerns, contact Josh Tobias at [email protected].

UMC Summer Camps

The Susquehanna Conference’s Camp & Retreat Ministry Board has made the decision to suspend all summer camp and retreat programming through September 1, 2020. To read the whole update, click here.

 

Streaming Discipleship

This is a resource for families with children and students at home.  It utilizes streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney + to join families together watching a movie and then provides insight into biblical truths that can be learned from the story.  You may find all the PDFs for each week available below.  There are discussion questions for both children and students, and an action step to accompany the weekly focus.  Our hope is to equip parents to continue discipling their own children in a way that is relevant and engaging.

 

Life Groups

Life Groups are encouraged to meet via online platforms, or in-person, as long as they respect government guidelines. If you wish to meet in-person, make sure to meet in groups less than 25 people, be six feet apart, and wear a mask. If you have any questions, or need help scheduling an online Life Group meeting, please contact Daniel Passini ([email protected]) or Erin Mowrey ([email protected]).

 

Outreach

  • First Night
    First Night will have food distribution at 5:00 PM, Wednesdays at the CLC (Christian Life Center) door. If you have any questions, contact Erin Mowrey at [email protected].
  • Helping Hand
    To inquire about financial assistance, contact Rick Waters at [email protected].
  • Fresh Express
    Fresh Express will continue their schedule of the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month at 4:00 PM. If you have any questions or concerns, contact Rick Waters at [email protected].
  • Backpack Ministry
    There is no backpack/food ministry every week. Another way we are seeking to offer food is at First Night. Also, please check below our list of places in town where restaurants are offering food to those in need.
  • Red Cross Blood Drive
    The Red Cross will be hosting a blood drive on May 28, 2020 from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM at the North Campus. Consider how your donation can help save lives during this time. For more information, please contact [email protected].
  • TRANSFORM
    TRANSFORM 2020 will be postponed until 2021. If you have any questions, please contact rwate[email protected].

Worship

  • Sunday Worship | Sundays at 8:00 AM, 9:30 AM, 11:00 AM | live.firstchurch.ccFacebook
    Until further notice, we will operate as an online campus. As a result, Nursery, Sunday School, KidZone and fuse* are cancelled on those Sundays. Worship times are Sundays at 8:00 AM, 9:30 AM, 11:00 AM. It is encouraged that you worship online either in your home or join others in a style of house worship, such as your family, friends, life group, etc. Simply log on to live.firstchurch.cc or tune into the stream on our Facebook page.
  • Home Worship | Beginning May 8th, 2020 
    While our area is in the yellow phase, we encourage those who are comfortable doing so to worship in groups of less than 25 people and to follow government guidelines related to social distancing and wearing masks.  If you worship with a group in your home, please list the names of people worshiping on the Connection Card so that we can know who is staying connected to First Church. Find the process to reopen Pennsylvania guidelines here.

 

DAILY YOUTUBE VIDEOS

You do not need an account to watch, but if you would like to participate with comments or questions in the chat room, you need to create a Google account and log in. You may set up an account here. The videos will be archived on our YouTube account for you to view throughout the week as well. You can find the First Glance: Video Edition video playlist here.

  • First Glance: Video Edition
    Mondays through Fridays (excluding Wednesdays for Teavotions) at 6:00 PM, a new video will be posted on our YouTube page from Pastor Matt and a variety of other staff members as a way to connect, share, pray, and offer a few thoughts together during this time of separation.
  • Teavotions
    Join us Wednesdays at 6 PM diving into the book of Acts and the shifting landscape of the North American church. Bring your Bible, favorite tea, and excitement to dig in together as a church!

 

CHILD-CARE

If you are someone who is in need of child-care during the day while you work and have exhausted all other options, members of our congregation with Safe Sanctuaries Clearances have volunteered to fulfill that need. Child-care must occur in the home of the family or the child-care provider. If you are in need of this service, contact Erin Mowrey at [email protected]. Once you have received the name(s) of the person(s) available, you will need to contact the person(s) directly.

 

WASD FREE MEAL PROVISION

Beginning Tuesday, March 17, the local school district will provide free bagged lunches and breakfasts for all students 18 years of age and under daily from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM at the following schools:

  • Curtin Intermediate School | 85 Eldred St
    Distribution Location: Doors 9 and 10 on the east side of the building (enter on Mulberry Street and exit onto Eldred St)
  • Lycoming Valley Intermediate School | 1825 Hays Lane
    Distribution Location: along the front of the building
  • Stevens Primary School | 1150 Louisa St
    Distribution Location: parking lot behind the building
  • Williamsport Area Middle School | 2800 West Fourth St
    Distribution Location: front entrance/parent drop-off loop

Children benefitting from this program must be present to receive bagged meals. Meals will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS PROVIDING FOOD

If you are in need of lunch for your school-age child(ren) during the school closure, the following businesses are offering a free lunch to those in need:

  • Trail Inn | Free Bagged Lunch | Monday, March 16 until school opens
  • Park Pizza | Free Pizza and a Drink | Monday – Thursday | 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
  • Erb’s West End Family Market | Bagged Lunch | Monday – Friday | 1 PM – 2 PM
  • Leo’s Pizza | Free Pizza and a Drink | Monday – Friday | 11 AM – 3 PM
  • Peg & Bill’s Diner | Free Grilled Cheese/PB&J Sandwich, Chips and a Drink | Tuesday – Friday | 1 PM – 2 PM
  • Joe’s Pizza (East End) | Free Pizza and a Drink | Monday, March 16 – Sunday, March 29 | 11 AM – 3 PM
  • Mark’s Family Restaurant | Free Pizza and a Drink | Monday – Friday | 11 AM – 2 PM
  • South Side Restaurant & Pizzeria | Free Pizza and a Drink | Monday – Friday | 11 AM – 1 PM
  • Acme Barbecue | Call for Details | Tuesday – Friday | 11 AM – 1 PM