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.
CHURCH OFFICE UPDATE:
In response to the “Stay at Home” order for the state of Pennsylvania, the Church Office will be closed until further notice.
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.
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].
For pastoral care or congregational concerns, contact Rick Waters at [email protected].
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 https://www.facebook.com/CRWilliamsport/
- 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].
- 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].
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.
- Window Easter Egg Hunt
In response to the “Stay at Home” order for the state of Pennsylvania, the Window Easter Egg Hunt is cancelled. However, children and their families are encouraged to continue to craft easter eggs and hang them in their window as a way to connect with and be a light to their neighbors.
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
- Sunday fuse*
Sunday School fuse* during the 9:30 AM service and Sunday evening fuse* sessions is cancelled until further notice. Josh will be conducting a Q&A Session on Instagram Live as an alternative form of connecting on Sunday evenings at 6:00 PM every one of those Sundays on the fuse* Instagram Page. If you have any questions or concerns, contact Josh Tobias at [email protected].
Wednesday Night d-fuse* meetings are cancelled until further notice. 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].
This is a resource for families with children and students at home. It utilizes streaming services like Netflix and Disney + to join families together watching a movie and then provides insight into biblical truths that can be learned from the story. This week’s movie is Incredibles 2 and is currently streaming on Netflix. 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. You may download the PDF here.
All Life Groups have been suspended and no Life Groups will be meeting at the church until recommendations from government and health officials change. If you have any questions please contact Daniel Passini ([email protected]) or Erin Mowrey ([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 this 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.
- Sunday Worship
Until further notice, we will operate as an online campus. As a result, Nursery, Sunday School, KidZone and fuse* are cancelled on those Sundays. 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.
- Lent Worship
Daily prayer at 6:00 AM will still occur in the First Evangelical Center (FEC) Sanctuary.
- Holy Thursday
Due to COVID-19, we’ll need to adjust our expectations for Holy Thursday so that we can be sure to abide by the social distancing guidelines. While we must honor social distancing guidelines we still encourage families to gather together by themselves at this time. Similar to the way we shared in the Holy Thursday experience last year we invite folks to share in a meal, spend time in a devotional (found in the Holy Week Devotional below), and tune in to live.firstchurch.cc at 6:30 pm so that together we can remember and celebrate Jesus’ last supper with his disciples. If you have any questions, please contact Carol Schwanger at [email protected]
- Good Friday
Our Good Friday Service will be a Self-Guided, Virtual Experience. This experience is a blend of readings, videos, and active participation. This service does not need to be done at any specific time during the day and is designed to do easily with your family from your home. It is suggested that each household have 7 candles or 7 lamps/lights, or a combination of the 2. We will still follow the model of a Tenebrae service which means gradually darkening, by extinguishing the lights one by one during the service. Click here for the Virtual Experience Packet.
- Prayer Vigil
We recognize that during this time, there are so many in need of prayer. In addition to praying for our own church and congregation, we’ve designated some of the important ministries and places in our area that are acting as a support structure for our community during this time of social distancing. We will supply you with a list of these ministries and suggestions of ways you can pray for them. Feel free to add to the list. We would also ask that you would take a prayer walk (as able) around your neighborhood, asking God how you can be a light to your neighbors during this challenging time. Click here for the Community Prayer Vigil Guide.
This year, Easter is different. Everything is different. In an effort to make Easter set apart, there will be 1 recorded service that will have traditional, blended, and modern elements. We recognize that tradition, especially at Easter is important, so we are doing our best to honor each tradition. The service will be live-streamed at our usual times, 8:00 AM, 9:30 AM, and 11:00 AM at live.firstchurch.cc.
FIRST GLANCE: VIDEO EDITION (DAILY VIDEOS)
Starting on Monday evening at 6:00 PM, a new video will be posted every day 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. 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 view throughout the week as well.
You can find the First Glance: Video Edition video playlist here.
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