What to Expect

What to Expect

Good Things to Know.

THE PEOPLE: The people of First United Methodist Church are warm, welcoming, love to laugh, and serious about living faith without taking themselves too seriously. Our people are our greatest asset.

Our membership is from every path—straight and narrow to wildly winding—you will find a kind and passionate congregation that includes singles, retirees, straight and gay couples, empty nesters, grandparents raising grandchildren, families with teens, families with small children, and all kinds of families. Members and regular attendees are college students, teachers, business professionals, technical engineers, manufacturing specialists, artists and art-lovers, musicians and music-lovers, social workers, business owners, moms and dads, animal lovers and more.

ATTIRE: We want you to be comfortable when you come to worship… clothes included.  Feel free to dress as you see fit.  We are just glad that you have chosen to join us. Worshipers wear everything from shorts and tank tops to (a few) suits and ties.

WHERE DO I PARK? Parking is available on the street, at the front of the church at 333 N. Main Street. Or, better yet, park in the large parking lot that belongs to First Church on the corner of Lafayette and Monroe. Visitors with mobility concerns are encouraged to use our automatically opening entrance off of the parking lot. Find out more information on our Time, Location & Parking web page.

WHEN YOU FIRST ARRIVE INSIDE: On a Sunday, when you enter the doors from the parking lot you will be greeted by someone who will help you find your way around the building. This friendly face will provide you with information such us where the sanctuary is, where restrooms are located, and will guide you to the right person if you desire to know more information.

IS THERE AN ELEVATOR? Yes! We have two elevators located at the rear of the building, off the parking lot. The North elevator links you to our Education Building, for classes, as well as to our Worship space. The South elevator links you only to our worship space, making it is easy to enter the Sanctuary and Gathering Room.

WORSHIP: Casual, but traditionally structured, our worship service is a blended service that features announcements, music, singing, liturgy, scripture reading, prayers, and a relevant message. Children are welcome to stay with the adults in worship, although a staffed Nursery is provided for the very young – or the very impatient.

WORSHIP SERMONS: Rev. Mary Hubbard, who is our primary preacher during both services,  is good at bringing the Bible to life in thoughtful ways which challenge people to grow more deeply in their faith and understanding.  Her words are passionate, reverent, sometimes ornery (smile) and connect to the lives of real people trying to live faith in an increasingly complex world.

Pastor Warren Kirkwood  provides care visits to our members and delivers sermons that warm the heart.

Pastor Colette Stevens supports our congregation by connecting with our congregation and our volunteers.  Like Pastor Warren, Pastor Stevens occasionally delivers sermons.

COMMUNION – Everyone is welcome at the open table. The first Sunday of each month we celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion in both services. United Methodist Christians practice “open table” communion. This means that all persons, regardless of spiritual background, beliefs or non-belief, are welcome to participate. The “table” is open to anyone who seeks to respond to Christ’s love and to lead a new life of peace and love. Like most Methodists communities, we use grape juice rather than wine, which honors those among us who struggle with addiction or abuse of alcohol.

FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH — SOUTH BEND IS A RECONCILING CONGREGATION — As a Reconciling Congregation, First United Methodist Church welcomes all people. We believe that the fulfillment of our best selves is found in the relationship to Jesus Christ and God’s community. This community of wholeness is inclusive, regardless of attempts to divide us from one another. Read more and view FAQ’s.