All Church Retreat-October 9,2021

All Church Retreat.

Family Fun Times At All Church Retreat!

Camp Brethren Woods-0ctober 9, 2021

Join Us! Register Now!

The All Church Retreat was Cancelled due to in response to the rising Covid cases in the area. We look forward to gathering as a church family at a retreat again.

Interim Pastor

Interim Pastor

First Church of the Brethren Welcomes Interim Pastor, Paul and Linda Roth!

Sing Me High Music Festival

Shenandoah Valley Music Festival

A Celebration of Music and Faith From August  27, 4:30 pm- August 28, 9:30 pm.

Brethren and Mennonite Heritage Center

The Bread of Life Series

John Chapter 6 Verses 1-35

Jesus, The Bread of Life! A three Part Sermon by Robert Alley. August 1-15 2021.

Reception for Pastor Beth and Harry

Pastor Beth's Reception

The church held a reception for Pastor Beth and Harry after 8 memorable years with us. Thank you Pastor Beth!


The Wilderness: Lent at First Church

“Lent begins in the wilderness. The Spirit guides Jesus into the wilderness where he comes face to face with temptation and struggle. Yet, in his forty days of fasting, resisting, and wandering, Jesus is shaped and formed for ministry. Similarly, through the wilderness of Lent, we are invited to surrender to the wild leadings of the Spirit. We rarely enter the wilderness willingly, but hopefully through our wandering we remember who we are and whose we are. The wilderness can become sacred even if it remains dangerous. There is not wilderness space too harsh or threatening for God’s love.” -Sanctified Art

This Lenten season, First Church will be exploring the biblical theme of “wilderness”. The wilderness is a place of growth, testing, risk, and encounter with God in the Bible. Through art, poetry, sermons, discussions, art, and devotional practice, we will be digging into this idea of wilderness. What are areas of “wilderness” in our lives? Where is God leading us? How can we grow and learn together as the church? As we prepare for the celebration of Easter, First Church will be reflecting on Lent as wilderness, a time for spiritual formation and encountering God.

Join us every Sunday at 10:30, through Easter Sunday (4/12) to experience “The Wilderness”. There will be special services during Holy Week: Maundy Thursday (7:00 PM on Thursday 4/9), and Good Friday (7:00 PM on Friday 4/10).

Put on the “New You” in 2020!

It’s 2020! At this time of year, many people are reflecting on their lives and habits, and planning for the future. Who am I? Do I want to change? How can I become a better person?

We believe that part of being a Christian is seeing what guidance we can find in the Bible. In the New Testament there are many statements that start off with “you are…”

When we ask God, “who am I?” there is an answer! In the New Testament we see that we are “salt and light”, “chosen”, “the branches”, “free”, and “a new creation”. What do these phrases mean? How can we live them out? Who will you be in 2020?

Join First Church in “putting on the New You” in 2020! We will be exploring this and more every Sunday at 10:30 AM, from Jan. 19th – Feb. 23rd.

Advent at First Church: “Some Children See Him”

Join us for the Advent season at First Church! In the weeks leading up to Christmas we will be exploring the different perspectives and people involved in the birth of Christ!

This Advent at First Church we will be looking at the different people involved in the Gospel Christmas narratives and how they saw Jesus. For instance, we will explore Mary and Joseph’s relationship to Jesus as (unexpected) parents, Simeon and Anna’s experience of Jesus as older members of the Jewish community looking for hope in difficult times… we will also be exploring the perspectives of the wise men, shepherds, and angels. This series will go on during Advent, and into Epiphany. 

We would like to weave in our own stories as First Church members of Jesus, this is especially fitting since our book club has been reading and discussing the “Jesus I Never Knew” by Philip Yancey. What does your relationship with Jesus look like? What does Jesus’ life, teachings, and story mean to you? 

We are looking for one or two people to share for about 3-5 minutes during church for this series on this direction. If you feel led, or would like to share your unique perspective, please be in touch with either Pastor Beth or Joanna! Finally, if you want to share, but aren’t sure what specific direction to go in, or would like a little help, please be in touch about that as well!

Additionally, there will be bulletin art created by YOU each Sunday. There are coloring pages (for kids and adults!) in the Narthex, and in the children’s activity bags. Color in a page of your choice, and turn it in to the church office by Wednesday, December 11. These images will be used in worship and in the bulletins over the course of Advent.


Kids Club, Youth Group, and Fellowship Meal

Harrisonburg First Church of the Brethren is kicking off our children and youth programs for the school year! This year, we are extending a special invitation to families in the district and our neighborhood to join us on Wednesday nights as we start a new children/youth programming venture. Kids Club is for ages 4 – 5th grade and Youth Group is for youth in middle school and high school.

Kids Club and Youth Group will be starting Wednesday, September 11th. Children and youth will meet at First Church of the Brethren from 6:00-7:30 PM. There is also a community dinner every Wednesday at First Church from 5:30-6:30 PM: families, children, and youth are welcome to start off their Wednesday night activities at First Church by enjoying this meal together. For more information, please call Joanna Friesen in the First Church office (540)-434-8288.35786354_826095757587210_5914694957624459264_o



Prayer: Tuning In Activities

Sunday we talked about the many ways to pray. Often, we are very good at talking, or making requests, but not so good at listening.Here are some ways to practice tuning in to God:

As a family:

Take a walk, a hike or just find a comfortable place to sit outdoors with the idea of tuning in to God. Give your children the task of finding something outside that reminds them of God. At the end of the time, take some time to dialog as a family around the table. Let each person share what they noticed and why. Ponder together what God might have been saying to them as they “tuned in”. Offer a short prayer of thanks for each story and what God taught you during that time.

As an individual:

Try making a routine activity in your day into a time of listening and tuning into God like mowing the grass, folding the laundry, or preparing a meal. Be creative!  Make a note of the things that you notice, or thoughts that seemed significant, or things that grabbed your attention that reminded you of God. At the end of your day, spend time thanking God for the little revelations you received. Ask God to show you if there is more God would like to teach you through these things.

Centering Prayer:

Does your mind drift when you try to pray or listen to God? Try this simple way of praying. Find a comfortable place to sit and prayerfully dwell in God’s presence with an open heart. Make sure that you set aside some time where you will not be interrupted. Turn off noise makers. Now pick a word to focus on that symbolizes your desire to tune into God’s presence; like light, love, shepherd, rock, Jesus… just to name a few. As you sit quietly with your eyes closed, focus on that one word… as thoughts, worries or anxiety arises; gently turn your thoughts back to your sacred word. Allow the Spirit of God to draw you into a place of deeper communion.