2016 Weekend of Service Schedule


August 12, 2016         Day of Service Kick-off (participants are to eat at home before coming to the church)

  • 8:00 – Family Movie Night – a recently popular film with your favorite zoo animals (popcorn & drinks served beforehand)
  • Camp Fire & S’Mores

Kids at Movie

August 13, 2016         Day of Service

  • 8:00 a.m. –Breakfast (Bagels & Coffee)
  • 8:30 a.m. – Pray & Commissioning
  • Morning Service Projects – 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
  • Lunch (on your own)
  • Afternoon Service Projects – 1:00 p.m. to 5: 00 p.m.
  • Cook-out Dinner at Church – 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Free Swimming – 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

August 14, 2016         Church Service with Day of Service Celebration and Story Telling

Deadline for Weekend of Service Signup!

Weekend of Service – August 12-14, 2016

Kids Group 2

Our Weekend of Service (WoS) is about a month away and will take place August 12-14, 2016. The Weekend will kick-off on Friday evening and will be followed by half or full-day service projects on Saturday, ending with a cookout and swim time at the community center behind First Church. During Sunday’s service we will hear reports from the different project teams.

During our contacts with different agencies, Middle River Regional Jail indicated that they would like to receive either new or used (in good condition) paperbacks for their library. They are interested in a wide range of reading materials – fiction and non-fiction, auto and biographical, history, and westerns (a particular favorite). If you have books that you would like to donate, please place them in the appropriate box in the narthex.

Meanwhile the Harrisonburg City Jail said that they would like copies of paperback bibles. If you would like to donate toward the purchase of bibles, please write a check to the church and in the memo line indicate “City Jail Bibles”.

In the next few weeks be looking for project descriptions and sign-up sheets, donation boxes in the narthex for needed supplies, and further details in upcoming bulletins, on this webpage and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/fcobharrisonburg/.

Hospital Visitation Group 3

12 Baskets and a Goat

12 Baskets and a Goat ImageOn November 14, 2015, the old Sale Barn on Sunny Slope Farm was the site of the first pilot show of 12 Baskets and a Goal, a project of Ted & Co, Heifer International, and the Church of the Brethren in support of Heifer’s work around the world. The event featured the play, The Jesus Stories: Faith, Forks, and Fettuccine, written and performed by Ted Swartz and Jeff Raught, interrupted at two intervals to auction off home-made breads and cakes. It was an evening filled with humor, laughter, and generous support of Heifer International. Over $5,000 was raised during the evening with all proceeds going to Heifer International.

The 12 Baskets and a Goal project (http://www.tedandcompany.com/shows/12-baskets-and-a-goat/) “seeks to raise awareness of poverty and empower communities to restore dignity to those in need.The Jesus Stories “asks two questions….what are we having to eat and who are we eating it with? It’s a play about Jesus and food; about what we need every day to sustain us, nourish us, and connect us with God and with others.” The play, which features original songs and music by Jeff, blends humor and theological reflection. Over the next three years, Ted and Co hope to perform their play and auctions all over the country for the benefit of Heifer International.

Ted Swartz and Jeff Raught performing The Jesus Stories

Ted Swartz and Jeff Raught performing The Jesus Stories

First Church of the Brethren’s Friendship Class gave money to help cover startup costs for the event at Sunny Slope Farm. Members of the class also donated $1,000 in support of Heifer International. The youth donated jars of their recently made apple butter. Other members of the church donated cakes and breads. Many of the breads were auctioned off in baskets donated by Cathy Cupp, Linda Logan’s sister.

Beth and Harry Jarrett’s farm, Sunny Slope Farm, is a certified Virginia Century Farm, owned and operated by the family for 186 years.

Pastor Beth among the gathering crowd

Pastor Beth among the gathering crowd

Faith in Action

Faith in Action Meeting

Faith in Action Meeting

This past spring four members of First Church (Pastor Beth Jarrett, Brenda Fox, Micah Morris, and Carol Stickley) attended the kick-off meeting of Faith in Action here in Harrisonburg. Faith in Action is an interdenominational organization formed to solve systemic problems in the local community and county. It seeks to move beyond charity to address the root causes of problems. Faith in Action is modeled on the IMPACT (Interfaith Movement Promoting Action by Congregations Together) organization in Charlottesville, and was started by a group of five individuals who make up the steering committee.

Covenant churches join Faith in Action by nominating two representatives and offering a contribution toward its operation. The churches also commit to undertake a listening process with members of their congregations to identify those community issues which they are most concerned about.

Faith in Action undergoes an annual cyclical process whereby issues are identified and researched and then an outreach and lobbying effort is undertaken with local leaders. Each year a specific issue is chosen for the organization to focus its attention upon. At its September 27 meeting, the issue of Immigrant Justice was announced as the focus of the 2015-2016 year. This issue will be narrowed to a specific topic during the fall research phase as meetings are held with immigrant agencies and individuals.

Currently sixteen churches are covenant congregations. They include Methodist, Presbyterian, Mennonite, Catholic, and Lutheran churches among others. If you would like to learn more about Faith in Action, you can go to their webpage at http://www.harrisonburgfaithinaction.org/.

The recent controversy over whether to build a new jail in Harrisonburg showed how effective community involvement can be. Faith in Action offers the opportunity to become involved on a similar scale. Is First Church of the Brethren ready to carry forward the spirit and enthusiasm of our Weekend of Service to join with our brothers and sisters in the faith and address problems in Harrisonburg City and Rockingham County?

As our ministry teams and congregation begin to build our budget for 2016, we hope that the First Church congregation will support the modest amount included in the Witness Team’s 2016 budget for Faith in Action and that we will undertake a listening/action process to identify those community issues which most impact our congregation.

Respectfully submitted,

The Witness Team Members

Beth Cash, Chair, Sharon Helbert, Vice Chair, Brenda Fox, Joyce Leake, and Carolyn & Larry Seilhamer



Sharon Helbert at 2015 NOAC

Sharon Helbert at 2015 NOAC

Where else can you go to:

1) Get your faith strengthened – Bible studies, great speakers and wonderful music
2) Your body filled with food (3 full meals a day – prepared for you)
3) A body shaking with laughter (ask Larry Glick about his two year old bologna ice cream)
4) No beds to make; no room to clean; 4 fluffy pillows to lay your head on; and friends known and unknown
5) Five days away for ONLY $128.00 a day

Join us September 4-8, 2017 at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina, for another National Older Adult Conference of the COB.


2015 National Older Adult Conference

Seven members from First Church are attending the National Older Adult Conference (NOAC) in Lake Junaluska, NC, next week (September 7-11): Auburn and Ruth Boyers, Brenda Fox, Larry Glick, Sharon Helbert, Rosie Martz, Pauline Miller, and Carolyn and Larry Seilhamer. The theme of this year’s NOAC is “Then Jesus Told Them a Story.” The schedule […]

Weekend of Service Update!

T-Shirts are here. If you are able, please stop by the church today (Thursday 8/20) or tomorrow (Friday 8/21) and pick up your T-shirts. Contributions toward the cost of the T-shirts is voluntary. We suggest a donation of $8.00 per T-shirt for adults and $5.00 for children. There are extra T-Shirts in case you forgot to order one.

Service Projects – We need more individuals for the Brethren Woods project. The team will stain the deck of the new building at Brethren Woods. Depending on the size of the team and time, additional projects include wood cutting and splitting, pressure washing, cleaning, and tree trimming. Supplies for the project are provided. The Trailer Park project will not be held due to a lack of sign-ups. We are still in need of Lollipops, paint brushes, bottled water and a cooler on wheels.

Bike-A-Thon – Friday night from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. Come support our bikers and donate to help Chloe Fuller, a young girl who has leukemia and who attended our Praize Kidz. Heidi still needs volunteers for the event as well as refreshments. Plan to stay afterwards to fellowship around our camp fire.

Camping tents and equipment can be set up any time during the afternoon of Friday, August 21.

Wear your T-Shirt! And arrive at the church by 8:30 a.m. on Saturday for prayer and commissioning, and to join your project teams. Bring a bag lunch, wear appropriate clothing, a hat, and sun screen.

Consider sharing the event with friends by logging on to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the Hashtag #LoveServeRepeat or follow us Harrisonburg First COB. There will be persons available Friday night to help you set up your smartphones if this is new for you! So don’t let that be your excuse! What a great way to share our faith.

Weekend of Service Sign-ups Underway!

FCOB Will Host A Blood Drive This Sunday

In what has become an annual event, Harrisonburg First Church of the Brethren will be hosting a blood drive this Sunday from 11:00am-3:00pm in the Fellowship Hall.  Over the past few years, this drive has been a huge success and hopefully the same can be said for the 2015 event.

Giving is simple, drink a little extra water, get a little extra sleep and show up to help save a life.  Of course, like most things in life, there is good news and bad news.  The bad news… yeah it hurts, but not that much.  The good news…you could help save a life, or lives!  Clearly the good significantly outweighs the bad.

Follow the link to sign up, or simply show up between 11:00am-3:00pm in the Fellowship Hall at the church.  Your help can save a life!