Welcome to First Church!

What to expect

We know that when you first walk in to a place that is unfamiliar it can be an uncomfortable experience. However, we believe when you visit First UMC, you’ll get a sense of our welcoming spirit. We are a diverse family of faith who wants you to know that you have a place here with us. We understand the importance of creating a loving and inviting atmosphere, especially for our guests. We hope the information on our website, and the following information will help you to feel at home with us.

Dressing for Church
We want you to feel comfortable. After all, we are thrilled that you're joining us and want you to be more focused on the service than what you're wearing. In the summertime, it's not uncommon to see people wearing sandals, shorts, and a shirt. Others prefer to still put on their "Sunday best," and that's fine too! We think you'll fit in no matter how you dress. At church, you may notice some of our members wearing nametags. We do this to make it easier to meet new friends. If you would like a nametag, please request one at the Welcome Center located in the Gathering Area of the church.

Arriving as a Guest
We welcome you on your first visit. We won't put you on the spot or call you to the front. Before or after worship, please stop by the Welcome Center in the Gathering Area of the church and let us know this is your first visit with us. We’d like to answer any questions that you have. Ushers and Greeters are available to assist you should you have any questions or special needs regarding seating or other general questions. Please feel free to go to an usher to request assistance.

Hearing assistance
Our Sanctuary is equipped with a hearing loop. We also offer ComfortAudio devices to make use of the Teleloop in our Sanctuary.  Hearing Loops allow people who wear hearing aids, that are equipped, to directly receive the sound from the church’s PA system in their own hearing aids by switching to a T-coil (telecoil) program. Hearing loops help hearing aid users by broadcasting sound, without background noise or reverberation, directly into the hearing aid. The user has to switch the telecoil on and off. The sound comes into the hearing aid user's ear as if it was plugged in to the sound system.

We have a Hearing Loop installed in our Sanctuary and Room 108. If you have a telecoil in your hearing aid all you need do is switch it on when in our Sanctuary or Room 108 and you will receive sound directly from our sound system.

Please see an Usher for a handout with more information. Also, Hearing Loop receivers are available if you do not have a hearing aid but have difficulty hearing. They can be checked out at the Welcome Center. Please supply your own ear phones.

Sermons
Every Sunday, you will hear a relevant message that is based on Scripture and is designed to be helpful in your everyday life. We trust that these messages will help you develop a growing, vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ and provide a strong biblical foundation for your life.

Offering
Each week there is a time to worship God through the giving of tithes and offerings. As a guest, you are welcome to give, but please do not feel any pressure to give. This is an act of worship allowing us to thank God for all of the great work he is doing in our lives.

Communion
On the first Sunday of each month, we celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion together. All are welcome to participate in this time of reflection and prayer – you do not need to be a member of First United Methodist Church or of any church. The Lord's Table is open to all who seek relationship with Christ Jesus. The juice and bread that we share during this Holy Sacrament represent the life He gave up so that our sins could be forgiven. Gluten-free bread and juice are available.

Childcare
Childcare is provided during worship services each Sunday morning. Adhering to the Safe Sanctuary Policy of First United Methodist Church, paid childcare workers and staff will provide quality care in an inviting atmosphere for the youngest members of our church family. While children are always welcome in the worship services, parents need to be sensitive to others who are here to worship. When a child becomes restless or cries, you are encouraged to use our childcare services. Nursery care is available for children up to 3 years old in Room 209 on the second floor.
We also have a Family Room available in the Side Chapel Sanctuary. In addition, Sunday School classes are offered for children 3 years old and up from September through May. We aim to provide a safe, comfortable place for your little one and to care for each child in a kind, loving, and spiritual way.

Restrooms
Restrooms are located on all three levels of the church building. Handicap accessible restrooms are located on the main level.

What is different during Covid-19?

The doors of First Church are open once again.
Members of our church family who feel safer at home should know that we continue to offer our worship services online, and we can continue to stay connected with Zoom midweek Bible studies, Zoom Coffee Fellowship, and Zoom prayer groups.

For those who are ready to venture out to an in-person worship service once again, 
here is what you can expect to find at First Church.

When do we meet?

We have resumed in-person worship on Sundays at 8:45 AM. Our expectation is that people will return to church gradually, and so we will start with just one service, all together. As soon as our numbers grow to the point where we can no longer remain safely distanced, we will add a second service.

What about entering and exiting?

Unlike a store, where people may be entering and exiting at the same time, our traffic flow will be one direction only. Accordingly, all doors to the church will be unlocked and open except the doors from the Garden. Folks may park, enter, and exit according to their comfort and custom.

How far apart are we?

Two out of every three pews in the Sanctuary are unavailable for seating.
This gives us a full six feet between us and both the folks sitting behind us and the folks sitting in front of us.

What about children?

Nursery care is available for children up to 3 years old in Room 209 on the second floor.
We also have a Family Room available in the Side Chapel of the Sanctuary.

Are we wearing masks?

We strongly encourage members of the church family to wear masks, and we will have masks available at the church.
We remember that masks are not just about protecting ourselves; they are about protecting those around us, too.
Masks are required of the Greeters and Ushers.

Are we able to receive Communion?

Yes! We have purchased small, prepackaged, individual units that contain both a wafer and a cup of grape juice.
These will be available on a table for members to pick up for themselves as they enter the Sanctuary on the first Sunday of each month.

Are we able to sing?

Yes! There is less congregational singing than had been our custom, but we include singing in our worship.
Our expectation is that the combination of wearing masks and being seated two pews apart allows us to sing more safely.

What else is different?

The Ushers will not hand you your bulletin; you will be asked to pick one up for yourself from a table as you enter.

All hymns and Scripture readings will be printed in the bulletin. Bibles and Hymnals have been removed from the pews.

Greeters will take attendance as folks enter the Sanctuary instead of passing the attendance pads.

Offering plates will be located at the front of the Sanctuary, and members will be able to place their offering in those plates as they leave the Sanctuary at the conclusion of the service. Offering plates will not be passed.

Sunday School classes for children, youth, and adults takes place at 10:00 AM.

In order to avoid congestion when the service is over, the Ushers will dismiss a few pews at a time in much the same manner as we have all experienced at weddings.

There will be no Coffee Fellowship provided in the Gathering Area before or after the service.
However, we have a virtual Coffee Fellowship via Zoom at 11:00 AM. We invite you to join us. Contact Lina Green for the link to join.

How to find us

We are located at 501 Howe Street in Downtown Green Bay on the block surround by Howe, Monroe, Doty, and Madison Streets.

There is plenty of parking at and around First UMC. We have a parking lot on two sides of our building. And after conversation with area businesses, we have received permission to use the following additional parking lots on Sunday morning:
YWCA on Madison across from Jackson Square Park
Green Bay Press-Gazette on Madison, just south of Doty
Merrill Lynch on Monroe across from church
Behind the Joannes Law Firm building on Monroe

With these adjoining parking possibilities, in addition to street parking, we believe there should be available parking within a two-block radius of the church building.  We suggest that our younger, more able members park in some of the adjoining areas allowing our older members, our single parents with young children, and our visitors to park closest to the church building (in spaces painted blue).

How to contact us

We'd love to hear from you. Fill out the form below to get started.