180 Denny Way Seattle, WA 98109 | Worship with us Sundays at 10:30 AM! office@firstchurchseattle.org 206.622.7278

Rev. Izzy Alvaran at Adult Sunday School

IzzyAOn Sunday, March 26 at 9 a.m., we will welcome Rev. Dr. Israel Alvaran to First Church. A long-time activist and community organizer, Rev. Alvaran currently serves as the Western Regional Organizer for the Reconciling Ministries Network. He has served in various ministry settings as pastor, youth minister and faculty at a UMC university and seminary in the Philippines and now lives in San Francisco.

Find out more about what it means to be part of building our movement for full inclusion in the United Methodist Church by joining Rev. Alvaran for a conversation on Sunday morning at 9 a.m. in First Church Room 301.

All-Church Retreat 2017


All-Church Retreat at Camp Indianola
April 21-23, 2017

You are invited to spend the weekend with your church family at Camp Indianola on the beautiful Kitsap Peninsula! Join this annual gathering where we’ll walk the beach, meet new friends, learn, play and relax. On Sunday morning we will have a special worship service at Camp Indianola.

Register Now!

Heartfelt Thanks

1920s radio ministry daysEvery Wednesday morning in the First Church office, the archives team continues to inventory First Church historic documents, artifacts, and ephemera. Thanks to Jim Palmquist, Gary Parker and Charles Wheeler for their diligent help with this work.

Special thanks go to Charles Wheeler for scanning a comprehensive collection of church slides and sound recordings into digital format. The church archives are much more complete and richer for his work.

Thanks also to Nancy Sherertz for her expertise continuing to inventory and organize a collection of books that migrated from the church library at 5th and Marion to the 2nd and Denny Way church’s third floor conference room. We’re grateful, too, for the recent contribution of books on John Wesley and Methodism to the library from the Chester and Catherine Morgan family.

Finally, deep appreciation to John MacKean for keeping our silver polished and gleaming.

For more information about the church archives and / or volunteering to help, contact Claire Gebben, clairegebben@gmail.com.

Holy Week Schedule


20160327_easter_lo-15smallJoin Us!

Palm/Passion Sunday – April 9, 10:30 a.m. 

All are welcome to gather with us for worship on Palm/Passion Sunday. Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, celebrates the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. At First Church, we begin the service with a processional, waving palm branches. This Sunday is also often referred to as Passion Sunday, marking the beginning of the passion or suffering of Jesus leading to and including the crucifixion.

Professional childcare for children under 4 will be available during the worship service. The ushers will also have “Kids’ Worship Bags” available filled with quiet activities for children to play with during the service.

Join the children and youth on the 3rd floor after worship for a self-guided, meditative Walk Through Holy Week. Come see where Jesus cleared the Temple, walk through the Garden of Gethsemane, sit in the upper room with the disciples, imagine Jesus standing before Pilate, make a cross at Golgatha, and sit quietly in the tomb. Middle-Eastern light refreshments will be served. 

Note: Coffee Hour will be served AFTER worship during the Walk Through Holy Week.

Maundy Thursday – April 13, 7 p.m. 

You are invited to observe the Lord’s Supper with us and participate in a Tenebrae service.  “Tenebrae” comes from the Latin meaning “darkness.” The Tenebrae is an ancient service that makes use of gradually diminishing light through the extinguishing of candles to symbolize the events of Holy Week.

Maundy Thursday is an alternate name for Holy Thursday, the first of the three days of solemn remembrance of the events leading up to and immediately following the crucifixion of Jesus. The English word “Maundy” comes from the Latin mandatum, which means “commandment.”

Professional childcare for children under 4 will be available. The ushers will also have “Kids’ Worship Bags” available filled with quiet activities for children to play with during the service.

Good Friday Cantata – April 14 at 7 p.m.

Gather with us on Good Friday, the Friday before Easter on which the crucifixion of Jesus is remembered.

Our Sanctuary Choir, plus members of Kirkland Choral Society and a chamber orchestra, will present J. S. Bach’s Cantata #4 Christ lag in Todesbanden (Christ lay in death’s bonds). Over the past several years, the choir has made a tradition of performing Bach’s music, already having performed 5 of the cantatas, the Magnificat, and part one of the Christmas Oratorio. Christ lag in Todesbanden is one of Bach’s most famous cantatas, deeply expressive, and rich in the symbolism of spiritual struggle, and the triumph of life over death.

The service will include prayer and Scripture reading on the death of Christ.

Professional childcare for children under 4 will be available. The ushers will also have “Kids’ Worship Bags” available filled with quiet activities for children to play with during the service.

Easter Sunday – April 16

6:15 a.m. Sunrise Service at Myrtle Edwards Park

Join us for a beautiful and contemplative worship service on the shores of Elliott Bay as the sun rises over our city on Easter morning. Meet at the fountain in front of Uptown Espresso (2801 Alaskan Way) at 6:15 a.m. and we will walk together to the beach area of Myrtle Edwards Park for a service by the water, or look for our sunrise service group near the Myrtle Edwards park pocket beach area. Dress for the weather, and bring a folding chair if you’d like to sit down during the service.

A no-host breakfast to follow at C.J.’s Eatery (2619 1st Ave, Seattle).

10:30 a.m. worship service in the First Church sanctuary.

Celebrate Easter at First Church! In Christ we find the hope of transformation, the joy of community, and the love that encompasses us in our diversity.

Professional childcare for children under 4 will be available. During the worship service young children will be dismissed before the sermon for an adult-supervised activity we call “Discovery Time.” The ushers will also have “Kids’ Worship Bags” available filled with quiet activities for children to play with during the service.

All children and youth are welcome to join the Easter egg hunt after church!

Note: There will be no Sunday School classes on Easter.


Lunch and Learn with Pastor Austin

Sunday, March 12

IMG_5704webJoin us after church on Sunday in the Fellowship Hall for a Lunch and Learn with Pastor Austin about our Lenten season study focus, The Cross and the Lynching Tree.

The season of Lent is often described as a journey to the cross. This Lent we are taking that journey together using Dr. James Cone’s book The Cross and the Lynching Tree as our guide.

The cross on which Jesus was executed was one of thousands of crosses the Romans utilized as a way of intimidating and controlling the oppressed people at the margins of the empire, much like the ways lynchings of African Americans in the US were used as a tool to terrorize the whole of the black population and keep them in “their place.”

Exploring the connections between the cross and the lynching tree will help us better understand the life and teachings of Jesus as well as the impact that some of the most horrific chapters of US history had on our current political climate. With the recent rise of the “alt right” it is more important than ever to look at the uncomfortable aspects of our culture and hear anew Jesus’ call to love and justice.

If possible, please plan to contribute $5 to help cover the cost of your lunch. RSVP on Facebook.