625 Hamilton Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94301

fax 650.323.3923


Welcome to the First United Methodist Church of Palo Alto!

New site coming in 2018!

Please bear with us. If you have questions about anything you find on this site, please contact the church office at 650.323.6167 or info@firstpaloalto.com.

Ash Wednesday

Wednesday, February 14, 7:00 PM in the Sanctuary

Join us for a reflective Ash Wednesday service and beginning to Lent. Ash Wednesday emphasizes confronting our own mortality and confessing our sins before God within the community of faith.

At the service we will share in two practices. First, we will use ashes as a sign of our mortality and repentance. In the Bible, sprinkling oneself with ashes was traditionally as sign of one's sorrow for the death of Christ. The Imposition of Ashes is a powerful nonverbal and experiential way of participating in the call to repentance and reconciliation.

Second, we will distribute small cards and invite each person to write a particular sin or hurtful or unjust characteristic. No signatures are necessary and the cards will be collected and burned, symbolizing the "giving up" of that characteristic.


Patio Under Construction

We have a (temporary) fence around the patio! Patio waterproofing is expected to take 4-6 weeks, during which time the patio entrances will not be accessible. Signs will be posted throughout the buildings. For Sunday worship, please come through the Byron St. parking lot entrance or use the wheelchair accessible Webster Street entrance.

Snack-n-Chat Fellowship Hour will be held in the Atrium (to your left as you exit the Sanctuary) after service while the patio is under construction.


Enjoy a Meal at California Pizza Kitchen and Raise Money for First Church!

California Pizza Kitchen
136 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto

On Wednesday, February 28, eat in or take out from California Pizza Kitchen at Stanford Shopping Center and benefit the programs of our church. You just need to present this flyer to the server (either as a hard copy or as a digital copy on your phone) for your purchase to count. Spread the word! 20% of all purchases come directly to the church. Share the flyer with friends and neighbors. The fundraiser applies to this CPK location only. We look forward to seeing you there!


Lenten Bible Study

Just turning on the news makes it obvious that we live in uncertain times. Our individual lives are often just as unsteady. While we are hard wired to desire stability and surety, it is those who embrace uncertainty and make the risky decision to follow Jesus, who ultimately find courage, hope, and strength. Join us this Lent as we read Embracing the Uncertain and learn how to wrestle with the uncertainties of our own context by looking at stories from uncertain times in Jesus' life and ministry.

This class will be offered at three different days and times beginning in Lent:

  • Sunday mornings at 9:45 AM
  • Wednesday mornings at 10:00 AM
  • Wednesday evenings at 7:00 PM


February Insights is Online!

The February issue of our Insights newsletter is now online.

Click here to read this month's news-filled issue!


San Francisco Chamber Orchestra Free Concert

Saturday, Feb. 24, 7:30 PM in our Sanctuary

San Francisco Chamber Orchestra will present "Serenade" with works from Dvořák, Heitor Villa-Lobos, and Brahms, focusing on the lower strings and woodwinds. Visit http://www.thesfco.org/calendar/serenade-palo-alto/ for more details. SFCO supporting members with membership cards will receive priority seating 60 minutes before concert time. General seating begins 45 minutes before concert time.


United Methodist bishops condemn President Trump's remarks against immigrants

Bishop Bruce R. Ough, president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, issued a statement on January 12th on behalf of the Council concerning remarks reported to have been made by President Donald Trump regarding immigrants. Please visit the UMC website to read the full statement, and the Cal-Nev Conference website to read a statement from our local bishop Minerva C. Carcaño.

"...We will not stand by and allow our brothers and sisters to be maligned in such a crude manner. We call on all United Methodists, all people of faith, and the political leadership of the United States to speak up and speak against such demeaning and racist comments.

"Christ reminds us that it is by love that they will know that we are Christians. Let's demonstrate that love for all of God's people by saying no to racism; no to discrimination and no to bigotry."

—Bishop Bruce R. Ough
President – Council of Bishops


Great Decisions

January 28 – March 25
All sessions are in Kohlstedt Hall from 7:00 to 8:30pm

Please join us for the continuation of this year's foreign policy discussion series. You need not be a foreign policy expert to attend. Just bring an open and eager mind; newcomers and guests are welcome! If you have general questions, please contact Tom Fingar, and visit the Foreign Policy Association website for details about individual topics.

The discussion is richer when attendees have read the background article in the Great Decisions book published by the Foreign Policy Association. You can get yours for $25 at any of the sessions.

The schedule for the remaining sessions is as follows:

  • 1/28: The Waning of Pax Americana? — Tom Fingar (Shorenstein APARC Fellow in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies)
  • 2/4: NO MEETING
  • 2/11: Media and Foreign Policy — Tom Fingar (Shorenstein APARC Fellow in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies)
  • 2/18: China and America — Tom Fingar (Shorenstein APARC Fellow in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies)
  • 2/25: Russia's Foreign Policy — David Holloway (Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies)
  • 3/4: Turkey: A Partner in Crisis — Scott Kilner (Former US Consul General, Ankara, Turkey)
  • 3/11: US Military Role at Home and Abroad — Karl Eikenberry (Director of the U.S.-Asia Security Initiative at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center)
  • 3/18: South Africa's Fragile Democracy — Steve Stedman (Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies)
  • 3/25: Global Health: Progress and Challenges — Karen Eggleston (Director of the Asia Health Policy Program, Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center)


Sunday School

First Church Palo Alto Come join us as we dive into the Bible and learn about God and Jesus and more! Friends are always welcome!

Who: All kids from 3 yrs through 5th grade!

When: Sundays at 9:45 am

Where: 3 yrs.–Kindergarten meet in the Butterfly Room (1st Floor) and 1st–5th grade meet in the Rainbow Room (2nd Floor).



Join us in worship this Sunday:

8:45 am – Upstream (a casual service)

10:45 am – Traditional Service (with choir and organ)

1:00 pm – Tongan language worship service

2:00 pm – Fijian language worship service

Can't make it to church? Watch our 10:45 am service online.