625 Hamilton Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94301

fax 650.323.3923


News and Upcoming Events - You are welcome here!


Welcome CenterWelcome! Whether you are visiting the Silicon Valley, or are looking for a new church home, we welcome you to First Church!

We offer a variety of worship celebrations, small groups and classes to nourish your soul, as well as numerous ways to serve both the local community and the world.

Programs and opportunities for fellowship for kids, teens, tweens, young adults, adults and seniors abound.

Join us for worship at 8:45 and 10:45 am.

Our 10:45 am classic worship service is celebrated in the Sanctuary.

Our Upstream service is at 8:45 am in the Chapel.

Can't make it to Church? Watch the live worship webcast. Join us online Sunday morning at 10:45 am.

Questions? - If you would like to learn more about First Church please contact Pastor Linda 650-323-6167 x101

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August 2, 2015 Sermon - God’s Good Creation: Kids - Pastor Beth Cademartori

Pastor Beth of First Church Palo AltoListen to Pastor Beth's August 2, 2015 sermon. This was her first sermon at First Church.

The reading was Matthew 21: 14-17.

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July 26, 2015 Sermon - God’s Good Creation: Humankind - Pastor Shijung Shim (Audio)

Pastor Shijung Shim of First Church Palo AltoListen to Pastor Shijung's July 26, 2015 sermon. This was her first sermon at First Church.

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Dog Days of Summer

Pet Adoption Day at First Church Palo AltoOn Sunday, August 9, 2015 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm First Church is holding a Pet Adoption Event in partnership with Pets in Need, a wonderful local pet rescue organization.

Pets in Need staff will host this fun event with us to attract the community to “meet and greet” their rescue dogs.

Pets in Need also will have information available about their shelter animals and programs (free spay and neuter, Save Our Seniors, Second Chance, etc.) For more information see petsinneed.org.

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Koinonia Pool Party

Koinonia welcomes you to a casual around-the-pool wine and cheese gathering at the home of Marcia and Nat Sterling on Saturday, August 8, 2015 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm.

Bring along your swim suit if you want to take a dip. Please RSVP to Marcia Sterling if you’re planning to come.

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July 19, 2015 Sermon - God’s Good Creation: Clean Air and Clean Water - Pastor Linda Holbrook (Audio)

Sermons from Pastor Linda Holbrook of First Church Palo AltoListen to Pastor Linda's July 19, 2015 sermon.

The reading today was Deuteronomy 8:11-18.

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2nd Sunday Collection

Every month First Church collects items for clients of the Opportunity Center and InnVision Shelter Network.

When you stop at the supermarket, drugstore or department store for your own needs, pick up a few extra items. Then bring them to Church on the second Sunday of the month,

Items Needed: deodorant, disposable razors, travel size toothpaste, flashdrives, men's pants - plus sizes, men's socks and underwear (new) - plus sizes, women's undergarments - bras, socks, underwear (new) - plus sizes.

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Shijung Shim, Associate Pastor

Pastor Shijung Shim of First Church Palo AltoPastor Shijung comes to Palo Alto from the Green Korean United Methodist Church in Fremont, CA. She was appointed to First Church Palo Alto effective July 1, 2015.

Her heart for ministry lies within pastoral care. For Shijung, the essence of pastoral care is to journey with her neighbors to seek the individual and communal purposes that God has planned for each individual and to gently restore them to the intentions of God and Jesus Christ for their lives. She is reminded of the verse, “The purposes of a person's heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out” (Proverbs 20:5, NIV).

Shijung’s first-hand experience in ministry actually began as a pastor’s kid in Seattle, WA. As a younger-generation Korean American, her role as a “PK” was to support her parents, who are first-generation immigrant pastors, and at the same time to connect with her friends. This meant creating a welcoming place so that everyone—despite their generational and cultural differences—could come together to worship God because we are all children of God!

She responded to the calling of ministry as a pastor gradually through her eight years at Green Korean United Methodist Church in Fremont, CA. Shijung found a genuine sense of joy identifying and witnessing various ways the Holy Spirit guided each individual and also Green KUMC. As a result she envisioned that this is something that she would like to do for the rest of her life.

Pastor Shim is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA. She has a master’s degree in pastoral care and counseling from Yonsei University in South Korea and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Washington. With her background as a Korean American, Shijung enjoys Korean American spiritual practices such as fervent prayer, especially when visiting a prayer mountain. She also enjoys driving in the rain and sipping a good cup of latte with her favorite companion—which can be a book or a friend.

Click here to read and listen to the sermons Pastor Shijung has preached at First Palo Alto.

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Beth Cademartori, Associate Pastor

Pastor Beth Cademartori of First Church Palo AltoPastor Beth 650-323-6167 x105

Here is Beth's introduction of herself.

Church has always been a major part of my life. My Dad was an organist, and some of my earliest memories of church are Saturdays spent in the pews, coloring while hymns rolled out of that huge, old organ and swirled around me. The church has always been a place where I felt safe and loved. It was where I had friends through those awkward, lonely teen years, and my church family—which extends well beyond the walls of any one church building—has helped me figure out and then live into the me that God dreams me to be. I am excited to be receiving my first appointment as a pastor, and am eager to discover what new things God has in store for me at my new home: First Palo Alto UMC.

So, a little bit about me. I was born in San Francisco and grew up here in the Bay Area. I am a graduate of San Mateo High School, and attended Ohio Wesleyan University where I double majored in Astrophysics and Pre-Theology. While some found the combination counterintuitive, I didn’t; I’ve always seen elegance in the simultaneous simplicity and complexity of physics, a whisper of the divine.

After college, I served as a UMC missionary for a little over two years in the Kingdom of Tonga. During my time there I lived and worked at Queen Salote College, an all-girls Wesleyan secondary school in the capital city of Nuku’alofa, teaching science and mathematics. In those years I grew into my calling and laid claim to the talents I have been gifted with: my passion for mission and cross-cultural ministry, my connection with kids and youth, my interest in discipleship, and most of all my desire to be a servant of God and equip others to do so as well. It took me a couple more years, but I finally figured out there was a label for all of that: pastor.

I am excited and humbled to be joining in ministry with all of you at First Palo Alto UMC as one of your pastors. I look forward to hearing your stories and creating new ones, as we seek the intersection between God’s story and our own.

Pastor Beth was appointed to First Church Palo Alto in June 2015

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July-August Issue of Insights is Online!

The July-August issue of our Insights newsletter is now online.

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

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Roof Repair Presentation

As most of you know First Palo Alto has looked for years for a company to repair the damage caused by the weather and to restore the beauty of this space. The Trustees have found a company that has the qualifications to restore our beloved sacred space.

On June 7th, members gathered in Kohlstedt Hall to hear representatives from Western Waterproofing present the work necessary to repair, protect and restore the First Church sanctuary. Last treated in 1980, the building has many leaks and cracks that have developed over the 35 years since 1980.

See the presentation here.

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Join Us for Summer Choir

Summer606CChoir15081.jpgOur choirs take a well-deserved break during the summer months, so we invite you to join our Summer Choir.

During the Summer months come to the Sanctuary at 9:45am for rehearsal. We'll rehearse an easily accessible anthem which we'll then present during the worship service.

Join us for one Sunday or every Sunday!

Everyone is welcome!

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New Adult Sunday School Class - 2 Class Times

Come learn about the core texts for our faith! Richard Schramm will be leading a new study, using one of The Great Courses, Explore the New Testament from the Gospel of Matthew to the Book of Revelation.

The class meets every Sunday morning at 9:45 am in the Wesley Room and every Sunday evening at 5:00 pm in the Patio Room.

Bart Ehrman, Professor of Religion at the University of North Carolina, directs 24 half-hour video lectures. Crafted as a review of the 27 books of the New Testament, Dr. Ehrman combines theological research with archeology to assist in understanding each book's content, meaning, authorship, intended audience and historical accuracy.

As always, you can attend one, some, or all of the lectures. No homework is required. All written materials are supplied during the Sunday School class. All are welcome.

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Stephen Ministry

stephenLogo.gifAre you struggling with one of life’s many issues? Divorce... grieving... job loss... family problems... spiritual malaise... health... job dissatisfaction... depression... unsettled problems...

A Stephen Minister. is here to help.

Stephen Ministers are specially trained lay people, gifted with sensitivity and listening skills. They are available to offer Christian care to those experiencing grief, loneliness, illness or a traumatic transition of any kind.

To get help from a Stephen Minister, contact Pastor Linda 650-323-6167 x101

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New Contemplative Worship Service

Looking for a Quiet Place to Clear your Mind?

Looking for time to nourish your heart, or a new way to reflect upon your life?

Experience a place of contemplation, meditation, reflection…

Join us at our new Contemplative Worship service every second Wednesday of every month at 7:30pm in Kohlstedt Hall.

For more information, please contemplative Pastor Linda 650-323-6167 x101

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Altar Flowers

You are invited to sign up to sponsor the altar flowers for Sunday worship in memory, honor, or celebration of a loved one or event.

The cost is $70.

Click here to sign up online.

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Young Adults Schedule

Our young adults have a full schedule of events planned. All are welcome.

Young Adult Small Group The group meets every other Wednesday in the Wesley Room at 7pm.

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First School: Nurturing Our Community's Children


Are you looking for a preschool?

Enrollment opportunities are available at First School.

Art, drama, music, stories gymnastics, cooking and nature study, with an emphasis on social development and Kindergarten readiness are included.

First School is licensed by the state of California Social Services Department and is staffed by qualified and experienced teachers.

You are welcome to stop by for a visit and experience our program first hand.

Find us at www.firstschool.org

Contact Michelle Noke at 650-321-3871 for more information.

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Monthly All-Church Potluck

First Church Potluck SupperThe All-church, Old-fashioned Methodist Potluck Supper started by the Koinonia Fellowship Group with an enthusiastic response is continuing. 

It is now regularly scheduled on the church calendar for the 3rd Saturday of each month at 5:30pm in Fellowship Hall.

We made it early so you can bring your children (and don't forget your friends).

Please bring your appetites and a casserole or salad or dessert to serve 12 people. Beverages, bread, and utensils will be provided.

Let Janet Nicholls (650) 321-9039 know you are coming! If you need a ride, let Janet know and we’ll arrange for someone to pick you up and take you home.

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Online Prayer Requests

Prayer75121.jpgDo not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

If you have a prayer request, you can now submit it online to our pastors. All prayer requests are held in confidence.

To submit a prayer request, click here.

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Donate Online to First Church

We now offer the ability to make an online donation today to the First United Methodist Church of Palo Alto securely through PayPal.

Your gift is vital to our mission: The Children in our Midst, the Mission at Our Doorstep, a Place of Hospitality and Grace.

Donations help us provide the many programs and ministries of the church including: Children and Youth Ministries, Faith Development and Education Programs, Community Outreach Mission and Service Projects, and Worship. Please note a PayPal account is not required.

To make a donation, just click on the Donate button below.

If you have any questions, please send an email to giving@firstpaloalto.com.

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Next Sunday: Join us for worship at 8:45 and 10:45 am.

Can't make it to Church?
Watch online
at 10:45 am

Contemplative Worship: 2nd Wednesday of the month at 7:30pm

August 2, 2015 Sermon - God’s Good Creation: Kids - Pastor Beth Cademartori

July 26, 2015 Sermon - God’s Good Creation: Humankind - Pastor Shijung Shim (Audio)

Dog Days of Summer
On Sunday, August 9th from 10 am - 1 pm we're is holding a Pet Adoption Event in partnership with Pets in Need, a wonderful local pet rescue organization. Bring your friends and neighbors

Koinonia Pool Party
Koinonia welcomes you to a casual around-the-pool wine and cheese gathering at the Sterlings on Saturday, August 8th

July 19, 2015 Sermon - God’s Good Creation: Clean Air and Clean Water - Pastor Linda Holbrook (Audio)

2nd Sunday Collection
Every month First Church collects items for clients of the Opportunity Center. Toiletries, socks and underwear are needed.

Shijung Shim, Associate Pastor
Join us in welcoming Shijung Shim as one of new our Associate Pastors. Learn more here.