625 Hamilton Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94301

fax 650.323.3923


News and Upcoming Events - You are welcome here!

First Church Palo Alto Christmas Eve Worship Times
Learn more about all of our Christmas Eve services and events

Christmas Eve Services 5:00, 7:30 & 11:00 pm

ChristmasEve150196.gifWe invite you and your family and friends to join us for one of our three services on Christmas Eve. You are welcome here.

   5:00 pm Children & Family Service
     • 4:45 pm Christmas Music
     • 5:00 pm Children & Family Service
          This year the children will be presenting the pageantOnce Upon A Manger

   7:30 pm - A Service of Lessons and Carols
     • 7:15 pm Christmas Music
     • 7:30 pm A Service of Lessons and Carols

11:00 pm - A Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
  • 10:45 pm Christmas Music
  • 11:00 pm A Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
             Chancel Choir Anthems, Carols and Organ

Bring your family, friends and neighbors. Celebrate the Joy of Christmas with us!

After our 5:00 pm Family Service you are invited to join us for our traditional
soup and bread supper in Fellowship Hall.

Out of town for Christmas Eve? Watch our three Christmas Eve services live online. Go to www.firstpaloalto.com/live to view the live video webcast.

listen.gifListen to the Christmas Eve reading, Luke 2:1-14.

LECTIONS FOR CHRISTMAS EVE: Psalm 96, Isaiah 9:2-7, Titus 2:11-14, Luke 2:1-20.

LECTIONS FOR CHRISTMAS DAY: Psalm 98, Isaiah 52:7-10, Hebrews 1:1-4 (5-12), John 1:1-14.

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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 one of our Co-Pastors.

Pastor Sadie 650-323-6167 x102           Pastor Linda 650-323-6167 x101

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Kids and Youth - Be a Part of our Christmas Musical

Be a part of the First Church Palo Alto Christmas MusicalCalling all kids!. You're invited to be part of this year's Christmas program.

What’s going on? We will be presenting on Christmas Eve "Once Upon A Manger", a Christmas musical by Scott C. Gross.

When will it be performed? December 24, 2014 at 5:00pm (Christmas Eve)

Who can participate? All children and youth are encouraged to participate, from ages 3 up to 12th grade. (preschoolers accompanied by a parent are welcome)

When are rehearsals? Two Dress rehearsals are scheduled for Wednesday December 17th from 4-6pm and Monday December 22nd from 2-4pm.

How do I sign up? Auditions will not be held, rather, parts will be assigned.

Is there any cost? No

How can parents help out? We will need help with sets, costumes, making cue cards, offstage prompting, bringing snacks to longer rehearsals, etc. Please help make the musical a success.

Questions? Contact Pastor Sadie 650-323-6167 x102

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Joy Of Giving 2014

JoyOfGivingNativity150151.jpgThe Joy of Giving has been a long Christmas tradition of the First United Methodist Church of Palo Alto. It is a natural expression of our faith in Christ and our caring and love for our people in every part of the world.

Through the Joy of Giving you can designate which listed organization(s) your financial gift should be given. As you can see below, we have global opportunities as well as local opportunities to which you can give.

Make your checks payable to: First United Methodist Church and mark them "Joy Of Giving". Please add a note indicating which of the designated groups you want to donate to, and how much of your donation each group should receive.

Send your donation to: First United Methodist Church of Palo Alto, 625 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94301

If you wish to give a gift in honor of someone on your Christmas list, you may request a gift card from the church office.

Click here for the Joy of Giving information brochure and donation form.

Click "Show rest of Joy of Giving 2013" to learn more about the organizations that are part of this year's Joy Of Giving program.

Show rest of 'Joy Of Giving 2014'...

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YOFPA - Youth Group Schedule

December 14th - 6:00pm-7:30pm Family Christmas Caroling over at Channing House. Wear your best christmas sweaters and hats, bring your Christmas Cheer as we offer the gift of our voices to the residents of Channing House. The Entire Family is invited to join us!

December 21st - Bethlehem A.D. in RedWood City. We'll meet at the Church at 6pm and go over together.

December 24th - 5:30pm Christmas Program. The Children and Youth of First Church present, "Once Upon A Manger."

December 28th & January 4th - No YOFPA enjoy your Christmas Break!


June 24–28, 2015
Youth 2015, Orlando, Florida I know this seems far away but we’ll need to register and buy plane tickets before we even know it. This is an amazing life changing opportunity for our youth to be involved in worship, mission, fellowship, small group learning with 1000s of other UMC Youth. It’s an incredible event! Please be prayerfully considering if your youth is willing to commit. We do have a Centennial Endowment Grant to help offset much of the cost and we will be looking for other ways to be in service and mission as we prepare for the trip

Interested in youth group activities? Contact Pastor Sadie 650-323-6167 x102

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December 14, 2014 - Third Sunday in Advent - Without Love, there would be no Christmas - Pastor Linda Holbrook (Audio)

Sermons from Pastor Linda Holbrook of First Church Palo AltoListen to Pastor Linda's December 14, 2014 sermon for the third Sunday in Advent..

The reading was Matthew 1:18.

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Young Adult Ski Trip

First Church Palo Alto Young Adults Ski TripLet's go to the snow! Truckee, CA! January 23, 24 & 25th.

Arriving there Friday afternoon and leaving there Sunday after worship.

Just over three hours away in the Tahoe Donner Area, there is a marvelous little church, the Squaw Valley Chapel that can sleep up to 40 people. It is in the middle of the Olympic Village, a three minute walk to Starbucks, restaurants and winter shopping. Complete with a kitchen for us to cook in, one male and one female bathroom, each with a shower, and a sanctuary for us to worship in - the church where we'll sleep and keep warm is just perfect.

Cost for the two nights, which includes food to be cooked on Friday and Saturday nights and Saturday and Sunday breakfast is $100. Please let Pastor Sadie know if a scholarship is needed.

Saturday is a ski day, or a hang out in the lodge by the fire and read day, depending on your desires. Lessons are available for those who need them. Saturday night is a devotion in the chapel, games, and fellowship, and Sunday we’ll worship in the chapel. It’s a fun, meaningful weekend.

If you're interested in going please contact, Pastor Sadie 650-323-6167 x102 ASAP so we can reserve your spot.

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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.

They're starting a new study using the book, Under Wraps: The Gift We Never Expected by Jessica LeGrone, Andy Nixon, Rob Renfroe, Ed Robb.

Small Group Schedule:

November 19th: Introduction & Chapter 1: "God is Expectant"
December 3rd: Chapter 2 & 3: "God is Dangerous" & "God is Jealous"
December 17th: Chapters 4 & Epilogue: "God is Faithful"

All are welcome to join the small group even if you've never attended.

Young Adult Fellowship Skate Night! The Young Adults are invited to the Winter Lodge in Palo Alto for a Ice Skating Night on Wednesday December 10th from 8-10pm. On Wednesday nights the Winter Lodge hosts an adult-only skating time. Join us for some fun & fellowship on the ice!

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December 7, 2014 - Second Sunday in Advent - Stable Time - Pastor Linda Holbrook (Audio)

Sermons from Pastor Linda Holbrook of First Church Palo AltoListen to Pastor Linda's December 7, 2014 sermon for the second Sunday in Advent..

The reading was Luke 1:24-25.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration


Join us as we celebrate the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. at 3:00 pm on Sunday, January 18, 2015 in the Sanctuary.

Our guest speaker will be Jeff Steinberg. He is the Founder and Director, Sojourn to the Past, a former High School History Teacher and a White House Committee Award Recipient

Students from Eastside College Preparatory School and Costaño Elementary School in East Palo Alto will perform. Also performing will be a Volunteer Community Interfaith Choir. Singers are Welcome! (There will be a rehearsal at 1:45 pm. Please wear a white shirt/blouse and dark pants/skirt or choir robe. )

First Church is one of the five community groups that has sponsored this annual celebration for over 20 years. This event is made possible by the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community and Interfaith Celebration Committee.

Please mark your calendars and plan to attend. There will be a reception in Fellowship Hall after the service at 4:30 pm.

Admission is free.

This event is co-sponsored by the The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community and Interfaith Celebration Committee, The Peninsula Bay Chapter of Links, Inc., First United Methodist Church, Jerusalem Baptist Church, University AME Zion Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Public Affairs Committee), and Pilgrim Baptist Church.

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November 30, 2014 - First Sunday in Advent - The Gift of Hope- Pastor Sadie Stone (Audio)

A Pastor Sadie Sermon at First Church Palo AltoListen to Pastor Sadie's November 30, 2014 sermon for the first Sunday in Advent.

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Advent Study is Under Way

Pastor Sadie and Pastor Linda are leading a study for Advent using the book When God Comes Down by James Harnish.

This is a five-week study, providing one lesson for each week of Advent and one for Christmas. Each lesson includes a key Scripture, a brief reflection, discussion/reflection questions, a brief prayer, and a focus for the coming week.

The study will be offered at two times: on Thursday mornings at 10 am and Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm in the Patio Room.

Please join us for this Advent study to better appreciate When God Comes Down. Read more about the book in the November Insights.

See Pastor Linda or Pastor Sadie to get a copy of the book.

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November 23, 2014 - Gratitude - Pastor Sadie Stone (Audio)

A Pastor Sadie Sermon at First Church Palo AltoListen to Pastor Sadie's November 23, 2014 sermon for Thanksgiving.

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Our New Organist

Diane Pratt Keller, organist at First Church Palo AltoIt is with great pleasure and excitement that the Organist Search Committee in conjunction with SPRC and the Music and Pastoral Staff announce that Diane Pratt Keller has been selected as our new organist at FUMC. After an intensive nationwide search with many auditions and interviews, Diane was the committee’s unanimous selection to fill the organ position.

Diane is a native of Tucson, AZ. She holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Organ Performance and Pedagogy from Brigham Young University.

Her musical career has included serving as a Guest Organist at the Salt Lake Tabernacle from 1994-2012, teaching piano and organ lessons both privately and in groups, and teaching preschool music classes.

As an active member of the American Guild of Organists she has served on the board of the San Jose Chapter for many years including serving as Dean from 2011-2013.

Diane and her husband have lived in the Bay Area since 1999 and are the parents of three children.

She will join us as organist in January.

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December Issue of Insights is Online!

The December issue of our Insights newsletter is now online.

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

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Join us Christmas Eve

First Church Palo Alto Christmas Eve Worship Times

Here's how to get here

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Job Opening - Preschool Teacher

Careers at the First United Methodist Church of Palo AltoOur First School Preschool is looking for a preschool teacher to join our staff.

Full time. Hourly rate based on experience. Vacation, PTO, and medical and dental included.

To support the Director and other teachers in carrying out the mission of First School which strives to provide a nurturing environment for the social, emotional and cognitive growth of children between the ages 2-1⁄2 - 6 years in a small, personalized church setting.

• Minimum of 18 years of age.
• Must possess a minimum of 12 Early Childhood Education (ECE) units and at
least.6 months of work experience in a licensed childcare center or comparable
group child care program.
• Must possess the ability to work effectively with children; warm, calm demeanor;
empathy and understanding; and most importantly, under the direct supervision
of the lead teacher.
• Be empathetic and understanding with children; have a genuine affection for and
interest in, preschool children.
• Good organizational skills and attention to detail
• Knowledge of health, nutrition and allergies
• Excellent references
• Background/fingerprint clearance
• Maintain a supportive relationship with children, staff, and parents.

Learn more about First School at www.firstschool.org

To apply, please send your resume to Michelle Noke at michellebnoke@gmail.com, or call her at (650) 321-3871.

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Job Opening - Children and Youth Ministry Coordinator

Careers at the First United Methodist Church of Palo AltoThe First United Methodist Church of Palo Alto is seeking an able candidate for the position of Coordinator of Children and Youth Ministries.

We are seeking a dynamic, cooperative leader who enjoys working with children and youth to assist the pastoral team in developing and growing the children and youth ministries of the church.

Hours will vary depending upon current programs, including a regular commitment for four hours on Sunday morning and two hours on Sunday evening, in addition to weekly staff meetings and other unscheduled planning and special event time.

To apply, please send your resume to Marcia Sterling at mks@sonic.net

No phone calls please.

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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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3RD S3SSION - Young Adult Worship Is Under Way!

3RD S3SSION Young Adult Worship at First Church Palo Alto

Our Young Adult Fellowship has started 3RD S3SSION, a new monthly worship service.

Join us on the third Thursday of every month at 8:00 pm in the Wesley Room for an intimate, meditative worship time together.

For more information about "Third Sesh", contact Pastor Sadie 650-323-6167 x102.

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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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Christmas Eve Services 5:00, 7:30 & 11:00 pm
We invite you and your family and friends to join us on Christmas Eve

5:00pm: Family Service/ Christmas Pageant
7:30 pm: Service of Lessons and Carols
11:00 pm: Traditional Candlelight Service

And join us 15 minutes before each service for a Christmas organ meditation.

The 3 services will also be webcast live here.

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

Young Adult Worship:

Kids and Youth - Be a Part of our Christmas Musical
This year's Christmas Eve musical is "Once Upon A Manger". Rehearsals are under way. Click here for more information.

Joy Of Giving 2014
The Joy of Giving is a Christmas tradition that helps to show our caring and love for people in every part of the world. Click here for the Joy of Giving information brochure and donation form.

YOFPA - Youth Group Schedule
Our youth group has a full schedule of exciting activities planned. Check them out here.

December 14, 2014 - Third Sunday in Advent - Without Love, there would be no Christmas - Pastor Linda Holbrook (Audio)

Young Adult Ski Trip
Calling all Young Adults. Join the ski trip on January 23-25th. Reserve now. Check out all the details here.

Young Adults Schedule
Our young adults have planned a full schedule of events. Check out what's going on here.