first church missions

These include ministries like serving at the Cold Weather Overflow Shelter, caring for women and children, Shalom Partnership and its care and education for children, AARP Tax Ministry relieving people of anxieties around filing taxes, Discovery Corner Preschool which provides a safe, nurturing and learning environment for children, Lancaster Reentry Management Organization which helps people returning from prison to become productive members of society, Dorcas Kamanda and her work in Sierra Leone among orphans, Bluefields, Nicaragua and supoort of Betesda School, Sudan Rebirth Ministry and support for Tanzania. 

First Church seeks to connect people to Jesus Christ and the church; Grow Christian disciples, & relieve suffering. These mission partnerships and connections help First Church to fulfill that mission.

Serving Locally at First

As a community we value and encourage everyone to discover the joy and the reward of helping others through service. We’d love to invite you to join us as we seek to extend a loving hand to everyone in and around our neighborhood. If you'd like to get involved, please contact us today!. Here are some ways to serve locally:

Upward Basketball

Upward Basketball runs from October through March each year. Upward needs coaches, referees, concession stand helpers, and many other helpers. If you are interested in helping, please contact the office.


First Church offers many choirs for people of all ages. If you are interested in having your children participate in choir, please contact Jan Betty. If you are intereseted in handbell or youth choirs, please contact Peter Omundsen. If you are intereseted in the adult choir, please contact Brian Norcross.

Contemporary Worship

First Church holds a weekly contemporary worship service. Many needs exist on the praise team including singers and musicians, as well as in the technical booth with light, video and sound. If you are interested in serving in the Contemporary Worship service, please contact Joe Anthony.

Anchorage Breakfast Program

The Anchorage Breakfast Program is hosted by First Church.  The breakfast program runs 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year.  Free Breakfast is served to an average of 150 per day.  The low income, unsheltered and socially excluded population, as well as any and all who are hungry come to eat.  Breakfast is served from 8:30-9:45 am each day with a regular menu of juice, milk, cereal, eggs, toast, a hot beverage and fruit.  Each day a team of 12-16 volunteers come together to prepare breakfast.

37,975 meals were served in the year 2017!

The annual budget of the breakfast program is $163,000.  The program employees a director, guest services, a cleaning company and is run by a board of directors.  

A continual Anchorage Fundraiser is the sale of 12 oz. coffee bags roasted by  100% of the profits from the purchase of coffee goes to support the Anchorage Breakfast.  The coffee is always available in the gathering place.

For more information, check out the website.  

aarp tax ministry

AARP TAX AIDE – Free Tax Help

Starting February 1, 2019, at First United Methodist Church

Monday through Friday, 9:00 PM to 1:30 PM – No Appointments


This is an FUMC signature mission that has been in continuous operation since tax year 2007.   Our volunteers prepare tax returns for local people in Lancaster City and the surrounding area at no charge.   This tax service is equipped to file electronically for Federal and State returns, and at the same time, prepare paper returns for the Lancaster County Tax Collection Bureau (LCTCB).  We also provide either property tax rebate or rent rebate preparation for low income taxpayers who qualify.  The wireless internet infrastructure at FUMC is critical to the success of this mission.


We serve low to middle income (undefined) taxpayers with special emphasis on retirees and the elderly.  The scope of the returns we can prepare is defined by the IRS and is quite detailed.  We rarely have persons who are out of scope and denied service. Every tax return is mandated to have a quality review by a Team Leader before being electronically filed.  The average gross income (AGI) of our clients at FUMC was $19,770 which was slightly less than 2016   We secured more than $1,667,000 in refunds for 1443 clients who filed federal returns at the FUMC tax office.

Our FUMC site is an affiliate of the AARP Foundation and is the largest affiliated site in Eastern Pennsylvania in terms of the number of efiled returns.  Our process is 100 percent computer and network based, and runs in a Windows 10 environment running the Taxslayer application and Internet Explorer.  We electronically file 99 percent of our tax returns to the IRS.

Tax Ministry Annual Report 2016

Tax Ministry Annual Report 2015

Tax Ministry Annual Report 2014


Our plan is to open for business at 9:00 am on February 1st 2019 with 10 computers and a staff of 15.  Normal hours are 9 am to 2 pm, Monday to Friday.  


Interested in becoming certified to join this ministry?  

If so, call a member of our leadership team:  Steve Franz (717-656-0353), or Ralph Beedle (717-464-6945)