Summer Sermon Series

Summer Sermon Series on 1 & 2 Thessalonians

We are all “works in progress”, aren’t we?

We may not like to admit it, but it’s true. None of us are perfect, and yet God doesn’t give up on us. Through Christ and His Holy Spirit, God continues to transform us more and more into his image.

Paul wrote the letters to the Thessalonians to remind them of this. He wanted to encourage them to hold on to the faith, and to teach that God was sanctifying them. We need to hear the same lesson today. In uncertain times, we need to hold on to what we know is true and live a life that is informed by faith. Ultimately, what we believe about our faith and the future should determine how we live in the world now.

Join us on Sundays at First Church of NK.  Sunday Service begins at 10:15 am or you can listen on T-102 FM or via our Facebook page.

A Word from Pastor Joel on COVID-19

Updated May 13, 2020

Dear First Church Family,

 I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” – Psalm 122:1

On Monday, May 11, Spiritual Council met to discuss plans to resume in-person ministry activities here at First Church. Based on the current guidelines and the state of the COVID-19 pandemic, we feel that we can safely and responsibly resume in-person worship services on Sunday May 24. As I mentioned in my letter last week, we will take necessary precautions to help ensure the safety and health of our church family.

Here is what you need to know:

  • Sunday service will remain at 10:15 am for the time being to accommodate our continued livestreaming of services.
  • Please enter and exit through one of two entrances:  the parking lot door or the elevator door.
  • Please refrain from entering areas other than restrooms or the sanctuary.
  • All touch surfaces will be disinfected and cleaned weekly.
  • Everyone is asked to follow social distancing practices.  Families should sit together and keep six feet from other families.  Pews may be marked accordingly.
  • Bibles and hymnals have been removed from the pews. We encourage you to bring your own bible and the lyrics to hymns will be printed in the bulletins.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at tables at the entrances.
  • Masks are not required but are strongly encouraged.
  • There will NOT be childcare in the nursery for the time being.
  • There will NOT be Sunday school.  Normally Sunday school takes the summer off so we will resume Sunday school in the Fall as we normally would.
  • There will be NO greeters or greeting time.
  • We will NOT pass the plate for offerings.  There will be offering plates at the two designated entrances for you to place your tithes and offerings.
  • We WILL have children’s chat but kindly ask that children stay in the pew with their parents for now.
  • Please remember these changes are temporary.  This too shall pass.

As we resume in-person services, please consider carefully whether your family is ready to join us. Every situation is unique. You may be ready to come back. That is great! I encourage you to join us on May 24. Or you may not be comfortable returning to church quite yet. That is great too! If so, I encourage you to continue to worship with us through the Radio Ministry or Facebook Live. If you or a family member are part of the vulnerable population, I strongly encourage you to consider continuing worshipping this way. Whatever your choice may be, I respect your decision and First Church will continue to minister to you. Remember, we are a family and we are in this together. Let us continue to extend God’s love and grace to each other and do everything in our power to keep each other safe and healthy. That is how we continue to love our neighbor during this time.

In Christ, Pastor Joel Bucklin

Updated March 27, 2020

Follow us on Facebook

Check out our Facebook page for links to the Facebook Live broadcast on Sunday mornings, Pastor Joel’s mid week messages, Pastor Tory’s Sunday school lessons and even weekly fun challenges.


Updated March 18, 2020

Dear First Church Family,

On Monday evening March 16, Spiritual Council and Consistory supported my recommendation to cancel all in-person ministries, including Sunday morning worship, until further notice.

Our goal is to abide by current Ohio and CDC restrictions as long as they are in place. We make this decision out of love, not fear. Love for our church family and the New Knoxville community, and a desire to put your health and safety first.

Although in-person ministries are cancelled, we will continue our Radio Ministry. A small, predetermined group of people will put on a worship service so that we can still worship together as a church family, even if we are not able to gather together.

The broadcast is from 10:15-11:15 AM on T-102 (102.1 FM) and also on the iHeart Radio app. We will also post it to our website immediately after the service.

Please contact the church office via phone, email or reach out to us on Facebook if you have any questions or would like to talk with someone.


Pastor Joel Bucklin


Scripture Reading Plan for Lent

I will be preaching from the Gospel of Mark during Lent.

I encourage you to read through the Gospel with me as we work our way toward the cross and the resurrection.

Below you will find a reading plan that will cover the entire Gospel of Mark beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending on Good Friday.

I encourage you to join with us as we read the story of Jesus together. I am sure God will bless us as we dig into his word together.

Pastor Joel Bucklin


Scripture Reading Plan for Lent

February 26 – Mark 1:1–20

February 27  – Mark 1:21–45

February 28  – Mark 2:1–17

March 2  – Mark 2:18–3:12

March 3 – Mark 3:13–35

March 4 – Mark 4:1–20

March 5 – Mark 4:21–41

March 6  – Mark 5:1–20

March 9  – Mark 5:21–43

March 10  – Mark 6:1–13

March 11  – Mark 6:14–29

March 12  – Mark 6:30–56

March 13  – Mark 7:1–23

March 16  – Mark 7:24–37

March 17  – Mark 8:1–21

March 18 – Mark 8:22–9:1

March 19  – Mark 9:2–13

March 20  – Mark 9:14–41

March 23  – Mark 9:42–10:12

March 24  – Mark 10:13–34

March 25  – Mark 10:35–52

March 26 – Mark 11:1–26

March 27 – Mark 11:27–12:12

March 30 – Mark 12:13–34

March 31 – Mark 12:35–44

April 1 – Mark 13:1–31

April 2 – Mark 13:32–14:11

April 3 – Mark 14:12–31

April 6 – Mark 14:32–52

April 7 – Mark 14:53–72

April 8 – Mark 15:1–20

April 9 – Mark 15:21–47

April 10 – Mark 16




Seeking God First with our Treasure, Time, Talent, and Testimony.

In Matthew 6:33, Jesus says, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” This is a timeless truth that applies to every area of our lives.

A steward is a wise manager, someone who takes care of resources that were entrusted to them. Stewardship, however, applies to more than just our financial resources. We are called to be wise stewards of our treasure, time, talent, and testimony. When we learn to put God first in these areas, God will use them for his glory and our good.

Join us at First Church on February 9, 16 & 23 for this new series.

An Invitation to Rest

Sabbath: An Invitation to Rest

We live in a world that never stops. Our calendars are filled with demands from school, work, sports, and family. We are addicted to our screens and social media. What little down time we have is often spent worrying about the next big thing on our to do list. Life moves at a hectic pace, 24/7/365 with no end in sight. Many people suffer the tell-tale signs of burnout. Is this how we were meant to live?

God shows us a better way. He invites us to establish a rhythm of work and rest that Scripture calls Sabbath. It isn’t about a new list of legalistic rules to follow, or even a particular day of the week. Rather, it is about trusting God with our time and resources. We were created to rest regularly so that we may remember who God is and what he’s done for us, resist the hectic pace of life that leads to burn out, and revitalize our approach to work and the rest of our weekly schedule.

Join us at First Church during the month of January was we study how to embrace God’s invitation for Sabbath rest.
Reading List:

  • The Art of Rest by Adam Mabry
  • The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness by Timothy Keller
  • Every Good Endeavor by Timothy Keller
  • 24/6 by Matthew Sleeth, MD
Sunday Leftovers

Reflections on the Bible, life, and the church from Joel Bucklin