Giving Tree

Our Giving Tree this year supports Elizabeth’s New Life Center Women’s Center in Sidney.

The center is a pro-life, non-profit pregnancy resource center that helps women navigate unexpected pregnancies. The consultants at the center encourage each mother to choose life for her child, providing her with assistance in her spiritual, material, educational, and medical needs. These material needs include baby clothes, diapers, wipes, bottles, and many other essential infant care items.

You can share the joy of Christmas by selecting a tag and purchasing an item listed on the Giving Tree ornament of your choice or the wish list below. The items do not need to be gift-wrapped. They are used to help those in need throughout the year.

Please return your donated items to the heritage room or ministry center building of First Church by December 28, 2020.

You may also purchase items online from the list and have it shipped directly to Elizabeth’s New Life Center at the following address.

Elizabeth New Life Center, 2579 Michigan St., Sidney, OH 45365 if that is easier for you.

Joy to the World – Advent 2020 Devotional

Advent is a time of anticipation. Looking forward to Christmas day when we celebrate the birth of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.

Let’s join together and prepare our hearts during this important time of year by reading Joy to the World together as a church. It is a short book by John Piper with Scripture readings and a devotional thought for each day, beginning December 1 and leading all the way through Christmas Day. During Advent, Pastor Joel will preach from selected scripture passages featured in the devotional.

Free copies are available at the info center in the sanctuary or in the office to take home. We are located at 200 W. Bremen St. in New Knoxville, Ohio.

You can also give them away to family and friends. We have plenty!

If you would like a devotional, but are unable to come to the church, please contact the church office at and we will happily mail you a copy today!

New Choir Director

We are excited to introduce Miss Holly Smith as our new Choir Director!

You may remember seeing her play the flute here as a guest musician in the past. On Wednesday evening she was able to meet with various members of the choir and bell choir. You will be seeing more of her around First Church in the coming weeks as she gets to know everyone.

She shared a few words of introduction with us:

“Originally from Upstate New York, I moved to Ohio in 2012 to attend Grad School. This is my seventh year of teaching Elementary School Music at New Bremen Local Schools. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Hartwick College (NY) where I specialized in Instrumental Conducting and Flute Performance; completed my Master of Music Degree in Music Education from Bowling Green State University (OH) where I specialized in Elementary General Music; and received an Endorsement in Gifted and Talented Education from Muskingum University (OH). I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was 7 years old and am abundantly blessed to have been sharing the love of Christ with others through music since 1999.” Cheers, Holly.

Operation Christmas Child 2020

Operation Christmas Child is Underway!

Celebration Sunday, November 15, for OCC will be here before we know it, and everyone is encouraged to PACK SHOEBOXES!  Operation Christmas Child is a ministry that everyone can be involved in.  Keep in mind that every child that receives a Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child shoebox also receives the opportunity to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior by being involved in the 12 week discipleship lessons of “The Greatest Journey”.

I am thankful to have an area in the church this year that serves as the collection center for shoebox packing items.  Instead of having a packing party, this year I encourage you to visit the OCC room (upstairs above the elevator at the east corner of the church) to pack boxes as you wish.  You can do so on Sunday mornings from 8:30 to 11:30 am or Wednesday evenings from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.  Throughout the next few weeks I will be visiting the Pre-K to 6th grade Sunday school classes and the youth group to share OCC.

Donations of bar soaps, wash cloths, toothbrushes, pencil sharpeners and underwear & socks for all ages are especially needed.  In addition, your donation of flashlights, musical instruments, bandanas, sunglasses, hand tools, children’s band-aids, nail clipper sets, disposable razors, mirror compacts, and sewing kids is deeply appreciated. 

Need suggestions for shoebox items? Click one of the links below.

There are many ways to be involved!  Pray for OCC and the children who receive boxes, pack a shoebox of your own or one we can provide (shoeboxes are available at the entrances), donate items, donate financially for items or postage, or come help pack boxes.          

Your OCC Project Leader, Sharon Colson.  419-733-4566

Fall Sermon Series Starts September 20

Proverbs: Practical Wisdom for Everyday Life

We need wisdom now more than ever. We live in a world that is over saturated with information. Wisdom is knowing what to do with the information that is given to us. Biblical wisdom in particular, begins with our knowledge of the Lord. There is no better place to look for wisdom than the book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

The authors of this Old Testament book make wise and practical insights into a number of topics, including the importance of our words and truth, how to handle money, the importance of self-control, and human relationships.

This fall, we will take a guided tour through the book of Proverbs and discover how God provides practical wisdom for everyday life.

Worship services are at 9 am on Sunday mornings. You can also watch via Facebook Live at 9 am or listen to the re-broadcast on T-102 FM at 10:15 am each Sunday.

New Bible Study – A Study of Prophecy

End Times – A Study of Prophecy begins on September 20.

10:15 am in the Ministry Center

This 12 Week study covers key ideas and highlights from the book of Revelation, Daniel and other scripture.

It examines thought-provoking teaching of core biblical concepts in prophecy. You will gain a foundational appreciation of God’s plan for Israel, the Church and the events that culminate the end of the age.

Email to sign up or on one of the clipboards in the church or ministry center.

Sunday School Resumes on September 20

Exciting Changes for our Sunday School Classes & Students this fall!

The Sunday school leadership team has been working hard over the last year on evaluating our Sunday school program.

We’re shaking things up in our classrooms and combining different age groups starting this fall.

What does that mean for your child / children? Here are the new age groups for each classroom.

  • Pre-K Class (Kids 3 y.o. to Pre-K) will be in the Pre-school room behind the sanctuary.
  • K – 1st Grade are in the Kindergarten room behind the sanctuary.
  • 2 – 3rd Grade are in the Primary room upstairs.
  • 4th-6th Grade are in the Old youth room upstairs.

Sunday, September 20 at 10:15 am is the first day of Sunday school! Parents please bring your kids to their new classrooms following the church service.

Another exciting change is NEW Sunday School Curriculum!

We’re starting a new curriculum this year in Sunday school called GROW! Grow is a three-year curriculum that takes kids through the major stories of the entire bible.

Grow focuses on helping our kids grow in their faith in four areas: spending time with God, spending time with others, using their God given gifts for the Kingdom, and serving the world around them!

We’re so excited for GROW and cannot wait to fill you in on all the details and why we love it so much at the Ice Cream Kick-Off Party on Sunday, September 13 following the church service! There are so many exciting things for our students, parents and teachers too!

A Word from Pastor Joel on COVID-19

We are glad you are joining us for worship!

Whether you are joining us in person or choose to continue worshiping with us by the radio broadcast or Facebook Live we are glad to have you joining us.

Each person, family, and situation is unique. Some people are ready to come back to church, while others may feel more comfortable worshiping from home for a while longer. Both options are perfectly valid. You need to decide what is right for you and your family, and First Church will do everything we can to minister to you either way. We are a family. We must respect and honor each other’s decisions. We are all in this together.

  • Masks are now required in the State of Ohio in indoor public spaces. They are available at the entrances. Exemptions are made for children under ten years of age and people with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing a mask.
  • All surfaces in the church will be disinfected and cleaned weekly.
  • Everyone will be encouraged to follow social distancing practices.
  • Families should sit together and keep distance from others.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrances. Its use is encouraged.
Sunday Leftovers

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