The First Church community takes seriously the responsibility of caring for each other, with our pastors, Congregational Care Committee, and intercessory prayer team leading the way.

Pastoral Care

Our pastors provide pastoral care in several forms. Pastors Bonny, Grace, and Jane visit persons during crises such as hospitalizations, end-of-life, and other times of distress and need. Grief support is available through the pastoral staff and periodic small groups for those who have experienced a recent loss.

Also, our pastors preside at memorial/funeral services for members, constituents, and friends of the church. Please click here to read more about end-of-life planing. Our pastors also perform baptisms during worship for infants, children, and adults. Our pastors offer referrals to mental health professionals, when appropriate.

Congregational Care Ministries

Our Congregational Care Committee with the support of Pastor Bonny Roth offers many opportunities to participate in ministries of care for persons in our faith community.

Lay Visitors from our congregation meet regularly with church members who are sick, grieving, or otherwise isolated. These volunteers are trained and carefully matched with church members; they meet regularly for mutual support and ongoing training. Click HERE to read about more about the lay visitors ministry.

Our Meal Ministry is offered by a team of volunteers who prepare and deliver meals to families with new babies, people who are ill, and those who have suffered a loss.

36Our Knitting Ministry team knits blankets, hats, and gloves as well as prayer shawls for church members, families with new babies, our soup kitchen patrons, and local people in need.

Each Sunday through our Greeting Card Ministry persons can reach out to those in need of encouragement by writing a note during fellowship hour. We also send birthday and holiday cards to older adults in the congregation. On Sunday afternoons flowers that are donated for worship services are delivered to members of the congregation as a sign of our care and support.

Around the Christmas holiday we host an Advent Luncheon for persons over 65 in our congregation, and organize Christmas caroling to homebound members.


Prayer is one way we care for each other.

Our pastors pray for those who request confidentiality. Our staff pray for members at our weekly staff meetings. Our congregation prays for those who wish their names listed in our weekly bulletin First Things First and in our Prayers of the People during Sunday worship. Contact our pastors through e-mail when you want to request prayers.

You can also submit a prayer request to The Living Prayer Center, an online ministry of the Upper Room. Click here to do so.

There are several other online prayer resources available. We suggest:

  • UMC General Board of Higher Education and Ministry: Online Devotions for Such a Time as This. These devotions are collected within three categories, yet most devotions speak to many of us who don’t fit the categories.
  • National Council of Churches: Weekly prayers on racism and a host of other resources.
  • Northern Illinois Conference Prayer Network: Equipping & Encouraging Growth in Discipleship. Weekly calendar with devotions, prayer tools, and much more.
  • Sacred Space: Daily guided meditation from the Irish Jesuits.
  • The Upper Room: Morning prayer on Facebook. Monday, Wednesday, & Friday at 11 a.m. CDT. Explore the Upper Room website for more prayer resources.