eNEWS - November 27, 2023


TAPESTRY:  A New and Creative Worship Experience 

Sunday, Dec. 3 | 11 AM | Trotter Chapel

Tapestry starts December 3, 11 AM, the first Sunday of Advent with a series on “Dreams.” We invite you to come, experience something new, and dream with us about faith for today’s world. 

The recommendation from the Worship and Music Task Force is to try something new at the Sunday morning, 11 AM time frame. This new and creative worship experience called “Tapestry” speaks to those who seek to be spiritual but not religious, who want to explore the questions of life and faith, for whom the traditional worship where a pastors speaks at them, not so much with them, does not resonate, who explore a variety of sources for inspiration, who consider young people’s spirituality such a source, and who seek to add some Christian scripture and theology to their musings.  


Tapestry brings all of these things together for a 45-minute gathering in the Trotter Chapel beginning December 3. Children, teens, and parents can worship together for a precious time of being in the same place at the same time, thinking about things that mean the most to us. Participation is hoped for and Poll Everywhere makes it so that you don’t have to be an extrovert to be heard. We invite you to dream about faith, sacred moments, and new experiences of the Spirit’s moving through Tapestry. 


For those of you who used to attend the traditional 11 AM service, we hope you will join the 9 AM traditional service in the sanctuary. If you are unable to come at that hour, the service will still be livestreamed at 9 AM and available for your viewing anytime that is convenient on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@FirstChurchSanDiego.  

Holiday pie and apples

13th Month of Giving

Share an extra helping of generosity with our church today. Your extra gift of love will help us end this year strong, so we can enter into 2024 ready to nourish the community through our ministries.

Give Now!


Service of Celebration and Remembrance in Ocean Beach

Sunday, Dec. 3 | 4:30 PM Reception | 6 PM Service |

Ocean Beach Campus

As preparation to welcome the members from Water's Edge on the Mission Valley campus, we encourage you to join them in their grief in this time of change.

This will be a special evening service to remember and celebrate the Water's Edge Faith Community and Point Loma United Methodist Church. District Superintendent Rev. Sandy Olewine will be the preacher for the event. Please join us for a dinner reception at 4:30 PM in the Community Room.


Advent Lectio Divina Meditation

Wednesdays, Nov. 29 - Dec. 20 | 10:30 AM | Trotter Chapel

Lectio Divina is an ancient and practiced way of reading scripture and meditating on it in sacred space. Pastor Tamara will be leading an Advent Lectio Divina.  Please join us for a time of reflective listening and sharing in the sermon scripture passages this Advent.  

Family Christmas Tea

Saturday, December 2 | 12 - 2 PM | Linder Hall | $15 adults and $5 for kids 12 and under | RSVP by 11/29

The United Women in Faith cordially invite everyone to our very special annual Christmas Tea. Enjoy a delicious lunch, carols, games, prizes, and crafts for all ages. You will be entertained by our own Children’s Choir. We look forward to seeing you there! 

Advent Choral Concert

Saturday, December 9 | 4 PM | Sanctuary & Livestream | Offering | Free Childcare

Come hear glorious holiday music! The Chancel Choir and the Masterwork Chorale look forward to presenting our Advent Choral Concert – available in person and livestreamed! You will hear excellent works by well-known composers such as John Rutter and Camille Saint-Saens, as well as other works by composers you may not be as familiar with including English composer Cecilia McDowall and American composer Amy Marcy Beach. This year, the choirs have the great pleasure of collaborating exclusively with the organ (known as the “king of the instruments”) played by Dr. Jaebon Hwang, the Director of Music Ministries and Organist at First UMC. 

Advent Party and Holiday Pipes

Sunday, Dec. 10 | 12:15 PM | Linder Hall | RSVP by 12/7

This year’s final All-Church Gathering will be an Advent Potluck Party, pairing with Holiday Pipes on December 10! 

Join us for a time of fellowship and learning. This is a special opportunity to meet and greet some of our migrant guests who are staying in San Diego, as well as show our deepest appreciation to our volunteers of the six plus weeks of operating an emergency shelter. 

HOLIDAY PIPES are back for the season! You are invited to this holiday-themed organ concert by First Church's resident organist Jaebon Hwang following the special Advent Party. The program includes an audience carol sing-along and young families with kids are encouraged to join in. 


Add your submissions HERE by Dec. 5

We can’t thank you enough for the meals you provided, the heavy laundry you took care of, ride (or dozens of rides) to the airport you willingly offered, items you brought to the shelter, your friendly interactions with our guests, and all the prayers you lifted to God.

In this season of Thanksgiving, and in our anticipation for Advent season, we invite you to take some time to reflect on our experiences, write a story of your experiences, and send them to us by December 5. If you have some pictures, attach them in your submission. We will display these stories and pictures during our December 10 All-Church Gathering.

Lighting of candles during Blue Christmas service.

Blue Christmas: Please note updated service time

Sunday, December 17 | 2 - 3 PM | Trotter Chapel | Free Childcare

Christmas is a sacred time filled with joy and love. But for those experiencing grief, the holiday season can be lonely and filled with deep sadness. 

Please join Pastor Tamara Walker and Sheilah Cameron, LMFT, for a contemplative Blue Christmas service that recognizes the significance of the holiday season while also honoring the grief we hold for those we have lost. We welcome you to bring a framed picture of your loved one to display on our altar during the service. 


Christmas Eve at First Church (MV)

Free childcare available for infants through preschool at all services. All services will be livestreamed.

Please note there will be no service on Christmas Day (Monday 12/25) .

Sunday, Dec. 24 | 10 AM | Children's Pageant | Sanctuary (MV)

Join the children and youth-led worship where you can experience the Christmas story through music, readings, and the nativity scene.

Sunday, Dec. 24 | 7 PM | Lessons, Carols & Candle Lighting | Sanctuary (MV)

Arrive 15 minutes early for an extended organ prelude, then experience the Christmas story through choral music by the Chamber Choir, congregational singing, and inspiring message. End the service with candle lighting and singing of Silent Night.

Sunday, Dec. 24 | 9 PM | Lessons, Carols & Candle Lighting | Sanctuary (MV)

Arrive 15 minutes early for an extended organ prelude, then experience the Christmas story through choral music by the Chancel Choir, congregational singing, and inspiring message. End the service with candle lighting and singing of Silent Night. 

Christmas Eve with Water's Edge in Ocean Beach

Sunday, Dec. 24 | 10 AM & 5 PM | Sanctuary | Ocean Beach

Join us at 10 AM as we celebrate the fourth Sunday of Advent, followed by a special Christmas Eve Service at 5 PM, preparing our hearts and minds for the birth of Christ.

Christmas Eve is a time of waiting, hoping, and prayer for the future. As our community transitions to a new reality outside of the Ocean Beach sanctuary, we look to Mary and Joseph for divine inspiration knowing that our Savior came into the world during a time of darkness and uncertainty. May the light of God guide us onward in peace, hope, joy, and love during this bleak mid-winter. 


Virtual Angel Tree

Now through December 10

Put a smile on the face of a child of an incarcerated parent by participating in Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree program. Choose a child on the webpage, and your donation of $30 will purchase a gift card to be sent directly to the child. 

Make an Angel Tree Donation

Car Wash and Haircuts 

Car Wash on Tuesday, Nov. 28 and Sunday, Dec. 3

8 AM to 2 PM | P5  

Haircuts on Sunday, Dec. 3 | 8 AM to 2 PM | P5 

Need a car wash or haircut? Come to Parking Lot 5 by Music Center and Memorial Garden. Our migrant church family will provide a state-of-the-art car wash and hip haircuts for boys and men. Your generous donation will go directly to supplement their living expenses during the asylum seeking application process. Get the service you need and support our dear friends.  

Ministry with Migrants Update

Among more than 230 asylum seekers, about a dozen of them are staying in San Diego to complete their asylum seeking application process. This past Sunday, we had a pleasant surprise visit—10 of them came to worship with us!


We thank those church families who are providing low or no-cost housing for these new friends. Our gratitude also goes to a barbershop owner and City of San Diego for housing three others temporarily. These migrant guests are situated in five different areas—La Mesa, Mission Valley, Point Loma, Chula Vista and Downtown. Please volunteer to be part of collective care team if you live in these areas—visitation for friendship and English conversation, transportation, helping with their appointments. 


East County: Contact Rev. Brittany

Mission Valley, Downtown, Chula Vista: Contact Rev. Hannah

Point Loma: Contact Cathy Spies


Asking for donations

Pots and pans (2 households), coffee maker (1), air fryer (1), trash cans (1 kitchen and 2 bathroom), Brita water pitcher (2), cutlery set, silverware set, clothes hangers, silverware sets for 4, plates and bowls, vacuum cleaner, brooms (outdoor), mop, toilet cleaner, small kitchen/dining table with 4 chairs, small living room chairs or sofa, bus passes (8), grocery store gift cards.


Asking for volunteers

ESL tutors, friends who visit them regularly, on-call transportation, helping with document preparation.

Asking for additional housing

Three more friends are still looking for mid-term housing: Two women from Colombia (currently in a city shelter in Downtown), one man from Venezuela (preferably closer to National City or Chula Vista).

Christmas Angels

Extra Volunteers Needed During the Holidays

Stuffers, decorators, labelers, and more...

With the holidays upon us, we will be busily preparing for Christmas at the church and we need many volunteers. Here are the upcoming volunteer opportunities: Decorate the Sanctuary - Pew pockets preparers - Bulletin stuffers - Candlelight prep helpers - Poinsettia display decorators.

Angels Wanted for Christmas Eve Services

Sixth grade through college-aged young men and women needed for all

services, veteran angels welcomed for Lessons and Carols at 7 and 9 PM.

If you would like to help, please call 619-297-4366, ext. 138 or email Demmie.


Christmas Poinsettias Donation

Poinsettias will decorate the Sanctuaries in Mission Valley and Water's Edge in Ocean Beach on Christmas Eve. Donation is $15/plant. Please submit your order by December 17. Printed donation forms will be available at church for those who prefer paying with a check or cash. Those honored or memorialized will be listed in a future eNews and on the website.

Poinsettia Donation

Welcome and get to know your church neighbors!

If you live in any of these neighborhoods, we hope you join us.

North Park/South Park/University and Normal Heights/Kensington

Friday, Dec. 1 | 11:30 AM | Mimi's Café , 5180 Mission Center Rd, San Diego, CA 92108 

RSVP Claire Jackson 

East County 

Sunday, December 3 | 12:30PM | Marie Callender's at 6950 Alvarado Rd, San Diego.

RSVP Lynette Williamson

Parents Forum

(parents of Kids First & Students 1st)

Sunday, Dec. 10 | 10:15 -10:45 AM | Cove (UMC building)

This group meets on the 2nd and the 4th Sunday each month, except Dec. 24).

Are you questioning about Christian faith? Your children ask you questions about faith you can’t answer at the top of your head? If so, join us and let us grow and journey together. On the 2nd Sunday of each month, we have a discussion about our question of the month. On the 4th Sunday, we have a book study on Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity by David Felten and Jeff Procter-Murphy. Email Rev. Hannah if you have questions. 

The River (LGBTQ group)

Sunday, Dec. 17 | 12:15 PM | Email Rev. Hannah for location & RSVP

This group meets on the 2nd Sunday each month except in Dec.

 Join us for a book study on UnClobber: Expanded Edition with Study GuideRethinking Our Misuse of the Bible on Homosexuality. This book study is exclusively for our immediate LGBTQI friends only. Allies will have an opportunity to join us for another book study. Stay tuned.  

Senior Singles Fellowship Group

Every Friday | 12 - 3:30 PM | Linder Hall 2

Senior singles are welcome to join us every Friday for a potluck lunch followed by games: Rummikub, easy Scrabble, Bridge, and more! You may bring a food contribution serving 6. No RSVPs needed. No charge. Questions, call Karen, 619-263-3743 (no texts).

Meet via Zoom & In-person

Prayers for First Church's "Year of Discernment"

Thursdays, (weekly) | 12:30 - 1 PM | Linder 5 & Zoom RSVP

Sundays, (weekly ) | 8:15 - 8:45 AM | LInder 5 & Zoom RSVP

Join Rev. Tamara everyThursday and Sunday to pray for First UMC San Diego’s Year of Discernment. Ask the God of all our days to use us as vessels to spread genuine and trustworthy love to everyone and all the earth. Contact Rev. Tamara for more information.

Monday Night Christian Book Club

Mondays | 7 PM | Zoom

Falling Upward

by Richard Rohr.

To Join: Email Bill

Monthly Labyrinth Walk
4th Wednesday
6 - 8 PM | Linder Hall
Drop-in, no registration
1st Friday of the month
8 AM | Zoom
Speaker & Fellowship
Prayers of the People
Join us as we pray for one another and shared prayer requests.
Wednesdays, 9:30 AM
In-person & Zoom

Heart of Christianity

Sundays | 11 AM | Zoom

Book study:

The Seven Stone Path

by Peter Bolland.

Click here for Zoom Invite

SUNDAY - DECEMBER 3 - Advent 1st


Lead Pastor
Rev. Trudy Robinson

Scripture: Luke 2:25-38


Reassurance in Winter: Hope



Join us in person or watch our Livestream at 9 AM

For our online viewers: Consecrated elements for communion are available for pick up Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM, or can be mailed upon request.

Childcare for infants to preschool, Kids/Students First Activities.

WATER'S EDGE | 10 AM | Ocean Beach Campus

Join us in person or watch the Livestream from OB

Watch Live Page
YouTube Channel
Sermon Archive
Altar Flowers  
Donating altar flowers on Sunday is a way to recognize significant events in your family’s life.  Bouquets are $65 each and anyone can donate one or two bouquets. If you are interested, please contact Demmie Divine in the church office about available dates. 
Children and Youth Ministries Sunday Schedule
Sundays 8:40 AM - 12 PM. This program offers a loving and nurturing environment in the "Multipurpose Room" located in the Children's Growing Center.

KIDS FIRST (elementary students through 5th grade)
Sundays 9 -10 AM. Join us in the sanctuary for "A Time with Children," followed by Sunday School in the Cove. On Communion Sundays, we ask that you pick up "Kids First" from The Children's Music Room below the sanctuary.

STUDENTS 1st (middle school and high school students)
Sundays 10:30 -11:30 AM. Join us in the Cove: The Mountaintop (high school) and The Summit  (middle school). Students in both groups meet together weekly for Sunday school.

We encourage children to sign up to be acolytes for either worship services. No Sunday School on any 5th Sunday of the month, when children and youth are encouraged to worship in the sanctuary with their families. Email Dir. of Discipleship for Children & Youth, Kenton Reaves Hundley, for more info.

Would you like someone to talk to?

Our Stephen Ministers are ready to listen, care, encourage, and provide emotional and spiritual support. You'll meet privately—by phone, video chat, or in person—for care and support.

Contact Rev. Tamara for more information.

Alzheimer's Caregiver Support Group

3rd Thursday of the month: Nov. 16 | 11:30 AM - 1 PM | Free | RSVP

Providing care for someone with Alzheimer’s and Dementia can have severe emotional and psychological impacts. Caregivers can often feel isolated, drained, and hopeless. If you are a caregiver, we want to offer you a place to feel heard, connected, and empowered with those who understand this unique struggle. Join the Alzheimer's Association for a Caregiver's Support Group every 3rd Thursday of the month. You are not alone. 

Deaths: Check our website for weekly updates regarding deaths, memorial services, and funerals.

Request a Prayer
When is a prayer quilt appropriate?
Anyone in special need of prayer is an appropriate recipient of a prayer quilt. We pray for one another in times of illness, injury, or sorrow. We also pray for them at times of great change or transition in their lives. Anyone can request a quilt for another person. We refer to the requester as the quilt’s sponsor. To sponsor a prayer quilt for someone in need of prayer, be sure to ask for their agreement to be a recipient. Ask them what prayers they need. Learn more about the Prayers & Squares Quilt Ministry here and please fill out the online request form. 
Request a Prayer Quilt

Church Office Hours

Monday - Friday 8:30 AM - 4 PM

Memorial Garden Hours
Monday - Friday - 8 AM - 6 PM
Saturday - 8 AM - 3:30 PM
Sunday - 8 AM - 4 PM

Stay Cool and Warm at First Church

Heating and Air Conditioning Installation Update

November 16, 2023

We know with the changing of the season from summer to fall and soon to winter, many of you are wondering what’s up with our heating and air conditioning system installation.

Have you noticed some changes taking place in the sanctuary? The back rows of pews in the East and West transepts have been removed as well as the radiators and storage cabinets in the chancel area behind the choir. You may also notice some clamp holders on the outside of the roof of the sanctuary.  And if you wandered downstairs and got lost at the end of the hall in an empty dark room; well that’s where the old boiler used to be! It has been removed! More storage space!

All of this is preparation work to install our new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. So, work has begun and will pick up in the coming two months!


Nick Hubsmith


How to give

  1. Deposit your gift in the offering plate during worship.
  2. Give online using your credit/debit card or ACH transfer from your checking account. Gifts can be one time or automatically recurring each week or month.
  3. TEXT to Give. Just text MYCHURCHGIFT to 73256 and see how easy it can be!
  4. Mail your check directly to the church via US postal service: First United Methodist Church of San Diego, 2111 Camino del Rio S., San Diego, CA 92108.

Contact Jason Tucker with your questions about giving and tithing to First Church.

Weekly Attendance

11/19/23, Sunday in-person services (Mission Valley: 9 & 11 AM & Ocean Beach: 10 AM)

Combined number of attendees: 356

11/19/23, Sunday 9 AM livestreamed service

Real-time viewers: 302

Avg. watch-time: 21 min.

First Church YouTube subscribers: 2201

To subscribe, log in to your Gmail account, go to First Church YouTube channel, click the subscribe button. You can choose to be notified when we livestream.

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2111 Camino del Rio South,
San Diego, CA 92108
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