Whisperings from the Library

Normally when you think of libraries you think of quiet places with shelves of books and comfy
chairs to come and spend some much needed down time. You may have even heard the “Ssshhh!” “Whisper please!” from the librarian.  You can still find that here in our church library as well. A quiet space with comfy chairs and thousands of books, well over 5000. In fact, since May we have added 236 books to our collection with more being added every week.  However, there is a great deal of excitement going on in the library. Wednesday nights you might find a group of parents working on projects like wrapping shoe boxes, refreshing the worship bags for the children, or assembling donations to give out at the Christmas Tree Lighting. There are students working on homework and often impromptu puppet shows.  Sunday mornings we are often visited by the joyous sounds of the Sunday school children who are busy exploring the books and listening to stories from one of our wonderful library volunteers.  There are meetings, mentoring, tutoring and memories being made up in the stacks of the library.  Come, pull up a chair and curl up with a good book and join the excitement of the library.

See you in the Stacks
Cynchia McConniel


Raising funds for 2018 Puerto Rico mission trip

We are selling Fly Boy gift cards for coffee and donuts to raise money for our Puerto Rico mission trip next summer.


  • 12 oz. coffee (whole or ground) $14/bag
  • 24 k-cups- $20


  • Dozen glazed- $10
  • Dozen assorted (donuts, long johns, bismarks)- $14
  • Flyboy dozen- (assortment including 4 specialty items)- $18

AND…to go along with the coffee and donuts- get ceramic mugs for $10 or a travel tumblers for $20.  The mugs are a great reminder-while you drink that morning coffee- to pray for Puerto Rico and the group going there this summer on a mission trip!  They would make great Christmas gifts. 

This mission trip to Puerto Rico is going to be a great experience.  There will be a lot of work to do!  To make it possible for us all to get there, fundraising is important.  We can take up to 60 people this June 30th -July 6th.  This is going to cost about $85,000 (depending on the cost of flights-still being worked out).  Support for this trip is critical.  We need your prayers, encouragement and financial support to make this trip be the life-changing trip that it can be! 

Any questions-

Ask Andrea or Curtis

Kingdom Building Sunday

Join us on 5 for all 3 worship services as we celebrate our Lord and all he has given us. Join us for a full turkey dinner as we support our youth in mission as the prepare to go to Puerto Rico in 2018.  Mr and Mrs Grainer will be here talking about their experiences as missionaries and express their gratitude in helping support them financially. All will have the opportunity to give the gift of live via donating a pint of blood.  The day will end as the Nightwatch serves dinner to 200+ folks.

We support PROJECT CAR!

Have you ever wondered about those vehicles you see running around Sioux Falls with the words "Project Car" written on the side?

Well, it’s a little-known taxi service in town where the rides are free to a very special clientele. 

One of the hardest things for older Americans to deal with is not being able to drive anymore. Even though they have lots yet to contribute, they're stuck.

25 years ago, pastor Barney Friesth of 1st Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls wanted to help those folks at least get to church. Working with a couple other congregations in town, Project CAR was born.

Today Project CAR has grown to four cars, two vans and a bus with 60 drivers and well over 150 regular riders.

You can call (605)332-2777 for more information about getting a ride or being a volunteer driver.

58th Annual Turkey Dinner

 Help support the student ministry by donating items to the silent auction and country store.

Items needed are:

  • Theme Baskets (movie night, candles, pet care, kids stuff etc)
  • Gift Cards
  • New Household Items
  • New Electronics
  • Gently Used Items
  • Event Tickets
  • Unique and hard to find items

Please have all items delivered to the church by October 25.  Questions? Contact Pam Knuth

.(Turkey Dinner is Sunday, November 5, 2017 | 2 serving times 10:30 - 1 pm (get tickets now) & 4 - 6:30 pm. (get tickets now)  Adults: $10/Children 4-11 $6 children 3 and under free)

UMCOR Responds to Hurricane Harvey

By now, we have all seen the horrific images of Hurricane Harvey’s destructive path through Houston, Southeast Texas, and Southwest Louisiana, producing record-shattering rains and flooding in some communities.

Before Harvey made landfall, UMCOR was working with United Methodist Church conferences to ready resources and volunteers for the relief and recovery efforts.
UMC volunteers from these conferences are UMCOR’s feet on the ground, and they are actively responding to this ongoing and developing disaster.

A catastrophe of this size and magnitude will require UMCOR to be there for the long-term as UMC conferences address the urgent needs of those affected. UMCOR will be with them every step of the way.

Please pray for the millions of people affected by this disaster.  And make a gift so we can provide the help they need to rebuild their lives.


Some church members have expressed interest in loaning the church funds to help with our bridge and construction loan to lower our interest costs as we complete the Believing in the Future project.  Our Charge Conference approved for our church to borrow up to $800,000 if needed to complete the construction over the next 6-8 months and we are going ahead with a bank loan.  As we have stated we do have the funds in our 3-year pledge campaign to cover all the costs of the project.   Here are the parameters of these loans:

  •  Minimum loan amount is $25,000
  • 3-year term
  • Between 0 to 4% fixed interest rate
  •  Our church may accept or reject any offers, and preference will be given to lower interest rate requirements. 
  • For other term details please contact Tom Stritecky, Jennifer Larsen or Pastor Bob if you are interested in assisting the church in this manner.

Blessing Bag Ministry to begin

Blessing Bags provide some basic necessities to those in need, whether they’re homeless or for any reason. More than providing necessities, the bags “bless” their recipients with dignity offered to them by loving hearts and without judgment.

“Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” -Matthew 25:40

Why are we doing this?

Since we began the MCCI process, we have asked our congregation to be in continual breakthrough prayer...that God would provide new ways to move beyond the walls of our building; that we would move from a church that sits on the sidelines, to a church that gets in the game.  And we need to start with the game that is being played right outside our neighborhood

One thing we are noticing is folks in our neighborhood are food and housing insecure.  They may have jobs, food, and a place to live, but it's not enough.  They live at or below the poverty line, and they lack basic clothing and hygiene items.  I contrast, the people we meet at the downtown events seem to have their basic needs met and then some.  Two very different groups, found in the area surrounding our church.  How can we begin a meaningful relationship with both?

The Blessing Bag ministry will encourage and empower persons outside our church to be the change inour community.  By working toghether we cam create a stronger community where the Holy Spirit can begin to work in the hearts and lives of those we impact.

How can you help?

  • Donate: bottled water, basic toiletry items and shelf stable snacks.
  • Write notes of encouragement for the recipients
  • Assemble the Blessing Packs

Warm Hands - Warm Heart

KELO news sites the homeless in Sioux falls altogether, including children and adults, at 955 people.

As the winter months are approaching it is our goal to collect 300 pairs of gloves or mittens we are not looking for expensive ones.  Something like this one on Amazon would be perfect.at only $5.99.

Once we received these gloves and mittens we will fill them with hand warmers and protein snacks.  Working with Pastor Rebel Hurd, from Church on the Street, we will distribute these on November 29 as we host an advent Spaghetti Dinner followed by our annual tree lighting, and again on December 16 as Taylor and his band provides an amazing Christmas worship service for Church on the Street.

If everyone that attends worship would donate just one pair we could easily meet our goal.

If you are unable to get out and purchase a pair and would like to contribute financially CLICK HERE and select Mittens from the drop down.

Together we can be a Sanctuary of Hope to those in need!

Join the Prayer Community for the United Methodist Church

Praying our way forward!

This prayer movement is a response to the Council of Bishops initiative called Praying Our Way Forward. We are called to a posture of prayer, praying for God’s leadership to guide us effectively in fulfilling the mission of the church. We invite you – clergy and laity, conferences and congregations – across the denomination to pray for God’s guidance.

Learn More

UMCOR School Kits

The school sales have begun, so now is a perfect time to pick up the supplies needed for the UMCOR School Kits.  This list is different from the Sioux Falls School list, so please use this list when getting supplies.  We will collect school supplies for these kits during July, August and early September.  We need to have all supplies for all of the kits by September 22nd so we can have everything packed before Mission Café and Bakery on September 30th. 

School Kit Materials

  • 1 pair blunt scissors
    • Rounded tip only
    • No plastic scissors
  • 3 pads of paper
    • Spiral- or top-bound pads
    • 100-150 sheets of loose-leaf paper can be substituted for 1 pad
    • No composition books
    • No 3 or 5 subject notebooks
  • 1 hand-held pencil sharpener
    • Must be at least 1 inch long
  • 1 30-centimeter ruler
    • Hard or flexible
    • Cartoon characters are acceptable
    • No advertisements 
  • 6 unsharpened pencils
    • No advertisements, religious, patriotic, military, or camouflage symbols
    • Cartoon characters are acceptable
  • 1 2-inch or larger-size eraser
    • No advertisements, religious, patriotic, military, or camouflage symbols
    • Cartoon characters are acceptable
  • 1 24-count box of crayons
    • Only 24-count boxes
  • 1 14x16 inch cloth bag

Frances Blessing Wagner is turning 100

There will be a Family & Friends Pary on Tuesday, August 15th from 2 - 4 pm in the North Dining Room at Touchmark at All Saints. - 111 W 17th St.  Sioux Falls, SD 57104.  As an extended celebration, she would thoroughly enjoy cards!  Send to: Frances Wagner 111 W 17th St. Apt 423, Sioux Falls, SD  57104.  Visits are welcome anytime!

Nightwatch Update

The Nightwatch is making a huge difference in Sioux Falls.  We are feeding between 1 and 2 hundred people each Sunday evening with the other area Methodist churches.  Each and every Sunday you (First Church family) are serving 50 men, women and children here in our parking lot.

Not only to we satisfy the immediate need of food but we offer a friendly ear and conversation.  We invite everyone to worship with us, many take us up on it.  Thank you for making everyone feel welcome.  

On several occations we distribut clothing, blankets, and devotional booklets.  The key to being able to distribute more then just food is YOU.  We need you to join our team and help set up and distribute these items.  It would also be great if you could coordinate the collectuon of these items.  If you would like to learn more about this opportinity please contact me Tami Prostrollo

Remember we serve breakfast every Sunday .  Our next opportunity to serve dinner is July 16 join us!


VBS Donations needed

This year we are doing a neighborhood Vacation Bible School.  We are expecting a huge crowd.  We need your help in donating items so we can keep this a free event for everyone.

Current needs are:

  • gummy worms
  • chocolate, butterscotch or vanilla pudding cups
  • graham crackers
  • bite-sized Hersey chocolate bars
  • Golden Grahams cereal
  • mini-marshmallows
  • chocolate chips
  • celery
  • raisins
  • peanut butter
  • apples
  • string cheese

Downtown Sioux Falls

Throughout the summer, First UMC will be spreading hope, love and encouragement at downtown events and festivals.  This is a great opportunity but we need you to help staff our booth!  Duties are simple: be friendly, hand out information, play games with kids or just visit.  Email Lynne Jones if you have any questions.

Dates are:

  • June 2 - Downtown Block Party
  • June 17 - Festival of Cultures
  • July 7 - Downtown Block Party
  • August 4 - Downtown Block Party
  • September 1 - Downtown Block Party