Join the Nightwatch Ministry

When it was decided to discontinue serving Sunday morning breakfast a few years ago a couple of us on staff realized immediately there were folks in our neighborhood that depended on this meal.  It was thought we could grow our Nightwatch ministry to include Sunday mornings.  A staff drafted proposal was taken to the Serve @ First and the Next Generation Committees to see if they would support the endeavor.  Staff lead and served ministries almost always fail, thus, their acceptance was critical.  Both committees agreed this was a need in our neighborhood we could easily meet.

 Over the last 2 years this ministry has had a variety of ups and downs and continues to be staff directed, first by myself then by Breanna White.  This morning, May 5, the Nightwatch breakfast ministry served 72 folks.  Craig and Cathy Martins’ served these folks from 9 am until 10 am this morning.  I coordinated the food, we served left over egg back from the women’s brunch, French toast bake, sausages and fruit.  Jeff, our Sunday morning coffee hero, got the bakes in the oven and got Craig and Cathy into the van.  Did it go perfect, no, did we run out of food, yes, did we scramble so everyone who wanted something to eat was able to eat, yes, was everyone extremely grateful for the breakfast they received, yes.

 Food insecurity is a major issue in Sioux Falls, our neighborhood is but one example.  If First Church decides this is a outreach they would like to continue I would be honored to coordinate the food the first Sunday of each month.  The Nightwatch ministry has funds to purchase the food for these meals, someone only needs to create the menu and prepare the food.  I would also be available to help folks until they feel comfortable in creating menus just email Tami.

 As for those wondering what it is like serving the food I can speak to you about that as well, but, I would encourage you to speak with the Martins family, the Hinrichs, family to Lisa Graue, Doug Erickson or Jennifer Larsen.

Summer Park Service

   Due to all the construction around the Leif Erickson Day Camp our worship team began to examine other options for this summer.  The following schedule has been adopted. Service will begin at 9 am on Sunday mornings, bring your own lawn chairs.Final plans are still being made.

June 2 – McKennan Park Band Shelter

June 9 – Spellerberg Park Shelter

June 16 – McKennan Park Band Shelter

June 23 – Spellerberg Park Shelter

June 30 – McKennan Park Band Shelter

July 7 – McKennan Park Band Shelter

July 14 – Spellerberg Park Shelter

July 21 – McKennan Park Band Shelter

July 28 – Spellerberg Park Shelter

Aug 4 – McKennan Park Band Shelter

Aug 11 – Spellerberg Park Shelter

Aug 18 – Spellerberg Park Shelter

Aug 25 – McKennan Park Band Shelter

2019 Miracle Offering

Again, this year we will receive a Miracle Offering as an expression of our gratitude for God’s boundless blessings and to advance our mission “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” The offering will be received during the 2019 Annual Conference or can be sent to the Dakotas Conference office.

 The 2019 Miracle Offering: Lead Boldly #fillthegap provides an opportunity to come alongside and support persons answering God’s call to ministry in two ways.

 First, we will be receiving a monetary offering that will be equally divided between the Endowment Fund for Theological Education in the Central Conferences and a Dakotas United Methodist Foundation Scholarship Fund for undergraduate students planning to prepare for pastoral ministry and individuals training to be licensed local pastors in the Dakotas. There are significant gaps in financial assistance for pastors being trained in our Central Conferences (annual conferences outside the United States) and for those undergraduate and licensed local pastor students preparing for ministry in the Dakotas.

 In the Central Conferences, which include seven areas of Africa, Europe, and the Philippines, obtaining a theological education can be challenging. Seminaries are too far away or too expensive. Our existing seminaries in the Central Conferences struggle to find and retain well-trained professors and to provide library resources in native languages. Courses of Study for initial and continuing education need to be developed, and scholarships are needed for initial and post-graduate studies. The $25,000,000 Endowment Fund is designed to close these gaps.

 In the Dakotas Conference, we are blessed with significant scholarship resources for individuals enrolled in seminary. However, we do not have sufficient resources to assist individuals who are preparing to be licensed local pastors or undergraduates beginning their journey toward pastoral ministry. A scholarship fund, administered by the Dakotas United Methodist Foundation, will enable us to begin closing these gaps.

 The second part of the 2019 Miracle Offering: Lead Boldly #fillthegap will be an opportunity to make a commitment to reach someone who does not know Jesus. Each clergy and lay member of conference will be blessed to offer to God the name of at least one acquaintance, who does not know Christ, for whom we are committed to “dare to reach” through our prayers and our witness of compassion, love and hope. Perhaps it will be a child, work colleague, neighbor, or the person who serves you coffee each day.


44% of the population in the Dakotas do not believe there is a God
12 Dakotas undergraduates considering seminary
15 Dakotas candidates for local licensed pastor
$30,000 average debt for undergraduates
$20,000 average costs of course of study for licensed pastors

Children's Inn is in need of women's pajamas

This is Pastor Carli Steffes. I am an advocate for the Children’s Inn. They have been getting a lot of people coming into the Inn right now. They are in need of women’s XL pajama sets. The women come into the Inn with only the clothes on their back. The Children’s Inn asks for donations of new pajama sets so the women can be comfortable walking around the Inn. I have had people from our church, giving pajama sets and I deliver them to the Children’s Inn every week. This has been a great help, since there are approximately 40-50 pajama sets needed right now. This is an ongoing thing. I have also been giving new sweat pants also. Please help me to help these women that are hurting. They need our help.

Today's Banquet

Today, we served 229 guests - 212 adults and 17 children.  A breakfast of oatmeal, ice cream, toast, fruit, juice, and beverages was served.  Oatmeal and ice cream (???? you might wonder) - the Banquet staff says that this is one of the most popular breakfasts served.  Thanks to all for a morning of food, fun, and service - what a great crew!!  Our next serving date is again, the third Tuesday of the month - Tuesday, March 19th.

Time to think about summer!

A huge welcome to you from the United Methodist Camp and Retreat Ministries of North Dakota and South Dakota!

 You may be considering a first-time camping experience. Or perhaps you are looking forward to returning for another summer adventure.  We’re happy you’re thinking about camping with us! A camping experience at Lake Poinsett Camp, Storm Mountain Center, or Wesley Acres Camp has been part of countless people’s faith stories for generations.  Time at camp provides children, youth, adults, and families with life-changing and faith-shaping opportunities to experience Christ, Creation, and Community in a truly unique way.  Campers learn new activities; make new friends; spend time in nature; grow in skill, confidence, and leadership; and have fun doing it in a carefully supervised environment.

 There are a lot of camping opportunities available for the 2019 camping season.  Pick up a brochure today or visit!

 Early bird discount deadline is April 30th ($5 off per night)

Call the church office (605.336.3652) for the First Church Discount Code

Looking for a few good men, women and youth!

Facilitators are needed as we strive to get 100% of our church family to join us as we journey though lent with Adam Hamilton’s book “The Call”

Think you are not qualified to facilitate a group? If you can read you can lead! Give us your info below and we will get in touch with you to answer any questions you have.

Name *
I can facilitate in the
Day of the week I am available
I am available when ever and where ever God needs me!

Cold Weather Events

When the temps dropped to a dangerous “feels like” of -34 degrees and even colder, schools closed, other businesses altered their hours;and some First Church staff, along with other volunteers, jumped into action twice in the last 2 weeks realizing that this was a need that we could help fill.

We quickly figured out a way to open the doors of the church to provide a place of emergency shelter from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. for people to have a warm, safe place to sleep.

A more detailed plan and a list of people that we can call on a short notice to come and help is being developed. If you want to know more or are willing to be on a list to call when the need arises list us know by fill out the form below.

If you have more questions email Pastor Andrea.

Name *
I can help with:

New short term study groups forming.

What if, in our conflicts with others, there is something we want more than solutions? What if, individually and collectively, we systematically misunderstand the causes of our conflicts? And what if, therefore, we unwittingly perpetuate the very problems we think we are trying to solve? These are among the important questions explored in The Anatomy of Peace, an international bestseller that instills hope and inspires reconciliation. Through a moving story of parents who are struggling with their own children and with problems that have come to consume their lives, we learn from once-bitter enemies the way to transform personal, professional, and even global conflicts.

Groups are meeting on Wednesday, Feb 13, 20, & 27. Books are available at the Information Center for a $5 donation to help cover the cost.

Email Jennifer Larsen to join her group at 5:30 or Pastor Bob at 7:00 pm


Single Adult Ladies Seeking Adventure

I need to clarify what SALSA is and is not – we are not an organization that you join. Several of us plan an event to attend or a program that sounds like something we as senior single women would all enjoy. Anyone then can reply and signup and attend with all of us. No dues – no meetings – no group or organization – just deciding what you would like to be a part of and joining in. And there will be times that our events welcome anyone.

Be watching for information about a special speaker in March – John Hegg, former school counselor, will be presenting the program: “Epidemic: Loneliness and Living Alone for Seniors”. Open to all.

UMCOR Heath Kits

It is that time of the year again, when we begin to collect items for the UMCOR Health Kits. There have been a few slight changes in the kits, plus we have decided to try to use up some of our supply of items and set a goal for how many kits we would like to complete this year.

Here is what we are going to need this year to complete 250 Kits:

  • Hand Towels 220

  • Washcloths 73

  • Combs (Need to have at least 6 inches of teeth) 201

  • Toenail or Finger nail clippers (No emery boards or metal files) 250

  • Bath Soap (3 oz or larger, No Ivory or Jergens) 86 bars

  • Adult Toothbrushes 66

  • Band-aids ( 3/4 “ x 3”) 250

These items can be dropped off in the church office.

Once we have filled 250 Kits we will set another goal. Thanks for considering this hands-on project that will help people who do not have the basic necessities of life.

If you have any questions, please contact Mary Jane Richardson


Finance News from Pastor Bob Ruedebusch

Well through tightening our belts belt expense-wise and through your generosity we are closing the gap on our deficit.  By our calculations it looks like we will need and additional $30,000 to meet all our ministry goals and expenses in 2018.  If you can help by making an extra gift beyond your commitment for 2018 that would be wonderful.  Our church has experienced many rich blessings.  We have been gracious and continue offer ministry in our neighborhood and throughout the city.  We love being in the heart of Sioux Falls, so we can bring Christian hope, love and encouragement each day.  Thank you for helping us reach our goals.

November is Homelessness Awareness Month

Taken from City of Sioux Falls web page

“Every night in Sioux Falls, homeless children, women, and men are in need of shelter and supportive services. They live in shelters, transitional living facilities, vehicles, outdoors, in places not meant for human habitation, with strangers they have just met, or at imminent risk of being displaced from their residence,” says Colleen Moran, Assistant City Attorney, City of Sioux Falls.

Following are some eye-opening statistics:

  • The number of children identified as homeless in Sioux Falls has increased substantially over the last decade, including 438 children identified by the Sioux Falls School District so far this 2017–2018 school year.

  • Nearly 50 percent of students in the Sioux Falls School District are receiving free or reduced meals. Additionally, 3,000 weekend food backpacks are sent home with students each week, provided by the local Food Pantry.

  • In Minnehaha County, approximately 8,400 children rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps).

  • In South Dakota, 29.4 percent of individuals with disabilities live below the poverty line. Nationally, 37 percent of all homeless individuals have a disability.

“Preventing and ending homelessness and hunger is essential to the stability of families, the growth and vitality of businesses, and the Sioux Falls community as a whole. Many organizations and faith-based entities are committed to sheltering and providing supportive services as well as meals and food supplies to those in need, striving to ensure that the steps they are taking to end homelessness and hunger are done efficiently and effectively by working collaboratively to avoid duplication of services,” says Stacey Tieszen, Coordinator, Homeless Advisory Board, Minnehaha County.

Learn More

Mission of the Month - November



Donate new or gently used warm gloves to help the unhoused population of Sioux Falls. The gloves will be given to Church on the Street at the annual Spaghetti Dinner and Tree Lighting on November 28th.

Grab a ‘Laundry with Love’ canister from the info center, fill it with quarters, and bring it back to the church.  Laundry with Love provides free laundry to struggling families so that they can use that money to meet other basic needs.  All the quarters collected will be distributed on November 27th when FUMC sponsors Laundry with Love.

For more information on “Warm Hands, Warm Hearts” or ‘Laundry with Love’ email Bre at