Coronavirus Response & Program Updates

Wednesday, June 8

Weekly Highlights

Monday, June 8

Church Family,

During livestream worship yesterday, we shared communion, heard inspiring music, and were reminded that loving God helps us let go of fear, as part of our Faith Over Fear series.

For One Minute at One this week, here are Pastor Steve’s prayer prompts. According to the acronym FAITH we pray for:
   •  Faith in Christ to overcome fear by power, love and self-discipline (2 Tim. 1:7);
   •  Attitudes and policies that affirm equality and justice for all;
   •  Infections of COVID-19 to diminish world-wide;
   •  Transitions to group gatherings to be managed carefully and respectfully;
   •  Hope, joy and peace for God’s people by the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 15:13).

Do you a have a concern or celebration? You’re welcome to submit a prayer request.

Monday, June 1

First Pres Family,

Yesterday’s livestream worship was an opportunity to reflect on a tumultuous week of unrest following the tragic death of George Floyd. Our hearts are broken for Floyd’s family and all victims of systemic racism. As I said during worship: Black lives matter to God, they matter to us as a church, and they need to matter more to our society, because every person is a beloved child of God. Simply put, racism is anti-Christian. Our compassion also goes out to those who are peacefully protesting, and sadly, those affected by the destruction of businesses and property on city streets. In the face of our unsettling reality, we must be a people of prayer and action.

During worship, I spoke briefly about how our session voted for us to become a Matthew 25 congregation. Part of a nationwide denominational initiative, one of the focus areas is dismantling structural racism. What can we do to help dismantle structural racism? One of the historic strengths of our church is education and one thing we can do is to raise our awareness about the sin of systemic racism. I want to invite you to join me in taking the 21-Day Racial Justice Challenge starting today, June 1st. You’ll find a resource for each of the next 21 days on the Presbyterian Mission webpage.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, we’re called to “pray without ceasing.” As we pray daily for One Minute at One and beyond, here are Pastor Steve’s prayer prompts for this week, outlined by the acronym JESUS:
Pray for:
   •  Justice in the brutal killing of George Floyd;
   •  Every person of color living with fear of injustice;
   •  Substantive progress in dismantling structural racism;
   •  Unexpected medical solutions to the coronavirus pandemic;
   •  Spiritual revival changing hearts and eternal lives.

In the days ahead, we will both pray and act. With Jesus, these may be difficult, but not insurmountable times.

Pastor Kellen

P.S. You can sign up now to reserve your time slot for this Saturday’s Blood Drive as we support our medical community.

Wednesday, May 27

First Pres Family,

Last night as I met with the elders of our Session, we discussed impressions on eventually reopening the church. While we don’t yet have a timeline in mind, we'll continue to monitor the reopening process around us and consult with other local churches and denominational representatives. We'll prayerfully look ahead to the potential of hopefully resuming gatherings in some form this summer.

Due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, in the last few months our health partner Versiti has canceled over 4,000 blood drives in our region. As other local churches have done, our deacons are hosting a Blood Drive next Saturday, June 6 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. You can join several others who have registered and sign up to give blood. There will be safe, social distancing precautions in place and all appointments will be spaced apart to allow for the fewest number of people in the building at one time. With the critical blood shortage in recent months, this is a way that we can support our medical community.

Speaking of our elders and deacons, this week we have a great service planned. I’ll be sharing a message entitled Outpouring: The Story of Pentecost and we’ll be installing our new officers, the elder and deacon classes of 2023. Be sure to log on for livestream worship and show your support for our new church leaders!

Here are Pastor Steve’s prayer prompts for One Minute at One this week as we pray for:
   •  God’s grace and mercy to abound in the midst of our global pandemic
   •  Racial understanding and reconciliation to grow as “we are all in this together”
   •  All who are suffering with COVID-19 or mourning the loss of loved ones to the virus
   •  Christ’s church around the world sharing the hope of the gospel
   •  Emergency physicians and hospital personnel serving with energy and care

As we continue to pray with and for one another, here is our Community Prayer List. We pray for:    •   Those who grieve
   •   Families who have lost loved ones in military service
   •   Recipients of the Feeding the 5,000 food drive contributions
   •   Recent high school and college graduates
   •   Schools making plans for the next academic year

I’m praying for you and hope that you experience God’s grace and goodness this week.

Pastor Kellen

P.S. Tonight at 7:00 p.m., you’re invited to join me for part four of our Sermon on the Mount livestream study. We'll be exploring the most well-known prayer in the scriptures, the Lord's Prayer.

Wednesday, May 20

Wheaton First Family,

We're getting close to reaching our goal for Feeding the 5,000 and we need your help to finish strong! As of this morning, we’ve collected 1,891 food items and $1,550, for a total of 3,441. Including today, we have three days left, with the food drive concluding this Friday, May 22. We’ll continue to receive donations daily from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. through the end of this week. These are the most needed items: rice and beans, peanut butter, canned fruits and vegetables, canned tuna and meat, cat and dog food. You can also make a donation to support the food drive by mailing a check, texting GIVEFIRSTPRES to 73256, or giving online. Just as Jesus miraculously fed the hungry multitude, we’re generously helping to feed our community in a time of need.

Here are a few updates for this week:
   •    As I announced last Sunday, this week our livestream worship will happen an hour earlier, at
   10:00 a.m. CST.
   •    This Sunday, I’ll share the message God Hasn’t Changed from Hebrews 13:8. Despite the
   changing world around us, the Lord is unchanging.
   •    Tonight at 7:00 p.m., Pastor Steve will lead part three of our Sermon on the Mount study.
   He’ll unpack Matthew 5:33-48 with pastoral and practical insights.

This Memorial Day weekend, we remember those men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country. We pray for those like our Facility Manager, Scott Rice (Air Force Reserve), who continue to faithfully serve. Even in a difficult time, we thank God that we live in a land of freedom, as we pray for a world without war or conflict. We remember the life you gave in Jesus Christ, not just for one nation, but all nations and all time.

God bless you,
Pastor Kellen

Wednesday, May 13

First Pres Family,

This time at home has reminded me of things I love: the blessing of family, watching a beautiful sunrise, eating freshly baked cookies…just to name a few. I also love our church! Here are a few things I love about our church right now.

I love the joyful generosity and abundant compassion I'm seeing! These are values we express on a regular basis, even in a challenging season. We’ve had a great response already to our Feeding the 5,000 food drive. Inspired by Jesus’ miracle to feed those who faced hunger, we’re supporting local food pantries with a goal to collect 5,000 cans/food items. As a reminder, we’ll receive donations outside the Madison St. entrance, Monday-Friday, from 9:00am-3:00pm through May 22. Instead of dropping off food, several people have already made financial gifts to support this effort which you can do by designating “Feeding the 5,000” through text, mailing a check or giving online . Thank you for helping to feed our community!

I have loved teaching through the Gospel of Matthew on Wednesday nights. Tonight we continue with part two of our new livestream study called Sermon on the Mount and will explore Matthew 5:12-32. Engaging in God’s word can help us endure this time in our lives. I love this quote by Vance Havner, "The Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t."

I love Youth Sunday. This Sunday, high school students will lead worship for our annual youth-led service. You'll see the ways our students are serving the community and allowing their faith in Jesus to shine. With the theme Breath of God, we’ll hear from several graduating seniors who will share God’s word and encourage us all in this unprecedented season.

Love & blessings,
Pastor Kellen

P.S. We love moms! You can watch a replay of our Mothers Day Tribute Video on Facebook. ❤️

Wednesday, May 6

First Pres Family,

You’ve probably had a chance to review Gov. Pritzker’s five phase plan for reopening the state. While there’s no timeline for each phase, it’s safe to say we’re in this new normal for the long haul. It’s easy to become weary and feel hopeless adjusting to our new way of life. Believe it or not, this is exactly how people felt in the crowds that followed Jesus. These people were sick, in pain, and even possessed by demons. In response, what did Jesus do? He simply preached the greatest sermon ever heard!

Tonight at 7:00 p.m., I’ll be starting a new livestream study called Sermon on the Mount , based on the famous teaching of Jesus. We’ll begin by exploring the Beatitudes, Jesus’ noteworthy sayings about being happy and blessed. In Matthew 5:3 Jesus said, “Happy are people who are hopeless, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs.” Doesn’t this saying sound like an oxymoron, to be happy and hopeless? It’s actually a powerful expression of the truth that when we’re at our weakest, God is at his strongest.

This Sunday is Mother’s Day . While we may have to give virtual hugs to moms this year, we want to help make this day special. We’d love for you to take part in honoring our mothers as part of worship! We're going to make a slideshow to celebrate moms and here’s how you can participate:

    1. Grab a blank sheet of paper and some colorful writing utensils.
    2. Create a ONE WORD tribute sign (clearly readable) to honor a mom in your life.
    3. The word can be something you’re grateful for, what you love about her, or what she’s taught
    4. Once you’ve created your masterpiece, use your phone to snap a photo of yourself AND
    your tribute sign, which can be a family/group shot as well.
    5. Email your photos to our music and media guru Kedrick Armstrong by this
     Friday, May 8 at 8:00 p.m.

God bless you,
Pastor Kellen

P.S. In our new normal, I’m deeply grateful for the ways you’re continuing to support our church by joining and sharing our weekly livestreams, providing financial generosity, and praying that Wheaton First would be a light in the darkness. Thank you!

Wednesday, April 29

First Pres Family,

Has there ever been a time when we needed to hear the words of our Lord more than now? The people who awaited Jesus’ arrival as Savior faced a similar time of longing for good news. When so many COVID-19 headlines express bad news, people are desperately looking for good news. As they did so long ago, now is a time when people need to hear the good news of the gospel. So what exactly did Jesus say when he finally arrived? In tonight’sLivestream Bible Study, we’ll explore Jesus’ words in Matthew 4:17: "Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven!” Jesus’ good news is just as important for us now as it was for those who heard it for the first time. The kingdom of heaven is on the way!

Last week, we all heard that Gov. Pritzker extended our stay-at-home order through May 30. While we'll continue to safely keep our distance, please know we’re continuing to do all we can to come together in spirit and support for our community. We can be a witness for Jesus’ words of good news through the things we’re doing right now.

   •  Reaching many people through our YouTube channel (4,925 views in the last month).
   •  Contacting our mission partners to learn more about how we can help them now.
   •  Extending support to one another by sending electronic Care Cards.

I’m so proud of our church family, whose generous giving has helped us bless our community. As I've previously mentioned, we’ve established a Compassion Fund to assist people facing financial hardship. If we can help you or your family, please contact me or Pastor Steve and know that everything is kept confidential. There’s no shame in reaching out, and that’s good news.

God bless you,
Pastor Kellen

P.S. This Sunday we’ll conclude our Through the Valley series. In addition to reciting Psalm 23 daily, is there someone you could invite to join our livestream worship?

Wednesday, April 22

First Pres Family,

What must it have been like for the Apostle Paul to share his faith during missionary journeys in the first century? He faced incredible hardships: imprisonment, torture, shipwrecks, illness, and even a snakebite... what a list! Despite his many struggles, in
2 Corinthians 12:9-10, Paul heard from the Lord and wrote:

He said to me, "My grace is enough for you, because power is made perfect in weakness.” So I’ll gladly spend my time bragging about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power can rest on me. Therefore, I’m all right with weaknesses, insults, disasters, harassment, and stressful situations for the sake of Christ, because when I’m weak, then I’m strong.

Paul’s suffering didn’t keep him from sharing the gospel, in fact it increased his urgency. How can the current crisis strengthen our faith in Christ and encourage us to share faith with others? On Sunday, I mentioned that we have an amazing opportunity right now to become ‘digital evangelists.’ These days, you can share your faith right from the couch in your living room! Your willingness to do that is a way that you can spread hope in this pandemic. Here are a few ways you can spread HOPE this week.

    Have a friend join you for our Livestream Bible Study at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday nights.
    Offer our most recentLivestream Worship service to someone who needs encouragement.
    Post this video invite for our Through the Valley series on your social media.
    Extend an invite to someone to join you in reciting Psalm 23 daily or praying for One Minute at

On a pastoral note, it’s with a heavy heart that I let you know that long-time member Chester Grabowski died at the end of last week. We mourn his passing, thank God for his life, and offer our prayers of comfort to his wife Bea and the Grabowski family. Because of the current situation, there are no immediate plans for a memorial service.

I pray that you feel Christ's hope and comfort this week.

God bless you,
Pastor Kellen

P.S. Because of your support , a crisis will not stop us from being the church and we can continue our mission of inviting all generations into a growing life with Jesus Christ. Thank you for your ongoing generosity and giving by text, online or mail.

Monday, April 20

Church Family,

It was a blessing to gather virtually for beautiful music and a hopeful message during worship online yesterday! Pastor Kellen invited us to memorize and recite Psalm 23 daily for the next three weeks as part of our Through the Valley series.

You can choose to recite Psalm 23 as part of our One Minute at One prayer initiative. Here are prayers prompts of HOPE for this week:
Pray for:
    Healing of those stricken with Covid-19 (praying for patients & healthcare providers).
    Openness to God’s purposes for our lives in these challenging days (for ourselves or
    Patience in handling daily challenges during home confinement (quaranteam).
    Elected officials making important decisions impacting large populations.

How can we be praying for you? Share a concern or celebration by submitting a prayer request.

Have a hope-filled week!

Wednesday, April 15

First Pres Family,

It feels like we’re living on a roller coaster right now. One day we’re riding high, thinking the coronavirus crisis may be nearing the end. The next day, we’re down again, with news that social distancing may have to continue longer than hoped. Here’s the good news, we worship a God of both the peaks and the valleys.

As I was praying about what to preach on for the next few weeks, my heart was drawn to Psalm 23. This beloved text of our faith reminds us of three truths:

    •  God provides for us     •  God protects us      •  God gives us peace

In a new series called Through the Valley, we’ll explore these three themes over the next few weeks. Do you know someone who could benefit from these messages? If so, share our livestream worship link with them. . Do you miss adult education? It’s been a privilege to teach live through the Gospel of Matthew on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm each week. If you’ve yet to experience the study, join us tonight for a time of learning and growing in virtual Bible Study.

Way back in January, we dedicated 2020 as a year of prayer. We began praying for our strategic planning and churches in the Chicago Presbytery. Who would have known how much prayer would matter this year? We would like to pray for any concerns or celebrations you may have. You can share your Prayer Request by filling out the online form .

God bless you,
Pastor Kellen

P.S. If you haven’t already, go ahead and LIKE our First Pres Facebook page.

Monday, April 13

Church Family,

We hope you had a wonderful Easter. We’ve heard from so many people what an encouragement our Easter livestream was for them. As someone shared, “I’ve never felt so blessed in my life!” It was a joy to reach so many people with the eternal hope of Jesus Christ on Easter. Beyond Wheaton, we had people join our livestream from five other states and even Canada! If you’d like to experience it again, you can watch a replay of our Easter Worship or share it with a friend.

One way we can be an 'alleluia from head to toe' is to continue to be in prayer for One Minute at One, for our church, community and world. Here are this week’s prompts:

Let us pray:
   •   That the pain of the pandemic would keep us evaluating our life priorities.
   •   That Jesus’ command of Maundy Thursday would keep us loving one another.
   •   That Jesus’ sacrifice on Good Friday would keep us thankful for our redemption.
   •   That Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday would keep us hopeful into the future.

Have a blessed week at home!

Wednesday, April 8

First Pres Family,

As we continue through Holy Week, I’m humbled by the ways I’ve witnessed our church family responding to the crisis we’re facing:
 •   People making masks for our community.
 •  People giving generously to the Compassion Fund.
 •  People finding creative ways to gather in online community.

During times that people have collectively faced crises, it has often brought about renewal and revival in the church. During this holiest of weeks for us, I pray that your faith will be refreshed as we live in the shelter of the Most High (Psalm 91:1).

I’d like to invite you into the Smith Home for Maundy Thursday. Sarah, the kids and I will gather around our kitchen table for a simple home communion service on Facebook Live. All you need to do is secure your own bread and juice or wine to share in the sacrament with us from your home. Don't worry! You do not need a Facebook account to access the Maundy Thursday Communion Service, just click on this Facebook Live Link.

For Good Friday, we have another special worship opportunity. We will offer Good Friday Livestream Worship at 7:00 p.m. this week. You’ll experience meaningful scripture and inspiring music.

Easter Sunday will be wonderful opportunity for us to be a witness for the good news of Jesus Christ for our community. Invite friends and family to join us online! We will have two Easter Sunday Livestream Worship opportunities to celebrate the resurrection at 9:30 and 11:00 a.m.

As we all experience Easter at home, Pastor Steve has written an Easter Meal Prayer for you to share for your Easter meal. You can download the prayer to enhance the Easter prayers around your tables at home.

I’m praying for you and looking forward to seeing you virtually this week!

God bless you,
Pastor Kellen

P.S. You can join me online tonight at 7:00 p.m. as we continue through the Gospel of Matthew for our Wednesday Bible Study.

Monday, April 6

Church Family,

We had a beautiful beginning to Holy Week yesterday during our Livestream Worship. In case you missed it, you can watch a replay of our Palm Sunday.service, including our Virtual Palm Processional. It will be a blessing to join together online this week.

Maundy Thursday
7:00 pm, April 9

Home Communion Service on Facebook Live.
Secure your own bread and juice to share in sacrament at home.

Good Friday
7:00 pm, April 10

Livestream Worship with Scripture and Music
Join us in solemn prayer and meaningful moments at the cross of Calvary.

Easter Sunday
9:30am and 11:00am, April 12

Livestream Worship on Ressurection Sunday
Invite family and friends to join us online to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection!

One Minute at One is our daily prayer initiative. At the same time each day, we can unite our hearts together in prayer for our church, community and world. You’re invited to set a reminder to pray each day at 1:00 p.m. for one minute or longer. While we are physically apart, we can be spiritually united. This week’s prompts:

Pray that God would heal those who are stricken with Covid-19.
Pray that God would protect the most vulnerable from contracting the virus.
Pray for the health and safety of all who are working in essential services.
Pray for mothers, fathers, and caregivers providing for children at home.
Pray for the health and safety of the homeless.
Pray that governmental leaders would have wisdom and compassion in decision making.
Pray for the medical and scientific communities seeking solutions to eradicate Covid-19.
Pray that people around the world would find hope in Christ during the pandemic.

Do you have a prayer concern or celebration to share? Share your Prayer Request with us.

Have a healthy and blessed week!

Thursday, April 6

First Pres Family,

During our Livestream Bible Study last night, we encountered this relevant biblical truth: God meets you in your medium. Your medium is your everyday life and experience. Just as the ancient Magi in Matthew chapter two were led to Christ by a star, the Lord will use what you know and what is around you to bring you closer to Jesus. How might God be using this extended time at home, supporting loved ones from a distance, and experiencing virtual community to bring you closer to the Savior?

Next week we will all have a chance to come closer to Christ during Holy Week. Our living rooms will become sanctuaries and our couches will become church pews. This may be the most memorable Holy Week we experience together! While Easter has a different feeling for each of us this year, we will allow Christ to be our consolation. The entire Holy Week schedule is below.

As I shared during worship, I resonate with the recent headline: Only generosity will save us after the coronavirus crisis. Generosity brings us closer to Christ. This week, our church deployed $18,862 in mission funds for our community. These funds will support those facing housing needs, people dealing with homelessness, as well as local food pantries. Because of your generosity, we can be part of the solution for our community. To support these great efforts and the continuing ministries of our church, visit Online Giving.

I look forward to seeing you online this Sunday!

God bless you,
Pastor Kellen

Palm Sunday
11:00 am, April 5

Virtual Palm Processional
Create Palms at Home by downloading the instructions.
Share on social media with the hashtag #PalmSundayAtHome or email photos to the Church Office.
Please post or send these images by Saturday at noon.

Maundy Thursday
7:00 pm, April 9

Home Communion Service on Facebook Live. Secure your own bread and juice to share in sacrament at home.

Good Friday
7:00 pm, April 10

Livestream Worship with Scripture and Music
Join us in solemn prayer and meaningful moments at the cross of Calvary.

Easter Sunday
9:30am and 11:00am, April 12

Livestream Worship
Invite family and friends to join us online to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection!

Monday, March 30

Church Family,

This week is Palm Sunday. While we won’t be in the sanctuary waving palms, we hope you’ll take part in Palm Sunday at Home. ALL generations in our church family are invited to make palms at home! Download our instructions and share photos/videos on social media using the hashtag #PalmSundayAtHome or email your images to the Church Office. During livestream worship on Sunday, we’ll share a video montage of all the paper palms people have created.

Don’t forget to join our “One Minute at One” daily prayer initiative. At the same time each day, we can unite our hearts together in prayer for our church, our community and our world. You’re invited to set a reminder to pray each day at 1:00 p.m. for one minute or longer. While we are physically apart, we can be spiritually united. This week’s prompts:

Pray that the Lord would guide the scientists of our world to find answers in stopping the coronavirus.
Pray that the Lord would give us a heart of compassion and creative ways to reach-out and serve:
   •    The sick and the suffering;
   •    Those who grieve the loss of loved ones;
   •    Those with sudden employment and financial challenges;
   •    The home bound and the homeless in need of life essentials.
Pray that the Lord would guide and protect healthcare workers on the front-lines along with employees providing essential services in their communities.
Pray for the Lord to grant wisdom to governmental leaders in decision making and actions that protect life and encourage peace.

May God bless you and keep you healthy!

Thursday, March 26

First Pres Family,

We continue to live in a holding pattern during the coronavirus pandemic. What makes this time especially challenging is that we don’t know when it will end. Because of this, we’re easily filled with anxiety and uncertainty. Our family life, jobs and ways of interacting have changed dramatically in a very short time. What do we do when we don’t know what the future will bring?

One of the most beloved verses in the Bible is Jeremiah 29:11-"I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope.” When God’s people lived in exile, the Prophet Jeremiah reminded them of God’s powerful promises. As we all face the unknown, we can be encouraged by these great truths:

    •   While we don’t know what tomorrow will bring, God has a plan for your life.
    •    In the midst of crisis, God offers you peace.
    •    No matter how out of control things seem, God gives you hope for tomorrow.

We’ll be reminded of hope and truths like this during our Livestream Worship, Sunday at 11:00 a.m. Last week we reached 210 households through our YouTube livestream. As we continue to cultivate a culture of inviting others to experience First Pres, now is a great time to extend an invitation to a family member or friend to worship with us online, regardless of location. You can share the link

Last Sunday, we announced a new Text-to-Give option for convenient and simple giving from your smartphone. Just text GIVEFIRSTPRES to 73256. Follow the prompts to securely make a one-time or recurring gift with your debit/credit card. You can also continue to give Online or mail your check into the church office (715 N Carlton Ave, Wheaton, IL 60187). It’s hard to express how grateful we are for your support during this unprecedented time. As I mentioned last week, because people continue to give generously, we’ve set up a Compassion Fund to assist people in our church who may be feeling immediate financial strain. For more information or to request a pastoral call, email the Church Office or call 630-668-5147.

I pray that you have been blessed as we’ve joined together in our One Minute at One initiative. In case you missed it, we're praying at 1:00 p.m. each day for one minute or longer as we lift up our community and world in the face this crisis. I encourage you to set an alarm or reminder and we will continue to send out weekly prayer prompts. If you have a personal Prayer Request, please share it with us at Prayer Request.

This past Saturday, we lost one of our faithful saints, Ruth Lundy. With a clergy exception, I was able to visit her at a safe distance to offer prayer and scripture in her final hours. We mourn her passing, but celebrate the resurrection through Jesus Christ. While there are not yet plans for a memorial service, you can read her online obituary.

God bless you, Pastor Kellen

P.S. While the church campus is closed, we continue to check mail and receive voicemails from the church office phone. Since we aren’t meeting in person, we had our first Zoom staff meeting this week!

Monday, March 23

Church Family,

Yesterday’s worship allowed 210 households to join together for inspirational singing, scripture, and a sermon! It was an hour of encouragement in a time when we need God’s direction most. Did you miss it? You can watch the replay on YouTube.

Pastor Steve communicated our new “One Minute at One” daily prayer initiative. At the same time each day, we can unite our hearts together in prayer for our church, our community and our world. You’re invited to set a reminder to pray each day at 1:00 p.m. for one minute or longer. While we are physically apart, we can be spiritually united. This week’s prompts:
• Pray that the Lord would calm our spirits and fill us with joy and peace as we trust in Him (Romans 15:13).
• Pray for our nation and the nations of the world in efforts to combat the coronavirus: for scientists; health providers; and governmental leaders.
• Pray for First Pres Wheaton, the churches of our community, and the global church—that Jesus followers everywhere would be salt of the earth and light of the world.

We also announced an exciting new ‘Text to Give’ option to make giving simple and easy. Just text GIVEFIRSTPRES to 73256. Follow the prompts to securely make a one-time or recurring gift with your debit/credit card. We’re especially grateful for your financial support during this challenging season as we continue to be the church.

God loves you and so do we!

Thursday, March 19

First Pres Family,
Greetings! Here are several updates for Thursday, March 19.

Bible Study Livestream
It was a blessing to gather online last night with church members and friends during our first Bible Study Livestream on our YouTube channel. We have begun a study of the Gospel of Matthew and you can watch the replay on YouTube. In a time of uncertainty, we can lean on God’s word to provide hope, comfort and direction to us. This Bible Study Livestream will continue on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.

Worship Livestream
On Sunday we held our first-ever livestream worship service. I’m grateful to our staff and AV team for responding so quickly to get our online capability up and running. I know we were all blessed by Kedrick and the music team's worship songs as well as Pastor Steve’s prayerful leadership. During the livestream, we reached 165 households and as of today, it’s been viewed 845 times. Be sure to join us for our worship livestream again this Sunday at 11:00 am and share the link with friends and neighbors: We’ve also had requests for the “Coronavirus Social Story” that my wife Sarah created for kids with special needs and their families. You can access the document here.

Here to Help!
We are very aware that this is a season in which we are facing various hardships. We have a team of people in our church who are ready to help if you need support for things such as picking up groceries or supplies. If you’re facing an immediate financial strain, we also have generous members of the church who are stepping up to provide support and we’ve started a Compassion Fund for this purpose. If you need support, please contact the church office to request a pastoral call: via email or 630-668-5147.

Prayer Requests & Pastoral Visits
The Pastors and Staff continue to pray for the needs of our church family. If you have a prayer request, please let us know how we can be praying for you: If at any point you have a loved one in the hospital, short of an in-person visit, we would be glad to offer a video call over smartphone.

In the midst of this crisis, your fearless generosity matters as much as ever. While we are not meeting in person, our ministries to this church and community continue. Thank you for continuing or setting up your Online Giving or mailing your gifts into the church office.

In a time of increased concern, let’s remember Jesus’ question in Matthew 6:27, Who among you by worrying can add a single moment to your life? Let’s not miss the chance to love our neighbors, to be good citizens and draw closer to God.

God bless you,
Pastor Kellen

P.S. We saw many people posting to Facebook during our worship livestream. We’d love for you to share your posts directly to our Facebook page by tagging us at @Firstpreswheaton.

Tuesday, March 17

Church Family,
In uncertain times, God’s people have always looked to the certainty of his Holy Word. Join Pastor Kellen at 7:00 pm starting this Wednesday, March 18, for a livestream Bible Study. You will be able to interact with a live chat and allow the scriptures to reveal God’s truth in this unprecedented season of life.

We look forward to seeing you online!

Monday, March 16

Good evening church family!
Did you miss watching our first-ever worship livestream yesterday morning? Do you want to rewatch yesterday's service with the ability to pause, forward, and rewind? You can watch the service online on YouTube . We hope that you will be blessed by Pastor Kellen’s sermon and that it can be a source of encouragement and peace for you.

In this time of uncertainty, we’re grateful for your ongoing generosity to our church community. Since we aren’t holding regular Sunday services for the foreseeable future, we’re counting on online donations to allow us to continue ministering to you and your family . Please visit Online Giving to give via PayPal (using your own credit or debit card). You can also mail a check to First Presbyterian Church of Wheaton, 715 North Carlton Avenue, Wheaton, Illinois 60187. We're so thankful for your support of this church!

We hope that you will join us at 11:00 am online next Sunday.

Friday, March 13
Coronavirus Response Update

First Pres Family,
There’s one command that’s mentioned more often than any other in the Bible. It’s the command: “Do not fear.” As we talked about during worship last week, in this overwhelming time of the coronavirus, our response as a church isn’t fear, but faith. In Psalm 23:4, David responds this way: "Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no danger because you are with me. Your rod and your staff - they protect me” (Psalm 23:4).

Choosing not to fear doesn't mean throwing out common sense. Following the announcement of Gov. Pritzker last night about not holding gatherings of 250 people or more and the cancellation of D200 schools, out of an abundance of caution we’ve decided to temporarily cancel in-person worship services, Sunday school and adult education starting this week.

For the first time, we will be live streaming worship at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday through our YouTube channel, which will be accessible through our website. If you’re unable to log on live, the full recording will be available on YouTube after the livestream. If you haven’t done so, please subscribe to our YouTube channel. When you subscribe, you can set a reminder for the livestream of our services.

We can still fulfill our mission of inviting all generations into a growing life with Jesus Christ even if we’re not meeting in person. Invite friends or neighbors to join us for worship online and share this opportunity on social media.

Online worship will be for the whole family! In addition to music, prayers and a sermon, there will be a message just for children. Be sure to include your kids as you watch from home.

We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and communicate further about when we will resume meeting for worship. At this time, the church office will remain open. However, for now we will not be allowing outside groups to use the facility and encourage groups/committees to postpone or consider alternative meeting options, using phone or video.

While we choose not to panic and instead be prayerful, here are a few things we can do as a church family:
1. Take good care of yourself and family.
2. Pray for our church and community during this concerning time.
3. Reach out electronically or over the phone to people in your groups even if they aren’t meeting.
One of the things I value most about our family of faith is that we are a generous church. Since we are unable to meet in person, now is the perfect time take part in online giving. You can make a one-time gift or set up recurring giving for your pledge.
Please follow the prompts at: Online Giving

Finally, if you need pastoral support, don’t hesitate to call the church office (630-668-5147) to set up a return call. Pastor Steve or I will gladly respond. If you have a prayer request, you can also submit an electronic prayer request here.

While it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the uncertainty of this situation, we can trust in the certainty of God’s sovereignty.

Blessings, Pastor Kellen

"First Pres is a community I can go to for support."

Joey K.

  • Worship Livestream Worship at 10:00 a.m.

    Worship Guide
  • No Adult Education & Sunday School until further notice


    Adult Education  
    Sunday School ages 2 - High School  

  • Childcare

    Childcare for infants - 4 year olds is available throughout the morning