First United Methodist Church, Cedar Falls
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Faith can be a lifelong adventure of asking questions and seeking answers as you develop your own personal relationship with God.  We have classes, discussion groups, and experiences for people of all ages.  If you wish to understand what's in the Bible, or if you wish to develop your own life of ministry, we can help you with resources right here in our church and from our larger United Methodist connection.

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GPS Groups

weekly GPS study guides

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to join a GPS Group. Whether you’re just starting to explore the Christian faith, or you’re a long-time Christian, we want to help you to know, love and serve God. In these GPS groups you will Gather, Pray, and Support. The time you spend in your GPS group will help you to locate your place in the continuing narrative of God’s plan for the world.


The first component of small groups is fellowship. In your GPS groups, you will enjoy conversation on experience of worship, study on scripture, and laughter with one another.


Pray is vital to the health of a small group. It is one of the main ways we draw closer to God and one another. Therefore, you will spend extended time in prayer as a group.

Support (the core of being a Methodist!)

A crucial part of the early Methodist movement was to “watch over one another in love,” to support and encourage one another in their lives with God.

GPS Groups beginning in September will be structured to enable Gathering, Praying and Support with and for each other. Sign up to join a GPS group at the Welcome Center.


A devotion may only take a few minutes to read, but it gives you a scriptural lesson to think about all day. Here's a link to our favorite: The Upper Room.

For more tips on reading and understanding the Holy Bible, click here.

Daily Bible Verses

Here's a good source for an online sources daily verse for your meditation: 


Reading the Bible


The Holy Bible is a huge work of history, literature and faith.  We can devote entire lifetimes to its passages. The Old Testament lays the groundwork for the New Testament, and the New Testament brings conclusion to the Old.  The Holy Bible is not necessarily an easy read, but it doesn't have to be difficult, either.  Here are some of our tips:

  • Don't try to do it all yourself. The Holy Bible is an amazingly complex and interconnected work. Having a study partner, leader or mentor will help you to understand the connections and relationships as you read. Our Sunday School classes and Bible study groups are a great place to start.

  • Be patient. Don't expect to breeze right through and absorb it all with the first reading - the bible is too big for that. Sit and think about what you just read. Then read it again.

  • Ask questions. When you don't understand something, ask. Your pastor, mentor or leader will help you understand a passage in the larger context of the entire Bible.

  • Consider getting a study bible. Study bibles contain the biblical text, as well as interpretive notes in plain language to assist you in understanding, and to lead you to related passages.

  • Keep a journal. Record what you have felt as you read, record your questions and your understandings. These notes will be valuable as you review your readings.

  • Pray for understanding. We believe the Holy Bible is the word of God, so go ahead and talk to God about your readings. Ask for clarity. Ask for understanding the message in both its original and a modern-day context. Thank God for sharing his word with us.


Your first step will be to get your own Bible, and you'll find there are many different ones available. The United Methodist Church makes heavy use of the New Revised Standard Edition (NRSV), and the Common English Bible (CEB).  Also in frequent use in our church are the New International Version (NIV), The Message translation (MSG), and the Good News Translation (GNT). If you're buying for the first time, we recommend speaking with one of our pastors, a well-read Christian friend or the staff at a Christian bookstore.  They will be able to give you guidance on the different versions and translations, as well as other biblical study resources. 

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You were born with a unique set of traits which equip you for a life of ministry. There are some things that you are just naturally good at. Find out what they are!

The link below is a Spiritual Gifts Assessment from the United Methodist Church. There are 21 quick questions for you to answer about yourself, and the result will be a report of your natural strengths in ministry.

Next Sunday’s teaching sermons with both Pastor Scott and Pastor Matt will be talking about the ways we serve Christ, so take this quiz before you come and you’ll know exactly where you fit into our discussion of service.

take the quiz

Sunday Morning Childcare


Your infants and children are welcome in worship, and we also have childcare available during Sunday mornings.  The nursery is conveniently located on the ground level, and is equipped with its own restroom and diaper-changing area.  The nursery staff is trained in accordance with our Safe Sanctuary policy and our parent-paging system will let you know if there are any emergencies.


Sunday School for Kids

Sunday mornings at 9:45


Kids will have a great time while they learn the stories and ideas of the Bible.  Music time and art projects will keep things fun while reinforcing the lessons. 

Preschool Sunday School

For fall the preschool class will be using the new GROW PROCLAIM SERVE! Grow your faith by leaps and bounds! Our children will hear the Bible story apply the Bible message, and then live out the message in their lives in concrete and age-appropriate ways. To check it out go to



K-6th Graders  

will begin the year with “Making Choices”.  This will help children understand that: God gives us the freedom to make choices; we can learn how to make good choices to deal with situations that involve peer pressure, keeping ourselves safe, and keeping our bodies healthy.  The choices we make affect ourselves and other people; God provides us with the techniques, and resources we need to make wise choices.  


BLAST: Bible Learning And Service Together

Wednesday Evening, 6:00 - 7:15

A fun time for kids to learn Bible verses, play, sing, and do a service project.  BLAST is timed so that the whole family can take part in Wed night church activities.  While kids are at BLAST, Mom & Dad can attend an adult activity.  BLAST runs 8 to 10 weeks in the fall and again in the spring. 

Family 3rd Grade Bible Class

Sunday Mornings, 9:45

Each year the 3rd graders and their families learn and explore their Bibles together in an eight week class. 

Grußkarte - Fische

New Confirmation class beginning Sept 16, 2018

Begins with Parent & Student meeting on September 16th at 6pm
Confirmation is for all youth 7th and 8th grade and older

Confirmation is the process by which young people “graduate” into full membership of the church.  It is a spiritual process and a practical one, too, as our young people explore their personal faith and their place in our United Methodist denomination.  Upon completion of the Confirmation Process, our new confirmands will be eligible to vote on church business matters and hold leadership positions within our congregation.  

First UMC Jr & Sr High

Wednesday nights at 6:00.  We'll always have some fun, and we'll give you place you can trust to help figure out the issues that are heavy on your mind, and your place in God's world.  Sept - April.

 For more information please contact Becca Nims ( or
515-422-2299 All youth going into seventh  grade through twelfth are welcome! 

adult Sunday School groups:  all @ 9:45 am

Sunday School isn’t just kid stuff.  These groups for adults meet every Sunday to explore matters of faith together. These groups will each spend time connecting with each other, and then move into a time of more focused discussion.  You’re welcome in any of these groups.  Meet some good people and grow your faith.  

Living Word  

Living Word will continue to explore books of the Bible in both the Old & New Testament.  We will explore how people lived & what historical events occurred during the time the books were written. 
The Living Word class will spend time each week sharing and caring for each other then move on to study different books of the Bible.  All ages welcome.   Room 057: Terri Grover

CCF (Christ-Centered Families)

The Christ-Centered Families class will begin the year exploring the Book of Romans.  They will follow with “The Art of Marriage.”  Christ-Centered Families is a group of parents of looking for Biblical guidance to help raise their children to be the people of God they were created to be.  You’re welcome to join them!  

Growing Christians

Sit in with the Growing Christians class as they will begin the year with  “Who is this Man” Jesus walked the road to the cross, it seemed his influence on the world had ended. On the contrary, it had just begun! Ortberg explains how Christ’s actions, statements, and legacy dramatically affected the world---revolutionizing art, science, government, medicine, and education. Learn how you can follow in Jesus’ footsteps today  and follow with a Pastor Adam Hamilton, “Faith For Tough Times,” the message of the prophet Jeremiah. 
Room 056 Contact: Kris Rash

Open Door

Our discussions help us to better understand the Bible and its influence on our lives. 
Contact: Sue Mutchler and Pauline Harding


This group is for anyone willing to discuss religious topics of various types and their implication for us as individuals as well as the church in general. Past topics have included the study of the New Testament, the Heart of Christianity, and Jesus.  Class participants are willing to look at and discuss the different views of an issue.  Room 058 Contact: Gil Hewett 


The Seekers meet most Sunday mornings at 9:45 from September through May.  As a class we do a variety of studies aimed at spiritual growth.  Our mission is to promote growing faith for our members, carry out the work of the church and provide a supportive and caring environment for those who participate in our group.   We meet in room 60 from 9:45 to 10:45 Sunday mornings and always have the coffee pot on, come on in.  Room: 060  Contact:  Debbie Dance.  The Seekers meet for occasional social activities, too.


Our newest Sunday morning group for adults.  We gather to share our lives and discuss God’s presence in the world today.  Room 055

Men’s Tuesday Breakfast

The Tuesday Men’s Breakfast meets at 7:00 a.m. at a local restaurant in Cedar Falls. There is a devotion preceding the meal. People leave when they need to, or by 8:00 a.m. Your presence will enhance the fellowship.   Contact: Jerry Bernard or Pastor Steve Williams

Tuesday Night Fellas

We’re a relaxed goup of fellas working our way through life and trying to learn a little along the way.  We start each gathering with a little hanging out and conversation as we polish-off a bag of chips or two, then we’ll dig into the evening’s topic.  We have a full slate of “studies” for this fall.  You’ll find us downstairs in the Man Cave (059)  at 6:30pm.  All men are invited - punks to geezers.  Never joined us before?  Just show up.  contact chris congdon (


United Methodist Women  UMW

The purpose of UMW is to learn how to know God more fully, to develop a supportive fellowship by facilitating the programs of the church whenever possible, and to participate locally as well as in the global mission of the church. The UMW meets on second Thursdays as scheduled at 1:00 p.m. for a program and a brief business meeting followed by coffee, dessert, and a social time. There are 5 circles or small groups that meet monthly, September through June, namely Deborah, Mary, Miriam, Joy, and Hearts and Hands.  Contacts: Pat Ackerman and Lorna Ericson 

More Than Moms

more than moms first methodist church cedar falls iowa

How about some weekly sistership with other women?  More Than Moms is the group for you!  Beginning January 11th in the parlor, all women are welcome to join this relaxing, exciting, educational and fun group (child care provided.)  Every Wednesday night we will meet from 6:00 until 7:15pm (begin gathering at 5:45) to discuss pertinent topics and share a laugh or two.   Invite a friend . . . all are welcome!  

School for Lay Ministry

If You’re Ready...
  • to step forward in a bold, new way
  • to unlock your potential as a servant in the Church
  • to explore the history and structure of our United Methodist Church
  • to commit yourself to pursue your personal ministry at a higher level

You are a great candidate for the Iowa Annual Conference’s School for Lay Ministry(SLM).  SLM is designed to grow Iowa churches by providing a supplemental source of leadership.  Some of the ways that SLM graduates serve are: volunteer management, Christian education, care-giving, youth programming, outreach, and the SLM is the pathway to becoming a Certified Lay Minister.  

Students devote four weekends a year for three years to this program.  Classes are held at the Cornell, Simpson and Morningside colleges on Friday evening through Sunday morning.  There are reading assignments, lecture sessions, group discussions and activities.  It’s not for everyone - you have to be serious about this - but if you are, you will end up having one of the most enlightening experiences in your Christian life.  Weekend courses will dig into worship, congregational care, Christian ethics, theological perspectives, missions, social concerns, church history, doctrine and polity and strategizing for growth.  You will emerge equipped and inspired to see your life as a ministry and to share it openly in ways that suit your strengths and skills.  In our congregation, Karl Dance, Jan Hoover, Jim Reidy, Chris Congdon, Lisa Congdon, Padma Templeton, Sue Ney, Chris Werling-Witkoske are graduates of the program.  Shane Waltz, Jon Cooper and Rus DeBonis are current students.  Ask any of them about their experience, or talk to one of our pastors about the application process.  More information can be found at

Walk to Emmaus

Get Away for a Long Weekend and Renew Your Faith

walk to emmaus first methodist church cedar falls iowa

This three-day retreat will take you away from the distractions of life and allow you to refocus on your faith.  You’ll be immersed in a Christian community, and will be encouraged to find ways to live out your faith in your home church.  This is the Walk to Emmaus.  During your “walk” you’ll be amply fed, comfortably housed, and you’ll have plenty of time for a good night’s sleep.   Guided activities and scheduled break times allow opportunities to enjoy the natural environment of the retreat location near Lake McBride.   

How far?  This walk is symbolic, not an actual physical challenge.  Facilities and activities are fully accessible to pilgrims of all abilities. The name, Walk to Emmaus refers to Luke 24:13-35 where Jesus walks with two travelers who do not recognize the risen Christ in their midst until he breaks bread with them.  In this weekend, you’ll learn to see Christ in the world around you, and will be inspired to be an instrument of His love.  

The Walk to Emmaus is an experience for adults, and there is a similar youth-oriented experience called Chrysalis.  If you have interest in learning more about the Walk to Emmaus, contact the church office, and we can arrange for you to meet someone who has already been - there are many in our congregation.   The next Walks to Emmaus are scheduled for summer and fall of 2018.  Check out this video at

Upcoming retreats:
October 17-20, 2019 men Solon, IA
November 7-10, 2019   women    Solon, IA


other links:

financial peace at first methodist church cedar falls

Be Different - Live With Financial Peace

We all need a plan for our money. Financial Peace University (FPU) teaches God’s ways of handling money. Through video teaching, class discussions and interactive small group activities, FPU presents biblical, practical steps to get from where you are to where you’ve dreamed you could be. This plan will show you how to get rid of debt, manage your money, spend and save wisely, and much more!  The cost of the kit is $100 but it allows you to take the class as many times as you’d like...what an investment!  The first class starts on Sunday, January 14th at 6:00pm. Register at the church Welcome Center by December 31 so that we can order your class materials.  If you are interested in knowing more about the class, please contact Shane or Tabitha Waltz at 319-239-4780 or e-mail them at

learn more about FPU here

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