Explore the ministries of Reno First UMC below, and use the contact form at the bottom of the page to connect!
Seeking Justice - Outreach and Service
Our church works with and donates funding to organizations in Reno that support and center marginalized groups: those experiencing poverty, homelessness, addiction, discrimination, food insecurity, and more: Our Place women’s shelter, the Women and Children’s Center of the Sierras, Habitat for Humanity, Ridge House, Northern Nevada HOPES, the Food Bank, Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful, and more. There are lots of opportunities to donate or volunteer, so contact our office to learn more!
If it’s empty, fill it! If you need it, it’s yours! Find our Karma Box on the fence between our church and Our Bar. Anyone can take or leave nonperishable food items, hygiene products, and more. When one hurts, we all hurt; and when we can help one, we are all helped! That’s Jesus 101.
Like to hike? Want to keep our beautiful creation accessible to everyone? Have we got a volunteer opportunity for you! We have adopted part of the Tahoe-Pyramid Trail. Our mile and its parking area sometimes need trash pickup, weed whacking, and even a little repair. Spend a couple of hours enjoying nature and helping others enjoy it too!
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) hikers come from all over the world. They walk from Mexico to Canada. Part of the trail comes through the Tahoe Basin. Trail Angels drive to a trail loaded with food, cold drinks, chairs, and treats to set up, and greet hikers along the way with rest and relaxation. Sometimes we see two, sometimes 25. We will generally give a couple of weeks’ notice, and depending on how many people sign up to come along, we might do multiple days!
We collect items all year long and our youth lead us in building kits inspired by Charlie, a formerly homeless neighbor. Charlie let us know what would have helped him most while he was living outside, and we compile these things into reusable grocery bags. Anyone can take one to share with someone in need (perhaps those folks you see standing on the side of the offramp holding signs, or a neighbor resting in a park nearby). They are available as supply allows year-round. Our goal in 2023 is to make 500!
The Food Bank can make a dollar stretch a lot farther than we can in our local grocery stores – but because it helps us remember others as we care for ourselves, we also collect cans year round in a playful, in-house competition. Perhaps you’ll use your cans to vote for who will win the Super Bowl, or for whether Crunchy or Creamy peanut butter is better, or even for which Hogwarts House you belong to… In any case, bring a can or two, some diapers, or other nonperishable items. Everything we collect goes to the Women and Children’s Center of the Sierras.
We are connected to our neighbors of all faith traditions through our Interfaith Alliance.Annual remembrances for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., memorials for the deaths of our neighbors sleeping outside, and celebrations of Thanksgiving draw us together, as well as the Trans Day of Remembrance.
The Nevada Interfaith Coalition for Equality and Inclusion is an informal group of religious institutions dedicated to the full inclusion of LGBTQ+ persons in all rights and rituals of human life. We most notably join together during Northern Nevada Pride celebrations in July, to march, celebrate, and support our community. God’s love is for everyone, and there are no second-class citizens in our church.
Scouting builds strong leaders who develop physical, mental, and emotional fitness, who adopt and live by meaningful personal standards as a cornerstone of success in life. Through leadership training, wilderness adventures, and using merit badge incentives, kids master hobby and career skills. Our troop meets off-campus, and all leaders are thoroughly trained and background checked.
Loving Kindness - Care and Fellowship
The choir is conducted by Andy Sonnemaker. The choir rehearses on Sundays at 9am upstairs in the Choir Rehearsal Room, and shares music during the 10am worship service. All are welcome to come sing, learn, and care for one another together.
The handbell choir, led by mother-son team Ben and Linda Brown, rehearses on Sundays after the 10am worship service, and plays in worship about once a month. Whether you are an experienced ringer, or just learning how to recognize a note on a page, you are welcome to ding along with us!
This team confidentially and intentionally cares for those in our congregation in need of connection through phone calls, emails, visits, text messages, cards, and more. They meet by Zoom on the first Tuesday of the month and do their joyful work all month long.
Thursdays at noon we gather to pray for our selves, our church, our community, and our world. Prayer requests from Sunday morning and those received during the week are lifted up, and cards are sent to those we pray for so they might feel our support in times of celebration, healing, change, grief, growth, and more. This group practices confidentiality to protect the privacy of everyone offering up a prayer concern.
Whether in poetry or prose, our monthly Writers Group gathers on the fourth Thursday at 2pm to share reflections, poetry, anecdotes, and essays, from the silly to the serious. In hearing one another’s words and sharing their own, each participant deepens their curiosity and compassion in this nonjudgmental and welcoming group.
On third Fridays, gather to work on a quilting projects, learn new techniques from one another, and sometimes share a meal. One sale a year, usually in November, benefits the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and the Children’s Cancer Fund.
Music is healing and sharing music can be joyful! Led by musicians in our men’s group, anyone is welcome to bring their guitar, fiddle, banjo, cajon, harmonica, bass, tambourine, kazoo, voice, or any other portable instrument, to jam together on songs brought by the group. Group meets occasionally and location rotates; contact the office for details.
Book group gathers on the last Monday of the month, in person and by Zoom, to discuss literature. Leadership rotates among participants, and you don’t even need to have read the book to join the conversation! Anyone is welcome.
Gather with other singles and couples, some new to the community and some a little more experienced, and share good food and conversation! New groups form a couple of times a year; contact the office for more information.
Once the snow melts, the hikers will hit the trails to explore the beautiful creation around us! It’s about being outdoors without the pressure to “get somewhere.” Beginners and dogs welcome. Wildflower and bird enthusiasts, too! We are not in a hurry, and we don’t push – most hikes are three miles, some longer, some shorter, all described ahead of time, and no one has to walk more than they wish.
Walking Humbly with God
See our worship page for more details! Services in English happen at 8:15am and 10am every Sunday. Worship in Tongan at 1pm.
Every Sunday morning at 9am, we join together in the Library and by Zoom to practice intentional supportive community through practices of contemplative prayer, study, and holy conversation.
During our 10am worship service, our children are invited to gather for a special moment in the sanctuary, and then depart for their classroom where they will experience interactive, wholesome, fun, spiritual lessons each week. We play games, read scripture stories, sing songs, do crafts, and practice kindness and compassion. All children’s workers are background checked and pass Safe Sanctuary requirements. Please register your kids on Sunday morning with Mrs. Mel!
Sixth graders through twelfth graders are welcome to practice community and practical theology through DESTINATION UNKNOWN – a fun gathering once a month, to a surprise location, where the youth practice their own meaning-making. They are also welcome to join in any of the mission and service opportunities in the church, and lead by making Charlie Bags which are simple survival kits for congregation members to share with people in need. All youth workers are background checked and pass Safe Sanctuary requirements.
Formerly known as United Methodist Women, our chapter of the UWF meets on the second Tuesday evening of every month to connect and nurture women so that they can inspire, influence, and impact local and global community.
Simplicity meets on the first Thursday evening of every month to discuss living in a way that is outwardly simple, and inwardly rich, often using books and shared guidance to engage new and ancient ways of practicing honoring creation, self, and neighbor.
8am on 4th Thursdays sees the Fellowship Hall fill with supportive and caring men, yummy breakfast smells, beautiful music, and thoughtful conversation about living holy lives, personally and publicly.
This group of over-21-year olds gathers informally for Saturday brunch to care for and support each other through all of the transitions in their lives: the beginnings and endings of relationships, jobs, living situation, educational goals, and more. Contact the pastor to see if this group is right for you!
An all-church retreat in the spring and a women’s retreat in the late summer provide opportunities for us to enjoy beautiful Lake Tahoe, grow closer to one another, and dig deeper into spiritual practices together.