Ministry Teams

Join a team

Are you looking for a place to apply your talents, fulfill a personal passion, meet new people? First Church has a many ministry teams and service groups for you to explore something new or share a life passion.


Did you know it takes more than 50 people to pull off a Sunday morning at First Church? And these are primarily volunteers (pull existing content here).

Sanctuary Preparation Team

Preparing the sanctuary for worship doesn't require a lot of time but needs to be done weekly prior to the Sunday service. This involves tidying up the hymnals, making sure there are pencils, prayer cards, and offering envelopes in each pew, and removing any out of date materials. It's a small job with a big impact. Contact with questions and information about getting on the rotation.

Curbside Welcoming Ministries

Team members manage the parking area and welcome congregants from 9:00-9:30 am on Sundays. This may include putting up and taking down parking signs and cones, opening the door for members and offering assistance when it appears they may need some help negotiating entrance to the church, and helping drivers to find appropriate parking spaces in or near the church parking lot. Scheduling is done quarterly via email and team members usually are assigned one Sunday per month.

Contact David Kinyon if you are interested in joining the team.

Greeters and Ushers

Usher duties involve handing out bulletins, answering questions asked by guests, and taking and sorting the offering during the 9:30 am service.

Ushers also assist with congregation-wide communion which takes place on the first Sunday of every month and on certain special church holidays. Training is provided.

If you are interested in being an usher, email Ev Woolpert.

Greeters take stations at the entry doors 15 minutes prior to the start of worship and welcome guests to worship. If you’re interested in serving as a greeter, email Ev Woolpert.


Each Sunday, a member of congregation participates in the worship service by reading the call to worship and selected scripture. You may choose to do it once a year or once a month depending on your preference and availability. Sign up here to be a liturgist.

Technology Team

The Technology Team is responsible for ensuring the sound system is working, the slides and projection of audio and video works,  so that we have a time of worship that is an engaging experience for everyone. Contact Holly Johnson for more information.

Communion Stewards

Communion stewards are responsible for preparing the elements for Communion which takes place on the first Sunday of each month and on certain church holidays. If you would like to assist in the preparation work, contact Bonnie Benson. 

Bread Bakers

We have a tradition at First Church of welcoming first time visitors with a loaf of fresh baked bread. It’s a simple gesture of hospitality that says a lot about who we are as a congregation. Each week one of our volunteers bakes 10-12 small loaves of bread to give to Sunday service visitors. If you like to bake, contact Sue Petkovsek to get on the schedule. 

Plant and Flower Team

Would you like to add to the beauty of the sanctuary by providing flowers for a Sunday morning in memory of someone or in honor of a special occasion? Sign up here. 

Many plants are delivered for Easter, Christmas and sometimes other occasions. They need to be arranged on the chancel. Would you like to help with this task? Contact   to be put on the list and contacted when arrangement is needed. 

Bulletin Production Team

Each week we print and handout bulletins as a convenience to those who come to Sunday worship. Volunteers assist with the production, printing, and folding between Wed and Friday. Contact if you are interested in helping.


Children are able to encouraged to be part of our Sunday morning worship service. Some children are happy to serve as acolytes. For more information about being an acolyte, contact .

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Are you a social person? Do you like to help and nurture others face-to-face. There are many opportunties here...we need content for describing this class of volunteer opportunities.

Adopt-A School

The Adopt-a-School program is a partnership between FUMC and Hawthorne Elementary in Madison. The primary goal is to improve student achievement by increasing reading and math skills, and to connect the community with the schools. It allows the church to share human, material, and financial resources with members of the community.  Members of FUMC sign up to tutor, mentor, help in the food pantry, be a "lunch buddy" etc. Volunteers attend a district training then work closely with the teacher and the Schools of Hope Coordinator. Committee members are encouraged to several group meetings for planning and review purposes.

The team also collects donations for distribution at Hawthorne. These have included cold weather wear, boots, backpacks, school supplies, items for the food pantry, laundry soap, hygiene products, etc.

In addition, the team also supports the staff by supplying dinner on Parent-Teacher Conference day.

If you would like to participate in some component of the Adopt-a-School Program, contact Kathy Carpenter.

Keeping Connected Ministry

The “Keeping Connected Ministry” is a group volunteers who regularly visit homebound members or those going through rehab following temporary medical issues or procedures.

“Keeping Connected” also hosts a Christmas lunch for First Church members who are residents of Oakwood Village West. 

Contact Paula Benson or Josie Gobel if you are interested in joining the group.

Hospital Visitation Team

Team members visit First Church members who are hospitalized to let them know that First Church cares about them and to ask if they would like to be listed in the Sunday bulletin, weekly e-news, and/or to have their name given to the prayer team. Visits are informal and brief (10-15 minutes) to avoid tiring the patient. Visits can be made anytime during hospital visiting hours.

For more information, please contact Doug  .

Prayer Team

This ministry is served by church members who feel called to support others through prayer. We communicate by email so we may respond to new requests in a timely manner. We value confidentiality to protect the privacy of those requesting prayer. 

Members who feel called to join our team and pray for others on an ongoing basis, should contact Sue Eagle call and leave a message or email me.

Senior Social Team

This team coordinates three Senior Social luncheons (Spring Fling, Summer Time, Fall Fest). The free lunch is catered and is followed by a program of general interest to the attendees. Team members may be involved in planning, promoting, and/or day-of execution.

Contact Jim Scorgie (need email) for more information about joining this team.

Funeral/Memorial Service Reception Team

Our staff and volunteers provide a supportive presence of Christian fellowship as family and friends gather to remember and celebrate the life of a loved one. Funeral luncheons and food service are coordinated by our Loaves and Fishes Kitchen Manager who is a certified Food Manager licensed by the State of Wisconsin. Many funeral luncheons are catered and supported by a team of volunteers. Some receptions involve preparation of food in our Loaves and Fishes Kitchen. All planning is led by our pastoral team in coordination with our kitchen manager.

To volunteer for this team, contact Karen.

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For those who are life-long learners and want to put our daily lives and what is happening in the world around us in a spiritual context, working on an education and spiritual formation ministry might be what you are looking for. Small group leaders, teachers, mentors, and members of planning teams are needed for all adult education and spiritual formation opportunities. If you’re interested please contact Dr. Mark Fowler. 

Biblical Economics Planning Group

The Biblical Economics Team provides opportunities to engage in conversation about how the biblical witness might influence our economic and political decisions. Through presentations, readings and group discussion, participants are encouraged to consider how they can use their money, investments, purchases, time, voice, and vote to reflect biblical principles and transform their lives and our country's political economy to best use and preserve God’s gifts. 

Examples of past activities include an adult education series on Sustainable and Responsible Investing (2019) and an introduction to Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggmann’s work in a series titled: Biblical Economics and the Abundant Life (2017).

Members of the team may be involved in brainstorming, planning and coordination, and communication for selected team programs. 

For further information or to get involved, please contact John Stolzenberg or C.R. Boardman.

Church Library Team

The Church Library is located on the lower level of the church across the hall from the Sunday School Supply Room.  (You can access the library by going down the stairs at the left of the sanctuary or if you take the elevator to lower level and walk straight ahead until you see the library on your right.)  The library is open every Sunday morning, or Brooke at the information office can let you in during the week.

It is ‘self check out’ and there are instructions on the counter for checking out books.  There are many Reference Books and interesting reads – including some large print books, books from the United Methodist Women’s Reading list and also the DVD’s from last year’s Season of Creation.  We also have a computer data base listing all of the books available.  Anyone on the library committee could help you locate a book or will be able to tell you if the item you are looking for is available.

The library currently has a collection of DVDs. You can find the list here.

The library committee is: Cindy Cary, Emily Ford, Kay Bradley and Josie Gobel. You can direct any questions and/or suggestions to the committee by calling church office: 608-256-9061 or sending an email to: .

Lyons Lecture Planning Team

The Lyons Lecture committee chooses the yearly speaker, plans for and executes all details and publicity for the event. The committee meets several times a year. For more information about joining this team, contact Doug Knudson.

The David P. Lyons Lecture

This program was established to honor the memory and ministry of Rev. David Lyons. Each spring, a distinguished scholar is invited to share insight and understandings in the areas related to theology, biblical interpretation, religious history, and spirituality. Grounded in a deep and abiding faith, Rev. Lyons opened windows and doors for seeing and knowing God outside the usual human parameters defining God. This lecture series continues in the spirit of that quest.

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We stand on the shoulders of generations of faithful First Church members whose generosity and commitment planted this congregation downtown and kept us here, offering ministries of love and witnessing for justice. If you are passionate about social justice issues, opportunities await you at First Church.

Appalachian Service Project

Each summer High School Youth participate in Appalachian Service Project (ASP). It’s a life-changing experience for both the youth and those who receive ASP services. 

Participants do not need to be members of First Church to be part of the ASP mission.

The youth participate in fundraisers like the Fruit and Cheese Sale and Mardi Gras Dinner to help offset the cost for participating in this amazing experience.

Crop Walk

Every day thousands of people throughout the world, including right here in Madison, are going hungry.  Church World Service, with funds raised through the CROP Walks, fights to end this situation. 

First Church members participate in the Crop Walk every year to raise much needed funds. These donations, along with donations to walks throughout the country send millions of dollars to the fight.  If you are interested in learning more about the Crop Walk, contact Allan Marty.

Green Team

The Green Team uses lectures, films, and expertise of church members and guests to teach and act to protect God’s gift of creation.

The rise in carbon dioxide emissions is causing climate change and, consequently, undue hardship – especially to vulnerable populations. Our faith and ethics challenge us to become informed and to advocate for the needed changes to help sustain the world for future generations.

Team members may be involved in brainstorming, planning, coordinating, and communicating programs and activities that promote the mission of the team.

Join us as we collaborate with other churches and organizations and put our ideas into action to make a difference. Contact John Stolzenberg for more information.

International Ministry Team

God's world spreads beyond Madison, beyond Wisconsin, and, well, into the world. Our International Ministry Team partners with Habitat for Humanity El Salvador by sending groups from our local church on mission trips to build homes and make home improvements in Getsemani and Ahuachapán, El Salvador. On Sunday mornings, you can help this effort without leaving the building by buying fair trade coffee, tea and chocolate. 

In addition, the International Ministry Team works on other issues locally, particularly those involving U.S. immigration reform.

Reconciling Ministries Team

Reconciling Ministries is the descriptor used by United Methodist congregations that choose to be fully welcoming of ALL people. While the denomination's policy continues to contain harmful rhetoric and practices that exclude the full participation of some of God's precious people, our congregation dissents.

We  joyfully welcome and celebrate ALL people in the fullness of their humanity including diverse expressions of gender and sexual orientation. We proclaim that "ALL means ALL" and we trust that the ministries of the congregation reflect that proclamation.

The Reconciling Ministries team monitors our ministries to help assure that our commitment to full welcome is not only a prominent hallmark of the congregation's identity, but what we practice. The team supports reaffirmation of this commitment in annual Reconciling Ministry worship celebrations, supports church and community opportunities for awareness raising and advocacy, and steps up to offer tangible support to LGBTQ+ members and friends when needs arise.

Contact our office for more information.