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Over a free lunch, seminar attendees learn the biblical foundations, nature, and practices of vibrant church membership at First Free.

If you are a Christian with a sincere profession of faith in Jesus Christ and would like to receive baptism during a worship service at First Free Church, our next opportunity will be Easter Sunday, March 31, 2024

Here is this week's New City Catechism Q&A. Enjoy as you build and strengthen a sound understanding of biblical doctrine.

First Free Church offers child dedication as an opportunity for parents to publicly dedicate their children to God and commit to raising them in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4).

Our dear sister, Diane Verdish, went home to the Lord on February 19, 2024. Per Diane's request, there will be no funeral or memorial service.

Here is this week's Q&A from the New City Catechism. Enjoy!

If you're not yet in that rhythm, consider adding these modest goals to your daily (perhaps morning) schedule. Build the habit of praying for a few minutes, reading or listening to a chapter of scripture, and reviewing the week's New City Catechism Q&A.

People sometimes wonder what a committed relationship with a local church looks like. At First Free, we encourage our newest friends toward five primary connections.

Developed in 2012, the New City Catechism continues the Christian tradition of catechesis - teaching elementary and essential Christian doctrines in a question-answer format. Here is this week's entry.

Here is this week's New City Catechism. Take a moment to review the Q&A along with the supporting scripture verses.

So, what type of person should we be as followers of Jesus Christ? The answer is obvious. Christians have every reason to be people of positive, inspiring thoughts, words, and deeds.

What a blessing to know that God in Christ is not only near us. He is for us.

Enjoy building the habit of praying for a few minutes, reading or listening to a chapter of scripture, and reviewing the week's New City Catechism Q&A.

As we begin the New Year, Makayla joins our Children's Ministry Team, along with Beth Jewel, our Children's Ministry Assistant, and Michelle Washington, our Awana (Midweek Ministry) Coordinator.

We can bring hope and healing to others when we think about what we say, choosing to speak what is true, helpful, inspiring, necessary, and kind.

Establishing a rhythm of daily prayer, Bible reading, and devotions is essential for growing in God's grace as His child.

My friend and partner in ministry, Pastor Kirk Albrecht, shared the following message with our congregation at the conclusion of worship on Sunday morning, January 14, 2024.

Along with beginning each week with a day of worship and rest, these rudimentary habits help us embrace and experience the intended blessing of what some theologians call the "ordinary means" of God's grace - His appointed means for our continued sanctification (growth in holiness by grace).

As we conclude one year and begin another, we thank you for remembering and generously blessing our staff during the Christmas season. Together, we are sincerely and deeply grateful for your kindness to us at Christmas and throughout the year.

Given the power of words, our speech is often more consequential than we think or imagine. It affects and shapes our spouses in marriage, partners in dating relationships, children and grandchildren, schools, workplaces, neighborhoods, and beyond.

While we don't know for sure if the Bible mentions dinosaurs, some believe our currently limited understanding of a few ancient Hebrew words leaves open some intriguing possibilities.

The Heidelberg Catechism presents some wonderful and essential truths of our faith. By learning and cherishing these truths, we can embrace and enjoy God's love and grace more completely.

Developed in 2012, the New City Catechism continues the Christian tradition of catechesis - teaching elementary and essential Christian doctrines in a question-answer format. Start the year with this encouraging tool.

If you're not in the habit of daily Bible reading, prayer, and study, may I recommend beginning your year with this worthwhile practice?

Rick Tarsala, a part of our church family, fell asleep in the Lord on December 23, 2023. He joins the great cloud of witnesses awaiting the resurrection at our Lord's glorious return.

We retain the annual Christmas tradition of singing Lyssna, Lyssna (meaning "Listen, Listen") to honor God's faithfulness to First Free Church over 141 years, its first members, and our continuing desire to see Christ build His Church from every nation, tribe, and tongue on earth.

Christmas is here! Join us for worship at 10:45 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. We can't wait to see and celebrate with you!

Reflect on God's goodness and provision as you read. Thank God for sending His son to seek and save the lost.

Reflect on a seemingly impossible challenge in your life. Ask God to intervene and help you. Remember: nothing is impossible with God.

Let's keep praying for each other, ministering to needs, and loving each other as we celebrate the never-ending grace of God in Jesus on the shortest day of the year.

Reflect on how God's invited you to participate in His mission. Pray for awareness and openness to serve in Christ's Kingdom.

Jesus is truly our Emmanuel, God with us - and for us.

Reflect on how God expresses His favor in your life because of Jesus. Ask the Lord for opportunities to share His goodness with others.

If you're not yet in that rhythm, consider adding these modest goals to your daily (perhaps morning) schedule. Build the habit of praying for a few minutes, reading or listening to a chapter of scripture, and reviewing the week's New City Catechism Q&A.

Howard Ronald "Ron" Pry, Sr., a member of our church family, passed away on December 18, 2023. Please pray for his family and friends as they mourn this loss.

Reflect on those times when you don't know what God is doing. Ask Him to remind and reassure you: In Christ, God is for you, not against you.

Ask the Lord to deepen your trust and patience as you await the fuller experience of His plans for you.

Reflect on those prayers for which you're still seeking answers. Ask the Lord to grant you patience and trust as you await His response.

Celebrating the reality that we are now God's adopted children by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, the Apostle John reminds us of our call to love one another in Him.

Jesus ran to judgment, so you no longer need to run from it. You don’t need to hide. You can’t, anyway. And, knowing how much he loves you, why would you want to?

The Apostle John spoke extensively of our adoption as God's sons and daughters through Jesus Christ. Reflect on your new identity as God's child this Advent.

The prophet Micah described the holiness God requires of us and that our Messiah fulfills. Praise God that Jesus was and is what we could not be for ourselves.

The prophet Micah foretold the precise place of the Messiah's birth, Bethlehem. Jesus, the King of kings and our Good Shepherd, was born in the City of David, Israel's shepherd-king.

Like its predecessors, the Heidelberg Catechism (my favorite) and the Westminster Shorter Catechism, the New City offers concise answers to worthwhile questions, all fitting for children and adults alike.

The Apostle Paul described the birth of Jesus Christ at the "fullness of time." This Advent, reflect on His past faithfulness as a pledge of His future grace.

Isaiah foretold of peace and order restored to the world through the Messiah. At our Lord's return, we will see the completion of a restorative work well underway.

In today's verses, the prophet Isaiah promised the Spirit of the Lord would rest on the Messiah.

Thank you to all whose hard work and generosity made this year’s Christmas Fest a fun and memorable blessing to our church and community!

The psalmist describes the Messiah as a "priest forever after the order of Melchizedek." Jesus is our great Prophet, Priest, and King.

The psalmist describes the Messiah as the promised King, the Rule to whom all other rulers owe honor and obedience.

The prophet Isaiah promised that God would increase the Lord's peace and government on earth through the Messiah.

The Bible consistently describes unborn children as human persons from conception. In this brief article, we'll note two distinct lines of evidence: inspired testimonies and legal status.

The prophet Isaiah described the Messiah's work using several titles, each telling us something unique about Him.

Marcia Marko, a part of our church family, fell asleep in the Lord on the Lord's Day, December 3, 2023. Please pray for her beloved daughters, grandchildren, siblings, family, and friends as they mourn this loss in the certain hope of the gospel.

Build the habit of praying for a few minutes every day, reading or listening to a chapter of scripture, and reviewing the week's New City Catechism Q&A.

The prophet Isaiah foretold a day when Jesus, the Light of the World, would enter human history with the hope of salvation. We celebrate that Light at Christmas!

Advent provides a unique opportunity to quiet ourselves for a few moments every day, reflecting upon and rejoicing in the good news of Jesus' birth.

God's most significant work in you and through you might be in front of you, not behind you. Keep running your race. You never know what's just around the bend.

The Advent season is here! You can set up your Advent wreath and candles today.

With winter on our doorstep, we wanted to remind you of our weather cancellation policy and communications.

If you're not yet in that rhythm, consider adding these modest goals to your daily (perhaps morning) schedule. Build the habit of praying for a few minutes, reading or listening to a chapter of scripture, and reviewing the week's New City Catechism Q&A.

Art Anderson, a part of our church family, fell asleep in the Lord on November 22, 2023. He joins the great cloud of witnesses awaiting the resurrection at our Lord's glorious return. Please pray for his wife, Ginger, and their family and friends as they mourn this loss in view of the sure promise of the resurrection.

One day, you'll see things more clearly. You'll see the more incredible picture, the grander design of your life. You'll be more alert and perceptive to God's plans than ever. Keep pressing on. One day, it will all make sense.

From the Latin Adventus, meaning "coming," Advent is the season of prayerful preparation leading to our celebration of Christ's birth. Here is some information about this season and its observance.

With praise and glory to God, we provided substantial and encouraging gifts to several families in our church and community through your generosity. Thank you!

During Advent (December 3 - 24, 2023) and through the Christmas holiday, the First Free Church Family will commemorate and celebrate our Lord's birth in many exciting ways!

Are you in the routine of daily Bible reading, prayer, and reviewing a Q&A from a solidly biblical catechism? I hope so! Here is this week's New City Catechism Q&A.

When necessary, be prepared to say "Yes!" to God's plans by saying "No!" to others.

Biblical arguments against tattoos often point to Leviticus 19:28, "You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord." At first, this seems like a scriptural "slam dunk" against the modern practice of tattooing, but is it?

If you still need to join this effort, please do so today! Take a brave step of faith and follow through on God's leading. We ask everyone who calls First Free their church home to support regular operations via Faith Giving and prayerfully consider additional giving toward the Changed Lives Fund.

Lowry's hymn celebrates the only answer to life's most significant question and dilemma: what can take away our sin? According to the teaching of the Old and New Testaments and the words of Lowry's hymn, the answer is plain: "nothing but the blood of Jesus."

If you're not yet in that rhythm, consider adding these modest goals to your daily (perhaps morning) schedule. Build the habit of praying for a few minutes, reading or listening to a chapter of scripture, and reviewing the week's New City Catechism Q&A.

In Christ, you have a new position. Connected at the highest levels, you can learn to see yourself in a whole new way - as God sees you.

No matter how big or small, every contribution is critical in helping us reach our goal. Together, we can cover the costs of these renovations, positioning the next generation for continued success as they reach our communities with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Our dear member, Sally Joy Irwin, fell asleep in the Lord on Monday, November 6, 2023. She joins the great cloud of witnesses awaiting the resurrection at our Lord's glorious return.

And so, in one sense, the message of Jesus Christ is very narrow. It provides only one way of salvation. However, in another sense, we should remember that Jesus' offer of salvation is limitlessly broad. It's an invitation extended to everyone without distinction.

Establishing a rhythm of daily prayer, Bible reading, and devotions is essential for growing in God's grace as His child. Here is a tool to help you get started.

No matter how discouraging our world's news, we can and should be of good cheer! No person, time, or place is beyond the powerful reach of the greatest news - the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sir Robert Grant was a man of varied interests and considerable accomplishments, perhaps least likely his authoring one of the most enduring Christian hymns - O Worship the King.

On behalf of our church leadership, thank you for your unwavering support and commitment to our church and its mission of guiding people into becoming healthy followers of Jesus Christ.

Thankfully, we're not captive to shifting seasons, ever-changing weather, or the latest headlines. We have more enduring reasons for joy and peace, like our Heavenly Father's steadfast love and His myriad forms of care.

The word "apostle" is a Greek word. It simply means "one who is sent." It carries the notion of one sent with special authority, an emissary. The New Testament writers employ the word in two senses, one general and another more specific.

Your Father gives good gifts to all of his children, but their form and arrival time aren't always the same. Rest assured: He won't forget you.

Thanks so much for being part of the First Free Church Family. We hope to see you in person this Sunday, but if you can't make it to the church building, join us online - ideally at our church website!

Originally written as a poem, perhaps for the author's mother, we plan to sing the now-cherished hymn, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, this Sunday. Although the lyrics communicate beautiful and powerful truths, we perceive their artistry more vividly against the dark backdrop of their author, Joseph Scriven's, life.

On behalf of our church leadership, thank you for your unwavering support and commitment to our church and its mission of guiding people into becoming healthy followers of Jesus Christ.

Here is a brief update on where we are in the Christmas Fest 2023 planning process.

Our November tradition, the "Harvest Home" initiative, continues this year!

Jesus "unplugged" to spend time with His Father. He's freed you to do the same.

Early next year, we will meet to consider any future installments and the form of our Christmas Fest outreach ministry. However, until then, we look forward to planning, promoting, and offering a fun, modified version for our church and community this year!

On behalf of our pastors and other church leaders, thanks to those who planned, served, and attended this year's First Free Women's Conference.

As Your Son, our Savior and Lord, taught us, we pray with burdened hearts for all people, everywhere.

Today, you might feel overwhelmed. You might be facing a problem for which there is no readily apparent solution. You might not have the resources to meet your responsibilities. As the disciples confessed their feelings of powerlessness and confusion to Jesus, you can do the same.

Could God be readying especially dark corners of our world to know the Light of Life? Let our Lord and His glorious gospel be our vision as they were for Patrick.

Does this mean our particular pets will join us in the fullness of God's kingdom? The Bible does not say, and we should avoid too much speculation. Even so, nothing in God's Word necessarily precludes it.

We offer gatherings for all ages before worship on Sunday mornings, beginning at 9:30 am. New to First Free? Don't be afraid to jump right in. We're waiting for you!

When members and friends of First Free devote significant time in prayer, seeking God's gracious will for the peace and prosperity of our church family, the City of McKeesport, our surrounding communities, and the global ministry of the gospel, it promotes God's glory and the common good.

What God has declared you to be is an infinitely greater reality than what you presently appear to be. Don't judge your worth or your potential by mere appearances and outward circumstances.

If you still need to become familiar with this classic hymn, please take a moment to reflect on its lyrics before worship this Sunday. Here is some great information about this song and its author.

None of our children's ministries happen without safe, reliable volunteers who love God and the children entrusted to our care. As parents of children blessed by this ministry, we especially want and need you!

Alongside a warm, energetic ministry team, it's a privilege to welcome you to our site and hopefully begin connecting you to our growing church family. We're so glad you're here.

Only with the Lord's help can we fulfill our mission to guide people into becoming healthy followers of Jesus Christ, generation to generation.

Don't be afraid to take a longer, more patient view of things. Barnabas did, and it made all the difference.

Join women from First Free as they seek God in His Word and accept His invitation to draw near to Him in prayer at their annual conference.

The purpose of Deepen is to encourage and help you get connected at a deeper level. We want First Free to feel like home, where you know and are known. We also want to help you understand and express your unique giftedness for ministry.

There is hope in overcoming a lifestyle of addiction with the help of fellow believers who have found healing themselves. We can provide the ongoing support needed to bring about meaningful change through a biblical approach to recovery.

You are more secure than you think. Your Father will sustain you and keep you safe. You don't need to inch fearfully through life, waiting for the bottom to fall out. Christ will hold you fast. Walk tall. God is with you - and for you!

We're grateful for Amy's important ministry. We encourage you to learn more about it, uphold her in your prayers, and generously continue the financial partnerships that allow our support of her ministry.

We are excited to welcome Michelle into the role of Awana Coordinator! We are also grateful to Marie, Beth, and the many Children's Ministry volunteers for their continued excellent service to the Children's Ministry.

The early 20th century Princeton theologian J. Gresham Machen said, "The gospel does not abrogate God's law, but makes men love it with all their hearts." Not just law. Not just gospel. Law and gospel - and in that order.

On behalf of our pastors, staff, and very grateful church family, thank you to all those who planned, purchased, cooked, baked, grilled, set up, tore down, and cleaned up!

However, like a farmer who plants crops in the springtime but doesn't see the reward until late summer or even fall, sowing seeds of goodness doesn't always bring immediate reward. It requires endurance.

Our Picnic Team planned a fun, delicious, and memorable church picnic for this Sunday after church! To make the most of our time together, here are two helpful suggestions from the team.

Are you new or newer to First Free? If so, we are so glad to have you here! Of course, we want to get to know you, help you learn more about First Free, and discover your place in our church family. Learn how here!

The gospel is the good news that God made a way for our forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ. You might wonder, "Why do we need forgiveness and salvation anyway?" Great question! Let's answer it here.

Here are seven practical ways to help guests to First Free Church feel right at home.

God might seem late in answering your prayers and fulfilling his plans for you, but remember: though seldom early, he's never late. He's right on time.