Passionate Worship

Music and Arts Ministries

 Nurturing beauty and sharing it with others is a means of strengthening community and is a grateful response for the creative gifts we receive from the Divine Artist. The soaring architecture of First UMC’s landmark 1924 church building is a grand setting for art of every kind – musical performance, theater productions, displays of visual art and more. There is a place for you – as a participant or observer.

To learn more about these programs please contact


Gregory Norton, director

Rehearsals: Thursdays 7:30-9:30 p.m.

As First UMC’s principal choir, The Chancel Choir is heard in worship most Sundays and also presents concerts at the church. The choir’s repertoire includes traditional choral music from the past five centuries, music of our time and a variety of music from other cultures. All adults (age 18 and older) are welcome.

CANTATE CHOIR (grades 2-6)
Chrissa Medina, director
Rehearsals: 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Sundays

This choir offers young singers the opportunity to develop musical skills while learning through service and worship participation. In addition to regularly singing in Sunday worship, the choir also offers an annual Christmas Pageant and a Mother’s Day musical each year.

CHERUB CHOIR (pre-K–first grade)
Alan Wellman, director
Rehearsals: 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Sundays

First UMC’s youngest singers present age-appropriate songs in worship and often combine with the Cantate Choir in annual pageants and concerts. The emphasis is placed on a positive first experience in ensemble singing while building confidence, creativity and curiosity.

Handbell Choirs

Handbell Choirs
Megan Goldstein, Handbell Choir Director (
Rehearsals: Thursdays 7:30-9:30 p.m.



This is a special program within the Cantate and Cherub choirs intended to increase musical skills through the use of tone chimes, handbells, and Orff instruments.


Rehearsals: Sundays 12:00 to 12:45 p.m.


ADULT HANDBELL CHOIR (age 18 and above)
Rehearsals: Sundays 12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Arts Committee

Bringing art to the congregation, the Arts Committee oversees many activities throughout the year. These include the Advent holiday workshop, Gingerbread House Making, Thanksgiving and Mothers Day Floral workshops, Harvest Festival, and several art shows and classes offered at various times.  The committee also organizes the many Art Shows held before and after worship in Fellowship Hall and participates in community art events such as Art Night Pasadena and Make Music Pasadena.


Summer Musical Program

The Summer Youth Musical program has been a First UMC tradition every July since 1970. It is a unique opportunity for all area youth as it offers them an introduction to musical theater in a ‘do unto others’ environment. From time to time, the summer musical program is an intergenerational theater opportunity involving ages 12 to 75 supporting each other in learning dance steps, singing songs and rehearsing lines. Summer musicals build teamwork, self-confidence, and self-discipline at absolutely no financial cost to the participants.

Other Theater Opportunities

A wide variety of theatrical events are offered throughout the year. These productions are intergenerational and call upon the many talents of church members and friends in the community. Among the program’s goals is to provide spoken word opportunities for families that encourage reading and literacy as well as presenting thought-provoking plays that challenge us to think about the world around us in new ways



The Third at First Concert Series offers a place to hear excellent musicians perform on the third Saturday of each month, October through July.  Founded in 2014 by Junko Ueno Garrett and the church’s former music director, Sébastien Vallée, the series presents world-class musical artists, the church’s resident ensembles and exciting local performers in downtown Pasadena.  The musical offerings range from intimate piano and chamber music recitals to jazz to full-scale orchestra-choral works.  All concerts are offered free of admission charge.  Generous supporters of fine music make this possible as church funds are not used to support the series.

To learn more, visit



We are committed to exploring ways to be intentionally welcoming to our congregation and visitors. There are multiple opportunities to help maintain our reputation as a friendly place to worship for all people.  

To learn more about these programs please contact Rev. Connie Tamkin, Minister of Hospitality, at


New to FUMC?


After service make sure to stop by our welcome table in Fellowship Hall and join us for coffee time in the Church Lounge at 11:00 a.m. Talk to members and learn more about various ministries and groups you can participate in.

We welcome all people regardless of sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, or physical condition.

Lay Participation

Sunday Worship

Sunday worship is a great time to get involved in welcoming members and guests. You can volunteer to be a liturgist, greeter, usher, youth acolyte, or communion server.