Adult-Community Groups
University Students
Serving In Community 
Important Dates for Lent
Questions for Reflection

Lent 2019 at First Pres

March 6–April 18


Unconditional love. Extravagant mercy. Radical welcome. This is the Prodigal God—the God who recklessly pursues us, who shatters every barrier to embrace and draw us home, who invites us to a lavish banquet, and who bids us do likewise for others. This Lent, the entire First Pres community is invited to find ourselves in the story of the Prodigal God. Each week of Lent will feature a message from the sermon series, opportunities for all ages to enter into the story through reflection and discussion, and the chance to take on the spiritual practice of radical welcome in our communities.



Sundays, 9 and 11:30 am (unless noted), Sanctuary

Sunday, April 14, Palm Sunday
One Service at 10 am, Sanctuary
Enjoy lunch at The Table... with us after the service.

Thursday, April 18: Maundy Thursday Dinner and Service 
Dinner at 6 pm, Westminster Hall Gym
Service at 7 pm, Sanctuary

Join us for dinner as we conclude our Lenten journey with dinner in the Gym ($5 per person, $20 per family), followed by Family Worship in the Sanctuary. Childcare during the worship service for birth through pre-K will be provided in the Teddy Bear Lair.

Friday, April 19, 7pm: Good Friday Tenebrae Service (Sanctuary) and Children's Tenebrae Service (Mears and Speer Room, Westminster Hall).

Childcare during the worship service for birth through pre-K will be provided in the Teddy Bear Lair.


During the six weeks of Lent (March 10–April 19), adults from all neighborhoods and stages of life will gather weekly in Community Groups of 6–12 people to go deeper into the Sunday passages of Scripture.

Weekly questions, for group discussion and individual use, are available to download the Friday prior to each Sunday's message (March 10–April 7). The current week's reflection questions and those from prior weeks will be included. Click here for this week's Questions for Reflection.

In addition to the Questions for Reflections there will be selected readings from Henri Nouwen's beloved book, The Return of the Prodigal Son. While we no longer have books available, it is available on Amazon or Christianbook.com.

Several Community Groups have spots available for new members during our Lenten season. Visit our online Community Groups Directory here to search for a group.

More information: Please contact Janet Sanders, Assistant Director for Christian Formation, at janets@fpcberkeley.org or (510) 280-6167.



Dates: Saturday, April 6 |9 am–1 pm | Rooms G208 and G209, Geneva Hall
Facilitator: Susan Phillips, PhD
Fee: $35 per person (covers materials, refreshments provided)
Register: by April 1 here

Stop and pay attention to God’s great love and truth, as expressed through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Join us for a morning of prayer, reflection, and readying ourselves to continue our great pilgrimage with Christ. This event is co-sponsored by New College Berkeley and First Pres


Dates: Wednesdays, March 13–April 17
Time: 7–8:30 pm
Location: 2:42 House, 2423 Haste Street, Berkeley

Our FoCUS (Fellowship of College and University Students) gatherings during Lent will be a time of sharing stories and exploring practices that help us respond to God's invitation to receive and extend radical welcome as part of The Prodigal God Lenten season at First Pres. Friends of FoCUS, University Ministry Leaders, and students alike will have the opportunity to share their experience of welcome and hospitality as we prepare to celebrate Easter. For more information, please contact Mandy Kirby at mandyk@fpcberkeley.org.


Dates: Sundays, March 10–April 7
Time: Middle Hour, 10:15–11:15 am
Rooted (5th–8th Grade): Middle School Room, Room M201, McKinley Hall
Marked (9th–12th Grade): High School Room, Room M202, McKinley Hall

During the Lenten season, we will explore what radical welcome looks like—both God’s radical welcome of us and our welcome of “the other.”


Dates: Sundays, March 10–April 7
Time: 9–10 am and 11:30 am–12:30 pm
Location: Second Floor, Westminster Hall

Children will hear stories that focus on the life, teachings, healings, and transformational encounters of Jesus. A Lenten devotional will be available for families to provide suggestions for worship and practical applications throughout the week. For more information, please contact Rosemarie Eichner-Raja at rosemariee@fpcberkeley.org.


During this Lenten season, we are invited—and challenged— to practice radical welcome.


During Lent, we will prepare Caring Packages for our neighbors in need who are cared for through our Street Meal Ministry. The Street Meal team will collect the packages and then distribute them during their twice monthly dinners. For complete details on how to participate in the Caring Packages project for Lent, or to learn more about Street Meal, please visit the Street Meal webpage.


Join us this Lent as our annual Neighborhood picnics shifts for an opportunity for each of us to engage our literal neighbors. For more information and ideas, visit our Neighborhood Picnics page .


During Holy Week, we welcome guests to First Pres, some for the first time! By serving in the various hospitality-extending opportunities, we respond to the invitation of our radically welcoming God to extend that same welcome to others!

Come and serve on our welcoming teams for Palm Sunday Concert and Reception, Maundy Thursday Dinner and Service, Good Friday Tenebrae Service, and Easter Services.

Click here for complete details and to sign up to serve!