USHERS NEEDED. More ushers are needed throughout September. It is an easy way to get acquainted with folks here at First United. You will be given instructions. If you are available any Sunday in September please notify the church office or Rebecca Nunley who is the Usher Captain for September: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Thank you!
SEPTEMBER STUDENT LUNCHES. Once again we will be providing student lunches in September after worship. We are looking for meat entrees, vegetarian entrees, salad/side dish, bread, and dessert for 15-20 people. You may provide one dish or an entire meal. This year we will be working to follow up with students over the school year so this is a meaningful way for First United to connect with students early on. Meal signup list is outside Fellowship Hall kitchen (though the lunch is served in Roger Williams Hall, where food should be brought. If you have questions, please contact Sara Ivey Lucas, firstname.lastname@example.org, 812-876-4839).
Students, please join us for lunch in Roger Williams Hall after church on September 3, 10, and 24. On September 17 we’ll join the full congregation for Kettlefest in Fellowship Hall.
OUR NEW ORGANIST. First United Church would like to welcome Nara Lee as the incoming church organist. He is pursuing a Master’s degree in Organ Performance and Sacred Music at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where he studies with Dr. Janette Fishell. Nara is from South Korea and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Church Music at Seoul Theological University.
Last April, along with three other organ candidates, Nara auditioned for the position. Among all the candidates, nearly everyone commented on Nara’s exceptional musicality, sensitivity, and high caliber of technical skill.
Nara expresses so readily his love for the organ and playing various styles of sacred music. He has also studied composition at Seoul Jazz Academy and writes music for the organ and choir. Many of his works are published and have been sung in churches throughout South Korea. In addition to his sacred music experience, Nara is the rehearsal pianist for Indiana University Children’s Choir. This July, he recently married Jihye who is studying organ at Jacobs School of Music.
We are all so very excited to have Nara Lee be a part of the strong musical tradition at First United Church.
RESPONDING TO SACRED MUSIC
First United is regularly graced with beautiful music from our choir, our organist, our bell choir, and many soloists and musicians who offer special music. For some, it is a performance that fits into the liturgy, for others, sacred music is the cornerstone of religious experience and for still others, it’s the closest we come to touching the divine. These various perspectives on church music make it difficult to know how to respond.
In a recent Church Council meeting, a few members indicated they feel discomfort at clapping for church music because it suggests performance. In addition, some folks feel awkwardness when we enthusiastically clap for some musical offerings but remain silent for others. Others appreciate the freedom at First United to clap when desired without being expected to clap for everything.
Don’t worry; the BoCW will NOT be establishing a policy or rule for responding to music at First United. Rather, the church council has asked that we open the conversation with the congregation to see if we would like to begin a First United “tradition” for responding to music. Here are two ideas I have heard: After a musical offering we say “Amen” or we use the ASL motion for applause (hands held up, shaking like jazz hands).
Let’s talk about this. What are your thoughts? If you like the idea of a new “tradition,” how might we introduce it and get people comfortable doing it?
The Board would be very happy to hear your ideas. We are Eric Behrman, Hallie Devido, Jean Graves, Eric Metzler, and Florence Shelton.
FRIDAYS AT FIRST UNITED
Play Friday: The next Play Friday will be September 8 from 6-8 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. The theme will be one of welcoming diversity. We will have the usual pizza, games, and FUN! More details TBA. The more the merrier! It helps with food planning if you RSVP to Hopi Stosberg at email@example.com. See you there!
Just Friday: Just Friday is a monthly adult discussion group focused on various issues of justice. As the year closes we will focus discussion on issues of Abundance and Scarcity. Some people have far more than they need while others struggle, and are at times unable, to meet their basic needs. Join is as we discuss big questions of what is enough, what kind of responsibilities do we have to the world when privileged with abundance, different ways to give to the world, and how to balance abundance with scarcity. How can abundance and scarcity live side by side? There will be light refreshments, no childcare provided. Discussions will occur at First United Church in Roger Williams Hall from 7-9 p.m. on the following Friday evenings:
September 22-Space: we all take up space in the world. Spacious suburban homes, tiny houses, urban apartment living, a doorway. How much space is enough? Just because we can afford it, should we? Is housing a basic human right?
October 27-Food: Americans lead the world in food waste, yet there are people starving. When faced with packed grocery shelves it is all too easy to overbuy. Explore the abundance and scarcity of food as a balancing act.
December 1-Giving & Materialism: Just in time for the holiday season we reflect on the value of giving toward the world instead of toward ourselves, but sometimes what we want to give is not what is most needed.
DISCIPLE Bible Study. First United Church will be offering a DISCIPLE Bible study class beginning this fall. DISCIPLE is a program of disciplined Bible study aimed at developing strong Christian leaders. The titles of the sessions along with theme words and theme verses, and major persons, events, and topics will set the sequence of the biblical story in the minds of the participants. The principal Scripture for each session follows the chronological movement of the biblical story. Additional info may be found at https://www.cokesbury.com/product/9780687783496/disciple-i-becoming-disciples-through-bible-study-study-manual/. For more information, contact class facilitator Sam Troxal firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-361-6172.
MINISTER OF CARE FOR THE WEEK OF AUGUST 27, IS DOUG PETERSEN. A minister of care is a church volunteer who visits members in their home.