Based on the latest Monroe County data and weighing the impact in our local community, all church activities, including worship, will be offered online only. We hope to return to in-person activities on Sunday, February 6

QUICK LINKS

  • Off-Topic Scripture Circle – Sundays @ 9am; Join Zoom Meeting here
  • Sunday Morning Worship – Sundays @ 10:30am; Join Zoom Meeting here
  • Virtual Café and Adult Discussion – Tuesdays @ 10am;Join Zoom Meeting here

DON’T FORGET!

Tomorrow! Spring Yard Work Morning

The Board of Building & Grounds will host a spring yard work morning Saturday, April 3rd, 8am-11am. We will do some raking and removing of last year’s foliage, especially in the courtyard. Weeding, trimming, hauling—all are possibilities. Everyone is invited to come help. Come for all or part of the time. Questions? Contact Ted Wininger.

Virtual Easter Egg Hunt Continues

First United’s virtual Easter egg hunt continues through Saturday, April 3rd. We hope you have enjoyed hunting for eggs throughout the week in the seek-and-find egg hunt scenes from around our church, the community, and the United Way building. The biggest Easter egg hunt will be TOMORROW! If you haven’t already, you, your family, and your friends are invited to join in the hunt. It is fun and for a good cause. Visit the First United Church Facebook page to get started!

The virtual egg hunt is completely free to the community, but donations are encouraged. You can make a donation here. First United is once again using its annual Easter Egg Hunt budget ($100) to donate $1 per like/share of the event. Last year, we raised just over $600 for the United Way COVID-19 Emergency Fund. This year, again, the event will support United Way.

Announcements Deadline

If you would like an announcement included in the weekly church email, please have your item to Lisa by noon on the Wednesday before.

NEW THIS WEEK

Midweek Easter Services

Throughout Eastertide (the season following Easter leading up to Pentecost) you are invited to gather for in-person, outdoor services in First United’s Courtyard. These short services (15-20 minutes) will include readings, prayers, and music to help you celebrate resurrection and give thanks for the new life that is springing up all around us. Services will be offered on Wednesdays @ 12:30pm (April 7, 14, 21, 28 and May 5, 12, and 19). Masks and distancing are required, and singing will be offered by a soloist (humming is welcome!). Participation will be limited to 15 people. Sign up here to reserve your place or contact Lisa in the church office.

Opportunities for Creation Care

The Board of Outreach invites you to take advantage of these two upcoming opportunities to take action against climate change:

  • The City of Bloomington and the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District are partnering this Earth Day for a Compost Bin & Rain Barrel sale. You are invited to visit gogreendistrictorders.com to order discounted compost bins and/or rain barrels; the order deadline is Monday, April 5th. Pick up is on Saturdays, April 17th or April 24th, 9am-2pm at 1) Main parking lot of the South Walnut Recycling Center (3400. So Walnut St, Bloomington) or 2) Switchyard Park (1601 S. Rogers St. Bloomington).
  • Next Thursday, April 8th, 7-8pm, the American Baptist Churches of the Rochester/Genesee Region is hosting an online benefit concert featuring musicians from across our region. This free concert of secular and sacred music will celebrate hope for the future of our natural world. With classical, folk, and popular music, everyone has a voice. A freewill donation to benefit local and global organizations successfully working to reverse climate change. To register click here; learn more here.

Thanks for Your Generosity!

First United had another record-setting food drive for Monroe County United Ministries (MCUM) on Saturday, March 27th. We gathered 1,164lbs of food – that’s over ½ a ton! Wow! In addition, we gathered 63lbs of pet food for Area 10 and $537 in cash donations for MCUM. The Board of Outreach is noticing more participation from the larger Bloomington community, who see our signs or read about the food drive on social media! If anyone has food to donate on a non-food drive day, please drop it by the church office and it will be added to the next food drive.

Supporting Anti-hunger Policies

Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our state and our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad. Bread has set up a virtual meeting with Senator Braun, Kroger leadership, and Purdue University representatives on April 20th, 4:30pm-5:30pm. It will be a conversation on how and why governments should invest in accessible, equitable and nutritious food systems. They want to have a huge turnout, to show Senator Braun the level of support and interest among his constituents for anti-hunger policies in Indiana. The Board of Outreach is encouraging your attendance and has a goal of 10 representatives from First United. Register here and learn more about Bread for the World’s actions here in Indiana at BreadIndiana.org. Be sure to indicate that you represent First United Church. Let Rebecca Nunley know if you have questions (reblea99@gmail.com).

First United Scholarships

The end of this academic year is almost upon us, and now is the time when students and parents are thinking about scholarships. Thanks to the generosity of several of our families, the church has scholarships available for those who are graduating from high school and for those pursuing higher education in certain fields. 
There is a general information form that all applicants need to fill out. It also gives information about the requirements for each scholarship. You can find it here. To apply for the Walling-Troxal Endowed Scholarship Fund, an additional form is required.  It can be found here. All application materials are due on April 30th.  

For more information, please talk to any member of the Board of Christian Education or Derek at faithformation@firstuc.org

UPCOMING WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Sunday Morning Worship

Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am (10am Log in). This week’s Easter Sunday service will feature Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai in the pulpit, a message from Derek Roe, M.Div., for the young and young at heart, spectacular music from Sam Grace and Hansol Kim, and special music offerings from the First United Bell Choir and Vocal Choir (joined by First Presbyterian’s choir), and…drumroll, please…the Kerstens! And to top it all off, we will be celebrating communion; you are invited to bring a “nibble” and a “sip” as we gather virtually at God’s welcome table. You will not want to miss it!

Join Zoom Meeting by clicking here

Dial-in number: (253) 215-8782; Meeting ID: 946 3570 8633; Passcode: 879535

The service will be posted late Sunday afternoon on First United’s Vimeo channel (where you can access all of our previous worship services).

Donate online at: firstuc.online/donate

COMMUNITY CARE

Food for Our Church Family

The Stosberg family needs the support of our church family. Mark’s mother received a terminal cancer diagnosis this week, and the caretaking needs in their extended family are great. If you can provide food (primarily vegetarian) for 1-6 people in the coming weeks, please sign up here.

First United’s Special COVID-19 Fund Applications

If you have a relationship with First United Church, you may apply for assistance for economic hardship caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Contact Sharon McCann at 1041sharon@gmail.com for an application form and instructions to apply for Covid-19-related assistance.

EDUCATIONAL OFFERINGS

Off-Topic Scripture Circle

Want to read and discuss the week’s scripture readings with friends before church in a casual setting where you will never be asked to leave your brain or your heart at the door? We have the place for you! Click below to join us, Sunday mornings 9am-10am.

Join Zoom Meeting by clicking here

Dial-in number: (253) 215-8782; Meeting ID: 896 7762 0237; Passcode: 043604

Tuesday Virtual Café and Adult Discussion

Pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea and join us at 10am-11:30am each Tuesday for a time of informal conversation followed by thought-provoking theological study and discussion. The group is currently exploring the video series Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad presented by Prof. Mark Muesse. This week Prof. Muesse will continue his discussion of Muhammad.

Join Zoom Meeting by clicking here

Dial-in number: (253) 215-8782; Meeting ID: 895 0519 1798; Passcode: 624328

Children’s Learning Time

Derek continues to send out weekly CLT emails that include short, recorded CLT lessons that families can watch together with their kids, in addition to the usual craft and activity resources. Please contact Derek Roe with feedback or questions!

CONGREGATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS

Investing with our Values

Are you familiar with ESG investing? ESG stands for “environmental, social, and governance,” and ESG investing provides an exciting opportunity for First United Church to better align its investments with its values, including matters of racial and environmental justice. Based on a thoroughly-researched recommendation from the Memorial Endowment Committee (MEC), the Church Council is close to making a decision to move our investment account to a firm that is well versed in ESG investing while providing successful, competitive returns and an outstanding service record. Want to learn more? Join us for a virtual informational session hosted by the MEC next Sunday, April 11th after morning worship – just stay on the Zoom meeting after the service concludes.

Contact Information

Sam Grace, Music Director – samuel.c.grace@gmail.com