• Sunday Morning Worship – Sundays @ 10:30am; Join Zoom Webinar here
  • Off-Topic Scripture Circle – Mondays @ 10am; Join Zoom Meeting here
  • Morning Café and Discussion – Tuesdays @ 10am;Join Zoom Meeting here
  • Scripture Reader sign up – Click here
  • Usher sign up – Click here (needed 04/16, 04/23, & 04/30)
  • Flowers sign up – Click here (needed 04/23 & 04/30)
  • Coffee Hour Host sign up – Click here (needed 04/23)
  • 50 Anniversary Potluck sign up – Sunday, April 16th – Click here
  • Communion Server sign up –Click here
  • Donate to First United Online – Click here
  • First United Vimeo Channel – Click here


One Great Hour of Sharing Offering

One Great Hour of Sharing is a special mission offering of both the American Baptist Churches (USA) and the United Church of Christ. This offering supports disaster, refugee, and development ministries both domestically and abroad. We will collect this special offering during worship on Sunday, April 16th. Click here to learn more about the impact your donations to this special offering make. If you are unable to join us for worship on April 16th, you may contribute by sending a check to the church office or by giving online here (through the UCC) or here (through the ABC-USA).

Anniversary Celebrations!

We have two exciting events coming up to celebrate some milestones at First United Church. The date of the First Baptist Church (ABC-USA) and Christ United Church (UCC) merger for our congregation was on Palm Sunday, April 15th, 1973, and the date that we changed our name from First Baptist Church-United Church of Christ to First United Church was May 18th, 2003. So, we have two great anniversaries to commemorate!

  • 50th Merger Anniversary Potluck after worship (entertainment, too!) THIS Sunday, April 16th
  • 20th Naming Anniversary Potluck after worship (with Songwriting Festival/Sing-along) on Sunday, June 11th (also the date of the Congregational Meeting too!)

Plans are underway, and YOU can be part of making these wonderful events a grand celebratory success! Email or call Rebecca Keith to join the fun: rekeith@iu.edu or 812-325-0145, you can still sign up for the April 16th potluck here.

Newsletter, Announcements, and Congregant Monday Musings Deadlines

Members and friends of First United are invited to prepare a “Monday Musing” to be shared with the wider congregation via email on the third Monday of each month. Many thanks to Lisa Kwong for offering the March “Congregant Monday Musing.” Please contact Pastor Jessica and/or Lisa Stanger if you would like to share your thoughts and ideas through this avenue, and they will help you get it scheduled.

The First News deadline is Monday, April 17th. If you would like to have an article included in the May newsletter, please have your article turned in to the church office by the end of the day.

And, if you would like an announcement included in next week’s church email, please have your item to Lisa Stanger by noon on the Wednesday before.

Volunteer with Community Kitchen

First United has a long history of volunteering with and financially supporting Community Kitchen of Monroe County. We are going resume volunteering there on the third Thursday of the month, 3:30pm-6:30pm. Our next shift will be on April 20th. This is a good way to build community within and outside of our church. To volunteer this month or subsequent months, contact Laurie Eynon (leynon73@icloud.com or (812) 336-1219); she will sign you up or put you on the call list, whatever works for you. Thank you!


“Racially Restrictive Bloomington” Presentation & Conversation

All are encouraged to gather together in Roger Williams Hall on Sunday, May 7th, after worship (starting about 11:45am) to learn about “Racially Restrictive Bloomington.” Nate Johnson and Keith Gerber (members of the Bloomington Faith Multifaith Alliance Faith for Racial Equity subgroup, facilitated by Pastor Jessica) will share findings regarding racially restrictive housing covenants in our community having diligently researched over 400 properties in cooperation with other BMA F4RE members and the Monroe County Recorder’s Office and History Center. Click here to access some of their findings.

MCUM Food Donation

Thank you to all who contributed to our First Sunday of the Month food drive for Monroe County United Ministries (MCUM). Our contribution weighed in at 159 pounds; many thanks to Ted Wininger for delivering this load!

You can bring donations any time during the week or Sundays to help build up our donation to help meet this critical need in our community. MCUM’s updated list for needed items includes: pasta, breakfast items, Rice-a-Roni, canned meat, crackers, Jiffy Mix, dish soap, laundry detergent, shampoo, cleaner, baby wipes, toilet paper, and paper towels. Thank you for your continued generosity!

BMA F4RE Support of Fairview Elementary School

The Bloomington Multifaith Alliance Faith for Racial Equity (BMA F4RE) subgroup invites all those who are interested and able to join in supporting their two partner PTOs at Fairview and Templeton Elementary Schools. The following opportunity to volunteer with Fairview has been shared by their PTO president:

What: Help with their Annual Field Day

When: Friday, May 12th, 9:30am-3:15pm; Time Slots needed: 9am-1pm (PreK-2nd grade); 12pm-4pm (3rd-6th grade)

Where: Fairview Elementary School, near the playground

How: Anyone interested in volunteering should email Aaron Biggs (PTO President) directly at fairviewwildcatsPTO@gmail.com as you will need to have a quick background check done (all free and required by MCCSC)

Annual Spring meeting for the Southeast Association

The Southeast Association Spring Meeting will be held next Sunday, April 23rd at 3pm (registration at 2:30pm) at St. John UCC Cumberland (11910 Prospect St, Indianapolis, IN). More information will be shared next week as it is received regarding the details for the meeting including agenda, reports, links, etc.

The Hope We Have: IKC-UCC Annual Gathering

You are invited to participate in this year’s Annual Gathering of the Indiana-Kentucky Conference (UCC) June 1st-3rd at Zion UCC (603 N New Jersey St, Indianapolis, IN 46202) featuring keynote speaker the Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer and Preacher the Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson!

If you sign up to volunteer for General Synod (June 30th-July 4th; see below) you can sign up for this year’s Annual Gathering for only $65! A reminder that MIDs attend for free, banquet only attendance is $35, retired clergy are $65, and the regular registration is $130. You can also register for a Boundary Training which will be offered on Thursday from 12pm-4pm for an additional charge of $50.00. Click here to register and learn more! And, please talk with Pastor Jessica if you are thinking of attending as we have funds to assist with registration.


Sunday Morning Hybrid Worship

Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am. The service will feature Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai in the pulpit; she will also offer a message especially for the young and young at heart. Lisa Kwong will present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead. Eric Meincke and Hansol Kim will lead us in singing throughout the service, and our wonderful Vocal Choir will offer special music. Rebecca Keith will highlight some of the many ways we are invited to engage in the life of the church and our wider community. Kim Yaussy Albright and Keith Gerber will offer a warm welcome to all those who gather in the sanctuary (sign up here to help), while Dedric Dennist will welcome all who join via Zoom. Malissa Sparks will provide a lovely floral arrangement, in memory of Ken Sparks. Finally, Kyle Hetrick and Jim True will ensure the audio/visual pieces run as smoothly as possible.  And, don’t forget to join us for the 50th Merger Anniversary Potluck (entertainment, too!) after worship.

Join the Zoom Webinar by clicking here

Dial-in number: (312) 626-6799; Webinar ID: 828 3681 0281

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

Donate online by clicking here

Sermon Talk Back

This month’s sermon talk back will take place after worship on Sunday, April 23rd. You are invited to head down to Fellowship Hall to grab a drink and a snack and say “hello” to some church friends, and then gather near the fireplace to engage in informal conversation spurred by the day’s sermon. Share with fellow congregants how the sermon connected with you and your life and ask any questions of clarification or curiosity and be enriched by their sharing. Pastor Jessica will be available to address questions, elaborate further on the day’s message, and share additional thoughts she may have had while preparing her sermon. This opportunity is offered in person only.

Choir and Bell Choir Rehearsals

All music lovers are welcome to join both the vocal and bell choirs. The vocal choir rehearses in the Choir Room on Thursdays at 7:30pm. The bell choir is on hiatus and will resume their regular 6:15pm Thursday evening rehearsals in Roger Williams Hall on April 27th.


2023 Be More Award Recipients

This week the City of Bloomington announced the recipients of the 2023 Be More Awards, which honor exceptional community volunteers and promote volunteerism and civic engagement in our community. We join the city in offering our gratitude and praise for church members Harold and Brenda Fiscus, recipients of the “Be More Dedicated” award. They are being honored for their lifetime of dedication to the community through their work with Opportunity House. Congratulations, Harold and Brenda! And, thank you for all your dedicated volunteering at First United too!

MeRC at Work

Your hard-working Member Relations Committee is constantly creating opportunities for welcome, fun, and fellowship in our church family. Be sure to join us for our Fifth Sunday Potluck on April 30th after worship. This will be a pitch-in in Fellowship Hall, and ALL are invited—to come (with or without a food item), to help set up/staff/clean up, to EAT and socialize. Invite a friend, bring family, celebrate community with us!! Questions? Want to help? Contact Mary Peckham mkpeckham59@gmail.com.

Displaced Immigrant Support Program

When DISP met recently, we discussed whether we are ready to sponsor a new family and agreed that we are. When a new family is assigned to us there will be many new challenges as well as new joys. We need more church volunteers to help as well as additional funds to support new refugees. Funds for the displaced immigrant program are independent from the regular church budget. Do you have a gift of time or treasure that you can share to help a new family feel welcome and gain capability in our community? Contact Dave Meyer (dwm@davemeyer.org) or Hopi Stosberg (hopi@stosberg.com) for more information.

A Coffee Hour Every Sunday!

The Member Relations Committee (MeRC) is encouraging our congregation to offer simple fellowship after worship every Sunday. You can sign up here, and click here to view revised instructions. Fellowship is vital to a strong community and easy to support with the gift of minimal time and effort. Malissa Sparks or Mary Peckham can answer any questions you may have. And, a reminder that, while hosts are free to supplement items if they wish, all food, drink, and serving supplies are provided by the church.

UCC General Synod Volunteer Opportunities

The 34th General Synod of the United Church of Christ will convene in Indianapolis June 30th-July 4th, 2023. Yes, you read that correctly, the Indiana-Kentucky Conference (UCC) will host this biennial meeting of the wider church! And, the IKC needs your help to extend an extraordinary welcome to our siblings in faith from across the country and around the globe as they gather together in our home conference. Learn about volunteer opportunities and share your interests by clicking here. Sign up to serve as a volunteer here.

With Synod taking place so close this time around, you are encouraged to consider attending this meaningful event as a guest and getting to know this part of our wider church family better whether you are interested and able to volunteer or not (though volunteering will certainly help with the registration fee; think $275 for regular full registration compared to $65 if you volunteer!). Visit the UCC’s General Synod website here to learn more about what’s in store for General Synod 2023.


Off-Topic Scripture Circle

You are invited to join with members and friends of First United each Monday morning at 10am to check in and explore the week’s lectionary scripture readings in a casual setting where you will never be asked to leave your brain or your heart at the door. We meet via Zoom only in an effort to be more accessible; join the Zoom meeting here.

Tuesday Morning Café and Discussion

Join us in Roger Williams Hall or via Zoom (click hereon Tuesday mornings, 10am-11:30am, as we continue to explore the 36-session video series “The History of Christianity II: From the Reformation to the Modern Megachurch” presented by Dr. Molly Worthen. These weekly gatherings are a great opportunity to connect with First United friends though informal conversation (first 30 minutes) followed by thought-provoking theological study and discussion. While we’d love to see you every Tuesday, perfect attendance is not required, neither is previous participation. See you there!

Children’s Learning Time

Each Sunday, kids in kindergarten and up are welcome to Children’s Learning Time (CLT) in Room 2 after Children’s Time during the morning worship service. Many thanks to Molly Koontz and Jennifer Fultz for leading CLT this Sunday. Interested in joining our CLT assistant teacher rotation? Contact Molly Koontz.

Nursery Care

Our youngest children are welcome to spend time from 10am-11:45am playing in the nursery or on the playground, weather permitting. Jessica McIntosh and Lena Stosberg will ensure our little ones are safe and engaged in fun activities during worship this Sunday. We are always looking for additional volunteer assistants to help in the nursery occasionally. Contact Molly Koontz if you are interested and with any questions.


First United Songwriting Festival

First United will host a songwriting festival on Sunday, June 11th in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of our church merger and the 20thAnniversary of our name change. Help us celebrate these milestones as you put your love of First United into song. Take a favorite tune and give it new First-United-inspired words or write a completely original song music and all. Not sure about taking this on alone? Ask a First United friend or two to partner with you! And don’t forget to call on the great musical resources we have in so many talented members and friends of our faith community including but surely not limited to our Music Director, Eric Meincke. Please have submissions in by April 16th (if you would like assistance with transcribing the music or need any other assistance from Eric) or by May 1st so the choir can start learning the songs in preparation for a performance/sing-along event on June 11th in conjunction with a celebratory potluck following our Congregational Meeting.

Nominating Committee

The 2023 Nominating Committee—Mary Peckham and Sam Troxal (Co-chairs), with Barb Clark, Julia Lebeau, Enrico Lunghi, and Michael Shell (representing their boards)—is now meeting. We are prayerfully seeking to fill officer and board vacancies—Vice President and Assistant Treasurer, plus Board of Building & Grounds (1 or 2 3-year spots), Board of Education (3 spots for 1, 2, and 3 years), and Board of Worship (2 3-year spots). You can nominate yourself or suggest that we approach someone you think has gifts to offer; no one is formally nominated without their knowledge and full consent! Please ask us about our work and about these opportunities to serve our faith family!! And, in the spirit of letting each of you know that we see you and all you have to offer, if we approach you, know that if the time is not right for you this year, a seed is being planted for the future. Contact Mary with questions.

Contact Information