• Off-Topic Scripture Circle – Final Sunday gathering, April 17 @ 9am and first Thursday gathering, April 21 @ 5:30pm; Join Zoom Meeting here (same link for both)
  • Sunday Morning Worship – Sundays @ 10:30am; Join Zoom Webinar here
  • Morning Café and Discussion – Tuesdays @ 10am;Join Zoom Meeting here
  • Living the Questions 2.0; Join Zoom Meeting here
  • Scripture Reader sign up – Click here
  • Usher sign up – Click here (needed 04/17, 04/24, and 05/01)
  • Flowers sign up – Click here (needed 05/01)
  • Donate to First United Online – Click here
  • First United Vimeo Channel – Click here


Youth Participation in Solidarity Sleepout

First United youth are invited to join together to support Beacon’s Solidarity Sleepout April 22nd-23rd (see more details just below). First United members and friends who are not able to sleep out yourself but want to support the effort are encouraged to support First United’s youth as they participate in the sleepout. You can give by accessing the First United Youth team page here; support one or all of the registered team members!

Beacon Solidarity Sleepout

First United is honored to host this year’s Beacon Solidarity Sleepout on Tonight, April 22nd, 7pm-Saturday, April 23rd, 8am, as dedicated adults, teens, and children will be sleeping out to raise critical funds and awareness for people experiencing homelessness in Monroe County. With sleeping bags, tarps, and tents, participants can choose to gather on the grounds of First United Church or sleep in their backyards, on their living room floor, etc.

All ages are welcome. Adults and teen participants are asked to register at givebutter.com/sleepout2022, choose a personal fundraising goal, and ask friends and family to sponsor them as they sleep out.

The net proceeds from the event will support Beacon’s overnight shelter, Friend’s Place, the only nonreligious, year-round emergency shelter for homeless adults in the region. Friend’s Place is a sober shelter for Monroe County residents, providing hope and support as people find their way back home. Combined with Beacon’s housing and employment assistance, Friend’s Place has become one of the most successful shelters in Indiana.

First United members who are considering participating in this year’s sleepout are also encouraged to consider serving as an official First United representative offering a warm welcome and abundant hospitality while participants gather on our grounds. Please contact a member of the Board of Outreach if you are interested.

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.

The First News deadline is Monday, April 25th. 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.

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.

Southeast Association Annual Meeting

The Southeast Association (UCC) will be joining together for their annual meeting on Saturday, April 23, beginning at 1pm. The meeting will take place in-person right here at First United and via Zoom (join by clicking here). In addition to regular business, the meeting will feature presentations on disaster preparedness, eviction ministries, UCC General Synod preparations, and the Indiana-Kentucky Conference Antiracism Task Force. All are welcome to attend! Please contact Pastor Jessica with any questions.

Justice Forum

The Board of Education invites you to join us for a one-hour Climate Change Justice Forum in the sanctuary on Sunday, April 24th immediately following the church worship service (approximately 11:45am-12:45pm). While this will be an in-person event with interactive pieces, folks can stay on the Zoom webinar (from worship) and listen to the presentations (however, there will be no opportunity to interact beyond the chat function). Please bring a snack or packed lunch to enjoy after the service if needed. Dr. Ben Brabson, a climate scientist at Indiana University, and Madi Hirschland, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Creation Care Partners in Bloomington, will discuss the science behind climate change and practical steps we can take in our own lives. We hope you can join us!


Consumer-Free Kids

Mark your calendars and plan to attend Bloomington Multifaith Alliance: Children & Youth’s “Consumer-Free Kids: Making room on Earth by consuming less” event on Saturday, May 14th, 10am-11:30am. The event will take place right here at First United (in Fellowship Hall and the church grounds). Participants will engage in stations focused on zero-waste lunch boxes, “Mend it! Fix it!”, eco-bricks, and a no-buy day and participate in a toy swap (bring your gently-used toys). Sycamore Land Trust will also offer a hands-on presentation for all attendees. Plan to come and spread the word! Flyers available here


Sunday Morning Hybrid Worship

Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am. This Sunday’s service feature Rev. Dr. Hannah Adams Ingram in the pulpit, and Kyle Ingram will offer a special message for the young and young at heart. The First United Vocal Choir will offer a special music selection in addition to the beautiful music led by Hansol Kim and Sam Grace. Kim Yaussy Albright will present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead. And, Dave Meyer will offer a warm welcome to all those who gather in the sanctuary; he could use some extra support (sign up here)! Dedric Dennist will welcome all who join via Zoom. And Sara Ivey Lucas will provide a beautiful floral arrangement to enhance the worship space. Finally, Jim True and Kyle Hetrick will ensure the audio/visual pieces run as smoothly as possible.

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 at: firstuc.online/donate


Our Afghan Guests

These days Ahad is getting lots of support for his job searches, Brishna is happy to be meeting more women of the church, and the children are enjoying school and pre-school. The family really enjoyed the Sunday Funday at church last month!

The Displaced Immigrant Support Team is made up of nine dedicated people from First United. The following are just some of the many contributions that they make or have made on behalf of the young Afghan family that the church co-sponsors with Exodus Refugee Immigration. We are lucky to have such a caring and committed congregation.

  1. Pastor Jessica serves as the lead for networking Brishna with other mothers her age to generate friendships and connections.
  2. Ted Wininger drives the youngest, Emraan, to/from daycare multiple times per week.
  3. Keith Gerber also drives family members but also takes Ahad grocery shopping weekly.
  4. Amber Kent provided a key Cook Medical job contact and a sowing machine (on loan) for Brishna.
  5. Rebecca Nunley provided bike helmets for the kids and an employment contact at IU Health Bloomington Hospital and help with IU Health community health classes.
  6. Diana Lambdin is providing important companionship with Brishna on a weekly basis, and she and her husband Frank have donated swimming classes at the Y for the kids.
  7. Hopi Stosberg provides all things school and pre-school for the kids. She managed the enrollment in Rogers ES for Heela and now has Emraan in Head Start (with key assistance from Kim Yaussy Albright). Hopi also provided a bike for Ahad for transportation and arranged for its refurbishment. 
  8. Cindy Neidhart provides medical appointment support for Brishna and takes her to regular appointments related to her pregnancy. She led the effort to get their apartment furnished at the start.
  9. Dave Meyer fills in the gaps and coordinates the efforts of others and maintains communications. He is also the lead on Ahad’s efforts for full-time employment and family financial literacy.

Indiana-Kentucky Conference Annual Gathering Banquet

IKC Annual Gathering Planning Team is in need of help from Conference congregations to supply food items for the Annual Gathering Banquet. A Sign-Up Genius site has been set up for those who willing and able to donate the needed items. Please click here to see what items are being requested and to sign up to help. Specific drop off dates and times will be communicated at a later date, but please plan to deliver to Frieden’s UCC (8300 S. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46217) the week of May 30th, 2022. Becky Moore, the Annual Gathering coordinator, will be in touch with those who sign up to communicate details about drop off locations and times for your items.  She can be reached at r.sowder@sbcglobal.net for any questions or correspondence. Thank you for your willingness to help in any way to make this Annual Meeting Banquet a truly abundant and joyful feast!


CLT and Nursery Care

Kids in kindergarten through 5th grade are welcome to Children’s Learning Time (CLT) during the last half of the service. Many thanks to Ted Wininger (our interim Lead CLT Teacher!) and Lena Stosberg for leading CLT this Sunday. Interested in joining our CLT assistant teacher rotation? Contact Molly Koontz.

Our youngest children are welcome to spend time from 9:15am-11:45am playing in the nursery or on the playground, weather permitting. Allie Gentry and Katie Silvester will ensure our little ones are safe and engaged in fun activities during worship this Sunday. We are still looking for additional volunteer assistants to help in the nursery occasionally. Contact Molly Koontz if you are interested and with any questions.

Tuesday Morning Café and Discussion

Join us in person (Roger Williams Hall) or online (click hereon Tuesday mornings, 10am-11:30am, as we continue a 36-session video series entitled “The History of Christianity: From the Disciples to the Dawn of the Reformation.” After a time of informal conversation, we’ll engage in thought-provoking theological study and discussion as we explore the phenomenal story of Christianity’s first 1,500 years, with all its remarkable diversity and complex dimensions. Professor Dr. Luke Timothy Johnson will lead this examination of Christianity’s origins, rise, and civilization-shaping activities from its inception to the Reformation. While we’d love to see you each Tuesday for the next several months, perfect attendance is not required, neither is previous participation.

Living the Questions 2.0

First United members and friends are invited to engaging in Flight 1 of Living the Questions 2.0 throughout the season of Easter. This seven-week study will be offered in a hybrid format on Tuesday evenings, 6pm-7:30pm (final session May 31st); those wanting to gather in person will do so in Roger Williams Hall, while those preferring an online option can join the Zoom meeting by clicking here. Each session will include the viewing of a 20-minute video segment during which contributing theologians will speak to the selected topic with regular breaks for conversation. Additionally, participants will be provided with reading materials to consider prior to each weekly meeting.

Living the Questions 2.0 (LtQ2) is an open-minded alternative to studies that attempt to give participants all the answers and instead strives to create an environment where participants can interact with one another in exploring what’s next for Christianity and features insights from an array of thought-provoking and engaging theologians. LtQ2 seeks not to provide easy answers, but to be a resource for people who are in the midst of a life-long conversation about the mysteries of faith and life. Please contact Pastor Jessica if you are interested in participating in this exploration and questioning of faith.


Masking Policy
During their March 16th meeting, Church Council voted to make masking optional for Sunday services, Sunday Bible study, and other small group meetings, but we will continue requiring masks for the nursery and Children’s Learning Time (CLT). This change was effective immediately. Social distancing is still to be observed, and vaccination continues to be strongly recommended for all who are eligible.

Thank you for your continued support as we navigate this unknown terrain together. Please be in touch with Rebecca Keith, Church President, or other members of the Council with any questions regarding this change in our policy.

Job Opportunity!

First United is seeking to hire someone as a part-time Director of Children’s and Youth Ministries. Please see the job description here. Share widely or apply today! Candidates should respond to Lisa Stanger (info@firstuc.org) with a resume and email cover letter detailing relevant experience and intent to apply. Thank you for your help!

Announcements Deadline

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.

Contact Information