• Off-Topic Scripture Circle – Sundays @ 9am; Join Zoom Meeting here
  • Sunday Morning Worship – Sundays @ 10:30am; Join Zoom Meeting here
  • Racial Justice Book Club – Sunday, April 25th @ 12pm; Join Zoom Meeting here
  • Southeast Association Annual Meeting – Sunday, April 25th @ 3pm; Join Zoom Meeting here
  • Virtual Café and Adult Discussion – Tuesdays @ 10am;Join Zoom Meeting here
  • Midweek Eastertide Services – Wednesdays @ 12:30pm; Sign up here
  • Ecumenical Progressive Christianity Conversations – Wednesdays @ 3pm; Join Zoom Meeting here
  • Food Train –Stosberg family, sign up here
  • First United Scholarship Applications (due April 30th) – All scholarshipshere; Additional form for Walling-Troxal here


Break the Silence Sunday, April 25th – PLEASE READ

During this week’s Sunday service, we will observe Break the Silence Sunday, a time for the church to learn together about the realities of rape and sexual violence; about ways to create a community where survivors can share their stories and receive support, hope, and love; and to prayerfully consider ways in which we can be advocates for change in our community and around the world. The work of Break the Silence Sunday is to support survivors in their journey of healing. The prayers included in the service are not necessarily ones for survivors to pray; they are for those who have had the privilege of living free from these experiences, perhaps with blinders on, unaware of the reality of rape and sexual violence in our communities and around the world.

Explicit words like rape and assault will be used throughout the service of worship. The service will likely be emotionally challenging, regardless of the specific words used, because we will be talking about things many would rather we never spoke of and that may open wounds for some. You are encouraged to set aside time to care for yourself in the days surrounding this service, engaging in prayer asking God to guide and sustain you during this time, to fill you with a spirit of gentleness and humility, and to give you ears to hear things we’d rather not – stories of violence, power, and fear.

You are invited to engage in worship with one another this Sunday as we sit together with the collective pain and grief of survivors and testify that, despite being uncomfortable and afraid, we know our words, songs, and prayers are opening up holy, healing spaces for survivors, allies, and the entire body of Christ.

Racial Justice Book Club

The Racial Justice Book Club will meet this Sunday, April 25th, 12pm-1:30pm, via Zoom to begin discussing An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (the Introduction through Chapter 6). We will read and discuss this book over two months (April and May). If you are interested in joining the group, please contact Laurie Eynon, at leynon73@icloud.com.

Join Zoom Meeting by clicking here

Dial-in number: (253) 215-8782; Meeting ID: 839 6995 7205; Passcode: 779000

Southeast Association Annual Meeting

You are invited to engage with our broader UCC family as the Southeast Association of the Indiana-Kentucky Conference of the UCC holds its Annual Meeting on Sunday, April 25th at 3pm via Zoom. Delegates will be electing officers, and all in attendance will have the opportunity to hear from the Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson, the Associate General Minister for Wider Church Ministries and Operations in the UCC, Co-Executive for Global Ministries with the UCC and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and Administrator of General Synod.

Join Zoom Meeting by clicking here

Getting to Net-Zero

This Sunday, April 25th is the deadline to sign up for Getting to Net-Zero, a Zoom presentation by Rev. Dr. Patricia Tull, sponsored by Earth Care Bloomington. Sign up to receive the Zoom link by emailing contact@earthcareindiana.org. The event will take place on Tuesday, April 27th at 7:30pm. (More information in “Educational Offerings” below.)


Church Leadership Update
Tom Busey has resigned as Vice President, with the full support and gratitude of the congregation. At the April 21st meeting, Church Council elected Rebecca Keith to the office of Vice President in accordance with our bylaws. We thank her for her willingness to serve and offer our prayers and support as she steps into this new role.

Indoor Worship Update
During their April 21st meeting, the Church Council voted to safely open the sanctuary for Sunday services to 15 adults beginning June 6th. Additional information will be forthcoming.

Master’s Recital

Alto section leader Ashlyn Brown will hold her master’s recital this Sunday, April 25th at 5pm. Watch online: iumusiclive.music.indiana.edu

Ministers of Care

The Ministers of Care group is searching for people who would like to visit one or two older church members about once a month in their homes (or to connect over the phone as concerns regarding COVID-19 persist). These visits could last about 20-30 minutes and would be scheduled at your convenience. If you would like to learn more about this worthwhile ministry, please contact Sarah Burton (812-361-6201 or burtonsp@indiana.edu).

Food Drive for Humans and Pets

Mark your calendar: Another food drive for humans and pets! Saturday, May 22nd, 10am-2pm. Join us to help make a difference for those in our community who are in need. Masks and social distancing required.

Monroe County United Ministries (MCUM) focuses on providing short-term emergency food for people in need, while also working with them on long-term goals and priorities. Area 10 Agency on Aging supports seniors and those with disabilities, enabling them to keep their cherished pet companions by assisting with pet food donations when their owners are in need.

When shopping for human food, MCUM recommends purchasing items that you or your family would enjoy. You can also consider buying things that would be needed together, for example – purchase spaghetti and spaghetti sauce, or peanut butter and jelly, soup and crackers. Currently, the most needed items are

  • Reusable/Cloth Bags
  • Canned Meat (Tuna, chicken, beef)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Dried Pasta
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Cereal
  • Ready to eat soups / chili / pasta
  • Canned vegetables (carrots, greens, potatoes)
  • Checks made out to First United (with “MCUM” for human support or “Area 10” for pet support in the memo)

Area 10 Agency on Aging accepts pet food of all types, dry or canned, large bags and small. Dry food is okay if it has been opened, so long as it is still usable. They also accept pet treats. See you on May 22nd! Thanks in advance! Your Outreach Board


Sunday Morning Worship

Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am (10am Log in). During this week’s Sunday service, we will observe Break the Silence Sunday (as explained above). The service will feature Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai in the pulpit, a message from Derek Roe, M.Div., for the young and young at heart, moving music from Sam Grace and Hansol Kim, and a special music offering from Section Leader Tislam Swift.

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

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 (thru May 19th). 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.


Community Loss

We continue to hold Terrie Kercher and family in prayer following the death of her husband Harrison Flint on April 11th. The family is in the process of making arrangements for a fitting memorial; information will be shared as appropriate.

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.


Getting to Net-Zero

In celebration of Earth Day, Earth Care Bloomington is pleased to sponsor Getting to Net-Zero, a Zoom presentation by Rev. Dr. Patricia Tull, on Tuesday, April 27th at 7:30pm. For the Zoom link, email contact@earthcareindiana.org by April 25th.

Caring for creation entails quickly finding our path to renewable energy. This reality influences choices in where and how families live. Using her own net-zero home as a model, Dr. Tull will overview some of the promising ways homes can be built or renovated to become efficient enough to power not only themselves but family transportation and food production. All are welcome to attend.

Rev. Tull is an environmental theologian, Professor Emerita at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary, and author of Inhabiting Eden: Christians, the Bible, and the Ecological Crisis. Formerly program director for Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light, she has taught and led earth care efforts among people of faith for the past fifteen years. She and her spouse Don Summerfield live in Henryville, Indiana.

KukSunDo Classes Resume

Youshin Choi has begun offering virtual KukSunDo (Korean Yoga, Meditation and Martial Arts) classes. Participants may join the class flexibly, joining any of the warm-up exercise, meditation, and cool-down exercises or the full 1-hour course.

  • Evening sessions: M/W/F 5:00pm EDT
  • Morning sessions: T/Th/Sa 6:00am EDT

Classes are recorded on Zoom or YouTube, so you can repeat or play anytime you miss class. Feel free to invite friends or family to any session. You may text Youshin directly at 812-325-0898 to obtain the Zoom link.

First United 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

Ecumenical Progressive Christianity Conversations

The Board of Christian Education suggests that you check out a weekly ecumenical conversation on Progressive Christianity hosted by David Garshaw each Wednesday, 3:00pm-4:30pm. For more information about the group, contact David Garshaw (dgarshaw@sbcglobal.net). To join a Wednesday afternoon session on Zoom, click here. (Note: David Garshaw is a regular participant in our weekly Tuesday morning Virtual Café and Adult Discussion.)

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 offer the first of three lectures comparing and contrasting the four sages he has introduced throughout the series.

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 lessons that families can engage with together, including craft and activity resources. The weekly videos are on hiatus due to technology challenges. Please contact Derek Roe with feedback or questions!


Lawnmowers Wanted!

Spring has sprung, and the grass is growing! The Board of Building and Grounds is looking for volunteers who are interested in helping keep our grass looking welcoming as we gather for in-person, outdoor activities. All necessary equipment is provided. Please contact Ted Wininger (twininger68@gmail.com) if you are interested in joining our rotation of mowers.

Announcements and Newsletter 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.

If you would like to contribute an article to the May edition of “First News,” please send your information to Lisa by 9am on Monday, April 26th.

Contact Information