• 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 04/07, 04/14 & 04/21)
  • Flowers sign up – Click here
  • Coffee Hour Host sign up – Click here (needed 04/21)
  • Communion Server sign up –Click here (needed 04/07)
  • Community Kitchen sign up – Click here (needed 04/18)
  • Online Commitment/Pledge Card – Click here
  • Donate to First United Online – Click here
  • First United Vimeo Channel – Click here


Pizza and Play TONIGHT!

Members and friends of First United of all ages and family configurations (and your friends and family) are encouraged to gather for Pizza & Play TODAY, Friday, April 5th, 5:30pm-7:30pm. We’ll enjoy a time of informal, unprogrammed fun and fellowship in Fellowship Hall and surrounding areas. As the name implies, pizza and drinks will be provided.

First Sunday Food Drive

The Board of Outreach invites you to offer food donations on the first Sunday of each month on the marked table in the narthex. This Sunday, April 7th, we encourage you to bring donations of non-perishable food items for our community members in need. As always, all of the collected human food and cleaning/hygiene items will go to Monroe County United Ministries (MCUM), and pet food will go to Area 10 Agency on Aging. Click here to for a list of MCUM’s ongoing needs.

“Jesus Learns to Glow” Book Reading

Author, activist, and pastor Rev. Dr. Timothy C. Murphy will share his latest book with us following worship this Sunday, April 7th. Simply head to Fellowship Hall after the service, grab a snack, and take a seat as usual and listen as he shares how “Jesus Learns to Glow” during our regular Coffee Hour. Books will be available for purchase and signing following the reading. Payment options are cash, check, or Venmo.

About the author: Timothy C. Murphy will join us while on sabbatical from his role as the senior pastor at Plymouth Congregational Church of Fort Wayne, IN, where he has served since 2018. This is his first children’s book, which he hopes will encourage children to let their light shine. Originally from Paducah, KY, he became friends with Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai while they were both attending Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO.

About the book: “Over the course of one night, Jesus of Nazareth goes on a journey, making friends with a mushroom, a firefly, algae, and a jellyfish, before learning to glow like they do. Sprinkled throughout are science facts about the creatures, as well as subtle biblical references for those familiar with the gospel story. Through rhythms and imagery, readers encounter a relational worldview that reminds each of us to seek wisdom in surprising, and illuminating, places.”

Solar Eclipse – Office Closed

In celebration of the unique importance and impact of the 2024 Solar Eclipse to the Bloomington community, the Church Council has voted to close the church office on April 8th, 2024. We hope you all enjoy this once in a lifetime experience!


Sacred Places Grant Application

A small team from First United worked diligently to finalize our application for a New Dollars/New Partners Capital Grant through Sacred Places Indiana (due and submitted April 1st). You may have read a bit about this opportunity in previous communications as we have been working with Sacred Places Indiana for almost a year and a half now. This grant offers a 2:1 match (their $2 to our $1) in an effort to maintain historic, sacred spaces that faith communities are utilizing to positively impact their wider community, which is certainly what we do here at First United!

Our congregation’s application asks for funds to help us complete a three-piece project: 1) replace our worn-out Sanctuary roof, 2) replace our cracking, crumbling, mismatched Sanctuary floor tiles and restore the terrazzo flooring through-out the building, and 3) install a hearing loop under the Sanctuary floor to assist those with hearing loss. Our full project is expected to cost $112,500 (the maximum allowed under the grant, with $75,000 coming from Sacred Places Indiana). Our small grant-writing team is overjoyed that we have already received pledges to meet our match ($37,500 total) to the tune of $20,000 without even beginning our formal capital campaign! More information will certainly be forthcoming.

Creating an Equitable Eclipse Experience

Thanks to a wonderful and generous collaboration with Wonderlab Museum, First United has been able to sponsor and distribute 500 pairs of certified solar eclipse glasses to all students and staff at SCCAP Head Start and MCUM’s Compass Early Learning Center. Additionally, we are excited have sponsored another 500 pairs to share with People’s Market and other area non-profits (including Beacon, Community Kitchen, Area 10 Agency on Aging, and Middleway House). We have also added a “Little Free Eclipse Glasses” box on our grounds as well as an eclipse glasses recycling drop-off as part of a broader community effort to donate glasses for reuse during future eclipses around the world; both are located at the entrance on the circle drive on the east side of the building.

If you would like to make a financial contribution to support this effort, please reach out to Pastor Jessica or Lisa Stanger or drop a donation in the offering plate clearly indicating “eclipse glasses.”

Youth Connections

Youth in grades 6 and up are invited to gather with Pastor Jessica and one another in Room 6 following worship one Sunday each month to consider your questions, big and small, and explore faith matters as they are relevant to your life. Our April meeting day is Sunday, April 21st, 12pm-1pm. We are using “Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity” by David L. Felten and Jeff Procter-Murphy as our guide and jumping off point for discussion. If you or your youth are interested in getting involved, please contact Pastor Jessica.

Support Hotels for Homeless

Throughout 2024, the Board of Outreach invites you to offer additional support to a variety of local organizations and ministries through monthly special offerings. On Sunday, April 28th, a special offering will be received to support Hotels for Homeless. H4H is grounded in low-barrier, Housing First principles proven to reduce homelessness and preserve community resources. In addition to providing shelter in hotel rooms, H4H is committed to helping participants visualize and attain sustainable futures for themselves by utilizing a holistic care approach. For more information about Hotel for Homeless 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. Thanks to your generosity, we collected $570.00 to support this special offering on Palm Sunday, March 24th. Click here to learn more about the impact your donations to this special offering make. If you were unable to join us for worship on March 24th, 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). Thank you!

Happy Birthday!

Please remember in your prayers and give thanks for those who celebrated their birthdays this past week and those who will be celebrating in the week ahead: Sandy Keller (April 1st), Ruther Chesmore (April 2nd), Fiora Pizzo (April 8th), Audrey Levasseur (April 10th), and Lois Scheidt (April 11th). We are blessed to have you in our lives!

Keeping Up with Our Congregation

One of the gifts of being part of a community of faith is that we don’t face the ups and downs and middles of life alone. We invite you to share what is going on in your lives by contacting Lisa Stanger and/or Pastor Jessica so we can appropriately share information (with your permission) with our wider community of care that we might offer our support whatever you may be facing.

You are encouraged to offer your prayers and actions of support for:

  • Danielle Sheets Ivey, sister-in-law of Sara Ivey Lucas, who is in her fourth battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Parker Waltz and family, following the death of his uncle, Frank Klaykamp
  • Michael Tindall
  • Beth and Leni, friends of Jennifer Fultz
  • Lisa Kwong
  • Vicky Keith (Rebecca Keith’s sister-in-law)
  • Christopher Meincke (Eric’s brother)
  • Jeanne and Norm Overly

Housing Matters: Exploring Housing in Bloomington and the U.S.

Join the Bloomington Multifaith Alliance via Zoom on Wednesday, April 17th, 11:30am-1pm, for a conversation about housing in our city, state, and nation. Featured speakers include Katie Norris from Hotels for Homeless, a representative from Bloomington’s Housing and Neighborhood Development, and Hale Crumley from Prosperity Indiana.

Association Annual Spring Gathering

St. John’s UCC Cumberland, Indianapolis, IN, and the Southeast Association of the Indiana-Kentucky Conference invite you to our Annual Spring Gathering to take place at St. John’s United Church of Christ Cumberland (11910 East Prospect Street, Indianapolis, IN 46239) on Sunday, April 21st, at 3:00pm. Contact Pastor Jessica with any questions regarding this opportunity to engage with our wider UCC family.


Sunday Morning Hybrid Worship

Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am. This first Sunday of the month, we will gather at God’s welcome table and celebrate communion together. Note: Communion elements (bread and wine/juice as well as alternative elements for a “cosmic communion”) will be served in the pews for those gathering in the sanctuary; online worshipers are encouraged to prepare a “nibble” and a “sip” prior to the start of the service. Sara Cole will serve those gathering in person; sign up here to help!

This Sunday’s service will also feature the baptism of Steven Knipp and a group presentation of Genesis 1:1-2:3 by Michael Shell, Liam Kersten, Hazel Knipp, and Aidan Koontz. Michael Shell will also serve as our congregational lead. And, Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai will offer a special message for the young and young at heart. Additionally, Mitchell Farmer will highlight some of the many ways we are invited to engage in the life of the church and our wider community. Eric Meincke and Hansol Kim will lead us in song, and the First United Bell Choir will offer gift of special music.

Kim Yaussy Albright and Shelli Yoder will offer a warm welcome to all those who will gather in the sanctuary and could use some additional help (sign up here). And, Kyle Hetrick and Jim True will welcome all who join via Zoom as they ensure the audio/visual pieces run as smoothly as possible. Finally, be sure to join us in Fellowship Hall after worship for a time of fellowship and refreshment hosted by Ted Wininger.

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

Choir Rehearsals

All who are interested in engaging in our Music Ministry are encouraged to join our vocal choir and bell choir! No prior musical experience is required, but a foundational ability to read music is recommended. The Bell Choir rehearses on Thursdays, 6:15pm-7:15pm in Roger Williams Hall. And, the Vocal Choir rehearses on Thursdays, 7:30pm-9pm, in the Choir Room.If you are interested in joining or have any questions, please contact Eric Meincke at ericdmeincke@gmail.com.


Spring Workday

The Board of Building and Grounds is having a spring workday on Saturday, April 13th, 8am-11:00am. Come join us as we prepare our beautiful church grounds for spring! Help with raking, spreading mulch, and removing last year’s growth is much appreciated!

Vote for Climate Hope Art Contest

The United Church of Christ is conducting a Vote for Climate Hope Art Contest. UCC children and youth are invited to draw, paint, or color about the world and the environment in which they want to live. What are their hopes for the world? What is it that they value and want to have protected? What is it that adults should remember and take to heart when they vote this year? Art submissions will be accepted now through April 16th. An online award ceremony for finalists will be held on May 4th, and the winning art will be featured on “Climate Hope Voter Pledge Cards” that church members throughout the UCC will collect during the summer and fall before Election Day. Registrants will receive: a printable “Vote for Climate Hope” art template, link to a video promoting the art contest, and regular updates and resources about the “Vote for Climate Hope” campaign. Click here to register now.

People’s Market

First United houses the People’s Cooperative Market in our Fellowship Hall each Saturday, 10:00am-2:00pm. The People’s Market is an intersectional anti-racism farmers market and artisan vendor space that focuses on food justice work. All are welcome to attend the Saturday markets and/or order from their online CSA for pickup or delivery; food is always made available to anyone in need.

The Market will be hosting Health & Wellness Days on the third Saturdays of the month now through June during regular market hours. You are invited to attend as these Market days focus on various aspects of health and wellness from physical health, mental health, pregnancy, aging, spiritual health, massage, yoga, reflexology, herbal medicines, and more! Learn more here.

Displaced Immigrant Support Program

First United’s Displaced Immigrant Support Program (DISP) continues to work with our 3rd refugee family, a brother and sister from Nicaragua (whom you’ve likely met in worship!). If you would like to volunteer your time directly with this family, which might include assisting with transportation to or from appointments, cultural introductions, and general friendship and fellowship, please let us know. To learn more or to volunteer, please contact Dave Meyer (dwm@davemeyer.org) or Hopi Stosberg (hopi@stosberg.com).

The Joy of Hosting

Our Member Relations Committee continues to offer support to weekly coffee hour hosts and encourage everyone to sign up to host—it’s easy, fun, and a great way to serve your church family with a one-time commitment. Sign up as buddies or families, invite someone you’ve been wanting to get to know, use the occasion to showcase a family recipe or try out a new one. Sign up to host by clicking here.


Feminist Women’s Book Club

Our feminist women’s book club meets after worship on the second Sunday of the month in Roger Williams Hall and via Zoom. We are women who have a lively discussion starting at 12noon, for about an hour. We read recent fiction “by women, for women or about women.” Members are equally split among women from our church and the community. Feminist women of all ages are invited to join us. Our April 14th book selection is “Such Big Dreams” by Rema Patel. Check out our book club’s Pinterest listing: http://pinterest.com/reginammoore/feminist-book-club/. For Zoom information or more information about the book club contact facilitator Cindy Stone, stonec@indiana.edu.

Off-Topic Scripture Circle

You are invited to join members and friends of First United via Zoom (click here) 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.

Children’s Learning Time

Each Sunday morning, children in kindergarten and up will begin in the Sanctuary with their families and proceed to Room 2 with their adult leads for Children’s Learning Time (CLT) following the Children’s Time. Many thanks to Emily Mathes and Jennifer Fultz for leading CLT this Sunday.

We continue to welcome and encourage additional adults to join our teaching rotation to enrich the program for the kids. Lesson materials and supplies are provided, and we have seasoned leaders to help you get acclimated. If you are interested or have questions, please reach out to Molly Koontz, Pastor Jessica, or any member of the Board of Education.

Nursery Care

Our youngest children are welcome to spend time from 10am-11:45am playing in the nursery or on the playground, weather permitting. Lena Stosberg and Jessica McIntosh will ensure our little ones are safe and engaged in fun activities during worship this Sunday and will join with CLT to ensure safe conduct ratios are met. 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.

Tuesday Morning Café and Discussion

Join us in person or online Tuesdays at 10am-11:30am as we gather for a time of informal conversation followed by thought-provoking theological study and discussion. We have just begun a new 24-sesson study: “The History and Archeology of the Bible” with Dr. Jean-Pierre Isbouts. Previous participation and perfect attendance are not required. Those interested and able are welcome to gather in Roger Williams Hall; those choosing to join online via Zoom can do so here


Transformative Stewardship – Cultivating Hearts, Nurturing Community

Though our annual stewardship campaign, Transformative Stewardship – Cultivating Hearts, Nurturing Community formally came to an end on Sunday, February 25th, you are still welcome to complete and submit your paper commitment/pledge cards (drop them in the offering plate on Sunday or deliver to the church office) or to fill out the online commitment/pledge card here. Your pledges of time, talent, and treasure play a “key” role in sustaining and advancing the mission of First United Church!

2024 Offering Envelopes and Direct Deposit

We are using leftover 2023 offering envelope boxes for 2024. If you used envelopes this year, your number box will not be the same; please look for your name. Envelope boxes are available on a table outside of the Sanctuary entrance closest to the chancel. Whether you’ve used them before or this is your first time, you are welcome to pick up a box! Alternatively, if you would like to give to the church through direct deposit, please contact Lisa in the office to make sure she knows you would like to give in this convenient way and has your updated information.

Contact Information