Candlelight & Carols Service: Sunday, December 5, 2021 at 6:30 PM | Christmas Eve Service: Friday, December 24, 2021 at 6:30 PM

A GRATEFUL GOODBYE
This Sunday, August 2nd we celebrate Shelli with a brief time for gratitude and recognition after our Zoom worship service.  Shelli has served our congregation since February 2017 with grace, humility, thoughtfulness, compassion, and–above all–love. Her care, concern, and commitment have offered particular comfort and continuity to our church family as we have weathered so much transition. You can express your appreciation for the many ministry gifts she has shared with us here:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1b0KBVOTt9knNLCWGNy7PjWkWcblpOx8tFLo5v5NMfA8/edit

NO-CONTACT Human and Pet Food Drive

SATURDAY, August 8th, 9 – 1 First United will hold another NO-CONTACT Human and Pet Food Drive to support MCUM and Area 10 on Aging emergency food supplies. 

Bring non-perishables to First United’s circle drive near the kitchen entrance. Wearing your face mask, drop off food directly into the bed of large pick-up truck near our friendly (but socially distant) church members. If you need help, assistance will be available. 

Hope to see you all there! Our last collection event was a huge success (and a great chance to see friends in socially distant person).  Questions? Contact Rebecca at reblea99@gmail.com or (812) 345-1116

AN UPDATE ON OPERATIONS FOR FIRST UNITED

From the COVID-19 Task Force: While Sunday church services and most meetings continue virtually for the time being, Pastor John Krueger is available for conversation and consultation: john_krueger425@comcast.net or h: 317-467-1529/ c: 317-498-0710. Outside groups may propose a plan for operating in the building this fall by emailing Mary Peckham mkpeckham59@gmail.com. Church activities (services, programs, operations) that can be held outdoors and involve fewer than 10 people at a time can be proposed for re-starting this fall (in consultation with Mary and other church leadership). Essential activities that cannot happen outdoors can be proposed in the same manner. Options for virtual participation for in-person activities should be offered whenever possible and each person’s participation decision honored. Masks must be worn while in the church building for all those over age 2 and social distancing must be observed.

CONGREGATIONAL MEETING AND VOTE on cost increase for Sanctuary Safety Renovations We will hold a brief vote on August 2nd after Worship to approve additional expenses for scope changes in loft flooring.

POSTING WORSHIP ON FACEBOOK Due to privacy and other concerns, we will no longer livestream or post worship on Facebook. The relevant scripture reading, pastoral prayer, and sermon will be posted on a new more secure account not supported by advertising at https://vimeo.com/firstunitedchurch

PARTICIPATE IN WORSHIP!!

Liturgy and Scripture Readers Needed

Families, couples, and singles are all welcome, even if you have done it before!  Please contact John, Shelli, Derek, or Sam and Derek will try to schedule you. Thanks so much!

Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training

First United’s Board of Christian Education is bringing in an accomplished facilitator, Chidimma Ozor, to lead our congregation through a two-day training experience in August, rescheduled from the session we were to have in March.  Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training takes place online /via Zoom on Friday, August 21 6-9 pm, and Saturday August 22, 10 am – 4.. Deadline to sign up is August 14 at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfJkeH-Y0YofDb3GQqIOOyf_6NXf9_PGiOIzvpGpyQBmJG-pw/viewform   Shortly before the training, you’ll be sent a link and password to join the virtual meeting as well as other materials that will be used during the training.  Please call or text Rebecca Keith at (812) 325-0145 with questions.

Racial Justice Book Club

The Board of Christian Education’s newly-formed a Racial Justice Book Club will read and discuss a different book related to racial justice each month.  Our first meeting will be Saturday, August 29th, from 2-3:30 over Zoom.  We will be discussing “So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo. 

“Widespread reporting on aspects of white supremacy–from police brutality to the mass incarceration of Black Americans–has put a media spotlight on racism in our society. Still, it is a difficult subject to talk about. How do you tell your roommate her jokes are racist? Why did your sister-in-law take umbrage when you asked to touch her hair–and how do you make it right? How do you explain white privilege to your white, privileged friend?

Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to “model minorities” in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.”

Jennifer Fultz has set up an online discussion board for the group, so you can participate even if you are unable to attend the virtual meetings.  If you are interested in joining the group, please contact Don Wooldridge at dontylw@gmail.com

We depend on your sustained giving in this difficult time. If you can, please maintain, or consider increasing your regular giving, to support our work. Options for giving include:

  • mail (checks strongly preferred)
  • online giving at  https://tinyurl.com/GiveFirstUnited
  • by phone at 1-800-675-7430 [account ID is ES799783 (First United Church, Inc.)].
  • by text: 812-432-2002

VIRTUAL COMMUNITY OFFERINGS  Our work as a caring community continues on Zoom through Sunday worship and lectionary study, and Tuesday’s Virtual Café and Adult Study class. Please visit https://firstuc.org/online/

JOIN US FOR SUNDAY WORSHIP!!  at 10:30am. You may login to Zoom at 10am.

Zoom Meeting Link:

https://zoom.us/j/94635708633?pwd=NE9CdGtTWk5ndGRzRnQ2TTVrQmlZZz09

Meeting ID: 946 3570 8633

Password: 879535

OFF TOPIC SCRIPTURE CIRCLE (formerly known as Lectionary Discussion)

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 9-10am.  
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84002403978?pwd=N0sxS093T1JobkVxTVVGRlFBdVUwUT09
Meeting ID: 840 0240 3978
Password: 122688

VIRTUAL CAFÉ and TUESDAY ADULT DISCUSSION

Tuesday Adult Discussion group, led by Derek Roe.  We will jump start our conversation with an article by Ta-Nehisi Coates: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/the-case-for-reparations/361631/ and discuss our approach to reading in coming weeks. We are currently watching Dr. Bart Ehrman’s Great Courses series on the New Testament. Discussions range over many topics, and it’s a great way to keep in touch with church friends during social distancing.  We’ll start at roughly 10:30 and end at noon.

  1. From your laptop or desktop computer  https://zoom.us/j/309686166?pwd=OVZ2VXFUSDV6R2IwM0xTMTd4TEVCdz09, OR
  2. From your landline telephone or cell phone: (253) 215 8782 then enter the meeting ID:  309 686 166# Password: 399499
  3. Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/aCaOLQbW3

FIRST UNITED’S SPECIAL COVID-19 FUND APPLICATIONS

If you have a relationship with First United Church, you may apply for assistance for a hardship caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. This may include current loss of income resulting in the inability to cover such expenses as rent or mortgage, utility payments, or groceries, although not limited only to these items. For an application form and instructions to apply for Covid-19 assistance contact Sharon McCann at mimimom68@gmail.com

Exploring the Future of the Carillon

In recent years First United’s carillon has been silent. The current Schulmerich system was purchased in spring of 1958 at a cost of around $2,800. Parts are no longer in production, and there are no known service technicians working on this particular make and model in the US.

Steve Doerger of the Verdin Company (which acquired Schulmerich) will be offering a virtual demonstration of the latest carillon technology on August 13 from 5:30-6:30pm. All are welcome to attend. Details will be provided closer to the event. Contact Mitchell Farmer (mitchellgfarmer@gmail.com) with questions.   

PREVENT THE SPREAD

All church activities will be out of the building at least through August. Our COVID-19 Task Force is advising Council as we move ahead into a challenging new period of finding best practices for opening our congregation. Remember that much of our success depends on us–we can and must make responsible choices to protect ourselves, our families and our community: maintaining 6 feet of social distance; washing hands often; wearing a face mask in public; staying home when sick; getting tested immediately if symptoms appear. 

Need a fabric face mask? Let Rebecca Nunley know: reblea99@gmail.com

MEANWHILE, GRASS AND WEEDS CONTINUE TO GROW whether church is open or not. If you have time and energy to work at socially distanced mowing, weeding, or general upkeep on our grounds, Laura Kao is graciously available to provide guidance. Laura has also posted a to-do list of discrete tasks on the shed door for all comers. Contact laura_b_kao@hotmail.com or 812-361-6074