• Off-Topic Scripture Circle – Sundays @ 9am; Join Zoom Meeting here
  • Sunday Morning Worship – Sundays @ 10:30am; Join Zoom Meeting here
  • Morning Café and Discussion – Tuesdays @ 10am;Join Zoom Meeting here
  • Future of Sanctuary Technology questionnaire https://firstuc.online/sanctuary-tech


Rev. Petersen-Mutai Away

Pastor Jessica will be away on vacation August 2nd-15th and return to the office on Monday, August 16th. During her time away, Derek Roe will be available for emergency pastoral care; you may contact him through the church office (812-332-4439) or via email (faithformation@firstuc.org). For any administrative needs, please contact Lisa Stanger in the office (info@firstuc.org).


Moving From Zoom to Zoom Webinar

We are so glad to be able to come to worship together each Sunday, simultaneously in person and online.  We have worked steadily to upgrade our technology and technical capabilities, and we continue to adapt so we can provide a high-quality experience in both modes. Our next step forward will be moving from regular Zoom, to Zoom Webinar on August 15. This change should make for a more steady-view and consistent worship experience and reduce the number of glitches in sound and visual display.

The big differences will be:

  1. A different link to reach the service– The new link can be accessed here and will be included in each week’s announcements and online.
  2. A slightly different interface to connect: you’ll be asked for your name and email address.
  3. The absence of multiple open camera/windows (you will no longer need to turn your video and mic functions on and off).

The streamlined webinar format will provide a more focused presentation of our Sunday worship services–featuring only the live video from the sanctuary along with screen sharing of announcements, readings, and music. Both the gallery of our faces and the chat capabilities will be different.

Food Drive for Humans and Pets

Mark your calendar: Another food drive for humans and pets! Saturday, September 18th, 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 September 18! Thanks in advance! Your Outreach Board


Sunday Morning Hybrid Worship

Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am. This Sunday’s service will feature Rev. Dr. Hannah Adams Ingram in the pulpit, a message from Derek Roe, M.Div., for the young and young at heart, Rachel Caswell will present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead. Siri Loescher, Keith Gerber will offer a warm welcome and bulletin for those who gather in the sanctuary, and Rebecca Keith will greet those joining us via Zoom. The beautiful flower arrangement is provided by Jerry and Sarah Burton. And our amazing AV Team (Kyle Hetrick, Jim True, and Mitchell Farmer) will ensure that all of the tech pieces run as smoothly as possible!

Thank you for continuing to mask and distance during worship as we find our way through this transitional period and keep the most vulnerable among us safe! The full Reopening Policy can be accessed here. Any questions or concerns regarding the policy should be addressed to the Church Council.

Join the Zoom Webinar by clicking here

Dial-in number: (312) 626 6799; Webinar ID: 828 3681 0281; Passcode: 741101

The service will be posted on Monday afternoon on First United’s Vimeo channel (where you can access all of our previous worship services).Donate online at: firstuc.online/donate; offering plates available at each entrance into the Sanctuary


Food Items for MCUM

Our church food pantry is open for nonperishable food items to be delivered to MCUM. The pantry shelves are located just outside of Fellowship Hall for church members who wish to donate in person again. While the Board of Outreach will remind you every month to bring food items to church by first Sunday of each month, you are welcome to bring your donations at any time. Don Shelton (our MCUM board member) will deliver the donated goods to MCUM on the Monday following first Sunday of each month. Last month’s donations were 68lb. 

Ministers of Care

The Ministers of Care group is seeking 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 meaningful ministry, please contact Sarah Burton (812-361-6201 or burtonsp@indiana.edu).


Calling All Committee, Club or Group Chairs

Are you the chair of a First United committee, club, or group? The Board of Education will be hosting its final Summer Series event on Sunday, August 29th immediately after church and we’d like you to share what your group is about! Please email Molly Koontz at Molly.Koontz@yahoo.com and she will provide more information about how you can participate. 

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! Those who are interested and able to gather in person are invited to gather in Room 6, and those who would like to join us online via Zoom can do so here. See you Sunday morning, 9am-10am!

Tuesday Café and Discussion

Join us in person or online at 10am-11:30am each Tuesday for a time of informal conversation followed by thought-provoking theological study and discussion. The group is currently viewing and discussing a series entitled The Apocryphal Jesus, a 24-session video lecture series offered by David Brakke, Ph.D., M.Div. Through this series, participants will gain a new perspective on early Christian life and history through non-canonical Christian literature. Previous participation not required. For those interested and able to gather in person, we’ll be in Fellowship Hall; those wanting to join online via Zoom can do so here.

Families with Kids Are Invited to Children’s Time!

Families with kids are welcome to attend in-person worship in the sanctuary on Sunday mornings! During worship services our youngest ministers will be invited to come to the front of the sanctuary and sit on the steps like usual for a special message just for them in the Children’s Time! Masks and distancing are required. We are not currently offering Nursery care or the Children’s Learning Time class in Room 2 on Sunday mornings, so kids will stay in the sanctuary during the service. Please contact Derek Roe at faithformation@firstuc.org with questions.

Youth Group

Anyone in grades 6-12 (or their parents!) who are interested in being part of any of the church’s summer activities like Summer Series, in-person Youth Group meetings, and potentially Bloomington PRIDE, can contact Derek Roe at faithformation@firstuc.org for more information.


Ushers and Readers and Flowers—O My!

With the return of in-person worship in the Sanctuary has come the return of volunteer opportunities to make such experiences meaningful and smooth-flowing. You are invited to sign up to serve as an usher or scripture reader/congregational lead and/or to provide flowers either online or in person. Sign-up sheets are available in the Narthex for ushering and scripture reading, and the signup binder for flowers is available outside of Fellowship Hall. Rather sign up online? Click here for ushering, here for Scripture Reader/Congregational Lead, and here to donate flowers. Contact Siri Loescher (sannloescher@gmail.com) or Rev. Petersen-Mutai with any questions. Thank you!

Still Looking for Volunteers for Bloomington Pride

First United will be participating with a booth at Bloomington Pride on Saturday, August 28th. Volunteers can sign up for 1/2-to-1-hour segments online click here or on the sheet located in the church narthex. Volunteers are also needed for set-up at 12 noon, and for clean-up at 8pm: also at the booth from 1:30-8:00. For questions or further information, contact co-chairs Keith Gerber or Kim Yaussy-Albright, or any member of the Board of Outreach. 

Indoor Gatherings

A reminder that our building is open once again for in-person gatherings. While masks are encouraged for all, they are required in the building for all age 2 and above if you are unvaccinated or if children (under age 18) are present, and social distancing of at least 6 feet should be maintained at all times between individuals, households, or “pods.” If you would like to hold a meeting in the church building, please contact Lisa to reserve a room.

The Updated Reopening Policy can be accessed here. Any questions or concerns regarding the Reopening Policy should be addressed to the Church Council.

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

Sam Grace, Music Director – samuel.c.grace@gmail.com