- 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 (needed 09/03)
- Usher sign up – Click here (needed 08/20, 08/27, and 09/03)
- Flowers sign up – Click here (needed 09/03)
- Coffee Hour Host sign up – Click here (needed 08/20, 08/27, & 09/03)
- Communion Server sign up –Click here (needed 09/03)
- Donate to First United Online – Click here
- First United Vimeo Channel – Click here
Welcomefest 2023 – THIS SATURDAY!
We look forward to seeing you tomorrow, Saturday, August 19th, 11am-2pm, as we join together for First United’s Welcomefest 2023. There is still time to help put out the welcome mat for our wider Bloomington community and one another as we offer food, fun, and fellowship. Click here to check out ways to contribute and sign up to make this inaugural Welcomefest a success. Remember, we will also be collecting monetary donations to support IU’s Crimson Cupboard food pantry to combat food insecurity on campus the day of the event. And, don’t forget to share our virtual flyer here on Facebook one more time!
Special Offering for Stone Belt – THIS SUNDAY!
Throughout 2023, the Board of Outreach invites you to offer additional support to a variety of local organizations and ministries through monthly special offerings. This Sunday, August 20th, a special offering will be received to support Stone Belt, and Carol-Anne Hossler, who has been involved with Stone Belt for a very long time—as a parent of a special needs son and as an advocate and board member—will join us in worship to share about their powerful work. Stone Belt supports thousands of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, helps them to positively impact the community in myriad ways and serves as a leader in the field.
Monthly Sermon Talk Back – THIS SUNDAY!
You are invited to join in a sermon talk back after worship this Sunday, August 20th. Head down to Fellowship Hall to grab a drink and a snack and say “hello” to some church friends, and then gather near the fireplace to engage in informal conversation spurred by the day’s sermon.
Congregant Monday Musings – THIS MONDAY!
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. Many thanks to Emily Mathes for offering the July “Congregant Monday Musing.” Please contact Pastor Jessica and/or Lisa Stanger if you would like to share your thoughts and ideas through this avenue, and they will help you get it scheduled.
First United will be participating with a booth at Bloomington Pride next Saturday, August 26th. Volunteers are needed for 1-hour segments for set-up at 12noon, for clean-up at 8pm, and to talk with folks at the booth from 1:30pm-8:00pm. Sign up online here or on the sheet in the Narthex to help! Our table will be under a tent to provide protection from the weather (rain or shine!). Contact any member of the Board of Outreach with questions.
The First News deadline is this Thursday, August 24th. If you would like to have an article included in the September newsletter, please have your article turned in to the church office by the end of the day.
Choir Rehearsals Start This Thursday
We are looking forward to the return of both the bell and vocal choirs in worship and remind all who are interested in engaging in our Music Ministry that rehearsals for both groups will begin on August 24th! No prior musical experience is required to join, but a foundational ability to read music is recommended. The bell choir meets weekly on Thursdays from 6:15-7:15pm, while the vocal choir meets on Thursdays from 7:30-9pm.
Both groups are a great way to share your time and talents with the congregation and for fellowship with your First United community. We perform a diverse selection of music ranging from the Renaissance era to present day and are proud to continue performing music by composers from a variety of backgrounds. If you are interested in joining or have any questions, please contact Eric Meincke at email@example.com.
The choirs don’t work for you? All those who are musically inclined are encouraged to offer your gifts of music during worship as special music. Please contact Eric Meineke or Pastor Jessica to arrange your special musical offering.
NEW THIS WEEK
IU Student Involvement Fair
We will have a table at IU’s Student Involvement Fair this Thursday, August 24th, 4pm-7pm, as students return to IU’s campus. Please contact Pastor Jessica if you are interested in representing First United during this event.
UPCOMING WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
Sunday Morning Hybrid Worship
Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am. This Sunday’s service will feature Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai in the pulpit as she invites us to discern and share our “gifts of the heart”; she will also offer a message especially for the young and young at heart. Lisa Kwong will present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead. While Eric Meincke and Michael Shell will lead us in congregational song, Sam Troxal will offer special music as we begin and conclude worship, and Sandra Meder and Herbert Sizek will treat us to a special selection as we share our gifts during the offering. Mitchell Farmer will highlight some of the many ways we are invited to engage in the life of the church and our wider community. Dave Meyer and Keith Gerber will be offering a warm welcome to all those who will gather in the sanctuary (sign up here to help), while Kyle Hetrick and Jim True will welcome all who join via Zoom as they ensure the audio/visual pieces run as smoothly as possible. And, Dave Meyer and Cindy Neidhart will provide a beautiful floral arrangement in celebration of their kids. Finally, be sure to join us in Fellowship Hall after worship for a time of fellowship and refreshment (and sermon talk back!).
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
The Joy of Hosting
We continue 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.
Displaced Immigrant Support Program
Our DISP team continues to await notification from Exodus regarding our next family sponsorship. When a new family is assigned to us there will be many new challenges as well as new joys. Do you have a gift of time or treasure that you can share to help a new family feel welcome and gain capability in our community? If so, you may give anytime by designating your gift as “DISP” or online here. If you’re considering joining the DISP team, please contact Dave Meyer (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Hopi Stosberg (email@example.com) to get connected and learn more.
Covenant Group Revival!
Are you looking for a space where you can connect with others from First United and explore topics that interest you? Do you have a topic in mind that you would be interested in exploring with others in a small group? MeRC is reviving Covenant Groups (est. 2013) and is looking for 1-2 people or couples interested in hosting a monthly small group, beginning in September. Hosts can determine the best day and time for their group, and the topic/theme that interests them (or consult with Pastor Jessica for ideas!). Molly & Noel Koontz will be hosting a monthly Covenant Group geared toward families with kids and are happy to answer any questions you may have about hosting. Please contact Molly Koontz at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested. More information about group topics and schedules will be forthcoming!
“Poverty, by America” Book Read
First Unitedis offering a reading group focusing on Matthew Desmond’s “Poverty, by America” as a part of the Bloomington Multifaith Alliance Faith for Racial Equity book read on 1st and 3rd Thursdays (August-October) at 12pm-1pm. Though the group began meeting via Zoom (click here to join) new members are still encouraged to join! The schedule is as follows: August 31st (Chapters 1 & 2; rescheduled from August 17th); September 7th (Chapters 3 & 4) and 21st (Chapters 5 & 6); and October 5th (Chapters 7 & 8) and 19th (Chapter 9 & Epilogue). Contact Pastor Jessica with any questions.
Does First United’s book group not work for your schedule? Additional faith communities will be leading book groups as well that will meet at different times and in different modalities and will be open to all. Choose the one that works best for you!
- 5:30pm-6:30pm on Tuesdays,August 29th, September 12th and 19th, and October 10th and 17th. Contact Ruth Aydt (email@example.com) if interested.
- will offer a group meeting via Zoom at 7pm-8pm on Wednesdays, September 6th, 13th, 20th, and 27th, and October 4th and 18th. Contact Ellen Mills (firstname.lastname@example.org) if interested.
- will offer an in-person group at 6pm-7pm on Mondays, September 25th, and October 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 23rd. Contact Sue Connell (email@example.com) if interested.
- firstname.lastname@example.org) if interested.
Off-Topic Scripture Circle
You are invited to join members and friends of First United 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. We meet via Zoom only in an effort to be more accessible; join the Zoom meeting here.
Tuesday Morning Café and Discussion
You are invited to join us in person or online Tuesdays at 10am-11:30am as we explore the final sessions of “The History of Christianity II: From the Reformation to the Modern Megachurch” presented by Dr. Molly Worthen. After a time of informal conversation, we engage in thought-provoking theological study and discussion as we explore the story of Christianity as it transformed from the end of the Middle Ages into the diverse global religion of today. On Tuesday, August 22nd, we will explore “Revival and Repression in Korea.” 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.
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 Molly Koontz and Ted Wininger 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.
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. 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.
Online Directory Available!
An online church directory is available for all members of First United! You may access the directory by clicking on “Member Directory” from the “Member Area” drop-down menu located at the top of any page of the church website. Contact Lisa in the office for your sign-in credentials (you are encouraged to change your password after logging in for the first time).
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.
- Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai, Senior Minister – email@example.com; 812-727-4414 (Cell) (Friday & Saturday off; emergency calls only)
- Lisa Stanger, Office Manager – firstname.lastname@example.org; 812-332-4439 (Office)
- Eric Meincke, Music Director – email@example.com; 501-837-2708 (Cell)
- Mitchell Farmer, Church President – firstname.lastname@example.org; 812-459-3985 (Cell)