Based on the latest Monroe County data and weighing the impact in our local community, all church activities, including worship, will be offered online only. We hope to return to in-person activities on Sunday, February 6

QUICK LINKS

  • Off-Topic Scripture Circle – Sundays @ 9am; Join Zoom Meeting here
  • Sunday Morning Worship – Sundays @ 10:30am; Join Zoom Webinar here
  • Morning Café and Discussion – Tuesdays @ 10am;Join Zoom Meeting here

DON’T FORGET

Newsletter and Announcements Deadline

The First News deadline is Monday, August 23rd. 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.

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.

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 needed for set-up at 12 noon, for clean-up at 8pm, and to talk with folks at the booth from 1:30pm-8:00pm. Our table will be under a tent to provide protection from the weather (rain or shine!). For questions or further information, contact co-chairs Keith Gerber or Kim Yaussy-Albright, or any member of the Board of Outreach. Please consider representing First United as the opening, welcoming, and affirming congregation we are!

NEW THIS WEEK

Rally Sunday

The Board of Christian Education invites you to join us for the final Summer Series event on Sunday, August 29th from 11:30am-1:00pm. We’ll gather under the church pavilion immediately after worship to enjoy a time of fellowship and BYO (bring your own) lunch. From 12-1, members of our congregation who lead a board, club, or church organization will be in Fellowship Hall to share information with you about upcoming events and opportunities this church year. Childcare (and popsicles!) will be provided on the playground. We hope you can join us and RALLY behind the wonderful educational and social opportunities we have this year at First United!

Youth Group Kickoff – August 29th!!!
The new school year has started, and it’s time to kick off the new year of Youth Group! We’ll get things started during the Summer Series Rally Day on 8/29, right after worship! Youth Group is open to any First United folks in 6th to 12th grade. Friends are always welcome! Please contact Derek at faithformation@firstuc.org with any questions. See you soon!

Indoor Gatherings

A reminder that our building is open once again for in-person gatherings. In accordance with the current Monroe County Mask Mandate, masks and distancing are required for all regardless of vaccination status. If you would like to hold a meeting in the church building, please contact Lisa to reserve a room.

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, a message from Derek Roe, M.Div., for the young and young at heart, and wonderful music from Hansol Kim and Sam Grace. Bill Perkins will present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead. Siri Loescher, Phyllis Perkins, and 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 Barb Clark. 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 continuing pandemic 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

From Zoom to Zoom Webinar

As we continue 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 most recent step forward was moving from regular Zoom to Zoom Webinar. This change has already made for a more steady-view and consistent worship experience and reduced the number of glitches in sound and visual display (though we’ve heard they still persist; we’re working on it!).

The big differences in the switch:

  1. A different link to reach the service—The new link can be accessed here (and above) 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 cameras/windows (you 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 readings and music.

As always, your feedback is welcome and helps us to offer ever more meaningful worship experiences. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to church staff and our amazing worship volunteers to share your experience as we continue to try new ways of offering worship.

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!

COMMUNITY CARE

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 18th! Thanks in advance! Your Outreach Board

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).

EDUCATIONAL OFFERINGS 

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 (but plans are in the works for it to return soon!), so kids will stay in the sanctuary during the service. Please contact Derek Roe at faithformation@firstuc.org with questions.

CONGREGATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS

Contact Information