• 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 08/27, 09/03, & 09/10)
  • Flowers sign up – Click here (needed 09/03 & 09/10)
  • Coffee Hour Host sign up – Click here (needed 08/27 & 09/10)
  • Communion Server sign up –Click here (needed 09/03)
  • Donate to First United Online – Click here

First United Vimeo Channel – Click here


Bloomington Pridefest THIS SATURDAY!

First United will be participating with a booth at Bloomington Pride TOMORROW, Saturday, August 26th. Volunteers are still 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.

“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. See below for additional book groups meeting at alternate times.


First United Yard Signs

Spread the word about who we are as a progressive community of faith with your very own “Critical Thinking Encouraged” First United yard sign. Thanks to a generous donation from a fellow member, signs and stands are available to all at no cost. Pick them up in the Narthex or near Fellowship Hall on Sunday or stop by the church office during regular office hours. Post them in your lawns, offices, windows, etc. as a simple way to share that “We take the Bible too seriously to take it literally.”

Pizza & Play

Members and friends of First United of all ages and family configurations (and your friends and family) are encouraged to gather for Pizza & Play on Friday, September 1st, 5:30pm-7:30pm. We’ll enjoy a time of informal, unprogrammed fun and fellowship in Fellowship Hall and surrounding areas, both inside and out (weather permitting). As the name implies, pizza, drinks, and dessert will be provided. If you’re planning to attend, please let Pastor Jessica know by Thursday, August 31st so she can be sure to have enough food for all and account for any dietary needs.

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. On September 3rd, 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.Thank you for your donations to meet ongoing community needs and for your August donations which totaled 312lbs!

Office Closure

The church office will be closed for regular hours Monday, September 4th through Friday, September 8th for the Labor Day holiday and while Lisa Stanger is away on vacation. Please contact Rev. Petersen-Mutai should you need assistance during that time.

Rally Day 2023

MeRC invites you to attend Rally Day on Sunday, September 17th immediately after the worship service. Join us in Fellowship Hall for a simple meal, fellowship, children’s activities, and an opportunity to learn more about the happenings and ministries of First United Church, both in our building and within the wider Bloomington community. Please plan to join us and kick-off another great year at First United! 

Your Member Relations Committee (MeRC) is seeking donations!

In order to stay connected to and engage with folks who might not be able to be with us in person, MeRC is seeking donations of iPads. If you have a generation five or higher iPad that is in good working condition that you could donate for this purpose, Rebecca Keith is happy to accept your contributions. We will also accept cash donations. For more information and to commit to this effort, email rekeith@iu.edu. MeRC will prepare these iPads to enable users to participate in Sunday morning worship and get them to loving hands!

Doctoral Recital – Eric Meincke

On Saturday, September 23rd at 2pm in IU’s Auer Hall, First United’s Director of Music Eric Meincke will be presenting his first Doctoral Recital with the Indiana University Conductors Chorus. Repertoire will include music by Palestrina, Howells, and Schuetz. Admission is free, and we would love to see you there to support Eric! 


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 how we will connect our gifts of head, hands, and heart; she will also offer a message especially for the young and young at heart. Michael Shell will present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead. While Eric Meincke and Hansol Kim (welcome back!) will lead us in congregational song, Sam Troxal and Michael Shell will offer special music. 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 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, Jessica Petersen-Mutai will provide a beautiful floral arrangement in celebration of Martin’s and her wedding anniversary. 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

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 have resumed! 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 ericdmeincke@gmail.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.


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.

Covenant Group Revival!

Are you looking for a space where you can connect with others from First United and explore topics that interest you? MeRC is reviving Covenant Groups (est. 2013). More information about the three groups we’ll be offering and their schedules will be available soon! 


“Poverty, by America” Book Read

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 (aydt@icloud.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 (ellenamills@gmail.com) 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 (suerconnell@gmail.com) if interested.
  • mfbjohn@gmail.com) 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 session of “The History of Christianity II: From the Reformation to the Modern Megachurch” presented by Dr. Molly Worthen and begin a new study (TBA) at the start of September. 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 29th, we will explore “The Challenge of 21st Century Christianity.” 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 Sandra Meder and Emily Mathes 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. 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).

Announcements Deadlines

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