- Sunday Morning Worship – Sundays @ 10:30am; Join Zoom Webinar here
- Morning Café and Discussion – Tuesdays @ 10am;Join Zoom Meeting here
- Off-Topic Scripture Circle – Thursdays @ 5:30pm; Join Zoom Meeting here
- Scripture Reader sign up – Click here
- Usher sign up – Click here (needed 08/07, 08/14, and 08/21)
- Flowers sign up – Click here
- Coffee Hour Host sign up – Click here (needed 08/14)
- Donate to First United Online – Click here
- First United Vimeo Channel – Click here
Pizza & Play
Members,families, and friends are invited to come together for an informal, unprogrammed play time in Fellowship Hall and on our playground and surrounding area TONIGHT, Friday, August 5th, 5:30pm-7:30pm. As the name implies, pizza and drinks will be provided for this Pizza & Play time. These gatherings will be offered on the first Friday of each month, so mark your calendars now for each event to come. And, feel free to bring an indoor and/or outdoor game/activity to share!
Outreach Food Drive – THIS SUNDAY!
The Board of Outreach has retooled our food drives to re-energize them and will collect food on the first Sunday of each month on at table in the narthex. Please bring non-perishable food items this Sunday, August 7th to help with this critical community need; the rising price of food (and particularly of gasoline) has made the need more urgent than ever. As always, all of the collected food and cleaning/hygiene items will go to Monroe County United Ministries (MCUM), located in the Crestmont neighborhood of Bloomington, 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 generosity!
Reader’s Choice Book Group
After a summer break, our Reader’s Choice Book Group will resume its monthly meetings this Monday, August 8th, 1:30pm at the home of Nancy Martin, 1047 Sassafras Circle (Meadowood). At this month’s meeting, books to read in the coming months will be selected; you are encouraged to come and bring a book suggestion or two. The books can be fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, old favorites, a wide variety. If you like to read, come join the group at any or all of its meetings on the second Monday of each month.
NEW/UPDATED THIS WEEK
CLT and Nursery Care Combined this Sunday
Children’s Learning Time (CLT) is back! And, this Sunday only, due to a short staffing, we will combine CLT and nursery care. Children through 5th grade are welcome to begin in Room 2 at 10:30am where they will engage in fun activities and explore the biblical story and (weather permitting) play on the playground; then they will join the rest of the congregation in the sanctuary to celebrate communion during the last half of the Sunday morning worship service. Many thanks to Ted Wininger, Emily Mathes, and Lena Stosberg for leading this combined CLT/nursery session this Sunday. Interested in joining our CLT assistant teacher rotation or helping out occasionally in the nursery? Contact Molly Koontz.
Help with Appalachian Flood Relief
As you are likely aware, Appalachian Eastern Kentucky, Southwestern Virginia, and surrounding areas are coping with historic flooding levels following last week’s storms. Recognizing First United as a caring and compassionate community, one of our congregation members shared a list of resources to assist flood victims in Appalachia. You are invited to consult the list here. Opportunities to offer assistance through efforts organized by the Indiana-Kentucky Conference will be shared as they become available.
Loss in Our Church Family
As you may recall, Marjorie M. Kanne (b. August 1st, 1929) of Bloomington, Indiana, died in Carmel, Indiana, March 16th, 2022. She was a member of First United Church and, prior to moving out of town, she taught Sunday School and was a member of several committees. The family will hold a private service of interment in the Memorial Ash Garden and welcomes First United friends to join them for a time of visitation on Monday, August 8th, 3:00pm-6:00pm, at the Allen Funeral Home (4155 S. Old St Rd 37, Bloomington). The family ask that memorial contributions be made to the Salvation Army in Bloomington or the Bloomington Hospital Foundation. Online condolences, photos and memories may be shared with family and friends here.
Upcoming Mission Moments
Be sure to join us for worship next Sunday, August 14th, when Lesa Hofferth will join us for worship to share about the important work of Area 10 Agency on Aging, whose food pantry is located in our building. Then, on Sunday, August 21st, our own Sandy Keller, founder and director of My Sister’s Closet, will offer brief comments during worship regarding their powerful work and then offer a more in-depth exploration and a time for questions in a session after worship (gather in Roger Williams or join via Zoom by staying on the Zoom webinar); we will also take up a special offering for My Sister’s Closet during the service that day. You won’t want to miss these wonderful opportunities to learn more about two important organizations that we continue to support in a variety of ways as a congregation (including a portion of our Outreach budget).
Members and friends of First United are invited to gather for fun and fellowship Sunday, August 21st, 2pm-4pm (and the third Sunday of each month). Plan to join us for Sunday Funday as we come together for an informal, unprogrammed play time in Fellowship Hall and on our playground and surrounding area. A light snack will be available for each Sunday Funday. Feel free to bring an indoor and/or outdoor game/activity to share!
BMA Faith for Racial Equity
You are invited the Bloomington Multifaith Alliance Faith for Racial Equity (BMA F4RE) committee for their regular meetings on Thursday, August 11th, 12pm-1pm (and the second and fourth Thursdays of each month). Click here to join the meetings on Zoom. The committee is currently focusing their work on 1) assembling a map of Bloomington’s whites-only properties and neighborhoods in order to visualize just how much housing in Bloomington was once whites-only by policy and 2) connecting with Monroe County schools and their Parent-Teacher Organizations to address resource disparities. Please contact Pastor Jessica if you are interested in getting involved with this important work as she is the current facilitator of the BMA F4RE committee.
Do the Dash! – Global Ministries Mission Dash 5K
Did you know that if you “Do the Dash” you can help olive tree farmers in Palestine plant more trees? “Dashers” can also assist people in five coastal villages of Bangladesh find a way to grow food, despite the growing amount of saline in their soil, a byproduct of rising seas. These are just two projects that the Global Ministries (a joint witness in mission between the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ) Mission Dash 5K will help fund through participation in the August virtual event focusing on climate justice. You are invited to “Do the Dash” by completing a 5K anytime in August — and in many ways. Learn more and register to “Do the Dash” here.
UPCOMING WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
Sunday Morning Hybrid Worship
Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am. This Sunday, Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai returns to the pulpit (figuratively not literally) having concluded our July exploration of less traditional worship practices. She will also preside at the table as we celebrate communion together. Note: Communion elements (bread and wine/juice) will be served in the pews for those gathering in the sanctuary; online worshipers are encouraged to prepare a “nibble” and a “sip” prior to the start of the service. Sara Cole, Phyllis Eads, and Lisa Kwong will serve those gathering in person.
Sara Cole will also present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead. And, the incomparable Hansol Kim will lead us in song throughout the service. Rebecca Keith will highlight some of the many ways we are invited to engage in the life of the church and our wider community. Keith Gerber and Phyllis Eads will offer a warm welcome to all those who gather in the sanctuary, while Rachel Caswell will welcome all who join via Zoom. Molly & Noel Koontz will provide a beautiful floral arrangement in honor of their 12th wedding anniversary and Molly’s parents’ 55th wedding anniversary. We will also Finally, Kyle Hetrick and Jim True will ensure the audio/visual pieces run as smoothly as possible. Looking forward to worshiping with you!
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 at: firstuc.online/donate
Church Potluck & Leadership Retreat
Join with church friends and family for a church-wide dinner potluck at 5pm next Saturday, August 13th. Prior to the potluck, 12pm-4pm, all members of our standing boards and Church Council are invited to engage in a Leadership Retreat as we learn, grow, and look at our future together. The wider congregation is then invited to bring dishes to share or a personal picnic beginning at 4:30pm, and we will sup together at 5 o’clock. Hope to see you there!
Coffee Hour Sundays
The Member Relations Committee (MeRC) continues to encourage and support bimonthly coffee hours after worship on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month. All food, drink, and serving supplies are provided by the church, though hosts are free to supplement items if they wish. Clear instructions regarding setup/cleanup and guidelines for serving snacks are posted in the kitchen and will be emailed to each volunteer. Click here to sign up to volunteer to host Sunday, August 14th or 28th. Thank you for considering this act of service—supporting this fellowship opportunity is meaningful, does not demand a lot of time, and can be kept very simple.
Feminist Women’s Book Club
Our feminist women’s book club will meet on Sunday, August 14th at 12pm (for about an hour) in person in Roger Williams Hall and via Zoom for anyone who would prefer to join virtually. The book for this month’s discussion is “Once There Were Wolves” by Charlotte McConaghy. A novel set in the wild Scottish Highlands. Inti Flynn arrives in Scotland with her twin sister, Aggie, to lead a team of biologists tasked with reintroducing fourteen gray wolves into the remote Highlands. She hopes to heal not only the dying landscape, but Aggie, too, unmade by the secrets that drove the sisters out of Alaska. Inti is not the woman she once was, either, changed by the harm she’s witnessed—inflicted by humans on both the wild and each other. The wolves surprise everyone by thriving. Part mystery and a message for our times on the challenges of our environment; it is the story of a woman desperate to save the creatures she loves in the wild that was once her refuge. As always, new members are welcome to visit as a guest. For Zoom or more information contact facilitator Cindy Stone (stonec@Indiana.edu).
Tuesday Morning Café and Discussion
Join us in person (Roger Williams Hall) or online (click here) on Tuesday mornings, 10am-11:30am, as we embark on the final third of a 36-session video series entitled “The History of Christianity: From the Disciples to the Dawn of the Reformation.” After a time of informal conversation, we engage in thought-provoking theological study and discussion as we explore the phenomenal story of Christianity’s first 1,500 years, with all its remarkable diversity and complex dimensions. Professor Dr. Luke Timothy Johnson will lead this examination of Christianity’s origins, rise, and civilization-shaping activities from its inception to the Reformation. While we’d love to see you each Tuesday for the next several months, perfect attendance is not required, neither is previous participation.
Off-Topic Scripture Circle
You are invited to join with members and friends of First United on Thursday evenings, 5:30pm-6:30pm 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 will meet via Zoom only in an effort to be more accessible to folks after work and near dinnertime; join the Zoom meeting here.
Seeking a Musical Mind
First United is seeking to hire a new Music Director as we remain committed to offering meaningful musical opportunities for our congregation following Sam Grace’s departure. The job description and information for how to apply can be accessed on our website here; please share widely! The hiring team has received materials from a number of applicants and are moving forward with the hiring process; we’ll keep you posted! Please contact Mary Peckham, Rachel Caswell, or Pastor Jessica with any questions.
First United is seeking to hire someone as a part-time Director of Children’s and Youth Ministries. Please see the job description here. Share widely or apply today! Candidates should respond to Lisa Stanger (email@example.com) with a resume and email cover letter detailing relevant experience and intent to apply. While the hiring team has received materials from a number of applicants, none have yet seemed to be the right fit. Thank you for your help!
- Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai, Senior Minister – firstname.lastname@example.org; 812-727-4414 (Friday & Saturday off; emergency calls only)
- Lisa Stanger, Office Manager – email@example.com
- Dedric Dennist, Web Content & Media Coordinator – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rebecca Keith, Church President – email@example.com; 812-325-0145 (Cell)