- – 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
- –Ushers Click here (needed 12/25, 01/01, & 01/08)
- – Flowers Click here (needed 01/01)
- – Coffee Hour Click here (needed 01/01)
- – Donate to First United Online Click here
- – First United Vimeo Channel Click here
Christmas Eve and A Cozy Christmas
Gather together with your First United family for a celebration of Christmas Eve this Saturday, December 24th at 6:30pm. Encounter the familiar story of Christmas as told in the Gospel of Luke, raise your voice in singing beloved carols, and pass the Christ light from candle to candle. A special offering will be collected to benefit Beacon: Solutions for People in Poverty.
Then, pull on your favorite Christmas sweater or don your holiday pjs, and join your First United family for “A Cozy Christmas” this Sunday, December 25th at 10:30am. Together we’ll share a time of storytelling and song celebrating the joy of community and gift of God’s unbounded love. Cocoa, tea, cookies, and freshly-baked orange rolls will be served in the Narthex!
Church Office Closed
The church office will be closed December 26th through January 2nd due to vacation and holiday time off. Please contact Pastor Jessica if you are in need of emergency assistance during that time.
NEW/UPDATED THIS WEEK
January Communion: Moved!
At First United, we normally serve and celebrate communion on the first Sunday of the month. However, in January 2023, the first Sunday is also New Year’s Day, when many people are traveling or engaged in celebration. The Board of Worship has moved January’s communion to January 8th, the second Sunday of the month, in an effort to allow more of our congregation to celebrate this rite/sacrament together. We hope you can join us. And, sign up here or in the Narthex to help serve communion.
The Board of Outreach invites you to offer food donations on the first Sunday of each month on at table in the narthex. On Sunday, January 1st, we encourage you to bring a donations of non-perishable food items for our community members in need during the winter monthsto help with this critical community need. 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. And, note their special request for meal helpers like for rice or other dry pasta, tuna helper or similar, Jiffy mix, saltine crackers, and cereals. Thank you for your donations to meet ongoing community needs.
Pizza & Play
Are you a super competitive Scrabble player? Do you enjoy the comradery built between Euchre partners and the playful banter with the opposing team? Or maybe you simply enjoy getting out of the house to gather with your church friends and family? If any of those sound anything like you, then do we have the event for you!
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, January 6th, 5:30pm-7:30pm. We’ll enjoy a time of informal, unprogrammed fun and fellowship in Fellowship Hall and on our playground (weather permitting). As the name implies, pizza and drinks will be provided, so please let Pastor Jessica know by Thursday, January 5th if you’re planning to attend so she can be sure to have enough food for all and account for any dietary needs.
Feminist Women’s Book Club
Our feminist women’s book club will meet on Sunday, January 8th at 12pm (for about an hour) in person in Roger Williams Hall and via Zoom for anyone who would prefer to join virtually. We will read and discuss The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. A couple’s lives are changed forever by the arrival of a little girl on their snowy Alaskan doorstep. Childless, they are drifting apart — he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. This little girl seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As the couple struggles to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn will transform them all. As always, new members are welcome to visit as a guest. For Zoom or more information contact facilitator Cindy Stone (stonec@Indiana.edu).
UPCOMING WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
Sunday Morning Hybrid Worship
Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am. This Christmas morning, Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai and Sara Cole will share some Christmas stories and Eric Meincke and Hansol Kim will lead us in lots and lots of song as we celebrate “A Cozy Christmas” together. Rebecca Keith will offer a warm welcome to all who gather. And, Keith Gerber, and Ted Wininger will greet those who gather in the sanctuary, while Dedric Dennist makes sure all who join via Zoom have all they need to connect from afar. Finally, Jim True and Kyle Hetrick will ensure the audio/visual pieces run as smoothly as possible. Norm and Jeanne Overly will provide a beautiful floral arrangement in celebration of their 70th wedding anniversary. All are encouraged to grab a warm beverage and a tasty treat as we gather ‘round the tree this Christmas morning.
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
First United’s Drive-Thru Nativity
This holiday season, we are once again inviting the Bloomington community (which of course includes all of you!) to drive through our church grounds and hear the biblical Christmas stories anew as we offer a drive-thru nativity experience now through January 6th. Here’s what to expect:
Choir and Bell Choir Rehearsals
All music lovers are welcome to join both the vocal and bell choirs. The vocal choir rehearses in the Choir Room on Thursdays at 7:30pm, and the bell choir meets on Thursdays at 6:15pm in Roger Williams Hall.
We will not meet for Bible study for the next two Mondays, December 26th or January 2nd. Then beginning again on Monday, January 9th, you are invited to join with 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
Join us in Roger Williams Hall or via Zoom (click here) on Tuesday mornings, 10am-11:30am, as we explore the 36-session video series “The History of Christianity II: From the Reformation to the Modern Megachurch” presented by Dr. Molly Worthen. These weekly gatherings are a great opportunity to connect with First United friends though informal conversation (first 30 minutes) followed by thought-provoking theological study and discussion. While we’d love to see you every Tuesday, perfect attendance is not required, neither is previous participation. We will not meet Tuesday, December 27th. See you there!
Children’s Learning Time
Each Sunday, kids in kindergarten and up are welcome to Children’s Learning Time (CLT) in Room 2 after Children’s Time during the morning worship service. We will take a break from CLT this Sunday, and children are encouraged to join our “Cozy Christmas” service with their families. CLT will resume on January 1st. Interested in joining our CLT assistant teacher rotation? Contact Molly Koontz.
Our youngest children are welcome to spend time from 10am-11:45am playing in the nursery or on the playground, weather permitting. While there will be no nursery care offered 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.
A Coffee Hour Every Sunday!
The Member Relations Committee (MeRC) is encouraging our congregation to offer simple fellowship after worship every Sunday. You can sign up here, and click here to view revised instructions. Fellowship is vital to a strong community and easy to support with the gift of minimal time and effort. Malissa Sparks or Mary Peckham can answer any questions you may have. And, a reminder that, while hosts are free to supplement items if they wish, all food, drink, and serving supplies are provided by the church.
People’s Cooperative Market
First United houses the People’s Cooperative Market (an intersectional anti-racism farmers market and artisan vendor space that focuses on food justice work) in our Fellowship Hall each Saturday. Their Saturday markets from now until the new year will be Winter Holiday markets with plenty of artisan goods available for gift giving along with fresh local groceries, hot tamales, pastries and other fresh baked goods, and free coffee, tea, and hot chocolate every week! The market space is a social space where community happens. All are welcome to join on Saturdays in Fellowship Hall, 10am to 2pm! And, this Saturday’s market will include an appearance of Black Genderqueer Santa!
A DISP Thank You!
Our Displaced Immigrant Support Program team offers their thanks and appreciation to the many folks who have helped our newest family to feel welcome here in Bloomington and at First United, and we thank you for the support you offer to ensure that DISP will be able to continue this important work into the future. Financial donations to DISP are always welcome and very much appreciated (give via check or online here). Please contact Hopi Stosberg (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
Consider Indoor Masking
Due to the rise in respiratory illnesses at this time, all who gather in the church building are encouraged to consider voluntarily masking and maintaining distance in an effort to keep one another safe and healthy. Vaccination continues to be strongly recommended.
Growing a Community of Love and Acceptance
As the new year quickly approaches, there is still time to share your commitment to financially support the ministry of First United throughout 2023 if you have not yet done so. You can submit a commitment card online at firstuc.online/GROW2022 or by mailing in or bringing your physical card to worship any Sunday. Please contact Lisa if you need a paper pledge card.Because of YOU, we are growing more fully and wholly into the community of love and acceptance God invites us to be!
2023 Offering Envelopes and Direct Deposit
For those who would like them, offering envelopes are available on a table outside of the Sanctuary entrance closest to the chancel; you are welcome to pick up a box! Alternatively, if you would like to give to the church through direct deposit, please contact Lisa in the office to make sure she knows you would like to give in this convenient way and has your updated information.
Nursery Worker Needed
First United is seeking an additional nursery worker to staff our church nursery on Sundays from 9:30am-12pm. If you or someone you know might be interested in applying, please send a resume or letter of interest to Molly Koontz at Molly.Koontz@yahoo.com.
- 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)
- Dedric Dennist, Web Content & Media Coordinator – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rebecca Keith, Church President – email@example.com; 812-325-0145 (Cell)