• 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 02/18)
  • Usher sign up – Click here (needed 02/04, 02/11, & 02/18)
  • Flowers sign up – Click here
  • Coffee Hour Host sign up – Click here (needed 02/18)
  • Communion Server sign up –Click here
  • Donate to First United Online – Click here
  • First United Vimeo Channel – Click here


Pizza and Play TONIGHT!

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, February 2nd, 5:30pm-7:30pm. We’ll enjoy a time of informal, unprogrammed fun and fellowship in Fellowship Hall and surrounding areas. As the name implies, pizza and drinks will be provided. All are welcome to come even without an RSVP; there is always plenty of food!

Memorial Service for Marcia Stalnaker

A memorial service in honor of Marcia Stalnaker (b. March 10th, 1939, d. December 8th, 2023) will be held in the Sanctuary at 2pm this Saturday, February 3rd with a reception time with light refreshments to follow. We continue to send our love and sympathy to Aaron Stalnaker, Kirsten Sword, and their extended family.

ABC/RGR Delegates Meeting

You are invited to join our wider American Baptist family for the Delegates meeting of the American Baptist Churches/Rochester-Genesee Region on Saturday, February 3rd, at 11am at Watts Street Baptist Church, Durham, North Carolina (for in person) and via Zoom. There is important region business to cover at this delegates meeting, and our presence is important and needed! Register here to attend.

MCUM Cleaning & Hygiene Drive

The Board of Outreach invites you to bring donations of cleaning and hygiene items each time you enter the church building throughout the month of February 2024 as we seek to replenish MCUM’s near empty shelves with these much-needed supplies. Because MCUM’s inventory is so low, many area families must go without them (SNAP benefits do not cover such items). At the end of the month, all donated items will be delivered to Monroe County United Ministries (MCUM) for distribution. MCUM’s wish list of cleaning and hygiene products includes: Shampoo, Conditioner, Razors, All-purpose cleaner, Wipes, Dish soap, Diapers (sizes 5 & 6), Laundry Detergent, Shaving Cream, and Sponges (they will accept other donations such as toilet paper and paper towels as well; no toothbrushes or toothpaste please). Thank you so much for your assistance in meeting this critical need in our community.

First United’s Month of Kindness Valentine Card Making
Join First United friends and family of all ages during Coffee Hour this Sunday, February 4th for Valentine-making fun. Supplies will be provided so you can make cards for friends and family; we will also have conventional cards available. Make cards for people in your life outside First United. Contact Mary Peckham with any questions (mkpeckham59@gmail.com or 812-361-5047).

Acts of Kindness Month Calendar
Our Month of Kindness kicked off yesterday, but it’s never too late to get started! February is a great month to double down (or up) on a commitment to showing kindness to others. Pick up a pink Kindness Calendar outside of the Sanctuary (front or back) or in the church office to get some great suggestions for small things to do each day in February to show kindness to individuals and the wider world. Access the full Kindness Calendar online here. Also, you can view and share via Facebook here to help spread the love even more widely!

Feminist Women’s Book Club

Our feminist women’s book club usually meets after worship on the second Sunday of the month in Roger Williams Hall and via Zoom. We are women who have a lively discussion starting at 12noon, for about an hour. We read recent fiction “by women, for women or about women.” Members are equally split among women from our church and the community. Feminist women of all ages are invited to join us. Our February 4th book selection is “Dial A for Aunties” by Jesse Sutanto. Check out our book club’s Pinterest listing: http://pinterest.com/reginammoore/feminist-book-club/. For Zoom information or more information about the book club contact facilitator Cindy Stone, stonec@indiana.edu.

Come Out and Support Lisa Kwong

First United member Lisa Kwong will be reading her creative work at Morgenstern this Sunday, February 4th, 7:00pm-8:30pm. For full details, please visit the Writers Guild at Bloomington calendar here.


Transformative Stewardship – Cultivating Hearts, Nurturing Community

This Sunday, February 4th, we will kick off our annual stewardship campaign, Transformative Stewardship – Cultivating Hearts, Nurturing Community. Throughout the month of February, we will be talking about the act of making commitments to support our church and community, be it through the contribution of time, talents, or financial resources. The campaign will feature various speakers during Sunday morning worship, mailings (keep an eye out the second week of the month), and other initiatives designed to facilitate thoughtful reflection and foster a spirit of generosity. We’ll offer and bless our commitments for the year ahead on Commitment Sunday, February 25th.

We invite each and every one of you to actively participate in this season of generosity and throughout the year, recognizing that your pledges of time, talent, and treasure play a “key” role in sustaining and advancing the mission of First United Church. Let’s unite in making February a month of collective commitment and positive impact! (Apologies for inadvertantly leaving off the last four words of this item from the February First News “From Your President” article.) 

Emergency Winter Shelter

Representatives from First United have been participating in conversations with community partners regarding the need for additional shelter to support our unhoused neighbors in times of extreme cold. A meeting of multifaith partners is being convened at First United Methodist Church on Monday, February 5th, at 7pm, to flesh out a plan to provide night accommodation for women and folks with medical challenges in the buildings of First Christian Church and First United Methodist Church during those days in the coming months when the temperature is predicted to get below 20 or thereabout. Any who are interested in to work on the logistics and development of a covenant to guide this ministry are encouraged to attend.

Hotels for Homeless

The Board of Outreach recently learned that Hotels for Homeless (for whom we received a special offering last May) was out of funds to provide needed housing for the clients they serve; this is in large part due to offering emergency shelter for over 60 people during last month’s extreme cold. Responding to this need, the Board voted to contribute $500 of budgeted funds to support this impactful work in our community. If you would like to contribute to Hotels for Homeless, you may do so directly (click here) or through the church (simply indicate “Hotels for Homeless” on the memo line of your check or on your envelope).

Reproductive Justice Webinar

Access to, and discussion of, reproductive healthcare is not only a political concept, it is a religious one. This will be the focus of a special online event, “Changing the Conversation: The Theology of Reproductive Justice,” on Sunday, February 11th, 3pm-5pm, featuring the Rev. Rebecca Todd “Toddie” Peters; register here. Peters will explore the intersection of faith and issues of reproductive justice. A feminist and Christian social ethicist who serves as a professor of religious studies at Elon University, Peters is the author of Trust Women: A Progressive Christian Argument for Reproductive Justice. Her work focuses on globalization, economic, environmental and reproductive justice. This event is a collaboration between the National Setting of the United Church of Christ; Friends Congregational Church in College Station, Texas; the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Brazos Valley; and Texas Impact, a faith-based policy and advocacy organization that includes the UCC South Central Conference among its member institutions.

Ash Wednesday Worship

We will begin the season of Lent with an Ash Wednesday observance on February 14th at 6pm in Roger Williams Hall. We will begin with a simple meal of soup and bread, followed by a contemplative service featuring Taizé mu​sic, meditative prayers, and the imposition of ashes. We invite any cooks or bakers to share your talents with an offering of soup or bread (contact Siri Loescher at 317-664-0247) on Ash Wednesday.

Online Lenten Class on the Historical Jesus

This series of five image-based classes (support the class with a donation as little as $0) will explore the challenge of Jesus, the Mediterranean Jewish peasant, to the evolutionary future of humanity with the world as Titanic and we its iceberg. Watch the pre-recorded video lecture for the week according to your own schedule, and then join Dr. John Dominic CrossanDr. Tripp Fuller, and a special guest for the livestream question and answer session each week (recordings will be available after)! Sign up here!

  • PROLOGUE CLASS: Jesus’ Theater: Potential Anti-Semitism on Stage and Screen
    Livestream Q&A — Tuesday, Feb. 20th @ 2pm
  • WEEK #1: Jesus’ World: How is Global Peace to be Imagined?
    Livestream Q&A — Tuesday, Feb. 27th @ 2pm, with Special Guest Brian Zahnd
  • WEEK #2: Jesus’ Vision: How did Tradition Become Traction in Galilee?
    Livestream Q&A — Tuesday, Mar. 5th @ 2pm, with Special Guest Brian McLaren
  • WEEK #3: Jesus’ Execution: What Happened That Passover in Jerusalem?
    Livestream Q&A – Tuesday, Mar. 12th @ 2pm with Special Guest Dr. Jennifer Garcia Bashaw
  • WEEK #4: Jesus’ Vindication: How is that Exaltation to be Imagined?
    Livestream Q&A – Tuesday, Mar. 19th @ 2pm with Special Guest – Dr. Diana Bulter Bass


Sunday Morning Hybrid Worship

Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am. This first Sunday of the month, we will gather at God’s welcome table and 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, Sabine Lammers, and Julian Lunghi will serve those gathering in person.

This Sunday’s service will also feature Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai in the pulpit; she will also offer a message especially for the young and young at heart. Mitchell Farmer will highlight some of the many ways we are invited to engage in the life of the church and our wider community and offer a Testimony on Transformation as we kick off our annual stewardship campaign. Laurie Eynon will present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead. Eric Meincke and Hansol Kim will lead us in song, and the First United Vocal Choir will offer the gift of special music. Keith Gerber will offer a warm welcome to all those who will gather in the sanctuary and could use some additional help (sign up here). And, Kyle Hetrick and Jim True will welcome all who join via Zoom as they ensure the audio/visual pieces run as smoothly as possible. Finally, be sure to join us in Fellowship Hall after worship for a time of fellowship and refreshment hosted by Dave Meyer and Cindy Neidhart.

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

All who are interested in engaging in our Music Ministry are encouraged to join our vocal choir and bell choir! No prior musical experience is required, but a foundational ability to read music is recommended. The Bell Choir rehearses on Thursdays, 6:15pm-7:15pm in Roger Williams Hall. And, the Vocal Choir rehearses on Thursdays, 7:30pm-9pm, in the Choir Room.If you are interested in joining or have any questions, please contact Eric Meincke at ericdmeincke@gmail.com.


Keeping Up with Our Congregation

One of the gifts of being part of a community of faith is that we don’t face the ups and downs and middles of life alone. We invite you to share what is going on in your lives by contacting Lisa Stanger and/or Pastor Jessica so we can appropriately share information (with your permission) with our wider community of care that we might offer our support whatever you may be facing.

You are encouraged to offer your prayers and actions of support for:

  • Vicky Keith (Rebecca Keith’s sister-in-law)
  • Christopher Meincke (Eric’s brother)
  • Michael Shell
  • Jeanne and Norm Overly

The Joy of Hosting

Our Member Relations Committee continues 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.

People’s Market

First United houses the People’s Cooperative Market in our Fellowship Hall each Saturday, 10:00am-2:00pm. The People’s Market is an intersectional anti-racism farmers market and artisan vendor space that focuses on food justice work. They also operate their own pantry called People’s Open Pantry (POP), a zero-barrier pantry at New Leaf, on Saturdays, 11:00am-1:00pm. And, food is always made available to anyone in need during market hours as well.

All are welcome to attend the Saturday markets and/or order from their online CSA for pickup or delivery. People’s Market regularly welcomes new vendors and farmers, so be sure to check them out each week! Note: The in-person market will not be offered through February 3rd.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with People’s Market on Saturday, February 10th! Explore our Artisan Gift Market, featuring Valentine’s decorations, a special custom perfume event, hot food vendors, and more. Find the perfect gifts for your special someone! Then on Saturday, February 17th, celebrate Black Excellence at The People’s Market honoring the rich heritage and contributions of Black culture.


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

Join us in person or online Tuesdays at 10am-11:30am as we explore “The Pagan World: Ancient Religions before Christianity” presented by Dr. Hans-Friedrich Mueller. After a time of informal conversation, we’ll engage in thought-provoking theological study and discussion as we meet the fascinating, ancient polytheistic peoples of the Mediterranean and beyond, their gods and goddesses, and their public and private worship practices, and come to better understand the foundational role religion played in their daily lives. 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 Noel Koontz and Mary Peckham 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. Molly Koontz will ensure our little ones are safe and engaged in fun activities during worship this Sunday, joining with CLT to meet our Safe Conduct policy. 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.


Anonymous Online Survey

Please take a moment to complete a very important anonymous survey here.This survey serves as a follow-up to earlier invitations, inviting your involvement in the strategic planning and visioning process for our church’s building and grounds. As a congregationally-led church, your insights play a pivotal role in shaping a collective vision for our faith community. We warmly invite you to contribute to this reflective visioning survey, with the congregation’s Star Word, “Transform,” guiding your thoughts. 

2024 Offering Envelopes and Direct Deposit

We will be using leftover 2023 offering envelope boxes for 2024. If you used envelopes this year, your number box will not be the same; please look for your name. Envelope boxes are available on a table outside of the Sanctuary entrance closest to the chancel. Whether you’ve used them before or this is your first time, 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.

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).

Contact Information