- 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 03/05)
- Usher sign up – Click here (needed 02/19 & 03/05)
- Flowers sign up – Click here (needed 02/19 & 03/05)
- Coffee Hour Host sign up – Click here (needed 03/05)
- Communion Server sign up –Click here (needed 03/05)
- Donate to First United Online – Click here
- First United Vimeo Channel – Click here
Support Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard
Throughout 2023, the Board of Outreach invites you to offer additional support to some of the organizations and ministries through monthly special offerings. This Sunday, February 19th, a special offering will be received to support Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard. “The Hub” exists to ensure that all people have access to healthy, whole foods; Megan Betz will share about the impactful work of “The Hub” during worship that morning and join us for informal conversation and questions during coffee hour. Thank you for your generous support of this meaningful ministry!
Monthly Sermon Talk Backs
This month’s sermon talk back will take place after worship this Sunday, February 19th. You are invited to head down to Fellowship Hall to grab a drink and a snack and say “hello” to some church friends, and then gather near the fireplace to engage in informal conversation spurred by the day’s sermon. Share with fellow congregants how the sermon connected with you and your life and ask any questions of clarification or curiosity and be enriched by their sharing. Pastor Jessica will be available to address questions, elaborate further on the day’s message, and share additional thoughts she may have had while preparing her sermon. This opportunity is offered in person only.
Ash Wednesday Worship
Join your First United family as we begin the season of Lent sharing a simple meal and service on Ash Wednesday, February 22nd, at 5:30pm in Roger Williams Hall. We will begin with a meal of soup and bread, followed by a contemplative service with Taizé music, meditative prayers, and the imposition of ashes. Additionally, Pastor Jessica will be offering “Ashes to Go” at IU’s Sample Gates earlier in the day, 11am-1pm. Invite others and help spread the word via Facebook here.
Youth Group Game Night!
First United youth in junior high and high school (grades 5-12) and their friends are invited to come out for a game night with youth from First Presbyterian, Trinity Episcopal, and St. Thomas ELCA. We’ll meet at First Presbyterian (221 E 6th St, Bloomington) on Sunday, February 26th. Junior high youth will gather for food, fun, and connection from 4pm-5:30pm, and high school youth will gather 5:30pm-7pm. Please RSVP to Pastor Jessica by Thursday, February 23rd if you plan to attend and share any dietary restrictions.
NEW/UPDATED THIS WEEK
UCC and ABC Earthquake Response
The UCC is issuing an appeal to assist those affected by the devastating earthquake in Syria/Turkey this week. Read more here (updated link) and click here (updated link) to donate via Global H.O.P.E. to support this response.
The ABC-USA also grieves this tragedy and calls us to support relief efforts though giving to One Great Hour of Sharing. Read more here and click here to give (select “One Great Hour of Sharing” from the drop-down menu).
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, March 3rd, 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, so please let Pastor Jessica know by Thursday, March 2nd if you’re planning to attend so she can be sure to have enough food for all and account for any dietary needs.
Volunteer with Community Kitchen
First United has a long history of volunteering with and financially supporting Community Kitchen of Monroe County. We are going resume volunteering there on the third Thursday of the month, 3:30pm-6:30pm. Our first shift will be March 16th. This also a good way to build community within and outside of our church. To volunteer next month or subsequent months, contact Laurie Eynon (firstname.lastname@example.org or (812) 336-1219); she will sign you up or put you on the call list, whatever works for you. Thank you!
Women’s Coffeehouse @ First United
First United’s Cindy Stone and Rebecca Keith are partnering with two local women’s groups to put on a Women’s Coffeehouse as a fun way to put the welcome mat out for visitors and prospective church members – especially for our local LGBTQ+ friends. If you’d like to help with the event on the hosting side, email Cindy at email@example.com.
Planning is still in process, yet here are some basics:
- Performers? Jenn Cristy (singer, songwriter, & pianist), Kara Barnard (multi-instrumentalist, singer, & songwriter), Different Drummer Belly Dancers (folkloric, cabaret, American tribal & fusion dance styles), Gail Fairfield (spoken word author & writer), and Rebecca Keith (soloist and director of the Women’s Coffeehouse Choir); with Emcee Carolyn Vandewiele (WHFB’s Host of Womenspace)
- Audience? Everyone’s invited — every gender, every age, every sexual orientation, every race/ethnicity, every every!
- When? Saturday, February 25th, 7:30pm
- Where? Fellowship Hall at First United
- Cost? $5.00 per person at the door (more if you can, less if you can’t), with proceeds being shared only by the church and the performers
Newsletter, Announcements, and Congregant Monday Musings Deadlines
Members and friends of First United are invited to prepare a “Monday Musing” to be shared with the wider congregation via email on the third Monday of each month.
This month’s submission is from Keith Gerber. Submissions are due to Lisa Stanger the Friday before. Contact Pastor Jessica with any questions.
The First News deadline is Monday, February 20th. If you would like to have an article included in the March 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.
UPCOMING WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
Sunday Morning Hybrid Worship
Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am. The service will feature Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai in the pulpit; she will also offer a message especially for the young and young at heart. Sara Cole 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 share a special musical offering. Rebecca Keith will highlight some of the many ways we are invited to engage in the life of the church and our wider community. We are still in need of volunteers to offer a warm welcome to all those who will gather in the sanctuary sign up here, while Dedric Dennist will welcome all who join via Zoom. And, Michael Shell and Rebecca Keith will host coffee hour following worship. Finally, Kyle Hetrick and Jim True will ensure the audio/visual pieces run as smoothly as possible.
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 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. The bell choir is on hiatus and will resume their regular 6:15pm Thursday evening rehearsals in Roger Williams Hall on April 27th.
Off-Topic Scripture Circle
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 continue to 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. 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. Many thanks to Ted Wininger and Jennifer Fultz for leading CLT this Sunday. 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. Jessica McIntosh and Emily Mathes 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.
A Ministry of Presence
First United is an intergenerational community, and a number of our aging members or those with other health challenges are not able to join us in person for worship or other activities. These members have served the church well over the years, and Pastor Jessica and the Member Relations Committee (MeRC) are seeking your help in now serving them. We envision initiating a visitation ministry offering to share in communion and conversation with these long-time members who continue to be an invaluable part of our community. Interested in sharing your gift of presence in this way? Want to learn more? Contact Pastor Jessica.
A Caring Congregation
We all encounter challenging times in our lives, and your First United family wants to offer you the support you need when those times arise for you. Help us do just that by let us know if you become sick or injured, if you go to the hospital, or if you experience a loss or hardship. Your friends at First United will gladly reach out with a card, a call, or a visit, provide meals for you and your family, or offer care and support in a completely different way that you will find comforting, helpful, and supportive. Health care facilities cannot share personal information with just anyone these days (thank God!), so we will need to hear from you. Not able to make a call or send a note? Ask one of your friends or family members to contact Lisa Stanger or Pastor Jessica to keep us in your loop!
UCC General Synod Volunteer Opportunities
The 34th General Synod of the United Church of Christ will convene in Indianapolis June 30th-July 4th, 2023. Yes, you read that correctly, the Indiana-Kentucky Conference (UCC) will host this biennial meeting of the wider church! And, the IKC needs your help to extend an extraordinary welcome to our siblings in faith from across the country and around the globe as they gather together in our home conference. Learn about volunteer opportunities and share your interests by clicking here.
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.