Sunday Morning Worship

Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am (10am Log in). This Sunday’s service will feature Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai in the pulpit, a message from Derek Roe for the young and young at heart, and a special music offering from Section Leader Tislam Swift, Dr. Raymond Wise, and Alonza Lawrence. Throughout the season of Lent, we will remind ourselves of and recommit to the covenant we make with God and each other as members and friends of First United Church. This Sunday’s focus: We affirm the ministry gifts of every individual. After worship, stay on the call to hear an update on this week’s Lent Madness action and learn about a “saint” or two during the first few minutes of coffee time.

Join Zoom Meeting by clicking here

Dial-in number: (253) 215-8782; Meeting ID: 946 3570 8633; Passcode: 879535

The service will be posted late Sunday afternoon on First United’s Vimeo channel (where you can access all of our previous worship services).

Donate online at: https://tinyurl.com/FirstUCDonate

Lenten Flower “Garden”

The Board of Worship invites individuals and families to join us in creating a paper flower “garden” for the sanctuary throughout Lent. There are no parameters per type of construction of the flowers – like us – all are welcome. Flowers can be placed/collected in a plastic bin located outside of the Narthex entrance on the North side or dropped off in the church office. Each week before Sunday service, we will create collages to display the new flowers – so the garden may grow across the season. Search the internet for do-it-yourself basic paper flowers or DIY paper flowers for kids. If/when you make one, share with us at a coffee hour! For more ideas (internet links) contact Siri Loescher at sannloescher@gmail.com.

Holden Evening Prayer Services

Throughout the season of Lent, you are invited to gather together via Zoom each Thursday evening (thru March 25th), 7pm-7:30pm, for a predominantly-sung service using Marty Haugen’s Holden Evening Prayer. The service uses contemporary and inclusive language and offers space for quiet meditation, spoken prayer, and the presentation of scripture. These services will run live with pre-recorded music from some of our tremendous church musicians and live scripture readings and prayers. Participants are encouraged to stay for about 15 minutes afterwards for fellowship. Can’t attend in person? Each service will be posted on Vimeo.

Join Zoom Meeting by clicking here

Dial-in number: (253) 215-8782; Meeting ID: 884 3149 1851; Passcode: 129896

Centering Prayer on Sundays and throughout the Week

During each Sunday morning service in Lent, Rev. Petersen-Mutai will invite the gathered congregation (via Zoom) to engage in a brief time of Centering Prayer. Centering Prayer is simply a wordless, trusting opening of one’s self to the divine presence. This portion of the Sunday service will be accessible during the week on Vimeo, and you are invited to take a few moments each day during Lent for Centering Prayer.


Lent Madness Chats!

The Board of Christian Education is happy to present Lent Madness for the second year running. If you would like to chat about your selections, learn more about selected “saints,” or compare brackets, you are invited to log in for chats on the Tuesday nights of Lent 6:30pm-7pm. We hope to see you there! And, remember to visit www.lentmadness.org to learn about the two “saints” going head-to-head each day and vote for your favorite.

Join Zoom Meeting by clicking here

Dial-in number: (253) 215-8782; Meeting ID: 880 8593 6668; Passcode: 054344

Racial Justice Book Club

The Racial Justice Book Club will meet on Saturday, February 27th, 2pm-3:30pm, over Zoom to discuss the book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson. The study of this book will take place over two meetings (February and March); for the February meeting, participants are invited to read and come prepared to discuss the first half of the book reading through “Part Three: The Eight Pillars of Caste.” An online discussion board for the group has been established, so even if you are unable to attend the in-person meetings, you are invited to read the book and participate in the conversation. If you are interested in joining the group, please contact Laurie Eynon at leynon73@icloud.com.

Join Zoom Meeting by clicking here

Dial-in number: (253) 215-8782; Meeting ID: 856 7577 1854; Passcode: 443226

First United’s Feminist Book Club

First United’s Feminist Book Club continues to meet via Zoom for a lively discussion the second Sunday of each month 12pm-1pm, following morning worship. Feminist women of all ages are invited to join the conversation. The book selection for the Sunday, March 14th discussion is All Adults Here by Emma Straub. For Zoom information or more information about the book club, contact facilitator Cindy Stone, stonec@indiana.edu.

Off-Topic Scripture Circle

Want to read and discuss the week’s scripture readings with friends before church in a casual setting where you will never be asked to leave your brain or your heart at the door? We have the place for you! Click below to join us, Sunday mornings 9am-10am.

Join Zoom Meeting by clicking here

Dial-in number: (253) 215-8782; Meeting ID: 896 7762 0237; Passcode: 043604

Tuesday Virtual Café and Adult Discussion

Pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea and join us at 10am-11:30am each Tuesday for a time of informal conversation followed by thought-provoking theological study and discussion. The group is currently exploring the video series Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad presented by Prof. Mark Muesse. This week will conclude the section on Jesus, as Prof. Muesse will begin his discussion of Muhammad the following Tuesday.

Join Zoom Meeting by clicking here

Dial-in number: (253) 215-8782; Meeting ID: 895 0519 1798; Passcode: 624328

Children’s Learning Time Emails; New and Improved!

CLT families, please keep an eye out for the new format of CLT emails that Derek is sending out. The weekly emails now include short, recorded CLT lessons that you can watch with your kids, in addition to the usual craft and activity resources. Please contact Derek with feedback or questions! 

Youth Group
Are you (or your child) between ages 12 and 18? The youth group is a great way to make friends at church, to have some fun, and to engage some of life’s big questions. We’re currently meeting virtually on Zoom. This year we are adding guest speakers and art projects to our list of activities! For the meeting link or for more information, please contact Derek at youthgroup@firstuc.org.

Creation Care Movie Screenings and Discussions – MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

The Board of Christian Education invites you to join our Baptist siblings as the ABC/RGR Creation Collaborative and RAICA (Rochester Area Interfaith Climate Action) present two movie screenings with accompanying panel discussions during March.

Thursday, March 11th, 5:45pm-8:20pm – KISS THE GROUND

Narrated by and featuring Woody Harrelson, Kiss the Ground is an inspiring and groundbreaking film that reveals the first viable solution to our climate crisis. By regenerating the world’s soils, we can completely and rapidly stabilize Earth’s climate, restore lost ecosystems, and meet food demand. A panel discussion with Elizabeth Henderson (organic farmer) and Glenn Gall (teacher of permaculture, agroforestry, planned grazing, and biological farming) will follow the film. You may also watch the movie ahead of time on Vimeo or Netflix and join the discussion at 7:30pm. This free screening is sponsored by grant funds and available to registered participants. Register here.

Thursday, March 25th, 6pm-8:30pm – GATHER

Gather is an intimate portrait of the growing movement amongst Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual, political, and cultural identities through food sovereignty, while battling the trauma of centuries of genocide. After the film, discussion will be led by Glenn Gall, a teacher of permaculture, agroforestry, planned grazing, and biological farming. Get tickets (free) by clicking here.


Racial Justice Working Group

The Racial Justice Working Group will meet via Zoom this Sunday, February 21st, 2pm-3pm. The group focuses on how we, as individuals and a faith community, can respond meaningfully to systemic racism. All are welcome, and we especially encourage the participation of people of color, whether as a member of this group or as someone willing to offer suggestions for improvement. The group is currently working on a land acknowledgement and racial justice commitment statement to include on the church website and reviewing resources to engage in an anti-racism audit of our church. Contact Rev. Petersen-Mutai if you are interested in joining this initiative, or if you have any questions or concerns.

Join Zoom Meeting by clicking here

Dial-in number: (253) 215-8782; Meeting ID: 865 2428 0983, Passcode: 040115 (Note: the Meeting ID and Passcode included in “First News” was incorrect. Sorry for any confusion.)


Baby on the Way

Our own Sam Grace and his lovely spouse Megan are expecting their first child! Join with your church community in celebrating with them as they anticipate the arrival of this little one. Spread the word to other members of the First United Community! The more, the merrier.

What: Virtual Shower via Zoom; click here

When: Sunday, March 7th, 3pm-4 pm (RSVP Rebecca Keith by March 4th: rekeith@iu.edu)

Plan on: Silly Games & General Goofiness, Musical Interludes, A Virtual/Pandemic Style with no punch, cookies, or hugging

Want to contribute to a joint gift? Venmo Rebecca at @Rebecca-Keith-12.

Want to pick something at a registry? Go to their Baby List or Target List.

First United’s Special COVID-19 Fund Applications

If you have a relationship with First United Church, you may apply for assistance for economic hardship caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Contact Sharon McCann at 1041sharon@gmail.com for an application form and instructions to apply for Covid-19-related assistance.


New Church Locks

New locks have been installed on all outside doors of the church building. A limited number of keys are available for staff and members of the church who have need for regular access to the building. Those who have old church building keys (outside doors only) may dispose of them in whatever way they deem appropriate.

Deadlines for Announcements and Newsletter

If you would like an announcement included in this weekly church email, please have your item to Lisa Stanger (info@firstuc.org) by noon on the Wednesday prior to its release.

If you would like to contribute an article to the March edition of “First News,” please send your information to Lisa by 9am on Monday, February 22nd.

Rev. Petersen-Mutai’s Contact Info and Hours

You are encouraged to reach out to Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai should you be in need of pastoral care or simply want to say “hello.” You may contact her by email at revpetersenmutai@firstuc.org or by phone/text at 812-727-4414. Her weekly days off are Friday and Saturday; however, you are welcome to reach out to her on those days in case of emergency.