- – 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 01/01, 01/08, & 01/15)
- – Flowers Click here (needed 01/01 & 01/15)
- – Coffee Click here (needed 01/15)
- – Donate to First United Online Click here
- – First United Vimeo Channel Click here
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 next 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.
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:
Church Office Closed
The church office is closed 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
Star Gifts for Epiphany
The season of Epiphany can easily go by unnoticed and unheralded. This year, you are once again encouraged to experience this season between Christmas and Lent in a meaningful way as you receive a “star gift.” A star gift is simply a star-shaped piece of brightly colored paper with a word printed on it. Every person who gathers for worship in person on Epiphany Sunday, January 1st, will receive such a star gift. Those who join via Zoom or who are not able to attend worship that day are encouraged to contact Rev. Petersen-Mutai (email@example.com or 812-727-4414) to receive your star gift (we’ll surely have some left after Sunday) or your word (which will be randomly selected from a list of 150 possible words) and make your own star gift. Once you have received your word, you are invited to reflect on that word for the duration of Epiphany and, if you are up to it, throughout the entire year. You are invited to ponder what significance your word might have in your life and how God might be speaking to you through that simple message. Note: it helps to place your star gift in a location that you come across regularly (ex. the bathroom mirror, refrigerator door, etc.).
UPCOMING WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
Sunday Morning Hybrid Worship
Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am. Ring in the new year with your church family as we observe Epiphany and Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai preaches on the story of the Magi’s visit in Matthew 2, presented by Mary Peckham (also serving as our congregational lead). Star gifts will be offered to all those who gather in person, and the gift of special music will be shared by Sandra Meder (on the recorder). Eric Meincke and Hansol Kim will lead us in music once again. Rebecca Keith will highlight some of the ways you can be actively engaged in the life of First United. While Dedric Dennist will welcome those who join via Zoom, we are still in need of ushers to warmly welcome those who gather in person (sign up here). Finally, Jim True and Kyle Hetrick 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
January Communion: Moved!
At First United, we normally 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.
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.
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).
Off-Topic Scripture Circle
We will not meet for Bible study this Monday, 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. 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 Rebecca Keith 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 Lena Stosberg 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 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.
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
Even though the new year is upon us, 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)