THE FIERCE URGENCY OF NOW: TIME TO CHOOSE IN BLOOMINGTON. All are invited to a free event presented by members of nine local Bloomington environmental groups, including Earth Care, H-IPL’s affiliate in Bloomington, on Sunday, January 15, from 5:00-7:30 pm, at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater in downtown Bloomington.

A brief welcome will show connections between civil rights and environmental justice, and excerpts from the film, Time to Choose, will present both challenges posed by climate change and workable solutions to them.

A light meal will be served, giving an opportunity for discussion before a representative from each group will spotlight its strategy to meet the challenges. Singer songwriter Carrie Newcomer will lead the audience in song, after which people can learn more about local action.

The event is free with RSVP at? Click on the?YES! SIGN ME UP?button to save your space.?

CONGREGATIONAL MEETING AND BUDGET VOTE, JANUARY 29. There will be a congregational vote directly after the service on Sunday, January 29 to approve the church budget.? Please plan to stay in the sanctuary after church for a brief congregational meeting and vote.? If you would like to see a copy of the church budget prior to the meeting, please email Sara Ivey Lucas ( or Kyle Hetrick ( or stop by the church office during the week to pick one up from Lisa or Jack.?

KITCHEN CLEAN-UP AND CLOSET DECLUTTERING?-?Our usual kitchen work morning will be 8:30-10:30 on Saturday, February 4. ?In addition, the closets off Fellowship Hall will be re-imagined and cleaned out. ?This job may go later than 10:30. ?Efforts will be led by Building and Grounds but we could use help in both venues. ?Refreshments provided. ?Questions? ?Contact

NOAH’S ARK. An Interfaith Journey Towards Understanding. Are you looking for ways to have in-depth conversations with people of different faiths?? Bloomington now has a group called Noah’s Ark whose goal is to foster these types of dialogues.? Those interested are asked to attend an informational meeting on either January 22 (1-4 pm), or January 28 (1-4 pm) at St. Mark’s UMC.? Meetings for conversation will begin on later dates.? For more information, please contact Jordan Shifriss at RSVP for one of the informational meetings at

USHERS NEEDED FOR FEBRUARY. We need volunteers to serve as ushers for Church service during the month of February. This is an excellent way to meet others at Church. We especially invite new persons attending Church to serve. You can sign up for just one Sunday or for several Sundays. To sign up use the usher sign-up sheet next to the kitchen door. Or see Don Shelton who will be serving as usher captain for the month of February.?

FLOWERS FOR 2017. Sign-up sheets for flowers for 2017 are available in the notebook by the door to the kitchen.? If there’s a particular Sunday you would like to provide flowers for worship, sign up and secure it now.? Special arrangement, or allergy or such, just let Pat Martin know you aren’t in the fellowship area of church and wish to provide flowers, just let Pat or the church office know. Thank you for contributing to worship in this way.

COFFEE HOUR HOSTS NEEDED. One of the ways we build our community of faith is through our coffer hour or fellowship time immediately following Sunday services.? Hosts help with this important aspect of our community life by showing hospitality to members, friends, and guests of First United Church. ??Coffee hour hosts typically leave Sunday services at the end of the sermon to brew the coffee and put out the snacks.??The Church provides all supplies for coffee hour.? If you sign up for coffee hour, a friendly member of the Board of Christian Worship will explain where to find the supplies.

SCRIPTURE READERS NEEDED. If you?d like to read scripture during our Sunday morning worship, please sign up on the sign-up sheet on the table by the kitchen. We love having people of all ages be a part of worship in this special way. Our Office Manager will e-mail you the NRSV version of the scriptures the Friday before you read. This is a great way to participate in the Sunday service.?

OFFERING ENVELOPE UPDATE. You may now pick up your offering envelopes outside of the sanctuary, on a small table. Please look for your name. If you do not have offering envelopes please choose a box without a name and write your name on the paper list beside the envelope boxes. Thank you for using the envelopes, it helps with our accounting.?

FRIDAYS AT FIRST UNITED: There are now two Friday evening opportunities for you to explore. Please consider inviting friends or coworkers to one or both of these offerings.

Play Friday (formerly known as Family Friday): The name may have changed, but the emphasis remains the same! Join us on the 2nd Friday of each month from 6-8 for a time of fellowship-eating pizza, playing games, making art, and having casual conversations. All ages welcome, arts and crafts will be planned to be enjoyable and accessible to all ages. Join us in January on Friday the 13th for a Get Your Wiggles Out Dance Party! It helps with food planning if you can RSVP to Hopi Stosberg at Hope to see you there!

Just Friday: Just Friday is a new offering by the Board of Christian Education. Just bring yourselves to Just Friday, an evening set aside to explore justice (hence the “Just”) related topics. It will take place on 4th Fridays from 7-9 p.m. The format will include watching a short film or movie clip and then having a group discussion. Starting January 27 we will start a 4 session series discussing how we self-identify and label ourselves and other people, the phenomenon of “us” vs. “them”, how we relate to and converse with “them”, how our own biases (including subconscious bias) impact our relationships and how we can move beyond those generalizations and bias to form real relationships between groups. Desserts and drinks will be available. No childcare will be provided for these evenings. If you have any questions, please contact Hopi Stosberg, Allison McClanahan, or Derek Roe.?

MINISTER OF CARE FOR THE WEEK OF JANUARY 15, IS SARAH BURTON.? A minister of care is a church volunteer who visits members in their home.