- 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 01/28 & 02/04)
- Usher sign up – Click here (needed 01/28 & 02/04)
- Flowers sign up – Click here
- Coffee Hour Host sign up – Click here (needed 01/28 & 02/04)
- Communion Server sign up –Click here (needed 02/04)
- Donate to First United Online – Click here
- First United Vimeo Channel – Click here
Newsletter, and Announcements Deadlines
The First News deadline is Monday, January 22nd. If you would like to have an article included in the February newsletter, please have your article turned in to the church office by the end of the day.
And, 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.
Support First United’s Love Fund THIS SUNDAY
Throughout 2024, the Board of Outreach invites you to offer additional support to some of the organizations and ministries through monthly special offerings. On Sunday, January 21st, a special offering will be received to support First United’s Love Fund, which was created to help those who turn to First United with emergent needs, and Harold Fiscus will share about the powerful impact this fund has on our wider community.
NEW/UPDATED THIS WEEK
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.
Pizza and 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, 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. If you’re planning to attend, please let Pastor Jessica know by Thursday, February 1st so she can be sure to have enough food for all and account for any dietary needs.
Sunday Morning Hybrid Worship
Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am. This Sunday’s service will 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. Ben Ale-Ebrahim 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, Dave Meyer, and Linda Smith 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 Mary Peckham.
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
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 email@example.com.
Retreat toward Healing Church-Based Wounds
The Open Table Collective (OTC), a collaborative group of affirming local congregations (including First United) and IU campus ministries seeking to engage in ministry with the IU campus community, is hosting a faith-based retreat for adults of all ages as part of a journey toward healing church-based wounds. Retreat dates are Friday, February 9th, 5pm through Sunday, February 11th, 12pm, and it will be held at Waycross Camp and Conference Center in Brown County. The retreat will be led primarily by the Rev. Christine Allen Holden, a certified Spiritual Wellness Coach with a specialty in spiritual trauma, in cooperation with several OTC clergy. The retreat is offered at no cost thanks to a generous grant from the Ecumenical Campus Ministry Fund. Contact Pastor Jessica if you are interested or for more information. RSVP by February 4th (please also indicate your interest in carpooling).
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:
- 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.
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.
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 Sabine Lammers and Jennifer Fultz 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.
Our youngest children are welcome to spend time from 10am-11:45am playing in the nursery or on the playground, weather permitting. Lena Stosberg and Jessica McIntosh 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.
Youth in grades 6 and up are invited to gather with Pastor Jessica and one another in Room 6 following worship one Sunday each month to consider your questions, big and small, and explore faith matters as they are relevant to your life. Our January meeting will be on January 28th from 11:45am-12:45pm. We are using “Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity” by David L. Felten and Jeff Procter-Murphy as our guide and jumping off point for discussion. If you or your youth are interested in getting involved, please contact Pastor Jessica.
Join Our Finance Committee
If you are interested in the operations that allow us to carry out the work and ministry of First United in Bloomington and beyond, or if you like working behind the scenes, you are encouraged to consider joining our Finance Committee. You do not have to be a CPA or have an MBA! Finance Committee members participate in monthly meetings and may help with simple tasks like taking meeting minutes or assisting with counting and depositing the offering every couple of weeks. Terms are year-to-year, so this does not need to be a long-term commitment. If you have any questions or are interested in volunteering, please reach out to Kyle Hetrick, Mitchell Farmer, or Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai.
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).
- Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai, Senior Minister – firstname.lastname@example.org; 812-727-4414 (Cell) (Friday & Saturday off; emergency calls only)
- Lisa Stanger, Office Manager – email@example.com; 812-332-4439 (Office)
- Eric Meincke, Music Director – firstname.lastname@example.org; 501-837-2708 (Cell)
- Mitchell Farmer, Church President – email@example.com; 812-459-3985 (Cell)