- 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
- Usher sign up – Click here (needed 01/22, 01/29 & 02/05)
- Flowers sign up – Click here (needed 01/29 & 02/05)
- Coffee Hour Host sign up – Click here (needed 02/05)
- 5th Sunday Potluck set up or clean up – Click here (needed 01/29)
- Donate to First United Online – Click here
- First United Vimeo Channel – Click here
Support First United’s Love Fund
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, January 22nd, 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. During morning worship, Harold Fiscus will share more about this important ministry and how it has impacted the lives of many in our community.
Sermon Talk Back
After worship on Sunday, January 22nd, 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 will be offered in person only.
Youth Group Co-op: Urban Air Outing!
Youth in junior high and high school (grades 6-12) are invited to come out for a couple hours of fun and connection at Urban Air (3603 West State Road 46)! We will be there 5pm-7pm this Sunday, January 22nd. The cost for admission and socks will be covered for each youth by the church. Youth can bring money for snacks as they will be responsible for purchasing their own as they choose. Parents/guardians must fill out a waiver by clicking here or when they drop off their youth.
Share Your Time & Talent
In this new year, please consider how you can share your time and talent with First United. We appreciate everyone who completed a Time/Talent survey in November. If you have yet to complete it, paper copies of this survey will be at church Sunday, or you can complete the online form here. Contact Hopi Stosberg with questions.
NEW/UPDATED THIS WEEK
February Kindness Month – Potluck and Valentines!
Join your First United Church family for a potluck on Sunday, January 29th after worship to kick off February Kindness Month! The Member Relations Committee is planning to organize a potluck on every 5th Sunday during 2023. To help with set up or clean up, please click here.
While a main dish of burgoo and/or lentil soup will be provided, you are invited to bring a dish to share or your own personal picnic and engage in fellowship with our community through the following initiatives:
Valentine Card Making: supplies will be provided so people of all ages can make Valentines cards to give to friends and family. You can make cards for people in your life or consider signing up here to help shower the church community with Valentine cards; sign up by Wednesday, February 1st. Another card-making opportunity will be offered after worship the following Sunday, February 5th. Contact Hopi Stosberg with any questions.
Kindness Month Calendar: February is a great month to recommit to kindness to others. Pick up a Kindness Calendar to get some great ideas of small things to do each day of February that show kindness to individuals and the world. Access the full Kindness Calendar here. And, view and share via Facebook here to help spread the love even more!
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 on Friday, February 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 and drinks will be provided, so please let Pastor Jessica know by Thursday, February 2nd if you’re planning to attend so she can be sure to have enough food for all and account for any dietary needs.
An Invitation from DISP
There is happy news to report with the Afghan refugee family that the church has sponsored for the last year. Ahad has passed his final driver’s test and now has a license to drive! This means he can potentially move beyond riding an e-bike 13 miles round trip to get to and from work. We need your help for his family’s next step forward. Do you know anyone who has a good used car that they would like to gift or sell inexpensively that could work for this family? They dream of a minivan but even a five passenger car would be a giant step forward. If so, please contact Dave Meyer (email@example.com) or Hopi Stosberg (Hopi@stosberg.com). Thank you!
First Sunday Food Drive
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, February 5th, 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.
BMA Public Statement Condemning Anti-Asian Violence
Pastor Jessica was grateful to be a part of a small group from the Bloomington Multifaith Alliance to prepare a statement in response to the recent anti-Asian attack that took place here in Bloomington. May we prayerfully attend to its message and recommit to doing our part to create a safe, affirming community for all to live and thrive. The statement follows:
The Bloomington Multi-faith Alliance categorically condemns anti-Asian violence in the wake of a racially-motivated, anti-Asian attack on an Indiana University student of Asian descent who was disembarking a Bloomington city bus on January 11th. We join with and support the IU Asian Culture Center in “implor[ing] the public and the City of Bloomington to start conversations about the current racial climate in our city and state.” As people of faith, we offer our prayers and well-wishes to the victim and her family.
The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism has stated that Anti-Asian violence rose 339 percent between 2021 and 2022 and remains at unprecedented levels. In the wake of this horrific act of violence, BMA is determined to stand with Asian and Asian American residents of Bloomington to build the trust and solidarity that will make our community a truly welcoming place for all our residents to live.
As an organization dedicated to promoting the religious principles of compassion, peace, social and economic justice, and stewardship of the earth, we call on the people of Bloomington to join us in the work of realizing racial justice. Together, let us build trust and solidarity with our neighbors to create a rich and beautiful diverse community in which all people can live in peace and safety, trusting that they enjoy the love and respect of the entire community.
UPCOMING WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
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. Harold Fiscus will share about First United’s Love Fund and invite us to offer our financial support. Fiora Pizzo 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 Bell 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. Kim Yaussy Albright and Keith Gerber will offer a warm welcome to all those who gather in the sanctuary, while Dedric Dennist will welcome all who join via Zoom. Lisa Kwong will provide a beautiful floral arrangement, in celebration of Lunar New Year and new beginnings! And, Michael Shell will host coffee hour following worship. 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
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.
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 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 Sandra Meder and Ann Marie and Sharon Kersten 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. Molly Koontz 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.
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 – 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)
- Dedric Dennist, Web Content & Media Coordinator – email@example.com
- Rebecca Keith, Church President – firstname.lastname@example.org; 812-325-0145 (Cell)