- Off-Topic Scripture Circle – Sundays @ 9am; Join Zoom Meeting here
- Sunday Morning Worship – Sundays @ 10:30am; Join Zoom Webinar here
- Morning Café and Discussion – Tuesdays @ 10am;Join Zoom Meeting here
- Intro. to Process Theology – Tuesdays (thru 03/01), 6pm; Join Zoom Meetinghere
- Scripture Reader sign up – Click here
- Donate to First United Online – Click here
- First United Vimeo Channel – Click here
Saying Goodbye to Derek
This Sunday, January 30th, will be Derek Roe’s last Sunday with the church before he moves on to his next ministry position. Since we won’t be able to say goodbye to him in worship due to the pandemic, Derek has set up in-person hours for those who would like to have a quick visit with him. He will be in the church building on Sunday, January 30th, 12pm-3pm, and again on Monday, January 31st, 11am-3pm. Stop by if you have time!
Valentine Card Initiative
You are invited to sign up to send Valentines to members and friends of First United. Please sign up here by January 30th to volunteer to send one, two, or even ten cards! Cards do not have to follow a specific design or model. After you sign up, a member of MeRC will contact you by Wednesday, February 2nd with a list of people for you to send cards to. If you need cards, envelopes, or stamps, those can be provided. If you have questions, please contact Hopi Stosberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Introduction to Process Theology
The next gathering of the group exploring “Process Theology: A Basic Introduction” by C. Robert Mesle will be held this Tuesday, February 1st, 6pm-7pm. We’ll continue our conversation on the Intro. to Part II and Chapters 5-7 (as these were very thought-provoking chapters!). All meetings are held via Zoom (click here) on Tuesdays, 6pm-7pm (thru March 1st).
Racial Justice Lunch & Learns
Our Racial Justice Book Club will meet this Thursday, February 3rd, 12pm-1pm (read Chapters 3 & 4). These lunch & learn conversations take place via Zoom (click here) on the first and third Thursdays of each month and currently focus on exploring “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together” by Heather McGhee as we participate in the Bloomington Multi-faith Alliance Faith for Racial Equity (BMA F4RE) spring 2022 book read.
NEW THIS WEEK
First United is seeking to hire someone as a part-time Director of Children’s and Youth Ministries. Please see the job description here. Share widely or apply today! Candidates should respond to Lisa Stanger (email@example.com) with a resume and email cover letter detailing relevant experience and intent to apply. Thank you for your help!
Congregational Meeting Follow Up
During last Sunday’s (January 23rd) Annual Congregational Meeting, the gathered congregation voted to pass the 2022 budget as presented (find it here). The congregation also considered and voted to approve the final version of the technology upgrades proposal. If you would like to contribute to the funding of this technology project (we are seeking to raise $25,000 in total), you may do so by mailing in or dropping off a check with “A/V project” or “Technology upgrades” in the memo line. Thank you to those who have already donated to this project and to all who participated in last Sunday’s meeting.
Tuesday Morning Café and Discussion
Join us online (click here) 10am-11:30am each Tuesday for a time of informal conversation followed by thought-provoking theological study and discussion. This Tuesday, February 1st, our Tuesday morning group will finish our exploration of the video lecture series “History of the Bible: The Making of the New Testament Canon” led by biblical scholar Bart Ehrman.
Then, on February 8th, we will begin a new 36-session video series entitled “The History of Christianity: From the Disciples to the Dawn of the Reformation.” Together we will seek to discover the phenomenal story of Christianity’s first 1,500 years, with all its remarkable diversity and complex dimensions, as professor Dr. Luke Timothy Johnson examines Christianity’s origins, rise, and civilization-shaping activities from its inception to the Reformation. Previous participation and perfect attendance not required.
Support Our Musicians
“An Evening of William Grant Still” (featuring an opera and a ballet) will be offered by the IU Jacobs School of Music at 7:30pm on February 4th, 5th, 11th, and 12th, and three First United vocalists have major roles in the opera (Wayne Allen, Maisah Outlaw, and Chase Sanders, who has subbed occasionally; Note: the opera is double cast, so they will only perform two of the four evenings). And, our Music Director, Sam Grace, has helped prepare the chorus. If you are interested in attending in person or via livestream, more information can be found here.
Feminist Women’s Book Club
First United’s Feminist Women’s Book Club will meet on Sunday, February 13th, at noon in Roger Williams Hall (COVID permitting) or via Zoom. The group will discuss “Mother Land” by Leah Franqui. Feminist women of all ages are invited to join in the conversation! For Zoom information or more information about the book club contact facilitator Cindy Stone, firstname.lastname@example.org. (Also, see below for additional group activities.)
UPCOMING WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
Sunday Morning Hybrid Worship
Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am. As this will be Derek Roe’s final Sunday service with us at First United, he will share a message from the pulpit and offer a special time for the young and young at heart. The service will also feature a number of church members offering words of appreciation for Derek’s service and a formal liturgy of release. As always, beautiful music will be led by Sam Grace and Hansol Kim, and we will enjoy a special music piece offered by our section leaders. Keith Gerber will once again present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead. Dedric Dennist will welcome all via Zoom, and Kyle Hetrick and Jim True will ensure the audio/visual pieces run as smoothly as possible. Please do join us for what promises to be a truly meaningful service. And, remember to stay on after the service for a time of connection (more on that below).
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we return to online only worship for a brief time as we seek to keep everyone safe.
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 at: firstuc.online/donate
Being Church Online
Based on the Monroe County data released and weighing the impact in our local community, we have moved all church activities to online only. For the next few Sundays, only the technology and AV team, scripture readers, providers of special music, and worship staff will be present in the sanctuary. CLT and nursery care will not be offered. We will continue to use the Zoom webinar feature and if children are present, families can choose to become “panelists” for the children’s time if they wish. After worship, everyone is invited to become a “panelist” in order to interact in the virtual “coffee hour” space. (To become a panelist, simply accept the prompt to do so on your device when Dedric sends it.) We still hope to return to in-person activities on Communion Sunday, February 6th.
Undies for MCCSC
Members and friends of First United are invited to join with those from other local churches to provide underwear and sweatpants for children and adults facing emergency situations. Donations of all sizes of underwear and sweatpants will be received in a collection box at our church February 12th-28th. Monroe County school (MCCSC) social workers will distribute the clothing to various schools as needed.
Displaced Immigrant Support Program
Thank you to all who have offered such generous support of the Afghan family we are welcoming into the Bloomington community! As our guest become acclimated to their new home, ouronline sign-up sheet is being updated looking forward to the families next steps and will be shared soon. Childcare has been found!
Your financial support is greatly appreciated and continues to be needed. A special giving section on the church donation page has been set up as one way to give; click here to access it. Individuals may also write checks to First United with “DISP” in the memo line. Please contact Dave Meyer (DISP Chair; email@example.com) for more information or to express your interest in helping.
All are invited to participate in an Indiana University-conducted survey on public perspectives about Afghan refugee resettlement in Monroe County. As you are aware, Afghan refugees are being resettled in Bloomington. By completing this survey, you can help contribute to a better understanding of the social atmosphere Afghan refugees will be living in. Access the survey here.
Upon completion of the survey, participants will receive a $5 Amazon gift card. Only adults 18+ and residents of Monroe County can participate. All participation is voluntary, and participants may withdraw their participation at any time, but this will disqualify them from receiving the gift card. All responses to the survey are confidential. The e-mails of participants will be collected only to distribute the gift card. They will be kept separate from survey results, stored in a secure location, and will be deleted at the end of the study.
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! During this time of online only, you can join the discussion via Zoom here. See you Sunday morning, 9am-10am!
Feminist Women’s Book Club
In early February, our Feminist Women’s Book Club will join other Bloomington readers in welcoming MacArthur Fellow and author Jacqueline Woodson to our town. Besides winning the MacArthur Genius Grant, Woodson has also won Newberry Awards, the Langston Hughes Medal, Coretta Scott King Award, the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature and more. She is a gay woman of color and has redefined young adult literature in her work to reflect the complexity and diversity of the world we live in while increasing our capacity for empathy. Her books show the power of human connection in tackling difficult issues such as gender, race, identity, and LGBTQ themes. To participate in any or all events, mark these dates:
- Saturday, February 5th, at 7pm, Monroe County Public Library’s Power of Words, “An Evening with Jacqueline Woodson,” a free event at the Buskirk Chumley, our book club will attend as a group.
- Saturday, February 5th, at 8:30pm, A Gala Author Reception & Book Signing at the Monroe County Public Library with Jacqueline Woodson. A champagne & nosh fundraiser event for the library. To learn more visit: https://mcpl.info/pow
Reader’s Choice Book Group
All are invited to join the Reader’s Choice Book Group on Monday, February 14th, 1:30pm when the group will read and discuss “The Overstory,” a novel by Richard Powers. It is the story of nine men and women and their relationship to trees and asks the question, “If trees could talk, what would they tell us?” The group will meetat the home of Nancy Martin (1047 Sassafras Drive; Meadowood). Come and join us.
- Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai, Senior Minister – firstname.lastname@example.org; 812-727-4414 (Friday & Saturday off; emergency calls only)
- Derek Roe, Assistant Minister for Children & Youth Faith Formation – email@example.com (active through January 31st)
- Lisa Stanger, Office Manager – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sam Grace, Music Director – email@example.com
- Dedric Dennist, Web Content & Media Coordinator – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rebecca Keith, Church President – email@example.com; 812-325-0145 (Cell)