Based on the latest Monroe County data and weighing the impact in our local community, all church activities, including worship, will be offered online only. We hope to return to in-person activities on Sunday, February 6

QUICK LINKS

  • Off-Topic Scripture Circle – Sundays @ 9am; Join Zoom Meeting here
  • Sunday Morning Worship – Sundays @ 10:30am; Join Zoom Meeting here
  • Morning Café and Discussion – Tuesdays @ 10am;Join Zoom Meeting here
  • Future of Sanctuary Technology questionnaire https://firstuc.online/sanctuary-tech

DON’T FORGET

Newsletter and Announcements Deadlines

The First News deadline is Monday, July 19th. If there is information you would like to share in our monthly newsletter, please turn in your article to Lisa in the church office by the end of the day.

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.

NEW THIS WEEK

A Death in Our Church Family

Marni Hoskinson, beloved sister of Sara Frommer, died on Tuesday, July 13th. The family plans to hold a celebration of life for her at the church and via Zoom; information will be forthcoming. We send our love and sympathy to Sara and all of Marni’s family and friends.

Imagine, Biennial Mission Summit

Though the live segments of Imagine, the 2021 online Biennial Mission Summit of the ABC-USA, took place last month, you can still participate by registering for post-event access. Check out this unique online experience here.

Spencer Pride Wall Rehab Fundraiser

From July 19th – August 13th,Spencer Pride is raising rehab funds for the commUnity center rear wall – with a big boost from a Gannett Foundation-sponsored grant and fundraising contest. They are seeking your help to make our goal!

A Community Thrives is a fundraising contest with grants and matching funds. When Spencer Pride raises their first $3,000, they will receive $2,500 from Gannett Foundation. In addition, they may qualify for grants up to $100,000. They are also competing for a bonus grant of $4,000 for the most unique donors (with different emails) between August 2nd and August 9th. You are invited to help them win that grant.

DONATE:

  1. https://acommunitythrives.mightycause.com/organization/Spencer-Pride, click on DONATE, and make a generous gift to rehab the commUnity center’s back wall. This is a “must do” project to expand their program space on the second floor. The wall is badly damaged, so this is a BIG repair job.
  • VERY IMPORTANT! Mark your calendar to donate $5 or more between August 2nd at noon and August 9th to help win the contest for most unique donors with a bonus grant of $4,000. Members of your household can boost their total if each donates at least $5 with a different email address.

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, a message from Derek Roe, M.Div., for the young and young at heart, moving music from Hansol Kim and Sam Grace, and a special musical offering from Tislam Swift; Emily Caldwell will present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead. Siri Loescher and Don and Florence Shelton will offer a warm welcome and bulletin for those who gather in the sanctuary, and Mary Peckham will greet those joining us via Zoom. The beautiful flower arrangement is provided by Mary Peckham and Christopher Raphael in gratitude for 30 years of marriage. And, our amazing AV Team (Kyle Hetrick, Jim True, and Mitchell Farmer) will ensure that all of the tech pieces run as smoothly as possible!

Thank you for continuing to mask and distance as we find our way through this transitional period and keep the most vulnerable among us safe! The full Reopening Policy can be accessed here. Any questions or concerns regarding the policy should be addressed to the Church Council.

Join Zoom Meeting by clicking here

Dial-in number: (253) 215-8782; Meeting ID: 946 3570 8633; Passcode: 879535

The service will be posted late Sunday afternoon on First United’s Vimeo channel (where you can access all of our previous worship services).

Donate online at: firstuc.online/donate; offering plates available at each entrance into the Sanctuary

Scripture Readers Needed!

A sign-up sheet is now available in the Narthex for those interested and willing to present the Sunday morning scripture during worship and serve as the “voice of the congregation.” What does being the “voice of the congregation” (listed in the bulletin as Congregational Lead) entail? The Congregational Lead speaks the “All” parts of the liturgy into a microphone throughout the service so folks participating via Zoom can hear those parts of the service. Please contact Rev. Petersen-Mutai with any questions or concerns.

Sunday Flowers

The sign-up book for 2021 flower donations is available in the lobby of Fellowship Hall. It is still quite empty, so please sign up for your choice of dates, or just choose any Sunday to provide flowers for the sanctuary or contact Siri Loescher with your preferred date(s) (sannloescher@gmail.com). Your donations are appreciated, and the flowers are yours to take home following worship. Thank you.

COMMUNITY CARE

LGBTQ+ and Faith Study

Members of the First United family have been invited to participate in a research study on religious experiences, LGBTQ+ identity, allyship, activism, and health led by Assistant Professors of Psychology at Marist College Thomas Killian, Emma Fredrick, and Kimery Levering. They are looking for people who currently practice or have previously practiced a religion AND identify as LGBTQ+ or as an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. They define LGBTQ+ ally as any person (including those who are members of the LGBTQ+ community) who actively supports or advocates for those who are LGBTQ+. The study is completely online and anonymous and should take 20-30 minutes to complete. Participants will be asked to respond to a number of questions related to current and previous religious beliefs and experiences, allyship and activism, identity, and mental and physical health. 

If you wish to participate, please click here. If you have any questions or concerns, you many contact Thomas Killian, PhD (thomas.killian@marist.edu), Emma Fredrick (emma.fredrick@marist.edu), or Kimery Levering (kimery.levering@marist.edu).

Ecclesiastical Council

The Southeast Association of the Indiana-Kentucky Conference UCC has issued a call for its Local Churches and its Ministers to meet as an Ecclesiastical Council for the Authorization of Ordination for Mr. Dakota Roberts, Sunday, August 8th, 2021, 3:00pm. The Council will be held at Friedens United Church of Christ (8300 South Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46217; 317-881-6779). A copy of Dakota Roberts’ Ecclesiastical paper has been sent by email to our congregation and is available upon request (contact Lisa or Pastor Jessica).

Ministers of Care

The Ministers of Care group is seeking people who would like to visit one or two older church members about once a month in their homes (or to connect over the phone as concerns regarding COVID-19 persist). These visits could last about 20-30 minutes and would be scheduled at your convenience. If you would like to learn more about this meaningful ministry, please contact Sarah Burton (812-361-6201 or burtonsp@indiana.edu).

EDUCATIONAL OFFERINGS 

Summer Series Event – MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

The Board of Christian Education invites you to mark your calendars and plan to join us for an in-person time of fellowship and education as we continue this year’s Sunday Summer Series on July 25th and August 29th, 4pm-6pm (the first session was offered last Sunday, June 27th). For the July 25th gathering, we will gather in Fellowship Hall to enjoy a brief intergenerational activity, followed by two educational sessions for adults (ABC 101 and Ways to Pray). Kids programming will be provided in the playground area for children ages 3+. Youth are invited to attend the adult-oriented sessions and/or help with kids programming. Attendees are welcome to bring water and snacks, but no food will be provided. Please wear a mask. In the case of inclement weather, all programming will be held indoors. If you have questions about the event or need nursery care for a child younger than 3, please email Molly Koontz at molly.koontz@yahoo.com. We hope to see you on the 25th!

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! Those who are interested and able to gather in person are invited to gather in Room 6, and those who would like to join us online via Zoom can do so here. See you Sunday morning, 9am-10am!

Tuesday Café and Discussion

Join us in person or online at 10am-11:30am each Tuesday for a time of informal conversation followed by thought-provoking theological study and discussion. The group is currently viewing and discussing a series entitled The Apocryphal Jesus, a 24-session video lecture series offered by David Brakke, Ph.D., M.Div. Through this series, participants will gain a new perspective on early Christian life and history through non-canonical Christian literature. Previous participation not required. For those interested and able to gather in person, we’ll be in Fellowship Hall; those wanting to join online via Zoom can do so here.

Families with Kids Are Invited to Children’s Time!

Families with kids are welcome to attend in-person worship in the sanctuary on Sunday mornings! During worship services our youngest ministers will be invited to come to the front of the sanctuary and sit on the steps like usual for a special message just for them in the Children’s Time! Masks and distancing are required. We are not currently offering Nursery care or the Children’s Learning Time class in Room 2 on Sunday mornings, so kids will stay in the sanctuary during the service. Please contact Derek Roe at faithformation@firstuc.org with questions.

Youth Group

Anyone in grades 6-12 (or their parents!) who are interested in being part of any of the church’s summer activities like Summer Series, in-person Youth Group meetings, and potentially Bloomington PRIDE, can contact Derek Roe at faithformation@firstuc.org for more information.

CONGREGATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS

Help Shape the Future of Technology in the Sanctuary

If you have returned to in-person worship already, you know there are TVs, wires, and tripods scattered throughout the sanctuary. The technology set up that got us through virtual services and allowed us to get started with virtual services needs to evolve. Church Council wants to hear from YOU about the future of technology in the sanctuary! 

Mitchell Farmer will lead a short, informal listening session immediately after worship on Sunday, July 25th in the sanctuary. In-person and virtual participants are welcome to attend. Everyone is invited to share thoughts anonymously via: https://firstuc.online/sanctuary-tech.

Indoor Gatherings

With the pandemic loosening its grip as our community continues to get vaccinated, our building is open once again for in-person gatherings! Masks are required in the building for all age 2 and above if you are unvaccinated or if children (under age 18) are present, and social distancing of at least 6 feet should be maintained at all times between individuals, households, or “pods.” If you would like to hold a meeting in the church building, please contact Lisa to reserve a room.

The Updated Reopening Policy can be accessed here. Any questions or concerns regarding the Reopening Policy should be addressed to the Church Council.

Lawnmowers Wanted!

The Board of Building and Grounds is still welcoming volunteers who are interested in helping keep our grass looking inviting as we expand in-person church activities. All necessary equipment is provided. Please contact Ted Wininger (twininger68@gmail.com) if you are interested in joining our rotation of mowers.

Contact Information

Sam Grace, Music Director – samuel.c.grace@gmail.com