Candlelight & Carols Service: Sunday, December 5, 2021 at 6:30 PM | Christmas Eve Service: Friday, December 24, 2021 at 6:30 PM

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR PASTOR JOHN KRUEGER  john_krueger425@comcast.net  h: 317-467-1529/ c: 317-498-0710

A NOTE ON CURRENT OPERATIONS FOR OUR FIRST UNITED COMMUNITY For the safety of all, and on the recommendation of our Covid-19 Task Force, First United Church activities will remain out of our building at least through the month of August.

CONGREGATIONAL MEETING AND VOTE on cost increase for Sanctuary Safety Renovations We will hold an informational session after Zoom Worship on July 26th and a brief vote on August 2nd to approve additional expenses for scope changes in loft flooring.

POSTING WORSHIP ON FACEBOOK Due to privacy and other concerns, we will no longer livestream or post worship on Facebook. The relevant scripture reading, pastoral prayer, and sermon will be posted on a new more secure account not supported by advertising. 

First News Reminder—All are welcome to submit an article. Articles are due at info@firstuc.org  by July 24, and publication depends on available space each month.

Labyrinth Stone Removal—Thanks to everyone who has helped so far. If you want stones, or want to assist in stone removal, come to the labyrinth anytime and move stones outside the circle. Someone will collect these stones later. Building and Grounds.

PARTICIPATE IN WORSHIP!! Liturgy and Scripture Readers Needed Families, couples, and singles are all welcome, even if you have done it before!  Please contact John, Shelli, Derek, or Sam and Derek will try to schedule you. Thanks so much!

July Virtual Choir Hymns! Are you interested in adding your voice to our virtual hymns in July? All you need is a smartphone or electronic recording device, a pair of headphones, and your voice! Please contact Sam Grace if you are interested at samuelcgrace@gmail.com. The virtual hymns with the choir in July are:

July 19 – How Firm a Foundation

July 26 – For the Beauty of the Earth

As we continue our period of virtual worship, we are looking for more volunteers to help bring artistic gifts toward our time of centering. Contact samuelcgrace@gmail.com. Thank you!

Photography Needed Sam Grace and Elizabeth Busey are creating another visual hymn for Sunday, July 26th. We will be using the hymn “For the Beauty of the Earth” with First United’s Virtual choir providing the music. Members and friends are invited to send digital images to be included in the video. The lyrics to the hymn are noted below. Your name will be included in the corner of your image(s).

Send digital images to Elizabeth Busey (ebusey@yahoo.com)

Format: The images can be of medium resolution format since they are not being printed.  Deadline: Wednesday, July 22nd

Questions: email Elizabeth or call/text 812-345-3840

Please note: the hymn refers to people as well as nature, so imagery of people is needed and welcomed. Please make sure that all persons depicted in the images are fully clothed. This includes babies and children.

For the beauty of the earth For the splendor of the skies

For the love which from our birth Over and around us lies

God of all to you we raise This our hymn of grateful praise

For the wonder of each hour Of the day and of the night

Hill and vale and tree and flower Sun and moon and stars of light

God of all to you we raise This our hymn of grateful praise

For the joy of human love Brother, sister, parent, child

Friends on earth and friends above For all gentle thoughts and mild

God of all to you we raise This our hymn of grateful praise

For the good that love inspires For a world where none exclude

For a faith that never tires And for every heart renewed

God of all to you we raise This our hymn of grateful praise

Monroe County CASA Now Accepting Applications for August Virtual Training July 10, 2020 – Bloomington, IN: Monroe County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is now accepting applications for the upcoming August training session.  The next training will be held virtually on Zoom August 3-26 on MWTh evenings from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. CASA has added this second summer training session due to an increased need for volunteers. As of June 23rd, over 40 children are on the CASA wait list. Abused and neglected children in our community need a stable, caring adult on their side that they can trust. Please consider getting involved or share this information with others to help spread the word.

CASA is a volunteer-powered program that provides representation in juvenile court for child victims of abuse and neglect, as well as support to these children to ensure that they remain at the forefront of the court proceedings and find a safe, permanent home as quickly as possible.  To learn how you can change a child’s story, please visit www.monroecountycasa.org/volunteer or call 812-333-CASA. 

CONFRONTING RACISM—Experts Discuss Race in America Confronting Racism is a series of conversations with faculty experts from IU and other universities designed to examine systemic racism in its varied forms and to explore the modes and methods of protest used to confront this central issue in American life.

Brought to you by IU’s Center for Research on Race, Ethnicity and Society, College Arts and Humanities Institute, and Arts and Humanities Council, the series will address current events as well as our country’s longer and much more expansive struggle against injustice. Streaming live, Tuesdays at 8:00pm, for the next six weeks, on the IU Arts and Humanities Council’s Facebook page.

Racial Justice Book Club It’s official!  Please let Don Wooldridge know if you are interested in participating (dontylw@gmail.com).  We are in the process of determining when we will meet and which book we will read first.  More info to come!

First United Parent Group Are you a parent in need of a social outlet and/or some support from other parents during this extended stay at home time? Gather together via Zoom (link below) on the following Sunday afternoons at 2:00 p.m. for discussion of how our parenting lives have been impacted by this pandemic and other conversations of interest to the group present. Questions? Contact Hopi Stosberg (hopi@stosberg.com).

Please join us for 1 or more:

THIS Sunday, July 19: School in the Fall (Come prepared to discuss what decisions your family is making regarding school in the fall and what questions, concerns, or challenges that will pose for your family.)

Sunday, July 26: Grandparents Day (Come prepared to discuss how this pandemic has impacted the relationships between grandparents and their grandchildren.)

Topic: First United Parent Group Time: Next two Sundays at 2 PM July 19 and 26

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86421915551?pwd=RS9MZkpjRmV5c09ya3UzRWkyajFWZz09

Meeting ID: 864 2191 5551

Password: 931742

Ongoing Virtual Church Events

We depend on your sustained giving in this difficult time. If you can, please maintain, or consider increasing your regular giving, to support our work. Options for giving include:

  • mail (checks strongly preferred)
  • online giving at  https://tinyurl.com/GiveFirstUnited
  • by phone at 1-800-675-7430 [account ID is ES799783 (First United Church, Inc.)].
  • by text: 812-432-2002

VIRTUAL COMMUNITY AND WORSHIP SERVICES Our work as a caring community continues on Zoom through Sunday worship and lectionary study, and Tuesday’s Virtual Café and Adult Study class. Please visit https://firstuc.org/online/

Join Us for Worship this Sunday!!   

Worship begins at 10:30am. You may begin logging into Zoom at 10am.

Zoom Meeting Link:

https://zoom.us/j/94635708633?pwd=NE9CdGtTWk5ndGRzRnQ2TTVrQmlZZz09

Meeting ID: 946 3570 8633

Password: 879535

OFF TOPIC SCRIPTURE CIRCLE (formerly known as Lectionary Discussion)

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?  Do we have the place for you!  Click below to join us, Sunday mornings from 9-10am.  

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84002403978?pwd=N0sxS093T1JobkVxTVVGRlFBdVUwUT09

Meeting ID: 840 0240 3978
Password: 122688

VIRTUAL CAFÉ and TUESDAY ADULT DISCUSSION Tuesdays at 10:00am

Join Shelli Yoder Tuesday mornings from 10-10:30am to meet up virtually for a cup of coffee (BYO), a check-in, and a brief meditation/reflection and prayer. Join us if you can!

“We will be discussing   Would You Ever Give Up Your Whiteness by Zaron Burnett III

https://humanparts.medium.com/would-you-ever-give-up-your-whiteness-8d48cd56584f

Please read this article before our coffee chat. We will use it to jump start our conversation.”

Immediately following the Virtual Cafe, please stick around for the regular Tuesday Adult Discussion group, led by Derek Roe.  We are currently watching Dr. Bart Ehrman’s Great Courses series on the New Testament. Discussions range over many topics, and it’s a great way to keep in touch with church friends during social distancing.  We’ll start at roughly 10:30 and end at noon.

  1. From your laptop or desktop computer  https://zoom.us/j/309686166?pwd=OVZ2VXFUSDV6R2IwM0xTMTd4TEVCdz09, OR
  2. From your landline telephone or cell phone: (253) 215 8782 then enter the meeting ID:  309 686 166# Password: 399499
  3. Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/aCaOLQbW3

FIRST UNITED’S SPECIAL COVID-19 FUND

Your generous support of Council and Outreach’s request for donations to our special fund supplementing the Love Fund to assist members and friends needing help in this time of layoffs and closings was overwhelming. If you or someone you know in our church community needs help, contact church leadership for more information. 

PREVENT THE SPREAD

All church activities will be out of the building at least through August. Our COVID-19 Task Force is advising Council as we move ahead into a challenging new period of finding best practices for opening our congregation. Remember that much of our success depends on us–we can and must make responsible choices to protect ourselves, our families and our community: maintaining 6 feet of social distance; washing hands often; wearing a face mask in public; staying home when sick; getting tested immediately if symptoms appear. 

Need a fabric face mask? Let Rebecca Nunley know: reblea99@gmail.com

MEANWHILE GRASS AND WEEDS CONTINUE TO GROW whether church is open or not. If you have time and energy to work at socially distanced mowing, weeding, or general upkeep on our grounds, Laura Kao is graciously available to provide guidance. Laura has also posted a to-do list of discrete tasks on the shed door for all comers. Contact laura_b_kao@hotmail.com or 812-361-6074