- 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 07/30, & 08/06)
- Flowers sign up – Click here (needed 07/30 & 08/06)
- Coffee Hour Host sign up – Click here
- Communion Server sign up –Click here (needed 08/06)
- Donate to First United Online – Click here
- First United Vimeo Channel – Click here
Red Cross Blood Drive at First United
“Blood has a transfusable lifespan of 42 days from time of collection. It can’t be hoarded in the good times and used in the lean times. We must continuously collect blood to keep the supply stable. That proved challenging last month. We ended the month a little stronger, but still ended up with 26,000 fewer Red Cross blood donation appointments in May than what’s necessary to ensure patients have the blood they need in the coming weeks. Help can’t wait. We need everyone to donate to avoid a shortage!” (from our local Red Cross)
To add to the local life-giving blood supply, First United will host a blood drive for the Red Cross in Fellowship Hall this Thursday, July 27th, 10am-2pm. While walk-ins will certainly be welcome, appointments are preferred. Click here to schedule your appointment now! Added bonus: Our drive falls during their Shark Week promotion, so they will be offering t-shirts!
NEW/UPDATED THIS WEEK
Back-to-School Church Potluck
Our most recent potlucks in May and June were really fun, and there’s no doubt our Back-to-School Church Potluck will be just as successful. Mark your calendars for this Fifth Sunday Potluck next Sunday, July 30th immediately following worship. Bring a dish (or two) to share, and be sure to label your item! In order to pull it off, we’ll need a little more help. Are you willing to arrive early to set up, serve during lunch, or stay late to clean up? Call Rebecca Keith at (812) 325-0145, and she’ll slot you with other fun people. And, click here to view and share a Facebook invitation for others to join in the fun. Thanks!
First Sunday Food Drive
The Board of Outreach invites you to offer food donations on the first Sunday of each month on the marked table in the narthex. On August 6th, we encourage you to bring donations of non-perishable food items for our community members in need. As always, all of the collected human 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; note their special request for pasta, breakfast items, Rice-a-Roni, canned meat, crackers, Jiffy Mix, dish soap, laundry detergent, shampoo, cleaner, baby wipes, toilet paper, and paper towels.Thank you for your donations to meet ongoing community needs.
Members and friends of First United are invited to gather for fun and fellowship as the Kersten family hosts a Back-to-School Sunday Funday on Sunday, August 13th, 2pm-4pm. Gather at the Kersten’s home for lots of fun and games and be prepared to get wet as they will open up their pool! (Bring your swimming gear and sun protection.) Please RSVP to Pastor Jessica by Thursday, August 10th, if you think you’ll attend so she can give the family a good idea of how many they’ll be hosting. Their address is 4140 West Estate Court, Bloomington. See you there!
UPCOMING WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
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. Kim Yaussy Albright will present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead. Hansol Kim will return to lead us in song, and Herbert Sizek will offer special music. Mitchell Farmer will highlight some of the many ways we are invited to engage in the life of the church and our wider community. Ted Wininger, Rebecca Nunley and Keith Gerber will be offering a warm welcome to all those who will gather in the sanctuary (sign up here to help), while Dedric Dennist will welcome all who join via Zoom. Rebecca Nunley will provide a beautiful floral arrangement in celebration of sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows. Finally, Kyle Hetrick and Jim True will ensure the audio/visual pieces run as smoothly as possible. And, be sure to join us after worship for a time of fellowship and refreshment in Fellowship Hall hosted once again by Fiora Pizzo.
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
While Children’s Learning Time (CLT) takes a break for the month of July, children are encouraged to engage with the Play+Pray Space located on the courtyard side of the Sanctuary. Following Children’s Time each Sunday, those who choose to may engage with PlayDoh, drawing materials, books, and more as they creatively express their faith while remaining a part of the worshiping congregation; younger children are welcome in the nursery. Have an idea to enhance the space? Contact Pastor Jessica. CLT will resume on August 6th.
All those who are musically inclined are encouraged to offer your gifts of music during worship while the bell and adult vocal choirs take a break for the summer months. Please contact Eric Meineke or Pastor Jessica if you are interested.
Choir and Bell Choir Rehearsals
All music lovers are welcome to join both the vocal and bell choirs. The bell and adult vocal choirs have concluded their seasons and will begin rehearsing again in late August: Vocal Choir in the Choir Room on Thursdays at 7:30pm and Bell Choir in Roger Williams Hall on Thursdays at 6:15pm.
The Joy of Hosting
We continue 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.
Member Relations – Get Involved!
Our Member Relations Committee (MeRC) is organizing our post-Covid outreach to homebound members more formally and welcomes members who might like to make a monthly(ish) visit to a member(s) who are not able to join us for in-person activities. Let Pastor Jessica know if you’re interested.
Additionally, MeRC is working on the formation of “covenant” groups, intimate social groups that meet regularly in a format and schedule determined by the groups that form. These groups, last implemented a decade ago, can be a transformational experience in building friendships and community in the congregation. More information to come!
Displaced Immigrant Support Program
Our DISP team continues to await notification from Exodus regarding our next family sponsorship. When a new family is assigned to us there will be many new challenges as well as new joys. Do you have a gift of time or treasure that you can share to help a new family feel welcome and gain capability in our community? If so, you may give anytime by designating your gift as “DISP” or online here. If you’re considering joining the DISP team, please contact Dave Meyer (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Hopi Stosberg (email@example.com) to get connected and learn more.
“Poverty, by America” Book Read
The Bloomington Multi-Faith Alliance Faith for Racial Equity committee (BMA F4RE) will offer a book read this fall of Matthew Desmond’s “Poverty, by America” with a community capstone event being planned for the afternoon of Sunday, October 29th. At least three faith communities will be leading book groups that will meet at different times and in different modalities and will be open to all.
- will take place via Zoom at 12pm-1pm on 1st and 3rd Thursdays (August-October), with the following schedule: August 3rd (Prologue) and 17th (Chapters 1 & 2—The Kind of Problem Poverty Is & Why Haven’t We Made More Progress?); September 7th (Chapters 3 & 4—How We Undercut Workers & How We Force the Poor to Pay More) and 21st (Chapters 5 & 6—How We Rely on Welfare & Howe We Buy Opportunity); and October 5th (Chapters 7 & 8—Invest in Ending Poverty & Empower the Poor) and 19th (Chapter 9—Tear Down the Walls & Epilogue). Contact Pastor Jessica if you are interested.
- will offer a group meeting via Zoom at 7pm-8pm on Wednesdays, September 6th, 13th, 20th, and 27th, and October 4th and 18th. Contact Ellen Mills (firstname.lastname@example.org) if interested.
- will offer an in-person group at 6pm-7pm on Mondays, September 25th, and October 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 23rd. Contact Sue Connell (email@example.com) if interested.
Matthew Desmond received a Pulitzer Prize for his earlier book, “Evicted.” His books are both well researched and readable. He wrote this book to answer the question, “Why is there so much poverty in America?” He looks at the history of poverty in our country as well as the current situation and connects the dots to dig deep into why poverty continues. Desmond reveals that a system maintains poverty in the US, and some people benefit from this system; the reality is often not what we have been told. We can be part of the solution to abolish poverty if we can see the problem clearly and honestly and if we want the status quo to change.
Tuesday Morning Café and Discussion
You are invited to join us in person or online Tuesdays at 10am-11:30am as we explore the final six sessions of a 36-session adventure exploring “The History of Christianity II: From the Reformation to the Modern Megachurch” presented by Dr. Molly Worthen. After a time of informal conversation, we engage in thought-provoking theological study and discussion as we explore the story of Christianity as it transformed from the end of the Middle Ages into the diverse global religion of today. On Tuesday, July 25th, we will explore “Culture Wars and the Christian Right.” 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.
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.
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.
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).
Church Office Closings
The church office will be closed on Mondays throughout July. Please contact Pastor Jessica if you need immediate assistance during these times.
- 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
- Mitchell Farmer, Church President – firstname.lastname@example.org; 812-459-3985 (Cell)