Shelli Yoder has made the difficult decision to step away from her staff role at First United to attend to the many demands on her time in the coming months (including family, teaching, pursuing ordination, and working toward representing us in the Indiana Statehouse). Please join us in celebrating Shelli after worship on August 2nd. You can express your appreciation for the many ministry gifts she has shared with us here:

From the COVID-19 Task Force: While Sunday church services and most meetings will continue virtually for the time being, Pastor John Krueger is available for conversation and consultation: john_krueger425@comcast.net or h: 317-467-1529/ c: 317-498-0710. Outside entities are able to propose a plan for operating in the building this fall by emailing that plan to Mary Peckham, church president at mkpeckham59@gmail.com. Church activities (services, programs, operations) that can be held outdoors and involve fewer than 10 people at a time can be proposed for re-starting this fall (in consultation with Mary and other church leadership). Essential activities that cannot happen outdoors can be proposed in the same manner. Options for virtual participation for in-person activities should be offered whenever possible and each person’s participation decision honored. Masks must be worn while in the church building for all those over age 2 and social distancing must be observed.

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 at https://vimeo.com/firstunitedchurch


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!

Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training

First United’s Board of Christian Education is fortunate to be bringing in an accomplished facilitator, Chidimma Ozor, to lead our congregation through a two-day training experience in August, rescheduled from the session we were to have in March.  Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training takes place online /via Zoom on Friday, August 21 6-9 pm, and Saturday August 22, 10 am – 4.   Please call or text Rebecca Keith at (812) 325-0145 if you have questions.

Deadline to sign up is August 14, and please do so in this link.  Shortly before the training, you’ll be sent a link and password to join the virtual meeting as well as other materials that will be used during the training.

Racial Justice Book Club

The Board of Christian Education’s newly-formed a Racial Justice Book Club will read and discuss a different book related to racial justice each month.  Our first meeting will be Saturday, August 29th, from 2-3:30 over Zoom.  We will be discussing “So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo.  

“Widespread reporting on aspects of white supremacy–from police brutality to the mass incarceration of Black Americans–has put a media spotlight on racism in our society. Still, it is a difficult subject to talk about. How do you tell your roommate her jokes are racist? Why did your sister-in-law take umbrage when you asked to touch her hair–and how do you make it right? How do you explain white privilege to your white, privileged friend?

In So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to “model minorities” in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.”

Jennifer Fultz has set up an online discussion board for the group, so you can participate even if you are unable to attend the virtual meetings.  If you are interested in joining the group, please contact Don Wooldridge at dontylw@gmail.com

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 American life. 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.

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? Please join us THIS 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

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 864 2191 5551

Password: 931742

Questions? Contact Hopi Stosberg (hopi@stosberg.com).

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 OFFERINGS  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 SUNDAY WORSHIP!!  at 10:30am. You may login to Zoom at 10am.

Zoom Meeting Link:


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?  We have the place for you!  Click below to join us, Sunday mornings 9-10am.  
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 840 0240 3978
Password: 122688


Join Shelli Yoder for her last Tuesday morning with us for the time being, 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 jump start our conversation with an article by Ta-Nehisi Coates: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/the-case-for-reparations/361631/  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


If you have a relationship with First United Church, you may apply for assistance for a hardship caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. This may include current loss of income resulting in the inability to cover such expenses as rent or mortgage, utility payments, or groceries, although not limited only to these items.

Click here for an application form and instructions to apply for Covid-19 assistance. Contact Sharon McCann with any questions at mimimom68@gmail.com

Exploring the Future of the Carillon

In recent years First United’s carillon has been silent. The current Schulmerich system was purchased in spring of 1958 at a cost of around $2,800. Parts are no longer in production, and there are no known service technicians working on this particular make and model in the US.

Steve Doerger of the Verdin Company (which acquired Schulmerich) will be offering a virtual demonstration of the latest carillon technology on August 13 from 5:30-6:30pm. All are welcome to attend. Details will be provided closer to the event. Contact Mitchell Farmer (mitchellgfarmer@gmail.com) with questions.   


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