• Sunday Morning Worship – Sundays @ 10:30am; Join Zoom Webinar here
  • Morning Café and Discussion – Tuesdays @ 10am;Join Zoom Meeting here
  • Off-Topic Scripture Circle – Thursdays @ 5:30pm; Join Zoom Meeting here
  • Scripture Reader sign up – Click here
  • Usher sign up – Click here (needed 07/03, 07/10, and 07/17)
  • Flowers sign up – Click here (needed 07/03, 07/10 and 07/17)
  • Coffee Hour Host sign up – Click here (needed 07/10)
  • Donate to First United Online – Click here
  • First United Vimeo Channel – Click here


Pizza & Play

Members,families, and friends are invited to come together for an informal, unprogrammed play time in Fellowship Hall and on our playground and surrounding area TONIGHT, Friday, July 1st, 5:30pm-7:30pm. As the name implies, pizza and drinks will be provided for this Pizza & Play time. These gatherings will be offered on the first Friday of each month, so mark your calendars now. And, feel free to bring an indoor and/or outdoor game/activity to share!

Food Drive – THIS SUNDAY!

The Board of Outreach will collect food this Sunday, July 3rd, on the table in the narthex or on the shelves near the Fellowship Hall Kitchen. Please bring non-perishable food items on this Sunday (and the first Sunday of each month) to help with this critical community need. As always, all of the collected food will go to Monroe County United Ministries (MCUM), located in the Crestmont neighborhood of Bloomington. Unfortunately, the rising price of food (and particularly of gasoline) has made the need more urgent than ever. As Kim Yaussy Albright notes, there are very few avenues for getting support for gasoline, but if a family can get support in another part of their budget, the savings can help to offset the high cost of gas. Thank you in advance for your generosity!

July Worship Services

Throughout the month of July, we will explore a variety of different worshipful practices during the Sunday morning service seeking to learn more about how we connect with one another and the divine and ask the question of why we even gather for worship. While each service will include some more familiar components as well, you are encouraged to open yourselves to engaging in worship in previously unknown ways. The services will be fully multigenerational as the children are encouraged to participate in the entire experience, and Children’s Learning Time will be on hiatus for the month (young children are still welcome in the nursery). May this time of experimentation, of learning, of worship empower us to live ever more fully and authentically as God’s beloved.

This Sunday, July 3rd, worshippers will be given the opportunity to engage in courageous conversations or to create get well cards for those in need of healing. While conversation partners and card-making supplies will be provided for those worshiping in person, online worshipers are invited to reach out to a conversation partner ahead of time to connect with via phone if they will not have an in-person partner to converse with or to gather card-making materials or get a card prior to the start of worship (see the bulletin for more information).

Coffee Hour!

This spring the Member Relations Committee (MeRC) launched bimonthly coffee hours after worship on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month. Moving forward we need additional volunteers to host! Click here to sign up to volunteer to host next Sunday, July 10th or Sunday, July 24th. Consider asking someone to host with you and deepen a friendship! Clear instructions regarding setup/cleanup and guidelines for serving snacks are posted in the kitchen and will be emailed to each volunteer. All food, drink, and serving supplies are provided by the church, though hosts are free to supplement items if they wish. Thank you for considering this act of service—supporting this fellowship opportunity is meaningful, does not demand a lot of time, and can be kept very simple. 


CLT and Nursery Care

Children’s Learning Time (CLT) will be on hiatus during the month of July; children are encouraged to participate fully in the worship service. 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. Interested in joining our CLT assistant teacher rotation when we pick back up in August or in helping in the nursery occasionally? Contact Molly Koontz.

Office Closed and Announcements

The church office will be closed for regular hours while Lisa Stanger is away on vacation Monday, July 4th (Fourth of July Holiday) through Friday, July 8th. Please contact Rev. Petersen-Mutai should you need assistance during that time. If you would like an announcement included in next week’s church email, please have your item to Rev. Petersen-Mutai by noon on the Wednesday before.

Lake Lemon Food & Fun – Ecumenical Youth Outing

First United youth and their friends (rising 6th grade through graduated seniors) are invited to join youth from First Presbyterian and Trinity Episcopal for a Sunday full of lake activities (kayaks, canoes, pontoon, fishing, tubing, and swimming), food, and fellowship! A member of First Presbyterian has offered their lake house (6398 South Shore Drive, Unionville) for the event, which will take place on Sunday, July 10th, 3pm-6pm. RSVP to Pastor Jessica by July 7th and indicate whether you’d be interested in carpooling.

Sunday Funday

Members and friends of First United are invited to gather for fun and fellowship Sunday, July 17th, 2pm-4pm (and the third Sunday of each month). Plan to join us for Sunday Funday as we come together for an informal, unprogrammed play time in Fellowship Hall and on our playground and surrounding area. A light snack will be available for each Sunday Funday. Feel free to bring an indoor and/or outdoor game/activity to share!

Seeking a Musical Mind

First United is seeking to hire a new Music Director as we remain committed to offering meaningful musical opportunities for our congregation following Sam Grace’s departure (Sam’s official last day is July 15th). The job description and information for how to apply can be accessed on our website here; please share widely! Please contact Mary Peckham, Rachel Caswell, or Pastor Jessica with any questions.


Sunday Morning Hybrid Worship

Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am. This Sunday, in addition to engaging in courageous conversations and making get well cards, we will celebrate communion together. Communion elements (bread and wine/juice) will once again be served in the pews for those gathering in the sanctuary; online worshipers are encouraged to prepare a “nibble” and a “sip” prior to the start of the service. Tislam Swift will offer a special music piece in addition to the beautiful music shared by Hansol Kim. Michael Shell will present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead, and Mary Peckham will highlight some of the many ways we are invited to engage in the life of the church and our wider community. Keith Gerber will offer a warm welcome to all those who gather in the sanctuary and could use some additional help (sign up to usher here), while Dedric Dennist will welcome all who join via Zoom. Finally, Kyle Hetrick will ensure the audio/visual pieces run as smoothly as possible.

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


Meet and Greet with Pastor Jessica

While the first official meet & chat with Reverend Jessica took place this week at Meadowood, the first one in the church building will be hosted by Laurie Eynon on Tuesday, July 19th at 3:30pm in Roger Williams Hall. She will be inviting some people but there is room for a few more if this time works for you and you would like attend—you are very welcome! Please let Laurie know so she can plan accordingly at 812-336-1219 or leynon73@icloud.com.

Welcome an Exchange Student to Our Community

When a family hosts an international student, they are doing more than just welcoming a visitor to the United States; they are welcoming a new member to their family. You are invited to experience this profound opportunity and chance to learn about and engage with another culture on a deeply personal level during the upcoming school year through the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE). All kinds of families can host – with children, no children, empty nesters, single people and so on. The main ingredient is kindness and a willingness to learn about another culture. 

Students speak English and arrive with the appropriate visa, medical insurance, and spending money. They are eager to share their culture while learning of ours, as an active member in an American family. Students from many countries are available to host. The CIEE has around 20 German LBGTQIA+ students who need a supportive home this year. If you are interested in more information and would like to know what other countries they have students coming from, please contact Cathy Chamberlin Gebhard at 812.272.8690 or bloomingtonciee@gmail.com to begin working together to find a great fit for you and your family! To start an application, please go to ciee.org/host. CIEE offers a $1000 referral fee for helping them find a host family.  

Opportunity House Thrift Store Needs Volunteers

Opportunity House is currently struggling to fill all of their volunteer needs and invites you to consider helping out. They have plenty of inventory but are lacking people to sort, price, or pack it for storage. They have two cash registers but are struggling to keep one open, and their clothing racks are not as full as they should be. Volunteer shifts are 2-3 hours and can be once a month or once a week; they are very flexible. Volunteers can come alone or with a friend. They can also host one-time small groups (4-8 people) or volunteers just for the summer months. Teenagers and older children with adults are welcome. Volunteers can sign up in store, on Opportunity House’s website ophousethrift.org, or the Bloomington Volunteer Network https://www.bloomingtonvolunteernetwork.org/; or groups can call 812.336.2443.

Proceeds from the store help support the programs of Monroe County United Ministries (MCUM) including their income-based preschool and their self-sufficiency program. As part of this program people in need can receive a voucher to shop at Opportunity House at no cost. A central part of their mission is to offer quality items at affordable prices in a low-income neighborhood. Thank you for considering volunteering!

Our Afghan Guests—Welcome, Emaan!

A healthy baby boy was born on Saturday, June 18th, to the beautiful Afghan family we have the pleasure and privilege of co-sponsoring. Emaan (pronounced ee mahn) weighed in at 6lbs. 4.5oz. and stretched out 19.5 inches. We celebrate with the family and offer our blessings as they adapt to life as a family of five. Thank you all for your continued support of this tremendous family!


Feminist Women’s Book Club

Our feminist women’s book club will meet on Sunday, July 10th at 12pm (for about an hour) in person in Roger Williams Hall and via Zoom for anyone who would prefer to join virtually. The book for this month’s discussion is “The Reading List” by Sara Nisha Adams. An elderly widower has become a hermit and finds himself entranced with reading. Teenager Aleisha is not a reader and is completely bored with her summer job as a library clerk. While she’s checking in books, a piece of paper falls out of one. Titled “JUST IN CASE YOU NEED IT,” it’s a list of eight classic books, beginning with “To Kill a Mockingbird.” With nothing else to do, she decides to read all the books on the list. Aleisha shares the list with the widower, who soon begins to use the library as an escape from his too-quiet home. The novel is divided into eight sections per book, and the characters eventually learn how the books’ themes resonate in their own lives. A book for lovers of books, especially fiction. As always, new members are welcome to visit as a guest. For Zoom or more information contact facilitator Cindy Stone (stonec@Indiana.edu).

Tuesday Morning Café and Discussion

Join us in person (Roger Williams Hall) or online (click hereon Tuesday mornings, 10am-11:30am, as we engage in the second half of a 36-session video series entitled “The History of Christianity: From the Disciples to the Dawn of the Reformation.” After a time of informal conversation, we engage in thought-provoking theological study and discussion as we explore the phenomenal story of Christianity’s first 1,500 years, with all its remarkable diversity and complex dimensions. Professor Dr. Luke Timothy Johnson will lead this examination of Christianity’s origins, rise, and civilization-shaping activities from its inception to the Reformation. While we’d love to see you each Tuesday for the next several months, perfect attendance is not required, neither is previous participation.

Off-Topic Scripture Circle

You are invited to join with members and friends of First United on Thursday evenings, 5:30pm-6:30pm 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 will meet via Zoom only (at least for the first couple of months) to be more accessible to folks after work and near dinnertime; join the Zoom meeting here.


Job Opportunity!

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 (info@firstuc.org) with a resume and email cover letter detailing relevant experience and intent to apply. Thank you for your help!

Contact Information