- 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 08/06 & 08/13)
- Flowers sign up – Click here (needed 07/30, 08/06, & 08/13)
- 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
Be sure to join us for our Back-to-School Potluck this Sunday, July 30th immediately following worship. Bring a dish (or two) to share, and be sure to label your item! We could use a little more help to pull it all together. 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!
Poetry Series & Open Mic
This Sunday, July 30th, at 3pm, First United member Lisa Kwong will be a featured reader in the Last Sunday Poetry Series & Open Mic at Morgenstern Books. Mahasweta Baxipatra is the other feature. Lisa will be reading from Becoming AppalAsian and publicly debuting a few poems in progress. Complete event info is available here. Catch a sneak peak during worship this Sunday morning as Lisa shares an original poem!
“Poverty, by America” Book Read
First Unitedwill offer a reading group focusing on Matthew Desmond’s “Poverty, by America” as a part of the Bloomington Multifaith Alliance Faith for Racial Equity book read. The group will begin meeting via Zoom (click here to join) this Thursday, August 3rd at 12pm-1pm; participants should read the book’s Prologue and come prepared to discuss their thoughts. The rest of the schedule is as follows: 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. Does this time not work for you? Multiple faith communities will also offer reading/discussion groups; see below in “Educational Offerings” for more info.
Pizza & Play
Members and friends of First United of all ages and family configurations (and your friends and family) are encouraged to gather for Pizza & Play on Friday, August 4th, 5:30pm-7:30pm. We’ll enjoy a time of informal, unprogrammed fun and fellowship in Fellowship Hall and surrounding areas, both inside and out (weather permitting). As the name implies, pizza, drinks, and dessert will be provided. If you’re planning to attend, please let Pastor Jessica know by Thursday, August 3rdso she can be sure to have enough food for all and account for any dietary needs.
NEW/UPDATED THIS WEEK
Happy 100th Birthday to Lora Johnson
Longtime member Lora Johnson will turn 100 on August 5th. If you would like to send Lora birthday wishes her address is 2320 Covenanter Drive, Bloomington, IN 47401.
Covenant Group Revival!
Are you looking for a space where you can connect with others from First United and explore topics that interest you? Do you have a topic in mind that you would be interested in exploring with others in a small group? MeRC is reviving Covenant Groups (est. 2013) and is looking for 1-2 people or couples interested in hosting a monthly small group, beginning in September. Hosts can determine the best day and time for their group, and the topic/theme that interests them (or consult with Pastor Jessica for ideas!). Molly & Noel Koontz will be hosting a monthly Covenant Group geared toward families with kids and are happy to answer any questions you may have about hosting. Please contact Molly Koontz at firstname.lastname@example.org by August 15th if you would be interested in hosting or have questions. More information about group topics and schedules will be forthcoming!
Children’s Learning Time
CLT will be starting back up on August 6th. Kids age 5 and up are invited to participate in Children’s Learning Time (CLT) on Sunday mornings in Room 2. On Sunday mornings, children will begin in the Sanctuary and proceed to Room 2 with their adult leads following the Children’s Time.
We continue to welcome and encourage additional adults to join our teaching rotation to enrich the program for the kids. Lesson materials and supplies are provided, and we have seasoned leaders to help you get acclimated. If you are interested or have questions, please reach out to Molly Koontz, Pastor Jessica, or any member of the Board of Education.
As of June 30th, total income is at $168,000 or 52% of budget. Total expenses are at $163,000 or 46% of budget. Cash flow has become decent enough that we have been able to resume regular giving from the Outreach budget. Beyond the budget, in June, we raised $891 for our church’s own Displaced Immigrant Support Program (DISP), and in July, we raised $503 for First United’s Love Fund. As always, we are so very grateful for all who thoughtfully give as they are able to the church’s operations and mission!
First United’s Feminist Book Club
Our feminist women’s book club will meet after worship on Sunday, August 13th in Roger Williams Hall and via Zoom to discuss “The Change” by Kirsten Miller—a suspenseful story with great pacing, memorable characters, and an engaging voice. This is fierce anthem against misogyny featuring three very different women who discover that middle-aged changes bring a whole new type of empowerment. One of the women is dealing with a life in an empty nest, another is watching her lucrative career and marriage implode, the third is an unhappy business executive—until each woman realizes she has the ability to channel her menopausal changes and discover newfound magical powers. Mysteries ensue and using their new talents the three women take matters into their own hands in this feel-good, supernatural, witchy drama. A Good Morning America book club pick. Feminist women of all ages are invited to join us. For Zoom information or more information about the book club contact facilitator Cindy Stone, email@example.com.
Mark your calendars and join us for First United’s Welcomefest 2023 from 11am-2pm on Saturday, August 19th. We’ll be offering food, fun, and fellowship to our wider Bloomington community and to one another. Additional details (including opportunities for volunteering and donations) forthcoming.
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. Laurie Eynon will present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead. Hansol Kim and Rebecca Keith will lead us in song as we utilize Marty Haugen’s “Holden Evening Prayer” (with a few word changes to make it appropriate for morning worship), and Lisa Kwong will offer an original poem. Molly Koontz will highlight some of the many ways we are invited to engage in the life of the church and our wider community. Ted Wininger, Kim Yaussy Albright, and Dave Meyer will be offering a warm welcome to all those who will gather in the sanctuary (sign up here to help). Finally, Kyle Hetrick and Jim True will welcome all who join via Zoom and ensure the audio/visual pieces run as smoothly as possible. And, be sure to join us after worship for our Back-to-School Church Potluck.
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.
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!
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.
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.
More Offerings: “Poverty, by America” Book Read
Does First United’s book group focusing on Matthew Desmond’s “Poverty, by America” not work for your schedule? Additional faith communities will be leading book groups as well that will meet at different times and in different modalities and will be open to all. Choose the one that works best for you!
- 5:30pm-6:30pm on Tuesdays August 15th and 29th, September 12th and 19th, and October 10th and 17th. Contact Ruth Aydt (firstname.lastname@example.org) if 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 (email@example.com) 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) if interested.
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.
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, August 1st, we will explore “Liberation Theologies in Latin America.” 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.
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 – email@example.com; 812-727-4414 (Cell) (Friday & Saturday off; emergency calls only)
- Lisa Stanger, Office Manager – firstname.lastname@example.org; 812-332-4439 (Office)
- Eric Meincke, Music Director – email@example.com; 501-837-2708 (Cell)
- Dedric Dennist, Web Content & Media Coordinator – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mitchell Farmer, Church President – email@example.com; 812-459-3985 (Cell)