• 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 06/18 & 06/25)
  • Flowers sign up – Click here (needed 06/18 & 06/25)
  • Coffee Hour Host sign up – Click here (needed 06/18 & 07/02)
  • Communion Server sign up –Click here (needed 07/02)
  • Donate to First United Online – Click here
  • First United Vimeo Channel – Click here


MCUM’s Each One Feed One and Development Director Visit

The Board of Outreach invites you to bring your gifts of food and cleaning and hygiene items and place them on a table in the narthex throughout the month of June as we participate in MCUM’s largest annual food drive Each One Feed One June 1st-25th. Our goal is to donate at least 240lbs. as we help MCUM reach their overall goal of 7000lbs. (enough to serve 200 local families). We can do it! Food pantry most needed items: peas, carrots, jiffy mix, pasta, sauce, detergent, soap, toilet paper, diapers, wipes, cereal, rice, oatmeal, corn, crackers, canned fruit, canned meat. Learn more by visiting mcum.org\events.

Darcie D. Casey, Development Director for MCUM, will join us in worship this Sunday, June 11th to share more about the impact we’ll be making as we join others in the community in this worthy undertaking.

Congregational Meeting and Potluck

All members and friends of First United are encouraged to gather in Fellowship Hall for our regular June Annual Meeting scheduled this Sunday, June 11th immediately after worship. This meeting includes the election of officers and board members who will begin their terms on July 1st; the final ballot is available here. The meeting will also include written and spoken reports from church leadership regarding activities of the past year. Additionally, members will be asked to consider a temporary policy regarding unhoused guests and their property adopted by Council during their April 2023 meeting. In order to carry out the business of the church, a quorum of 49 members is required (25% of membership last reported to the UCC and ABC-USA).

We will also celebrate the 20th anniversary of the renaming of the church to First United Church and join together in singing four songs written by congregants in celebration of First United. The meeting (but not the food unfortunately) will be accessible via Zoom.

First United’s Feminist Book Club

This Sunday, June 11th,our Feminist Women’s Book Club meeting at 12:30pm (so folks can participate in the Congregational Meeting, anniversary potluck, and song festival). For this gathering, we will read and discuss “Just One Damned Thing After Another” by Jodi Taylor. For Zoom information or more information about the book club contact facilitator Cindy Stone, stonec@indiana.edu. Feminist women of all ages are invited to join us.

Volunteer with Community Kitchen

First United has a long history of volunteering with and financially supporting Community Kitchen of Monroe County. We currently volunteer there on the third Thursday of the month, 3:30pm-6:30pm. Our next shift will be on June 15th. To volunteer this month or subsequent months click here to access our online sign up or contact Laurie Eynon (leynon73@icloud.com or (812) 336-1219). Thank you!

UCC General Synod: Attend &/or Volunteer

The 34th General Synod of the United Church of Christ will convene in Indianapolis June 30th-July 4th, 2023. The Indiana-Kentucky Conference (UCC) will host this biennial meeting of the wider church and needs your help to extend an extraordinary welcome to our siblings in faith from across the country and around the globe as they gather together in our home conference. Learn about volunteer opportunities and share your interests by clicking here. Sign up to serve as a volunteer here.

With Synod taking place so close this time around, you are encouraged to consider attending this meaningful event as a guest and getting to know this part of our wider church family better whether you are interested and able to volunteer or not (though volunteering will certainly help with the registration fee; think $275 for regular full registration compared to $65 if you volunteer!). Anyone can attend Sunday, July 2nd, free of charge (this day includes the Community Worship Service at 2:30pm).

Online registration is open through June 12th (registration also available onsite when Synod starts). Visit the UCC’s General Synod website here to learn more about what’s in store for General Synod 2023. And, email Rebecca at rekeith@iu.edu if you are interested in carpooling to attend part of Synod.


Death in Our Church Family

It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the death of John Werner, a long-time member of First United. John (b. May 6th, 1939) died with dignity and in peace at the IU Health Hospice House in Bloomington, Indiana on May 31st, 2023. We send our love and sympathy to Marilynn Wilson Werner and their extended family.

John is survived by his wife Marilynn whom he married in 2010 and acquired two children, Jonathan Wildman of Portland, OR; Dr. Jennifer Barce of Fowler, IN; eight grandchildren Jon; Jordan; Aviva; River; Ingrid; Annika; Wilson and Cyrus; his siblings, Norman Werner and Marvin Werner both of Wanatah, IN; and Betty Ann Werner of Valparaiso, IN; two nephews, Matthew (Stephanie) Werner and sons, Hayden; Finn and Nolan; and Austin Werner and children, Levi and Willa of Valparaiso, IN. He was preceded in death by his parents Elsie and Louis Werner; and his first wife Janice Bastain.

A private grave side service will be held at a later date in Salem Cemetery in Wanatah, Indiana. Cremation Rites have been accorded. Memorial contributions may be made to the Sycamore Land Trust, P.O. Box 7801, Bloomington, Indiana 47407 or to Ryan’s Place, 118 S. Main St, Goshen, Indiana 46528. Allen Funeral Home and Crematory have been entrusted with arrangements. Online condolences, photos and memories may be shared with family and friends at www.allencares.com.

Visitors Welcome!

After a very eventful few weeks, Norm and Jeanne Overly have moved and settled into their new home at Hearthstone Health Campus (3043 N Lintel Dr, Bloomington, IN). They invite First United friends and family to come visit them there. Call ahead or just show up.

Announcements and Congregant Monday Musings Deadlines

Members and friends of First United are invited to prepare a “Monday Musing” to be shared with the wider congregation via email on the third Monday of each month. Many thanks to Kim Yaussy Albright for offering the May “Congregant Monday Musing.” Please contact Pastor Jessica and/or Lisa Stanger if you would like to share your thoughts and ideas through this avenue, and they will help you get it scheduled.

And, if you would like an announcement included in next week’s church email, please have your item to Lisa Stanger by noon on the Wednesday before.

The People’s Market

All are invited to join The People’s Market every Saturday, 9am-1pm, in First United’s southeast parking lot (or in Fellowship Hall if it’s raining or too hot) for extras not in their regular CSA like seasonal fruit, baked goods, canned goods, extra veggies, or specialty veggies! Plus visit their local vendors selling hot food from Mexico, Colombia, and Venezuela as well as their local artisans who change every week with home, health & beauty products, glass art, books & journals, candles, jewelry, plants, teas, coffees, and so much more!


Sunday Morning Hybrid Worship

Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am. The service will feature Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai in the pulpit; she will also offer a message especially for the young and young at heart. Michael Shell will present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead. Hansol Kim will lead us in singing throughout the service, and the Children’s Choir and Marge Steiner will offer special music. Rebecca Keith will highlight some of the many ways we are invited to engage in the life of the church and our wider community. Kim Yaussy Albright, Ted Wininger and Keith Gerber will offer a warm welcome to all those who gather in the sanctuary (sign up here to help), while Dedric Dennist will welcome all who join via Zoom. Diana Lambdin will provide a lovely floral arrangement in memory of her parents, Charles and Dorothy Lambdin. Finally, Kyle Hetrick and Jim True will ensure the audio/visual pieces run as smoothly as possible. Potluck following worship; join us in Fellowship Hall!

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

Musically Inclined

All those who are musically inclined are encouraged to offer your gifts of music during worship throughout June, July, and August 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.


Special Offering for DISP

Throughout 2023, the Board of Outreach invites you to offer additional support a variety of local organizations and ministries through monthly special offerings. On Sunday, June 18th, a special offering will be received to support our Displaced Immigrant Support Program (DISP).

Our DISP team is anxiously awaiting 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. We invite more church volunteers to help with this deeply meaningful work as part of the DISP team. And, we welcome your financial support of this impactful ministry with new refugees. A reminder that funds for DISP are independent from the regular church budget.

Please consider supporting this impactful work financially giving to the June special offering or give anytime by designating your gift as “DISP” or online here. If you’re considering joining the DISP team, please contact Dave Meyer (dwm@davemeyer.org) or Hopi Stosberg (hopi@stosberg.com) to get connected and learn more.

MeRC News and Opportunities to Connect

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.

We are also organizing our post-Covid outreach to homebound members more formally, and welcome members who might like to make a monthly visit to a member we haven’t seen in too long. And, MeRC is discussing 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 info to come!

Thank You for Supporting Hotels for Homeless!

On Sunday, May 21st, a special offering was taken to support Hotels for Homeless.  Our congregation responded and raised $473. A big thank you to all who supported this cause. If you weren’t able to contribute on May 21st, you can still support this impactful work by dropping or sending your donation to the church office (“Hotels for Homeless” in check memo line). For more information about Hotel for Homeless click here.


Ivy Tech Community College

First UC member Lisa Kwong will be teaching “Who am I, and what matters to me?”: A Creative Writing Workshop (Grades 6-8) in July at Ivy Tech. If you would like more information, please click here.

Nursery Care

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.

Children’s Learning Time

Each Sunday, kids age 5 and up are welcome to Children’s Learning Time (CLT) in Room 2 after Children’s Time during the morning worship service. The children will continue learning a new song that they will share during worship on Sunday, June 11th. Many thanks to Molly Koontz and Sabine Lammers for leading CLT this Sunday. Interested in joining our CLT assistant teacher rotation? Contact Molly Koontz.

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

Join us in person or online at 10am-11:30am each Tuesday as we continue 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. This week, we will consider “Vatican II and Global Renewal.” 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.

Check out Our New Library Books

The Board of Education invites you to stop by the table at the end of the hallway as you exit the Sanctuary to explore some of the newest additions to our fabulous church library. Please fill out the simple sign out sheet provided to check them out. Some of the new titles available are: Living Nations, Living Words: An Anthology of First Peoples Poetry by Joy Harjo; Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church by Jack Rogers; Harvesting the Heart: A Novel by Jodi Picoult; and I’m Not a Girl (children’s book) by Maddox Lyons and Jessica Verdi.


Finance Update

As of April 30th, total income is at $126,000 or 39% of budget. Total expenses are at $108,000 or 30% of budget. This is without any additional withdrawals from the endowment beyond the $40,000 withdrawn in the first quarter; however, due to early-year cash flow concerns, the church is behind on its planned Outreach budget giving. The good news is that cash flow is in a strong enough position that giving from the Outreach budget will resume. Beyond the budget, in April, we raised nearly $900 for One Great Hour of Sharing. As always, we are so very grateful for all who thoughtfully give as they are able to the church’s operations and mission!

Church Office Closings

The church office will be closed on Mondays throughout June and July. Please contact Pastor Jessica if you need immediate assistance during these times.

Contact Information