- 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 (needed 06/19)
- Usher sign up – Click here (needed 06/19)
- Flowers sign up – Click here
- Coffee Hour Host sign up – Click here
- 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, June 10th, 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!
Our regular June Annual Meeting scheduled for this Sunday, June 12th immediately after worship. Our President Rebecca Keith will report on the excellent things our church has been doing (access the full written report here). The congregation will also be asked to consider and approve proposed amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws of First United Church (find the document here). A quorum of 50 members (with 2/3 voting “yes”) is required in order to amend the Constitution and Bylaws, so please plan to attend the meeting in person or via Zoom (simply stay on the webinar and you will be made a “panelist”).
First United’s Feminist Book Club
Our feminist women’s book club will meet this Sunday, June 12th 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 “A Town Called Solace” by Mary Lawson. This novel was a 2021 Booker Prize candidate and tells of a family in crisis: rebellious teenager Rose been missing for weeks with no word, and Rose’s younger sister, the feisty and fierce Clara, keeps a daily vigil. Told through three distinct, compelling points of view the novel cuts back and forth among these unforgettable characters to uncover grief, remorse, and love that connect families, both the ones we’re born into and the ones we choose. It is a deeply humane novel by a great storyteller. As always, new members are welcome to visit as a guest. For Zoom or more information contact facilitator Cindy Stone.
Our first bimonthly summer coffee hour will take place this Sunday, June 12th immediately following the Annual Meeting. Thank you to Dave Meyer and Cindy Neidhart for hosting! And, mark your calendars for upcoming coffee hours on June 26th (a celebration and send off for Sam Grace and family) and July 10th and 24th. Click here to sign up to volunteer to host. Clear instructions regarding setup/cleanup and guidelines for serving snacks like trail mix, etc., will be posted in the kitchen and 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.
NEW/UPDATED THIS WEEK
Congratulations, Sam Grace!
Our outgoing Music Director, Sam Grace, has been offered and accepted a new job with the St. Philip the Deacon church in Plymouth, MN as their next Director of Music Ministry. How very exciting for Sam and his family! For more details click here.
Sam has been a valued part of our church family since 2019, coordinating and offering inspiring, comforting, moving music during a time of great transition and a global pandemic; he’s served among us with grace, generosity, kindness, and love. We celebrate and offer him and his family our heartfelt prayers and support as they transition into this next stage of life. Please plan to join us for formal farewell during worship on Sunday, June 26th with coffee hour to follow.
A hiring committee has been formed to seek a new Music Director as we remain committed to offering meaningful musical opportunities for our congregation. They are moments away from finalizing the job description and will share more information soon. Please contact Mary Peckham, Rachel Caswell, or Pastor Jessica with any questions.
Our Afghan Guests
The Displaced Immigrant Support Program (DISP) team has happy news this week. Ahad has accepted a full-time job at Cook Polymer Technology that starts on Monday! Many thanks should go to Grace Clark of Exodus for her work in getting Ahad this critical opportunity. In other news, Brishna is rapidly approaching her due date. We expect the new Arman family member (a boy) to arrive in the next two weeks. Daughter Heela recently received a full scholarship to attend the Ivy Art camp for two weeks; Heela loves to draw so we look forward to her new artistic creations. Thank you all of your continued support of the family and this important ministry!
Newsletter, 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. Submissions are due to Lisa Stanger the Friday before. Contact Pastor Jessica with any questions.
The First News deadline is Monday, June 20th. If you would like to have an article included in the July newsletter, please have your article turned in to the church office by the end of the day.
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.
Sunday Funday (a time of informal play and fellowship) will be held on Sunday, June 26th, 2pm-4pm (to avoid Father’s Day on June 19th). This month the Kersten family is inviting First United families and friends to gather at their home for lots of fun and games. Their address is 4140 West Estate Court, Bloomington. See you there!
UPCOMING WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
Sunday Morning Hybrid Worship
Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am. This Sunday we will welcome the Quarryland Men’s Chorus as they offer special music throughout the worship service, in addition to congregational music led by the incomparable Hansol Kim. Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai will once again be in the pulpit and offer a special word for our young and young at heart, and Lisa Kwong will present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead. The Koontz crew (Molly, Noel, Aidan, and Lochlan) will offer a warm welcome to all those who gather in the sanctuary, while Rebecca Keith will welcome all who join via Zoom. The beautiful floral arrangement will be provided by Sara Frommer, in memory of Gabe. Finally, Jim True and 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
Sermon Talk Backs—Summer Hiatus
Our monthly sermon talk backs, during which worship participants are invited to remain after the service for a moderated discussion on the sermon to discuss what they heard and what questions remain, will take a two month hiatus. Beginning in August, we will once again offer folks an opportunity to engage in these rich conversations with one another and Rev. Petersen-Mutai one Sunday each month. Stay tuned for upcoming dates in future newsletters and weekly announcements.
Faith for Racial Equity: Mapping Project
The Bloomington Multifaith Alliance Faith for Racial Equity (BMA F4RE) committee recently began working on assembling a map of Bloomington’s whites-only properties and neighborhoods in order to visualize just how much housing in Bloomington was once whites-only by policy. Being able to see all the properties and neighborhoods will make a powerful visual statement. Having a map that is as complete as possible can then be used in pursuit of a broader vision of racial justice and housing justice in Bloomington. Please contact Pastor Jessica if you are interested in getting involved with this important project as she is the current facilitator of the BMA F4RE committee.
You are also invited to join the BMA F4RE regular meetings. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 23rd, 12pm-1pm, and will take place via Zoom (click here to join the meeting). In addition to this mapping project, the committee is working on connecting with Monroe County schools and their Parent-Teacher Organizations to address resource disparities.
CLT and Nursery Care
Kids in kindergarten through 5th grade are welcome to Children’s Learning Time (CLT) in Room 2 during the last half of the Sunday morning worship service. Many thanks to Mary Peckham and Molly Koontz for leading CLT this Sunday. Interested in joining our CLT assistant teacher rotation? Contact Molly Koontz.
Our youngest children are welcome to spend time from 10am-11:45am playing in the nursery or on the playground, weather permitting. Katie Silvester and Jessica McIntosh will ensure our little ones are safe and engaged in fun activities during worship this Sunday. We are still looking for additional volunteer assistants to help in the nursery occasionally. Contact Molly Koontz if you are interested and with any questions.
Tuesday Morning Café and Discussion
Join us in person (Roger Williams Hall) or online (click here) on Tuesday mornings, 10am-11:30am, as we reach the halfway point 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’ll 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.
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 (email@example.com) with a resume and email cover letter detailing relevant experience and intent to apply. Thank you for your help!
- Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai, Senior Minister – firstname.lastname@example.org; 812-727-4414 (Friday & Saturday off; emergency calls only)
- Lisa Stanger, Office Manager – email@example.com
- Sam Grace, Music Director – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dedric Dennist, Web Content & Media Coordinator – email@example.com
- Rebecca Keith, Church President – firstname.lastname@example.org; 812-325-0145 (Cell)