• 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 06/26)
  • Usher sign up – Click here (needed 06/26 and 07/03)
  • Flowers sign up – Click here (needed 07/03)
  • Coffee Hour Host sign up – Click here
  • Donate to First United Online – Click here
  • First United Vimeo Channel – Click here


Sounds of Indiana

We are excited to welcome Sounds of Indiana (SoI) to our worship this Sunday! SoI is an award-winning vocal chorus that sings predominantly in the barbershop style of unaccompanied four-part harmony. They represent the Bloomington, IN, chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society. Their mission is to be a recognized, respected musical organization, dedicated to promoting vocal harmony as an integral part of the cultural scene in the Bloomington community. In addition to dedicated chapter concerts, SoI has supported our community with performances at local hospitals, nursing homes, and charity fundraisers, and for hired events throughout Bloomington and the surrounding counties. They rehearse weekly at First United Church at 7:00pm every Wednesday. You’re welcome to sing with them any time!

Faith for Racial Equity

You are invited to join in the work of the Bloomington Multifaith Alliance: Faith for Racial Equity (BMA F4RE) committee. The group’s 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 a project focusing on mapping Bloomington’s whites-only properties and neighborhoods, the committee is working on connecting with Monroe County schools and their Parent-Teacher Organizations to address resource disparities. 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.

Newsletter & Announcements Deadlines

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.


Our Afghan Guests

Brishna Arman’s baby will be born this weekend in a planned delivery. Ahad’s start of full-time work at Cook has been delayed a week so that he can be with his wife and their new baby. Diana Lambdin is arranging a sign-up for folks to deliver prepared food to the Arman family for the week of June 19th. There will be more information emailed out when the baby comes. Remember that they neither consume alcohol nor pork. In other family news, daughter Heela completes her art camp on Friday with a student art show; she loves to draw! Both Heela and her little brother Emraan completed swim lessons at Bryan Park Pool. Emraan was particularly proud of his certificate showing that he had graduated to Level 2 in swimming. He has now caught up with his big sister in swimming. Thank you all for your continued support of this tremendous family!

Food Drive Rework – 1st Sundays of the Month

The Board of Outreach has operated open, outdoor food drives on Saturdays every other month. As the pandemic has waned so has participation in the food drive with the food quantities gathered continuing to drop. 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.

Outreach has retooled our food drives to re-energize them and will collect food on the first Sunday of each month on at table in the narthex. Please bring non-perishable food items on these Sundays (starting July 3rd) 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.

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 $200.00 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!

Sunday Funday!

Sunday Funday (a time of informal play and fellowship) will be held next 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. Given the intense heat we have been experiencing, they will even open up their pool! (Bring your swimming gear.) Their address is 4140 West Estate Court, Bloomington. See you there!


Sunday Morning Hybrid Worship

Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am. This Sunday we will welcome Sounds of Indiana 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 Rachel Caswell will present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead. Kim Yaussy Albright and the Lammers/Lunghi family (Sabine, Enrico, Julian, and Luciano) will offer a warm welcome to all those who gather in the sanctuary, while Herbert Sizek will welcome all who join via Zoom. The beautiful floral arrangement will be provided by Patty and Lewis Williams, in memory of Lewis D. Williams, Lewis’s grandfather. 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


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.

Coffee Hour!

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.

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 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!


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 Ted Wininger and Emily Mathes 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. Lena Stosberg 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 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