- 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 (needed 07/09)
- Usher sign up – Click here (needed 06/25 & 07/02)
- Flowers sign up – Click here (needed 07/02 & 07/09)
- Coffee Hour Host sign up – Click here (needed 07/02 & 07/09)
- 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 Food Drive
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 this Sunday, June 25th, as MCUM’s Each One Feed One food drive, their largest one of the year, concludes. So far, we have collected (and delivered) 142lbs. of food and hygiene products toward our goal of at least 240lbs. as we help MCUM reach their overall goal of 7000lbs. (enough to serve 200 local families). Keep the donations coming! 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.
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. There are special needs with pre-Synod set up (furniture and worship space) on June 28th and greeting guests as they arrive at the hotel on June 29th. There is also a need for help with providing child care (June 30th-July 4th), Committee Secretaries (July 2nd; training July 1st), Plenary Floor Stewards (July 3rd and 4th), and the Outdoor Festival (July 2nd). Feel free to contact Pastor Jessica with any questions, and learn about volunteer opportunities and sign up here 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 no longer available; register onsite in Indianapolis. Visit the UCC’s General Synod website here to learn more about what’s in store for General Synod 2023.
Online Directory Now Available!
At long last 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).
NEW/UPDATED THIS WEEK
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, July 7th, 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 Jessica know by Thursday, July 6th so she can be sure to have enough food for all and account for any dietary needs.
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 July 2nd, we encourage you to bring donations of non-perishable food items for our community members in need. As always, all of the collected 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.
First United’s Feminist Book Club
On Sunday, July 9th,our Feminist Women’s Book Club will meet at 12:00pm in Roger Williams and via Zoom. For this gathering, we will read and discuss“Still Life” by Sarah Winman—awinner of multiple awards and a very popular book club selection over the past few years. It’s a captivating, bighearted, richly tapestried story of people brought together by love, war, art, flood, and the ghost of E. M. Forster. Set in Tuscany, 1944: As Allied troops advance and bombs fall around deserted villages, a young English soldier, Ulysses Temper, finds himself in the wine cellar of a deserted villa. There, he has a chance encounter with Evelyn, a middle-aged art historian who has come to Italy to salvage paintings from the ruins and recall long-forgotten memories of her own youth. In each other, Ulysses and Evelyn find a kindred spirit amidst the rubble of war-torn Italy, and set off on a course of events that will shape Ulysses’ life for the next four decades. For Zoom information or more information about the book club contact facilitator Cindy Stone, email@example.com. Feminist women of all ages are invited to join us.
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. Many thanks to Sabine Lammers and Jennifer Fultz for leading CLT this Sunday. Interested in joining our CLT assistant teacher rotation? Contact Molly Koontz. And, remember there will be no Children’s Learning Time during the month of July. Young children will be welcome in the nursery, while all children are invited to remain in worship for the duration of the service. A play/pray area will be set up for use of children (and any interested adults) for use following Children’s Time. CLT will resume August 6th.
Guest Worship Leadership
All are encouraged to gather for worship next Sunday, July 2nd, as the Revs. Byron Bangert and Rebecca Hoke-McCall offer their extraordinary worship leadership while Pastor Jessica is at the UCC’s General Synod. As is our custom on the first Sunday of the month, the service will include the celebration of communion.
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 “The Gospel and Global Civil Rights.” 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. There will be no meeting on Tuesday, July 4th.
Temporary Policy Regarding Unhoused Guests and Unattended Property
During the June 11th Congregational Meeting, there was conversation about the temporary policy regarding unhoused guests and their property adopted by Council during their April 2023 meeting. That policy is as follows:
When an unhoused person is found staying on the church grounds, the non-emergency police line will be called to request Resource Officers (phone (812) 339-4477) to come assist the individual in connecting with community resources. When belongings are found on the church grounds (no person in sight), a sign will be placed on/with/near the items that says the items will be removed in 24 hours (to give the individual an opportunity to collect them and move on).
UPCOMING WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
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. It will also include a special litany lighting “Flames of Love” in honor of the final Sunday of Pride month. Laurie Eynon will present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead. Eric Meincke and Hansol Kim will lead us in singing throughout the service, and Lisa Kwong will offer one of her original poems. For the final time as our Church President, Rebecca Keith 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 (sign up here to help), while Dedric Dennist will welcome all who join via Zoom. Patty and Lewis Williams will provide a lovely floral arrangement in celebration of Patty’s Aunt Dorothy’s 100th birthday. Finally, Jim True will ensure the audio/visual pieces run as smoothly as possible. Finally, Ted Wininger will host coffee hour 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
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. There are still openings available during July. 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.
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 July 20th. To volunteer for this month or subsequent months click here to access our online sign up or contact Laurie Eynon (firstname.lastname@example.org or (812) 336-1219). Thank you!
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.
Indiana Humanities Interview
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.
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!
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.
Our youngest children are welcome to spend time from 10am-11:45am playing in the nursery or on the playground, weather permitting. Jessica McIntosh and Mary Peckham 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.
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.
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.
Congregational Meeting Follow Up
Thank you to all who gathered in Fellowship Hall and online for our regular June Annual Meeting on Sunday, June 11th. During the meeting the proposed slate of officers and board members was approved. The new church administrative year will begin and new elected leaders will take their positions on July 1st; see incoming leadership here. The meeting also included written and spoken reports from church leadership regarding activities of the past year. Additionally, there was conversation about the temporary policy regarding unhoused guests and their property adopted by Council during their April 2023 meeting, and attendees were asked to share their thoughts regarding who we are, what we have, and what we do. Finally, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the renaming of the church to First United Church with fabulous food (provided by YOU) and joined together in singing four songs written by congregants in celebration of First United.
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.
- 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
- Rebecca Keith, Church President – email@example.com; 812-325-0145 (Cell)