- 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 07/10)
- Usher sign up – Click here (needed 07/03 and 07/10)
- Flowers sign up – Click here (needed 07/03 and 07/10)
- Coffee Hour Host sign up – Click here (needed 07/10)
- Donate to First United Online – Click here
- First United Vimeo Channel – Click here
Send Off for Sam
Our outgoing Music Director, Sam Grace, 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. Sam 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.
A hiring committee has been formed to seek a new Music Director as we remain committed to offering meaningful musical opportunities for our congregation. The job description has been finalized and can be accessed on our website here; please share widely! Please contact Mary Peckham, Rachel Caswell, or Pastor Jessica with any questions.
Sunday Funday (a time of informal play and fellowship) will be held THIS Sunday, June 26th, 2pm-4pm. 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 their pool! (Bring your swimming gear.) Their address is 4140 West Estate Court, Bloomington. See you there!
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!
NEW/UPDATED THIS WEEK
Our Afghan Guests—Welcome, Emaan!
A healthy baby boy was born last Saturday, June 18th, to the beautiful Afghan family we have the pleasure and privilege of co-sponsoring. Emaan (pronounced ee mahn) weighed in at 6lbs. 4.5oz. and stretched out 19.5 inches. We celebrate with the family and offer our blessings as they adapt to life as a family of five. Thank you all for your continued support of this tremendous family!
This spring the Member Relations Committee (MeRC) launched bimonthly coffee hours after worship on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month. Moving forward we need additional volunteers to host! The Board of Education hosted one Sunday in May, Dave Meyer and Cindy Neidhart generously hosted on June 12th, and this Sunday, June 26th, MeRC is holding a special coffee hour to honor Sam Grace as he leaves Bloomington and First United.
Click here to sign up to volunteer to host July 10th or 24th. Consider asking someone to host with you and deepen a friendship! Clear instructions regarding setup/cleanup and guidelines for serving snacks are posted in the kitchen and will be 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.
Thank you for considering this act of service—supporting this fellowship opportunity is meaningful, does not demand a lot of time, and can be kept very simple.
Feminist Women’s Book Club
Our feminist women’s book club will meet on Sunday, July 10th 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 “The Reading List” by Sara Nisha Adams. An elderly widower has become a hermit and finds himself entranced with reading. Teenager Aleisha is not a reader and is completely bored with her summer job as a library clerk. While she’s checking in books, a piece of paper falls out of one. Titled “JUST IN CASE YOU NEED IT,” it’s a list of eight classic books, beginning with “To Kill a Mockingbird.” With nothing else to do, she decides to read all the books on the list. Aleisha shares the list with the widower, who soon begins to use the library as an escape from his too-quiet home. The novel is divided into eight sections per book, and the characters eventually learn how the books’ themes resonate in their own lives. A book for lovers of books, especially fiction. As always, new members are welcome to visit as a guest. For Zoom or more information contact facilitator Cindy Stone (stonec@Indiana.edu).
Meet and Greet with Pastor Jessica
Our first meet & chat with Reverend Jessica will be hosted by Laurie Eynon on Tuesday, July 19th at 3:30pm in Roger Williams Hall. She will be inviting some people but there is room for a few more if this time works for you and you would like attend–you are very welcome! Please let Laurie know so she can plan accordingly at 812-336-1219 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
July Worship Services
Throughout the month of July, we will explore a variety of different worshipful practices during the Sunday morning service seeking to learn more about how we connect with one another and the divine and ask the question of why we even gather for worship. While the services will include some more familiar components as well, you are encouraged to open yourselves to engaging in worship in previously unknown ways. The services will be fully multigenerational as the children are encouraged to participate in the entire experience, and Children’s Learning Time will be on hiatus for the month (young children are still welcome in the nursery). May this time of experimentation, of learning, of worship empower us to live ever more fully and authentically as God’s beloved.
UPCOMING WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
Sunday Morning Hybrid Worship
Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am. This Sunday we will offer our thanks and blessings to Sam Grace and his family (Megan and Emmett) as he concludes his service as our Music Director and they embark on their next adventure in Minnesota. To mark the occasion, Jean-Paul Etienne will offer a special music piece in addition to the beautiful music shared by 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 Keith Gerber will present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead. Sara Ivey Lucas, Kim Yaussy Albright, Emily Mathes and Kenny Yebei will offer a warm welcome to all those who gather in the sanctuary, while Dedric Dennist will welcome all who join via Zoom. The beautiful floral arrangement will be provided by Sara Ivey Lucas, in celebration of summer birthdays, including Chris Lucas. Finally, Kyle Hetrick and Jim True 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
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 email@example.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!
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 Rebecca Keith for leading CLT this Sunday. Note: there will be no CLT offered during the month of July; children are encouraged to participate fully in the worship service, and young children are welcome in the nursery. Interested in joining our CLT assistant teacher rotation when we pick back up in August? 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 here) on 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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 – email@example.com; 812-727-4414 (Friday & Saturday off; emergency calls only)
- Lisa Stanger, Office Manager – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sam Grace, Music Director – email@example.com
- Dedric Dennist, Web Content & Media Coordinator – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rebecca Keith, Church President – email@example.com; 812-325-0145 (Cell)