• 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
  • Midweek Lenten Worship – Thursdays @ 5:30pm; Join Zoom Meeting here
  • Scripture Reader sign up – Click here
  • Usher sign up – Click here (needed 03/10 & 03/17)
  • Flowers sign up – Click here
  • Coffee Hour Host sign up – Click here (needed 03/10 & 03/17)
  • Communion Server sign up –Click here (needed 04/07)
  • Community Kitchen sign up – Click here (needed 03/21)
  • Online Commitment/Pledge Card – Click here
  • Donate to First United Online – Click here
  • First United Vimeo Channel – Click here


Pizza and 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 TODAY, March 1st, 5:30pm-7:30pm. We’ll enjoy a time of informal, unprogrammed fun and fellowship in Fellowship Hall and surrounding areas. As the name implies, pizza and drinks will be provided. Please feel free to come even if you didn’t get your RSVP in; there is always plenty of food!

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 or on the shelves outside of the main church kitchen. THIS Sunday, March 3rd, we encourage you to bring donations of non-perishable food items for our community members in need. As always, all of the collected human food and cleaning/hygiene items will go to Monroe County United Ministries (MCUM), and pet food will go to Area 10 Agency on Aging. Click here for a list of MCUM’s ongoing needs.

Thanks to your generosity in January (and the first Sunday in February), we were able to supply MCUM with 152lbs. of food and hygiene items! We will certainly keep you posted regarding the weight of the items donated throughout the month of February for our Cleaning and Hygiene Drive; thank you for all your contributions!

Midweek Lenten Worship

Join us for midweek Lenten services via Zoom (click here) at 5:30pm on Thursdays, March 7th, 14th, and 21st. These services offer worshipers an opportunity to pause in the midst of our busy weeks to reflect with the help of scripture, prayer, and song and to connect with our family of faith.

Anonymous Online Survey

Please take a moment to complete a very important anonymous survey here.This survey serves as a follow-up to earlier invitations, inviting your involvement in the strategic planning and visioning process for our church’s building and grounds. As a congregationally-led church, your insights play a pivotal role in shaping a collective vision for our faith community. We warmly invite you to contribute to this reflective visioning survey, with the congregation’s Star Word, “Transform,” guiding your thoughts.


Congratulations, Hansol!

Let us join together in congratulating our very own Hansol Kim, who was named the graduate winner of the Immanuel Lutheran Organ Scholar Program in Chicago this February! Winners receive a $3500 prize and the opportunity to return to Chicago to perform a recital later in the year. Learn more about the program here.

We are so blessed to have someone as talented as Hansol at the console every Sunday and offering support and instrumental guidance to the Vocal Choir on Thursday nights as they prepare for their musical offerings each week. Thank you, Hansol, for all you do for our church, and congratulations!

Vote for Climate Hope Art Contest

The United Church of Christ is conducting a Vote for Climate Hope Art Contest. UCC children and youth are invited to draw, paint, or color about the world and the environment in which they want to live. What are their hopes for the world? What is it that they value and want to have protected? What is it that adults should remember and take to heart when they vote this year? Art submissions will be accepted from March 1st to April 16th. An online award ceremony for finalists will be held on May 4th, and the winning art will be featured on “Climate Hope Voter Pledge Cards” that church members throughout the UCC will collect during the summer and fall before Election Day. Registrants will receive: a printable “Vote for Climate Hope” art template, link to a video promoting the art contest, and regular updates and resources about the “Vote for Climate Hope” campaign. Click here to register now. 

Communications and Announcements Deadline

While Lisa Stanger is out of the office on bereavement leave, you are encouraged to contact Pastor Jessica with any church-related needs (call her cell phone rather than the office phone to ensure a quick response). If you would like an announcement included in next week’s church email, please have your item to Pastor Jessica by noon on Wednesday, March 6th.

Daylight Saving Time Begins: Spring Forward!

Daylight Saving Time begins next Sunday, March 10th, at 2am. Remember to turn your clocks ahead one hour before you go to bed on Saturday night, so you don’t miss morning worship!


Sunday Morning Hybrid Worship

Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am. This first Sunday of the month, we will gather at God’s welcome table and celebrate communion together. Note: Communion elements (bread and wine/juice) will be served in the pews for those gathering in the sanctuary; online worshipers are encouraged to prepare a “nibble” and a “sip” prior to the start of the service. Kim Yaussy Albright, Ben Ale-Ebrahim, and Sara Cole will serve those gathering in person.

This Sunday’s service will also feature Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai in the pulpit; she will also offer a special message for the young and young at heart. Kim Yaussy Albright will present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead. Additionally, Mitchell Farmer will highlight some of the many ways we are invited to engage in the life of the church and our wider community. Eric Meincke and Hansol Kim will lead us in song, and the First United Vocal Choir will offer gifts of special music. Keith Gerber and Molly and Noel Koontz will offer a warm welcome to all those who will gather in the sanctuary. And, Kyle Hetrick and Jim True will welcome all who join via Zoom as they ensure the audio/visual pieces run as smoothly as possible. Malissa Sparks will provide a beautiful floral arrangement in memory of Ken Sparks. Finally, be sure to join us in Fellowship Hall after worship for a time of fellowship and refreshment hosted by Justice and James Lane.

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

Choir Rehearsals

All who are interested in engaging in our Music Ministry are encouraged to join our vocal choir and bell choir! No prior musical experience is required, but a foundational ability to read music is recommended. The Bell Choir rehearses on Thursdays, 6:15pm-7:15pm in Roger Williams Hall. And, the Vocal Choir rehearses on Thursdays, 7:30pm-9pm, in the Choir Room.If you are interested in joining or have any questions, please contact Eric Meincke at ericdmeincke@gmail.com.


Keeping Up with Our Congregation

One of the gifts of being part of a community of faith is that we don’t face the ups and downs and middles of life alone. We invite you to share what is going on in your lives by contacting Lisa Stanger and/or Pastor Jessica so we can appropriately share information (with your permission) with our wider community of care that we might offer our support whatever you may be facing.

You are encouraged to offer your prayers and actions of support for:

  • Lisa Stanger and family, following the death of her son Jason Gober (Contact Kyle Hetrick or clearly mark your check/cash donation, if you would like to contribute to an effort to provide gift cards in lieu of a meal train.)
  • Lisa Kwong, as she manages some challenging confidential matters
  • Vicky Keith (Rebecca Keith’s sister-in-law)
  • Christopher Meincke (Eric’s brother)
  • Jeanne and Norm Overly

Supporting Unhoused Neighbors

With the support of multiple faith communities, an emergency shelter serving women and individuals who are medically frail will be open during this winter when the temperature is expected to be 20 degrees or below, 3 inches of snow or more are forecasted, and/or when there is a Wind Chill Advisory. The shelter openedFriday, February 23rd, 2024 at First Christian Church (205 E Kirkwood Ave, Bloomington). Doors open at 8:30pm, and guests must leave by 7am. No weapons, drugs, or alcohol are allowed. Pets are not allowed, but service dogs are welcomed. Contact btownsevereshelter@gmail.com with any questions. And, click here to sign up to volunteer.

Recordings of the in-person volunteer orientations are now available for viewing on YouTube. The first is a de-escalation and Narcan training from Deputy Chief Oldham; it can be accessed here. The second features Sarah Lynne Gershon, FCC pastor, discussing de-escalation and shelter procedures; it can be accessed here.

If you are unable to help with this shelter but would like to assist in offering emergency housing, you are invited to contribute to Hotels for Homeless. You may do so directly (click here) or through the church (simply indicate “Hotels for Homeless” on the memo line of your check or on your envelope).

DISP Update

First United’s Displaced Immigrant Support Program (DISP) continues to work with our 3rd refugee family, a brother and sister from Nicaragua (whom you’ve likely met in worship!). If you would like to volunteer your time directly with this family, which might include assisting with transportation to or from appointments, cultural introductions, and general friendship and fellowship, please let us know. To learn more or to volunteer, please contact Dave Meyer (dwm@davemeyer.org) or Hopi Stosberg (hopi@stosberg.com).

The Joy of Hosting

Our Member Relations Committee continues 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.

People’s Market

First United houses the People’s Cooperative Market in our Fellowship Hall each Saturday, 10:00am-2:00pm. The People’s Market is an intersectional anti-racism farmers market and artisan vendor space that focuses on food justice work. All are welcome to attend the Saturday markets and/or order from their online CSA for pickup or delivery; food is always made available to anyone in need.


Feminist Women’s Book Club

Our feminist women’s book club meets after worship on the second Sunday of the month in Roger Williams Hall and via Zoom. We are women who have a lively discussion starting at 12noon, for about an hour. We read recent fiction “by women, for women or about women.” Members are equally split among women from our church and the community. Feminist women of all ages are invited to join us. Our March 10th book selection is “The Personal Librarian” by Marie Benedict–named a Best Book of the Year by NPR and a Notable Book of the Year by the Washington Post. This novel is about J. P. Morgan’s personal librarian Belle, who is a Black American woman, and was forced to hide her identity and pass as white to leave a lasting legacy that enriched our nation. Check out our book club’s Pinterest listing: http://pinterest.com/reginammoore/feminist-book-club/. For Zoom information or more information about the book club contact facilitator Cindy Stone, stonec@indiana.edu.

Online Lenten Class on the Historical Jesus

This series of five image-based classes (support the class with a donation as little as $0) will explore the challenge of Jesus, the Mediterranean Jewish peasant, to the evolutionary future of humanity with the world as Titanic and we as its iceberg. Watch the pre-recorded video lecture for the week according to your own schedule, and then join Dr. John Dominic CrossanDr. Tripp Fuller, and a special guest for the livestream question and answer session each week (recordings will be available after)! Sign up here!

  • PROLOGUE CLASS: Jesus’ Theater: Potential Anti-Semitism on Stage and Screen
    Livestream Q&A — Tuesday, Feb. 20th @ 2pm
  • WEEK #1: Jesus’ World: How is Global Peace to be Imagined?
    Livestream Q&A — Tuesday, Feb. 27th @ 2pm, with Special Guest Brian Zahnd
  • WEEK #2: Jesus’ Vision: How did Tradition Become Traction in Galilee?
    Livestream Q&A — Tuesday, Mar. 5th @ 2pm, with Special Guest Brian McLaren
  • WEEK #3: Jesus’ Execution: What Happened That Passover in Jerusalem?
    Livestream Q&A – Tuesday, Mar. 12th @ 2pm with Special Guest Dr. Jennifer Garcia Bashaw
  • WEEK #4: Jesus’ Vindication: How is that Exaltation to be Imagined?
    Livestream Q&A – Tuesday, Mar. 19th @ 2pm with Special Guest – Dr. Diana Bulter Bass

Off-Topic Scripture Circle

You are invited to join members and friends of First United via Zoom (click here) 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.

Tuesday Morning Café and Discussion

Join us in person or online Tuesdays at 10am-11:30am as we explore “The Pagan World: Ancient Religions before Christianity” presented by Dr. Hans-Friedrich Mueller. After a time of informal conversation, we’ll engage in thought-provoking theological study and discussion as we meet the fascinating, ancient polytheistic peoples of the Mediterranean and beyond, their gods and goddesses, and their public and private worship practices, and come to better understand the foundational role religion played in their daily lives. 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.

Children’s Learning Time

Each Sunday morning, children in kindergarten and up will begin in the Sanctuary with their families and proceed to Room 2 with their adult leads for Children’s Learning Time (CLT) following the Children’s Time. Many thanks to Ted Wininger and Sabine Lammers for leading CLT this Sunday.

We continue to welcome and encourage additional adults to join our teaching rotation to enrich the program for the kids. Lesson materials and supplies are provided, and we have seasoned leaders to help you get acclimated. If you are interested or have questions, please reach out to Molly Koontz, Pastor Jessica, or any member of the Board of Education.

Nursery Care

Our youngest children are welcome to spend time from 10am-11:45am playing in the nursery or on the playground, weather permitting. Molly Koontz 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.


Transformative Stewardship – Cultivating Hearts, Nurturing Community

Though our annual stewardship campaign, Transformative Stewardship – Cultivating Hearts, Nurturing Community formally came to an end last Sunday, February 25th, you are still welcome to complete and submit your paper commitment/pledge cards (drop them in the offering plate on Sunday or deliver to the church office) or to fill out the online commitment/pledge card here. Your pledges of time, talent, and treasure play a “key” role in sustaining and advancing the mission of First United Church!

2024 Offering Envelopes and Direct Deposit

We are using leftover 2023 offering envelope boxes for 2024. If you used envelopes this year, your number box will not be the same; please look for your name. Envelope boxes are available on a table outside of the Sanctuary entrance closest to the chancel. Whether you’ve used them before or this is your first time, you are welcome to pick up a box! Alternatively, if you would like to give to the church through direct deposit, please contact Lisa in the office to make sure she knows you would like to give in this convenient way and has your updated information.

Contact Information