• Off-Topic Scripture Circle – Sundays @ 9am; Join Zoom Meeting here
  • Sunday Morning Worship – Sundays @ 10:30am; Join Zoom Webinar here
  • Morning Café and Discussion – Tuesdays @ 10am;Join Zoom Meeting here
  • Scripture Reader sign up – Click here
  • Usher sign up – Click here (needed for 03/06 and 03/13)
  • Flowers sign up – Click here
  • Donate to First United Online – Click here
  • First United Vimeo Channel – Click here


Sermon Talk Backs

Beginning this Sunday, March 6th, Rev. Petersen-Mutai will preach a 7-part sermon series in which she will explore the last week of Jesus as depicted in the Gospel of Mark. Throughout the season of Lent (we will not have a talk back on Easter Sunday), those gathering in person will have the opportunity to talk about what they’ve heard with a moderated discussion on the sermon following the worship service each week in Roger Williams Hall (except 2nd Sundays, alternative location to be announced). Thanks to Byron Bangert and Rebecca Hoke-McCall for facilitating these conversations!

Courthouse Rally

Bloomington Peace Action Coalition will hold a rally on Courthouse Square this Sunday, March 6th at 2pm. The event, which will be one of hundreds taking place around the world on March 6th, is in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and in protest of the brutal attack by Russia. The coalition is calling for peace and warning against further escalation. The crisis is a wake up call that the world must heed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and begin global, verifiable nuclear disarmament and transfer funds from the military to climate and human needs. The event is cosponsored by the Just Peace Task Force of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington.


Indoor Masking Continues
The Council will be meeting on March 16th (open invitation to congregants) to discuss indoor masking in our church building. Afterwards, we’ll notify our church family regarding the decision. Until then please continue to wear a mask and maintain distance while in the building.  

Displaced Immigrant Support Program

Our sponsored Afghan family is doing well. The father, Ahad, is beginning a new term next week in IU’s intensive English program. We are still seeking church members’ help with job coaching and with employment contacts in Bloomington’s medical technology business community. Ahad’s previous work experience is in medical technology manufacturing and sales. We are also looking for a “comfort bike” (an easy to ride, practical model) to help Ahad with transport. If you have a spare bike in the garage or in the bike rack that you are willing to part with that would fit a 5’7’’ man, we would love to hear about it. If you think you can help, please let Dave Meyer know (dwm@davemeyer.org).

Additionally, your financial support is greatly appreciated and continues to be needed. A special giving section on the church donation page has been set up as one way to give; click here to access it. Individuals may also write checks to First United with “DISP” in the memo line.

SUNday FUNday

Mark your calendars for a time of outdoor play and games on Sunday, March 27th, 2pm-4pm, on the church grounds. Stay tuned for more details to come, and plan to join the fun! Suggestions welcome (turn into church office).

IKC DRPMT Kentucky Tornado Response

Join the Indiana-Kentucky Conference (IKC) Disaster Preparedness and Response Ministry Team (DPRMT) for a one-week work camp March 20th-26th, 2022 (Sunday evening to Saturday morning) in western Kentucky. The IKC volunteers will be staying at First Christian Church (DOC) in Madisonville, KY. The IKC DPRMT will be partnering with Fuller Center Disaster ReBuilders and working at two work sites: Dawson Springs and Bremen. Both communities were devastated by the December 10th-11th, 2021 tornadoes. Two $125 scholarships are available to help cover costs.

This work camp is limited to adults only with a maximum of 20 volunteers. Anyone is welcome to volunteer, but there is a special need for an additional person with construction experience who would help direct the volunteers and two cooks to prepare the meals. The registration deadline is March 13th, 2022, and all volunteers will need to have completed a background check within the past 5 years. More information and the registration form can also be accessed here.

Monday Musings

Members and friends of First United are invited to share your thoughts to be featured on the third Monday of the month via our “Monday Musings.” You are encouraged to offer your perspectives, curiosities, questionings, suggestions, ideas (you get the picture) with one another via this monthly Congregant Monday Musing. Volunteers are not asked to commit to writing a Monday Musing every month from now until eternity but to consider a one-time contribution, and then if the Spirit moves, perhaps another in a few months. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Pastor Jessica or Lisa so that your contribution can be scheduled along with other congregant contributors throughout the year.


Sunday Morning Hybrid Worship

Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am. This Sunday’s service will feature Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai in the pulpit; she will also offer a special message for the young and young at heart. We will also be celebrating communion this Sunday, so those joining via Zoom are encouraged to prepare a “nibble” and a “sip” prior to the start of worship. As always, beautiful music will be led by Sam Grace and Hansol Kim, and our wonderful vocal choir will offer a special music piece. Mary Peckham will present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead. We are still in need of ushers (sign up here) to offer a warm welcome to all those who gather in the sanctuary, and Dedric Dennist will welcome all who join via Zoom. A beautiful floral arrangement will be provided by Rebecca Keith. And, Kyle Hetrick and Jim True will ensure the audio/visual pieces run as smoothly as possible.

Thank you for continuing to mask and maintain distance as we seek to keep everyone safe while joining together in person for worship. 

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 for Humans and Pets

Mark your calendar: Another drive-up/drop-off food drive for humans and pets! Saturday, March 19th, 10am-2pm. Join us to help make a difference for those in our community who are in need.

Monroe County United Ministries (MCUM) focuses on providing short-term emergency food for people in need, while also working with them on long-term goals and priorities. Area 10 Agency on Aging supports seniors and those with disabilities, enabling them to keep their cherished pet companions by assisting with pet food donations when their owners are in need.

When shopping for human food, MCUM recommends purchasing items that you or your family would enjoy. You can also consider buying things that would be needed together, for example – purchase spaghetti and spaghetti sauce, or peanut butter and jelly, soup and crackers. Currently, the most needed items are

  • Reusable/Cloth Bags
  • Canned Meat (Tuna, chicken, beef)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Dried Pasta
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Cereal
  • Ready to eat soups / chili / pasta
  • Canned vegetables (carrots, greens, potatoes)
  • Toilet Paper
  • Checks made out to First United (with “MCUM” for human support or “Area 10” for pet support in the memo)

Area 10 Agency on Aging accepts pet food of all types, dry or canned, large bags and small. Dry food is okay if it has been opened, so long as it is still usable. They also accept pet treats. See you on March 19th! Thanks in advance! Your Outreach Board

COVID Memorial Installation and Service

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Bloomington welcomes the community to experience the COVID memorial installation set up in their sanctuary. The installation seeks to make tangible the enormity of loss experienced throughout the continuing pandemic acknowledging the over 900,000 lives lost to COVID in the US alone. You are invited to contribute to this installation made up of rolls and rolls of paper with numbers written 1000 at a time by requesting a roll and instructions with what number to begin with and when to end; contact Pastor Jessica if you are interested.

Additionally, a multifaith COVID memorial service will be hosted at the UU Congregation (First United is involved in the planning) on Wednesday, March 23rd, 6:30pm as we mark two years of living in a global pandemic.

Congratulations, Dedric!

Dedric Dennist, our very own Web Content and Media Coordinator, is a recipient of a 2022 Outstanding Black Leader of Tomorrow award presented by the City of Bloomington Commission on the Status of Black Males. Dedric received the award during Bloomington’s 18th Annual Black History Month Gala. Congratulations, Dedric!


CLT and Nursery Care

Kids in kindergarten through 5th grade are welcome to Children’s Learning Time (CLT) during the last half of the service. This Sunday, the children will return to the sanctuary toward the end of the service to celebrate communion with the rest of the congregation. Many thanks to Ted Wininger (our interim Lead CLT Teacher!) 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 9:15am-11:45am playing in the nursery or on the playground, weather permitting. We are glad to welcome Allie Gentry to our Nursery staff; she, along with Jessica McIntosh, and Lena Stosberg 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 continue our new 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

Want to read and discuss the week’s scripture readings with friends before church in a casual setting where you will never be asked to leave your brain or your heart at the door? We have the place for you! Those who would like to gather in person can do so in Room 6 and those who would like to participate virtually can join via Zoom here. See you Sunday morning, 9am-10am!

Feminist Women’s Book Club

Our feminist women’s book club continues to meet after worship (12noon) on the second Sunday of the month in Roger Williams Hall face-to-face and via Zoom for anyone who would prefer to join virtually. As always, we welcome new members to visit as a guest. We are women who have a lively discussion for about an hour as we read recent fiction “by women, for women or about women.” Feminist women of all ages are invited to join us. For March 13th, Karen Johnson has picked 1992 historical novel “Jazz” by the Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning American author Toni Morrison. It takes place in Harlem during the 1920s; however, as the pasts of the various characters are explored, the narrative extends back to the mid-19th-century American South. For Zoom information or more information about the book club, contact facilitator Cindy Stone, stonec@indiana.edu.

Reader’s Choice Book Group

All are invited to join the Reader’s Choice Book Group on Monday, March 14th, 1:30pm when the group will discuss “Where the Crawdads Sing,” a novel by Delia Owens. It’s the story of a young girl who is abandoned by her mother, then her father, and struggles to live alone in the rugged coast line region of North Carolina. Known to the locals as the “Wild Marsh Girl” she is suspected of foul play when a popular young man is found dead. The group will meetat the home of Nancy Martin (1047 Sassafras Drive; Meadowood). Come and join us!

Lent Madness! 

All are invited to participate in Lent Madness 2022, a unique and somewhat absurd Lenten devotion that is as fun as it is meaningful. The absurdity comes in the format of a tournament-style, single-elimination bracket in which 32 saints (from biblical stories to modern times) are pitted against each other as they battle for the “Golden Halo.” Each weekday (plus one Saturday) through the Wednesday of Holy Week, two saints “face off” against each other. During each 24-hour period, Lent Madness participants learn about the lives, legends, quotes of both saints and then vote online for who they want to advance to the Saintly Sixteen, then the Elate Eight, then the Faithful Four, and ultimately for who wins the entire tournament and earns the “Golden Halo.” Winners from prior tournaments have included well-known figures like Harriet Tubman, Mary Magdalene, and Florence Nightingale, but also less-known saints like Anna Alexander and George Herbert.

How to get involved:

  • Visit www.lentmadness.org to find the saints’ biographical information and vote. Voting takes place daily, and you can vote as frequently or infrequently as you like, and it’s all free.
  • If you would like to discuss your votes, the bracket, or just take a deeper dive into the lives of the fascinating people featured, you’re invited to join the “Lent Madness at First United Church!” Facebook group here.
  • If you would like your own booklet with information on the saints and a full-color bracket, a limited number are available in church Narthex (get them before there gone!).
  • Stay tuned for Lent Madness updates in upcoming email announcements through the season of Lent (March 6th-April 17th (Easter)).

For more information, talk to Pastor Jessica or Kyle Hetrick.

Racial Justice Lunch & Learns

These lunch & learn conversations take place via Zoom (click here) on the first and third Thursdays of each month, 12pm-1pm. We are currently exploring “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together” by Heather McGhee as we participate in the Bloomington Multi-faith Alliance Faith for Racial Equity (BMA F4RE) spring 2022 book read. Participants should read chapters 9 and 10 for the March 17th gathering (our final discussion of this book).


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!

Technology Upgrades

We are moving forward with the technology upgrades project approved by our congregation. If you would like to contribute to the funding of this technology project (we are seeking to raise $25,000 in total), you may do so by mailing in or dropping off a check with “A/V project” or “Technology upgrades” in the memo line. Thank you to those who have already donated to this project.

Announcements Deadline

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.

Contact Information