• 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 03/17, 03/24, & 03/31)
  • Flowers sign up – Click here
  • Coffee Hour Host sign up – Click here (needed 03/31)
  • 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


Midweek Lenten Worship

Join us for the last midweek Lenten service via Zoom (click here) at 5:30pm on Thursday, March 21st. The service offers 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.

Newsletter, Congregant Monday Musings, and Announcements Deadlines

The First News deadline is Monday, March 18th. If you would like to have an article included in the April newsletter, please have your article turned into the church office by the end of the day.

Members and friends of First United are invited to prepare a “Monday Musing” to be shared with the wider congregation via email on the third Monday of each month. Please contact Pastor Jessica and/or Lisa Stanger if you would like to share your thoughts and ideas through this avenue, and they will help you get it scheduled (turn in by TODAY, March 15th for this month).

And, 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.


Time to Order Easter Lilies!

This Easter we continue the tradition of decorating the sanctuary with Easter lilies. If you would like to participate by purchasing one or more potted lilies, contact Lisa in the office. The lilies are yours to take home and enjoy after the Easter service. The cost is $11.00 per plant. We will need your order and payment by Friday, March 22nd. Be sure to make your check payable to First United Church and in the memo area put “For Easter Lilies.” Thank you!

Easter Morning Food and Fun 

EVERYONE is invited to First United’s Easter Morning celebrations on Sunday, March 31st. A Pre-Worship Breakfast buffet will be available from 9:15am (in place of our Fifth Sunday Potluck). The Children’s choir will rehearse briefly at 9:15am. Easter Morning Egg Hunt is scheduled for 9:30am. 

PARENTS/GUARDIANS, please respond to the email from Molly Koontz asking if your children will be present for the fun, as age-appropriate goodies and hunts will be available for each child. 

TO ALL: if you will have guests for the holiday, let us know the names and ages/grade levels of visiting kids so we can include them. PLEASE ALERT US TO ALLERGIES in your communication.

JOIN US!! You are also invited to bring breads, fruit, a breakfast bake, or any favorite item, sign up through the announcements or surprise us. Contributions are welcome at 9:15am or when you can bring them! Questions and notification to Mary Peckham.

Tuesday Morning Café and Discussion

Join us in person or online Tuesdays at 10am-11:30am as we gather for a time of informal conversation followed by thought-provoking theological study and discussion. This Tuesday, March 19th, we will conclude our exploration of “The Pagan World: Ancient Religions before Christianity” presented by Dr. Hans-Friedrich Mueller. Next Tuesday, March 26th, we will begin a new 24-sesson study: “The History and Archeology of the Bible” with Dr. Jean-Pierre Isbouts. 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.


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. Lisa Kwong 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. Hansol Kim will lead us in song, and Michael Varilla and Sam Troxal will offer special music. Keith Gerber and Dave Meyer will offer a warm welcome to all those who will gather in the sanctuary and could use some additional help (sign up here). And, Kyle Hetrick and Dave Meyer will welcome all who join via Zoom as they ensure the audio/visual pieces run as smoothly as possible. Finally, be sure to join us in Fellowship Hall after worship for a time of fellowship and refreshment hosted by Ted Wininger.

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

Holy Week Worship

On Maundy Thursday, March 28th, at 6:15pm,we will gather around the communion table in the Sanctuary for a simple meal of soup and bread followed by worship, using Holden Evening Prayer and including the celebration of communion. Cooks and bakers are invited to share your talents with an offering of soup or bread (contact Siri Loescher at 317-664-0247) for the Maundy Thursday meal.

Then, on Friday, March 29th, 12:10pm-1pm, we will join together in our lovely Chapel for a contemplative Good Friday service as we mark this mournful day together with song, prayer, silence, and reflection. 

Of course, you are also encouraged to join us for worship on Palm Sunday (March 24th), and Easter Sunday (March 31st) with pre-service potluck and Easter Egg hunt.

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:

  • Parker Waltz, as he faces health challenges
  • Frank Klaykamp, uncle of Parker Waltz, upon entering hospice care
  • Beth and Leni, friends of Jennifer Fultz, as they and their families face health challenges
  • Lisa Stanger and family, following the death of her son Jason Gober
  • 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

One Great Hour of Sharing Offering

One Great Hour of Sharing is a special mission offering of both the American Baptist Churches (USA) and the United Church of Christ. This offering supports disaster, refugee, and development ministries both domestically and abroad. We will collect this special offering during worship on Palm Sunday, March 24th. Click here to learn more about the impact your donations to this special offering make. If you are unable to join us for worship on March 24th, you may contribute by sending a check to the church office or by giving online here (through the UCC) or here (through the ABC-USA).

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.

The Market will be hosting Health & Wellness Days on the third Saturdays of the month now through June during regular market hours. You are invited to attend as these Market days focus on various aspects of health and wellness from physical health, mental health, pregnancy, aging, spiritual health, massage, yoga, reflexology, herbal medicines, and more! Learn more here.

People’s Market will also be hosting their annual Spring Sprout Sale on Saturday, March 23rd, 9:30am opening through 3:00pm. This event will feature keynote speaker Dr. Valerie Grim, offer a raffle for FREE 6-week CSA, and, of course, plant sprouts will be for sale—over 100s of plant starts available for purchase! Learn more here.

Petition Calling for a Ceasefire in Gaza

The Board of Outreach invites members and friends of First United to read and consider signing a petition asking the Bloomington Common Council to adopt a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and the release of all hostages. The petition was prepared by the newly-formed Bloomington chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace. As you know, the situation in Gaza is approaching a humanitarian catastrophe. City councils around the nation are adopting such resolutions, and the Bloomington JVP feels Bloomington should do so as well. Please take some time to read and considering adding your name to the petition, which can be accessed here at Change.org.

Thank You!

Thank you all for making our February Cleaning & Hygiene Drive for Monroe County United Ministries (MCUM) a huge success! The food donated weighed in at 213 pounds, and the personal hygiene and cleaning products donated weighed 248 pounds; for a grand total of 461 pounds! Thank you all for your continued generosity!

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 now through 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. 

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.


Youth Connections

Youth in grades 6 and up are invited to gather with Pastor Jessica and one another in Room 6 following worship one Sunday each month to consider your questions, big and small, and explore faith matters as they are relevant to your life. Our March meeting day is Sunday, March 24th, 12pm-1pm. We are using “Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity” by David L. Felten and Jeff Procter-Murphy as our guide and jumping off point for discussion. If you or your youth are interested in getting involved, please contact Pastor Jessica.

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! Remaining sessions include:

  • 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.

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 Emily Mathes and Jennifer Fultz 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. Lena Stosberg will ensure our little ones are safe and engaged in fun activities during worship this Sunday and will join with CLT to ensure safe conduct ratios are met. 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