Based on the latest Monroe County data and weighing the impact in our local community, all church activities, including worship, will be offered online only. We hope to return to in-person activities on Sunday, February 6

A CONGREGATIONAL MEETING will be held immediately after church on Sunday, May 1, for the purpose of electing Church Officers and Board members for the coming year. The meeting will be brief. Your vote is important! ?Please plan to attend.?

SAVE THE DATE:? MAY 1? ?It’s time to think spring! MCUM’s 10th Annual Spring into Action! Luncheon and Auction is just around the corner. The event will take place on Sunday, May 1, 2016 at the Bloomington/Monroe County Convention Center. Guests will be treated to a delicious hot buffet meal, a silent and live auction, and, most importantly, an opportunity to engage in MCUM’s mission.

SING WITH A CHOIR SUMMER SEASON!? Join the choir during the relaxing summer months.? Rehearsals start Thursday, June 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the Choir Room.? No prerequisites, come all who love music!?

NEW VOICES OPERA will premier fellow First United Church Chorister’s opera.? Nic Chuaqui’s “The Forest of Dreams”, a story of the lost colony of Roanoke will be performed Thursday, May 5 at 7:00 p.m. at the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre.? Admission is free.? Please visit our website at www.newvoicesopera.org.

LEGACY COMMUNION VESSELS.? Help us decide what to do with them

After several years of research, deliberation, and hard work, the Board of Christian Worship chose the beautiful hand-thrown pottery vessels for our Communion liturgies.? Congregants will note that we use four different sets, each uniquely designed color appropriate for the liturgical season in which Communion falls.? For several reasons, the original Communion vessels ? the large bread ?boat? and the tall wine ewer ? have been permanently retired from service.? Now, it is up to us to decide what to do with the retired vessels.

One possibility would be to get rid of the legacy vessels altogether (discard, recycle, or donate), but at the present time, this possibility is not popular among First United Congregants.? So, unless we hear otherwise, we will likely keep the vessels, as they hearken to mid-century America when our building was designed and constructed.? The question will be what to do with them.

The Board of Christian Worship has already heard from a few people, but we would like much input, particularly if this is an important issue for you.? Some choice to consider:? should the vessels be kept at all?? Should they be displayed in the sanctuary or outside the sanctuary? If outside the sanctuary, where?? Should they be in a glass case under lock and key or should they be in open air?? Should they be on permanent display or perhaps brought out only on Communion Sundays?

Please offer your thoughts and ideas to the Board via email: worship@firstuc.org.? We also like to hear from you in person, though we prefer email because we are keeping a record of what people say.? When offering your thoughts and ideas, please be sure to speak only for yourself.? Suggestions that begin, ?A lot of people are saying?? are not helpful because we don?t know who ?a lot of people? are or what exactly those ?lot of people? are saying.

Thanks so much for your input. Eric Metzler, Chair , Board of Christian Worship?

SOLAR PANELS . We will decide among the four contractors who have bid on our church’s job. ?Many thanks to all of you who have given already, some of you twice. ?The Solar Panel Committee?

SACRED CONVERSATION ON RACE.?? Already we have had several wonderful and moving discussions about the role of race in our lives, and we would love to add YOUR voice to that conversation!? On both Sunday, May 1st (at 9:30 am), and Thursday, May 5th (at 6:30 pm), we will have conversations about the question “What is Race?” ?This is a big topic, and we would love to have a variety of voices to contribute.? To whet your appetite, please take a few minutes to listen to voices you may not have heard before:?http://nyti.ms/1OtsAUW.? For more information, please see Derek Roe or Jo McClamroch.? We hope to talk to you soon!?

GROUND KEEPING. Have you ever wished you had a large home with great grounds to putter in? ?You do. First United Church with its 5+ acre lot is yours and mine. ?Join me, Laura Kao of the Board of Building and Grounds, on Thursday mornings at 8:30 this growing season for an hour of yard work. ?There is always weeding, trimming, and tidying to do, and I’ll be here every Thursday morning that I am in town. ?If you let me know you’re interested by e-mail, I’ll know to keep you in the loop. ?laura_b_kao@hotmail.com ?Thanks!?

SIGN UP FOR FLOWERS.? The flower sign-up book has pages for 2016, and is on a table by the kitchen, just waiting for you to choose a date. You will be sent a reminder letter in time to get your dedication in the bulletin.

April through October flowers for the sanctuary will be sourced from a local grower. ? The cost will remain $35.00 per bouquet.? If you prefer to provide your own flowers or wish to have them provided by Marsh or another source, let the church office or Pat Martin know a week in advance.??

COFFEE HOUR HOSTS NEEDED.? We are in need of coffee hour hosts. All the supplies are provided, grab a friend, or someone new to partner with you. It is a great way to provide a service to the church and encourage a sense of community. Won?t you sign up?

MINISTER OF CARE FOR THE WEEK OF MAY1 IS NORA SULLIVAN.? A minister of care is a church volunteer who visits members in their homes.