• 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 05/22)
  • Usher sign up – Click here (needed 05/08, 05/15, and 05/22)
  • Flowers sign up – Click here (needed 05/08, 05/15, and 05/22)
  • Coffee Hour Host sign up – Click here
  • Donate to First United Online – Click here
  • First United Vimeo Channel – Click here


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 TONIGHT, Friday, May 6th, 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!

Baby Shower for Our Afghan Guests

You are invited to a surprise baby shower for our Afghan guests, Brishna and Ahad. The shower will be this Saturday, May 7th from 2pm-4pm at a family home. Please RSVP to Hopi Stosberg (hopi@stosberg.com) by TODAY, Friday, May 6th, and she will share the address with you. It is near RCA park. Brishna has a registry at Target. You can find it by clicking here.

Feminist Women’s Book Club

Our feminist women’s book club will meet this Sunday, May 8th in Roger Williams Hall and via Zoom. As always, we welcome new members to visit as a guest. The group meets at 12noon, following worship for about an hour. For May 8th, we’ll read and discuss “Of Women and Salt” by Gabriela Garcia – Winner of the Isabel Allende Most Inspirational Fiction Award along with other Latino Book Awards for best fiction. This sweeping, masterful debut about a daughter’s fateful choice, a mother motivated by her own past, and a family legacy that begins in Cuba before either of them were born. For the Zoom link or more information contact facilitator Cindy Stone, stonec@indiana.edu.

Reader’s Choice Book Club

The Reader’s Choice Book Group will meet this Monday, May 9th, 1:30pm at the home of Jean Peters, 2455 Tamarack Trail, Apt. 104 (Meadowood). The book for discussion is “A Woman of No Importance,” a biography by Sonia Purnell. It’s the untold story of Virginia Hall, an American spy who helped to win WWII but never received the recognition she deserved. Virginia came from a prominent Baltimore family, spoke five languages, and studied for seven years at prestigious universities in the U.S.A. and France. She wanted to be an ambassador. Despite her qualifications, she was rejected by the State Department. She was recruited by the British Secret Service that welcomed women of guile and courage into its ranks to lead covert operations into Nazi occupied France. At one point, she recruited and organized hundreds of men as French Resistance fighters. After the war, she joined the CIA. The Book Group meets the second Monday of the month, and everyone is always welcome.

Providing Food for Habitat Workers

Our Board of Outreach provided lunch for 35 hard-working Habitat for Humanity volunteers last Friday, April 29th. Habitat is currently engaged in a house building blitz erecting three houses in two months’ time and invited First United to offer a gift of thanks (aka Friday lunch) for their dedicated volunteers. As this was a special request from Habitat for Humanity (above and beyond our budgeted financial support), the Board is seeking donations to help offset costs incurred. If you are able to give, please mark your check/donation with “Habitat for Humanity” and place it in the offering on a Sunday or deliver it to the church office. Thank you for giving as you are able!


Congregational Meetings

On Sunday, May 22nd after worship, the Nominating Committee’s Slate of Officers and new Board Members will be presented to the congregation for a vote of approval. Those joining worship online can simply stay on Zoom, and you will be made a “panelist” in order to be seen and heard (if you choose). Our slate is not yet full. If you are interested in getting involved in the governance of our church, please contact Rebecca Keith (rekeith@iu.edu; 812-325-0145) – we need you for the next year of volunteer activities and service to God’s people in our community. Also, mark your calendars for our regular June Annual Meeting scheduled for Sunday, June 12th immediately after worship.

Education Sunday

The Board of Education had the privilege of reviewing two excellent scholarship applications and awarding the Derrick Ping Scholarship to Kate Raphael and the Walling-Troxal Scholarship to Danae Reddick. Kate Raphael plans to use the scholarship to support her studies at the UC Berkeley School of Journalism, and Danae Reddick plans to use the scholarship to support her studies at the Kodaly Institute in Kecskemet, Hungary, where she will pursue a non-degree Diploma in Kodaly Music Pedagogy. We look forward to recognizing these students (in addition to our awesome nursery care providers and CLT leaders) during Education Sunday on May 15th. The celebration will extend to coffee hour as the Board of Education will provide some special treats to mark the occasion.

Sermon Talk Backs

Throughout the season of Lent, worship participants were invited to remain after the service for sermon talk backs to discuss what they had heard and what questions remained with a moderated discussion on the sermon. As we move forward into Eastertide, we will continue to offer folks an opportunity to engage in rich conversation with one another and Rev. Petersen-Mutai one Sunday each month. The May Sermon Talk back will take place on Sunday, May 15th immediately following the worship service. Conversation may center on the sermon of the day or a message offered during a previous Sunday’s service. Those gathering in person are invited to grab a snack from the coffee hour table and meet in Roger Williams Hall; those joining virtually can simply stay on the Zoom webinar (you will be made a “panelist” so you can participate in the conversation). Thanks to Byron Bangert and Rebecca Hoke-McCall for continuing to facilitate these conversations on a monthly basis!

Indiana-Kentucky Conference Annual Gathering – HELP NEEDED

Your help is needed at the IKC Annual Gathering this year! If you are able and available on Thursday, June 2nd (evening) or Friday, June 3rd, you are encouraged to find a spot where you would like to volunteer and sign up! Many shifts are short, and the Planning Team would be most appreciative of your help and love to see you there! There are in-person and virtual opportunities to help this year, including: Setup and Teardown, Hospitality, Virtual Tech Stewards, Greeters, and Food Service Assistance. Click here to see all of the volunteer opportunities and sign up today!

Additionally, the Planning Team is in need of help from Conference congregations to supply food items for the Annual Gathering Banquet. A Sign-Up Genius site has been set up for those who willing and able to donate the needed items. Please click here to see what items are being requested and to sign up to help. Specific drop off dates and times will be communicated at a later date, but please plan to deliver to Frieden’s UCC (8300 S. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46217) the week of May 30th, 2022 (Contact Pastor Jessica if you would like help getting your contribution to Indianapolis as she will be attending the meeting in person and is willing to haul food if needed.). Becky Moore, the Annual Gathering coordinator, will be in touch with those who sign up to communicate details about drop off locations and times for your items.  She can be reached at r.sowder@sbcglobal.net for any questions or correspondence. Thank you for your willingness to help in any way to make this Annual Meeting Banquet a truly abundant and joyful feast!

And, do talk with Pastor Jessica if you would like to simply attend Annual Gathering (online or in person) as we have funds available to cover registration fees. The registration deadline is May 15th.

Pastor-Parish Meet and Greets – HOSTS NEEDED

The Pastoral Relations Committee encourages you to consider accepting the invitation to serve as a host for a meet and greet gathering to get to know Pastor Jessica and for her to get to know us. Hosts would simply invite 6-8 people from church to meet with Jessica for 60-90 minutes in Rogers Williams Hall (or another location of your choosing). The invitees may be from a group you are in like a book club, have shared interests, or be church friends; or you can offer an open invitation to get a diversity of folks together; whatever works for you. As host, you and Jessica will determine a mutually agreeable date and time. Light refreshments may be served if desired, but the goal is to make it as easy as possible for the host while offering a time for attendees to gather and get acquainted. If you are interested in bringing together such a group, you may contact Laurie Eynon (leynon73@icloud.com or 812-336-1219) or Pastor Jessica (revpetersenmutai@firstuc.org or 812-727-4414).


Sunday Morning Hybrid Worship

Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am. This Sunday’s service feature Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai in the pulpit; she will also offer a special message for the young and young at heart. Rebecca Keith will offer a special music piece, and Hansol Kim and Sam Grace will lead beautiful music as they do each Sunday. Dave Meyer will present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead. And, Laurie Eynon will offer a warm welcome to all those who gather in the sanctuary and could use some support (sign up here)! Dedric Dennist will welcome all who join via Zoom. Finally, Jim True and Kyle Hetrick 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


Coffee Hour Returns…

Our next Coffee Hour will be Sunday, May 15th, in the Fellowship Hall Foyer immediately following the worship service, and all are encouraged to enjoy a time of conversation and light snack; thank you to the Board of Education for volunteering to host! Doors to the playground and pavilion will be open and additional seating will be conveniently available in Fellowship Hall.

From now through July, we anticipate twice-a-month Coffee Hours (May 15, June 12 & 26, and July 10 & 24), and by August, we hope to resume our “every-Sunday” routine. As you are undoubtedly aware, Coffee Hour depends on volunteer hosts, and we encourage everyone to consider that opportunity. Whether or not you are acquainted with our Coffee Hour routine and kitchen, we encourage you to partner with someone else; hence, our signup sheet has space for two volunteers. Click here to sign up.

Clear instructions regarding setup/cleanup and guidelines for serving snacks like trail mix, etc., will be posted in the kitchen and 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.

Sunday Fundays

Members and friends of First United are invited to gather for a new monthly opportunity for fun and fellowship 2pm-4pm on the third Sunday of each month (beginning Sunday, May 15th). Forthese Sunday Fundays, families and friends are invited to come together for an informal, unprogrammed play time in Fellowship Hall and on our playground and surrounding area. A light snack will be available for each Sunday Funday. Feel free to bring an indoor and/or outdoor game/activity to share!

Food Drive for Humans and Pets

The next First United drive-up/drop-off food drive is Saturday, May 21st from 10am-2pm. Sign up to help receive donations on the sheet in the Narthex or at the following link: click here. We will accept donations of pet food (to be given to Area 10 Agency on Aging) and people food and hygiene items (to be given to Monroe County United Ministries). Most-needed items are peanut butter, soups, crackers, baking mixes, canned fruits and vegetables, and toilet paper. Thank you!

Church Potluck Luncheon for Our Afghan Guests

We will hold our first church potluck luncheon since the start of the pandemic in honor of the Afghan family that we support. After worship on Sunday, May 22nd, bring a dish (or just yourself) and come meet the Afghan family that First United has sponsored for the last four months. Ahad and Brishna will bring a couple of Afghan dishes to share too, and we will all break bread together!


Consumer-Free Kids

Mark your calendars and plan to attend Bloomington Multifaith Alliance: Children & Youth’s “Consumer-Free Kids: Making room on Earth by consuming less” event on Saturday, May 14th, 10am-11:30am. The event will take place right here at First United (in Fellowship Hall and the church grounds). Participants will engage in stations focused on zero-waste lunch boxes, “Mend it! Fix it!”, eco-bricks, and a no-buy day and participate in a toy swap (bring your gently-used toys). Sycamore Land Trust will also offer a hands-on presentation for all attendees. Plan to come and spread the word!

Racial Justice Lunch & Learns: The 1619 Project

Our Racial Justice Lunch and Learns via Zoom (click here) started back up on Thursday, May 5th, 12pm-1pm, and will continue to meet at noon on the first and third Thursdays of each month. For the next three months, the group will explore the New York Times Magazine 1619 Project (published in 2019). There was no reading required prior to the first conversation as that session served as an introduction and orientation to the five sessions to come. If you would like to participate, contact Pastor Jessica, and she will share the reading schedule with links to access the reading (available free of charge) and questions to consider as you read. Please consider joining in these faithful conversations about the 1619 Project as we continue to seek the truth of our history and how it continues to shape our lives and structures today and, of course, discern ways we can enact justice.

CLT and Nursery Care

Kids in kindergarten through 5th grade are welcome to Children’s Learning Time (CLT) during the last half of the Sunday morning worship service. Many thanks to Ted Wininger (our interim Lead CLT Teacher!) and Noel 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 10am-11:45am playing in the nursery or on the playground, weather permitting. Molly Koontz 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 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’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

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.


Food Policy
During their April 20th meeting, the Church Council temporarily approved to serving of food and drinks in the church building. This change was effective immediately. A reminder that masking in the building continues to be optional (but required for the nursery and CLT) and social distancing is still to be observed. Vaccination continues to be strongly recommended for all who are eligible.

Thank you for your continued support as we navigate this unknown terrain together. Please be in touch with Rebecca Keith, Church President, or other members of the Council with any questions regarding this change in our policy.

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!

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