• 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 and 05/29)
  • Usher sign up – Click here (needed 05/22 and 05/29)
  • Flowers sign up – Click here (needed 05/22 and 05/29)
  • Coffee Hour Host sign up – Click here (needed 06/12)
  • Donate to First United Online – Click here
  • First United Vimeo Channel – Click here


Consumer-Free Kids

The Bloomington Multifaith Alliance: Children & Youth’s “Consumer-Free Kids: Making room on Earth by consuming less” event will take place this Saturday, May 14th, 10am-11:30am right here at First United (in Fellowship Hall and on the church grounds). Participants will engage in stations focused on zero-waste lunch boxes, “Mend it! Fix it!”, eco-bricks, Bring Your Bag Bloomington, 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.

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

Worship participants were invited to remain after the service for sermon talk backs one Sunday each month to discuss what they heard and what questions remain with a moderated discussion on the sermon with one another and Rev. Petersen-Mutai. The May Sermon Talk back will take place this 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!

Coffee Hour!

Join with friends new and old for coffee hour this Sunday, May 15th, in the Fellowship Hall Foyer immediately following the worship service. All are encouraged to enjoy a time of conversation and light snack; thank you to the Board of Education for volunteering to host this Sunday! Doors to the playground and pavilion will be open and additional seating will be conveniently available in Fellowship Hall.

Bimonthly summer coffee hours are planned for June 12th and 26th and July 10th and 24th. Click here to sign up to volunteer to host. 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 the third Sunday of each month. So, plan to join us this Sunday, May 15th, 2pm-4pm, for Sunday Funday as we 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!

Register for the Indiana-Kentucky Conference Annual Gathering

The Indiana-Kentucky Conference will come together for our Annual Gathering June 2nd and 3rd; registration deadline to attend is May 15th. Talk with Pastor Jessica if you would like to attend Annual Gathering (online or in person) as we have funds available to cover registration fees. Click here for more details and to register. And, see below for opportunities to volunteer.

Racial Justice Lunch & Learns: The 1619 Project

Join us for a Racial Justice Lunch and Learn via Zoom (click here) this Thursday, May 19th, 12pm-1pm, (and at noon on the first and third Thursdays of each month). Through July, 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.


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 for MCUM are crackers, mac & cheese, helper meals, canned vegetables and fruit, pasta sauce, cereal, all-purpose cleaner, shampoo/condition, dish soap, and pads/tampons. Thank you!

Newsletter, Announcements, and Congregant Monday Musings Deadlines

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.

The First News deadline is Monday, May 23rd. If you would like to have an article included in the June newsletter, please have your article turned in to the church office by the end of the day.

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.

Congregational Meetings & 2022 Annual Reports

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. In preparation for the annual meeting, 2022 Annual Reports are due into Lisa in the church office by May 23rd.

Interested in helping rebuild a tornado-damaged community?

The UCC’s Indiana-Kentucky Conference (IKC) is planning volunteer work camps throughout summer 2022 in Mayfield, KY, which was devastated by the December 10-11, 2021 tornadoes. Accommodations and meals are organized by the IKC Disaster Preparedness and Response Ministry Team (DPRMT). Volunteers typically arrive Sunday evening for an orientation meeting and depart for home on the following Saturday morning after cleaning up the dorms. The IKC Team is seeking to recruit a maximum of 15 volunteers per week. Anyone is welcome to volunteer, but they are seeking at least a few volunteers with construction experience who would help direct the volunteers.

Are you interested in organizing a group from First United to volunteer together? Or maybe you’d simply like to volunteer on your own?  (We could propose an entire team of 15 persons. But, if fewer people are interested, they could volunteer with volunteers from other congregations.) Read more details about this opportunity at ikcucc.org/disaster-preparedness. Please contact Pastor Jessica if you are interested in getting involved.


Sunday Morning Hybrid Worship

Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am. This Sunday is Education Sunday, so we will offer thanks for educators and students, especially those among us who are nurturing our young people in faith, and celebrate two recipients of First United scholarships. Rev. Petersen-Mutai will preach, and Lisa Kwong will present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead. Hansol Kim will offer a special music piece in addition to the beautiful music she and Sam Grace lead each Sunday. And, Laurie Eynon, Keith Gerber, and Kim Yaussy Albright will offer a warm welcome to all those who gather in the sanctuary, while 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


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!

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).

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. 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 for Friday, June 3rd, 5:30pm-7:30pm. Please contact Pastor Jessica if you plan to attend and with any food allergies/restrictions so she can be sure to have enough pizza on hand. And, feel free to bring an indoor and/or outdoor game/activity to share!

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 needs 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!


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 Rebecca Keith 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. 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 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.


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