- 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
- Scripture Reader sign up – Click here (needed 05/28 & 06/04)
- Usher sign up – Click here (needed 05/21, 05/28 & 06/04)
- Flowers sign up – Click here (needed 05/21 & 06/04)
- Coffee Hour Host sign up – Click here (needed 05/28 & 06/04)
- Communion Server sign up –Click here
- Donate to First United Online – Click here
- First United Vimeo Channel – Click here
The Board of Education encourages you to join in worship on Education Sunday, May 21st as we award a Weigand Family scholarship to Ivy Yoder and recognize and celebrate our high school graduates as well as our awesome nursery care providers and CLT leaders. The celebration will continue with coffee hour following worship.
Sermon Talk Back
This month’s sermon talk back will take place after worship this Sunday, May 21st. You are invited to head down to Fellowship Hall to grab a drink and a snack and say “hello” to some church friends, and then gather near the fireplace to engage in informal conversation spurred by the day’s sermon. Pastor Jessica will be available to address questions, elaborate further on the day’s message, and share additional thoughts she may have had while preparing her sermon.
Support Hotels for Homeless
Throughout 2023, the Board of Outreach invites you to offer additional support to a variety of local organizations and ministries through monthly special offerings. On Sunday, May 21st, a special offering will be received to support Hotels for Homeless. Executive Director Katie Norris will speak during the service to share about their impactful work. H4H is grounded in low-barrier, Housing First principles proven to reduce homelessness and preserve community resources. In addition to providing shelter in hotel rooms, H4H is committed to helping participants visualize and attain sustainable futures for themselves by utilizing a holistic care approach. For more information about Hotel for Homeless click here.
2023 Annual Reports
In preparation for First United’s Annual Congregational Meeting, set for Sunday, June 11th after morning worship, 2023 Annual Reports are due into Lisa in the church office by this Monday, May 22nd. Thank you!
Newsletter and Announcements Deadlines
The First News deadline is Monday, May 22nd. This next issue of First News will be a combined June-July newsletter, so please share any items relevant for those months as no separate newsletter will be distributed for July (though email announcements will continue to go out each Friday). If you would like to have an article included in the newsletter, please have your article turned in to the church office by the end of the day.
And, if you would like an announcement included in next week’s church email, please send your item to Lisa Stanger by noon on the Wednesday before.
NEW/UPDATED THIS WEEK
A Death in Our Church Family
It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the death of Don Faris, a long-time member of First United. Don (b. April 20th, 1926) died peacefully at home on Saturday, May 13th, 2023 surrounded by family. We send our love and sympathy to Jean and their extended family. A time of visitation was held yesterday and a funeral service today at The Funeral Chapel of Powell and Deckard, followed by burial at Chambersville Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Southern Care Hospice or The American Heart Association. Memories of Don and online condolences to his family may be made at www.thefuneralchapel.net.
20th Anniversary Potluck Volunteers Needed
We are having a celebration marking the 20th anniversary of our name change to First United Church on Sunday, June 11th, after worship. Join your First United Church family for a potluck and brief congregational meeting as we eat with newly-written songs celebrating First United thrown in the mix. Volunteers are needed for set up, bringing of food, and clean up. Please sign up if you can volunteer here.
Check out Our New Library Books
The Board of Education invites you to stop by the table at the end of the hallway as you exit the Sanctuary to explore some of the newest additions to our fabulous church library. Please fill out the simple sign out sheet provided to check them out. Some of the new titles available are: Living Nations, Living Words: An Anthology of First Peoples Poetry by Joy Harjo; Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church by Jack Rogers; Harvesting the Heart: A Novel by Jodi Picoult; and I’m Not a Girl (children’s book) by Maddox Lyons and Jessica Verdi.
UPCOMING WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am. The Education Sunday service will focus on celebrating graduating seniors and giving thanks for our CLT leaders and Nursery workers. It will also feature Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai in the pulpit. Lisa Kwong will present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead. Hansol Kim will lead us in singing throughout the service and offer special music as only she can. Mary Peckham will highlight some of the many ways we are invited to engage in the life of the church and our wider community. Bill and Phyllis Perkins will offer a warm welcome to all those who gather in the sanctuary (sign up here to help), while Dedric Dennist will welcome all who join via Zoom. Finally, Kyle Hetrick will ensure the audio/visual pieces run as smoothly as possible. And, we will continue the celebration during coffee hour following worship; join us in Fellowship Hall!
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
All those who are musically inclined are encouraged to offer your gifts of music during worship throughout June, July, and August while the bell and adult vocal choirs take a break for the summer months. Please contact Eric Meineke or Pastor Jessica if you are interested.
Choir and Bell Choir Rehearsals
All music lovers are welcome to join both the vocal and bell choirs. The bell and adult vocal choirs have concluded their seasons and will begin rehearsing again in late August: Vocal Choir in the Choir Room on Thursdays at 7:30pm and Bell Choir in Roger Williams Hall on Thursdays at 6:15pm.
Displaced Immigrant Support Program
Our Displaced Immigrant Support Program (DISP) team is anxiously awaiting notification from Exodus regarding our next family sponsorship. When a new family is assigned to us there will be many new challenges as well as new joys. We invite more church volunteers to help with this deeply meaningful work as part of the DISP team. And, we welcome your financial support of this impactful ministry with new refugees. A reminder that funds for DISP are independent from the regular church budget. Do you have a gift of time or treasure that you can share to help a new family feel welcome and gain capability in our community? Contact Dave Meyer (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Hopi Stosberg (email@example.com) for more information.
Results from Our Food Drive
Ted Wininger delivered 207 pounds of donated food items to MCUM from our food drive this month. Thanks to everyone who continues to donate. Food donations are welcome at the church anytime, especially the first Sunday of every month. Thank you, from the Board of Outreach.
UCC General Synod: Attend &/or Volunteer
The 34th General Synod of the United Church of Christ will convene in Indianapolis June 30th-July 4th, 2023. The Indiana-Kentucky Conference (UCC) will host this biennial meeting of the wider church and needs your help to extend an extraordinary welcome to our siblings in faith from across the country and around the globe as they gather together in our home conference. Learn about volunteer opportunities and share your interests by clicking here. Sign up to serve as a volunteer here.
With Synod taking place so close this time around, you are encouraged to consider attending this meaningful event as a guest and getting to know this part of our wider church family better whether you are interested and able to volunteer or not (though volunteering will certainly help with the registration fee; think $275 for regular full registration compared to $65 if you volunteer!). Anyone can attend Sunday, July 2nd, free of charge (this day includes the Community Worship Service at 2:30pm).
Online registration is open through June 12th (registration also available onsite when Synod starts). Visit the UCC’s General Synod website here to learn more about what’s in store for General Synod 2023. And, email Rebecca at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in carpooling to attend part of Synod.
A Coffee Hour Every Sunday!
The Member Relations Committee (MeRC) is encouraging our congregation to offer simple fellowship after worship every Sunday. You can sign up here, and click here to view revised instructions. Fellowship is vital to a strong community and easy to support with the gift of minimal time and effort. Malissa Sparks or Mary Peckham can answer any questions you may have. And, a reminder that, while hosts are free to supplement items if they wish, all food, drink, and serving supplies are provided by the church.
Monroe County African American Cultural Trail – Save the Date
Local historian, Elizabeth Mitchell, will be talking about her newest project, the Monroe County African American Cultural Trail, on Thursday, June 8th, 12pm-1pm during the Bloomington Multifaith Alliance: Faith for Racial Equity subcommittee’s meeting held via Zoom. This project is currently in the early stages and offers many opportunities for local faith communities to have an active part in making the trail a reality. Liz’s presentation will offer a chance to hear about her initial thoughts, current status, and possible ways our faith community might get involved. Please consider joining and bring your questions and ideas. If you would like to attend, save the date now and please fill in this form to receive the Zoom link for the meeting – it will be sent in early June.
Our youngest children are welcome to spend time from 10am-11:45am playing in the nursery or on the playground, weather permitting. Lena Stosberg and Jessica McIntosh will ensure our little ones are safe and engaged in fun activities during worship this Sunday. 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.
Children’s Learning Time
Each Sunday, kids age 5 and up are welcome to Children’s Learning Time (CLT) in Room 2 after Children’s Time during the morning worship service. Last Sunday, children began learning a new song that they will share during worship on Sunday, June 4th. Many thanks to Molly Koontz and Mary Peckham for leading CLT this Sunday. Interested in joining our CLT assistant teacher rotation? Contact Molly Koontz.
Off-Topic Scripture Circle
You are invited to join members and friends of First United 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. We meet via Zoom only in an effort to be more accessible; join the Zoom meeting here.
Tuesday Morning Café and Discussion
Join us in Roger Williams Hall or via Zoom (click here) on Tuesday mornings, 10am-11:30am, as we continue to explore the 36-session video series “The History of Christianity II: From the Reformation to the Modern Megachurch” presented by Dr. Molly Worthen. These weekly gatherings are a great opportunity to connect with First United friends though informal conversation (first 30 minutes) followed by thought-provoking theological study and discussion. While we’d love to see you every Tuesday, perfect attendance is not required, neither is previous participation. See you there!
The 2023 Nominating Committee continues our work—Mary Peckham and Sam Troxal (Co-chairs), with Barb Clark, Julia Lebeau, Enrico Lunghi, and Michael Shell representing their boards. We are still prayerfully seeking to fill board vacancies; while we are grateful to have had nominees for the positions of Vice President, Clerk, and Assistant Treasurer offer their service, we still need members for the Boards of Education (1 spot for 2 years) and Worship (2 3-year spots). Please consider thoughtfully whether you might be able to fill one of these spots that are so vital to the running of our congregation, as well as a great way to get to know your church and your community better. You can nominate yourself or suggest that we approach someone you think has gifts to offer; no one is formally nominated without their knowledge and full consent! Please ask us about our work and about these opportunities to serve our faith family!! And, in the spirit of letting each of you know that we see you and all you have to offer, if we approach you, know that if the time is not right for you this year, a seed is being planted for the future. Contact Mary with questions.
- Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai, Senior Minister – email@example.com; 812-727-4414 (Cell) (Friday & Saturday off; emergency calls only)
- Lisa Stanger, Office Manager – firstname.lastname@example.org; 812-332-4439 (Office)
- Eric Meincke, Music Director – email@example.com; 501-837-2708 (Cell)
- Dedric Dennist, Web Content & Media Coordinator – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rebecca Keith, Church President – email@example.com; 812-325-0145 (Cell)