- 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 06/05)
- Usher sign up – Click here (needed 05/22, 05/29, and 06/05)
- Flowers sign up – Click here (needed 06/05)
- Coffee Hour Host sign up – Click here (needed 06/12)
- Donate to First United Online – Click here
- First United Vimeo Channel – Click here
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!
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!
Newsletter and Announcements Deadlines
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org; 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.
NEW/UPDATED THIS WEEK
As you may have heard, Sam Grace will be leaving employment with First United Church at the end of June. Sam has been a valued part of our church family since 2019, coordinating and offering inspiring, comforting, moving music during a time of great transition and a global pandemic; he’s served among us with grace, generosity, kindness, and love. We celebrate his graduation and attainment of his Doctor of Music degree and offer him and his family our heartfelt prayers and support as they transition into their next stage of life.
A hiring committee has been formed to seek a new Music Director as we remain committed to offering meaningful musical opportunities for our congregation. They are finalizing the job description and will share more information as it becomes available. Please contact Mary Peckham, Rachel Caswell, or Pastor Jessica with any questions.
Get to Know First United
A “Get to Know First United” gathering will be offered in Roger Williams Hall on Sunday, June 5th immediately following the worship service. Through this 45-60-minute gathering, participants will gain a better understanding of what First United is about and ways to engage in our shared ministries and learn a bit about our governance structure. If you are newer to First United and/or interested in becoming a member, you are encouraged to attend! Light refreshments will be served. Contact Pastor Jessica with any questions or concerns.
The Bloomington Human Rights Commission selected founder and executive director of My Sister’s Closet (and beloved member of First United), Sandy Keller, as the recipient of its 2022 Human Rights Award. The award will be presented to Sandy during the June 1st meeting of the Bloomington Common Council. The meeting begins at 6:30pm at Showers City Hall and can be viewed on Zoom. Congratulations, Sandy! For more information, click here.
Pizza & Play – NEW DATE FOR JUNE
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 typically be offered on the first Friday of each month. However, due to a number of unforeseen conflicts, we have moved the June event to the second Friday of the month, so mark your calendars now for Friday, June 10th, 5:30pm-7:30pm. Please contact Pastor Jessica by June 9th 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!
Library Committee – A Thanks and an Invitation
The Board of Education wishes to thank Allison McClanahan and the library committee of Andy Fak and Ralph Gaebler for their service in the church library. Allison is stepping down from the chairperson role, and the Board is in search of a new Chairperson and additional committee members. Allison has graciously agreed to meet with and train whomever is interested in the position. If you are interested in serving on this committee, please contact Molly Koontz at email@example.com.
Joint Potluck for Exodus Sponsors and Families
You are invited to participate in a potluck/pitch-in bringing together the sponsors and guests working with Exodus to resettle refugees and evacuees here in Bloomington. The event will be held on Friday, June 3rd, 4pm-8pm, in Upper Cascades Park at the Lion’s Den shelter house. Food cannot have pork or pork products in it. If you are bringing a dish with halal meat, please notify organizers when you arrive so it can be labeled. And of course, no alcohol. Plates, silverware, cups, and napkins as well as beverages will be provided. The shelter house is next to a nice playground, and there will be activities and games for children and adults who wish to participate. If possible, please contact Cindy Neidhart (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let her know you are planning to attend so she will have a rough estimate for providing the supplies. RSVP is not required to attend.
UPCOMING WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
Sunday Morning Hybrid Worship
Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am. This Sunday will feature Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai in the pulpit; she will also introduce the young and youth at heart to One Great Hour of Sharing, as special offering of both the UCC and the ABC-USA. Lisa Kwong will present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead. Marge Steiner will offer a special music piece, and Sam Grace lead us in beautiful music throughout the service. Lewis Williams and Emily Mathes and Kenny will offer a warm welcome to all those who gather in the sanctuary (there is still time to volunteer to usher; sign up here), 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
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 (email@example.com or 812-336-1219) or Pastor Jessica (firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-727-4414).
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.
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 email@example.com 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) in Room 2 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 Molly Koontz 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 here) on 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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a resume and email cover letter detailing relevant experience and intent to apply. Thank you for your help!
- Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai, Senior Minister – email@example.com; 812-727-4414 (Friday & Saturday off; emergency calls only)
- Lisa Stanger, Office Manager – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sam Grace, Music Director – email@example.com
- Dedric Dennist, Web Content & Media Coordinator – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rebecca Keith, Church President – email@example.com; 812-325-0145 (Cell)