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

NEW THIS WEEK

Something to Celebration!

Lisa Kwong, M.F.A., is thrilled to announce that Becoming AppalAsian, her first poetry chapbook, has been accepted for publication by Glass Lyre Press. AppalAsian means Asian from Appalachia, and a chapbook is a collection of poems under 40 pages. Lisa wishes to thank her First United Church family for supporting her and her work and looks forward to celebrating this milestone with everyone when the chapbook is released. Congratulations, Lisa!

From Sackcloth to Joy

The Virtual 2021 Annual Gathering of the Indiana-Kentucky Conference UCC will begin June 3rd and runs through June 5th. This year’s gathering will feature worship and wisdom, including a keynote address from the Rev. Dr. Gregory C. Ellison II. Rev. Dr. Ellison is the Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling at the Candler School of Theology since 2009. His teaching draws primarily from his work with the organization he founded called Fearless Dialogues, a non-profit organization that creates unique spaces for unlikely partners to have hard, heartfelt conversations on taboo subjects like racism, classism, and community violence. For more information and to register ($50/person for general registration; contact Rev. Petersen-Mutai if you are interested in attending) click here.

UPCOMING WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Indoor Worship/Gatherings Update
During their May 19th meeting, the Church Council approved a Reopening Policy with updated COVID-19 protocols for church gatherings. The full policy is being shared via a separate email, and hard copies are being mailed to our members who are not able to connect with us online. Any questions or concerns regarding the Reopening Policy should be addressed to the Church Council.

COMMUNITY CARE

First United Green Team

Is caring for Mother Earth a core part of your spirituality? Are you passionate about protecting the environment for our children and our children’s children? Is environmental justice important to you?

If so, you are invited to join First United’s Green Team. Organized under the auspices of First United’s Board of Outreach, the Green Team will identify and implement specific ecological projects that are big enough to make a difference but small enough for us to see measurable results. We will begin our work focused on the domain of food – not only what we choose to eat, but also how, where, and on what we spend our food dollars.

Our work will be rooted in a green theology of stewardship and grow to include learning and sharing our insights with the congregation. The fruit of our work will be the projects we undertake that move us toward a more sustainable future.

If the Green Team sounds of interest to you, please contact Eric Metzler (emetzler@indiana.edu). Once a team has been assembled, a meeting will be set to discuss first steps.

Expressing Two Years of Gratitude for our Leadership

First United leadership changes in June, including the president, vice-president, and past-president. While we could offer our thanks in past years at our annual meeting, this year we are being creative yet again…

A great deal has happened in the past two years:

  • We now have a new settled senior minister
  • The choir loft has been renovated with safety in mind
  • We’ve learned to worship in new ways
  • We’ve become experts in Zoom for worship and meeting
  • We’ve made tough decisions about our building use
  • We’ve stayed connected as a congregation, even virtually

The leadership of our congregation – council and committees – have worked tirelessly and selflessly throughout these years. Now you have an opportunity to express your thanks. Here’s the plan:

WRITE your thanks on paper or poster board. (Use dark colors or black.)

PHOTOGRAPH you holding your thank you sign. (Make sure you can read the words in the photo.)

SEND your image to Elizabeth Busey (ebusey@yahoo.com). (Send at the largest resolution – your phone will ask you.)

DEADLINE: Friday, June 4th

Don’t want to do this alone? Need help taking a picture? We will have supplies and willing photographers at the 5pm vespers service on Sunday, May 23rd.

NOTE: The images will be compiled in a video format which will eventually be available on our Vimeo channel. Your name will not be attached to the image.

Ministers of Care

The Ministers of Care group is seeking people who would like to visit one or two older church members about once a month in their homes (or to connect over the phone as concerns regarding COVID-19 persist). These visits could last about 20-30 minutes and would be scheduled at your convenience. If you would like to learn more about this meaningful ministry, please contact Sarah Burton (812-361-6201 or burtonsp@indiana.edu).

First United’s Special COVID-19 Fund Applications

If you have a relationship with First United Church, you may apply for assistance for economic hardship caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Contact Sharon McCann at 1041sharon@gmail.com for an application form and instructions to apply for Covid-19-related assistance.

EDUCATIONAL OFFERINGS

Tuesday Virtual Café and Adult Discussion

Pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea and join us at 10am-11:30am each Tuesday for a time of informal conversation followed by thought-provoking theological study and discussion. Last week, the group began viewing and discussing a new series entitled The Apocryphal Jesus, a 24-session video lecture series offered by David Brakke, Ph.D., M.Div. Through this series, participants will gain a new perspective on early Christian life and history through non-canonical Christian literature. If you haven’t joined the group before, this would be a great time to start!

Join Zoom Meeting by clicking here

Dial-in number: (253) 215-8782; Meeting ID: 895 0519 1798; Passcode: 624328

Off-Topic Scripture Circle

Want to read and discuss the week’s scripture readings with friends before church in a casual setting where you will never be asked to leave your brain or your heart at the door? We have the place for you! Click below to join us, Sunday mornings 9am-10am.

Join Zoom Meeting by clicking here

Dial-in number: (253) 215-8782; Meeting ID: 896 7762 0237; Passcode: 043604

Children’s Learning Time

Derek continues to send out weekly CLT email lessons that families can engage with together, including craft and activity resources. The weekly videos are on hiatus due to technology challenges. Please contact Derek Roe with feedback or questions!

KukSunDo Classes Resume

Youshin Choi has begun offering virtual KukSunDo (Korean Yoga, Meditation and Martial Arts) classes. Participants may join the class flexibly, joining any of the warm-up exercise, meditation, and cool-down exercises or the full 1-hour course.

  • Evening sessions: M/W/F 5:00pm EDT
  • Morning sessions: T/Th/Sa 6:00am EDT

Classes are recorded on Zoom or YouTube, so you can repeat or play anytime you miss class. Feel free to invite friends or family to any session. You may text Youshin directly at 812-325-0898 to obtain the Zoom link.

Ecumenical Progressive Christianity Conversations

The Board of Christian Education suggests that you check out a weekly ecumenical conversation on Progressive Christianity hosted by David Garshaw each Wednesday, 3:00pm-4:30pm. For more information about the group, contact David Garshaw (dgarshaw@sbcglobal.net). To join a Wednesday afternoon session on Zoom, click here.

CONGREGATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS

Lawnmowers Wanted!

The Board of Building and Grounds is still welcoming volunteers who are interested in helping keep our grass looking inviting as we expand in-person church activities. All necessary equipment is provided. Please contact Ted Wininger (twininger68@gmail.com) if you are interested in joining our rotation of mowers.

Contact Information

Sam Grace, Music Director – samuel.c.grace@gmail.com