- 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 06/04 & 06/11)
- Usher sign up – Click here (needed 05/28, 06/04 & 06/11)
- Flowers sign up – Click here (needed 06/04 & 06/11)
- Coffee Hour Host sign up – Click here (needed 06/04)
- Communion Server sign up –Click here (needed 06/04)
- Donate to First United Online – Click here
- First United Vimeo Channel – Click here
Church Office Closings
The church office will be closed on Monday, May 29th for Memorial Day. Also, note that Lisa will also be out of the office on Mondays throughout June and July. Please contact Pastor Jessica if you need immediate assistance during these times.
NEW/UPDATED THIS WEEK
Update on the Overlys
It is with great delight that we share the news of Norm Overly being released from hospice care! After his release (due to a remarkable recovery), Norm and Jeanne were able to make a planned move to Hearthstone Health Campus (3043 N Lintel Dr, Bloomington, IN). They are settling in well and are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of love and support they received from their First United family during a very challenging time.
Thoughts and Prayers Appreciated
Phyllis and Bill Perkins appreciate the care they have received from First United following a car collision last Sunday evening. Phyllis sustained a neck injury and underwent surgery this morning. Bill emerged physically unharmed. Let us continue to offer our well wishes and support as Phyllis recovers from her injuries.
Congregational Meeting and Potluck
All members and friends of First United are encouraged to gather in Fellowship Hall for our regular June Annual Meeting scheduled for Sunday, June 11th immediately after worship. This meeting includes the election of officers and board members who will begin their terms on July 1st; the final ballot is available here. The meeting will also include written and spoken reports from church leadership regarding activities of the past year. Additionally, members will be asked to consider a temporary policy regarding unhoused guests and their property adopted by Council during their April 2023 meeting. In order to carry out the business of the church, a quorum of 49 members is required (25% of membership last reported to the UCC and ABC-USA).
We will also celebrate the 20th anniversary of the renaming of the church to First United Church and join together in singing four songs written by congregants in celebration of First United. The meeting (but not the food unfortunately) will be accessible via Zoom.
Member Relations Committee (MeRC) – Save These Dates
MeRC will be supporting the congregational meeting potluck on June 11th after worship (sign up to volunteer food or time here) and will host a 5th Sunday Potluck on July 30th. Save September 17th for Rally Day after worship, and October 29th for another 5th Sunday Pumpkin Carving Potluck.
We continue to offer support to weekly coffee hour hosts and encourage all to sign up to host—it’s easy, fun, and a great way to serve your church family with a one-time commitment. Sign up to host by clicking here.
First Sunday Food Drive/MCUM’s Each One Feed One
The Board of Outreach typically invites you to offer food donations on the first Sunday of each month. However, this month, you are encouraged to bring your gifts of food and cleaning and hygiene items and place them on a table in the narthex not only on Sunday, June 4th, but throughout the month of June as we participate in MCUM’s largest annual food drive Each One Feed One. Our goal is to donate at least 240lbs. as we help MCUM reach their overall goal of 7000lbs. (enough to serve 200 local families). We can do it!
Food pantry most needed items: peas, carrots, jiffy mix, pasta, sauce, detergent, soap, toilet paper, diapers, wipes, cereal, rice, oatmeal, corn, crackers, canned fruit, canned meat. Learn more by visiting mcum.org\events.
Thank You for Supporting Hotels for Homeless!
On Sunday, May 21st, a special offering was taken to support Hotels for Homeless. Our congregation responded and raised $473. A big thank you to all who supported this cause. If you weren’t able to contribute on May 21st, you can still support this impactful work by dropping or sending your donation to the church office (“Hotels for Homeless” in check memo line). For more information about Hotel for Homeless click here.
Pizza & Play
Members and friends of First United of all ages and family configurations (and your friends and family) are encouraged to gather for Pizza & Play on Friday, June 2nd, 5:30pm-7:30pm. We’ll enjoy a time of informal, unprogrammed fun and fellowship in Fellowship Hall and surrounding areas, both inside and out (weather permitting). As the name implies, pizza, drinks, and dessert will be provided, so please let Molly Koontz know by Thursday, June 1st if you’re planning to attend so she can be sure to have enough food for all and account for any dietary needs.
Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech’s Center for Lifelong Learning is holding summer camps for middle school students: “Who am I, and what matters to me?”: A Creative Writing Workshop (Grades 6-8). If you would like more information please click here.
UPCOMING WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am. During this Pentecost Sunday service, we will have the joy of welcoming new members to First United! Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai will also offer a spirit-filled sermon and a message especially for the young and young at heart. Michael Shell will present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead. Eric Meincke and Hansol Kim will lead us in singing throughout the service, and Sam Troxal will share his musical gifts offering special music. Kyle Hetrick will highlight some of the many ways we are invited to engage in the life of the church and our wider community in addition to ensuring the audio/visual pieces run as smoothly as possible. Barb Clark and Sara Frommer 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. A birthday balloon bouquet will be provided by Martin Mutai and Jessica Petersen-Mutai in celebration of Jabali’s 6thbirthday. And, Malissa Sparks will host 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.
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. 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.
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 (email@example.com) or Hopi Stosberg (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
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 email@example.com if you are interested in carpooling to attend part of Synod.
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.
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 Molly Koontz 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. The children will continue learning a new song that they will share during worship on Sunday, June 4th. Many thanks to Ted Wininger and Emily Mathes for leading CLT this Sunday, and to Noel Koontz for leading the choir rehearsal. 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!
- Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai, Senior Minister – firstname.lastname@example.org; 812-727-4414 (Cell) (Friday & Saturday off; emergency calls only)
- Lisa Stanger, Office Manager – email@example.com; 812-332-4439 (Office)
- Eric Meincke, Music Director – firstname.lastname@example.org; 501-837-2708 (Cell)
- Dedric Dennist, Web Content & Media Coordinator – email@example.com
- Rebecca Keith, Church President – firstname.lastname@example.org; 812-325-0145 (Cell)