- 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
- Usher sign up – Click here (needed 11/19 & 11/26)
- Flowers sign up – Click here (welcome 11/12 & 11/19)
- Coffee Hour Host sign up – Click here (needed 11/26)
- Communion Server sign up –Click here (needed 12/03)
- Donate to First United Online – Click here
- First United Vimeo Channel – Click here
Feminist Women’s Book Club
Our feminist women’s book club will meet at 12pm this Sunday, November 12th in Roger Williams Hall and via Zoom to discuss “Dinners with Ruth: A Memoir on the Power of Friendships” by Nina Totenberg. Celebrated NPR correspondent Nina Totenberg delivers an extraordinary memoir of her close friendship of fifty years with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. For Zoom information or more information about the book club contact facilitator Cindy Stone, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Out of the Office
Pastor Jessica will be on vacation Sunday, November 12th and Monday, November 13th. Many thanks to Rev. Rebecca Hoke-McCall for leading worship on Sunday, November 12th. Contact Lisa Stanger with any needs during regular office hours and Mitchell Farmer for any after-hours needs.
The church office will be closed the week of Thanksgiving (beginning November 20th) with Pastor Jessica and Lisa away on vacation. Jessica will be back in worship on Sunday, November 26th. Watch your weekly announcements for information regarding who to contact during that time with any emergent needs.
BMA Thanksgiving Celebration & Vegetarian Pitch-In
On Monday, November 13th, at 7:00pm, the Bloomington Multifaith Alliance will host a Thanksgiving Celebration and Vegetarian pitch-in at St. Thomas Lutheran Church (3800 E. Third St.) in Community Hall.
The vision for this event is an international, vegetarian pitch-in dinner with mid-meal blessings (short offerings about faith and gratitude) from the various religious communities that make their home in Bloomington. All are invited to bring a vegetarian dish to share!
Christmas Carol Requests
The holiday season is upon us! As Advent is drawing near, Pastor Jessica and Eric Meincke have turned their worship-planning sights to that holy season. You are invited to be a part of that process by sharing your most beloved Christmas carols with them. They will do their best to make sure we sing each suggested carol at least once throughout the joyous season of anticipation. Please share your requests by Tuesday, November 14th.
Council meetings are always open to the congregation, but we would like to extend a special invitation for members and friends of First United to participate in the November 15th Council meeting starting at 6:30pm. Council will gather in Roger Williams Hall (Zoom option available here) and use this meeting to begin exploring a strategic planning initiative for our church building and grounds. If you are passionate about the future of our church and want to contribute your ideas and expertise to shape the direction of our building and grounds, we invite you to participate in this important conversation.
Serve Meal with Community Kitchen
First United has a long history of volunteering with and financially supporting Community Kitchen of Monroe County. We volunteer there on the third Thursday of the month, 3:30pm-6:30pm. Our next shift is this Thursday, November 16th. This is also a good way to build community within and outside of our church. To volunteer this month or subsequent months click here to access our online sign up or contact Laurie Eynon (email@example.com or (812) 336-1219). Thank you!
NEW/UPDATED THIS WEEK
Please join us in celebrating a major milestone for First United member Heather Farmer. Her small business, Bloomington Fine Art Supply, is having its grand opening this weekend! Heather has been working tirelessly toward this goal for over a year (and dreaming of it for even longer)! Stop by the shop at 207 S Rogers St., Bloomington, to say “hi” or visit https://www.bfasupply.com/ to learn more.
And, congratulations to Hopi Stosberg! Following this week’s election, she will represent District 3 on the Bloomington City Council. Thank you for serving our community in this way, Hopi!
Newsletter, Congregant Monday Musings, and Announcements Deadlines
The First News deadline is Friday, November 17th. If you would like to have an article included in the December newsletter, please have your article turned in to the church office by the end of the day.
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. Please contact Pastor Jessica and/or Lisa Stanger if you would like to share your thoughts and ideas through this avenue, and they will help you get it scheduled (turn in by November 17th for this month).
And, 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.
You are invited to bring a donation every Sunday in November leading up to our Annual Harvest Ingathering on Sunday, November 19th. Please bring non-perishable food items anytime and every time you come to our building to help with this critical community need. As always, all of the collected food and cleaning/hygiene items will go to Monroe County United Ministries (MCUM), located in the Crestmont neighborhood of Bloomington, and pet food will go to Area 10 Agency on Aging. Click here to for a list of MCUM’s ongoing needs. Thank you for your generosity!
Hanging of the Greens
All are encouraged to join together on Sunday, November 26th, at 3:30pm as we prepare our sanctuary for the Advent and Christmas seasons. We will set up trees, lights, ornaments, battery-operated candles, chandeliers, wreaths, garlands, and more! Kids are most welcome and have proved to have special talents for replacing batteries! After we’re done (about 5:00pm), we’ll gather for a chili pitch-in in Fellowship Hall, with both vegetarian and meat options. This is a festive and fun event for our entire intergenerational church family. We hope you’ll join us!
Sunday Morning Hybrid Worship
Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am. This Sunday’s service will feature Rev. Rebecca Hoke-McCall in the pulpit, and Julia Bebeau will offer a special message for the young in age and young in heart. Laurie Eynon will present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead. Rebecca Keith and Hansol Kim will lead us in song, and baritone Robbie Erickson will offer special music. While Dave Meyer and Molly and Noel Koontz offer a warm welcome to all those who will gather in the sanctuary (sign up here to help), while Kyle Hetrick and Jim True will welcome all who join via Zoom as they ensure the audio/visual pieces run as smoothly as possible. Finally, be sure to join us in Fellowship Hall after worship for a time of fellowship and refreshment hosted by Ted Wininger and Mary Peckham.
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 who are interested in engaging in our Music Ministry are encouraged to join our vocal choir and bell choir! No prior musical experience is required, but a foundational ability to read music is recommended. Both choirs are currently on break. The Bell Choir will gather again for rehearsal on Thursday, November 30th, 6:15pm-7:15pm in Roger Williams Hall. And, the Vocal Choir will begin rehearsing again on Thursday, November 30th, 7:30pm-9pm, in the Choir Room. If you are interested in joining or have any questions, please contact Eric Meincke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keeping Up with Our Congregation
Throughout our daily living, we, each and all, experience hardships and struggles as well as celebrations and joys. One of the gifts of being part of a community of faith is that we don’t face the ups and downs and middles of life alone. We invite you to share what is going on in your lives by contacting Lisa Stanger and/or Pastor Jessica so we can appropriately share information (with your permission) with our wider community of care that we might offer our support whatever you may be facing.
You are encouraged to offer your prayers and actions of support for:
- Christopher Meincke
- Michael Shell (who is recovering from a successful liver transplant)
- James Lane
- Jeanne and Norm Overly
- Sam Troxal
- Parker Waltz
- Jarrel Releford (friend of Parker Waltz)
Responding to Crisis in Israel-Palestine
Violence has continued to escalate in Israel-Palestine and the surrounding region, and the humanitarian crisis of Palestinians fleeing south has reached the point of deep urgency. In the midst of this ongoing crisis, our partners in Global Ministries in the Middle East have shared an action alert (engage by clicking here) with the wider church calling for a few important steps in advocacy:
- Calling for an immediate ceasefire
- End of the Gaza blockage to provide safe spaces for Gazan non-combatants.
- Release without harm to hostages.
Additionally, you are encouraged to join with folks throughout the world in prayer for the crisis that is unfolding and to engage with some resources and information offered by the wider UCC and partner organizations: Churches for Middle East Peace, Global Ministries, and Open Letter from the Participants in the Palestine Festival of Literature.
The Joy of Hosting
We continue to offer support to weekly coffee hour hosts and encourage everyone 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 as buddies or families, invite someone you’ve been wanting to get to know, use the occasion to showcase a family recipe or try out a new one. Sign up to host by clicking here.
Sermon Talk Back
Our next sermon talk back will take place after worship on Sunday, November 19th. 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. Share with fellow congregants how the sermon connected with you and your life and ask any questions of clarification or curiosity and be enriched by their sharing. 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.
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
You are invited to join us in person or online Tuesdays at 10am-11:30am as we explore “The Pagan World: Ancient Religions before Christianity” presented by Dr. Hans-Friedrich Mueller. After a time of informal conversation, we will engage in thought-provoking theological study and discussion as we meet the fascinating, ancient polytheistic peoples of the Mediterranean and beyond, their gods and goddesses, and their public and private worship practices, and come to better understand the foundational role religion played in their daily lives. Previous participation and perfect attendance are not required. Those interested and able are welcome to gather in Roger Williams Hall; those choosing to join online via Zoom can do so here.
Children’s Learning Time
Each Sunday morning, children in kindergarten and up will begin in the Sanctuary with their families and proceed to Room 2 with their adult leads for Children’s Learning Time (CLT) following the Children’s Time. Many thanks to Molly Koontz and Emily Mathes for leading CLT this Sunday.
We continue to welcome and encourage additional adults to join our teaching rotation to enrich the program for the kids. Lesson materials and supplies are provided, and we have seasoned leaders to help you get acclimated. If you are interested or have questions, please reach out to Molly Koontz, Pastor Jessica, or any member of the Board of Education.
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.
Online Directory Available!
An online church directory is available for all members of First United! You may access the directory by clicking on “Member Directory” from the “Member Area” drop-down menu located at the top of any page of the church website. Contact Lisa in the office for your sign-in credentials (you are encouraged to change your password after logging in for the first time).
- 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)
- Mitchell Farmer, Church President – firstname.lastname@example.org; 812-459-3985 (Cell)