Updates on First United Operations and Activities
Pastor Jessica Petersen-Mutai, Martin and Jabali (as well as their stuff) arrived in Bloomington this week! She can be reached by email at revpetersenmutai@firstuc.org or by phone or text at 812-727-4414

“Bring Forth” Stewardship Drive
While our 2021 Stewardship Pledge Drive officially wraps up this week, helping us formulate our 2021 budget going forward, pledges and giving are gratefully accepted year-round. You can give by two methods, returning a pledge card, or pledging online using this link: https://tinyurl.com/1stUC21pledge We are grateful for your support at any level, and hope to hear from everyone in the congregation.

From the COVID-19 Task Force
Sunday church services and most meetings will continue virtually through at least December. The Task Force met on November 10th and with current conditions, advises no changes.


Human and Pet Food Drive Saturday, November 14th, 10 – 2
As Thanksgiving nears, First United wants to support MCUM and Area 10 on Aging as they serve our neighbors living in need. Please donate generously to help support our community members.
Bring non-perishables to the circle drive near the kitchen entrance. Wearing your mask, drop food directly into the vehicles parked in the grass, or volunteers will unload your vehicle for you. If you feel comfortable, bring a chair and visit for a while! Small groupings only, please.
Some items to consider donating: Reusable/Cloth Bags/Canned Meat, Fish/Peanut Butter/Dried Pasta/Pasta Sauce/Cereal/Ready to eat soups/chili/pasta/Dog or Cat food, wet or dry/Canned vegetables/Cleaning supplies or personal hygiene items (paper towels, general cleaner, razors, deodorant, shampoo, etc)
Checks are always welcome – Made out to First United Church with “MCUM” or “Area 10” in the memo line. Hope to see you all there!
Questions? Contact Rebecca Nunley at reblea99@gmail.com (812) 345-1116

Volunteers needed! Church partner Farm to Family needs people in good physical shape with large vehicles to help move produce on Saturdays. A great opportunity for individuals, couples, or families with helpful kids. Social distancing easy. Mostly outdoor work. More info on the church’s website: https://firstuc.org/serve-the-community/

Bloomington’s Interfaith Thanksgiving Service
Please join us for Bloomington’s traditional interfaith Thanksgiving service on Tuesday, November 24th at 7 p.m. The Zoom service, hosted by the Bloomington Multi-Faith Alliance, will feature music from First United and a Children’s Message by Pastor Jessica. The offering will benefit Shalom and New Hope. Details to follow.


Yard Work Morning, 8 a.m. till no later than 11 a.m.
Saturday, November 21
Come for all or part of the morning to help prepare our grounds for the winter.
We will work outdoors at a good social distance: raking, weeding, tidying.
Questions? Contact Ted Wininger (twininger68@gmail.com)


The Board of Worship is planning for Advent in the era of covid-19; we look forward to a special Advent Season with a blend of traditional and new events all tailored to meet the spiritual and physical health needs of our congregational family. We are considering what is the feasibility of community outreach display and invite you to a conversation during coffee hour this Sunday in which Mitchell Farmer will share ideas and options, and during which we can ascertain the interest level in active participation in planning and implementing any such initiative.


Justice Forum: Climate Change, Climate Justice, and What We Can Do About It. Tuesday, November 17, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Format: Zoom meeting. Three 10-minute video presentations, each followed by a 20-minute discussion. Join the meeting from computer or smart mobile: https://iu.zoom.us/j/86320163075 Meeting ID: 863 2016 3075
For Phone only: 1 646 558 8656
“Climate change is an existential threat to life on the planet.” We hear this declaration, but how urgent is climate change, who is impacted, and what can be done about it? In our first video, we will hear Greta Thunberg, teenage environmental activist, explain the urgency of the climate crisis and challenge us to action. The second video features a talk by Pastor E.D. Mondaine, President of the Portland NAACP, on climate justice for black and brown communities, where the environmental, economic, and health impact of climate change is inequitable. The third video speaks to what we can do about climate change as individuals and collectively to effect needed policy change. Between clips, we’ll engage in a discussion led by Derek Roe and Byron Bangert. Questions? call or text Rebecca Keith at 812-325-0145.

Progressive Christianity Series Tuesday, December 1 6:30—8 p.m. Session 4: “Tenets of the Faith in Progressive Christian Perspective”
Format: Zoom meetings, 30 minute presentation by Byron Bangert, with discussion. From your laptop or computer: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8305475285
(Previous sessions were taped and archived)

Racial Justice Book Club
Our next Zoom meeting will be Saturday, December 5th, from 2-3:30, to discuss Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong.
Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 895 1090 4473 Passcode: 676680
Poet and essayist Cathy Park Hong fearlessly and provocatively blends memoir, cultural criticism, and history to expose fresh truths about racialized consciousness in America. This collection is vulnerable, humorous, and provocative—and its relentless and riveting pursuit of vital questions around family and friendship, art and politics, identity, and individuality, will change the way you think about our world. Binding these essays together is Hong’s theory of “minor feelings.” The daughter of Korean immigrants, Cathy Park Hong grew up steeped in shame, suspicion, and melancholy. She would later understand that these “minor feelings” occur when American optimism contradicts your own reality—when you believe the lies you’re told about your own racial identity. Minor feelings are not small, they’re dissonant—and in their tension Hong finds the key to the questions that haunt her. With sly humor and a poet’s searching mind, Hong uses her own story as a portal into a deeper examination of racial consciousness in America today. This intimate and devastating book traces her relationship to the English language, to shame and depression, to poetry and female friendship. A radically honest work of art, Minor Feelings forms a portrait of one Asian American psyche—and of a writer’s search to both uncover and speak the truth.

Jennifer Fultz has also set up a discussion board for the group, so even if you are unable to attend the in-person meetings, there is another way to participate. If you are interested in joining the group, please contact Don Wooldridge at dontylw@gmail.com.

Racial Justice Working Group at First United This Sunday, Nov. 15 @ 2 p.m.
The Boards of Outreach and Christian Education have formed a racial justice working group, focusing on how we can respond meaningfully as individuals and as a faith community to systemic racism. All are welcome, and we especially encourage participation from minority voices, whether as a member of this group or as someone willing to offer suggestions for improvement. Contact Rebecca Nunley (reblea99@gmail.com) or Don Wooldridge (dontylw@gmail.com) if you are interested in joining this initiative, or if you have any questions or concerns.

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.

VIRTUAL COMMUNITY OFFERINGS Our work as a caring community continues on Zoom through Sunday worship and lectionary study, and Tuesday’s Virtual Café and Adult Study class. Please visit https://firstuc.org/online/

JOIN US FOR SUNDAY WORSHIP!! at 10:30am. Log in to Zoom at 10am.
Zoom Meeting Link:
Meeting ID: 946 3570 8633
Password: 879535

OFF TOPIC SCRIPTURE CIRCLE (formerly Lectionary Discussion)
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 9-10am.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 840 0240 3978
Password: 122688

Pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea and join us for the Tuesday Adult Discussion group led by Derek Roe as we begin a new video series: Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad presented by Prof. Mark Muesse. We hope to see you there!
Discussions range over many topics, and it’s a great way to keep in touch with church friends during social distancing. We’ll end somewhere between 11:30 and noon.

  1. From your laptop or desktop computer https://zoom.us/j/309686166?pwd=OVZ2VXFUSDV6R2IwM0xTMTd4TEVCdz09 OR
  2. From your landline telephone or cell phone: (253) 215 8782 then enter the meeting ID: 309 686 166# Password: 399499
  3. Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/aCaOLQbW3