HANGING OF THE GREENS ? SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 26TH, 4:00 PM.? Come join us 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! ??After we?re done, we?ll gather for a potluck dinner in Fellowship Hall at about 6:00 PM.? This is a festive and fun event for our whole church family.? We hope you?ll join us!

NO STEP COMMUNION SERVICE. If you would like to serve Communion but are not comfortable negotiating the steps up to and down from the altar, be not afraid! ?We welcome anyone who would like to serve but avoid steps.? We will set up Communion so that you may come forward and sit in the first pew.? When it?s time to distribute the elements, we will happily bring them to you and allow you to distribute as usual.? If this service is of interest to you, just sign up and let Florence Shelton know so that we can prepare accordingly. Eric Metzler, Chair, Board of Christian Worship?

A GIFT TO SOMEONE CLOSE AND TO SOMEONE YOU DON?T EVEN KNOW.? Many of you may already make gifts to others through an NGO, in honor of, or with thanksgiving for, or as a hostess gift or Christmas gift to someone dear to you.? Now you can make such a gift in your own community.? The Farm to Family Fund, a project of the Center for Sustainable Living, has lovely gift cards designed by Kayte Young, the new host of Earth Eats on WFIU.? The Farm to Family Fund buys food at half price at the close of the Bloomington Winter Farmers? Market every Saturday, December through March, and donates the food to The Rise, The Community Kitchen and Mother Hubbard?s Cupboard.? For a $10 minimum gift you can provide a dozen eggs to 15 local families, or $25 will provide a 1-week supply of greens for 7 families.? Gift cards are available from Janice Lilly at coffee hour and at the Bloomington Winter Farmers? Market each Saturday in December.??

INTERFAITH WINTER SHELTER, now at Wheeler Mission, is well underway, and we?ve already exceeded 50 guests a night. When more volunteer training sessions are scheduled, I?ll post them at https://firstuc.org/iws/, but now that we know what?s going on, I can update experienced volunteers anytime. For more information, buttonhole me and ask me anything. Sara Frommer, IWS volunteer coordinator, First United Church. firstucshelter@gmail.com?

YARD WORK SESSIONS at 8:30 on Thursday mornings with Laura Kao?are over for the year. ?All of us are encouraged, as always, to pick up and dispose of?any trash?on the grounds. ?The more eyes and hands on this job, the spiffier we stay looking. ?Thanks!

FIRST UNITED CHILDREN’S CHOIR! The Children’s Choir began rehearsing for Candlelight Service last Sunday. We meet in the choir room immediately following Sunday morning service during Coffee hour. Ashley Frizzo, Rebecca Keith, and Vini Frizzo will all help with the rehearsal process, and all children are encouraged to join. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn music and be a part of a beautiful and long tradition. Candlelight Service is Sunday, December 10th at 7:00pm. ??

HARVEST INGATHERING. November is Harvest Ingathering and an opportunity to help others who need help putting enough on their tables during the holidays–at a time when food pantries typically run low. Donations will be collected through the month until November 19 when the bounty will be stacked across the platform. NOTE: an added opportunity is to join us to arrange the donations on November 18 at 10:00a.m. (holiday treat will be served!).

TIME TO ORDER OUR BEAUTIFUL POINSETTIAS.? Brighten the church sanctuary with Holiday Poinsettias and support the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra! The BSO’s Annual Poinsettia Sale has begun! To order poinsettias to decorate the chancel during Advent and take home afterward, bring your check no later than Monday, November 20, made out to BSO Poinsettia 2017. Write “poinsettias” in the memo line. Each plant costs $13.00, beautifies the church, and supports the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra. Your poinsettias may be picked up outside Fellowship Hall on Monday, December 18, if you would like to take them home. Please let the church office know if you would like to order one.?

QUARRYLAND MEN?S CHORUS PERFORMANCE. The Quarryland Men?s Chorus, whose rehearsal home is First United, will offer its winter concert on Sunday, November 19 at 7 p.m. at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.? Walking Together, the performance title, highlights the power of community in preventing suicide and protecting children from bullying.? The concert will feature Tyler?s Suite, a series of pieces memorializing Tyler Clementi, who died by suicide after being bullied by his roommate during his first weeks of college. ?Joining the Chorus will be acclaimed singer Sylvia McNair and Bloomington mayor John Hamilton. ?Tickets are – Gen. Admission $15; student/senior (65+) $12; children 12 & under free. Eric Metzler would be happy to sell you a ticket; alternatively they may be purchased at the Buskirk-Chumley Box Office.

?FAITH-FULL TRANSITIONS.??Our lives are sacred stories that have been through many transitions.?What do you remember about transitions in your life? What made them easy? What made them hard? Some transitions are huge, some are small. Some are chosen by us, and others forced upon us. We experience transitions in all areas of our?lives including career, family, beliefs, relationships, physical and emotional states. They can be challenging and they can provide opportunities to learn and grow.

We?ll look at what the stages of a transition are, and what the characteristics of those changes entail.?We?ll explore how we can navigate beginnings, endings and the spaces in between faith-fully.?We?ll create timelines layering the movements of?our lives with the movements of our faith.

Discerning our steps, we?ll look for where God is/was in the process, we?ll learn and share together from the wisdom of our experiences, and together we?ll say:?For all that has been, Thank you. For all that is to come, Yes?!???-Dag Hammarskjold

Dawna Petersen is the facilitator for our explorations. Faithful Transitions in Roger Williams Hall. It will meet Sundays, November 19, December 3 and 10. There will be no class on November 26. Please join us!?

COFFEE HOUR host(s) may volunteer by signing up on the pad in the Fellowship Hall Foyer. Treats are provided by the Board of Worship and Kitchen Committee, but special goodies, especially in celebration of a noteworthy occasion, are always appreciated but never an obligation. If you have never been a Coffee Hour host(s), please sign up and indicate whether you wish to be paired with an experienced kitchen helper.? Contact Malissa Sparks sparksmalissa@gmail.com with any questions or suggestions.?

AN INVITATION TO FUN & FRIENDSHIP.?Coming for fall, Creative Companions and Conversations is a time and place to drop in and work on your favorite project in community, to share your skills, to laugh, to chat and to reconnect with your creative spirit.

Hunt through those drawers and closets or pack up what?s next to your favorite chair! Bring your creative project (knitting, crocheting, painting, quilting, origami, woodcarving, beading, basket weaving, coloring, needlework, collage, doll-making, scrapbooking, ? ) to begin again or to start anew.

Or just come! – empty-handed and open-hearted. Kibbitz or learn from the other folks there. Or explore something new each time as well (drawing mandalas, Zentangle?, book-making? ) – direction and supplies provided.

Creative Companions and Conversations will meet in Roger Williams Hall December 2 & 3. Mark your calendars now for one day or both for as much time as you can. Bring a bag lunch if you like. There will be salad and fruit provided as well. ?Bring a friend! If you need a ride to attend this event or could provide a ride contact Dawna Petersen at spiritual.director@firstuc.org.?


Play Friday: The next Play Friday is December 8 from 6-8 p.m. Play Friday is a recurring family game night welcoming all ages. There will be pizza dinner, games and crafts-specific theme TBA. Join us! It helps with food planning if you can RSVP to Hopi Stosberg at hopi@stosberg.com. Hope to see you there!

Just Friday: Just Friday is a monthly adult discussion group focused on various issues of justice. As the year closes we will focus discussion on issues of Abundance and Scarcity. Some people have far more than they need while others struggle, and are at times unable, to meet their basic needs. Join us as we discuss big questions of what is enough, what kind of responsibilities do we have to the world when privileged with abundance, different ways to give to the world, and how to balance abundance with scarcity. How can abundance and scarcity live side by side? There will be light refreshments, no childcare provided. Discussions will occur at First United Church in Roger Williams Hall from 7:00-9 p.m. on December 1; Giving & Materialism: Just in time for the holiday season we reflect on the value of giving toward the world instead of toward ourselves, but sometimes what we want to give is not what is most needed.

?MINISTER OF CARE FOR THE WEEK OF NOVEMBER 19, IS JEAN PETERS.? A minister of care is a church volunteer who visits members in their home.