Updates on First United Operations and Activities

Pastor Jessica Petersen-Mutai can be reached by email at  revpetersenmutai@firstuc.org

 or by phone or text at 812-727-4414

“Bring Forth” Stewardship Drive

Our 2021 Stewardship Pledge Drive has “officially” ended, helping us formulate our 2021 budget going forward, but pledges and giving continue to be gratefully accepted. 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. 

Bloomington’s Multi-faith Thanksgiving Service

The Bloomington Multi-faith Alliance will host a “Multi-faith Thanksgiving Celebration of Unity” virtually on Zoom at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 24th. The service features music from First United (with First Presbyterian) and a Children’s Message by Pastor Jessica. The offering to benefit Shalom and New Hope will use First United’s donation link: https://tinyurl.com/FirstUCDonate

Join the Zoom service at 7 p.m. on November 24th, 2020:


Meeting ID: 573 352 0900           

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.


Yard Work Morning, THIS Saturday, November 21, 8 am to no later than 11 am

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)

FROM THE BOARD OF WORSHIPPreparing Ourselves for Advent

Midweek Advent Services – Short services (15-20 min) with readings, prayers, and music to help you focus on the coming of Jesus into the world. Two opportunities for each week’s themes:

          • Outdoor In-person in the courtyard Wednesdays @12:30pm (Dec 2, 9, 16, 23)

                   Masks required, singing only by soloist

                   Watch the announcements for sign-up details

          • Zoom Service Thursdays @5:30pm (December 3, 10, 17)

                   Enjoy from the comfort of home. Tune into the FirstUC Zoom channel.

Mark your calendars:

Candlelight and Carols Virtual Service: Sunday, December 13th @ 5pm

Christmas Eve Virtual Service: Sunday, December 24th @ 5pm

Hanging the “Paper” Greens

People of all ages are invited to create paper chains in lieu of traditional greens. Choose paper that is meaningful to you, and feel free to write your prayers on them.

Drop off: Look for a long plastic box outside under the drive-thru portico entrance to the Narthex. Chains will be accepted through December 18th and hung before each Sunday’s service. Zoom in Sunday morning to see how far our chains have reached.

Pick-up of chains: If you need your chains to be picked up and delivered, contact Siri Loescher@ sannloescher@gmail.com


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 fourth 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. 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

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 of people of color, whether as a member of this group or as someone willing to offer suggestions for improvement. Next meeting January 17 @ 2 p.m. 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. 


Human and Pet Food Drive Saturday, November 14th collected 670 lbs. of Human food, 119 lbs. of pet food, and $757 in cash/check donations to MCUM

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/


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

The service is posted late Sunday afternoon at: https://vimeo.com/firstunitedchurch

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 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