USHERS FOR DECEMBER. We will need ushers for seven worship services in December – five Sundays plus Candlelight communion December 10th and the Christmas Eve service.? If you are willing to assist, please sign the sheet in the Fellowship Hall area or let Pat Martin know when you will help.? Greeting and ushering are important facets of our being a warm and welcoming congregation.? Thank you for your willingness to present a smiling face to those entering our doors for worship.


First United will celebrate its annual Candlelight Communion on the second Sunday of Advent, December 10 at 7 p.m.? The program will include a number of seasonal hymns, readings from Scripture, the beautiful choral sounds of the First United choir, and music by our children?s choir.? Our collection will go to a charity designated by the Board of Outreach, and we will have an array of lovely cookies and punch for all to enjoy in Fellowship Hall following the service.? The service will include Communion, and all who find Communion meaningful are invited to join in.

This year, we will celebrate Communion in a different manner from our usual custom.? Congregants will be invited to come forward down the center aisle where celebrants will offer the elements.? Each congregant coming forward will receive a piece of bread and then dip their bread into the wine before consuming.? This ancient practice is called intinction (from the Latin intinctio ? to dip into dye).

As the subtitle above suggests, we have decided to change the traditional name of Candlelight Communion to Candlelight & Carols.? The reason for the change is to make the service more welcoming to those who may be uncomfortable with the liturgical word ?communion.?? By revising the name to Candlelight & Carols we hope to draw in people in the community who want to sing and hear seasonal music, find some peace during a hectic time, and perhaps see what church is all about.

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, 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.

CREATIVE COMPANIONS AND CONVERSATIONS meets this Sunday, December 3 from noon to 3:30pm. In October and November gathered folks ?knitted, quilted, colored, drew, shared skills and learned from one another. A bunch of mittens got the thumbs they?d been waiting for and we laughed and chatted and reconnected with our creative spirits.

Bring a bag lunch if you like. There will be salad and fruit provided as well.

So 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 – Saturday we?ll draw our own mandalas and color them too! Sunday will be a Zentangle day. Or you can simply play with any of the art supplies provided.

Bring a friend! If you need a ride to attend this event or could provide a ride contact Dawna Petersen at? Come take a creative break!??


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 Hope to see you there!

Just Friday: Just Friday is a monthly adult discussion group focused on various issues of justice.?

MINISTER OF CARE FOR THE WEEK OF DECEMBER 03, IS DOUG PETERSEN.? A minister of care is a church volunteer who visits members in their home.