“The Paradox of Generosity” is this year’s stewardship/ generosity theme for the 2019-2020              

Generosity Campaign. Over the next six weeks, October 6 – November 17, 2019, you will receive various forms of communications and reminders to prayerfully consider ways to support First United Church’s mission and ministry. Please give as you can. Thank you for your ongoing generosity!

NEW! The convenience of ONLINE GIVING is now available on our website www.firstuc.org

Calling all children!

It’s time to begin practicing for the December 8 Candlelight and Carols Service!  All you need to do is bring yourselves to the Choir Room right after church beginning Sunday, November 17. We will practice while your parents are in coffee hour, or we might even let them listen and help.  The practice is only about 20 minutes. We will also practice right after church on Sunday November 24, December 1, and December 8.  The Candlelight and Carols Service is 6 pm on Sunday December 8. Derek will give you a handout in CLT with lyrics and information, too. Please join us in celebrating Jesus’s Birth! If you have any questions, text or call Rebecca Keith at (812) 325-0145.

Church Security Survey
Church Council via Cool Solutions Group is administering a survey on church security. Cool Solutions Group will be analyzing survey responses from our congregation (and from partners in our building) as it formulates policy, procedure, and physical plant recommendations for First United.
Your perspective is valid, important, and needed. Please consider completing this anonymous survey:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/K2DBGDY  Contact Mitchell Farmer (mitchellgfarmer@gmail.com) with any questions. 

First United is now working to compose a Pulpit Committee to search and call our next settled Senior Minister. We are looking for committed, consensus-oriented congregation members who reflect the diversity of our congregation as widely as possible and are willing and able to give their time and talent to this important undertaking. We welcome both self-nominations and nominations of others you think would be good representatives of our congregation.  Search committee members must be members of First United Church. We are committed to making necessary accommodations to encourage participation, including remote access, ridesharing, childcare, etc. If you wish to nominate yourself or another member, please speak to Mary Peckham 

(or email mkpeckham59@gmail.com), any Council member, or Pastor Monica. If you expressed interest in recent months, please confirm that you are still interested and available. Nominations will now be accepted until November 14th.

Living Nativity Signups. Be sure to check out the Living Nativity and Luminaries signup boards during coffee hour, or contact Heather Farmer at hemfarmer@gmail.com to get involved! 

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 22, made out to BSO Poinsettia 2019. 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.

Call for Creativity — Finding the Spirit in Place

And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)

The First United community is invited to submit photographs, 2-D artwork or writings (poems, short essays) that consider finding the Holy Spirit in particular places. In the Celtic tradition, these are known as thin places — where heaven and Earth are close enough for one to feel the Sacred.

Send photos (largest file size, please) and writings directly to Elizabeth Busey (ebusey@yahoo.com) and she will print them for display.  If you have original artwork you have created, contact Elizabeth to make a plan for its display. Deadline for submissions is Monday, November 18th.

 Our Annual Harvest In-Gathering. During November, help us fill the front of the sanctuary for MCUM.Please bring in any nonperishable food products.  To fill their Cleaning Closet, consider bringing in hygiene items, cleaning supplies, new socks and new underwear. We will gather up all of our gifts on November 24th to deliver on the 25th.  Thank you for your generosity!

November Justice Forum on Race

On Sunday, November 17th, from 4-6 pm, the Board of Christian Education will be facilitating another Justice Forum discussion.  The topic will be on race, with a focus on racial bias in immigration policy.  To begin the open discussion and offer her expertise, we have invited Ellen Wu, Associate Professor of History and Director of the Asian American Studies program at IU to speak.  You can read her professional bio at the following link: https://history.indiana.edu/faculty_staff/faculty/wu_ellen.html.  

You can also read an essay Ellen recently wrote on the topic here: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/modern-american-history/article/its-time-to-center-war-in-us-immigration-history/CC6319DD26C3322DB39AD78F620632F6/core-reader.

If you are unable to attend this event, or are interested in further discussions, Ellen will also be speaking on this topic at “The Border is Here,” an event taking place on November 6th at the public library, which is sponsored by the Immigration Justice Task Force.

As always, all ages are welcome.  Childcare will be available.  We will meet in Fellowship Hall. Please join us!

Minister Of Care For The Week Of November 10 is Sarah Burton.  A minister of care is a church volunteer who visits members in their home.