- Sunday Morning Worship – Sundays @ 10:30am; Join Zoom Webinar here
- Morning Café and Discussion – Tuesdays @ 10am;Join Zoom Meeting here
- Off-Topic Scripture Circle – Thursdays @ 5:30pm; Join Zoom Meeting here
- Scripture Reader sign up – Click here
- Usher sign up – Click here (needed 10/09)
- Flowers sign up – Click here
- Coffee Hour Host sign up – Click here
- Donate to First United Online – Click here
- First United Vimeo Channel – Click here
Outreach Food Drive
The Board of Outreach encourages you to offer food donations on the first Sunday of each month on at table in the narthex. Please bring non-perishable food items next Sunday, October 2nd to help with this critical community need. As always, all of the collected food and cleaning/hygiene items will go to Monroe County United Ministries (MCUM), located in the Crestmont neighborhood of Bloomington, and pet food will go to Area 10 Agency on Aging. Click here to for a list of MCUM’s ongoing needs. Thank you for your generosity!
World Communion Sunday
Along with Christians around the globe we will celebrate World Communion Sunday on October 2nd. In addition to worship liturgy, music, message, and imagery focusing on the world beyond borders, you are invited to enhance the experience by sharing an item you have from another country to be part of a visual array of objects from around the world for display in the Sanctuary during worship. While each item will have its unique connection between its owner and its country of origin, as a “collection” it will bring those connections into our space of worship, providing a window to the greater world as we worship.
Cards (for labels) will be available for a title or description of the item and its country of origin. Bring your item on the morning of October 2nd and add it to the display (tables alongside the courtyard windows in the sanctuary), or drop it off at the Church office during the week before. Items dropped off will be kept secure prior to and after being part of the display on Sunday.
NEW/UPDATED THIS WEEK
Governance Moment: Bylaws and Constitution
Thank you everyone for showing up and participating in our congregational meeting on September 25th. We have passed the Bylaws and Constitution revisions as presented. I can’t thank you enough for showing up, dialing in, and being part of this success that has been over a year in the making. We as congregants and members of First United Church are responsible for how we are run and governed. Your engagement in this process has meant the world to those of us who worked on it so much. Thank you. Rebecca Keith
Pizza & Play
Members,families, and friends are invited to come together for an informal, unprogrammed play time in Fellowship Hall and on our playground and surrounding area Friday, October 7th, 5:30pm-7:30pm. As the name implies, pizza and drinks will be provided. These gatherings will be offered on the first Friday of each month, so mark your calendars now. And, feel free to bring an indoor and/or outdoor game/activity to share! Please do email Molly Koontz (Molly.Koontz@yahoo.com) by October 6th if you are planning to attend the October 7th Pizza & Play and if you have any particular dietary needs so she can be sure to have enough food on hand.
Junior & Senior High Youth Group Co-ops
First United youth (grades 6-12) and their friends are invited to participate in a two new cooperative youth groups to connect with friends, new and old; engage in a wide range of games and activities; relate faith to actual life (questions welcome!); AND EAT FREE FOOD! This ministry is being offered cooperatively by First United, First Presbyterian, Trinity Episcopal, and St. Thomas ELCA.The Senior High Group (grades 9-12) will generally meet at 5:30-7:30pm on the final Sunday of each month, and beginning in October, the Junior High Group (grades 6-8) will typically meet 2-3:30pm on the second Sunday of each month. Upcoming date for Junior High is October 9th at First Presbyterian. (221 E. Sixth St.) Upcoming date for Senior High is October 30th at First Presbyterian.
Rally Day and Pumpkin Decorating
Mark Your Calendar for Sunday, October 23 and join the church community at Rally Day and Pumpkin Decorating! After service, a yummy coffee hour will feature information about the various boards and committees and ways to get involved with the church community. In addition, bring your own pumpkin for carving or painting (limited pumpkins will be available) and get in the mood for Halloween! All supplies (pumpkins limited) will be provided for painting and carving. Please plan to attend! If you have questions, contact Mary Peckham or Hopi Stosberg.
Be sure to join us for worship on Sunday, October 23rd, when Julio Alonso, Executive Director/CEO of Hoosier Hills Food Bank, will join us for worship to share about their impactful work in our community. We will also receive a special offering for Hoosier Hills Food Bank during the service to supplement our congregation’s budgeted giving to this very worthy beneficiary. You won’t want to miss this wonderful opportunity to learn more about this important organization that we continue to support in a variety of ways as a congregation (including a portion of our Outreach budget).
Racial Justice Lunch & Learns
Our Racial Justice Lunch and Learns (offered via Zoom the first and third Thursday of each month) will reconvene on Thursday, October 20th, 12pm-1:00pm . Mark your calendars now and plan to join us as we begin our exploration of a variety of powerful video presentations offered by Nurturing Justice on discussing our questions, curiosities, and responses elicited by “Decolonizing Christianity: Becoming Badass Believers”: a conversation between the Rev. Dr. Miguel De La Torre, Professor of Social Ethics and Latinx Studies at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO and a prolific author, and the Rev. Dr. Velda Love, Lead for the UCC’s Join the Movement campaign, and UCC Minister for Racial Justice. Their 90-minute conversation can be viewed by clicking here (watch prior to the Zoom meeting); join the October 20th Zoom meeting by clicking here.
Nurturing Justice is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the dignity of all humanity, expose the fallacy of white skinned supremacy and promote the notion that there is no hierarchy of human value based on skin color. They work to achieve their mission through education, action, community building and engagement. Learn more about Nurturing Justice here. Please contact Pastor Jessica with any questions.
UPCOMING WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
Sunday Morning Hybrid Worship
Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am. This Sunday will feature Rev. Rebecca Hoke-McCall in the pulpit. Katherine Gray will present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead. Eric Meincke and Hansol Kim will lead us in song throughout the service, and our fabulous vocal choir will make their glorious return offering the day’s special music. Mary Peckham will highlight some of the many ways we are invited to engage in the life of the church and our wider community. Kim Yaussy Albright, Phyllis Eads, and Keith Gerber will offer a warm welcome to all those who gather in the sanctuary, while Dedric Dennist will welcome all who join via Zoom. Jim and Marge Faber will provide a beautiful floral arrangement in memory of Kurt Faber on what would be been his 66th birthday. Finally, Kyle Hetrick will ensure the audio/visual pieces run as smoothly as possible. Looking forward to worshiping with you!
Join the Zoom Webinar by clicking here
Dial-in number: (312) 626-6799; Webinar ID: 828 3681 0281
The service will be posted on Sunday evening on First United’s Vimeo channel (where you can access all of our previous worship services).
Donate online at: firstuc.online/donate
Attendance Pads Return!
The Attendance Pads have returned to the Sanctuary pews! As you gather for worship in the Sanctuary on Sundays, you are encouraged to let us know “I was here!” by signing in. Why do we want to know you were here? To offer perfect attendance awards? To penalize folks for absences? No, we want to know because we care about one another and would like to be able to reach out and check in on you and your well-being should you be away multiple Sundays in a row unexpectedly.
Pastor Jessica’s Return
Pastor Jessica will be back with us for worship on October 9th. While she is away, Rev. Rebecca Hoke-McCall will offer worship leadership and pastoral care and will facilitate both the Tuesday Morning Discussion and Café and Thursday evening Off-Topic Scripture Circle. Rev. Byron Bangert will also share in offering worship leadership during this time. We wish Pastor Jessica and her family safe travels and rejoice in her taking the time to model healthy self-care and life balance. You may contact Rev. Rebecca at 812-219-3672 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Coffee Hour Every Sunday!
As we cautiously resume fellowship activities, the Member Relations Committee (MeRC) has been supporting coffee hours on 2nd and 4th Sundays each month. In this season of so many new arrivals in our university town, and as we eagerly gather with old friends after long isolation due to Covid, we would like to try offering simple fellowship after worship every Sunday. We will continue to encourage traditional coffee hours on 2nd and 4th Sundays AND invite YOU to consider creating a “coffee hour light,” a simple gathering opportunity, on 1st/3rd/5th Sundays. You can sign up here, and click here to view revised instructions. Fellowship is vital to a strong community and easy to support with the gift of minimal time and effort. Malissa Sparks or Mary Peckham can answer any questions you may have. And, a reminder that, while hosts are free to supplement items if they wish, all food, drink, and serving supplies are provided by the church.
BMA Faith for Racial Equity
You are also invited to join the Bloomington Multifaith Alliance Faith for Racial Equity (BMA F4RE) committee for their regular meetings on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, 12pm-1pm. Click here to join this month’s meetings via Zoom on October 13th and 27th. The committee is continues focusing their work on 1) assembling a map of Bloomington’s whites-only properties and neighborhoods in order to visualize just how much housing in Bloomington was once whites-only by policy and 2) connecting with Monroe County schools and their Parent-Teacher Organizations to address resource disparities.
Members and friends of First United are invited to gather for fun and fellowship Sunday, October 16th, 2pm-4pm (and the third Sunday of each month). Plan to join us for Sunday Funday as we come together for an informal, unprogrammed play time in Fellowship Hall and on our playground and surrounding area. A light snack will be available for each Sunday Funday. Feel free to bring an indoor and/or outdoor game/activity to share!
The Outreach board thanks all who provided food donations this month. The total pounds delivered to MCUM on Tuesday, September 13th from our congregation was 84 pounds. We thank Ted Wininger who delivered this food collection. Last month was 187 pounds plus additional donations by Mary Peckham of 325 pounds from persons who left their home to move to assisted living.
We remind everyone to bring their food donations by the first Sunday every month to be delivered afterward. Food can be placed at food pantry shelf by kitchen in hallway or at narthex.
CLT and Nursery Care
This Sunday, kids in kindergarten through 5th grade are welcome to Children’s Learning Time (CLT) in Room 2 during the first half of the Sunday morning worship service; they will join the rest of the congregation in the Sanctuary for the final half of worship to celebrate communion. Many thanks to Sandra Hendricks and Noel Koontz for leading CLT this Sunday. Interested in joining our CLT assistant teacher rotation? Contact Molly Koontz.
Our youngest children are welcome to spend time from 9:30am-11:45am playing in the nursery or on the playground, weather permitting. Lena Stosberg and Katie Silvester will ensure our little ones are safe and engaged in fun activities during worship this Sunday. We are always looking for additional volunteer assistants to help in the nursery occasionally. Contact Molly Koontz if you are interested and with any questions.
Tuesday Morning Café and Discussion
Join us in Roger Williams Hall or via Zoom (click here) on Tuesday mornings, 10am-11:30am, as we embark on the final third of a 36-session video series entitled “The History of Christianity: From the Disciples to the Dawn of the Reformation.” After a time of informal conversation, we engage in thought-provoking theological study and discussion as we explore the phenomenal story of Christianity’s first 1,500 years, with all its remarkable diversity and complex dimensions. Professor Dr. Luke Timothy Johnson will lead this examination of Christianity’s origins, rise, and civilization-shaping activities from its inception to the Reformation. While we’d love to see you each Tuesday for the next several months, perfect attendance is not required, neither is previous participation.
Off-Topic Scripture Circle (Temporary Change in Day and Time)
You are invited to join with members and friends of First United on Friday mornings, 9:30am-10:30am to check in and explore the week’s lectionary scripture readings in a casual setting where you will never be asked to leave your brain or your heart at the door. We will meet via Zoom only in an effort to be more accessible to folks after work and near dinnertime; join the Zoom meeting here.
Feminist Women’s Book Club
Our feminist women’s book club will meet on Sunday, October 9th at 12pm (for about an hour) in person in Roger Williams Hall and via Zoom for anyone who would prefer to join virtually. The book for October discussion Suzanne Tidrow has chosen “Midnight at the Blackbird Café” by Heather Webber. In the mountains of Alabama lies the little town of Wicklow. It is here that Anna Kate has returned to bury her beloved Granny Zee, owner of the Blackbird Café. It was supposed to be a quick trip to close the café and settle her grandmother’s estate, but despite her best intentions to avoid forming ties or even getting to know her father’s side of the family, Anna Kate finds herself inexplicably drawn to the quirky Southern town her mother ran away from so many years ago, and the mysterious blackbird pie everybody can’t stop talking about.
As always, new members are welcome to visit as a guest. For Zoom or more information contact facilitator Cindy Stone (stonec@Indiana.edu).
Reader’s Choice Book Group
After a summer break, our Reader’s Choice Book Group will resume its monthly meetings this Monday, October 10th, 1:30pm at the home of Nancy Martin, 1047 Sassafras Circle (Meadowood). The book for discussion is “The Stranger in the Lifeboat” by Mitch Albom, the author of 7 best sellers. The story opens with 10 shipwreck survivors on a lifeboat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. They are on the boat for 3 days when they spot a young man treading water, not holding on to anything. They pull him into the boat. “What are you doing here?” they asked. “Haven’t you been calling me? “he answered. “Who are you?” they asked. “I am the Lord”, he whispered. Did they believe him? Of course not. But who was this mysterious stranger? Come join us to discuss the answer. Everyone is welcome.
The Finance Committee and Church Council are pleased to appoint two members to the Memorial Endowment Committee, to fill out the terms of members who have resigned. Molly Koontz and Jim True have agreed to serve on this group that advises Finance and Council on matters related to the investment account maintained through United Church Funds. The committee meets several times throughout the year, including at least twice with the church’s investment manager. It ensures compliance with the church’s investment policy statement, makes decisions on reallocation of assets within the account, and makes recommendations regarding endowment withdrawals to support the budget or other projects. Questions regarding the memorial endowment fund or the committee may be directed to Kyle Hetrick. Thanks to Molly and Jim for agreeing to step up in this way!
Welcome, Eric Meincke, and Return of the Choirs!
It is with great pleasure that we welcome Eric Meincke as First United’s new Music Director! Eric has just begun as a doctoral student in Choral Conducting at Indiana University in the Jacobs School of Music. He is “thrilled to have accepted this offer to join this loving and inclusive community at First United” and is very eager to work with us (especially our vocal and bell choirs) to help create meaningful worship experiences for our congregation. Rehearsals for both the vocal and bell choirs have resumed, and all are welcome to join (vocal choir, Thursdays @ 7:30pm; bell choir, Thursdays @ 6:15pm). Welcome, Eric!
Nursery Worker Needed
First United is seeking an additional nursery worker to staff our church nursery on Sundays from 9:30am-12pm. If you or someone you know might be interested in applying, please send a resume or letter of interest to Molly Koontz at Molly.Koontz@yahoo.com.
First United is seeking to hire someone as a part-time Director of Children’s and Youth Ministries. Please see the job description here. Share widely or apply today! Candidates should respond to Lisa Stanger (email@example.com) with a resume and email cover letter detailing relevant experience and intent to apply. While the hiring team has received materials from a number of applicants, none have yet seemed to be the right fit. Thank you for your help!
- Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai, Senior Minister – firstname.lastname@example.org; 812-727-4414 (Cell) (Friday & Saturday off; emergency calls only)
- Rev. Rebecca Hoke-McCall, Senior Minister Sub (Sept 6th-Oct 6th) – 812-219-3672 (Cell); email@example.com
- Lisa Stanger, Office Manager – firstname.lastname@example.org; 812-332-4439 (Office)
- Eric Meincke, Music Director – email@example.com; 501-837-2708 (Cell)
- Dedric Dennist, Web Content & Media Coordinator – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rebecca Keith, Church President – email@example.com; 812-325-0145 (Cell)