- Sunday Morning Worship – Sundays @ 10:30am; Join Zoom Webinar here
- Off-Topic Scripture Circle – NEW TIME Mondays @ 10am; Join Zoom Meeting here
- Morning Café and Discussion – Tuesdays @ 10am;Join Zoom Meeting here
- Scripture Reader sign up – Click here
- Usher sign up – Click here (needed 10/16, 10/23, 10/30)
- Flowers sign up – Click here (needed 10/23, 10/30)
- Coffee Hour Host sign up – Click here (10/23, 10/30)
- Donate to First United Online – Click here
- First United Vimeo Channel – Click here
Join us for a special off-site Sunday Funday THIS SUNDAY, October 16th, 2pm-4pm, as the Kersten family will once again welcome us to their home (4140 West Estate Court, Bloomington). People are still talking about the June Sunday Funday pool party they hosted! And, rumor has it that there will be a bounce house!
Racial Justice Lunch & Learns
Our Racial Justice Lunch and Learns (offered via Zoom the first and third Thursday of each month) will reconvene this Thursday, October 20th, 12pm-1:00pm. 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. Please contact Pastor Jessica with any questions.
Monthly Council and Finance Meetings
The Church Council will meet for their monthly meeting via Zoom at 6:30pm this Wednesday, October 19th. The Finance Committee will also meet on at 11am on Monday, October 17th in Room 6. Board, Council, and Committee meetings are always open to all. Please contact Rebecca Keith for the Zoom link if you would like to join this month’s Council meeting.
NEW/UPDATED THIS WEEK
Off-Topic Scripture Circle – NEW TIME!
You are invited to join with members and friends of First United on Monday mornings at 10am 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 meet via Zoom only in an effort to be more accessible; join the Zoom meeting here.
Bloomington Multifaith Alliance Zoom Meet Up
This Wednesday, October 19th, Bloomington Multifaith Alliance (BMA) is pleased to welcome Dr. Jeff Hauswald, Superintendent of the Monroe County Community School Corporation to discuss the upcoming referendum on the ballot this November. Dr. Hauswald’s presentation will begin at noon. Sign into Zoom at 11:30am for updates from casual conversation, time to check-in with one another, and for updates from BMA subcommittees, local organizations, and area faith communities. Click here to join the Zoom meeting.
BMA hosts bi-monthly meet ups on the third Wednesday at midday on Zoom. Meet ups provide time for information conversation, faith community updates, subcommittee reports, and network opportunities followed by an hour-long program. Upcoming meetings include: February 15th, regarding BMA subcommittee work and April 19th, regarding ecology.
Sermon Talk Backs
Our monthly sermon talk back will take place on Sunday, October 30th. Worship participants are invited to remain after the service that day for a moderated discussion on the sermon to discuss what they heard and what questions remain. In-person participants will gather in Roger Williams Hall, while online participants can simply stay on the worship Zoom webinar (you will be made a panelist so you can be seen and heard).
UPCOMING WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
Sunday Morning Hybrid Worship
Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am. This Sunday, we kick off our Season of Stewardship with a testimony on love and acceptance from Rebecca Keith (who will also highlight some of the many ways we are invited to engage in the life of the church and our wider community). The service will also feature Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai in the pulpit; she will also offer a special message for the young and young at heart. Rebecca Hoke-McCall 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 offer their gift of special music. Keith Gerber could use some help in offering a warm welcome to all those who gather in the sanctuary (sign up here to usher), while Dedric Dennist will welcome all who join via Zoom. Rev. Petersen-Mutai will provide a beautiful floral arrangement with gratitude for the kindness and generosity of our First United family. Kyle Hetrick and Jim True will ensure the audio/visual pieces run as smoothly as possible. And, Malissa Sparks will host coffee hour in Fellowship Hall following the service. 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
Choir and Bell Choir Rehearsals
Rehearsals for both the vocal and bell choirs have resumed, and all are welcome to join! The vocal choir rehearses in the Choir Room on Thursdays at 7:30pm, and the bell choir meets on Thursdays at 6:15pm in Roger Williams Hall.
As you gather for worship in the Sanctuary on Sundays, you are encouraged to let us know “I was here!” by signing in on the Attendance Pads located in the pews. We care about you 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.
Be sure to join us for worship next 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).
Rally Day and Pumpkin Decorating
Be sure to mark your calendar and join your church community next Sunday, October 23rd for Rally Day and Pumpkin Decorating! After worship, a yummy coffee hour will feature staffed by members of our various boards and committees sharing information and ways to get involved with our 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 Hopi Stosberg or Mary Peckham.
The Board of Outreach thanks all who provided food donations this month. The total pounds delivered to MCUM on Tuesday, October 4th from our congregation was 187 pounds, 103 more than last month! Awesome, let’s try to do even better for the November donation. We thank Keith Gerber who delivered this food collection. MCUM’s needs are great, and a special request is for meal helpers like Hamburger Helper, Tuna Helper, Chicken Helper and Rice a Roni. We remind everyone to bring their food donations by the first Sunday every month to be delivered afterward. Food can be placed on the food pantry shelf in the kitchen hallway or at narthex.
BMA Faith for Racial Equity
You are 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-1:00pm. Click here to join this month’s meetings via Zoom on October 27th. The committee 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.
A Coffee Hour Every Sunday!
The Member Relations Committee (MeRC) is encouraging our congregation to offer simple fellowship after worship every Sunday. While support continues to be offered for traditional coffee hours on 2nd and 4th Sundays, YOU are invited 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.
Junior & Senior High Youth Group Co-ops
First United youth (grades 6-12) and their friends are invited to participate in 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 (next meeting October 30th at First Presbyterian). The Junior High Group (grades 6-8) will typically meet 2-3:30pm on the second Sunday of each month (next meeting November 13th at St. Thomas ELCA).
CLT and Nursery Care
Kids in kindergarten through 5th grade are welcome to Children’s Learning Time (CLT) in Room 2 during the later portion of the Sunday morning worship service. Many thanks to Ted Wininger and Emily Mathes 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 Jessica McIntosh 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 explore the final three sessions of a 36-session video series entitled “The History of Christianity: From the Disciples to the Dawn of the Reformation” and determine our next study. 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.
Governance Moment: Bylaws and Constitution
Thanks to everyone for showing up and participating in our congregational meeting on September 25th to pass the Bylaws and Constitution revisions. Thank you 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. The Constitution can be found here, and the Bylaws can be accessed here.
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 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 quarterly, including at least twice with the church’s investment manager to ensure compliance with the church’s investment policy statement, make decisions on reallocation of assets within the account, and make 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!
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 – email@example.com; 812-727-4414 (Cell) (Friday & Saturday off; emergency calls only)
- 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)