Candlelight & Carols Service: Sunday, December 5, 2021 at 6:30 PM | Christmas Eve Service: Friday, December 24, 2021 at 6:30 PM

QUICK LINKS

  • Off-Topic Scripture Circle – Sundays @ 9am; Join Zoom Meeting here
  • Sunday Morning Worship – Sundays @ 10:30am; Join Zoom Webinar here
  • Morning Café and Discussion – Tuesdays @ 10am;Join Zoom Meeting here
  • Scripture Reader sign up – Click here
  • Usher sign up – Click here
  • Flowers sign up – Click here

DON’T FORGET

Racial Justice Working Group

The next meeting of the Racial Justice Working Group is this Sunday, October 17th at 12pm in Room 6 and via Zoom (join Zoom meeting here). The group focuses on how we, as individuals and a faith community, can respond meaningfully to systemic racism. Currently, the group is working on implementing an anti-racism audit of our church.

NEW THIS WEEK

Taino Mask

Are you the owner of the Taino mask left behind on World Communion Sunday?

Please contact the church office to pick up the mask. Thank you!

Rooted in Love – Stewardship 2021

First United is blessed with an abundance of generous friends and members who dedicate their resources to living out the mission of our congregation. Thank you all who give with such generosity! As we engage in our 2021 Stewardship Campaign over the next few weeks, you are invited to open yourselves to the movement of the spirit as you witness testimonials by fellow members of our congregation sharing some of the many ways in which our church is rooted in love. Throughout the campaign, we will reflect on the words of the Psalmist: “They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season” and consider how First United roots you in faith. You’ll then have an opportunity to express your gratitude through making a pledge of generosity for the upcoming year joining your gifts and resources together in support our shared ministry. These pledges will be offered and blessed during worship on Sunday, November 21st.

The work of our church happens only because of your generous financial and volunteer support of our community. Because of you, our congregation shares God’s love. While there are many ways to support the congregation, our annual campaign provides a chance to think in a particular and prayerful way about the choices we make with our money in support of the church. May God bless us in our discernment!

Refugee Support Ad Hoc Committee Formed

Want to help the stranger, the other, the immigrant? The Board of Outreach has started an ad hoc committee to investigate church support of international refugee resettlement in Bloomington. This effort reignites church interest that was begun in 2016 on refugee sponsorship; work that had to be shelved during the last Presidential administration. The current committee members are Dave Meyer (chair), Rebecca Nunley, Hopi Stosberg, and Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai. We are looking for additional committee members to develop plans to host an individual refugee or family. Can you help? Another way to help is financially as First United will need additional offerings and pledges to support the efforts beyond regular budgetary expenses. Please contact either Dave (dwm@davemeyer.org) or Jessica revpetersenmutai@firstuc.org) for more information or to express your interest in helping.

Winter Clothing Drive

First United Church is participating in a winter clothing drive organized and directed by Trinity Episcopal Church, the Unitarian Universalist Church, and the Bloomington Fire Department. You are invited to donate winter coats, winter hats, hoodies, scarves, socks, and thermal underwear in all sizes. The clothing can be new or used but must be clean and in good condition. It must also be utilitarian, not necessarily stylish. We will receive items now through Sunday, October 31st. Items may be placed in the large, labeled box in the Narthex during office hours Monday-Friday and on Sunday. The clothing will be distributed from the Main Fire Station (300 E. 4th Street) on Saturday, November 6th, 8:00am-12:00pm. Snacks and drinks will be provided at the distribution event.

Volunteers are needed to help sort, fold, and hang clothing at the distribution site on October 12th, 19th, and 26th, 6:30pm-8:30pm. Additional volunteers are needed to oversee the distribution of the clothing on November 6th (7:30am-10:00am or 10:00am-12:30pm); this will involve helping people find clothing, helping with bagging clothing, and loading leftover clothing for future distribution. Please use SignUP Genius to volunteer by clicking here.

Healing Hands, Bloomington will distribute clothing not selected by individuals during the distribution event to: The Shalom Center/Beacon, Wheeler Mission, New Hope Family Shelter, The Rise/Middle Way House, and New Leaf/New Life.

Time To Order Holiday 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 8th, made out to BSO Poinsettia 2021. 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 13th, if you would like to take them home. Please let the church office know if you would like to order one.

Peapod Outside Lunch

Mark Stosberg invites everyone to join the monthly Peapod group in First United’s Pavilion this Sunday, October 17th, beginning at 1:30pm, for a whole food, plant-based picnic! Due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns, this meal will not be a pitch-in, but each attendee/family/attendee group will bring their own meal.

UPCOMING WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Sunday Morning Hybrid Worship

Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am. This Sunday’s service will feature Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai in the pulpit, a message from Derek Roe, M.Div., for the young and young at heart, and wonderful music from Hansol Kim, Sam Grace, and the First United Vocal Choir. Lisa Kwong will present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead. Kim Yaussy Albright, Sara Ivey Lucas, and Siri Loescher will offer a warm welcome and bulletin for those who gather in the sanctuary, and Rebecca Keith will greet those joining us via Zoom. The beautiful flower arrangement is provided by Bill and Phyllis Perkins. And Kyle Hetrick and Jim True will ensure that all the tech pieces run as smoothly as possible!

Thank you for continuing to mask and distance while in the church building as we find our way through this continuing pandemic and keep the most vulnerable among us safe! The full Reopening Policy can be accessed here. Any questions or concerns regarding the policy should be addressed to the Church Council.

Join the Zoom Webinar by clicking here

Dial-in number: (312) 626 6799; Webinar ID: 828 3681 0281; Passcode: 741101

The service will be posted on Monday afternoon on First United’s Vimeo channel (where you can access all of our previous worship services).

Donate online at: firstuc.online/donate; offering plates available at each entrance into the Sanctuary

Ushers and Readers and Flowers—O My!

With the return of in-person worship in the Sanctuary has come the return of volunteer opportunities to make such experiences meaningful and smooth-flowing. You are invited to sign up to serve as an usher or scripture reader/congregational lead and/or to provide flowers either online or in person. Sign-up sheets are available in the Narthex for ushering and scripture reading, and the signup binder for flowers is available outside of Fellowship Hall. Rather sign up online? Click here for ushering, here for Scripture Reader/Congregational Lead, and here to donate flowers. Contact Siri Loescher (sannloescher@gmail.com) or Rev. Petersen-Mutai with any questions. Thank you!

COMMUNITY CARE

Nursery Care Now Available!
First United’s Nursery is now open! Young children will now be able to spend time on Sundays from 9:15am-11:45am playing in the nursery or on the playground, weather permitting. Our paid caregivers are in the process of being re-certified for CPR and First Aid. Masks are required indoors for all nursery workers, volunteers, and children over age 2 (see the latest church COVID policy for details). Derek Roe is the contact person for nursery scheduling and questions and may be contacted at faithformation@firstuc.org.

Fall Workday

Join your Board of Building and Grounds on Saturday, November 13th, 8:00am-12:00pm. We will be raking, weeding, and mulching. Bring a rake, pitchfork, garden sheers, or just bring yourself. It will be a good time.

Pumpkin Decorating Coffee Hour

Join the Member Relations Committee (MeRC) and the Board of Christian Education for a fun hour of pumpkin decorating and social engagement after worship on Sunday, October 24th. Bring your own pumpkin/gourd (limited extra pumpkins will be available). Weather allowing, snacks and drinks will be served for outside enjoyment and all kinds of pumpkin decorating will liven up our homes and yards for the fall season. There will be tools and supplies for carving, painting, and other creative decoration ideas for pumpkins and gourds. All ages are welcome and encouraged to come carve or decorate, even you adults! No one is too old when it comes to the creative arts! Adult supervision is requested for those under the age of 12. Please contact Hopi Stosberg or Molly Koontz with questions. 

EDUCATIONAL OFFERINGS 

Racial Justice Book Club

The Racial Justice Book Club will meet Sunday, October 24th, 12pm-1:30pm, to discuss “How to Fight Racism: Courageous Christianity and the Journey Toward Racial Justice” by Jemar Tisby (through Part 2). Participants are encouraged to purchase the book, read the designated portion, and come to the meeting prepared to share learnings, questions, and curiosities spurred by the reading. Contact Laurie Eynon at leynon73@icloud.com with any questions.

Children’s Learning Time – Volunteers Requested

Kids in kindergarten through 5th grade are welcome to a time of learning, fun, and crafts during the last half of the service. The kids will go to Roger Williams Hall with their teachers right after the Children’s Time during the service. Their adults can pick them up either there or on the playground once worship is finished. Masks and distancing are required. Safety (in general, but specifically about the pandemic) is our top priority. Guardians are welcome to visit the classroom!

With CLT is back in full swing, we would love to have a few adults interested in helping with the classes sign up to help teach on a rotating schedule to enrich the program for the kids. If you are interested but have questions, please reach out to any member of the Board of Education or Derek Roe.

Off-Topic Scripture Circle

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! Those who are interested and able to gather in person are invited to gather in Room 6, and those who would like to join us online via Zoom can do so here. See you Sunday morning, 9am-10am!

Tuesday Morning Café and Discussion

Join us in person or online at 10am-11:30am each Tuesday for a time of informal conversation followed by thought-provoking theological study and discussion. The group is currently viewing and discussing a series entitled The Apocryphal Jesus, a 24-session video lecture series offered by David Brakke, Ph.D., M.Div. Through this series, participants will gain a new perspective on early Christian life and history through non-canonical Christian literature. Previous participation not required. For those interested and able to gather in person, we’ll be in Fellowship Hall; those wanting to join online via Zoom can do so here.

CONGREGATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS

Indoor Gatherings

A reminder that our building is open for in-person gatherings. In accordance with the current Monroe County Mask Mandate, masks and distancing are required for all regardless of vaccination status. If you would like to hold a meeting in the church building, please contact Lisa to reserve a room.

Announcements Deadline

If you would like an announcement included in next week’s church email, please have your item to Lisa Stanger by noon on the Wednesday before.

Contact Information