INTERFAITH WINTER SHELTER TRAINING SESSIONS–Please pick up a yellow sheet of all the sessions scheduled so far. Sunday, October 29, Jack and I will train volunteers at Wilke Central, 150 N. Rose, at 2:00 p.m., but all IWS training sessions are open to everyone, any of them will qualify you to volunteer any night, and only trained adult volunteers can sign up to help when our homeless guests are present. It takes about 30 volunteers every Monday night to staff the shelter at Wheeler Mission?yes, it?s going to be there–each working a shift of about 3 hours between about 7:00 pm and 7:30 the next morning.

Also, we?re now looking for a couple of daytime volunteers to help Maria Schmidt put shelter supplies in order between the nights at Wheeler Mission. She?s doing that big supply job for all the nights, so tell her thank you! Maria can tell you all about that, and you can buttonhole me and ask me anything. Sara Frommer, IWS volunteer coordinator, First United Church.

HARVEST INGATHERING. November is Harvest Ingathering and an opportunity to help others who need help putting enough on their tables during the holidays–at a time when food pantries typically run low. Donations will be collected through the month until November 19 when the bounty will be stacked across the platform. NOTE: an added opportunity is to join us to arrange the donations on November 18 at 10am (holiday treat will be served!).

INTERFAITH WINTER SHETLER FUNDRAISER. Get Some Pizza, a craft your own pizza place at 211 N. Walnut St. is hosting a fundraiser for the Interfaith Emergency Winter Shelter. You must mention at the register that you are there to benefit the shelter. DATE: November 6.?

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 20, made out to BSO Poinsettia 2017. 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.?

QUARRYLAND MEN?S CHORUS PERFORMANCE. The Quarryland Men?s Chorus, whose rehearsal home is First United, will offer its winter concert on Sunday, November 19 at 7 p.m. at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.? Walking Together, the performance title, highlights the power of community in preventing suicide and protecting children from bullying.? The concert will feature Tyler?s Suite, a series of pieces memorializing Tyler Clementi, who died by suicide after being bullied by his roommate during his first weeks of college. ?Joining the Chorus will be acclaimed singer Sylvia McNair and Bloomington mayor John Hamilton. ?Tickets are – Gen. Admission $15; student/senior (65+) $12; children 12 & under free. Eric Metzler would be happy to sell you a ticket; alternatively they may be purchased at the Buskirk-Chumley Box Office.?

ALL SAINTS DAY / ALL SOULS DAY ? NOVEMBER 5? ??Although All Saints Day is Wednesday, November 1, we are commuting this special feast day to Sunday, November 5, when we will honor those members of the First United community who have died in the last year.? We will commemorate their passing with a solemn liturgy, lighting white pillar candles as memorials of their lives.

As we have done for some time now at First United, we will continue on with the tradition of setting up a table to the side of the sanctuary for All Souls (commuted from November 2).? For All Souls, congregants are encouraged to bring their unique candles to commemorate important people in their lives who have gone before them.? Congregants are also invited to lay a note of explanation next to their candle so others may know whom the candle is memorializing.? Part of the charm of the All Souls table is the number and the diversity of candles lit to honor those who have mattered to us.? We hope many will participate in this special First United liturgy.?

FAITH-FULL TRANSITIONS.??Our lives are sacred stories that have been through many transitions.?What do you remember about transitions in your life? What made them easy? What made them hard? Some transitions are huge, some are small. Some are chosen by us, and others forced upon us. We experience transitions in all areas of our?lives including career, family, beliefs, relationships, physical and emotional states. They can be challenging and they can provide opportunities to learn and grow.

We?ll look at what the stages of a transition are, and what the characteristics of those changes entail.?We?ll explore how we can navigate beginnings, endings and the spaces in between faith-fully.?We?ll create timelines layering the movements of?our lives with the movements of our faith.

Discerning our steps, we?ll look for where God is/was in the process, we?ll learn and share together from the wisdom of our experiences, and together we?ll say:?For all that has been, Thank you. For all that is to come, Yes?!???-Dag Hammarskjold

Dawna Petersen is the facilitator for our explorations. Faithful Transitions begins this week, October 22 at 9:30 in Roger Williams Hall. It will meet for seven Sundays, 29, November 5, 12, 19, December 3 and 10. There will be no class on November 26. Please join us!?

COFFEE HOUR host(s) may volunteer by signing up on the pad in the Fellowship Hall Foyer. Treats are provided by the Board of Worship and Kitchen Committee, but special goodies, especially in celebration of a noteworthy occasion, are always appreciated but never an obligation. If you have never been a Coffee Hour host(s), please sign up and indicate whether you wish to be paired with an experienced kitchen helper.? Contact Malissa Sparks with any questions or suggestions.?

FIRST UNITED CHILDREN’S CHOIR! The Children’s Choir will begin rehearsing for Candlelight Service starting November 5th. We meet in the choir room immediately following Sunday morning service during Coffee hour. Ashley Frizzo, Rebecca Keith, and Vini Frizzo will all help with the rehearsal process, and all children are encouraged to join. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn music and be a part of a beautiful and long tradition. Candlelight Service is Sunday, December 10th at 7pm. ??

GLASS VASES FOR FLOWERS. Glass vases used for Sunday flowers should be returned to the church kitchen so they can be re-used. Purchasing new ones of the proper size each week will increase the cost.? Thank you for helping.?


AN INVITATION TO FUN & FRIENDSHIP.?Coming for fall, Creative Companions and Conversations is a time and place to drop in and work on your favorite project in community, to share your skills, to laugh, to chat and to reconnect with your creative spirit.

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 each time as well (drawing mandalas, Zentangle?, book-making? ) – direction and supplies provided.

Creative Companions and Conversations November 4 & 5 and December 2 & 3 mark your calendars now for one day or both for as much time as you can. Bring a bag lunch if you like. There will be salad and fruit provided as well. ?Bring a friend! If you need a ride to attend this event or could provide a ride contact Dawna Petersen at


Play Friday: The next Play Friday is November 10 from 6-8 p.m. Play Friday is a recurring family friendly event on the 2nd Friday of each month. As usual there will be a pizza dinner and assorted games. November will also feature some “puzzling” activities and games. It helps with food planning if you RSVP to Hopi Stosberg at See you there!

Just Friday: Just Friday is a monthly adult discussion group focused on various issues of justice. As the year closes we will focus discussion on issues of Abundance and Scarcity. Some people have far more than they need while others struggle, and are at times unable, to meet their basic needs. Join us as we discuss big questions of what is enough, what kind of responsibilities do we have to the world when privileged with abundance, different ways to give to the world, and how to balance abundance with scarcity. How can abundance and scarcity live side by side? There will be light refreshments, no childcare provided. Discussions will occur at First United Church in Roger Williams Hall from 7-9 p.m. on the following Friday evenings:

October 27-Food: Americans lead the world in food waste, yet there are people starving. When faced with packed grocery shelves it is all too easy to overbuy. Explore the abundance and scarcity of food as a balancing act.

December 1-Giving & Materialism: Just in time for the holiday season we reflect on the value of giving toward the world instead of toward ourselves, but sometimes what we want to give is not what is most needed.?

MINISTER OF CARE FOR THE WEEK OF OCTOBER 29, IS NORA SULLIVAN.? A minister of care is a church volunteer who visits members in their home.