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 20 when the bounty will be stacked across the platform. NOTE: an added opportunity is to join us to arrange the donations on November 19 at 10am (holiday treat will be served!).

COMMUNION-LOVE FUND-MCUM. Contributing to Love Fund and Monroe County United Ministries (MCUM) food pantry on the first Sunday of the month is one meaningful way we can extend our communion table out into the community. Love Fund is our fund for assisting people in need who contact or are referred to our church office (we took in $637 last month, and gave out $1175.29, helping 17 folks who might otherwise fall through the cracks, one lady in particular, just had back surgery, and was so grateful for the help, she was crying.) MCUM is one of the service agencies in Bloomington we support, including monthly donations to their food pantry. Please consider helping us extend our table.?

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 21, made out to BSO Poinsettia 2016. 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 19, if you would like to take them home. Please let the church office know if you would like to order one.?

TUESDAY MORNING ADULT STUDY GROUP 10:30 A.M. After a 36 week study of evil (!) we? now have that figured out and we are now progressing forward into a 12 week course entitled Science and Religion.? We will probe the very nature of science and religion:? How are they different and how are they similar in terms of their questions, methods and sources of knowledge and certainty.? Popular opinion generally assumes an antagonistic relationship between the two, but modern scholarship increasingly reveals this a one-sided view that is not only relatively recent but also self-servingly propagated to this day by extremist voices in both the religious and science camps.

Each Tuesday morning is a self-contained unit and a person can easily come and go as schedule permits.

Come and join a most interesting group at First United as we journey, study and discuss together.? The morning is moderated by Jack Skiles.

FALL YARD WORK DAY, SATURDAY,?NOVEMBER 5, 9-NOON. ?Come help put our grounds to bed for the growing season. ?We will also be continuing to clear our border’s overgrowth, so pulling brush and chipping will be part of the day’s work. ?We’ll do some work in the courtyard, so that it will be pretty as we look out on it resting this winter. ?Questions? ?Contact Laura Kao: ?laura_b_kao@hotmail.com or 812-361-6074?

PEW SILENT AUCTION – We have three excess pews that Council has requested that we find new homes for by means of an in-house silent auction. ?Each pew for auction?is?marked with a?numbered?label on the seat back:?1, 2, and 3. In addition, there are two alter rails that are labeled #4 and 5. ?The bid sheet is by the sign-up table by the church kitchen. ?Bids can be called in to Lisa at the office as well (812) 332-4439. ?Starting bids are $10 and subsequent bids should?go up in increments of $10. ?The items?are solid oak, original to our 1956 Mid-Century Modern church. ?Auction ends Sunday?December 4 at high?noon with the pews and alter rails to go promptly off the premises. ?Questions? ?Contact Laura at laura_b_kao@hotmail.com.

PEW REMOVAL TRIAL – Starting on December 11, we will have a trial period during which two pews midway up the courtyard side and one more pew in front of the new sound control booth are removed from the sanctuary. ?A primary goal is to provide more options where congregants in wheelchairs can sit. ?We may like the traffic flow as well. ?We will give this configuration a trial of over one month.?

ALL SAINTS DAY / ALL SOULS DAY ? NOVEMBER 6. Although All Saints Day is Tuesday, November 1, we are commuting this special feast day to Sunday, November 6, 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 new 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.? 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.?

FAMILY FRIDAY NOVEMBER: Put Family Friday on your calendar for November

11 from 6-8. There will be the usual assortment of food and games as well as a craft. For a craft project this month we will be making worry dolls, which are a Guatemalan and Mexican tradition for helping children deal with worries and fears. Let Hopi Stosberg, hopi@stosberg.com, know if you are planning on coming so she can make sure she has adequate supplies.

REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT.?? In March, Exodus Refugee will begin resettling refugees in Bloomington. There is much to do to prepare for sponsoring refugees, meetings to attend, information to share, arrangements to be made and coordinated, amongst our own congregation and with other sponsors in Bloomington. Please contact Jack Skiles or Sam Troxal if you are interested.?

NEW TIME! Thursday Prayer has moved to 7:00am beginning October 6. From 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. we share a time of silent prayer, meeting in community?with the intention of praying as a body for the church and community (both broadly and narrowly defined) as well as the concerns on our own hearts. At 7:30 a.m. we take a break so those who wish may leave. After the break we explore various prayer practices, spiritual disciplines and questions surrounding them.

Meetings are stewarded by a different individual from the group each week; our practices vary?at the direction of the facilitator.?We seek?to actively build up our community and one another through humble prayer together. We finish at 8:00 a.m. You are welcome to come for the whole hour or for either half hour whenever you can.

If you can’t join us in the chapel, you’re invited to pray with us wherever you are on Thursdays at 7:00 a.m.?

CANDLELIGHT COMMUNION CHILDREN?S CHOIR. All children up to age 14 are invited to sing at Candlelight Communion this year. Rehearsals will take place during Children?s Learning Time starting this week. The service will be on Sunday, December 11. Participating children should plan to be at church by 6:00 p.m. for the 7:00 p.m. service. For more information, contact Rebecca Keith at (812) 325-0145 or rekeith@iu.edu.

MINISTER OF CARE FOR THE WEEK OF OCTOBER 30, IS JEAN PETERS.? A minister of care is a church volunteer who visits members in their home.