YOU?RE INVITED TO THURSDAY PRAYER AT FIVE. Join a gathering in the chapel at 5:00pm each Thursday as you are able. The structure looks like this:

1st half-hour – 20 minutes of silent prayer with a brief opening reading. (We can help you with the silence thing!) Break – folks who only want to pray together can leave and folks who only want to explore prayer together can come at 5:30.

2nd half-hour – ?Explore prayer and practices together in a variety of ways from week to week.

Facilitation will rotate among everyone once we?ve established our way of being together is as we want it. It?s meant to be an open group that people can come to every week or as they can. If you can?t come to the chapel, we invite you to pray with us wherever you are. For more information contact Sam Troxal or Dawna Petersen.?

STUDENTS, JOIN US FOR LUNCH. Students are invited to join us for lunch after worship Sundays in September in Roger Williams Hall (exit through the wooden doors at the front of the sanctuary and go down the hallway to the right).?

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 $815 last month, and gave out $679, helping 11folks who might otherwise fall through the cracks.) while 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.??

CURIOUS ABOUT SPIRITUAL DIRECTION??Spiritual Direction is a historically rooted ministry of our Christian tradition. A trained spiritual director serves as a spiritual companion to others on their faith journey, listening and discerning together. The purpose of spiritual direction is to become more attentive to God and specifically focuses on our relationship with God. It is not oriented toward a therapeutic management of life?s problems and crises even though God is very much present in all of life?s circumstances. It helps us to heighten the awareness of God?s presence and action in our lives and to make decisions based on that awareness. Your first session is FREE. Further sessions are based on a mutually arranged fee scale. Contact Dawna Petersen at or 812-272-5404 to arrange your FREE session or to arrange an informal coffee date to chat about practice and prayer or to learn more about spiritual direction.?

ONE GREAT HOUR OF SHARING. This month of September is our One Great Hour of Sharing drive. OGHS is an ecumenical offering for use here and around the world for disaster relief, refugee assistance, and development aid. This offering began as a response to help in war torn Europe after World War II. Ruth 1:16, Where will I go…”? proclaims this year’s focus on the refugee crisis. Please, join your sisters and brothers across denominations to generously assist refugees and those stricken by recent natural disasters.?

GET CREATIVE FOR JUSTICE. This fall you are invited and encouraged to get creative for justice. Elizabeth Busey and Donovan Walling are taking the lead on a project to develop and publish a short creative anthology on the broad theme of justice. But they can?t do it without you. Justice is a dense topic with many facets: race, environment, health and safety, sex and sexual orientation, economic, and much more. Any aspect is acceptable:

  • Write a poem (long or short), a short story, or a short essay.
  • Make a sketch or a drawing, a collage, or a painting.
  • Take a photograph.
  • Combine two or more of the above.

Contributions (you aren?t limited to one) are due by October 15. If they are on paper, you can give them to Donovan Walling or Elizabeth Busey. Electronic files (Word for text, JPG for images preferred) can be emailed to Donovan at

KETTLE FEST + SOLAR PANEL CELEBRATION. Help us celebrate the installation of the largest church solar panel array in Indiana at Kettle Fest this year, after Worship on Sunday, September 18. Along with stew cooked outdoors from Fellowship Hall in a large iron kettle over an open fire, there will be activities and fun based on the solar energy theme and an opportunity to learn about the solar panel installation. ?Kettle Festers are welcome to bring bread or dessert but there will be plenty of stew?both meat and vegetarian options. For more information, contact Sam Troxal 812-361-6172.

CEPAD, NICARAGUA. First Congregational United Church of Christ, Indianapolis, Indiana?cordially invites you to be a part of their upcoming trip to Nicaragua from Tuesday, October 18 through Wednesday, October 26, 2016.

If you belong to the Indiana/Kentucky Conference of the United Church of Christ or the Indiana Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) you can participate in this exciting opportunity. The delegation is scheduled to visit the?Council of Evangelical Churches for Denominational Alliance (CEPAD), a Global Ministries’ partner in Nicaragua.?CEPAD has a unique strategy for supporting vulnerable communities in Nicaragua through a process of partnership with village organizations?pastoral committees and collectives?for a cycle that lasts 5 years from start to finish. CEPAD is able to partner with 40 to 50 communities in each 5-year term. The aim is to share expertise, encouragement, and resources in a manner that creates self-sufficiency and sustainability after 5 years of accompaniment.

The?cost of this pilgrimage is $1500 per person?and commitment must be made by September 12th with a $200 deposit to reserve your space. We encourage you?to consider the idea of taking a journey to visit CEPAD in person. A mission pilgrimage is a transforming experience through which participants share themselves and receive God’s love in a new way. Join us! For questions about this pilgrimage contact Michael Montgomery at (If you are interested in this opportunity, please talk to Rev. Jack Skiles or Sam Troxal)?

USHERS NEEDED FOR SEPTEMBER.? We need volunteers to serve as ushers for Sunday church service during the month of September. This is an excellent way to meet others at church. We especially invite new people attending church to serve. You can sign up for just one Sunday or for several Sundays. To sign up use the usher sign-up sheet next to the kitchen door during coffee hour, or see Don Shelton who will be serving as Usher Captain for the month of September.?

NEW MEMBER CLASS/FIRST UNITED ORIENTATION. Are you new around here?? Interested in considering official membership in our congregation?? We are always searching for ways to help the new ones in our midst to understand what makes our congregation function.? There will be three classes that are informational in nature beginning on Sunday, September 18th and then the following 25th and October 2nd at 9:30 a.m.

DISCUSSING RACISM. Have you ever felt awkward or uncomfortable when discussing race or racism?? Are there particular issues related to these topics that you feel are difficult to discuss? ? On Sunday (9/4/16) the Sacred Conversation on Race group will continue to talk about such responses, which some scholars have called “White Fragility.” ?Please join us at 9:30 a.m. in Room 6 for conversation and short video clips.? ??

NARTHEX PLAY AREA – toys are set up in the Narthax area with a small rug so parents can bring small children out, when needed, and still hear the service. Please talk to Hopi Stosberg or another member of the Board of Christian Education if you have any questions.?

GROUNDS KEEPING. Have you ever wished you had a large home with great grounds to putter in? ?You do. First United Church with its 5+ acre lot is yours and mine. ?Join me, Laura Kao of the Board of Building and Grounds, on Thursday mornings at 8:30 this growing season for an hour of yard work. ?There is always weeding, trimming, and tidying to do, and I’ll be here every Thursday morning that I am in town. ?If you let me know you’re interested by e-mail, I’ll know to keep you in the loop. ? ?Thanks!?

YOUR VOICE IS NEEDED.?Don’t be shy, step up and be an important part of the worship service. Soft voice, no problem, we have a microphone you can use. Loud voice, that is great, we will be able to hear you! Your voice is needed! We are in need of readers for the month of September. Please let the church office know if you are available, or you may sign up by the Fellowship Hall kitchen. The readings will be sent to you on Fridays. Thank you!?

UPDATE FROM BUILDING AND GROUNDS. The lights along the 3rd Street drive underwritten by the will of?Hassel DePree are now installed. ? Have you noticed that the sign by the Woodscrest Entrance has been replaced with a bolder-faced sign? ?Again, thanks to Hassel. John Turner of 5daughters is installing dimmer switches for our sanctuary lighting so that we no longer have to turn lights on and off at the breaker box. ?Cabinetmaker?Nancy Hiller is building the sound control booth for the improved?audio equipment?we will be installing in the sanctuary with the Petranoff gift. John Turner has the platform ready for Nancy’s cherry wood cabinet.?

LOOKING FOR CHILDREN’S LEARNING TIME TEACHERS.? Do you like working with kids aged 3-12?? Do you have a passion for helping children learn how to live well with others?? Do you find fulfillment in teaching children about our shared faith and this amazing world we live in?? If you answered yes to any of these questions, we may have a teaching opportunity for you!? Please see Ted Wininger, Hopi Stosberg, Derek Roe, or anyone else from the Education Board for more information!

MINISTER OF CARE FOR THE WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 4, IS NORM OVERLY.? A minister of care is a church volunteer who visits members in their homes.