Based on the latest Monroe County data and weighing the impact in our local community, all church activities, including worship, will be offered online only. We hope to return to in-person activities on Sunday, February 6

QUICK LINKS

  • Off-Topic Scripture Circle – Sundays @ 9am; Join Zoom Meeting here
  • Sunday Morning Worship – Sundays @ 10:30am; Join Zoom Meeting here
  • Morning Café and Discussion – Tuesdays @ 10am;Join Zoom Meeting here

DON’T FORGET

Help Shape the Future of Technology in the Sanctuary

If you have returned to in-person worship already, you know there are TVs, wires, and tripods scattered throughout the sanctuary. The technology set up that got us through virtual services and allowed us to get started with virtual services needs to evolve. Church Council wants to hear from YOU about the future of technology in the sanctuary! 

Mitchell Farmer will lead short, informal listening sessions immediately after worship on THIS Sunday, July 11th and Sunday, July 25th in the sanctuary. In-person and virtual participants are welcome to attend. Everyone is invited to share thoughts anonymously via: https://firstuc.online/sanctuary-tech.

Rooted in Love

A virtual General Synod presents a significant opportunity for this body of Christ to join together in full participation at General Synod. This is an exciting opportunity for those who have always wanted to attend General Synod, or those curious about this gathering of members of the UCC. Thousands of people can join in full virtual participation. Synod will convene under the theme: Rooted in Love, July 11th-18th. Participants can expect the vibrancy of Spirit-led worship, the same Spirit-filled energy in an engaging meeting of the General Synod that tends to the business and forward-momentum of the United Church of Christ, to learn more and connect with the UCC by attending workshops and other opportunities being prepared; Keynote speakers will be Valarie Kaur and Rev. Adam Russell Taylor. Learn more and register online at generalsynod.org (registration cost is $100/visitor).

NEW THIS WEEK

Scripture Readers Needed!

A sign-up sheet is now available in the Narthex for those interested and willing to present the Sunday morning scripture during worship and serve as the “voice of the congregation.” What does being the “voice of the congregation” (listed in the bulletin as Congregational Lead) entail? The Congregational Lead speaks the “All” parts of the liturgy into a microphone throughout the service so folks participating via Zoom can hear those parts of the service. Please contact Rev. Petersen-Mutai with any questions or concerns.

Readers’ Choice Book Club

The Readers’ Choice Book Club will meet Monday, July 12th, 1:30pm at the home of Nancy Martin to discuss” Educated,” a memoir by Tara Westover. It’s the true story of a young girl who grew up working in her father’s junk yard; was forbidden to go to school; but, by sheer determination, enrolled in college, earned three degrees, and was a visiting fellow at Harvard. For more information contact Nancy Martin at 812-332-2993.

Cosecha Caminata!

All are invited to join the Bloomington segment of Cosecha Caminata on Thursday, July 15th as they walk to demand “licenses today, permanent protection tomorrow.”Join when and where you can:

  • Come Together – Switchyard Park @ 12:00pm
  • March Together – Sample Gates @ ~2:30pm
  • Mourn Together – Islamic Center of Bloomington @ ~3:45pm
  • Build Together (for impacted people only) – First United Church @ 6:00pm

COSECHA (meaning “harvest”) is a national non-violent movement that centers impacted leadership in the fight for dignity, respect, and permanent protection for all immigrants and especially the 11 million undocumented people living in the United States. They are a network, una familia, of immigrant organizers, from faith leaders to farmworkers, building power and unity from the bottom up through local and national campaigns. Currently, Cosecha Indiana is focusing their fight on the right to drive without fear, demanding licenses for undocumented people who risk being ripped from their families each time they get behind the wheel of a car, whether to get to work or take their children to school. In order to raise awareness for the dire need of licenses and also to connect with other impacted leadership and individuals across the state, COSECHA will be embarking on a caminata (walk) across the state of Indiana. The caminata will take place July 10th-17th, where leaders will walk through and host community meetings in 11 cities to represent the 11 million undocumented.

First United is honored to host the Bloomington community meeting and offer the walkers a place to sleep overnight. Please contact Pastor Jessica with any questions.

LGBTQ+ and Faith Study

Members of the First United family have been invited to participate in a research study on religious experiences, LGBTQ+ identity, allyship, activism, and health led by Assistant Professors of Psychology at Marist College Thomas Killian, Emma Fredrick, and Kimery Levering. They are looking for people who currently practice or have previously practiced a religion AND identify as LGBTQ+ or as an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. They define LGBTQ+ ally as any person (including those who are members of the LGBTQ+ community) who actively supports or advocates for those who are LGBTQ+. The study is completely online and anonymous and should take 20-30 minutes to complete. Participants will be asked to respond to a number of questions related to current and previous religious beliefs and experiences, allyship and activism, identity, and mental and physical health. 

If you wish to participate, please click here. If you have any questions or concerns, you many contact Thomas Killian, PhD (thomas.killian@marist.edu), Emma Fredrick (emma.fredrick@marist.edu), or Kimery Levering (kimery.levering@marist.edu).

Ecclesiastical Council

The Southeast Association of the Indiana-Kentucky Conference UCC has issued a call for its Local Churches and its Ministers to meet as an Ecclesiastical Council for the Authorization of Ordination for Mr. Dakota Roberts, Sunday, August 8th, 2021, 3:00pm. The Council will be held at Friedens United Church of Christ (8300 South Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46217; 317-881-6779). A copy of Dakota Roberts’ Ecclesiastical paper has been sent by email to our congregation and is available upon request (contact Lisa or Pastor Jessica).

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, moving music from Hansol Kim and Sam Grace, and a surprise special musical offering; Mary Peckham will present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead. Siri Loescher and Don and Florence Shelton will offer a warm welcome and bulletin for those who gather in the sanctuary, and Hannah Adams Ingram will greet those joining us via Zoom. The beautiful flower arrangement is provided by Cindy Stone. And, our amazing AV Team (Kyle Hetrick, Jim True, and Mitchell Farmer) will ensure that all of the tech pieces run as smoothly as possible!

Thank you for continuing to mask and distance as we find our way through this transitional period 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 Zoom Meeting by clicking here

Dial-in number: (253) 215-8782; Meeting ID: 946 3570 8633; Passcode: 879535

The service will be posted late Sunday 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

Sunday Flowers

The sign-up book for 2021 flower donations is available in the lobby of Fellowship Hall. It is still quite empty, so please sign up for your choice of dates, or just choose any Sunday to provide flowers for the sanctuary or contact Siri Loescher with your preferred date(s) (sannloescher@gmail.com). Your donations are appreciated, and the flowers are yours to take home following worship. Thank you.

COMMUNITY CARE

Poetry by Lisa Kwong

You can now read three of Lisa Kwong’s poems online in the summer issue of Still: The Journal (http://www.stilljournal.net/), including “Poem for My Mother Who Dared Beyond Tai Shan,” which was presented during worship on Mother’s Day.

Ministers of Care

The Ministers of Care group is seeking people who would like to visit one or two older church members about once a month in their homes (or to connect over the phone as concerns regarding COVID-19 persist). These visits could last about 20-30 minutes and would be scheduled at your convenience. If you would like to learn more about this meaningful ministry, please contact Sarah Burton (812-361-6201 or burtonsp@indiana.edu).

EDUCATIONAL OFFERINGS 

Summer Series Event – MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

The Board of Christian Education invites you to mark your calendars and plan to join us for an in-person time of fellowship and education as we continue this year’s Sunday Summer Series on July 25th and August 29th, 4pm-6pm (the first session was offered last Sunday, June 27th). For the July 25th gathering, we will gather in Fellowship Hall to enjoy a brief intergenerational activity, followed by two educational sessions for adults (ABC 101 and Ways to Pray). Kids programming will be provided in the playground area for children ages 3+. Youth are invited to attend the adult-oriented sessions and/or help with kids programming. Attendees are welcome to bring water and snacks, but no food will be provided. Please wear a mask. In the case of inclement weather, all programming will be held indoors. If you have questions about the event or need nursery care for a child younger than 3, please email Molly Koontz at molly.koontz@yahoo.com. We hope to see you on the 25th!

Off-Topic Scripture Circle – NOW HYBRID!

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 Café and Discussion – NOW HYBRID!

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.

Families with Kids Are Invited to Children’s Time!

Families with kids are welcome to attend in-person worship in the sanctuary on Sunday mornings! During worship services our youngest ministers will be invited to come to the front of the sanctuary and sit on the steps like usual for a special message just for them in the Children’s Time! Masks and distancing are required. We are not currently offering Nursery care or the Children’s Learning Time class in Room 2 on Sunday mornings, so kids will stay in the sanctuary during the service. Please contact Derek Roe at faithformation@firstuc.org with questions.

Youth Group

Anyone in grades 6-12 (or their parents!) who are interested in being part of any of the church’s summer activities like Summer Series, in-person Youth Group meetings, and potentially Bloomington PRIDE, can contact Derek Roe at faithformation@firstuc.org for more information.

CONGREGATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS

Indoor Gatherings
With the pandemic loosening its grip as our community continues to get vaccinated, our building is open once again for in-person gatherings! Masks are required in the building for all age 2 and above (encouraged for outdoor gatherings), and social distancing of at least 6 feet should be maintained at all times between individuals, households, or “pods.” If you would like to hold a meeting in the church building, please contact Lisa to reserve a room.

The full Reopening Policy can be accessed here. Any questions or concerns regarding the Reopening Policy should be addressed to the Church Council.

Lawnmowers Wanted!

The Board of Building and Grounds is still welcoming volunteers who are interested in helping keep our grass looking inviting as we expand in-person church activities. All necessary equipment is provided. Please contact Ted Wininger (twininger68@gmail.com) if you are interested in joining our rotation of mowers.

Announcements

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

Sam Grace, Music Director – samuel.c.grace@gmail.com