• 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 (needed 03/27)
  • Usher sign up – Click here
  • Flowers sign up – Click here
  • Donate to First United Online – Click here
  • First United Vimeo Channel – Click here


Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday, March 13th. Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead one hour before bed on Saturday night as we spring forward!

Indoor Masking Continues
The Council will be meeting on March 16th (open invitation to congregants) to discuss indoor masking in our church building and would like YOUR INPUT. Keep an eye out for next week’s Monday Musing for a brief survey inviting you to share your thoughts on masking at First United. After the Council meeting, we’ll notify our church family regarding the decision made. Until then please continue to wear a mask and maintain distance while in the building.  

Feminist Women’s Book Club

Our feminist women’s book club will meet after worship (12noon) this Sunday, March 13th via Zoom. As always, feminist women of all ages are invited to join us. For this gathering, we’ll read and discuss the 1992 historical novel “Jazz” by the Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning American author Toni Morrison. It takes place in Harlem during the 1920s; however, as the pasts of the various characters are explored, the narrative extends back to the mid-19th-century American South. For Zoom information or more information about the book club, contact facilitator Cindy Stone, stonec@indiana.edu.

Reader’s Choice Book Group

All are invited to join the Reader’s Choice Book Group this Monday, March 14th, 1:30pm when the group will discuss “Where the Crawdads Sing,” a novel by Delia Owens. It’s the story of a young girl who is abandoned by her mother, then her father, and struggles to live alone in the rugged coast line region of North Carolina. Known to the locals as the “Wild Marsh Girl” she is suspected of foul play when a popular young man is found dead. The group will meetat the home of Nancy Martin (1047 Sassafras Drive; Meadowood). Come and join us!

Sermon Talk Backs

Throughout the season of Lent, Rev. Petersen-Mutai is preaching a 7-part sermon series in which she will explore the last week of Jesus as depicted in the Gospel of Mark. Worship participants are invited to remain after the service each week (now through April 10th) to talk about what they’ve heard with a moderated discussion on the sermon. Those gathering in person will do so in Roger Williams Hall; those joining virtually can simply stay on the Zoom webinar (you will be made a “panelist” so you can participate in the conversation). Thanks to Byron Bangert and Rebecca Hoke-McCall for facilitating these conversations!

IKC DRPMT Kentucky Tornado Response

Join the Indiana-Kentucky Conference (IKC) Disaster Preparedness and Response Ministry Team (DPRMT) for a one-week work camp March 20th-26th, 2022 (Sunday evening to Saturday morning) in western Kentucky. The IKC volunteers will be staying at First Christian Church (DOC) in Madisonville, KY. The IKC DPRMT will be partnering with Fuller Center Disaster ReBuilders and working at two work sites: Dawson Springs and Bremen. Both communities were devastated by the December 10th-11th, 2021 tornadoes. Two $125 scholarships are available to help cover costs.

This work camp is limited to adults only with a maximum of 20 volunteers. Anyone is welcome to volunteer, but there is a special need for an additional person with construction experience who would help direct the volunteers and two cooks to prepare the meals. The registration deadline is this Sunday, March 13th, and all volunteers will need to have completed a background check within the past 5 years. More information and the registration form can also be accessed here.

Racial Justice Lunch & Learns

Our final lunch & learn conversation focusing on “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together” by Heather McGhee will take place via Zoom (click here) this Thursday, March 17th, 12pm-1pm. We are reading “The Sum of Us” as part of the Bloomington Multi-faith Alliance Faith for Racial Equity (BMA F4RE) spring 2022 book read. Participants should read chapters 9 and 10 for our final discussion of this book.

Newsletter, Announcements, and Congregant Monday Musings Deadlines

Members and friends of First United are invited to prepare a “Monday Musing” to be shared with the wider congregation via email on the third Monday of each month. The deadline for the March Congregant Monday Musing is Friday, March 18th. Email Lisa Stanger your submission.

The First News deadline is Monday, March 21st. If you would like to have an article included in the April newsletter, please have your article turned in to the church office by the end of the day.

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.


Food Drive for Humans and Pets

Our next drive-up/drop-off food drive is Saturday, March 19th from 10am-2pm. Sign up to help receive donations on the sheet in the Narthex or at the following link click here. We will accept donations of pet food (to be given to Area 10 Council on Aging) and people food and hygiene items (which will be given to Monroe County United Ministries). Most-needed items are: peanut butter, soups, crackers, baking mixes, canned fruits and vegetables, and toilet paper. Thank you!


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; she will also offer a special message for the young and young at heart. Beautiful music will be led by Hansol Kim, and Rebecca Keith will offer a special music piece. Lisa Kwong will present the day’s scripture reading and serve as our congregational lead. Dave Meyer, Keith Gerber, and Emily Mathes and Kenny will offer a warm welcome to all those who gather in the sanctuary, and Dedric Dennist will welcome all who join via Zoom. A beautiful floral arrangement will be provided by Marge and Jim Faber. And, Kyle Hetrick and Jim True will ensure the audio/visual pieces run as smoothly as possible.

Thank you for continuing to mask and maintain distance as we seek to keep everyone safe while joining together in person for worship. 

Join the Zoom Webinar by clicking here

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

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

Donate online at: firstuc.online/donate


Displaced Immigrant Support Program

Our sponsored Afghan family is doing well. The father, Ahad, is beginning a new term next week in IU’s intensive English program. We are still seeking church members’ help with job coaching and with employment contacts in Bloomington’s medical technology business community. Ahad’s previous work experience is in medical technology manufacturing and sales. We are also looking for a “comfort bike” (an easy to ride, practical model) to help Ahad with transport. If you have a spare bike in the garage or in the bike rack that you are willing to part with that would fit a 5’7’’ man, we would love to hear about it. If you think you can help, please let Dave Meyer know (dwm@davemeyer.org).

Additionally, your financial support is greatly appreciated and continues to be needed. A special giving section on the church donation page has been set up as one way to give; click here to access it. Individuals may also write checks to First United with “DISP” in the memo line.

SUNday FUNday

Mark your calendars for a time of outdoor play and games on Sunday, March 27th, 2pm-4pm, on the church grounds. Stay tuned for more details to come, and plan to join the fun! Suggestions welcome (turn into church office).

COVID Memorial Installation and Service

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Bloomington welcomes the community to experience the COVID memorial installation set up in their sanctuary. The installation seeks to make tangible the enormity of loss experienced throughout the continuing pandemic acknowledging the over 900,000 lives lost to COVID in the US alone. You are invited to contribute to this installation made up of rolls and rolls of paper with numbers written 1000 at a time by requesting a roll and instructions with what number to begin with and when to end; contact Pastor Jessica if you are interested.

Additionally, a multifaith COVID memorial service will be hosted at the UU Congregation (First United is involved in the planning) on Wednesday, March 23rd, 6:30pm as we mark two years of living in a global pandemic.


First United Scholarships

Thanks to the generosity of several of our families, the church has scholarships available for those who are graduating from high school and for those pursuing higher education in certain fields. There is a general information form that all applicants need to fill out. It also gives information about the requirements for each scholarship. You can find it here. To apply for the Walling/Troxal Endowed Scholarship Fund, an additional form is required; it can be found hereAll application materials are due on March 31st.

For more information, or hard copies of these applications, please talk to any member of the Board of Christian Education.

  • Derrick Ping Memorial Scholarship: Applicant must be an active participant in the life of First United Church who demonstrates outstanding character through service to the church, community, or his/her family.
  • Weigand Family Scholarship: The scholarship is to be used to support college tuition costs of graduating high school seniors at First United Church.
  • The Walling/Troxal Scholarship: The award requires a beginning or continuing undergraduate or graduate student be engaged in studies in education or a closely related field. Preference will be given to applicants who are studying the arts in connection with education, are members of FUC, identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, are the child of LGBT parents, or are a long-time supporter of/ally to LGBT people.

CLT and Nursery Care

Kids in kindergarten through 5th grade are welcome to Children’s Learning Time (CLT) during the last half of the service. This Sunday, the children will return to the sanctuary toward the end of the service to celebrate communion with the rest of the congregation. Many thanks to Ted Wininger (our interim Lead CLT Teacher!) and Rebecca Keith for leading CLT this Sunday. Interested in joining our CLT assistant teacher rotation? Contact Molly Koontz.

Our youngest children are welcome to spend time from 9:15am-11:45am playing in the nursery or on the playground, weather permitting. Jessica McIntosh and Katie Silvester will ensure our little ones are safe and engaged in fun activities during worship this Sunday. We are still looking for additional volunteer assistants to help in the nursery occasionally. Contact Molly Koontz if you are interested and with any questions.

Tuesday Morning Café and Discussion

Join us in person (Roger Williams Hall) or online (click hereon Tuesday mornings, 10am-11:30am, as we continue our new 36-session video series entitled “The History of Christianity: From the Disciples to the Dawn of the Reformation.” After a time of informal conversation, we’ll engage in thought-provoking theological study and discussion as we explore the phenomenal story of Christianity’s first 1,500 years, with all its remarkable diversity and complex dimensions. Professor Dr. Luke Timothy Johnson will lead this examination of Christianity’s origins, rise, and civilization-shaping activities from its inception to the Reformation. While we’d love to see you each Tuesday for the next several months, perfect attendance is not required, neither is previous participation.

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 would like to gather in person can do so in Room 6 and those who would like to participate virtually can join via Zoom here. See you Sunday morning, 9am-10am!

Lent Madness! 

Lent Madness 2022 is underway, and you are invited and encouraged to join in this unique and somewhat absurd Lenten devotion that is as fun as it is meaningful. The absurdity comes in the format of a tournament-style, single-elimination bracket in which 32 saints (from biblical stories to modern times) are pitted against each other as they battle for the “Golden Halo.” Each weekday through the Wednesday of Holy Week, two saints “face off” against each other. During each 24-hour period, Lent Madness participants learn about the lives, legends, quotes of both saints and then vote online for who they want to advance to the Saintly Sixteen, then the Elate Eight, then the Faithful Four, and ultimately for who wins the entire tournament and earns the “Golden Halo.” Winners from prior tournaments have included well-known figures like Harriet Tubman, Mary Magdalene, and Florence Nightingale, but also less-known saints like Anna Alexander and George Herbert.

How to get involved:

  • Visit www.lentmadness.org to find the saints’ biographical information and vote. Voting takes place daily, and you can vote as frequently or infrequently as you like (but only one vote a day), and it’s all free.
  • If you would like to discuss your votes, the bracket, or just take a deeper dive into the lives of the fascinating people featured, you’re invited to join the “Lent Madness at First United Church!” Facebook group here.
  • If you would like your own booklet with information on the saints and a full-color bracket, a limited number are available in church Narthex (get them before there gone!).
  • Stay tuned for Lent Madness updates in upcoming email announcements through the season of Lent (through April 17th (Easter)).

For more information, talk to Pastor Jessica or Kyle Hetrick.


Job Opportunity!

First United is seeking to hire someone as a part-time Director of Children’s and Youth Ministries. Please see the job description here. Share widely or apply today! Candidates should respond to Lisa Stanger (info@firstuc.org) with a resume and email cover letter detailing relevant experience and intent to apply. Thank you for your help!

Contact Information