December 11, 2020
In-person worship has once again been suspended. With a resurgence of positive COVID-19 tests, and gathering sizes being limited in many categories as stipulated in recent announcements by our governor, we are cautious.

We hope you will continue to find FCC Connected and the resources and news within helpful. Updated, important, and new information is highlighted in aqua.
Being Church Together
(at FCC or at Home)
Dear Christian Friends,

Good morning!

You don’t want to miss this Sunday’s worship service. This is Music Sunday, and the service will be filled with festive Christmas music. We have recordings of our Chancel Choir and our Drexler singers to lift your holiday spirits. A narration by Holly Irvin will help us experience the depths of Advent and Christmas. Make sure you tune in to Facebook or our church’s website at 9:00 Sunday morning to watch this inspiring presentation.

Make plans now to be a part of our Christmas Eve service. It will take place on Facebook and our church’s website at 5:00PM Christmas Eve, with an encore presentation at 7:00PM. You’ll sing beautiful Christmas carols, participate in telling the story of Jesus’ birth, share in communion, and light candles to welcome the light of the world. Invite your family and friends to join in this celebration of Christ’s birth.

I look forward to worshipping with you as we prepare to welcome the Christ child into our hearts and into our world.

Merry Christmas!            

Jim Warren
Staying Involved

Stewardship Campaign letters have been sent via US mail or email. This effort is wrapping up in the next few days. We appreciate your pledges and have set up an easy-to-use commitment form on the church website in the member portal. When you click on the link above and complete and submit the form, you will receive an acknowledgement on the screen when you scroll back up. Please let the church office know (Debbie at if you have any questions or concerns. 

Advent continues. Enjoy this year's Advent Devotional, accessible here for viewing and/or printing.

Christmas Offering will be taken this Sunday and December 20. Please make a notation on your check if contributing to this fund. To find out more about the offering, view this 2020 Christmas Offering Video.

Reach Out relief effort: We have been contacted for help for a family of four. The family is a mom with three boys and one boy on the way. Here are their needs. If you can help, please contact Julie Robinson at 309-838-4335.

  • Boy-13 Clothing size: men’s xl, also needs socks, underwear. Wish items xbox cards.
  • Boy-11 Clothing size men’s medium, also needs socks and underwear. Wish items gift cards for retail or food.
  • Boy-9 Clothing size young men’s medium, also socks and underwear. Wish item a non activated cell phone to play games and watch movies.
  • Mother-36 Six months pregnant with a boy. Any baby boy items/products; detergent, cleaning products, gift cards and gas cards.
Staying Connected
Small Groups: Many FCC small groups continue to meet this fall over Zoom , Skype, and Discord. Is your small group meeting? Perhaps you'd like to join a group or start a new group.

The Brown Bag Bible Bunch, which normally gathers in person, is taking a break while COVID-19 numbers are up in this area.

As always, contact Bill Robitske for help, and go to our website to learn more about Small Groups and study material available for groups to use. You may want to join a group or get a new one started, online or in-person, this fall.

Bill's' email is

Video Updates from Jim Warren: Check Tuesdays and Thursdays on Facebook and our website homepage for a short video from Jim Warren. If you haven't seen these yet, they are always available for viewing on our website, lower portion of homepage.

Worship Online: Watch the live streamed 9:00 a.m. service each Sunday morning. Not only will Rev. Jim Warren keep us apprised of what's happening in the life of the church, he will share wisdom and faith-filled teaching. Each week, expect wonderful music and a Time for Children, as well as communion. Tune in on our Facebook page or on our website homepage.

We're on the map! Share this link with your friends so they can find us on the Disciples of Christ Illinois Virtual Worship Locations Map.

Stay Connected through Swag: What connects people more than beautiful items that remind them, and their friends, of their great church community?
  • An FCC T-Shirt is available for ordering! What a great Christmas gift idea! Adult, youth, and FCC kid styles are available for just $10 each. Order HERE.
  • FCC grocery bags are also available for purchase, and for just $5. If you need a bag, contact Jen Petri at
Supporting Each Other
People at higher risk for illness are described on the Centers for Disease Control website. Think of someone you know and reach out by phone, or by email or mail, to check on their well-being or give an encouraging word. FCC members' addresses and phone numbers are in the Church Directory.

Don't forget you can access an updated church directory below and reach out by phone, text, email, or US mail to a church friend.

Please fill out the sign-in sheets at the doors to the church if you must come on premises during hours other than Sunday morning. It is important to know what areas were used and for what purpose to ensure proper cleaning.

Pray for our church family! Prayer Concerns December 11, 2020
Being a Part of the Community
Pray: In addition to praying for your church, pray for your community, and all affected by this pandemic, especially those at the greatest risk and the health care workers who get exposed to this virus every day. Also pray for our healthcare system to sustain patient numbers should they rise.

Follow the CDC Guidelines for Prevention: These include knowing how it spreads, knowing how to protect yourself, and knowing how to protect others. It is important to read the guidelines often for updates that are made as we learn more about the virus. CDC Guidelines for Prevention

Share News about Local Resources/Events: Many agencies, groups, and organizations are finding ways to help in a tangible way, and you can inform friends and family of these resources. You can help, too! A few are listed below.
  • Bring an unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots and Say Hi to Santa at this FREE event on Friday, Dec. 11th from 4:30 - 7:30 p.m. at Miller Park (enter from Morris Ave.). Participants are asked to remain in their vehicles during this event.
  • Holiday Spectacular Zoomtacular begins tonight. Find the link here: (2020 Holiday Spectacular)
  • Christmas Eve Jingle 2020: On Christmas Eve at 6:00 p.m. (wherever you live) go outside onto your doorstep and ring a bell for 2 minutes to spread Christmas spirit and to help Santa fly his sleigh.
  • The Spiritual Care Department of Carle BroMenn, Carle Eureka, and the Carle Cancer Institute-Normal will offer an opportunity to join others who are experiencing grief and loss. Rev. Christine McNeal will officiate a special “Blue Holiday” worship service via Zoom from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Monday, December 14. More information (
  • The Wesley Distribution Ministry is held the third Saturday of every month from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Collected paper products are available free at Wesley UMC’s smaller annex, Wesley West, located at 413 E Washington Street, Bloomington, across McLean Street and just west of the church. Find out more at (3rd Saturday Distribution).
  • See the Miller Park Zoo at night. Wild Lights will take place December 11 and 12, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. No vendors, contact games, or activities. This year Wild Lights will be a Christmas lights viewing opportunity. Admission: $5 for non-members, FREE for zoo members. Tickets/ Reservations are being sold/made now for time slots by calling (309) 434-2250. 
  • Bloomington - Normal Holiday and Christmas Light Displays, on a map (A List Compiled by Macaroni Kid)
  • Attend virtual concerts at the Bloomington Center for Performing Arts on Thursdays through December 17. Bookmark the site here: (BCPA’s Fall Virtual Concert Series)
  • Bloomington Public Library is closed to the public. Curbside pickup is available to those who put items on hold in advance and the bookmobile is offering limited services at all its stops. Did you know you can access the entire World Book Encyclopedia online? It is free with a library card issued by Bloomington Public Library, World Book Online offers an encyclopedia, dictionary, atlas, homework help, study aids, and curriculum guides. (Click and scroll to "World Book" to get started). (BPL Services)
Share Online Resources for Learning and Entertainment: Museums, theater arts, national parks, home schoolers, libraries, self-care coaches, and other entities have graciously shared a free peek into their offerings. Take advantage, and tell your friends!
  • Your favorite holiday tradition! The Academy Award®-winning film THE SOUND OF MUSIC will air on ABC on December 20 at 7/6c. Includes fun facts and trivia! The 1965 musical film from Rodgers & Hammerstein stars Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. (Sound of Music Watch Party)
  • Find a plethora of online classes and fun activities to help keep the kids busy. There's a virtual world of interactive classes that teach art, coding, comedy, fitness, and more. (Evenbrite Child's Play Collection)
  • Newly discovered (Virtual Field Trips)
  • PebbleGo is an award-winning, PreK-3 database which boosts engagement and fosters independent and fun learning in core subject areas. This resource is packed with informational articles, ready-made activities, and literacy support which allows students to have the computer read the lessons to them. Access to PebbleGo is FREE with your library card from Bloomington Public Library. (Click here and scroll to "PebbleGo")
Please Wear a Mask
Reminder: All church-related gatherings, inside or outside, require that face masks be worn. This includes small group meetings. Please take this important measure to protect yourself and your church family, further allowing all participants to be comfortable in attending these fellowship and/or learning opportunities.
Questions and Answers
How do I make my offering?
To ensure your offering is received by FCC in a timely manner, feel free to mail it to 401 West Jefferson St., Bloomington, IL 61701. Interested in automatic withdrawal? Email Debbie Stumm at to find out how. We appreciate your continued giving!
How do I get in touch with a staff member?
The church office will be closed the through the end of the year. To talk to a staff person, call the church office at 309.829.9327, and follow instructions on the answering machine.

Or send an email to the staff person you want to contact. 
Office Receptionist: Maggie Burton       
Financial Secretary: Deborah Stumm
Communications Coordinator: Jenifer Petri
Director of Youth and Music Ministries, Holly Irvin

In case of an emergency, you may text or call Jim Warren at 309.212.6873.
What if I, or someone I know, need pastoral care?
You may text or call (309.212.6873) or email ( Jim Warren.