November 27, 2020
In-person worship has once again been suspended, effective this Sunday, November 22. 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,

How was your Thanksgiving? Was it different this year because of the coronavirus?

Now the calendar turns and looks toward Christmas. This coming Sunday is the First Sunday in Advent. Advent encompasses the four Sundays before Christmas and prepares us for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Worship this Sunday will feature music of the season, the lighting of the Advent candle, and a sermon focused on the hope we need for times like these.

Remember that we have gone back to virtual worship, and this email newsletter contains information about that.

Let’s come together Sunday morning at 9:00 to welcome in Advent and our journey toward the Bethlehem stable!

Your brother in Christ,
Jim Warren
Staying Involved

Stewardship Campaign letters have been sent via US mail or email. 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 begins November 29. Enjoy this year's Advent Devotional, accessible here for viewing and/or printing.

Donations are needed. Call Julie Robinson 309-838-4335 to arrange drop off or pick up of the following:

Senior Essential Bags Volunteers are needed to assemble bags Saturday, November 28, at 10:00 a.m., and delivery drivers are needed, too.

Bent School
  • Sanitizer wipes
  • Hand Sanitizer 
  • 8.5 by 11 manila envelopes to send homework in
  • Masks
  • Boys and girls underwear all sizes
  • Sweatpants
  • T-shirts

The Regional Alternative School
  • Grey or black zip-up hoodies
  • Gloves, hats, scarves, coats
  • Chapstick
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 November 27, 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.
  • 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. (BPL Services)
  • The Spiritual Care Department of Carle BroMenn, Carle Eureka, and the Carle Cancer Institute-Normal will offer two virtual opportunities to join others who are experiencing grief and loss. Both events are available via Zoom. The Rev. Mollie Ward, director of Spiritual Care, will lead a time of grief sharing and support from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Monday, November 30. And the Rev. Christine McNeal will officiate a special “Blue Holiday” worship service 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).
  • On Friday, December 4, at 4:45 p.m., watch as the new downtown Holiday Tree on the square is lit up! This new tradition is a partnership between the City of Bloomington, McLean County, and the McLean County Museum of History. Nitsch Arts Theatre will be joining in on the fun to perform Christmas carols to all who join us virtually! (Tree Lighting)
  • See the Miller Park Zoo at night. Wild Lights will be two weekends this year: December 4, 5, 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. 
  • On Small Business Saturday, tomorrow, November 28, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Uptown Normal is the place to celebrate shopping small. Uptown businesses will be offering great sales and specials as a thank you to the loyal customers that shop small all year long! Learn more: (Small Business Saturday Uptown)
  • Bloomington - Normal Holiday and Christmas Light Displays, on a map (A List Compiled by Macaroni Kid)
  • Feed the Pig! INtegRIty Counseling is partnering with the students and staff of BCAI (Breaking Chains Advancing Increase), a nonprofit that provides youth with low cost dance/art opportunities in the area, and ISU-APO, a service fraternity, on a fundraiser. Graffiti pigs will be temporarily housed at local businesses and organizations before being auctioned off to raise more money for the BCAI!
  • Find and share information about the (McLean County Triage Center) (MCTC), which provides McLean County residents with an alternative to existing crisis services for those experiencing a mental health crisis, who are not violent in behavior.
  • 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)
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!
  • Take a virtual walking tour of Clara Barton's neighborhood in Washington, D.C. Tuesday, December 1, at 12:00 noon. Beginning from Clara Barton’s wartime home in the heart of downtown Washington, the virtual walking tour will cover the historic buildings that Barton would have passed every day. By walking in the footsteps of one of history’s greatest women and seeing many of the sights she saw, viewers will be transported 160 years back in time. (Clara Barton Walking Tour)
  • View a full spread of cooking classes, crafting sessions, historical webinars, even Thanksgiving-themed trivia. Whether you’re cooking a turkey for the first time, opting for a plant-based menu, or just want to perfect your DIY table setting, there’s a plentiful bounty of events to gobble up. (A Virtual Feast: Online Thanksgiving Cooking, Crafting, and History Events)
  • Celebrate another wonderful year of CROP Hunger Walks! We will gather on Zoom (for the first 100 people to sign-in) and will also be broadcasting live on the CROP Hunger Walk Facebook page. December 1 at 7:00 p.m. (National Walk Celebration)
  • 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.