eLink & Bulletin for October 1-8

                 (Click to join live stream)

Scripture this Week: Matthew 21:28-32



Upcoming at FBC:

**All Red Links will take you directly to that event *
Remember –To make sure your event is added to this Calendar, please make sure dates and times are sent to the office No later than Wednesday of each week!

SUNDAY, October 1
Coffee & Conversation @ 9:30 & 11 am
Worship Service @ 10:00 am  
FBC Small Groups @ 11:15 am
Bible Study @ 6:00 pm Matthew 21:28-32 (Zoom)

MONDAY, October 2
Ukulele Jam @ 5:15 pm

WEDNESDAY, October 4
Crusaders @ 11:00 am
LOGOS @ 4:30 pm Camp / Picnic Night 
Vespers Service @ 5:45 pm
Handbells Rehearsal @ 7:30 pm

THURSDAY, October 5
Vespers Planning Mtg. @ 4:45 pm
Worship Staff Mtg. @5:45 pm

SATURDAY, October 7
Women’s Small Grp. @ 1:30 pm

SUNDAY, October 8
Choir Rehearsal @ 9:15 am
Coffee & Conversation @ 9:30 & 11 am
Worship Service
@ 10:00 am  

FBC Small Groups @ 11:15 am
Bible Study @ 6:00 pm Philippians 3:4b-11(Zoom)


Click here to access the October 1 Bulletin

Click to access Church calendar


Our Zoom Link

Our church Zoom ministries will use one link for all regular meetings: 

Church Accounthttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/3096624253
Meeting ID: 309 662 4253 (same as the church phone number)
Used for the Sunday Prayer & Sharing time, the Wednesday Bible Study, the Fellowship Breakfast, Board & Committee Meetings, LOGOS program, the Saturday Small Group and the Koinonia Class
To Join Zoom meeting by phone dial: 1 312 626 6799, then when prompted, enter the Meeting ID number, followed by the # key.      

Technical Notes on the Worship Livestream:
         * Recordings of the worship service are usually available on our YouTube Channel immediately after the service ends.

In the event of livestream disruptions:
        * Try completely exiting the program/tab or app and the rejoining from the front page of the website or using this link: https://www.youtube.com/user/FBCBloomingtonIL/live

       * Check the front page of our website or the FBC Facebook page. We will post information and updates there on what happened and how to rejoin.
   *  On a brighter note: did you know that there are lots of ways to watch our church services and other videos on your TV?  If you have internet access and either a smart TV or other device connected to your TV (like Roku, Amazon Fire, TIVO, PC, etc.), you can use a built-in YouTube player to access our YouTube Channel – just look for First Baptist Church Bloomington.  Chatting during services will still require a separate computing or mobile device. Call or email the church if you’d like technical support in getting this set up.


Office Closed
The church office will be closed on Monday October 9, in observance of Columbus Day! We will open at our regular time on Tues. Oct. 10

The State of HateOct. 10 @ 7pm @ Moses Montefiore Temple 102 Robinhood Ln
The Anti-Defamation League – ADL will offer a presentation on antisemitism and how it impacts not only people of the Jewish faith but also to many others that live here within our greater Bloomington Normal community.

Wednesday October 4, Campfire/ Picnic Night @ 4:15pm

** You are invited to bring lawn chairs, blankets, jackets for an outdoor picnic dinner!

Thank You FBC Members
The Worship Committee would like to thank all of you who helped with set up and take down the Outdoor Services. It takes many hands; and we were blessed to with great weather!    Joyce Benton

 2023 FBC Member Directory
The 2023 FBC Member Directory has been published and is now available! Paper copies are available in the narthex, and if you prefer you can contact the office and request an electronic copy.


  • Supporting the ministry together
              • FBC Community Partner Opportunities
              • Support and Connect -Faith in Action’s Ministry to Seniors
              • Community Need- Faith in Action is in need of gift cards to local businesses in order to offset expenses volunteers incur driving seniors on long distance medical trips. Sams Club, Walmart and Meijer are especially appreciated.  Any amount from $5 -$100 is fine. Please give gift cards to Virginia Jordan-Benson or Carolyn Wetzel or take or mail to Faith in Action at 600 E Willow St, Ste 201, Normal, IL. 61761.
              • Volunteer Opportunity – Faith in Action Poverty Simulation
                October 25 at the ARC in Normal at 9 a.m. Volunteers need to be present @ 8:30 -12 pm, depending upon the number of participants. Click above for more info.


Volunteer Opportunities with Sugar Creek Elementary School


As we enter another year of supporting the students and staff at Sugar Creek Elementary School, here are several ways you can share your talents and time with the school.

Mentoring Programs for 5th grade boys and girls
This small group approach uses conversation and response to real life situations that the students may have faced or will face in life. They meet over the school’s lunch hour to share a meal and conversation.

In class volunteer
They have added another pre-k class this year and need helpers with young children. Grades 1-5 could also use helpers in the classrooms. Various tasks could include cutting, sorting, reading, crafts, being a friend.

Lunch Buddy
School staff will match you up with a student to share a meal once a week or as often as you can just to show an interest in the student and encourage them in their studies.

These volunteers will need to complete a background check found on the school website at https://www.unit5.org/sugarcreek Click on the Parent tab, then Volunteers, and follow the directions. If you have challenges, please let Becky know.

P.T.O. Family Nights

As events are planned during the school year, volunteers are needed to help with various activities. In the past these have been crafts, reading trivia night, reaching for the stars, and science activities.

Thank you for continuing to support this local mission partner with your time, talents, and prayers.


World Mission Offering – “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11


In September, you will have the opportunity to support ABC-USA International Ministries. You can pray for the Global Servants FBC supports, Jon and Amanda Good. You can reflect daily on the messages offered in the eLINK each week. You can give financial support. FBC has a long history of generously supporting this annual offering.

Why support International Ministries? Gifts to the General Fund are needed for resources like the website, awareness-building, mission education, WMO resources, finance and donor services, and home office support. It covers expenses for the work of mobilizing the next generation of global servants, building relationships between global servants, international partners, and mission supporters. Even when personalized support falls behind, IM’s General Fund helps keep global servants in ministry.

How are gifts used?
85% Program expenses
     10% Administrative support and fees
       5% Development and fundraising

Offering envelopes will be available on the table in the back of sanctuary as well on the table in the hallway underneath the Missions bulletin board. Thank you for considering this special offering.

Click Here for Daily Prayer Statement Access

Mission Connection Opportunities






Ways to Support and Connect with Faith in Action’s Ministry to Area Seniors:



FBC Community Partner volunteer Opportunities 

 Recycle for Families. Recycling Furniture for Families has been privileged to serve almost 25,000 men, women and children since 2002. We are in search of new volunteers as well as people that may be in need of our services. We are a not-for-profit organization helping those in need obtain gently used furniture We continue to serve the individuals and families of McLean County who are in need of those basic household items that most of us take for granted. If you are aware of anyone that may be interested in our services or willing to help our cause, please feel free to contact us.


Safe Harbor Homeless Shelter
For over 12 years a small group of FBC members have faithfully purchased, prepared and served a meal once a month at the Safe Harbor Shelter in downtown Bloomington. It only takes a couple of hours if you cook and less than an hour if you serve of your time.

For more information about these FBC mission opportunities contact the office


Faith in Action
Are you ready to brighten an older adult’s day?  With Faith in Action, volunteer drivers, shoppers and friendly visitors choose when and how often they volunteer. Have you completed a Volunteer Interest Form? To register for Volunteer Orientation, email Stacey@bnfia.org or call (309) 827-7780.

Upcoming new volunteer orientation dates

      • Sept. 26, 2023 5:30 PM – 6:45 PM (special evening orientation)
      • Oct. 3, 2023 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM\
      • Nov. 14, 2023 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM (2nd Tuesday)
      • Dec. 5, 2023 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

**If these dates are inconvenient, please contact the Volunteer Coordination team (Stacey and Mary) to discuss options


Local Community Mission Opportunities

Consider volunteering with PATH. The team is always looking for compassionate, respectful, and responsible prospects to join. PATH offers the following volunteer opportunity:

Crisis Line/ 211 Volunteers – Spring (usually beginning in early February), Summer (usually starting in mid-June), and Fall (generally beginning in mid-September) Click for more information

Midwest Food Bank
Midwest Food Bank is structured to provide service opportunities and operate through the work of volunteers. Our volunteers are more than our hands and feet; they are fundamental to the success of our organization. They collect, sort, pack, and distribute food and disaster relief donations, and remind us every day that our mission could not be achieved without them. Click for more information

Home Sweet Home Ministries
Home Sweet Home Ministries demonstrates Christ’s love through innovative approaches that instill hope, restore lives, and build community. Our vision is for our ministry to be a ministry of refuge and renewal powered by Jesus Christ. Volunteers are the lifeblood of the way we serve those in need at Home Sweet Home Ministries. Every year, volunteers dedicate thousands of hours of service to accomplish our mission and vision. Click for more information



Support and Connect -Faith in Action’s Ministry to Seniors


Sep. 24-Sep. 30, 2023
FIA Bus Trip to Niagara Falls & Toronto!
Get on board our incredible bus trip to Canada!  Just $910 per person, double occupancy.  Enjoy the Hornblower Niagara Cruise and so much more!  Travelers will need a current passport., Call 309.827.7780 to learn more or visit https://bnfia.org/niagara-falls-toronto-bus-trip-9-24-to-9-30-2023.  


 Faith In Actions’ Poverty Simulation

Faith in Action is hosting a Poverty Simulation for its volunteers (and the ARC staff) through the U of I Extension and is seeking volunteers to assist on the day of the event.. The poverty simulation addresses the challenges of living with limited resources and an abundance of stress. Role play or simulation is a powerful way to convey real world obstacles to securing food and shelter, while maintaining the family and negotiating support systems, agencies, and the real world.

The simulation will be October 25 at the ARC in Normal at 9 a.m. Volunteers need to be present from 8:30 until noon, depending upon the number of participants. On-line training is available and experience with the program is not necessary.

Click on the link for more information on volunteer roles. Then scroll down to the second link.  Or contact Darla Heath at 309-827-7780.


FBC’s New Mission Partner

Just as Carle BroMenn has a Compassion Closet for those who need basic clothes before leaving the hospital, they have created a Compassion Cupboard to supply those in need with simple food items. Their goal is to provide a small cloth bag of basic food that could see someone through a day or two. They asked a registered dietician and others for advice on what the bags should contain. Along with the food, the bag will also include information on area food banks and other resources to direct the person to longer-term solutions. A copy of the list of requested items is located on the information table in the Narthex, or see below for the list.

We know this is a busy time for all of us and that many of you already participate in some type of ministry helping the residents of Bloomington/Normal. Any item you can donate will be appreciated and if you prefer a financial donation instead, please note on your donation that it is to go toward the Carle BroMenn Compassion Cupboard. This special collection will take place on Sunday July 9th. Your generosity will ease a difficult time for many.


Carle BroMenn Compassion Cupboard Food List

Fruits and Vegetables


  • Tuna and chicken packages
  • Peanut butter
  • Protein bars
  • Nuts
  • Jerky sticks
  • Powdered milk
  • Protein drinks
  • Shelf stable milk (Horizon brand provides shelf stable cartons of milk)
  • Canned meats with pull tabs


  • Oatmeal
  • Premade overnight oats (there are certain varieties in the store now that are shelf stable that already made and ready to eat)
  • Crackers 
  • Precooked rice packets
  • Cereal bars/granola bars
  • Cereal
  • Cracker packs (cheese & crackers, peanut butter & crackers)
  • Pre-popped popcorn


  • Trail mix
  • Pudding packs
  • Fruit snacks
  • Squeezable jelly (plastic bottle)
  • Jelly
  • Jello cups
  • Bottled Water
  • Plastic silverware, bowls
  • Individually packaged clean wipes

Constitutional Changes– Missing Paragraph

Greetings from your Vice Moderator and Facilitator of the ad hoc committee on constitutional changes. First, I would like to thank those who attended the Annual meeting. We had a very informative meeting and accomplished some very good work. More importantly we had a wonderful overview of some of the
significant successes we as a Church have achieved in the past year. Secondly, I need to call your
attention to an omission during the Congregational Meeting on May 7 in regard to one section of the constitution.  In Article VI – Officers, Section 3, Subsection D – Treasurer, this paragraph from the original constitution was intended to carry over as-is, but was accidentally omitted during the reading of the changes in the meeting.

All disbursements shall be within the budget appropriation and no disbursement not in conformity with the budget appropriation shall be made unless approved by the stewardship committee and the Church Board. All checks shall be signed on behalf of the church by the treasurer or the assistant treasurer. The church treasurer and
assistant church treasurer will be bonded as required by the Church Board.

It was also omitted in the mailing you received as well as the online documents on the Church’s website. The omission was purely unintentional and accidental. I discovered it was missing when preparing to send to the changes to the office following the Annual Meeting. Neither the Committee nor the Board made any changes to this paragraph and therefore it should be part of the approved constitution as it was not changed/amended.

I brought this to the attention of the Board at the monthly meeting following the
Annual Meeting. We (the Board) wanted to make you aware of this oversight and let you know that it would be included in the approved constitution. Please contact me or anyone on the Church Board if you would like to discuss this further.

Respectfully, Al Strauch


Short Term Mission Opportunity

The Great Rivers Region is excited to announce an international short-term mission trip opportunity this August!  Join Associate Executive Minister, Rev. Rob Kirbach, on a trip to Budapest, Hungary for hands-on mission work with children and families at the Pannonhalmi Béla Baptist School — an elementary school operated by Hungarian Baptist Aid.  Come alongside as we continue to nurture our growing partnership with the Baptist churches and schools of Hungary.
Trip dates are August 3– 13. All the details about this trip can be found here:


Celebrate: 185 years together at FBC!

On December 30, 1837 our church was organized by 20 individuals. They
gathered together in the upper rooms of the Presbyterian Church, electing Rev. Isaac D. Newell as pastor and W.G. Thompson as Church Clerk. Peter Withers and Samuel Lander were elected deacons. They adopted Articles of Faith and built a house of worship at 307 W. North (now Monroe) Street near the city square. 1848 saw the church move into a larger building on South Madison Street. Our 3rd house of worship was begun in September 1856 and located at the corner of Jefferson and Madison Streets. In November 1888 the fourth house of worship located at Jefferson and Gridley Streets was dedicated and we stayed there until 1994 when we moved into our current building, our 5th house of worship.

Over the years, we have had 29 pastors (remember one served twice), membership surged during the post-war era of the 40s and 50s, our choirs were and still are noted for excellent performances, many worship services and special events were broadcast live on WJBC and now can be seen on YouTube via the world wide web. Our education program was started in 1843 and continues today utilizing many styles and resources to keep children, youth and adults engaged in studying scripture and how to apply it to their lives today.

Youth has always been important whether it was with church league sport teams, Boy and Girl Scouts, BYPU or BYF or SNYF or LOGOS. Giving teens a safe place to share their thoughts and develop relationships with caring adults in intergenerational programs is one of our mission foundations.

All church pot-lucks, chicken or spaghetti dinners or chili cook-offs to raise money, cookie sales, gathering time with coffee and doughnuts. What FBC member doesn’t like to break bread together?

Our Vision Portrait adopted in 1999 says, “We are called to Worship as a
Christ-centered People; We are called to be a Nurturing People; We are called to be a Witnessing People; and We are called to be a people of Hope in a Changing World”.  Worship. Nurture. Witness, Hope. FBC continues to bring the light of Christ into the world in many ways, offering opportunities for everyone to show the love and grace of God.

Thank YOU for continuing to be a part of this vision.

Welcoming Dr. Sharon Huff to FBC Staff!

On behalf of the FBC community, we are very excited to announce that Dr. Sharon (Sharie) Huff will be officially joining our staff. 

Sharie is well known to the FBC family with her long history of participation in the life of the church and leadership in music.  Music is a deeply held value of hers, not only as a historically important expression of worship, but as a focal point that brings people together in community. 

She received her bachelors’ degree at ISU, and a Masters Degree in Music and Doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Illinois, Urbana.  She has taught and led music throughout her career in many different contexts and working with people of all ages.  Likewise, she has extensive experience in the leading and administration of organizations promoting music and education and continues to serve as the Director of the Brass Band of Central Illinois and as the Treasurer of the International Women’s Brass Conference.

Dr. Sharon Huff brings deep experience and giftedness to the ministry of the church, and we are excited to welcome her into the new role of Church Choir Director, effective as of December 14. 

On behalf of the church board, we also want to express our gratitude to her and to Gretchen Clemmons who led the choir with excellence on a temporary basis this fall.