Friday October 1, 2021




Dear First United Friends,

Thanks very much to Joanne and Sheena who so kindly and capably managed the Fri. letters while Kirk and I were visiting our family in Whitehorse. Thanks also to our article writers who bring us the news to ponder and act on. What a team!

We flew out of the Yukon on a beautiful sun filled morning, only to be quickly encased in heavy gray clouds. I remarked to Kirk, "This is kind of depressing. We can't see anything." The photo above shows what we saw and experienced next! As we attained greater height and were above the clouds, there was blue sky and sunshine. A true gift of God's beauty and a reminder to me to try looking beyond gloominess for light peeking in!




I hope that you have all seen the “Return to In-Person Worship” video that is on the church website. If not please take a look!

We are looking forward to seeing many of you! The services will continue to be live streamed, so if you are not ready for in person meetings yet, that is perfectly fine! We trust you to know what is best for yourself.

We are working continually improve our in-person procedures.

We are asking that those planning to attend on a Sunday morning arrive early. Getting to a seat is going to take a little more time than you remember! And remember, always wear a mask!

To reduce cross contact, we are trying to have everyone moving in the same direction. The preferred entrance will be the double doors off Waterloo Square parking lot. We will also unlock the William Street Hilliard Hall doors to accommodate those walking.

When you are parking, please keep the spaces behind the chapel for people with mobility issues.

As you enter the narthex, you will need to be signed in. This can happen in a few different ways.

  • You may have preregistered  with the office. If that is the case, you will be marked as in attendance with a check mark.
  • If this is your first time back in the building, you will need to fill out a waiver (required by our insurance). This will count as your sign in for that Sunday.
  • You may be asked to add your name to a contact list.
  • You might hand in a prefilled screening form.

Which ever way you sign in, you are indicating that you are voluntarily attending and that you do not have any COVID 19 symptoms.

Once you are signed in, you will be ushered to a seat. Pews will be filled from the front to the back, and you must stay in your seat for the duration of the service. An usher will indicate when you can leave.

There will be lots of worship elements that you are used to, and there will be changes too. The biggest change will be in the music and prayers. These will be led by others and allow those of us in the pews to spend more time in contemplation of what we are hearing. 

When the service is over, an usher will indicate when you can leave the pew. We ask that you please proceed right through the outside doors. The ministers will be waiting for you there. If you want to speak to each other, outside on the lawn is the safest place to do that!

Your Safe Start Team:

Cathie Stewart Savage (Chair); Ken Arnett; Jay Brooker; Sheena Curwood; Rev. Harry Disher; Joe Hipperson; Kathleen King Martin; Ron Taylor.





Sunday October 3 - Theme: Who We Are


This Sunday October 3rd is Worldwide Communion Sunday. If you are not going to be present for worship in our sanctuary you are invited to have your own bread or gluten-free alternative and grape juice or wine ready in your own home space and you will serve yourself or others with you.

To join the online service please CLICK HERE

Join us for Coffee time and Conversation CLICK HERE




* I am away in October. * During this time, please contact the office (519 745 8487) or the Rev. Harry Disher (519 860 9198) for pastoral emergencies. I return on Monday November 1.


Monday, November 1 at 12 PM ~ All Saints Memorial Service led by our Moderator, the Rev. Dr. Richard Bott. The service will be live streamed on the United Church YouTube Channel (CLICK HERE).

Sunday, November 7 at 10:30 AM ~ Remembrance Day Worship Service. This year we are also commemorating All Saints Day, lighting candles for all our loved ones who have died and remain dear to us. If you would like me to light a candle for your loved one, please send his or her name to me with the subject “Love One”.

October Birthday Celebration happens on Tuesday, November 2 at 7 PM

Please let me know your birthday, so I can send you a reminder to come to the online gathering where you can share one of your birthday experiences. Send your birthdate to me with the subject “Birthday”.


Online Webinars from the United Church ~ To discover many learning opportunities, just CLICK HERE.

Office Hours: I will be at church on all the Tuesdays in November and leading in-person on November 7 and 14. Please contact me if you would like to drop by or have me visit you. Other times, I am working from home. Feel free to call or email me if you would like to talk.

You are blessed to be a blessing!

The Rev. Rose Ann Vita

(647 763 0101 and



Autumn has arrived!. Please join the UCW in celebrating this colourful time of year!

We are having a Harvest Time Dinner on Saturday October 23, 2021.

First United Church UCW is partnering with Deli Works for a safe drive-through pick-up dinner to help support the ongoing work of the UCW and First United Church.

We are offering:

  • Baked Apricot Chicken – 2 thighs bone-in with savory Apricot glaze
  • Herbed Rice
  • Broccoli
  • Tangy Vinaigrette Cole Slaw
  • Roll and Butter
  • Dessert: Apple Crisp

Sounds delicious!!

The meal comes neatly packaged with instructions. All orders must be prepaid and there is a limit, so order early, you don’t want to be disappointed.

Cost per dinner is $20.00 (including tax)

To place your order starting Monday October 4th please call:

Pauline Williams – 519-884-8357

Muriel Omand-Naylor – 519-746-2566

NOTE: The final date for orders is 8:00 pm Sunday October 17, 2021.

Please make cheques payable to First On Stage and drop them in the church mail lot or mail to – 16 William St., W., Waterloo, ON N2L 1J3. You can also pay First on Stage by E-transfer using the email:

Pick up on Saturday October 23rd is behind the restaurant Deli Works on Spetz St., near Frederick and Weber. We encourage shared pickups to reduce traffic at the location. If you need to help to get your payment in or make your pick-up, please let us know when you place your order, and we will assist you. Please be prepared to choose a 5-minute time slot for pick-up beginning a 3:00 pm.

Thanks for joining us and enjoy your meal!!

Edith Coyle


You should have already received an invitation from the Transition Team to participate in a discussion that will lead to defining our core values as one more step into our future.

A video has been created that consolidates our learnings from many exercises including the work with Credence and Co. that was completed after the lockdown had started.

We are offering three options for group discussion, or you can arrange a time for a phone call with one of the members of the team, by calling Debora Smith, (519-588-3436) or send an email with your answers to the questions to Debora at

The three times that have been set aside are:

  • Sunday, October 3, following morning worship at the church
  • Monday October 4, 7:00 p.m. via ZOOM (Email Debora to get the link)
  • Wednesday October 6, 1:00 p.m. at the church (Call Debora to register)

To view the video please click on this link:

Your Transition Team:

Cathie Stewart Savage (Chair), Mary Joan Brooker, Greg Case, Shirley Irish, Debora Smith, and the Rev. Harry Disher



Let's join together by Zoom tomorrow at 9am to discuss “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent.”

You can find information to join at

Greg Case


This year's Sing Fires of Justice will again be a zoom event. The poster attached provides the link and other information. 

The SFJ committee is hoping you will be able to promote this event to your areas of influence.

We are pretty pleased with the theme of IN-SPIRE (both to provide encouragement/hope, and to breathe in!). There will be a variety of musical offerings, interactive opportunities, a focus on living in these days, and some community challenges as a result of COVID-19.

With thanks,

Lee Willingham

NOTE: Please see the separate link in the email to access the Sing Fires of Justice Poster.


Our online auction will run from Saturday, November 20 – Sunday, November 28 this year. Pick up date for successful bidders will be Saturday December 4. We will plan a drive through pickup again.

I hope you have been considering what you can donate to the auction. We accept only new items. Please bring them to the church on Sunday October 24 or 31. Or contact me to pick up the items. Last year we found that baking, gift cards, crafted items and unique/one-of-a-kind items particularly attracted many bidders.

Have you thought about businesses that might provide you with a donation for our event? I would appreciate hearing from you about businesses that you plan to approach so we don’t ask them twice. Or if you would rather, let me know what business you think we should approach and I will follow up. Please note that the businesses on King Street Waterloo between William and Erb Streets are already looked after.

Together we can have an even more successful auction this year!

You can contact me at

Joan Westcott


Proverbs 22:9 The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.

With the spring lockdown, we had to forego our regular Easter food drive, so we are hoping you will bring extra support to our fall drive which will happen the weekend of October 23 and 24.

Saturday October 23 from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon you can drive into the parking lot at the church, and someone will be there to take your donations.

Sunday October 24, you can bring in your donations if you are attending the service in person.

You can also visit the Food Bank website and donate financially at

Every dollar donated to the food bank can provide the equivalent of 3 meals, and every 1.28 pounds of donated food provides one meal.

Fridays at First is a food bank partner and we help with getting food to hungry people.

Last year The Food Bank was able to provide 3,938,423 meals for 33,355 individuals in need, thanks to support like yours.

You can give at the church, online, or at your local grocery store. We thank you for your generosity wherever you give!

Outreach Committee



Let’s Talk About It - Broadview Magazine Discussion Group

Our October gathering will be held on Wednesday, October 20 at 10:00 am. We’ll be talking about the October issue of Broadview.

Please check the church website for the Zoom link for this gathering.

Walt Brooker


Sunday October 10th – Theme: “Grace/Gratitude”

Sunday October 17th – Theme: “Forgiveness/Kindness”

Sunday October 24th - Mission Sunday - Guest Speaker Tim Hackborn

Sunday October 31st – Theme: “Respect”

HAPPY HOUR CHURCH – a different approach to worship will happen at 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 17th. There will be prayers and hymns and scripture and an opportunity to have conversation around the scriptures and the sermon from the morning service of worship. The themes are “forgiveness” and “kindness”. Rev. Harry Disher will be your host.

You can always view the weekly service by going to the webpage each Sunday morning, or you can see previous live streams at

You can also go to our webpage to find the Zoom Link for Coffee Time each Sunday after the church service.

If you would be interested in leading a worship service or in participating in some way please let me know at


For Pastoral Care - As Rose Ann is away during the month of October, please call the office – 519-745-8487 or Rev. Harry Disher – 519-86-9198.

Interested in Membership? Or in knowing more about the United Church of Canada? Just contact Rev. Harry Disher ( or Rev. Rose Ann Vita ( They will be happy to find a time to have a conversation with you.


You can get your offering to the church office in several ways:

  • You can use PAR, or
  • E transfer to, or
  • Website donation to, or
  • Send a chequeto First United Church, 16 William St. West, Waterloo ON N2L1J3, or
  • Drop a cheque into the mailbox located at the Entrance on William St. side.

**Just a reminder- credit card companies have a fee of around 3-5%. If you wish the church to get the full amount, then please add that % to your contribution. **



Next week, every household will receive a package of information in a letter regarding our Annual Stewardship Appeal. This year’s theme is “Called to Be the Church”. Your prayerful and considered response is encouraged. We look forward to receiving your prayerful pledge of financial support as we seek to move our congregation closer to financial sustainability in the year 2022. The cover letter in that package includes the names of persons on our Appeal Team who would be happy to have conversation with you if you have any questions regarding the material you receive.


The Choir Auxiliary is happy to announce that our new procedures comply with the requirements of the Church’s Safe Start Committee. This means that we’re able to sell our lunches in Hilliard Hall, and present our concerts live in the Sanctuary. Here are the changes we’re asking of YOU to comply with the Province’s Covid Protocols for Concert Venues:

  1. Pre-register for each concert by NOON Friday at
  2. Show proof of double vaccinations upon entering
  3. Complete the self-health check for covid symptoms (list on church entrances)
  4. Complete and forward (or bring) the insurance waiver attached to the confirmation email. Copies will also be available at the door to complete.
  5. 5. Wear a mask at all times unless enjoying lunch
  6. Avoid socializing inside the church
  7. Choose a seat indicated by a cushion for social distancing

Musicians’ fees have increased so we’ve had to raise our lunch prices.

full sandwich (egg, salmon, or diced ham on brown), square & tea or coffee $10

half sandwich $3

square $2 (raspberry macaroon, Nanaimo, or macaroon madness)

coffee or tea $2

water & concert FREE

EXACT CHANGE ONLY PLEASE – Lunch orders are due by NOON Friday at


We’re looking forward to welcoming you back, and of course to listening to our amazing musicians. On Tuesday October 5th from 12:15 - 12:45, we’ll open with the fabulous Andriy Tykhonov on piano and Robin Habermehl on saxophone. On Tuesday October 12th, we’ll feature Marcus Scholtes on violin and Miriam Stewart-Kroeker on cello. For the complete concert schedule, visit under EVENTS

See you there! Stay safe!

Sharon Gowland, Concert Co-ordinator


The Friday Letter will continue this Fall but will not be produced every Friday. It will be produced every two weeks. In the table below are the dates for October and November when the Friday Letter will be appearing in your mailbox. We are also including the dates when we would like to receive articles for these letters.





Friday October 15th, 2021

Tuesday October 12th end of day

Friday October 29th, 2021

Tuesday October 26th end of day

Friday November 12th, 2021

Tuesday November 9th end of day

Friday November 26th, 2021

Tuesday November 23rd end of day

Friday December 10th, 2021

Tuesday December 7th end of day





You are invited!

  • Who? ... 2SLGBTQ+ Community and Allies
  • What? ... COVID-Style Picnic
  • Where?... Front lawn of Parkminster United, 275 Erb St. E., Waterloo
  • When?... Saturday October 2... 4-5:30pm
  • What to bring? ... your own food, drink, and lawn chair

A socially distanced, outdoor, mix and mingle. Weather Permitting

We can't do our usual style of potluck yet, but we really want to see you!!!

Please sit when you eat and drink.

Use a mask when you're walking around. 

Sorry washrooms won't be available.

RSVP required- please email

Together We Stand, but Apart