I hope that you have all seen the “Return to In-Person Worship” video that was sent out to everyone. If you have not, it will be on the church website.

We continue looking forward to seeing more of you as you are comfortable coming to in person worship! The services will also 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.

Our services have averaged attendance between 24 and 27 each week.

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 open doors will be the double doors off Waterloo Square parking lot. We will also unlock the William Street Hilliard Hall doors to accommodate those walking. All other doors will remain locked.

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 either with the office or online. If that is the case, you will be marked as in attendance with a check mark.
  • 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. We have started to participate, but only very quietly behind our masks.

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 17th – Theme: “Forgiveness/Kindness”

To join the online service please CLICK HERE

Join us for Coffee time and Conversation CLICK HERE

HAPPY HOUR CHURCH – Come and be part of a different approach to worship this Sunday, October 17th at 4 p.m. 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.

To join ‘Happy Hour Church’ please CLICK HERE




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: tastyatfirst@gmail.com

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

PS Dinners can be frozen - - to be enjoyed at other times - - so you might want to order extra dinners!




* 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 rose.ann.vita2@gmail.com 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 rose.ann.vita@gmail.com 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 rose.ann.vita2@gmail.com)



The church board met Tuesday October 12 via Zoom and had a very productive meeting. We wish to report the following:

The 2022 budget process has begun with a reminder to all committees to submit their requests keeping in mind a significant projected deficit at the end of the year. Finance is looking at all possibilities to reduce the deficit, but additional donations will be gratefully received at any time!

Joan Westcott continues to apply for grants for projects for the church and we hope to successfully cover part of the costs associated with additional peripheral work required to preserve extend the life of the new boiler recently installed.

The following motions were passed:

  1. The board has approved Worship committee's request that 2-3 rows of pews be removed from the front of the sanctuary on a trial basis. This would allow more space and flexibility for the Bell Choir and Choral Choirs etc. while maintaining COVID distance protocols.
  2. The board feels the waiver that was created at the onset of Covid is no longer required and therefore will be removed from the protocol. All waiver forms that were filled out will be collected and destroyed. Any committee or group who has them should return them to the office to be destroyed or destroy them themselves. 
  3. The board approved that the finance committee re-establish a benevolent fund, separate from the general expenses. We will keep you informed when details are worked out. 

Your board continues to meet on the second Tuesday of the month.

If you wish to contact me, you can call or text me at 519-404-8817 or email rkhmskrk@uwaterloo.ca.

Rick Heemskerk

Acting Board chair 




We expect that all of you have seen the Core Values, either in video or on paper, or both by now. We have had a couple of formal conversations affirming them and we are encouraging you to continue with talking about these in any of your meetings with others connected to First United. We would like everyone to have their say!

A few minutes discussion on this could be a good opening for any of your meetings. What we really need to know is if this truly reflects who we are. And, please, let us know what happens! Even if it is just to say you’ve had the discussion, it helps us to know we are moving in the right direction.

Our members are happy to set up a time to discuss values with any group or individuals.

Your Transition Team:

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



Weather permitting, I am inviting children and youth of First United and any parents who wish to join in to a bring-your-own-picnic lunch at Waterloo Park around the picnic tables near the llama and peacock cages this Sunday, October 17th beginning at 12:30 p.m. Safe distancing protocols will be followed and there will be activity time afterwards until about 2 p.m. We will continue to explore some of the themes that have been part of worship this Fall such as: affirmation, gratitude, and kindness.

If you plan on attending just let me know by noon on Saturday, October 16, how many children, youth will be present so I can be sure to have enough craft supplies, etc. on hand.






Proverbs22:9 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 https://www.thefoodbank.ca/

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!

Your Outreach Committee



BIDDING AT FIRST 2021 – First United’s Online Auction

November 20 – November 27

Will you be donating an item(s)? Have you identified any businesses you can approach? If you wish to take a flyer about the auction when you approach the business, I can forward one to you by email.

Please bring your items to the church on Sunday morning October 24th or October 31st or contact me to make other arrangements. Please also provide a page with the donor’s name, item title, value, and a description for inclusion on the auction site. The description should include information such as colour, size, what it is made of, its possible use and other details pertinent to the specific item.

Thanks for your support of this fundraiser. Together we will make this an even more successful venture.

You can contact at email: biddgingatfirst@gmail.com

Joan Westcott





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





On Tuesday October 5th, we opened the second half of our 43rd season with a small but very enthusiastic and appreciative audience so we’re off to a great start. Coming up, we have the Dave Hjin Jazz Guitar Trio on Tuesday Oct. 19th…quoted in the Record as “Kitchener teen heralded as Canada’s next great jazz guitarist” …, and with a recent performance at the Jazz Room! Then on Tuesday October 26, the Gallery Chamber Players will perform led by James Mason retired principal bassoonist with the KWS. Breaking news…there is a change for November 9th because of injury. The Laurier Singers will now be featured with their new Director Patrick Murray.

In order to provide as safe an environment as possible, and to comply with the Provincial Covid Protocols, we ask audience members to do the following:

  1. Pre-register for each concert by NOON Friday at firstunitedconcerts@gmail.com
  2. Show proof of double vaccinations upon entering
  3. Complete the self-health check for covid symptoms (list on church entrances)
  4. Wear a mask at all times unless enjoying lunch
  5. Avoid socializing inside the church
  6. Choose a seat indicated by a cushion for social distancing

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

  • whole sandwich (egg, salmon, or diced ham on whole wheat) $6
  • half sandwich $3
  • square $2 (raspberry macaroon, Nanaimo, or macaroon madness)
  • coffee or tea $2
  • water & concert FREE



The FREE concerts run from 12:15 – 12:45 with pre-ordered lunches available for pick up in Hilliard Hall from 11:45. To find the complete schedule, visit www.firstunitedchurch.ca under EVENTS.

Many thanks to the volunteers for all they do to make this series happen.

Sharon Gowland




Follow this link and Register Here to pre-register for an evening to listen to and engage with 3 young Black Canadian scholars as they present the result of their research on the Black experience in the Canadian Church. There will be time for questions and to discuss "what now?".

As part of the United Church’s commitment to the UN International Decade for People of African Descent six young black scholars were hired to do research on Black experiences in the Canadian church. The researchers have submitted their findings in written form and also utilized creative presentations on selected themes/topics from their research. The next phase of their work is to share their findings and creativity with faith communities. We hope you can join us in this partnership with Emmanuel, First, Parkminster and Westminster United from Waterloo, Forest Hill United from Kitchener and St. Luke’s United from Cambridge.

If you would like to see the Facebook event page click here


Greg Case




Click here for more information and a link to join us!

Our next book club selection is Clouds Over Okotoks by H. Lee Disher. We'll be discussing on Saturday November 13, 2021, at 9:00 AM

Clouds Over Okotoks explores one young man's path in pursuit of his inmost desire. Family, friends, the people of Okotoks, the rodeo community, the province of Alberta, geography, and religion all have a share in Tyler Stedman's determination and spirit, either in supportive favor or with precaution and fear. These are ordinary people leading what seems to be ordinary lives, but the extraordinary and that which is special and precious happens. Clouds Over Okotoks is a celebration of the spirit of the Canadian West.

Books are available at First United Church for $20 (also available online at Amazon but at a higher cost)

Greg Case




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

Tim is a member of the Bearfoot clan, the Onandaga nation of the Six Nations of the Grand River, a Haudenosaunee First Nation. His ministry at our National Office of the United Church involves being staff resource to the Indigenous Candidacy Board and collaborating with the National Indigenous Organization and the Sand Saulteaux Spiritual Centre among other groups. He is a committed participant in Truth and Reconciliation action and implementation.

Sunday October 31st – Theme: “Respect”

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

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 gregjcase@gmail.com.

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 (revharryd@gmail.com) or Rev. Rose Ann Vita (rose.ann.vita2@gmail.com). 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 firstunitedchurch@rogers.com, or
  • Website donation to www.firstunitedchurch.ca, or
  • Send a cheque to 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. **





By now, you will have received information about our Annual Stewardship Appeal. Our theme this year 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.


Month of September

September YTD

YTD Prior Year

General Fund Local




Wage Subsidy Grants




Other Operations




Mission & Outreach




Total Income




Salaries & Benefits




Other Expenses




Mission & Outreach




Total Expenses




Excess Income/Expenses




Capital Income




Capital Expenses




Capital Excess Income/Expenses




At our Annual Meeting we decided that our special Thank offering at Thanksgiving would go to support the hard work that Shalom Counselling Services and Vera's Place do to support those less fortunate in our community. As we were unable to distribute the special envelopes for this offering, we ask that your donation would be noted separately for the counters.


Nancy Lennox




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 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




I would like to thank those members and adherents of First who sent sympathy cards, made a memorial donation or expressed their condolences on Barb's death. All of these acts were comforting to my family and myself and are greatly appreciated.

Dave Parrott