Greetings to our First United Church family,
We have had a busy week of meetings at First. The staff met to discuss ways that we can support one another in the work that we do. It is remarkable to me how if there is a will there is a way when it comes to figuring out how we can work together in our present climate. We are blessed at First with a dedicated and creative group of staff members and lay leaders. 
Before I turn your attention to updates below from Lynne, Joanne and Nancy, I would like to offer you an opportunity to reach out to us via email or a phone call if you are still struggling with accessing our services or prayer meetings online. You can call me at 519-743-8228 or email Likewise, if you are someone who would like to offer your time and energy in helping folks find their way on their technological journey, please reach out in the same way and we can match folks up with one another so that we can problem solve together! This is yet another exciting opportunity to learn and grow as a community; building relationships and living God's transforming love.
Be well everyone.
Message from Lynne:
 News from our April 14th Board Meeting

        Shirley Irish kindly offered to organize phoners to be in touch with all of the congregation, checking in to see how everyone is doing. It’s a great way to keep communication lines open and share information with Kellie and Eva, if needed.

        We are pleased to welcome John Lindsay as a new Board member, acting as a congregational rep.

        Baileys is still operating at First as an essential service with pre-ordered fruits and vegetables etc. each week.

        Our Little Libraries are closed but will open again when the Public Libraries do. (We’ll be very happy to accept your adult and children’s books again then!)

        We spent some time talking about other ways of communicating while we are not able to be close together physically to enjoy church services, chatting over tea and coffee afterwards, gathering for Godly Play and Sunday Cafe (and that’s just Sunday!). Recently we have used “Zoom” to gather virtually for Board meetings, conversation groups with Kellie and Eva, adult book study, Sunday Cafe and Scripture and Prayer Gatherings twice a week. We have also been very fortunate to have Kellie, Eva, Betty Pries, Kathleen leading worship online with Greg making announcements and helping out and Harold being our capable tech person. We are very grateful for the positive ways they have all jumped in, riding the learning curve and helping us feel as comfortable as possible and draw close to God.

**A possible new Venture! What’s old is new again! Pencil and Pen Pals!**
Want to be part of it? Want to make a new friend in the congregation? Here’s how it works.

1. Give me a call (519-744-5012) or send me an email ( and let me know you’re interested.
2. Indicate whether you’d like to be pals with an adult, child or youth.
3. Let me know anything else that you think might be helpful in making a match.
4. After I get some folks who are keen, I’ll make the matches and let you know.
5. Then the fun begins - cards, notes, emails, pictures etc.

Why you might wonder, have I thought of this idea?

I already have a pencil pal from First. He is six-years-old and told me he was practising his printing and I wanted to get to know him more. The idea of being pencil pals came alive.
I cannot tell you how exciting this is for us or exactly why. The one thing I do know for myself is … when the world seems to be falling apart and is scary in many ways, this new relationship brightens my days and I feel blessed. God’s always in the picture.

Maybe you’d like to discover this too!

Let me know!
Lynne Blake-Dickson
Message from Nancy:
These are interesting and trying times for everyone, and we appreciate the generosity you have continued to give us.  In support of the mission and ministry of our community of faith and the wider church, we ask that you remember the commitment you made for this year and keep it as up to date as possible.  The web site gives directions on how you can work online and you can also mail your donation.  If you want to save a stamp and drop it in the mail box when you're out and about you can do that. Where is the church mailbox??? Close your eyes and I'll tell you.  Walk up to the glass doors closest to Hilliard Hall off William St.  Don't go in!  Stop, turn to your right and look at the big double wooden doors and on the wall to the right of them you will 
see a brass mail slot.  Inside is a handy basket that catches the mail and keeps it safe and out of the weather. Thank you !
Easter Offering
At our Annual Meeting we agreed to support the following 3 organizations with our Easter offering:
SHOW - Supportive Housing of Waterloo
SHOW provides the programs, services and supports to help individuals with homelessness, addiction, mental health and hoarding issues transform their lives.  SHOW is currently gathering funds for another residence.
Rainbow Camp
This is a LGBTQ2+ summer camp for young people ages 12 to 17 in July (if possible) and is committed to developing a safe camp community which honours creativity, individual choice and social justice while having fun.
Skylight Festival
A festival of arts, spirit and justice in partnership with Five Oaks Education and Retreat Centre taking place July 17 to 19, 2020 (if possible).
We thank you in advance for your generous support!

Contribute Now
Reminder, credit card companies have a fee of around 3-5%.  If you wish First to get the full amount, then please add that percentage to your contribution.

Stewardship/Finance Update
  March Year to Date
General Fund Local $15,983.26 $45,983.26
Other Operations 5,616.30 21,682.19
Mission & Outreach 3,602.00 11,994.00
TOTAL INCOME 25,201.56 79,659.45
TOTAL EXPENSES 38,143.96 114,211.55
EXCESS INCOME\EXPENSES ($12,942.40) ($34,552.10)
Capital Income 27,027.02 33,707.02
Capital Expenses 1,981.30 16,521.60
CAPITAL EXCESS INC\EXP $25,045.72 $17,185.42
We appreciate your generosity and continuing support!