Friday, June 12, 2020

Dear Friends of First United Church,

It has been a challenging week of discernment for me, personally. As we continue to live during the new and ever-changing norms of a pandemic I have realized that sustaining my bi-vocational status as a minister and a teacher is unrealistic. Even under ideal circumstances, it has been a balancing act, but an attainable one for the most part. In our present context a great deal of energy is required to reinvent and alter the way we do church and school. Furthermore, my movement between these two institutions on a daily basis is also cause for concern.  After much thought and consideration I have requested a change in pastoral relations, to end my call as minister at First United Church, which would be in effect September 7, 2020. 

I know that this is a challenging time for all of us and I am heartened by the outpouring of care you continue to offer one another. As you will read below in the updates the transition committee is in place for a new full-time minister. My time at First has been a rich experience and I am thankful for all the ways in which our relationship has shaped my ministry. 

Please read through the information below as there is a lot that the Church Board would like you to know.

Be well,

Eva Mezo

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A Few Highlights from the Church Board meeting held this week,
Tues. June 9, 2020

1. Greg Case will continue to be our Board Chair until Rick Heemskerk comes back from summer holidays in August. Rick will be chair for September and October.

2. After a full discussion with all members of the Board giving their opinions, we voted unanimously in favour of this motion. “We will continue to offer worship online only and we will review this by September 6.”

With much careful hard work and planning, we have created a “living” document which outlines what re-integration back into the church building will look like. Over the summer, the staff, board members and other church folk will be working to better understand the implications of this document and carry out these plans. The document will be emailed to you next week and will be on the church website.

3. We have a Transition team! On the recommendation of the nominating committee, the Board voted in a team of Shirley Irish, Mary Joan Brooker, Greg Case, Debora Smith and Cathie Stewart Savage The representative from WOW (our church region) will be Carol Stephenson. This group will be very important to all of us at First as they will be working on selecting our new Intentional Interim Minister and working with this person and the congregation for the next 2 years. Thanks to all of them for being willing to serve!

Be well, be safe, be kind, friends!
Lynne Blake-Dickson
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    May Year to Date
General Fund Local   $18,404.00 $79,504.26
Wage Subsidy Grant   $1,547.08 $1,547.08
Other Operations   6,612.08 34,884.84
Mission & Outreach   3,327.00 18,865.00
TOTAL INCOME   29,890.16 134,801.18
TOTAL EXPENSES   25,912.97 174,755.58
EXCESS INCOME\EXPENSES $3,977.19 ($39,954.40)
Capital Income   10,320.00 45,083.22
Capital Expenses   14,592.51 31,208.99
CAPITAL EXCESS INC\EXP   ($4,272.51) $13,874.23
Thank you for your continued and timely support.  I am going to remind you one last time that our Easter offering is being collected for SHOW, Rainbow Camp and the Skylight Festival and so far we have $400 (usually over $900).  We will be closing off this collection at the end of June. 
We are very proud of the fact that we have been able to keep our staff throughout this difficult time and have kept our ministry and our building running.  We have qualified for the government subsidies for salaries and have already received the10% for March.
Coming up is our challenging summer and I ask you to keep us in your thoughts and prayers.
Thank you!
Nancy Lennox,
Stewardship/Finance Chair
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Our wonderful gardens at the church were mentioned a couple of weeks ago in this letter.  Most likely you notice them when you drive past the church.   There are also gardens along the walkway into the church from the town square parking lot.  We thank Vicky, Doug and Karina Pollock and Ralph Szilock for spending countless hours taking care of the gardens.
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The four Age Friendly Committees of Waterloo Region have joined together to highlight the contributions and community involvement of several older adults in “The Interview Project”. Jean Hoffmann is one of the seven seniors who was interviewed. 
Go to to read Jean’s perspective on her many volunteer experiences.
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On Sunday, June 14 at 7:00 p.m. EST, the Black Clergy Network of the United Church of Canada invites you to a time of online worship, prayer and reflection on issues of anti-Black racism across our country and in our church
Go to
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