November 20, 2020
Dear Friends at First,
Living up to our Friday letter from last week- "Finding out how our ministries are being adapted and reimagined!"
Artisans at First is on hold for the present time as are Rummage Sales  but something brand new has emerged!  Check out "Bidding at First", our Online Auction!
What do we need for a successful online auction?
            Lots of items √
            A great variety of items √
What do we need now?
            Bidders, bidders and more bidders
Please alert all of your family, friends and neighbours that First’s online auction will open for bidding on Friday, November 27 at noon
Next week, midweek you will receive an email with the link to the auction site.  Please send that to all of your contacts.  This will allow everyone to preview all of the items in the auction so they will be ready to put in their first bid as soon as the auction opens.
If you have any questions or additional items to add to the auction please contact Joan Westcott at 519-883-0284 or
 Our Harvest Lunch and Christmas Dinner are being forced to take a rest
 but First United won't give up the blessing and sharing of good food and gratitude!
                      Check out our Christmas Turkey Trot!  Mmmmm!!!
Christmas Turkey Trot
Did you get your notice on Tuesday about our Christmas Turkey Trot on Saturday December 19?
IF YES - Are you one of the many who has already ordered?   That’s Wonderful! Thanks!   Do you plan to order? That’s good too!

If you didn’t get the notice please check your SPAM.  If it’s not there please call Muriel 519-746-2566.
We want members of the First congregation, their family and friends to have first opportunity to order before we invite the wider community , so if you are planning to order please avoid being disappointed, by calling  sooner rather than later.

Lynda (519-885-4534) and Muriel (519-746-2566) are waiting to receive your calls.

Thanks for your strong support for this new venture.

Just by the nature of the Transition Team's name, you can tell that they've not been sitting idle!
                  Check out what they have been and continue to be up to!
Transition Team Update to the Congregation
Through all the challenges that COVID-19 has brought us, our work continues. Our Intentional Interim Minister has had to come to a new church, meet new people and carry out all the duties and responsibilities of our Minister of Faith and Spiritual Renewal as well as the work of leading us through the work of the Transition Team in a vacuum caused by these challenges.
The work of a Transition Team can be broadly split into three stages:
  1. Search for an Interim Minister – Time expected 1-3 months
  2. Understanding who we have been, who we are now, and who we want to be in the future Time expected 12-18 months
  3. Planning a path toward who we want to be with the resources we have now. Time Expected 6-12 months
Our first task was amended by the board to also look for a second minister, and a supply to bridge the time until our second minister arrives. We successfully completed that stage and have moved into the next stage  with the work of Credence and beginning to look at peoples’ experiences with our past ministers and ministries.

While this work goes on, all the other work of the church continues. Committee mandates stay the same, the board does its work, and the ministers and lay people continue to minister in the ways that are most effective in these strange times.
Cathie Stewart Savage (Chair), Debora Smith, Greg Case, Shirley Irish, Mary Joan Brooker, Carol Stephenson (Regional Rep), Rev. Harry Disher
A  Reminder:  November 30 is the year-end for UCW.  Anyone wanting to donate in the year 2020 needs to have their cheque in by Monday, November 30.  They can be sent to the church (16 William St. W., Waterloo  N2L 1J3) or to myself (55 John St.E., Waterloo  N2J 1E9).  Thank you.
Nancy Lennox
UCW Treasurer
 Online Ministry Support
Thank you to all those who have contributed to the Online Ministry Fund. Currently we have raised $12,660 of approximately $24 000 needed.
These initial funds will allow us to purchase the equipment to record our online services now and livestream when we are back to in-person worship.
The equipment can also be used to enhance our music programs and concerts by allowing us to stream events such as Noon Hour Concerts, even if we can't meet in person. In fact, First United has been given the opportunity to facilitate a sponsorship from the Musicians' Union to cover the cost of a technician and musicians for the 2021 Noon Hour Concert season if we can livestream these concerts.
I encourage you to give to the Online Ministry Fund to allow this growth of our worship and music programs.
Please send a cheque to the church office or an e-transfer to indicating it is for the Online Ministry Fund.
Greg Case
Safe Start Team
The Safe Start Team would like you to know that many activities continue to happen at First United. Some in the building, and some virtually. Please share with us what you are doing as a part of this congregation.
If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions for the Safe Start Team, just click on the following to send us a message directly.

Cathie Stewart Savage (Chair), Ken Arnett, Jay Brooker, Sheena Curwood, Rev. Harry Disher, Joe Hipperson, Kathleen King Martin, John Lindsay, Ron Taylor.
Worship in Coming Weeks
Sunday, November 22 at 10:30 am – Reign of Christ Sunday
Midweek Advent Prayer and Reflection will be offered by Rev. Disher in the chapel Wednesday, November 25, December 2, December 9, and December 16 at 11 a.m.  If you choose to come, you need to contact the office to register (only 10 spots available) and provide your contact information. 

On the morning of the study you will be asked to respond to a COVID-19 questionnaire and sign a one-time waiver at the church.  Sanitizing your hands, wearing a mask and staying at least 2 metres apart are all required as part of the COVID-19 protocols in place for Waterloo Region.
Sunday, November 29 at 10:30 am – Advent 1 and Communion

The ways you can join:
You can go to for the service, First United Facebook page, or First United Youtube Channel.
If you would be interested in leading a worship service or in participating in some way please let me know at
Let's get together after church this week on Zoom! This is a chance to have friendly "coffee time" with others in our church and check in with one another. The Zoom will start at 11:15 (or so). Thanks to Muriel for hosting us.
Join Zoom Meeting
+1 647 374 4685 Canada
+1 647 558 0588 Canada
Meeting ID: 894 2610 0259
For Pastoral Care needs please call the church office (519-745-8487) or email at  For our Minister of Pastoral Care, Bruce Sweet call 519-579-8483 (home) or 519-580-3899 (cell) or email at
Caring Community by Zoom - December 17
The Pastoral Care Committee is planning to offer Caring Community in 2 different ways, both in person and online. The first gathering will be by Zoom on December 17 at 2:00 pm. We are also planning an in-person gathering in the chapel in January, following procedures required by our region to meet safely. Both Harry and Bruce will join us and you are welcome to join as well. This group meets for discussion and support.
Mary Joan Brooker
Stewardship/Finance Update
 October numbers were very encouraging.  Our Local Givings were close to $8,000 more than September and close to $3,000 more than October 2019.  So thank you to all who caught up in their offerings, it's much appreciated.
We also received the wage subsidy from the Federal Government for March and April totalling $20,285.  I have applied for August and September which we just qualify for, for almost $5,000, and I am hoping that we will receive it in November.  This brings our deficit down to a more manageable amount.
We were also pleased to see that the Thank offering receipts were up to $1,065 so Thank you again!  Stay safe!
Nancy Lennox
To get your offering to the office you can use PAR, e transfer to, website donation or send a cheque. Cheques can be dropped off at the church mailbox which is located at the Entrance on the William Street side of the building.
Also you may send your cheque to
First United Church
16 William St. West
Waterloo ON
N2L 1J3
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.
Together We Stand, but Apart