November 27, 2020
Hi to all First Folks!
Did you catch the special email message about Bidding at First that Joan/Sheena sent out on Wednesday? Bidding starts today at noon! Such an amazing selection of gifts and services! Our online auction is a perfect way for us to support our church. Many thanks to folks and businesses who donated over 100 items! Special gifts, tasty treats, practical items - they're all there!
Speaking of food, keep up to date on Turkey Trot news! Learn more about how are ministries are being adapted and reimagined.

Bidding at First

I hope everyone was able to open the auction site and preview the over 100 items up for bidding.  At the bottom of the first page you will find a 1 2 3

You need to click on 2 to see page 2 and then on the 3 to see the remaining items.

We don’t want you to miss out on any of these items.

Joan Westcott

Find the auction at:


Turkey Trot Supporters
In just a little more than a week you have collectively helped us reach the maximum of 200 dinner orders.
We are absolutely delighted with the positive response we have received.
We started out trusting we could sell the minimum 80 orders required by the restaurant DeliWorks, but we surpassed that in the first two days and the orders just kept coming! On Wednesday we sold out!!
Now we are monitoring the mail daily to receive your cheques. It is important for the smooth, efficient distribution of those 200 dinners, that they are all prepaid before Dec 19.  
Please make cheques payable to First United Church -Turkey Trot and mail to 16 William St W., Waterloo, ON. N2L 1J3, or drop into the mail slot beside the original main door on William St.
If you need assistance to get the payment to us, please call and we will assist you.
Lynda 519-885-4534 or Muriel 519-746-2566.
Well Done                
 First United Family and Friends

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.
Adapted and Reimagined
This week we're shining a light on Fridays at First and the Ministry and Personnel Committee and First's Staff. 
Fridays at First Out of the Cold
This season is so different from anything we have ever experienced. We are going week to week and not planning very far in advance as everything changes so quickly!
We have been able to safely serve almost 100 meals over the last three weeks. We were offering eat in and take out options up until now. This has been done by splitting up volunteer teams into more but smaller groups and by changing the traffic patterns and layout for those eating in the hall. Our number of volunteers each week has dropped by a few people in comparison to last year, but overall, we are working with only a third of the volunteers we had in the past. Many of our regular volunteers fall into the high-risk category and are not able to help at this time, but are anxious to come back once it is safer to do so. We have managed quite well so far, and are not looking for new volunteers, although we have had a few come forward anyway.
While not having the same time for visiting and socialization has been hard, the guests are understanding and are just happy to still have our support.
Now that we are in the red zone, we will only be offering takeout meals. This will also reduce the number of volunteers needed and keep our guests that much safer. We have made the difficult decision to close down completely if we go into the grey zone.
This time of isolation is hard for everyone. Our guests were already isolated and disadvantaged before COVID-19 and it has only become worse for them. Please keep them in your prayers!
Ministry & Personnel Update to the Congregation:
Through these challenging times as we all deal with the restrictions that COVID-19 has brought to us, we wanted to let you know that your M&P Committee is still there supporting and caring for wonderful staff. 
We have had two wonderful ministers join our First Team - Harry and Bruce - they have brought so much to our congregation already.  Harry’s inspirational words on Sunday and leading our worship.  Bruce has been busy caring for our congregation.  We feel very blessed to have these two gentlemen amongst us.  It has been challenging for them as they carry out their tasks in a much different way.  Thank you Harry and Bruce for all that you have done for us and will continue to do for us.
The rest of our Team has been working so hard to keep things going at the church in spite of all the restrictions.  Jay, Kathleen and Sheena have been working diligently with the Safe Start Team to ensure that anyone who uses our facilities will be safe.  Kathleen has been very creative getting music to us and leading our worship when needed ... we have so enjoyed this.  Jay and Craig have kept very busy ensuring that our building is clean and disinfected.   Sheena has been that friendly voice on the phone and welcoming anyone who enters our building - keeping things running.   A special thank you to each of you for all that do for us and meeting the challenges head on that COVID-19 has brought us.
I think that the congregation of First should feel very proud that during this time of closures and shut downs we have been able to continue to pay our valuable staff.
M&P continues to work quietly in the background supporting our wonderful staff.  We are also there for the congregation if they have concerns with our staff.
Blessings to each of you - please stay safe, wear a mask and be kind.
Joanne MacPhail, Nola Mott, Joan Lapp, Marg Dickson, Suzanne Armstrong, Joan Westcott - your M&P Team.
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

White Gift Offerings
The traditions of offering White Gifts date back to 1904 in the Methodist tradition. Gifts are wrapped in white so that no one can judge the cost or value of the gift and all gifts are distributed without the recipients knowing who has given them. We at First United have usually celebrated White Gift Sunday on the second Sunday of Advent by bringing gifts that go to people in our community who need them.
This year is very different. We will not be gathering for worship and therefore cannot collect your gifts in person, however, there are those in our community that need our support more than ever.
The Outreach committee would like to suggest that for your white gift, you make a financial donation to one of the following:
House of Friendship Family Outreach Program – helps families with children aged 17 and under to prevent and reduce the effects of poverty.
Food Bank of Waterloo Region – Collects and distributes food for many community agencies that distribute it to those in need. Last year, 33,355 individuals were served by the Community Food Assistance Network
Thank you all for your continued generosity to each other and our community!
Your Outreach Committee,
Marilyn Gerriet, Eric and Kathy Saunders, Mike Savage and Cathie Stewart Savage
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.  
Worship in Coming Weeks

Sunday, November 29 at 10:30 am – Advent 1 and Communion
Sunday, December 6   at 10:30 am – Advent II White Gift

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

Midweek Advent Prayer and Reflection will be offered by Rev. Disher in the chapel Wednesday, 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 5 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.

Caring Community by Zoom Thursday, December 17 at 2:00 pm.
Offered by the Pastoral Care Committee. More details to follow.
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


Have you heard the plea from the Little Library?
"We need your help, please! We're sad because we don't have any books for kids and youth. Our Little Library is empty. Check your shelves, ask your friends and neighbours! We're counting on you! We know the kids would love to have books to read."
PS. If you have a few books, put them right in the Little Library.
If you have lots, take them up to church office or deliver to Lynne Blake-Dickson's house.

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