First’s Friday Letter – October 2, 2020
What does "home" mean to you?
This Sunday, October 4 at 7pm is your chance to be part of Sing Fires of Justice, an annual multifaith festival of song and word that promotes social justice. 

A roundtable discussion and a variety of choirs, musicians and spoken-word artists will be featured as the light is shone on "What makes "home" for people in our Region?

You are invited to come to the festival online this year and be enlightened, supported and challenged. 
What does "Everyone deserves a home." mean to you? What would it mean to our Region?
To join, please use this link Meeting ID: 987 2021 2988. Passcode: 092025.

Renewal and Revitalization Update
Hopefully by now you will have received the e-mail package from Dr Betty Pries sent out from Sheena Curwood which includes all the renewal resources currently on our website as well as important dates to note of upcoming services and online discussions.

As well there are videos that share the information presented by Betty in our live sessions in Hilliard Hall which I found to be a helpful review.

The information will also be delivered to those members who regularly receive printed copies.

Muriel Omand-Naylor
(on behalf of  the renewal committee)

Safe Start Team Update
The team held its second meeting on September 29. We welcomed Bronwyn (MT Space) who shared thoughts and observations from her church restarting worship. It was an interesting discussion with the chance to ask a wide range of questions about the reopening experience. The team also reviewed the mini-concerts and memorial service recently held in the sanctuary, all of which were well-managed and very positive experiences.
With the Second Wave being declared in Ontario and health advice frequently changing, we are acutely aware of the need to stay up-to-date and as flexible as possible. The team will be meeting on October 9 to review the COVID situation and to develop recommendations for the upcoming Board meeting.
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.
Some words from Harry ….

As we move on into this time of Intentional Interim Ministry at First United, Waterloo, I invite you to take some time to reflect on the difference between change and transition. Change is an event. Transition is a process. For example, a wedding is an event marking a change in a relationship. Living out a marriage is the transition that follows.

Think about a time of significant change in your own life; e.g., graduating from school, marriage, separation, divorce, moving to a new city or rural location, changing jobs, losing someone close to you.

Journal about or consider these questions: What ended? When did life feel “normal” again? What were the signs that this was so? What did you do to help life feel “normal” again? What did others do? Looking back, or at the time, was God part of the process? In what way?

Reflecting on change and transition in our own lives will assist us as we experience change and transition in our congregational life over the next year or two, and as we pass through this time of transition in our world because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Worship in the Coming Weeks
October 4 -  Harry Disher and Kathleen King Martin
October 11 - Thanksgiving
This Sunday, October 4 is Worldwide Communion Sunday.  We will be celebrating the Sacrament of Communion online.  You will need to have bread or a gluten-free cracker and grape juice or wine on a table nearby when you and those with you are viewing the worship service.  You will serve yourself or one another when the time of receiving the elements happens.  You may offer to say the words “the body of Christ broken for you”, “the blood of Christ shed for you”.  Let me encourage you to consider using a non-North American bread such as pita or naan, or check out a recipe for making bannock (a staple of our First Nations peoples).  You could buy the international bread or bake it at home from scratch.
Harry Disher
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
Stewardship/Finance Update
Just a reminder, that at the Annual Meeting we voted to designate our Thank offerings this year to Vera’s Place and Shalom Counselling Centre.  Special envelopes will be coming with a copy of your statement of givings up to the end of September.
Vera’s Place, Waterloo – A dry house for women recovering from substance abuse. An independent organization from Emmanuel Church and in partnership with the House of Friendship.  It is the first and only home of its kind in Waterloo Region and one of the first in Ontario.
Shalom Counselling Centre – provides counselling services for a broad range of concerns, to people from all walks of life, back grounds and belief systems. “Thanks to generous donors, counselling is made affordable with fees on a sliding scale according to family income.”
“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.”  1Timothy 6:18 
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.
Church Photo Directory
If you participated in the Photo Directory and have not yet got your copy, please contact the office at 519-745-8487 Ext 201 or to arrange a time to pick up your copy.  Thank you, Sheena
Together We Stand, but Apart