April 16, 2021

Hi, First Friends!
How do I... How do you... respect the Earth? care for the Earth? be present with the Earth? find peace with the Earth? show thanks to God for the Earth?... once in a while? on Earth Day? when it affects us? when we make it part of every day? ... Much to ponder... Much to act on!


Worship This Sunday
Sunday, April 18 at 10:30: To register for Worship and Coffee Time on ZOOM, (CLICK HERE) The theme is Wounded Healer. We will hear the story of Thomas (John 20) who discovered the Risen Christ by seeing the wounds left by crucifixion. We will also hear how the wounds of breast cancer opened Joanne MacPhail's vision to a wider faith experience. And during Children's Time, we'll hear the story by Carole Lindstrom, We Are Water Protectors, and discover how the wounded Earth is calling us to our responsibility to be its caretaker.
Bulletin for Sunday, April 18th - CLICK HERE


Wednesday, April 21 at 7 PM: (CLICK HERE) Week 3 of Praying with the Elements ~ The sea and water invite us to find the flow of our lives, to ask where we are trying to push the river, and what sacred rhythms are most nourishing for us.

Thursday, April 22 is Earth Day: (CLICK HERE) You may wish to pray the Stations of the Cosmos. Or you may appreciate reflecting on the poetry of Wendell Berry, The Peace of Wild Things (CLICK HERE).
1000 Peace Cranes (CLICK HERE) We are making 1000 origami paper cranes to place in the church for Pentecost (May 23). Interested in helping? GREAT! You can pick up 25 pieces of paper and instructions from the office beginning next week. Please speak with Sheena, our Office Administrator, to coordinate when you will pick up your paper. THANKS! (Phone: 519-745-8487)
Blessings, the Rev. Rose Ann Vita (rose.ann.vita2@gmail.com / 647-763-0101)

For Pastoral Care needs please email the church (office@firstunitedchurch.ca).  For our Minister of Pastoral Care call Rose Ann Vita 647-763-0101 (cell) or rose.ann.vita2@gmail.com (email). 
Small Groups Coming Alive

Book Study
One of our “Conversations That Matter” offerings this spring will be a book study led by Rev. Disher on Brian McLaren’s “Faith After Doubt”.  We will read and reflect on one chapter or so at a time for five weeks.  Zoom discussion and sharing sessions will take place on Thursday afternoons from 1:30 – 3:00 P.M. May 13, 20, 27, and June 3 and 10, OR Monday evenings from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.  May 17, 24, 31 and June 7, and 14.
Please pre-register with Rev. Disher if you wish to participate at revharryd@gmail.com or by phone, (519) 860-9198. If you don’t already have the book, Words Worth Books on King St. in Waterloo has ordered some copies at a 10% discount
Board Meeting Update
The Board held their monthly meeting on Tuesday April 13. While we touched on a number of issues, the major topics of discussion were governance and communications. Both of these issues were raised in the Credence report and will require ongoing work.
The COVID closures and lockdowns has especially affected how we can communicate with each other and the biggest changes are moving to online worship and the Friday Letter. Both of these require a lot of time from staff and volunteers.
Worship Decision
With the current lockdown we will not be resuming in person worship at this time. This is being considered at each board meeting. We will have a few weeks notice ahead of our first time back together in our sanctuary.
Cathie Stewart Savage
Acting Board Chair 
Noon Hour Concerts at First
On Tuesday April 13th, Ian Sadler completed our 8 concert series with an outstanding concert beginning with “Festive Voluntary” commissioned for him and composed by Denis Bédard in celebration of Canada’s 150th which he premiered on January 1st, 2017 in London, UK.
Because of the recent lockdown, live streaming is now prohibited, therefore Ian recorded our concert on the organ at St. Paul’s London, Ontario last Wednesday before the lockdown, with the assistance of their son Christopher. Ian is the Organist and Director of Music at St. Paul's Cathedral, London. His program included works by J.S. Bach, Mendelssohn, Franck, Elgar, Brahms, Vierne and Widor and concluded with Passacaglia in memory of composer John Weaver who passed away this year. If you missed Tuesday’s broadcast, simply google www.firstunitedchurch.ca, click "Videos" then select "Community Events".
ADDITIONAL CONCERT Tuesday April 20th - 12:00 – 12:30
Details regarding our additional concert featuring Joanne Bender (piano) and Bruce Skelton (violin) will be available at www.firstunitedchurch.ca.
Stay safe! Sharon Gowland
For additional FREE concerts, visit:
Book Club
Next gathering, Saturday, May 1 at 9:00 am. Next book selection, This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel, a novel about a family with a transgender child, told with honesty, sensitivity and wit. “Brave, sometimes horrifying and frequently very funny - Frankel is a first rate storyteller.”

Copies are in now at Words Worth Books. They offer their usual 20% discount for the First United Book Club.

Mary Joan Brooker and Eva Mezo
Worship in Coming Weeks

Sunday, April 25, 2021 – 10:30 a.m.  Rev. Harry Disher
Sunday, May 2, 2021 – 10:30 a.m.  Rev. Rose Ann Vita  

If you would be interested in leading a worship service or in participating in some way please let me know at gregjcase@gmail.com
Rainbow Camp
Connecting the dots...
When First United celebrated becoming an Affirming Congregation we were fortunate to have Harry Stewart as our speaker. He introduced us to Rainbow Camp in northern Ontario, which has welcomed young people of all sexual identities since 2012. It is important to note that Rainbow Camp has become one of the ministries we support with our special Easter offering.
Just recently Harry Stewart and Chris Southin have been given a Governor General's award recognizing "great Canadians for exceptional deeds that bring honour to our country ". They received the honour for co-founding Rainbow Camp.
Many blessings to Harry, Chris and all involved with the camp!
Stewardship / Finance
Note:  The deadline for Easter offerings is April 28.  We are sponsoring SHOW, The Skylight Festival and Rainbow Camp this year and all are very grateful for our support.
Hello First United members
We want to say a very blessed Thank you for the warm wishes & farewell thoughts sent to us at our drive by Farewell on Sunday. Thank for the beautiful prayer shawls, the cards, gift cards etc. Thanks to Joanne for knitting the shawls. They are the perfect colours & warm!  
It was a lovely event despite the circumstances - and the rain even let up just in time! Thank you everyone.
Blessings Annette & Gordon Wray
Celebrate the Dance of Spring!
Together We Stand, but Apart