April 2, 2021
Dear First Friends,
May it be a time of new beginnings, new questions and new understanding, new blessings, new opening and new growth.

Celebrating Hope Dinner April 3

People have purchased 125 dinners. Well done!
Meals will be distributed as last time, from DeliWorks in the parking area on Spetz St.
The map and instructions have been included again for those coming for the first time.
Please arrive wearing a mask, watch for directions from the traffic manager, stay in your vehicle, identify who you are and the orders you are picking up and open your trunk so the restaurant staff can place those orders safely and directly. You may want to have a container to hold the dinners in place so they don’t slide.

I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the pick-up instructions from Angus and also guidelines that are reprinted again this week for everyone’s safety.  

If each person coming to pick-up dinners can arrive at their appointed time, and bring along a little patience and flexibility the staff from the restaurant will help us get on our way in a timely manner.

Thanks Everyone,
Muriel Omand-Naylor

For Hope Dinner directions CLICK HERE

Out of our pre-pandemic rutted routines and unhealthy practices and patterns, dying to our own ungodliness, we will too rise some day?

Out of our tomb-like times of isolation and social distancing, unmuffled by masks, vaccinated to restored hope in a virus-held-in-check-instead world we will too rise some day?

Breaking through the greyed thick mists of past traditions
welcoming the dawn of a reawakened hybrid church, both in-person and online, we will too rise some day?

Freed from the failures and flaws of our systems of long-term care to live in the new light of the lessons we have learned, we will too rise some day?

Unbound, unwrapped strip after strip from systems embedded with racism and injustice and inequities, able to create harmonious human community we will too rise some day?

We shall.  We shall.  God being our Helper, we shall.
Easter joy and blessings,



Worship this Easter Sunday -  10:30a.m.

- Livestreaming to http://www.firstunitedchurch.ca, Facebook,  YouTube
- Communion You will need to have access to your own supply of bread or gluten-free alternative and grape juice or wine, enough to serve everyone where you are, as we receive the gift of the living Christ into our hearts and lives again.
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



God made you and God made me.
God made the world for us to see.
God loves you and long ago,
Jesus came to tell us so.
Jesus showed us many things:
How to love and share and dance and sing.
Then Jesus died, but death did not win the day,
For in our hearts Christ's Holy Spirit lives today!
— Author Unknown
PREPARING FOR EARTH DAY ~ Week 1: AIR on Wednesday, April 7 at 7 PM.
Sky and the Element of Air ~ these invite us to breathe deeply and remind us of the breath of God. Come spend an hour pondering how nature awakens us to the presence of God in nature. "If you want to know the Creator, get to know creation." CLICK HERE
Easter Blessings, the Rev. Rose Ann Vita
Contact me at rose.ann.vita2@gmail.com or 647-763-0101

Outreach Drive-By Food Drive
On Saturday, April 10, from 10:00am till noon, we will be accepting your food donations at the church. We will have staff to collect it from you if you need our help. A shopping cart will be available to drop off your donations as well. The food collected will go fill our pantry and to help the foodbank of Waterloo. Please donate only non-perishable items, canned stews and the like are ideal.

Mike Savage


Light a Candle to make the need for a Livable Income visible. The United Church of Canada is shining a spotlight on reducing poverty. How can you help? CLICK HERE to find out.

Grand River UCW Annual Meeting (formerly Waterloo Presbyterial)
Sat. Apr. 10  10:00 – NOON
To see program and zoom link, CLICK HERE

Please note, if you are having trouble seeing the poster and the zoom link, please contact the office.


Noon Hour Concerts at First - Live streamed from 12:00 – 1:00
Larry Larson with his 5 trumpets and Lori Gemmell with her gorgeous 88 string harp performed a very ambitious program beginning with Bist du bei mir (J.S. Bach) in memory of Carol Class, his sponsor in the KWS, and finishing with fabulous Spanish music, entertaining their in-person audience (of three) with a fabulous array of musical styles. Harold Arnett continues to please viewers with his attention to audio and visual details. Special thanks to Rev. Harry for welcoming our Canadian and American viewers, and to Rev. Rose Ann for watching remotely while still under lockdown.

As the Board mentioned in a previous newsletter, we may be able to allow for a very small audience only if the Waterloo Region COVID-19 designation improves. If this is the case, we will post a notice on the First United Church website. Spots will be limited so potential audience members must register at firstunitedconcerts@gmail.com as soon as possible once notice has been posted on the website, and no later than 4:00 pm on the Saturday before each Tuesday concert. (In the event that the Government’s announcement happens on a Monday, registration would need to be made by Monday evening).

Audience members must register in this way for each concert that they wish to attend. Registration is necessary for contact tracing in case of an outbreak and to ensure that we stay within the allowable number of people in the sanctuary. Once you register, you will receive an email if there is a spot for you at the next concert. Information will be provided about how to submit the Church’s Liability Waiver, as well as the self-health checklist to be completed before arrival at the church. Once you are at the church, you will be asked to sign in on the audience list for that concert. So, keep an eye on the First United Church website for updates!

The remaining concerts in this series are best accessed at:

April 6 - Springdale Trio - Wendy Wagler (flute), Ben Bolt Martin (cello) & Boyd McDonald (piano)
April 13 - Ian Sadler (pipe organ)

Additional Concert!
An additional concert has been added featuring Joanne Bender (piano) and Bruce Skelton (violin) on Tuesday April 20 from 12:15 – 12:45. Since this is not part of our 8 concert series, access to it has not as yet been decided. Stay tuned!

Cheers!  Sharon Gowland

For additional FREE concerts, Click Here

From the Safe Start Team
For the most up-to-date vaccination information, please refer to the Waterloo Region Public Health website or call 519-575-4400. Information about Vaccine Clinics in Waterloo Region is available here and to learn about Vaccination Pre-Registration (for Eligible Priority Groups) click here.

The team met on March 17 and completed a final walkthrough of the sanctuary to confirm the seating plan, observing all COVID protocols and Public Health guidelines. A smaller group is working on putting together a "What to Expect" video for when the Board makes the decision to return to in-person worship.

If you have any comments, concerns or suggestions for us, we would be happy to hear from you! Email us at safestartfirst@gmail.com

Your Safe Start Team: Ken Arnett, Jay Brooker, Sheena Curwood, Harry Disher, Joe Hipperson, Kathleen King Martin, John Lindsay, Cathie Stewart Savage, Ron Taylor

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.”

Words Worth Books has ordered copies that they expect will arrive by April 9 (or possibly April 12) and offer their usual 20% discount for the First United Book Club.

Mary Joan Brooker and Eva Mezo
Follow-up to March 7th Conversations That Matter
We have received more than 75 suggestions for possible small group activities at First. Thanks to all participants. We are recommending five of the activities listed to the Transition Team for implementation at this time. Once they are up and running we will give further consideration to others on the list.

From the Small Group Animators: Harry, John and Joan

Worship in Coming Weeks

Sunday, April 11, 2021 – 10:30 a.m.  Rev. Rose Ann Vita  
Sunday, April 18, 2021 – 10:30 a.m.  Rev. Harry Disher
If you would be interested in leading a worship service or in participating in some way please let me know at gregjcase@gmail.com.
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).

Stewardship / Finance
Easter is early this year and you may already be thinking about your special givings at Easter. The special Easter givings at First will be shared among Skylight, Rainbow Camp and SHOW (Supportive Housing of Waterloo). You will have recently received a letter from the Church with the special envelope for your Easter offering.

Drive-By Farewell
Annette & Gordon Wray are moving to Kentville Nova Scotia in mid April. Our granddaughters are growing up fast and we have not visited them in over a year, so when Gordon took a package from work we decided to embark on a new adventure. We will host a Drive-By to say farewell on Sunday April 11 from 2 to 4 at our home. You can wave, open your windows and chat, etc.  We ask that you not bring any gifts, flowers, etc as we don't want to have to pack it or put in the compost or garbage.
Matt & James will be in an apartment in Kitchener, with James going to Conestoga College and Matt working at Resurrection College. 
We have been so blessed by our community, the various groups we have belonged to, and our workplaces.   May God's Blessings be with you all.

Annette & Gordon Wray
Together We Stand, but Apart