December 24, 2020
Dear Christmas folk,
Keeping connected at any time but especially at this time ...?
I'm making a list to remind myself of possibilities. Here are just a few:
sing carols or read the Christmas story on the phone together, remember people in prayers, chat about heartfelt Christmas memories, start a new tradition, write a note, go on a Zoom coffee time after church, support folks needing a boost.
What might be on your list?
Worship this Christmas
(and other on-line gatherings)
Christmas Eve – No later than 5 p.m.   – “Sounds Like Christmas - A (very) Non-Traditional Christmas Eve Service”
The afternoon Christmas Eve Service is "Sounds Like Christmas - A (very) Non-Traditional Christmas Eve Service". Thanks to fantastic congregational participation, it tells the story of Christmas through sounds that we hear - sounds of people, animals and nature. You'll even find out why crickets have a part to play. The best thing is that you have an important part in the story too!
There also will be a "scavenger hunt" secretly hidden in the afternoon service on Christmas Eve. There are "extra" animals (other than those mentioned in the story) throughout the service. Which ones can you find? Send in your answers to
Christmas Eve – No later than 8 p.m.   –  Carols “All I want for Christmas is...”
Christmas Day – No later than 10 a.m. – “Questions Around a Manger” (virtual Coffee Time after this service)
Join Muriel as she hosts an after church coffee time on Zoom
Topic: Coffee Time
Time: 11:15 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 894 2610 0259
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Meeting ID: 894 2610 0259
Due to the impending Ontario Lockdown effective December 26, 2020.  The Church will be closed, except to assigned staff/personnel.
If you have 2020 Givings that you would like to be included, and/or 2021 Pledge Forms, please drop off your envelope in the church mailbox, located at the William Street entrance.
Mail and emails will be checked daily.
We appreciate your understanding and patience during this period.
Sheena Curwood
Church Administrator
Blessèd Christmas!

Yes, it will certainly be different this year; but, may there still be time and opportunity for you to experience some time of holy stillness and speciality as we pass through this Christmas season once again.  Wherever you are, by yourself, or in the company of a few loved ones and/or trusted others, may you know a sense of God’s blessing and have an open heart to receive all the hope, peace, joy, love, and light that first arrived in our midst in the form of the infant Jesus.  “From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace”.  (John 1:16)

I am thankful for receiving God’s grace through the co-operative spirit and competency of my colleagues on staff at First United, Waterloo and in the support and encouragement received from members of our Transition Team, Church Board, and all the other committees and groups with whom I have shared in sustaining ministry and mission in this congregation.  I am grateful for the welcome, prayers, conversations, and honest feedback I have received from other members and participants in the life and ministry of this community of faith, sometimes in person and more often over the phone or through Zoom connections.  I am enthused about entering into the New Year with Rev. Rose Ann Vita as a colleague in ministry as she becomes part of the staff team.  I look forward to continuing to doing all I can to assist First United in moving through this time of transition and sense of new direction.

Blessèd Christmas!
The Rev. Rose Ann Vita
We are pleased to welcome the Rev. Rose Ann Vita as she joins us to be our part-time minister of Worship and Pastoral Care.
Warm greetings.
I have been in ministry over 20 years and have mellowed from being an energetic, try-everything, newly ordained minister into to a well-seasoned pastoral presence. I have matured in my faith by serving with a variety of congregations in a variety of settings. Over time, I have grown into a calm-listening centre. Now I feel like the stabilizing pivotal point of a gyroscope that remains grounded in the midst of chaos and grief and provides orientation.
Some Basic Background Information:
Prior to ministry, I worked in book publishing. My first call was as a Lutheran Pastor in New York. In 2008, I came to Canada to serve with congregations going through an amalgamation, a closure, a merger, and discernment about their mission. Over the years, my love has grown for crafting worship, and small online house churches and Bible studies. My love for pastoral care has deepened as I continue to see clients as a psychotherapist.
My family lives in the States:
I have two grown daughters. Jo Ann is a single mother and Brenden is my 12-year-old grandson. Suzanne and Gregory were recently married. Gregory is a Presbyterian Minister and Suzanne is waiting 
for her first call as a Lutheran Pastor.
My passion is painting:
As noted, "You may think I am listening to you, but in my head, I am painting."
I am known for my light-heartedness and laughter and for the way I inspire people to become better than they thought they were.
I look forward to being with you as your Part-Time Minister of Worship and Pastoral Care. I can't wait to learn from you the ways in which God has touched your life.
Rose Ann Vita
Turkey Trot Report
I want to say a special thank you to:   Everyone who purchased or sold tickets, helped prepare the dinners at DeliWorks or helped distribute them so efficiently.
Lynda Mc Dowell, who assisted with recording orders and offered a listening ear and good advice.
Office administrator Sheena and Finance Chair Nancy who helped keep communications and records in order.
Thanks to the people who have taken the time to share their reactions (unanimously positive to date)
We have raised $1294.44
If you have thoughts about a similar future event, including timing, theme, menu,or price range, please DO let me know with an email or call.
Muriel or 519-746-2566
Online Ministry Support
Thank you to all those who have contributed to the Online Ministry Fund. Currently we have raised $18,285 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.  
Here's exciting information from the Choir Auxiliary:
The Choir Auxiliary is excited to announce that we've received 100% funding through the MPTF (Music Performance Trust Fund) for 8 Noon Hour Concerts.  The head office in NYC, stipulated that they feature only Union Members, are one hour in length and are live streamed on Facebook. Harold Arnett, our technician will also receive 100% funding.  Ian Sadler will open our 43rd season on Tuesday Feb. 9th at 12:00 performing on our exquisite Kney Organ. Please check the Church's website closer to the date for more details. Sharon Gowland (Noon Hour Concert Coordinator)
Thanks, Sharon
Worship in Coming Weeks

Thursday, December 24 - Christmas Eve - 5 p.m.
Thursday, December 24 - Christmas Eve – 8 p.m.
Friday, December 25 - Christmas Day – 10 a.m.*****
Sunday, December 27 – 10:30 a.m. – The Twelve Days of Christmas
                        A joint service of Waterloo United Churches – Zoom coffee after service.
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 email at  For our Minister of Pastoral Care, Bruce Sweet call 519-579-8483 (home) or 519-580-3899 (cell) or email at
Stewardship/Finance Update
Stewardship reminders:  The Christmas Offering will be sent to World Development and Relief.  The last day for drop off to the church for 2020 offerings and Stewardship Challenge forms is December 29. 
Thank you and hoping you all have a safe and healthy Christmas!! November was a very positive month for us, and we are hoping the same for December.
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 Offering Envelopes for 2021
In preparation for the coming year.  Please contact the office 519-745-8487 Ext201 or as soon as possible, if you would like 2021 Offering Envelopes.
Thank you,
We made a list.  Please check it twice!
Donations to First United that are to be included in your 2020 tax receipt must be received in the office on or before close of Business on December 29.
Preparation of the Annual Report
All groups and committees preparing information for the Annual Meeting on February 21, 2021, are reminded of the following timelines:  
Tuesday January 12, 2021   All written reports are to be sent electronically to the church office.
Please submit Financial reports to treasurer, Andy Yuan
Church Office Christmas Hours
The Church Office will be CLOSED:
      Thursday, Dec 24 – closed at noon
      Friday, Dec 25
      Effective Dec 26th the Church will be Closed due to Lockdown
The Church Office will be OPEN:
     Thursday, Dec 24    9 am – 12 noon
Together We Stand, but Apart

The Staff of First Untied Church
Wish to take this opportunity
To extend the blessings of Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.
Harry, Bruce, Kathleen, Sheena, Jay and Craig
Happy New Year