February 12, 2021

Hi, Everyone!
Streaming gear!! Really? It's true! At First United ?? You've got that right!
The pictures at the beginning and further on in the letter show the live streaming equipment  already in place in our sanctuary to be used for online ministry programs. Big THANK YOUs to Greg for dreaming possibilities and getting the donation ball rolling! Big THANK YOUs to Harold for investigating what equipment we needed, ordering it, installing everything and testing it! Big THANK YOUs to everyone who supported this project with their prayers and monetary donations!
Give a cheer! Give thanks. Be Grateful.


Comfort Food Dinner
Total Raised $1,198.23
Thanks to the many people who have supported this project with your orders.  I understand the idea of not having to cook was a good motivator!  I also heard many positive comments about the tasty food too.
I also want to say thanks to Sheena who collected and held all the orders received at the church, and to Joan W. who handled all the money details through the First on Stage bank account including all the e-transfers which were very popular as a payment method.
Thanks to Lynne B-D, Edith C, Jean MacL and Joan W, who joined me at DeliWorks to assemble the 165 dinners, carefully following the organization by the restaurant staff.
Pick-up and delivery was made easier because of the generous members who offered to handle more than just their order, which reduced the number of vehicles in the
line-up to just 25.
Thanks too, to Kirk B-D who did a great job as traffic manager, making sure the correct number of dinners got placed in the right vehicles in an efficient and safe way.
That’s all for now.  Watch for a new possibility for Easter!

Sunday, February 14th    Have a Heart Day
This Sunday is Valentine's Day and during our 10:30 ZOOM Worship Service, our youth will offer a prayer for First Nations children and send a message to our government stating that no child should have to fight for basic services. Join them in this prayer and action:
Dear God, we know that you love all children the same and want us all to grow up healthy, safe, and strong with our families and in our communities. Help us make sure that everyone has a warm home, a safe and comfy school, clean water, and the people who love us and care for us. Help the people who make these decisions make them out of love. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
During our service, we will also be praying for the Pastoral Care Team who express their ministry as the hands and feet of Christ: making phone calls, sending cards, and bringing meals and messages to those in need of a word of love.
Small Group Gatherings on ZOOM
·      A Mid-Week Lenten Series: Wednesdays, February 24 to March 31 at 7 PM, that explores thought-provoking topics.
·      January & February Birthdays: Tuesday, February 23 at 7 PM, a time to share birthday stories with one another.
Those who celebrate February birthdays are Ken Arnett, Kate Kennedy, Harry Disher, Doug Leask.  Please send your birthday to rose.ann.vita2@gmail.com
Be blessed! The Rev. Rose Ann Vita 
647-763-0101   rose.ann.vita2@gmail.com
First United Book Club
The book club will be conducted by Zoom February 20, 2021 beginning at 9 AM. Please send gordontwray@gmail.com an e-mail confirming your desire to be included so that we can send you a Zoom link.
The book for the February 2021 discussion is The Farm by Joanne Ramos.
Heartbreaking, suspenseful, provocative, The Farm pushes our thinking on motherhood, money, and merit to the extremes, and raises crucial questions about the trade-offs women will make to fortify their futures and the futures of those they love. 
The book is available from Wordsworth Books. Tell them that the book is for our book club and receive 20% off.  As of this writing, they have books in stock, which are available by curbside pick up.  Give them a call. The book is also available from the local public libraries.
At the end of the book club meeting, we will be selecting a book for a subsequent meeting.  If you have a candidate that you think should be considered, please send gordontwray@gmail.com an e-mail by February 17 with the title and the author.  This will allow Gordon to compile a list for the group’s consideration to be sent the day before the meeting.
Gordon Wray   

Notice is hereby given for our Annual General Meeting scheduled for Sunday February 21st at 2:00 PM online via Zoom.
You are invited to a Zoom meeting. 
When: Feb 21, 2021 02:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) 
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. A copy of the Annual Report will be made available on the church website.
If you would prefer a hardcopy (limited quantities available) of the Annual Report and wish home delivery or to arrange a pickup time at the Church, please send an E-Mail to office@firstunitedchurch.ca
Rick Heemskerk, Congregational Chair

Congregational Renewal Process - Final Report

The Board has received the final report from Credence & Co.  To access the full report click on this link https://www.firstunitedchurch.ca/ministries/interim-ministry/pages/prayer-discernment-and-revitalization

We refer you to pages 1 to 5, 26 and 27 for a summary.

The Reference Group that worked with Betty Pries and Cayla Charles selected these 3 items for action from the many ideas generated by the congregation. Harry and the Transition Team are getting started on them.

1. Establish and/or Support Small Groups at First
2. Strengthen Online Worship (already in progress)
3. Invigorate the Board

Many thanks to Reference Group members who worked on the Renewal Process from December 2019 to January 2021 and have completed their work: Greg Case, Margaret Leask, Muriel Omand-Naylor, Sarah Snyder, Joan Westcott and ministers, Harry Disher, Kellie McComb, Eva Mezo.

Mary Joan Brooker, Board Co-chair
Worship in Coming Weeks

Sunday, February 14, 2021   – 10:30 a.m.  Rev. Rose Ann Vita
Sunday, February 21, 2021   – 10:30 a.m.  Rev. Harry Disher  

Sunday Worship & Coffee Time
This Sunday you will need to Register in advance for this service:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting and coffee time.


If you would be interested in leading a worship service or in participating in some way please let me know at gregjcase@gmail.com.

Rev. Disher will be on vacation from Saturday, February 13 through Friday, February 19.  In case of pastoral needs or emergencies during that time, please contact Rev. Rose Ann Vita a (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).
To get your offering to the office you can use PAR, e transfer to firstunitedchurch@rogers.com, website donation www.firstunitedchurch.ca 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 office@firstunitedchurch.ca as soon as possible if you would like 2021 Offering Envelopes.
Thank you, Sheena
A Worship Service for Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2021 will be hosted by Westminster United beginning at 7:30 p.m.  Worship will be in a Zoom format.  As of yet, there doesn’t appear to be a need to pre-register.
Here is the link for that event:
  Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 569 429 9671
Passcode: Westmin
One tap mobile
+17789072071,,5694299671#,,,,*786744# Canada
+12042727920,,5694299671#,,,,*786744# Canada
It will also be recorded and available for viewing and participation afterwards. Here is the link for the recorded service.
Caring Community 
The next gathering will be Wednesday, March 3 at 10:00 am. Details to follow.
Nominations are now open for Waterloo’s 2021 Senior of the Year award!
You know them: caring, involved seniors who have spent their year going out of their way to help others. They have given their time and energy to make a difference in our community, in spite of the challenges we’re all going through. And now we want to know them too!
Residents are encouraged to take a few moments to tell us about a special resident over the age of 65 who has made a significant contribution to the community as a volunteer. 
Seniors who qualify for this award may have contributed to many different fields such as the arts, literature, community service, volunteering, education, environment, fitness and humanitarian activities. We look forward to recognizing our Senior of the Year during Senior’s Month in June.
Nomination forms and details are available at www.waterloo.ca/agefriendly. Forms can be mailed to:
Waterloo’s Senior of the Year Award
Wing 404 Rotary Adult Centre
510 Dutton Drive
Waterloo, ON N2L 4C6
The nomination deadline is March 31, 2021
If the senior you know lives in Kitchener, visit their site to nominate a Kitchener resident.  Make a difference in someone’s life. Recognize their service and reward them for their dedication to others. For more information, please visit waterloo.ca/agefriendly
Noon Hour Concerts at First - Live streamed
In order to watch the Noon Hour Concerts, you must have a Facebook Account.  Simply google https://musicpf.org/mptf-live-streams/. 
The Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF) is paying 100% of the musicians' and technician's fees. As stipulated by the MPTF, our concerts will only be available from 12:00 - 1:00 on Facebook. Live streaming means that it's only available at that time.
On Tues. Feb. 16th, the Ontario Gov't will be announcing the colour designation for Waterloo Region. Grey would mean no concerts allowed; red would mean no audience allowed, only the concert participants; orange, yellow and green would allow for 50 audience members. Of course, this information could change.
If we're allowed 50 audience members, you'll need to register at firstunitedconcerts@gmail.com with your contact information (phone number) for contact tracing in case of an outbreak. Registration will be on the Saturday before each concert, first come, first served.
Here's the updated schedule:
Feb. 23 - Paul Mitchell Jazz Trio - Paul Mitchell (trumpet), Clark Johnston (double bass), Rob Fekete (piano)
March 2 - Wendy Wagler (flute) & Beth Ann de Sousa (piano)
March 9 - Peter Shackleton (clarinet) & Stephanie Mara (piano)
March 16 - Gallery Chamber Players (Quintet) - James Mason (oboe), 
Julie Baumgartel (violin), Margaret Gay (cello) & Anna Ronai (piano)
March 23 - Penderecki String Quartet - Jeremy Bell  & Jerzy Kaplanek (violins), Christine Vljak (viola) & Katie Schlaikjer (cello)
March 30 - Larry Larson (trumpet) & Lori Gemmell (harp)
April 6 - Springdale Trio - Wendy Wagler (flute), Ben Bolt Martin (cello) & Boyd McDonald (piano)
April 13 - Ian Sadler (pipe organ)
A special thanks to Harold Arnett for acquiring, installing and running the new live streaming equipment.  Great teamwork!
Cheers, Sharon Gowland
Together We Stand, but Apart