February 19, 2021

Hi, First Friends!
I hope to see lots of you joining the First flock at our Annual Meeting this Sunday afternoon at 2 PM! It's a great chance to listen, learn and be part of all that helps our faith community come together and act in faith.
Lots of newness to celebrate this week- Book Club starting anew, a brand new boiler to keep our building cosy, virtual choir practices, a birthday gathering for folks with January and February birthdays, a new midweek Lenten series of conversations exploring a different idea each week and the first Noon Hour Concert being live streamed. Wow! We are blessed.
Sunday this Week….
10:30 AM sharp - Church service – livestreaming to www.firstunitedchurch.ca, Facebook, YouTube.
It will then be available in all 3 locations to watch at another time.
No coffee time this week, instead have your lunch. 
Annual Meeting - Sunday February 21, 2021 (2pm on Zoom)
Please register here in advance for this meeting. In the case of couples or families, only one registration is required, but please provide all the names of people planning to attend.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email. It is important that you keep this email, as it contains the link for joining the meeting. A copy of the confirmation email will also be resent to you before the meeting.
The Annual Meeting Agenda and Annual Report are available here on the church website.
If you require technical assistance with registration or have questions about the process, please send an E-Mail to john.lindsay67@rogers.com
First United Book Club
The book club will be conducted by Zoom tomorrow morning, Saturday February 20 beginning at 9 AM. Please send gordontwray@gmail.com an email if you still need the Zoom link.
After our discussion of The Farm by Joanne Ramos, we will be selecting a book for a subsequent meeting.
Gordon Wray
Scary Stuff: From the utter silence that followed my sermon last Sunday, I wonder if you found Theopoesis, the idea that --- "God became human so that we might become Divine" --- scary. If so, I agree that our being a Temple of the Holy Spirit is overwhelming. How awesome it is that God permeates all that God has made. Yet, this concept is not new. We have heard about God's permeating presence before. Listen to this prayer:
Teach me the language of prayer, God.
Help me to hear prayers of thanksgiving
in the laughter of young children and old friends.
Help me to feel prayers of lamentation
in the silent tears of strangers and loved ones.
Help me to witness prayers of intercession
in small acts of kindness and service.
Teach me, God, how to pray with my whole being.
Amen.            (by Alydia Smith in Parables, Prayers, and Promises)
Haven't we heard God speak to us in laughter, in tears, in witness and kindness? God's presence is nothing to be scared about. Even if we are left overwhelmed in awe-filled silence.
Tuesday, February 23 at 7 PM: If you had a birthday in 2021, come share a birthday story with other celebrants. Here's the link:
Join Zoom Meeting about Birthday Celebrations
Meeting ID: 825 2543 6086
Passcode: happybd
Wednesday, February 24 at & 7 PM: Lenten Series
This week we begin our mid-week series. Each session is independent, lasts under 1 hour, introduces an idea that we will explore together. This week's topic is "We have been expecting you" where we'll wonder about our experiences of being welcomed.
Please register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Looking forward to our virtual time together.
Rev. Rose Ann Vita (rose.ann.vita2@gmail.com and 647 763-0101)
Family News: Carol Anne Ewart Class (1936 - 2021)
Carol has passed away peacefully, surrounded by family at Hospice Wellington, Guelph on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, at the age of 84. A funeral service will take place at Erb & Good Family Funeral Home on Saturday, February 27th. More details can be found in Monday’s edition of The Record, on (www.erbgood.com), and in a forthcoming email from First United.
Our new boiler
After five cold weeks the new boiler is installed and the bricks and the bones of the church are warming up again. She is small but mighty.
It has been a joy to watch and learn from all the crews who saw this through.
As the building comes back to life and we start imagining services and concerts and congregating I’d be happy to introduce you.
Her name is Madeline and she will be with us for many years to come.

Your custodian, Jay
Noon Hour Concerts at First - Live streamed
In order to watch the Noon Hour Concerts, you must have a Facebook Account.  These concerts will not be available on any other platform or at any other time. 
Simply google https://musicpf.org/mptf-live-streams/
The Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF) is paying 100% of the fees and this is one of their stipulations. Live streaming means only available at performance time.  These concerts will NOT be on any other platform.  If a recording were to be made, we would lose this very generous contract, and more importantly, the musicians would lose their fees after rehearsing for many hours.
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), Peter Shackleton (clarinet), 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
Gallery Choir - Weekly Virtual Rehearsals
On Thursday, February 11th the Gallery Choir conducted its first virtual choir rehearsal. Kathleen played piano and directed from home, while the choir members sang their individual parts (on "mute"). A bit strange, but fun for everyone!
Rehearsal included the anthem Lead Me Lord, along with communion music Long Ago and Far Away (Fill the Cup) and When the Winter Wind Blows (very timely). Recording of rehearsed music is planned in upcoming weeks.
Anyone who wishes to join this experience (Thursdays 7pm-8pm on Zoom) is most welcome. Just send an E-Mail to Kathleen kathleenkingmartin@hotmail.com or John Lindsay john.lindsay67@rogers.com and we'll get you hooked up.
Kathleen King Martin
Worship in Coming Weeks

Sunday, February 21, 2021   – 10:30 a.m.  Rev. Harry Disher  
Sunday, February 28, 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).
Caring Community
The next gathering will be Wednesday, March 3 at 10:00 am.
Join Zoom Meeting
Phone:  647 374 4685 Canada
Meeting ID: 826 8124 3060
For more information contact Mary Joan Brooker mj@kw.igs.net
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
  January Year to Date
General Fund Local                   $ 12,443.00  $ 12,443.00
Wage Subsidy Grant        972.00          972.00
Other Operations                              10,225.67      10,225.67
Mission & Outreach                            3,154.00        3,154.00
TOTAL INCOME                              26,795.56      26,795.56
TOTAL EXPENSES                         32,467.57      32,467.57
EXCESS INCOME\EXPENSES                      ($5,671.95)     ($5,671.95)
Capital Income                                $ 56,785.84    $ 56,785.84
Capital Expenses                                     50,644.58       50,644.58
CAPITAL EXCESS INCOME\EXPENSES              $ 6,141.26      $ 6,141.26
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
Together We Stand, but Apart