February 26, 2021

 Hi, First Folks! 
Well, we've had some very chilly days and now the treat of a few warmer ones. The joys of blue skies and sunshine help to warm and brighten our hearts.  The Share the Warmth idea started small with one hand knit toque kindly given by a church neighbour. It has grown to over 100 items generously given by you and our neighbours. The box for collecting items will stay on our front porch (210 Stanley Dr., Waterloo) for another week. You can also put things in the Little Library. I continue to hang cosy socks, hats, mitts, gloves and scarves on our fences and railings! A passer-by noticed and said, "What a perfect idea for the church to start doing! Keep up the good work!" A fellow taking a pair of heavyweight socks off the fence after I started talking to him said, " These socks are more valuable to me than the change that I've got so far today!"   
Warmth and blessings flow in many different ways. I wonder what spark of a dream might enlighten us to act next!

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.
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

 Where's Waldo? Where is our Part-Time Pastoral Care Minister?  In lockdown! The Rev. Rose Ann Vita lives in Peel Region which remains in lockdown until March 8th. When COVID restrictions are lifted, she will be in the office on Tuesdays (10 to 5;  lunch 1 to 2) and leading worship two Sundays a month. She also can be found online for the Wednesday Lenten Series, with the Thursday Praying with Scripture group, and by phone (647-763-0101) or email (rose.ann.vita2@gmail.com).
Calling All March Birthdays! If your birthday is in March, please send Rose Ann an email. During the month she will call you to say "hello," pray for you on Sunday March 7, and invite you to a birthday gathering on March 30th.
            This week's birthdays:
            March 4 - Ted Willingham and March 5 - Lee Willingham
March 3 at 10 AM - Caring Community: A small group welcoming caring givers and recipients and anyone who wishes to explore this month's topic: A Favourite Love Story.
Join Zoom Meeting
Phone: 647 374 4685 Canada
Meeting ID: 826 8124 3060
March 3 at 7 PM - Lenten Series: a mid-week, evening gathering that ponders topics of interest. This week's reflection is about living an authentic life with integrity.
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
March 5 - World Day of Prayer Service: Celebrating Vanuatu:  A prerecorded service can be viewed online at
Family News: Corinne Caldwell
 Corinne has passed away suddenly, at Grand River Hospital on Wednesday, February 24th. A funeral service will take place at Erb & Good Family Funeral Home on Saturday, March 6th. More details can be found on (www.erbgood.com), and in a forthcoming email from First United.

Conversations That Matter                                 
Sunday March 7, following the morning service
Findings from the work that we did with Betty Pries and Cayla Charles of Credence & Co. indicated that we at First like small group activities where we can interact and get to know each other better. Some small group activities are already ongoing very successfully. But there are likely others where you would be interested in participating.

So join us after the Sunday service on March 7 for Conversations That Matter.  We will work in small groups to identify some possible new small group activities.

After the service we will have about ten minutes for virtual coffee time or to get your coffee and a snack then move into the virtual Conversations That Matter session which will not last more than thirty minutes.
Sorry, but the cheese and crackers will not arrive on your assigned table this time.

The Small Group Animators: Harry Disher, John Lindsay, Joan Westcott

UCW Meeting
The UCW meets Monday March 8 at 1:30. Our guest speaker is June Dryer from New Life Prison Ministries.
Please join us for this interesting presentation. All Church members are welcome.
The Zoom link will be sent out next week in the Friday newsletter.
For more information contact Marg Colmer at 519-884-2525.


Noon Hour Concerts at First - Live streamed
Our first concert got off to a challenging start when the church’s WIFI went down. Consequently, we didn’t start until around 12:20, in the middle of the first song, and later than my introduction and acknowledgements of all involved in this project. However, Harold was able to save the day by creating a hotspot to connect with the MPTF in NYC. What you wouldn’t have seen on screen was Kathleen’s & my exuberant (silent) applause off camera to cheer on the musicians! Thanks to Rev. Disher who was there in person and to all those who logged in.

Please remember that in order to watch the Noon Hour Concerts, you must have a Facebook Account since these concerts will not be available on any other platform or at any other time. 
Google https://musicpf.org/mptf-live-streams/. Once on the site, scroll down to EVENTS and click on our concert.
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 Schedule:

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 Vlajk (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)
Enjoy!  Sharon Gowland

First United Book Club
Heads Up! 
Join us on Saturday March 27 at 9 AM by Zoom to discuss "The Nightingale" by Kristin Hannah. Any questions? Send a message to Gordon Wray gordontwray@gmail.com

Worship in Coming Weeks

Sunday, February 28, 2021   – 10:30 a.m.  Rev. Harry Disher  
Sunday, March 7, 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.
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).

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 INC\EXP          $ 6,141.26      $ 6,141.26
Westminster Online Silent Auction Starts Soon!

Westminster United Church, Waterloo, will be holding an online silent auction beginning at 12:00 noon on Sunday, February 28, and running until 12:00 noon on Sunday, March 14, 2021. We have some exciting items available – from handcrafted to home décor to gorgeous artwork to food to books to entertainment to outdoor adventures! Something for everyone!

Check out https://www.32auctions.com/westminsterunitedchurch for a sneak preview of auction items and pick your favourites to start bidding on February 28.
More items will be added as the auction start date draws closer, so check back often!

Waterloo's on the lookout for its 2021 Senior of the Year!
Help the city out by nominating a special resident senior over 65 who has made a significant contribution to the community as a volunteer. The nomination deadline is March 31, 2021.
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 RotaryAdult Centre,
510 Dutton Drive,
Waterloo, ON N2L 4C6

Hear ye, hear ye!
Wednesdays at Noon is our new deadline for sending in articles and messages for our First's Friday Letter! 
Thanks in advance.  Sheena and Lynne.

Together We Stand, but Apart