February 5, 2021

Dear First Friends,
One Little Library---one librarian---one can of frozen soup---one kind neighbour--- one hand knit toque---one scarf--- another kind neighbour---one mask---another hat---generous church folks---more hats---more scarves--- hand knit and bought curbside mitts and socks---one neighbourhood became two--- collection box on the front porch---plastic bags with cosiness inside.
One more week--- bags of cosiness will hang on railings and fences at First United--- First Friends Sharing the Warmth!
Comfort Food Dinner-Saturday, Feb 6
Comfort Food Dinner
You have done it again!! We sold out!! Our max, which we did not publicize, was 165 and that is exactly the number of dinners you purchased!! Well done!!  Payments are almost completed, and obviously many of you appreciated being able to pay by e-transfer.  More than half of you used that method.
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. 
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.
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
Birthdays continued . . . I continue to encourage you to connect with someone who has a birthday. It is one way to counter the loneliness and isolation of COVID, for both of you.
Those who celebrated January birthdays are Edith Coyle, Harold Arnett, John Lindsay, Helen Koepke, Gwen Jones and Rose Ann Vita. Those with February birthdays are Kate Kennedy, Harry Disher, Doug Leask.  [If we missed your January or February birthday, please let Rose Ann know. Blessings!]
Here is a Birthday Reflection Exercise (Adapted from Out of the Ordinary by Joyce Rupp):
Look back upon the past year and reflect on the ways that life has touched you:
  • What are you especially grateful for . . .
  • What amazed you . . .
  • What puzzled you . . .
As you look forward to the coming year:
  • What do you long for . . .
  • Who or what will you trust . . .
  • What will you promise . . .
Now write a short prayer based on your reflections. Place it somewhere where you can see it and let it remind you to pray it often.
Rev. Rose Ann Vita   (Cell: 647 763-0101  Email: rose.ann.vita2@gmail.com)
UCW Meeting
Our UCW Meeting is Monday February 8 at 1:30 by Zoom. Rose Ann Vita will be our guest speaker. I look forward to seeing all of on Monday for friendship and fellowship.
Blessings, Marg

First United Waterloo is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: UCW
Time: Feb 8, 2021 01:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 812 3024 6452
Passcode: 328289
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Those without internet will be able to join the meeting by phone. 
Phone In:         647 374 4685 
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Marg Colmer-Shantz 
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.
Arrangements are being finalized on possible ways for you to receive a hardcopy of the Annual Report (limited quantities available). Watch for an email this week.
Rick Heemskerk, Congregational Chair 
First United Book Club
The book club will be conducted by Zoom February 20, 2021 beginning at 9 AM. 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.
If you’re interested in Book Club, please send Gordon your email address so he can send you the Zoom link.
Gordon Wray
Congregational Renewal Process - Final Report
The Board has received the final report from Credence & Co. The full report can be found on the Church Website firstunitedchurch.ca

Click Ministries, then Interim Ministry, then 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
Gallery Choir Virtual Get-Together
The Gallery Choir had a wonderful social time (and conducted a bit of business) on January 28 with 15 members in attendance.
We all shared "happenings" in our lives and some hopes for a return to more "normal" activities in a post-COVID world. It was so great to reconnect with each other.
We continue to plan musical pieces for inclusion in Sunday worship and look for ways to practice our singing voices in the absence of regular Thursday night rehearsals.
To contact the choir, please use our new E-Mail address
Kathleen King-Martin
Director of Music
The Choir Auxiliary is happy to announce that its 8 Noon Hour Concerts will be live streamed on Facebook at https://musicpf.org/mptf-live-streams/.

Noon Hour Concerts at First - Live streamed on Facebook at 
I'm very happy to announce that the Head office of the Musicians' Performance Trust Fund (MPTF) in NYC extended our concert series to include the April 6th and 13th concerts. The MPTF is paying 100% of the musicians' fees as well as Harold Arnett's, our technician. Concerts will run from 12:00 to 1:00.
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)
Unfortunately, because of present COVID-19 restrictions, there will be no in-person attendance at these concerts.

Sharon Gowland
Worship in Coming Weeks

Sunday, February 7, 2021   – 10:30 a.m.  Rev. Harry Disher  
Sunday, February 14, 2021   – 10:30 a.m.  Rev. Rose Ann Vita
The ways you can join:
You can go to firstunitedchurch.ca 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 gregjcase@gmail.com.

This Sunday, February 7, we will celebrate The Sacrament of Communion in our online service of worship.  You will need to have your own supply of bread and juice or wine on hand at home so you can serve one another or yourself when we receive “the body and blood of Christ” to affirm and strengthen us a people of faith at First United, Waterloo.
 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

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.
Harry Disher
 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
Our Neighbours around First United
Last week you read about a generous neighbour offering hand knit hats and fabric 
masks to our Share the Warmth Little Library. You also saw our neighbours Tall Gnome  and Small gnome. (This week you can learn how to make your own gnome!)
Also this week meet another neighbour  on Regina St., The Button Factory. It's well worth checking out their link to art workshops and art and music therapy sessions for those 55+ by Zoom.
Matt kindly shared his plans so you could make your own gnome!
 Sneak Peek into next week's letter
       'Streaming Gear!!!  Really??!' 
        Many colours, much generosity, many warm hearts and bodies!
        Nominations open for Waterloo's 2021 Senior of the Year award

Together We Stand, but Apart