March 12, 2021

Hi, First Friends!
When First United became an Affirming Congregation, I began proudly wearing my rainbow lanyard with my nametag attached to it. Well, needless to say, I haven't needed it lately.  When I took my nametag off so I could use my lanyard to help brighten the PIE pictures I took for this letter, I thought nothing of it. When I looked for it this morning to put it back together, Lynne was missing. Through my head and soul ran thoughts and questions:
Am I connected to being part of an Affirming Congregation?           
How would anyone know? How do I "wear my heart on my sleeve"? 
How are we holding ourselves to being Public, Intentional and Explicit?



Important Information
Registering for vaccine – Over 80 and Other Priority Groups
To sign up, click on the link below.

Safe Start Team

Remember to turn your clock forward an hour before you go to bed Saturday night!

10:30 am sharp- Church Service- livestreaming to, Facebook, YouTube
It will then be available in all three locations to watch at another time.
Let's get together after church this week on Zoom! Come and celebrate National Affirming/PIE Day!
This 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). Many thanks to Muriel for hosting us!
Join Zoom meeting
Celebrate National Affirming/PIE Day with us this Sunday, March 14th
Why PIE? PIE = Public. Intentional. Explicit. Those are the standards we hold ourselves and our welcome to when we seek to live into being Affirming, Welcoming, or Inclusive people and communities.
On March 14, 2021 in our (online) Coffee Time let's eat PIE (or cake or cookies or biscuits or pizza (!)) together!
Wear your most fabulous colours and let's celebrate PIE day at First United.
For more information about PIE Day and Affirming United please check out
Ready for another pick-up dinner?
Mark your calendar for Saturday April 3!
Your e-mail invitation was sent on Wednesday March 10 with all the details about our Ham and Scalloped Potato dinner with Peach Melba Trifle for dessert!  YUM YUM!
Angus and his staff at DeliWorks Restaurant are working their magic for us once again.
Lynda (519-885-4534) and Muriel (519-746-2566) are ready to receive your orders NOW.
Please share the invitation details with your family, neighbours and friends as you have in the past to help make this fundraiser for First United another sold out event!
A question to ponder: Might you like to volunteer to help assemble the dinners at the restaurant on April 3 or to help with delivering some of the meals?  Call Muriel for details.
Wednesday, March 17 at 7 PM Lenten Series on Finding Hope at the End of the RainbowClick Here
Hopeful Words About Death: I found these words from Richard Rohr so comforting. My hope is that you may find them comforting too. Click Here
Birthdays: If you haven't sent me your March birthday yet, please do!
The Rev. Rose Ann Vita ( or 647 763 0101)


We give thanks for Rick Heemskerk who has been Chair from this past September to February, guiding us through many discussions, decisions and meetings. Cathie Stewart-Savage has become our third acting Chair of the Board and has generously offered to serve for six months. Many thanks in advance, Cathie!
Looking ahead to the possibility of at some point moving from Red into Orange COVID-19 zone – The Board decided to not open the church at this time; that we reconsider this decision monthly.  The Board also decided that they would allow the use of the church for Noon Hour Concerts that follow the guidelines as set out by the Health Departments and follow the First United Church COVID-19 Safety Plan (Current Draft).
The Board also named improving communication and exploring what it would mean to create Brave Space as areas worthy of continuing discussion and implementation.

Conversations That Matter
A big thank-you to everyone who participated in the Conversations That Matter session after worship last Sunday. Summaries from the break-out room scribes are being compiled into a list of small group ideas and possibilities. For those unavailable to participate, your comments are still most welcome! Please send an E-Mail to Rev. Harry by March 19.

The Small Group Animators (Harry Disher, John Lindsay, Joan Westcott)

Noon Hour Concerts at First - Live streamed from 12:00 – 1:00
As expected, this past Tuesday’s concert was outstanding…complete with hints of spring and summer. Both Stephanie Mara and Peter Shackleton were most appreciative of the opportunity to perform in our beautiful sanctuary. Special thanks to Luisa d’Amato for featuring our Concert Series in the Record on Friday March 5th, also available online.

Click on this link to the updated NHC event on the church website. Here you will find all the information needed to connect with the concert.

Here's the Schedule:
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)
Cheers! Sharon Gowland

For additional FREE concerts, visit:
First United Book Club
The next Book Club meeting is March 27 at 9:00 a.m. the book selection is The Nightingale—by Kristen Hannah 
With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of World War II and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France—a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women.
Gordon Wray

Worship in Coming Weeks
10:30 a.m. Sunday March 14 - Rev. Harry Disher
                                             Celebrating National Affirming/ PIE Day
10:30 a.m. Sunday March 21- Rev. Harry Disher

Past Worship Services
For those individuals that may have missed worship services in previous weeks or want to replay a particular service, the 2021 videos are posted here

If you would be interested in leading a worship service or in participating in some way please let me know at

Pastoral Care
For Pastoral Care needs please email the church (  For our Minister of Pastoral Care call Rose Ann Vita 647-763-0101 (cell) or (email).
In mid-January there was an exercise during worship in which participants created a profile of First Untied Church as if our church was a person. Our Transition Team has created a composite version using input from six profiles. To view the composite version click this link to it on our Church website
  February   Year to Date
General Fund Local                    $12,394.38   $24,837.38
Wage Subsidy Grant      2,087.47       3,060.36
Other Operations                                7,361.25     17,586.92
Mission & Outreach                  2,909.00      6,063.00
TOTAL INCOME                           $24,752.10   $51,547.66
TOTAL EXPENSES                      $34,287.46   $66,754.97
EXCESS INCOME\EXPENSES                   ($9,535.36)  ($15,207.31)
Capital Income                               $45,560.84  $102,346.68
Capital Expenses                                 $56,286.49  $106,931.07
CAPITAL EXCESS INC\EXP          ($10,725.65)    ($4,584.39)
Westminster United's (Waterloo) Online Silent Auction is up and running until 12 noon Sunday, March 14! To check out items, click on Pick your favourites and bid!
Together We Stand, but Apart