Friday May 14, 2021

Hi First Friends!

"In the bulb there is a flower..."



Sunday, May 16 at 10:30 AM Worship: This week we are reflecting on the Ascension, as recorded in Acts 1: "Having said this, Jesus was lifted up in a cloud before their eyes and taken from their sight. They were still gazing up into the heavens when two messengers dressed in white stood beside them. 'Why are you standing here looking up at the skies?'" This is one way for us to prepare for Pentecost Sunday (May 23).

Register for Worship and Coffee Time on ZOOM by CLICKING HERE.

Attend Worship through LIVE STREAM at 10:30 AM or a recorded version anytime by GOING TO OUR WEB PAGE.

Come to COFFEE TIME by clicking the Zoom link (above) after Sunday's service (approximately 11:30 AM).


Recognizing that Food is Sacred: The United Church celebrates Rural Life Sunday on the third Sunday in May, affirming the dignity of the people and communities who work with and on the land by raising food and fiber. It is a time for us to recognize the ongoing crisis occurring in rural areas of the nation and the world today.

Note this passage written by Alison Luterman in After the Ecstasy the Laundry by Jack Kornfield:

Strawberries are too delicate to be picked by machine. . . . Every strawberry you have ever eaten — every piece of fruit — has been picked by callused human hands. Every piece of toast with jelly represents someone's knees, someone's aching back and hips, someone with a bandana on her wrist to wipe away the sweat.

Today might be a good day for us to say grace and give thanks to God for the food we will eat and express our gratitude to the farm hands before we enjoy our meals.

Interested in Membership? Or knowing more about the United Church? Just contact Rev. Harry Disher ( or me and we will find time to have a conversation together.

Have a Birthday in May? Please let me know. (

Blessings, the Rev. Rose Ann Vita 

(647-763-0101 &

First United Board Update

The board had a good meeting on May 11. We covered a lot of items and passed the following motion:

that First United Church restart in-person Worship on September 12, 2021. This would be contingent on public health advice as we approach that date. 

This is very exciting for us, and, though it is contingent on the state of COVID through the summer and into the early fall, it does give us a targeted date and time to think about how we will worship together when we cannot be singing responding verbally or greeting each other up close.

The Transition Team reported that there has been a timeline set for the work that we all will need to do to prepare for our future. It is as follows:


June 2021   - start Board Revitalization initiatives

Jan. 2022    - explore and name First United's Core Values. What is God calling us to do?

                  - discern some areas of focus for mission & set priorities for outreach 

June 2022   - initiate the process of re-writing our Living Faith Story

                  - create a job description for new ministry staff & start search process 

Sept. 2022  - Search team starts.

July 2023    - New minister(s) start

We invite you to think about your dreams and hopes for a post-pandemic First United ministry and share them with us.

Cathie Stewart Savage, Acting Board Chair


Marillac Place provides expectant and new mothers with shelter and the material and emotional support they require for their own and their babies' health. Moms are encouraged to continue their education and are taught the life skills they need to raise their children.

Please give to Marillac Place so that Moms and their babies have a better chance of a rich and stable life. You can click the link to arrange a single or monthly payment. Or mail a cheque directly to Marillac House.

Marillac Place, 109 Young St. Kitchener Ontario, N2H 4Z2

For more information, please see the Poster -

Marilyn Gerriets on behalf of the Outreach Committee


Book Study

One of our “Conversations That Matter” offerings this spring will be a book study led by Rev. Disher on Brian McLaren’s “Faith After Doubt”. We will read and reflect on one chapter or so at a time for five weeks. Zoom discussion and sharing sessions will take place on Thursday afternoons from 1:30 – 3:00 P.M. May 13, 20, 27, and June 3 and 10, OR Monday evenings from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. May 17, 24, 31 and June 7, and 14.

Please pre-register with Rev. Disher via email: or by phone: (519)-860-9198. If you do not already have the book, Wordsworth Books on King St. in Waterloo has ordered some copies.


Let’s Talk About It - Broadview Magazine Discussion Group

Starting again Wednesday, May 19 at 10:00am on Zoom. We'll be talking about articles in the March and April/May issues.

Please join us. Further information is available here on the church website or by contacting Walt at



The Book Club will be meeting again on Saturday, June 26 at 9:00 am. The next book selection is Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore.

We know all about Christ's birth, and even more about Christ's death, but what do we really know about Jesus' formative years? 

Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal is resurrected in the 20th Century, by the angel Raziel and held captive in a New York City hotel room until he records a new gospel.

Wordsworth has received the books and they are kept with a First United Church label. Please call the store to pay for a copy (with 20% off) before you pick it up at their back door in the laneway.

Greg Case


Sunday May 23, 2021 – Rev. Harry Disher – “Taking on the World”

May 23 is PENTECOST SUNDAY we will be celebrating the Sacrament of Communion online. You will need to have bread (or gluten-free alternative) and grape juice or wine handy for yourself and others who may be sharing in worship with you at home that day.

Sunday May 30, 2021 – Rev. Harry Disher – “Papa Mia”

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

For Pastoral Careneeds please email the church ( For our Minister of Pastoral Care call Rose Ann Vita 647-763-0101 (cell) or (email).


Financial Bulletin

We have added a column to our Financial bulletin so you have information that you can compare this year’s numbers with and give you a better picture as to where we stand.

The Summer Blooms project, which was designed to raise $10,000 using different amounts for each envelope, has reached $2,010. We are trying to reach this goal again because this summer is going to be a challenge for us, especially in these trying times. We’ve got a really good start on that! Thank you and keep up the good work!

Thank you also for your generous support of our Easter Campaign. We have raised $2,248.78 to be divided between our three projects, Supportive Housing, Rainbow Camp and Skylight Festival. Well Done!! Thanks again!!

Nancy Lennox



Month of April

April YTD

YTD Prior Year

General Fund Local




Wage Subsidy Grants




Other Operations




Mission & Outreach




Total Income




Salaries & Benefits




Other Expenses




Mission & Outreach




Total Expenses




Excess Income/Expenses




Capital Income




Capital Expenses




Capital Excess Income/Expenses





Resiliency Fund

What is resiliency?

Just ask anyone here at First about the repayment of our mold rebatement loan and you will learn how resilient we are. In late 2018 we were faced with the immediate need to get rid of the mold in our building’s second floor office area. Fortunately for us, the presentation Nancy Lennox made to the Waterloo Presbytery Extension Council resulted in a $50,000 loan to be repaid over five years. Then the Stewardship and Finance Committee put out a challenge to the congregation: The Resiliency Challenge. Help us pay back the loan - $898.02 a month for five years.

How have we done? We are meeting that challenge very successfully!!

2021 Statistics: In the first four months this year we have paid back $3,592.08 and members of the congregation have contributed $4008.36 helping us to keep ahead of the payments so our operating funds are not redirected for these payments.

Can we count on your continued support for the remaining months? As of the end of June we are halfway there!

Joan Westcott for the Stewardship and Finance Committee

Together We Stand, but Apart


" ...there's a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me..."

words and music written by Natalie Sleeth