Friday May 21, 2021

Happy Long Weekend!

This week I have found myself silently repeating the first line of a prayer from our church service last Sunday. "We will listen more than we will speak." Listening to - others' viewpoints, words of caring, birds' songs, messages of support, emotions behind the words, babbling water, crying, noisy cars, messages of hope and change, God. What are you listening to?





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.

To join the service “Live” stream please click here.

Please join us for coffee and conversation after the service – click here.




Tuesday, May 25 at 7 PM ~ May Birthday Celebration: (CLICK HERE) Join a ZOOM gathering and share a story about a birthday. Celebrating a May Birthday: Gloria Bishop (2), Vicky Pollack (2), Jana Heemskerk (11), Sharon Gowland (15), Ruth Ann Rae (16), Carol Rhodenizer (17), Pam Stuart (17), Freda Dunn (19), Lorraine Armstrong (25). If you haven't shared your May birthday with me, please do! (

Send a Letter to Ask the Canadian Government to Intervene in Palestine. As mentioned during last Sunday's worship service, a motion was passed at our regional meeting asking that we write to the Hon. Marc Garneau about the unlawful evictions of Palestinians in East Jerusalem. CLICK HERE and HERE for more information.

Trauma and Healing: During last Sunday's Coffee Time, I mentioned that the vibrations of a cat's purr is healing and encourages physical mending. Likewise, humming has the same healing properties for us humans. Fr. Richard Rohr covered the benefits of humming which can be found at the bottom of his post (CLICK HERE). You may also want to click on the other topics that are listed there.

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.

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 27, and June 3 and 10, OR Monday evenings from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. May 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

Next session is Wednesday, June16 at 10 am on Zoom. We'll be talking about articles in the June issue.

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




Broadview Magazine (previously the Observer): It’s time to renew or start your subscription. Get 11 issues of the award winning United Church Broadview for just $25. Please contact the office by phone or email if you would like to subscribe. Cheques should be made payable to First United Church, with “Broadview” on the memo line. Deadline is May 31st .





With warmer weather come new needs! 

At the suggestion of a thoughtful church member of ours and a reminder from a thankful recipient of winter weight socks, I've decided to begin collecting socks, ball caps and sun hats for all ages. They can be new or gently used and washed.

We'll have a rubbermaid container on our front porch (210 Stanley Dr., Waterloo) for donations. 

They will be packaged and hung on the church fences.

Everyone deserves to have some protection from the sun and socks to wear!

Thanks for your generosity in advance!





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.

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

Sunday June 6, 2021 - United Church Anniversary Service – all four United Churches in Waterloo – hosted by First United. 

Guest Speak: Adele Halliday, National Staff for Anti-Racism and Equity

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

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


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



May 13, 2021

Dear Friends and KWOG Members,

Time and Tides keep rolling past as our sponsorship families continue to wait in precarious circumstances for resettlement to Canada. Their families here feel desperate for reunion with them as months and years of separation play havoc with the mental health of all. The Covid shut down of the refugee process here in Canada has only added to the long wait and the list of fears that plague our sponsorship families, including the growing racism against Syrians in the Middle Eastern countries to which they have escaped, the revoking of their work permits and the rights to education for their children, and the growing threat of their deportation by these governments back to Syria. We all know there are no longer homes for them in Syria and that as Sunni people, they would be subjected to the Shia rejime in Syria that considers them to be deserters. Imprisonment, torture, and/or death are the realities that would await them back in Syria. In many cases where refugees return, they simply disappear, leaving their extended families with nothing but the probablity of their deaths. We can all be thankful that our donors are currently providing a monthly allowance for each of our families that at least is helping them to maintain themselves as they wait.

As the lifting of Covid restrictions draws nearer, the Canadian Council of Refugees has launched a campaign of letter writing to our government to encourage the reopening of the resettlemen process. By attachment is the letter we are sending in this regard to our three Kitchener and Waterloo MP 's, as well as to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. If you feel moved to send a letter of your own, here is the link with the information that will help you:

In the meantime your care and support is highly appreciated. Here's hoping you have all managed and kept healthy through the strange times that characterize this past year. As the arrivals of our sponsorship families draw closer, we can begin to prepare ourselves for welcoming and helping these families to find new life as Canadians.


James W. Welch

Elizabeth Eberhart-Moffat




Outdoor Day Camp in Waterloo Region

Silver Lake Mennonite Camp ( Are you looking for an outdoor day camp in Waterloo Region? Silver Lake Mennonite Camp, a summer camp with 60 years of experience in camp, is running outdoor day camps in Kitchener and Waterloo this summer! Campers can sign up for a week of camp filled with nature exploration, fun crafts and games, spiritual discovery, and opportunities to connect with each other. Qualified Silver Lake staff will lead activities, ensuring that your campers stay safe and have a blast this summer! Payment will only be taken once it’s likely camps can run, so you can sign up without penalty if COVID-19 prevents operation. Camps will follow all COVID-19 guidelines.

Ages 5-15. $235+tax. Visit our website for more information and to register. Locations: First Mennonite Church, First Hmong Mennonite Church, Waterloo North Mennonite Church. 


Affordable Housing Challenge

Join Non-profit Menno Homes, the charity Parents for Community Living and St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church for final fundraising push for a 48-unit affordable housing project!

Tenants will begin moving into their new homes in the building at Bridgeport Rd. E. and Lancaster late June. The building will include 40 one bedroom and 8 two-bedroom units, a community hub, and community kitchen and worship space for the St. Paul's congregation (on whose property the housing is built).

June 12 – Menno Homes Out-Spok’n XI for Affordable Housing bike-a-thon.

A virtual event to raise funds for a very real need. Hikers, recreational bikers, and avid cyclists will be choosing their own routes this year. Construction is nearing completion at 544 Bridgeport Rd. Kitchener and your support is making it possible. Contact Dan Driedger at 226-476-2535 or for more details, or visit




Together We Stand, but Apart

"Jack in the Pulpit"