November 13, 2020
 Hi, First Friends! 
As I write, I have the memory of our bell choir bringing light and joy to our church service last Sunday. The blue sky and warm sunshine of the past week are gifts to treasure. The happy buzz of school kids and their parents walking by are precious signs of life and community. Everyday blessings and small miracles from God!
The Board has decided that we will not return to in-person worship until at least January, at which time the Board will re-evaluate the situation. Our primary concern is for the health and safety of our congregation, including the most vulnerable. This was done because of increasing COVID-19 infections in the country, the province and especially our region.
All our ministries - pastoral care, worship, faith development, outreach, stewardship and fundraising are still happening. Even though COVID-19 means we have had to change the way that we have done many things in the past, we need to continue to re-imagine how we as a church community can adapt, grow and make other new things come to life.

UCW Meeting – An Invite to all Women from First
All women of First United are invited to attend a UCW Zoom meeting on Monday November 16 at 1:30.
Please contact Marg Colmer or Edith Coyle if you would like to join us. or 519-884-2525 or 519-744-9066.
Marg will send out the Zoom link.
We are looking forward to seeing you!  Come and be part of the community!
Thanks, Marg and Edith
Bidding at first
Thanks to all who have provided items or have indicated they will be providing items for our online auction.  Please have your items to the church or to Joan Westcott’s house by next Wednesday November 18.  More items are still needed.
Details about the next steps will be provided in next week’s Friday Letter.
Just a reminder: each item must be new and be valued at $10 or more. With your item please provide a description of the item and its market value along with the donor’s name.
Any questions please contact Joan Westcott at 519-883-0284 or
Joan Westcott
Online Worship needs your support to continue

Thank you to all those who have already given so generously.
So far your generosity has resulted in $3300, that along with the $4000 grant brings us closer to the $24,000 needed to complete this project.
Here's the background
Long Story Short:
The Church Board has asked that a system be purchased that can broadcast live (“stream”) from the Sanctuary (when we return to in person worship) but can also be used to record services as we are doing now.  A fund has now been set up and the initial goal, which is needed to purchase the required equipment, will be approximately $20,000.  
Slightly Longer Story:
Online Worship has become an important piece of our ministry over the past months. It is a way of connecting with those in our congregation, across the country and around the world.
Online worship has been kept afloat by Harold Arnett who has handled the technical aspects of preparing the online service (and has been able to borrow most of the equipment). Harold has done a commendable job but a reliance on borrowed equipment is not sustainable.
Our current equipment cannot adequately record a service at this point and we are not able to livestream from the Sanctuary.
The equipment (with taxes) is $24,000. We have received a $4,000 Seeds of Hope grant (thanks Joan Westcott!).
Many of you have indicated that you feel that this is an important piece of our ministry.
Please support it by sending a cheque into the church office or by e-transfer to  indicating it is for the Online Ministry Fund.
Greg Case 

Invitation to Conversation

November 11, 2020
Dear First United Church,
This coming Sunday we are gathering for worship – and for conversation following worship regarding your vision for First United. This feels like a big day because so much of what we have been thinking and talking about over these past months is coming together this Sunday! We look forward to hearing your voice and to thinking together about your dreams for First United and how you hear God calling First United today. We invite your dreaming, your listening, your praying and your imagining. What is one thing First United could add to its life now? What is one thing First United could let go of? What is one thing First United could add to its life down the road? What could First United do to deepen its relationship with God and one another?
Micah 6:8 “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” NRSV
We look forward to hearing your voice.
Betty Pries & Cayla Charles
Credence & Co.
Worship in Coming Weeks
Sunday, November 15 at 10:30 am – Zoom Worship led by Harry Disher and Betty Pries, Credence & Co. followed by Conversations that Matter

Sunday, November 22 at 10:30 am – Reign of Christ Sunday
The ways you can join:
You can go to 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
Conversations that Matter 
Sunday November 15:  Conversations That Matter Goes Virtual

Our worship service will be on Zoom (link below) and can also be found on the
church web page under events. Betty Pries will be preaching and we will stay
on the Zoom gathering after Church for "Conversations that Matter”.
Topic: First United Church Worship & Town Hall
Time: Nov 15, 2020 10:30 AM America/Toronto
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 969 7991 5015
Passcode: 859391
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Here's your chance to have some further input on important  ongoing
discussions about our future at First.

For Pastoral Care needs please call the church office (519-745-8487) or email at  For our Minister of Pastoral Care, Bruce Sweet call 519-579-8483 (home) or 519-580-3899 (cell) or email at
Plans for Caring Community
The Pastoral Care Committee is planning to offer Caring Community in 2 different ways, both in person and online. We are hoping the first gathering will be at the church, a group of ten in the chapel, following procedures required by our region to meet safely. We are also planning to arrange Caring Community by Zoom and will be in touch when we have a date. This group meets monthly for discussion and support.
Mary Joan Brooker
Stewardship/Finance Update
October numbers were very encouraging.  Our Local Givings were close to $8,000 more than September and close to $3,000 more than October 2019.  So thank you to all who caught up in their offerings, it's much appreciated. 
We also received the wage subsidy from the Federal Government for March and April totalling $20,285.  I have applied for August and September which we just qualify for, for almost $5,000, and I am hoping that we will receive it in November.  This brings our deficit down to a more manageable amount. 
We were also pleased to see that the Thank offering receipts were up to $1,065 so Thank you again!  Stay safe and Happy Fall!
Nancy Lennox
  October Year to Date
General Fund Local                   $20,305.40 $157,199.66
Wage Subsidy Grant 10%      4,224.62
Wage Subsidy Grant 75% 20285.23 20,285.23
Other Operations                           2,262.15 53,635.53
Mission & Outreach                       5,448.00 39,540.00
TOTAL INCOME                          48,664.13 274,885.04
TOTAL EXPENSES                     32,913.65 309,278.99
EXCESS INCOME\EXPENSES                   $15,750.48 ($34,393.95)
Capital Income                              3660 50,593.22
Capital Expenses                                82.83 54,562.07
CAPITAL EXCESS INC\EXP          $3,577.17 ($3,968.85)
To get your offering to the office you can use PAR, e transfer to, website donation 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.

Little Libraries
What?   - Urgent request for Books for Children and Youth
Where? - Little Libraries at First
Who?    - You or a friend or neighbour might donate books
When? - Any time starting Now!
How?   - A few books- put them right in Little Libraries- William St. entrance
             Lots of books- leave outside church office/ I could pick them up for you!
Who will be happy? - Our community 
Thanks for caring!  Lynne
A sneak peek into church news coming up in next week's Friday letter .....
Let's find out how our ministries are being re imagined and adapted for this time.

Together We Stand, but Apart