November 6, 2020

Dear Friends at First,
This week has hit hard with many fears, doubts, questions and a few rays of sunshine. I have found over the past weeks that being part of our Praying with Scripture group has brought forth lots of concerns and wonderings too. However there is a big difference between these things rumbling around in my own head and heart and being able to share with an individual or the group. 
Two quotes from the Sufi poet, Rumi come to mind -
               "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing
                             there is a field.
                                         I will meet you there. "
                   "If the house of the world is dark,
                            love will find a way to create windows."
Congregational Meeting November 4
Forty-seven persons attended the First United Congregational Meeting held through Zoom on Wednesday, November 4.  The purpose of the meeting was to hear details about the need to replace the church boiler and get approval for sourcing the funding required.

Property Chair Rick Heemskerk informed the meeting that the usual summer service of the boiler discovered a crack in the boiler and a leak into the combustion chamber itself. In considering the options of repairing or replacing, the Church Board has decided to replace the 55-year-old boiler.  Jade Logic, the company that does ongoing work on the boiler has been selected to remove the boiler and install the replacement.  The first of three stages has already started.  The first phase will take about two weeks at a cost of $15,000.  The second phase costing $50,000 will start in about 5-7 weeks when the equipment arrives. The final payment of up to $80,000, will be paid when the project is complete, probably in the new year.  During this project there should be heat in the church so long as the boiler does not break down, except for the week or two when the old boiler is being removed and the new one installed.

After a presentation by Finance Chair Nancy Lennox on sourcing the funds, the meeting unanimously approved requesting the Trustees to release up to $150,000 from the Millennium Fund.  It is understood that this is not a good time to liquidate financial assets so the Trustees will move forward to provide the funds when feasible.  To cover project expenses until the Millennium Funds are available, some members of the congregation have  offered to provide short term no-interest loans to a total of $70,000 to be repaid when the money is available from the Millennium Fund.
Joan Westcott
Many thanks to everyone who shared their gifts of food and time to make First's Food Drive By a success! We appreciate our volunteers - Matthew, Bruce, John, Peggy and Kathleen, especially on a cold, windy day.
Thanks to all who took time to drop off donations for the Food Bank. Every item makes a positive difference to people dealing with food insecurity.
Thanks to our Outreach committee for organizing this project!
Cathie Stewart Savage
Online Auction - What will you bring?

Christmas shopping won’t be the same this year as we each try to avoid going where there might be too many people and we won’t be able to keep our distance.  So starting at the end of November you will have the opportunity to bid on items on First’s online auction, maybe get some of your Christmas gifts there.   It will run similar to a silent auction: you put in your bid, someone outbids you so you go online and put in a higher bid.

We need your help.  The choices of items available will be greatest if each of us provides at least one item for the auction.  The item must be new and be valued at more than ten dollars.  Items will be accepted starting now until November 18.   About three days before the sale you will receive an email with the link to the auction site so you can preview the items and prepare for bidding to open. 

What will you bring in for the auction?  It can be a gift donated by a business.  Or it can be one you are donating.  Think outside the box – the unusual items draw the bids.  Gift cards are also an option.  Or the item can be one your created – a craft, baking, preserve or service.  I recall the wide range of items in the last silent auction that First United held.  So I know we will have a wonderful range of items.

Deadline for bringing in your first item is November 18.  With the item please include a paper that lists
  1. The title of the item
  2. A description of the item
  3. The market value of the item
  4. The donor
  5. Your name if you are not the donor.
You can drop your item at the church office or at my home or I will pick it up from you.  519-883-0284

If you choose to drop the item at the church, remember that the church door is locked and Sheena is only in the office Monday to Thursday 9-4.  When you buzz to have Sheena open the door for you instead of you having to sign in and go through the church Sheena has suggested you can leave your item on the bench and she will put it away for me.  Please put your item in a closed bag with the label ‘auction’ on it.
Or you can drop the item on my front porch.

Let’s see how we can make up for all of the fundraisers that we have had to cancel this year! 

Joan Westcott
The Safe Start Team is fully prepared for the return to in-person worship once the Board sets a date to return. The Board will provide an update following its November 10th meeting.
If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, please let us know through our E-mail Thanks to those who have already provided their thoughts and valuable feedback.
Cathie Stewart Savage (Chair), Ken Arnett, Jay Brooker, Sheena Curwood, Rev. Harry Disher, Joe Hipperson, Kathleen King Martin, John Lindsay, Ron Taylor.

Invitation to Dream, Listen, Pray & Imagine

November 8, 2020

Dear First United Church,

As the world around us continues to wrestle with anxiety related to the pandemic, to political upheaval and to social change more generally, it seems more important than ever to be in prayer and discernment for our world and our role within it. How is God calling First United today? How is God calling First United collectively? How is God calling each person individually? These are the central questions you are invited to hold in prayer.

Because these questions are big, it can be easier to break them down into smaller questions: 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?

As you dream, listen, pray and imagine, think big & small, blue-sky & concretely, in-the-box & out-of-the-box. Talk with one another. Pray for one minute, two minutes or 20 minutes per day regarding these questions. Listen. Dream. Imagine.
Psalm 130:5-6 “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word, I hope; my soul waits for the Lord; more than those who watch for morning, more than those who watch for morning.” NRSV
Betty Pries, Credence & Co.

Worship in Coming Weeks
Sunday, November 8 at 10:30 am – Remembrance Sunday
Sunday, November 15 at 10:30 am – Betty Pries, Credence & Co. followed by Conversations that Matter (Zoom information to follow)
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
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
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
Stewardship/Finance Update
  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.
UCW Meeting
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.
We are looking forward to seeing you!
Thanks, Marg and Edith
Our Daily Bread
Our Daily Bread Devotional is a daily routine for Christians.  If you are interested in receiving a current copy, please contact the office at 519-745-8487 Ext 201 or by email    I have copies of Sept-Nov 2020 and Dec to Feb 2020-21(small print) and Oct-Dec 2020 (large print).
Together We Stand, but Apart