Hi, First friends! 
What is happening around our church right now? Check out the Friday letter and you'll have a better idea! Every week a bit more of the full story of ministry is uncovered! We are all part of God's work in our church, our community and our world.
Don't miss out!  This Sunday we are invited along with all the other congregations in WOW(Western ON Waterways) Region to be part of  a special "Celebration of Ministries Service".
We are extra fortunate because this service includes Kellie being ordained along with other ministers. Let's pray, listen and celebrate her past ministry with us and her new ministry in the wider United Church together online.  Important note- The service starts at 10am! https://youtu.be/_P2mzF8I6oc 
This week there is no video message from the Reference Team of the Renewal and Revitalization Group, but don't forget about our "Season of Prayer" that continues (Click here to get to the Renewal and Revitalization section). 
The Transition Team is pleased to announce our minister of Pastoral Care who will be with us for 10 hours a week, beginning immediately, until December 31, 2020. Bruce is well-known to many at First United.
Rose Ann Vita will be joining us on January 1, 2021 as our part-time Minister of Worship and Pastoral Care.
Transition Team - Shirley, Debora, Greg, Mary Joan, Cathie and Carol

The Reverend Doctor Bruce Sweet
I grew up on a farm in Essex County before we moved to Windsor where I attended both high school and the University of Windsor. I became a candidate for ministry with Lincoln Road United Church and then attended Emmanuel College in Toronto. I was ordained and was settled in Pense Saskatchewan. Following this I served as a chaplain in the Canadian Forces with postings at Petawawa, Bagotville Quebec, Gagetown New Brunswick, Kingston and at the Royal Military College. After the military I was the minister at Glenburnie United Church where I completed my Doctor of Ministry program.
I then accepted a call to Emmanuel United in Waterloo. I retired in 2017 and now work with West Montrose United Church as Pulpit Supply.
I am also a Forest Therapy Guide and spend quite a bit of time in nature. Too, I enjoy reading and I have written two children’s books.
My wife, Viki, and I often visit our son and two daughters and, of course, always look forward to being with our two grandchildren. 
I am now greatly welcoming my time with First United working together in pastoral care.
Property Update - Boiler

First United's boiler is the main heat source for the whole facility except for some small space heaters in the basement and office areas, so each year during the summer it is opened up and fully inspected and prepared for the following heating season. This year several significant problems were found that would cost up to $50,000 to possibly repair. Two of them involved patching and welding of the rear main boiler door flange and the combustion chamber Morrison tube. Neither repair can be guaranteed to last for any length of time. The property committee knew the boiler was getting to the end of its life but did not expect that to happen now. Even if repairs were effective it would still be a 55 year old boiler.
The most cost effective and efficient action is to remove and replace the current steam boiler with a similar capacity current version steam boiler. Our boiler service company had access to such a boiler and can perform the replacement along with abatement of some asbestos insulation in the boiler room and connect it to all our existing heating components (steam to air for the sanctuary and basement, steam to hot water for the chapel and Hilliard hall and steam for the administration areas upstairs, parlour, and Labyrinth/Sunday Café rooms. We have to move quickly to be ready for heating season in early November or we run the risk of significant damage from broken pipes and lost renters.
Jade Logic, the service company for our heating system did provide a separate quote for hot water boilers (two required for the size of our building) which are the most efficient and the type installed in most new construction, the cost would be $212,000 +HST but this option would not be compatible with the steam to air heat exchanger for the sanctuary nor provide steam for the administration or other areas requiring steam. Much more money and time would be required to convert the steam only areas to hot water. 
The church board approved going ahead with the proposal with a budget of ~$130,000 +HST (Quote still being finalized). Although this is a formidable amount, several members of the church board have agreed to provide short term loans that should be sufficient for any initial down payments required but the whole amount will still have to be raised at some point. The finance committee has been in the loop as have the trustees. We do not at this time have the particulars for payments from Jade Logic but expect to have that information next week (October 19-23). 
The property committee will get some additional quotes for due diligence but time is short to act. More information including financial will be shared as it becomes available
Rick Heemskerk. 


A Message from Your Safe Start Team
On the recommendation of the Safe Start Team, the Board confirmed continuation of only online worship  until at least November 8. This decision was based primarily on the rising COVID-19 infections and relative uncertainty of changing public health guidelines. The COVID-19 situation and public health guidelines will be reassessed at the November Board meeting.
While we are all anxious to get back to in person worship, we want to be safe and follow the guidelines set out by public health and those are still changing frequently. We can keep informed about the recommendations, but we are less sure of how all of you are feeling. We would really appreciate hearing from you as to how you are feeling personally. Do you think you are ready to come back? Are you planning to stay away from all public gatherings for a while longer? Please let us know through our email safestartfirst@gmail.com 
     Cathie Stewart Savage (Chair), Ken Arnett, Jay Brooker, Sheena Curwood,  Rev. Harry Disher, Joe Hipperson, Kathleen King Martin, John Lindsay, Ron Taylor.
Online Worship needs your support to continue
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 firstunitedchurch@rogers.com  indicating it is for the Online Ministry Fund.
Greg Case

Worship in Coming Weeks
Sunday, October 18 at 10:00 am - Special Service from our WOW(Western ON Waterways ) Region including 
                                      Rev, Kellie McComb's ordination
Here is the Link for Sunday's Service,  please note the Service will begin at 10:00 am.
Services information will be available on our website at www.firstunitedchurch.ca  when it is available.
Sunday, October 25 at 10:30 am - Zoom Worship led by Harry Disher and Betty Pries followed by Conversations that Matter.
Our worship service will be on Zoom (The link is here) 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”.
If you would be interested in leading a worship service or in participating in some way please let me know at gregjcase@gmail.com.
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 office@firstunitedchurch.ca.
Resiliency Challenge

Just a reminder that money provided to this challenge repays the loan for the mold abatement expenses of the fall of 2018.  This is our second year of loan repayments and we have done so well at covering these payments so our operating expenses are not impacted BUT we have slipped back in the past couple of months.  Our loan repayment is just over $898 a month.  As of the end of September funds received for this challenge were almost $800 under the payments made.  And now the October payment has been made so we need $1698.
If you can provide an additional contribution allocated for the Resiliency Challenge, thank you.  Please note on your envelope the amount for the Resiliency Challenge.
Joan Westcott

Drop By Food Drive October 31
When? - Saturday October 31 – 9am – 2pm
Where? - First's parking lot
What is happening?- Folks drop off non-perishable food
What is needed? - Volunteers to collect donations from cars
                          Contact Cathie Stewart Savage css. 2303@gmail.com or 519-589-2303
Outreach Committee

Check it out!  Waterloo Senior Services Dept. – Fall Zoom presentations on staying healthy and well through the pandemic.
Together We Stand, but Apart