September 11, 2020
Some words from Harry ….
Well, here I am becoming oriented, getting slowly immersed in ministry among you at First United. I am thankful for the gracious welcome and co-operation from staff and key lay leaders and others that I have already experienced and thankful for the spacious office I get to spend time in, and dream in, and welcome others in so we can share in conversation and planning and envisioning. There’s lots to keep me busy, but also the realization that nothing needs to be rushed, we can all move and work at a slower, less stressful pace and perhaps be more at ease and hopefully, just as effective.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that our worries and anxieties during the continuation of this Covid-19 pandemic have gone away. In truth, if we take notice of rising numbers of cases in Europe again, little sign of backing down in the United States, and fluctuations in Canada, there is still good reason to be careful, cautious, and concerned. Add in the uncertainty of how our back-to-school experience will actually play out, and we can probably find a wide degree of consensus that anxiety among us and across our country in general has not subsided by any great degree of late.
From a faith perspective, the objective in view is to not allow anxiety to become all-consuming. Indeed, we have it from the very lips of Jesus that we aim more towards a non-anxious manner of living and being. Check out Matthew 6:25-34 for instance. I shared this reading with our Church Board on Tuesday night and offered a short reflection on “Easier Said Than Done”. And then … I continued with these words of prayer that I am at ease sharing with all of you. They are words of reassurance for myself as well.
“When we have our down days during this Covid-19 pandemic, feeling fearful again, feeling alone, help us, O God, to stay calm and lean on you.
When we fuss and fret over small stuff that bugs us like getting used to a new computer with programs that behave differently than those we’ve been used to, or still finding ourselves held up in traffic or slowed down by road construction; or the itch and weirdness of having to wear a mask in every public place we visit, help us, O God, to stay calm and find our way to peace within with you.
When we find ourselves anxious about our church: the cost of upgrades, the diminishing membership, the risk and concerns of re-opening, the newness of a time of intentional interim ministry, our worries about the church’s future in general, help us, O God, to stay calm, and remember the lilies. As you look after their needs and welfare, so you will continue to care for and nurture and guide your church.
When we feel worries rumbling within us about the current state of our world, pockets of civil unrest, rekindled fires of social injustice and racial tensions, a health pandemic still on the loose and an endangered environment still crying for restoration and healing, help us, O God, to stay calm, noticing the birds of the air, realizing that you are still hovering over creation and present and active within it, busy making life whole again, busy making all things new.” Amen
P.S. If you need to contact me it’s best to call my cell phone number: 519-860-9198.
If it isn’t particularly urgent, you can leave a message on my office phone by calling the church phone number: 519-745-8487 ext. 208.
Secondly, everyone is invited to a “Meet and Greet” our new Intentional Interim Minister from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on the back lawn leading from the parking lot towards the sanctuary on Wednesday, September 16. (Or Thursday the 17th if there’s rain on Wednesday). Bring your own chair, masks are optional. Iced tea will be available.
Little Pantries revert to Little Libraries
From May until September, our Little Libraries outside the Hilliard Hall entrance on William Street, did a creative pivot. In the wink of an eye, they happily became Little Pantries of canned food! We greatly appreciated canned donations and were able to make a difference during hard times. On Tuesday, September 8 (the same day as Waterloo Public Library) we are excited to return to our Little Libraries again!
Worship in the Coming Weeks
September 13 - Harry Disher with Kathleen King Martin
September 20 - Harry Disher with Kathleen King Martin
The ways you can join:
You can go to firstunitedchurch.ca 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 email@example.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
Meeting ID: 894 2610 0259
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Meeting ID: 894 2610 0259
Return to In Person Worship
The board has decided not to resume in person worship any earlier than October 18. We will communicate further plans after the board meeting in October. Thanks to everyone for filling out the survey.
The Safe Start Team is beginning preparations to make sure that when we are ready to return to worship we can do so safely: Cathie Savage, Jay Brooker, Sheena Curwood, Kathleen King Martin, Ron Taylor, Joe Hipperson, John Lindsay.
For Pastoral Care needs please call the church office (519-745-8487) or email at office@firstunitedchurch.
There are concerns about our financial situation with all the upheaval that we have been going through and we are here to let you know that we are where we normally are at this time of the year. Summer is never a good place for us financially and this year is no exception. However, we were expecting us to be in a lot bigger hole than we are and compared to last year at this time there is only a $3000 difference (both revenue and expenses decreased over $30,000 from last year). We are proud to say we have managed to keep all our staff working (with help from the Government’s wage subsidy plan), are up-to-date on our assessment payments to the United Church of Canada as well as our Mission & Service payments and our loan payments to the Extension Council re our mold abatement problem (Resiliency Fund). Our total income in August is actually $1500 higher than it was July, 2019. Due to grants we applied for and received we were able to get approximately $25,000 of repair work done on the boiler system which we really needed to complete. There is no question that we will have some challenges ahead, as a change in ministry always signals, but with your continued support and concern I feel God’s call is with us and will see us through.
Nancy Lennox & Andy Yuan
|Aug||Year to Date|
|General Fund Local||$13,690.00||$124,576.26|
|Wage Subsidy Grant||773.54||4,224.62|
|Mission & Outreach||3,082.00||30,703.00|
|CAPITAL EXCESS INC\EXP||$108.13||($7,966.17)|
Thanks everyone for your continued support.
To get your offering to the office you can use PAR, e transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org, website donation www.firstunitedchurch.ca 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
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.
Church Photo Directory
If you participated in the Photo Directory and have not yet got your copy, please contact the office at 519-745-8487 Ext 201 or email@example.com to arrange a time to pick up your copy. Thank you, Sheena
Church Office Hours
The Church Office will now be open Monday to Thursday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm; however, the door will remain locked, and you will need to press the buzzer to have the door unlocked.
Nutrition for Learning desperately needs VOLUNTEERS!!
WHY? - packing nutrition lunch bags for school deliveries
WHERE? - Schwaben Club, 1668 King St. E., Kitchener
WHEN? - Mon.- Fri. (8-12) or (1-4) - minimum 1hr., hopefully whole shift
Protocol - Check in with COVID screening and temp. check, mask required
For an application form, click on this link.
Then fill out and send by email to firstname.lastname@example.org