Some words from Harry ....
Sometime during the 1990s, our National Church Division of World Outreach prepared a two-year mission theme study package called “Mending the World”. It may have had a specific focus on Jewish-Christian relationships, but the vision and the task are broader than that; especially now over two decades later.
Many of us have been busy during these Covid-19 pandemic days, busy with projects and activities that weren’t part of our pre-pandemic patterns. Some have been attending to household repairs, renovations, and improvements. Some have been sewing again, masks in particular, or knitting, or quilting. Some have been tending, even expanding home gardens. Some have been giving more care and attention to family members or neighbours; or care-mongering for persons in needs. That’s the spirit: renewal, restoration, renovating, re-orienting.
Some of those activities already contribute to the vision of mending our fragmented, ailing, disjointed, ruptured world. That vision is increasingly becoming the order of the day as it becomes clearer and clearer that, if and when this pandemic lifts and life on our planet is far less endangered, we will not return to anything like our old normal.
Despite lingering fears, anxieties, uncertainties, we are in an opportune time to prepare for and ponder how we might contribute to the mending of our world. For people of faith, that’s always been on our mission and ministry agenda and activity lists.
American Bible scholar Walter Brueggemann drew our attention to it (and still does) as far back as 1976 when he wrote:
“The central vision of world history in the Bible is that all of creation is one, every creature
in community with every other, living in harmony and security toward the joy and well-being
of every other creature.” (Living Toward A Vision, United Church Press, Philadelphia, PA, p. 15)
We are all in this together, all as children of God’s global family, people of any faith and people of little or no faith at all. We are called, invited to mend the world, to care for, tend, and restore creation. The biblical Hebrew word for it is “shalom”. Let us be agents of shalom.
Worship in the Coming Weeks
September 20 – Harry Disher with Kathleen King Martin
September 27 - 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
For Pastoral Care needs please call the church office (519-745-8487) or email at office@firstunitedchurch.
Safe Start Team Update
This team met in-person (with masks and appropriate physical distancing) on September 14. The team's mandate is the safe return not only of in-person worship, but also for the various groups that utilize church space. A preliminary evaluation of the physical space requirements in the sanctuary has been undertaken, along with an assessment of additional sanitation stations and devices to conduct temperature checks. Discussion also focused on the flow of church traffic, including entering, seating and exiting the building.
A phased approach will be used to bring small groups (cohorts) back to church on a trial basis before proceeding with full in-person worship. It is felt that a "walk before running" approach is the most prudent and responsible in these circumstances.
The team recognizes that the current COVID-19 environment is presenting many challenges and a great deal of uncertainly for all of us. With God's blessing and your prayerful support, we look forward to the time when we will once again be back together.
The team's next meeting is September 29. Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact the office or any member of the team.
Cathie Stewart Savage (Chair), Ken Arnett, Jay Brooker, Sheena Curwood, Rev. Harry Disher, Joe Hipperson, Kathleen King Martin, John Lindsay, Ron Taylor.
Please wear an Orange Shirt Sunday September 27.
Orange Shirt Day (officially September 30) is a day when we honour the Indigenous children who were sent away to residential schools in Canada and learn more about the history of those schools.
The Story behind Orange Shirt Day from https://www.
"I went to the Mission for one year. I had just turned 6 years old.We never had much money and there was no welfare but somehow my granny managed to buy me a new outfit to go to Mission School in. I remember going to Robinson's store and picking out a shiny orange shirt. It had eyelets and lace. I felt so pretty in that shirt and excited to be going to school! Of course, when I got to the Mission, they stripped us and took away my clothes, including my orange shirt. I never saw it again, except on other kids. I didn't understand why they didn't give it back to me. It was mine! Since then the colour orange has always reminded me of that and how my feelings didn't matter, how no one cared and how I felt that I was worth nothing. I finally get it. That feeling of worthlessness and insignificance ingrained in me from my first day at the Mission affected the way I lived my life for many years...I want my orange shirt back!" - Phyllis Jack Webstad, Dog Creek BC)
The United Church of Canada is asking congregations to wear orange on Sunday September 27 and take pictures to share, showing our support for residential school survivors.
Please put on an orange shirt/clothing. Take a picture and email it to me at email@example.com. I'll create a collage of the pictures and send it to the Reconciliation and Indigenous Justice Animator for the United Church of Canada. We'll also share the collage at our next church service.
Cathie Stewart Savage- Outreach Committee
Again, we thank you for keeping up your commitment over the summer. Compared to other years we are able to say that it is level with what we normally see. What has made the difference this year and has increased the deficit more than was budgeted, is no fundraising and limited rentals. This has made at least a $10,000 to $15,000 difference to our bottom line and also has started to put us behind in the Resiliency Fund. If you find that you have some extra income because you have not been able to eat out or enjoy socializing with your friends or enjoy those extra shopping sprees this summer, that you would be willing to share with us, we would very much appreciate it. Here’s hoping the Fall and a new ministry experience will start bringing us back to a more positive place.
Keep well and safe!
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.