Latest News

Sparkle Tour

“It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas”. One of the things that gets me in the Christmas spirit is to drive around and look at the wonderful Christmas light displays.

The Pastoral Care Core Ministry is pleased to once again organize the “Sparkle Tour”. People are picked up between 4:30 and 5pm, driven around the city for about an hour and then taken back to the church for hot spiced apple juice and shortbread cookies. Thank you to the congregants that have volunteered to be the “Drivers”.

Now we need to identify the “Riders”. If you would like a go for a drive at night and see the lights, whether you have mobility issues or you just don’t drive at night anymore, please sign up at the Welcome Table after church or call the church office during business hours at 250-762-3311.

~ Pat Totton

Profile: Laura Alvarado

Detention at the U.S. border touches our sister community, El Triunfo

Over 166,000 Salvadorans are in the U.S. awaiting deportation hearings. One of them is Laura Alvarado, a young woman from a tiny rural community in El Salvador. Laura graduated from university with support from a sister community in Italy and for the past two years, she accompanied our delegations as part of her work with FUNDAHMER, the organization that facilitates First United’s sister community relationship with El Triunfo.

In early June, Laura journeyed to the U.S. seeking asylum on the grounds of ‘credible fear’ for her safety. For several weeks there was no news of her whereabouts. We have now learned that Laura was first apprehended crossing the border into the U.S. and was held for 18 days in detention in McAllen, Texas. The facility was called the ‘heilera’ (ice-box) and they had no showers, no change of clothing and insufficient food and water. One hundred people were being held in a small enclosure, having to take turns sleeping on the floor; the guards would line them up and count them 6-10 times each day.

Laura is now in a facility in Taylor, Texas. Fortunately, an immigration lawyer in Boston has taken her case and is working on getting her released on bail. Laura has asked that we keep her companions who are in detention in our prayers and continue to be informed about the staggering numbers of Mexican and Central American migrants who are caught up in the asylum crisis at the U.S. border.

Thank you for your support and ongoing prayers.

~Pat & Greig McPhee

Film Screening: The Doctrine of Discovery

The Doctrine of Discovery: Stolen lands, Strong Hearts is a film about a devastating decision, made over 500 years ago, which continues to profoundly impact Indigenous and Settler people worldwide. Pope Alexander VI ruled that the lands being discovered by European explorers at the time were “empty” land and its millions of Indigenous inhabitants were “non-human”.

Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission released 94 Calls to Action in 2015, with many of them referring to the Doctrine of Discovery and calling for its repudiation. This film will be very informative for anyone wanting to move on the 94 Calls to Action.

Thursday, December 12, 2019
6:30pm to 8:30pm
First Mennonite Church, 1305 Gordon Drive, Kelowna

Admission is free but donations will be accepted at the door. Registration is not mandatory but to help us plan for seating and refreshments it would help if you could register on Eventbrite: https://doctrineofdiscovery-stolenlands-stronghearts.eventbrite.ca

You “Can” and We Did!

Thank you to your generous response to the food shelf campaign in October! We asked the congregation: “Can you help us fill this cart?” and you did! Each week the cart was in the Hall for people to drop off canned and non-perishable goods. In all we collected 34 cans of vegetables/fruit and beans, pasta, toilet paper, boxed macaroni and cheese, 20 cans of ravioli/chilli, peanut butter, tea, 20 cans of tuna, granola bars, rice, oatmeal and more!

In October Kelowna was ranked the 17th most expensive city to rent an apartment in Canada according to a national rental report. Kelowna was one of five BC cities, ranked only behind Vancouver, Burnaby, Westminster and Victoria. For many on meagre incomes or assistance this means 80% or more is spent on housing. Our Food Shelf helps those who can not afford groceries.

Handbell Boot Camp

Are you interested in trying out handbells? Have you rung in the past, are interested in joining the Alleluia Ringers or the Grace Notes, but it’s been a while and you need a refresher?

?Handbell Boot Camp is a one-day program for learning the basics of ringing, and preparing one piece for the service the next morning. If you have basic music reading skills and are interested in taking part, mark Saturday, November 30 and Sunday, December 1 on your calendar and contact Nikki Attwell at 250-707-3375 or [email protected] to sign up.

Outreach

Contribute

First United Church is sustained by donations from its congregation. Both our work of ministry in the community and the operation of the church building rely on donations of time, talent, and funds from individuals like you. Please consider what talents you can contribute to furthering the work of  God in the world around us, and click the button below to donate to the church coffers.

The button takes you to Tithely, an app that makes it easy to make single donations or set up recurring donations. Recurring weekly or monthly donations are valuable because they help with long-term planning.

New to First United Church?

At First United we strive to be an open and inclusive community. We are people of all ages – young families, children and seniors. We worship on Sunday mornings and we have midweek programs for children, teens and adults. We are located in the heart of downtown Kelowna, at the intersection of Bernard & Richter streets. Click here to find out more about who we are and what we do.

What’s Happening at First United

First United Church in downtown Kelowna is a hub for community activities. Some of the groups that meet in our building:

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