The Blanket Exercise  

The Blanket Exercise is an interactive exercise on Indigenous rights that teaches the history most of us never learn. This one-hour exercise uses blankets to represent the lands of what is now Canada, and the distinct cultures and nationhood of the Indigenous peoples who call these lands home to this day. Participants represent the First Peoples; when they move onto the blankets, they are taken back in time to before the arrival of Europeans.

The Blanket exercise will be offered:

  • November 15 at First Met, after 11:00 a.m. service
  • January 21 at First Met at Epiphany Explorations,  1:00-3:30 pm

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 Annual First Met Stewardship Appeal

Our Annual Stewardship Appeal started on September 27. On two more Sundays, Oct. 4 and Oct. 11, pledge cards for 2016 will be in the Sanctuary for pickup. Those not retrieved at that time will be mailed to congregants. When completed, the cards can be placed in collection plates, mailed or dropped in the Finance Office.

 Volunteers needed for Epiphany Explorations

The Epiphany Explorations Core Team 2016 is hard at work planning the upcoming conference. We are specifically looking for 2 new team members, one to handle Parking and one to shadow the Presenter Arrangement’s Coordinator – Sharon Higgins. The parking time commitment is relatively short.
Please contact Clarice Dillman, Chair EE 2016 or Al Fowler, Volunteer Coordinator if you are interested in volunteering for this wonderful experience.

 Flu Clinic

Rexall Drug store will provide flu shots after church on October 25th in the Fellowship Hall. For more information, please contact Emily MacDonald at 250-388-5188 local 233.

Afghan Refugee Sponsorship Project Update:

Thanks to your generous donations to the Afghan Refugee Sponsorship Project we have now met and exceeded our fundraising target to cover the living expenses for their first year here in Victoria! We will keep the budget excess as a contingency fund in case there are any unplanned expenses. Thank you to all who have provided household goods for their apartment. For the moment, we feel we have all the items that are required. They were very pleased to arrive last week, after a journey of several days, and be reunited with their family here. With the help of the very knowledgeable settlement workers at the Inter-Cultural Association (ICA), we are in the process of filling out applications for government papers and signing up for English classes. The support of our congregation is deeply appreciated by the family.

Stewardship Appeal 2016

Our Annual Stewardship Appeal starts on September 27. On September 27 and October 4 pledge cards for 2016 will be in the Sanctuary for pickup. Those not retrieved at that time will be mailed to congregants. When completed, the cards can be placed in collection plates, mailed or dropped in the Finance Office.

 Opportunity to Live Our Faith in Action Information Session

First Met has an opportunity to help the most vulnerable in our society by temporarily sheltering forty people in the fellowship hall. This is a pilot program which will be administered by our friends at Our Place and was approved in principle by Council pending finalization of congregational issues and concerns. This government funded pilot would run from Oct. 15, 2015 to Mar. 30, 2016, 7:30 pm to 7:00 am. Don Evans, of Our Place, will on be on hand after Sunday’s 11:00 am service to share the plan, answer questions and provide additional details.

 BC Sustainable Energy: All Candidates Debate

Join us on Monday, September 21 @ 6:30 PM, when the candidates for Victoria talk about green job creation, oil tankers, and the impact of climate change on future generations. Get informed about these issues and participate in the discussion during the open mic Q&A. The 2015 federal election has quickly become one of the most important elections in recent history so join us, and your community, at FMUC.


Ride for Refuge

On October 3, 2015 the Ride for Refuge is a fun and family-friendly cycling or walking fundraiser in support of charities raising funds to serve the displaced, vulnerable and exploited. Our Refugee Sponsorship Group has a team, registered under the name of “St. John the Divine Anglican Church”. Participants collect pledges and then complete a 5 km walk or bike ride (10, 25, or 50km). The registration fee is $25 or if you raise $150 in pledges the registration fee is waived. For more information visit the Ride for Refuge website. You can sign up online to join our team. For more information , please contact Kathy Cook, 250-370- 0991.

 The Caregiver Support Group Starts Sept. 24

The Caregiver Support Group starts again on September 24th at 1:00 pm in the Chapel. This group is a support group for family caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia. We are an Independent Community Group but are registered with the Alzheimer’s Society of BC. Facilitators are Emily MacDonald, RN and Heather Querengesser, RN. We meet on the 4th Thursday of the month. If you are interested, or have questions, please contact Emily (250-388-5188 local 233) or Heather (250-721-9705).

Transformation Through First Nations History
First Met with Our Place

Join us September 23 in house at 6:00 pm for a traditional first nations meal (by donation) or via our free Live Stream starting at 6:45 pm for the second  in a three part series: Transformation Through First Nations History.

Watch it Live ➤

Join First Nations leaders and elders for a free, three-part series presented by Our Place that will explore the history of this rich culture.

When: Wednesday, Sept. 16 — Butch and Bradley Dick: History of the Lukwungen people of South Vancouver Island
Wednesday, Sept. 23 — Alex Nelson: Residential School and the ‘60s sweep
Wednesday, Sept. 30 — Chief Robert Joseph: Truth and Reconciliation today

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 First Met Retirement Dates

After 17 years of service to the congregation and community, our Lead Minister announced his retirement date at Sunday Service last weekend. Dr. Rev. Allan Saunders will be retiring on August 1, 2016.

Also, Parish Nurse Emily MacDonald announced after four years with First Met that she will be retiring on February 1st, 2016.

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Fall 2015 Newsletter

If you missed it, the First Met Fall newsletter is available for download.

Herb Pitts Honoured with the 2015 Alumni Leadership Award
Herb Pitts honoured by Royal Roads

Herb Pitts believes if you ask others to do a tough job, it has to be something you are willing to do yourself. He applies that leadership principle in all aspects of his life: on the collegiate soccer field, the battlefield and in the board room. As a result, his inspired command and his teambuilding efforts have earned him a legacy of deep respect and honour.

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Jordan Cantwell Installed as United Church Moderator
Jordan Cantwell Installed as Moderator

The installation of the Rt. Rev. Jordan Cantwell as the 42nd Moderator of The United Church of Canada was a buoyant, joyous, and intercultural worship celebration that concluded the 42nd General Council meeting, and capped off what had been a long day of business.

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Greeting From the New Director of Music Ministries

This past week has seen my arrival at First Met and it has been both busy and productive. Staff have been absolutely wonderful in helping me to adjust to my new surroundings and have made me feel very welcome indeed. Through their kind diligence I now have a reasonable idea as to which key fits which door, the basic daily routine, and most importantly…where to find the coffee! My particular thanks go to Fran Pollet who has been patiently guiding me through a mountain of information, making the transition process so much easier for me.
I am excited to start the Fall Music Program and plans are already underway for some of the special services such as Thanksgiving, All Saints, Remembrance Sunday and of course those of the Advent and Christmas seasons which are particularly close to my heart. Sanctuary choir rehearsals recommence on Thursday, 10th September, and Pringle Bells on Friday, 18th September. New members are always welcome, so if you are thinking along those lines please feel free to contact me.

Best wishes, Kelly

CGIT Anniversary Luncheon Registration Extended
CGIT 100th Anniversary Celebration

It’s the 100th Anniversary of CGIT this year and we are having a celebration! To all Victoria, BC and CGIT Alumnae, there will be a 100th Anniversary Luncheon and Celebration on Sunday, September 27th at First†Metropolitan United Church from 12:30 to 2:30 pm. Tickets are $15.00

Cheques can be made payable to First†Metropolitan United Church (with CGIT in the Memo line) and mailed to 932 Balmoral Rd, Victoria, BC V8T 1A8. Deadline for Payment and Registration is Sunday ,September 13th, 2015. For more information, please contact Colette Scrimgeour at 250-661-6550.
Volunteers Needed for Out of the Rain

Out of the Rain is our young adult shelter and First Met has a long history of being involved in this wonderful program in Victoria. We offer a dry safe place to sleep,soup and other foods for up to 30 youth 15-25 years of age on Tuesday nights once a week starting mid October and running through until mid April. We are looking for a few people that feel that they could offer some leadership here: coordinating food volunteers, overseeing the roster of evening and morning volunteers, volunteering a shift once or twice during the winter or making soup. If you are interested in any of these volunteer opportunities please phone or contact Janet Gray at 250-478-5066  for more information. Any offer of help will be warmly welcomed.

Our Place Volunteers Needed
On the first Sunday of the month, First Met volunteers are helping with supper at Our Place. The main shift is 4:30-6:00 PM, but we also need a few people to cut up veggies from 2:30-4:30 PM. Enter through the main entrance and identify yourself at the reception desk. Please email the church office or phone 250-388-5188 ext 221.
Summer Strollers
Summer Strollers meet at 10:30 am every Thursday morning at Willows Beach for a stroll and coffee/tea in the Tea Room, from now until mid- September. Please feel free to join us. We do provide rides for people who need them. If you are interested, call Emily MacDonald, Parish Nurse at 250- 388-5188 ext. 233.
2015 Pride Parade
Our congregation joined several other United Church congregations in this year’s Pride Parade.  It was a great day (thankfully not too warm) for the festivities and the walk downtown. There was great response from the crowd to see the United Church out in force. This was First Met’s first time marching and sure not to be the last.
Fran Appreciation Day DVDs Available

DVD’s of the video and slides shown at Fran Pollet’s Appreciation Day are available for sale in the office and online. The $20 charge will be donated to the Music Bursary Fund in Fran’s name. Order the DVD Online

Anna Co-opFirst Met Victoria