Weekly News February 3, 2019

Worship with usWorship Schedule

  • February 3rd 11 am Communion (Food Bank Sunday)
  • February 10th 11 am
  • February 17th 11 am
  • February 24th 11 am Baptism (Building Fund Sunday)
    March 3rd 11 am (Food Bank Sunday)
    March 10th 11 am First Sunday of Lent

THE WORLD DAY OF PRAYER 2019 service will be held at 7 pm on Friday, March 1st at St. Peter’s Parish. Refreshments will be served in the church hall after the service. All are welcome!


Something NEW! Recipes from Our Congregation

We are starting a collection of your favourite recipes to share online. If you are a part of First United Church, we'd love to hear from you. Send us a recipe or two (or more) and we'll share them online on this website. We've created a new page called Recipes from Our Congregation. You'll find it under Life and Work in the main menu.

How to submit your recipe

The recipe can be handwritten. It can be typewritten. It can be a picture. Just make sure we can read it easily.  Tell us your first and last name so we can include it when we publish the recipe. Send it to us by email (firstunited@nf.aibn.com) or drop it off at the church office.

Be sure to tell your friends know about our new project!




The first Sunday of the month has been designated as Food Bank Sunday at First United. As most of you are aware, during the past week, the Community Food Bank on Topsail Road had a terrible fire and everything was damaged. If you would like to help contribute to replenish what was lost, we are asking that members of the congregation bring along any non-perishable food items throughout the month of February.

Donations can be dropped off during Sunday service or during office hours, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 1 pm. Envelopes are also available in the pews if you would like to make a contribution OR you can donate online on this website. Be sure to indicate the donation is for the Community Food Bank Appeal.

Donate - red

Thank you for your generosity and continued support.


Feature Article

Rhea Stark

Rhea Stark

An Inspiration in Our Midst

Rhea Isabel Stark- recently named provincial Ambassador for the Children’s Wish Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador!

To know Rhea is to love her

full of fun
a smile that seldom fades
perseverance that hasn't wavered
a positive, winning attitude no matter what the odds!

Many of you may already know Rhea. Some of you may have seen her in church. On a Sunday morning, she will stroll (or skip) to the altar and plop down on the seat to listen to Rev. Ian. Quiet and a little shy, she always has a smile. When asked a question, she will answer and that answer will often make us laugh. Then she heads off to Sunday School with the other children - again, with a beautiful smile and a little skip in her walk. 

Rhea has been part of our church family since she was a baby.  She was born in Clarenville in July 2010 and moved to Mount Pearl with her family in 2011.  We recently had a chat with her and it went like this:

What do you like about church and Sunday School, Rhea?

"Snacks! Making Stuff!"

What would you like to be when you grow up?

"I want to be a social worker like my Mommy."

What do you like to do when you are home?

"Making a mess; playing on my ipad; riding my bike; playing with my dolls.
I have a classroom at my house and it’s for my dolls. I play school."

What do you like at school?

"Art and gym. I don’t like math"

What other things do you like to do?

"I like climbing snow mountains; swimming; going to the Orange Store with Daddy; rock climbing at Easter seals."

What are you looking forward to when you go to Florida?

"going to the American doll store."

What is an American doll?

"She is a doll that closes her eyes when she lies down and she is taller than other dolls."

Rhea is so full of fun. On Wednesday her school got off early but her brother Henry’s school didn’t, so when Pop was going to pick Henry up Rhea promptly said:

“Pop, I’m going with you and I will hide in the back seat and when Henry gets in the car, I will jump up and scare him. Turn the cam on so I can see his reaction!”

It Takes A Village To Raise A Child

Rhea's parents William Stark and Susan Melendy Stark and her brothers Oliver (15) and Henry (11) adore her! She attends St. Peter’s Primary and is whizzing through grade 3. She loves her Nan and Pop, Dorothy and Sam Melendy, very much too and keeps them busy!

"Rhea’s life has been such a blessing to our family and her strength has inspired us all. We now fully understand the saying, that 'it takes a village to raise a child'.

We have been blessed to receive the love and support of our village every day”.

~ Susan Melendy Stark

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Rhea's Story

When Rhea was born in July 2010, we immediately knew there would be struggles. Her head was misshapen and even 4 days after her birth, she had not yet opened her eyes. At age 3 months, neurosurgeon Dr. Maroun reconstructed her skull in an intense surgery. We are forever grateful. In October 2010, we travelled to Vancouver and Rhea had an ocular lid lift to correct her bilateral ptosis.

Rhea has seen ophthalmologists, cardiologists, ENT specialists, speech therapists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, neurosurgeons and audiologists, just to name a few, without ever a complaint. Throughout her complex medical history she has maintained her positive attitude and impressed each medical professional with her tolerance.

She had settled into school and was blazing through grade 2 when her greatest challenge to date emerged. Sadly in the winter of 2018, Rhea began to lose her vision. By May 2018, Rhea’s ophthalmologist advised us that she was now legally blind and that she would require supports for mobility and independence. Needless to say we are devastated but, in true Rhea style, she has persevered, adapted and carried on with her winning attitude.

Although she cannot regain the vision she has lost, the deterioration has slowed and we pray that it will stabilize and allow her to carry on with her plans and dreams.

In June 2018 genetic testing results confirmed that her crainiosynostosis, congenital heart defects, small size and unique features were caused by a genetic mutation responsible for Noonan Syndrome. This has answered many questions about her medical history but has also led to other questions that need to be explored.

We are very grateful that Rhea has been approved to receive a wish through the Children’s Wish Foundation. On March 19 our family will be travelling to Florida for a week to stay at Give Kids the World Resort and visit Disney! She is also looking forward to going to Build a Bear, horseback riding, meeting Princess Jasmine and swimming in the big outdoor pool. Rhea’s life has been such a blessing to our family and her strength has inspired us all. We now fully understand the saying, that 'it takes a village to raise a child' and we have been blessed to receive the love and support of our village every day.

Source:  Susan Melendy Stark


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What's Coming Up Next

Men's Club

Regular meeting Tuesday, February 5th at 6:30 pm in Trinity Hall.

Annual Jiggs Dinner will be on February 22nd. Tickets can be purchased from members.  

UCW Reminders

Sunday, February 10th - Frosty Festival Ecumenical Service, Salvation Army – 5:30 pm
Monday, February 11th - Regular Meeting of UCW – 6:30 pm start (potluck on February) 6 pm to eat at 6:30 pm. Valendimes are due. Also, please remember to bring along your personal care items. Thanks!
Monday, February 25th - Visit to Hillcrest; starts at 7 pm 

QUILTING GROUP: The next meeting of the Quilting Group is Monday, February 4th at 7:30 pm in the Multipurpose Room.

BOOK CLUB:  The next meeting of the Book Club is February 27, at 7 pm, in Trinity Hall. We will be discussing the book ‘On Hummingbird Wings'


Upcoming Events

7:00 pm Book Club @ First United Church, Sanctuary
Book Club @ First United Church, Sanctuary
Apr 24 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
The next meeting of the Book Club will be April 24th at 7 pm.  The book being discussed is ‘They left us everything: A Memoir’ by Plum Johnson.  All are welcome.  Happy reading!
9:00 am FLEA MARKET @ First United Church, Trinity Hall
FLEA MARKET @ First United Church, Trinity Hall
Apr 27 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
The Men’s Club Flea Market is scheduled for Saturday, April 27th.  Items can be dropped off at the church during office hours.  If you have large items to donate, eg. furniture, in good condition which are too difficult to drop
11:00 am Building Fund Sunday @ First United Church, Sanctuary
Building Fund Sunday @ First United Church, Sanctuary
Apr 28 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Building Fund Sunday  The last Sunday of the month has been designated as Building Fund Sunday. Envelopes are available in the church pews if you would like to make a contribution. Thank you for your continued support.
12:00 pm Turkey Tea Take-out @ First United Church, Trinity Hall
Turkey Tea Take-out @ First United Church, Trinity Hall
May 3 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
We will be having our Tasty Take-out Turkey Teas on May 3rd.  Cost is $12 per plate.  Order forms for places of work are available at the church office.  More info to come!
11:00 am Food Bank Sunday @ First United Church, Sanctuary
Food Bank Sunday @ First United Church, Sanctuary
May 5 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Food Bank Sunday @ First United Church, Sanctuary | Mount Pearl | Newfoundland and Labrador | Canada
Food Bank Sunday at First United Church: The first Sunday of the month has been designated as Food Bank Sunday. All donations go to Bridges to Hope. Members of the congregation are asked to bring along any non-perishable food items

WALK A MILE IN HIS SHOES is an annual event to support Prostate Cancer survivors and their families in local communities of our province of Newfoundland and Labrador. This year’s annual event will take place on Saturday, February 9th at the Jack Byrne Arena on Torbay Road. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. with the walk at 10 a.m.

For further information, or to obtain a sponsor sheet, please contact Keith Guzzell at 726-9782 or Bill Baker at 368-8020.

Building Fund Sunday - February 24th: The last Sunday of the month has been designated as Building Fund Sunday. Envelopes are available in the church pews if you would like to make a contribution. Thank you for your continued support.

Beverage Container Recycling

KEEP ALL THOSE RECYLABLES LEFT OVER FROM CHRISTMAS ENTERTAINING!! Great opportunity to support our Youth Group Beverage Container Recycling: Our Youth Group collects beverage containers for recycling.

If you would like to drop off your beverage recycling at the church, here’s what can be recycled: aluminum can; plastic containers; glass bottles; steel cans; drink boxes (tetra); mini sips (drink pouches) etc. (Please wash out all bottles and remove all caps before dropping them off.) This is a great fund raiser for the youth and the Youth Group thanks you for your support.

Blankets for Stella's Circle


Blankets and Things for Stella's Circle

Blankets, knit by ladies in our congregation, were delivered to Stella's Circle on Friday. They make sure that they go to the people who need them.

We also dropped off some mitts, hats and scarves that had been donated on the mitten tree.

Stella's Circle is one of the organizations that First United supports as part of its Outreach Programs.

Jiggs Dinner Feb 22


Victor Heads Back to Brazil

Victor OliveiraLast Sunday we said "So Long" to Victor Oliveira, a Brazilian teenager and exchange student at Mount Pearl Senior High.

Victor moved to Mount Pearl in September 2018 and over the course of the next five months became an integral part of SNAC, our Youth Group.  Victor's Mom reached out by email to First United on Sunday, September 9th, letting us know of Victor's journey. On that day with the exception of his host family, he didn't know anybody in the community and was coming to our church for the very first time that morning.  Rev. Ian welcomed him with an invitation to participate in SNAC which was starting up again in a couple of weeks. And it started from there. 

Victor told us that he played the drums and, with Peter's encouragement, became part of our music accompaniment, rarely missing a Sunday. And on Sunday night, you would find him back at church again - with SNAC. He took part in all their activities, helping with special projects and making new friends he will keep for a lifetime.

Safe travels back home Victor. We will miss you!

Away for the WinterAway for the Winter?

To those of you who are planning to travel south for the winter months, stay safe and enjoy your time away.  We will hold you in our prayers.

Be sure to stay in touch by following our weekly newsletters under News and Things.  And, of course, we'll be adding photos to our albums so you can see all those familiar faces from time to time.

Throughout the winter months we will continue our Outreach Services in support of our community and those in need. You, too, can continue to help while you are away. Just click on the Donate button in the main menu whenever you wish to contribute whether for your weekly offering or to help with a special cause.

Stay informed with what's going on at First United

Stay InformedWebsite: www.firstunitechchurchmp.ca   Our website is updated on an ongoing basis with upcoming meetings and events being posted to the Calendar as soon as information becomes available.  Also, with the exception of the months of July and August, we prepare a weekly e-newsletter under News and Things in the main menu. 

Facebook Page - First United Church Mount Pearl:  We post to our Facebook Page on a regular basis, sharing some of our photos, other posts that may be of interest and keeping you up to date.

Constant Contact E-Mails:   Are you on our email distribution list?  If not , why not take a moment to sign-up (click here to complete and send the form).  Your email address will be included in our Constant Contact e-mail distribution list to receive information and updates on what's happening in the life of our Church. 


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2 comments on “Weekly News February 3, 2019
  1. Daphne & Ed Blandford. Winnipeg says:

    We were very happy to read of Rhea’s medical journey and the bright light she shines within
    Her family and friends. She certainly is a brave little girl to have gone through so many medical
    challenges and we are not surprised to hear from her mom, how she has been such an
    Inspiration to them. They are a beautiful family for sure. We commend Rhea for being such a strong and brave little girl and wish her and her family a wonderful holiday in Florida. If anyone deserves this gift, it is this family.

    • Susan Melendy Stark says:

      Thanks so much! So kind of you! It’s lovely to hear from you. We think of you often. ‘Your boy’ is all grown up now. I’ll have to get a picture to you. Hope all is well. Sending our love & prayers. We remember you fondly & how kind & welcoming you both were when we joined First United. ❤️