Bienvenu family photos
News from Mount Zion
April 29, 2022
St Matthew’s Choir visits Sunday May 1
On Sunday May 1 we will host St. Matthew’s choir with their director Scott Knarr.
The joint choirs will sing an exciting version of “Because He Lives” as well as a “Litany for Ukraine” written by local composer Jeff Enns.
Scott and Sarah will play a prelude and postlude using both piano and organ. We hope you will find this an uplifting and enjoyable service.
We were saddened to learn the news of the death of Marta Schafer Wednesday, April 27, 2022. She was 106 years old. Funeral service will be held at Mount Zion on May 13, 2022, at 11 am. A luncheon in celebration of Marta's life will be held at the Norm Lange Auditorium immediately after the service. Let us uphold the family in our prayers.
Rest eternal grant her, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine on her.
Mount Zion Supports Ukraine
You may have noticed some blue and gold lapel ribbons on the narthex table in recent weeks. These have been made at Mount Zion for you to pick up and wear at no charge and are provided by the Justice through Service Committee.
Although we actively support humanitarian aid to all refugees and displaced people throughout the world, we are also aware of the growing threat to Ukrainians within their own country as the war from Russia continues and escalates.
Along with numerous Canadian and international faith groups, we support the right of Ukrainian citizens to live in freedom and dignity. But for millions of Ukrainians, that has meant fleeing their native country to seek shelter in other parts of Europe and abroad.
Many Canadians have welcomed Ukrainian friends, relatives and strangers into their homes until it is safe to return to their country. Many others have donated to charitable organizations like the ones below, to help alleviate the suffering of those still trapped in war-zones, especially in the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine.
We hope that by wearing one of our ribbons you will be reminded to pray for and support Ukraine in any way that you are able. Here are just a few major organizations that are actively involved in humanitarian relief. Or donate to Ukrainian aid programs through other organizations that you support.
CLWR Canadian Lutheran World Relief https://www.clwr.org/
CANADA HELPS https://www.canadahelps.org/en/donate-to-ukraine/
Live Spring Book Discussion, Tuesday, May 3, 1:30-3:00 pm
Health Council will be holding a book discussion on Made for Goodness and Why This Makes All the Difference by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Mpho Tutu, also an Anglican priest. Tutu tells touching stories from his own life, as well as horrific memories of his work in dark places of the world. From there he invites us to take on the disciplines of goodness, the practices that are key to finding fulfillment, meaning and happiness for our lives. We think this book is a fitting selection as a way of honouring a great man who most recently died.
The discussion will be held in person in the sanctuary of the church. For those who only wish to watch the discussion, you may connect to zoom https://zoom.us/j/94951669774
An Evaluation of our Ministry together with Pastor Philip
You will have received either an email or a letter from Lynn Swanson, chair of the Mutual Ministry Committee, last week asking you to participate in a process of evaluation of our ministry together under Pastor Philip’s leadership. The evaluation will be done through a questionnaire which was sent to all voting members. She goes on to say that it is the congregation’s responsibility to provide an ongoing review of the Pastor.
The questionnaire was prepared by the Mutual Ministry committee, in consultation with Pastor Philip and church council. It can be filled out on the computer and emailed or completed by hand.
If prepared by hand, completed forms should be mailed or returned to the or dropped off at church in the box provided in the narthex. Your participation is important to planning our ministries for the future. You can read the letter with full instructions from Lynn here.
Thank you to Supporters of The Mount Zion Kitchen
The Mount Zion kitchen has been a hub of activity for the weekly food ministry since last fall. The season ended with a variety of delicious soups using up fridge, freezer and pantry items.
A sincere thank you goes out to everyone who supports this ministry in all the various ways. The gifts of your financial donations, kitchen / delivery help and meal purchases helps to ensure many with food insecurity are able to enjoy a delicious and healthy meal.
One recipient at Luther said they could taste the love put into the meal. I believe it because from what I see from my standpoint, a lot of love is put into every step of this food ministry. For that I say a big thank you!
The Mount Zion kitchen will start up again in the fall with weekly meals available for purchase. As the time approaches, more information will be available.
Christine Ramseyer, Parish Nurse
Mount Zion Cafe now meeting in person
The Mount Zion Cafe is meeting in person continues to meet every second and fourth Wednesdays of the month from 10 am to noon, with the last meeting before Summer on June 8. We are all ready for a little socializing, so come and join us at the Mount Zion Cafe for an enjoyable morning.
Conversations with Esperance – April 10, 2022
One Sunday afternoon in April, the phone rang. Imagine my delight when I heard Esperance’s voice on the phone! Many of you will remember that Mount Zion was the lead congregation in helping to settle the Bienvenu family, starting in August of 2016. Esperance, her husband Shinga, and their five children ranging in age from 2 to 13, came to us from a refugee camp in Rwanda, having fled violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. While Shinga had several years of studying at a university, the rest of the family had little to no formal education and none of them spoke English. Furthermore, they had no experience of living with indoor plumbing, electricity, the use of stoves, refrigerators, washing machines, or any of the other aspects of Western life that we take for granted.
All we knew when the family arrived was their names, their ages, where they were from, and what languages they spoke. We had as much to learn as they did! And thank goodness there were four churches working together to support them: Mount Zion, St. Stephen Lutheran, Our Lady of Lourdes, and Church of the Good Shepherd. With much hard work and good will on all sides, including the family’s, they were soon housed, clothed, learning English, signed up for health care, registered for school, and learning all the things they needed to know to adapt to life in KW.
Since then, the Bienvenu family has traveled far in a relatively short time! They gave birth to a sixth child in 2017, all speak fluent English, scrupulously saved their money, and bought their own townhouse in Kitchener. Last April, they sold their house here to buy one in Stratford and moved away. I spoke to Esperance just before Christmas but hadn’t heard from her since.
Esperance told me she had been thinking of all of us who had been involved in their sponsorship and wanted to call and let us know how much she appreciated everything we had done to support them. She wanted us to know they are all doing well. Yves is now 19 and graduated from high school on April 19! He is working part-time, contributing to the household expenses, and thinking of going to college but not sure what he’ll study. All the other children are in school, including little Ben, and Blaise is already in Grade 3! Shinga and Esperance both are working at an automotive factory (Toyota?) and have benefits to cover things like dental health.
The family still attends Erb Street Mennonite, and the church is working with them to try to bring Esperance’s sister to Canada. I told her that Mount Zion is considering the possibility of helping to sponsor another refugee family, and she said to let them know – they would like to help! This summer they are planning to plant a vegetable garden – it sounds like they may be taking a plot in a community garden – and they are just starting to learn what they can plant that will be successful in our growing season.
Finally, once we are out of this 6th wave of COVID, they would love to come to church one Sunday at Mount Zion and then make lunch for all of us. I suggested a picnic lunch or a potluck, maybe outdoors when the weather is nice – that seems more manageable and much less work for Esperance! Hopefully we’ll all be able to gather soon!
In Our Prayers
Let us pray for George, Betty, Marjorie, Rosalie, James, Thelma and Don and Jean and their daughter Tai. Let us continue to also remember the situation in Ukraine in our prayers.
Sunday May 1 — Third Sunday of Easter
Acts 9:1-6 [7-20]
Psalm 30 (11)
Sunday May 8 — Fourth Sunday of Easter
Psalm 23 (1)
Reminder about Masks
With the recent uptick in local Covid cases, it is a good time to remind members that while you are anywhere in our building, a mask is required.
Links for Worship and more
Sundays 10 am Click on the logo to join the Live Stream Worship
(Recordings of the services are available)
Sundays 9:40 am Join members for a time of fellowship preceeding the service https://zoom.us/j/96599940521
VESPERS 7:00 pm Monday - Thursday evenings
(Sign in any time after 6:30, Service starts at 7:00 pm)
MOUNT ZION ZOOM CAFE 10:00 a.m. on Wednesdays
Mount Zion's office tel.: 519 886-5820 office hours: Tues. - Fri. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
How to contact our staff, while our building is closed:
Pastor Philip Mathai firstname.lastname@example.org cell: 519-781-5602
Music Director Sarah. E. Cardwell email@example.com
Office Administrator Margaret Waechter firstname.lastname@example.org
Nurse Christine Ramseyer email@example.com cell: 519-588-8006
Feel free to call our cell phones. If we aren't available we'll return your call!