Advent is the season when we prepare to welcome the one who emptied himself, one who put the welfare of the other before everything. It is a time to prepare for the kingdom of righteousness, justice, peace and love.
December 8, 2023
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Masks are optional at Mount Zion
Deadline for next edition October 26
Pastor Philip Writes:
We are in the Season of Advent, a time for preparation, preparation to welcome the Christ-child in whom God becomes one with humankind and the created realm.
Last Sunday, we had the first of a series of climate change workshops organized by the Justice Through Service Committee. Isaiah Ritzmann, who led the workshop, brought our attention to our dire situation as a global family. We looked at different aspects of climate change and the consequences of it. The current trajectory of humankind will lead to disastrous climate changes that would jeopardize mainly vulnerable and marginalized communities.
Recently, I read an article on the internet about what countries are the biggest polluters and what needs to be done to bring the situation under control. The article stood out because the four largest polluters in 2022 were the ones we always hear about China, the US, India and the European Union, in that order.
Canada comes further down the list, but if we looked at the per capita carbon footprint, Canada was the fourth largest polluter, even above the United States! Isaiah Ritzmann pointed out at the workshop how our lifestyles contribute to our carbon footprint. While our food could be associated with 15% of our personal carbon footprint, the rest is associated with our transportation, home energy use and our 'stuff' or consumer goods.
Advent is the season when we prepare to welcome the one who emptied himself, one who put the welfare of the other before everything. It is a time to prepare for the kingdom of righteousness, justice, peace and love. The gospel reading on the first Sunday in Advent is very relevant to our times with the catastrophic events in the created order. Could we see in it the hope of the inbreaking of the kingdom of righteousness, justice and peace in the midst of all the pain and suffering, by all of creation?
How could we do our bit in bringing this about? It would be costly, it would mean changes in our lifestyles, it would mean changes in our priorities, it would mean a radical shift in how we see the world. As I always do these days, I would also point out that this should also impact our future as a congregation in how we see ourselves.
As we enter Advent, we will have our mid-week Advent services on Wednesdays at 7 pm, starting December 6. We will use the Holden Evening Prayer for the services.
Our Christmas services will be held on December 24 and 25. Since December 24 is on a Sunday, we will not have the morning service but only the Christmas Eve service at 7 pm and the service on December 25 at 10 am. The German language service will be held on December 22 at 7 pm, after a break since Covid. Our Sunday School and Youth will lead the service on December 17.
In Our Prayers
Let us pray for Konrad, Mary Helen (mother of Bob Kelly), Sandra, Julian, George, Betty, Rosalie, James, Thelma, Helen, Gloria, and Don and Jean and their daughter Tai, and also Gloria and the rest of the family grieving Richard's death. Let us continue to pray for peace in the world, in Palestine and Israel, Ukraine, Yemen, Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia and other places.
This week, we welcome Sarah Storms, our newest choral scholar. Sarah graduated in 2023 with a Bachelor of Music in Honours Performance from Western University. She has extensive opera, concert and theatre experience and will be a great support to our choir. Sundays in Advent will include some wonderful Advent choir pieces highlighted by borrowed handbells.
There is some lovely Christmas music planned for Christmas Eve at 7:00 pm. I plan to be there!!
Financial Update – November, 2023
Results for the eleven months of 2023 reflect a deficit of $71,154. Compared to our budget for this same period, we are tracking better than planned, with a positive deviation of $23,045 in our Ministry & Mission (current) account. Total receipts were $16,776 higher than planned, and disbursements were lower by $6,270, as noted below, resulting in a positive deviation of $23,045.
Thank you for your support! Results on a year-to-date basis are better than planned, and with your usual extra effort at year-end, we should finish the year in a much-improved position.
There will be a special Christmas Cafe on Wednesday, December 13th beginning at 10 AM.
Coffee and goodies in the morning. Starting at 11:30 AM, you’ll be served homemade soups and crusty bread, finishing off with more goodies.
We really welcome all those who want to share conversation in a warm and celebratory setting. Let us know you’re coming.
Need a ride to the Café? Please call the office, 519.886.5820 by 9:30 am. Margaret will order you a taxi and the café volunteers will see you get a taxi ride home.
Let’s deck the hall! Fa-la-la-la-la
The German Service of Carols and Readings Returns
The German Service of Carols and Readings returns after a pause during the Covid years. This year, we welcome Pastor Sebastian Meadows-Helmer—December 22, 7:00 pm, followed by a social time.
Please come and invite your German-speaking friends.
The office will be closed on Monday, Dec 11, as Margaret is on vacation.
Poinsettias will be ordered to enhance the chancel for our Christmas Services. If you wish to sponsor a plant, please see the signup sheet in the narthex until Dec. 17. The 10" pots cost $34.00, and the 6" pots cost $13.00. You are welcome to pick up your Poinsettia plant immediately after service on Christmas Day. (Please designate your payment as "flowers" on your envelope) or you can also contact Margaret at 519-886-5820 or email@example.com." Thank you for your support. Susan Brubacher
Food Card Ministry
We continue to distribute food cards in the third week of each month, and December is special, with the opportunity to wish our multi-faith recipients a blessed holiday season. Please continue to remember this part of our ministry with regular contributions as you are able. Mary Thompson
2023 Donations Tax Information
Donations for 2023 tax purposes must be received in hand by December 31. The office will be open on Sunday, December 31st, until noon for any drop-off contributions.
Members are reminded that there are various methods to make contributions, including EFTs, through your bank to ours; however, please act by December 31.
For more information, please see Five Ways to Donate on our website
Advent and Christmas Calendar
Dec 6 – Holden Evening Prayer 7:00 pm
Dec 13 – Holden Evening Prayer 7:00 pm
Dec 17—Sunday School and Youth Service
Dec 20– Holden Evening Prayer 7:00 pm
Dec 22— German Service of Carols and Readings 7:00 pm
Dec 24 –Candle Light Christmas Eve Service 7:00 pm
(there will be no morning service)
Dec. 25—Christmas Service 10 am
The Mount Zion Kitchen
Will return in January
Links for Worship and more
Sundays 10 am Click on the logo to join the Live Stream Worship
(Recordings of the services are available)
VESPERS 7:00 pm Monday - Thursday evenings
(Sign in any time after 6:30, Service starts at 7:00 pm)
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!