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January 26 2024

Join us for worship in person or on- line at 10 am every Sunday
  • Scroll to bottom of page for contact information and links to services and activities

  • Masks are optional at Mount Zion 

  • Deadline for next edition February 22

We are in that period where we wait patiently, sometimes impatiently, to have a clearer picture of where we are going. This space we are in, is sometimes referred to as liminal space or as in-between space, the space we are in as we wait for the new.

Pastor Philip

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Isaiah Ritzmann from the Working Centre.

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Peggy Plet, a local historian will be the Afternoon Key Note Speaker

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Pastor Philip Writes:
Reimagining in Liminal Times

Before we knew it, we were beyond the middle of January, and we had gone through some exceptionally cold days. But in spite of the wintry weather, the new year has again woken us to the tasks at hand, and we have again plunged into the reimagining journey after a break over Christmas and New Year. The leadership of Mount Zion is back to deliberating about this and taking the necessary steps to move the process on.

We are in that period where we wait patiently, sometimes impatiently, to have a clearer picture of where we are going. This space we are in, is sometimes referred to as liminal space or as in-between space, the space we are in as we wait for the new.

Susan Beaumont, in her book How to Lead When You Don’t Know Where You Are Going, points out how the life of faith of a follower of Jesus Christ, by design, is an invitation into liminality. We are in that in-between time where the kingdom of God has been inaugurated in Jesus Christ, and we wait for its fulfillment.

In liminal spaces, there is anxiety and uncertainty, which is part of transitioning into something new. By nature, we are not comfortable with change and transitioning into something new. But change is inevitable to be meaningful and relevant in an ever-changing and emerging reality. The needs around change, the issues that we deal with change, and the quest here is to be faithful and relevant in such a context. And so we wait, wait at this space for the new to emerge, difficult as it is.

Our wait is also in that assurance that God would hold us, as Paul reminds us in Hebrews 10:31. In our waiting we wait on God and do the needful to allow the new to emerge. So, our wait is not a passive but an active one where we, in the midst of the uncertainties, in due diligence do the needful to discern where it is that God wants us to be and we should be putting our energies into. Being in this liminal or in-between space is not something bad; rather, it gives us the opportunity to experience the new and be transformed.

The council and council executive have been faithfully working towards this along with Karen Bjerland, and I am grateful for this dedicated group that is passionate about the future of Mount Zion and how we and our resources could be used for the cause of the kingdom of God.


In Our Prayers

Let us pray for Konrad, Mary Helen (mother of Bob Kelly), Sandra, Julian, George, Betty, Rosalie, James, Thelma, Helen, and Don and Jean and their daughter Tai, and also the families grieving the deaths of Richard Heimbecker and Edith Klanert. Let us continue to pray for peace in the world, in Palestine and Israel, Ukraine, Yemen, Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia and other places. Let us pray for all suffering the extremes of winter, especially those without homes.

In Christ,  

January 2024

Nurse Christine is on a Leave of Absence

Nurse Christine Ramseyer continues to be on a leave of absence until further notice.  Kindly direct all your calls to the office, enabling her to have a restful period.

Pastors Philip and Peter in Guyana

Pastor Philip and Pastor Peter Kuhnert have been invited to lead a couple of retreats for the pastors and deacons of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Guyana as representatives of the Eastern Synod. The retreats will take place from January 25 to 27 for the clergy and from February 1 to 3 for the deacons. Both pastors will also be preaching at two churches each on Sunday. They will leave on January 23 and return on February 6.

Pastor Karen Kuhnert will preside and preach on January 28 and February 4. She will also be the emergency contact for pastoral emergencies.

Welcome Funmi, our new Placement Student from Martin Luther University

Welcome Funmi Obanewa, our new Placement Student from Martin Luther University College, where she has applied to enter the candidacy process for becoming a pastor.  A placement in a congregation is one of the requirements of the MDiv program.   She will be with us for the winter and spring terms. We look forward to being a part of her journey.


Food Card Ministry

We continue to distribute food cards in the third week of each month, to our list of families with children and to individuals in need.  Food insecurity affects many aspects of people’s lives, including their ability to work and to learn, and even the small amounts we provide can help.   Please continue to remember this part of our ministry with regular contributions as you are able. Mary Thompson


Next Newsletter Delayed by a Week

Bill and I will be on vacation with our family for the next three weeks. Consequently, the next scheduled newsletter will delayed by one week. Deadline for the next issue is February 22 at 8 am.  Karen Gastmeier


Climate Workshops Continue!
Please join us after worship on  February 18

The Justice through Service Committee invites everyone to join us at Climate Justice 101 – the second of our workshops with facilitator Isaiah Ritzmann from the Working Centre.

The presentation is in the Sanctuary and will begin between 11:30 and 11:45 a.m. after a light lunch break in the Narthex; it will finish by 1:00 pm

No preparation or “homework” is needed, but you might want to have a pen and paper handy.

As before, this event will also be live-streamed for those unable to attend in person.

Here’s a thumbnail description of the topic:

Climate Justice: Climate change is marked by extreme inequality. What can we do about it? The mining required for solar and wind power and for “clean” energy, such as electric car batteries, is immense. How do we transition to renewable energy resources fairly and without violence? How have current news events affected your thinking about fossil fuel use, or our carbon footprint? Can economic and climate justice coexist?

About our Facilitator:

Isaiah Ritzmann is a community educator with the Working Centre in Kitchener and a long-time local climate activist.

Passionate about the intersections among environmental sustainability, economic justice and community-building, he facilitates courses such as the Diploma in Local Democracy, as well as workshops, film documentary evenings, neighbourhood walks, and other events on ways to respond to the current climate emergency.

Isaiah lives in the Louisa St Hospitality House where he welcomes newly arrived refugees in our community. He graduated with a Master of Theological Studies from Conrad Grebel College and the University of Waterloo in 2015. 

Black History Celebrations at Mount Zion Feb 25 at 11 am

In February we will focus on the history and heritage of sisters and brothers of African origin. February 25 will be the Black History Month service when we will celebrate as a congregation. Bishop Michael Pryse will be the preacher during worship, and Peggy Plet, a local historical researcher, will be the guest speaker upstairs. The service will be followed by a luncheon in the auditorium where we will also listen to our guest speaker and community leaders.


Annual Meeting – March 3 - following the service


Pastor Philip’s 10-year anniversary Celebration – following the service
Exercise Classes continue on Tuesdays 

Community Support Connections Exercise Classes continue on Tuesday afternoons at 1:00 pm.  The classes include cardio, strength, balance, and flexibility exercises in a one-hour time frame.  This is a free service.  

Mount Zion Cafe -10 am

Meet your friends and enjoy coffee and a few activities at the Mount Zion Café meeting every second and fourth Wednesday of the month.  If you need transportation, give Margaret a call the day before, and she will arrange a driver or taxi.


In our Ministry Area

There will be a Service of Blessing of the New Shared Ministry (United in Faith Ministry St James St Jacobs, St James Elmira, St Matthews Conestoga) and Installation of Pastor Joanna Miller on Sunday, January 28, at 2 pm at St James St Jacobs church.

All are welcome!


Charitus is ELFEC’s New Name

As of the first of the year, ELFEC will be known as Charitus. Many of you are familiar with The Evangelical Lutheran Foundation of Eastern Canada (ELFEC). It is the organization that manages Mount Zion’s investments. Although it started out as an arm of the Eastern Synod, it now offers its services across the country. To acknowledge the cross-country expansion, their goals and values, they determined it was time to adopt a new name. They will now be known as Charitus.

Sweet Sounds of Love Concert Supports the Food Bank

Members of Mount Zion are invited to attend a music event supporting the Waterloo Region Food Bank happening at Christ Waterloo (445 Anndale Rd) on Saturday, Feb 10, at 2 pm. The Grand Harmony Women's Chorus is singing the "Sweet Sounds of Love," and your ticket will support the food bank—adults $25 / Students and Youth $15. Mark your calendar! Blessings, Pr. David


ways to

click here


Links for Worship and more

  • YouTube

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                            cell: 519-781-5602
Music Director Sarah. E. Cardwell
Office Administrator Margaret Waechter           
Nurse Christine Ramseyer            cell: 519-588-8006
Feel free to call our cell phones. If we aren't available we'll return your call!

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