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January 12, 2024

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  • Masks are optional at Mount Zion 

  • Deadline for next edition January 24

As a congregation, we are still on the journey of reimagining ourselves.  This year would take us to places and experiences we may not have known or even expected.

Do we have the trust that the Magi had and follow the star to where God leads us? 

It could be to the most unexpected of places or ministries, to the lowly, hungry and rejected ones. So, let us not put away the spirit of Christmas with the decorations, but continue to spread that message of love, peace and hope, through where we journey to, as a community.

Pastor Philip

Choral Scholars Grace and Sarah.jpg

Choral Scholars Grace Mason Soucie , left and

Sarah Storms, right

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Thank you to this year's Christmas Tree crew under the supervision of Helga Juergensen, Ross Schlegel, Jane Schlegel, Margaret Waechter and Stephanie von Schilling.

While decorating, they were seranaded by the piano stylings of Henriette Stupmer

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Pastor Philip Writes:

A blessed and happy 2024 to you!

Along with Holy Week and Easter, Christmas is the highlight of the church year.  Families come together for the holidays; we have special programs at our churches.  We had wonderful services here at Mount Zion that were well attended during Christmas. We had almost a week of downtime at the church office, with the offices closed.

Christmas is a time for celebration and coming together; the season is all about love, hope and peace.

Now that Christmas is over, one of the refrains we hear these days is about getting the Christmas trees down and putting away the decorations.  Jim Wallis, in an email of his, points out couple of passages that we dwell upon during Christmas –

Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

And the prayer of Mary or the Magnificat in Luke 1:46-55:

46  And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, 47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. 50 His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. 51 He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. 52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; 53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, 55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

Yes, the kingdom that was ushered by this child born in Bethlehem was for all, and the love that we felt during this special season is also not to be put away with the decorations that we pulled out of boxes in early December.  God’s way of love, peace and hope, whatever the circumstances be, continues to guide us and undergird us during this new year. 

As a congregation, we are still on the journey of reimagining ourselves.  This year would take us to places and experiences we may not have known or even expected. Do we have the trust that the Magi had and follow the star to where God leads us?  It could be to the most unexpected of places or ministries, to the lowly, hungry and rejected ones. So, let us not put away the spirit of Christmas but continue to spread that message of love, peace and hope, through where we journey to, as a community.

Open Sesame Focus

We will be focusing on the ministry of Open Sesame as a congregation during January.  This started off as a voluntary ministry of Mount Zion to the community but has evolved to what it is now, with the government's involvement in the funding of the program.  Open Sesame has faithfully served many a child in being prepared for what lay ahead and assisted families in their journeys.  Please make use of this time to refamiliarize with what is happening downstairs or get to know the ministry if you are new and do not really know much about it!

Nurse Christine is on a Leave of Absence

I would also like to bring to your attention that Nurse Christine Ramseyer is on a leave of absence until further notice.  Kindly direct all your calls to the office, enabling her to have a restful period.

Richard Heimbecker Funeral

The funeral service of Richard Heimbecker will be held at Mount Zion on Saturday, January 20 at 11 am. Visitation will begin at 10 am.


It is with sadness that I convey the news that Edith Klanert died at Freeport Hospice, on January 7, 2024 at 6:00 am.

Celebration of life will take place in the spring.

 "Rest eternal grant her, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine on her."

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. Let us also pray for Henriette and the family of Edith.

Let us continue to pray for peace in the world, in Palestine and Israel, Ukraine, Yemen, Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia and other places.

In Christ,


Pr. Philip

January, 2024

Year-End Financial Results, so much better than expected 

The results are in! And they are awesome. Richard Brubacher reports that our final results for the year 2023 finished on a positive note, reflecting a much improved financial position than estimated.  A final deficit of $15,388 was realized in our Ministry & Mission (current) account.  This was an astonishing $66,773 better than our plan. Further details will be provided in our annual report to be presented at the AGM on March 3, 2024.  Thank you for your continued support in 2023!  Please read the full report here.  You will be glad you did.

Pastor Philip to Travel to Guyana

Pastor Philip will be away between the dates of January 23 and February 6 in Guyana, when he joins Pastor Peter Kuhnert to lead a couple of retreats for pastors and deacons of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Guyana.  The Eastern Synod and the Lutheran church in Guyana have a long-standing “sister relationship.  We will learn more about it when he returns in February. Pastor Karen Kuhnert will fill Philip‘s shoes (or socks) on Sundays and will be on call for pastoral emergencies.


Welcome Choral Scholars

The congregation was delighted last Sunday by a duet performed by two new choral scholars. They sang a beautiful Korean folk song called "A Song to the Child."

Grace Mason Soucie joined the choir last September, and Sarah Storms joined at Christmas. Both women are sopranos, and both studied music at university. Grace graduated from Randolph College for Performing Arts, where she studied Musical Theatre, while Sarah graduated from Western University with a Bachelor's degree in Music and a minor in Theatre.

They both teach locally. Grace teaches Voice and Dance at the Star Performance Academy in Waterloo, and Sarah teaches at WholeTone Music Academy, also in Waterloo. Sarah is currently enrolled in WLU's Opera Development program.

And now they add another similarity to their CVs: they are both at Mount Zion, where they join Willow Whitley on our team of choral scholars, enhancing both the choir and our worship.


Mount Zion Reimagining Update

At our November congregational meeting, Karen Bjerland outlined council’s next steps in our process. At the following council meeting, we decided on a list of organizations that we might like to partner with in the future. Those organizations were sent a Request for formation. Many of them responded with further information that included their goals and values. At our next council meeting, we will sift through the responses with a goal to create a short list of potential partner organizations that we plan to interview in person. Hopefully, that will happen in March. Around that time we will be looking for interested members who might like to become a part of the work that follows. Stay tuned.

Frozen Meals Still Available

The Kitchen Ministry committee has extended the FROZEN MEAL sale until this Friday, Jan. 12th. A limited number of entrées are available at $ 10. each.

To place your frozen meal order, Margaret, call 519-886-5820 by noon this Friday (today).  You can pick up your meal after Sunday worship. Any meals left over on Sunday can be purchased following the service. Supplies are limited.

Menu Selection = $10/meal at Jan 10        Qty of Stock

Chicken & Rice Soup                                           1

Spaghetti & Marinara sauce                                1

Spaghetti & Meat sauce                                      4

BBQ seasoned Chicken                                       8

Sausage, Potato, Braised Cabbage                   27

Curry Chicken & Mashed Potato                         4

Carrot Loaf (vegetarian)                                        3

Pork Chop & Mashed Potato                               5

Jerk Chicken & Rice                                              2

Mac 'n' Cheese (vegetarian) (no dairy)                2

Exercise Classes Return on Tuesdays in January 

Marg Tupling reports that Community Support Connections has assigned us a new kinesiologist who will be teaching classes on Tuesday afternoons.  The classes will include cardio, strength, balance, and flexibility exercises in a one-hour time frame.  This is a free service.  The classes will start on Tuesday, January 9th, at 1:00. She reminds us that movement is an essential part of staying healthy as we age.

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.

Thank You!

Thank you to all who purchased the Poinsettias that graced our sanctuary over the Christmas Season.

Name                                         In memory of :

Richard & Susan Brubacher       Loved ones

Henriette Stumper                     Husband, Jake

Margaret Waechter                    Loved ones

Stephanie von Schilling             Kurt & Karin

Carol & Lloyd Ziegler                 Parents

Joan & Jacquelyn Schweitzer    Family members

Jane & Ross Schlegel                 Family members

Hermine Nassau                         Husband, Willi

Margaret Murison                       Husband, Sandy

Philip & Joy Mathai                     Family members

Karen & Bill Gastmeier               Family members

Dianne Frombach                       Husband, Elmer

Judy & John Penteker                Loved ones

Karry Joy Townson                      Parents

Pauline Finch                               Alfred

Mary Thompson                          Husband, Carl

Ann Crossman                             Family members

Karen Bjerland                            Conrad & Charlotte Barth

Marg & Roger Tupling                Family & Friends

Gloria Heimbecker                     Husband, Richard

A Thank You Note from Habitat for Humanity

I wanted to send a quick note to thank you so much for the donation we received from Mount Zion – we’re so grateful for the support and generosity of your congregation!

This week, a family moves into their new home in our Kehl Street community and in January, the final family will move in – bringing to an end ten inspiring years of work that has resulted in 45 volunteer-built homes for local families.  We celebrate the end of this build with all of our supporters, so THANK YOU for being a part of that journey!  Thanks again, and please wish the congregation a very Merry Christmas from all of us at Habitat Waterloo Region!


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

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Links for Worship and more

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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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