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News from Mount Zion
July 24, 2020

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More questions than answers

Thoughts on reopening, the roof and fundraising

It’s been a strange summer for council and a few of our committees. Summer usually means fewer meetings as we all take a break or at least enjoy a slower pace. However, it is not the case this year.

Over the last few weeks I have written a little about a few of the projects that are ongoing and decisions that must be made in regard to reopening.  The recent upticks in new cases of Covid-19 aren’t making things any clearer.

Currently two task groups are working through the details of what future services are going to look like. The first group is exploring and rehearsing technical issues relating to presenting the service both live and virtually. The second group are tasked with understanding and implementing the arrangements and protocols for reopening using both the provincial and synodical guidelines.Part of their task is to figure out how many people can fit in the sanctuary using social distancing guidelines.  

Would we be able to fit more people in if all, or some of pews, were removed and replaced with chairs?

Are we ready to open the rest of the building to renters?

When is the right time to reopen?

How can we produce a quality recorded service for those who can’t or aren’t ready to attend in person while maintaining the intimacy of the Zoom community  ?

It seems there are more questions than answers. You can help the decision- making process by filling out the survey that was sent to you earlier this week. Your input is essential to making this all work. In early August, council will meet with the two groups working on reopening issues to make some preliminary decisions. Stay tuned.

And then there is the roof. I wrote a few weeks ago that it has become apparent that a new roof must be in our future and that the property committee is researching and getting quotes for different roofing systems. That process is still ongoing. In the meantime, council has been working on how we are going to pay for it and we have made one important decision and that is that we will begin a capital campaign in August. Council is aware that the timing isn’t perfect, it’s summer and we aren’t occupying the building at the moment. You will be receiving a letter outlining more information about the needs and hopes for this campaign at the end of the month. We truly hope that the campaign, even under difficult circumstances, will be a success.

Karen Gastmeier on behalf of Church Council


In our Prayers

In Our Prayers

Let us continue to remember Gwen, Christine, Margaret, Willie, David, and Conrad in our prayers, that they would experience wholeness and healing. 

Let us also remember the Ernst family as they grieve the death of Charlie. 

Let us remember Bishop Pryse, Pastor Adam Snook and the members of the Task Force who are giving leadership as we transition to in-person worship in the synod, for wisdom and discernment.

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The Mustard Tree

The Season of Pentecost

Readings and Psalm for July 26

Genesis 29:15-28

Psalm 105:1-11, 45b

Romans 8:26-39

Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52


Links and Lessons

Newness is never cozy; it arrives through a struggle that turns out to be birth, though along the way the struggle might have been mistaken for death pangs. Newness is not easy for the God who will create a homecoming for exiles, according to this point. Newness is not easy in creation that is too long in the grip of deathliness. The process of newness, . . . . ., is a process of pain that is very deep , so deep that it cannot be lived through quietly or serenely, perhaps not by either the creator or by the creation. 

Something to think about as we look into the future as a congregation along with our sister congregations in our synod and beyond! .

 Pastor Philip

Zoom Links  

SUNDAY 10 am (Sign in any time after 9:30 am)


Meeting ID: 741 745 428  Password: 128324

VESPERS 7:00 pm Monday - Thursday evenings(Sign in any time after 6:30, Service starts at 7:00 pm)


Meeting ID: 826 4408 7778

MEN'S BREAKFAST   9:00 a.m. Thursday

Postludes and Preludes from previous services can be accessed by clicking on the YouTube icon at the  top of the page. 

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No Newsletter Next Week

It takes a team to build a newsletter and being that two of the team will be on holidays next week, we won't be producing the "weekly" news. Pastor Philip and Karen will be back at their computers the following week.

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Worship Notes

You might have noticed that we used a new Acknowledgement of Territory last Sunday, as it is Mount Zion’s practice to change it from time to time. Mary Thompson, who provided this most recent edition, says that she believes that it is important to change it periodically to suit the season and to recognize circumstances.  This one highlights our responsibility to care for the watershed and a commitment to learning. It is part of a collection of resources put together for Indigenous Peoples Day, June 21 2020, by the Eastern Synod’s Circle for Reconciliation and Justice (CRJ), and was written by CRJ member Sherri Wilker of St. Peter’s Cambridge. It reads:

We are walking hand in hand on this safe and bountiful land which is part of the Grand River watershed, traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and Neutral peoples, fellow sojourners.

We give thanks to the Creator for this great gift and recognize our responsibility as treaty people to care for the land and waters that nourish us and give us strength.

We also acknowledge that it is our duty to do more to learn about the rich history of this land to better understand our roles as residents, neighbours, caretakers and sojourners. 

for more inforamtion about the CRJ https://easternsynod.org/category/crj/

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The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Here is a nice little note remembering one of our Charter Members and how his generosity in the past continues to give!

Dr. Ed Buder, who I am sure many of you will remember approached Pastor Norm Lang not long after we built our new Sanctuary and said something like …. “Norm, we need a sound system. Have our property committee get the best one money can buy!”

So we did, and it served us well until a few years ago when obsolescence pushed us into the “digital age”

The old bits sat in my music room until (with Karen’s gentle help) I had to decide what to do with them. I thought that they could have some life left in them for the right user, so I took them to Long and McQuade, one of our audio suppliers. Sure enough, they commented what good shape they were in and that they could likely find them a good home. I didn’t expect it, but they paid us a not insignificant amount which went back into the capital account.

 Thanks Ed. What goes around comes around.   Bill Gastmeier

Fall Book Study Update

For those of you who have placed orders for Nancy Kelly’s Book, Souls at Risk: we expect them to arrive any day now! Di will email all of you as soon as they arrive, so you can pick up your copies (and she’ll phone those who do not have an email address)

Can you be good without God?

I came across this interesting article, "Can you be good without God?" and was intrigued by what it had to say about education and wealth and how it influenced the connection between God and morality!  A very short article but something to ponder on!!  Pastor Philip


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City to install new sidewalk on Dawson Street

The City of Waterloo has scheduled the construction of a sidewalk on our Dawson St. sidewalk from Westmount Rd. S. to Lourdes St

Work is expected to start on or about July 22., 2020 to be completed within about 2 weeks, weather permitting. This planned work will include the excavation, installation of a concrete sidewalk and boulevard work. Sousa Concrete will be carrying out the associated works on behalf of the City of Waterloo. Asphalt and grassed areas will be restored by City of Waterloo crews.

As the work progresses, there may be some disruptions to local traffic and limited access to Dawson Street driveway while work is completed. The contractor will ensure that there is at least one lane of traffic available to the driveway at all times., Driveway aprons and curbs that are in poor repair will also be replaced at the time of the sidewalk construction.

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Upcoming events

Aug 16 - Bishop Michael Pryse visit (Zoom)

Oct 22  1 - 3 pm  Fall Book Discussion

Nov 21 5:30 pm Caribbean Christmas Party

Feb 28 2021  Black History Month  Celebrations

ways to


click here

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