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Photo by Mirko Petricevic
, Martin Luther

University College

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News from Mount Zion
June 18, 2021



National Indigenous Sunday

As we celebrate National Indigenous Sunday this week, Mary Thompson will speak and share her stories of our journey with our Indigenous neighbours as a congregation and the larger church.

Open Sesame Update

I can't believe it, but we made it through this crazy year and we actually did really well.  I am so grateful for all you did behind the scenes to make this year happen. My only regret is that you all didn't get to meet the children and their families and be a part of the excitement in person.  I thought you would like to hear directly from some of the families:


We have had such a fantastic year with Open Sesame. Our son started the year as an only child who hadn’t been able to socialize for a while due to covid, and he’s really bloomed being around all the other kids. We’ve been so appreciative of the way the teachers care for him and have supported his interests in creative ways. We love the crafts, messy experiments, and outdoor time! I feel sad that the year is over but confident that he is now ready to succeed in kindergarten. Thanks, Open Sesame!

Read more      Jana Kelly

Member Support remains strong in May

Our results for the five-month period ending May 31 in the Ministry and Mission (current) account are much better than planned aided by continued Government wage support & an investment gain resulting in a surplus of $4,025.  This compares with a budgeted deficit of $20,687 for a favourable deviation of $24,712. Although results through May have been very positive, the results have been buoyed by Government Support & other one-time benefits.  In the second half, it is unlikely that we will qualify for Government support under the current programs, and rental income will not be at planned levels.  A recent forecast suggests that we will likely end the year better than budget, but a significant deficit is still likely. Read full report 



A note from Bishop Pryse

Rev. Dr. Mark Harris appointed

Dear Friends,

I am delighted to inform you that the Eastern Synod welcomes the Rev. Dr. Mark Harris to serve as a Congregational Redevelopment Advisor starting on July 1, 2021. Congregational Redevelopment Services is one of the ways the Eastern Synod supports congregations which are struggling with declining membership, revenue and relevance. The goal is to help congregations discover where renewed mission and capital resources meet community needs.

Mark brings considerable gifts in missional leadership, administration, and relationship management. He is the past Principal/Dean of Martin Luther University College. Prior to his time at Luther, he served as an Assistant to the Bishop of the Eastern Synod and as a parish pastor in three congregations. He was also the founding chairperson of Lutheran Homes Kitchener-Waterloo.  See more



Behold I Do a New Thing

The 2021 Eastern Synod Assembly, Behold I Do a New Thing, will be held June 25-26 using an online format. Pastor Philip, Karen Gastmeier and Christina Kuhnert will be attending as delegates for Mount Zion. The entire agenda and bulletin for reports is available on the synod website. Of note is the Recognition of those celebrating significant anniversaries of ordination and the presentation of Eastern Synod Leadership Awards on Friday at 4:30 pm

Five of our members are celebrating anniversaries of ordination, let us join them in celebration and in gratitude for their leadership and faithfulness:

Rev. Nancy Kelly – 25 years

Rev. Mark Harris – 40 years

Rev. Bill Brown – 50 years

Rev. Melvin Janke – 50 years

Rev. Dick Crossman – 50 years

Besides these, we also have someone from the congregation receiving an Eastern Synod Leadership Award.  


Free eye exams might soon to be a thing of the past

Optometrists in Ontario are threatening to stop OHIP covered exams as of September 1, 2021. These are exams apply to one annual eye exam for those under 20, for those 65 and older as well as those with specific medical conditions.

Optometrists say they are stopping these due to underfunding for these exams from the government. They say that the funding they receive does not cover their expenses to run their clinics.

If you are in need of an eye exam and fall into one of these categories, you may wish to consider booking an exam as soon as possible.   Nurse Christine

Fall Book Discussion, Thursday, October 28, 1:30-3:00 pm

Health Council will be holding a book discussion on The Boat People by Canadian author, Sharon Bala. Inspired by a real incident, the book is about five hundred refugees from Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war, who survive a perilous ocean voyage to Vancouver, BC, only to face, in their new land, the threat of deportation and accusations of terrorism. The book is a timely novel in that it may help us reflect on current refugee issues. The place and format of the discussion will be decided as we get closer to the date. If you have any questions, please contact Mary Slethaug or Betty Behm.


Around the building

Nurse Christine sent these photos of the flowers blooming in Mount Zion’s gardens. In this pause to our normal routines, it is good to remember that some life continues just as planned and in glorious colour.  They are a welcome additon to our usual illustrations.


Upcoming Lessons

Sun. June 20 — Fourth Sunday after Pentecost Readings

Job 38:1-11
Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32 (29)
2 Corinthians 6:1-13
Mark 4:35-41

Sun. June 27 — Fifth Sunday after Pentecost Readings 
Lamentations 3:22-33 or Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24
Psalm 30 (1)
2 Corinthians 8:7-15
Mark 5:21-43


In Our Prayers
Let us remember in our prayers Marjorie, Barb, George, Betty, Delfina, Jake, Julian, Rosalie, Kristen, James and Aaron Behm for healing and wholeness. For Joan Brunger and family grieving the death of her sister Patricia Findlay and for Mark Himmelman now recovering from Covid 19.  For the families and communities of the 215 children whose graves were discovered in Kamloops. For the family of those killed in London because of their faith and the healing of the young boy in hospital. For Indigenous and Muslim communities in Canada. For our synod and the synod assembly on June 25 and 26.
Update on Mark Himmelman

We learned recently that Mark Himmelman is home from hospital and now recovering from COVID 19 at home. Many of you will remember Mark as the former director of music at St John’s (Trillium) Lutheran, Waterloo, his involvement with the choir and music program here at Mount Zion and as a brilliant composer. Amy has used many of his pieces as preludes recently and the choir has performed a number of his anthems in the past.  Recovering at home alone, is a lonely business. He would welcome a note through his Facebook page.


Meal Teams Wanted

Mount Zion has partnered with The Ray of Hope to serve meals in the past. Currently they are looking for groups of people to serve as MEAL TEAMS for these Summer dates: JUNE - 25 & 29 JULY - 1, 7, 16, 21, 28, 29, & 30 AUG - 4, 5, 18, 20, 25, 27, & 30 in their community centre. If you are interested, gather a team of your friends and contact Jaime at 519-578-8018 ext. 224 or jwright@rayofhope.net.

They also have several employment opportunities including
1) Fundraising & Public Relations Manager in Kitchener
2) Intake Specialist in Kitchener
3) Case Management Coordinator in Petersburg
4) Full-Time + Part-Time/Relief Youth Care Workers (YCW) in Petersburg To apply for any of the positions see (https://ray-of-hope.breezy.hr).  

For more information about Ray of Hope see their newsletter Hope in Action, you can learn a little more about the skills that the new Program Manager, brings to the Youth Employment Program.

We are looking for some help

Recently we received 12 new chairs with arms that need final assembly. The chairs were purchased using funds from a Service Canada grant for the Mount Zion Cafe. If you have a little time, we would appreciate a hand.

"Bee Kind!" at Bridges VBS 2021

Great news!   We are bringing VBS to you again this year with Bridges VBS @ Home.   Join us as Bridges VBS moves online with daily videos including Bible Stories, music, games, crafts and more!
Follow us at facebook.com/bridgesvbs or watch for updates on this website for daily videos and activities July 5 to 9.
Families in Waterloo Region can register with us before May 31st to receive email updates and a FREE at home activity kit!  (We are sorry that we are unable to deliver activity kids to families outside Waterloo Region.)  Register by emailing Heidi at bridgesvbs@gmail.com.
If your congregation is interested in helping or supporting Bridges VBS @ Home please email Heidi at bridgesvbs@gmail.com. 
They are looking for donations of

- 2 large boxes Honey Comb cereal

- 1 box sandwich size clear zip lock bags (can be store brand) - about 40 bags

- 1 squeeze bottle of honey (not a glass jar)

- Snack size microwave popcorn (not full size) - about 20 bags or 3 boxes of 8 snack size bags

- zip lock freezer bags (large) - can be store brand - 100 bags

- bag of wood clothes pins (40 pins)

- sidewalk chalk


Please drop off at the church by Wed. June 23 (place items in marked box inside front door) on Tues. & Wed. mornings from 9:00 – 12 noon

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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)


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)


MEN'S BREAKFAST   9:00 a.m. Thursday

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               pmathai@mzlc.ca                       cell: 519-781-5602
Music Director Amy Di Nino   amy@connectinginrhythm.com   cell: 905-466-3774
Office Administrator Margaret Waechter mtzion@mzlc.ca           
Nurse Christine Ramseyer     pnchristine@hotmail.com            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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