top of page

June 28, 2024

This newsletter is best viewed on computer screen

Join us for worship in person or on- line at 10 am every Sunday
Carla Blakely.jpg

Bishop Elect Carla Blakely

Christine Hulan, Secretary.jpg

Christine Hulan, Secretary

Frederick Mertz.jpg

Frederick Mertz, Treasurer

Sara Whynot, Vice President

synod group.jpg

Some of the Mount Zion Representatives. 

Picnic 6.jpg
gift card.jpg
Upcoming Events

Sept 29 – New Member Sunday

Pastor Philip Writes
About the Eastern Synod Assembly

This was a historic assembly in the life of the Eastern Synod. Four of the office bearers, Bishop Pryse, Vice Chair Laurie Knott, Secretary Wendal Grahlman and treasurer Keith Myra, with a combined over 90 years of service as synod leaders, were all retiring, and we were there also to elect a new Bishop and Vice Chair and to affirm the nomination of the secretary and treasurer.

Meeting in person after a six-year break was welcomed by all, especially being able to mingle and re-establish ties with colleagues from all over the synod and share about our ministries and congregations. Despite the hard times we came through and are still in, a sense of hope and optimism was palpable. Besides reports, we also heard from our companion churches and passed a host of resolutions, many of which had to do with the Constitution.

But the most important task of the assembly was to elect the new office bearers. Though there were four suggested names for the bishop and vice chair, voting began with ecclesiastical ballots when one could name anyone who was eligible for the position.

After five ballots, Pastor Carla Blakley was elected as the next Bishop of the Eastern Synod! She will be the first woman elevated as bishop of the Eastern Synod. In response to her election, Bishop-Elect Blakley offered words of gratitude and hope for the future of ministry in the Eastern Synod! She comes with an impressive resume and comes to us from the Saskatchewan Synod. She currently serves as Senior Pastor of Lakeveiw United Lutheran Partnership. She did her Master of Divinity at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary from 1990-1995. So, she has lived in the area for 5 years. A few years back, she was here at Mount Zion when she preached and shared about the Canadian Lutheran World Relief ministries while on staff there.

Sara Whynot was elected as the next Vice Chairperson of the Eastern Synod. Sara is the first officer of the Eastern Synod to be elected from the Atlantic Ministry Area. Sara is a member of St. John's Lutheran Church, Mahone Bay, NS.

Christine Hulan, the new secretary of the synod, is a lifelong Lutheran and currently holds membership at Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church in London, ON. Christine has over 30 years of administrative and financial experience in the private and public sectors and is an Assistant Office Manager with the Ministry of the Solicitor General. Of particular note, Christine currently serves as part of Redeemer’s Reimagines Team and is the Synod’s Candidacy Committee chairperson.

Frederick Mertz, the new synod treasurer, is an active member of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hamilton, ON. He is the son of Revs Thomas and Daniela Mertz. Frederick graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2020 with a Bachelor of Mathematics and currently works as an Associate at Stillwater Capital. As a younger person in such a role, Frederick sees this as an opportunity to bring different perspectives to conversations about strategic decisions and directions to address the challenges and opportunities facing God’s church in Canadian society.

These leadership changes will impact the ongoing ministries and direction of the synod. We have new leaders with their own visions and passions for the future of the church. Let us continue to pray that they be granted the grace to lead wisely and in God's plan for God’s people.

A few other items of note

  • Mount Zion was well-represented at the assembly. Delegates were Pastor Philip Mathai and Karen Gastmeier, Hanne Kuhnert, Bill Gastmeier, Claudine Carlson, and Peter Kuhnert, who were there as Visitors. Karen Kuhnert was representing St Paul's, Cambridge. Bob and Nancy Kelly were special guests at the Leadership Banquet. Joy Philip was there as a representative of Martin Luther University, and Cherub Philip provided musical leadership at Worship.

  • Bob Kelly was honoured on his 50th Year of Ordination anniversary.

  • Pastor Philip and Pastor Peter reported to the assembly on their Guyana trip

  • Scott Knarr and Debbie Lou Ludolf were among the six persons to receive a leadership award.

In Our Prayers

While I was away on vacation, I received the news of the demise of James Riegert on June 6. A memorial service was held at Mount Zion on June 18.

Let us pray for Ruth Stromberg, Claudine, Christine, Marilyn, Konrad, Mary-Helen, Sandra, Julian, George, Betty, Rosalie, Thelma, Helen, and the Stewart family. Let us also remember Ladona and Anne and her family as they mourn James’ death. Let us continue to pray for peace in the world, especially in Palestine.

In Christ,

Pr. Philip

June 25, 2024

Worship in the Park…not exactly in the Park

It’s Sunday morning, the day set aside for Worship in the Park, a time when we can experience that special kind of worship that happens in the great outdoors. It is 8:00 a.m., the rain from the night before has stopped, but the sky is grey. What to do? Do we risk the possibility of another rainfall, or do we change the venue? Haltingly, the decision is made to move the worship service and picnic to the church auditorium. But we are unsure whether it will turn out to be the right decision. We notify the congregation by email and on the website.

It's 9 a.m. as we arrive to set up, and the clouds lift to reveal a blue sky. We are questioning our decision, and in light of that, we begin hoping for rain. The service begins, and at about the halfway point, it pours!  Whew!

The service was delightful despite the rain. We all enjoyed seeing David Mursion on the piano keyboard instead of his usual computer keyboard. The picnic vibe continued with great food and fellowship. All in all we had a great time.

Mount Zion Adopts New Constitution

On June 16, at a congregational meeting, Mount Zion voted to adopt a new set of constitutional documents. The Constitution and Bylaws include changes necessary to comply with the Not-For-Profit Corporations Act of Ontario. The most significant change made necessary is that we will need to organize our membership into Voting and Non-Voting members.

We also had to choose the number of people required to serve as board members. We chose a range from six to twelve. Currently, we have eleven members.

If you are attending Mount Zion and wish to become a member, please speak to Pastor Philip. The process is easy.

Picture Directory

We plan to update our picture directory over the summer, so now is the time to inform us of any changes in your address or contact information. It is also the time to replace our photo if you would like to do so. This is a special note to those of you who are new or who were not included in our previous directory; we really want you to be involved. Check with Margaret to see if you are in our database.

To make this all happen, please send us your changes by July 14. If you cannot supply a photo, someone will be around to snap one on Sunday, June 30, or July 7.

Reimagining Mount Zion Update

In our last update, we told you the council was busy interviewing possible partners. We have continued on this path for the last several months. We have interviewed organizations that might become tenants, not-for-profit builders of affordable housing, and one whose specialty is building community hubs. In the last few weeks, we received a report from a real estate agent and met with the Region of Waterloo. We have learned a lot and taken on an overwhelming amount of information.  Thank you to all the council members who have spent more than a few extra hours listening and learning.

On July 20, the council has a day-long gathering planned to review what we have learned and check in with each other about how we feel the process is progressing.  We expect to have more updates in the fall.

Food Card Ministry

While planning your summer vacation, please consider our Food Card Ministry. Even though we are taking some time off, the need for food support remains. We appreciate your ongoing support of this important neighbourhood ministry.. 

Links for Worship and more

  • YouTube


ways to

click here

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.

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!

bottom of page