Mount Zion’s Building to remain closed until at least September
As disappointing as it will be for members of our community, Mount Zion’s building will remain closed until at least September.
On Monday, the Ontario government issued guidelines around Stage 2 reopening. Worship places are now able to open but with only 30% capacity of our building. At our exec meeting yesterday we wondered what a church service would look like, with social distancing rules in place and no singing. As much as we enjoy it, the risk is high for transmission of the coronavirus when singing.
We also received a letter containing some guidance on reopening from the Bishop who recommends that we postpone reopening until at least September.
The Bishop writes, “For almost three months now we have been physically distancing from one another for the love of our neighbour. That same motivation needs to be paramount as we plan for the future. I encourage you to use these coming months as an opportunity to plan and put in place comprehensive plans for what in-person worship will look like once we have decided that it is both prudent and safe to physically gather in our church buildings once again. It is my intention to provide our rostered and congregational leaders with resources to help in that process in the coming weeks.”
A working group of Stephanie von Schilling, Betty Behm and Ginny Ehrlich will be doing exactly as the Bishop recommends, understanding the new rules of gathering and preparing the building for social distancing, and whatever else is required of us. The list is extensive, and we look forward to hearing the results of their work.
We know that this will be disappointing for many of you and we encourage you to join a Zoom service if you haven’t tried it before. If you would like to give it a try and are uncertain as to how to go about it, please give Di in the office a call. She will either walk you through the process or line you up with someone that can help you.
We look forward to the day that we can safely gather again and we remain hopeful that a September reopening will be possible.
Pastor Philip Writes
The past week was a blur with the events of the week being so overwhelming; with the pain and frustrations of our racialized sisters and brothers being expressed through the protests all over the US and beyond. These events have shaken all of us to look within ourselves and to be more intentional in looking at how racism plays out systemically in our structures and institutions and also how we could be mindful of it in our own personal circles. This is not easy, it makes all of us uncomfortable, where ever in the racial spectrum we be. But as people of faith we are called to acknowledge the intrinsic image of God in all of us, one that calls us to relate one with another in mutual love and mutual interdependence. Let us intentionally look for ways to affirm our relatedness and our belongingness to God and to one another and walk in solidarity with our sisters and brothers who are struggling for this to become a reality, those struggling for their authentic humanity and self-worth. Pastor Philip
The year of Glen Gould
One of Gould's reasons for abandoning live performance was his aesthetic preference for the recording studio, where, in his words, he developed a "love affair with the microphone”. There, he could control every aspect of the final musical "product" by selecting parts of various takes. He felt that he could realize a musical score more fully this way. Thus, the act of musical composition, to Gould, did not entirely end with the original score. The performer had to make creative choices. Gould felt strongly that there was little point in re-recording centuries-old pieces if the performer had no new perspective to bring to the work. For the rest of his life, Gould eschewed live performance, focusing instead on recording, writing, and broadcasting.
So, I have something to confess to all of you. I’m new, and I hope you won’t be too harsh with me, but…I’m also having a love affair with a microphone. Nope, that’s still not the truth. There’s two. I’m in love with *gasp* two microphones.
I began to think about Gould one Sunday morning as I sat by myself, taking in the morning silence and preparing to begin our Zoom service. Beginning the search for a new musical calling and arriving at a new congregation is one of the most incredible feelings as a musician and director, because in that time, the possibilities are truly endless. Blinding overwhelming as well, but the energy you are receiving from all the musical opportunities that await makes that a mere side effect.
How incredibly different my new position at Mount Zion has become - I enjoyed two in person services, a third that was quite low in numbers - and the remainder of my three months have been virtual. I spend my week alone in the sanctuary, with two microphones carefully placed after weeks of trials, and provide those recordings through computer screens on Sunday mornings. How I crave your in-person ears! How I crave your in-person voices! A true aching and longing. These microphones just aren’t doing it for me. It’s a lonely existence I live, and I’m no Glen Gould! But, let me reflect a little further.
What has this time afforded me? When I was an undergrad student, I would spend three or four hours a day in a practice room, often recording myself and feverishly listening back to glean even the most minute detail that I could change - the way I articulated a note, the length of a crescendo, the space created in a rubato passage. I have always looked back on those four years as being so precious to me, because of how much I grew and developed, being gifted all of that time every day to increase my skills and bring myself closer to my life purpose. I have also always valued that time so highly because I knew that I would never have that kind of time again in my adult life.
My microphones have taught me an immense amount in the past three months. I had committed to improving my organ skills at Mt. Zion, and quickly realized that this was going to be my positive in our challenging times. I was suddenly being given hours a day, like in my undergrad, and I seized it. But, I became mindful that my work and practicing was not just for myself, it was for all of you as well. Familiar auditory sounds can place us back into a memory within seconds - hearing your wedding song, a song that you shared with a child - that is how deep music marks our memories. I began to realize on Sunday mornings that the sound of the organ has never sounded so much like a long lost friend. Our voices have never sounded so longing and sincere. The music that we have been making since March 13th is different. It is now coming from a place of necessity. We need to make this music not only to enhance our Sunday experience, but to keep our souls dancing. We might feel silly singing at home along with others on our screen but the voices we hear are reminding us that we remain as one. That even a pandemic can’t stop our music. And my All-Bach concert will be scheduled for the Fall. Thanks for the idea, Glen.
One last confession. I don’t socially distance the microphones.
Young Adult Ministries
**Here’s some of what’s happening for YOUNG ADULTS (17-35)
YA Brunch June 14th at 12pm EST.
On Sunday June 14th, from 12noon -2pm we are hosting Young Adult Brunch! We are inviting YAs (18-35) to grab lunch, a snack, and/or a beverage of their choosing and join us on Zoom to meet other Young Adults and talk about "Life, Church, Pandemic..." and why the final season of Game of Thrones was a complete let down. Join us to laugh, hang out, and make friends. Comfy clothes are heavily encouraged, Kristina will be wearing her best onesie.
Join Zoom Meeting: Join our Cloud HD Video Meeting now Meeting ID: 896 6026 4461
"35 Under 35"
There are way more Lutheran Young Adults across the Church than we think there are. I (Kristina) have been talking to young adults and introducing people to 60 (and counting!) Young Adult Lutherans from across the National Church. In each bio YA’s share who they are, what they do, how they are involved in the Church, and what they are hopeful for. You learn about what is important to the growing Church of right now, and of the future.
To read these 60 bios and maybe find a new friend go to @ELCICyoungadults on FB, Twitter or Instagram, or to https://esyouth-elcic.ca/ .
Email me firstname.lastname@example.org to be involved! I would love to meet, include and hear about more Young Adults,
"Young Canadian Lutheran" YouTube Channel
What actually happened on Maundy Thursday? Imagine being the Chair of your church Council at 26! What does a Bishop even do? On this channel, I (Kristina) interview Young Adults about their REAL church and faith life, retell and investigate the church stories we’ve always heard, ask hard questions about church, and create space where we can worship and strengthen our faith together. We have so many questions about church and faith, and we’re going to keep asking. See: https://bit.ly/3etu6GN
**Here’s what’s happening for YOUTH (13-17)
Youth Hang Tuesdays 5-7pm EST
Sometimes, the best times in your life are just "chillin’ with your peeps". That’s what this is. Come for the whole time, come for 5 minutes, come and go as you can, but come hang with us, check in with your friends, chat about faith, life, and play some games.
Join Zoom Meeting: Meeting ID 76559994876
Campfire Night Every other Friday (June 5, 19, etc) 7pm-9pm EST
Missing camp? Missing CLAY? Every other Friday we are sharing stories, songs, and silly games, and toasting marshmallows (safely!!) Bring your cozy clothes and your fave camp snack. THIS FRIDAY (June 5) is "Silly Songs with Lutherans" Night, the part of the night when Lutherans come out and sing some silly songs. Bring your favourite camp songs and your best musical self. Remember, when your voice reaches God, it’s perfect and wonderful as it is.
Join Zoom Meeting: Meeting ID: 898 5175 0750
Please read, and then share this post with Young Adults (17-35), Youth (13-17), Young Adult and Youth Ministry leaders, even your whole congregation! You never know who is connected to someone missing community.
Follow our social medias for regular updates And send us an email, dm, etc. about what you're doing in your congregation/Area and what support you might be looking for!
Thank you and can’t wait to meet you!
Kristina Kuhnert (She/Her) & Emily Savage (She/Her)
How many people are familiar with Glen Gould? One of our most beloved and most-celebrated Canadian pianist, great interpreter of Bach, was a man who would have thrived in these times of Corona. Why? If you’re not aware, Gould chose to remove himself from the public eye, and he stopped giving concerts at the age of 31 to concentrate on studio recording and other projects. He argued that public performance devolved into a sort of competition, with a non-empathetic audience (musically and otherwise) mostly attendant to the possibility of the performer playing a wrong note or not meeting critical expectation.