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March 22, 2024

Join us for worship in person or on- line at 10 am every Sunday
  • Scroll to bottom of page for contact information and links to services and activities

  • Masks are optional at Mount Zion 

  • Deadline for next edition March 20

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Lutheran Lay Academy New Amsterdam, (L-R) Rev Christopher Wordsworth, Rev. Sandra Kurtzious, Rev Peter Kuhnert, Rev. Leroy Nicholson, Rev. James P. Jones, Rev. Philip Mathai and Rev. Amanda Singh.


(L-R) Rev. Philip Mathai, Deacon Ackloo Ramsudh, Deacon Mavis Campbell,Deacon Keith Hazel, Deacon Leeta Chutkhan, Deacon Beverly Johnson, Rev.Peter Kuhnert and Deacon Elaine Grannum

Philip and socks 1_edited.jpg

Pastor Philip holds up a set of red socks, one pair of eight in liturgical colours presented to him on his 10th anniversary at Mount Zion

Photo: Laura Briant

Holy Week at Mount Zion

Holy Week is the most significant week in our Church Calendar. From Palm Sunday to Holy Saturday, it marks the final stretch before Easter Sunday, when we celebrate Jesus' Resurrection. It is when we pray and reflect on the profound journey of Jesus' suffering, sacrifice, and victory over death.

March 24 — Procession of the Palms - Sunday at 10 am

March 28 — Maundy Thursday at 7 pm with foot and hand washing

March 29 — Good Friday at 10 am

March 31 — Easter Sunday 10 am


In Our Prayers

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

We also pray for Betty Behm and her family, grieving the loss of her niece, who recently died in a fire in British Columbia. 


Easter Music

The choir has been busy preparing music for Holy Week and Easter. This year, on Palm/Passion Sunday, we will sing the John Goss version of "God So Loved the World" - not as well-known as the Stainer version but very beautiful. 

On Good Friday, we will present Mary McDonald's cantata "It Is Finished." This Work traces the story of Jesus from the scriptural Last Supper to the crucifixion through choir pieces, narration, and congregational hymns. 

Easter morning will feature oboist Sarah J. Cardwell and some wonderful choir pieces, including an easter litany and a piece based on the tune "Simple Gifts".


Easter Flowers

This year, we will once again decorate our chancel with an array of Blue Hydrangeas for Easter. If you wish to participate by supporting this purchase, please see the signup sheet in the narthex. The 10” pots cost $36.00, and the 6” pots cost $20.00. Please pick up your plant immediately after service on Easter Sunday if possible. 

(Please indicate “Flowers” in the “other” section of your envelope.)  We appreciate your support.

Nominations for Bishop Announced

The Eastern Synod Announced this week, the five nominees for Bishop (in alphabetical order): Rev. Carla Blakley, Rev. Katherine Gohm, Rev. Jennifer Hoover, Rev. Bonnie Schelter-Brown, Rev. Adam Snook; and two nominees for Vice-Chairperson (in alphabetical order): Kathryn Smith, Sara Whynot.  
Four candidates for Bishop received the minimum of five votes needed to be designated as nominees by the Nominating Committee. Two candidates for Vice-Chairperson received the minimum number of votes required. The names and profiles of the designated nominees can be found here on the Synod website.


Want to gain confidence when reading text out loud to an audience?
Want to be more active in our worship leadership?

Have we an opportunity for you? Joining the Assisting Minister team is a great way to gain confidence in speaking out loud and help Pastor Philip lead the worship service. 

Coaching is available to those who want to learn how to use their voice when delivering written text. You’ve probably already had experience—reading children's stories out loud.

Join this supportive Assisting Minister team!  Rotation is approximately every 4-5 weeks, and you pick the Sundays that you’re available.   Call the office at 519-886-5820 or speak with either Pastor Philip or Margaret.


Garden Update

The growing season is approaching, and the Alfred Brunger Community Garden is planning for spring. So far, all 21 plots have been spoken for, and four people are on the active waiting list. 

The cleanup and official opening day is Saturday, May 25, when we will tidy up and replace a dead fruit tree.

Jumping ahead to the fall, cleanup will be on Saturday, October 26. Following this growing season, I am going to pass on the baton. We hope one of the young keen gardeners will take on the task. Joan Brunger


Pastors Philip and Peter in Guyana  

Reprinted from the Eastern Synod Weekly Newsletter March 15, 2024

The Eastern Synod Weekly (March 14) (

The Eastern Synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Guyana (ELCG) have had a companion synod relationship since 2002. Unfortunately, in 2020, COVID disrupted this relationship and halted all joint activities for three years. In this context, Mr. Michael Davy Ram, the Treasurer of ELCG, and Pastor Peter Kuhnert of the Eastern Synod met over lunch during the LWF 13th Assembly in Krakow, Poland, last September 2023. Their initial conversation led to discussions between the ELCG and the Eastern Synod, resulting in this joint ministry initiative. The focal points of the initiative were two leadership retreats, one for ELCG pastors, January 25-27, 2024, and another for ELCG deacons, Feb. 1-3, 2024. Pastor Peter Kuhnert and Pastor Philip Mathai mutually led both retreats.

The ELCG is the second oldest Lutheran church in the western hemisphere, founded in 1743. It has 15,000 members in 41 congregations divided among 13 parishes. A current challenge is that there are only six pastors and eight deacons to give pastoral leadership and care to all those congregations. Some of the leaders conduct two to four services every Sunday. The deacons are authorized to preside over the sacraments, both baptism and communion. The ELCG also has a host of lay leaders who help with preaching and worship leadership. Most of the ELCG pastoral leaders have not benefited from extensive seminary training like ministers within the ELCIC.

The retreats were held at the Lay Academy in New Amsterdam, approximately 70 miles from the capital city, Georgetown. Advance readings were sent out to all retreat participants, forming the basis for conversations and discussions. The retreats focused on various aspects of ministry and call, including how a pastor/deacon can be a living, if broken, symbol of grace. Discussions centred on pastoral duties and responsibilities, parish organization and administration, communication, priority setting, and visioning. Further discussions were held on healthy boundaries and better self-care of the leaders – about the physical and mental well-being of leaders and their importance in being able to serve at one’s very best. Sessions began and ended each day with worship, which also provided opportunities for mutual learning, whether it was a new song or a new liturgy, or new worship rituals such as the washing of feet.

The two retreats were exceptional times of mutual learning and encouragement. The commitment and passion of the clergy and deacons are to be commended. Their openness and willingness to learn were evident as they welcomed the opportunity to come together and discuss freely with each other and the facilitators about their challenges and frustrations and their joys and hopes. It was edifying to hear of their joys and frustrations and how they faced challenges in their own contexts.

Pastor Peter and Pastor Philip both experienced something of the life of the ELCG clergy as they went separately to preach at two different Parishes on each of the joint ministry initiative Sundays. These congregations are in the communities of Canje, Fyrish, and Williamsburg. The opportunity to visit these congregations within St. John and Transfiguration Parishes was a blessing to both pastors. On the first Sunday, Pastor Peter and Pastor Philip learned about the slight changes in the order of the liturgy used in Guyana. The congregations participated with vigour and enthusiasm, and it was a joy to worship together and meet folks in their church contexts. Both the retreat participants and the ELCG Executive Council were very appreciative and positive about the ministry initiative. They expressed the desire that there might be similar opportunities where there is mutual encouragement and support for one other. Many participants expressed their hope that future retreats might even be longer! Preliminary discussions between Eastern Synod and ELCG leaders
indicated that a follow-up session within 6-9 months may prove beneficial with another retreat proposed in 12-18 months.

Guyana 3 (L-R) Rev. Philip Mathai, Deacon Ackloo Ramsudh, Deacon Mavis Campbell,
Deacon Keith Hazel, Deacon Leeta Chutkhan, Deacon Beverly Johnson, Rev.
Peter Kuhnert and Deacon Elaine Grannum

When Pastor Peter and Pastor Philip first travelled to Georgetown, and then on to New Amsterdam following an arduous journey including challenging flight connections and delayed baggage, they did not know what to expect. But when they departed Guyana, they did so with a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation for being part of this joint ministry initiative between the ELCG and the Eastern Synod and for being allowed to be part of the experiences and lives of colleagues working in much more challenging contexts than their own.

This is the essence and epitome of partnership. As we are called into partnership, koinonia with Christ by God, our partnership with God is meant to lead us into meaningful partnerships as brothers and sisters in God’s family (1 John 1:3). The participatory nature of our partnership leads both parties into relational affinity as well as to fruitful advancement of the Gospel. We continue to thank God as we learn and grow together in Christ.
Joint Partners: Eastern Synod-Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and  Evangelical Lutheran Church in Guyana   Jan. 25 – Feb. 3, 2024

Mount Zion Kitchen Ministry

Menus for the next few weeks are listed below. Please order your meal at the office by 12 noon on Wednesdays.

March 21: Spaghetti & meat sauce, salad, roll.

Vegetarian Spaghetti & marinara sauce, salad, roll.

March 28: Beef Barley soup, salad, roll

Vegetarian Minestrone soup, salad, roll

April 4: Macaroni & Cheese, salad, roll

April 11: Curry Chicken, rice, veggie, roll

Vegetarian Chickpea-potato Curry, veggie, roll.

Easter Vigil Service: Saturday, March 30th at 8 p.m.
at St. Matthews, Kitchener

Come for this special multi-part service that bridges the gap between Good Friday and Easter Morning! Each section will be in a different part of the building as we continue our Lenten pilgrimage to the great proclamation of the resurrection of Christ. Highlights will include the lighting of the Easter Fire, handheld candles, a baptism, and a reflection on Old Testament stories foreshadowing the salvation that is to come. The roughly two-hour-long service is jointly organized between St. Matthews, Kitchener, St. Luke’s Kitchener and St. Paul’s Bridgeport. Use the Office Entrance (off the parking lot) to enter.

"Like the children of Israel who watched and waited through the night for the Lord of the Exodus, we too come together this night to watch and wait for the Lord of the Resurrection. We come, as Christians have come since the first century, to keep vigil and to prepare ourselves for the arrival of the one who is our host and guest at the Easter feast to come.”


Nurse Christine

During a recent chat with Nurse Christine, she asked me to say hello to all of you. She continues to be on leave for the time being. Please keep her in your prayers. 

The Mount Zion Kitchen keeps on cookin'

The Mount Zion continues to make meals available to those who wish to order. Click here for the next few weeks' menus. 

Exercise Classes continue on Tuesdays. 

Community Support Connections Exercise Classes continue on Tuesday afternoons at 1:00 p.m. These one-hour classes include cardio, strength, balance, and flexibility exercises. This is a free service.  

Mount Zion Cafe -10 am

Meet your friends and enjoy coffee and a few activities at the Mount Zion Café, which meets every second and fourth Wednesday of the month. Call Margaret the day before if you need transportation; she will arrange a driver or taxi.

Student Resident Space available

Conrad Grebel University College is accepting student residence applications for  the 2024/25 academic year. Grebel is an enthusiastic residence community that houses University of Waterloo students on the UWaterloo campus. Students in any year of study are welcome. Learn about rooms, spaces, food, fees, and important dates at

The Annual Spirituality and Aging Seminar

will take place on Friday, June 21st, in-person and virtually at Conrad Grebel University College. Rev. Dr. Mark Roberts presents “From Problems to Possibilities: Faith Communities Enabling Those in the Third Third of Life to Flourish.” This seminar challenges the narratives about elders in communities, churches, and society at large; exploring the role churches can play in empowering older adults. Visit for registration information. Professionals, practitioners, and all interested are welcome.


ways to

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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)


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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