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News from Mount Zion
May 13, 2022

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Congratulations Philip and Joy

We congratulate Pastor Philp and Joy on the marriage of their daughter Cheryl to Jonathon Li on Friday May 20. The couple will entertain friends and family at a small reception on Saturday.

They will head off to their new home in California after visiting in Waterloo for a few days.

If you would like to send a card there will be a basket in the narthex Sunday or leave them with Margaret in the office.
Pastor Philip will be taking leave for the week prior and the week following the wedding. He will take the service on the 22nd and Pastor Claudine Carlson will be the emergency pastoral contact for two weeks.

 

Pre-service Zoom Gathering Update

Dennis Eaton wants to mention that the few glitches we had in our pre Sunday service zoom meetings have now been resolved and this is a good opportunity for those worshipping online to meet and talk to friends for a few minutes before the service.

 

Doreen Grant

Doreen Victoria Grant, mother of Dr. David Grant, passed away on May 1, 2022.  Because of Covid protocols the family is having a private memorial service. Let us continue to uphold David and Sheila Grant and the family in our prayers as they grieve Doreen's death. Rest eternal grant her, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine on her.

Jean Oakes

Jean Oakes, mother of Milne Oakes, passed away on May 6, in her 105th year. A private family funeral was held at Erb and Good Family Funeral Home on Wednesday May 11.

Let us continue to uphold Milne and Mary Lou Oakes and the family in our prayers as they grieve Jean's death. Rest eternal grant her, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine on her.

 

In Our Prayers

Let us pray and uphold the families of Jean Oaks and Doreen Grant as they grieve the loss of their family members and for George, Betty, Marjorie, Rosalie, James, Thelma, Ross, Helen and Don and Jean and their daughter Tai. Let us continue to also remember the situation in Ukraine in our prayers. 

 
A note from Finance  

Financial Update – April 2022

Member support continues to be better than what was planned. Thank you!  Results for the four-month period ending April 30 reflect a $18,074 deficit in our Ministry & Mission (current) account.  Although this is a significant deficit, it is $14,453 better than anticipated in our plan for this period as noted in the full report that you can read here.

  • Member support of $61,787 is $8,637 better than plan.  Thank you!

  • Rental Income from parking & facility of $95 is $2,701 worse than plan.

  • Other Income of $17,300 was received which is $259 better than plan.  This category includes $13,105 in Endowment fund earnings, and $4,000 grant from Synod for Mount Zion Senior Ministries including the Mount Zion Café.  

  • Disbursements of $97,255 are $8,258 lower than plan for the period. 

Your support of Benevolence to the Synod and other designated needs including our Adopt a Causes was $15,690 during the period. Overall, financial results are better than planned for this four-month period in all categories.  This is encouraging!  Thank you for your support!           Richard Brubacher – Treasurer & Chair Finance 

Mount Zion Cafe now meeting in person
Next Cafe on May 25

The Mount Zion Cafe is meeting in person continues to meet every second and fourth Wednesdays of the month from 10 am to noon, with the last meeting before Summer on June 8. We are all ready for a little socializing, so come and join us at the Mount Zion Cafe for an enjoyable morning.

 

Upcoming Readings

Sunday May 15 – Fifth Sunday of Easter
Acts 11:1-18  Psalm 148 (13) Revelation 21:1-6  John 13:31-35 

Sun. May 22 — Sixth Sunday of Easter Readings Acts 16:9-15  Psalm 67 (4) Revelation 21:10, 22—22:5  John 14:23-29 John 5:1-9 {alternate} 

 

Here we go again . . .  Or do we?

On June 2, less than three weeks away, Ontarians will vote in another General Election, or do it at advance polls – either to get it over with, or because they’ve made up their minds and don’t need to absorb any more campaign ads.

A significant number of us will leave it to the last moment because we really can’t decide this time around; yet in the past, who and what to vote for always seemed, somehow, clearer and more straightforward. Some of us come from families that have voted for the same party through many generations.

But how to “spend” that vote can be a real dilemma for anyone trying to cast a ballot that reflects the principles of their faith. And there’s every indication that the challenge is greater today than in 2018, when Ontario held its last election. 

Remember way back to 2018? Before Covid-19, before the unmarked graves of Indigenous children, before Russia’s war against Ukraine, before the doubling of housing and gas prices, before the spike in homelessness, before the rise in urban gun crime, before an exponential increase in mental health crises, before some of the worst drought and fire seasons of this century . . .  the list of unprecedented events and changes goes on and on.

The impact of Covid-19 in particular caused many of us to deeply question government policies and institutions that had been taken for granted, or never openly discussed, such as seniors’ facilities and the people operating and working in them. During Covid lockdowns horrific conditions of neglect, with some of Canada’s worst here in Ontario, resulted in military personnel being called in to fill huge deficits in basic care. Many public hospitals faced periods on the edge of collapse as exhausted frontline medical workers succumbed to the virus as well.  

With numerous “collateral damage” deaths happening, the prolonged Covid-19 emergency brought about some of the most intense public criticism any Ontario government has faced in several generations, regardless of the party in power.

And now we have to decide whether our elected representatives served us as effectively as they could have in unusual circumstances, or let us down in critical areas that seriously impacted all our human rights and well-being.

Can we vote as Christians anymore?

At a recent Vespers group meeting, we discussed the broad and provoking question of how (or if) one can truly vote as a Christian anymore.

Does that mean having to choose between individuals whose platform and performance we admire, and parties with good policies but perhaps less effective candidates? Is it worthwhile trying to find a balance of skills and ethics between potential MPPs and their parties? Do we choose between parties most likely to be elected, or wield our democratic power differently by voting for a strong opposition?

By the way, we weren’t looking for answers. It seems more important these days to ask better and more focused questions – the kind politicians of any stripe can’t circle around with vague philosophical statements or decade-old statistics.

Being Heard

As a congregation with strong advocacy in the areas of environmental, shelter, and food security, can we influence how seriously current and aspiring MPPs take us?

Our group had widely varying opinions on whether it’s worthwhile writing letters, sending emails, signing digital petitions, speaking up at town-hall meetings, tuning in to Zoom webinars, or calling constituency offices to express our concerns. The prevailing sentiment seemed to be that politicians are increasingly difficult to access for both individuals and interest groups who want their attention.

But campaign periods, even when in-person contact is restricted by public health guidelines, still offer opportunities for individuals to be heard through all the noise of broadcast and social media attack ads. It’s still worthwhile to have a strong question or two prepared for door-to-door canvassers who want your vote for their candidate. If you’re lucky, the candidate him or herself will ring your doorbell. Take the time to speak your mind, even if only briefly; now is the time when they’re really listening!

We’ve been told numerous times in the past, and at every level of government elections, vote anyway – even if the best choice you’re able to make still feels far from optimal. But that’s only the beginning.

After the Election

As several wise voices in the Vespers group reminded us, the real task of being a mindful Christian voter starts after the election.

If “your” party gets in, don’t take it for granted that things will be done the way you always expected. Keep an eye and ear out for news and editorials that analyze both new and old programs, especially social and environmental initiatives. Ask yourself if the governing party is being accountable in concrete and measurable ways to voters like you who helped elect it. And, if your preferred party doesn’t get elected, do the same; be part of the population that is there to remind MPPs on the other side of the legislature that a “loyal opposition” can also be a very effective one.

Finally, don’t believe for a moment that politics and faith don’t belong in the same conversation. Both testaments of the Bible are full of examples where political and religious events were so deeply interwoven that even trying to separate them would be nonsensical. And as Lutherans we all know what resulted when a monk from Wittenberg committed the radically political act of nailing 95 opposition arguments to a church door!

 

To find out everything you need to know about when, where, and how to vote visit www.elections.on.ca

 

By Pauline Finch – member of the Justice through Service Committee

(With a lot of help from the Mount Zion weeknight Zoom Vespers group, where politics and faith get a lot of amicable airtime.)   

Reminder about Masks

Council reviews our Mask and other Covid Policy monthly. At thier May meeting it was decided that it is still prudent for the congregaton to remain masked when in the building.

 

Links for Worship and more

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  • YouTube
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Sundays 10 am Click on the logo to join the Live Stream Worship 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWXECBJ1qAjDtjkimg2Q2GA/videos

(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 

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

https://zoom.us/j/94951669774

MOUNT ZION ZOOM CAFE  10:00 a.m. on Wednesdays

https://zoom.us/j/99145666538

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 Sarah. E. Cardwell   sarah.e.cardwell@gmail.com
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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