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Upcoming Events

May 26 – Blessing of Seed and Soil

June 16 – Congregational Meeting

June 23 – Worship in the Park

Sept 29 – New Member Sunday

Students at Open Sesame are always delighted when Anne Woolner visits to read and play music with them.

Thank You Anne!

Photo: Jana Kelly

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May 3, 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

From Pastor Philip

We are in the season of Easter now when we celebrate life, and this is also a time to reflect on what the resurrection of Jesus Christ means to us and is calling us to. But if we looked around us, there are wars raging all over. Conflict between Ukraine and Russia has been going on for years now, conflict between Israel and Palestine has pulled in Iran and others also into it, conflict in South Sudan, in Ethiopia and other places have been going on. The suffering of the poor is a reality all over the world. Homelessness, hunger, poverty, and sickness are the portion of many. People continue to be despised because of race, colour, creed, sexuality. The gap between the rich and poor seems to be widening. Refugees of war and migrants from inhumane living conditions are on the rise. The earth is also crying out because of what is being done to creation by us humans. Natural disasters and extremes in weather are the norm of our times. We are at that point where we may never be able to reverse the warming of the earth, which would have disastrous consequences.

Not a very hopeful situation even as we are in this season of Easter, things seem hopeless, and we question the very notion of life and victory over death. The reality is that Christ overcame death and those life-denying forces and has promised us also that as our portion in our baptism. Many a times when we conceptualize the resurrected life, one that is free of life denying forces and has over come death, we imagine it to be perfect and maybe to be a reality sometime in the distant future. We do not expect a Jesus who still carries his wounds and marks of his suffering. Being on this side of the cross and resurrection we would wish that some of the pain and suffering and selfishness would cease. Why is suffering still a portion of all, why can’t we tend the earth as we have been called to?

The gospel readings, from John and Luke, discussed Jesus's appearances to the disciples in the closed room the two Sundays after Easter Sunday. One thing that stood out in those readings was the resurrected body of Jesus Christ. In both John and Luke, we read of the resurrected body of Jesus still carrying the wounds and marks, not something that we would imagine a resurrected glorified body to still have!

While reading these texts, they tell me that the resurrected life is not without wounds and marks; these are still part of our reality and of the realities around us. But the resurrection gives us that hope and assurance that these will not have the last word. Our calling is to confront and not to give in to the life denying realities around us.  We experience the resurrection in spite of and not in the absence of our wounds and marks. Various peace movements in Israel and Palestine and in the West are glimmers of flickering light for life. Efforts by individuals, churches and organizations in addressing justice issues are instances of how we experience the resurrection. The positions taken on ecological issues make resurrection a reality.  Yes in spite of how things are, this season reminds us that we experience life even in the midst of them. That’s why we proclaim, “Alleluia, Christ is risen.”

Isabel Stalkie’s Celebration of Life Service was held on April 20 at Mount Zion.

On May 5th we will observe Red Dress Day when we remember and honor missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples.

Members of Mount Zion’s Black History Committee were selected as recipients of the Leading Women, Leading Girls –Building Communities Waterloo 2024 recognition program organized by MPP Catherine Fife. This important recognition program acknowledges and celebrates women who have demonstrated exceptional community leadership to improve the lives of others and have made substantial contributions to our community through volunteer work. Mrs Bell, Arlene Knight, Cynthia Simpson, Susan Brubacher, Karen Gastmeier, Sarah Cardwell, and Margaret Waechter, along with Pastor Philip will attend a special luncheon in May.

In Our Prayers

Let us pray for Fred, Claudine, Christine, Marilyn, Konrad, Mary Helen (mother of Bob Kelly), Sandra, Julian, George, Betty, Rosalie, James, Thelma, Helen, and the Stewart family. Let us continue to pray for peace in the world, in Palestine, Israel, Iran, Ukraine, Yemen, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and other places.

In Christ,

Pr. Philip

April 25, 2024

Red Dress Day

Sunday, May 5, is Red Dress Day, the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two-Spirit People.

Red Dress Day, also known as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two-Spirit People, is observed on May 5th. The day honours and brings awareness to the thousands of Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people who have been subject to disproportionate violence in Canada. Red Dress Day was inspired by Métis artist Jaime Black’s REDress Project installation, in which she hung empty, red dresses to represent the missing and murdered women. Red dresses have become symbolic of the crisis as a result of her installation.

Gwiazda, Emily. "Red Dress Day". The Canadian Encyclopedia, 19 September 2022, Historica Canada. Accessed 15 April 2024.

Seeking Assisting Ministers

We are actively seeking new members of our Assisting Ministers (AM)Team. The AM's presence is one of the things that defines Lutheran Worship. They are in place to represent the people of the congregation. By leading the intercessions, or even writing a petition or two if you want, receiving the offering, and speaking the Words of Dismissal, the AM speaks for the laity.

So, it is not simply about holding worship materials for the pastor (although they do that, too); through their actions, they represent those of us who have gathered. If you are interested in learning more, have a chat with Pastor Philip and you can also read what the late Paul Bosch has to offer at

Please consider this opportunity to be a worship leader and a representative of the people in worship. Coaching is available. Rotation is approximately every 4 – 5 weeks.  Give Pastor or Margaret a call.

Opportunity, Hope, Resurrection
A further conversation about Congregational Development

The third in a series of combined Two Rivers and Grand River Ministry Area gatherings is planned for Saturday, May 11  at 9:30 a.m. here at Mount Zion. "Opportunity, Hope, Resurrection" is the theme title.

We'll be moving our conversation forward on congregational development pathways.

Rev. Jennifer Hoover, a synod staff member working on the Congregational Redevelopment file, will facilitate and guide our conversation. All rostered and lay leaders are welcomed and encouraged to participate! Please let David Malina know if you are planning on attending.

Mount Zion Women's Retreat 

Twenty-four women (25 on Sat.) gathered at Hidden Acres Retreat Centre April 19th - 21st to explore the theme "Voices of the Spirit".  Our Leader, Pastor Annette Smith of St. Paul's Richmond Hill, guided us on "How the Spirit" comes to us through music, stories, poetry and art. On Sunday we were asked the question - "What is the Spirit saying to the church?" 

Pastor Annette had arranged for artist Deborah Pryce, who now lives near Lunenburg, N.S., to join us via Zoom. Deborah led us in a thought-provoking exercise while we viewed some of her works of art. It was very special having Deborah with us, as she was our craft leader many years ago at Camp Edgewood.  

A BIG THANK YOU to the following for making our weekend so memorable:

  • Pastor Annette for returning as our leader.

  • Wilma Marie Bindernagel for assisting Annette in planning our worship.

  • Pauline Finch for accompanying us on her flute while we sang new hymns from "All Creation Sings".

  • Anne Woolner and Sandy Dotzert for organizing and over-seeing our delicious meals.

  • Helen Weber for leading us in a craft that reminded us of the weekend theme. This year, we made beaded wind chimes.

  • Judi Harris for giving us our very own communion vessels on our 35th Anniversary.  Judi was the founding member of our Retreat, along with Helen Lange, and she was our first Retreat Leader.

Each year we look forward to spending time with our Retreat Sisters.  If you would like to hear more about our Retreat speak to those who attended from Mount Zion this year.  Arlene Knight, Margaret Tupling, Marilyn Grant, Pam Buchan, Peggy Nickels, Judi Harris, Pauline Finch, Anne Woolner Joan and Jacquelyn Schweitzer and Carol Ziegler.  We will let you know the dates for 2025 as soon as they are finalized.  Thanks to Jacquelyn Schweitzer, we have photos from our weekend, which you can see on the bulletin board in the narthex.  

Carol Ziegler - Den Mother

Come and Get ’em while they’re FROZEN!  $5 each meal

Limited quantities of frozen meals, prepared by the Kitchen Ministry team are available for $5.00 per meal.

Let the office know which of the menu items and quantities that you want and the  meals will be bagged and tagged for you. …. Margaret

Payment may be made either by cash, cheque or e-transfer.

Check out the meal selections:

  • 18 - Macaroni & Cheese [dairy]

  • 4 -- Sausage & Mashed Potatoes

  • 1 -- Shepherd’s Pie

  • 4 –  Curry Chicken & Rice

  • 1 –  (v) Vegetarian Pasta Primavera

  • 4 –  (v) Chickpea – Potato curry


Congregational Meeting June 16 to Adopt new Constitution and Bylaws

The meeting's purpose is to Adopt a new Constitution and Bylaws document. Over the last several months, the council’s executive has been working on these new documents. We are doing this now because we learned that the government of Ontario is requiring all incorporated non-profits to amend their Letters Patent and update them as Articles of Amendment.

In order to do this, our Bylaw #1 (Constitution) must be updated so that the information contained aligns with the new requirements for the Articles of Amendment.  We are warned that if there are discrepancies, the Articles of Amendment will take precedence over our constitution. (Not a good thing)

Much of the new document remains similar to our current Bylaw  #1. The main changes have to do with the number of directors and determining what the classes of membership are in the organization.

We are grateful for the synod's support and guidance during this process. They have sought legal advice and provided us with a template for our new Bylaws and Constitution, making it much easier for us.

The council reviewed the package and moved that it be taken to the congregation for your approval. If you wish to read the new documents you can do so at this link.

New Member Sunday…September 29

All the discussion surrounding membership in the new constitution has reminded us that, even though we have welcomed several new members recently,  we have not had a service to acknowledge them in more than a few years. To address the issue, we will be conducting a New Member Service on September 29. If you are interested in becoming a member, please speak with Pastor Philip soon.

Trillium’s Coffee House - Saturday, May 4

Pauline Finch and Lilla Hall will be playing several short sets of music from Star Wars and Star Trek (all 8 series!) arranged for flute and piano during this not-to-be-missed evening of fellowship and music at Trillium’s Coffee House on Saturday, May 4th from 7-9 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. Beverages and sweet treats will be served. Performances by: Smackjive, Chris Mertz, Sheltered Life, Steve Bergen, Better Than Nothing, Leo Schellenberger, On Air, Rick Kitchen, TLC Worship Band, and more!

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.

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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