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November 24, 2023

Join us for worship in person or on- line at 10 am every Sunday
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  • Masks are optional at Mount Zion 

  • Deadline for next edition October 26



Mount Zion

As part of our reimagining process, I believe that we have something truly unique and authentic to offer our community. To achieve this, we need to create an environment where radical integration is experienced and genuine relationships are pursued.

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Isaiah Ritzmann.

Five Golden Rings sung with gusto

More Photos from Caribbean Dinner and Christmas Pary

Pastor Philip Writes:

Dear friends,

It is with a heavy heart that I inform you of the sudden and sad demise of Richard Heimbecker. He passed away peacefully Wednesday morning in his chair. Let us uphold Gloria and the rest of the family as they grieve and come to grips with this sudden death.  There will be a private funeral service on Saturday. The family is planning a Memorial Service at Mount Zion in January. The date will be announced at a later time. 

Rest eternal grant him, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine on him.


We are fast approaching the end of another liturgical year with Christ the King on Sunday, November 26.  This was an eventful year for us as a congregation, especially our embarking on the reimagining process, which will, we pray, transform us and use us in ways that we may not have earlier thought of.  There has been a lot of reflection on who we are, what our mission is, what is unique about us, and why we should exist.

Earlier we used to create invites for our Christmas services and distribute them in the immediate neighbourhood of Mount Zion and our friends and family.  Based on a suggestion from Sarah, we are planning to invite our neighbourhood to Christmas services by distributing Door Hangars the week before Christmas.

But the challenge of even our neighbours noticing us remains. Every church around has Christmas services; what is it about us that we can be proud of? Yes, we have a beautiful candle-lit service, and we have a wonderful singing congregation; the services will be lovely and meaningful to anyone who attends.

I believe we can offer our neighbourhood a deep sense of community and relationships, which are so much needed these days.

We live out community in various ways at Mount Zion. Our Café, Food Ministry, Open Sesame and Food Card Distribution are how we build and live out community. The Black History Month service is one way we celebrate diversity in the community.  It is not that we have it all down, but we strive continually to make community happen in different ways.  That is unique and is something we ought to be proud of in all humility.

I just started to read a book by John Blake, More Than I Imagined.  It's a memoir of a man with a black father and white mother, raised in Baltimore. In his book, the author discusses racism and states that it is not impressive lectures on systemic racism, diversity training, or intellectual prowess that bring about reconciliation, transformation, change, and genuine community. Instead, he suggests that it is relationships that facilitate these outcomes. This is true in all spheres of life and is something that we experience in our welcoming and open community here at Mount Zion. Blake quotes Michelle Adams, who calls this “radical integration.”

As part of our reimagining process, I believe that we have something truly unique and authentic to offer our community. To achieve this, we need to create an environment where radical integration is experienced and genuine relationships are pursued. Regardless of which direction we choose to take, we must maintain this sense of community and continue to live out our calling.

In Our Prayers

Let us pray for Gloria and the Heimbecker family on the death of Richard this week; 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, Sudan, Somalia and other places.

In Christ,

Pr. Philip  

Family Fun Night is today

Tonight, Nov. 24, is, starting at 6 pm.  Pastor Philip is hosting this potluck meal.  If you forgot to sign up, please come and bring a dish.


Advent Services Begin Dec 6

Advent is coming!  Beginning Wednesday, Dec. 6th, the in-person Advent Mid-week Holden services will be held each Wednesday evening in the sanctuary until December 20th.  


Music Notes

This Sunday, we celebrate Christ the King. The choir has a fun anthem based on the hymn "You Are Holy,” it will be accompanied by violinist Esteban Vargas, who will also play some other pieces for us. Also, this Sunday, we will begin using setting 12 from "All Creation Sings". It is a lovely, very simple setting and I'm sure we will enjoy singing it.

Then we are on to the Sundays in Advent with some wonderful Advent choir pieces highlighted by borrowed handbells.

A new choral scholar, Sarah Storms, will join us in December - I know you will all make her welcome.

There is some lovely Christmas music planned for Christmas Eve at 7:00 pm. I plan to be there!!

Sarah 🎶🎵

Office Memos

Margaret will be using her last three vacation days on the following three Mondays, Nov. 27, Dec. 4 and Dec. 11

Poinsettia Time

Poinsettias will be ordered to enhance the chancel for our Christmas Services.  If you wish to sponsor a plant, please see the signup sheet in the narthex until Dec. 17.  The 10” pots cost $34.00, and the 6” pots cost $13.00.  You are welcome to pick up your Poinsettia plant immediately after service on Christmas Day.  (Please designate your payment as “flowers” on your envelope) or you can also contact Margaret at 519-886-5820 or" Thank you for your support.  Susan Brubacher

Justice through Service
Thank You

The Saleh family from Palestine and Syria are very grateful for the generosity and caring spirit of the congregation's efforts of the last two weeks.  They have asked that their warmest thanks be conveyed to all those who offered clothing, kitchen items and furniture.   They are now much better equipped for trying to become established in the coming winter months!

Update on the CLWR refugee project:

Over the past year and a half, we have raised funds to support the efforts by a coalition of churches to bring two connected families from Liberia to Canada. The coalition has raised or received pledges of enough money to satisfy government requirements.  The families will be part of CLWR’s allotment, and Trinity Lutheran Church in Hamilton will be the sponsoring congregation.  By the end of October, we had raised $11,800 toward this project, and Council voted to send $10,000 to CLWR to hold in trust until the families arrive in Canada.   The remainder of the funds, plus further contributions, will be forwarded to CLWR once we confirm that the families will arrive in Canada.

Food Card Ministry

We continue to distribute food cards in the third week of each month, and December is special, with the opportunity to wish our multi-faith recipients a blessed holiday season.   Please continue to remember this part of our ministry with regular contributions as you are able.  Mary Thompson


Beginning later this month and continuing through 2024, the Justice through Service Committee of Mount Zion will host a series of seven climate-focused workshops facilitated by Isaiah Ritzmann.

Each workshop will be about an hour long and follow Sunday worship, with a coffee/tea/snack pause in between.

The organizers would like to know the approximate number of attendees in advance for planning purposes. Please sign up on the sheet located in the narthex.

Sunday, Nov. 26: Climate Emergency 101

This workshop introduces people to the core of what it means to be living through a climate emergency. It looks at the basic mechanics of climate change, our timelines, and our limited carbon budget. It poses the question, “What does it look like for a government to act like it’s the emergency they say it is?”

Isaiah Ritzmann is a community educator with the Working Centre. He is a local climate activist who is passionate about the intersections between environmental sustainability, economic justice and community building.  You can read more about Isaiah Ritzmann and the upcoming lectures here

Caribbean Christmas Party

Sixty people gathered to feast on a scrumptious Christmas dinner with all the trimmings prepared by Mrs. Bell and Chef Winston last Saturday night. Partygoers enjoyed the music of the Acoustic Steel Band, followed by a Carol Sing. The highlight of the evening was when Pastor Philip led the gathering in the hilarity of the 12 Days of Christmas.


Join us for an Afternoon of “Moving” Music!

The Waterloo Concert Band, which has served our community since 1858, extends a special invitation to our annual holiday season concert on December 3 at 2 pm in Knox Presbyterian Church.

We are fortunate to perform in one of Waterloo’s finest acoustic spaces and, as the poster title says, our fearless director Trevor Wagler chose music that will transport your ears to magical and nostalgic places!

Highlights from our playlist include music from the movie Titanic, a magnificent journey through the wizarding world of Harry Potter, a tribute to musical theatre with a medley from Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang, perennial favourites like Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride (complete with whip-cracking and neighing trumpets) and even – Christmas carols – both traditional and “jazzed up.”

Bring yourselves, your family and friends for an old-fashioned all-ages live concert treat by dedicated volunteer musicians. Admission is by freewill donation – any amount is appreciated.


Synod Assembly Electoral Process Update

In June 2024, the Eastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada will elect four new officers: Bishop (Chair), Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. The election of these four officers will occur during the Eastern Synod Assembly convened from June 20-22 in Mississauga, ON.

To encourage a period of discernment and facilitate our election, the Eastern Synod Council has approved a policy to guide us in this important and faithful work together. You may view the full policy here. The purpose of this communique is to explain this process and invite your participation.  There’s lots to read at

A Way to Help the Most Vulnerable Locally

St. Mark’s Place, the new supportive housing initiative at the former St. Mark's Church beside KCI at 825 King Street West in Kitchener, is opening next month.

They are requesting assistance with

  • furniture assembly,

  • light cleaning, and

  • stocking pantry items for residents. (see list here)

Joining up with a team of volunteers or creating your own team is an excellent way to help those most vulnerable in our community who do not have housing amid our current housing crisis.

If you have questions about the pantry items, please get in touch with our St. Mark’s Place Food Program Facilitator, Bill MacTavish, at Please feel free to forward this request to other organizations or people you know who might be interested.

If you have any further questions, please get in touch with me – Mark Willcock, Community Engagement Coordinator - Waterloo Region Text T: 226-242-2213 x 390   email:

2023 Donations Tax Information

Donations for 2023 tax purposes must be received in hand by December 31. The office will be open on Sunday, December 31st, until 12:00 pm for any drop-off contributions.

Members are reminded that there are various methods to make contributions, including EFT's through your bank to ours; however, please act by December 31.

For more information, please see Five Ways to Donate on our website

Advent and Christmas Calendar

Dec 6 – Holden Evening Prayer 7:00 pm

Dec 13 – Holden Evening Prayer 7:00 pm

Dec 17—Sunday School and Youth Service

Dec 20– Holden Evening Prayer 7:00 pm

Dec 22—German Service

Dec 24 –Candle Light Christmas Eve Service 7:00 pm

(there will be no morning service)

Dec. 25—Christmas Service 10 am

The Mount Zion Kitchen

Cooking every week until Mid-December

See the menu here

Monday afternoon  Exercise/Walking Group 

Come out for a walk with music, stretches and sit-to-stands every Monday afternoon. Call Marg Tupling for more details.

Dec 6, 10 am  Mount Zion Cafe

Meet your friends and enjoy coffee and a few activities at the Mount Zion Café meeting every second and fourth Wednesday of the month.  

Nov 28, 1.30 pm. Mindfulness Meditation  Practice

will meet on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month upstairs. Henriette reminds you to bring a pillow, mat, blanket, water or nothing (all optional). Wear comfortable clothes and be fragrance-free. Open to all. No previous experience is necessary.  Just come. ( Nov 28 Dec 12 Dec 26)


ways to

click here


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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