News from Mount Zion
October 15, 2021
We are open
Sundays 10 am
We are open for in-person worship, Sundays at 10 am. Read more here
Congratulations to Vanya Rachel and Mikael who will be married here at Mount Zion on Saturday, October 16.
Fall Book Discussion, Thursday, October 28, 1:30-3:00 pm
Please register here for the Fall Book Discussion which will be held on Zoom.
The Health Council will be holding a book discussion on The Boat People by Canadian author, Sharon Bala. Inspired by a real incident, the book is about five hundred refugees from Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war, who survive a perilous ocean voyage to Vancouver, BC, only to face, in their new land, the threat of deportation and accusations of terrorism. The book is a timely novel in that it may help us reflect on current refugee issues. If you have any questions, please contact Mary Slethaug or Betty Behm.
Advocacy - Climate Change
Lutheran, Anglican Bishops Write to The Prime Minister About the Climate Crisis
Bishops from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and the Anglican Church of Canada have written to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the climate crisis. Their calls for action come as the Canadian government prepares to participate in next month's UN Climate Change Conference. The full letter can be viewed here.
Climate Crisis Advocacy at home
Faith Climate Justice Banner
Climate Change is another major social justice issue that has the support of the Committee for Justice Through Service. As a step towards helping raise awareness of this issue that threatens the planet we all share, Church Council approved the purchase of a large Faith Climate Justice banner. It will be mounted by the Property Committee sometime in October.
Committee for Justice Through Service
No, this isn’t a new committee but the new name for the Service Committee! Over the past little while, this committee has been moving in a new direction by starting to advocate for systems change, in addition to doing service work. As a result, we felt it was time for a new name. This decision has been particularly meaningful to me as a new member, since I was motivated to join Mount Zion due to its obvious commitment to social justice. I first had contact with Mount Zion when it took leadership in sponsoring the Bienvenu family in their journey from a refugee camp in Burundi in 2016. As the member of another church, I was so impressed with Mount Zion’s readiness to take on this daunting task, and delighted to become part of the ecumenical partnership that Mount Zion led, that included four very different churches wrapped around the Bienvenu family to help them successfully settle into their new life in Canada.
Soon after joining Mount Zion last Fall, I became in involved with the Service Committee. Members were discussing their interest in doing more advocacy work around social justice issues. This resonated with me since, after drifting away from church as a young person who had found the church to be irrelevant in my life, I reconnected when I met colleagues from Latin America whose faith sustained them in the very difficult work they were doing, fighting for human rights and social justice in their countries. After that, I always sought a church community that included social justice as an integral part of its life.
Our work as a committee has been shifting to address the root causes of the social issues towards which our service work has been directed. For example, in addition to fundraising for SHOW (Supportive Housing of Waterloo Region), we’ve been drafting letters to municipal, provincial, and federal leaders who have power over decisions related to housing and other issues that affect the lives of the vulnerable members of our committee. Especially in a country like Canada, safe, adequate, and affordable housing should be everyone’s right.
So from now on, you will know that this work is being led by Mount Zion’s Committee for Justice Through Service. If you have questions or are interested in joining us, please contact our Chairperson, Mary Thompson.
Financial Update – September 2021
Thanks to continued good member support, continued government wage support, an investment gain and reduced spending, Richard Brubacher reports that our Ministry and Mission (current) account results are significantly better than planned. Results show a deficit of $8, 341 which is better than the budgeted deficit of $40, 218 by $31,877. See the full report which also reports on benevolence, capital and rental budgets here.
From Church Council
Covid 19 Policy
At our last meeting Church council passed two policies and a procedure regarding COVID-19. The first policy is a short policy outlining our response to Covid 19. The lengthier second one is our vaccination policy for members and staff and the third is for rental groups using the building. Summarizing is difficult but in essence they support the philosophy that we have been operating under since the beginning of the pandemic in that we continue to ensure that we care for each other in meaningful ways and continue to protect those most vulnerable to the virus. One of those ways is that everyone using our building must be double vaccinated. For members not fully vaccinated a rapid antigen test is available.
Friday Night Get-togethers are back!!
The last Friday of the month was something I looked forward to. It was a time when members as families and also those that lived by themselves got together for a meal, prepared by those in attendance. Besides the meal we also, at times, had the opportunity to share about our trips and interests. What was really interesting is that this was one of those times when we had a wide representation of age groups present. Younger families with children as also older families and those that were single came to have a time of fellowship and visiting.
With the pandemic we had to cancel our Get-togethers with our last meeting being on January 31, 2020. I am looking forward to reviving our Friday Night Get-togethers from October 29. As usual we will meet at 5:30 for a simple meal and fellowship. Please do let the church office know if you would like to attend so that we could be ready with the food as also prepare the space to meet the protocol expectations.
Doing our bit in confronting food insecurity.
Food insecurity is something that is very real in our midst, especially after the pandemic has been part of our lived reality. There has been various responses to it.
Even before the pandemic Mrs. Bell had this passion to serve those that were living by themselves by visiting them and also taking them food. She saw this as a calling and shared with me what she was doing. During the soup distribution Nurse Christine and I had the opportunity to become more aware of needs in the community. Nurse Christine had the dream of starting some ministry through food following the model of the Tiny Home Takeout from St Mary’s Church in Kitchener
Around this time Luther started the ‘Distro’ in response to the food insecurity among university students. As Pastor Anne who coordinates this at Luther writes, “We have been running the “distro” for 46 weeks now- brought about by student food insecurity during the pandemic. We are averaging around a 100 students per day and are in need of donations to support this program.” They provide non-perishable food items as also hot meals to students that visit the Distro every Thursday.
Mrs. Bell, Winston (the chef who helps Mrs. Bell during the Caribbean events), Nurse Christine and I discussed this and also got in touch with Pastor Anne about starting a ministry that would meet this need as also giving us an opportunity to make a difference. This was brought to the council and we look forward to starting this ministry on Thursday November 11.
We will cook food at the kitchen and make it available to those that need it and also to those that may not be facing food insecurity but could support this ministry by taking food and giving a donation. We will also take food to the Distro at Luther on Thursdays for distribution to the students that come through. If you would like to help out in any way please contact Nurse Christine or me about it. This would in a way revive our tradition where we ministered to students at Mount Zion and also put our kitchen to use for a worthy cause!
Technical support needed.
Now that we are back worshiping in person in church we have also decided to keep broadcasting a live stream on our You Tube channel. That means we have the need for two people to run the technical aspects of the service on Sunday mornings. For the immediate future, Dave Murison will be at the front running the live stream with a second person at the rear running the slide projection. The second is the easier of the two tasks and is really just a matter of advancing slides in Power Point which are all pre-prepared.
We are hoping to put a team of 5 or 6 together so that we can start a rotation. Please consider helping out if you are comfortable attending church in person again. Your friendly technical team will be available for training.
Remember the mothers and babies at Marillac Place
As our 2021 special focus on housing and shelter continues, we would like once again, as in past years, to acknowledge the important contribution of Marillac Place to the solutions in our community. Their Mission Statement:
Marillac Place supports new mothers and mothers-to-be facing homelessness in Waterloo Region by providing a safe living environment, teaching parenting & life skills, and developing supportive relationships.
Even through the pandemic they have continued to provide a safe and healthy home to women and their children. They are sustained through generous community grants and special appeals.
They welcome in-kind donations to provide items that new mothers and babies depend on such as clothing, bedding, diapers, toiletries and basic household items. Due to COVID-19, they are not accepting these at the door, but they can be dropped off at an offsite location. Check their website for instructions. Mary Thompson
Sun. Oct. 17 — Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost
Sun. Oct. 24 — Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost
Sun. Oct. 31 — Reformation Day
Links for Worship and more
Sundays 10 am Click on the logo to join the Live Stream Worship
(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
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 email@example.com cell: 519-781-5602
Music Director Amy Di Nino firstname.lastname@example.org cell: 905-466-3774
Office Administrator Margaret Waechter email@example.com
Nurse Christine Ramseyer firstname.lastname@example.org cell: 519-588-8006
Feel free to call our cell phones. If we aren't available we'll return your call!