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Heat pump installation in process

September Highlights

Soup'r Sunday

Book Study


Congregational Information Meeting

Waterloo Town Square Climate Vigil.png

Global Climate Strike 2019 - Waterloo Town Square

September 1, 2023

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 is September 1

Celebrating, commemorating, and honouring

A quick look at the internet will display wide assortment of special days and events celebrated in September. In addition to the traditional Labour Day holiday, the calendar is full of fun and frivolous occasions. Did you know September 2 was International Bacon Day? And those lucky Brits get to celebrate National Tofu Day on the 1st. More by luck than good planning, Mount Zion celebrated National Ice Cream Day this summer on what we called Sundae Sunday.  While they are all good fun, many days on our church calendar call for thoughtful discussion as we honour and commemorate significant moments in our lives and history. Sometimes we commemorate by reflecting on future possibilities as we pause and reflect on the next course of action.

From September 1 to October 4, we will be joining member congregations of the ELCIC and other Christians of various traditions in celebrating and honouring the Season of Creation. This year’s theme is Let Justice and Peace Flow (Amos 5:24). This is an opportunity to affirm the Lutheran World Federation's commitment to address climate change through liturgy, prayer and action. The theme will be echoed throughout our worship services for those five weeks. Our entry hall has become a space where we acknowledge commemorations and themes.

Celebrations of Life

Gwen Porter - Saturday Sept 9 11:00 am - Sanctuary

Jim Millar - Saturday Sept 9 - 1:30 pm - Auditorium    Reception to follow “If you would like to join the family, please let them know by emailing:

Confirmation Camp

After a three-year hiatus, Confirmation students returned to Camp Kintale with the pastors in tow, for a week of learning and fun.

Pictured here with Pastor Philip are counsellor Matias Jyrkama and confirmands Tess, Ethan, Whitney Connor.

New Adopted Values Reflected in Heat Pump Decision

In June of this year, our congregation adopted six new Core Values as part of our Reimagining Mount Zion Initiative. Core Values are put in place to articulate the set of ethics and principles of an organization and aid with decision-making and actions.  It was only a matter of months before Council used one of them to guide our discussion regarding our aging heating system.

Core Value #3 Justice, part 2 speaks to being good stewards of Creation. This statement helped guide us with the decision to make the environmentally conscious decision to replace our aging boiler with a heat pump system.

By now, most of you know that a heat pump system was installed in the upper building in August. The system will provide both cooling and heating, making our summer programs and meetings far more comfortable.

When the property committee reported on the life expectancy of our aging heating system, it was clear that a decision had to be made. Perhaps the stifling heat of the boardroom played a part in that decision.  😊

We were faced with three options: Muddle through with the remaining boiler and pray that it makes it through one more heating season, or replace the boiler with a new one, or choose the more environmentally conscious alternative, a Heat Pump System.

Option one was not seriously considered as it was thought to be too much of a gamble.

Option two, replacing the boiler, initially seemed less expensive, but the 60-year-old piping system that circulates the hot water heat was found to be deteriorating. A significant leak in Open Sesame this summer and a previous leak in the auditorium told us we were right to worry.

Option three allowed us to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels as well as aligning with our values.

The total cost of the project is ~ $50,000. But considering the poor condition of the piping and future energy costs, we believe it to be the most cost-effective option. The installation significantly reduced the funds in our Capital Account, leaving us more vulnerable in emergencies.

Twenty of your fellow members have donated over $8000. so far. We ask that you, too, consider making a special donation to this effort to ensure Mount Zion continues to be a warm and inviting space for everyone well into the future. We are grateful for all your generosity.

Karen Gastmeier, on behalf of Church Council

September means the return of activity.

Move over January, it is said that September is really the beginning of the year. It certainly holds true here as most of our programming returns this month.

Sept 6  We welcome back Open Sesame students for the preschool’s 54th year of operation. Jana Kelly, the Program Director, reports that she expects they will be fully subscribed by the end of September. A new teacher will join Samantha and Jana to deliver this vital program and everyone is looking forward to a successful year. To learn more about Open Sesame and the philosophy behind the program, check out their section of the Mount Zion website.

Sept 7, 10 am  The choir will resume rehearsals Sept. 7 and will sing on Souper /Super Sunday. If you're thinking of joining in, the time is now!

This Sunday, we will be saying goodbye to Hannah who is returning to St. Matthew's. She has been a joy to have with us this year. We will welcome back Willow Whitley, formerly known as Zack Evans-Whitley. We are looking forward to having her sing with us again.  Sarah 🎶🎶

Sept 7th to Jan 18th, Thursdays from 6:55 pm to 7:40 pm The Waterloo Tai Chi Club is offering a Tai Chi training course, in English and Chinese starting from September 2023 in our auditorium. The course is particularly suitable for trainees with no Tai Chi experience. Those with past Tai Chi experience will also benefit from this course by improving their existing skills, postures and movements. Cost:  $100.00/person, 20 sessions. For details:

Sept 10, 11:15 am Soup’r Sunday   Traditionally, our September activities begin with Soup’r Sunday on September 10 following the service. On the menu this year is soup, bread and Jamaican Patties. The Health Council has a signup sheet in the narthex for soup makers and donations of other food items. It’s a great opportunity to connect with each other after vacation time.

Sept 13, 10 am  Mount Zion Cafe Meet your friends and enjoy a coffee and a few activities at the Mount Zion Café meeting every second and fourth Wed of the month starting Sept 13.

Sept 14  Mount Zion Kitchen Wonderful aromas will again be wafting through the building starting Thursday, Sept 14. (time to be announced) Kitchen helpers of all kinds are welcome to join in this fun environment while peeling, chopping, and tasting. Call either Stephanie von Schilling or Nurse Christine if you are eager to cook. For those of you who wish to purchase meals, September’s menus can be found here.

Sept 18, 1:30 pm. Exercise/Walking Group Come out for a walk with music, stretches and sit-to-stands every Monday afternoon beginning Sept 18.   This will replace the Community Support Connections exercise class until they find a volunteer staff person to lead a full exercise program at Mount Zion. Call Marg Tupling for more details.

Sept 24      following the service...Congregation Information Meeting to review and discuss a proposed new Mission Statement and Strategic Directions. This is part of our ongoing Reimaging Mount Zion Initiative. Please plan to attend!!!

Sept 26 1:30 pm Health Council’s Fall Book Study There is still time to read this season’s book, The Berry Pickers, by Canadian author, Amanda Peters. Copies are available at local libraries and bookstores, or if you wish to borrow a book for a short time, contact Betty Behm. Meet in the Glebe Room for an incredible conversation.  

Oct 10, 1.30 pm. Mindfulness Meditation Practice will meet 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. (Oct 24, Nov 14 Nov 28 Dec 12 Dec 26)

Justice Through Service Committee

brings us ​Important News from Faith Climate Justice

Emergency Climate Justice Vigils

As summer wanes, there is a collective sense of disbelief at the extent to which wildfires and floods continue to devastate huge swaths of forests and communities across Canada and around the world.  We witness how Indigenous communities are disproportionately affected by these disasters.  Animals including people, insects, birds and fish, the land, the air and the waters – all are being profoundly impacted.

Recognizing the gravity of the times we are living in, Faith Climate Justice along with two other local groups (Divest Waterloo and 50by30WR) will hold climate emergency vigils every Friday, 8-9 pm from September 1 to December 15, in Waterloo Public Square to hold sacred space for each other, to grieve and to hope.

Details about the climate vigils can be found on this webpage:

We invite you to:

Participate. We invite your participation in any or all of the upcoming climate vigils. This space is for anyone who wishes to connect with others in a sacred space to honour our feelings and commitments about the worsening climate crisis. Families, friends, neighbours -- all are welcome.

Connect with us. For questions not addressed on the webpage, or to share thoughts on how these vigils may engage your faith or civic community, reach out to us at:

Share the word. Help get the word out by sharing information about these gatherings with people you know. Downloadable posters, stickers and further information can be found on the webpage.

For Mount Zion Members:  Peggy Nickels, a member of Mount Zion Lutheran Church, plans to attend the September 1st vigil, and as many others as possible.  Email her at if you would like a ride.

Looking ahead to the UN climate conference

In early December, world leaders will gather in Dubai for the annual UN climate conference (COP28) to work to mitigate climate harms and to set commitments to limit further climate change. All is not lost. Time is running out, but we can still act. And we can act with justice and love. Please join us in gathering together for community-led climate emergency vigils.

Global Climate Strike and March to End Fossil Fuels

This September, as world leaders discuss climate action at the United Nations in New York, people on every continent will join the largest-ever globally coordinated action to demand that governments end fossil fuels. The climate crisis is escalating but so is the global movement for climate justice.

A Global Climate Strike is planned by “Fridays for Future” on September 15, and a March to End Fossil Fuels will be held in New York on September 17. A local climate vigil (details above) will be held in Waterloo Public Square on Sept 15th in solidarity with the global strike. Further details on the global day of action can be found at:


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Links for Worship and more

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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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