Come, share the gifts of God with us,

and serve the world together,

at

OUR SAVIOUR'S LUTHERAN CHURCH,

10 Farrand Street (at River),

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO, CANADA

Our congregation is located on the traditional territory of the Ojibway of the Fort William First Nation, a signatory to the Robinson-Superior Treaty of 1850.

Welcome!

We invite you to be part of our community of grace and faith, active in Thunder Bay for the past 114 years. We seek to continue to be a place where people can grow in their understanding of God's forgiving love revealed through Jesus. Gathered in to worship, God's Spirit calls us out to share in word and action what it means to be people of God.

OUR VISION:

"Come share the gifts of God - serve the world"

Mar. 30 - April 5

All activities suspended through April 7

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday, April 5 - Palm Sunday/ Sunday of the Passion

Readings:

Matthew 21:1-11; Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 31:9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 27:11-54 (or longer version; Matthew 26:14-27:66)

Sermon: 'A Paradox' - Pastor Matthew

Weekly News and Newsletter:

To receive a copy of the weekly 'Our Saviour's Awesome News' or the monthly 'Ambassador' by email, please send a request to osimm@tbaytel.net.

Deadline for April 'Ambassador' articles: Mar. 30


Update on Covid-19

-As of the order of the Provincila Government re non-essential businesses, all activities at the church, congregational and community, have been suspended through at least April 7.

This includes:

  • Sunday and midweek worship
  • other church group gatherings
  • 178th Cubs
  • Friendly A.A. group
  • VON Falls Prevention and Exercise programme
  • Oras Chamber Choir
  • Thunder Bay Carvers

-The Regional Hospital, St. Joseph's Care Group and the long-term care facilities have have adopted the policy of excluding all visitors, except at times of end of life. Pastor Matthew might be allowed to visit at those times, as contacted, and after screening.

-Pastor Matthew has curtailed all other direct visitation, but will be in contact through phone calls, social media, etc. He is working out of his church office and can be reached at 344-1926, osimm@tbaytel.net.

-Reflections, updates, worship folders, and Pastor's Matthew's sermons and resources are being regularly shared on our Facebook page, 'Our Saviour's Thunder Bay', and on this web site: www.oursaviourstbay.org.

-The outside carillon is being played daily at 1:00 p.m.

NEW: Copies of the April-June edition of the 'Eternity for Today' daily devotional booklet are available in a bag attached to the front wooden doors of the building. Drop by and pick one, or more up!

-Pastor Mathew sends out regular email updates, and each week will be sending out a complete Sunday order of worship and sermon using the MailChimp secure bulk-mailing app. If you are not receving these, please sign up at osimm@tbaytel.net.

-Please continue to pray for those who are sick, those working on the front lines of this crisis, those facing hardships because of the changes in accessibility and panic buying, and those grieving the loss of loved ones. Through all this, we have hope in the One who is present with us, and who calls us, in ways we never perhaps thought we would be doing, to be people of hope and compassion.

From Our Bishops: An update on COVID-19 and communities of the ELCIC

'We want to first ask you to keep praying for all who are affected -- those who have been infected, those who are quarantined, those who are grieving the death of loved ones, those who are experiencing racism and prejudice, and for all those who continue to care for the sick and vulnerable.'

'We ask that all church acitivities be suspended starting March 17 and continuing at least through March 31. We pray that whatever decisions your congregation decides that they will reflect a deep concern for those most vulnerable -- particularly elderly members and those with compromised immune systems. This is a way of being the Church and of loving each other in a supportive Christian community. A faifthful response to this pandemic will include care of our neighbour along with our trust in God's faithfulness'.

Congregations offering worship via livestreaming can be found here: http://elcic.ca/publichealth/livestreaming.cfm .

'Through these challenges, we hope and pray that each of our communities will continue to be faithful and public witnesses to the grace and love of God through Christ. We continue to pray for our leaders and members, asking for God to give us courage, faith, and compassion. Blessings in your ministry during this time'.

Our Carillon

While activities are suspended at the church, we will play hymns on our outside 'bells', about 1:00 p.m., each week day and Saturday, as a source of peace and renewal. On Sunday they will be played at 10:30 a.m.

On Dec. 11, 2016 our Sunday School children unveiled the names of the 'bells', the bell-shaped external speakers for our chimes.

They are 'Glory, Joy, Love, Honour'.

Thank you to the children, the leaders, and all who offered suggestions for the names.

The bells first hung in the tower of Our Saviour's on Secord Street, donated in 1958 by Mr. Ogden. Since 1970 they have hung outside the choir loft window at our location on Farrand Street -- thanks to Gerry LaForme for installing them back then!


National Bishop Susan's Daily Hymn and Prayer

Join our National Bishop:

"Many of us are feeling isolated as we practice social distancing because of COVID-19. Join me each day in focusing our prayers around one hymn."

Each day, Bishop Susan will be suggesting a hymn from Evangelican Lutheran Worship. Join her to pray while you sing, and then in prayer through the petition. Please share these with others in your community.

http://elcic.ca/publichealth/BishopSusanHymnandPrayer.cfm

'Together on the Way to the Cross'

A Praying Communion of Churches

Lent is a season for introspection, prayer, fasting and sharing, with many Christians embarking on individual journeys of spiritual renewal. It is a time to reflect on our pilgrimage together, and mutually encourage one another during trying times.

Inspired by Luther’s guide for doing theology through Oratio (prayer), Meditatio (meditation) and Tentatio (trial/struggle) – we offer this dailly resource to accompany fellow believers in affirming ‘togetherness’ in the communion of Lutheran churches worldwide.

https://www.lutheranworld.org/sites/default/files/2020/documents/20200221_lent_reflections_week_6.pdf

https://www.lutheranworld.org/sites/default/files/2020/documents/20200221_lent_reflections_week_5.pdf

https://www.lutheranworld.org/sites/default/files/2020/documents/20200221_lent_reflections_week_4.pdf


COVID-19: Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem makes room for emergency

(LWI) - Like hospitals around the world, the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem has been preparing for the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). “Our main concerns are our patients and staff,” says Sieglinde Weinbrenner, LWF country representative in Jerusalem. The hospital provides specialized cancer and dialysis treatment.

“AVH has no emergency room or ambulance. Our patients are the highest risk group imaginable; we therefore need to take every precaution to protect them and the staff who are in contact with them,” said Weinbrenner. The neighboring hospitals will therefore manage the COVID-19 response, while AVH remains an emergency back-up.

Still, the hospital is creating the capacity to receive COVID-19 patients should the situation require it. Currently, caution is taken for new cancer patients being accepted for treatment. Surgery, where possible, has been postponed, the mobile diabetes unit has been closed. Diabetes patients are being referred to local networks.

An emergency plan has mapped all needs to receive corona patients, from within the AVH patients or outside should the situation in the country require it. “We urgently need protective clothing, masks and gloves,” Weinbrenner said. “At the moment there are shortages everywhere, it’s not easy to find that material.”

Operations scaled down; isolation areas established

Many of AVH patients and most of its staff come from the Bethlehem district, a currently locked-down area with corona infected cases within the West Bank. AVH established strict protocols to assess health status before allowing these staff and patients to enter the hospital.

At AVH, tents have been set up for triaging purposes and to do an initial health check for anyone entering the hospital, patients are being triaged by phone and prior to getting on the busses checked before admission. Wards have been separated to easily be able to quarantine.

“We are expecting test kits soon, to take the samples and we have lab capacity to perform the test,” said Weinbrenner. “Right now, these are all precautionary measures to isolate possible cases.”

As of Tuesday 24 March, there are no confirmed cases in East Jerusalem. 58 cases have been confirmed in the West Bank and 2 in Gaza. As Israel has reported more than 2030 cases, the number of reported cases may also be low because little testing has been done in the Palestinian Territories. Gaza has been completely locked down and AVH is not able to send a medical team to support, as it has done in the past. “I can only imagine conditions there,” Weinbrenner said.

Meanwhile, an unforeseen emergency has been created by the movement restrictions and quarantine measures taken in the Palestinian territories. Patients who finished their treatment will have to go into quarantine for 14 days upon their return to Gaza. Many of them decide to stay for the next round of treatment. For patients who would normally come from the West Bank for a day visit to receive dialysis, AVH tries to limit movement and the associated quarantine.

180 patients and their accompanying person, as well as AVH staff therefore are for the time being housed on the AVH campus on the Mount of Olives, and in nearby hotels. At the outset of the outbreak AVH efficiently organized accommodation for the pediatric dialysis children and their mothers from the Bethlehem District by contracting a hotel. This later expanded to dialysis patients from other districts as well as radiology patients from across Palestine.

World Council of Churches Weekly Prayer Cycle

The Balkans - Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia

The Balkans - Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia

29 March - 04 April 2020

Intercessions

We give thanks for:

the rich legacies that this area has long embodied

those who kept both the people and their faith alive during years of repression

those pursuing peace and reconciliation between the different ethnic and religious groups

the resurgence of the ecumenical witness of churches in recent years.

We pray for:

a continual healing of historic memories and pains that have been mutually inflicted

those who continue to experience marginalization and injustice, especially the Roma

religion to be a means of healing rather than of further separation and exploitation

the nurturing and sustaining of pluralistic societies in the Balkans.

Prayers

Lord God, enlighten us through your word so that we can discover the needs of the people around us.

You are God, the Almighty, and we thank you that like a Father you protect us and through your divine mercy and love you create living space for us and for every single person.

We ask you especially to show mercy to our nation. Enlighten us through your divine Spirit and create in the hearts of the people interest in your word.

And in this time of crisis and challenges give wisdom from above so that we stay true to your word so that we can respond to the different needs - in both the spiritual and physical aspects.

God, watch over us, because of the mercy and love of your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Amen.

(Rev. Mihail Cekov)

Litany of unity

Let us ask God for the gift of unity:

God, our Father, who has created all things,

we are your children.

It is your will that we live together in peace

and stand by one another as sisters and brothers.

Your will be done.

Jesus Christ, Son of God,

you have prayed for the unity of all who are baptized in your name,

who believe in you and confess your name.

Is it your will, that the Church, your body, be one.

Your will be done.

Holy Spirit of God,

you have filled the Apostles with the fire of courage

to proclaim the Good News.

It is your will that we proclaim with one voice the great deeds of God

and the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Your will be done.

(Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 1986, Slovenia)

May we love you

Set our hearts on fire with love for you,

O Christ, our God,

that in its flame we may love you

with all our heart, with all our mind,

with all our soul and with all our strength,

and love our neighbours as ourselves,

so that by keeping your commandments

we may glorify you,

the giver of all good gifts.

(Mother Teresa, Macedonia, TPP, p. 227.)