Come, share the gifts of God with us,
and serve the world together,
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.
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.
"Come share the gifts of God - serve the world"
All activities suspended through March 31
Sunday, Mar.29 - Fifth Sunday In Lent
Ezekiel 37:1-14; Psalm 130; Romans 8:6-11; John 11:1-45
Sermon: 'Life' - 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 email@example.com.
Deadline for April 'Ambassador' articles: Mar. 30
Update on Covid-19
-As of the evening of March 16, all activities at the church, congregational and community, have been suspended through March 31.
- Sunday and midweek worship
- other church group gatherings
- Curling Funspiel
- 178th Cubs
- Friendly A.A. group
- VON Falls Prevention and Exercise programme
- Oras Chamber Choir
- Thunder Bay Carvers
-Thee Regional Hospital, St. Joseph's Care Group and the long-term care facilities have have adopted the policy of excluding visitors, except at times of end of life. Pastor Matthew can only 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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
-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.
-Pastor Mathew sends out regular email updates, and each week will be sending out a complete Sunday order of worship and sermon. If you are not on the 'Awesome News' list, please send a message to sign up at email@example.com.
-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'.
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.
'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.
Prayer for the World Water Day, 22 March 2020
Photo: Ivars Kupcis/WCC
God of life,
You have given water to your creation
so that we all can live,
so that we can be clean and healthy,
We pray this particular day,
The World Water Day 2020:
Give us the water we need for our body to drink so that we are not thirsty!
Give us the water we need to wash our hands so that we can resist the Covid-19 virus!
God of life,
You have given us eternal life
in the Holy Baptism by water,
in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
God of life,
you have promised us living water
through Jesus Christ,
so that our whole life, body and soul
can be filled with your Spirit
and we can worship you in truth and Spirit
every day and everywhere.
God of life,
You have shown us
that the gift of eternal life
means that we do like you do:
sharing our gifts,
so that all can have life
Make us thankful
when we use the water we have been given today.
God of life,
provide clean water
for those who do not have it this day.
Give us open hearts and hands
to seek water justice
and to support those who can provide water for others.
God of life,
make our lives
a source of living water
so that justice and peace
can fill our churches,
and the whole creation.
We pray as your vulnerable human beings,
together in a situation of crisis,
in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
our creator, saviour, and life-giver.
Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary World Council of Churches
Churches in China, America and Germany offer support and funding to meet short and longer-term challenges
(LWI) - A couple of weeks ago, Cordelia Vitiello recalls, families from Naples were out on the beaches, relaxing and chatting with friends in the warm sunshine. Those memories seem like a lifetime ago now, as Italy remains on lockdown following the highest number of infections and deaths from the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak outside of China, where it began.
Vitiello, from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Italy, is a member of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Council and president of the governing board for the Villa Betania Evangelical Hospital in Naples. The hospital, located in one of the poorest parts of the city, provides specialized services for people of all faiths and none, offering free treatment for immigrants and others who are unable to pay for medical care or counseling.
As the number of corona virus cases in Italy rose during the second week of March, the board took the difficult decision of suspending most services, except for intensive care and maternity units, to free up beds for those needing urgent treatment for virus-related symptoms.
Lack of medical equipment
While the majority of deaths have occurred in northern Italian towns and cities, there is a growing number of infections and fatalities in all areas of the country, including at least 20 COVID-19 cases and one death in Vitiello’s coastal hometown of Torre del Greco. “It is a very difficult situation,” she says, “but we are adapting as best we can and trying to find ways of coping with the crisis.”
Medical and administrative staff at the 158-bed facility are working round-the-clock shifts, but have a critical lack of surgical masks, protective gowns and gloves to treat the rising number of infections. An evangelical church in China, where cases are now decreasing, has been in contact with the hospital and is sending supplies, while a number of Italian factories have switched from normal production lines to the manufacture of essential medical equipment.
Solidarity and human contact
Vitiello is also concerned about the longer-term consequences of the crisis, including financial problems since all regular services and operations have been suspended for the foreseeable future. She and the rest of the board, which includes members of seven Italian Protestant communities, are deeply grateful for emergency funding which has been pledged by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), as well as an increase in regular support from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Württemberg, and the Waldensian Church in Italy.
Following Italian government directives, the Lutheran churches in Italy are not holding any services or other gatherings and all members are observing strict quarantine measures which were imposed nationwide on 9 March. “Pastors and chaplains are circulating daily prayers and online services via various WhatsApp groups,” Vitiello says, "as people do their best to stay in contact and support each other.”
People are understanding that there is much more to life than just working and they are rediscovering the importance of culture, conversation and human contact.
— Cordelia Vitiello, from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Italy, is an LWF Council member
Despite the uncertainty, she continues, Italians are finding ways of keeping their spirits up, including organizing daily evening concerts where people gather – at a distance - on the balconies of their apartments to sing favorite songs or read poetry together. “At the end of the crisis, I think we will see new life styles emerging,” Vitiello reflects. “People are understanding that there is much more to life than just working and they are rediscovering the importance of culture, conversation and human contact.”