Our Newsletter

The Ambassador

Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church

January 2022

10 Farrand Street, Thunder Bay, ON P7A 3H5

Offices: 344-1926; Immanuel Hall/FAX: 343-4857

E-mail: osimm@tbaytel.net

Web: www.oursaviourstbay.org

Facebook: ‘Our Saviour’s Thunder Bay’

YouTube: ‘Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church of Thunder Bay’

Instagram: ‘OSLCTBay’

Pastor: Matthew H. Diegel (Parsonage: 344-6822)

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The Ontario move back to a modified Step 2 of Reopening, effective Weds. Jan. 5, has necessitated changes in the ministry of Our Saviour's. We make these following the guidance of our Safety Plan, the government regulations, and church offices. In this way we serve our community and world, by caring for our neighbour:

-In-person worship is suspended for at least Sunday January 9 and 16. Closed session recordings of worship will be made on Saturday for each day, and uploaded for Sunday to our YouTube channel, 'Our Saviour's Lutheran Church of Thunder Bay'. Texts of the worship service and sermon will be posted on Saturday to our website, oursaviourstbay.org, and sent out weekly, also on Saturday, to those on our email list (to sign up: osimm@tbaytel.net).

-Use of Immanuel Hall by community groups is suspended for at least 2 weeks, with the exception allowed for the Friendly Group A.A. (with new restrictions)

-Pastor Matthew will remain working in his office at the church. However, mindful of the fact that employees are encouraged to work from home except when necessary, if you need to come to the church please call beforehand (So he can greet you safely and cheerfully... and without being surprised by boots on the stairs!)

-Our prayer is that these temporary measures help us and others to be as healthy as possible.

-Pastor Matthew has a dream, that on Sunday, April 17, we are able to have in-person Easter Day worship for the first time since 2019. We do this now, so that we can have that later...

-God's peace, compassion, and love, be with us all.

When we are able to worship in person again, Covid-19 guidelines remain in place -- self –screening, name taking at the door, wearing masks, non sharing of materials, sanitizing, social distancing and every other pew blocked off.

All are encouraged to receive their vaccinations, and boosters, as they become available.

Virtual Fellowship Hours

Due to the supsension on in-person worship, we are holding these each Sunday in January, at 1:00 p.m. The Zoom invitation will be sent out Saturdays.


Holy Communion

When we are able to share this sacrament once more in-person, due to the increase in Covid cases we have again suspended receiving Communion 'in both kinds' (bread and wine/grape juice). Individually wrapped wafers still are given to you as you enter, and we stay in our pews for the eating of the bread. You may bring your own bread for your bubble, if you prefer. For those needing gluten-free wafers, please ask at the Greeter's table. Masks are to be worn except for the eating of the bread.

Children’s Ministry

Activity handouts related to each Sunday’s readings are emailed each Thursday. To sign up, send an email to osimm@tbaytel.net .

The next seasonal drop off/pick up activity kit will be for ‘Easter/spring’. Sign up to be on the list: osimm@tbaytel.net.

Worship Assistants

For our recordings, we welcome a Reader. Please call Pastor Matthew. When we return to in-person please sign up for one or more spots on the sheets in the front hall. Each Sunday we need a Greeter, Usher, Reader, and Santizer.

Readings for Worship

January 2: Christmas 2

Jeremiah 31:7-14

Psalm 147:12-20

Ephesians 1:3-14

John 1: [1-9] 10-18

January 9: Baptism of Our Lord

Isaiah 43:1-7

Psalm 29

Acts 8:14-17

Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

January 16 – Time after Epiphany

Isaiah 62:1-5

Psalm 36:5-10

I Corinthians 12:1-11

John 2:1-11

January 23 – Time after Epiphany

Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10

Psalm 19

I Corinthians 12:12-31a

Luke 4:14-21

January 30 – Time after Epiphany

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 71:1-6

I Corinthians 13:1-13

Luke 4:21-30

February 6 – Time after Epiphany

Isaiah 61:1-8 [9-13]

Psalm 138

I Corinthians 15:1-11

Luke 5:1-11

February ‘Ambassdor’: Articles due Mon. Jan. 24. Available Sun. Jan. 31.

“What Your Council Is Doing Now”

Tues. Dec. 14

-Pastor Matthew opened our December meeting by sharing Bishop Susan’s Christmas Message.

-In place of our usual Visioning (planning ahead for our future growth), Pastor reviewed the current update to The Safety Plan during this time of ever-changing protocols due to Covid-19. “Places of worship are responsible for providing an environment that minimizes the risk of transmission of COVID-19.” We are ever vigilant to these protocols and their changes in light of these uncertain times.

-“Our Saviour’s Budget to November 30, 2021” was reviewed, anticipating new Budget considerations for 2022. The Budget Committee for 2022 will be meeting early in January.

-The Christmas Take-home Tea was a resounding success….our thanks to Kim Koivukoski for this wonderful idea. Aside from grossing $1,798 (154 boxes), 25 people were physically involved in preparations, and 30 in donating baking….a new and innovative way to share the blessings of Christmas. Proceeds will be split between Reserve Funds and General Operating Funds.

-The Annual Congregational Meeting is scheduled for Sunday, February 13, 2022….and at this time we foresee that it will likely be a ZOOM meeting.

-The Nominating Committee (Marion Poutanen, Joan Rissanen and Jeff Thingstad) will be meeting to propose candidates for 2022 positions. Three nominations are needed for Council positions (2022-2024). Terms expiring are Ken Boegh, Pat Kaukola and Vi Peternelj (all are eligible).

-Kim proposed that anyone interested in sharing the joy of Christmas with as many of Our Saviour’s shut-in members as time will allow, gather at the church at 5:30, Tuesday, December 21.

-Thank you to those who put up the Christmas trees and beautifully decorated them. The tree in the sanctuary was purchased through Memorial funds, and Linda and Jeff Thingstad donated the tree in the narthex.

-We, the council members….Linda Sander, Pat Kaukola, Helen Dagsvik, Ken Boegh, Jeff Thingstad, Karen Bishop, Kim Koivukoski, Sharon Scott, Vi Peternelj, and Pastor Matthew Diegel….wish you a Blessed and Safe Christmas Season. We share the Joy of Christ’s Birth with you…either in person or through recording on You Tube (via John Statlander’s expertise!)

We are so blessed to have options to worship together!

Food Collection

Thank you for gifts in December placed in the wicker basket in the front hall These included the gifts brought by Kim Karioja’s piano students as part of their recital. All donations went to support the Gathering Table’s Food Fank. Donations received in January will be delivered to the Current River Church’s Food Cupboard. Please call ahead to drop off at the church.

The Annual Congregational Meeting of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church of Thunder Bay is scheduled to be held following worship on Sunday, February 13, starting about 11:30 a.m. Again this year, we will likely be using the Zoom format.

Details, including confirmation of the date, will follow. All confirmed members have voice and vote.

Reports for the Bulletin of Reports are needed by Mon. Jan. 31. If emailing them: osimm@tbaytel.net. The package should be available by Sun. Feb. 6 – in hard copy, and by email.


Nominating Committee

Marion Poutanen, Joan Rissanen, and Jeff Thingstad (Council) are seeking your help in filling the nominations needed for the Annual Meeting. Please contact them to offer the name of a member whom whom you feel has the gifts to serve, or even to volunteer your own name. For position information see the committee, council members, or Pastor Matthew. Thank you for serving!

-Congregational Council – 3 3-year positions (2022-2024)

-Committees:

--Memorials – 3 two-year positions

--Financial Review–2 one-year

positions

--Nominating – 2 one-year positions

-Lutheran Community Care

--Annual Meeting – up to 5 delegates

--Board – 1 position open


'Eternity for Today'

Copies of the Jan.- Mar. edition of our national church’s daily devotional booklet are available in the front hall, and can also be dropped off: call 344-1926. Pastor Matthew has written for Jan. 29 – Feb. 4.

Eternity for Today App

The booklet is available with the same content but in an online, digital format. Receive daily notifications right to your desktop, iphone or android device. Subscriptions are available for monthly ($2.00/month) or annual rates ($8.95/year). Sign up for a new online subscription here: https://elcic.ca/dailydevotions/sign-up.cfm


Canadian Lutheran Anglican Youth gathering (CLAY)

After talking to church leaders, youth groups, and parents, the planning committee for CLAY has heard a lot of uncertainty around gathering in 2022. As a result, the planning committee has announced that the 2022 CLAY gathering will be postponed until August 2023. This will give time for youth groups to reconnect, for the leaders to get the rest they need, and for the planning team to organize a gathering that is meaningful, impactful, and safe experience for all.

Help keep the church doors, entrances, sidewalks, and emergency exits clear and safe: call 344-1926.


FINANCES

Thank you for your very generous offerings during December. They enabled us to reach our targeted goals set back last Feb. Because of you, once more we were able, together, in 2021 to share the gifts of God and to serve the world.

December Offerings.

$18,227.43

Budgeted Offerings:

$ 9,116.00

Monthly Offerings Year to date:

$110,573.43

(pending year-end review)

Budgeted Offerings, Year to date

$109,392.00

Please note: this figure includes the extra funds needed to elminate the budgeted deficit.

2022 Offering Envelopes

Our envelopes have arrived! Instead of numbered box sets, those desiring envelopes this year will receive a supply of undated envelopes. 12 will be in the bundle, but you can also arrange for more. For more information, see Linda Sander.

For those on PAR, update forms for 2022 have been mailed out. Please return them by Jan. 10. Thank you!

Forward in Mission

Received in 2021: $2,580.00

Budgeted goal: $2,500.00

Thank you! At its January meeting, Council will decide on the allocation of the balance. To suggest partners for 2022, see Pastor Matthew.

Cleaning Fund

Received in 2021: $1,655.00

Needed monthly: $275

Building Fund

Our donations are kept separate from the Current Fund. They help us have a reserve to maintain our property when the ‘unexpected’ happens. When planning indicates a major project is needed, the Annual Meeting can set a goal for giving to the fund.

Balance, Jan. 1/21: $6,311.01

Received in 2021: $2,410.00

Spent in 2021: $2,851.00

(ChairliftMaintenance Contract/ Window Repair)

Options for Giving

During in-person worship you are able to share your offerings at the entrance to the sanctuary. When this is suspended, other ways include:

1. Mail envelopes to the church

Mailing address: 10 Farrand St. Thunder Bay P7A 3H5

2. Drop envelopes off at church

You can drop off envelopes in the mailbox beside the parking lot doors. Calling is appreciated, so that the offering can be brought inside.

3. E-Transfer online banking

to osimm.office@tbaytel.net

4. Pre-Authorized Withdrawal (PAR)

You are able to have offerings deposited from your financial institution to the church. You can designate it Weekly, Building, and/or Forward in Mission. To sign up, or if you desire to make changes or if you have updates on your address or financial institution, call the office.


Thank you for the gifts of love at Christmas: Pastor Matthew and the parsonage family

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity to be held on January 18 to 25 this year, will draw together churches across the globe to reflect on the hope and joy in Matthew 2:2,

"We saw the star in the East, and we came to worship him."

The Middle East Council of Churches, based in Beirut, Lebanon, was the convener for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2022 drafting group. The reflections explore how Christians are called to be a sign to the world of God bringing about unity. Drawn from different cultures, races and languages, Christians share in a common search for Christ and a common desire to worship him. To read the full text of this news release, click here: www.oikoumene.org

Join all Christians in prayer

Christians around the world are invited to pray for the unity of all Christians and to participate in ecumenical gathering for worship. You can view a video recording of a reflection on the 2022 theme by Rev. Dr. Rima Nasrallah, MECC here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfll4uI49hk

World Day of Prayer - Pray Now

The World Day of Prayer (WDP) 2022 program was written by the women of England, Wales and Northern Ireland with the theme, "I Know the Plans I have for You" based on Jeremiah 29:1-14. The traditional WDP time is the first Friday in March. Its international committee is calling women and men to join in prayer for Pray NOW. Pray NOW 2022 is a 4-part series of informed prayer together. Each will be a video or podcast link for you to join anytime. The 30-minute video will consist of a panel conversation with information related to WDP followed by prayer. You will learn more about WDP and will also experience different styles of prayer.

https://wicc.org/get-involved/events/

Task Force on Addressing Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

The task force addressing homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) is inviting people in the 2SLGBTQQIA community to share stories and experiences in order to help form the task force's report and recommendations.

A set of questions has been developed to guide you through telling your story. You can share as much or as little as you would like. Space is held for both positive and negative experiences, for new stories and those from the past. For more information on how to share your story including an online survey, and to watch the invitation video, please click on this link:

https://www.elcic.ca/Taskforcehbt/

“Messengers of Hope”

New Year’s greeting from the Lutheran World Federation General Secretary

“Dear sisters and brothers in Christ, Jesus says: “Anyone who comes to me I will never drive away.” (John 6:37)

On the threshold of the new year, we halt for a moment in order to cross over the threshold with hope and new encouragement.

The COVID-19 pandemic is still not over, although there are new possibilities to dam, hold off or even defeat the disease. However, a lot still needs to be done to make the vaccines and medication available in all parts of the world. Millions of people have died, and we pray for their dear ones: May God comfort all people who are grieving and all those fighting the pandemic and its consequences. With our sisters and brothers, we also mourn all those, who died of other diseases.

We see new conflicts around the globe, where political issues have turned for the worse within the recent year. Some old and “frozen” conflicts have been fueled. Sometimes it is not easy to say how and why, sometimes this seems quite clear. We pray that God may lead those who instigate conflict to repen- tance, dialogue and peace building, and deliver from evil those who are ready to take up arms. As we enter the new year, we pray for an end to violence, injustice and oppression in the new year.

We see the destruction of God’s creation. Climate change, catastrophes and desolation of vast areas of formerly intact ecological systems. We know, creation is not for sale, but it seems to be a long way for us human beings to change our attitudes. We ask for forgiveness and the right attitude toward the beautiful world God has created.

We are standing on the threshold of the new year in prayer, bringing all our concerns and sorrows before God, asking to be empowered to be the messengers of hope in today’s world, to put our faith into action. In the watchword for 2022, Christ gives us a promise: His door is open for us. We are not cast out, if we come to him. His threshold is not a high one. He will receive us with our prayers, our concerns and our sorrows, he gives us hope and empowers us.

Christ encourages us to boldly cross the threshold of 2022. Carried by his love we enter the new year, knowing that he is with us every day. Freed from fear and desperation we will be able to share the gifts we have received, with others: to be light in and for the world, to serve the neighbor, to spread peace and reconciliation and to stand up for human dignity wherever we are, however the circumstances may be, whatever it takes.

We are to welcome one another, just as Christ has welcomed us (Rom 15:7) without casting us out or driving us away. We are called not to be messengers of exclusion, but inclusion; not the ones who contribute to fragmentation but who strive for unity.

On the threshold of 2022, let us pause for a moment in prayer. We feel received with all our needs by Christ’s mercy, encouraged by his love. Then we boldly take the first step. May God guide us and bless us in this year!” Rev. Anne Burghardt