Our Newsletter

The Ambassador

Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church

May 2021

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)


Worship during May

-Due to the Provincial Stay-at-Home order, and our congregational guidelines, in-person worship remains suspended through Sun. May 23.

-For each Sunday, we thank John Stadtlander for recording and editing our ‘closed set’ worship service, and then uploading it to our YouTube channel, ‘Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church of Thunder Bay’ .

-Readers are welcome for Sunday serivces: contact Helen Dagsvik

-We post our worship and sermon text files on our website, and send them by email (sign up:osimm@tbaytel.net)

-When we are able to return to in-person worship, we will be maintaining these online opportunities.

Virtual Fellowship Hours

In place of our time after worship in Immanuel Hall, we are holding these from 11 a.m. to noon, each Sunday. Zoom invitations are in the weekly mailings. Special guests coming!

Ascension Day service

The festival of the Accension is Thurs. May 13. Once again this year we will holding our joint Lutheran-Anglican celebration online, with the Lutherans hosting. Watch for details on how to participate.

Bible Book of the Month Club

We are meeting monthly for Bible Study and Fellowship, for now by Zoom. Our next gathering is on Mon. May 17, at 1:30 p.m. For more information, contact Jenny Phillips.

Children’s Ministry

Due to Health Unit guidelines, there continues to be no in-person Sunday School. Handouts are available – we can email them: osimm@tbaytel.net or they can be picked up at the church.

Inter-Church Refugee Committee

There is real excitement in the Mahmoud family in Thunder Bay these days. After years of separation, Jamila, Mariam and Omar will be re-united with their mother.

The re-unification was made possible by the efforts of the Inter-Church Refugee Committee, of which Our Saviour’s is a member. Pastor Matthew serves as our representative on the Board.

Faiza Saleh will arrive in Thunder Bay on May 3 after spending three nights in quarantine in a hotel in Toronto following her flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Officials from the Government of Canada will greet her at Pearson airport to take her to a quarantine hotel. All of her meals and other needs will be looked after while she’s in the isolation hotel.

On May 3 she’ll fly to Thunder Bay. There are very strict Covid-19 protocols for her arrival and isolation in a fully-furnished apartment paid for by our refugee committee.

Faiza will be greeted at the airport by only one of her children and a member of the I-CRC. No hugging! A taxi will take Faiza unaccompanied to the apartment. (Taxis have plastic barriers that separate passengers from the driver.)

For the following 11 days Faiza will live alone with no visitors. Her children are currently preparing favourite dinners to be put into a freezer. On day 10 of her stay, Faiza will self-administer a Covid test. If it comes back negative, on Day 15 she’ll be allowed to join her children in their apartment. A bed purchased months ago is waiting for her.

The refugee committee is making arrangements for Faiza to see a doctor as soon as she can. She’s 65 and has some health issues that need attention, though she will be bringing a two-months supply of the drugs she requires to control those issues.

She’ll likely need some cool weather clothes. Trinity United’s Marlene Perrier has agreed to give Faiza access to donated clothing stored away for the Nearly New Boutique, an annual fundraiser that was put on hold.

The refugee committee is well-versed in what comes next: bus pass; cell phone plan, find a dentist, everything that any one of us needs to arrange if we move to a new town.

Fortunately, the Inter-Church Refugee Committee already has the funds in place to support Faiza for the next 12 months. But that does not mean an end to the fundraising the Committee will continue to do. The I-CRC is already looking forward to the day when vaccines are available world-wide and the movement of refugees will begin again in earnest. Donations to the cause are gratefully accepted and may be made out to your church. You’ll get a tax receipt.

Shane Judge, Chair

Mission to Seafarers Meat Sale

The meat, from European Meats, is of excellent quality and gluten free. Prices are posted on

www.missiontoseafarers.ca/thunderbay. Orders must be placed by Monday, May 3 and will be delivered on Weds., May 12. Contact Janet Pike at 627-1112. Pastor Matthew serves as Chair of MTS-Port of Thunder Bay.

The Apr-June edition of our national church’s daily devotional booklet is available. Rev. Fran Schmidt, formerly of Thunder Bay and now a pastor serving in Prince Albert SK, has written the mediations for May 20-26.

On good weather days, copies to pickup are on a chair in front of our wooden doors.

Readings for Worship:

-May 2-Easter 5

Acts 8:26-40

Psalm 22:25-31

I John 4:7-21

John 15:1-8

-May 9-Easter 6

Acts 10:44-48

Psalm 98

I John 5:1-6

John 15:9-17

-May 13 –Ascension of Our Lord

Acts 1:1-11

Psalm 47

Ephesians 1:15-23

Luke 24:44-53

-May 16 – Easter 7

Acts 1:15-17, 21-26

Psalm 1

I John 5:9-13

John 17:6-19

-May 23 – Day of Pentecost

Acts 2:1-21

Psalm 104:24-34, 35b

Romans 8:22-27

John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15

-May 30 – The Holy Trinity

Isaiah 6:1-8

Psalm 29

Romans 8:12-17

John 3:1-17

KAIROS Learning Sessions

Our national church’s social justice coalition partner invites us to its KBE (KAIROS Blanket Exercise) Teaching & Sharing Circles. The Summer Session begins May 18.

Register today – interactive, Zoom-based sessions that build positive relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people through truth, sharing, and open dialogue.

• Tuesday, May 18 (7-9pm ET) -- Medicine Wheel Teachings (new topic!)

• Tuesday, June 1 (7-9pm ET) -- The Impacts of Residential Schools

• Tuesday, June 15 (7-9pm ET) -- Métis Teachings

• Monday, June 21 (7-9pm ET) -- We are All Treaty People (National Indigenous Day)

• Tuesday, June 29 (7-9pm ET) -- Social Injustice in the Court System

• Tuesday, July 20 (7-9pm ET) -- The Importance of Growing Gardens

In case the link above isn't working for you:


Living our Faith - Read

Over the next several months, we will be using a new format to study the passages from the Gospel of Mark heard on Sunday. E-mail Pastor Matthew to receive the info.

Canadian Lutheran Anglican Youth Gathering

CLAY 2021 will happen as a one-of-a-kind online experience, August 20-22. It will be a gathering of hundreds of Anglican and Lutheran youth happening at the same time across the country.

There will be 3 hours group gathering time each day featuring: worship, workshops, and a large group gathering with the CLAY band, drama team, and our keynote speaker, Melanie Delva.

There will be Late Night Spots every day (a CLAY participant favourite) + activities engaging with our National Youth Project happening outside the group gathering times.

Home teams will gather in-person if it is safe to do so; in accordance with local health guidelines or participate online as a group.

Registration begins in May. The cost will be pay-what-you-can. The suggested amount per person is $45. See Pastor Matthew for details.

Sign up for our newsletter at claygathering.ca.

Attention Young Canadian Lutherans: 35 Under 35

35 under 25 is a project to hear from and highlight young adults who are part of the Lutheran Church or are involved in Lutheran Church community. Several MNO Synod young adults have recently been featured in this series. Young adults interested in participating or learning more can contact @elcicyoungadults through social media.

Luther Village Registration

Registrations are coming in strongly this year and we are very excited to safely welcome people to Luther Village in 2021! ALL registrations are online. Head to our website: www.luthervillage.ca .

Peace be with you,

Amber, Hospitality Manager

Ordination Anniversaries

At each convention, we give thanks for those rostered pastors and deacons in our synod who are celebrating significant anniversaries of ordination. This year 3 have special ties to our congregation:

-Bishop Lee Luetkehoelter, 65th Anniversary (1955); President/ Bishop, Central Canada Synod, Lutheran Church in America (of which the former St. Mark’s and Immanuel were members) 19751994.

-Pastor David Knudson, 40th Anniversary (1980); Honorary Assistant Pastor of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, 2014-2019.

-Pastor Rick Sauer, 40th Anniversary (1981); pastor of Our Saviour’s-Immanuel federated parish, 1987-1994.

June Ambassador

Articles needed at office by Mon. May 31. It will be available by Sun. June 7.

“What Your Council Is Doing Now”

-Your full Council: Linda Sander, Karen Bishop, Sharon Scott, Jeff Thingstad, Ken Boegh, Pat Kaukola, Helen Dagsvik, Kim Koivukoski, Vi Peternelj, and Pastor Matthew Diegel met on April 13 via ZOOM.

-Pastor Matthew opened the meeting with Prayer for the times we are experiencing now.

-With a view to in-depth Visioning for the future of Our Saviour’s, and indeed, the spirituality of religious Canadians as we are able to emerge from The Pandemic, Pastor Matthew reviewed the results of a public opinion research document conducted by Angus Reid:

Part One: The Pandemic - a year of tested faith

. more prayer, fewer donations

. switching to streaming from in-person worship

. after a year, are religious Canadians spiritually better or worse off?

Part Two: The Good, the Bad, the Isolation

. online was fine

. in-person worship heavily missed

. Roman Catholics anxious to resume Communion

. half miss sense of community the most

Part Three: Are restrictions treating religious communities fairly?

. half say restrictions have been fair, two-in-five say too strict

. majority would have attended more if places of worship were open

Part Four: Post-COVID hopes

. high level of enthusiasm for return of in-person service

. most want to keep online options available.

Very important food for thought and critical fodder for picking up and moving on, when we can!

-Pastor Matthew reviewed the current Guidelines. There is not much change from the Grey Guidelines for us. However, Council will revisit at our May meeting, possibilities to reconnect with modified “bubble” gatherings such as communion services, virtual communion services, and as the weather cooperates, outdoor gatherings complying with the Guidelines.

-Volunteer Update: for each on-line service, one or two Readers would be most welcome. If you would like to participate, let Helen Dagsvik (983-2099) or Pastor Matthew know.

Council meets next on Tuesday, May 11 at 5:00 p.m. via ZOOM.

-Vi Peternelj, Secretary

Life Journeys:


-Allan Albrecht, April 2(Funeral pending)

Food Collection:

While we are in lockdown, we are not receiving donations. When we are able to reopen our building, in May we will receive gifts for the Currrent River Churchs’ Food Bank.


Thank you for the offerings, regular and special, received during April. They helped offset the impact during the first months of the year that suspended in-person worship has had on donations. Please remember our continuing expenses with your gifts and prayers. This includes the $5,000 insurance invoice due in June.

$ 8,197.00

Budgeted Offerings:

$ 9,116.00

Monthly Offerings Year to date:

$ 32,173.00

Budgeted Offerings, Year to date:

$ 36,464.00

Forward in Mission

Received in 2021: $675.00

Proposed goal: $2,500.00

Our congregation has partnered with the Dew Drop Inn, in many forms, since its beginning. Through your FIM offerings this year, we hope to provide $500 to help fund its operations.

In addition, we received this note recently concerning our freewill offering from the Virtual Pancake Supper ($480):

“Your generous donation to St. Andrew’s Dew Drop Inn is greatly appreciated. It will help us feed the hungry of Thunder Bay.

Thank you for supporting the DDI during this time. We are very thankful for your donations.”The Dew Drop Inn

Cleaning Fund

Received in 2021: $655.00

Budgeted in 2021: $TBD.

Building Fund

For many years, Our Saviour’s has had a Building Fund, with its donations kept separate from the Current Fund. It is intended that this fund be used to offset the cost of approved building and capital repairs and improvements that may be necessary from time to time, and not covered in the budgeted maintainence of our buildings.

Your donations are appreciated for this Fund, to help us have a reserve on hand to help 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. Presently, this is not in place.

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

Received in 2021: $603.96

Spent in 2021: $2,558.93

(Annual ChairliftMaintenance Contract)


When we have in-person worship, you are able to share your offerings at the entrance to the sanctuary. At other times, here are options:

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

4. Pre-Authorized Withdrawal (PAR)

You are able to have your offerings deposited from your financial institution to that of the church. You can designate it 1-3 ways: Weekly, Building, Forward in Mission. To sign up, call the office. If you desire to make any changes at any time of the year, or if you have updates on your address or financial institution, please call the church office, 344-1926.

Report on the 2021 MNO Synod Convention held April 23-24, 2021

Following the direction of Church Council, I participated as our congregation’s Lay Delegate in the 2021 MNO Synod Convention. This year’s convention was unique in that it was the first synodical convention across our Evangelical Lutheran Church In Canada to be carried out entirely through Zoom. There were 98 registered delegates and participants – 47 lay delegates, 5 youth delegates, 35 rostered delegates, 6 retired delegates, and 6 non-voting visitors. It was a very large gathering on Zoom covering 4 hours on Friday evening in the 1st business session, 3 hours during the public session Saturday morning and then another 4 hours in the 2nd business Saturday afternoon.

Prior to the convention, the Bulletin of Reports was made available online and it took me the better part of 3 days to read and study the 226 pages of documentation. I shared thoughts and asked questions with Pastor Matthew over the week preceding the convention.

The convention can be described as the business meeting of the MNO Synod for with only Zoom participation there was no personal interaction, no dinners or coffee breaks with fellow delegates and little or no personal sharing time. Reports were read, reviewed, and accepted quite quickly. Voting was carried out quite successfully electronically. Yes, there were a few glitches on a couple votes because the organizers were limited to the technical options provided by Zoom but the resultant voting reflected the wishes of the convention and the voting delegates.

I will await the official minutes before commenting on any specifics, but will flag a few highlights worthy of note right now:

The election of Synod Executive and Synod Council was carried out by acclamation with the new Chair being Dallas Kostna from Abundant Life Lutheran Church in Winnipeg, MB.

Our electoral region #3 lay representative is Sylvia Nilsson-Barkman from St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Steinbach, MB.

Several proposed amendments to the Synod Bylaws were passed without any changes.

The proposed budgets for 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024 were passed without any changes.

With respect to “Benevolence from Congregations” the 2020 budget of $448,500 was carried forward without change across the 3 years.

For the “2022-2024 Employers Compensation Guidelines for Rostered Ministers”, a 2% annual increase was applied across the spectrum.

On Saturday morning, the faith formation and exploration of our Convention Theme, "Walk in Newness of Life" with Keynote Speaker, Dr. Andrew Root, was a public event open to non-delegate participants via Zoom as well. The keynote speaker gave an informative and thought provoking talk on ministry in a secular age. There were no attachments to share so I can in no way properly relay or explain what I heard online over the three hours.

I thank Church Council for the opportunity to represent our congregation at MNO Synod 2021.

Respectfully submitted, Eldon Oja