Our Newsletter

The Ambassador

Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church

March 2024

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)



Pancake Supper

Thank you to all who made our Pancake Supper such a wonderful gathering on  Tues. Feb. 13. The net proceeds from the freewill offering, $1,030, will be given to the Infrastructure Fund campaign of Luther Village, our church’s outdoor ministry near Kenora. Thank you also to our special guests, retired pastor, Rick Sauer, a member of the LV board, and retired Bishop, Elaine Sauer.

Midweek Lenten Series

Once again this year we have been having an opportunity during the season of Lent for reflection and renewal. The remaining sessions are Weds. Mar. 6, highlighting the issue of climate change (guest speaker: Heather McLeod) and  Mar. 13, highlighting homelessness. Both are from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. They feature devotions/Bible reflection, a short presentation, and discussion. Come to both, or either one, as you are able..


Holy Week and Easter Sunday worship:

-March 24 – Palm Sunday/Sunday of the Passion:

10:30 a.m. Service of the Word

-March 28 – Maundy Thursday:

7:00 p.m. Holy Communion and Stripping of the Altar

-March 29 – Good Friday:

10:30 a.m. Worship

-March 31 – Easter Sunday:

10:30 a.m. Holy Communion 


Easter Breakfast

Join us at 9:45 a.m., Sunday, March 31, in Immanuel Hall. Hot Cross buns and beverages will be provided. Bring something to share, as you are able. Volunteers are also appreciated: see the sign up sheet in the front hall.


Move Clocks Ahead 

Remember to move your clocks ahead one hour before going to bed on Sat. Mar. 9. Daylight Saving Time begins on Sun. Mar. 10.


Easter Flowers

Mums and lilies will adorn the sanctuary on Easter Sunday. You may place them there in memory/honour of someone.  Order forms are in the front hall. Place on the offering plate, with the funds attached, and choice of flower indicated. Each plant will cost $12.00. Orders are required by Mon. Mar. 18 (please note the new, earlier, date), so that we can ensure having the order filled. After Easter Sunday, you can either leave your plant for the following Sundays of the season or take it with you.


Life’s Journeys


-Mary Derkatch, Feb. 7 (died Jan. 31)


Lutheran-Anglican Youth Group

Next event:  Journey to Easter

Youth Service: Service, Songs and Snacks.

Sunday, March 24, 5:00 - 7:30 p.m.,  at St. Michael and All Angels Anglican Church, 675 Red River Rd.

Let Pastor Matthew know you are coming!

Confirmation classes

Confirmation is a time for youth in Grade 7 and older to learn more about their relationship with God proclaimed in Baptism. This year we usually will be meeting on the 2nd and 4th Mondays monthly, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Due to the school break, we are only meeting this month on Mar. 25. Please see Pastor Matthew for more info.


Children’s Ministry

Our in-person gatherings are twice monthly, on the first and third Sundays. This month we are meeting on Mar. 3 and 17.

The sessions, for children in JK – Gr. 6, begin downstairs in Immanuel Hall at 10:30 a.m. for Bible stories, crafts, and other activities. Then those in the class come up to share Holy Communion.

See Karen Bishop, co-ordinator, for more information.

   Activity sheets for each Sunday are available in the front hall and are also emailed on Thursday. To sign up for these: osimm@tbaytel.net . 

   There are Adventure activity bags under the mailboxes inside the entrance to the sanctuary, for children to enjoy during worship.

The next seasonal activity pack will be for Easter/spring, and will be available later in in March for pick-up or drop off. For the latter, email osimm@tbaytel.net.



We gather each Sunday at 10:30 a.m., celebrating Holy Communion on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month and festivals. This month the latter includes Maundy Thursday, Mar. 28, and Easter Sunday, Mar. 31. Other Sundays are Service of the Word (Mar. 10 and 24; as is Good Friday, Mar. 29.) Worship with the Band returns in April.

      As we meet we record the services. They are uploaded later on Sunday to our YouTube channel, ‘Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church of Thunder Bay’. Thank you, John Stadtlander!

      The bulletin with links to videos of the songs, and the text of the sermon, are e-mailed out on Saturday.

Sign up: osimm@tbaytel.net. They are posted on our website on Saturday:

www.oursaviourstbay.org .

     Holy Communion is being shared in both kinds. We receive a ‘wafer-in-a-cup’ as we enter the sanctuary. After the presiding minister says, ‘The body and blood of Christ given and shed for you’, we eat the bread while sitting in the pews. (Gluten-free wafers are available – see the usher. You may also bring your own bread.) Then we are invited to come up the centre aisle to receive the wine/grape juice. Prefilled glasses in trays are on a table at the foot of the chancel stairs. Please go off to the side and drink. There is a receptacle for the used glasses as we go back to our seats via the side aisles.

  If watching online, you are welcome to take and eat a piece of bread, and then to take a glass of wine or other beverage, remembering and giving thanks for the promises of grace, forgiveness, love, new life, and community given us in Christ Jesus.

Readings for Worship

March 3 – Third Sunday in Lent

-Exodus 20:1-17

-Psalm 19

-I Corinthians 1:18-25

-John 2:13-22

March 10 – Fourth Sunday in Lent

-Numbers 21:4-9

-Psalm 107:1-13, 17-22

-Ephesians 2:1-10

-John 3:14-21

March 17 – Fifth Sunday in Lent

-Jeremiah 31:31-34

-Psalm 51:1-12

-Hebrews 5:5-10

-John 12:20-33

March 24 – Palm Sunday/Sunday of the Passion

-Mark 11:1-11

-Isaiah 50:4-9a

-Psalm 31:9-16

-Philippians 2:5-11

-Mark 15:1-39 (40-47)

March 28 – Maundy Thursday

-Exodus 12:1-4 (5-10)

-Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19

-I Corinthians 11:23-26

-John 13:1-17, 31b-35

March 29 – Good Friday

-Isaiah 52:13-53:12

-Psalm 22

-Hebrews 10:16-25

-John 18:1-19:42

March 31 – Easter Sunday

-Acts 10:34-43

-Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24

-I Corinthians 15:1-11

-Mark 16:1-8

April 7 – Second Sunday of Easter

-Acts 4:32-35

-Psalm 133

-I John 1:1-2:2

-John 20:19-31

Fellowship Hour

We have Fellowship Hour each Sunday following worship, in Immanuel Hall. To help with set-up or clean-up, volunteer at the kitchen. New: We are celebrating birthdays on the 3rd Sunday of the month!

The platform lift is available for those who cannot access the basement via the stairs.


Worship Assistants

For worship during March, including the special services in Holy Week, we need Greeters and Ushers, Readers, and Communion assistants. Please sign up on the sheet in the front hall. You can also check what positions need filling in the listing in the bulletin for the coming Sunday. Pastor Matthew is happy to offer an orientation for all positions.


Good Friday: To volunteer for a part in the Good Friday reading of the Passion according to John, see Pastor Matthew by March 24. Small and big parts available!


Choir and Quartet+

Choir will be singing during the 7:00 p.m. Mar. 28 Maundy Thursday service. Please see Kaija Ranta, Director, for details.

The Quartet + hopes to sing on Mar. 10, 24, and 31: see Vi Peternelj, Co-ordinator, for information.


'Eternity for Today'

Our supply of our national church’s daily devotional booklets for Jan.-Mar. has run out. The Apr.-June issue has arrived!


Luther Village

Under God's grace, Luther Village exists to provide Christian ministry in a harmonious outdoor setting to give all individuals the opportunity for growth and renewal of mind, body and soul

The Luther Village Camp annual brochure for 2024 is now available to help you create your family, child, grandchild or individual camping plans for this coming summer! Please pick one up at the church, or go online, www.luthervillage.ca, and see what’s happening during our synod’s 60th year of outdoor ministry on Dogtooth Lake near Kenora. Online registration has openened. Hope to see you at Luther Village this season. 


Steve Bell Concert

Christian singer-songwriter Steve Bell will be back in Thunder Bay for a fundraising concert in support of Lifewater Canada on Fri. Mar. 22, 7:00 p.m., at the Italian Cultural Centre. Tickets $25. For more info, visit


Annual Congregational Meeting

Following a shortened Worship with the Band (and Choir) on Sun, Feb. 25, a potluck Fellowship Hour featured sandwiches supplied by  Fellowship Fund proceeds (freewill donations put in the white coffee pot on Sundays).  Next, the Annual Congregational Meeting of Our Saviour’s took place. 41 people attended.

- After beginning at 11:40 a.m. with a Land Acknowledgement and prayer, reports received comment and adoption as information. Copies of the Reports package are available at the church or can be digitally sent to you. Please contact the office.

-New this year, as part of the Statistical report, was a PowerPoint presentation prepared by Pastor Matthew. Its slides highlighted parish events from the past year, as well as remembering those members who died in 2023.  Again, if you would like to see this presentation, please contact the office.

-The Financial reports were discussed and adopted. Regular offerings in 2023 totaled $114,693.50, slightly below the goal of $116,000. However, due to other income, including renewal of the ESL classes’ lease in Sept., we ended the year with a surplus of $1,818.08, instead of the budgeted deficit. The 2024 budget has the same goal for regular income: $116,000. A deficit is once again forecast. However, should the ESL lease be renewed, most of this should be covered.

The Memorials Fund stands at $15,711.23. Our two reserve funds, ‘Elevator’ (for capital projects) and ‘Reserve’ (for use if needed), stand at 32,199.43 (main parsonage bathroom renovated) and 14,471.72 (not used).

The Nominating Committee presented a full slate of persons willing to stand for positions. Those acclaimed were:

--Congregational Council:


Returning: Karen Bishop and Sharon Scott; new: Jim Symington


Already serving: Helen Dagsvik, Kim Koivukoski, and Linda Sander


Already serving: Artith Francis, Peter Hinz, and Nick Matson

--Nominating Committee

Pat Kaukola, Diane Bruce

--Financial Reivew Committee

Rene Kaukinen, Paulette Kaukinen

--Memorial Committee

-2024-2025: Returning: Beth Boegh, Marie Hynna; new: Don Williamson

--Lutheran Committee Care board of directors, 2023-2026: Karen Bishop

--Lutheran Community Care Annual meeting delegates

Returning: Karen Bishop, Artith Francis, Lillian Erickson, Pat Kaukola, Marion Poutanen

--2024 Synod convention lay delegate: Linda Sander; Alternate: Eldon Oja

--Nominee to 2025 National convention: Don Williamson

--Youth Nominee(s) to 2024 Synod convention: no election – see Pastor.

Thank you to those stepping down after completing terms: Eldon Oja, Council; Lillian Erickson, Memorials committee; and, Elinor Barr, Financial Review committee. Further thanks included that given to Eldon Oja for the new ‘Daily God Wink’ outreach newsletter; members of the Budget committee; the donations given to the LCC; Linda and the Congregational Council; Pastor Matthew; John Stadtlander, A/V,  and musicians and singers.

  The meeting adjourned at 12:35.

Council Comments

Council met for its regular monthly meeting on Feb. 11. In addition to news noted elsewhere:

-Helen, Artith, Linda, Eldon, and Pastor Matthew were able to meet with Bishop Jason on Feb. 10 as part of the synod’s Every Council Visit initiative. Bishop Jason was in the city to meet with Hilldale, as it begins its call process for a new pastor. Bishop Jason was also able to meet with Salem – Pass Lake’s council and to tour the new church building under construction. He will share all the comments collected with Synod Council.

-One proposal has been received for the Northwest Exit rebuild project. Another is on its way.

-Plans are underway for a ‘Welcome Summer’ potluck Fellowship Hour, to be held following worship on Sunday, June 23.

-Elections for the congregation’s officers will be held at the March 12 meeting. Note: the Treasurer position does not have to be filled by a council member. If interested, see Linda.

-Council members and officers will be installed at worship on March 17.

-Council will renew the congregation’s participation in the national church’s ‘Greening Congregations’ initiative.

-The cedar stumps along the front of the building are being removed. A gardening bee will take place after that.

-Council’s next monthly meeting is Tues. Mar. 12, 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Chair – Linda Sander 622-0604

Vice-Chair – Karen Bishop 344-0052

Secretary – Aritith Francis 345-3617

Treasurer – Linda Sander 622-0604


Mask-Friendly space

The Health Unit continues to recommend the wearing of masks in public areas when social distancing cannot be maintained. The Congregational Council endorses this for those who wish to wear masks, and continues to make masks and hand sanitizer available.


Pastoral Visits

Pastor Matthew looks forward to making home visits, and going to Long Term Care homes. This includes sharing Holy Communion. Contact him at 807-344-1926, osimm@tbaytel.net.

   Pastor Matthew visits at the Regional Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Hospital. As clergy no longer have access to the patient lists, it is vital that you contact him with info about who is a patient who would benefit from such care.

Missions to Seafarers 

Thank you for your generous support of the Mission to Seafarers Christmas gift bags. This year 226 gift bags, including 3 bags for women, were delivered to 12 ships.

Thank you on behalf of the Christmas Bag Committee,

Susan Zirnsak Pike, Chair” 



Local and Missions

 Our goal for 2024, $116,000, is the same as 2023.Our regular weekly offerings (envelope and loose) support our budgeted local ministry expenses. They also enable us to partner with our synod (regional church – Manitoba-Northwestern Ontario) and national church: “Benevolence”, $10,000 in 2024. In addition, we include sustaining support for Lutheran Community Care: $1,500.

  Thank you for responding in February to our need for increased offerings. Together, with the Spirit’s guidance, once more we will be able to serve the world with the gifts of God.

February Offerings:

$ 8,905.00

Budgeted Offerings Monthly:

$ 9,666.67

Monthly Offerings 2024:  

$ 15,980.00

Budgeted Offerings 2024:

$ 19,333.33


Forward in Mission

Received in 2024:  $ 570.00

2024 goal:         $ 2,500.00

Our 2024 Forward in Mission Appeal projected partners are:

-ELCIC Annual Praise Appeal: $150

-CLWR General Appeal: $200

-Sasktoon seminary appeal: $150

-MNO Synod Mission as Hope: $100

-MNO Children in Cameroon: $50

-Luther Village Infrastructure: $100

-Thunder Bay Food Bank: $300

-Dew Drop Inn: $600

-Gathering Table Food bank: $200

-Current River Food bank: $150

-LCC Street Reach ministries: $500.

Cleaning Fund

Received in 2024:        $    770.00

Budgeted to date:        $    600.00

Your gifts enable us to employ a part-time custodian to maintain our building. Please designate offerings: ‘Cleaning Fund’.


Building Fund

Our donations help us have a dedicated reserve to maintain our property when the ‘unexpected’ happens. When planning indicates a major project is needed, a Congregational Meeting can set a goal for giving to the fund.

Balance, Jan. 1, 2024: $ 5,314.04

Received in 2024:        $   480.00

Expenditures: In Feb. we needed to pay $2,440 for our annual maintenance agreement for our platform lift. Gifts to replenish the fund are appreciated.



During worship you are able to share your offerings at the entrance to the sanctuary. Envelopes for Sunday and special offerings are available.

For a bundle of envelopes for 2024 see Linda Sander or call the office.

Other ways to send your gift:

1.Mail envelopes to the church

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 to


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. New: You can desigate part of ‘Weekly’ for ‘Cleaning’. To sign up, or make updates, call the office.

Food donations received in the wicker basket in the front hall are being given to the Gathering Table’s food bank and to those in need.


Emergency Appeal for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land 

Our goal is to cover one month of expenses for the ELCJHL to a total of $263,000. Support has reached past the half-way point. Financial donations may be given:


Canadian Lutheran World Relief partnership:

Your Generosity in Action

CLWR has released its ‘Year in Review: Your Impact in 2023’. Copies are available at the church or online at www.clwr.org .

Each ‘Ambassador’ issue will share one of more of its stories.

-El Salvador: Climate insurance for small scale farmers

Virginia Escobar is a small-scale farmer in the ‘Dry Corridor’ in El Salvador. She cultivates basic grains as well as fruit trees on her farmland.

  In the past, Virgina was able to sow twice in the rainy season. The first harvvest was sold to pay back loans while the second was for the family’s substinence. But due to irregular droughts in recent years, she was able to plant only once. The cost of agricultural inputs was also on the rise.

  Virginia participated in a crop insurance program launched by CLWR and partners, aimed at strengthening the climate resilence of small-scale producers of basic grains.

  The insurance has smaller requirements and coverage than traditional insurance and is automatically activated when drought, excess rainfall or seismic movements are recorded and have affected the farmers’ crops.

  The project also provided training and education on climate change resilience to the farmers.

  Thank you for supporting small-scale farming families in El Salvador!

   To donate to CLWR, designate an line to ‘CLWR’ on your envelope, or visit www.clwr.org .


World Day of Prayer

A 58-minute video of the World Day of Prayer 2024 service held March 1, with participants from across Canada, has been created to view at home.

The free video is based on the worship service prepared by Palestinian Christian women, and then presented and produced by the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada.

To watch this full-length service video, visit wicc.org/world-day-of-prayer/how-to-participate/ .