Our Newsletter

The Ambassador

Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church

December 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)


Advent/Christmas Worship

-Sun. Dec. 4: 10:30 a.m. Advent 2, Holy Communion and Sunday School

-Sun. Dec. 11: 10:30 a.m. Advent 3, Choir Christmas worship

-Sun. Dec. 18: 10:30 a.m. Advent 4, Holy Communion

-Sat. Dec. 24: Christmas Eve: 7 p.m.

Holy Communion

-Sat. Dec. 24: Christmas Eve: 10 p.m.

Holy Communion

-Sun. Dec. 25: Christmas Day:10:30

Holy Communion

-Sun. Jan. 1: 10:30 Name of Jesus

Holy Communion

Our Saviour’s Devotional Booklet

Our in-house Advent booklet is now ready. Thank you to all writers! Please take one for yourselves, and some to offer your family and friends. See Pastor Matthew for specific persons. Copies can also be sent online. Jesus is coming!

Heather Dale Concert

The Heather Dale Band is coming back to Our Saviour’s, with a Celtic Christmas concert, Fri. Dec. 9, at 7:00 p.m. The band features Heather Dale, Ben Deschamps, and Our Saviour’s own, John Stadtlander.

Tickets are $15, and $10 for Seniors/Students, available online at www.heatherdale.com. If unable to order via internet, please see John, Kaija, or Pastor Matthew to purchase a paper ticket.

Choir Christmas worship

On Sun. Dec. 11, our 10:30 a.m. service will tell the story of Advent and Christmas, featuring, choir anthems, special music, solos, and congregational singing.

Mitten Tree

Our annual Mitten Tree in the front hall, from Nov. 20 – Dec. 4, supports clients of Lutheran Community Care and other local organizations. Donations of handmade or purchased socks, mitts, gloves, hats, or scarves are much appreciated!

Christmas Carolling

Come hop on a bus and share the good news of Christmas for some of our shut-in folk! We are leaving the church at 3:00 p.m. on Sun. Dec. 11, and aim to be back by 6:00 p.m., having visited about 10 residences. Hot chocolate will be served once we are done singing! A sign-up sheet is in the front hall. You can also call the office!

‘Blue’ Christmas Worship

This gathering invites people experiencing the pain of any type of loss during this time to come and reflect, grieve, and to receive comfort and hope in the message of the Christ child. Our service is on Sun. Dec. 18, at 7:00 p.m. All are welcome.

Christmas Flowers

Once again we invite you to donate poinsettias in memory or honour of someone to decorate our sanctuary for our Christmas services. You can leave them to brighten the season or take them after Christmas worship.

Forms for orders are available in the front hall, or you can contact the office. The deadline for ordering is Mon. Dec. 19. The cost for each plant (6”pots), is $15. You will be able to specify red and/or white colours.

Basketeers Campaign 2022

Basketeers is a program started by a group of volunteers in 2000 to support female victims of abuse to re-establish their lives, as they transition from the shelter into their new home. The baskets contain household items, including those for the kitchen, bathroom, and the bedroom.

Royal LePage Lannon Realty, AMJ Campbell, and Canadian Tire are proud supporters of Basketeers. Over the past 12 years they’ve collected over 1000 baskets of donated items, valued at $250,000, which has gone back directly to our community.

After not being able to take part in this during the past 2 years, this season we are hoping to fill at least one basket, coordinated by Corinne Loovere. Please leave your donations in the front hall by Tues. Dec. 6. Suggestion lists are available.

Food Collection

Thank you for gifts in November placed in the wicker basket in the front hall. These all went to the Current River Churches’ Food Cupboard.

In December we are collecting for the Gathering Table’s Food bank.

“Greetings in the name of Christ, Thanks to your continued support, in 2022 the food cupboard has provided bi-monthly support to an average of 70 clients representing just under 100 adults and children. The vast majority of those we serve are adults, less than 5% are under 18. People who utilize the Cupboard may be homeless, uneducated, addicted, handicapped mentally or physically, or injured; nevertheless, Christ dwells in them and they are valued. For Christmas distribution we are asking especially for donations of strawberry jam, crackers, and hot chocolate packets. Thank you for considering these needs. Distribution will be Sunday 18 December. Blessings in Christ for you, In his service, Dale.”

Please bring your donations by Dec. 11.

“Gifts from the Heart”

CLWR has released its annual Gifts from the Heart catalogue for 2022. As always, this year’s catalogue is full of meaningful, life-changing gifts that you can use to share God’s love with the world, while you add some joy to your own family’s Christma season. Thre are copies of the catalogue at the church. You can also find the whole catalogue online at clwr.org/GFTH.

In-person Worship

Health officials and our council recommend wearing masks during worship (esp. when singing) and in the building when social distancing cannot be maintained. For the comfort and well-being of those attending worship, we are maintaining the closure of every other row, unless room is needed.

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

Those who do not commune, all ages, are welcome to come for a blessing.

Worship Assistants

For worship we need Greeters and Ushers, a Reader, Communion Assistant (if Communion) and a Sanitizer (for after service). Please sign up on the sheets in the front hall.

Fellowship Hours

We have Fellowship Hour following worship, in Immanuel Hall. The platform lift is available for those who cannot use the stairs. Please sign up on the sheet in the front hall to help with setup/cleanup and baking.

Worship online

Most Sundays, we record the services as we meet. They are uploaded later to our YouTube channel, ‘Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church of Thunder Bay’. Closed captions are available – words to the songs are added Monday.

Texts of the sermon, and of the bulletin, with links to videos of the songs, are mailed out on Saturday: sign up - osimm@tbaytel.net. They are also posted on our website on Saturday: www.oursaviourstbay.org .

If watching online, when Pastor Matthew says, ‘The body and blood of Christ given and shed for you’, we welcome all to take and eat a piece of bread, remembering and giving thanks for the promises given us in Christ Jesus. Please also do so, taking a glass of wine or another beverage.

Children’s Ministry

Our monthly in-person children’s ministry next meets on Sun. Dec. 4. We begin in Immanuel Hall, and then come upstairs to share in Holy Communion. For info: Karen Bishop.

The Advent/Christmas seasonal activity kits are ready. They are in the front hall for pick-up. They can also be dropped off: osimm@tbaytel.net.

Activity sheets for each Sunday are in the front hall, and are mailed out on Thurs. Sign up! osimm@tbaytel.net .

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

Confirmation classes are being offered in hybrid form this year – online with special times together. This ministry of the church helps youth to continue in the promises made at Baptism. All youth Grade 7 and older are welcome. See Pastor Matthew.

Readings for Worship

December 4 – Advent 2

Isaiah 11:1-10

Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19

Romans 15:4-13

Matthew 3:1-12

December 11 – Advent 3

Isaiah 35:1-1

Psalm 146:5-10

James 5:7-10

Matthew 11:2-11

December 18 – Advent 4

Isaiah 7:10-16

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

Romans 1:1-7

Matthew 1:18-25

Nativity of our Lord – Christmas Eve

Isaiah 9:2-7

Psalm 96

Titus 2:11-14

Luke 2:1-14[15-20]

Nativty of our Lord – Christmas Day

Isaiah 52:7-10

Psalm 98

Hebrews 1:1-4 [5-12]

John 1:1-14

January 1 –Name of Jesus

Numbers 6:22-27

Psalm 8

Galatians 4:4-7

Luke 2:15-21


Thank you for your November offerings. Unfortunately, our shared giving dipped below our goal. Help us to rise to the challenge in December, and reduce, even eliminate, our Offering shortfall. Working together to share the gifts of God as we are able, the Spirit helps us serve the world.

November Offerings:

$ 7,960.00

Budgeted Offerings:

$ 9,480.78

Monthly Offerings Year to date:

$ 96,662.00

Budgeted Offerings, Year to date:

$ 104,288.58

Forward in Mission

Received in 2022: $2,390.00

2022 goal: $2,500.00

Your gifts help us support our partners in mission, as adopted by our Annual Meeting. We are SO close! Thank you for your support again this year. A list of local, regional and international partners will be adopted at the 2023 Annual Congregational Meeting. Share your suggestions with Pastor Matthew.

Cleaning Fund

Received in 2022: $2,805.00

Budgeted to date: $3,025.00

Thank you for your increased donations for this Fund. They have helped us to almost come within fully addressing our needs. Your gifts enable us to employ a part-time custodian to maintain our building for church and community use. Please desigate offerings for the ‘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. 1/22: $5,606.80

Received in 2022: $2,250.00

Expenditures: In March, we spent $2,588 for our annual maintenance agreement for our platform lift. Gifts to replenish the fund are appreciated.

Options for Giving

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

To pick up your envelope bundle for 2023, call the office.

Other ways:

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


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. Update forms for 2023 will be sent out shortly.

“Council Comments”

Council met Tues. Nov 15.

-Thank you to all those helping with the cleanup on Nov. 22; Sharron Stadtlander for her beautiful sanctuary decorations; and Nick, Lori, and Taylor for setting up and decorating the Christmas trees in the sanctuary and front hall.

-Pastor Matthew is able to have home visits, and some Long-Term Care Home visits. This includes sharing Holy Communion. Hospital visits are still limted, but please contact him to let him know who is in need of prayer. Contact Pastor at 344-1926, or osimm@tbaytel.net.

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

-Next meeting: Tues. Dec. 13, 5 p.m.

Chair – Linda Sander 622-0604

Vice-Chair – Karen Bishop 344-0052

Secretary – Aritith Francis 345-3617

Treasurer – Linda Sander 622-0605

Life’s Journeys:

New Members:

Garry and Shelbey Lorentson, Nov. 27

Graveside service:

Joan Dryborough, Nov. 17

January ‘Ambassador’

Please have articles sent to the office by Tues. Jan. 3. Thank you!

One of the pleasures of winter is to snuggle down with a good book! Our Saviour's Scandinavian Lending Library is located at the bottom of the stairs and to the left, beside the coat rack, on the way to Immanuel Hall. The books, like our congregation, have Scandinavian roots. All are in the English lanuage, and deal with Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden. They include fiction, immigrant memoirs, historical and cultural events, and biographies, all with a Scandinavian flavour either by subject or by author. The library is open to everybody, and there are no late fees. Donations are welcome.

Elinor Barr: 345 3221

Canada Lutheran

Breaking News!

Canada Lutheran is our national church’s magazine. A subscription is the best way to receive news, information, and uplifting and informative articles from ACROSS the church.

Due to a technical issue that has now been resolved, Canada Lutheran has experienced a delay in getting materials to us for 2023 subscriptions. It is our congregation’s practice to place our order as a bulk subscription, saving you about 50% of the usual price! You then pick them up at your church mailboxes under the balcony. Forms for renewals and new subscriptions will be in the front hall shortly. We ask that you hand in the form, with chequess made out to Our Saviour’s, by Dec. 31.

Copies of the Oct. - Dec. edition of our national church’s daily devotional booklet, 'Eternity for Today', are available in the front hall, and can be delivered. The Jan. – Mar. issue will be available shortly. Pastor Matthew is one of its writers.

All are welcome to attend a St. Nicholas’ Day Eucharist (Holy Communion) to be held at 11:00 a.m. Weds. Dec. 7 at Our Saviour’s. St. Nicholas is the patron saint of seafarers and this is a time for the community that support the Mission to Seafarers: Port of Thunder Bay to come together to pray for seafarers and for the Mission to Seafarers. St. Nicholas’ Day (Dec. 6) is also the anniversary of the founding to the Mission to Seafarers in Thunder Bay in 1961. Pastor Matthew is the current chair of its board.

Warm Clothing for Seafarers

The Thunder Bay station of Mission to Seafarers has very little warm clothing on hand. It would appreciate donations of warm, small to large size men's clothing. Many sailors on ocean-going vessels come from warmer countries and find our fall weather rather cold. Donations can be put in the drop off box outside the Seafarers' Centre or given to Pastor Matthew.

This year's global 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence began on Nov, 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and ends on Dec. 10, Human Rights Day. The theme and activities are "UNITE! Activism to End Violence Against Women & Girls." The goals are to mobilize society, women's rights organizations, governments, and human rights defenders in the prevention of violence against women, to stand in solidarity with women's rights activists, to support feminist movements around the world to resist the rollback on women's rights, and to call for a world free from violence against women. For details on how you can take and inspire action, click:


Thursdays in Black

Our ELCIC joins with organizations nationally and internationally in supporting Thursdays in Black -a campaign of solidarity and advocacy originally begun by the World Council of Churches, against all forms of sexual and gender-based violence. Each Thursday we recognize the tragic reality that is gender-based violence by wearing black clothing or a Thursdays in Black pin/button. To watch a video invitation from National Bishop Susan C. Johnson, please click here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo8_ZwK0H5Y . For more information and resources, please click here: https://www.oikoumene.org/what-we-do/thursdays-in-black

National leaders of the Anglican Church of Canada, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Presbyterian Church in Canada and United Church of Canada throughout the month of December are cooperating on an ecumenical Advent meditation series, reflecting on the four themes of hope, joy, peace and love. The meditation and conversation series “What are we Waiting For” addresses challenges facing Canadian churches.

Dr. Robert Faris, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Canada explained, “We are all facing a time of challenge in the Canadian churches. We are anxious and we are not sure what the future holds. Yet Advent is a season that is all about overcoming anxiety and waiting in hope for the new thing that God is doing. We thought it would be a good idea to talk together as Church leaders and to be in conversation with others about what it is we are waiting for. Where are the signs of hope, peace, joy and love in our churches and in our world today?”

Each Monday during Advent, the church leaders will release an ecumenical Advent meditation in which they will focus on one of the four Advent themes and address challenges and opportunities facing the Canadian churches. On each of the following Thursdays in Advent, participants can attend a live discussion at 7:00 PM EST on the theme and ask questions, via Zoom, with two of the leaders.

  • To receive the meeting link for each event and receive email reminders of each week’s upcoming events, visit Advent2022.ca for access to the registration form.

Schedule for the live online discussions:

December 1: Hope, “Signs of the Time” – Bob Faris (Presbyterian) in conversation with Susan Johnson (Evangelical Lutheran Church In Canada) about the church in the 21st Century.

December 8: Peace, “Finding the Good Path” – Bob Faris in conversation with Carmen Lansdowne (United) about truth telling and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

December 15: Joy, “God’s Love Includes Everyone” – Carmen Lansdowne in conversation with Bob Faris about the inclusion of all in the church.

December 22: Love, “The Cost of Discipleship” – Bob Faris in conversation with Linda Nicholls (Anglican) about the church’s public witness in a rapidly changing social and political context in Canada.

LWF Communion: A Singing Communion During Advent

For the fifth year, The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) shares dailiy videos from LWF member churches and country programs for the 28 days of Advent starting Nov. 27, until Dec. 24. "Advent: A Singing Communion has been a creative expression of our shared Lutheran identity and the diverse contexts of the member churches," said LWF General Secretary Rev. Anne Burghardt. The videos will be published on the LWF website : www.lutheranworld.org

and social media including Facebook and Instagram.